Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To Shred or Not to Shred

What's in the bags?  Paperwork. Shredded paperwork to be precise.  Four bags full of shredded paperwork that dated back to 2003.  Today was part two of the therapeutic clean up, meant to cure my claustrophobia blues, rather, the funk that I've been in, since returning to our city apartment, from my parents house in the suburbs.

The bags hold random paperwork from the Pediatricians describing various vaccines and rashes, Chalazions and Rotovirus.  Manuals that belong to electronics that we don't even own anymore, such as the $300 Hoover vaccuum that lasted about a year.  This time we went with a tiny $60 Eureka, which I am certain will last at least twice as long. 

I saved receipts from the DJ we hired at our wedding to check stubs from when I was working.  I was holding on to checkbooks from accounts that have been closed for years to cell phone bills from a company that we switched from years ago.

All gone. 

I have to say that it felt really good and I feel like I am making some headway.  It was actually pretty fun and I'm thankful that my sister gave me her little shredder when she moved to her new place.  It was high time that I actually used it.

A good friend called during my shredding party of one.  She had just read my blogpost entitled Binging and Purging and she knew just how I was feeling.  We go back and forth on the pros and cons of city vs. suburban life all of the time, as we are both from the burbs.

By the end of our phone call, I knew that I would be feeling better soon, as I always do.  In a few days, I will not be able to imagine life anywhere other than here, but until then, I will continue to clean.

The best part, is that I will have a perfectly uncluttered apartment once I'm there.

Perhaps I will do some shopping to celebrate!!!! 

Just Kidding.

Stuffed Toy Clean Up - Before and After

Below are the before and after pictures of our big stuffed toy clean up. I think that we did a really good job.  I'm surprised that my daughter was so great about giving up so many of her toys and I think the next go-round will be even easier.

You can read all about my break-down, which inspired this clean up, in my previous post entitled Binging and Purging.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Binging and Purging

We arrived back to our city apartment on Sunday afternoon, after the kids and I spent a week at my parents house in the suburbs for Christmas.  I was so depressed.  I started putting the kids toys away and wondered where I was going to store all of their new toys.  I started to open and put away my Christmas presents from my parents, one of which was a Temptations bowl set from QVC, which I absolutely love, and I began to get teary.  Where was I going to find room for these?  I took it a bit further and got upset that I have no counter space for the Kitchenaid I want, for all of the baking I intend for my daughter and I to do, trying out all of the new recipes from all of our new cookbooks.

In an instant, I climbed up on a chair in the kitchen and removed a set of margarita glasses and a pitcher from the top shelf of the cubbard and I threw them in a garbage bag.  A couple of unused vases and random pottery were casualties of my kitchen clean up as well.  Since the margarita set was only used once since I received it 6 years ago, it HAD TO GO!  The one and only time I used it wasn't even for drinks.  I used it to put the chocolate covered pretzels in it, that I made for the Dora The Explorer themed Birthday party I had thrown for my daughter's 3rd Birthday.

We don't live like "normal" people, I cried to my sister.  Yes, poor Joannie got to be on the receiving end of a phone call I made describing my claustrophobia.  "We live in the city" she said, and began describing how all of us that do, are for the most part, all in the same boat.  I cried to my mother too.  They both offered helpful advice to talk me down from the ledge.

So, yesterday, my daughter and I went through all of the old toys and stuffed animals in their playroom.  We emptied the ZOO, and she told me which stuffed animals and dolls were most important to her to keep.  We gathered some old books and toys to be donated, and are choosing a few to keep at Grandma and Pop Pop's house for when we stay with them.... One of 3 pull toys, one of two toy phones, 3 of many stuffed get the picture. We made a huge dent but still have more to go.

I started going through some of my closets and drawers too and I threw out 3 huge black garbage bags full of stuff we don't use.  I'm ordering more super slim hangers from Bed Bath and Beyond today and will continue to empty out closets and drawers.

Next and most painful step..... going through the kids baby items that I can't seem to let go of.  The crib monitor, the crib sheets, co-sleeper covers, my Boppy, the baby bottles, blankets....I'm getting all teary as I write this.  So, perhaps I will save that for another day, when I'm not feeling so sad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Competition

Bright and early, this past Sunday morning, my mom made Rice Krispies Treats Holiday Houses, for the big event; Our 1st annual Rice Krispies Treats Christmas House Decorating Competition. 

The contestants: me, my daughter, Joanne (my sister), my mother and Rose Marie, my brother's girlfriend.

The judge: My father, a.k.a, Pop Pop

My mom had all sorts of deliciousness separated into bowls for use as decorations on our Christmas houses; Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces, M&M's, pretzel rods, Twix bars, chocolate chips, coconut, oreo cookies and dried cranberries, to name a few.

My mother insisted that we all wear a special Christmas hat during the competition.  Our choices; one of 2 Santa hats, one of 2 Elf hats, a choice between 3 reindeer antlers or a baseball cap complete with moose antlers which says, "Merry KrisMoose."  I chose the Santa cap.

Below are our houses:
This one is mine.  The green M&M's on the top portion of my house are meant to be a wreath.  The 4 red M&M's dangling down from said wreath depict a festive ribbon  The pretzel sticks with yellow Reese's Pieces are beautiful candles flickering for all passerby's to enjoy and admire, through brown M&M windows.  As you can tell from the red M&M's that fill the front, my Christmas house is really a Brownstone. The coconut on the top of said brownstone is snow...I stole the snow idea from my sister Joanne.

This one is my daughter's.  She did a great job!

My mother's.

Rose Marie's house.

Here is my sister Joanne's house.  She's a bit of a show-off with her fancy Christmas trees and snowman. Yes, it's true, I'm just jealous that I didn't think of it first. Well done Aunt Joannie!!!!  You did an amazing job!!!

Naturally, Pop Pop chose my daughter as winner.  Joanne came in 2nd place and my mother, Rose Marie and I all tied for 3rd place!!!!  Awww, thanks for judging Pop Pop!!!  I look forward to next year's competition.  Watch out Aunt Joannie...I'll be coming for YOU!!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It's just a few days before Christmas and the kids and I are spending time with my parents.  We're having a great time at Grandma and Pop Pop's.

There was a big snowstorm yesterday and I awoke this morning to my daughter asking if I thought that if she looked outside the window, she would see a "Winter Wonderland!"

After assuring her that she would, my daughter excitedly ran to the window to see.

All of a sudden I heard my shocked little girl say, Oh NO!!!!  Mommy, there's a truck outside taking all of the snow away!!!

The snowplow had come to plow the streets.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Unexpected Twist

My mom treated the kids to a trip to Build-A-Bear last week for an early Christmas gift.  They loved it!  It was their second trip there, and my daughter was even more excited to go than the first time, because she knew what to expect.  She couldn't wait to give her stuffed creation a bath!

My daughter picked out a pink bear which she dressed in a pink princess outfit and glass plastic slippers.  She named her Princess. 

My son chose a black bear, which my daughter named Blackie, and my mother chose a green, blue and white striped dress shirt and vest for him. 

My son, however, preferred his bear, much like himself, to be naked, and cried at the sight of his bear all dressed up. 

Thankfully, his tears dried when we undressed Blackie and he was further cheered by the fact that Jingle Bell Rock plays when you press Blackie's paw. 

It was a wonderful morning.

When we returned home to Grandma and Pop Pop's, my brother, Uncle Johnny, had another treat in store for the kids.... a trip to the ZOO!!!

We all had a great time there too.  My daughter was thrilled with the site of the peacocks, which were roaming freely.  We also saw a bear and some tigers, a condor, monkey, otter and a blue poisonous dart frog, to name a few.

There was a huge birds nest which belonged to a bald eagle and we all posed by a statue of an enormous cow. Both kids got a huge kick out of that!

Before we went home, the kids and I even took a ride on the Merry-Go-Round.

It was a really great day for them and naturally, their joy made all of us feel very happy too.

Before my daughter fell asleep that night, I asked her what her favorite part of the day was.

Was it Buld-A-Bear? 

Would she choose the Zoo?  Perhaps the ride on the Merry-Go-Round?

"The lovely, red, soft meat".........

My mom made filet-mignon for dinner.