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Decluttering Day 2

How good am I?!  That New Years resolution for 2018 I am starting early – don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!

I decided to declutter two more things.  Coffee mugs and Grocery bags!

When my dad passed away I took a few of his coffee mugs, but I also bought a new plate, bowl and mug set when I bought my house that came with 8 mugs so I had about 28 mugs in total.  I only use 6-8 on the regular.  With the idea that I could have my whole family over at some point I decided keeping 12 would be a good number so I started on my top shelf (which I can’t even reach so anything up there NEVER gets used) and work my way down.  I cleared away 16 mugs with not even a second glance including each and every mug from that plate, bowl and mug combo.  They all match, but I don’t love them enough to keep them. I am going to donate them all to Horizon House, a shelter for abused women and their children in Ajax (http://www.herizonhouse.com/)

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Next, I decided to tackle my plastic grocery bags (I know shame on me, who uses plastic bags?!!) If you are like me, you grew up with a drawer in your home dedicated to folded plastic grocery bags that you re-used for garbage bags.  Well this is what I still do.  I re-use them.  I don’t have a drawer though because my kitchen doesn’t have a lot of storage space.  Instead I have the dogs cupboard where I squish my plastic bags.  I had about 20 I am guessing??  Maybe more?  They were a disaster.  Some were neatly folded (thanks mom) and some where squished in a ball and thrown in (thanks me).  I realized that by throwing these out I would be creating a lot of garbage and I didn’t want to do that.  I use these bags for garbage or when I am bringing something to someone so I decided to toss them all in one bag and just clean it up.  I also made a vow that for the rest of December I will NOT get plastic bags from any store.  I will bring my own re-usable bags (which I have plenty of) and will try to continue this for January too – until my bag of plastic bags has diminished.

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Overall I am really happy with how this decluttering is making me feel.  Of course my mom is terrified that I am desperate for money (because I am trying to sell some things) and that I am going to lose my house (I’m not – not even close). I explained to her that sometimes, in order to clear your head you need to clear your home and that getting rid of my trash, doesn’t mean it isn’t a treasure to someone else!  She seemed to understand.

Stay tuned for whats next!

Love Nicole

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Putting my money where my mouth is

Or something like that…

Yesterday I shared a list of things I want to declutter from my home!  I went home and thought about this list and it seemed a bit exhausting to be honest.  I was gonna scrap the whole thing, but then I remembered “Nicole your desire is to be LESS lazy”.  You can do this!

MOVE

And so I did.  I started with my earrings because I have two earring holders and a ton of earrings that sit there because I never wear earrings.

I grabbed them all and put them in a case and then went painstakingly through every single pair.  In total, I threw out 29 pairs that were old, tacky or just really unappealing.  I found 15 pairs that I had never even worn!  I am trying to sell those because really they are nice and someone else should benefit from them!  I kept 5 pairs in total because they are from Pandora or really cute and I can see myself wearing these if I ever have a reason to dress up again.

Here is a small sample of the ones I am selling.

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After I completed this task, I felt so good that I went under my sink and grabbed my box with all my makeup in it and  threw out all my old makeup!!!

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It may look like I still have a lot, but trust me – this box had a LOT more in it.  I threw out a ton!  I threw out 4 old eye shadow pallets, 2 lipsticks, 2 blushes, 2 mascara tubes and I gave my mom a lovely green eye shadow pallet that will go so nice with her hair colour!

It’s all about baby steps right??

This is just the beginning…stay tuned for more

Love Nicole

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Decluttering the cluttered

I have a 3 bedroom, two bathroom house and am a single person (always have been since moving into this home).  How have I filled it with STUFF???  I have no idea, but every room has stuff in it!  I am by no means an episode of Hoarders, but you would think there are many adults living in my home and not just me (and my mom for the mean time).

I’ve been meaning to de-clutter, knowing that one day in the future I will have a child living in my home who will need space to grow and make the home truly ours.  While wasting time on Pinterest I came across a list I will implement for the next 6 weeks and see how much I can truly rid myself of (this may be difficult, I tend to hold on to things for sentimental – or future use – value).

Here is the list of 56 things you (and me) can start with for de-cluttering the crap out of our homes:

  1. Spare buttons from clothes that you are keeping “just in case” – I have random buttons kept in those little baggies all over my house.
  2. Makeup past its best – Ya I have a TON of this
  3. Anything in your home that you look at and don’t like – I think I like everything
  4. Clothes that don’t fit – I flipped my hangers last year and already gave my sister-in-law a ton of clothes
  5. Books you’ve never read and won’t ever read – this will be hard for me as I love books!!!
  6. Books you have read and have no intention of reading again – again…hard for me
  7. Old magazines – I have none of these thank God!
  8. Anything that you can get the same information from easily again online – this is interesting
  9. Anything broken – nothing broken, if something breaks I am over you
  10. Old bedding in the bottom of your linen cupboard that you never use – I need to match my bedding and then throw away everything else
  11. Out of date food in the cupboards – again, I clean my fridge out, but cupboards not so much
  12. Half finished craft projects that are never going to be completed – does this include my scrapbooking room, because I have a problem
  13. Toiletries you will never use (e.g hand cream/foot cream etc… from a set you got at Christmas) – oh yea I have a lot of this too…please stop buying my lotions people!!!
  14. Pens that don’t work any longer – I have a lot of pens – but not at home so I am probably good.
  15. Large items that take up too much room and could be borrowed if you ever need again –  I did sell my one table.  I have a camping bbq that hasn’t even been used that I need to sell – MENTAL NOTE
  16. Anything that makes you feel sad or guilty when you look at it – huh, this one will take some thinking
  17. Games/jigsaws where some of the pieces are missing – I have nothing of this, but once my sweet KOKO gets here I am sure this will change in time
  18. Chargers for phones you no longer own – I need to download all the pics from my old phones and then sell them with the chargers – MENTAL NOTE
  19. Kitchen gadgets you never use – that bagel cutter I never used, the popsicle molds that are brand new…okay okay
  20. Artwork that doesn’t make you happy – I think it all does
  21. Anything that doesn’t work as well as it should  – hmmm again this will be a thinker
  22. Any earrings that don’t have their partner –  I need to just rid of 90% of my earrings because they are cheap crap!
  23. Any shoes that don’t have their partner – all my shoes have partners…pretty partners.
  24. Most manuals for items you buy – ya I would probably just buy new if something stopped working …LOL
  25. Scraps of wrapping paper that won’t wrap anything – again can we just leave my scrapbook room alone cause that will take some time to organize
  26. Educational notes etc… from prior qualifications – Like my seven binders from teachers college and my B.A???  Can I re-read them all first???
  27. Any plastic carrier bags you are stockpiling I have a ton of plastic bags – I reuse them as garbage bags!
  28. Sports bras that have lost their hold! – I threw out three yesterday – SO THERE!
  29. Any mugs over the total number of people you would ever have drinking in your home in one go – Ya I need to get rid of or sell some of these…I have plenty!
  30. Any glasses over the total number of people you would ever have drinking in your home in one go – See above
  31. Anything that is past it’s best in the freezer – did this two weeks ago – fish from two years ago – yuck
  32. Herbs and spices you never use – my spice rack destroyed my spices…they are all rock solid now, I am pissed!
  33. Out of date medicines – ya like the allergy pills in my desk that expired in May 2014 (I moved to this desk in July 2017 so I have NO idea where this came from)
  34. Items related to hobbies you don’t do any longer – I keep my hobbies
  35. Memorabilia that doesn’t hold the same value for you any longer – my Kelly Gruber Rookie Card!!!  NOOOOOO
  36. Toys no longer played with – I will never throw out my pound puppy of my build-a-bear
  37. DVDs you have watched and won’t watch again – yep I am defintely going to do this (and VHS tapes)
  38. CDs you don’t listen to any longer – for sure…all those mix CD’s
  39. Recipe books you don’t use – Weight Watchers recipe books anyone???
  40. Bad photos you have had developed that you will never want to frame or put in an album – as a scrapbooker this goes against who I am #sorrynotsorry
  41. Any junk mail / old paperwork that is piling up – I have a ton of my dads paperwork but since accountant died I am terrified he will be audited and I will be screwed!
  42. Hair products you used to use when your style was different – again or was a gift, just stop…my hair is in a ponytail 7 days a week
  43. Ornaments that you are sick of dusting – who dusts???
  44. Dead plants/flowers – I don’t have these…
  45. Shoes that hurt when you wear them – this will be tough…I’ll have to re-wear everything to see 😉
  46. Old nail varnish / nail varnish in a colour you don’t wear any longer – all of them??
  47. Excess baking trays / saucepans etc in the kitchen – I don’t bake
  48. Outside furniture that has faded, broken, or is past its best – can’t someone just repair my bench cause I love it!
  49. Food in cupboards that you and the family don’t like and won’t eat – why would I buy something I don’t like???
  50. Old calendars and diaries – I trashed these old things months ago because I was embarrassed at how stupid I was growing up
  51. Excess loose change – gather it up and get it to the bank – I really wish I had this problem….
  52. People in your life that make you unhappy to be around – again I am pretty good at this too
  53. Digital photos on your phone or computer that aren’t any good – I do this monthly as I print my photo’s
  54. Rusted/tangled jewellery beyond repair – ugh so much….
  55. Accessories that you don’t wear – like all the scarves and hats I have and NEVER wear!
  56. Bottles of alcohol that have only a tiny bit left in them – HAHAH I do not have this problem, no alcohol is drank at my house except a bottle of wine on book club night

56 things and this is JUST a start!  WOW…okay I will work on this list for me and my precious KOKO who will not want to live under the mounds of books and photo’s that I’ll never scrap.

Stay tuned!

Love Nicole

 

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The realities of a single woman adopting from Haiti

When I first started my journey to being a mom (through insemination) I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Sunshine and rainbows would not be in my immediate future, but I knew without a doubt it would be worth it.  All the poking and prodding and monitoring of my cycle would be agonizing, but I was okay with all of it.  It was a means to an end.

In November of 2015 when I started the adoption process, I knew my journey was going to become much harder, even more invasive and much more expensive, but again I knew in my heart that it was what I needed to do.

The realities of this journey have surprised even me, me the girl who plans and reads and researches and re-plans and re-reads everything!

The costs – financially are exorbitant.  For the first year I literally was in the bank on a monthly (sometimes weekly!) basis moving money around and getting money orders to pay everyone under the sun.  My money – it’s running out.  Well in reality it has run out.  I am actually looking forward to re-mortgaging my house when it comes up so I can pay off the debt and have my nest egg (which is going towards paying the second half of my adoption costs) settled. The thing that kills me is that none of this money has gone towards my sweet little child who I don’t even know yet!

Every penny, paid to whomever, is worth it.

The costs – emotionally are exhausting.  I see people I have connected with in chat groups get their referrals, their Visas, their Exit letters and of course their homecomings and I am jealous.  Not like the boy I like, likes another girl jealous – but WHY NOT ME???!!! jealous and that is an envy that isn’t fair to anyone.

Every tear and sad face is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share in my grief.  Most people who adopt have that special someone that they can lean on when the wait becomes to long.  They have someone to talk to who understands and most of all is REALLY REALLY interested in everything you are thinking and hoping for. My friends and family love me and they care and are excited for me, but they don’t have the same passion obviously as a spouse would have and sometimes I feel completely alone.

Every ounce of longing is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share my fears with.  There is a Hurricane blowing in quickly and fiercely.  My child, the one I don’t know, is living there, as are hundreds of other children, with no parents to wrap them in their arms and keep them safe.  The sweet nannies and creche directors I know do everything they can, but nothing replaces a mother or fathers warm embrace. With every update on Hurricane Irma, my anxiety rises and my prayers become deeper and longer.  Other people are disappointed their Caribbean vacation spots will be destroyed – I am terrified, the child meant for me, will be harmed or that their biological family will be injured, it takes everything in me not to scream.

Every prayer and raised heartbeat is worth it.

Co-parenting will not be my reality.  I was with my friend and her husband this weekend – as I am most weekends, and their youngest was having trouble pooping.  She had been constipated for a couple of days and she was screaming and crying not wanting to poop.  What a simple concept for us adults.  You have to poop.  She was bribed, begged and pleaded with for over an hour and her parents were lucky – they had each other to tag out.  When one needed a break to get out of that small cottage bathroom, the other was there.  When my kid refuses to poop – and don’t they all at some point – it will be me.  My patience will be tested.  My frustration levels and anxiety will be pushed to the limits.  My kid will stomp on my buttons and I can’t push back. I am the adult.  The only adult.  I have no one to tag out with and that reality kicked me pretty hard this weekend as I looked down on that sad little face of a girl who wouldn’t poop.

I can handle this.  Not only can I handle this, I WILL handle this and while I know sometimes I will fail, sometimes I’ll barely pass, my child will NEVER doubt that they are loved.  They will always have a soft spot to fall and that is something we all need a little more of.

Love Nicole

 

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Dreams can come true – if you are patient

There was a hard, dirt path from the Creche to the little building I was staying in.  As I walked towards the door I could feel the heat on my face, see the sun and knew that I would be sweating through my shirt by mid day.  I didn’t care though because a smiley faced toddler was running up the path screaming manman (mother in Creole) dressed in a beige t-shirt and crocs on her tiny feet.

She wrapped her arms around me and I could smell baby powder and sweat.  I was on my knees, tears springing to my eyes – this was my daughter.

My alarm went off and I woke up in my queen sized bed, light streaming through my window, Simba snuggled in my knee nook snoring softly.

It’s not a bad way to wake up-but that dream was so real I couldn’t help but cry wanting those chubby little arms to still be around my neck.

I am a short way in to a long waiting game for a referral, knowing that this will not be the first of many dreams to follow.  Will I have a daughter or a son?  I don’t know and I don’t care.

Thank God for dreams

Nicole

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ten minutes

Cottage living, nothing beats it.  Every summer with Kim and her family, the sites, the sounds and smells are so familiar to me now I can’t imagine a life without them.

On Saturday’s boat ride, coming back from Jeff’s friends cottage where Kim, Meaghan and I had no luck at fishing, Mya, (Kims daughter) sat in my lap for about ten minutes (which never happens – she is a mama’s girl at heart).

Her blond curls were tickling my nose from the cold wind and she was wrapped up tight in a towel around her puffy blue life jacket.  Her head was resting against my chest and I was wondering if she would fall asleep again as she always falls asleep on boat rides! She was telling me stories and pointing at all of the Canadian flags as we sped by.  I gently pressed my lips against her head and closed my eyes for just a moment and imagined when my own sweet boy or girl would be placed in my lap enjoying their new life in Canada at the cottage.  It will be then that the sites and sounds and smells will change – everything will be seen through new eyes – through the eyes of my child.

Mya is around the age my own child will be so having her be so willing to spend her time with me just makes me feel like a kid in a candy store!  I smile a bit brighter and the sadness and aching of not having my own child eases a little, knowing I will have a future as a mother and am right now getting to build my relationships with my extended family and their children.

For the rest of this week, I will hold tightly to the memory of those sweet curls blowing across my face and the warmth her tiny little soul provided me – even if it was only for ten minutes.

Love

Nicole

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Reality is setting in

Last week I got the email/call I have waited for.  I have waited a year – over a year for this news…

It’s probably not as exciting as you think…

I am officially in IBESR – which is the governing body in Haiti (like our social services) that handles all adoptions.  I have a file number!!!  This means that Haiti officially knows I exist!

I am still months and months away from referral (possible a year or more), but I am an optimist, not a realist so I constantly refresh my email thinking who knows – maybe I’ll be special, maybe I’ll get lucky and my referral for a match will come quicker than anyone else.  In the back of my head and in my heart – I know this is not the case.  I know I most likely will be sitting here a year from now blogging to you, my faithful followers, complaining about how I have waited over a year for a referral and that my faith is crumbling, but right now – so early in the process – my faith is high.

I do not know who this sweet little child is yet.  I don’t know if they are a boy or a girl. I don’t know their age or personality or family history – but I know they are there.  I know MY child is in Haiti and that they are eagerly waiting for me too.

Now I just need to stay calm.  I need to control my excitement.  I need to breathe.  I need to prepare – financially, emotionally, physically etc etc etc.

I also need to have the best summer that keeps me busy and makes me have these amazing memories to look back on because the wait may just kill me.

Please say a prayer for me and my family.

Love

Nicole