A Billion Updates…or Maybe Just Two…

(1) We’re moving! Wednesday! We heard back the day after we were supposed to (there was a bit of corporate stuff that took a bit longer than they had expected), that he needed to go get his drug test and that he could put in his 2 weeks at the job here. Since then we’ve been busy packing, prepping this apartment for our departure, and lining things up in Virginia — we have to temporarily move into an apartment until the tenant’s lease is up at the house (end up July). Hubby and I have worked really well together on this move and it’s been so painless and worked out so well so far. I don’t think things could have gone any smoother!

(Errr…well… *glances in the general direction of the post office* I’d be a little happier if one of my nail polish orders hadn’t dropped off the face of the planet. And the worst is that it’s from an indie seller, not a big corporation, so I feel terrible about the possibility of having to be like, “Erm…so…my polishes’ tracking number stopped having any activity on it FIVE days ago and we’re leaving early Wednesday morning… HALP!” I ordered it three weeks ago and didn’t think it would be an issue when we found out. For the time being, I’m just stalking my tracking numbers like a crazy woman.)

(2) We’re having a little girl!

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Little Sage Isabella seems to be happy and healthy and growing stronger (and more opinionated about what we eat) every day! Naturally, we were going to be thrilled with a girl or a boy, but I’m excited that Hubby gets to use the name that he picked out so many moons ago for a baby he didn’t think he’d actually have. A friend also had a bunch of baby girl clothes left from her daughter so Little Baby (as she will probably most commonly be known; I do try to avoid using actual names most of the time here on the internet) inherited a lot of cute stuff this past weekend.

So…yeah…everything is good. We’re just super busy with final move-out things! I hope to be back to writing on a regular basis and taking more photos after the move! 🙂

General Update…

I just looked back over my last three or so entries and realized that I sort of jumped ahead of myself… We are moving. The details are sketchy, but this is what I know: our lease here is up on June 30th and we’re not staying. Hubby has put in for several jobs in several states. He has interviewed for one that we’re most hopeful for and we’re supposed to hear “something” back from them tomorrow; what that something is, I don’t know. I’m hoping it will be, “Go get your drug test and physical done and report to work in two weeks!” but we shall see… It’s been really hard, but we’re trying not to get too attached to any one place or job until we have the proverbial bird in the hand. We both just want to know where we’re going and when and we want to be moved already.

I’ve stuck with the “two things out for every one thing in” really well and I’m proud of that! I think after the move though, I’ll go to a one-one ratio. It’s getting really hard to find things to get rid of! A LOT has gone out and most of it probably wouldn’t have if not for the motivation of new things coming in and there being a “negative” number on the dry erase board — meaning more has come in than has gone out. I don’t want to dismiss it all together and be like, “Well, everything is under control now! Not going to worry about it until we’re buried again!” I just don’t think that I can keep up with this pace, especially not with a baby coming! Trying to just keep up with one-one while adding another person to the household sounds like more than enough of a challenge, thanks!

On the 23rd we get to find out if we’re expecting a boy or a girl! Yay for fun stuff! 🙂 We’re all excited about that. Hubby and I will be thrilled either way; LG is still hoping for a sister. 🙂

Aaand…that’s about it. 🙂 Things have been good. We’re excited and hopeful for the near future.

Decluttering/Motivation

I hit a bit of a compromise with myself a couple of weeks ago; I can’t start packing yet. I want to, but without knowing the details of when and where, etc. it would just be crazy to start packing right now. What I can do though is to start decluttering.

I’ve wanted to live more of a minimalist lifestyle for a while now, but it’s hard to break old habits. I grew up in a cluttered-if-not-hoarded (depending upon the year, I suppose) home. The “why” of it all is sketchy; mostly because my mother would never, ever admit that she had a problem, and I’m not sure that her “why” really matters – I have no reason to live like that. As an adult, I’ve always had everything that I needed. (And then some, obviously.) There’s no reason for me to hang on to a lot of extras. Time is the most precious thing and having too much stuff takes up time in the caring for it; organizing, cleaning it, etc..

I set out to find some “productivity porn” when I decided to undertake the decluttering project. I quickly discovered that no advances have been made in decluttering field in the last 16 years (since I started reading decluttering tips); the old tried and true advice still stands: (1) Sort into three categories – keep, toss, donate. (2) Don’t hang on to things you don’t love or use just because “so-and-so bought it for me.” (Do you want to end up on a episode of ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive’? Because that’s how you end up on an episode of ‘Hoarders.) (3) To prevent ending up in the same situation again, employ a x-number-out for every new thing in rule.

Generally speaking, I do pretty good on the first rule of decluttering. I can usually sort through things and know whether or not I have used or will use them in the near future pretty effectively. The worst is the kitchen; it’s the one area that I’ve had to go out and buy things for in the past, so now I’m always questioning, “If I get rid of this, will I have to buy it again in 3-, 6-, or 12-months?” That’s where I call in my sister and she asks questions like, “How often do you really make heart-shaped cakes?” and “You know, you can always modify any recipe you need to fit a regular sized muffin pan rather than a mini one, right?” Darn her and her logic! *sigh*

Two is slightly harder. I’ve gotten better over the years, but there are still things that are difficult to part with, even if they’re really just clutter, because of who they came from. I sometimes have to stop and say, “So-and-so wouldn’t want me hanging on to this and have it taking up my time and space if it isn’t adding to my life, and I know that.” That said, I still moved a heavy cedar chest, that there’s never any “good” place for in my home, 1,200 miles with me just because it was my great grandmother’s. (It’s now on the “to sell” list; none of my other family members cared about it to the point where I bought it from my grandmother when she didn’t want to move it with her. Given some of the rumors my dear blood relatives have started about me, all that it does now is serve to make me feel bitter when I think about it too long. It needs to go.)

Three has always been a sticky one for me. It’s just hard to keep track of things coming in and stay on top of making sure that things go out consistently. It has been the most commonly dismissed rule for me because of that and so it’s not really a huge wonder that I’ve ended up cycling through feeling buried under “stuff” and, alternately, feeling like I all did was go through things and get rid of things endlessly for weeks or months on end. This time, it’s the big thing that I chose to focus on.

Different articles suggest different numbers of things to go out for every one thing that comes in. “Get rid of three things for every one thing in the door!” “Five!” “Seven!” I think the high numbers are easy if you’re (a) talking about someone else’s things, (b) in serious danger of being buried alive, or (c) really, really serious about living life as a bare-bones minimalist. Since I am none of the above (realistically, I’ll never be a bare-bones’er), I decided that getting rid of two things for every new thing in was a fair place to start.

Then there was the issue of, “What counts?” My rule is that if it’s directly replacing something that is going out; an empty shampoo, a pair of shoes that has seen it’s last mile, etc., then it doesn’t count against the incoming number. If I buy something because I want it; a bottle of shampoo or tube of mascara that I don’t really “need” but have decided that I want, then that counts. For motivating purposes, incoming clothes also count until further notice. (I was hanging on to a lot of “skinny” clothes, when realistically, if and when I lose the weight that I’ve picked on over the last two years, I’ll want to splurge on new, stylish items anyway.) For easily keeping track of where I’m at with these things, I’ve started recording the number of things that can come in on the dry erase board on our fridge. Currently, after going out and picking up some new maternity clothes this weekend, I’m at “-6.” Meaning that I need to find 12 things to go before I’ve balanced out for the incoming items. I had been in the positive before this weekend…

It does two things really well: it makes you aware of what is coming into your home on a weekly basis and it motivates you to start going through things that might have otherwise stayed on the back burner. *looks at the bag of things from Little Girl’s room that have been sitting on top of the clothes dryer, just waiting for me to go through them for the last month* Yeah, that’s getting done tonight to balance out for some of the incoming things and in the hopes that I can justify a Play Doh purchase soon.

The worst part so far has been realizing how many things that I held on to and moved here from Florida, that I should have just gotten rid of. All of the packing and unpacking. Loading and unloading. Lifting and carrying. Moving up two flights of stairs. Struggling to find places for things and taking the excess to Goodwill in at least two trips in the last 6 months and there’s another one to go yet – at least. We probably could have saved a few dollars on a smaller moving truck and putting fuel into a smaller, lighter truck as well. Just thinking about it makes me winch outwardly a little. But I’d rather get there now, before the next move, than never. 🙂

Not Dead; Just Pregnant! (Favorite Budget Maternity Finds!)

There’s been a lot going on here in the last few months…

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We’re pregnant! Tuesday will make 16 weeks, putting us into the second trimester and taking out us out of the major danger zone for miscarriages by a couple of weeks. Only three more weeks before we find out if we’re having a little boy or a second little girl! Hubby and I are doing our best to remain neutral on the subject, but Little Girl has no such reservations… She boldly states that she wants a sister and will be upset if we have a boy. 🙂 (I think she’ll make her peace with it by mid-August.)

We’re also moving house! Again! We don’t know completely when or where yet; we each have our hopes. Little Girl votes for Florida or “anywhere it doesn’t snow!” The novelty has worn off. Hubby votes for the west. I vote for the east coast since I’d love to be closer to his family. But it remains to be seen where we’ll actually end up this time. It’s sort of fun and exciting in it’s own way, but at the same time…I’m the type of person that wants to know what’s going on and to make plans.

I’ve changed up my school plans accordingly and am grateful that it actually gives me a bit of break while things settle down a bit, though, at the same time, the next several weeks are quite an intense course load due to taking half-semester classes. Little Girl started Girl Scouts and I’m up to my butt in cookies. Hubby is working more than ever. It’s been a wild ride in 2015 this far…

Weird things have given me anxiety lately. (I think it’s just my brain trying to find things that I can “do something” about since all I can do in regards to the baby and the move right now is to sit and wait.) I’d started to panic over the last handful of days; I can’t even wear my original yoga pants anymore. They’re too tight. Even Sean’s shirts are inching up over my belly. I’d walked through Meijer numerous times; no maternity section. WalMart no longer has a maternity section. I tried on regular women’s XL shirts…I just looked fat and felt horrible. Target gets $32 for a single pair of maternity jeans and the ones that I got from them last year are annoying; the elastic isn’t secured within the “pocket” that it’s in, so it always twists. It looks weird in that, “Don’t mind me, I’m just trying to steal something by shoving it into my pants.” sort of way and they tend to dig in if I can’t get it un-twisted enough.

I started to picture myself as the pregnant version of the “Honey Boo-Boo” mom; double chins and my belly drooping out of the bottom of my shirt.

So early this week I set out to browse some of the online sites and see what I could come up with. I hate buying clothes online. I have hips and that can be a huge issue with some designer/manufacturers. But I decided to take a couple gambles on WalMart.com, figuring that I could return them to the store if they didn’t work out. Today I ventured to the Old Navy store in the mall; they have a small maternity section and everything was 40% with some card holder perk thing they were doing. (I ended up hitting Kohl’s too and getting a few things from them on clearance. Kinda basic, around-the-house pieces from them, but still far better than opening the door for the FedEx guy looking like Honey Boo-Boo.)

oldnavytankMy favorites so far are these tanks from Old Navy. I picked up two in the store and then went online and ordered two more because the sizes and colors were limited in the store. They’re comfy and will be nice and cool during the summer. I can’t wait for summer, so I may have tried these on and then stroked them lovingly while imagining them with cute sandals… It doesn’t hurt that they’re $10-$13 either!

WalmartjeansAnd these jeans from WalMart.com. They just came in tonight and they fit amazingly well.

Last year’s adventures taught me that maternity clothes are a whole new circle of hell for clothes shopping; some brands stick with numbered sizes still while others do the S-M-L-XL theme. And then there are the normal variations in that what is a medium in one brand is another brand’s large and…you’re left kinda just wanting to slam your head into the fitting room wall while feeling like a beached whale. So…we’ll just say that I was apprehensive about whether or not these would fit. They fit awesomely in a large right now. Which is really when I need them…and I’m glad I’ve ordered some other items in XL sizes for this summer. But for $14? I’m in love and thinking about ordering another pair or two when everything else comes in and I have a better idea of what I need. (I know what I ordered, but I need it all in front of me to really have a good idea…if that makes any sense.)

I feel better; both in having “done” something and knowing that I’ll have more to wear in the coming months than just pajamas…with my belly starting to escape! 🙂 Now if only spring would get here!!