Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I guess this is what happens when I'm sad about not being pregnant

Can I just say that since finding out I'm not pregnant, my house has never been cleaner?  I'm generally a very cluttered, pile-y person.  I can live in a fair amount of chaos.  I always say that one of the assets of our marriage is that the Husband and I have a relatively equal tolerance for messiness.  It takes awhile for either of us to hit the breaking point when it comes to the lack of organization and cleanliness that plagues our house.  Although I will say that I tend to hit the wall about a day before Eric does which, ahem, isn't usually very pretty.  It usually involves flailing hands and tears and statements like, "Our house is a disaster! I can't function if something doesn't change, but I don't even know where to start!"  At which point my award-winning Husband steps in and says, "I'll clean the kitchen, you go lie down."  That is one good man.  And a smart one who has learned that the fervor with which I am cleaning is generally equal to the amount of anger he will encounter when he realizes that I've hit my breaking point.  I'm not saying it's fair, I'm just saying it's true.


My house has been cleaner in the last two weeks than it has been...well...ever.  I mean consistently cleaner.  We often go on binge cleaning sprees you know when we have friends over or home studies and the like.  But the cleanliness usually lasts all of 36 hours before toddlers and sloppy parents and big hairy drooling dogs muck things up again.  But the last 14 days, I have miraculously managed to pick up the house every night, keep the kitchen 80% clean, and scrub the bathtub - thrice!  A bonafide miracle, right there, folks.  I HATE cleaning the bathtub.  CAPITAL LETTERS!

Anyway again...

I think what happened is that when I thought I was pregnant, I started to plan in my head how I wanted to use the rooms in our house.  We have three bedrooms and no basement so we store things wherever they fit - closets, the garage, under beds, behind the door, etc.  I go back and forth about whether I think it will work to have our kids share a room.  Lila is such an extrovert I fear having another body in her room would encourage her already lengthy conversations with herself to kick into overdrive if she had someone else to converse with and she would never sleep.  The kid takes over an hour to talk it out as it is!  And if Lila's not sleeping, it stands to reason that our other child wouldn't be sleeping either.  On the other hand, we also don't have a lot of storage space, so the third bedroom is a sort of playroom/office/basement/lesson supply closet right now.  There would be a lot we would have to find a new home for (read "throw away" which wouldn't necessarily be all bad) if that room was dedicated to another child.

Boy, I'm in a rambling mood tonight.  I'm going to hit my "anyway" quota.  As I was saying...

Once I found out that I wasn't pregnant, I switched gears - I think it was sort of burning off the premature nesting instincts that my overzealous thought-I-was-pregnant mind had kicked into high gear.  So all that energy I was hoping to put into nursery design or redesign, I threw full force into reorganizing our play room (/office/basement/lesson supply closet).  Also, I've been reading a lot of YHL so maybe I got the DIY bug.  If rearranging and organizing count as a DIY project.

My goal was to make the play room feel a little more intentional and less like a catch-all for Lila's toys and my lesson materials.

Here's what it looked like last year.  I took these pictures for our home study last fall.
You're admiring Lila's play kitchen, aren't you?  Well you should, because Lila's Papa built that kitchen for my sister-in-law when she was little and it has been gussied up for each granddaughter over the years.  I was more excited about it than Lila was I think.  She loves it, though.

And while we're talking about Papa's woodworking skills, he also built Lila that rocking horse for her first birthday.  I think I probably need to just do a whole post showcasing the awesome things he has built her.
Those pictures definitely don't show that room at its worst by any means, but they kind of show how the room started out as a pretty blah room that pretty much resembled a giant closet filled with a spoiled kid's toys.

And now, a year (and golly, a lot more toys) later:
The blue quilt on the right is covering one of the many storage bins that live in that room.  I figured it might as well be put to use holding the suitcase that stores Lila's dress up clothes.

We adopted that rug when it was leftover from our garage sale - it was donated by Eric's parents so we know where it's been otherwise I probably would have been too grossed out to bring it in our house.  It fits the room much better than the tiny rug we had in there before.

Rearranging the play room also included rearranging Lila's room a bit, too.  I moved her bookshelf from her room into her play room where it now houses puzzles, her instruments, and overflow books in bins.  (You can see it in the photo above.)  It's a much more practical use of the shelf because I needed something to wrangle all that stuff and the bookshelf wasn't really doing it's job.  I guess toddlers just can't be expected to keep books upright with their spines facing out.  Lila recognizes her books by the cover, not by the title on the spine, so they always ended up piled on the shelves haphazardly.  That is, if she wasn't doing this:
Was she ever really that little?
All of it drove me a little nuts.  Advice to new moms planning a nursery - skip the bookshelf.  Go with a basket or something easier to access.  Something like these:

I put those little carpet circles for furniture legs on the four corners of the baskets so that they wouldn't scratch up the floor if they get dragged around (drug around?).
Her books now live in these wire baskets.  I found them at Homegoods and it was love at first sight.  They're much more accessible than the bookshelf and even if the books are just thrown in there, they at least look like they're put away.  Plus I love them.  The fact that you can search through the books from the top and see them from the sides is awesome, but it was really the label slot that sealed the deal.  I saw them and I grabbed them off the shelf quickly as though someone was going to try to snatch them out of my hands.  I seriously had this two-year-old moment in my head where I felt myself looking around suspiciously at the other customers and saying, "Mine!"  Something might be wrong with me.

The other major change to Lila's room is that I moved her easel into her room where her bookshelf used to live.  It was more of a practical need than anything else.  There just wasn't room for it in her play room once I moved the bookshelf in there.  But the fun thing is she has taken a renewed interest in it now that it's in a new place.  She even dragged her little chair in there and sits at the easel scribbling away exclaiming, "Now green!  Now blue!  Now PURPLE!"  Then she points enthusiastically at an orange scribbled blob and says, "Look, Mommy! I draw you!"  Awwww. 

I love the way her drawing has changed over the last year or so.  One of my favorite parts of her play room is the two framed drawings of Lila's.  When she first really started coloring at about 18 months, she would reach her hand up as high as she could on the paper and make these really intentional lines all the way down diagonally.  I loved how focused and deliberate she was with her strokes.  I just recently saved a cut out of her newest technique (intense scribbling) and hope to frame it as soon as the budget allows.  I love the idea of framing examples of her drawings from different stages.

And while we're talking playroom decor, my favorite new addition to the playroom is this print Little Sister got me for my birthday that's now hanging over Lila's little refrigerator.
I love the fun teal frame contrasting the neutral print.  Thank you, Target.  $9.99
The room is starting to come together.  And one thing I realized in it all is that we have way too much stuff.  It's definitely still a work in progress and some major purging needs to be done.  I'm such a hoarder in the "I might need/use/want/miss/sell this someday" sense that I have a hard time getting rid of stuff simply for the sake of simplifying.  Oh, boy.  A psychology major could write a thesis on this post, probably.

Let's see:
- coping with sadness by distraction?
- hoarding tendencies?
- compulsive messiness?
- having pretend shouting matches with fellow customers over wire baskets?

And you! If you made it all the way through this post, I applaud your ability to procrastinate the things that you really should be doing right now.  Like reorganizing your kid's playroom.

Oh, Lord.  I need help.

Good thing He's good for it.


cari said...

Hilarious end to this post, because I, in fact, am procrastinating painting our dining room and putting our cabinet doors up in the kitchen.

Colleen said...

Love the basket idea for books! Nice work on the reorganization, looks great!

Katy said...

Love this and sorry you are still not pregnant. Its funny, hubby and I have been purging cabinets right now, cups from AMC and Quick Trip that really needed to be thrown into the recycle bin.

anna said...

i love that you emphasized PURPLE. atta girl lila. and i love the baskets. and everything else. i don't love that you're not pregnant. soon, jesus, soon!!!!!!!!

Caley and Patrick said...

A few things:
1. Love the reorganizing. I can relate. My keep busy projects have involved spray paint and changing the colors of things in our house....Maybe I should post some pics on my blog.

2. Blake's books have the same fate. Shoved on a shelf or ALL on the floor.

3. I sing that bushel and a peck song to blake all the time! What a great gift from your little sis. Maybe I'll hint to my little sis for the same thing :)

Stan, Dana, and Isaac said...

1. This was incredibly fun to read.
2. I love the way you write - it's so entertaining.
3. The playroom looks amazing.
4. Continuing to pray that Jesus holds your heart and that you experience His tangible nearness to you in this season.


Stan, Dana, and Isaac said...

woah, weird - I didn't see that the person who'd commented before me numbered their items of discussion also. yes... great minds.