Friday, September 30, 2011

Phase Complete

Well, I have 50 items ready to go to this consignment thingummy. They are tidy, in "excellent" condition (I really hope so, but doubt my judgment, if only because I'm really messy), and tagged and numbered. On Sunday or Monday I'll go and drop them off, affixing price stickers with bar codes to each of the tags. If everything sells, I'll have earned over $150 for the parish, which isn't too bad.

There are lots of feelings of guilt:
*I never used this and I should have! (The baby is much too large to fit into it now, let alone at Christmas.)
*I should keep that because so-and-so gave it to TG! (He doesn't use it, it's dreadfully awkward, and I think it's ugly and don't want to look at it.)
*TG wants to play with these cars! (As opposed to the ones spilling out of his toy bins, or opposed to the ones I've confiscated and hidden elsewhere because there are too many cars?)
*I didn't appreciate this enough to use it! What a rotten person! (Oh, get over yourself, lady. The kids are happy and the husband is happy and someone else will enjoy it.)

As you may be able to tell, I've been arguing with myself all day, and the unparenthetical me is kinda whiny. (The parenthetical me is rather chatty, but isn't that what parentheses are for?)

I don't have anything else to say, so let's see whether I can make it to bed with the lights out before 2 o'clock! (Yeah, you'll probably have to wait on that, and I'll probably forget. You're still supposed to root for me, right?)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Consignment Idea

Let's just say I'm glad it's only a semi-annual event, and that I only found out about it yesterday.

Reasons I feel guilty:
*As you received without pay... give without pay. Yes, I plan on giving the money to the parish, but I do want to take out expenses. That doesn't really sound like it's in the spirit of the apostles. Is this the first step down a path I don't want to walk?
*How can I give away things which people gave to me!? (I am trying to be ruthless and repress that thought. I can't quite bear to part with the handmade blankets, even if we'll never use them.)
*I don't even pay this much attention to what I wear.
*Keeping anything to provide for a mythical third child. Am I robbing someone by keeping things I'm not using right away? Is it bad to keep things for my grandchildren?

I think I'd do a lot better by ignoring some of these questions rather than trying to answer them.

Reasons I feel frustrated:
*Gah! Children's hangers!
*I have no idea how to price anything. Why? People are VERY generous to me. I get excited when I get to buy something for TG, and I'm still on single digits there, apart from getting onesies in bulk ... which was mostly to use up gift cards, but was still exciting because I got to pick them out. I have never bought children's shoes (except pool shoes).

When I buy clothes for myself, unless I have the burden of a gift card (here, have money, but you have to spend it at a particular place: it's the thought that counts), I prefer to shop at a thrift store. Mostly because if I get stressed out, there's a toy section, a household section, and, most importantly, a book section. They don't have those right nearby in the stores in the mall. So I get sticker shock going into any place that sells things first-hand. (Don't get me started on bookstores. Even the Goodwill bookstore is too expensive in my reverse snobbery mind.)

I think I have departed from the intent of the blog. (Both in what I've been writing and doing consignment.) Well, we'll see how it goes.

I've selected things to sell. I have pricing supplies. I need to clean a baby backpack. I've put everything on hangers (wretched little beasts). I've sorted things by size. I've even found some nice-enough children's toys in the mass covering the dining room table. I've started attaching little tags with little safety pins, completing everything but the clothes themselves.

This is a lot more painstaking than shoving things in boxes or bags and saying, "Yes, please come and get things," to the people who ask for donations periodically.

Tomorrow I'll see about pricing and numbering and entering things online. (Ugh to the first.) But there are still other things to do, like finish the bulletin and see about a sample Irish dance class for TG. (I am using all my willpower: "You will enjoy this enough to continue!")

What else is maddening is that this doesn't even deal with the baby clothes which are too large for LC, nor the boy's clothes too large for TG. It's a start, though, and my husband seems happier. We'll end on that note.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clearing the Clearinghouse

Why the gap in blogging? Well, boys and girls, let's review what I've learned: don't hold both children up at the same time. No, it doesn't matter that it's only for ten seconds. It really hurts, for a surprising length of time. What else have I learned? Pulling a back muscle causes an entirely different kind of pain. This lasts longer and is more intense, and while the lying in bed and reading library books part of things is really nice, the necessity of doing so for three days straight before you can walk upright, let alone hold a baby while doing so... not so much fun. Oh, and that thing I learned about not holding both children at the same time? That lesson didn't stick, so I did it again. REALLY. LEARN THIS ALREADY.

And TG turned three. I am very happy that he is no longer a two-year-old. Much of the drama has vanished over the course of the past two weeks. I even like him again. (This is a huge relief.)

So yesterday, while I nursed LC, my husband brought things out of TG's closet: lots of toys and blankets, some from my childhood. We're keeping the little record player, although it probably needs a new needle and we only have three records. I'm giving up the 80s robot that I never really liked playing with anyhow. Other toys I need to check with my sister about, and some things I plan to use with Teddy in the near future (a wipe-off letter-tracing kit and a children's atlas, both of which I'd forgotten about).

My husband is having a really tough time at work, so I tried to get some work done on the two messiest parts of the main area. (Ignore the kitchen with me. I'm not leaving clothes out for the brownies... but then again, I'm not leaving out porridge either.) So I cleaned the living room of the birthday debris. The boxes that toys come in seem to be much harder to disassemble than before!

But then I forgot to take a picture of that "after," and used the living room to work on the things in the Florida room, namely, the giant table of baby clothes. Our parishioners have been so very generous with us. So I sorted through two sets of clothing: 0-3 months and 3-6 months so far. I found a children's consignment place which has two events a year. I have less than a week to get things ready and take them there. It costs $9 to participate, and I need hangers and tags, but they'll donate all the leftovers, and I'm planning to use any profit to donate to our parish. (Not that I don't want to donate clothes to other charities, but I'd like to reduce at least a little of our own parish's debt...)

Without further ado, here are some useless before-and-after photos.

Florida room before
Florida room after
living room before
living room after

Aside from noting that I'm really bad *and* lazy about taking pictures today, in the last picture there are two bins on the floor around the coffee table. One bin is sorted clothes kept for a possible future child, and the other bin is Things To Go Out of Our House.

Today I have learned I never want to work in a store that sells baby clothes.

How do I know I've made progress? My husband is happy.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Went through the first box of memorabilia. I left all the adolescent poetry and writings for later, because, well, they're awful. I did throw out quite a bit, and had fun going through some things (like my collection of funny quotations which was started in college).

I also found the box with all my Irish dancing medals in it. Both kids like the way they clinked. I think my favorite part of going to feiseanna was just getting to be with my dad. (My mother thought it a waste of money; she sewed the pieces of my costume together and I believe that was the extent of her involvement. All the other dancers had their mothers involved. The only other fathers there were involved because the whole family danced. My father used to say that he had two left feet and they were both wooden.) This past Saturday, we went to the Clearwater Beach Feis and had fun. TG liked the "noisy" shoes, and LC was simply delighted. (She delighted more than one person, too!) Still uncertain whether TG will want to learn, but I have the information about the dancing school closest to us, who offers a free first lesson. Maybe I'll wait until after his third birthday this month.

This box is the hardest I've had to go through, maybe because I've gone through it so many times before. I don't need old fencing programs, or the poetry/art magazines from high school (which I wasn't in).

The first item from the box was a reminder of a very low point in life, so that made it even harder to get through the rest of the box... which took all day.

I did manage to sort through the next three-months'-worth of baby clothes, as LC is growing at a ferocious pace. As she is also starting to be ferociously mobile, the husband took apart the nursery bed and put the mattress on the floor, with a rug and some padded boxes (the mattress is a foot tall), to give her more room than the cage-like crib affords. So maybe that will help get rid of that set of antique furniture. It's nice to have a child's room with lots of playspace on the floor, I think.

I've been doing my best to hang onto the resolutions, marking down the times I get up and go to sleep, my weight, my current Psalm verse for memorization, and the rung on the Hacker's Diet fitness ladder. I did have to realize that I can't do the prone leg lifts and it's not my fault because I had back surgery and am physically unable to do these. That realization was quite a relief, as the metal rods at least mean that it's not *just* that I'm really out of shape and lazy.

I'm getting slightly better about going to bed before midnight, and have finished memorizing the first two psalms. The weight is fluctuating all over, which I think is partially because, although I try to weigh myself first thing in the morning, sometimes it's only after I nurse LC and other times before, so that would kinda make a huge difference. I feel less flabby when I'm exercising, though, and I have been mostly successful at limiting my dessert intake.

I may be starting to burn out on the decluttering, and I think the best choice here is to work some more on the theology of this whole plan. I very much appreciate the comments shared on this blog so far. Please keep me in your prayers.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Uncluttering From Afar

Today I disposed of my prom dress, my high school letter jacket, and my Irish dance costume. My mother was going through one of the closets at her house and emailed me about those items. It was hard, but I will never wear them again.