>2010 plan for a mama-ready me

>I am not a mama. I might not be for a little while. But I am ready admit that I like the idea of being a mama, and I think about being a mama quite often. I watch mamas, especially mamas who are teachers and young ladies, like myself. I know I need to be at the top of my game, and have a healthy body and sound mind before I try to support another tiny life within my own. Thus the plan…

January: Exercise every day.
Exercise might mean time at the gym, yoga or pilates, a long walk, or a very strenuous house project. Whatever it is, I must move and sweat, and feel that wonderful burst of endorphins afterwards. I have so far missed January 1, 2, 6, and 7. That means I have four days of double workouts to account for.

Mini-Goal: Yoga once a week!

What will help: Have ipod loaded with fun playlists.
Pack a gym bag night before.

February: Record my food intake.
I have tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, CalorieCounter.com, and more. After a recent visit to a dietitian, I learned a little more about carbohydrates (not like bread and crackers but the actual nutritional unit) and how to record your eating and what to shoot for. I followed her advice for exactly 3 days, but in February my goal is to follow her recording schedule for the month.

Mini-goal: Cut back on refined, “fake” foods.

What will help: Eat the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch every day.
Have a rotation of 5-7 dinners.

March: Make my house a home.
I have ordered the Apartment Therapy Eight Week Home Cure and I am going to use it to work through the process of making this place so lovely. January and February will be full of installations and painting and grunt work, but I am reserving March and April to decorate, detail, and in general fall in love with this place.

Mini-goal: Use the flea market and craigslist.com as a major resource.

What will help: Read the entire book through one time before I start.
Visit Todd Farm in Rowley for inspiration.

April: Finish the 8 Week Home Cure
See above!

Mini-goal: Get a dumpster during April Vacation. Get rid of the renovation trash.

May: Spruce up the spring/summer wardrobe.
I got a book called Closet Confidential for Christmas from Ben (requested), and I hope to use their tips to help me cull and fill empty spots in my sweet, small closet. I think twice a year is a fair frequency to get your clothing affairs in order. I’ll be focusing on dresses, skirts, and sandals, as well as pretty blazers and cardigans that will allow me to carry my summer wardrobe into the first month of school.

Mini-goal: Photograph favorite outfits for instant inspiration.

What will help: Set money aside each month leading up to May.
A list!

June: Wrap up the school year with organizational flair.
I really envy some of my colleagues in the kindergarten wing who have their books and materials organized by season and by the theme addressed in our reading series. They either have a storage-room shelf or bookcase dedicated to this, and use plastic buckets or magazine holders to keep things neatly organized. When a new holiday or theme approaches, they calmly pull out their materials, make the copies they need, and sit back. I scramble like a chicken to achieve the same effect. I want to use several afternoons during this gorgeous month to get myself ready for next year. If I’m not done by the time school gets out, one or two dedicated weekdays should make me golden.

Mini-goal: Have the first week of school copies complete.
Have a September checklist ready to go.

What will help: Gourmet Donuts iced coffee.
Plastic Buckets and Binders

July: Be a crafty little lady.
So vague. Actually I would like to make some summery decorations for the party my family hopes to host for my little sister’s college graduation at my house. I’m thinking garlands or buntings would be the best thing possible! I would also appreciate doing some scrapbooking, maybe of the school year, or the house progress? At any rate, spending 2-4 nights a week working on craft projects is my goal. This will be an impressive challenge, considering my grad classes will be wrapping up for the semester. That’s why I made it my goal!

Mini-goal: Use the sewing machine.

What will help: Identify 3 projects and begin gathering materials ahead of time.
Designate a craft space (at least a temp one) and leave materials ready.

August: Train for and run a 5K
I have run one other 5K in my life, with a time of about 50 minutes. I was so proud that I wanted to cry, or at least call my elementary school gym teacher who used to patiently encourage me when I was the last student huffing through the timed mile. I want to improve on my score.

Mini-goal: Under 30 minutes.

What will help: Enlist a buddy.
Pay in advance and tell everyone my plan!

September: Devote myself to a classroom routine
The first month of school is hard on any teacher, but kindergarten teachers may be dealing with issues ranging from a pants-wetting epidemic to parents checking in every 5 minutes. I want to use this month to focus on a great routine in the classroom, as well as a personal plan that allows me to stay on top of paperwork and planning without the October burnout.

Mini-goal: Have materials for the next week in bins on Friday afternoon.

What will help: Gourmet Donuts iced coffee.

October: Spruce up my fall/winter wardrobe
Same as before, but looking for dark jeans, work pants, boots, tights, and possibly wool skirts or dresses.

Mini-goal: Photograph work outfits to have a morning plan set.

What will help: Set aside money May-October for this task.

November: Christmas crafting
I would love to give handmade things for Christmas gifts, but I always realize this on December 15th, when it is much too late. I get burned out and just buy and buy in the name of the holiday. If I had a plan in November, I think I would be more successful.

Mini-goal: Set a budget for supplies/cards/gifts in general and stick to it.

What will help: Make a list!

December: Reflect on my year
By the end of the year, I hope that I will have many posts about my successes and failures over the course of the past 12 months. I want to have lots of holiday drinks with friends and spend too much time cuddling up with my sweet family.

Mini-goal: Make a snowman. Sled at Southeast School.

What will help: Giving myself permission!

I will keep you posted on these. I love them. I am so excited. Wish me luck!

>paitence in 2010

>I am learning that for some reason, despite the American promise of instant gratification and endless technological capability, if you are doing some sort of home project, you must expect everything to take longer, cost more, and inevitability go wrong. Not that I am a huge fan of instant gratification- until the floors end up costing $800 more than the price you were already a teensy bit unsure of, and you find out that your kitchen will be unusable until Tuesday night at the earliest.

We’ve been through tetanus shots and construction dust and constant self-reminders that in a few (months? years?) this house will be as cozy as the apartment where we felt snug as bugs in rugs. And yet I feel like Ben is on the edge of a breakdown, and my own personal journey wildly swings between being shakily cheerful in the face of disaster and screaming at Home Depot representatives over the phone until I realize I can never go there again. (But seriously- avoid Home Depot. It’s for the best.) The latter just happened and Ben has huffed off to work while I am here with the kind technicians who dealt with the initial “4-days-800-dollars” fallout. I was trying to take slow breaths and reading blogs for comfort. And then I saw this:

It’s by an artist named Britt Hermann and I found it via design is mine. I instantly made it my desktop background and realized I needed to share it here. It is the truest thing.

>welcome 2010

>I spent a ton of time today playing online, adoring the internet and further putting off writing Christmas/housewarming thank you notes. I am also loving the idea of creating these adorable little new years ornaments, but that is something else that my mind is stalling on for some reason. Here are some treasures I unearthed today:

Christa Taylor
I love, love, love the dresses on this fabulous site! If I can achieve some of my weight-loss goals, this dress is going to be a ten-pound reward. I’m not typically one to hold off on rewarding myself, but I’m curious to see if this is the carrot I need. I adore this dress because it is so simple and completely speaks to the image that I want to build for myself: cute and stylish, sweet and scholarly. Plus some of the money from every purchase goes to Cambodian orphanges. It’s practically a charitable donation!

Shabby Apple
This site has a cute fit-to-flatter aspect that lets you answer a few question, identify a body type, and then shows examples of outfits that would possibly suit you best!

Demand Your Dignity
I really love the quick video that is on the front page of this site. It seems to be a solid message- on one of the pages was an interview with a young man who toed the line on asking women not to dress in a way that encourages men to view them as objects. My telling-women-what-to-do radar went up…but there are some good videos nonetheless.

I hope these sites aid your procrastination as much as they aided mine.