Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Items To Declutter in 2014: Brace Yourselves

Boxes waiting to be filled with donations
Fuck clutter. I mean that with an open heart. Fuck clutter.

We have too much stuff here. It's all books, toys, clothes. My kids are the sweetest and most amazing beings on this Earth, but they keep insisting on growing out of their clothes almost weekly. Why do they do this? It breaks my heart.

Two years ago, I followed along with a challenge on Mothering.com. There was a posting on a message board for people who wished to declutter 2012 items from their home/lives in 2012. There was one last year as well. Initially, I blogged about the challenge and you can find those posts here, here, and here. I never did come back with a final update, but I did manage over 2012 items in 2012. Go me. Since then, more stuff.

Paper is just evil. It's always coming into my house. My son is in school and they just love to murder as many trees as possible so they can send home 589798573283865894783478947594835748 pages a day. It's gotten a lot better this year. Last year, his teacher sent home so much on the daily. It was extremely frustrating. Between school, medical crap, and bills, paper is a big problem here. I am always unsure of what to keep and what to shred. There's so much conflicting information about what to keep for tax purposes. Keep all check stubs for 10 years. Keep all check stubs for 7 years. Don't keep all check stubs. Keep all utility bills for a year. Keep all utility bills for 10 years. Keep all receipts. Fuck the receipts. Keep every piece of paper. The IRS will get you 25 years later and you need to keep it all. ARRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Frustrating.

There are many clothes to be purged. Both kids have done a growth spurt recently, especially my daughter. She's been flying through sizes. I make kids who are initially tiny and can fit into the same size for quite a while....and then they grow and grow and grow.

I've talked about my issues with clutter in the 2012 series. I hold onto things for sentimental reasons and I have a very hard time letting go. I was not treated very well by peers as a child and when someone gave me something out of friendship, I'd want to hold onto it forever and ever as a reminder that someone liked me. That thought process still lingers in the corners of my mind. It's hard to beat, though I have been working on it. One of the things that helps me is taking pictures of everything I donate.

To complicate things, my son was diagnosed with OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as well as ADHD. I was also diagnosed with adult ADHD over a year ago, something I had always suspected. We do not medicate. We're working on behavioral therapy, counseling, organization. The organization is key for my son. He thrives much better when there is routine, planning, and organization. I must get my home well-organized for him. This has been such a challenge because my brain simply does not operate in a Pinterest-worthy way. I know I want organization, but I lack the ability to implement it. It sucks and it's something I need to work on every single day. My son also has major anxiety over letting go of things. He has anxiety due to changes. It's been very difficult to work with him to get rid of clothes that no lonfer fit, toys that are broken, etc.

Another roadblock is poverty. My family is doing quite poorly in the financial realm. If it was not for charitable individuals, I would not be sitting in my home right now. We're struggling a lot and it's intensely stressful. We're doing everything possible to change our situation and we're keeping faith and hope that things look up very soon. Poverty changes a lot of things in your mind. It changes the way your mind works. You have stuff that you no longer need or it's broken/ruined. You know it needs to be donated or thrown away (not counting items that can be sold - those are dealt with properly), but you develop this mental block that you need to keep it because you might not be able to afford something new in the future. Take clothes. I have a couple of things that no longer fit and are rather threadbare. It's hard to get rid of them because....well, what if I can't afford to buy something new? At least I won't be naked if I keep these clothes that are falling apart. And laundry. I live in an apartment. Laundry is $3.00 total per load. I can't afford to do laundry several times a week, so if I have extra clothes, I don't have to wash as often. Make sense?

I need to get this done. I need my house to feel like more of a home for me. I need things to be more organized and structured for my little boy. So, here I am again, challenging myself to declutter at least 2014 things this year. So far, I have a bunch of things bagged up for donation. We donate to a an organization that offers pick up service, so there's no procrastination with packing up the car and driving off to a donation center. I just have to leave the items on my doorstep and they'll pick it up once a week. Sadly, they are scheduled to pick up tomorrow and we now have a Winter Storm Warning with the possibility of a good bit of the white shit. I may just end up waiting another week to get all of my bags picked up.

I'll be blogging about this throughout the year, updating with my official numbers as well as pictures. Follow along. Also, you may be interested in checking out the official thread on Mothering.com if you'd like some inspiration.

***I'm putting this out there - I know the moment someone mentions being po', there is someone out there thinking, "well, why do you have the internet if you're so poor?" Puh-lease. I have the internet because you need it for jobs nowadays - communication with employers as well as for putting in applications. The library is not a viable option for my area. Please read this excellent article on poor people who have the audacity to use the internet.  ***

Saturday, January 18, 2014

365 Feminist Selfie: Week Two of Embracing My Selfie

Post car crying blotchiness
Hey ho! The second week of taking daily selfies of myself has come and gone.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, please take time to read Embracing My Selfie to find out why I'm doing this and check out week one's photos as well. You know, if ya want.

I have to say, fuck my skin. That's what I got out of this week. We're experiencing a bit of a financial rough patch. This means that I do not eat as well as normal and I can't even buy the cheap items to make my homemade skin treatments. It blows. My skin blows. It is rebelling in a most unjust way. So, looks like I have to buckle down and accept it and allow myself to post photos of me looking like.....me.






Don't mind the demon eye blur. I took this in the dark and nearly blinded myself with the flash. Don't do that. Just capturing a very rare night nursing cuddle. My little girl is quickly jogging down the road to fully weaning. It breaks my heart. It's all too quick.























Because who doesn't blow soap bubbles at their phone?



















Belly dance class!

I know you're thinking it - because people have said it. "Wait, you said you're struggling? How can you afford to pay for a belly dance class?" Hint: I didn't pay.

This class is my sanity saver. It does wonders for my spirit and my mental health. Improvisational Tribal Style, y'all! Yip!

P.S. I'm reading class notes that my friend typed up. Because she rocks hardcore. Love.Her.










I wear glasses. In the car. When it rains.




















There he is again. Seamus. I worked for about 30 minutes this way. He would not move. I would pick him up, put him down, and he would jump right back up. I gave up and let him stay there. He purred the entire time.

We were watching poprn.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

Obviously not. If so, my right hand wouldn't be visible. JUST KIDDING.










I insulted a fan on my Facebook page this past week. Totes unintentional, but it happened. Therefore, an asshole am I.


















Another week bites the dust. Onward to next week and 7 more gloriously gorgeous photos of the most beautiful Funky Little EarthChild.

P.S. I have been oil pulling while writing this post. May as well knock out two challenges at once. I'm efficient.

Much love!!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pulling My Teeth

I  have the suckiest bathroom lighting
At some point last year, I said I was going to start oil pulling. What is oil pulling? It's a method of swishing oil around in your mouth each day in order to promote oral health. Here is a much better explanation. Oil pulling comes with many claims - it will cure every thing from Alzheimer's to Cancer to Masturbation to Zinc Deficiency. Or something. If you google it, you'll see oil pulling listed as a cure for nearly every disease and disorder you can think of. I, however, do not buy into most of it at this time. I do believe it can have a good effect on your oral health, which is why I'm giving it a go. I know that oral health can affect your overall body heart, especially your heart and kidneys.....I'm just not down with the claims that it cures 948459478574 ailments.

 I was drawn to the claims in regards to oral health. I have suffered from gum disease and shitty teeth since I was a child. There have only been a few occasions in my life where I have gone to the dentist and have been told I was free of cavities. A typical visit yields at least a few cavities. My gums are always unhappy. I hate smiling because my teeth are ugly. They have permanent discoloration thanks to both tetracycline and braces. I'm good about taking care of my teeth. I brush 2 to 3 times daily. I floss one to two times a day. My diet isn't total crap. I do drink coffee, but it's coffee or heart meds (seriously - it keeps me from bottoming out and passing out - ask my cardiologist). My teeth are so shitty that I currently have cavities, but my dentist (God, I miss my old dentist) told me she will not fill them unless I have some scary deep, deep cleaning first. My insurance will not cover that. Guess what else my insurance doesn't cover? Other dentists. I have poor people insurance and, while it's been a lifesaver, the dental coverage suuuuuuccccckkkss. So, I'm down for oil pulling if there is a chance it could help my teeth.

There are also many suggestions for how to do this. The length of time to do it, whether or not to brush your teeth afterwards, the type of oil to use.....it all varies. I'm choosing coconut oil. That is what I have and what doesn't gag me. The typical suggested time is 20 to 25 minutes. I use a teaspoon, not a tablespoon.

What do you do? You put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around like mouthwash, making sure to push it through your teeth. Do this for 25 minutes. Now, coconut oil is solid when the ambient temperature is under 74 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take a couple. Some people can take a spoonful of solid coconut oil into their mouth and let it sit there and melt. I tried that once, I gagged. It wasn't pretty. I need it in liquid form. In the cooler months, I melt it over the stove. Since I do this in the morning, I hold it over the stove when cooking eggs or bacon. It melts pretty quick. If you do this be sure to transfer it to a cooler spoon!! Do not be like me - I heated the coconut oil over the stove (P.S. - the first time my husband saw me doing this, he asked if I had started a heroin habit since that's sorta what it looks like) and then put that spoon directly into my mouth. Ouchmotherfuckthathurtssobad. Don't do it. When you're finished, spit it into a trashcan. Don't swallow. Don't spit it in the sink - it's no good for your pipes.

There's some question out there as to whether it is entirely safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding women. I probably wouldn't do it while pregnant and I'm barely nursing anymore. There's also a bit of debate about using it when you have fillings in your mouth. The argument is the oil pulling will either damage fillings - I remain unconvinced here - or it'll leach toxins out of your fillings into your mouth and you'll fucking turn into mercury itself. I remain convinced on this point as well. Besides, my fillings are there in my mouth all day, everyday, with a direct access to my bloodstream (live teeth! gums!). I'm pretty much fucked as it is.

As I said, there is plenty to be found on oil pulling and this isn't really a how-to. I suck at how-to stuff. I'm writing this because I tried oil pulling at the beginning of last Summer. I didn't last very long because I ran low on coconut oil and being extremely poor, I just plain couldn't afford to buy some more. I needed to save what was left for cooking. Thankfully, a friend generously sent me some coconut oil last month and I can set some aside for skin health and oil pulling.

I'm going to do it every day for one month to see if there is any notable difference. My regimen is easy - 1 teaspoon of oil once a day in the morning. Swish for 25 minutes. Spit into the trash. Rinse and spit. Brush teeth. Smile.

I'll let you know the results in 30 days. :)

*Disclaimer - the above link for coconut oil leads you to my affiliate link to Mountain Rose Herbs. If that makes you uncomfortable, but you want to check out MRH, just head to Mountainroseherbs.com.
*P.S. I giggled every time I typed "oral." Because I'm immature.

Friday, January 3, 2014

You Totes Need to Read This Post Because I Am Adorbs.

I know, right? Copyright ME 2014 - because I'll cut a bitch if you steal it.
A few days ago, I was reading a blog post about developing self confidence....or maybe I was watching free porn....I forget...Anyway, I came across an article from HuffPo about the shit I supposedly no longer supposed to say now that I am over 30. And by "now," I mean that I'm 35.

The article, which you can read for yourself, states that there are 7 deadly sins of speech for anyone over age 30 or people who have mortgages and jobs with benefits. Obviously the author has missed the last few years in this country, because I think the latter two criteria cut out half of her age group. Things one must not say over age 30:

"I know, right?"

"Adorbs."

"Totes."
"Feels."
"Cray or Cray-Cray."
"Amazeballs."
"I will cut you. I will cut a bitch."



I know, right? What is up with people telling other people what to write or say these days? It's totes on my Facebook feed all.day.long. People who whine about the grammar of others. People who cry over the use of hashtags. People who are unbelievably agry about cats with poor spelling and sentence structure. The, "thou shalt not write this or that," commands are totes all the rage these days. And I get it. Sometimes bad grammar and spelling makes things hard to read. My cats are, in fact, personally offended that the world seems the think they don't haz good grammerz. Hashtags give me seizures. No really - someone posts a picture of their kids and there are 597858975894834 hastags with it that may or may not have a damn thing to do with the picture - #lovethiskid #shehasanewshirt #kids #mommylove #thisisapicture #hellnotoGMO #mytaintburns #oatmeal #mickeymouse #kungfu #what #what. I don't have Instagram, so I'm not in the hashtag loop. I find it odd and slightly annoying, but that feeling goes away after 0.0004 seconds as I scroll down to the next picture of a cat wearing hipster glasses and a mustache. It's not that I don't get the annoyance with reading out of place words, hash tags, silly words, made up shit, etc. I just don't get the constant obsession these days with pointing it out and attempting to correct it. And the shaming. It's not like people are casually mentioning that a misspelled hashtag is annoying now and then. It's everyday. Every hour. I know that the sun won't set one my news feed without at least 5 or 6 self-righteous  memes, posts, status updates, what have you raging on the latest grammar faux pas. That's more annoying than a bad grammar cat meme with 52 nonsensical hashtags attached to it.

This article just annoyed me. Maybe I am bitter that the HuffPo has become ultra fluff lately. Or maybe I'm just over people saying what you can or can not do just because you belong to this class of people, are that gender, or you're this age. Telling people (typically women) they cannot do things because they are over 30 is so trite and totally something you'd find in a 1997 issue of Redbook. Ooooh, don't wear skirts above the knee. Don't wear skirts below the knee. Don't wear sparkly purple shoes with bright pink socks. Don't say totes. It's totes annoying. There are bigger issues in the world - I mean, there are people who really believe that reality TV is actually real. That's a real issue and it's cray. Completely cray. Or maybe I'm the cray cray one and I'm taking this too seriously. Yeah, that's probably it.

Besides, the author used the words, "flotsam and jetsam." Ew. Who even says that in day to day conversation? Those are the after products of coitus. Look it up in a Webster if you don't believe me.

I say all of those things, except for "feels," which I have never heard in the manner referenced in the article. I'm an intelligent woman. Sometimes I act rather mature. Sometimes, I fart at the dinner table and declare such butt utterance, "amazeballs." Vernacular changes with time. We adopt new words. Some of those words stick. Some of those words are merely trendy and fade away with the latest one hit wonder. Some people just plain don't give a shit and say what they feel, be it in the Queen's English or in the dialect of a typical 15 year old glued to her iPhoney - even when they're over 30. It's fun to make fun of it, but some people take it way too seriously. Kinda like I'm taking the whole article too seriously....but I'm having fun with it. And now I'm rambling. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if we say "amazeballs" or "amazing", "cray" or "crazy", "I'd rather enjoy gutting that vile person" or "I'll cut a bitch." All that matters is that we treat each other with love. Or some feel good shit like that.

Yes, I do realize that I am complaining about people who complain about what other people say by complaining about what those people say. It's totes not lost on me. I'm just poking fun.

But I will cut a bitch who disagrees with me. Since I'm totes adorbs, no one will suspect me.

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