Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We have done it again!

Well, It is official, we have gone and done it again.  We are having another baby.  I am pretty sure it is because we bought a 12 passenger van 2 months ago but one can't be sure of these things.

What does that mean for the 2200 square foot house with two huge bedrooms upstairs??  It means a massive room shifting, reorganizing extravaganza.  Our den/play room/guest room is becoming the den/play room/guest room/office.  The office is becoming my (significantly smaller than we are used to) bedroom and the boys are moving into our room.  Yes, this means a complete & major house overhaul.  Now I realize, I said this last time before the twins however, in this case, we have no other options.  We are maxed out.

The question running through my exhausted first trimester brain is - WHERE do I begin?  So, my goal will be to begin in the basement with new storage shelves to house everything that we need to store.  Currently, we have bins of kid clothes stored in an area of my room with sizes for the twins to grow into and clothes that they have grown out of.  The bins of swim suits and soccer gear are also stored in there for easy access.  All must move down to the basement which will be storage and indoor gym where I can send crazy excessive children to wear themselves out.

Step two will be to get the den/play room/guest room cleaned up and paired down to make room for the office gear.  The walls could use a new coat of paint but lets cross that bridge when we get to it!

Then on to the "old" office now my much smaller bedroom.  In 10 years of marriage, my husband and I have never had our clothes in the same room let alone the same closet so, this is bound to get interesting.

After those major accomplishments the moving of the boys into our room will be fun.  Our boys have always shared with their siblings and it has been hard at times (many times).  This should be life altering and I am excited for them to have this space to call their own.

So, with all of this work and craziness why am I blogging again??  To keep myself accountable.  With the yuckiness that comes with the joys of pregnancy, I am all too quick to give up and take a nap.  In order for this massive undertaking to occur, I need to give myself several months to get the steps accomplished.  My goal is to have it done by the beginning of my third trimester (when I am too huge to do anything useful).  ANY and ALL ideas or suggestions are always appreciated as I ponder each room and its needs for our family.  As always, with each organization we will have to live with it for a while to see what works and what doesn't.  My inner organizing diva is dying with excitement and jumping up and down with glee but my exhausted first trimester body is rebelling.  Needless to say, this undertaking will be a lot of fun to watch from the outside so, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Called up

Where the heck have I been, you ask?? Trust me when I say - nowhere. When my first two kids were born they were only 19 months apart. People used to ask me if they were twins. I would reply "no, but they are just like having twins". I would like to publicly state, I WAS WRONG.

Twins . . .
Twins are a whole new ballgame. In general, just two newborns at the same time is crazy. It is like a serious game of baseball. Juggling each kid and their needs on various bases. I am however, going to venture to say, twins AFTER having four children is the major league of crazy.

Not to say that people who have a set of twins first is not in constant need of sleep, a shower,caffeine and a clean shirt that doesn't smell like spit up. The difference is, they don't know any different. Caring for the twins is one thing - keeping them safe from the larger babies that have WAY too much love to give is another. Imagine navigating two newborns, a 2 year old and a 3 year old to take a nap in a full house, under construction with two bedrooms and an office. Major leagues baby - and I was called up.

"How do you do it?" I am asked this almost daily. The answer is - I don't. Not alone anyway. No baseball player gets to major leagues without help. They have an agent, a coach, manager, trainer, friends and family. Nowhere is the saying "It takes a village" more clearly visualized, than in our home.

I would not make it without a husband who is truly capable of running things if I were not here. To be honest, he could probably home school our kids AND manage life. But lets not tell him that he doesn't need me just yet.

I would not be here without friends who bring me coffee in the morning, help feed babies, do my dishes or just keep me sane.

I would not survive without a mother in law a half block away who can hold a kid, take a kid, feed a kid or take them all so I can nap and or shower (because these are the choices a mother has to make).

Raising 6 kids, ages 8 and under is not possible for me without amazing women from our local college who WANT to come over and help us weekly. Women who LOVE (I mean really LOVE) to fold laundry, sort clothes, do dishes, cook meals and play with our kids.

To be honest, I am not the personality to let someone help me. I have always been the "I can do it myself" mentality since birth (apparently - there are stories). This has been a lesson in extreme humility for me personally. It has been gradual through the last 5 years but I have come a long way.

I am forever reminded that "God doesn't give you anymore than you can handle". It has taken me10 months to realize that He knew I could handle the major leagues. He seems to always send help right when we need it. When He thought I could "handle" this, he meant that I could handle it WITH his help.

Everyday, I am forever reminded of the sheer awesomeness of Gods love. I am forever grateful of being called up to the majors despite the lack of clean shirts and loss of daily personal hygiene routines.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY Closet System

After finally going through all of my email (cause it has been a WHILE) I have discovered several of the same question. By SEVERAL I am not implying I have a VAST number of readers hanging on my every word - emailing me daily. I just mean, I have received more than ONE (less than 100) email with the same question.

WHAT have I used to make my beloved closet system.

So, I figured since (more than one!) inquiring minds want to know . . . I shall tell you!

I bought the white shelves at Ikea - they are the billy bookcase line. The tall ones are around $40 a piece and the short ones are $25. But any matching shelves would work. Then again, I guess they don't HAVE to match if that floats your boat, same size would be good. Mine HAVE to match because my OCD requires it.

The rods I bought at home depot and are made by closet maid. My husband attached a block of wood on the inside of the shelf so the rod had more to hang on to. It just made it more secure.

I put a white "floating" shelf above the rod between the shelves (ikea lack shelf) so it was even all the way across (again with my OCD). I attached all of the book cases to the wall with "L" brackets and then put a screw through the book case into the side of the LACK shelf for stability. Honestly, by saying I, what I really mean is that my lovely handy men and free family labor did it while "I" supervised.

The wooden boxes I picked up at joann fabrics and painted them (I DID actually do this, most of it anyway). The days of the week bins are just from the dollar tree of all places and I labelled them with foam sticky letters. You might want to use extra glue because they don't stay with just the adhesive. Though, looking back now, I should have just used a sharpie.

Am I missing anything??

Oh, when we added on to the closet system in the play area, the 6 cube shelves that we used were closet maid. You can get them anywhere (target, walmart, lowes, amazon, etc) and the fabric bins are also closet maid.

Well now, you are free to go out and build a custom closet system for your home. Just remember . . . closet organization systems evolve over time, after trial and error. Be flexible and always keep your eye out of ways to tweek it to suit you and your needs. No matter how PRETTY looking a closet can be (or how they make you tear up just looking at them) it needs to be functional and suit everything you can throw at it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


As fellow organization nerds, I think you should all enjoy the sheer GENIUS of my crafty friend Jodi.

Her blog has so many great ideas, useful tips and how to's with a healthy dose of organizational genius. If I had a sewing machine, I would make these for EVERY bin I own. Which, needless to say, would be a LOT!

So here . . . read THIS and get your organization crafty-ness ON!

Laundry of My Dreams

Well, the crazy construction is just about finished and we are 90% moved into the new laundry room off the kitchen.

I am down right GIDDY! I grin ear to ear, give a big sigh and feel butterflies whenever I walk through the door. Yes, it is THAT amazing! The only thing that would top this is if there was a magical machine to fold and put the laundry away as well. But, I digress . . .

The most impressive thing in the room is the large folding bench that houses 10 laundry baskets - like drawers! The original idea came from this great blog that I really enjoy - Ana White - formally known as Knock off wood. I saw this laundry dresser and instantly knew I had to have it!

After measuring the room, we realized that we could make a shorter, longer version. With lightening speed, my father whipped it out the vary last day he was in town. A bit of sanding, primer and paint - throw in some cheap-ish laundry baskets from walmart, and it has become the star of our new laundry oasis.

Currently, the first two baskets are what I call the "INTAKE" baskets. That way, I can be flexible with my loads and no one has to figure out WHAT system I feel like using that week. The rest are sorted loads ready to throw in. I even have a couple of baskets for pool towels.

The possibilities for this bench are endless! I am sure I will be trying them all to find works best for us. In the meantime - it shall be my new favorite organizational toy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TWINS have arrived!

Well, our twins have arrived and my quest for organization had taken a short break. The lack of sleep has been daunting, my laundry mountain has turned into the Cascade mountain range, I am potty training a toddler, school is out which means EVERYONE is home and BORED and our house has been under construction since the day after I arrived home from the hospital.

This craziness has brought on some fun exciting new turns however! The "construction" is our unused sun-room being transformed into a laundry room / mud room off of the kitchen. GLORY!!! The new laundry room will be finished soon and my life will dramatically change - FIRST FLOOR LAUNDRY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having two newborns is twice the work and twice the lack of sleep . . . However, they are twice worth it. They are very good babies who love to snuggle and I get twice the amount of adorable baby smiles looking back at me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reorganization Take 2

I realize that the office doesn't seem like a priority for organization when awaiting twins however, the fact that I cannot see my feet made it one.

One entire wall of our office was littered with last years art and school supplies, craft projects and sewing goods. It was getting out of control and hazardous for small children and sneaky big kids alike.

With a LOT of help (due to my lack of bending abilities), I managed to get it all organized into my BELOVED mod podge containers and get it up on a shelf.

Is this the designer dream office I have been plotting for years - no. But it is JUST what was called for in our phase of life. My philosophy for the house this last year has been: Do what you can, when you can, for now. You can always add or design more later.

Now, we have a desk for the boys to get their work done, a place to store ALL of the crafty artsy fun supplies and a clear space I can waddle through without stepping on crayons with my bare feet.