Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clean room

How do you clean your house?  Do you clean one room at a time or do everything in one day in a major cleaning fest?

I used to clean everything in one day.  Then I would to take a long hot bath, pat myself on the back, and not worry about it until the next week.

Then I had the terror known as Carter.

I say that jokingly...  sorta.

Now, I clean when I can but I never feel like the house is clean like clean enough that I can sit down and not feel guilty.  Take yesterday for example.  I cleaned the bathroom.  Like really, really cleaned the bathroom.  That kinda of clean that some people only do once a year but my father does every other day at his house.  I'm extremely efficient, but it took me about 75 minutes uninterrupted to do this.  Then I walked in my room, sat down and felt like I accomplished nothing because my room is a mess!  The baby woke up from his nap and was ready to eat so I couldn't do anything about it right then.  So instead I made a list of what I needed to do to get things done in there.  The list is 2,000 feet long! 

Let me take a moment to let you know we just moved into a new house August 4th.  I was 32.5 weeks pregnant.  August 9, 10, 11 I was in the hospital in preterm labor.  August 14th the baby was born. 
So I've been trying to turn this house into a home bit by bit.
My problem is our old house had large closets.  Seriously my closet could have been a 4th bedroom.  Our new home has little bitty closets so I have a bunch of stuff I have no idea what to do with.  I need to buy about 3 dressers because we don't own any, because our old closets were HUGE.  However, we lack the $$$. So I have a lot of stuff that doesn't really go anywhere.  I have decluttered to the max, so everything we have, we need.  I have great storage solutions for the boys, just not us.  I found these lovely cabinets.  I want 3 of them to span one wall in our bedroom.  Look down until you see the price tag.  That is why we don't own them.  I don't want to settle on something cheaper I don't love.  I have been advised to get something temporary (thrift store cheap). 
Here is the reason why I don't want to do that...
Remember him, the cute guy.  He would not let me get those lovely dressers if we have already spent money on something temporary, no matter how little money.  He is totally against "fixin' something that ain't broke." 

If you look in the back ground of the picture you can see what I mean.  In the dresser are our summer clothes.  That dresser is actually our buffet from our dining room set.  You see all the pillows stacked in the corner.  Where do you put those when they are not on your bed?  My linen closet is the size of my pinky.  It doesn't even fit all our towels and sheets.  (Yes those are aluminum foil wrapped bunny ears aka antenna, told you we are serious about saving money.  And no we do not have netflix, hulu, or any of the other tv cheats.)  So here are some real room pictures.

So the line on the wall is a Christmas count down for Cade.  I'll post about it later.  As you see we have an elliptical machine, pack and play, and travel bassinet.  Where do you keep these things?  I don't want them in the garage. 
Then we have the chair I need to recover and the printer.

Here we have the car seat's home when not in use and the fancy bedding.

You can see I need a bed skirt but I have an idea to make one...  you will see soon.  Yes, the baby is asleep on there.  I laid him down so I could take these pictures.

There is my vanity that I refinished, that we found on the side of the road.  Yes, I am that person.  It is holding everything I need to nurse and is beside my beautiful but impractical white chair that will be uncovered when the kids get older.  Under the vanity is our luggage.  It either goes there or the pantry....  Awesome choices right?  Also notice the tray table in the middle of the room with books.  It is serving a purpose.  The baby monitor has to be in that location.  Any lower and it will shriek at me.

My goal is to make this bedroom a happy, loving place for my husband and me.  However, it is currently home to unfinished projects and things that don't go anywhere yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meal planning

So, since I've quit my job, we have had to become creative about what we eat.  We are a lactose free household, and our middle son has horrible food intolerences.  Also, a doctor recommended that I go gluten free because I'm breastfeeding our youngest son who is having some health issues. 
What are food intolerences you might ask...  basically if Carter eats something that has milk, soy, rice, oats, apple, pear, or oranges, he has bloody stool and/or develops a horrible rash on his bottom.  (I hate calling it a rash because it is so much worse than a diaper rash, like you don't even know!)
I'm not a very good cook and don't really understand how to substitute things.  I'm learning from some great friends.  If you are interested in healthy eating please visit  It is run by Cade's cousins who know a lot more about this stuff than I do.  At our house we eat a lot of plain meat and veggies.  I've found out that this is basically the paleo diet. 
Since our diet has changed two things have happened...  1. I'm hungry ALL THE TIME  2. I feel better!!
I used to not eat very much or talk about food because I constantly had a stomachache.  I would be to the point of throwing up if I had to look at food at a time other than meal time. 
Now I'm excited about cooking dinner for my husband and children! 
So when meal planning...
My tip to success is to plan out the main course each month for the whole month then buy the sides based on what is on sale.  I created an excel document where I listed the things I can cook and assigned then to each day of the month.
I buy what is in season/on sale.  Earlier this year squash was on sale for about a month straight.  So guess what we ate for a month straight?  ding ding ding Squash.  I can now cook squash anyway you would ever want it!
What if nothing is really on sale?  Then I buy frozen.  Publix is continually running buy one get one free sales on frozen and canned veggies.  No they don't taste as good and no they are not as healthy but they are in our budget. 

Mary Poppins

Welcome to my first post ever!
I assume all of you have watched Mary Poppins at some point in your life.  It is one of my favorite movies!  I thought success would be when I was that was the type of mother/teacher.  She truly was practically perfect in every way.... in my 8 year old mind. 
Then I grew up. 
I became a mother, teacher, wife, and let me tell you.  I'm nothing like her.  I can't sing, the house doesn't clean itself when I snap, and I have yet to find that perfect handbag.
The point is every day I get up and make a home for my family.  I look at the internet and books and dream of the amazing things I'm going to do one day.  Then I set goals to achieve those dreams. 
I'm not completing five projects a day with step by step tutorials.  I'm not cooking wonderfully healthy meals that are all organic.  I'm not taking huge vacations with the hundreds of dollars I save each week with coupons.  I'm not teaching my kids to read by age two. I AM taking steps to improve our new house, eat at home more, save money, and mold well rounded kids.
I hope to have posts about cleaning, decorating, cooking, crafting, parenting, teaching, and being a better wife.  I need you to keep me accountable because I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman.

Now in case you don't know me personally.
My name is CarlaLee.  As a kid I couldn't say that, so my parents mercifully let me go by Carla (let's be honest, I couldn't say that either).  I answer to either one but prefer CarlaLee.  I have taught 1st and 3rd grade.  I quit my job so I could be a full time mom when our middle child developed a physical delay and was needing therapy 2-3 times a week.  I'm married to this wonderful guy named Cade.  He is my best friend who is so supportive of my crazy ideas.  He is an engineer.  Isn't he cute...
We have three boys.  Chandler 7,   Carter 2,   Caden 4 months

Please know you will see many, many kid pictures. 
Told you so...
We love Disney World more than any place else.  My dreams is to work there when the boys finish high school.  Cade wants to be a rock star in Epcot's Candian pavilian.  I don't care if I'm just a janitor.  I just want to be there.