Negative Nancy, Major Messes and a New Wall...

So I've been a bit of a Negative Nancy lately. Bitter Betty, if you will. Until yesterday's glorious sunshine, I was just so utterly, epically, insanely sick of COLD and SNOW. The cabin fever up in here had reached unimaginable heights. I just can't deal with another snow day stuck in the house. I.Just.Can't. I daydream daily about the amazingness of warm weather, the sun, OUTSIDE. Being stuck inside all day has become torture. I have nothing left to entertain the girls with. 

So of course, being me, stuck inside with three small children for eternities at a time, I decided to embark on a few new house projects before the next shower I am hosting on March 8. Naturally. My problem is that I start 17 things at once, fail to finish any of them, then have to restart said projects because they get totally screwed up by my housebound children. 

One source of major angst for me is the failure of my kids to clean up after themselves. I get so excited to buy them all these fabulous things. After what seems like a nanosecond, pieces are lost or broken. Games. Games are my nemesis. There is no point to a game if you don't have all of the pieces. We got the girls Hungry Hungry Hippos for Christmas and I seriously went psycho keeping track of those little balls. There are 20. At one point I believe we had four with the game. It became a celebration whenever we found one of those little suckers. You can't play Sorry without all of the little Hershey Kiss-looking pieces. You can't play Jenga if you only have six blocks. You can't play a Barbie Matching card game if half the cards are gone. You can't play Operation without the little pieces to extract. You can't do a 25 piece puzzle when you only have 14 pieces. You can't draw with markers if they are dried out from having their tops left off. You can't play with rock-hard play-doh. I question at times if I have unrealistic expectations of them... but I really don't. A two year old can certainly put a freaking marker top back on. I have just failed at being consistent and making them do it. 

By bedtime, I am practically pushing them into their rooms. I don't want to deal with the slowness and distraction of cleaning up. I'd rather do it myself, quickly, properly, putting things in the right place. The problem with that is I don't always have time to do it. I try to send them down to the basement to get out of my way while I am trying to cook dinner, and I end up calling them up, never actually stepping foot down there... and when I finally do, it looks like a bomb hit it. Then my blood pressure goes through the roof as I furiously put away what always looks like every bin dumped out and stirred together. The same thing goes for their art area in the office. I was so excited to create a space for them to be creative, and I swear they purposely put a sheet of paper or something on the floor to cover every square inch. It is incredible the amount of mess and chaos these girls can create in such little time. Oh, the bags of stuff... the bags of stuff kill me. For whatever reason, kids just love to fill any bag around with pretty much any random item. And they take it to a different location and make a mess there. I'm telling you, it's a thing. The randomness I have found in an old purse in the bathroom is sort of hilarious, if it weren't so annoying. Basically my point to all of this is that I have royally screwed up my girls in this department and I am not quite sure how to get back on track. I don't want them thinking we can just "buy more" if their markers are dried out. They need to take care of their crap. 

So in trying to make sense of their inability to clean up, I decided to try to reorganize their toys. I wanted to see if I could figure out a better system that would help them be able to know where everything goes. Kind of like my psycho clothes labels (which have totally worked by the way... yes their room can be a total mess, but they are able to clean it up because they know where their clothes go). What I hate most about reorganizing is that you need to essentially make a bigger mess before you can actually accomplish it. So I proceeded to try to box up old baby toys they don't play with and sort through the endless chaos. After a while, I was to the point of just roaming around and moving things from one place to another. It just wasn't working. I took a break from that and went upstairs to start on my new gallery wall. I got stressed from hanging placement decisions so then I started on the toys in the family room which were overflowing from the basket. I began to find a mixture of toys I was just working with downstairs and got overwhelmed again. I went back to hanging pictures. 

So at this point, the family room is a disaster, the basement is an epic disaster, and I have a few pictures hung on the wall. Not awesome. The only thing I have (sort of) finished since then is the wall. 

To make things worse, all of the sorting work I did the other day in the basement has now gone completely to waste. My sister is throwing a shower this weekend and I have been watching her kids for her a few days this week to help her out. Combine a six year old, a four year old, a three year old and two two year olds in the basement because their shrieking got way too loud for my sanity, and here is the result: 

Yeah. I know. And this is just one corner. I'm also pretty sure that every one of those five children has bled at one point these past few days. Cousins who act and fight like siblings... There's nothing better. 

Yesterday I went through the books in our cabinet and had them perfectly sorted into hard cover, baby, beginner reading, chapter books, etc. Approximately 12 seconds later it looked like this: 

At least I finished hanging all of the frames and whatnot on my wall. I'll take a small victory.

So this was before: 

I did it quickly and without thinking too much. It turned out way too symmetrical, which is so annoyingly me. I measure psychotically. My sister painted curtains (don't ask), and she came over to my house so I could measure for her. She is the artistic one. I am the OCD one. "Eyeballing" gives me nightmares. 

So the wall drove me insane, and I ended up amassing a lot more frames, pictures, and a big focal piece I had custom-made from Etsy. 

The shop is Little Monkey Business. It is way adorable and they were awesome to work with. I also got our wedding date framed for Christmas from my mom... my cousin makes these and I'm obsessed. Basically, if you invite me to your wedding, this is what you will get. Here is the link to her website. She does really amazing stuff. 

I got help with the layout, did some eyeballing while hanging, and this is the result (ignore the lack of actual pictures in the frames. One step at a time): 

I had to get Emmie in it again. :o) So I love it. Some symmetry but enough randomness. It makes me happy every time I look at it, even without pictures in frames. Don't look too close because I haven't done any of the final official leveling of everything since I haven't even filled the frames. 

***updated pictures***

I also got a ginormica clock. I'm talking 49" diameter. Now I do a lot of things I probably shouldn't attempt, but I know I am only 62" tall. That ratio does not seem to work in my favor. So I was actually intelligent in this situation and asked a very handy neighbor to come hang it. It is a massive statement piece (needed, because the ceilings are so high). 

No one will ever be able to complain that they don't know when 5 o'clock is at our house... 

With my new and improved wall, and my huge clock, the space above the entertainment center looked very lonely. My sister gave me a fabulous idea (which I am half-excited/half-want to kill her for putting in my head), which I will show you when it is done. Shoot me now... 

So that is what I have accomplished over the last week. Well, in addition to an amazing 80's Valentine's Day party (The Reagan Years performed if that means anything to you. It didn't to me, but they were great). I also printed, addressed, and sent out 87 (zero exaggeration) invitations. And went to gymnastics: 

Cursed more snow: 

Went to two rescheduled Valentine's Parties (we had all those extra days and we still didn't get the Valentine's done until the night before): 

Oh and had a dance party: 

This weekend we are off on a snow tubing adventure, because we just haven't seen enough snow already this winter. Sidenote... I most definitely bought waterproof fishing gloves instead of ski gloves. My hands look like claws. Aghhhh

Happy Thursday! 

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