CUYMH: The conclusion

I did it!  As of this morning I have finished month 6 of Clean Up Your Messy House.  Ahhh, it feels good.   The final challenge was to hold a garage sale which I totally gave up on after gathering all of my shit  goods and looking over it all.  It was wayto much to hold on to, after all that was the point of this.  But, it wasn’t enough to warrant the work and the weekend sitting in the yard to try and sell it all.  I opted to sell it to New Uses.  A chain of stores around Columbus that buy your stuff on the spot.  

Last night I loaded up my car and let me tell you, she was full.  I had a lot to let go of.   I lugged it all into the shop this morning and after about 30 minutes they offered me $61.50 for the lot of it*.  Sold!  I really didn’t care about how much they gave me for it, it was about getting it out of my basement.  However, I’m not one to scoff “free money” so hell yeah, $61.50!

Now that my house is clear of the clutter I have to be honest.  It is nice that the basement is organized.  I love that I took control over a few other areas in the house that were not being used to their potential.   But really, I don’t feel all shiny and new like Peter promised.  It was absolutely worth the effort, for sure.   Not so much with the life changing, as promised.  Which is fine.  I knew that I didn’t have the poster home for a clutter problem.  I was just looking for some direction and a little push to get me moving.    This did both.   

I’m glad it’s over.  Now on to bigger and better projects! 

*some items they had enough stock in, microwave, pictures and other things that I will bring back in 2 weeks as advised so there is a little more earning potential.


Sew Excited

You guys!  Omg y’all!  Guess what?  Go ahead, guess.   Oh, I know, that never works.  Anyway.   This weekend while my inlaws were here they gave us our birthday presents early!  WOOT!  Presents- early presents!   They bought me a sewing machine!  Oh, yes they did.

My Mom sewed everything from drapes to clothes and anything in between but never taught me, not even how to sew on a button.  (or to crochet or knit or cook, thanks Mom,)  I’ve always wanted to learn.  Every time I cant find a good set of curtains or toss pillows or crib bedding.  Over an over I have wished I could sew.  But, I’ve never learned or even tried.    You know how I thrive on projects so this is fan freaking tastic!

I signed up for a class today and I just cant wait to learn.  I am looking forward to it since reading the manual and staring at the machine is a tad intimidating.    After reserving my spot in the class I coincidentally came across a blog post about Amy Butler patterns.  And then, the top of my head blew off!  I was going over all the things to do for my house and kid and hadn’t even thought of making my own clothes yet.   Seriously, I’m so excited!  I really, really hope this is “the thing” I am good at.   I will know better around lunch time on June 20th.  Until then I’m going to try not to spend a million dollars on patterns.

Do you sew?

Bumps & Bruises

We had a terrific family weekend.  Perfect!  Hot weather, tons of fun, tons of food, tons of wine.  Zero restraint, zero exercise. 

Last week I was busy with my insane to do list (which I completed) and even though I had promised myself that I would keep my regular workout schedule I didn’t.  I didn’t at all.  I worked out on Monday and then fell face first off the wagon.  I was busy and active but as soon as I stop working out I trade in my carrots for baked chips and my sugar free Popsicle for ice cream. 

It’s been a week and a day and we have a full on code red state of emergency.  Code red = jowls and muffin top.   Well, the whole muffin really, lets not leave my ass out of this equation.  

I know you have all heard this before but when I write it here I feel more accountable.  I wore some cute stuff this weekend and didn’t take pictures for my flickr set, A Mom’s Closet because I knew you would be able to tell I’ve put on a few.    I went grocery shopping this morning and (for the millionth time) bought all the right foods and have my workouts on the calender.   I hope I can undo the week in one week.  We’ll see, I’ve got some serious work to do and with the pool opening this weekend I picked a really stupid time to strap on the feed bag.

Will Break for Fun

Today was a very full day.   We had an appointment at 8 for a car tune up.   We had a few errands to run and then I had to hit the list, hit it hard.   I worked through Nate’s nap and got quite a bit done so when he woke up crying I stopped.   I came up to get him armed with a snack and we went right to my bed to snuggle and watch TV.   During the chex mix and dancing to some song the Moose was singing I decided I was done with work for the day.  

I gathered a hat, juice and sweatshirts and we walked to the park.  After weeks of trying to get Nate to swing today he finally took to it.  He loved it last year but I suppose 6 months isn’t old enough to be afraid of anything.    He also slid down the biggest slide alone for the first time.  We were having quite a day!

Later, after I had dinner in the oven we went into the backyard with the dog to play some more.  I set up the sprinkler to water our new trees.  He sees it from the deck all the time.  Waaa!  Rrrrr, Waaaa!  (water, rain, water)  Today he had to see what it was all about.

With wide eyes asking permission he went right in.   He felt the first few drops and squealed with delight.  He took another step and started laughing, another step and it was uncontrollable.   He was hysterical, arms flailing, mouth open, eyes blinking.   It was awesome.  This went on for a while.  He’d go in, come out.  Sit on my lap and talk about the rain and go in again.  At some point after sitting on me (his 20 lb diaper soaking me) he didn’t let go of my hand and took me in with him.    Today, a day full of chores and monotony turned into one I will never forget.  The day that reminded me what it’s like to be a kid going thru a sprinkler when the water is freezing cold and its no more than 70°.  To have so much fun you forget about temperature.  To realize that all of it is worth it for the moments like this.  All of it.

I, list maker

I joke a lot about my lists.  I have them for all things, the list on the fridge of stuff we’ve run out of.   A list of creative ideas for a week, of what to clean, of anything at all.  I’m a list maker.  It helps me feel organized and on top of my life.  And, like I’ve accomplished something.   They can get a little out of hand, or maybe I get a little out of hand?  One or the other.    My in laws are coming in a few days and I have a list of what to clean/do before they get  here.  Welcome to My Brand of Crazy®   This is what I have to accomplish by the time I go to bed Wednesday. – am crossing them off as I finish.

mow law

weed flower beds – pull poison ivy (AGAIN! GRRRBASHSLAM!)

reinstall window screen Nate popped out

clean windows on main floor

Sweep deck & front porch

buy new door mat

sweep (inside)

vacuum whole house

mop (magic eraser kitchen floor grout(& clean baseboards)

dust (entire house) (window sills)

spot check walls and wash

wash boot tray and put shoes away

deep clean guest bathroom – move cat stuff into masterstock w/ soap, towels and tp.

wash guest linens- sheets and towelsLint roll/vacuum cat hair off bed skirt.

Need lamp for guest room (use one in Den or buy a new one.)

FINALLY get rid of broken tv in the guest room closet

clean 1/2 bath.    Refill soap, stock with TP.

Kitchen- fill dent in door way and over stove- re paint

touch up ceiling in kitchen/over sliding glass door

 de crumb silverware caddy & utensil drawer

clean out and wash interior of fridge & freezer

clean microwave

check basement for cobwebs- remove

figure out what kind of bulb is in hall fixture– replace (if I can EVER get it out- its halogen- they pull out not screw right?) Forget this!  I’m THIS close to just replacing the entire damn light fixture!

clean my desk (!)- put CD’s away- empty shredder

re hang prints on wall (too far apart)

change photo in frame on end table- new candle in holder

wash cushion covers on couch and spot clean the rest

finish touch up on Nate’s mural (fix mistake on the growth chart- wall paint next to bird house)

wash and vacuum car

plan means, snacks, drinks– shop

Oh, and don’t stop running the house- pay bills, work out,  go to the library, change diapers, cook meals, keep up with laundry, shower.  

Anyone want to come over and help?    It’s lots of fun.  Loud music, dancing, diet coke and lots of hard work.    And it’s always so worth it.  I sort of love being this busy!

Finding Christina

Welcome back to another edition of “Who the hell am I again?”

Oy!  I’m back.  If I’m telling the truth I never really left.   Nothing I’ve tried has turned out to be a fix.  Something is missing, it must be.  Or is it? 

I have made a pretty valiant effort over the last year to keep myself productive, healthy and happy.  I am taking fairly good care of myself, my home, my kid, my marriage and doing what I know to do to stay well.  I’ve come up with tons of projects to fill my time, with the CUYMH and decorating the house and reading and cooking and baking and working to stay in shape.  I’m doing all I know to do.  And here I am, it’s not enough.  I’m still bored 19 seconds after I finish a project.

The thing is.  I’ve always been bored.  I was bored at school and at work.  I get bored while I’m in the car while I’m at the Movies or on Vacation and even while volunteering which is by definition supposed to fill you up.  I get bored really easily.   It’s just part of who I am.  I don’t like it though.  I’ve spent years and years of my life wondering why and what to do about it.  Each time I come up with a plan,  find a new job, rearrange the furniture,  read a new book, get a membership to every kid thing this area has to offer.  And, I do all of the things I set out to fill me up, and then I get bored again. 

Sometimes I really feel like trying to fix it is like pissing into the wind.  However, when I’m here I do come up with ideas and typically follow through even though I eventually get back to the same state of boredom.    Right now though, I’ve got nothing.   My to-do list is a healthy length, my project list is a bit light.  We are not short on activities in this area, Nate and I have a lot to keep us busy.   But still bored.  

Is this just my flaw are are you sort of a bored person too?   Do you embrace it or just go buy a paint by number and hope it helps?  I joked yesterday that I am this close to trying a paint by number.


Edit:  I want to mention that I’m not saying I’m at all unhappy.  It’s really the opposite.  I do love my life, that’s sort of what’s bugging me.  How am I happy overall and yet still bored.

If Only

I was relaxing last night with my Chai and a stack of magazines and came across something that cracked me up.  And, made me wish it were this easy.

I’m on week 3 of cleaning up my bad eating and exercise habits and it’s going really well this week.  Granted today is Tuesday but I am baby stepping this.  One day, snack, meal, run at a time.  Keeping in mind my “Today” mantra for the year.  I fell face first off the wagon over the weekend but that happens, I am not going to deny myself wine and cheese date night.  Right now I am breaking up my goals into small chunks they are a little less intimidating. 

So, back to what I was talking about.  This is in the June issue of Real Simple.  

 calorie expenditures that my surprise you

Activity  &  Calories Burned

Thinking Thin-132

Running your finger around the bottom of a frosted cake-215 

Fretting about whether or not you turned off the iron-240

Thumbing through a fitness magazine-273

Cleaning out your e-mail box-339

Opening a bottle of wine-406

Waiting on hold with customer service for 20 minutes-482

Opening your child’s plastic-wrapped Happy Meal toy-516

Restraining your had from reaching into the chip bowl-602

Scooping very cold ice cream-655

Scooping very cold ice cream while fending off three children-727

Pacing in front of the pantry door-826

Organize a dinner party in less than 24 hours-1071

Juggling seven grocery bags, the mail, and your keys-1149

Taking off a wet swimsuit-1500



Oh no, not that kind of hangover.    I have the good weekend kind, where you eat too much and get to go shopping and you’re given gifts and then you eat some more and its all so much fun and bam-over.  Over, just like that. 

I’m hungover.  I’m tired and fat.   Okay so better than a regular kind where your sick, I’ll give you that.

I’m cooking up my week today and it’s shaping up well.  Lots of running (those date nights are full of goodies) Nate needs a haircut and I have lots of fun and really awful house work to do.  Mike parents are coming late next week and I have my insane list of things to do before they get here.  (wash inside of fridge,  paint ceiling smudge- etc.)   Before I go on about my day, lets talk Mother’s Day, shall we?

Mine started too early.  I was sure that I’d be able to sleep in, that’s a MD given, right?  I thought it was.  Mike got up first and I had to get up with the boy at 7- I was not happy.  The day shaped up after that.  We went shopping for the 2nd day in a row to try and find the right furniture for our front porch.  After the two days I found what I wanted at the 7th store, this was too much for me even but the boys they just kept following me.  They are pretty sweet.   And oh, I love it!   He also got me a necklace but it wasn’t ordered in time for me to have it for the day.  Which is fine and my fault since I sort of drug my feet over which one I wanted.   It’s a silver disk necklace with Nathan hand stamped and it has pearl charms.  Will share when it arrives.   We went out for dinner and then I died.    Oy, the food coma that accompanies one after a huge Japanese steak house dinner followed by Blizzards from DQ.  UGG- hangover!

Did you have a good weekend? Did you get to sleep in, or get anything from my wish list below this post?

I wish

What I really want for Mother’s Day.

  • 24 hours alone
  • a pedicure
  • a massage
  • for someone to come in and clean my house
  • including carpet
  • and windows (none of this during my alone time. of course!)
  • and bring me takeout meals and Starbucks
  • but get the heck out once said items are delivered
  • then I want to fall asleep on the couch

 If you could have anything at all what would it be?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama’s!

Eat it

I’ve received multiple requests for this recipe- I PROMISE you if you make these you will.

A. Love them

B. Gain 3 lbs

C.  Yeah, both.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) (don’t roll your eyes, this stuff matters when you’re baking!)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 25 small peppermint patties  (make it 35, you’ll eat about 10 in the process)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.  Butter foil.  Set aside

2.  Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water.  Stir occasionally just until melted.  4 to 5 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth; whisk in eggs.  Gently whisk in flour and cocoa powder just until smooth. (careful not to over mix)

4.  Spread 1/3 of batter in prepared pan.  Arrange peppermint patties on batter in a single layer, leaving  a narrow border on all sides. Top with remaining batter, and smooth surface.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached.  45-55 minutes.

5.  Cool completely in pan.  Use foil to lift from pan; peel off foil and (after licking clean) discard.  Cut into 16 squares.  Eat 8 in one sitting.