So how did our weekend go?


  • Vacuum up our house (since it’s all nasty and such) – DONE!
  • Grocery shopping – Waited until Sunday (which was WAY too crowded, but DONE!)
  • Finish washing and fold up cloth diapers to make it through the weekend – ummm, they’re still unfolded.  drag.
  • Dinner date with hubby (well, sort of a date, since Frankie’s coming with) – a delicious and fatty meal of a cheeseburger & beer at TGIFridays. yum!


  • Go through Christmas gifts already purchased and make up Christmas shopping list – half done – need to make a decisive shopping list 
  • Take cute family picture for Christmas cards – didn’t happen, but…
  • Order Christmas cards! – DONE! used a pic from Sept, which I’ll post soon
  • Listen to Christmas music online while doing these activities, and ignore complaints from anyone that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  It’s Christmastime in my world, people! sadly, between football games and chasing after Frankie, this didn’t happen


  • Take Frankie out for some family time – a walk, indoor play area, or something – we took Frankie to the mall and he had tons of fun in the play area and on the carousal
  • Try to wake up hubby and Frankie on time to try (TRY!) to attend church.  One more time: Try! – sorry Jesus, but this didn’t happen
  • Buy weekly newspaper and organize coupons – bought the paper, but no organizing occurred.  Coupons still in a random pile on my desk.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!





Our weekend is wide open, which means I need to fill it up!  Our good friends Paul and Erin were supposed to come and visit, but unfortunately their darling baby girl Leah got sick a couple of days ago.  😦  Feel better, Leah!

So, how should I spend the weekend?


  • Vacuum up our house (since it’s all nasty and such)
  • Grocery shopping
  • Finish washing and fold up cloth diapers to make it through the weekend
  • Dinner date with hubby (well, sort of a date, since Frankie’s coming with)


  • Go through Christmas gifts already purchased and make up Christmas shopping list
  • Take cute family picture for Christmas cards
  • Order Christmas cards!
  • Listen to Christmas music online while doing these activities, and ignore complaints from anyone that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  It’s Christmastime in my world, people!


  • Take Frankie out for some family time – a walk, indoor play area, or something
  • Try to wake up hubby and Frankie on time to try (TRY!) to attend church.  One more time: Try!
  • Buy weekly newspaper and organize coupons

What are you doing this weekend?

I have a Type A personality.  Everyone who knows me is sure of this.  My husband accepted it a long time ago.  In fact, if you ask my family, they would say I’m this guy:

Saturday Night Live – Cooking with the Anal Rententive Chef – Video – http://www.nbc.com.

In any case, the wonders of the internet have shown me that there are others like me out there, other who delight in list making, cleaning, organizing, reorganizing, labeling and relabeling, and then sitting back, admiring these tasks.  I’m not a cook, I’m not a sewer, I’m a cleaner and organizer.  Yup, the tasks that most people hate.  (Luckily, Hubby doesn’t mind cooking, but he’s terrible at the cleaning part.  Seriously, your marriage will be much happier if you can find someone who prefers to cook while you clean, or clean while you cook.  And that’s your marriage therapy lesson for the day).

Anyways, the problem I’ve found since I started staying home is that I AM the Anal Retentive Chef: I want to do things JUST SO, and I get easily sidetracked into meaningless chores.  Like, I need to fold the laundry, but instead I put Frankie’s toys away for the 20th time that day.  Or I won’t let myself vacuum until the room is decluttered, which WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

But then I found the Fly Lady’s website, and she has seriously changed my perspective.  (She’s widely popular online, so please forgive me if I act like I found something new.  I was homeschooled and I never had cable growing up, so I don’t know about things like trends or popularity or how to be cool).  It’s a whole website devoted to cleaning and scheduling your time – see, I told you that there’s other sick people out there.  And while I don’t like everything she does, she has some basic ideas that I like, like having a morning and evening routine, writing everything down, and only spending 15 minutes a day organizing/decluttering/etc.  And her biggest message is that little steps will eventually help you get your house in order, and not to let yourself feel like you’re constantly behind. 

Am I the only person out there that can’t relax in clutter?  I hate clutter and messes, and they make anxious.  There.  I said it.  I know this makes me uncool (not that the whole homeschooling thing already didn’t do that).  I know this is far from the I’m-too-cool-to-clean, I-have-better-things-to-do attitude that, trust me, I am envious of, but that’s not me.  I want order.  I want labels.  I want everything in its place.  Of course, I never feel like I have that because I’VE MOVED ONCE A YEAR FOR THE PAST DECADE!  ONCE A YEAR!  Do you know what that’s like for anal retentive people?

Well, back to the Fly Lady.  I went through her website, and like I said, I don’t follow everything that she does, but I do like the idea of the routines and only spending 15 a day on cleaning/organizing.  I know it sounds strange, but it’s actually quite liberating to know that once the routine is done, and once the 15 minutes are up, YOU’RE DONE for the day.

Here’s the little routine I came up with.  Granted, many days only some things happen, and sometimes none of it happens, thanks to a certain little toddler who won’t let me sleep.  But it’s what I strive for, and I think it’s totally feasible.  The things marked in italics are the steps that I currently find a hard time working in.

Morning Routine:

  • Make bed immediately
  • Get dressed, wash face, and fix my hair
  • Wipe down bathroom
  • Change Frankie’s diaper and get him dressed for the day
  • Bring a load of laundry downstairs
  • Breakfast and coffee with Frankie

Afternoon Routine / The Mad Scramble During Naptime

  • Empty dishwasher from the night before
  • Wash dishes from breakfast and lunch
  • Toss the laundry into the dryer (or into the wash if not already)
  • Write a blog post
  • Fold laundry and put away
  • 15 minutes of decluttering or organizing, according to FlyLady zones

Before Bed Routine

  • Kitchen: wash dishes, run dishwasher, clean counters, and sweep floor
  • Think about dinner for tomorrow (i.e. take out any meat to defrost)
  • Living Room: general pickup
  • Think about activities tomorrow: pack diaper bag, find keys and wallet, make grocery list, etc.
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow for me and for Frankie
  • Wipe down downstairs bathroom
  • Take a shower

It’s really not THAT bad of a list – seriously, you should see some of the lists that I used to come up with.  God Himself would take one look at the list and tell me that even He rested every now and then.  What I like about the Fly Lady’s approach is that it’s simple, straightforward, and thinking ahead.  Such as, planning your day the night before?  Genius!  Getting dressed first thing in the morning and not lying around in your pajamas until 2 pm?  Brilliant! 

Feeding your inner OCD? Surprisingly comforting.

Saw this video today and wanted to share it.  I’m a big supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and I think this video sums up what a lot of the protesters are thinking.

Not to get too political on you all, but I think this is muy importante.

A strange little story that I want to share….first off, let me say that I like Springfield, IL.  It’s our new home, and while I’m not in love with it YET, so far I have found it very pleasant and a nice place to live.  People are very friendly here, in a small town Southern way (yes, I realize that I do not live in the South, but to Chicagoans, everything south of I-80 is THE SOUTH).  It’s nothing exciting, but not bad either.  That being said, the citizens of this fine town, although a very nice group of citizens, CANNOT DRIVE FOR SHIT.  Pardon my language, but it’s true.  And it’s not in a Chicagoan/New Yorker/LA kind of way, but more in a head-up-their-asses kind of way.  It’s aggressive but not really paying attention aggressive.  Stupid aggressive.

Case in point: driving home the other day, I found myself in the left lane needing to get into the right in order to turn onto our street.  So I saw an opening and, while the car who let me in on the right was driving a tad too fast, s/he still let me in (it was dark, so I couldn’t see who was in the car.  Sorry, I can’t attest to any male/female driver stereotypes).  Let me repeat that: s/he let me in.

Anyways, after I got into the right lane, this person kept getting closer and closer and closer to me, all while I was saying, Are you kidding me?  Are you KIDDING me?  ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME? as they got so close to me that, I swear, I could no longer see their headlights in my rearview mirror.

Was I going slow?   A little, but so were the TWO cars in front of me, so there wasn’t much I could do.  Also, was my 17 month old child in the car?  Absolutely.  So was I about to go any faster and endanger our lives?  Absolutely not.

Anyways, the reason that I’m sharing this story is that when this person swerved quickly to the left, went around me and the other slower cars and across two more lanes, I saw that, not only was this person driving a Prius, their license plate said LIVIN GREEN 3.

HA!  It made me laugh out loud.  So, is this person’s mission to save the earth but screw people?  Drive a Prius to save gas but FUCK YOU OTHER HUMANS!  I have to get to the red light 5 seconds faster than you. 

Oh Springfield drivers, please please please prove me wrong tomorrow.

(Also, I usually don’t swear this much, except when it comes to idiots driving.  I learned that from the pros, and by the pros I mean my mother, who once called another driver, and I quote, a “motherless fuck.”  This woman doesn’t mess around.)

Ok, I only have about three hours left before Halloween is officially over, so I thought I’d sneak in our trick 0r treatin’ pictures.  We had a pretty uneventful day before hand – I snuck away while Frankie was napping (don’t worry, hubby was working at home & listening to the monitor) to get groceries and a little couponing action over at CVS.  I saved $35, got $4 back in Extra Care Bucks, AND got a $10 gift card!  Not bad for a coupon newbie.

Besides that, Frankie and I had lunch, read books, wrestled on the blowup mattress (still sitting there from my parents’ visit), and I swore under my breath while Frankie threw his favorite small plastic balls under the oven and got them stuck over and over again, and laughed while I dragged them out with a broom.  The blue one is still stuck under there.  I fought the war, and that damn blue ball won.

Around 4:45, I threw in a pizza and put Frankie in his Halloween costume.  He was a tiger this year.  I wanted him to be a kitty, since he loves our cats so much, but all of the kitty costumes were a little too feminine.  I mean, Frankie IS secure in his masculinity and all, but Halloween does call for manly outfits in order to impress the ladies.

Around 5ish, Hubby got home from work, and we quickly ate our pizza, handed out some candy and then took Frankie out in his wagon. 


Our Tiger was all set to go with his pumpkin bucket (it was actually mine when I was a kid).  Daddy did most of the wagon pulling….

while Mommy was in charge of holding hands while walking up to the door.  I’m so proud that he’s finally starting to walk, although he still needs to hold at least one hand.  Baby steps.  Literally.

And of course, I added my own costume in the form of Target $1 bin cat ears.  Just a couple of kitties, hanging out.

Frankie had a great time, and I was actually surprised that he seemed to enjoy it.  Even the couple of yipper dogs that we encountered didn’t faze him.

Well, eventually there was a meltdown.

We didn’t get many trick 0r treaters at our house, probably because we were candy hunting ourselves during most of the time.  Plus, we’re a townhouse, so it’s harder to see that we have candy to give out.

Now, what to do with all the candy that we collected and all the candy we didn’t give out?  Hmmm.  Right now, Hubby is telling me I need to hide the candy from him, as he sits surrounded by Snickers wrappers.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

I promised you a tour of our house, and I finally was able to: 1) take pictures of semi-cleaned rooms, to avoid all-out embarrassment; and 2) find the darn cord to my camera in the Forbidden Room of Cardboard Boxes (which you will soon see). 

I read a lot of blogs, esp. house-y, design-y ones, and they often talk about “keeping it real” and demonstrate their realness by showing “messy rooms.”  And I swear, their “messy rooms” are what my house looks like on a good day.  It’s like, OMG, there’s a NAPKIN ON THE FREAKIN’ TABLE! I’m so real.  Please.  In reality, our just-moved into townhouse has no decorating sense whatsoever, and there’s still boxes everywhere.  And I own absolutely nothing mid-century modern or I-found-it-at-this-little-vintage-shop-and-refinished-it.  I’m more of a, hey I found this at Target and put it together myself!  Of course, that being said, I waited to photograph the house until it was somewhat presentable.  You know, because I’m real like that.

A few notes on our townhouse: first off, we’re renters, so we we’re stuck with most of what you see here.  We can’t paint, we’re not supposed to drill into the walls, and we really can’t update anything.  So, I’m approaching the decorating of this place as quite the challenge. 

Let’s start with something simple, like our entryway.  It’s really something.  Bland gray door anyone?  And that gate took over two hours, one trip to Lowe’s, and a whole lot of four letter words to install.

Next, the living room.

And facing the other way:

Lots more needs to be done, but it’s a start.

Our soon-to-be wall o’ books, and my desk:

All of this was purchased new.  We had a large IKEA bookcase from the old house, but when we unloaded it on moving day, we realized that 1) it was unstable, and 2) to make it stable, it would have to be secured to the wall, and 3) because of the chair rail, we couldn’t secure it to the wall.  Drag.  And 4) the shorter bookcases are probably safer for the kiddies.

From there, we have the dining room:

Um, just ignore the half-finished wall of pictures.  It’s a work in progress.

And unfortunately, due to a certain toddler who will remain unnamed, our cat food is on the table.

Standing with your back to the dining room, you’ll see the kitchen:

And next to that, a full bath (well, functionally a half bath.  Again, due to a certain toddler’s curiosity and propensity for getting into things, the litter boxes are blocked off in the shower). 

Strangely, this bathroom might be the only room actually decorated.  You see where my priorities lie.

So that’s the first floor.  On to the upstairs.  The upstairs bathroom, which we use much more.  And where Frankie throws my bottles and makeup into the toilet.

I actually really like the cabinet and countertop in there.  For the first time, I have actual drawers in my bathroom.  And two sinks!  Double!  I get excited easily.

Our bedroom.  This may be the least decorated room in the house.  Again, you see where my priorities lie.

See the sexy childproof bars on the bed?  Pretty hot stuff.

Frankie’s room is next.  It’s not really decorated yet, but it is typically the one room where everything is put in its place on a daily basis.  Mostly because there’s just poopy diapers and dirty laundry in there.

And last, there’s the spare room, or what I like to call the Forbidden Room of Cardboard Boxes.  Actually, we cleaned this room out already, for my parents’ visit, but I know how the bloggy world loved dramatic before and afters.  Well, here’s the before:

Oh, I almost forgot the outside and the basement.  First the outside, looking out from the dining room:

And the basement. 

Sic!  I’m not showing you that!  It’s creepy and worse than the Forbidden Room of Boxes.

So there you have it!  Our Springfield home.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s growing on me, and little by little it’s getting to feel more like home.  I still have a huge list of things that I want to do here, like, um, finish unpacking all my crap.