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One Room Challenge – Week 3

It’s been a productive third week of the ORC. The walls are painted and we drafted the final plans for a bench, cubbies, and shelving. Yesterday I focused on painting everything including the trim which needed some TLC. Next up is getting wallpaper on the accent walls, ordering the light below, and figuring out fabric for a bench cushion. Below are my inspiration pics.

That said, I need help with pattern mixing. What type of pattern goes best with buffalo check? I’m thinking something red but unsure. I’d love some advice!

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One Room Challenge – Week 2

Most of the items are cleared out of the closet and the shelves were removed.  This week I’m in the trenches of prepping the walls to be painted.  Not fun at all.  But it gives me time to think about what to do for the design of the faux mudroom.  The big decision I’m trying to make is whether to do wallpaper accent walls or perhaps try my hand at stenciling.  What do you think?  There are so many great removable wallpaper options these days that I wonder how easy it could/would be.  Below is what I’m thinking about but open to ideas/suggestions:

Target’s Peel & Stick Wallpaper

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I want to go bold for the small amount of wall space in the closet turned faux mudroom.  Black and white packs a big punch in a small space, but I’m concerned the dimensions of the print will dwarf the already small space.  Another option I found on the site Walls Need Love.  The crispness of the blue & white is eye catching.

Walls Need Love – Blue Shapes

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I already have a bench in the foyer that I’d like to move to the mudroom.  However, I’m not sure it’s quite big enough.  It depends on what I build out with shelves, etc.  It’s a classic piece that I can use in other parts of the house if not in the faux mudroom.  With three kids a 2-seat bench is probably asking for trouble, right?

Ballard Designs – Dorchester 2-Seat Bench

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I’m about a week behind in the ORC so trying to catch up.  Next week I’ll be back with the painted and empty space.  Fingers crossed!

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One Room Challenge – Closet Turned Mudroom

I’ve followed the One Room Challenge at Calling It Home for awhile, and even though I’m already behind I’ve decide to do this. It’s a great way to force me to actually finish a project. And with winter coming soon I need to get all the coats, shoes, and mittens from cluttering my foyer. My ORC is my embarrassingly messy foyer closet. Shield your eyes because the view is scary.

This closet if off the entrance from our garage but also in a teeny tiny hallway leading to our laundry room. All this to mean it’s a hot mess of doors. Whoever designed our house deserves a smack on the back of the head for this mistake. The poor design renders the space useless when my three kiddos are around. They smack doors into each other and inevitably fight over getting access to the space.

I’ve pulled the doors down and tomorrow I’ll show the latest progress. My concern is I don’t want it to be totally obvious this is a closet turned mudroom. Does that make sense? I’ve thought about knocking down one wall to open the space up, but my hubby wasn’t such a big fan. For now I’m going to work with what we have structurally but focus on making the space functional for our family.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with progress photos and inspiration photos. Let’s do this!

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Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Real?

Today I’m going to get personal. Mostly because I’m at a loss for where to go or who can help. In the off chance one of my two readers (ha!) can relate or even point me in a direction, I’m going to put this out there.

I am exhausted.

I know, I know. So if every other parent or person from time to time. This, however, feels different. It’s the kind of exhaustion and fatigue where I can barely get out of bed. Not from sadness or depression, but more a heavy feeling like my mind and body are done moving. The worst part is I want to move. As a Type A woman, I thrive on checking things off my to-do list and accomplishing things. Imagine my dismay when all I want to do is sleep.

In the past year I’ve seen an endocrinologist, gynecologist, and my primary doctor to discuss this persistent and often debilitating fatigue. They tell me I’m likely depressed or need to lose a few pounds or take vitamins or get more sunlight. I’ve tried those “fixes” and it works for a bit before the next wave of fatigue hits. Mostly the debilitating fatigue affects me most after I’ve mentally or physically exerted myself. Hence, the episodes often start on Fridays. It’s as if my body makes it so far into the week before saying “Stacy, you have to rest.” I’m ok with rest until my body is telling me I need 72 hours of it.

If I’m being honest, this has been a struggle my whole life. I had mononucleosis in kindergarten. Who gets mono at age 6? Then I dealt with mono again in college and in my twenties. When I tell my primary drs this they insist mono only hits a person once. Um, no. I have the tests to prove it.

Recently I stumbled upon this article. And it scared the hell out of me. I read the article recognizing myself in the stories. Chronic fatigue syndrome? Is it real? Is the fatigue in my head? And more importantly, who do I go see to help me? All I know is I don’t want to keep living like this fearing this fatigue. It’s like hitting a wall at 90mph, and the impact is hard on my family and me.

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Mothering Like a Project Manager

As a working mother with three kids under age five, I’ve felt stressed for maybe the last five years.  Motherhood without stress, when you have three kids in twenty months, is foreign to me.  Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom or something in-between, a common topic amongst mothers of young children is stress management. How do we possibly manage it all?  Moreover, how much of this stress is self-induced?

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The demands of motherhood force us all to make daily decisions about what we need to get done.  Not want to get done.  There’s never enough a time in the day no matter if you have an office job or you’re at home full-time.  Time’s finite nature tends to make most of us feel as if we just had a little bit more of it we’d do X, Y or Z.  It’s a weekly struggle of mine since I work from home one-day each week.  I catch myself thinking “on Friday I will get done the 15 things I’ve put off for months.”  And you know what?  It never happens.  Never.

As a project manager, I talk trade-off analysis on the daily.  I know, it’s not a sexy topic, but hear me out.  Trade-off analysis and negotiating wants versus needs is part of surviving motherhood.  So many mommy bloggers these days justify why they absolutely HAVE to do certain things.  We don’t have to do anything.  Embracing the ability to make trade-offs for what you’re willing or not willing to do is freeing and stress relieving for many moms.  As it should be!  I’ll present my own trade-off analysis as an example:

I HATE, HATE, HATE grocery shopping with kids.  

There, I said it.  So I took a look at the cost of grocery shopping with the kids.  And by cost I don’t mean monetary.  I’m talking the personal and family cost of doing it.  A much harder thing to quantify.  I determined this cost was as follows:

  • Inability to concentrate due to the constant “Mommy, Mommy, Mommmmmmmy!”
  • Feeling rushed so I can get out before a major meltdown by the kids (or maybe me)
  • Guilt of a toddler being a toddler around people wanting a peaceful shopping experience
  • An all-around unpleasant experience for myself and the shoppers around me

Well, crap, I thought after thinking through the cost.  What am I going to do now?  As a logic driven person, I thought of three viable options.

  1. Leave kids at home w/ my husband – very possible and only requires a trade-off of time.
  2. Pay for grocery pick-up – costs a small fee and requires planning.  Involves a trade-off of time and money.
  3. Status quo – suck it up and regularly take all the kids to the store.  Trade-off is time for potentially more trips each week than I need and added mental load/stress.

Guess which ones I picked?  Yup, options #1 or #2 with a rare #3 sprinkled in for truly urgent situations which are few and far between.  I decided the trade-off of time was well worth the reduction in stress level for not only myself but also the family.  I want to reduce my stress level more than I need to go to the grocery store daily with three kids.

Today something clicked in my head for how and why my view of motherhood sometimes doesn’t jive with others.  My project manager hat is on when I’m in my role as a mother.  I consciously do trade-off analysis on a regular basis for some of the most mundane tasks in my life (ahem, groceries, I’m talking about you!).  Why not take some of the emotion and the “I just have to’s” out of the equation and apply project management tools to motherhood?