Monday, July 17, 2017

Desert Dwelling

We're officially established in our fourth state as a married couple. The kids have claimed three states as their own and Claire has decided she is all done moving. Girlfriend doesn't like change as much as the rest of us. Meanwhile, Benjamin has requested we take him to see "the whole world." They're different personalities, those two.

 Scottsdale Library + our favorite ice cream shop

I finally hung the last of the lingering pictures on the walls this morning (along with calling 748 people to manage bills and doctor appointments, etc.). That's the WORST part of moving anywhere. I almost want to stay here forever just so I don't have to pay another deposit, establishment fee, or search doctors covered under insurance and make appointments for a whole family for dental, dermatology and primary care. That adulting stuff is seriously the pits.
 ASU Art Museum, Diamondbacks Game with Aunt Mansa & Phoenix Children's Museum
As for us, Arizona hasn't brought all that many surprises, but it definitely has delivered the majority of our expectations. It's hot. We've killed as many cockroaches as we have lived here in weeks. (They also happen to me my least favorite creature on the planet.) The pool is our friend. The water bill is not (hello $480! We also know this isn't normal and we're taking action.). The electric bill is also not at $430.

 Swimming at Uncle Justin & Aunt Anna's House and post theatre production happiness with Tweedledee.                                  

Y'all, I'm not sure we've ever paid more than $100 for a water bill (which would've been extremely high because we're fairly water wise). And even in the heat of a Midwest summer, we never spent more than $250 on our electricity, with the average about $150 in the summer months. This house is about 1/3 smaller than our Illinois two-story home with basement, so it's both baffling and cringe-worthy. With that said, I'm told that winter brings bills that are mild and breezy.

Moving to the Sonoran Desert in the summer was a unique choice.
T-ball, cool parks, s'mores and slurpees. Basically, Hashtag Summer.

The kids haven't been on bikes or scooters since leaving Reno and won't likely be back to riding until the fall. Parks just sit vacant, because while the rest of the country is flocking to the local parks, it's impossible here. We'll catch up in January when it's a perfect 75 here, though. Not complaining.
Cabazon Dinosaurs & Dinner with Family

In the 1.5 months we've been here, we've visited the Phoenix Children's Museum, Arizona Science Center, ASU Art Museum, gone to a Diamondbacks game, hiked Camelback Mountain, eaten at countless incredible restaurants, visited libraries, and spent time at pools and rec centers for swim lessons and t-ball. Benjamin had theatre camp at a local theatre (and loved it, of course). The final presentation of Alice in Wonderland was awesome and we plan to sign him up again this fall. Both kids attended VBS one week and Art Camp another week.

We've had three sets of visitors stay with us and I took the kids on a road trip to LA to quickly see the family before sprinting back here. It sure was a boring drive, but the fake dinosaurs near Cabazon, CA were an interesting bunch to break up the monotony.

It's only a high of 98 here today and I legitimately felt a breeze in the air when I was packing my car up with stuff to take to my classroom tomorrow. You know you've acclimated when 98 feels "breezy" to you.

Off to lather up with sunscreen and hop in the pool. #required

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It's Just... I'm Busy

...and I don't presume it will get any easier with two kids in school and both of us working full time.

The things looming through my head are all teacher-related and hypothetically planning lessons, buying way too many resources on Teachers Pay Teachers and buy things to make my classroom #thebestever.

It's probably boring for the masses... so I just keep those thoughts to myself. Except, I do want to talk about the cute furniture I bought for my conference/conversation corner of my classroom.

I have big visions, you guys. I want tables and no desks. I want some standing tables for kids to conference about projects. Shoot, I want a standing desk for myself! I want a lowered table for kids to work at floor-level. I realize I'm in a new school, so I'm not getting too crazy (okay, a little).

Here's a quick tour of the classroom *I think* I will have. They brought me through and it sounded like unless the team decides otherwise (doubtful), it's mine. It walks to the outside and much of the school is indoor. It's a hybrid campus, but I'm happy to have a classroom with fresh air access. The stuff in the center is from the former teacher who used this as a pullout resource room last year.

All the teachers say "OOOooo, storage!"

 Wifi is going to be fast-- it's in the corner there. ABC chart coming down! It's being replaced with this.
A sink! (Okay, I've never not had a sink...)
That area in the left corner is going to be my conference/conversation nook. And here's what I'm putting in it (currently sitting in my bedroom waiting for classroom access-- hopefully next week).

IKEA LACK side table (re-purposed from this post 3.5 years ago)

IKEA Hampen rug

This is not the exact pillow fabric, but it's close... I can't seem to find the right one?! (IKEA)

So, fun story on the chairs. I really want the dark blue or teal. I love teal. But, the only IKEA in all of Arizona (eye-roll emoji) only carries the white. I was willing to design around it. I tracked the stock prognosis for a week and all was well. They had a dozen in stock and sold maybe 5 the whole week prior. The following day, I checked and NONE! I was super bummed, especially because they're a seasonal item that doesn't typically get restocked. We decided to press forward and head there anyway, only to find a single one, in semi-scuffed state. They dropped the price for me, but I was still pretty bummed. Then, as we walked through the store, we spotted another in a display! They dropped the price again and gave us both for $40. Not perfect, but for 33% off, so obviously I'll take it. And did I mention that Claire is finally tall enough for the IKEA Smaland and we had a glorious hour sans kids to poke around IKEA? That alone made her day (and mine, if I'm being honest). It was like a mini date with my husband!

I have a ton more stuff for the space, but I'm mostly excited about the cubbies (since we won't have desks) and built-ins that I won't even come close to filling with the stuff I have. I feel like I'm at a stand still though, because while I'm buying great lesson ideas and resources from TPT like there's no tomorrow and have a million of my own plans in my head zooming around, I can't access my official school email or get started collaborating in our Google Classroom space because I'm not technically on the clock for another 2 weeks. My colleagues are in there planning and I'm in waiting. #soongrasshopper #iknow

I'm hoping to get in there next week and at least make the space semi-ready and organized so I can hit the ground running with the planning process. I'm so pumped about the school, planning with some great colleagues and creating a truly unique and purposeful learning environment for my students.