Sunday, April 26, 2015

Basketball Game

Ben joined a park district basketball league, and Saturday was his first game. Mike is an assistant coach. Liv and I were excited spectators.

The game started Saturday at 9 a.m. We were the first ones there, ready to play! Ben was quite excited. It is also our week to take care of Peyton the Panda, Ben's classroom mascot, so she tagged along.

Liv was Mike's assistant on the court, until lots of kids showed up and it got too crowded for her to be safe out there, seeing as she has no concept or ducking or moving when a ball comes at her.

So we hung out on the bleachers and she entertained herself climbing.

Finally the referee arrived and we got started. It actually went a lot better than I expected, considering this is most kids first year playing and they had one practice. (That's Ben in blue blocking even though he is actually on offense, not defense.)

Mike was out there trying to keep kids on their man for defense and telling them to pass the ball. They all seem to prefer running with it (dribbling appears to be optional in their minds) and shooting, regardless of who is where. Pretty funny stuff.

Ben shot and made it. And it was actually during a rare moment when I was watching (and not wrangling Liv in) with camera ready. He shoots, he scores!!!! (He's the one in blue. ;-))

Watching her "boo boo" play.

Liv also made a new friend. A 3 year old sister of one of the opposing team's players. Liv had a good ole time with her.

And also kept lying on the dirty floor. No matter how many times I picked her up and explained that it was dirty.

Sadly, they lost by one basket--24 to 26. But it was a close game and they played really well considering their age and newness.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The book suggested it will take about 6 months to do a thorough purge of your house. So true (for me anyway) if you are truly going through every space and every item. I'm still going full steam ahead with the purging around here. The house is getting to be in pretty good shape--just in time for the nice weather to finally roll in so that I can tackle the garage. And then the basement. Oh how I dread the disaster that is the basement.

Anyway, all I had remaining in the office were photos, momentos, and CDs. I've had most of these CDs since high school. 

Thank goodness now you can just buy musical digitally. But these CDs had some good songs on them, so I didn't want to toss them. This meant I had to go through every CD, one by one, and upload the songs that I wanted to itunes. Sheesh, it took a while, but it was worth it. That basket is now empty. The CDs are gone. And the songs I like are all stored digitally. If you can't make that out, I went through 95 albums and uploaded 562 songs.

Photos and momentos are also done. I went through all our wedding proof books and our two photo albums and selected the best ones and ditched the rest. I added them to my photo storage box. Ditto for the small box of momentos we have; mostly stuff the kids have made us.

I also continued to get rid of clothes. I'm all done with all of my clothes!!! I also went through all of our coats/hoodies, shoes, candles, vases, pillow covers, blankets/bedding, and medicine. By the end, I had 1 large garbage bag and 4 large donate bags, plus a box, which I dropped off at Goodwill Saturday. Good bye and good riddens!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Longest Days

As a mother of two young children, I think that the longest days are those when you are caring for the kids alone all. day. long. I assume this sounds easy and simple for a stay at home mom, but for a full time working mom, those days are LONG.

This weekend Mike came down with a stomach bug on Saturday afternoon. That meant that he spent most of his time like this. (Or in the bathroom, but I'll spare you those photos.)

And I spent most of my time ready to pull my hair out. Sunday may go down in history as the single longest day of my life. I think I threatened murder (myself or the kids) a few times. Seriously. Do the kids act up because they know they have you outnumbered, or are they always this crazy and it just doesn't feel so bad because you have someone to help you reign them in or take over when you need a few minutes?

Still, amid all the chaos and stress, we had some good times too. We played, we ran errands, we even picniced in the backyard before the rain moved in.

Mike even rallied and tried his best to get some fresh air.

The picnic was a great *idea* but went south fast. Liv kept standing up and stepping on her plate, kicking over her drink, etc. Dee kept begging and trying to steal food. So, typical meal at the Tammaros I guess.

After we ate, Liv started an impromptu dance party. With no music. This kid loves to shake her tail feather. You can see from these pictures that both kids have some moves. :-)

When outright begging didn't work, Dee tried the subtle approach of staring a hole through me. "Put down the turkey and no one gets hurt."

Then we moved to Liv's favorite activity these days--walking around the firepit. Yesterday I took her around this so many times I got dizzy. Daddy helped me out and gave her a few spins today. At this age, Ben also LOVED this. And you can see that at 5 he still likes it pretty well; though he doesn't have to hold hands anymore. #babygrowingupfast

I'm happy to report that it is 8 pm, both kids are in bed, and everyone is still breathing. #success

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nice Weather--Finally!

We've finally had some consistently nice weather. Mid 60s for a high. We'll take it!

Last weekend we took a long walk to the park and let the kids play.

She insists on walking with her hands in her "pock pocks" as she calls them. Always. She is also obsessed with this hoodie.

Here she looks to be calmly taking in the view. 10 seconds later she walked into the water. After repeated instructions to stop. Luckily I was right there and grabbed her before she completely soaked her shoes.

Then in the afternoon we played in the backyard. Apparently mowing is not for her. She preferred to sit on the mower and get us to push her around.

This tomboy thoroughly enjoyed playing in the mulch.

Note the dirt on her chin from when I stopped her just before she ate the mulch.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Purging Progress

At Mom's recommendation, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I was already fired up to purge and organize, but reading this book gave me even more focus and determination.

Over the last week or so, I've put her advice into practice. Where I had been focusing my efforts from room to room, the author suggests purging by item type: clothes, books, movies, etc. I don't have a dedicated chunk of time large enough to tackle all my clothes at once, so I worked type by type.

So far, I've done socks, undies, tank tops, jeans, short-sleeved shirts, cardigans, and hoodies.

The main thing I like about her advice is that she advocates selecting what you keep or toss based on whether an item brings you joy. This sounds silly but is genius! I know I've kept things over the years only because I paid a lot for it or someone gave it to me. Likewise, I've let stuff go that I loved because I felt like I had too many or it was frivolous. The act of holding each item and asking yourself if it brings you joy lets you move past the guilt. Another key reason I saved things in the past is because I thought what if I need this one day. Well, what if I do? How much would it really cost to replace it? Probably not much. So if it wasn't bringing me joy today, it went. SO freeing!!!

Since most of the time I can't work upstairs on my clothes since the kids are downstairs, I tried to focus on things in the office. Our office is the main problem area in the house, so it made sense to focus here.

BEFORE: SO MUCH CRAP. And you can't even see the desk to the right and the small shelf to the left. Oh my.

I started with DVDS. Those two thin media shelves were packed with DVDs. I was sick of looking at them and knew that we didn't really watch most of them. Mike and I both went through and weeded out a huge pile, and then I put the remaining ones in paper sleeves and stored them alphabetically by category in boxes I already had.

BEFORE: Clutter media shelves do not bring me joy.

AFTER: Those media shelves are in the donate pile now! And you can also see that I've gotten rid of a lot of other stuff on the shelf to the right.

Our DVDs are stored in two small boxes now.

Next, we moved on to books. Surprisingly, I have very few books. I love my kindle and rarely buy a "real" book. I do have a small collection of favorites that I am not willing to part with. Mike has a larger collection, but did get rid of at least 20. Progress! We are down to 3 small shelves of books.

Those vertical files might still look like a lot, but I got  rid of at least 5 of them. They house some office supplies and papers. I like office supplies They bring me joy. I pared down the contents to my favorites and kept them: file folders, stickers, in progress paperwork, important documents to save, user manuals, tissue paper, and party supplies/gift supplies. I used to have 3 vertical files just of user manuals. I had manuals for things I didn't even own anymore. Sad, people!

Paperwork was next on my list. 

BEFORE: This thing was overflowing and disorganized. Don't mind the white box in the photo; I hid the name/password for our wireless. 

Since you are supposed to gather everything in a category when you purge according to this book, I gathered up the paperwork in our kitchen too. The paperwork repository in our kitchen is empty now.

AFTER: I have one folder for tax documents as I collect them over the year. One for Ben's kindergarten registration. One for Liv's therapy program. One for some items that need action.

Then there were some random things: cords to who-knows-what, paint swatches that I'll never need, a box of small picture frames that I didn't use on the gallery wall. Why was I saving these things? The cords and paint swatches all went in the garbage. I pulled out one frame for our office and donated the rest.

Speaking of donations, here is the pile of crap that I was dealing with. This is half bags for donation and half empty bins/baskets/boxes from getting rid of so much. 

Friday on my lunch break I dropped off our donations at Goodwill. The boxes and bins I'll keep until I'm done purging. The author recommends this and it makes sense. When I get to other items in our house,(especially things stored in the garage and basement), I might need some of these.

Next, I moved our desk to a different wall to make the room feel bigger. On the wall that previously housed the desk, I put this thinner profile shelf and my DIY bulletin board that I made years ago. The office is not completely purged (still have CDs to upload to the computer and get rid of all the cases; photos, momentos, etc. to sort through). 

I did go through all my pens/markers that you see below. I got rid of any that didn't bring me joy. Office supplies bring me a lot of joy. 

Notice that the green shelf hardly has anything on it now. There is the art that I printed for free (tidy desk, tidy mind) in the frame I salvaged from the box, my organized gift bag collection in the bottom basket, and a plant. I think once I'm done purging the other office areas, this shelf won't be needed. But I painted it myself and love the color, so who knows... It does bring me joy. I'll have to think over the shelving arrangement in here once I'm done.

The author does say you should not containerize or organize anything until you are totally done. But I had to get stuff up off the floor, so I put some on the shelf. It is easy to pull it all off and reassess once all items in here are purged. Soon, I hope. Stay tuned. :-)