Somewhere along the line this blog became less Chewy Granola Mama, the place you learn about switching to more natural ways of living; and more about Chewy Granola Mama, the person, the mess of a mama behind this mess I call life. Dealing with anxiety nearly my entire life, I have tried many forms of treatment including some less than conventional suggestions. In a way, that’s what this is, it’s like a form of unconventional therapy in which I dove a little too deep, a little too quickly. On that note, I have decided not to edit any of my current posts. While some of it rambles on into unneccessary details, and may not be something I would post today, it is how I felt at the time I posted. One of my life goals is to be more authentic, to tell people how I truly feel instead of living on false pretenses in an effort to avoid conflict, to avoid hurt feelings; to avoid anything means to not be true to myself. Maybe that’s selfish, but after giving so much of myself over the years, it’s become necessary for me to focus on myself at least for a while.
I shared one of those truths in a past post, my overwhelming clutter. I also shared that I wished Shawn had space with only his own belongings, well, we did it! Kinda… His bedroom now has just his and Rohan’s toys in it (besides the old washer that we’d still like to have repaired one day and our family tent which goes well with his prepping supplies) with *everything* being gone through, sorted and given homes. “A place for everything and everything in its place”
It is very difficult to see just how much work truly goes into clearing an entire room (and home!) when you have this much clutter, and often times you can spend hours working only to have a loved one come in and say that it doesn’t look any different, or even that it’s worse. It truly is a punch in the gut when a little acknowledgement would go a long way!
That is what inspired this piece, knowing just how much effort does go into working through an entire room, I decided to document our February vacation (I can hear my teen’s eyes roll at reading that sentence since our week was nothing of the sort, especially for him) while we tackled our 13 year old son’s bedroom and every toy in the house. Knowing that what may be important to him, in comparison to what may be important to me, with the unique perspective of having my own mom come through on her own with a garbage bag as a child, has made me more conscious of being sure they both find out how to decide for themselves what is a priority to them.
February 19th, Day Zero
We started by emptying Shawn’s bedroom of everything on the floor, in the closet and on top of his bed, bringing it all to the living room. The only things we left in his room were the books and belongings on his bookcases and the shelves of his closet plus the videos under his TV.
February 20, 2017 Day One
I asked Shawn to go through each book and decide if it was one that he personally wanted to keep. After he finished, there was a HUGE pile left over for Rohan and I to look through ourselves.
Not surprisingly, by the time we stopped for Rohan’s nap, we had put about as many books in the keep pile as into the boxes to pass on but I was very happy with the work done so far, especially by Shawn who is not the slightest bit impressed with this undertaking but who has gone straight into it and done well! While I laid his brother down for his nap, he was still in there going through the last books and stuff on the top shelves deciding to keep less than half.
February 21, 2017
I finished going through the books today. Well, the ones in Shawn’s bedroom anyway… Shawn and Rohan have been playing together a lot more since pulling all the toys out. I think there may be real merit in alternating what’s out at any given time. Once I finished deciding what I wanted to keep, I asked Rohan about a small pile.
I had Shawn finish going through the rest of the stuff on his shelves and everything else left in his room before having him fix the books upright on the shelves after putting them on haphazardly, putting everything he passed down to Rohan on the bottom two shelves of each case so that he can reach them.I did a thorough sweep of the room, vacuumed (even getting
help to move the old washer that we would still like to
repair when we get a chance, and his locker that holds his TV so now everything including the rug under the mattress has been vacuumed under in the past month!) and told the boys they could be done for the day.
Tomorrow we start on the toys *dun*dun*dun*
February 22, 2017
Began by touching up the bedroom, then moved to the living room where we dumped all the boxes into a huge pile in the middle of the floor.
I helped Shawn decide what type of toys to put into each basket/bin and then left him to decide on his own which ones he wanted to keep, while I tossed the ones I wanted (some from my own childhood) into the designated boxes.
As Shawn put everything he wanted to keep into the stuffed animals/vehicles/music/people & animals, etc. boxes, he tossed the rest into boxes for Rohan and I to go through afterwards.
Shawn invited Rachel over for the day so we didn’t quite finish what we started before her father dropped her off at our place. He has been doing such a great job since our family meeting last week and especially the last few days working on his room that it was completely worth the break.
I headed for a doctors appointment while the kids played video games, then laid Rohan down for a nap when I got home.
February 23, 2017
Aside from one box, I gave Shawn the day off today so he could have at least one day of vacation to himself.
I went through the box as well when he was finished, then vacuumed his bedroom to get ready for tomorrow when we put everything away after one final sort, and move the rest to the basement.
February 24, 2017
Double checked all the boxes of stuff to get rid of, making sure nothing else got mixed back into anything (Shawn cleaned up everything on the floor when Rachel came over by shoving it into any available box 😉 ) had Shawn rearrange things to fit inside and taped them closed before he and Derek move them all to the basement.
Moved everything on top of Shawn’s bed so I could lay out some plywood over the open slats (bought this plywood to build a shelving unit but it’s sat here unused since I tried to save money buying the “legs” from the cull pile lol so I am grateful to finally have a use for them and they fit perfectly <3) I set up the rest of the wood to finish the bed (never built the bookcase for the top or added the desk down below) and fit everything to the edge as best as possible so we could decide where to put away the toys we’re keeping.
Rohan had a blast playing in his “hideout” now that he has learned how to safely climb up and down the ladder, while Shawn moved the stuffed animals, guns and balls to the edge of the bed. We decided on those going on the bed and the baskets of random, messier toys could be stored in the nice baskets on the floor to be easier to clean up when they are finished playing.
February 25, 2017
Vacuumed the living room while Shawn wiped down some of Rohan’s kitchen, then emptied the brown organizer onto the floor and Shawn sorted the last tote of random toys into 6 different categories and then left the tote for me to go through the rest later.
February 26, 2017
Took the boys to my cousin’s daughter’s birthday party at a ‘Chuck E Cheese’ like establishment called Family Time Dine and Play at our local mall. The most interesting thing happened, as soon as we pulled in, I was going to park in the one empty spot on the right but at the last moment, decided to park in one of the spots in the empty row on the left. I shut off the car, opened the door, stepped out and saw a penny on the parking spot line, heads up, so I picked it up. It had my old bff’s birth year on it.
This morning Time Hop showed up with a couple posts she was tagged in and I searched her and found an old post that I hadn’t seen so was feeling particularly badly that she hadn’t responded, though understand why, I think. I didn’t really think about how I responded and used some terms I shouldn’t have, ones that really didn’t express how I truly feel so to find that penny was like a message, especially since I have found 6 recently with her birth year in very conspicuous places. Anyway, we went in and immediately I regretted it because my anxiety started going but Rohan has never been to a place like that so he really had a blast! It was especially great since this particular one serves gluten free pizza which tastes good enough to just go there for that! Shawn had fun with her son as well, they spent most of the day together playing video games when he wasn’t taking Rohan into the fun maze. All in all, after the hard week, this was a welcome distraction and I am glad they had such fun ❤ When we got home, Rachel came over again so they had the entire day off.
February 27, 2017
Found some nerf guns laying around the house and as I went to climb the ladder for probably the fifth time in the last two days, I had an epiphany! I had already thought about and forgotten about alternating the toys! I chose a few guns that they had been playing with the most and put the cover on the tote with the rest and put it away on top of the bed. Still need to ask the boys which balls they want down and I will pull out different ones in a few weeks or whenever they seem to get bored. After yesterday, I really need some time to refresh myself, so today when Shawn went back to school, Rohan and I spent the day watching movies.
February 28, 2017
Rohan woke up with a cough today and later developed a fever. There are still a few odd toys in the living room to be sorted through but Shawn is finished with everything he needs to do and I want to say what an amazing job he did! There were a few points where he wasn’t sure if he was going to make it but like a marathon runner catching a second wind, he perservered and look at the difference!
Now that we are all finally over the cold that swept through, I will tackle the living room again to get that back in order. If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know that I mentioned planning to work on the living room back in January, I realized that while I posted a quick update on facebook, I never made a post here… Sorry, though, gives you more ways to follow me I guess 😉
What I took away from this week:
Shawn is awesome. AWESOME I tell you!
Breaks are NECESSARY to this process!
Alternate what toys are out at any given time and they play with them more.
It’s way easier to play if all like items are stored together and you know their location.