The List, Part Two

Okay, so a long time ago (April 17th), I posted a list of my ongoing projects.  There are still a few items left on that list, but I am going to start a new list.  (But honestly, didn’t I do a good job getting most of them done?)

  1. Paint bathroom.
  2. Paint bedroom.
  3. Get new bedroom furniture.
  4. Decorate bedroom.
  5. Photograph Etsy stuff.
  6. List Etsy stuff.
  7. Declutter garage. (I did this once, but it is BACK, so I did not cross it off the first list and am putting it on here again.)
  8. Banish garage stuff (I did list it on Craigslist the first time, but due to Matt and I having some differences of opinion on pricing, none of it ever sold.)
  9. Drop off giant pile of baby stuff to foster care.  (I am putting this on my list because I have this scheduled for Friday morning, most of the stuff is in the garage already, and it will be pleasant to have something crossed out right away.)
  10. Finish fireplace. (I am undecided on whether I want the fireplace to be functional or just decorative.)
  11. Get garage freezer.
  12. Streamline menu planning. (I have a menu planning system, but I need to make it even better.)
  13. Set up a system for freezing breakfast options. (The plan is to make a bunch of breakfast burritos and breakfast muffins and such in bulk and then always have them available.  But it is not something I can cross off if I do it once.  I need to figure out a plan, like cooking them once a month or something.)
  14. Buy winter boots. (We live in Georgia, so they don’t need to be official winter boots, but I need something for days that are cold and rainy and gloomy.)
  15. Improve wardrobe. (I have already begun this.  I need about 5-10 more shirts.  And all my socks are wearing out at once.)
  16. Start working out. (My friend Leslie and I are going to do this together, since we both live very close to the gym around the corner.  I tried to run with the stroller, but our neighborhood isn’t that great for running in (no sidewalks, cars, too many hills) and Elizabeth hated it.  It just wasn’t working for us.)
  17. Finish photo collage for next to the front door.  (This isn’t even applicable in December because the wreaths are in the photo collage spots.)
  18. Finish decorating dining room.  (I am almost done.  I just recently (this week) came up with the final idea and I need to collect the supplies.)
  19. Get Elizabeth’s room a dresser.
  20. Attach Elizabeth’s dresser and bookshelf to the wall to make tip-proof.
  21. Finish making pantry pretty.
  22. Put extra shelf in downstairs closet.
  23. Do something with archway.

So, with this giant list, anyone have any good motivation for me?  😉

Mental Checklist

I’ve been thinking about it (I told this to Matt and he exclaimed “you’ve been THINKING about this?”) and I have decided that I am better at being organized and Matt is better about remembering things when they are not organized.  Let me give you an example.  Matt puts his cell phone all over the place- the counter, the table next to his chair, his pocket, beside his bed, etc.  But he never ever forgets it, even if he has to look for it sometimes.  I keep my cell phone on my desk next to my computer, where I pick it up and put it in the car and then bring it back to the desk.  If it isn’t on my desk, I assume it is in the car and I leave the house.  And therefore, I sometimes forget my cell phone.  (You know, when it isn’t in the car but I thought it was and I leave.)

So, my conclusion is that I have put so many processes into place and rely very heavily on them.  And Matt has very few processes in place and therefore relies on his memory.  (My memory sucks for procedural things.)  And this causes a problem for me when there is a breakdown in the system.  For example, last month, we didn’t get the rent check from our rental house in Florida.  I didn’t notice because I deposit it when I get it in the mail and that is all that I think about it.  But Matt noticed that it was missing because he doesn’t use any outside processes to remember- just his BRAIN.  (I have since added a computer reminder in my task list (yes, I rely very heavily on my computerized task list) to remind me to check if the rent check has come.)

On my mental checklist, I check things off when my part in them is finished.  I get a reminder on my computer for Matt’s parents’ anniversary.  I remind Matt that his parents’ anniversary is coming up.  And then, my part complete, I never think of it again.  I don’t do any follow up to see if Matt and his brothers have purchased a gift and mailed it.  I totally rely on the outside process to complete the task and if there is a slip up, I am screwed.  (I can use this as an example because Matt and his brothers always remember to send a gift without me continuing to bother them, so I am not pointing fingers at anyone specific for being the breakdown in the system.)

I’ve said this before, but the main reason I am so outwardly organized is because I have to be.  If there is some kind of breakdown in my system, I am screwed.

Rainbow Birthday Party Pictures

I hope you are ready for more party pictures. Because here come more party pictures.

So, I feel like I kind of overdid it for a morning weekday party for a three year old’s birthday, but it was so darn FUN that I couldn’t help it. I mean, look at all the colors!

For food, I had colorized fruit. Raspberries, oranges, bananas, green apples, blueberries, and plums.

Technically, the plums were more red than purple, but let’s just ignore that fact, shall we?

Then I had rolled tortilla sandwiches. Yes, I am awesome. Each color was (more or less) a slightly different sandwich, but they were basically colored cream cheese, turkey, and cheese or some combination of those three. If I were making them for a slightly more refined group than three year olds, I would have made them a bit fancier. And then I arranged them into a rainbow shape.

Let’s just ignore the fact that I made an entire plateful of each color, but only one purple fit into the color scheme. Let’s also ignore the fact that it would have looked better without the purple anyway. And would anyone like a leftover purple sandwich?

Here’s a shot of the whole table. I also had a vegetable tray (generously brought by one of the guests who was horrified that I requested no gifts and requested to bring something), some cheese puff corn (if you want to get technical, you can pretend they are the clouds part of the rainbow party), and the cake. Obviously, leaving the cake on the edge of the table like that, one of the eighteen month old guests helped himself to a handful of frosting and then walked around for the rest of the morning with a tiny little frosting mustache.

I knew one of the kids at least was bound to sample a little frosting.

Then I had the balloon banner. It looked awesome and was only kind of a huge pain to make (while I was making it, I was cursing myself and evil Pinterest for all the good ideas, but it didn’t take that long and it looked fantastic).

I may never take this down.

I set out the party favors on the counter, along with bags, and let each kid make their own bag. That way they could select their favorite color. There were tiny jars of bubbles, big packs of crayons, and chocolate gold coins. (Get it? Gold coins at the end of the rainbow party? GET IT?)

At least it was the plan for each kid to make up their own bag. In reality, Elizabeth sat on the counter and majestically declared what each child should get and handed it to them. It was like she thought this party was for her or something.

Want to know how to get a bunch of small children to congregate in one room? Announce that it is time for cake.

Cake was one of my two planned activities. The other one was waving a rainbow colored scarf around. That’s right, I suck on planned party activities.

Elizabeth REALLY enjoyed being the center of attention and having everyone sing to her. I think she’d like to have that occur at every playdate we host.

And look! It’s me! I actually appear in some pictures because I had Courtney take pictures for a while.

Then we blew out the candles. To be honest, I don’t think Elizabeth got any of them. I blew out most of them, with a little help from one of our four year old guests.

I also have a very unflattering picture of me blowing out candles. You’ll note that I chose this one to post instead.

Sorry, Courtney, I couldn’t help it. I had to put up this picture of Isaac. He’s just so darn cute.

Elizabeth’s best friend. He knows how to dress for a party, doesn’t he? I predict that he will be extremely popular at frat parties when he’s in college.

Elizabeth thought the cake was good.

I forced her to put her regular clothes back on for the cake. She’d stripped down and was wearing a princess dress instead at this point. Obviously, she thought she ought to dress the part of Center of Attention*.

Noah also enjoyed the cake, but declined the use of utensils.

This is the same kid who had a handful of frosting at the beginning of the party. You think he needs a fork to eat his slice of cake?

Here is the sliced open cake. I was surprised at how forgiving it was. I was convinced that my orange layer was too pale and looked too yellow and that my blue and purple layers were WAY too short compared to the other layers (they were, it just didn’t really show much). But when I sliced it open, it looked really good.

I tripled my white cake recipe for this, people. And used THREE tubs of frosting. There was is a lot of cake.

As is traditional, Elizabeth gets a birthday shirt made by me every year. This year it says 3. For obvious reasons. (And yes, for those of you paying attention, it is the same fabric from her first birthday shirt. I’m impressed you noticed! And no, I was not to lazy to go to the fabric store for new fabric and just used the leftover stuff.)

Also, as is traditional, I make each year’s birthday shirt late the night before, instead of going to bed on time.

Happy birthday party day, my big girl.

*Elizabeth’s opinion that she is the Center of Attention is not limited in any way to her birthday parties. She feels that she should receive year round worship.

Colorized Birthday Party Preview

Guess who is having her birthday party tomorrow?  For her third birthday?  Who allowed her to get so old?  (Her birthday isn’t until Saturday, so don’t worry, you’ll hear plenty more complaining from me until then about Elizabeth still being an itty bitty baby and how did this HAPPEN?)

Here is a party preview of what I have set up tonight.

And as you can see, I had to barracade the table in with all the dining room chairs to keep her from sampling the cake or accidentally pulling the tablecloth off.  (Not that she can’t easily move or climb over the chairs.  It’s more of a mental barrier to remind her that she’s been told not to mess with it.  It’s tempting, you see.)

And the cake is finished!