Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back to School: Practical Sewing & Organization

*I delayed publishing this post after it became clear my daughter might not make it at school, but I still did all this crap so onto the blog it goes now! I've gone ahead and inserted updates and commentary where needed.

Well, that summer went fast.  It is still hot, the pool is still calling my name, but the kids are back at school.  Henry proudly helped me make the signs for the photos.  My kindergartner and my first grader!
Yes, those are her spare glasses - she broke her other pair days before school started. *She now has two new pairs, thank God.  She looks 2 in these pink plastic Harry Potter ones.

He is going to be ridiculously tall.   He wears a 1 wide shoe.  He's 6!  *These white shoe with laces have already been replaced by navy shoes with velcro.  Some things are better in photos.

I took a few days out a while ago to clean out my kids rooms-  sorting toys, culling outgrown clothing, and generally tidying up.  And it has stuck!  Somehow my kids have embraced the new system and their rooms have been super tidy for weeks now.  My housekeeper even said, "What am I supposed to be cleaning?!"  (Not to worry, things are tidy, but she is hardly in danger of losing her job.)  *Note:  Still very clean, more then a month later.  Amazing!


4+ trash bags destined for the Salvation Army.  They run an adult, inpatient, NO COST substance abuse program in my county which is such a great service (standard 28-day rehab runs from $8,000-$42,000 around here) that I always make an effort to donate anything I can to them.  The jobs sorting, pricing and running the stores go to those in recovery trying to turn their lives around. *Note:  My sister Anna ended up getting sick of looking at my pile of donations and put them in her car and took them to the Goodwill near her house.  I was way too overwhelmed to follow through.  Thank-you Anna!!

The Lytton Springs Salvation Army facility in Healdsburg.  Built in 1921 it was originally "The  Salvation Army Boys and Girls Orphanage, Industrial Home and Farm"  That sounds like the setting for a book about an orphan-led adventure that leads to an abandon gold mine and... pirates!

Toy Bin Labels:

Quick and dirty-  I didn't take out my lamination machine or my real camera.  I used self-laminating pouches and printed photos straight from my phone.  This should solve the always annoying whine of "But I don't know where it goooooes!" from my kids.  My sister helped me knock out Henry's room in a few hours-- my daughter's enormous room took me days.  I got heat stroke sorting her stuffed animals.  No joke.

Hair Tie Storage:

Abigail, sadly, has inherited my thin straight hair so a lot of the cute hair accessories are too big for her.  I sorted these by color and put them in an old pill organizer, ala Ask Anna guest posting on Tatertots & Jello  Abby loved it and I love that it locks so she can't dump the 500 tiny ties all over the floor. *This system has worked great!  She picks out a color and locks the box.  Perfection!

Lunch & Snack Packing Station:

This was the before picture. *It can now double as the "Today" picture.  Sigh. 
I have to pack a separate snack and lunch for both my kids.  They use the Laptop Lunches system (an Americanized bento box essentially) for lunch and random bags for snack time.  There are lots of pieces- some with lids, some without, water bottles that fit in the snack bags but not in the lunch bags, etc.  It was a mess.  I also put together a quick list of easy ideas for those days when I blank on what to pack and what to buy at the store and stuck it to the inside of the cabinet door.  *This is now a total mess and the list has vanished. My husband has taken over packing lunches/snacks in the middle of the night because I've been too busy.

Uniform Alternations:

It's more obvious it is too long when she does active stuff like this.  I just need to get it hemmed.
I think every school on Earth should have kids in uniforms.  I love them.  Abby's jumper dress is a strange fit.  All the mom's were complaining.  Her's is a 6X and only kind of fits her at the waist and is way too long-- she is just into a regular size 5 right now.  To fix it I just snipped the seams on the shoulders and sewed it back together a few inches in.  I left the excess tacked inside so I can alter it again when she grows.   Much better! *Still way too long in comparison to her classmates many of who are just wearing their super tight size 4T dresses from pre-K. Oh well.

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Upcoming Projects: Not Yet Blogged

a rundown of what I've been up to: DIY wedding dress, "Back to School Night" decor, Flower Arranging for the Incomptent, more jam labels, a dog bed solution, paper embroidery, flying pig needlework, attempting to scrapbook, make your own board game kit, Link from Zelda costume, organinzing for homework, and how to build an afterschooling program!

how to declutter after a death... and how not to do it

what do you do with all your fat clothes? Make doll clothes!