Decluttering, again.

I am sure that there is a symbol of our crazy lives in all of this,  but I am sitting here amazed that despite all the hard work we’ve put in so far,  we still have so much a head of us.

We are sitting in limbo again. We are living in the grey zone of “want need the hell out of suburbia NOW”  and “we refuse to settle for a home that isn’t right”.

We have to cautiously get ourselves ready for selling (fall is right around the corner and is prime selling time), without burning out again and ending up discouraged like last time.

Despite all of our hard work last time and my many instalments of UFYH,  we have so much stuff. Everywhere. It just keeps growing and growing. I clean around it,  I shift it around the house,  and try to ignore it,  but it is taking over.
Part of my problem is that I have inherited my parents value of stuff (“but that cost $40 two years ago! It’s like new! Sure,  we never use it but we miiiight. One day. I can’t just get rid of it!” and “but that was my mother’s embroidery stuff! Sure,  it’s been in storage for 60 years but it means something to me!”)

I’m trying to be ruthless, but it’s so hard to move past those kinds of thoughts. I feel guilt for money long spent and I feel heartbroken about giving up items owned by family that I have since lost.

How do you keep your homes tidy? Do you declutter? Any tips for us? I need help!

Catching Up

I always feel like I have so much to share with you, until I click that little “New Post” button. My mind then goes blank or fills with “Meh, no one cares about that…”

So, I’ll try my best to ignore that and keep talking. Life has been trucking on. I attended the Brockville Babywearing group meet last month and had a blast, despite being late (screw you Google Maps). It was such a wonderful group of women and kiddos. I loved sharing my collection of carriers, or my “Magical Trunk” as it was referred to by the end of the meet. I spread the ring sling love and taught a few short carries.

Unfortunately, Liam managed to catch himself a case of Hand, Foot and Mouth while we were there, so we have been stuck inside with an unhappy and sore toddler for the last two weeks. Thankfully, we finally managed to get outside a couple of days ago and both feel so much better for it.

Liam, loving the park after being sick.

Liam, loving the park after being sick.

Another big thing that has been going on for us is that we fell in love with a house, got all ready to buy that house and then discovered it was a lemon. All within about a week. We were pretty heartbroken and have finally recovered to the point that we have realized we do still want to move, so we have started talking with an agent and will hopefully be fleeing the ‘burbs for a taste of country living! I can’t tell you house excited I am to start over somewhere new. We will be close enough to town that we can still see our peeps (Jenn, Krista, you aren’t rid of me yet!), while also being closer to my bestie, Sarah. Moving will mean some major life changes for us (getting rid of our blue beastie SUV for two smaller cheaper vehicles, living far more modestly, etc…), but I feel like I’m ready. I want to be in our forever home, so that every change and upgrade we make is for us, not the next owners. 

Otherwise, we have some travels coming up for us. Nothing fancy or major, but just a roadtrip to Montreal for a funeral. I’m dreading the drive and attempting to get a 2 yr. old to sit through the service, so wish us luck. Any tips or tricks on surviving this are welcome and appreciated. 

Summer Solstice

Happy belated solstice to everyone!

We had a lovely, if not a little busy, weekend. We spent as much time out in the sun as we could and had a great time doing it.

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On Saturday, we decided to attend our very first Pow Wow. There is an annual solstice event held here in Ottawa, at Vincent Massey Park. It’s a great free event, with pony rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and a Pow Wow. Liam loved seeing the animals, and running around the huge park. Unfortunately, the Pow Wow was quite late starting and he lost patience before much started. We did get to watch the Grand Entrance and enjoy some tasty bevvies though.

That's Liam's "What is this delicious Strawberry Drink?!" face

That’s Liam’s “What is this delicious Strawberry Drink?!” face

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It was such a great time. I’d recommend this event to everyone! Next year I’ll be sure to plan better, as we didn’t bring much cash with us and ended up missing out on lots of tasty treats as a result. I loved the smell of sage, cedar and sweetgrass in the air. It was such a beautiful thing :)

We did a lot of yard work and tidying inside. I always find the need to put things in order around the sabbats and esbats. We have a massive amount of decluttering ahead. Our poor tiny house is starting to feel overrun with stuff again.

Meanwhile, I have a busy week ahead! I have two babywearing teaching events going on. Tomorrow is my first one-on-one appointment and on Friday, I’m off to Brockville to attend their local meet up with some of my carriers for show and tell. Can’t wait!
What are you up to this week? Did you do anything special for the Solstice?

Thinking

I am sitting in bed right now,  thinking. I feel like it is the day after a raging party and the hangover fog is starting to lift.

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I dropped the ball,  guys. I haven’t been taking very good care of myself. I got very overwhelmed at the beginning of Feel Great in 8 and decided “Fuck this! Fuck weight loss! Screw all this forced selfcare! ” and went to the other extreme – self-neglect under the guise of self-indulgence. I have gained almost 10lbs since then and,  even more awful,  I have been neglecting my spirit. I got distracted and stopped looking in.

Tonight,  while Pat was at class doing an exam and while Liam slept,  I thought about what I want. It has been a while since I gave myself the freedom and the love to thing about myself and my wants. This is what I have come up with so far:

. When my kids are in school,  I want a career that I feel good about
-flexible hours
-passionate work
-no office

Post partum doula,  babywearing advisor and breastfeeding counsellor?

. I need to market the skills I have now. Who knows who may want to hire me for what I can give them now

Create a personal page to market my tarot reading,  cleansings and baby wearing skills.

. I need to be creative and crafty

Reclaim my craft room. Start sewing again. Maybe sell some stuff? Look into getting and learning to use a serger. Start allowing myself to think and work through personal thought without guilt,  fear and self-loathing.

. Take better care of my body.

Focus on eating better,  removing the junk from the house,  maybe bring back our CSA order. Be more active. Concern myself less with the number on the scale. Recognize the beauty I do have,  at the size and in the shape that I am. Start wearing the fitbit again. Get my hair done. Enjoy a spa day. Get more sleep. Drink more water and less coffee.

. Simplify

Work on getting the house organized. Cut down on the crap that we have. No more shopping. Stick to budget.

Well,  that’s it for now. Clearly, that is a lot going on in my head right now. Thanks for letting me talk it through ;)  maybe now I can get some sleep.

Abby Add-On

Hey guys!

I just wanted to let you know that my latest review is up over on the Belly Laughs blog and youtube channel. Please go check it out and let me know what you think. I’m new to this video review thing, so I appreciate all the feedback  you can give me!

As a fun tie in to the Abby review, I decided to do a quick “What’s in my bag”  photo to show you what I carry with me on a typical day, as well as a quick talk about those fave bits and bobs that I carry with me everywhere!

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For Liam:

  •  Toys! I never ever leave home without at least a few toys. If I know I’m going to be seeing one or more of his buddies, I try to bring enough toys for everyone. Yes, really. Today, we have the much loved B Toys Cell Phone (I love this thing, you can record your own little message in it! It’s one of the few Yule gifts Liam received that he still plays with regularly.), a couple matchbox cars and a school bus (which we purchased at Belly Laughs, available in store only). During the Summer time, I always make sure to bring a bottle of bubbles with me where ever I go. These have proven to be invaluable to me. They are the instant smile-maker in our house. These are the Melissa and Doug Turtle Bubbles, which have a great handle that Liam can easily manage. Available at Belly Laughs, in store only.
  • Diapering Supplies. We are starting Potty Learning, so we are almost exclusively in Pull Ups now. I usually carry 2 with us. I also bring along a pack of wipes, as they are great for all kind of clean ups. I always make sure to pack a small diaper cream as well. Our current favourites are Substance Nappy Rash Ointment as well as CJ’s BUTTer Plus (which has added ingredients to help combat and treat yeast)
  • Outdoor Care. I never leave home without some sunscreen for Liam and myself, Our current favourite is the sprayable Goddess Garden Organics. This year has been brutal for mosquitos, so I’ve been carrying around this amazing essential oil blend “In the Bush” from Butterfly Weed that helps keep bugs off. I also have a cute pair of sunglasses for the little man, should the mood strike him. (This cute blue pair were a steal in store at Joe Fresh). Not pictured, I usually also have some first aid stuff, namely a few cute bandaids in my wallet and some Dimpleskins Boo Boo Goo.
  • For the Belly. As a mother to a growing boy, I realize I will forever have to travel with snacks in tow. I love this adorable snack trap to keep all the cheesy fishies contained. I also bring along some water, as playing is thirsty work. I’m a fan of these Avent bottles. They really are leak proof.
  • Carry Me. I always have at least one carrier with me when I’m out with Liam (this includes short walks to the mailbox), especially now that little man has returned to loving being in our arms or on our backs. My carrier of choice lately has been the ring sling, as it is super compact, easy to store and perfect for those toddler ups and downs. Shown here is my lovely purple Maya Ring Sling.

For Mama:

  • Hydration. Staying hydrated is a major part of my day. I love this Nalgene bottle. It’s small enough that I don’t feel like a pack mule carrying it around, but large enough to carry the water that I need while I’m out and about.
  • Cosmetics. I love me some lip products and always have more than one on hand. In this case, I have my absolutely favourite gloss, Black Honey by Clinique. It looks great on everyone. Seriously. Next is the beautiful and near Dior Addict Glow balm by Dior. It is a different colour on everyone, sort of like a mood lipstick that is actually pretty. On me it’s a bright petal pink. I also carry one plain old lip balm with me everyone. This time it’s the Lavender and Vanilla Meringue balm by Earth Mama Angel Baby.
  • Skin Care. As most of you know, I have Eczema and it is especially bad on my hands and arms. I never leave home without some kind of hand cream. My favourite lately has been X Cream by Earth To Body. It’s not too heavy or oily, but is heavy enough to actually make a difference on my very dry hands.
  • Knitta What?! Even when I don’t have a craft project with me, I do like to carry my very handy Knit Kit with me everywhere I go. Just in case. I know, I’m ridiculous.
  • Smart phone. I live on my LG G2 beasty. I loves it.
  • Calling George Costanza. My giant, beautiful and incredibly full Petunia Pickle Bottom wallet goes with me everywhere.
Yep, that's me.

Yep, that’s me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my big bag! I know it seems crazy to carry all that with me, all the time, but I promise you that it isn’t that heavy and it all fits in my amazing Abby Convertible Diaper Bag with lots of room to spare. If you have any questions, please ask! I love to talk about the products that I can’t live without. What do you carry with you when you are out and about with your little one?

31

Today is my birthday. I am 31, and I think this marks the end of the first year where I felt like an Adult. 30 had it’s challenges. There were many ups and downs, a fair number of struggles. I felt my priorities shift and my motivations were very different. It also marks the year that I came out of my PPD fog and started feeling like a person again.

I’m not saying that I’m “Better”. I don’t know if that’s a word that will ever apply to me or my situation. If anything, I think I have learned this year that we all have our own ability to cope. Our own threshold of pain. I know that there are people out there who are living through situations that I couldn’t even fathom and they are doing ok. There are also people who have what could be considered “Normal” lives who suffer every minute of every day. We are all fighting our own battles, and that’s ok. At this moment, on this day, I’m ok.

I know that lately I’ve been worrying some of you, as well as some of my friends. I find that when I open the doors to how I’m feeling I tend to concern people. It doesn’t help that the last few months have been especially trying (spring time always is for me). I do want to take the time to firstly thank those of you who have approached me out of love and concern. It means a lot to me that you are thinking of me and want me to be happy. I do want you to know that I am doing ok. Yes, there are hard days. Who doesn’t have hard days? But over all, I am happy. I have a beautiful family, a fantastic home, a job that I adore, food in our cupboards and our bellies, and clothes on our backs. I also understand that it can be hard for someone to understand that I have a need to express myself (ah, the curse of being a Gemini), and yet, once the feelings are made words, I often feel incredible relief. I have been through so much in the last 15 years. What we are facing now is difficult, but it doesn’t even compare to my worst days. When things are bad, we have support. Thank you for all of your love and concern. I truly appreciate it.

Last week my friends stole me away and spoiled me silly with a girls night out. I drank a lot and laughed even more. I tried my first deep fried pickle. It was amazing. Today, my little posse of mums and kids went out to the children’s museum and had a blast while the kids ran circles around a big empty space (the actual children’s museum was PACKED, so we hung out near the bistro and relaxed). I got to wear Liam in the Tula, I was hug-tackled by the toddlers and I made one of the babies laugh. It was perfect. Tomorrow we are having a birthday dinner for me and then on Saturday, one of my favourite people are moving to this neck of the woods. It’s been a wonderful time.

I feel so much love around me. I have found the most amazing people and have created the most wonderful family. Happy Birthday to me. <3

Me and S, enjoying my kidnapping

Me and S, enjoying my kidnapping

Me and my ladies, at the pub.

Me and my ladies, at the pub.

Working from home

We are launching the new social media model this month for the shop. As a result, we are busy little bees this week! On top of that, I am still a nursing momma to a teething moody toddler. This is what my morning looks like:
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Want to follow me at work too? Here’s where you can find me:

Belly Laughs Instagram
Belly Laughs Facebook
Belly Laughs Pinterest
Belly Laughs Blog