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Part 14 of the Dumpster Diaries: Finishing the Back Room AND Bye Bye Dumpster! (plus other updates).

I *thought* I had a half finished blog post draft saved, but when I went to find it, it was gone.

It’s been SO BUSY around here that I have had barely enough time to think, much less write.

I am NOT going to post more pics of the back room til I get more decorating done- most people are shocked currently by the incredibly orange walls LOL! It has to be entirely finished to understand… I am doing a hippie dippy music theme melange in there. I feng shui’d the CRAP outta that room, to boot.

Here is a rundown of what happened:

~Finished the back room drywalling and painted the walls/ceiling.
~Added an area rug that the neighbors didn’t want anymore
~Moved the sofa bed from the front porch(!!) to the back room
~Assembled and set up the desk
~They took away the dumpster(and I miss it already)

We still have to:

~Finish decorating back room
~Move the rest of our clothes from the back room closet to the master bedroom walk in closet
~Get all of Sam’s crap that’s piled to the ceiling out of the dining room
~Hang the Ikea Kirp shelves for his video games and books
~Wait for the art to arrive from Thailand

What else I did (mostly purchases for back room):

~Ordered curtain panels from India

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

~Ordered white wooden plantation blinds for the windows

plantation blinds

plantation blinds

~Ordered some awesome throw pillows for the sofa

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

this album isn't his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

this album isn’t his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

The dumpster was taken away last Friday… I must admit, I am really sad to see it go.

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View from my porch… it was almost TOO full by the time they came to get it

bye bye dumpster...

bye bye dumpster…

We will probably be renting another one in a month when we start the downstairs bathroom renovations. This thing was almost TOO full by the time they took it back. R and the rest of the guys spent the last day filling it with refuse and junk from the basement and garage. They didn’t even bother telling me what they were tossing out- I told them not to.

Sam leaves tomorrow for the Pax Prime convention in Seattle and will be gone for a week. My dad has cataract surgery tomorrow morning and will be spending the night here because it’s closer to his doctor’s. Connor and Maisie’s birthdays (and my dad’s) are coming up in the next 2 weeks- and school starts on the 8th!

I have to devote my time to finding birthday presents, planning parties, getting back-to-school supplies, AND CLEANING THIS F*CKING HOUSE UP! I am toying with the idea of hiring some of the cleaning out at this point.

2 of our Dyson vacuum cleaners decided to die within a week of each other. The last one started going out 2 days ago. This is not good when you have 3 giant, perpetually shedding Newfoundland dogs.

Also, last but not least, Maisie is finally starting to walk!

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Part 13 of the Dumpster Diaries: Getting the Walk in Closet Organized With A Fast Moving Toddler And Falling Short of Goals…

Today’s set of tasks seemed simple:

“Move clothes and makeup upstairs, put everything away, and clean up the mess in in there and my bedroom… plus get my bed linens washed.”

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everything from the closet has spilled into my bedroom

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the bed sheets need to be washed ASAP

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what awaited me on the counter

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piles of CLEAN laundry dumped by my sons (UGH) and needing to be sorted/put away by ME

Except I forgot one crucial thing: I have a crawling, curious cyclone of an 11 month old baby.

And OH, she learned to do this today, too:

View this post on Instagram

Cutie pie

A post shared by Miss Maisie & Mommy (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

I got the closet reasonably organized while she napped. By the time she woke up and I was in the swing of things, all bets were off. If I put stuff away in drawers, she wanted to remove them from drawers. The dresser scarf FASCINATED HER and she tried to pull that (and the box on the dresser) off about 10-20 times. If I turned around, she was pulling shoes off the racks. C accidentally left my bedroom door open and I found her trying to climb into the bathtub.

“What could THIS be?”

“Let’s pull it and everything else out and check”

I swear, training puppies is easier than human babies. Thank goodness she’s cute.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time. I think puppies are easier to train than people.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time.
I think puppies are easier to train than people.

When I sat to fold laundry and sorted her pile onto the floor, she tried to help, which was ADORABLE:

With the help of C, I was finally able to corral her long enough to get things put away. All the tools were brought back downstairs.

makeshift sink vanity

makeshift sink vanity

I hauled some of my makeup upstairs and constructed a sort of vanity over the sink- effectively KINDA disguising the old faucet. We can’t remove the damned thing yet because there’s no shut off valve under the sink 😦 It was put in too long ago…

No, you can't see the faucet... shhhh... don' tell me!

No, you can’t see the faucet… shhhh… don’t tell me!

All the clothes that were in tubs were put up. I haven’t gone through anything in the dressers yet, because I’m not in the mood. This was so overwhelming as it is.

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I have a ton of vintage linens, which comes in handy for times like these

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my antique-ish piggybank collection

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my ‘helper’

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after throwing out so many clothes, I am kind of freaked out by how empty my closet is. I KNOW I have way more than this! WHERE IS IT?!

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my Louis Vuitton collection, up and away from people who might mistake it for trash. I really need to clean the leather on a couple of em.

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under the hamper: cleaning products that I need to have a strong male bring downstairs to be put away safely

In the end, I got about 75 percent of what I set out to do done, which I am ok with. The bedroom and bedding will be cleaned tomorrow or bust. I will also be sorting through all of my makeup downstairs and continuing to bring it to the closet.

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AFTER!

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MORE AFTER

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I couldn’t bear looking at the plaster damage by the light any longer- and we can’t spackle it til next week- my quick fix

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Part 9 of the Dumpster Diaries: Less Dumpster-More Diary. Good News and Bad News…

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

The GOOD NEWS:

I bought the ‘inspiration piece’ for the back room.

Sam is SOOO picky about the art I put on the walls and liked this one. He was worried it would scream “I’m a little kid living at Mommy’s house!” or be too ‘busy’… he won’t like the fact that it’s going to be bigger than what he wants, but he gets no choice in that since he has no sense of scale.

This is hilarious and will tie in all the colors of that back room.

All the drywall, paint, and things (we think) that we need so far have been purchased, too.

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I ordered this canvas print tonight from Thailand- was a good deal at $45US for a 3 ft print.

We found a light fixture in a burnished wood that we LOVED.

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude's office, I think

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude’s office, I think

We also bought the paint at Home Depot- R prefers Behr products. The color we’re using is a bold orange for the walls- white for the ceiling.

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange- and that gouge above the swatch is ready to be filled with drywall mud-

We installed a new electrical outlet and are running entirely new lines to the breaker box. All of the electrical will now have it’s own breaker in that room, which will safeguard Sam’s show if another breaker in the house pops.

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

drywall waiting to be installed over light fixture on ceiling

Now for the BAD NEWS:

After getting the cracks scraped out to fill and fix, the new electrical boxes installed, buying all the stuff, and putting up exactly HALF A SHEET of drywall, we discovered that the light fixture in the ceiling was connected to AN ANTIQUE GASLIGHT PIPE.

Our house was built in 1912 by a German wagonmaker and his family. 1912 is kind of late in my area for gas lighting, but he must have thought it was a cheaper option or something when he built this house.

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

It now requires a new thingamajig (don’t ask me the name of it, I don’t know) in order to connect the new light fixture.

see that pipe? It's for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

see that pipe? It’s for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

Plus Sam was doing his internet show, so we couldn’t turn off the electricity like we needed to on R’s last day off this week. Everything is on hold until next Wednesday (R’s next day off). Hopefully, we will be able to finish the drywall, plus mudding and sanding- and hopefully paint the new ceiling/walls then.

We have less than 10 days left of dumpster rental. I was hoping that all of this stuff would have been finished by now. Everything has been SO slow going.

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Part 6 of the Dumpster Diaries: I am convinced we will NEVER be done with this!

this is the perfect description of my life right now

this is the perfect description of my life right now- and looks like my kitchen.

Ok, on ‘paper’ it looks/sounds like we’ve done a ton of things. In reality, as I wade through laundry on my kitchen floor and boxes everywhere else, it doesn’t seem that way.

laundry FAIL. Piles in the kitchen, with one of my Newfoundland dogs comfortably sleeping on them.

laundry #FAIL.
Piles in the kitchen, with one of my Newfoundland dogs comfortably sleeping on them.

What we’ve done thus far:

1. Put a large antique cabinet and a few Fiesta Ware vases from the upstairs kitchen in my parents’ antique store.

my dad said I priced this too low.

my dad said I priced this too low.

looks better at the store than in my house

looks better at the store than in my house

2. Moved 2 bookshelves from the back room to the basement (I think they’ve been moved to the basement, that is).

believe it or not, this is progress

believe it or not, this is progress

I have no idea where that crucifix was from

I have no idea where that crucifix was from

3. I threw away another 5 bags of clothes from the back room. I have one built in drawer emptied.

Most of these bags contain clothing

Most of these bags contain clothing


4. Thew the old leather chair away and some other stuff.

bye bye thingamajig and leather chair

bye bye thingamajig and leather chair


5. I BELIEVE some laundry was done- but I can’t be sure.

6. Finally went grocery shopping with an EXTREMELY UNHAPPY TODDLER-$400 bucks worth of groceries bought and were somehow put away.

Grumpy toddler wants to go bye bye NOW

Grumpy toddler wants to go bye bye NOW

Grumpy toddler is extremely unhappy with me

Grumpy toddler is extremely unhappy with me

a shopping cart only slightly improves her mood

a shopping cart only slightly improves her mood

if you look, you will see a squalling baby in her car seat behind the groceries

if you look, you will see a squalling baby in her car seat behind the groceries

7. Got the dumpster rental extended for 20 more days

we extended the dumpster rental 20 more days- I don't think it will take 20 days to fill this completely

we extended the dumpster rental 20 more days- I don’t think it will take 20 days to fill this completely

8. Weeded some of my garden and watered plants. Harvested 4 radishes. Should have taken photos, but I didn’t. Plus I did this all with the BABY ATTACHED TO MY BACK in a Korean baby carrier. I would have gotten more done (this was my break time/relaxing time), but she and I were overheating.


R goes back to work tomorrow and I am convinced I will never finish this. I am going to focus solely on laundry tomorrow. The other 2 males in the house will have to assist me, too. I HATE folding laundry. I LOATHE it. I will also work on tossing more clothes out of that back room.

It’s really difficult doing this with the baby. She is very ‘into’ everything right now. We really SHOULD have done this during the 6 months the manny was here.

Hindsight is 20/20…

I am hoping that the boys and I can empty the back room before R’s day off next Wednesday.

In the meantime, I also have to:

1. look for modular closet gadgetry/systems

2. get paint samples for the back room walls

3. empty the upstairs kitchen

I am sure I am forgetting something, but at this point I no longer give a f*ck.

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Ok, Part 5 of the Dumpster Diaries: One step forward, two steps back… the back room AND upstairs kitchen today

I am just going to call this ‘part 5’, no point in getting OCD about it at this point…

As we were cleaning/tossing out/removing things from the back room, we realized that we had no place to put the clothes and dressers unless we cleaned out the upstairs kitchen… so he went upstairs and removed some of the bigger pieces of furniture. It’s still not empty upstairs, but it’s much better. We have a friend coming to haul the appliances away tomorrow (hopefully).

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yeah, it’s looking trashed again… but it’s actually more organized than before

I know we’re making progress, but I cannot help but feel like we’re taking 2 steps back for every step forward.

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Me: “Why haven’t you thrown away that old leather chair?!” R: “I didn’t know you wanted to throw it away” Yeaah- it’s ALL GOTTA GO!!

The back room is back to being a jumbled mess again. We emptied boxes, threw away at least 10 garbage bags worth of clothing from that room. I still have MORE CLOTHES to go through, believe it or not.

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oh… THAT’S where this pair of Louboutins went… *sighs*

it's incredible what one can find in here

it’s incredible what one can find in here

The upstairs kitchen lost antique Hoosier cabinet things, plus a round oak table, and some vintage enameled kitchen tables. At some point R put some plastic shelves up. He is now thinking about buying one of those modular wire closet systems from Lowes, but I think it’s too early for that yet. I need to figure out what to do with all of my Fiesta ware (most of it vintage) and the rest of the actual kitchen stuff that I no longer use. At one time we used both kitchens- don’t ask me why.

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the plastic shelf is new most of this crap needs to GO

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SPILLING into my bedroom now, yikes.

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view from my bed- the closet room transformation will take longer- but we need to focus on just getting a place to PUT our clothes so that we can renovate the back room

The most important part at this point is TO FILL THAT DUMPSTER UP. We need to throw away as much as we can-

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going to have someone haul away the appliances

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oh hey- Trixie, my dress dummy, and my vintage linens. On the floor is my old sewing machine. I have a new one still in the box somewhere.

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part of my (mostly) vintage fiesta collection. I need to do something about this

We’ve decided to keep the dumpster for a few days longer, at least, to ensure everything gets tossed that needs to.

Laundry was started and I need to fold things, but am too tired to go down the flights of stairs to the basement to retrieve the clean things tonight. I am doing huge loads of whites and I probably should go to the store to find blue-ing (it makes yellowed linens a sparkling white), because I ran out.

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My manny of 6 months leaves tomorrow.

Yes, I had a manny…

He was in Maisie’s life from January (4 months old) til now (10 months). It’s going to be a huge transition with him leaving (for Florida). The poor thing already knows something’s wrong and has been super clingy. The good thing is that she may start using English more. She was speaking his language mostly (Persian)… and with a perfect accent.

I loved having him around- I got to sleep in and they breakfasted together every morning after I’d bring her down. It was to the point where she preferred to eat from him (though I cooked mostly) instead of me. He liked to have long, leisurely meals that lasted about an hour. He is a huge jibber-jabber talky person and she enjoyed that.

I hope this transition goes as smoothly as it can. She really loved him.

I also hope I can pick up the slack properly. All that leisure made me soft and lazy.

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Tips, Ideas, ANY ADVICE NEEDED! My once-placid baby has turned into a screaming, crying diva this week!

this was once such a rare occurrence that I snapped this photo just to prove that she cried sometimes

this was once such a rare occurrence that I snapped these photos just to prove that she cried sometimes

I am losing my effing MIND.

Once upon a time, I had a baby who rarely cried. She smiled and coo’d and was almost ALWAYS agreeable. She napped twice a day and slept (mostly) through the night. She laughed and amused herself. She was SUPER social, loved being around lots of people. It was so unusual for her to cry that I even snapped a picture of her doing so once, just to show people. She was the PERFECT baby.

That was until last week when she turned 10 months old. She is STILL super social, but now she CRIES AND BEGS FOR ME TO PICK HER UP CONSTANTLY. Her shriek is so high pitched, it could break windows.

To add more fuel to the fire, I’ve been told by my doctor that I cannot pick her up for six weeks because my back is out- I haven’t complied. I just pop a pill and grin through the pain.

I’ve done EVERYTHING that the new-fangled attachment parenting books tell you to do (and mostly the opposite of how her brothers were raised 2 decades ago).

-she never ‘cried it out’
-I sleep within arm’s reach of her, her pack n play is next to my bed.
-when I attempted the ‘baby led weaning’ stuff, she decided to wean herself to curries and pizza
-she fell asleep every time with a simple “Frere Jacques” lullabye and some classical music in the background

All of this worked (and worked well) until this last week when she MORPHED into a demanding, crying, fit-throwing, entourage-needing diva.

It started with a BANG.

I am never called by my full name (Jessica). Never. It’s ALWAYS “Jess” or “Mom” or what-have-you.

Somehow I ticked Maisie off last week and did not come to her fast enough and was rewarded with her SCREAMING “JESSSSS-IIII-CAAAA!!!” clearly and OVER AND OVER.

I was shocked.

FIRST of all, how in the HELL does this child even know my first name?!

Secondly, where did she learn to throw a fit like that?????!

the struggle is real

the struggle is real

Suddenly, every time someone would leave the room, she’d SCREAM LIKE IT WAS A PERSONAL AFFRONT TO HER.

If folks walked by our house, with their strollers and dogs- perfect strangers, mind you- she’d lose her SHIT. “How DARE they not stop by the house?!”

she calls out to strangers who walk by our house and tries to make friends

she calls out to strangers who walk by our house and tries to make friends- this time it worked.

Yes, I KNOW this must be the ‘separation anxiety’ stage, but DAMN.

The struggle is real.

I want to preface this by saying I am NOT the most patient person I know. I wish I was. I am much better than I was with my older boys, this is certain. Older age has some benefits.

If my parents are here, sitting on my front porch, she will insist that they sing to her while she dazzles them with her superior dancing skills- this kid is a dancing fool and she can’t even WALK. Unless Papa walks away to get coffee or pee, she’s perfectly happy and all smiles.

If I tell her I will dress her up and ‘go to Aunt —‘s house’, she stops long enough to get a pretty dress on, to fuss in the mirror, and ask for lipstick, too (I am NOT KIDDING. SHE’S 10 MONTHS OLD AND DOING THIS!).

My cousin Morgan, who is a SAINT, came over yesterday (and stayed til 3 am) and helped out by singing/playing guitar/helping me get her to bed- and by making me drink some wine to calm my frazzled nerves. Maisie was dancing and singing and enjoying herself, as usual.

Honestly, I CANNOT throw a cocktail party or a hootenanny every time this kid is bored. It’s just not a do-able thing.

Morgan has three sons, who are roughly around the age of my youngest boy. They are wonderful, well-adjusted, loving children.

Morgan: “You know, letting her cry a little bit and soothe herself won’t kill her…”

She proceeded to instruct me on leaving for 5 minutes, then coming back, and repeating, yadda.

My rational mind can agree and comprehend this, but my irrational mommy bits say:

“OMG, you horrible mother, pick her up and FIX THIS!”

At the same time, my brain is ALSO screaming:

“If I don’t walk out of this room RIGHT.THE.FUCK.NOW. I WILL THROW MYSELF OUT OF THE NEAREST WINDOW”

I guess you could say I had forgotten about this part of child-rearing.

When I did as Morgan instructed- Maisie miraculously fell asleep within FIVE MINUTES.

I think a few things are going on here, besides the separation anxiety part:

– She’s teething. Baby Motrin, little teething tablets, a teething necklace- I’m doing all of it.
– She IS a little spoiled.
– She’s bored (I think this is a huge part)

As my dad said, when he first witnessed her meltdowns (and I’m paraphrasing here):

Papa:  “I was wondering when this was going to happen.  It was inevitable.”

To ANY parents/grandparents/people who are reading this:

HOW DO *YOU* (or DID you) handle this type of thing/separation anxiety phase?

I’ve received great advice on distractions, toys, and other things I could give her in lieu of carrying her around from a few friends. I am in serious need of input. Any advice would be INCREDIBLY APPRECIATED.

UPDATES:

Found some terrific articles online that I will be trying out ASAP.
If any readers out there are in the same boat as me, they’ve given me a glimmer of (sane) hope!

On the “screaming phase”
http://alphamom.com/parenting/baby/the-screaming-phase/
 

“Why your 9 month old is so difficult all of a sudden”

http://babyshrink.com/2010/why-your-9-month-old-baby-is-so-difficult-all-of-a-sudden