Small Victories.

I’m currently enjoying the bliss of a week off work, a week where I’m not on a tight schedule and can do things at my own pace. The bonus was having himself here on Monday and getting to do the thrilling work of reorganising our food supplies. I’d done a wee bit of stockpiling in an attempt to assuage my mild panic over Brexit so we had a lot of some things. Let’s just say we don’t need to buy tins of kidney beans, stock cubes or flour for a long time. The problem was the stockpiling had become haphazard and things had been hastily pushed into drawers and cupboards misplaced. So we now have nice tidy shelves as the result of not very much work. And I know exactly what we need to buy food wise this week which is not very much, given that we can work our way through our freezer full of meals that I prepared in advance of returning to work.

The other small victory is the steady march of baby and toddler related stuff out of our home and into other people’s homes. This week I said a fond farewell to our faithful IKEA Antilop highchair. This was probably the best fifteen euro I ever spent on our children. It has served us for a total of seven years, having been taken out for visiting children, loaned to others in need, pushed right under our table (meaning the tray was somewhat redundant) and used daily until each of our children couldn’t be left alone in it. It is a dream to clean, assemble and use and while I will miss it (oh the memories!), I’m delighted to reclaim some space and send it off to pastures new. We have a horrible plastic chair yoke we strap to our a dining chair now, but at least it takes up no extra space.

 

Small Victories.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

A first birthday party for a not so tiny baby boy.

A tidier attic, clear wardrobe shelves and the knowledge that precious sentimental stuff is in a safe place.

Dolly at bedtime, thanks to our local library.

Enjoying the wine from last summer’s holiday, planning the next and sharing the name of this delicious bottle with the most niche Facebook group of which I am a member.

Settling into the new routine of working and home time. Being organised is boring but oh so much less stressful.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

The On and On-ness of Children

One place that hasn’t been top of the list of my decluttering/organisation/konmari “journey” is our attic. I’ve been diligent about going through all the other rooms fairly thoroughly, but the downside is that all the excess has ended up in various boxes and bags in our attic. The upside to our attic is that its easy to access. This is also a downside. It is WAY too easy to shove stuff in, close the door and congratulate myself on a tidy set of rooms downstairs.

I had a brief morning of nesting at the start of my last pregnancy and did a perfunctory sift through the baby stuff we stashed up there. I then got sick and tired and anxious and stressed, and any further plans just melted away. I continued to poke around at the space when I had a chance I was very happy with the neatness of the rooms, but a little haunted by what lurked upstairs.

Having been inspired by this post about decluttering and starting with one box at a time, on Sunday I pulled out everything but our (almost never used but won’t get rid of just yet) suitcases, the box containing my wedding dress and the beautifully organised boxes of Christmas decorations and started to organise it. Yesterday, I braved Ikea and bought new storage boxes and packed up some practical and sentimental stuff which I know we don’t want to chuck.

The kids’ stuff is the final frontier. There’s just SO MUCH of it. And we’re not even particularly indulgent about getting them a lot of stuff. It seems to creep in somehow. There’s some stuff we need to keep, some we want to keep (like the little red jacket they all wore home from the hospital) and a lot more we’d happily dump but which our children are inordinately attached too. So, this is a work in progress, but a work which has started nonetheless. Which is an orchid, of sorts.

The On and On-ness of Children

My Motherhood, Myself

I re-entered the working world this week. I had a lot of mixed emotions, but off I went to work. It wasn’t an awful few days. I had time to myself with coffee, I was able to nip to Hodges Figgis for a copy of The Testaments (I decided given my place way down the waiting list for it in the library I would treat myself), I managed to squeeze in some baking (and used the pears from the tree in our garden to perk up some gingerbread) and I was able to get my hands on a free copy of Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling.

My time management is better when I’m juggling. That’s not to say I love the juggling but when I have to tick about 25 boxes on the to-do list every morning before I leave the house faffing about on my phone is a lot less appealing. I like the balance of mothering and having a space and time in my life that has no connection whatsoever to anything else.

My Motherhood, Myself

Tiny Sparks of Joy

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Getting the computer working again so I can write. I’ve missed it. A lot.

Working on more photobooks. And recycling all the art because the photos will last a lot longer and won’t fall apart as easily as most of the projects.

A final few days before I’m back to the work treadmill.

Being organised enough to have planned several small treats for myself well in advance.

New books from the library. I can’t say it enough, I ADORE our library.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

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Using everything up. Two not great old bags of coffee beans made one nice jar of ground coffee once they went through our grinder.

Homemade pizza on Saturday and Sunday.

Finally organising our photos and developing a system to manage the thousands of images we’ve accumulated over the years.

Getting myriad small jobs done once we actually decided to get started.

Drawers with nothing in them. Always nice to have extra space.

Tiny Sparks of Joy