I just love Fall.
The crisp coolness of the air and the simmering excitement of upcoming holidays all conspires to make me feel revitalized. With the days still warm but the nights and mornings nice and crisp, well, Fall is definitely here.
For some reason, that revitalization always makes me want to clean. Each year I have a Fall version of “spring cleaning”, and I’m incredibly grateful to see that our current stresses haven’t chased away my desire to freshen up our home.
In fact, thanks to Fall, some productive housework, cessation of all reaction signs in Zac, and another blessing our family just received, I think I’m feeling more hopeful and optimistic than I’ve felt in months!
Darrel and I have decided to make some drastic changes in our home in hopes that we can Make Zac Healthier, and we spent this weekend working on the first part of those changes.
First project: The Toy Purge.
Saturday night, after the kids were asleep, Darrel and I dragged out every.single.toy
the boys own that we could find and went through them with an eagle eye.
- Stickers or labels? Gone.
- Wood? Gone.
- Signs of paint wearing off? Gone.
- Cheap, flimsy, breakable plastic? Gone.
- Anything fibrous and fuzzy? Gone.
- Can’t be cleaned in a sink with hot, soapy water? Gone. (Except for electronics, of course!)
And thanks to our sons’ new proclivity for ball playing in the house…anything that could become a dangerous projectile? Gone! (Yay for no broken windows or heads!)
Then we stored away some toys they’d had available for a while and put out some toys they hadn’t seen in a while, and on Sunday, the whole family was happy.
For the kids, it was like Christmas morning. Both boys gasped when they arrived in the living room to see NEW TOYS!
Darrel and I spent the whole day calm and relaxed, knowing that Zac was Safe in the living room.
(Well, except for the carpet fibers he kept pulling out of the carpet.)
In the end, we have two big bags of toys to throw away and three boxes of toys to donate, plus one big box of toys that we are storing until such time as Zac no longer eats everything under the sun. (Things like wooden puzzles and cool handmade wooden toys that will still hold appeal to at least one of our kiddos in another year or two.)
It felt SO good to get that done!
Project Two: Get Rid of Crap
When I lived in the city, I never thought about trash. Twice a week, I could put out as much garbage as I liked and it would miraculously disappear by the next morning. All for the cost of my water bill!
Living in the country is very, very different.
Here, we must pay for garbage removal, and quantities are very strict. For the first three and a half years of my residence here, we only were allowed ONE bag of trash PER WEEK.
Finally we increased our allowance; we now get TWO bags of trash per week.
For the most part, that’s enough for our day to day trashiness. It is not, however, enough to enable me to get rid of the superfluous crap that clutters up my house.
The handful of times I’ve attempted to Get Rid of Crap over the years, I’ve ended up with bags full of garbage sitting on either my back porch, the front porch, the back yard, the front yard, or even in my CAR for weeks – sometimes months – before we can slowly cram our two-bags-per-week full to bursting until all the “extra” crap is gone.
It’s been maddening, I tell you. Insane-making.
I hate a cluttered house to begin with; with Zac’s condition, a cluttered house becomes dangerous to his health. (And it’s a long story about why our house is so cluttered when I hate a cluttered house. Long story short: Darrel and I had full houses when we met and married and never managed to pare down enough in our combined house before we started adding kids and all their stuff to the mess.)
So on Sunday I had a brainstorm: isn’t our new trash company owned by a friend of ours? Maybe we could ask him if they could come relieve us of some extra junk for a small fee?
So Darrel called, and yes, yes, they most certainly can and will. Just get your junk together, make a list of what it is, and call him back.
So now, Darrel and I are going through every room in our house with a fine toothed comb, chunking as much crap as we can to make this house easier to clean and keep safe for Zac.
That’s not a project that will be done overnight, or even over a weekend, but we made EXCELLENT progress this weekend and I’m still feeling revved enough to keep going!
There are some other projects and changes in the works, but all in all, this was an excellent start to our desperate, last-ditch efforts to get Zac to baseline and KEEP HIM THERE.
We’ve decided Zac needs some gut rest. Looking back over the summer, he’s been having mild to serious FPIES reactions on a regular basis since June. I’m just certain his little insides are stressed to the max. Getting him some good baseline gut rest might be just what we need to get him to start finding safe foods.
So no new trials until the first week of November, at the earliest, and this month will be spent in Revitalization.
Revitalization of our home, our diets, and, hopefully, his little intestines.
How was your weekend? How do you de-clutter your houses? Do you garage sale, Craigslist, or donate your excess stuff?