Procrastination and Perfectionism, that is.  I have had a love affair of sorts with these 2 traits for as long as I can remember.  I recall that even when I was in school, I would want projects to be perfect and the best my teachers received, but I somehow ALWAYS waited until the last minute to get started.  I’ve realized that perfection isn’t really attainable, but I can always attempt to achieve what I deem “perfect”.  And, since I don’t really have any “due dates”, except those that I self-impose on myself, I’ve become the queen of procrastination to the point that I would probably label myself as just plain lazy.

Looking closer into my laziness, I’ve discovered that what seems to be the real issue is that I lack initiation.  I’m definitely motivated to get things done, such as household chores, making phone calls to set up appointments, etc, but I REALLY dislike getting things started, and I have a hard time deciding WHERE to start. 

So, I’ve decided to turn a new leaf in my quest for balance.  It’s basically this – “suck it up, get your lazy blankety-blank off the couch, and do your work.”  I actually have had some good motivators the past couple of weeks – visitors, beautiful weather (has always prompted me to do a good cleaning.  I’m not really sure why.), and a consignment sale at Zoe’s school.  I’m hoping a couple of things will happen if I can continue on this path. One, when I do get to do my “fun things” that I can truly relax and enjoy myself, instead of feeling this burden of my mental “to-do” list looming over me, and two, that the time I spend with my 3 favorite people (K, Z, and C) in the whole world will be better quality time (versus a quantity of time) with my full undivided attention (well, divided between the 3 of them).

In order to become successful at actually initiating tasks/chores, I’ve set a few goals for myself. 

1) Clean 1 room at a time.  Enough of the chore, “clean the house.”  It was overwhelming me, and therefore, never got started.  I’ve found (at least the past couple of weeks) that if I focus my energy on 1 room/day, then the house actually gets clean.  The whole house may not be clean all at once, but it will all reasonably be clean and easy to pick up if we have visitors over.

2)  The kids have “free and unstructured” play time if I don’t have my chores (such as dishes or cooking meals) done.  I do a little refereeing to make sure Zoe’s not tackling Cole or that Cole isn’t getting into something that’s icky or dangerous.  This is working well, and I think the kids enjoy playing with each other more than they enjoy me interfering and guiding them on how to play.  (Aaah, yay for kiddies getting older!)

Update:  I started writing this last week (more procrastination!), but I wanted to mention, “so far, so good.”  I haven’t felt overwhelmed with my “to-do” list, and I feel like I can play with the kids without having my attention diverted elsewhere, which is making me a happier person. Most importantly, I’m actually achieving what I set out to do each day (woo-hoo!).  I’ve also realized that if life gets in the way of my chores, there’s always tomorrow (it may just be a busier tomorrow!), which is helping me get motivated to tackle other things in my life (getting healthy, re-connecting with the hubby, etc).

For those of you who have managed to stay with me until now, here are a couple of random pics for you:

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Coming up: 1-year update

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ever teacher/parent conference with Zoe’s teacher at the Kinhaven School.  Below, is a copy of her “report card”.  Basically, she’s doing everything a typical 2 1/2-years-old is supposed to be doing.  The 3 items that she’s not doing “almost always” are: “Uses words to express wants.”, “Counts to 2; aware of 1 more; know how many to 2.”, and “Understands opposites come-go, push-pull, run-stop.

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In a type-written summary, Ms. Kayna wrote that Zoe had an easy adjustment into the class (because of the weather, she had only been in school about 5 out of the 10 weeks that school had in.), and that her favorite activities are “busy finger” activities.  Her teachers initially thought Zoe was introverted because of the activities she chooses, but they are beginning to see her come out of her shell and interact with her classmates and during group activities.

A few things that stuck with me from the conference:

1.  Zoe is a “crafty” girl and has good fine motor skills.  Her teacher actually recommended starting on gripping pen/pencils with drawing/tracing straight lines, etc.  (doing mazes, tracing letters, etc.)

2.  Her teachers are working on improving Zoe’s confidence to speak in groups and feel comfortable and excited about grouped activities.  One thing Zoe’s teacher recommended was lots of one-on-one play-dates at our house, so play-dates, here we come!!

Just for laughs, Zoe is really into picking out her own outfits.  Here are a few of her more “creative” outfits.

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Winter 2010 035So…Today we celebrated Cole’s 1st birthday (a day early) with a fun party in our apartment building’s Club Room!!  We had really yummy cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, juice and soda, and lots of games – all shared with about 15 other kids and adults (friends from our apartment building, Zoe’s school, and Kirk’s work).

It turned out to be a whole lot of fun.

Winter 2010 044 What’s left of our super yummy cupcakes…vanilla and chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.

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(Singing “Happy Birthday”.  But Cole couldn’t wait to dig into his cake.)

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(Cole’s first bite of cake.  And Zoe decided she would help.)

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(Having fun!)

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(Hugs for the Birthday Boy!)

Coming Up: The Battle of the 2 P’s, 1-year update, A Bit of Randomness

This year, the Chinese New Year was on Feb 14th.  Kirk, Zoe, Cole, and I decided to celebrate by inviting some friends to go to the New Year Parade in DC’s Chinatown on Sat, Feb 13th.  Unfortunately, we only caught the tail-end of the parade (Twice, I might add – it was the way the parade wrapped around Chinatown.), and we never even went completely into Chinatown (Well, we never went under the Friendship Gate that denotes the entrance into Chinatown).  We did have a ton of fun, and I look forward to having a great “Year of the Tiger.” Winter 2010 010

(Dragon.  Zoe thought the dragon and the lion were scary, and she didn’t want to get very close.  Personally, I think it was the combination of the lion and dragon moving as well as the drums that came behind them.)

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(Zoe and Kirk watch the parade.)

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(The Daddies and their girls.)

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(Amy and Cole.)

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(Amaryllis)

So, I’m a little behind on my postings, which is a whole different story.  Anyways…since President’s Day is a federal holiday, Kirk had the day off, and we decided to take the kids into DC for a little field trip to the US Botanical Garden to see the current special orchid exhibit.  Cole took his morning nap in the stroller while we checked out the flowers, and Zoe had fun taking in all of the beautiful flowers, sights, and smells. 

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(Main Conservatory of US Botanical Garden)

Afterwards, we made the short walk to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian for lunch (A little side note – very cool place for lunch!  The museum has different “stations” set up for the different areas of the Americas.  For example, there was a Northwest Indian area with salmon and bison, a Central America flavor with tamales and tacos, etc.  Because we packed a picnic lunch, we actually didn’t eat the food there, but it sure  looked and smelled pretty darn yummy!), and then we headed home for afternoon naps.  All in all, we had fun getting out of the house (there was still a TON of snow all over the place!), and I’m looking forward to when it gets warmer so we can go back to the Garden to check out the outdoor gardens.

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(Above: Zoe pointing to the really tall palm trees.  The fallen log-looking thing behind us is actually a bridge spanning a water feature. Below: Zoe and Amy talk about the orchids and the water fountain.)

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(Zoe and Kirk pose with the Chinese Dragon.  The orchid exhibit was set up to resemble an outdoor Asian flower market, and the dragon was full of orchids of very color under the sun.)

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(View of the water fall and water feature from the fallen log bridge.)

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