October 31, 2014

A day in the life…

5am  Alarm goes off.  I turn it off and shuffle dogs around so I can turn the light on.  I really hate waking up this early, but I need to get moving slowly.  I don't do "quick" before 10am.

5:10 Let the dogs out, brush teeth, put in contacts, make coffee.  Let dogs in.

5:15-5:45  Catch up on emails, drink coffee, chip away at pile of schoolwork I left on the table last night.  I don't get very far.  Listen to the news.  

6:00  Getting ready for school…feeding the dogs, packing lunch, cleaning things up.

7:00  Leave the house. The above photo shows how I try to gather up everything I need for the day…

7:36  Get to work.  Have a few conversations, do some grading (that I should've done the night before), set things up, etc.  

8:35  Crosswalk duty.

9:00  Pick up kids.

9:40  Read aloud and Science project presentations.

9:40-10:15  Prep period.  Eat a Larabar, continue with the grading. In the one year I spent in 2nd grade, I'd forgotten how much grading 4th grade actually involves.  It's never-ending. Answer questions for people who are always randomly stopping by.  

10:15-12:00  Reading.  Test for them, pocket of planning time for me.  Go over test.  Meet with feedback groups while the rest do center work.  

12:00-12:35  Math.  Decimals and place value.  Go over homework.  Give a quiz, meticulously explaining directions in a way that makes it seem like it'd just be easier to do it together.  Go over quiz.  Give homework.  

12:35  Lunch/Recess.  I stop to talk to the nurse and return a phone call.  I eat half my salad around 12:50 and check to see if my teammate can cover my afternoon crosswalk duty.  I have an eye appointment right after school.

1:05  More math.  Games, puzzles, fact practice.

2:00  More science project presentations (This is what was unusual about yesterday.  Usually this is writing/centers time.)

3:00-3:20  More science stuff.  I could explain things in detail, but do you really want to read my lesson plans?  Didn't think so.

3:30 Bell rings.  

3:40  Leave for the eye doctor.

4:00  Arrive exactly on time and fill out paperwork.

4:40  Leave the eye doctor. Stop for gas.  I have to come back for a followup next week to make sure my new prescription is okay.  I've been wearing contacts since I was 12.  I think I'll be okay.  

5:30  Arrive home, let out the dogs, feed them, try on new dress from Loft that was waiting at the front door, take outfit picture.

5:54  Pour a glass of wine and try to comment on all the Stuff and Things posts.  Try not to take it personally that the linkup size has doubled since Joey started co-hosting with me.  Contemplate dinner.

6:20  Go outside and realize that Scout has wedge himself halfway under the fence.  Upon further inspection, realize they've been trying to dig their way out of this prison.  Put some big landscaping rocks in the holes.  

6:25  Make dinner.  Another chicken salad and sweet potatoes.

7:00ish  Eat while Scout whines.  Repeatedly let him and Jett in and out.  I hate letting them out in the dark.  

7:20 Paint my nails. I'm desperately trying to let my nails grow so that means I have to keep polish on them.  Piddle around the kitchen and the internet for a bit.  

By 8:00pm, I'm ready for bed.  Especially by Thursday night.  I think the dogs have had it with this week too.  I'll attempt an ab workout before bed though.

Scout was mad at me, so he threw the pillows on the floor.  
This is something he really does when he's irritated.  

Happy Friday!  Eat some candy corn since it's the Candy Corn Holiday.

October 30, 2014

Stuff and Things 10/30

Every week is going to have to have a Walking Dead comment.  What'd you think of Sunday's episode?  I think we can say that badass Rick is officially back and I couldn't be happier.  Thank goodness.  Every Monday, I walk into the lounge at lunchtime and there's 3 of us who simultaneously cover our ears and say "NO!" because we're afraid someone will spoil the episode for us if we haven't seen it yet.  THAT is community.  Finally.

Speaking of episodes, I've been listening to the This American Life Serial podcast.  Fascinating.  I'm confused though:  What's the name of the podcast vs. what's the name of the series?  Is the series This American Life?  What's the name of the "show" in that case?

I intentionally subscribed to it awhile back and haven't started listening until this week.  Just so I can do more than one episode at once.  It's like Netflix in podcast-form. 

Speaking of listening, I just finished what I can officially call one of my top 5 books of 2014.  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  I'll have more in my monthly book review next week, but let's just say that I HATED this book when I started it and was annoyed that I'd wasted an audible credit on it (I bought 3 credits for $30 and that was totally worth it…think how much you spend on books…) and then…I got sucked in.  And I couldn't stop.  I listened to the whole thing last weekend on my computer while I was painting and doing stuff around the house.  By the time it was over, I was ready to move into a dorm room and write some fan fiction.  HIGHLY recommended.  I mean it.

I've applied to Blogher a couple of times now.  Not because I feel I deserve some sort of label or category or think it's time to monetize, but because I've been blogging consistently for a couple of years now and it'd be nice to belong to a network.  I know there are some legitimate blogs that are part of the Blogher network.  However, I've been rejected twice.  Maybe I'm too polarizing and negative.  Maybe there's too many dog pictures.  Who knows.  But every once in awhile I stumble across a Blogher blog and I am appalled.  A lot of them read like a junior high girl's diary.  They contribute no quality, information, or voice to the internet. Maybe my 4th graders could apply to be part of the network?  Way to go, Blogher.  You are giving yourself very little credibility and I can't take you seriously anymore. 

Lastly, this is every single day.  No wonder I keep skipping Wednesdays (and sometimes Fridays) when it comes to blogging.

This how you're supposed to teach 34-9=25 and 7 year olds are supposed to be able to explain it in this way, in writing.  Here's the whole story but the video didn't quite work when I tried it.  It was on the news last night.

October 28, 2014


Sweater:  Target // Skirt:  Old Navy // Boots:  Report

Jett's favorite thing to do is to jump on me when I get home from school.

Lately, I've done a lot of reflecting and thought about the things I used to do that I don't anymore.  Or things I never would've done in the past that are daily habit now.  For instance, I used to wear this skirt a lot when we lived in Alaska.  I barely wore it last year.  I started thinking about how a year or two can change things because on Saturday I went for a massage at Aveda Salon and Spa.  I had a gift card, but it's kind of telling that I spent that gift card on a massage instead of hoarding it for a haircut a few months down the road.  I also would've gotten a pedicure, but it's almost November so I don't know if there's a point to that.

Things I do these days…

Get massages.  

Clean.  I dusted on Saturday.  

Talk to dogs. All the time.

Avoid schoolwork.  I go back and forth on this one.  Sometimes I don't mind grading papers.  Lately, I've minded.

Pilates workouts and foam rolling and Pinterest workouts at home.  

Things I don't do.

Practice intense cardio.
It's too time-consuming when you have a remodel and a full-time job to worry about.  Plus, it can get repetitive.  And let's not talk about the fact that the only cardio classes I can find on the weekends involve a bike.  Ugh.  Not worth it.  

Order 300 calorie drinks from Starbucks. 

Eat oatmeal and drink green smoothies.  My taste for these two things has all but disappeared.  In fact, I used to eat oatmeal every single day because I truly loved it.  Now it makes me gag.  The exception is pre-packaged gluten-free oatmeal.  A GF friend introduced it to me and it has the best flavor, for some odd reason.  Obviously I despise people who go gluten-free when they don't need to, so I try to buy this oatmeal without actually looking anyone in the eye.

Any habits that you've changed lately?  It's interesting to look back through a blog and see how a person can evolve…

October 27, 2014

How we are paying for our remodel

Scott recently added up how much we've put into this house since May and it's quite a bit.  In fact, everything liquid has been tied up in this place (liquid, Chuck Bass, he he) to this point.  Now that's kind of over with since the major purchases are taken care of. This is how we've been able to afford a remodel…

We bought below our means.

Colorado Springs is expensive.  In order for us to get the kind of house I wanted, we'd have to apply for at least a $300,000 mortgage.  In order for us to get the kind of house I wanted on more than a quarter of an acre, we'd have to have a mortgage of at least $350-$375,000.  That is not in the cards when we would like to be able to sleep at night.  Plus, I don't think they'd have given us that anyway.  We'd applied for our mortgage on just Scott's income because, at the time, I didn't have a job lined up.

We purposely bought a house that was well below our budget so we could renovate it. They ended up dropping the price right before we made an offer and we still low-balled them because the place needed a lot of work.

We've been able to take all that money we didn't use to pay for the structure of the house and put it into the house.

Scott knew the kinds of houses I would look at if I house-shopped online…I would find pretty ones, already done up with what I wanted.  Or I would find houses that were like our past two rentals:  builder-grade with basic fixtures/features that I would want to improve upon.  But when a builder-grade house already costs $300,000 in Colorado Springs, there's no way we could ever afford to put any money into it.  That's why I let him house-shop for us.  It was incredibly nerve-wracking, but I do trust him and, even if there were moments of doubt about this place (uh, a lot of them), he's made good on his word.

This is actually the second house we've bought and the first one was paid off within 5 years due to the fact that Scott should've gone to school to be an accountant or something.

Also on our side is that fact that Scott is doing all the work himself.  From the carpentry to the electrical to the plumbing…the only thing we've had done professionally is the installation of the countertops.  Just because they're very heavy and accuracy is key and he didn't have anyone with arm strength to help him.

Scott also mentioned that whenever we get around to the garage, we'd have to call someone in to pour the foundation.  But that is a LONG way off.

I suppose the point is that if you're wondering how we're paying for new stuff for this house, it's because our housing allowance more than covers our mortgage, so we're able to take what's left over and use it for the important stuff.  Like copper sinks.  (which actually didn't cost more than a really nice stainless sink…sinks in general are just annoyingly expensive).  Does that make sense?  My advice is that if you're looking to put money into house, lower your price bracket by $50,000.

With that being said…

Aside from the a forth-coming slate floor, I'm done with the master bathroom.  You'll remember that one of the very first changes I insisted we make in this house was the removal of the terrible wood toilet seat and the addition of a towel rack.  I've had plans to paint it ever since I saw this bathroom, and I've spent the better chunk of two weekends doing just that.

However, there's already tile in the bathroom and while it may not have been the exact colors we'd have chosen, it's better than laminate countertops so it's not a deal-breaker.  Also, I think this will come together when we put in the slate floor and I think I'm going to paint the doors.  There are two doors and I think they need to be painted off-white.

I don't have a million "before" pictures simply because sometimes taking "before" pictures makes me overly sad and anxious.  But, I mean, it's just a bathroom. 


I do realize that it's not the worst color in the world, but I gave an explanation here.  Plus, those cabinets with the white knobs…I need to do something with them.  They make my head hurt.  


One more thing taken care of, right?

October 23, 2014

Stuff and Things 10/23 (a new co-host!)

I'm so excited to have Joey from Hodges Podges join me for Stuff and Things.  She's one of the two bloggers who have my phone number, so I trust her with my beloved link-up.  I figure this way, if I have a mishap like I did last week, at least the link-up will be on somewhere in blogland.  Plus, Joey is fun and I love her blog.

+Does anyone watch The Talking Dead?  It's my Monday morning guilty pleasure.  It makes Mondays slightly bearable during Dead season.  I record it Sunday night and watch it in the morning.  This week, they asked a guest what the best scene in the series was so far and he said when Carl shot Shane.  I disagree.  #TeamShaneForever

+Also, I almost threw up when I watched the end of TWD on Sunday.

+I started watching Don't Trust the B last weekend. It's okay. I mean, it creates background noise, which is what I use t.v. for most days. Pickings are often slim on Netflix. James Van der Beek is pretty funny.  I've never seen Dawson's Creek.  Maybe that can be this coming weekend's project while I paint more cabinets?  I'm not crazy about Krysten Ritter.  I was happy when they wrote her off of Breaking Bad.  This show is what I would call the poor man's version of New Girl.  I understand why it was canceled.

+I almost always insist on italicizing the names of  t.v. shows or books.  It is quite possibly the only type A thing about me when it comes to blogging.  

+My biggest dilemma this week:  this is the time of year when I like to pull out all the fancy PowerPoints I made awhile back to teach the kids about anti-Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.  Unfortunately, I had all this on a jump drive that is now defunct (i.e. it won't work because it's 10 years old) and the only other place I have these things saved is on my old Toshiba laptop.  Scott has an old Toshiba laptop too and his power cord broke about a year ago.  Since I don't use my Toshiba anymore, I gave him my power cord.  Scott is in Texas.  With his Toshiba.  And the power cord.  I can't get into my old Toshiba because it's been in a box since we left Alaska and needs to be charged and I don't have a power cord.  Which means all of my PowerPoints are lost to me for now.  And my dilemma is: Do I create more?  Or do I wait it out and the kids get an anti-Columbus Day lesson in November?  I can't figure out if this is a laziness thing or just a practicality thing.
I have the weekend to decide.  I really don't want to spend my weekend making powerpoints.

+Yesterday, I ended up at Jersey Mike's trying to order a wrap for lunch because I had a training in that part of town and the only other places were McDonald's and Taco Bell.  Jersey Mike's is definitely no Jimmy John's but it's also not the worst thing in the world. So I ordered a grilled veggie wrap and I swear they forgot about me.  There were like 7 people working behind the counter and it still took over 10 minutes.  10 minutes might not seem like a long time to wait for food, but this was a sandwich shop.  I didn't even complain, but they knew they were being a-holes so they give me a coupon for a free meal and mumble, "sorry", in the quietest way possible.  This wasn't the first time either, so why I went back I'm not actually sure.  The things I'll do to avoid fried fast food….

+Lastly, I admit it.  I'm basic.  So basic.  And I'm okay with that.  However, I have never ever ever had a pumpkin spice latte.  Yesterday, at Starbucks (a basic destination) I had an Americano with a splash of cream (not a basic drink).  So there.  Watch this video.