Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kitchen Crackdown

I just turned on HGTV to keep me company while I write this, and the program that just came on is called "I Hate My Kitchen". That couldn't be a more appropriate description of my feelings toward the kitchen in our new apartment.

When Davis and I first looked at the apartment, we didn't see all the little things that were wrong with the place. We asked to have the major things such as the broken garage door fixed in our contingencies before we signed the lease. However, they didn't fix everything in our contingencies (like the cables coming through the windows instead of the walls), so they'll certainly get an earful from me about that on Tuesday.

We signed our lease Friday afternoon (also the last day of school for me - it was a terrible idea, never do it to yourself!). I knew that I wanted to clean everything before we moved in, so I began by vacuuming. It took me over an hour to vacuum the living room, two bedrooms, and the stairs. And I sucked up so much dirt there's no way it was professionally carpet cleaned by the previous tenants.

Saturday we went to the new place with the plan to clean baseboards, wipe down walls, and clean fixtures (thermostat, light switches). However, one small wipe with my washcloth pulled the paint right off the light switch plate and the baseboards. I stopped and called the realty company, and they tell me to stop and they will contact the painter. Oh, but the painter's out of town, so it will have to wait until Tuesday or later. Great. I get completely dis-railed and end up helping Davis with the fish tank before I start the next task of cleaning the kitchen.

I had already planned on pulling the cabinet doors off and having open-face cabinets on the top and curtained cabinets on the bottom. However, I underestimated the atrociousness of the paint job and the dirtiness of the previous tenants. The cabinets were coated in dirt, grease, and other icky things. I managed to get all the cabinet doors off - no easy task because the hinges and screws had been painted over so many times that they literally were painted on. I took all the screws out of 3 doors, and the doors just hung there. It took quite a bit of strength to yank them down. I then used Windex (the knock-off brand, of course) and tackled the remained cabinet frames.

The "Before" shot of the kitchen

After a break for dinner, Davis and I came back and started picking at the paint on one of the cabinets. It pretty much peeled right off of the cabinet with a little help from a straight razor. Davis decided to go purchase a sander to sand the paint off so we can paint it (and not be adding a 10th layer over already peeling paint). The sander works amazingly quickly, but gums up easily due to the amount of paint it's pulling off. We finished about half a cabinet and a couple drawers (which I did with a straight razor) before we finally called it quits for the night. (See pictures below.)

Drawers and doors have been removed and cleaned

Davis beginning to peel the paint. Notice how whoever painted
the inside shelves only painted halfway...

Kitchen drawers "before" (left) with knobs covered in paint, contact paper, and peeling paint.

Kitchen drawers "after" (right) with knobs, contact paper, and paint removed.

The plan for today is to dominate the rest of the cabinets so they're ready for painting - sooner rather than later!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Week in Numbers

Here's my week in numbers - and there are a lot of them!

5:00 (5:15) - Wake up, shower, dress, makeup, make lunch, make breakfast (if I have time), pack bags for school
6:00 - Leave for school (drive 45 miles)
7:00 - Arrive at school
7:00-7:30 - Work in classroom preparing for the day (set up small groups, remove paintings from the drying rack, hang artwork, take chairs off the tables, etc)
7:30-7:55 - Car rider duty
7:55-8:05 - Check student folders, enter attendance, help late students unpack
8:05-8:25 - Morning meeting, music & movement, story time (all conducted by Kelsey while I monitor behavior)
8:25-8:50 - Small Groups (I work with my group and monitor other independent groups)
9:00-9:25 - Math (Monday, Friday) or Library (Tuesday) or Music (Wednesday) or Yoga (Thursday)
9:30-10:00 - Snack on back playground
10:10-10:20 - PAC time (phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, concepts of print) (conducted by Kelsey while I monitor behavior)
10:25-11:10 - Centers (work with students, check email)
11:10 - Give the 5 minute warning and have the Block Center begin cleaning
11:15 - Centers are over, guide students with cleaning up, have lunchbox helper pass out lunch boxes
11:30-12:00 - Outside time on the front playground
12:00-12:10 - Students wash hands/use bathroom before lunch
12:10-12:20 - Check off students who bought lunch from cafeteria; open orange containers, yogurt, cheese sticks, milk cartons, applesauce, ....
12:20-12:25 - My bathroom break (don't forget to check the mailbox on my way back
12:25-12:35 - Lunch (while correcting students' eating manners)
12:35 - Give students 5 minute warning - "finish eating"
12:38 - Give students 2 minute warning - "finish eating; if you're done, throw away your trash"
12:40 - "Lunch is over; throw away your trash and pack up"
12:45-1:05 - Walk back to classroom; read a story before Rest Time
1:05-1:10 - Students get blankets and go to mats
1:10-1:50 - Rest Time (I spend most of this time telling students "Still and Quiet.") (I arrange our small group chart for the next day, record jobs for the day, write notes home, stuff folders, ....)
1:50-2:00 - Wake students up from nap while Kelsey puts mats away
2:00-2:05 - Pass out folders and have students pack up (When they're done packing, they stand on their spot and wait for a high-five)
2:05-2:15 - Let's Find Out About It (Monday, Friday) or Math (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
2:15 - Bus riders leave
2:20 - Car riders and walkers leave; after-school students come to my room
2:27 - Walk after-school students to the cafeteria
2:30-3:30 - (Monday - Thursday) Prepare classroom for next day: put chairs on tables, return forms to the proper administrators, work on field trip information, hang up art work
2:30 - (Friday) Go Home early!
3:30 - (Monday) Go Home 
3:30 - (Tuesday - Thursday) Go to Glennwood Elementary for tutoring 
4:00-5:00 - (Tuesday - Thursday) Tutor 5 first graders 
5:00-5:45 - (Thursdays) Plan for tutoring next week
5:00 (Monday)/ 6:00 (Tuesday, Wednesday)/ 7:00 (Thursday)/ 4:00 (Friday) - Arrive home (45 miles), watch TV, make dinner, do dishes
9:00 - Get ready for bed
9:30 - In bed

16.5 hours
90+ miles/day
480 miles/week
2+ hours of driving/day
11+ hours of driving/week
7 hours with students/day
8 hours of (paid) work/day

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 14 more days.