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Cleaning Out

2015 September 3
by Becky

I shared here about how I’m trying to get life back on track, trading in the “baby fog” stage for something a little more productive…but still fun. Reading through a first draft of this post, I realized I’ve inadvertently used so many of the strategies in The Happiness Project book by Gretchen Rubin. Anyone else read this book? It’s been years, but clearly many of the tips stuck with me. It’s not about making yourself happy, I’m totally happy. It’s about little things that make you happier. 

One of the biggest challenges I posed for myself was a detox, or cleanse if you will. Eating nothing but unprocessed, non-sugary, caffeine-less, anti-dairy, sans-gluten foods to totally clean out my system and rid my body of bad stuff and “tame my sugar dragon”. Just search Whole30 and you’ll get more info than you’d ever want about my current eating habits.


It’s not as bad as we thought, we pretty much eat the same as we always have. See those mashed potatoes up there? It’s really cauliflower with a little coconut oil, delicious. I just REALLY miss the milk in my daily homemade latte, but am coming around to a truce with almond milk…it’s actually growing on me. Using this recipe, I make it fresh twice a week. Almond butter, nemesis turned new best friend, is the closest thing to a treat as I get through this ordeal. Trader Joe’s Crunchy Salted Almond Butter drizzled over Honey Crisp apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon? It’s almost like a giant wedge of Russell’s multi-layered cake. Almost (not even close). 

I’ve used this plan as an excuse to make lots of poached eggs…over some curried sweet potato and brussels sprouts hash? Heavenly.


Maybe it’s the diet or maybe it’s the fact that all my old clothes once again fit, but along with this body clean out, I’m on a rampage to get this house cleaned out. I fear stuff, it clouds my mind and stresses me out. Sometimes I just want to start fresh, get rid of it all. Filling the back of my car with ridiculously old clothes, unwanted baby gear, and miscellaneous crap we’ve kept around for longer than I can believe has been exhilarating. Suits and formal dresses—some from 12 years ago—went in the pile (only after trying them on to confirm THEY FIT, Whoop!) and off to Goodwill. Other stuff is going up on Facebook sale sites. Our bedroom closet looks amazing. And empty.


No more babies means I can finally empty that tub of stretchy pants and soft, rouched maternity t-shirts. Piles of baby clothes went to Copper Hanger in a giant pre-paid mailer bag to be replaced by cash in my Paypal account. How Finn has grown out of so much so fast, I do not know. I kept a couple pairs of soft pajamas, a going home outfit, a tiny hat…I may have shed a few tiny tears about letting our baby items go to new families. But bouncy chairs and bath tubs are no longer needed here.

Then there’s the third floor closet. It’s nice to have storage but WAY too easy to stuff things away for later. I’m slowly emptying it, channeling Gretchen Rubin, leaving it half-filled with off-season clothes, kid clothes, and the next two years of Finn’s Christmas presents (aka Ethan’s old toys). Oh and Stu’s ratty t-shirt collection hanging in the back there…I may have to start sneaking them out one at a time.


Most of those bins are full of Ethan’s old clothes. How do they accumulate so fast????!

And then there is the digital clean out.


Our files are very organized but there’s too many of them, thankfully I’ve kept up with printing our photo albums each year. I’ve been dumping unwanted photos, cutting video files, and obsessively backing up, only to then back up our back up on an external drive to ensure all our myriad files are protected. This involved finally getting my old laptop repaired so I can pull off old movie files that were only ever uploaded to Vimeo instead of saved as a file on our hard drive. I have even gone so far as to get our music files organized…my playlists have never sounded so good.

This fall clean out is just what I needed heading into fall, the beginning of the school year, and the fourth week of my detox. It takes up pretty much every minute of my spare time, it’s kind of addicting, but once done I’ll feel that much lighter. And that much happier!

What do you need to clean out? What’s stopping you? Have you read The Happiness Project?

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Finn: 10 Months

2015 August 30
by Becky


Thursday marked the little guy’s tenth month, meaning we are so close to a year I’m flipping out a little. The one year mark is where I feel like babies stop being babies. I’ll still call him “my baby”, but it’s only because saying “my toddler” doesn’t flow as well. Toddler. I didn’t think of Ethan as a toddler until at least 18 months, but since Finn seems ready to walk any minute now, the title will fit him much sooner.

So what’s new with Finn? Well, on August 10th Finn had officially been “out” as long as he was “in”. Hard to believe how much growing happens in 39 weeks, going from a tiny infant to this busy baby crawling all over our house and yelling demands, none of which we understand.


Our new favorite developments are pointing and clapping. In his favorite books, we’ll ask “Where’s the puppy?” and he’ll point. He also knows ball, elephant, ducks, and bear. He’s about 40% accurate and has recognized some of these things in multiple books…shocks me every single time. And the clapping was learned in about 30 seconds while we were stuck in traffic. He’s been applauding random occurrences ever since, very proud of himself.

Excuse my screaming into the phone speaker…it was exciting. 

He’s totally content playing with toys pretty much any time of the day. We have baskets in all areas of the house and he know they are his to dump. In the kitchen he has bin of bottles and random kitchen tools, which is probably his favorite. He’s also baiting us to play games, namely “Throw the toy on the floor and watch Mom/Dad/Ethan pick it up 47 times”. Know it?

Finn is always on the move, hence the tardiness of this post. I could not get him to lay down for his monthly picture, it was even worse than last month. But at least it reflects his true personality at this point, laying down isn’t part of his daytime repertoire.



He’s still waking up once at night for snack, somewhere between 3am and 5am, but it’s so quick I don’t really mind. However, I DO mind when he wakes up twice. He had his second cold last week, which just consisted of a super snotty nose, so I felt bad and got up with him any time he woke up. That habit took a night of screaming to break.

Going to sleep is still a cinch, book, song, and hand him Mr. Monkey—he’s out.



Since Ethan’s back at school four days a week, Finn and I have been getting back to the gym. He has a blast playing with all the toys, but dropping him off is becoming increasingly dramatic. At first he whimpered a little at the Tot Watch hand-off, but then it was crying, and last time he got upset as soon as he saw the Tot Watch hallway. I always return to find him happily playing or being snuggled, but I’m just anticipating the tears will get worse.

What else?

  • He never complains about stroller walks in the beautiful weather
  • He isn’t eating quite as ferociously as last month, but is really into nursing
  • Speaking of nursing, he throws a tantrum if I don’t feed him RIGHT when he wants
  • He is enjoying our outings more now, like the zoo and botanical gardens
  • Loves sticking his fingers in the holes of The Hungry Caterpillar book
  • He played at the Magic House’s baby section for the first time and conquered everything


  • Loves riding in the sling and watching all the big kids run around at school drop off
  • Likes “playing” Ethan’s mini-guitar
  • Can almost use a snack up…almost
  • He loves listening to our Catch the Moon album in the car
  • Is now riding in the convertible carseat, the bucket is history!
  • Gets really excited when Stu comes home from work, squealing and crawling to him
  • Favorite foods include eggs (scrambled & poached), mango puree, and yogurt
  • He’s attempting to climb stairs and is pretty darn good at it
  • Still thinks big brother is the funniest and most amazing person in the world.

Two more months until he’s one. He’s the best baby and we are having so much fun with him!

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