Thursday, August 4, 2011

Small Successes-August 4th


Celebrating the little things in life that add up.

1. For over a year I've had a growing pile of outgrown children's clothing and shoes that was taking over an eight foot long section of open wall in my bedroom.  Sure, you might think, "Well maybe they don't have somewhere to put it." but that wouldn't exactly be true.  The truth is I was too cheap to go and buy new 18 gal rubbermaid totes, and I was too lazy to actually sort through the clothes.  Had I done either of these things, I would have known that there were clothes in that mess of a pile that Ellie could have been wearing since the start of the summer.  I spent just about all day Tuesday tackling the clothing problem.  I sorted through the clothes and separated them by size.  I was delighted to learn that I have lots of size 4 clothes and even some 3T.

I also came to the conclusion that Bryan was right and saving used underwear to hand down to younger siblings just shouldn't be done. (Yes, I have done this and Ellie is alive and well.)  One day I expect the baby to heartily thank me for not making her wear underwear that is 10 years old and previously worn by two other people.  I doubt I'll actually be thanked for that.  I'll probably just get Ellie's therapy bills to pay for the emotional damage I inflicted on her by making her wear the occasional used underwear.  For the record, she has always had several packs of new underwear, but I also mixed in the nicer hand me down stuff, too.  In Bryan's eyes even this practice could qualify as a mortal sin.

So the clothes are organized, I have several large bags of clothes, shoes and soccer gear that will be donated or given to friends and all of the remaining clothes save for one tote were able to fit in the hand-me-down closet.  Going through the existing totes that were in the closet is what allowed me to get everything put away and organized.  Going forward I will no longer be saving very worn shoes, used underwear (You're welcome, Ellie and baby.) and discolored socks, or clothes with stains or visible signs of overwearing.  I'm also going to work on buy less clothing to begin with.  At one point Bryan walked into the room as I was lamenting the fact that I don't know how we could have so much clothing when we only have two kids.  His response was simply "This is what happens when you buy everything that you think is cute."

2. On Monday, I took the girls to Children's place and did a little back to school shopping with the 30% off coupon they emailed me.  I didn't want to go shopping, but between Madeline pestering me everyday since July 1st to buy clothes and TCP twisting my arm with clothes on sale plus an 30% off coupon I figured I'd just do it and get Madeline off my back.  In an attempt to be reasonable about clothes shopping (see above) I brought Madeline 4 pairs of jeans, which happen to be the same size she wore last year, and one skirt outfit she can wear to school or Mass.  Poor Ellie hardly ever gets clothes when we go shopping since I tend to go shopping for her in our hand me down closet.  She didn't need jeans since we had plenty in the hand me down closet.  I did buy her one really cute skirt outfit with two different tops so she can wear it in the fall when it's still a bit warm and also in the winter when it's freezing.  I even managed to score a pair of navy mary jane shoes for her for around $10.  She was very happy with her new shoes, knee socks and outfit.

3. Last week some friends gave us their wood high chair.  Not only is this high chair a perfect match to our kitchen set, it also fits perfectly in the small space next to our pantry closet.  It's like the highchair was made for this previously useless space.  The only thing this high chair needed was a new seat pad.  Using a helpful tutorial I found on line, I managed to make two new seat pads for the highchair.  I'm really happy with how the second pad turned out.  I like how cheerful it looks.  I was originally going to have Bryan find a place to store the high chair until we need it in January or February, but now I'm thinking I might just leave it out.
4. I took the girls to L.L.Bean yesterday so Madeline would stop pestering me to get Madeline a book bag for middle school.  While we were there I managed to steer her away from the incredibly ugly print she wanted and onto the retina burning hot pink pack.  Once we got home I looked online and found the pack was actually available in the solid aqua color she liked on another pack.  So I ordered that one to avoid having a miserable 5th grader.  While looking at lunch box options I found the blue critter lunch box to match Ellie's new pack* on clearance.  It ended up being a fortunate series of events.  

*Last year I took Ellie to L.L.Bean to buy her critter pack and lunch box that would be used from K-4th grade.  When we left the house she was bound and determined to buy the light blue bag.  As soon as we walked in the store she NEEDED the retina burning hot pink pack.  The day she graduated from kindergarten she told me that she made a bad color choice and should have gotten the blue bag.  Why this child never said anything when I asked her a gazillion times before school started if she was sure about the color will remain a mystery.  That night I went online and noticed that the bag she wanted was clearanced out to $15.  I told my mom who was looking for birthday ideas for Ellie and she ordered the bag.  The problem was that they no longer had the matching lunch box for sale.  Imagine my delight when I came across the lunch box clearanced out on the L.L.Bean website yesterday afternoon.  


  1. WOW! I think #1 alone could carry your "Small Successes" for a couple of weeks...that is a HUGE success! Great job!

  2. Wow what an amazing list!!
    Rest up, and enjoy your new high-chair!!

  3. Wow! You accomplished a lot! I'm tackling the outgrown clothes bins to weed them out next week and I'm hoping to follow pretty much the same guidelines as you. You give me hope :)

  4. I CANNOT believe how nicely that chair fits in your kitchen! It definitely looks PERFECT in your kitchen, and matches your table perfectly. I am so happy you could use it, and look at that snazzy cover (I told you ours was AWFUL! hahahaa!) You got so much done!


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