the need for getting back to basics

Last week was a meet your maker week for me.  I had hit a wall and needed to regroup. I love my family, my husband, my Littles.  But I was struggling to make it all work for us and for me.  My sweet husband and suggested I take some time off, maybe get a massage.  The problem with this is that I would still come back to the problem.  My closets would still be a mess, my extra baby weight would still be there, and I would still be getting zippo sleep, not because of our newborn, but because of our 2 year old that no longer wants to go to bed, let alone sleep.  So as kind as the offer was, what I needed to do was step back and get my home base functional again.

I said this last week and truly meant it, everyone has their own way of dealing with things, but for me,  I need to get myself fixed and in gear and then I can give 100% to my family. I want the cobwebs out of my closets, I want the 3 years of baby weight gone, and I want my wonderful Littles to sleep again.

To give you an idea of why my brain was exploding,

I forgot to take a photo of my closet before we attacked it, but these are the 9 bags of clothes that went to the Goodwill.  3 years of maternity clothes, and waayyyyy too many clothes from pre-pregnancies that would NEVER be worn again even if I DO get that small again.

Moving onto my office

(AKA – the utility room/laundry room/”what else can we squeeze into this 8′ x 9′ space” room).

Oh joy…

What do you think?  Extra pantry space on top of the dryer??

Or how about a magnetic board on the side??

(I actually like this part, but it is still crazy).

This doesn’t look so bad, until you find out that the phone is BEHIND the printer.  And that the boxes no longer have a rhyme and reason.  I had started moving things to a new wrapping space my husband had set up for me in the garage, but became overwhelmed with life in general and stopped mid move….now that’s helpful.

My actual desk.  Chaos.

Even more chaos.

But wait.

Check out this goodness.

My hall “catch it all” closet.

Toys, pool towels, candles, rainy day toys, birthday gifts, table cloths, napkins, games, kitchen sinks

(OK, maybe not the last one, but I was truly surprised not to see one in there).

Now this last one.

I still can’t believe I’m going to show this to everyone reading.

This is me pre-babies.  I refuse to show you a swim suit photo as that would be entirely too embarrassing.  Well that and the fact I would never allow one to be taken in the first place.  So this is as close as I can get to showing you where I’ve come from.  Being pregnant so soon after each pregnancy means I was never able to get rid off ALL the baby weight from each baby.

Piper was different.  All of her weight was gone in the first 4 weeks.

But I now have 40 lbs, I didn’t have before, leftover from 2 earlier pregnancies.

Fun huh!?!  I still look COMPLETELY pregnant.

I do a pretty good job of hiding it (obviously not in this photo),

but I would much rather just have the old me back.

So we’re going to tackle some things over the next few weeks and I would love for you to join me. I set out to write this blog to pass on tips and tricks, sharing my favorite ways to make your life brighter.  And I plan on doing just that, through the yuck as well as the fun.  The next few weeks we will tackle closets, laundry, office spaces, cleaning tips, beauty tips and DIET.  It doesn’t matter if your post prego, have an 18 year old, or no kids at all.  ANY of what I hope to share could be helpful for your life too.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

Please jump in, comment, and share any tips you have as well!!

Here’s to getting back to basics, and putting Mama (Humpty Dumpty) back together again!!

27 thoughts on “the need for getting back to basics”

  1. The best thing to wake up to this rainy Monday morning…..great motivation from you!! Thanks!! I’m totally on board!!

  2. I’ve just recently started reading your blog and so enjoy your honesty and real-ness (is that a word?). I feel so bogged down with the minutia that I just freeze so I’m with you. This is the jump start I needed.
    .-= jen@odbt´s last blog ..pop culture =-.

  3. I have 3 kids also, 6, 3, and 2 years old, so I kind of have an idea what your going through. It is so frustrating when there is so much to do but never anytime to do it. You are so right about getting back to basics and trying to have an organized house. I can’t wait to see all of your tips and hopefully get my own home running more smoothly.

  4. Your bravery is inspiring. I applaud you for ‘putting it all out there’ …..

    I was once working as an organizing and declutter consultant. I know how you got there. And I know it is absolutely possible to breakout of the mess.

    Oh and the fat thing? Yeah well, I gained 80lbs with each of my kids. The youngest is NINE. and I have an extra 20 on me. That just loves to hang around and won’t leave. I am coming to terms with that too. But it is HARD. I know. I cry too.

  5. Hang in there Shanna. I’m impressed daily that you can even keep you head above water much less do all the other things you do. If I can help in any way please let me know!!!

  6. Kudos to you for baring it all! My office and basement are such a mess it’s too much for me to even tackle without feeling overwhelmed. So most of the time it just gets worse. We just finally started tackling the basement to prep for a garage sale and it does feel great to throw stuff out and pack and price stuff for the sale….which will NOT be entering our house again if it doesn’t sell. I’m on board…looking forward to joining you on all fronts!

  7. I’m with you! I feel the same way: my base has to be organized before I can move onto anything! I’m ready for change!!! Cleaning, organizing, diet — let’s do it!
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..I Wanna a New Drug =-.

  8. I’m in the midst of this kind of life re-organization, too. i’m also post-baby.

    Your desk area doesn’t look that bad to me, but you know what I discovered? The cute-little-things-on-the-fridge thing can make ME feel cluttered. Even though I know it’s the stuff of life: baby announcements, party invitations, etc. But when it gets to be too much, I have to take it down and start over.

    Or at least start straighter.
    .-= laura @ hollywood housewife´s last blog ..i obsess =-.

  9. I TOTALLY made a Goodwill run this weekend as well. I got rid of all of the Baby Boy clothes that I had, which were taking up SO much space all stored in old Huggies boxes. I organized the garage and bought a shelving unit to store all of our household paint, Costco Overflow, etc. The first thing my husband said to me last night after I talked about organizing the garage was, “can we now actually walk in to the downstairs closet?” Uhm, NO! Have NOT gotten that far!

    Of course, he was gone for the weekend to amidst all of the chaos I took care of all of this crappola. I’ve been selling stuff on Craiglist like mad, donating anything we don’t use or need anymore… there is something about an organized home in the midst of chaos that makes surviving the chaos a little bit easier.
    .-= Jennifer K´s last blog ..Something I’m Seriously Digging – Dermalogica Map-15 Regenerator =-.

  10. I am in! Hubby and I actually began a huge House purge this weekend getting ready for our yard sale this Saturday, so I am hoping I will feel a little lighter (of stuff) and a little heavier (in the wallet) come next week. :)

    As far as weight, I have been complaining that I have gained so much in this last year. I had lost most of my baby weight from child 2 (mine were also close together), but this year has done me in. Plus the sagging from the preggo stuff…ugh! My energy level is SO low right now as well. So I am with you.

    What are we tackling first?

  11. this is so right on track for me. thank you for starting this “series” of blogs, so to speak! reading what you wrote was like seeing someone put my own thoughs out for me to see! i am in the beginning stages of taking back my life and this is completely inspiring! i’ve started cleaning out my closets, etc as well as losing the baby weight, though i wish it didn’t take me 14months to do it! i could use the camaraderie! i look forward to seeing all your ideas to help me kick my rear in gear!

  12. Pretty much in the same boat you are. I have two kids, 2 1/2 year old boy, 7 month old girl, and I still look pregnant. Both kids don’t nap or sleep, I work part time in an office every afternoon. We moved (sort of) when my daughter was 2 1/2 weeks old. We were staying with relatives, the renovations, moving and taking care of the kids got to be too much sp ,ucht o the dismay of our relatives, most of our stuff is still at their house, plus the stuff we did move is here there and everywhere,a nd the renovations are still not done. I need more hours in a day and maybe a week’s worth of sleep so I have the energy to tackle life to organize and simplify it!

  13. Jamie- My son is almost 3 and my baby girl is 6/12 months old… I’m about to start a part-time job (June 15th) and I’m a student, so I’m freaking out a bit about how to juggle it all. Both of my kids nap, but at completely different times. I’m with ya, sista!!!

    Shanna- I’ve got the same thing going with baby weight, messy home, and wanting to savor every moment of this special time with my littles. Thanks for being so honest. I look foward to your tips and I’m feeling inspired to go clean out a cabinet that’s been bugging me for weeks. There’s extra wine glasses in there…when will I really drink that much wine again??? Time to box them up!

  14. I’m totally on board! I can’t wait to follow along with you. I started tackling a lot of these same issues after YEARS of neglecting many areas of my life back in January. I’ve been journaling about everything on my blog (www.365resolutions.blogspot.com) although it’s no where near as fun and cute and fancy as your blog… which I LOVE reading!!! but it’s been a good outlet and a good motivator for clearing out clutter, working to lose the baby weight and generally making some important changes in my life. Sometimes I read your blog and think… “geesh! I don’t have nearly as much going on in my life as she does in hers! why can’t I get it together?!” ha! Anyway… I’m looking forward to following along with your progress!!! You seem determined enough to get where you want to be! :-)

  15. Good for you! I think you verbalized what a lot of us feel. Stuck in the minutia is one of my biggest problems as a mom of two littles. I also feel like I am on top of the world when I have a general grasp on my home, my family and myself (work included). I knew it was getting bad when I nearly had a panic attack over my husband leaving salad dressing out on the counter … lid off, unrefrigerated. Not a big deal in the big picture, but it was one of the many little things that bogged me down. My so-called straw! I look forward to following your posts.

  16. I am taking off a month before baby #2 arrives, beginning in June, so I’ll be following in your footsteps (though prebaby instead of post baby) to try to get life organized. Every time I took a couple weeks off in the last year I tried to get myself organized and there’s never enough time so it was always half done. Hopefully with your help and motivation I can stick to it and actually get situated this time! Good luck to us! (i’m impressed you’ll be able to organize with the kids at home – I feel like I can’t do anything when I’m home with my one but that could be because I only have the weekends with her…. or maybe that’s an excuse to sit on the floor and play all day. :) )

  17. Good for you Shanna!!! I often feel that same way and I only have 2 littles. I’m glad your hubby is so understanding, it sure helps! I think I get more frusterated when my hubby complains that things are not where they “should” be or our garrage is a mess. Really…? I have a problem with taking on more and more projects that leave me without the time I need to organize and clean the house. I guess I’d rather be crafting or planning a party, baby shower or sewing. Work sometimes gets in the way (don’t tell your hubby). Somehow, the important stuff manages to get done but not without the stress and anxiety that goes along with it.

    I can’t wait to read about your tips. I could sure use some!!

  18. you’ve got guts, girl. serious guts.

    i’ve two littles, 22 months apart and work part-time. i won’t mention organization, as I almost lost it today at the state of my office. i can offer advice for DIET/EXERCISE: eat your food, not your children’s (like when they leave a ton left over and you just *can’t* let it go to waste), take a walk everyday (somewhere – anywhere), and say good-bye to the scale. i am scarred for life after weighing in post baby2…focus on fit and flattery and ignore the number.

  19. I recently started a new workout at home, P90X. It is a series of 12 dvds that you rotate according to a schedule so you don’t get bored. Pretty intense – 6 days a week for about 1 hr. – 1 1/2. I am on day 14 and I already am seeing amazing results. I wasn’t in terrible shape, just not great shape. I get up at 5:30am to do these workouts, which isn’t easy but after seeing results I am motivated.

    I have 2 daughters, 9 and 6, and I go to work after dropping them off at school. I pick them up midafternoon, so it is hard to find time to workout during the day. This was the only way for me. Has anyone heard of it?

  20. Bravo to you! I can’t wait to join you on this journey. I have 5 littles, the middle 3, 20 months apart and I have a chronic illness. So any tips, tactics or sneaky tricks to get on the right path will be greatly apptrciated. Love your blog, so glad I found it !!

  21. I love you messy or organized, thin or with pleasantly baby weight it doesn’t matter it all makes you YOU and I Love you no matter what! I am inspired by you everytime i come here to visit and check in with you! I wish I lived closer, I would take those littles for a night so you could sleep for 8 hours straight!!! XOXOX Keep going girl it sounds like you are on a mission!
    .-= Andrea Fellman´s last blog ..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA =-.

  22. Can’t wait to read about what you do!

    I’m 12 pounds over my pre-baby weight and my “baby” is 5. :( I just started doing Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred again today (I did it sporadically in Feb/March) and although I hate hate exercising it does seem to work for me. That and walking.

    I just love to eat and drink too much!

    I have also been cleaning out closets. We have way too much crapola and it is so frustrating because I used to be somewhat organized!

    p.s. I still think you look fabulous baby weight and all!

  23. I recently started a new workout at home, P90X. It is a series of 12 dvds that you rotate according to a schedule so you don’t get bored. Pretty intense – 6 days a week for about 1 hr. – 1 1/2. I am on day 14 and I already am seeing amazing results. I wasn’t in terrible shape, just not great shape. I get up at 5:30am to do these workouts, which isn’t easy but after seeing results I am motivated.

    I have 2 daughters, 9 and 6, and I go to work after dropping them off at school. I pick them up midafternoon, so it is hard to find time to workout during the day. This was the only way for me. Has anyone heard of it?

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