Errand Hell

Errands are such a bore. And they are never-ending… it seems like the more errands I run, the more errands I need to run. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.  Also, it seems, errands never seem to go smoothly- I leave a receipt in the car, or I cannot find a cart when Emma is with me, or the weather conspires against me, making things a soggy, miserable mess.

As previously mentioned, I spent the last couple of weeks on a Quest for the Perfect Baskets for my beautiful new furniture. Past attempts had resulted in an epic fail, so I was back to square one. As a general rule, when I buy something for the house, I buy two of them.  Things look better in pairs according to Julias Math.  When Emma was itty bitty little, we had toys all over the house (in conjunction with Operation New Furniture, I am executing Operation Take Back Our House From All The Toys Everywhere). A direct result of my OC-Do is that things must be put away, so baskets appeared everywhere. I even used a laundry hamper (that looked like a basket) in our Family Room for toys!) I found the cutest tan crocodile container for our bedroom. I bought one. Only one. At the time, I had a mental disagreement with myself- should I really only buy one?!- and the conservative Only One camp won.  Last winter, these containers went on clearance and I again had the mental argument with myself, and ultimately, I didn’t buy another one…. So you can guess what looked PERFECT in my new shelves- that’s right, the single, lonely container.  I spent one afternoon driving around looking for a forgotten, dusty clearance rack with my red container.  Total failure and waste of time.

I40 1 Errand Hell love saving money even more than I love baskets, so I was forced to wait a week until I could redeem the Michael’s 40% off coupons that I had hoarded from last week’s Serial Return episode.  On Sunday, I loaded Emma and the baskets that almost-worked-but-didn’t-really into the car, and reviewed our objectives: find the perfect baskets (Me) and not touching everything pretty and shiny in the store (Emma) and set off.  Did I mention the monsoon conditions? Once we got to Michael’s, I was faced with a choice: did I leave Emma in the car and get a cart or did I drag her and the baskets in the rain, through the wet40 2 Errand Hell parking lot, into the store? Because I am scared to death of DFCS (the GA Division of Family and Children Services), I opted for the latter and we trudged through the wet into the store.  Thankfully, one of us finds the rain amusing and so was in a great mood (guess which one of us?). We left our return (if you have your receipt you are exempt from the Naughty List restriction) at the front and went searching.

monsoon Errand Hell

Current Weather Conditions

We did it! We found baskets for the cabinet and for the shelves! Yay us! Outside, it was still pouring, and I again chose to rodeo a toddler and four baskets through the parking lot.  At home, we put the baskets in place… and… 50% success rate. Because we are the kind of girls who only settle for 100%, we reloaded the car and went to another Michael’s, hoping they had a better basket selection.  Same drill through the rain into the store. This trip (number two) was a total waste of time! This Michael’s had no selection from which to choose the perfect baskets! We would have been better off going to the original Michael’s.  Unfortunately, we were closing in on nap time. And as any mother knows, you Do Not F with nap time.  I don’t care if we could have gotten the perfect baskets for free- we were going home!

After Emma’s nap (during which I may or may not have turned on the baby monitor every ten minutes to check and see if she was awake), we set off. Thankfully, the rain had stopped, which we took as a good sign.  We were greeted like old friends at the original Michael’s, which, by that point we were.  I had the brilliant idea to cruise the clearance rack… and there they were! The perfect baskets. Well, visually anyway they are perfect.  They are not so great for storage because

happy basket 150x150 Errand Hell


they aren’t very big.  However, that does give me the added bonus of being able to throw more stuff away!

I believe Emma learned some important life lessons: to never settle, and to never give up. The ‘perfect’ whatever is out there; you just have to be dedicated (and maybe a tiny bit flexible).  Also, keep all of your receipts!

The Baskets Make The Room

Every time I walk into my family room, I sigh with happiness. My new furniture is beautiful! It’s not scuffed and scarred and kicked with divot holes from where the vacuum ran into the legs.  Divine! The only thing standing between me and

mountain of toys The Baskets Make The Room

The Mountain of Toys

complete utopia is the stuff oozing from everywhere.  It is obvious what the solution is: It is time to stream line! It’s time to get rid of the goo, the grime (extra points for P90X reference), and the old worn out stuff that no one uses anymore. (We went to sleep one night and woke up in Toys R Us. Seriously. My daughter has so many toys it is beyond absurd.  Has this happened to anyone else??)

If I have learned anything in my thirty odd years (Yes, I know I look so much younger! Thank you!) it is that nothing goes as planned for me- Julias Math kicks in and even the best intentions can derail in a heartbeat… One lesson learned

(but always forgotten) is that the more things you try to simplify, the more complex things become.  It is so ass

olympic medal The Baskets Make The Room

My Organizational Gold Medal

backwards, it is ridiculous.  I live to organize things.  One of my favorite places on Earth is the Container Store.  I also LOVE to streamline things. As organizing and streamlining are like soup and sandwich, so this shouldn’t be too surprising. If throwing things away was an Olympic sport, I would be a back to back to back Gold Medalist.  I have been known to go on binges, throwing away everything in sight (and even things that are not in sight that my husband has attempted to hide from me).

I shall spare you the details on the purging- just know that it was either long and painful or short and exhilarating; depending on if you are Julia or if you are Thomas.  After everything was organized into piles, including Emma’s mountains of toys, it had to go somewhere. I am a huge fan of baskets. They look great and can hide a mess.  (My penchant for total neatness is really only on the surface, façade one might say- please don’t open drawers or check under sinks.  My house is Really Small and things have to go somewhere!) My love of baskets means I also love Michael’s. 

cart The Baskets Make The Room

Stupid Itty Bitty Cart

As soon as the furniture was set up, Emma and I set off for the first of many Michael’s trips.  I had purchased a few baskets in anticipation, which of course didn’t work, so I was anxious to obtain the perfect baskets.  If anyone at Michael’s is reading this, please take note: Your itty bitty teeny tiny carts SUCK. Once I get my kid and my purse in there, I am out of room.  I would probably buy more of your lovely items if you had carts like Costco.  I managed to make it into the store with four baskets and a toddler in the stupid tiny cart. I don’t think anyone was permanently harmed in the process.  I dropped off the baskets to be returned at the front and proceeded to the basket section.  Success! We found the perfect basket… we found only ONE perfect basket and we needed four.  Not to be deterred, we had an employee search the backroom and found two more. Score! Now we just needed to make an exchange we were on our way to furniture bliss.  Except I lost the receipt. Thankfully, we were able to make the exchange. 

At home, the baskets looked OK. Not as great as I had hoped, but because I was missing one I wasn’t sure if that was throwing off the whole thing.  We headed to another Michael’s, bringing with us two more baskets to exchange (because I forgot them the first time).  No basket love at this Michael’s, but we were able to return the other two baskets… barely. I am now on the Naughty List at Michael’s for having done too many returns without a receipt. I just hope my daughter doesn’t succumb to the terrible influences she is surrounded by and become a Serial Returner like her mother.

Back home again, Thomas and I (really just me. I am being nice here and including him in household decisions, but in reality, he didn’t give a shit as long as I am happy. This mantra has worked well in our marriage, and I suggest it to new husbands frequently.) decided we needed to start all over- the baskets weren’t going to work.  Thus began Errand Hell

hell 300x204 The Baskets Make The Room

Six On Sunday, Version 4

baskets Six On Sunday, Version 4

These made the cut!

1. Baskets.  I know you guys are sick of baskets, and to be honest with you, I am too! We made three round trips to Michael’s today, and I think we finally have a workable combination.  On a side note, I hoarded 40% off coupons all week- they are good starting today (June 10) and baskets were already 40% off!

2. Mob Wives.  This show is awesome. The ladies are caricatures of themselves! I keep thinking “they cannot BE serious!” but they are! I would like to say that they are very lovely and very nice and I don’t want to get on a Mob Wives Naughty List in any way, shape, or form.

3. Wine.  Actually, the lack there of.  I am on a crazy medication (I AM NOT PREGNANT AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN FOR THE RECORD) that makes even discussing alcohol somewhat of a liability (I was warned against using mouthwash for crying out loud).  Turns out I am surprisingly productive when sober all weekend…

4. Grocery Lists. I am a fanatical list maker. I seriously make lists of lists. My grocery list for the week begins as soon ashandwritten grocery list 150x150 Six On Sunday, Version 4 we get home from the store (not really but by that afternoon!). Emma and I have a routine on Saturday mornings- we go to the gym, then we go to Trader Joe’s (LOVE) and then Walmart.    We were walking into Trader Joe’s when I realized our list was at home! I tried to wing it, which resulted in two (count them TWO) trips to Walmart in the same day.  I can go to Target all the time and think it’s fun, but Walmart is somehow a chore. I don’t know why…

5. Cookie Cups. We went to a birthday party this weekend and instead of using regular cups for ice cream, they used cookies! Genius. It turns out that it was genius to get the cookies to form cups.  The first try- putting cookie dough in muffin cups with a hollowed out center didn’t work as the cookies rose as they baked. The solution was to bake the cookies regularly, and invert them OVER an upside muffin pan while still hot

cookie cups 150x150 Six On Sunday, Version 4

So Genius! And Yummy!

from the oven.

6. Paint. As I might have mentioned once or twice (or fifty six) times, we got new furniture. Removing the old furniture and pictures left what looks like Morse code on my walls (that or the cat has been leaving desperate messages for years now). Guess what? Paint stored outside will be RUINED by the elements. Thank goodness for the new mini size trial containers of paint at Home Depot. I now have every color in my house and they are stored inside, ThankYouVeryMuch.  BTW the absolute best thing to use for touch ups is eye shadow foam brushes. You will thank me later!

Six On Sunday, Verison 3

  1. family 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3

    My Family-

    Family.  My parents came to visit this weekend.  We had a great time, and it is so nice to have an extra playmate for Emma. She is NONSTOP all the time (wonder where she gets it).  I also had the opportunity to meet some ‘long lost cousins’, and I am hopeful that we will stay in touch.  My family is so small and live so far away, it’s great to have some close by.

2. Old Friends.  We went to Party Chic again this weekend (LOVE that place) for drinks with some friends. I have been friends with Mike since seventh grade, I used to sneak out and go to his house to hang out.  On Saturday, we had drinks with Mike, Caryn (his lovely wife), and their son, Brooks. It is surreal in some ways to be hanging out with our KIDS! I mean, we were friends way before we could drive!

julia emma alena brooks caryn 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3
Julia, Emma, Alena, Brooks, Caryn

3. Craigslist.  It’s genius! And it’s so simple!   

4. Disney World. I have never been (I know I am one of like twenty five people total in the country who hasn’t been to Disney World (four of the others are my immediate family). Christmas has become tedious the past several years, and we are looking to start new traditions and new ways of celebrating.  The family is discussing taking a trip together in lieu of giving gifts, and Disney World has been mentioned several times.  Any advice on where to go/ what to see? Also money saving Disney tricks?

5. Toddlers and Tiaras.  Seriously these people are cray cray.  Part of the price of admission for a pageant should be placed into a trust for the years and years of therapy these girls are going to need.

toddlers 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3
So Much Therapy

6. Baskets. We are rearranging and redoing our entertainment centers. As we live in a really small house, everything has to do double duty- a TV stand is also a cabinet for various things, like DVDs, blankets (for watching TV), and of course, toys. (At some point, the elves from FAO Schwartz snuck into our house and spread the love. My child has so many toys is it embarrassing. Her favorite toy is still Mommy, which is both endearing and maddening.) All new shelves equals all new baskets… and many trips to Michael’s!