I'm not ready to keep my house clean yet, and its getting bothersome :( EDIT: Maybe I am ready? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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we have a stroller in our living room. its lived there since we took it out of the trunk of our car. we're saving it "in case" we go to the zoo or something, even though 1. its winter now, and we wont be going until it warms up, 2. i usually wear DS, and 3. its super bulky(from one of those travel systems). His (expired) bucket lives on top of the folded up stroller next to the door. we need to throw the bucket now, so thats on my list too i guess
Have you thought about selling your travel system instead of tossing the bucket? You could use the funds from selling it to acquire a nice used stroller that's lighter and easier to store and better meets your needs right now.

I'm impressed by your progress, btw! You sound so much happier than you did in your first post.

Holly

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#62 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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I've had this thread open for a couple of days. I alternate between feeling like I can have people over with an apology, and feeling like the house is incriminating. I live under piles of clutter, even though we've gotten a thousand times better. Since dh came to live with the kids and me, though, we've made some big progress in keeping our house more homelike!

I had two things to add (other than congrats on getting started!!!) .

First -- for a tub scrub -- I mix baking soda with liquid dish soap until it's the consistency of frosting. It's the best. scrub. ever. even for filthy tubs. Keep a bottle of half vinegar, half water handy for the rinse -- vinegar dissolves the soap and reacts with the soda so you can rinse it clean and the tub's not slippery.

Second -- for the laundry -- maybe you and DH can make it a date? Grab a travel version of your fave game (for dh and me, that would be scrabble) and pack it for the laundry mat. It's harder to play games with a LO but certainly possible to play between loads -- then come home and put on a movie together while you fold, and make yourself a treat for when it's put away -- whether it's an outing, a food, or setting aside some special time for intimacy on the laundry-less couch . (Laundry is an enemy here, too, and I have a WD here -- during our laundromat days it was awful!)
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#63 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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If you can afford it at. all. it might be worth finding a full service laundry or a SAHM who wants to do laundry to earn a little extra cash. Check out Craigslist.
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#64 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 02:34 PM
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yk, i was thinking about pack-rat natures.

for years, my DH was a pack rat. amazing stuff. he was also resistant to renting a storage room, so we had to live with the stuff. it was tough on me. . .and he didn't realize it, but also tough on him.

an option is a storage room. one close to where you live where you can store whatever it is that he (you) can't let go of, but don't have any specific use for. shop around and you might find a very inexpensive place to store things. i thinkt he closet that we are renting for our 25 boxes plus one chair (which we plan to move to NZ in a year or more), is about $25/mo. we shopped around for a bargain.

anyway, that's where we are. had to be done. it's all we have (two trunks of toys, 6 bags of clothes, two lap tops, and whatever odds and ends we're talking with us).
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#65 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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oh, and thank you for that recipe for cleaning solution. how big of a bottle of vinegar are you talking about though? i was gonna get some from sams club, don't remember how big the bottle was though...
The bottle of vinegar in my cupboard is currently 64 ozs. It was like a dollar at the grocery store, and I can't remember when I bought it. I use vinegar to clean all the time though.

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#66 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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Have you thought about selling your travel system instead of tossing the bucket? You could use the funds from selling it to acquire a nice used stroller that's lighter and easier to store and better meets your needs right now.

I'm impressed by your progress, btw! You sound so much happier than you did in your first post.

Holly
If the bucket seat is expired (which I think the OP mentioned) it shouldn't be used again. The straps should be cut, the word DAMAGED written on the seat in permanent marker, then the seat needs to be thrown out. If the car seat is expired it isn't considered safe anymore.

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#67 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Watch Hoarders on A&E. Have DH watch it, too. It will make you want to keep clutter in check. Seriously, it really does motivate me to keep on top of things.

I must admit I am a little confused by focusing on cleaning rather that decluterring, first. Imagine a shelf - you have a pile of stuff on it - you pick it up, clean the shelf, and reput the clutter back... Imagine doing that around the house. If people try to clean without declutterring they end up spending a lot of time moving piles around. It is depressing. It makes cleaning harder - and the house never truly looks clean with lots of extra stuff in it.

A really positive activity is to visualise what you want your room to look like. If you have the enrgy - take everything cluttery out of the room and only put back what you visualise there.


I agree with everything above!!

I actually had my older kids watch an episode of Hoarders when they were outright refusing to clean their room. They were super grossed out and picked up and decluttered their room quite nicely after that.

Even if you aren't going to go from one space to another decluttering, at least declutter as you go. As you get rid of things (you could just throw them into boxes labeled "TRASH, DONATE, SELL" for now) you will feel less stressed and you will have less to clean!

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#68 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my kitchen and bathroom are still clean! yay! i cleaned the office/spare room, and DH is doing a load of laundry now(we ran out of clean clothes). the other day, i organized some of the bedroom drawers, and my jewelry. this weekend, i want to tackle the hall closet(needs some serious decluttering!). the living room is messy again tough DS's exersaucer, and my exercise ball seem to be taking up the whole floor! theres still laundry out there(living room) that i need to hang up, and scarves/shawls i need to fold. the bedroom is still a big job, and i'm NOT looking forward to it I dont think i'm gonna have everything clean by this weekend

i think tomorrow, i will fold all the laundry. before i fold the laundry, i will need to tidy the room up, so i can empty the basket onto the floor, and fold the clothes in the order that is easiest for me.

i could sell the stroller, or some of the other things, but i'd rather not. i feel like, since many of these things were given to us, and we got so many clothes as hand-me-downs, we owe it to pass them down to other people who are in need of them, and not sell them. i'm not saying its wrong to sell them, i'm just saying that since we rely a lot on hand-me-downs, i'd like to keep handin' down

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#69 of 80 Old 01-14-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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Sounds like you're making some great progress! Keep it up!!

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#70 of 80 Old 01-15-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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I'm so happy to hear your "tone" you sound so much better now than you did in your first post.

Keep it up. I'm so happy with you.

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#71 of 80 Old 01-15-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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You are doing well mama, very well! Good on you and keep it up!

With the de-cluttering, I just wanted to echo this:

"A really positive activity is to visualise what you want your room to look like. If you have the enrgy - take everything cluttery out of the room and only put back what you visualise there."

It works. Trust me. Take EVERYTHING out. Vacuum the room, dust it, sit in it and visualize what you want it to look like. Now start adding things back in one by one.
My house looked the way you describe yours, some 5 years ago when dd was a baby. A small apartment with stuff everywhere, everywhere, everywhere - and I mean everywhere. Then I realized that I hated our furniture, I hated our belongings - There was simply no motivation to keep everything I hated, clean. So we got rid of stuff. We are still getting rid of stuff via donation. The second I start to loathe taking care of something, out it goes! I don't feel a bit guilty. Someone else will use it and love it! It's unfair of me to hold onto something if I don't appreciate it anyway. I now enjoy cleaning. I enjoy washing those beautiful plates of mine and seeing them dry in the rack, I enjoy dusting the pretty dresser, I enjoy cleaning the glass of the book cabinet... etc.

Goodluck - Although I don't think you need it - You are doing fabulously well as it is!

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#72 of 80 Old 01-15-2010, 12:18 PM
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the visual space is important. if you look into a room that is essentially clean and organized and you see things in there that bother you or feel like clutter--like your exercise ball and the exersaucer--then it's time to take a hard look at those objects.

even if you use them every day, can you live without them? are there alternatives that you and your son can do that would not involve a large object?

in regards to laundry, i know how hard it can be having to use shared, etc laundry facilities. but i will tell you that having a minimalist wardrobe makes it a lot easier.

when my DH and i first lived together, we lived in a small, studio apartment. we had a lot of stuff. this was before my truly minimalist days. i longed for being minimalist (and so did DH), but neither of us knew how to do it.

our laundry facilities were across the street, so not a far journey. but we both had a LOT of clothes, and we would wait until we--quite literally--had nothing to wear. we would wash our laundry in our PJs. we would have something like 18 loads.

i'm sure you can imagine that 18 loads to wash and fold was an overwhelming task!

over the last few years, DH and I have refined our wardrobe down to rather bare essentials. we each have 6 shirts (he has two dress and four long sleeved of different sorts) and 6 undershirts (his are colored short sleeved, so he can wear them out in summer, mine are takes); we have one suit each for dressy occasions; we have 4 pairs of jeans each. etc etc etc. it's very minimalist.

all of our family's clothing--DH's, mine, and DS's--fit into one 6-drawer dresser and we have 1 hanging clothes bag that holds dressing clothes and out-of-season coats. i even have scarves (like your head scarves)--down to a minimal 3. and i love scarves!

by doing this, we have to keep on top of laundry and each load is both easy to wash and easy to fold and put away. we don't feel overwhelmed.

i do a load of laundry every other day. currently, it is in the home where i am staying, and prior to this, in our own home, but prior to that--when we started with minimal wardrobe--it was a laundry mat that i had to *drive* to. so, i would go twice a week. it would be 1-2 loads of laundry to wash, dry, and fold. the whole process would be 2 hrs tops, and i would "reward" myself afterwards by doing something fun!

then, when i got home, i would take the laundry basket (it would take only one basket), and put everything away in the drawers.

by going down to this minimalist wardrobe, we saved a lot of space for storage too. our bedroom had a walk-in closet. i was able to store all of DH's action figure collection, MIL's gifted christmas ornaments collection, and a variety of other storage-y items.

when we finally minimalized completely (to move to NZ), i was shocked at what was in that closet. boxes of old sheets, for example. nutsy stuff. i just hadn't looked at it because the closet was so organized. and looked clean when i went in there. LOL!

anyway, if laundry is an issue for you, i do recommend going to the most minimal wardrobe that you can. then, washing doesn't get overwhelming. and finally, organizing your dressers and closets to accommodate--easily--what you have so that you are motivated to put everything in it's place.

in regards to the kitchen--if this is also an issue for you--minimalism is also a key. we decided--after we realized we never have more than two guests--to go from service for 12 to service for 6.

how did this help? my husband hates doing dishes. so he'll just keep using all of them until all of them are used up. well, that would be 12 plates, 12 salad plates, 12 bowls, 12 glasses, etc. my process is to wash my one dish and then use it again for the next meal and so on. but he likes to pile it up, then fuss while loading the dishwasher, and then fuss while unloading it.

so, when we went down to 6 dishes, we would use 3 for breakfast, and then i would wash them and put them away. because, you see, it was only a few dishes and didn't feel like a lot. then we would have lunch and dinner, and i would wash and put them away. it didn't feel like a lot.

my husband loved how "clean" our kitchen always was, even though all i did was wash the dishes. but even so, he got into the act.

now, he uses a dish, he washes it and puts it away. he'll even wash all of our dishes and put them away! it's a miracle!

by simply having less in the kitchen, i have less to keep up after. we then had more space for food, tea, etc, so much so that we didn't even fill the cupboards! and i had a very, very small kitchen with very little storage!

so, the truth is, it is possible to get there, but as you get deeper into it, you have to make tougher choices--do we really need the exersaucer? do i need 20 different head scarves (i know you do head covering, but one of my good friends does also, and she has three scarves)? do we need the panini press (just an example, i don't know what you have or don't have!)?

even if it's things that you use, you might discover that you don't need so much of whatever you do have, or that what you do have and use you don't really need. and then, you'll have less but you'll live more!

i promise.
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#73 of 80 Old 01-20-2010, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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the visual space is important. if you look into a room that is essentially clean and organized and you see things in there that bother you or feel like clutter--like your exercise ball and the exersaucer--then it's time to take a hard look at those objects.

even if you use them every day, can you live without them? are there alternatives that you and your son can do that would not involve a large object?

in regards to laundry, i know how hard it can be having to use shared, etc laundry facilities. but i will tell you that having a minimalist wardrobe makes it a lot easier.

when my DH and i first lived together, we lived in a small, studio apartment. we had a lot of stuff. this was before my truly minimalist days. i longed for being minimalist (and so did DH), but neither of us knew how to do it.

our laundry facilities were across the street, so not a far journey. but we both had a LOT of clothes, and we would wait until we--quite literally--had nothing to wear. we would wash our laundry in our PJs. we would have something like 18 loads.

i'm sure you can imagine that 18 loads to wash and fold was an overwhelming task!

over the last few years, DH and I have refined our wardrobe down to rather bare essentials. we each have 6 shirts (he has two dress and four long sleeved of different sorts) and 6 undershirts (his are colored short sleeved, so he can wear them out in summer, mine are takes); we have one suit each for dressy occasions; we have 4 pairs of jeans each. etc etc etc. it's very minimalist.

all of our family's clothing--DH's, mine, and DS's--fit into one 6-drawer dresser and we have 1 hanging clothes bag that holds dressing clothes and out-of-season coats. i even have scarves (like your head scarves)--down to a minimal 3. and i love scarves!

by doing this, we have to keep on top of laundry and each load is both easy to wash and easy to fold and put away. we don't feel overwhelmed.

i do a load of laundry every other day. currently, it is in the home where i am staying, and prior to this, in our own home, but prior to that--when we started with minimal wardrobe--it was a laundry mat that i had to *drive* to. so, i would go twice a week. it would be 1-2 loads of laundry to wash, dry, and fold. the whole process would be 2 hrs tops, and i would "reward" myself afterwards by doing something fun!

then, when i got home, i would take the laundry basket (it would take only one basket), and put everything away in the drawers.

by going down to this minimalist wardrobe, we saved a lot of space for storage too. our bedroom had a walk-in closet. i was able to store all of DH's action figure collection, MIL's gifted christmas ornaments collection, and a variety of other storage-y items.

when we finally minimalized completely (to move to NZ), i was shocked at what was in that closet. boxes of old sheets, for example. nutsy stuff. i just hadn't looked at it because the closet was so organized. and looked clean when i went in there. LOL!

anyway, if laundry is an issue for you, i do recommend going to the most minimal wardrobe that you can. then, washing doesn't get overwhelming. and finally, organizing your dressers and closets to accommodate--easily--what you have so that you are motivated to put everything in it's place.

in regards to the kitchen--if this is also an issue for you--minimalism is also a key. we decided--after we realized we never have more than two guests--to go from service for 12 to service for 6.

how did this help? my husband hates doing dishes. so he'll just keep using all of them until all of them are used up. well, that would be 12 plates, 12 salad plates, 12 bowls, 12 glasses, etc. my process is to wash my one dish and then use it again for the next meal and so on. but he likes to pile it up, then fuss while loading the dishwasher, and then fuss while unloading it.

so, when we went down to 6 dishes, we would use 3 for breakfast, and then i would wash them and put them away. because, you see, it was only a few dishes and didn't feel like a lot. then we would have lunch and dinner, and i would wash and put them away. it didn't feel like a lot.

my husband loved how "clean" our kitchen always was, even though all i did was wash the dishes. but even so, he got into the act.

now, he uses a dish, he washes it and puts it away. he'll even wash all of our dishes and put them away! it's a miracle!

by simply having less in the kitchen, i have less to keep up after. we then had more space for food, tea, etc, so much so that we didn't even fill the cupboards! and i had a very, very small kitchen with very little storage!

so, the truth is, it is possible to get there, but as you get deeper into it, you have to make tougher choices--do we really need the exersaucer? do i need 20 different head scarves (i know you do head covering, but one of my good friends does also, and she has three scarves)? do we need the panini press (just an example, i don't know what you have or don't have!)?

even if it's things that you use, you might discover that you don't need so much of whatever you do have, or that what you do have and use you don't really need. and then, you'll have less but you'll live more!

i promise.
boy, was THAT awesome motivating advice! i took it, and now, MY HOUSE IS CLEAN!!!!!!!!!!! and almost all the way decluttered!!!

i've been motivated to declutter lately, so its getting done! i've been spending the days cleaning, and me and DS actually sat down and ate lunch together yesterday. i usually just feed him whenever he's crying, and i snack when i'm feeling famished, but no, i gave him some pasta to eat/play with while i finished up organizing kitchen cabinets/scrubbing grimey oily counters.

yesterday, i organized the cabinets, cleaned the counter, and the microwave(hadn't been cleaned in forever) we had lunch, washed more dishes(from lunch) I put DS to sleep, and i exercised for 25 min or so, then i took a shower, and all before DH came home! when he came home, i made flatbread(to eat with dinner) we ate, i washed more dishes, i organized the "junk drawer" from the living room, cleaned the office room(again--there was goodwill stuff all over the place, and the closet needed to be organized, i did that)and i cut up some old t-shirts to use as rags.

the livingroom is messy now, though it was clean earlier. the only clutter in the livingroom is laundry and goodwill bags.
theres a HUGE pile of laundry that needs to be washed that i moved into the living room a few days ago. DH needs to do this, because i don't think i can, so it probably wont get done until the weekend i'm gonna try to get one or two loads in before then though.

we put a bunch of clothes in bags(the kind you use the vacuum to seal up(spacesaver?)) we got rid of some clothes, but DH is afraid to get rid of much of his, and i can't get rid of mine, because, even though most don't fit me(too small(i'm nursing so the tops don't fit right, and i need to lose weight)), they were made for me, and sent from overseas. they're shalwar kameez, and difficult and expensive to get here if you don't know how to sew, though cheap overseas, but the shipping is expensive. so now, i still have too many outfits(even though i have less than DH does) and after we do this huge bunch of laundry(looks like 8-9 loads) we'll put away/get rid of more clothes.

i still want to reduce the amount of "stuff" we have. we probably wont be able to take the bags to goodwill until the weekend, and since we wont be able to have all the laundry done until the weekend, i should hurry up and declutter everything i can.

BUT, now we've lost the cord for DH's ipod touch. the battery is dead, and needs to be recharged, but i don't know where the cord is, we've looked EVERYWHERE. Unless he took it out of the house, it is probably somewhere in the living room(under the pile of clothes?) or in one of the goodwill bags

today, i have a kitchen cabinet to clean out, some more dishes to wash, bread to make, bookshelves to organize, and our bedroom closet shelves to organize. I want to make eggplant today too, before it gets old. doesn't seem too daunting when DH gets home, I want to clean the bathroom and kitchen floors, and the bathtub, bathroom sink, and mirrors.

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#74 of 80 Old 01-20-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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I'm so happy for you!

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#75 of 80 Old 01-20-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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that is so fantastic!
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#76 of 80 Old 01-20-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Wow that is great, it sounds like you have made a ton of progress!!

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#77 of 80 Old 01-21-2010, 04:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Usually Curious View Post
Get a timer. 15 minutes cleaning. 30 minutes not.

I do this when I'm overwhelmed and it helps a lot because I feel like I am treating myself by lazing around twice as much as I clean!

Also, when I started doing this I realized how much can be accomplished in 15 minutes...
This is what works for me! I love the timer trick! I alternate between cleaning and reading a good book as a reward. I also have a special lemon-scented Yankee Candle Company candle that I only burn when I'm cleaning. That lemony scent gets me in the cleaning mood.

I wrote a housework rap yesterday and posted it on my blog...

Oh, and here's a great chronicle of a mom who is paring down everything her family has to what will fit in an RV.

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#78 of 80 Old 01-21-2010, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ReadingMama;14961393

Oh, and [URL="http://childplay.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/packing-day-one/"
here's[/URL] a great chronicle of a mom who is paring down everything her family has to what will fit in an RV.
This is what my mindset was when I was putting clothing into storage! I realized that, I want to do laundry every week, so, what I keep in my closet will be what I would pack for a 1-week vacation!

Update:
you remember that desk, whose box was taking up my livingroom? we can soon toss the box! I found the missing parts(they were taped into the box in a strange way that made them invisible) There were two drawers left to put together, and yesterday i put one of the drawers together. BUT, for some reason, the drawers dont close right

i've been keeping up with dishes, and cooking(and making flat bread every day!) and i've been picking up whatever gets thrown about the house during the day! i can't wait until the laundry gets done!!! i'd like to do a load today, but i doubt its gonna happen, but tomorrow, i should be able to get a load done!

hijab.gif Childbirth Educating and Doula-ing wife toflowersforyou.gif , and mama to hammer.gif6/09. Story of my life:buddamomimg1.pngduh.gif knit.gifscared.gifsewmachine.gifdishes.gifcd.giftea6.gifread.gifsleepytime.gif

 

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#79 of 80 Old 01-21-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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you are doing so great.
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#80 of 80 Old 01-21-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Great job, Mom! So many of us struggle with the same things--it's inspiring to read about your progress.

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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