Friday, October 19, 2012

The Apple Barn Pumpkin Patch Then and Now

Obviously, that PNE video was just too big to load.  Bummer.

Before I post the PNE pics, here's a look back at the pumpkin patch from the past few years.  I'm so mad that I didn't take a pumpkin truck picture when they were 3.5 and 1.5. ARG.

October 2007
AJ - 1.5

October 2008
AJ - 2.5
Dexter - about 8 months

October 2009
Don't have a pumpkin truck pic.
AJ - 3.5
Dexter - 1.5

October 2010
AJ - 4.5
Dexter - 2.5

October 2011
AJ - 5.5
Dexter - 3.5

October 2012
AJ - 6.5
Dexter - 4.5

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dexter the Brave

Well, I can finally start posting the pictures from the green camera which have fun pics from our trip to the PNE this year.  I haven't got around to sorting through them yet, so hopefully this will work...

Videos of Dexter on the medium sized Hellevator.

The first time with Auntie Kim and the second time with our good friend, Brock.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Boys Have Breakfast in a Fort

I normally do not allow much to go on in the living room.  I'm a bag like that.  

But, when Grand-Dan slept over for Thanksgiving Saturday, I let the boys make a mini-fort and eat breakfast in there before they played some board games with Grand-Dan and went for a bike ride with Grand-Dan.

  Oh yah.  They turned it into a store and started making price tags for everything.

Oh, I decorated my phone.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

My Laundry System - And The Closet Reorganization

So, I've been ranting and raving to my Mommy about my new laundry system for many weeks now.  A few pals have asked for my secret to keeping up on my laundry, but I hesitated to blog it for all to see, for fear that I would fall apart after a couple weeks and not keep up.

However, I feel that now that I'm almost at the 8 week mark of 'keeping up' on my laundry, it's worthy of explaining, especially to those who suffer from the same laundry issues as I.

This will NOT be interesting to you if you're looking for some beautiful before and after shots of some awesome bedroom.  My bedroom, is unfortunately, a last priority in my house, only narrowly beating out the Hawaiian ensuite, and the basement.  So, home-makeover, this is not.

This will probably NOT be interesting to you if you're the kind of person who has no problem keeping up on laundry, or if you're the kind of person who turns the dryer on 3-5 times to keep fluffing the clothing until you're ready to deal with it.

I don't care if my clothes are wrinkled because, for the most part, it's super easy to me to just iron stuff that needs to be ironed because my iron is out 24/7, or... I'm actually, really great at grabbing clothes out of the dryer as soon as it buzzes, as I am a SAHM 6/7 days a week, so hey, I'm here to hear the buzzer, right?

Background info that may matter to anyone who is reading this for some actual help.
*All of our bedrooms are upstairs.
*The laundry is downstairs in the basement.
*Dealing with laundry downstairs is not an option, as the cat litter is nearby, and I'm not having clothes that smell like cat litter.
*Dirty laundry is in my room.
*Clean laundry is in my room.
*I do not carry laundry up and down the stairs in laundry baskets.  I instead, use those $1, big blue bags from Ikea which incidentally come in handy for 'loads' of other things (pun intended).
*I do not like tall laundry baskets because then I feel free to let them fill up too full, and, of course, the only laundry that then gets done is the stuff on the top, and I'm left wondering, "Hey, where's my favourite shirt that I wore like two weeks ago?  I've done like 6 loads of laundry!  It should be clean!"
*I almost always put away towels and cloths as soon as I'm upstairs, even before the 'new system', since towels are washed separately from clothes (unless they're white), so a bag with towels, is usually exclusively towels, and I just park myself at the end hall closet and put them all away straight out of the bag.

Let's get to it.

Some pictures to help explain.

Okay, so I've always had the dirty laundry sorted into separate colours in my room.  The boys are fully aware of where their clothes go when they take them off.

Darks                     Lights/Greys      
Whites/White towels                  Coloured Towels

If I had a lot of girl clothes to deal with that were yellows and pinks, I'd have another bin for that.  But I don't, so I don't.

 Dirty whites get thrown into this basket under the little table.  Can you see it?

Dirty darks are in the basket on the right, and dirty greys/lights are in the basket on the left.  Actually, the basket on the left is empty, as I just took that load downstairs before this photo was taken.

I don't have a pretty basket for the dirty towels right now.  They are currently in a pile on my  
Next time the baskets go on sale for $4 at Canadian Tire, I'll buy another one.

Now, that's just the background info.  That's not the 'new system'.  I was already doing things like this before.  My problem was that I would either:
a) Let my laundry bags just pile up and pile up and we'd live out of clean laundry bags, grudgingly.
b) Get all motivated and fold and sort laundry all over the bed, but then not really get around to putting it away.  Richard would come to bed, be bothered that there was laundry all over it, not care that it was painstakingly folded and sorted, and chuck it all willy-nilly into the nearest Ikea bag, or worse.... on the #$%$)*&%^@ floor!
c) Put all of Richard's clothing away (because his is so easy to put away because he has no organizational scheme nor OCD)

I needed somewhere to store, folded, sorted laundry until I was ready to put it away.  That sounds crazy to any of you out there who would just think, "If you already folded it, why wouldn't you just put it away?"  You are not like me.  You do not think like me.   And that's okay.  I'm jealous of your work ethic.

Perhaps this next picture should've been included in my 'background information'....
I consider this:

to be 'caught up' on laundry.  To me, not having bags of clean laundry on my bed is total success, and judging by some of my friends' comments on FB today, I realize that I am not alone.  That actually surprised me a little!

What you're looking at there are three baskets at the end of my bed.  The one on your left is where my clothes go, as I fold them.  You'll see that it's currently empty.  Since my closet redo which I'll explain later, I've been putting my clothing away right away because it's so much easier.  I'm sure I'll still use it on some days.  It was pretty full up until about 4 days ago.

In the middle are AJ's clothes.  That's probably been like that, building for about a week or more. It's currently empty, as I tend to put the boys' clothes away on Saturday or Sunday, ready for a new school week.

Dexter's, of course, are on the right.

There is no basket for Richard.  Richard's clothes always get put away right away, by me.  I can't explain why, really, except that it's just so simple to put his clothes away.  His hangers aren't like mine in a certain order.  His clothes don't all face a certain way (which kills me).  His clothes aren't in any sort of hanging order (which also kills me).  And, none of his everyday clothes go in drawers, except socks and underwear. The boys' and my clothes are very organized and although that sounds nice, it makes it a PITA to put away.

My boys are capable of putting away their own clothes, but because I want it 'my way', the only things they usually put away are PJs, socks, and underwear. 

So, really, that's it.  It's that I have these wonderful baskets at the end of my bed.  When I bring up a load of laundry, I now empty it right away. I think because, in the back of my head, I know that I don't have to put it away for real.  I just dump it on the bed, put away the things that are Richard's (and as of late, mine too), and the boys' get folded and put into their baskets.

Nothing is EVER piled up on the bed now.  Nothing gets thrown out of the way by Richard.  It doesn't look overwhelming.  I can walk on my floor without tripping over bags of laundry.  Is that crazy?  I don't know.  But, here I am, almost 8 weeks in, and I have no bags of laundry to deal with still.  It's awesome.

That's it.  Nothing exciting, really, but it's exciting to me because it's working!

See!  They're empty right now!

The closet story.

I came home from Zumba a week ago, Thursday, to see Richard's entire side of the walk in closet had fallen onto the floor.  Richard did, in fact, hear a noise, but did not 'check it out'.

Richard was in 'facepalm' mode, but I was elated.

You see, for about a year or so, I've been daydreaming about a beautiful Pax wardrobe to go into the alcove beside Richard's side of the bed for all his clothing and 'stuff', so that I could claim the walk-in for myself and for the linens.

A Pax wardrobe is not in the budget, at all right now.  I choose to be a SAHM, so that's life.  I make do with what I have right now.  It's what I'm all about.

Richard could see the wheels turning in my head.  I believe his exact words were something to the effect of, "I don't want you Macgyvering while I'm at work.  I don't want to come home to some jury-rigged piece of crap."

As I wrote on FB, "Oh Richard.  Silly silly Richard.  As long as I'm deemed the one who builds things (and the only one who cares what the house looks like), I'll macgyver whatever I want."

He should be thankful, right?  He didn't have to spend his weekend fixing a closet!  Or hanging up and reorganizing all his stuff!!  How awesome is that?

Like I said though, these photos are not some awesome before and after bedroom shot.  I've got out of date paint from 1972 or so, and I think the carpet is from then too.  I don't have a beautiful closet system.  I don't even have pretty baskets in there right now.  I'm just using my file boxes from moving my classroom.  There's nothing awesome about this room, except that the walk in closet is mine!  All mine!

 Pretty plain.

 Here's Richard's alcove now. I wanted to put up a curtain, but I don't think he's all over that.  I think it's important, even if it's open most of the time just so that he doesn't have to look at it all the time.  This is a little alcove beside his side of the bed.  You cannot see it from the doorway of our room.  You'd have to walk in, and then turn around to see it, as it's on the same wall as the doorway, but tucked back.  He gets all of the drawers now!  There's even an empty one! 

 The walk in closet is now just my clothes and all of our bedding and stuff.

The laundry baskets above my hanging clothes are the boys' spare sheets on the left, our spare sheets and mattress cover in the middle, extra blankets and beach blankets on the right.

 This is what I mean by not fancy.  You can see my file boxes.  Maybe they'll be baskets someday, but I really don't care.  I have other priorities.  Yes, that's a chip box from Hallowe'en holding guest bedding.

 That black and white picture in the centre there?  It was my favourite picture in 1991, and it still is today.  lol.  That other picture is my Mommy and I.

I'm not quite finished with my closet.  There are a few things I have to go through.  A little more purging.  Down the street at 7-11 are big donation bins.  Oh, they are so nice and so simple.  I dropped off two garbage bags worth of stuff just today.  Cleansing.

Before I Get Around to Posting Pictures from the PNE....

AJ's Fun Fair was a week ago on Friday.  Super-fun!
And... we bought three tickets for $5 and put all three in the bucket to hopefully win this Lego City set.  

The boys won!!!  They were so excited!

We went to Mill Lake with Emerson and Jaxon on Friday with their new nanny, Kareen (Auntie Kim's friend).

 A beautiful day!

And, this same day, AJ came home with his first spelling test score!  10/10, plus 3 out of 4 bonus words:  apple, friends, leaf, but not 'rules'.

Great job, AJ!

This morning, Dexter just said, I have a picture for you, mom.

Is this what I think it is?  He says the dot at the end is a playground, and he and I are walking there.
Did he just use perspective?  I don't know.  But it looks cool, no?