Friday miscellany: Parent-teacher-kid conferences, getting ready hacks, and it is still winter

If March comes in like a lion, it is supposed to go out like a lamb. Despite our officially crossing into the second half of the month at some point today, this has yet to happen around here. There is still snow on the ground. There is ice on all standing water. Indeed, my 10-day forecast has that ominous snowflake for three days next week, past the vernal equinox.

So winter is stealing days of spring. And it’s stealing some other spring pleasures too. I finally did a full survey of my yard yesterday while tromping around with my daughter in the snow. We lost half a dozen big branches, full of buds, from my favorite magnolia tree. The Bradford pears took yet another hit. And we’ll have to do a lot of repair landscaping too. While I thought the front “fence” of skip laurels was just bent over from the heavy snow, in fact many of the bushes are snapped.

On the plus side, I did parent-teacher-kid conferences yesterday, and they went really well. Not so much the logistics. I had gotten up early on day one of availability in order to sign up for three conferences back-to-back. I sent my husband the dates — this was a month ago– and he marked his calendar. But he marked his calendar for the wrong date. So he was pointlessly free on Wednesday afternoon and out of town on Thursday, though he did Face Time in for two of the conferences. But aside from the logistics, the kids were all proud of their work, and their teachers were enthusiastic about them. My 10-year-old had created a whole PowerPoint presentation about his favorite topics, and what he needed to work on (punctuation and organization). He had notecards, but he went off-script, just glancing at the cards occasionally. He even added the pro-speaker element of moving from the front of the room to show something elsewhere in the classroom, thus forcing the audience to pay attention. The 8-year-old’s teacher said he was a “role model” in the classroom, which was somewhat surprising from the perspective that I am often arguing with him to brush his teeth at home, but nice to hear nonetheless.

I was interviewed, a few weeks ago, for a WSJ article on “Getting Ready Faster: Secrets from Stylish Women.” (Link behind paywall.) While I was not an example of a stylish woman, I could play the role of expert on mornings. In that role, I noted that getting everything ready the night before is over-rated. Then you’re stealing sleep or leisure time, both of which can make you crankier. Better to ask what you can not do instead. The piece should appear in print in the Saturday Off-Duty section.

It also references me as the author of the forthcoming Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. I now have a pre-order page up on this website. The whole website is getting redone and the new version should be up in the next week or two (I hope!) If you’re thinking of buying the book (and I hope you are!) please consider putting in an order prior to May 29. Pre-orders show booksellers that there is a market for the book, and encourages them to stock more copies and promote the title. Pre-orders also count toward first week sales, which tend to determine any bestseller list placements. Thanks!

Now onward to the weekend. We have Little League evaluations, a date night, and I’m going to a Bach concert. And getting the remaining stuff out of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I ordered the two-burner portable stove for the basement bar kitchen. I’m telling myself the inconvenience will only be for a month and it will all be worth it in the end when I finally have a kitchen and master bathroom that reflect me. The former owners of this house had very specific tastes. For example, please see these bird-figurine drawer pulls in the photo illustrating this post. While I guess the birds could make life feel more like spring, and I know they are probably high-end and custom-made, I think it’s time to try something different. We bought this house 7 years ago, so probably time to do our own decorating.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Parent-teacher-kid conferences, getting ready hacks, and it is still winter

  1. I enjoy these round-up posts. After reading “I Know How She Does It,” and after reading your habit of planning & then reflecting on your hobbies/leisure activities/”me time,” it has encouraged me to maximize my enjoyment of the same in my life, partly by planning more of them, partly by believing and acting on the idea that even 20-30 minutes of time can be used for enjoyable pursuits, and partly by anticipating/reflecting on them before & after. Thank you for this! And–yay Bach! What pieces are you hearing this weekend?

  2. I always send my husband an appointment/meeting request for his calendar so it automatically places whatever needs to be there at the same time I put it on my calendar. I just invite him not my “meeting”. I actually will put things on there like kids’ doctor appointments or other things that he isn’t even necessarily attending but that I want him to know about – he can save it to his calendar in outlook so it still shows him as free at that time and I can mark it private if I only want him to see it. It’s saved so much frustration on my part when I can tell him – it’s on your calendar!

    Going to preorder your book now!

  3. Kitchen and bath remodel. A month. Hahahaha. Contractors probably have not read your books on time management.

    The bird knobs are cool. Giving them to the church rummage sale?

    1. I had to laugh when I read this too. My neighbors’ kitchen remodel took about… 6 months, I want to say? My other friend told me her’s took over a year. Other neighbors did it themselves in about 2-3 months, but they are very handy. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky! Looking forward to hearing updates on this.

    2. It might be improbable, but it’s not impossible! We did a 500 square foot addition with new kitchen, renovated a living room including new flooring and adding built-in bookcases, converted a screened porch to a family room with built-ins, gutted and redid the master bath, and redid a powder room … all in 3 months. The contractor had his team work on one job at a time, and they could work in bits in one room while other projects were in hold. Most contractors may not workchrat way, but for Laura’s sake I hope that’s what she has!

    3. @Barb – so, humorously enough, I gave the contractors copies of my books….

      One thing working in our factor is that nothing in the kitchen is moving in location. We’re refinishing the cupboards, redoing the counters and backsplash, paint, lighting, some hardware, but no appliances are moving. The bathroom is pretty much a gut job but those tend to be less intensive than kitchens.

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