Ok- don't get scared...just put on your 'funny cap!'
I promise this really is adoption related, I'll explain below. I'm about to share something very personal, it's not often I admit something of this magnitude...if you know me and my many quirks- you know that I am: borderline obsessive/compulsive (maybe I'm really over the 'line'), very organized (I actually dream about how to organize things better & make them more functional), and I have great attention to detail. Well, if all this is true- how did our play room get to look like this?
What you can't see here is the two stains on the carpet from chocolate milk & a couple of old sippy cups that were stuck under the recliner. Ok, so I know you are laughing now- I would be. I'm thinking of all my friends, and even my sister, who have commented on this very problem. Kid toys & stuff. Come on ya'll (there's my southern slang!), there's got to be a better way. Why are we letting ourselves be so stressed out by all this stuff?
I've been threatening for years that we would buy one of those old dressers at a yard sale (the kind with 6 big drawers) & let each child have 1 or 2 drawers for ALL their 'stuff.' I've been overwhelmed with toys since our first child was born. Everything seems to be in excess- and the kids don't even play with anything! I know I'm not preaching to the choir here...I hear this kind of problem all the time from moms.
So this is what I've done- I've torn every toy out of every corner and made a HUGE pile in the middle of the floor. I went to Walmart tonight and purchased 9 matching rubbermaid bins. The lovely built in bookshelves we have in the toy room will house all 9 bins and all of our children's books. There will be 7 bins (one for every day of the week) that will hold toys, activities, dress up clothes, etc. for DD#3 & DS #3. They (besides the baby) will be the youngest children and are still young enough to play with toys. Each bin will hold things for DD#3 & DS#3, divided equally. On the corresponding day (ex. Monday), they will only be allowed to open that particular bin and play with it's contents for the ENTIRE day. Technically, by the end of the day only the toys that fit in the bin will need to be picked up. Seems like a good idea doesn't it? The other two bins will be for #1: Baby toys (that DD#4 will have access to every day- but they all have to fit in the ONE bin) & #2: Angelina Ballerina and accessories. Angelina will be accessible to DD#3 every day because DS#3 has his trucks, dumptrucks, etc. available in his bedroom closet.
I am about to head upstairs and sneak into the toy room to do the night-time purging and sorting into the bins. I'll attach pictures of the room when I'm done.
How this relates to the adoptions:
I have been preparing the house for our 4 Liberian children for over a year now. It has come in many stages: painting, rearranging rooms, purchasing furniture, fixing and refinishing donated furniture, planning out the best way to function with 9 people in this house (laundry, eating, school, bathrooms/showers, etc.) I am still tweaking and am not done yet. I've been in this 'nesting phase' for a LONG time now. Just when I think I'm doing ok, I think of another thing to go through and organize. I still have a long way to go, but you have to understand that if I had it my way- every cabinet would be labeled in this entire house! Really, I'm serious!
Among all of this, I'm still trying to repaint the interior of our entire house and decorate (a process that we started 2 years ago when we moved in). Every surface in this house needed attention- ceilings, trim, walls, carpet, etc. With being pregnant when we moved here (and now) having 3 children among all my other responsibilities- it's really been baby steps. But...we are preparing and getting ready for the Liberian children.
Have you ever thought about how you might go about preparing to add 4 children to your life/home? Think about what you need for 1 baby. Think of all the things one receives at a baby shower to 'ready' themselves for the coming of a child. How may areas in one's life need to be thought about when adding 4 children who have interests, desires, personalities, likes/dislikes & teenage (or preteen) emotions/hormones!
Yea, it could get overwhelming- especially for the obsessive/compulsive mind... On that note, wish me luck as I sneak upstairs to the toy room. More pictures to come!