Friday, July 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things 25:365

1. Blueberry cobbler, still warm from the oven, with ice cream on top, and shared.

2. Philosophical discussions about our parents and what we would do the same or differently as them as we parent our own children.

3. A highlight of Summer: light, antipasto dinners with all food freshly picked from local gardens.

4. Refining a clean new logic out of an overgrown filing system.

5. Crosswords puzzles in the newspaper.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Small Accomplishments Mid Summer Edition

Yet another edition of Small Accomplishments. Boy, have I been keeping busy!

Well, with Mr Sweetie on vacation for most of this month, we have enjoyed many hours of leisure. Some of those have been used for bumming around on the computer, taking naps, following the nuances of international politics, and reading novels. But with an extra parent in the house, I've gotten more things done, too!

Here's a short list:

Started clearing the corner of the kitchen where the first set of new cabinets will be installed. Remember that project from last Fall? Yeah, we are still working at it... slowly. My job is to clear the stuff out of that first corner. There aren't any existing cabinets there, only shelving and more shelving and some wire racks on the wall. It has acquired a Pile O Random Crap and Food & Cooking Related Gear (hee hee!), so man, did this need it.

I'm proud of myself for working at it incrementally. Small steps include: finding boxes in the basement of the right size and cleanliness, storing boxes of kitchen materials (aluminum foil, wax paper, zip lock bags), storing and organizing plastic food containers, moving free-standing wire racks to a new location, throwing out a variety of stuff, evaluating little bits and pieces of items, finding new places to put food stuffs that are both neat and accessible, ETC.

I'm really pleased with my progress because I have been doing little pieces of that job in five minutes here, five minutes there for the last two weeks. It's less intimidating to approach all those minute decisions in increments, which is lucky because that's the time I have! Tonight I moved some old glass containers off the the lightweight shelving, finished clearing the last two shelves of random crap, and did a preliminary wipe-down of the last two shelves.

I'm even more motivated since I realized last week that the larger shelving unit would go perfectly in the little Wookie's closet. We need better storage options there, and this is it! Next up, I'll have to clear out random wrapping paper and fabric crap from that closet before I can move the shelving in and start putting away our piles of baby gear. But as you can tell, baby steps gets it done!

*whew!* That was a biggie. What else?

Swept the floor, swept up kitty litter, did several loads of laundry including a heavy-duty bed sheet washing, dusted the dresser, cleared out some nursing bras that *do not fit*, and cleaned the tub again.

I finally finished packing up the baby clothes for my cousin (due to give birth any week now), and mailed them off to her. Once again, I did this in increments. I found a good size of boxes in the basement. I cleaned them out. I bought more packing tape on one of my around-the-town errands. I folded and sorted the piles of clothing and other gear to fit. I wrote out our and her addresses on slips of paper for inside the boxes. I wrote her address on a sticky note for when I went to mail them.
... I was stymied for a while by one of the items I had in the pile. It's the little lavender sleeper that I am so sentimental about. I also sighed over other pieces of clothing... soo cute and soo sentimental, but now way too small for this little girl!! I was glad that I could give them to someone especially special.

I finally realized I was not ready to give up that one special sleeper and that my ambivalence was holding me back from finishing the job. Once I admitted that to myself, I said, Well, okay! I took out the one I could not stand to give up, sealed up the rest of the goodies, and took the boxes to the post office and watched them sail away with satisfaction. *whew!* Another big one.

Oh, and I also bought more stamps.

Caught up a little on filling out the baby book.

Read through several years of baby gear, clothing and toys recalls. I now have a good idea of the oft-cited hazards to inspect for!

Sorted and recycled most of my pile of typing and lined paper to reuse. My mantra here was: file for retrieval. if I couldn't find it to use it, I'd never use it, so out it goes! The remaining pile is neat and accessible. Now for the rest of the supplies closet!

I threw out gobs of design examples. I have that artist's tendency to collect neat stuff for my eyes to look at. I was brave and ditched about three folders worth of ads, brochures, ETC, saving only a few select pieces. I have lots more cool visual stuff lurking all over, but every bit of culling helps!

I looked at all of my many file folders and made a master list of all of the names. I then went all "mind-map" on my list and came up with a better plan of organization. I am so proud of myself for tackling this filing monstrosity, but it's so convoluted, it deserves its own post! After writing several more paragraphs, I filed it away (ha!) for another occasion to write it up more clearly. You can thank me later. :)

Prepared a stack of bills. I put the little slips in the envelopes, stick on stamps of appropriate postage and write return addys or stick a label thereof, pencil in the last day each given bill should go in the mail, and clip them to the pile on the fridge.

Watered plants, looked for the tomato cages, pinch-pruned a few plants.

Went by the local fabulous bakery and bought really excellent bread. Restrained myself and didn't eat it all at once.

Threw out several product boxes that we don't need, no we don't! Broke down small cardboard boxes for recycling.

Changed the air filter, consolidated hand soap dispensers. For some reason, we always have a couple extra that are mostly empty. Urrrg! Filled the one, consolidated another, threw out an annoying dispenser.

Figured out what was wrong with the printer. Turns out one of my recent browser upgrades had knocked the driver silly. I un,-, then re-installed the printer driver, e voila! It works. I also helped my husband figure out what was wrong without screaming in frustration once.

Washed that baby and scrubbed her head. Little baby dandruff head has been put in remission... this week. hehe

Petted the cats. Oh yes, they loved this.

Took baths most days. Ahhhh. I am loving this. I feel almost human. :)

Went for lovely walks almost every evening. Mr Sweetie and the little Wookie typically go on an afternoon walk down the street before the LW's nap. Then we often take a longer walk around the neighborhood in the evening. It is good to be out walking, let me tell you. LW likes to look at everything and say Oou! Oouah! Ooungee! And that's really funny to see her react to everything around her. So I not only get exercise, but I get to hang out with my two favorite people. Yeah!

Danced. Taught a beginners workshop. Danced some more. Get in socializing with friends, musicians and various others.

Learned to pay attention to signs that the LW is getting to be a combination of hot/tired/hungry/cranky *before* she melts down. Intervening when she's getting too overloaded. Whisking her away and making everything okay.

Called my sister. Both of them live busy lives, so it's nice to catch up!! Went on a hike with a small family grouping.

Went out on our first date alone since the little Wookie was born! This also deserved it's own post.

Wrote this post!

My husband has been at home the last few weeks, and he's been getting things accomplished too:

Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go running. This gives him time to both go running and get his exercise in while the baby and I tend to still be asleep so we can all have more time together during the rest of the day.

Successfully fended off requests to travel for work projects this summer. He's getting really good at this!

Researched and bought a small, compact video camera. This is specifically because we are seeing our daughter's babyhood slipping by so quickly. We do take pictures (although I am months behind in processing the images). I even take a few video clips with my camera, although they are relatively low quality and difficult to work with for editing, etc. Mr Sweetie really wants some footage of how the little Wookie giggles and squeals when he kisses and blows zerberts on her belly. I really want footage of all the little baby moments like how she looks around and "talks."

Mowed the lawn, and mowed the lawn and mowed the lawn. It's a jungle out there. He's also hacked back some old brush, unearthed some piles of old wood that have never been cleaned up and hauled at least 4 loads of brush to the city dump. Go Mr. Sweetie!

Oh, there is more... lots more! But I'm getting tired, so let's stop there for a while.

Viva la long summer days!