Monthly Archives: December 2011

Closet Purge Round 1: Bean

Earlier this year a friend of ours (Hi Julie!) from awhile back helped start up something called The Twenty Pieces Project.

For those of you out of the loop I will summarize or you can click the link and go read all about it. Julie and her friend were having a day together, had a conversation about a magazine article in which a rich socialite had decided to not fall into her crowd which lived on new stuff all the time and instead have a simple and classic wardrobe of twenty pieces. Then one thing led to another and these ladies decided to try and do the same.

And I have kind of been thinking about the challenge ever since. Initially I thought that there was no way I could do this because post baby body changes and all that. But that was just a lame excuse.

This week a variety of stress points came to a head in my life and I broke out in hives because of it. And that pretty much was the catalyst for me deciding that our lives need to be simplified in a variety of aspects.

Why do we have clothes in our closets that we never wear or only wear when we are desperate because the laundry needs to be done? Why is it necessary to have mountains of laundry every week?

So I started in on the mountains of laundry and today I attempted my first round of purging Bean’s closet.

It’s no secret that little girls clothes are cute and lovely. If you are ever blessed with a daughter, you needn’t worry about clothing her. People see things in stores and “just can’t resist” picking them up for you/her. And in our family with two older girl cousins, hand me downs abound. And by abound, I mean ABOUND:



I am completely grateful, don’t get me wrong. We have SO MUCH and all of it is completely adorable and I haven’t really had to buy any of it. I can count on one hand the number of items I have purchased.

But is it necessary? Does she really NEED that many clothes? Why are my daughter’s drawers and closet overflowing at capacity, but she only really wears a handful of dresses? Every morning she comes in my room before I’m even really awake and asks, “Mama, can I wear a dress today?” It is a sad, sad and miserable day in Bean’s world when she can’t wear a dress.

As I did the first round of purging I discovered that there were a lot of clothes that I was keeping more for me than her either because of a cute pattern or some other sentimental reason. There were several pieces that I knew she hated wearing, but I liked them and would make her wear. So silly and ridiculous.

Then there were pieces, like the San Diego Chargers cheerleading uniform, that I felt obligated to have in her closet for family that purchased it and are fans even though we are not football fans and I wouldn’t really ever put her in (sorry Mom and Dad!) because we just don’t really walk around in sports paraphernalia (Dodgers tee and hats excepting).

There were also duplicates of things like three different brown cardigans, two purple tee shirts, two red long sleeved shirts with a character on them, three puffer vests, etc.

So after this initial round we are at 37 items. I think there are a couple things hiding out in the laundry still. But 58 items made it into the “to give” pile and that is a victory for today!

The give-aways:



Bean’s much more manageable drawers and closet after the first round of purging:




I say round one because I’d really like to get all of us down to 20-30 pieces. I think this is a good start though.

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Flashback Friday: Me and my newborn sis with our Auntie circa 1985

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iPhone-ography: Bean and Sprout in shopping carts

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Sparrow’s 5 month photo shoot

And then this is a fun progression…

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A house full of HSPs and no sleep

A few months ago I discovered that I am an HSP, Highly Sensitive Person. It explains so many of my weird little quirks, I don’t even know where to begin, like:
-How I can’t stand to sleep in wrinkled sheets or pillowcases, I have to smooth them out when laying down or I’ll never be able to fall asleep.
-A seam in my clothing has to fall just right or I will never be comfortable
-When I have a piece of hair fall out, I can’t just leave it there because I can feel it tickling my arm or wherever it fell onto (this is driving me insane right now with post-partum hair loss)
-I wash my hands about a million times while cooking a meal because I can’t stand the feeling of the different textures of ingredients on my hands.
-I can’t wear heels because while everyone else may be able to just deal with and push through the shin splints, calf strains, sore toes, etc for beauty, I just can’t do it, it overwhelms me and I can’t function or think about anything else
-If Stephen and I have even the most minor of disagreements about something in the morning before he leaves for work and then he goes to work, I will not be able to think about anything else or get very much done until we somewhat resolve it

There are more, many more, but I will spare you.

Stephen and I both are like this in different ways and our parents and some of our siblings are like this too. One theory is that it is genetic.

It also explains some things about our kids.
-How Jilly finds most clothing except dresses uncomfortable
-How any loud noises freak her out
-How Ethan screams bloody murder every single time we have to wipe his face.

I was thinking about this as it relates to our sleep. How can I expect my kids to sleep through the night when I can’t even do the same? Last night I woke up:
-1 time to get a drink
-a handful of times because the position I was sleeping in was no longer comfortable and I had to turn and smooth out my sheets and blankets again and steal the blankets back from Stephen too
-a couple of times because the heater came on and it was loud and it was making it too hot and dry for me
-1 time when Ethan woke up crying and wanted something to drink which Stephen took care of, but I couldn’t sleep until it was all quiet and he was back in bed
-1 time to change and feed Henry
-1 time to use the bathroom

Sleep is hard enough to come by as a parent as it is, but when you throw HSPs into the mix I think you’re in even bigger trouble!


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A photo shoot is born

“Mama, can we put on my holiday dresses and take some pictures with Lanie in her holiday dress in front of the Christmas tree, please?”

Of course my darling.

I mean, really, how can I say no to such a request? Or her cute little cheery voice? I cannot I tell you.


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The difference photo processing makes

By now all of our Christmas cards should be out. So I just wanted to do a little post sharing our photo and giving kudos to our friend John just like every other year. 🙂

This year I actually took our photo! It happened sort of randomly while I was doing Sparrow’s 4 month shoot. I got the other kids in like I usually do and started clicking away. I put them on our big dark leather couch, got down on their level and tried to get them to all look at me. Bean was doing the crazy-pants faces, but at one point the other two just looked cute and I decided I had a really good shot of them all. So good that I decided not to share it with anyone and not on the blog, except to text it over to John and let him know that if he was too busy this year I had the back up. John said he probably couldn’t beat my shot and then said he would process the photo to make it look all pro.



Amazing, right?

I so want to learn how to do this. But since I can barely keep up with my blog these days, that will have to wait. Until then, glad I have amazingly talented and good friends. Thanks John!

And Merry Christmas to everyone we couldn’t get a card to this year. Hope you understand.

P.S. Hire John to do your family, wedding, etc. photos. He’s really awesome!

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The best way to spread Christmas cheer…

“These are 30 dollars until Christmas.”

We made a countdown to Christmas paper chain thanks to the genius folks at Trader Joe’s that designed the side panels of their paper bags for this very thing.

We made a craft foam ginger bread house from a kit I got a couple years back, not sure who from.

We made real ginger bread cookies and a gingerbread house using a kit from Trader Joe’s.

“Is that Hansel and Gretel?”
“I don’t know.”
“That old lady has an awfully long and pointy nose.”
“I don’t know, the box just called them fairy people.”
“I think those kids are about to get cooked in the oven.”

My makeshift Advent wreath. I went to Michael’s looking for one and the wreath making employee in the the floral department said, .”No, no, no we don’t have those. NOBODY does that anymore.” So I found some candle holders that I could arrange to look like a wreath with some greenery on them in the Christmas section. They also did not have the right colored candles.


The kids and I made their first ornaments. I found this Advent kids activity page that has activities, scripture, etc for every day of Advent. So awesome!

Bean loves her angel and carries it all over the house. She also places it in “make-out” position with Sprout’s angel and says they’re getting married. This girl! Hahaha! So then Stephen told her that angels don’t get married.

We got our tree and decorated it tonight along with some of our other decorations.




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