Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quick Takes: Purging All The Things; Sleep; Hair; Summer & Milestones

1. I've devoted every ounce of my free time this week to The Great Purge of 2015. A huge spring cleaning bug bit me hard and nothing in our house is safe. I was tired of cringing each time I opened the storage room door, or my bedroom closet for that matter. Now, I'm riding the high of organization in our home.

Purging *stuff* comes easy for me. Don't need it. TOSS. Haven't worn this in a while. GONE. I purged at least 50% of the clothes in my closet, cleaned the refrigerator top-to-bottom and spent an entire afternoon sorting through 16 totes of girl's clothing in the past two weeks. (I still have 10 totes of boy's clothes to go through.) It feels amazing to see a space once cluttered with items now clean and orderly.

Though, I'm quickly learning finding a new home for all our unwanted clothing, household items and baby gadgets takes devotion. I equate it to doing laundry: washing, drying and even folding aren't the hard parts for me; it's the actual putting away of the laundry that takes the most effort. I could do load after load of laundry during the day but unless I put the clothes away in their correct places, it's only transferring chaos from the hamper to the top of the bedroom dresser.

Of course, dropping items off at a donation center is easy enough -- just drive up and toss everything in a bin -- but for some reason, knowing someone else would benefit and enjoy our gently used items (specifically baby things) made liquidating items a much easier pill to swallow.

First, I decided to give consignment stores and the local Facebook garage sale site a try and I'm here to proclaim -- those venues are a true test of time and patience. It's no easy feat loading up the car and driving to a consignment store, then hauling everything inside with two little kids in tow. Some stores let you come back the same day to collect your items and/or money earned, but that means 2+ trips in one day. As any parent knows, it's asking a lot to make multiple stops anywhere in one day with kids along. I can't decide if the Facebook garage sale site is much better. I can meet someone in a parking lot and transfer my sale items without removing the kids from their car seats, but all the back and forth with buyers about meeting times, price haggling and no-shows are quite maddening. A friend on Instagram suggested donating baby items to a pregnancy and family resource center in South Minneapolis, so I finally did. I love that my gently-used baby things will breathe new life with someone who really needs them. A much better solution than being piled up in our basement, that's for sure.

2. News flash -- Aden still wakes up most nights. Not breaking news? It's been on-going for 17 months now? Heh. Typically, he wakes up around 2:00am every night and if I give him a few ounces of milk he'll go right back to sleep. I know he's capable of sleeping through the night at his age, but it hurts my heart to hear him cry ... especially when I can so easily make him stop and everyone can go back to sleep.

Two nights ago, Aden cried at 9:30pm, 12:30am and 2:00am. Tory called out shortly thereafter to use the restroom. I'd set my phone's alarm for 3:30am when I mistakenly thought Andi requested the wake-up time for his 6:00am flight. The alarm woke us both up at 3:30am and Andi asked me to reset it again for his correct wake-up time of 4:30am. I woke up when the alarm went off at 4:30am, and once more when Andi left the house at 5:00am. I couldn't fall back asleep after that, so I finally got up for the day at 5:45am. I AM TIRED.

That night was my breaking point. This has got to stop! It's time to sleep train Aden. His poor sleep habits are wreaking havoc on our entire family's daily life. I'm wide awake after his "usual" 2:00am wake-up many nights, and I cannot keep functioning on such broken sleep. I mean I can, I've been doing it for years now, but I no longer want to. My husband's been singing that tune for years...

Andi dangled a trip to Paris (all the heart emojis! and croissants! and wine!) in front of me if I'll sleep training Aden while he's traveling one week. It sounds dramatic, but I think he's serious. And, I mean, Paris! For that, I guess I can do anything. (If only Andi had realized sooner I was so easily motivated by carbs and wine).

So, Operation: Teach Aden to Sleep starts now.

3. Semi-related -- Aden's walking! He's really, truly walking now! Aden's known how to walk for a while now (for 6 weeks at least?), but always defaulted to moving around on his knees. It was the safer and reliable choice, I think. In the last two days though, Aden's been standing up and actually walking from place to place. Indoors and outdoors; in public places like down the hallway of Tory's preschool and between furniture in the comforts of home. I'm so proud of him! (And secretly wiping the sweat off my brow; looks like he won't be knee-walking off to college someday.)

4. I started running outside again. It's only been two days so I'm not demanding a gold star or anything, but I'm proud of myself for getting out there and doing it. It's no small feat pushing 54 pounds of children + a 32 pound stroller while I do it! I never thought I'd say this, but I actually enjoy running outdoors. It's refreshing to be in the sunshine and fresh air, and it gives Tory, Aden and I something to do together. Tory calls them "fun runs" and we stop at the park afterwards so they can run off some wiggles of their own, and I can catch my breath (ha!). It's a win/win for everyone.

5. I got a haircut last week, and I hate it.

My hair was the longest it'd been in a while, dusting past my shoulders. I scheduled a cut and color at the same salon I've gone to for years, but with a new-to-me stylist. She was the only slot available in the window of time I had available and how terrible could she really be I wondered?

I settled into the salon chair and showed her a picture of my vision. I asked for a new shade of color similar to my own, just a bit warmer, and an inverted bob haircut. It's a bit edgier than my usual style, but since my hair was longer than normal I thought it'd be a good time to go for it.

The lady worked on my hair forever. "A little bit more," I kept telling her. "No, more inverted like the picture," I repeated. Finally after a full three hours at the salon, I told her to wrap it up because I needed to relieve my babysitter. I knew the minute I walked out of the salon it wasn't my best cut, and that's an awful feeling when you a) spent a sizable chunk of money, and b) should walk out of any salon after an appointment feeling beautiful.

Later at home, I noticed an entire section of hair below my left ear was longer than the rest of the bob. I attempted to brush and style it a few different ways to see if the piece was truly longer or just some weird crimp. Nope - longer. A few days passed, real mom-life kicked in, and I went bug-eyed in the mirror every time I'd catch a glimpse of my hair. Not only was my hair a little longer in one spot, but the tips of the inverted bob looked like wings sticking out from my ears when I'd tuck my hair behind them. That was to no fault of the stylist; just the nature of the haircut I'd requested. I called the salon and asked for another appointment to fix the stylist's mistake in missing a section of my hair, and thought she could even out my inverted bob during the same visit.

She did, and now I have a regular / average / nothing special / short bob haircut. This Jenny McCarthy style is the cut I usually wear, but now my hair's length is too short to achieve it. Sigh. I think what I really wanted was an edgy, textured bob and now I have to wait a few weeks until my hair grows enough to get there.

Alright -- it doesn't look that bad in this photo, but trust me. It's very meh.

6. Summer's a few weeks away, and I'm excited! I know some parents stress about having their kids home every day, but I love the un-structure. I signed Tory and Aden up for swimming classes one weekday morning. Otherwise, I'm keeping our calendar open for plenty of play dates at the park, picnics, free summer concerts and trips to the zoo. The kids and I are traveling to Nebraska to visit my family one week, and I'd love to squeeze in a trip to Kentucky to visit my friend Lindsey if time allows. Andi's traveling a bunch this summer and even that isn't getting me down. Bring on the sunshine, warm weather and cabin life! It's my favorite time of the year.


  1. You could've named the price and I would've taken some of those girl clothes off your hands! Let me know next time you're getting rid of stuff. I much prefer hand-me-downs from known entities than scouring around at garage sales. :-)

    1. Gah! Diana, I would've given them to you! Next time, I'll let you know for sure.