Monday, July 29, 2013

My Life on a Puzzle Board

Makeover Monday

Image Credit
Have you ever played with one of these? 

Right now, I'm living in one. 
It's called My-House-Is-A-Wreck-and-I-Don't-Know-Where-To-Put-Anything.
You see, 
Mama Elephant escaped last week, before I could completely finish up with baby. 
(If you don't normally read my blog, the above sentence is probably incoherent to you. No, I'm not a zoo keeper. I have two rather large organizing projects going on. Baby Elephant and Mama.) Due to scheduling and other logistics, I had to empty out the Mama Elephant room (You'll get to actually meet her next week) before I could finish the Baby Elephant area.

Now my living room looks like this:
I can't describe how much looking at this makes me want to cry. 

You see the Baby Elephant space there in the background and my pretty new empty bookshelf on the right? 

It's empty because the floor behind the couch looks like the picture above. 
I can't get to the bookshelf to put stuff on it. 

I have to keep moving the puzzle pieces around.
 Furniture item X must be moved into room A, but that means furniture item Y is going in to room C, but room C doesn't have a space for it yet because I have to clear out that corner which requires making a decision on furniture item Z. 

And, this is why I'm sitting on the couch paralyzed with anxiety instead of diving into that pile. Which is large enough I could literally dive into it. I'm not sure the flooring is even present anymore. 

So, what do I do with all this stuff? 
Feel free to resume your regularly scheduled life now. 
I'm just going to here and breath into a bag. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And this one time at band camp...

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Like I said yesterday, I'm at ASL Teacher Camp this week. Okay, that's not what it's really called. But, that's pretty much what it is.

So, tell me your best camp story. Pranks, homesickness, sneaking out of the cabin and meeting that special someone (not that I ever did that!)

You know, this one time at band camp....

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sneak Peek

Makeover Monday

I'm actually not here. I'm at ASL Teacher Camp in Austin. But, it is Monday so I wanted to share a sneak peek of how well my baby elephant is coming along. Remember this? The place where I store all my family's priceless picture and mementos?

Well, in the process of sorting through everything else. This happened.

So, I took the hint that it was time to start sorting. For now, I just have everything divided by person. I have big plans of making each family member an album. But, that wasn't going to happen this week. Each picture went into the appropriate box. The awards, game tickets and other souvenirs went into crates. Then, my awesome husband rewarded all my hard work with a new book case. 
 Isn't it pretty? 

Before and After 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why We Are Moving Out Today!

*I had a completely different blog post for today. But, after a harrowing experience yesterday, I decided to share this instead. Below is an email I sent to my friend to try to work through the trauma*

The story of why we are moving out today.
By  Dawn Alexander

The puppy is the tan one.
She's 5 months old. 
The puppy is getting better on house training, but still has accidents. Friday, I was playing with her on my bed and she got excited and dribbled..alot. So, had to wash the bedspread. Huge-heavy-denim-takes-FOREVER-to-dry bedspread. Usually, I wash it, put it in the dryer for a cycle, take it out and turn it over, put it in the dryer for another cycle, then spread it out on the spare couch for a day before putting it back on our bed.
Well,  around 7pm on Friday night, I basically fell into a coma and slept until Saturday morning, then spent the day running errands all day on Saturday, so when I remembered to take it out Saturday evening, it smelled kind of mildewy. I spread it out in the laundry room and left it all day yesterday. Still slightly smelled this morning, so I put it back in the washer. Immediately took it out, cycle in the dryer, flipped it, cycle in the dryer. 
Decided to spread it out on our bed instead of the spare couch because I've got boxes of pictures all over the couch right now (whole other story)
Took it to our room, started spreading it out and FREAKING COCKROACH FROM HELLLLLLLL came crawling out of one of the folds! 

It looked JUST LIKE THIS! Only bigger with more teeth!

Let's just say, I might have screamed like a little girl and did the heebie-jeebie sprint into the living room 
Scott, being the hero he is, drowned it in bug spray and flushed it. 
So, new to-do list for today:
I'll send you our new address. 

For my non-Texas readers, there is something very important you must understand. We do not have little  scurry-when-the-lights-come-on cockroaches here. We have I'm-looking-for-water-and-will-kill-your-whole-effing-family-to-get-it Palmetto bugs.
I was going to add more pictures, but just looking at them was freaking me out!

So, tell me your story. 
Any fascinating encounters with our insect friends you'd like to share? 

You can read about me other creature encounter here. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

30 minutes or...more.

Makeover Monday

I really wanted to title this post "30 minutes or less". I'm taking a momentary break from my elephant and working on some other small projects around the house. Don't worry. I'm still making progress on the biggest project. Just giving myself breathing room to avoid burn out.

Anyway, my youngest daughter is a gamer. Serious gamer. This is her game area.

I thought we could manage this in 30 minute or less because we were only focusing on that drawer right there. The massive amount of Pokemon cards, Skylanders and random Halloween pumpkin could be addressed later. Just this drawer. No problem.

we opened it.

Then, I closed it and walked away. 

Okay, I wanted to close it and walk away. But, I didn't. 
*Deep breath.*
Step one: 
Empty the drawer. 

Step Two: 
Manage this.
Actually, I made my daughter manage this because I don't know a Play station from a Nintendo. 

Step Three: 
Find a way to contain all of this without spending any extra money.

Only my daughter gets in this drawer. I wanted to use what I had on hand.
 (Plus, she refused to make a trip to the Dollar store with me.)

Ta Daaa!

A left over desk container from a desk organizer, an apple container and two shoe boxes later.
She can actually see what she owns!

And, it only took....Okay, it took over an hour.
But, it was totally worth it! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Spoiler Alert

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

My oldest daughter, who is much older now than in the picture above, made a confession last week that forced me to reevaluate everything I thought I knew about this sweet child.


I fear I have failed as a parent.

I blogged before about her reading obsession. She is almost never without a book. Takes two or three with her for any kind of overnight stay and, when we recently changed the sheets on her bed, I found she was sleeping with FOURTEEN (!) books every night. 

The child is by all definitions a reader.

But, she reads the end first! 

Shocked and confused by this admission, I took my argument to the best place for public opinion.

Me: Michelle just confessed that she reads the end of books first...I don't even know her anymore...

Male Childhood Friend #1: I do too! If I don't like the ending, why invest my life in the story? For me, reading fiction is an escape from reality. If I don't like the destination, I'd rather not buy the ticket!


Isn't that what the whole reading experience is about?)

Fellow Mommy Friend: Funny! [Her daughter~same age as mine] reads the last book in a series...what's wrong with their generation?!?!? 

Male Childhood Friend #2: I've always read the end of books first... Agree with [MCF #1] on this one.

Me:  [MFC #1]while I have to admit on the surface your argument has substance...It's just wrong. wrong. Wrong. WRONG! 
 You, too,[MFC #2]. (I say this with love, of course!).

Is this some kind of widespread epidemic of which I have lived blissfully unaware? Do YOU read the end of a book first? Is there some kind of 12 step group I can get my daughter in before this gets out of hand?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Buried Treasure

Makeover Monday

   I've been avoiding sorting through the picture stack of my current major project because I know it's going to be an overly emotional experience. From looking at photos of high school friends who have passed  to snapshots of my children as babies, I probably need to just get a box of tissues as well as a bottle of liquor and just do it. 

 In my avoidance, I concentrated on the stacks of paper and stuff that were inside the desk.  I assumed most of it to be old bills in need of shredding, some pay stubs from three jobs ago, maybe a letter or two from former students. I could handle that. 

Instead, I found buried treasure: 

Polaroids and hair snips from girls' first hair cuts.
Which happen to take place at the same time, despite the year age difference. My oldest daughter was a very, very bald baby.

Letters from a sweet woman who I wish I could still call. Virginia Hawkins was the grandmother of a
boy I dated my last year in high school and first two years of college. She had an infectious laugh and a quick wit. After he and I broke up, she called me to let me know how unintelligent she thought he was being and that she still loved me. She wrote me letters after I moved to Texas. Several of them were lost in this sea of paper. This birthday card and one that I couldn't get out for the picture or I'd cry again. A folded piece of stationary thanking me for the invitation to my wedding and telling me how happy she was I'd found someone to share my life with. She passed away in 2002. Her grandson that I dated died in 2008.

This picture of my great-grandmother was stashed between an electric bill from 2007 and a lease agreement from the second year I was married.

Last, I found a gallon sized Ziploc bag stuffed with old Christmas cards. I considered not going through it. In the middle of the stack, I came across this:

Inside was the best treasure of all:

Pictures from of my dad with my cousin taken years before I was born.

I don't remember getting these or ever seeing them before. 
I'm not sure who they came from but it brought back good memories of him holding another baby 33 years later.

Notice the baldness!

So, that's what my elephant was hiding
My goal for this week is to conquer the pictures. 
Instead of being sad, maybe I'll just break out the scanner
 and embarrass some old friends on Facebook.
 Nothing like big hair and blue eye shadow to make a girl feel better, right?