Thursday, September 6, 2007

Closing thoughts...but stay tuned!

So my deadline of August 17th has come and gone and, as predicted, now that I am back at work for the first time since the birth of my daughter (and as a first year teacher no less) I am too busy to give any thought to the parts of my to do list that didn't quite get finished. I am, however, very proud of myself for having accomplished my goal of 30 items in the 45 days that I had left to me (including getting a job!) and many things got taken care of that would otherwise still be languishing undone otherwise. So, a big thank you to Laura and Lori for inspiring me to get off my rear and get moving! :) Also, although I did not set up a specific reward for myself at the beginning of my list, I have since decided that I deserve another massage for my hard work. Since Laura also gave me a pedicure as a graduation gift, perhaps I can get both of them at the same time. Now, when to go... ;-)

Instead of my crazy to do list, my life has shifted to other pursuits. Specifically, work, but also, now, finding balance between work and family and, even some private personal time. How will I do this? Well, I have some ideas! Stay tuned to find out what I am cooking up for the future of my blog...

Monday, September 3, 2007

#30 and beyond...

Well, now that noone is reading this blog anymore since I have sort of dropoed off the face of the earth, I wanted to write an update of my task list. My goal, when I started this list and blog, was to complete at least 30 things before I started my teaching career. I knew that I was going to be drowning as a first year teacher and that there were things that needed to get done around my house that I had just never gotten around to. Thus, the list was born. Unfortunately, it grew way over 30 items as I continued to find things that I wanted to get done or have done and it started to go beyond what I had originally meant for the list to be, that is, items I would take responsibility for and could do on my own. This was supposed to keep me from nagging my husband so much about stuff he needs to do around the house. But, as my list grew, he became an essential part of it.

Here are the last things I accomplished on my list:

#30 - Put door knob covers on everything! With my 15-month old daughter who is the height and weight of a 3 year old, she can easily reach door knobs. Learning how to turn them is not far behind.

#31 - Go on another date with my husband - we managed (finally!) to get out to see Harry Potter 5.

#32 - Get Katie's 1-year pictures taken - We used a local photographer that we liked very much and are mostly happy with the pictures. These were taken awhile ago but I didn't originally list it as finished because I wasn't really happy with the pics to start off with. I have a long and annoying history with bad pictures. This particular day was one of the 103 degree days this summer and poor Katie was hot and miserable and unhappy the whole time which made it impossible to get a good family picture (one of the main reasons I wanted to do this). Plus, she looks like her head was dumped in a mop bucket because it was so hot. Anyway, there are some good ones so I am listing it as done and I am just dealing with my annoyance at yet another bad picture day. I have very mixed emotions about it and it's just a very personal thing.

#33 - Put together Katie's one year panorama - I ended up not being able to do this at all. We had a frame from JC Penney that had a spot for a picture for each month from birth through 1 year that we bought way back when I was pregnant. At the time, I had never seen anything like it before and bought it on the spot. Later, when I found that there were other frames available that I liked much better, I wanted to buy something different but they were $50-$75 and that was out of our price range. The othe picture frames used pictures that were more like wallet sized but the JC Penney frame used small oval pictures, closer to what you would see in a locket. This required Jim's skills. He scanned the frame and edited some pictures and put them all on one 8x10 sheet that would fit into the frame properly. It took some working but it turned out fantastically in the end. We need to get another print of it in matte because the glossy is sticking to the front of the frame but otherwise this is done.

#34 - Fix the bonus room door and the pantry door - These were two doors in our house that wouldn't shut properly. Since the bonus room is not babyproofed and the pantry can be climbed, it was important to fix those doors so that the doorknob covers would be useful in preventing Katie's entrance. Jim has now fixed them. Hurray! Years of broken doors and he fixed them both in under an hour. Little did I know or I should have made him do it years ago... ;)

#35 - Declutter and babyproof the den and the living room - Okay, so these have sort-of been done for awhile. But not really. And the den is sort of a redo since Katie has been playing inthe den forever. it was more of a higher level of babyproofing for the den. At some point this summer, I decided that we needed to babyproof the whole downstairs to accomodate our growing active toddler and to keep her whininess to a minimum. That meant getting rid of a whole lot of stuff in our living room that was not babyproofed. When we first needed to do it, we didn't have time to do it properly so we took a page from Laura's playbook and just sealed off the dining room on the main floor by buying a huge gate to separate our open living room/dining room combo. Then, we put everything that wasn't babyproofed or that didn't need to be in the new and improved living room and den in the dining room. Great! Except that the dining room was now filled to capacity with JUNK! So, Jim took 2 days off before I started work after Katie started daycare and we emptied the whole place. It's great. And definitely done.

#35.5 - Okay, so I only accomplished half of the original listed item but it took me a lot of work so it should be considered an item that did get accomplished. The item was to remove the alphabet form Katie's wall, move it to where she could reach it and then put pictures up on the wall higher up. I did remove the alphabet (which required repainting a few spots, removing a bookshelf we decided not to keep in her room, etc...) and I did put it back up on the wall where she could reach it but I never got around to putting pictures up. That may have to wait until next summer. Or at least spring break. :)

Okay, I realize this post is really long so I will finish up with thoughts tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

#29 Go through my school stuff and pack for my new job

Since I will be starting my teaching career shortly, I decided that I needed to go through my teaching stuff and pull out what needed to be taken to my new school and what should be ditched and what should be set aside for another time. Since I have elementary and middle school experience and I will now be teaching high school, I had to cull through my supplies to take out all of the really elementary stuff that I would definitely NOT use in a high school setting. Some of the stuff was iffy so I left it on a book shelf at home. The rest, I packed in two large plastic containers and they are ready to go to my new school on Friday!!!! Aaack! That means I will be teaching my own classes soon!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back to #5, 25, 26, 27, 28

Well, we had a busy weekend here at Chez Scarborough.

Back to #5: In this task I was boxing up out grown baby clothes to keep in case our next child is a girl and putting it in the attic. I had gotten some of it packed up but I still needed to get stuff out of Katie's room and closet and separate it by size (not easy since it's printed size doesn't necessarily have any bearing on how big it is). Once I'd done that, I realized that I needed to try some of last winter's clothes on Katie to see if anything would fit again this year. Since she has such a large waist but short legs, I had to buy large clothing that I rolled up the legs on last winter. Because of that, some of the stretchy pants still fit this year, I just don't have to roll up the legs! This took awhile since you can't try a lot of clothes on a baby at once. I could do 2 outfits a day at most before she was fed up. When I finally got through all of that and boxed it up, I decided to also box up the bottles and nipples but COULDN'T find them!!! After an hour of searching, I located them in some random place and, unfortunately, came across...2 more boxes of baby clothing I had missed in my initial boxing. I didn't start over but I did have to repack some things. Finally, all of the clothing I could put away is boxed and in the attic up through last winter as well as some of the infant toys like the bouncy seat, infant car seat, etc. There are still a few things to go up but this is definitely done.

#25 Put hooks up on Katie's bathroom door: We have three nice hooks for robes and towels on our bathroom door but the guest bath has nothing on it's door. We bought two hooks (ordered a third) and installed two removeable hooks at child height so that Katie could hang her own robe. Even better, I sweet-talked Jim into doing this for me. :)

#26 Clean out and organize the linen closet: We have a nice linen closet. We keep towels, some sheets, extra pillows, medicines and first aid supplies in the closet. BUT...the boxes for the medicines and first aid stuff were too small and the supplies were disorganized. Plus, we had too many pillows and random towels. We don't have a bunch of nice towels yet (that will be for another list) but we didn't need all of the random towels that we had. So, we purged and got some nice containers for the meds and supplies from Space Savers (I heart that store...) and wala! A nice, useful, organized linen closet with room to spare!

#27 Clean out and organize the coat closet: This was a miserable thorn in my side. We finally purged enough coats awhile back so that we could actually put guests' coats in the closet (novel concept I know) but the floor was a disaster with years of stuff that we had just left there and the overhead shelf had two bins full of hats, gloves, and scarves. I purged like 10 pairs of gloves and probably 20 hats. I'm not kidding. Lots of the floor stuff will be thrown away in our Dining Room clean out tomorrow. (I cheated a little and just moved some of it.) Now there is room for the new small shoe rack I bought and a place to put the diaper bag so that Katie doesn't steal stuff from it all day.

#28 Scan pictures of Erik: Erik was my older brother. He died this past April. When I was in Denver for his funeral, I found a bunch of pictures from my wedding, from his friends, snapshots that folks had taken, and even a few of the two of us. I wanted to scan these pictures so that I could print them, preserve them, and blow them up as desired. I finally found a neighbor with a hi-res scanner and we did it in one night.

Whew! That was a lot! Thanks for hanging with me through this. I am coming down to near the end of my time but I still have a lot I want and need to do before school starts. Stick with me as I come down the home stretch! Let's see how many over my thirty I can accomplish!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Start the Transformation #22 Clean the car, #23 Get a haircut, #24 buy a work wardrobe

Okay, I'm way behind and running out of time...

Since I have recently completed a Master's degree and finally gotten a job that is truly a career, not just a job, I decided that I needed to make some personal changes in my life. Hence, the transformation begins...

Step 1: Clean out my disgusting car.
I have lived in my car for years. This stems from commuting 45 minutes to work or school for the last 7 years and then spending the last year trying to entertain a baby (now toddler) while driving. The inside of my car was really nasty and needed an overhaul. Since money was tight, I sweet-talked my husband into doing the bulk of the work after we returned from our recent road trip. He cleaned out all of the trash and vacuumed. I then took Clorox wipes to all of the inside surfaces (think drooling baby...) and windexed the windows inside and out. It's not a $100 detailing job but it's a darn sight better than it was.

Step 2: Get a haircut.
The last time I cut my hair short I was in fifth grade. I'm serious. It was all layered and on top of my head and above my ears. Then I saw a girl in the line to get our school pictures made who had waist-length hair and I was hooked. I refused to get my haircut again. A year later I had to get 6 inches of split ends cut off but after that I trimmed it a little bit every 6-8 weeks and it grew like a weed. I even had it waist length for awhile. I've been shortening it for several years to get used to it but I have had the same boring straight all around cut from Great Clips or Fantastic Sam's for like 15 years. I don't know how to do anything with my hair so I french braided it, put it in a ponytail or a barrette and that was pretty much it. It was time for a change. It didn't end up getting all that much shorter. Since I wasn't entirely sure of the cut I wanted, we wanted to leave enough room to cut it off again and I would still have hair left. But, I now have layers that are light and fluffy. I definitely like the feel although the jury is still out on the look. I haven't quite figured out what to do with it, again, I'm rather incompetent with such stuff. However, I also now own two curling irons thanks to my friend Mindy (although I haven't yet braved plugging them in...).

Step 3: Buy a work wardrobe
This was very important since I will now be working at a school where I need to where work clothes 5 days a week. First of all, I never had a lot since I never worked a job that required me to wear business attire that often (my last school allowed me to wear jeans a lot). Secondly, the stuff I owned was extremely old and well worn, in need of replacing. Third, I changed sizes since the birth of my daughter and haven't quite made it back to my pre-pregnancy size yet so some of it doesn't fit. Fourth, there was a lot of old, dusty, clothing in my closet that I would never wear and should never wear that needed to be gotten rid of. Finally, I am completely fashion challenged so I have to take someone with me to make sure I don't end up looking like a frumpy 50ish Kindergarten teacher. So, this weekend (a tax-free shopping weekend in NC) I convinced my dear friend Amanda (thank you!) to go shopping with me. 8 hours and $600 later, I think I have a workable wardrobe. And I won't look 50 or like a Kindergarten teacher. BTW, I hate, as in abhor, shopping and I am very indecisive so this was a major thing for me. It's a good thing I've been saving part of our tax refund for this...

Monday, July 30, 2007

#21 Clean off the top of the Dryer

This is one of those small things that only took a few minutes but it looks so big because the stuff is just so miscellaneous that you don't know where it can from or where it should go to. The top of the dryer in my house tends to collect a variety of...junk. It was always very annoying because I could never use it to put things (like clothes) while I was trying to use the laundry room for useful purposes. So, it is now flat and clear. Well, it was until my husband oulled clothes out of the dryer and left some on top of it's invitingly clear surface...

Monday, July 23, 2007

#20 Read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ahh, the book I've been preparing for the several weeks and the one I've been looking forward to for years. With book and snacks in hand I departed my house after church on Sunday for my Mother's Day gift in order to fully enjoy a day to immerse myself in a book without needing to attend to anything at home. Many thanks to Laura who allowed me the use of her home as a crashpad while she's on vacation so that I could read in uninterrupted peace. So as not to spoil the book for those who haven't had a chance to read it, suffice it to say that it was fantastic right up through it's nail biting conclusion. My hat is off to you, J.K. Rowling.