Saturday, March 29, 2008


For those of you who didn't see Oprah's show on hoarding this week...the lesson was. Impose some limits. On yourself, on your kids before you have 75 TONS of trash in your house and a 10,000 square foot warehouse to hold a garage sale of stuff you don't need.

I am trying to keep the three babies limited to four boxes of toys each. Three little ones and a bin to keep the bigger stuff. For the record I started this before I saw the show. Of course enforcing it became a higher priority this week. I have been cited by CPS for not having enough toys, my grandma was happy with a rag doll and a stick, but our kids need a thousand toys or they can't function.

Imposing limits on the kids has been significantly easier than imposing them on myself. Yes, my closet overfloweth, my excuse is I have the "he" closet, but still it's only an excuse to not manage my limits. I have done the whole turn all of the hangers around and when you wear something put the hanger back correctly, after six months get rid of all the backward hanging clothes. All except the get rid of part. I even put all of my clothes in a different closet and planned on getting rid of them after one year. I eventually had to have my daughter clean out that closet, I don't know what clothes I no longer have, and I'm still alive. But surprisingly ridden with anxiety just thinking about it.

The organizer guy kept reinforcing the statement that if it is special then it should be in a special place, if it is not in a special place, it is therefore not special, and therefore you don't need it. I just have the problem that everything has special meaning to me, or I might need it someday. Never had I realized the concept of limits. I'll blame society. They've been telling us that we are all special, but they forget to impose the limit of we may all be special, but not to everyone. I am not excited that your kid learned to walk. It was not a special day for me, neither do you care that my son's hamster died yesterday. The limits make our special things even more special. Limits leave room for only the best.

We've forgotten the concept of limits, that's why we're all fat and broke. If we run out of money, Visa can save the day. We have unlimited access to food, and we're bound to eat it all. Diamonds are no longer forever, they are also for Christmas, and Valentine's Day, and anniversaries and birthday's and just because. Given that you're required to spend two months salary on them, no wonder we're broke. I have one diamond, my engagement ring, I'm not saying I'll never have another, but it will be special because I don't get 5 a year.

My husband and I have gotten serious about financial limits, it's been important to us for quite awhile, we just didn't know how to do it. For Valentine's Day I gave him my destroyed credit cards, I have no immediate access to credit at this point. We have the very real limit of running out of cash. It certainly causes us to stop and think what we're spending the money on. And there have been no hurt feelings on either side since we've been doing this. We're happy in our limits.

We need to have limits and we need to define them. Our four year old apologized today for "talking". We had to explain that talking wasn't wrong, it was just that sometimes we need him not to talk, he needs to learn that while talking in and of itself is not wrong, but talking when others are talking is, or when we've asked him to be quiet so that we can finish a task without interruption. Talking is wrong when it crosses a defined limit.

I'll be working on limiting my clothes to what fits in the closet, it will suck short term, only because of my own issues. We've already established with the hanger trick that I don't wear all of those clothes anyway. It's just a matter of trusting that I can live within a limit.

Friday, March 14, 2008


A couple weeks ago we had some friends over to help celebrate the threesomes three year party. It was a birthday party of sorts for all of them. Our dear friend makes awesome cakes and has made one for the babies as she does for the rest of our family. This particular get together had new people who hadn't experienced our friend's cakes, so we were going through my old cake photos on my phone. Of course our vanity babies saw us looking at pictures on the phone and wanted to see all of theirs.

We showed baby girl pictures, we showed baby boy photos. Little Middle wanted to see his. I showed him all the pictures we had of him, going back to the first picture we have of him taken on the day he arrived. He wanted his baby pictures. We have none. Even though it is a "right" of his to have his pictures, this rarely happens.

I have a couple of my baby pictures at our home, but most of them reside at my parents' house. I still like looking at them. I was pretty cute. I can't relate to little middle's dilema, I don't really need to see my pictures but is it because I have them?

Luckily things are okay between Mama and I right now, so I asked her to bring some pictures. She obliged with the only two that she had, both taken in the hospital. One is so poorly lit you cannot tell there is a baby in the picture.

It surprised me to see how much this relieved little middle's anxiety about the whole situation. One picture gave him validation that he was actually a baby or something. He has stopped asking to see other pictures of him.

What saddens me about this whole situation is that from the age of six months to eighteen months, arguably the most photographed time in a person's life, unless you're Britney, there was no one who was interested in taking pictures of him. He spent that time in five different homes.

I don't know for sure if we have made up for the missing year of his life, but we have several pictures of him. Some cute, but a lot that are documenting his craziness. He's where? He's done what? Either way, there are a lot of pictures.

I've often wondered about his earlier pictures, but even when I saw the ones that his Mama brought, didn't really do anything for me. They were not my memories. I have this reaction to others' pictures as well. My husband's old baseball pictures are cute, but I can't remember everything about that time in his life, because I was not there. I'm sure he's equally stirred by my old pictures.

In the past other kids have brought their pictures, it was sad to see the parade of "Mother's Day" pictures, each year with a different "mother". I also wonder if my photos were to be destroyed by fire of flood if it would bother me. I know they existed, I remember what they looked like. Is is the picture itself, or the memory that it represents. I obviously don't remember the happenings surrounding my baby pictures, but the fact that they exist must mean that that time meant something to someone.

The answers aren't forthcoming. I do know that there are lot's of photographic opportunities that I've missed in my children's life. Just because I didn't have a camera or didn't take the time, or whatever other reason. The twins don't have their third birthday with only two candle pictures, because of operator error on my camera, but it's in my mind until time takes it from me. And besides, will anyone beyond their children even care about the thousands of pictures that will exist of them in their lifetime? Who knows.