Finally catching up on my TIVO and seeing that Michelle Dugger is PREGGO AGAIN! Whoo!
Tonight I am pleased because I have the cleanest van ever. The van was overwhelming me. everything had a place before Marek was born, and suddenly the whole thing had gone horribly wrong. I personally believe that it has lots to do with other people not putting things BACK and also with Ardyn dragging more things INTO the van. I hate that. I just don't have enough arms to carry both kids, a diaper bag, and whatever else (purse, purchases, other things) out of the van each time. It takes me an average of 5-8 trips for me to unload the van when I get home, and this is WITHOUT any groceries. Ack. So. I emptied the whole thing. Completely. And then I took out the carseats. And EVERYTHING out of the lower stow and go bins. Even the change compartment, the drawer under the passenger seat, and the glove compartment. Whew! I started this project at 4pm with both kids and Ended it at 10pm. Well, it's not completely done because there is still stuff that needs to come into the house, and stuff that came in the house that needs a home.
But. I was trying to think of ways too make things more organized, and also a way to make it easier for someone ELSE (Evan) to find things. Whenever he says "I'll go get it for you" I just want to groan because I know that no matter HOW well I tell him where it is, by the time he gets out there he will have forgotten what I said, and he will never find it. So. My first idea was that I needed to get some of those collapsible canvas type organizers that they sell in Target and Wal-Mart automotive. You know, the ones that they always show with two brown paper grocery bags standing up in them? Well, I don't really need to spend money on that, and I didn't really feel like putting kids car seats back in, loading up kids, and going to the store when I was already completely unloaded from the van. So then I remembered that "somewhere" in this house I should have my old Pampered Chef Collapsible Crate and two other collapsible crates that I owned around that time. I recalled that I hadn't seen those crates in a LONG time. Before Ardyn was born? Where had I seen them? I hadn't seen them, which meant they must be in the attic. And they were. Filled with CRAP. And I mean crap. If I had a dumpster out the attic dormer windows I would have just thrown it OUT of the window. LOL.
So anyway, one of the collapsible crates fits perfectly into the one reat stow and go compartment that I always have "open." I generally keep the single rear seat up in case we need to give someone a ride, and keep the Double rear seat folded (stowed) so that I can transport groceries, stroller, etc. I also made better utilization of the front two compartments, as I finally figured out that there are locking mechanisms on each stow compartment lid that were preventing me from accessing them without moving the front seats. That had me annoyed, and I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to be happy with the front storage space if I couldn't even access it quickly. Well, now we know. I also used Gallon ziplocs to keep categorized items in, and place THOSE in the crate. So instead of a big disaster of crap and supplies in the crate, it's several organized bags. I used labeled ziplocs for some things, and then the tidy mesh drawstring bags for larger things like my Babyhawk carrier, shopping cart cover, etc. Then I designated one drawstring bag for each kid, and attached them alongside their car seats. Marek's has some of his toys and things, and Ardyn's has her fleece jacket and earflap hat that I found on eBay for her for this fall (Lavender LLBean, with animal ears on the hat. It's SOOOO Cute!) I think I will add Marek's falll jacket to his drawstring bag too, that way we will have it for these cool evenings that we have been running into. While I was in the attic, I also found an old purple mesh carrier from Old Navy, that i used to have in my car like TWO Cars ago, and I can't remember who, but someone (Carrie? Angela? Carrie?) gave it to me years ago. It works great behind my headrest as a toy caddy for Ardyn's stuff. the only downside is that it reminded me of the Portable DVD player that we bought LONG ago, that won't mount anywhere in the van. it's the neatest little DVD player, but when we bought it, we didn't realize that it wouldn't mount ANYWHERE and wouldn't stay in any travel bag. How annoying. So it really has barely been used at all. And that is disappointing. Let's see, in my ziplocs I have such categories as "meals out" which contains adhesive coloring placemats, crayons, wipes, two bib clips (I love these things, except that not many places that we eat have cloth napkins!) and some plastic IKEA Silverware (thanks Sarah A!) that we can use on our MANY random picnics and things. I also have one that contains garbage bags and different types of wipes, and another that has all spare pants, underwear, and socks for Ardyn (newly potty trained!) Another contains a roll of toilet paper and kandoo wipes. My very favorite "in the van" item is the briefcase potty. We initially bought it for camping but we use it EVERY TIME we leave the house. It uses regular gallon ziplocs so that you can just zip it up and toss it, or keep it in the van safely until you get home to toss. I love how it folds, and the little handles for Ardyn to steady herself. I also love that if we are in the grass and she just needs to pee, I don't have to use a bag at all, and I can just park it and let her go au naturale! I also keep a juice box juice pal, a popsicle holder, and the cushie potty seat.
I think this would be cool to have, but hey, I think I can make it myself!
Marek's halloween costume came today. I hope it isn't tooooo big! Ardyn also got most of her playdresses. I need to get them all together and take a picture. They are soooooo cute!
Oh well. Time for me to go to bed. Or at least get off the computer!