Dude, Get On That Already

After my last bit of guilty ranting (a completely healthy process from time to time, if I do say so myself), I suppose it’s time for the kick in the arse/fun challenge/”well aren’t I a glutton for punishment” moment we all need once in awhile. Or monthly. Or daily. Whatever.

I actually got the idea (as well as the title of the blog post, don’t want to go stealing anyone’s intellectual property without giving props) from, where else, my favorite bloggers at Young House Love. I’ve always thought that Sherry had it completely together, cleaned everything from top to bottom weekly, and was borderline OCD (in that “good way”). But, of course, that’s Blogland. The land where everything gets set up perfectly before taking pictures (mostly) and skeletons in closets can stay safely hidden. Seriously, with this “self-imposed challenge” (and past tours of “what the house really looks like” any given day), I love her for showing her warts. Ew, not literally.

And it got me thinkin’. While we don’t have a room entirely devoted to clutter, we have a couple that are looking pretty shoddy. They’re coming along *already*, but they’re not quite there. And, with the pregnancy laziness abounding, it’s easy to let projects fall to the wayside.

But, this “challenge” might just be something that I can handle. As it is, I’ve accomplished my first one – with the help of the hubs and his uber-helpful brother. I suppose they can take the credit for the first “Dude, Get On That Already” moment.

Picture a crib here, and a much cleaner floor. Yep, the nursery’s #1 on our list, and I’ve got lots more to do. BUT, I figure that it’ll be tons more manageable for Lil’ Miss Preggers here if I look at it weekly. If I can get one big thing (or, heck, even medium-sized) accomplished each week, huzzah. If I can get more than one done – BONUS! If I’m not motivated enough to do something in the nursery, I’ll head to the office, or bathroom, or tiny little space that needs organizing. Either way, it’s doable. Plus, I’ll be checking in with my progress. Can anyone say “accountability”? I knew you could!

Um, yeah. The other side of the room. D’oh!! We could play a fun game of “I Spy”.

Yes, I even gave it the “sexy treatment” (ie blurred the photo’s edges) to emphasize how huge it is to have this dresser in our room. Times, they are a-changin’!
(Hey, I could’ve taken an artistic, B&W pic.)

On a side note, the flooring in our house…well, here’s the deal. I know there’s hardwood upstairs, simply because we tore up two rooms (why we didn’t do all three upstairs, I have no idea) of cheap carpeting upon moving in. There’s some strange wood filler-type residue living between lots of the cracks, and which had to be cleaned from the surface, so this floor looks tons better than it did on Day One. However, it still drives me nuts. There are gouges and scrapes from years of neglect, and I’m not sure we’ll ever afford the price of refinishing. It’s enough to really tick me off, until it reminds me of when I see the animal neglect and abuse commercials on TV and think, “Someone really didn’t love this house the way they should have, and it’s saddening.” Then, of course, my mind wanders to all the emotionally and physically scarred animals and I get a-cryin’. It’s a vicious cycle, people. And it all starts with crappy wood floors.

On yet ANOTHER side note: UPDATE! Getting on the “Dude, Get On That Already” bandwagon means that I FINALLY updated our New Year’s collage post to actual show, what else? PICTURES of the friggin’ COLLAGES we made!!! What an idea. Sorry for the wait! Just goes to show you that it doesn’t mean that I don’t care; I just get distracted easily. Head on over there and check ’em out. (BTW, process-wise, Dave and I both selected a ton of pictures ‘n stuff from magazines and I “collaged” them together. It was so much fun and so very inspirational, I made two and still find inspiration in them to this day. So much for being a New Year’s thing.)

Dude, Get On That Already

After my last bit of guilty ranting (a completely healthy process from time to time, if I do say so myself), I suppose it’s time for the kick in the arse/fun challenge/”well aren’t I a glutton for punishment” moment we all need once in awhile. Or monthly. Or daily. Whatever.

I actually got the idea (as well as the title of the blog post, don’t want to go stealing anyone’s intellectual property without giving props) from, where else, my favorite bloggers at Young House Love. I’ve always thought that Sherry had it completely together, cleaned everything from top to bottom weekly, and was borderline OCD (in that “good way”). But, of course, that’s Blogland. The land where everything gets set up perfectly before taking pictures (mostly) and skeletons in closets can stay safely hidden. Seriously, with this “self-imposed challenge” (and past tours of “what the house really looks like” any given day), I love her for showing her warts. Ew, not literally.

And it got me thinkin’. While we don’t have a room entirely devoted to clutter, we have a couple that are looking pretty shoddy. They’re coming along *already*, but they’re not quite there. And, with the pregnancy laziness abounding, it’s easy to let projects fall to the wayside.

But, this “challenge” might just be something that I can handle. As it is, I’ve accomplished my first one – with the help of the hubs and his uber-helpful brother. I suppose they can take the credit for the first “Dude, Get On That Already” moment.

Picture a crib here, and a much cleaner floor. Yep, the nursery’s #1 on our list, and I’ve got lots more to do. BUT, I figure that it’ll be tons more manageable for Lil’ Miss Preggers here if I look at it weekly. If I can get one big thing (or, heck, even medium-sized) accomplished each week, huzzah. If I can get more than one done – BONUS! If I’m not motivated enough to do something in the nursery, I’ll head to the office, or bathroom, or tiny little space that needs organizing. Either way, it’s doable. Plus, I’ll be checking in with my progress. Can anyone say “accountability”? I knew you could!
Um, yeah. The other side of the room. D’oh!! We could play a fun game of “I Spy”.
Yes, I even gave it the “sexy treatment” (ie blurred the photo’s edges) to emphasize how huge it is to have this dresser in our room. Times, they are a-changin’!
(Hey, I could’ve taken an artistic, B&W pic.)

On a side note, the flooring in our house…well, here’s the deal. I know there’s hardwood upstairs, simply because we tore up two rooms (why we didn’t do all three upstairs, I have no idea) of cheap carpeting upon moving in. There’s some strange wood filler-type residue living between lots of the cracks, and which had to be cleaned from the surface, so this floor looks tons better than it did on Day One. However, it still drives me nuts. There are gouges and scrapes from years of neglect, and I’m not sure we’ll ever afford the price of refinishing. It’s enough to really tick me off, until it reminds me of when I see the animal neglect and abuse commercials on TV and think, “Someone really didn’t love this house the way they should have, and it’s saddening.” Then, of course, my mind wanders to all the emotionally and physically scarred animals and I get a-cryin’. It’s a vicious cycle, people. And it all starts with crappy wood floors.

On yet ANOTHER side note: UPDATE! Getting on the “Dude, Get On That Already” bandwagon means that I FINALLY updated our New Year’s collage post to actual show, what else? PICTURES of the friggin’ COLLAGES we made!!! What an idea. Sorry for the wait! Just goes to show you that it doesn’t mean that I don’t care; I just get distracted easily. Head on over there and check ’em out. (BTW, process-wise, Dave and I both selected a ton of pictures ‘n stuff from magazines and I “collaged” them together. It was so much fun and so very inspirational, I made two and still find inspiration in them to this day. So much for being a New Year’s thing.)

Guilty Gertrude

Okay, that’s a strange title – I’ll admit it publicly, and right off the bat. But, my grandmother used to use such old-fashioned names to talk to my sister and I (Gertrude, Mildred, etc) and it reminded me of what my sister called me when I told her I was pregnant – “Fertile Myrtle”. I love my family, can’t you tell?
I just thought I’d share yet another self-indulgent post (I guess all blog posts kind of are self-indulgent, in a way, aren’t they? Unless I’m posting one of those “what types of posts do you want to see more?” posts, which always end in “whatever you want” answers, anyway) about, what else, my feeeeeeliiiiings. I’m clearly also in a self-deprecating mood. What else is new?
ANYhoo, the real point is to let out some of the stuff that I am either a) inclined to feel guilty about, in general and/or b) feeling guilty about currently. I’m a recovering Catholic, what can I say?
My computer usage is mad crazy. It’s a tiny goal of mine (that I just came up with, ummmmmm, yesterday) to put the damn laptop away before my husband gets home. This way, I can blog all I like and stalk all the sites I enjoy, but still have a dinner with my man and listen to any day-to-day venting that he (or, of course, I) may need to spout while doing it. Mind you, it’s generally in front of the TV. *cue wop-wop noise and even further guilt*
I’m not motivated. Blame the pregnancy exhaustion. Blame my lazy-ass self. Whatever. If it’s something that NEEDS to be done (ie has a deadline, teachers are showing up with students for library, bills need to be paid), I do it. How very 1990s Nike of me – I just DO it. But, when there’s not a deadline (even that how-many-more-months-til-July/why-is-my-stomach-suddenly-looking-terribly-bloated deadline is so far off that I think “Eh. We’ve got tiiiiiime. Whaddaya worried about?”), I SUCK. The to-do list is living in my head. I’m fully aware of WHAT needs to be done. I’m just not doing it. Plus, with a husband that’s all-too-understanding yet on the COMPLETE opposite side of the spectrum – can we just say he’s a tad antsy to get stuff completed, and rightfully so? – I feel guiltier. If that’s possible.

I’m a meanie. A big, blue meanie. (Anyone get that reference? Anyone?) Again, this could be from the pregnancy, but, seriously, I get awfully snappy – and particularly with the ones I love the most. Er, one. My hubs. Either he doesn’t notice, or he’s fully able to reason to himself that my hormones must’ve turned me into a raging she-devil. I’ve GOTTA control this more. Even if it IS hormones, it’s still not right. He’s the person I love the most. (Not that he doesn’t hear that all the time, too.) And, in all honesty, this comes out to the cats on occasion, too – that’s more my temper than anything, but I’ve also learned to be a heck of a lot more patient thanks to all the guys in my house…so, in a way, I’m already improving. But hormones + Irish temper = gotta be more “on top of it”. 😉
I’m not my mom. Dude, did I really just TYPE that?! Of course I’m not my mom. Or my awesome sister. Or any of the other awesome “can work and make a house a home” type of women that I’m honored to know. I don’t clean nearly enough, and I don’t declutter – as a matter of fact, I do the opposite. I’m the clutterer of the household. This is NOT a trait that I want “baby” to mimic. Get on that one, Mommy.
I want to do it all, but I can’t. Or, can I? I have a solid concept of the person I’d like to be. I have examples of projects and activities that I’d like to do, and what, in life, is most important for me to focus on. But there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, OR see my #2 bullet point above. I guess I’ve just gotta discover my focus.

I’m sure there are lots naughtier things that I’m feeling guilty about that would be better spending time in the confessional – white lies, jealousy, overusing the word “uber” (or using “mad” in the “wrong way”) – but, for now, I’ll leave you with these. Hopefully my chest lightens up a bit, but I think that’s another side effect of pregnancy. *ahem*

Have a great weekend, folks!

Guilty Gertrude

Okay, that’s a strange title – I’ll admit it publicly, and right off the bat. But, my grandmother used to use such old-fashioned names to talk to my sister and I (Gertrude, Mildred, etc) and it reminded me of what my sister called me when I told her I was pregnant – “Fertile Myrtle”. I love my family, can’t you tell?
I just thought I’d share yet another self-indulgent post (I guess all blog posts kind of are self-indulgent, in a way, aren’t they? Unless I’m posting one of those “what types of posts do you want to see more?” posts, which always end in “whatever you want” answers, anyway) about, what else, my feeeeeeliiiiings. I’m clearly also in a self-deprecating mood. What else is new?
ANYhoo, the real point is to let out some of the stuff that I am either a) inclined to feel guilty about, in general and/or b) feeling guilty about currently. I’m a recovering Catholic, what can I say?
My computer usage is mad crazy. It’s a tiny goal of mine (that I just came up with, ummmmmm, yesterday) to put the damn laptop away before my husband gets home. This way, I can blog all I like and stalk all the sites I enjoy, but still have a dinner with my man and listen to any day-to-day venting that he (or, of course, I) may need to spout while doing it. Mind you, it’s generally in front of the TV. *cue wop-wop noise and even further guilt*
I’m not motivated. Blame the pregnancy exhaustion. Blame my lazy-ass self. Whatever. If it’s something that NEEDS to be done (ie has a deadline, teachers are showing up with students for library, bills need to be paid), I do it. How very 1990s Nike of me – I just DO it. But, when there’s not a deadline (even that how-many-more-months-til-July/why-is-my-stomach-suddenly-looking-terribly-bloated deadline is so far off that I think “Eh. We’ve got tiiiiiime. Whaddaya worried about?”), I SUCK. The to-do list is living in my head. I’m fully aware of WHAT needs to be done. I’m just not doing it. Plus, with a husband that’s all-too-understanding yet on the COMPLETE opposite side of the spectrum – can we just say he’s a tad antsy to get stuff completed, and rightfully so? – I feel guiltier. If that’s possible.

I’m a meanie. A big, blue meanie. (Anyone get that reference? Anyone?) Again, this could be from the pregnancy, but, seriously, I get awfully snappy – and particularly with the ones I love the most. Er, one. My hubs. Either he doesn’t notice, or he’s fully able to reason to himself that my hormones must’ve turned me into a raging she-devil. I’ve GOTTA control this more. Even if it IS hormones, it’s still not right. He’s the person I love the most. (Not that he doesn’t hear that all the time, too.) And, in all honesty, this comes out to the cats on occasion, too – that’s more my temper than anything, but I’ve also learned to be a heck of a lot more patient thanks to all the guys in my house…so, in a way, I’m already improving. But hormones + Irish temper = gotta be more “on top of it”. 😉
I’m not my mom. Dude, did I really just TYPE that?! Of course I’m not my mom. Or my awesome sister. Or any of the other awesome “can work and make a house a home” type of women that I’m honored to know. I don’t clean nearly enough, and I don’t declutter – as a matter of fact, I do the opposite. I’m the clutterer of the household. This is NOT a trait that I want “baby” to mimic. Get on that one, Mommy.
I want to do it all, but I can’t. Or, can I? I have a solid concept of the person I’d like to be. I have examples of projects and activities that I’d like to do, and what, in life, is most important for me to focus on. But there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, OR see my #2 bullet point above. I guess I’ve just gotta discover my focus.

I’m sure there are lots naughtier things that I’m feeling guilty about that would be better spending time in the confessional – white lies, jealousy, overusing the word “uber” (or using “mad” in the “wrong way”) – but, for now, I’ll leave you with these. Hopefully my chest lightens up a bit, but I think that’s another side effect of pregnancy. *ahem*

Have a great weekend, folks!

Our Fabulous Winston

If you’re not a cat person (and I realize that not everybody is), don’t bother reading this post. It’s a self-indulgent love-fest, entirely about one special kitty. Thanks for stopping by, though, and be sure to come back soon!

We love our cats unconditionally. If not for our cats, we wouldn’t even feel close to ready to emotionally raise children – seriously, they’ve taught us that much. They’re each so special in their own ways that every week or so one of us has an emotional breakdown over the thought of ever losing any of our little guys. Seriously, you’ve just gotta meet them and spend time with them to “get it”. Admittedly, after a short visit (which is what most folks experience at our house), they’re still quite shy and VERY much on their best behavior…which is hysterical given how bold and sweet they usually are. They’ve truly got lots of personality.

There’s a special spot in our hearts for each of them, truly. Beardslee’s harrowing near-death experience when we, by luck, picked him up brings a tear to my eye. The serendipity of friends mentioning Winston as a buddy for Beardslee was simply meant to happen. Jasper’s cuddliness (and complete willingness to steal Daddy’s side of the bed – anything to be with Mommy) proves that he was just what I needed (I always wanted a snuggle bunny – he will share part of the pillow, or use my shoulder as a pillow…seriously, he’s people). He was the perfect birthday present – the one that found ME out of the blue on my special day.

But, this post is specifically for Winston; our special guy. They’re all quite special (as I mentioned). But, Wee Wee is a different type of special.

He’s the type of guy who makes YOU work for HIS love. At the same time, he’s incredibly insecure and can’t stand being rejected when he wants to be held or cuddled. (By the way, that’s almost always after shower time in the morning, while his brothers are asleep downstairs. He’d never, ever allow them to see his vulnerability firsthand. However, he does writhe on the floor in happiness when we get home at the end of the day – THAT, he’ll show everyone.)

He’s our baby, by age. We must tell him this and remind him how special he is. His insecurities are just that bad; you can see them in his eyes and face and body language; it’s clear when he’s in need of a boost. The others would simply sulk until their mood passed.

Strangely, he’s also the most confident cat in the house. Mind you, he won’t sit and clean his crotch for the whole world to see (like *ahem* Tweedledee and Tweedledum). But, he’s got his own, tall model walk. His song is “Moves Like Jagger”; we can totally envision him model-walking and doing the head-over-his-shoulder look at the camera to it. He’s sleek and not overweight in the slightest (unlike the others). After potty time (which embarrasses him to no end, you can see on his face…ugh, people can WATCH me), he “cleans” the window in the French door next to the litter pan. He’s simply fabulous, helping Daddy pick out his outfits regularly, and with his long fangs, we always figured he had a cute, lispy speech impediment. Put those stereotypes together and you’ve got an idea of which way our Winston likes to swing. (Considering how often he likes to “show dominance” over his brothers, I’ve got no doubt.) And, of course, we’re totally cool with it.


Somehow, for as finicky and fabulous as Winston is, he’s the tough guy of the house. He’s the first to sneak his way into the basement when the door’s open, and could spend all day getting dirty and cobwebby, discovering nooks and crannies. When Daddy has a project to work on, especially with my stepfather, he has to be in the thick of it. Seriously, you can see him staring at the project, looking at the men, looking back and THINKING about what the issue is. He’s curious, and by far our smartest boy. (That’s okay, we all have our great traits – Beardslee’s sensitivity and soulfulness, Jasper’s cuddliness.) 


And he’s the biggest bully in the house…the best fighter, the quickest, the cat most willing to fight dirty and bite someone’s naughty bits. He’s a climber (look! I’m the tallest thing in the ROOM!), which wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t frequently climb USING HIS CLAWS to the top of my comfy living room chair. It’s enough to make you very angry. If it wasn’t Winston doing it. He’ll always do something quickly to redeem himself. But nothing TOO sweet. That’s not his style.

What else makes him special? His voice. His looks would indicate a high-pitched meow…but, nope. He’s more like a baritone, if his brothers are both tenors (or sopranos, but don’t tell them that). He meows occasionally, but his “noises” make him interesting. When he jumps down and lands, or when he doesn’t like something we’re doing (like not letting him go into the basement), or when he really, really wants to be picked up, he kind of grunts. It’s a throat noise that’s not a meow but definitely a major complaint. It’s hysterical.


He’s also special, to me, because he’s almost 100% gray. His brothers both have tiger (or some sort of patterned kitty gene) markings, but he’s silvery blue with a couple of very small white patches underneath. His face is angular, unlike his rounded brothers. What’s so darn special about a gray cat?

Well, it’s special to me. My first cat EVER (one that I wasn’t allergic to – a short-hair, just like Mr. Hardly Sheds Winston) was named Griffy, and she was a great pet to have. I don’t remember much about her, though, since she died a month after my father. We always say that she died of a broken heart, curled up under his cane. I distinctly remember getting a snip of her fur before Grandpa buried her under our swing set, fur that was denser and finer than most cats – just like Winston. Mom still remarks about how he looks like Griffy…and I’m pretty sure that’s why it was hard for me to say ‘no’ to adding him to the family.

It’s clear to me that all three of our boys were brought to us by fate, and there’s no fighting that. After all, I used to be a dog person.

The perfect picture to represent Winston’s First Christmas. Side story: We awoke to shreds of ONE (out of a kazillion) present, already opened, wrapping paper strewn throughout the house and this little “Stripey” toy already disgustingly licked and chewed, and even torn into. Wee Wee had a Stripey that he destroyed and I resewed a dozen times that simply had to be done away with, so he must’ve known this guy was his special toy for the year. (And, nope. There’s no catnip in it.)

Our Fabulous Winston

If you’re not a cat person (and I realize that not everybody is), don’t bother reading this post. It’s a self-indulgent love-fest, entirely about one special kitty. Thanks for stopping by, though, and be sure to come back soon!

We love our cats unconditionally. If not for our cats, we wouldn’t even feel close to ready to emotionally raise children – seriously, they’ve taught us that much. They’re each so special in their own ways that every week or so one of us has an emotional breakdown over the thought of ever losing any of our little guys. Seriously, you’ve just gotta meet them and spend time with them to “get it”. Admittedly, after a short visit (which is what most folks experience at our house), they’re still quite shy and VERY much on their best behavior…which is hysterical given how bold and sweet they usually are. They’ve truly got lots of personality.

There’s a special spot in our hearts for each of them, truly. Beardslee’s harrowing near-death experience when we, by luck, picked him up brings a tear to my eye. The serendipity of friends mentioning Winston as a buddy for Beardslee was simply meant to happen. Jasper’s cuddliness (and complete willingness to steal Daddy’s side of the bed – anything to be with Mommy) proves that he was just what I needed (I always wanted a snuggle bunny – he will share part of the pillow, or use my shoulder as a pillow…seriously, he’s people). He was the perfect birthday present – the one that found ME out of the blue on my special day.

But, this post is specifically for Winston; our special guy. They’re all quite special (as I mentioned). But, Wee Wee is a different type of special.

He’s the type of guy who makes YOU work for HIS love. At the same time, he’s incredibly insecure and can’t stand being rejected when he wants to be held or cuddled. (By the way, that’s almost always after shower time in the morning, while his brothers are asleep downstairs. He’d never, ever allow them to see his vulnerability firsthand. However, he does writhe on the floor in happiness when we get home at the end of the day – THAT, he’ll show everyone.)

He’s our baby, by age. We must tell him this and remind him how special he is. His insecurities are just that bad; you can see them in his eyes and face and body language; it’s clear when he’s in need of a boost. The others would simply sulk until their mood passed.

Strangely, he’s also the most confident cat in the house. Mind you, he won’t sit and clean his crotch for the whole world to see (like *ahem* Tweedledee and Tweedledum). But, he’s got his own, tall model walk. His song is “Moves Like Jagger”; we can totally envision him model-walking and doing the head-over-his-shoulder look at the camera to it. He’s sleek and not overweight in the slightest (unlike the others). After potty time (which embarrasses him to no end, you can see on his face…ugh, people can WATCH me), he “cleans” the window in the French door next to the litter pan. He’s simply fabulous, helping Daddy pick out his outfits regularly, and with his long fangs, we always figured he had a cute, lispy speech impediment. Put those stereotypes together and you’ve got an idea of which way our Winston likes to swing. (Considering how often he likes to “show dominance” over his brothers, I’ve got no doubt.) And, of course, we’re totally cool with it.

Somehow, for as finicky and fabulous as Winston is, he’s the tough guy of the house. He’s the first to sneak his way into the basement when the door’s open, and could spend all day getting dirty and cobwebby, discovering nooks and crannies. When Daddy has a project to work on, especially with my stepfather, he has to be in the thick of it. Seriously, you can see him staring at the project, looking at the men, looking back and THINKING about what the issue is. He’s curious, and by far our smartest boy. (That’s okay, we all have our great traits – Beardslee’s sensitivity and soulfulness, Jasper’s cuddliness.)

And he’s the biggest bully in the house…the best fighter, the quickest, the cat most willing to fight dirty and bite someone’s naughty bits. He’s a climber (look! I’m the tallest thing in the ROOM!), which wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t frequently climb USING HIS CLAWS to the top of my comfy living room chair. It’s enough to make you very angry. If it wasn’t Winston doing it. He’ll always do something quickly to redeem himself. But nothing TOO sweet. That’s not his style.

What else makes him special? His voice. His looks would indicate a high-pitched meow…but, nope. He’s more like a baritone, if his brothers are both tenors (or sopranos, but don’t tell them that). He meows occasionally, but his “noises” make him interesting. When he jumps down and lands, or when he doesn’t like something we’re doing (like not letting him go into the basement), or when he really, really wants to be picked up, he kind of grunts. It’s a throat noise that’s not a meow but definitely a major complaint. It’s hysterical.

He’s also special, to me, because he’s almost 100% gray. His brothers both have tiger (or some sort of patterned kitty gene) markings, but he’s silvery blue with a couple of very small white patches underneath. His face is angular, unlike his rounded brothers. What’s so darn special about a gray cat?

Well, it’s special to me. My first cat EVER (one that I wasn’t allergic to – a short-hair, just like Mr. Hardly Sheds Winston) was named Griffy, and she was a great pet to have. I don’t remember much about her, though, since she died a month after my father. We always say that she died of a broken heart, curled up under his cane. I distinctly remember getting a snip of her fur before Grandpa buried her under our swing set, fur that was denser and finer than most cats – just like Winston. Mom still remarks about how he looks like Griffy…and I’m pretty sure that’s why it was hard for me to say ‘no’ to adding him to the family.

It’s clear to me that all three of our boys were brought to us by fate, and there’s no fighting that. After all, I used to be a dog person.The perfect picture to represent Winston’s First Christmas. Side story: We awoke to shreds of ONE (out of a kazillion) present, already opened, wrapping paper strewn throughout the house and this little “Stripey” toy already disgustingly licked and chewed, and even torn into. Wee Wee had a Stripey that he destroyed and I resewed a dozen times that simply had to be done away with, so he must’ve known this guy was his special toy for the year. (And, nope. There’s no catnip in it.)

A Little Better

I was kind of bugged by an area in our house. Actually, it had gotten to the point where I had become complacent about it, so the day that I had some inspiration to fix up the space was kind of a miracle – especially with my some-would-say lack of motivation/energy lately. Hey, pregnancy can do that to a person. 😛

Anyhoo, this spot happens to be what I’d refer to as a “landing” – is that what YOU call that spot that adjoins two staircases? I had added a cat-friendly bench that I painted and reupholstered and threw up (ew, throw up) a hand-me-down window treatment, and called it a day. While the kitty boys enjoy the spot (especially since it gives them an awesome side view of…well, a very-close neighbor house, but a bird’s-eye view of the backyards), something wasn’t working for me.

The very dark “before” shot.


So, it occurred to me to hang the $4 bamboo blinds we recently purchased from Christmas Tree Shop (I LOVE THAT PLACE!! Hello?! $4?!) and some not-being-used sheers to add some…eh…pizzazz? Peacefulness? Suntin-suntin? And, while I was at it, the boys’ toy basket found its way under the bench.


Helping…by sitting on a very uncomfortable bamboo shade?

 

Flowy!


A nighttime view. And, yes, I’m owning the “those sheers are a tad too long” look, for now. 😉

The boys noticed immediately and were a tad disdainful for the basket change (especially since I took away an awesomesauce hiding spot – sorry, boys, you’ll get over it), we otherwise love the change. I’d like to keep an eye out for a better curtain rod, but in the meantime, I’m a happy camper. Can we say $5 fix-up?

On a side note, while I’m on the complainy train, I HATE the carpet in our house. While I’d adore being able to tear it ALL up and get all the floors refinished, I’m not sure that it will ever happen. New baby + hardwood floor dust + THE COST = craziness. *Sigh* And it saddens me, it does. BUT, since Mr. Jasper came into our lives, the carpet has gone through some very rough times – especially on the stairs. SO, I’d like to at least rip up the carpet from the bottom of the stairs upward. It’d be nice to clean them up a tad and possibly paint the front of the risers. Sound like a safety hazard? (Less friction while carrying a newborn?) Any ideas/opinions?

A Little Better

I was kind of bugged by an area in our house. Actually, it had gotten to the point where I had become complacent about it, so the day that I had some inspiration to fix up the space was kind of a miracle – especially with my some-would-say lack of motivation/energy lately. Hey, pregnancy can do that to a person. 😛

Anyhoo, this spot happens to be what I’d refer to as a “landing” – is that what YOU call that spot that adjoins two staircases? I had added a cat-friendly bench that I painted and reupholstered and threw up (ew, throw up) a hand-me-down window treatment, and called it a day. While the kitty boys enjoy the spot (especially since it gives them an awesome side view of…well, a very-close neighbor house, but a bird’s-eye view of the backyards), something wasn’t working for me.

The very dark “before” shot.

So, it occurred to me to hang the $4 bamboo blinds we recently purchased from Christmas Tree Shop (I LOVE THAT PLACE!! Hello?! $4?!) and some not-being-used sheers to add some…eh…pizzazz? Peacefulness? Suntin-suntin? And, while I was at it, the boys’ toy basket found its way under the bench.

Helping…by sitting on a very uncomfortable bamboo shade?
Flowy!


A nighttime view. And, yes, I’m owning the “those sheers are a tad too long” look, for now. 😉

The boys noticed immediately and were a tad disdainful for the basket change (especially since I took away an awesomesauce hiding spot – sorry, boys, you’ll get over it), we otherwise love the change. I’d like to keep an eye out for a better curtain rod, but in the meantime, I’m a happy camper. Can we say $5 fix-up?

On a side note, while I’m on the complainy train, I HATE the carpet in our house. While I’d adore being able to tear it ALL up and get all the floors refinished, I’m not sure that it will ever happen. New baby + hardwood floor dust + THE COST = craziness. *Sigh* And it saddens me, it does. BUT, since Mr. Jasper came into our lives, the carpet has gone through some very rough times – especially on the stairs. SO, I’d like to at least rip up the carpet from the bottom of the stairs upward. It’d be nice to clean them up a tad and possibly paint the front of the risers. Sound like a safety hazard? (Less friction while carrying a newborn?) Any ideas/opinions?

Diaper Debate

I’ve been researching diapers for months. Months ‘n months ‘n months. Seriously, long before I found out that we’re pregnant. Strangely enough, I got away from my obsessive searching after I got the news, so it feels like I’m re-starting the search all over again. I had found so many incredible resources online that I feel like I’m sifting through big piles of…ahem, diapers.

Why all the diaper research, Meg? What question do you need to find out? Where to buy them? What brand is the cheapest?

Nope. I feel like I’m about to “put my foot in it”, but I suppose part of being a parent is having your decisions questioned, and eyebrows raised. Go right ahead- this is a decision that my husband and I are making, and if it doesn’t work out for us, we’re willing to admit our mistakes. I figure this whole experience is one big lesson after another. Nobody’s an expert…except maybe Michelle Duggar, and even she gets raised eyebrows from time to time.

Anyhoo, the big “what, are you nuts?” revelation is the fact that we’d like to try cloth diapering. There are plenty of reasons, in our minds, to take this route:

Long-term cost. While the initial investment is just that – a major investment – lots of sources have indicated that the diapers that we’re considering will pay for themselves in comparison to disposables. From diaperingdecisions.com, it’s stated that over the course of 3 years, one will spend $2694.54 for 7,349 disposable, single use diapers – at a moderate estimate (nevermind if your kid has lots of extra blowouts and accidents). Depending on our budget (of course I’m researching every available option of purchase, and which diapers get the best reviews/last the longest), we’ll be spending many hundreds fewer than $1000 for diapers that will grow with our baby until they’re no longer needed. Also, when it comes to laundering, “Consumer Report estimates that the most inefficient washer and dryer system costs approximately $0.78 per load to launder whereas more efficient models will cost approximately $0.44 per load to launder. So wash your own, twice a week for between 44-78 cents including water, hydro and detergent or spend $16.94 to $22.05 for single use disposable diapers.” Woot. Besides, if I think about it enough, I know I’ll be doing tons of baby clothes (which are tiny), so we can wash them together. Kind of how we just throw our cloth napkins in with our usual white loads (which we’re still going strong with, thankyouverymuch).

Ecological impact. Lots of folks argue that disposables aren’t THAT ecologically bad when compared to the energy used when cleaning cloth diapers. Even with the dinosaur washer and dryer that we run, it’s greener. Further information from diaperingdecisions.com: “Consider the numbers: 36 cloth diapers, that are used over and over; most likely for more than one child, or on average 7,349 single use diapers per child. One time use throw away diapers are the single largest non recyclable component of household garbage, creating 1 ton of garbage per year per child.” The process of rinsing and flushing out diapers, then washing once or twice a week utilize sewage that will be treated and released back into the environment properly. Disposables…eh, well, I think they’re the devil as far as their biodegradability.

Comfort. After reading lots of personal blogs (none of which were perked by any companies for their reviews), a common thread is the fact that a lot of children don’t have diaper rash when parents use cloth diapers. Sure, every butt’s different (and how!), but between the good rash-free odds and the fact that no plastic-y, paper-y feelings will be on baby’s bum, I’m a happy mommy. I even heard that in 1970 (back when cloth was pretty much king) less than 10% of kids experienced diaper rash; today, it’s closer to 80-90%.

Longevity. We’re hoping to have a brood (ie more than one baby). Do you think those future babies will be able to wear their big brother or sister’s disposable diapers? Um, ew. Nope. But, if I learn how to properly care for these (plus the fact that I’m looking into the snap options rather than velcro, which tends to get weak over time), we may only have to purchase the occasional newbie. If that. 🙂

“If it was good enough for my mother…” My mom was pretty basic and old school – she raised 4 kids, all on cloth diapers. (Have I mentioned I love her for her simplicity in raising us??) She also worked as a hairdresser (using our front porch, of all places), so it’s not like she had all day to do laundry. PLUS, those were the days of safety pins and the old flat diapers as the only option, until disposable diapers came along – far too expensive for our family. While technology has changed (you can get 4-in-1’s, organics, pockets…holy crap, everything), I still love the idea behind ’em.

Arguments against? Well, the financials aren’t quite a drop in the bucket initially (more like the whole bucket), and time is a hard thing to control these days. Add that to the fact that we’d like to *try* to breast feed, and there’s a good chance I may never leave the house again. Hee hee, just kidding. We’ll make it work.

I’m still deciding between some brands and would prefer to just buy one, especially if I see iffy reviews here and there, so I’m sure I’ll let you know a) what we end up deciding and b) in the long-term, how things go. Lots of cloth diapering mamas on the interwebs share their disaster stories as well as their success stories, and I’m all about honesty.

In the interest of full disclosure, we’re talking about using some more eco-friendly newborn disposable diapers for the first week or two (especially if breast feeding works out), and will probably use the occasional disposable when traveling. Depending on our babysitting situation, we’d like to be able to continue with the cloth diapering if possible. 🙂

Diaper Debate

I’ve been researching diapers for months. Months ‘n months ‘n months. Seriously, long before I found out that we’re pregnant. Strangely enough, I got away from my obsessive searching after I got the news, so it feels like I’m re-starting the search all over again. I had found so many incredible resources online that I feel like I’m sifting through big piles of…ahem, diapers.
Why all the diaper research, Meg? What question do you need to find out? Where to buy them? What brand is the cheapest?

Nope. I feel like I’m about to “put my foot in it”, but I suppose part of being a parent is having your decisions questioned, and eyebrows raised. Go right ahead- this is a decision that my husband and I are making, and if it doesn’t work out for us, we’re willing to admit our mistakes. I figure this whole experience is one big lesson after another. Nobody’s an expert…except maybe Michelle Duggar, and even she gets raised eyebrows from time to time.

Anyhoo, the big “what, are you nuts?” revelation is the fact that we’d like to try cloth diapering. There are plenty of reasons, in our minds, to take this route:

Long-term cost. While the initial investment is just that – a major investment – lots of sources have indicated that the diapers that we’re considering will pay for themselves in comparison to disposables. From diaperingdecisions.com, it’s stated that over the course of 3 years, one will spend $2694.54 for 7,349 disposable, single use diapers – at a moderate estimate (nevermind if your kid has lots of extra blowouts and accidents). Depending on our budget (of course I’m researching every available option of purchase, and which diapers get the best reviews/last the longest), we’ll be spending many hundreds fewer than $1000 for diapers that will grow with our baby until they’re no longer needed. Also, when it comes to laundering, “Consumer Report estimates that the most inefficient washer and dryer system costs approximately $0.78 per load to launder whereas more efficient models will cost approximately $0.44 per load to launder. So wash your own, twice a week for between 44-78 cents including water, hydro and detergent or spend $16.94 to $22.05 for single use disposable diapers.” Woot. Besides, if I think about it enough, I know I’ll be doing tons of baby clothes (which are tiny), so we can wash them together. Kind of how we just throw our cloth napkins in with our usual white loads (which we’re still going strong with, thankyouverymuch).

Ecological impact. Lots of folks argue that disposables aren’t THAT ecologically bad when compared to the energy used when cleaning cloth diapers. Even with the dinosaur washer and dryer that we run, it’s greener. Further information from diaperingdecisions.com: “Consider the numbers: 36 cloth diapers, that are used over and over; most likely for more than one child, or on average 7,349 single use diapers per child. One time use throw away diapers are the single largest non recyclable component of household garbage, creating 1 ton of garbage per year per child.” The process of rinsing and flushing out diapers, then washing once or twice a week utilize sewage that will be treated and released back into the environment properly. Disposables…eh, well, I think they’re the devil as far as their biodegradability.

Comfort. After reading lots of personal blogs (none of which were perked by any companies for their reviews), a common thread is the fact that a lot of children don’t have diaper rash when parents use cloth diapers. Sure, every butt’s different (and how!), but between the good rash-free odds and the fact that no plastic-y, paper-y feelings will be on baby’s bum, I’m a happy mommy. I even heard that in 1970 (back when cloth was pretty much king) less than 10% of kids experienced diaper rash; today, it’s closer to 80-90%.

Longevity. We’re hoping to have a brood (ie more than one baby). Do you think those future babies will be able to wear their big brother or sister’s disposable diapers? Um, ew. Nope. But, if I learn how to properly care for these (plus the fact that I’m looking into the snap options rather than velcro, which tends to get weak over time), we may only have to purchase the occasional newbie. If that. 🙂

“If it was good enough for my mother…” My mom was pretty basic and old school – she raised 4 kids, all on cloth diapers. (Have I mentioned I love her for her simplicity in raising us??) She also worked as a hairdresser (using our front porch, of all places), so it’s not like she had all day to do laundry. PLUS, those were the days of safety pins and the old flat diapers as the only option, until disposable diapers came along – far too expensive for our family. While technology has changed (you can get 4-in-1’s, organics, pockets…holy crap, everything), I still love the idea behind ’em.

Arguments against? Well, the financials aren’t quite a drop in the bucket initially (more like the whole bucket), and time is a hard thing to control these days. Add that to the fact that we’d like to *try* to breast feed, and there’s a good chance I may never leave the house again. Hee hee, just kidding. We’ll make it work.

I’m still deciding between some brands and would prefer to just buy one, especially if I see iffy reviews here and there, so I’m sure I’ll let you know a) what we end up deciding and b) in the long-term, how things go. Lots of cloth diapering mamas on the interwebs share their disaster stories as well as their success stories, and I’m all about honesty.

In the interest of full disclosure, we’re talking about using some more eco-friendly newborn disposable diapers for the first week or two (especially if breast feeding works out), and will probably use the occasional disposable when traveling. Depending on our babysitting situation, we’d like to be able to continue with the cloth diapering if possible. 🙂