Making Space

The last few months have been tough for us, financially. We have been job hunting for Pat, hoping to find something a bit more in line with his interests and schooling. (He just finished the Cisco Network Administration certification at Algonquin College. He would love to have networking be a part of his job). I have gone back to work at Belly Laughs (which is both awesome and dangerous. Being pregnant around all the awesome products? Siiiigh). We’ve been cutting back where we can, and taking a close look at what we have in our home and lives and whether or not it’s actually necessary.

One of things we decided to finally be done with is our portable storage unit. We’ve had it in our driveway for a year now. We got it when we were planning on moving and needed to store some of our stuff for showings. Then we used it to store Pat’s motorcycle(s) over the winter. Well, there’s no reason to be paying for something like that when it really is time for us to tackle the stuff once and for all. There were boxes in there from Mom’s estate. That’s stuff that has been sitting, boxed up, for 5 years. So, we emptied it out and had them come take it away. That means that our house is a bit of a disaster while we slowly make our way through the mountains of STUFF.

Mountains of boxes in our dining roomYeah, that’s our dining room. How are we ever going to fit another kid in this house? No, seriously, how? Do you have any tips or suggestions? I have no idea how to store the mix of preschooler and baby toys, and where are the big baby gear is going to go. Playpen? Swing? The house is feeling very very small right now.

So, here we are, beginning of June, and I am finally facing a ton of estate stuff that has been hidden away for years. We can’t keep it all. We just can’t. Our place just isn’t big enough. Time to get serious and really only keep useful, loved or beautiful items. Wish us luck!

 

Overwhelmed

I am having one of those weeks where I am so overwhelmed by the events of the world that I don’t know what to say about any of it. My heart is broken and I am scared for the world, really.

Life continues on here. I am still decluttering and packing. I’m not sure that we, as a family, have for sure decided to move, but I have decided, as an individual, to take the leap and start prepping for it anyway. I have a storage unit that arrived yesterday, and we have a short list of houses left to see. We have two contenders at the moment, so we are close. Once we have decided on the house we want, we will list ours. I am absolutely dreading the showing process, but it’s a necessary evil in this process. For those looking to snag some free stuff, I will be posting a lot of the stuff I am hoping to get rid of on facebook. Add me! :D Local pick up only, please. Ain’t nobody got time for the post office.

In an attempt to get past all the crazy in the world right now, I want to focus on the things that make me smile. Here are some of my current favourite things:

 

For the Home:

One of my fave things in the world right now is the Buy Nothing movement. Inspired by the various Freecycle communities online, the Buy Nothing groups are neighbourhood specific. Ours in Barrhaven is super busy and has some great items and services. This is where I am posting the majority of my stuff. I have also snagged some amazing items here for us. So, if you want to find some great used items for your home, while being frugal, or you need a place to declutter, check to see if there is a Buy Nothing group near you.

For my Kid:

Liam recently received a Tricycle from a neighbour and has been practically attached to the thing. To keep my kiddo safe and to practice safe bicycle riding, I insist on him wearing a helmet. Good habits are awesome when they start young. We especially love this great Nutcase helmet we got him:

For my ears:

I’ve been really digging this Hey Rosetta! song, “Welcome”, about the birth of a child.

And my tune for the summer has for sure been Kongos, Come with me now.

And my latest obsession is July Talk. They are just so cute.

And with that, I am off. I will try to post more “Stuff I love” posts as I have plenty of those things that I adore. Cheers!

 

Fall Back

Oh, Daylight Savings Time. So many people are so well rested, thanks to you. Parents, not so much. Luckily, our little dude didn’t get me up too early (6:30 new time, which is totally tolerable for me. Thanks little man). He’s already up there napping, so I’m taking advantage of the quiet by sharing a few things while I have the chance.

Firstly, here is our Halloween costumes that I mentioned the other day:

chewi3

Definitely not my best picture, but we are so awesome that it doesn’t even matter

We went as Mama and Baby Wookies. It was a blast. Liam absolutely loved being able to run with abandon through stores and hallways of the mall. I loved seeing all of the adorable halloween babies. Definitely my favourite day of the year.

We didn’t do much after hanging out at the mall, sadly. Little man was completely exhausted after having such a great time that he passed out from 4-7, and then again at 9 for the night. I ordered in Chinese food and set a plate out for the dead passing through. Before bed, I put out a small bowl of honey and milk and called it a night.

The other thing I wanted to share should probably fall into its own post, but I’m feeling lazy (thanks left over halloween candy!), so you get to enjoy it here. We recently moved Liam over to his own room, and as a result, I have another UFYH chapter!

UFYH – Liam’s Room

This space has gone through many makeovers since we moved into the house. Originally, it was used as a craft room/catch all/cat’s space by the previous owners.

cr1This is from their house listing. As you can see, it had teal carpeting, and a hand made cat ledge at the window. This room was my space, but I didn’t have much of a budget to work with. First, we replaced the carpet with a plush beige carpet and painted the walls a vibrant leafy green. Pat helped me install floating IKEA shelves on the inner wall to accomodate my large collection of comic books and knitting patterns.

This was my refuge. All of my books, crafts and music went into this room. I loved it!

When we found out we were expecting, despite having a larger guest room as an option, we both knew that the craft room was a better space for a kid. Firstly, it doesn’t share a wall with our loud neighbours. Secondly, while small, it was the perfect size for a wee one. It would force us to keep it tidy and to keep the number of toys in the space limited. I loved the colour for a nursery, so it was great that I didn’t need to repaint!

cr6While Liam slept in our room (either co-sleeping with us in the bed, or in his larger crib), the nursery was the place that I took him to have some wiggle time on the floor, or to read a story in my lap. We brought in an old dresser that had been my sister’s dresser when she was a child. We purchased a cheap small bookshelf to hold on to our small children’s literature collection. Tracy and I put up the few insect decals that she had gifted us from Toys R Us around the room. The cradle was a gift from Jan and Cathy. It’s a family heirloom. All of the Heffernan girls slept in it <3 While the space acted more like storage, Maddie’s Crate was moved back in, making it more of a baby’s playroom and the Dog’s Bedroom.

Last week, Pat and I tackled the space. It was time to get little man out of our room and into his own space. I was waking him with my tossing and turning. It hurt my heart, but I knew it was time.

First we moved Maddie’s crate into the guest room. We then gave the carpet a very deep cleaning. We removed the blinds and hung some black out curtains (darkness is very important to baby nap time!). We hung some art and set up his new and wonderful Montessori bed (a birthday gift from Jan, Cathy and the girls!). We went with sort of an eclectic fairy tale themed space. Natural mixed woods, vintage pieces, woodland animals and bugs, dragons, child-like without being too cartoony. The art is hung low to compliment the Montessori aspect of the space. I want him to be able to see the art and enjoy it.

What we have in the room:

  • Bunting by A Fete Beckons
  • Liam’s Name Letters – Created by our friends S & K. Letters were painted white and decorated with Star Wars characters
  • Strange heirloom embroidery that I found in my mother’s trunk.
  • Decals by Carter’s, at Toys R Us
  • Owl Night Light from Belly Laughs
  • Bedding from Zara Kids.
  • Nursing chair by La-Z-Boy
  • Curtains from Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Wall Mirrors & Floating Shelves by IKEA
  • Elephant & Animals textile, gift from Pat’s co-worker.
  • Vintage Fox Art – from Pat’s nursery as a kid
  • Word Art, from grassgreendesigns

I’ll try to post some better pictures of these details later. The room is mostly done,  but I still have plans for it. We have a beautiful owl fram that Tracy had given us for the room when Liam was born. I’d like to print a picture of her with him for it. I also have some art from my own nursery as a child that I need to get framed. I’m also thinking about getting something like this for the space:

il_570xN.194462929il_570xN.497839539_cisp

There’s also some art I was considering:

il_570xN.357629545_29jw

il_570xN.368105789_79yk

il_570xN.416369710_2vi4il_570xN.239439992il_570xN.429312908_f8g9 il_570xN.334228303

So many things!  Anyway, I hope you liked this little look into Liam’s room. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. <3

Mabon 2010

Depending on when you celebrate it, it’s Mabon time! (Or Ostara for those across the way) I’ll probably be celebrating tomorrow, but we’ll see how I’m feeling later today. I wish you all the best, whether you celebrate it or not. For me, it is so timely, it’s almost too perfect.  There are plenty of blogs out there that tell you all about Mabon, so let me be brief.

For me, Mabon is about recognizing and celebrating the bounty of life, as well as what I call “Fall Cleaning”. It’s about preparing for the colder months, tidying and making yourself and your space ready.

Fall has always been my favourite season, followed closely in second by Spring. I think the reason I’m so drawn to these two transitional seasons is that they offer so much promise. You can feel the energy of change in the air. It’s invigorating. The colours are incredible, and the weather can be spectacular. From an early age, fall meant a new beginning, with the start of school. Several of my jobs have started in the fall as well, after I finished University. It just seems like the appropriate time to take a step forward and make a change in your life.

I took this week off work, not realizing that it was Mabon. My plan was to go through the house and give it a deep clean. I want to go through our things and make piles for storage so that we can claim our space while we’re here. I’m tired of feeling like our house dictates our life and creates this constant sense of clutter and anxiety. For some great tips on magical decluttering, check out this post by the Domestic Witch.

An unplanned celebration of past experience is that I’ve started scrapbooking. Pat’s best friend, Jan, asked me if I would be interested in hanging out and working on our books together. I’ve been meaning to do this for YEARS (I got my first bit of scrapbooking stuff about 7 years ago for my birthday from a close friend, I have yet to touch a single page) so I figured it was the perfect time. It’s been really fun going through old pictures and picking out the ones that I want to be part of a collection.

Pat and I are planning on going out for dinner this weekend to celebrate three months of marriage. It may seem like a small silly thing, but I’ve always believed that three months is what it takes for me to adapt to a new situation, and if we can get through three months and still be just has happy as we were the day we wed, then I think we’ll be ok for a long time. :)

Unfortunately, this week also holds some harder events. One is a meeting with the family to decide the fate of the “stuff” within my mother’s house. I am very very nervous about this and can only pray that it goes well. Lastly, this week also holds the 2 year anniversary of my father’s death.

Coolest Dad Ever

My father and I were very close. I wouldn’t say that I was a Daddy’s Girl, but we definitely had a close and unique relationship that I am very lucky to have had. We were all completely shocked when he passed away suddenly two years ago. His health seemed to be decent (for a man of his weight and medical history) and so we were completely taken off guard when he was found dead on the kitchen floor of the family home, from an apparent heart attack. I miss him every day, and am lucky that he has visited me in my dreams many times since his death. My life will never be the same without him, though I am glad that he went exactly the way he wanted to – quickly, with minimal pain, and in the comfort of his own home.

So, all together I bring a lot with me to my altar on Mabon. Lots to be thankful for and lots to work through.  I’m wishing you all the best in the new season :)

Lists, Dreams and Decluttering

Hi all! I hope you had a great weekend :) It was a long weekend for me, thanks to our summer hours program at work. The weekend was full of family and close friends, which is exactly what I needed. No cleaning or yard work was accomplished, but it can wait. I took the time to sit back and let good company mend my heart a bit.

My girls and I, right before the ceremony, taking a moment to breath and connect with one another at my wedding.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, about ways to improve my life. It can be really hard, when you’re completely bogged down by depression, so I’ve been doing something that often helps keep my mind looking to the future – planning, dreaming and list making.

First thing on my list is to take a good look at our place and start to go through things. Don’t ask me when I’ll have the time to do all of this, but I’m going to try. Pat and I need to get ourselves a storage unit soon anyway, to house the stuff that we’re getting from my parents’ estate. I’m thinking it’s a good time to go through everything and make three piles. One for tossing/selling, one for keeping in our current house and one for storage. Our place is just too small for all the furniture and STUFF that we have.

Our office, after I set it all up, but before clutter and AngryAncientKitty moved in

Every room is packed to the brim, and I think this is definitely contributing to my feelings of stress and failure at keeping my house clean and friendly.  There are rooms that are just not getting used right now, and that seems silly to me. Things that I’m planning include decluttering the dining room and make it a formal dining room again, as well as a show case for family pictures. The other room, as much as it pains me, is my craft room. Sure, I use my supplies alot, but never the space. I’m seriously considering making it a guest bedroom. We have guests at least three times a season, so it would be nice to put them somewhere other than our pull out couch in the living room. We’ll see. We don’t have the space for my spare Queen bed, so other then fighting for my Dad’s old single, I don’t know that it’s a feasible plan. Oh well. Something to think about anyway.

For those who are also thinking about decluttering, I have a link to share. Even though he’s not really posting any more, due to illness in the family, I highly recommend my friend phil’s youtube series “Out of the Dog House” where he goes over the process of decluttering your life.

The next thing on the list is figure out how to make myself feel like I’m making an effort with my spirituality. I’ve been blessed with new friends who share some common beliefs, who have given me great conversations and lots to think about. I, for the first time in 8 years, have different plans for Samhain. Since I turned 19 I’ve been attending the  Witches Gathering, a costume party and ritual at a downtown club, hosted by the Ottawa pagan community. Even with all the drama and politics, I’ve only missed one year (2008. Dad had just died, and I wasn’t feeling up to it at all). This year I’m going to a party and rit held by a group that I’ve never met before, but who are close to a good friend of mine. I think it’s important that I start doing other things and forging my own path. Obviously sticking to this old one hasn’t served me all that well, and it’s no longer leading me towards learning and new connections. I also want to start doing some serious thinking and meditating on exactly what I believe and maybe get back to work with some of the exercises I had started with a year or two ago. (Namely some Shamanism stuff by Ted Andrews, more stuff from Ellen Dugan)

The big one on the list is to take some time to think about what I’d like to do with myself in terms of my career. I’ve been in admin for a long time now, but it’s never been where I wanted to end up. No offense to anyone else in the field, I just find I tend to fall into a funk really quickly when I work admin and it’s just not what makes me happy. I’ve attempted a few things over the years, and I find I’m now afraid to try, put money into something and then discover yet again that it’s not my cup of tea. Having said all of that, I am seriously considering working towards getting my Early Childhood Educator’s diploma. I enjoy working with young kids, it would open up some new doors for me, specifically at Mothercraft, which is where I’d love to work. I don’t want to run a daycare, but it would be nice to teach on a part time basis. Also, it would be great for learning those things in general, as I do want to start a family in the next year or two.

So, that’s where my mind has been at lately :) I’m going to try to post more. I have some baking to do tonight, so perhaps I’ll share a recipe!