Category Archives: Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Transformation

First, thanks to all for your comments on the whole foot surgery business.  I do think I’ll go ahead and try to have it done next month, and figure out the childcare situation as best I can.  Hrm… maybe I should ask for a TV for our bedroom for my birthday.  You know, if I’m going to be “resting” and all.

On a completely unrelated note, I continue to be in the crafting groove.  I even (speaking of early birthday presents) got a spanking new sewing machine.  Wohoo!  I’m all but finished with the quilt for my niece, and have another one ready for sandwiching as soon as I decide what I’m actually going to do with it.  I was itching to work on something else, so I pulled out fabric I had cut and started for a quilt ages ago (probably over two years ago).  Turns out, the combination of fabrics I picked back then was ugly as sin.  So I saved the big pieces for my scrap stash, and just plain ditched the rest.  Alas.

And then, lightbulb!  I remembered a project I thought of a few months ago.  Taking up much-needed storage space is a stack of the kids’ old recieving blankets.  Well-loved, frequently-washed flannel with somehow nary a prune-juice-spit-up stain on them (thank you, Oxi-Clean).  A little too ratty to pass on to someone else, but too full of newborn memories (to think, we used to be able to swaddle them in those blankets!) to throw in the trash.  Out comes the ruler and the rotary cutter, and the dozen or so blankets are rapidly becoming stacks of six-inch squares, destined to become rag quilts.

My only debate right now is what kind of blanket I’m aiming to make.  Do I want the warm, snuggly kind that you curl up under on a chilly night?  Or do I want a smaller, lighter one that can be dragged around and slept with as a comfort item?  It’s a difference not only in size but also in construction.  A heavier, warmer blanket would have batting in between the layers for warmth and weight.  A little lovey blanket could just be two layers of flannel with nothing in between.

And, while they’re starting to learn new words and signs, I can’t exactly ask my kids which they’d prefer. Maybe a little lovey blanket, since they already have their other quilts…  Crafty moms of older kids, any thoughts?

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Filed under Crafts, Reminiscing, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Sold!

This morning was my twin club’s fall sale.  The sale happens twice a year, in the fall and the spring.  It’s quite a spectacle, and this was my first time as a seller.

Holy. Crap.

It really is quite something.  Setup began at 6pm on Friday, with tables and signs going up, and the first batches of people’s stuff.  It resumed at 6am Saturday, when all of the sellers were required to come and finish setup and put out everything in its proper place.  I thought I had a lot with my three big rubbermaid crates full of clothes (plus carseat and other assorted things).  Yeah, I know someone else who had at least eight crates full.  Yikes!

It was still dark when we arrived, but you couldn’t miss the sea of minivans.  The scene at all of 6:45 in the morning was a sight to behold.  A several dozen strollers, high chairs, swings, and exersaucers.  Tables full of toys.  Mountains of clothing.  Bins full of shoes, racks sagging under the weight of dresses and parkas and Halloween costumes.

And that, as I say, was at 6:45 in the morning.  There were still carloads being brought in, and doors wouldn’t open for shopping for almost three hours.  At about 8:30, those of us who were selling were allowed to start shopping.  Having remembered all of my clothing and equipment, but apparently not my checkbook or even a single dollar, I had to borrow a check from a friend to get the toys and three pairs of shoes that caught my eye.  (Thanks, K.B!)  I couldn’t even wade through the clothing and coats.  It was too overwhelming for me, and my kids are doing fine with clothing.  At 9:30, it was straight to work for the sellers – that’s when twin club members enter.  I was working in the area with all of the strollers and carseats, so all of the pregnant women made a beeline to that side of the cafeteria.  At 10, the general public joined in the madness.  I’m told there were not as many shoppers as usual, but it sure seemed like a lot to me.  And hey, someone bought my carseat, so I’m psyched.

There were over 70 people selling.  Everyone is responsible for their own tagging and setting their own prices, so identical items varied widely in price.  You could find two of the same swing, and one would be $8 while the other would be $30. Crazy.  I was definitely on the low end.  I cared more that my stuff would get taken than about how much money I would make from it.  And, though I’ve yet to see the final total, I think I did reasonably well.  I believe all of my non-clothing items sold, from carseat to unused Diaper Genie to the BundleMe’s that kept my kids warm last winter.  And though the infant clothing has a reputation for not selling well, I would say a majority of my stuff was purchased.  There was some that wasn’t, of course, but I just tossed a few of the items back into my crate at the end of the day, and donated the rest.  It felt great.  Of course, I didn’t get home until nearly 3pm, and am exhausted.  But it was a good time and nice to get rid of all that stuff.

Sadly, my house does not really feel less cluttered at the end of the day.  Sigh.  So much yet to be done.

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Filed under Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Ikea Excursion

Today marked my second trip to Ikea with kids in tow (unless you count the time I went while pregnant and looking for cribs).  This time, however, I did it all by my lonesome.  Yes, I have a majorly independent and stubborn streak, why do you ask?  Well, as the kiddos are moving from babies to toddlers (and because we gave our remaining exersaucer to Mommy, Esq.), it was time for something new in the play space.  I wanted a kid-sized table and chairs.  While they’re still a bit small and young to sit in the chairs reliably, I figure it’s a good thing to start.

The reason this is a big-ish deal is that the Ikea in Massachusetts is really not anywhere close to me.  It’s about an hour away, which is obviously no small matter when you’re dragging along two toddlers.  This requires a plan.  The plan was to leave around 9AM (aka morning nap time) with the hopes of them sleeping in the car on the way there.  Then, hang out in the store, do our shopping, and return around 1PM (aka afternoon nap time), with the same goal in reverse.  M helped me in the morning get a bag packed with enough snacks for a small European country, and we were all set.

Well.  Sorta.

For one thing, there was rush hour traffic that extended further past the city than it really should have, so it took an hour and a half instead of an hour.  But that ended up being a good thing, since Rebecca didn’t fall asleep until at least 9:45.  But, eventually she did fall asleep, so both of them got a nice little rest before we got to the store.  Then, I realized the main flaw in my plan: I did not have 2+ hours worth of stuff to do in the store.  Having already looked online and decided what I wanted, I pretty much just walked in and found it.  And then… um…  Well, it wasn’t crowded, so then I let the kids hang out in the kiddie section for a while.  Then a snack, then a walk so I could ogle the kitchen stuff, then another snack and a diaper change, and more playing in the kiddie section…  I was killing time.  Not what I had expected, though I should have.  Anyways, we ended up having an early lunch (Daniel dug the meatballs and mashed potatoes, Rebecca only wanted applesauce), and they got downright cranky.  Wanted more freedom than I could give them.  So, we got our pallet of brightly-colored, some-assembly-required plastic (and my $1 fro yo), and away we went.

This, by the way, was the part when I fully questioned the choice to go by myself.  You know me, I’m all about doing things on my own. It’s not always easy, but I’ve got practice and I don’t shy away from taking the kids places.  Well, this was an occasion when I wish I had a third arm or something.  Mostly when it came down to the cart and all of our stuff and getting it to the car. Ikea has many delightful things, but a cart with two seats just ain’t one of ’em. But, hey, we made it.

Well, being as it was not actually nap time yet, something crazy happened…. the kids stayed awake.  In the car.  For an hour on the highway.  About halfway through the drive I realized they weren’t falling asleep, so I shifted into “keep them awake” mode.  I passed snacks (man, that will be easier when I turn those carseats around), I sang songs, I made silly noises for them to mimick.  And lo, they stayed awake.  We got home, played in the yard for a few, assembled some plastic chairs, and up they went.  And they actually took their afternoon nap, which is a rare occurence these days.  Not half bad for a crazy trip across the state.  And when they woke up…

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Filed under Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

Our House (in the middle of our yard)

Alright, so I know you all remember the saga of the birthday present my mom wanted to get for the kids, right? Well, she would not be swayed, and was dead-set on this being their present.  So she finally ordered it online, shipping charges be damned, and it arrived about a week or so ago.  Yesterday, good friends of ours came over with their kids to help us set it up.

It’s quite a multi-purposed structure.  On the inside is what appears to be a store, complete with cash register, safe, and security camera. I guess they’re worried someone is going to try to rob the plastic playhouse?

The outside is totally schizophrenic.  The front facade is red brick, with a bell on top, and you have the choice of decals to decide if it’s a school house or a fire house (M, without hesitation, said it was a fire house).  (I only realized after the fact that there was another set of decals in French – missed opportunity!)  Also, um, the two men involved just started putting it together before reading the instructions.  Hence, M inside the tiny house with a screwdriver, after the fact.

One side of the exterior is a gas station, which includes (oddly) a phone.  A phone that just hangs on the side of the structure, but isn’t actually connected. A cordless fake phone. On the outside of an outdoor play structure. We pretty much lost it within an hour.  (In the picture, it should be to the right of Daniel… but it’s probably in the bushes somewhere.  Maybe the security camera caught it?)

The opposite side is a market, complete with an ATM.  And an arrow, directing cars… is it a drive-thru and I somehow missed that?  And the back…  Opposite the “fire house” facade?  A basketball hoop. And possibly a soccer net. And numbers, presumably for a game that I’m not actually familiar with.

It’s odd, it’s as though someone thought of every imaginary play space and just threw it all into one structure.  But hey, who am I to complain?  It’s cute, and hopefully the kids will enjoy it for any number of years. Thanks, Mom! There’s still some debate as to where exactly in the yard it will live, but we’ll figure it out.  Just in time for winter, probably…

Oh, and in true toddler form, the box it came in was equally well-loved as a toy by our fellow twins and playmates.  Thanks to Rebecca and family for coming over to assemble and play!

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Filed under Birthdays, Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

T is for Tedious

In my spare moments when the kids are sleeping, I’m plodding my way through the bins of baby clothes and tagging them for my twin club’s fall sale.  It’s hideously tedious work. Pick up an item, write my name, a description, the size, and a price on the tag… twice.  Cap the marker so I don’t stain my guest bed’s comforter, jab the super-sharp tagging gun into the cloth.  Fold and put in appropriate bin.  REPEAT.  AGAIN. AND AGAIN.  I’ve got two diaper boxes and one big rubbermaid container filled already, it has to be at least 100 individual items so far.

And I still need to go through the preemie-to-3-month box, and then do a sweep through the drawers and closets for the stragglers.  And even that hasn’t started on the larger items like one of the carseats, a Baby Bjorn, two exersaucers, and various assorted other baby stuff around the house.  It’s a little overwhelming, and I’m glad there’s still two more weeks until the sale.

It feels a little gluttonous, sorting through all of these clothes.  The sheer volume is amazing, and it’s sad, bordering on embarrasing, how many things were never worn at all, or only worn once.  So many were gifts from even before the kids were born, and the sizes and seasons just ended up being wrong (tricky to estimate correctly, since Rebecca is always a size “behind”).  But I’m pricing them pretty cheap (most shirts and pants are $1.00), and I hope some other family can get good use out of them.  I’m not exactly going into the sale with the hopes of bringing home big bucks.  I don’t feel the universe owes me some refund when I’m done with the clothes that we bought.  But hey, if I can make a few dollars here and there, why not? It can go towards this year’s fall/winter wardrobe, right?

I’ve come across a few items that have made me a little bit sentimental, but I may yet still stick a tag on ’em and sell them.  They’re cute, I remember the kids wearing them, but why would I keep them?  We’ll see.  I’ll go through the boxes again before the sale just in case there’s some I want to keep at the last minute.

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Filed under Infants, Newborns, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

No rest for the weary

I remember, back when I was employed and had vacation days, that the week immediately before you took time off was a bit crazier as you prepped for being away.  Being a SAHM, it turns out, is no different.

I’m racing against time and my various to-do lists before the kids and I leave for Chicago on Wednesday morning.  First, there’s the quilts.  I thought it was a ridiculous goal when I set it last week, but I just might do it: finish all of the machine-sewn parts of all three quilts before I leave!

Daniel's quilt is done.

Daniel's quilt is done.

My brother's quilt is done.

My brother's quilt is done.

Rebecca's is pinned and ready for quilting.

Rebecca's is pinned and ready for quilting.

But lest I get too cocky, there are about a hundred other things competing for the less-than-48-hours before my flight.  First, there’s the gift basket that the HDYDI moms decided to contribute to the NOMOTC Convention’s silent auction.  Nearly forgot all about it, had to run to Babies R Us for the 2nd time this weekend (and Barnes & Noble, and iParty, and Staples) to get it all together.

Bid on me, I'm for a good cause!

Bid on me, I'm for a good cause!

The first trip to BRU was for more gates, to block off the stairs.  The kids aren’t thrilled about that one.

Oh, and did I mention that I have to PACK?!  For a week-and-a-half trip with two babies?  To three different locations?  Some without cribs or high chairs?  Oh my lord… I feel faint.  Gotta go… 🙂

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Filed under Crafts, Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Travel

Retail therapy

Yesterday was yet another crap-tastic afternoon nap.  They shrieked and talked to each other for about half an hour before I went up there, only to discover Rebecca needed a diaper change.  They eventually went to sleep, but only stayed that way for maybe 35-45 minutes.  Needless to say, they were not in stellar moods.  That, combined with the muggy heat we’re having, and I decided we were going to the mall.  For what?  No idea.  Just to go.  Well, of course, I ended up buying them a couple of new outfits at Children’s Place (on sale, thank you, the sum total was under $30).  And as we continued to walk around, I saw the Stride Rite, which I had never previously entered.  I thought I’d just take a peek, maybe check out these Robeez that all the cool kids have.  I’m starting to feel a teensy bit guilty that my kids are always barefoot, as I have no interest in searching for lost socks.  And then, the cutest little sandals were on sale…

It’s a good thing they’re too young to notice or care that the result of their bad nap was some seriously cute shoes.  That would probably not be appropriate behavior reinforcement…

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Filed under Infants, Sleep, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff