Friday, July 3, 2009

The Gift of Time

With the summer starting off so well, you are probably wondering what I am doing with my time since I am not cobbling together activities to ward off boredness. On top of blogging and booking our trip to Disneyland, here's what I have been up to:

1. I put in place a "kids bring your dishes to the counter after you eat" rule. Husband or I steadfastly repeated this every meal at least 8 times to each kid. We did so calmly as we know the reason the kids are allergic to chores is because we have been doing everything for far too long. It has been an unqualified success so far. I've been keeping stats and when Husband or I have asked them 10 or less times in the space of 30 minutes, we have a 10% success rate.

2. I started a major reorganizational project. We have a full bookshelf in the basement of craft supplies. While I am the uncrafty mother on the block, we have a lot of supplies due to our Nanny's crafting tendancies and some surplus supplies from church and VBS. I decided that I would organize and purge and try to narrow down our supplies to what will fit in the craft cart in the den upstairs. Then we might actually use some of it up. One subproject was the Great Marker Sort. While the kids were playing outside with sidewalk chalk, I brought a shoebox full of markers and figured out which ones were still working and sorted them into type. I discovered we have quite a few more than I thought and also more types of markers than I thought possible (changeables, gel markers, stampers, Color Wonder). One tiny downside to this project came up. The kids, now that they know where to find the markers, are actually using them. This is what my kitchen table looks like:

3.I started trying to find a dance class for S in September. I know, I know. The ink is barely dry on the summer schedule and I'm sorting out fall?? But the dance places have started taking registrations. In addition to sifting through just which of the dance places are too serious (professional as they would call it), I have to find one that has classes at at time that will work with our increasingly finely scheduled week. And I didn't want ballet but something with fast music, likely jazz or hip hop. We are fortunate to have a half dozen dance schools in a close drive so I did not really think this would be a problem.

Well it was a problem to find the schedules. Despite the fact that a monkey or any child finished grade 4 could load a document to a website, when I went to look online for schedules I either found "schedule coming soon", "here is our 2006-07 schedule" or no mention of it at all. So I had to phone or email for schedules. Obviously the people who are responsible for the website updates are also responsible for answering phones and responding to emails. There were a couple I had to hunt down like dogs. One I gave up on as I figured if they were so inept at getting people the most basic information they wouldn't be in business for long.

I finally found one I thought would work and told S the good news. She told me she didn't want to take dance. Unless it was with her best friend V. I haven't come to the end of this project. I'm a little demoralized by the wasted tim. I don't think it will work out with V but S also consented to taking a hip hop class with her brother, which I can get them into on Mondays, my preferred day.

4. Probably the most satisfying thing I did was sort movie clips on the computer. We don't have a video camera, but I am the high priestess of taking short (15 to 60 second) movies with our digital camera in an attempt to document our lives. While I upload my camera frequently (I need the instant gratification of seeing photos on computer screen) and I sort them chronologically, I needed to sort through the last 18 months worth of movie clips to their appropriate spot in the MOVIE folder . And cull them for the duds: either the 1 second clips when I was trying to take a picture and forgot it was on movie setting, or the ones where I look too fat (in the rare event that I am actually in one).

I loved reliving the past 18 months and even some older ones as I sought to put the misfiled ones in the right spot. Here is one that provides hard proof of my parental neglect putting keeping the camera going over my daughters health (no Girlie Goos were hurt in the filming of this piece):

And here is the first one I ever took in 2004 (J was 2.5, S was 9 mos). I don't know how, but I used to understand ever word the J Boy said:

I forgot how little they both used to be. Sigh.

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