October 3 in 30: Week 1

3in30 Challenge

Clean Out the Bookcases.

Continuing apace. I need to get a picture of the inside of my husband’s truck. We focused the effort there and on cleaning out the bins in the bedroom. We moved books from the truck to the bins, BUT there was method to that madness. We took all the magazines and catalogs out of the bins first. Those have all been recycled and then we put all the books from the truck into the bins so a) P has a truck to drive if he wants to and b) the books are more or less in one space and I can find them.

Course Revision

One of the first new pieces that I’m adding to this course is written. This is a huge step building on the research that deals with concept inventories, but making it appropriate to the class that I’m building. It was more work to make the charts I needed than it was to come up with the question and it’s received good feedback from the folks reviewing so that’s good. I’ve also been checking data and figuring out what works and what doesn’t with the discussion question sets we currently have. Since I wrote the questions, I can tell you that’s always fun. Also sorted out some issues with assignment language that need to be addressed. A lot of what I say about this is necessarily vague. The course is proprietary and belongs to someone else when I’m finished, but for those students who wonder — it takes a lot of work to build a good online course.

Develop a Weekly Schedule.

So far, I’m flailing around like a crazy person, so the schedule idea is not working out as well as I’d like. I tried drawing a quadrant map today so my son could see everything I have to do this weekend. He was not happy with the amount of work that mom is going to be doing and wants to know where the fun is. You know what? I want to know that, too. So, with luck I’ll be able to work on a schedule next week that’s better than the vague-ish thing I had this week.

Here’s the linkto the weekly link up. Make sure you check out the goals that others’ are setting.

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October 3 in 30: Goals

3in30 Challenge

Clean Out the Bookcases.

Carry over from last month. I’ve already started in again, so I feel very hopeful that this may be the month that I finish.

Course Revision

This is a work goal. I want to turn in the course revision that I’m working on by October 31. This entails a lot of brain work and writing on my part, but I think I can do it in the space of a month. We’ll see.

Develop a Weekly Schedule.

As my work has kicked back in I can see that I need a schedule to guide me and make sure that I’m not spending all day with a computer on my lap. I need to make sure my kids get their schooling and so forth. It’s been a little hectic during seminar 1, so a schedule seems like the only logical way to attack the situation. I’m planning to use Tell Your Time to help me with this. If I manage it, I’d like to add to this weekly schedule a cleaning schedule using Create Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule. That may be too ambitious, but we’ll see.

Here’s the link to the weekly link up. Make sure you check out the goals that others’ are setting.

The Aftermath

I will write in more detail about Katie’s surgery in an upcoming post, but today, I just want to check in so folks know I’m alive and that we’re maintaining. I wouldn’t say we’re thriving, but we’re not going under, so I count it as a win.

We owe a massive debt of gratitude to the folks behind Baby Toolkit for their absolutely lifesaving gift of Dinner Done!. Not having to worry about food shopping, prepping, or really cleaning up after has been such a blessing and a gift. I strongly recommend searching out similar services in your area and putting their phone number on speed dial. When someone is in a really bad place, this is a gift that can make a HUGE difference in their quality of life as they go through whatever their struggle is.

Katie is doing well, but having a lot of difficulty sleeping. I think part of it is fear, since the last time she went to sleep she woke up to a great deal of pain, but part of it may be residual effects of the anesthesia and the intubation. I know it took me a few weeks to work through the additional air in my system after she was born last year. The only way she will sleep is in her swing and only after she has been held and swayed for a while. P thinks we’re spoiling her; I think she’s been through something hugely traumatic and needs some extra nurturing while she recovers.

Her hair would do a Marine proud. It’s roughly an eighth of an inch all over (except at the actual incision site, which is covered in steri-strips). The first day home she couldn’t roll over or crawl, but by day three she was doing both. Yesterday and today, she was cruising from one piece of furniture to another. Took a couple of tumbles. She cried, but cheered right up. My heart stopped, but all is fine.

She’s eating like a champ and has gained back almost everything she lost post-surgery (she went in at 18 lbs; came out about 16.5 lbs and is now almost back to 18 lbs). This is why they were so adamant that she be strong and healthy, and gain weight prior to surgery. Makes sense now.

Ben has dealt with all of this reasonably well. He was very frightened when he came in the first day. He came running over, very excited, but saw Katie’s head and stopped cold. By yesterday, when my mother came to visit, he explained to his Nana that she “cannot touch Katie’s head” and was reasonably protective of her. He’s saying some things we’ve not heard him say before, but nothing that’s really out of order for a four year old. Although, yesterday, calling Katie “stupid Katie” got him sent to his room to cool off.

I’m ended up turning over the classes I was teaching after a very long weekend of very little sleep. So, I am not working until next week. Well, some course prep, but not much else (except some holdover course design issues, that are in the process of being resolved). So, we’ll spend the next few days off doing things that need doing. Planning for November and December homeschooling. Making new charts for Ben. He likes his routines on charts where he can see them, so I oblige. I have some holiday planning/birthday planning to do.

Katie has her follow up appointment on Monday, where hopefully we can get clarity on when she can start being around people a bit more. We have been in virtual seclusion for over a month now, and we’ll have to decide how much exposure is acceptable and whether we need vaccines for flu and H1N1 or not. I likely can’t have them, but can the rest of them? We don’t know. So you know, I believe strongly in vaccination as it’s a means of protecting people like me who cannot take them — so it’s a wee bit self-serving.

In any event, we’re here. We’re hanging in there. I’ll talk more about the surgery and the immediate following time soon. I still need to process my feelings and thoughts on it a bit more.

Back to Work I Go

So, now I am back at work and I’m thinking, hard, about how I use my time and what gets my attention when I’m working. I’m working on my focus and trying to make sure that I approach one task at a time. I’m also putting more thought into the tools that I use to accomplish my work.

The two main pieces of hardware that I use are a laptop and a handheld device. In my case, these are a Macbook Pro and an iPod Touch. I plan to upgrade, at some point, to an iPhone and eliminate my separate cell phone, but for now, I can’t quite justify the cost. I’ve used a desktop in the past, and there is a PC desktop on the credenza behind me, but it doesn’t get a great deal of use. Because of the kids, it is so much easier to work from a laptop because I’m not tied to a location.

Ben is the kind of kid who likes to play on his own and just show me what he’s doing. He doesn’t like or want a great deal of input from me when he’s putting things together or working on, so I can sit right near him and work while he plays and he’s perfectly happy so long as I will close up the laptop the second that he wants some attention. How this will work with Katie, I don’t know. Her interactive periods are quite short right now, and I know they’ll get longer as the year progresses, so we’ll see what happens as the year progresses.