Sunday, October 24, 2010

administrivia (with an edit @ the end)

I'm trying to organize all of our paperwork since moving in to this house, and my organizational skills are being severely challenged. It seriously feels like I'm drowning in paper and administrative tasks to complete. I need a secretary. Or a wife.

Or both.


I need to submit an expense report for several of the inspections that were part of our home buying experience, and which are fully reimbursable, I just need to track down all of those receipts and make sure we haven't lost anything. This sounds simple enough, but it will probably consume several hours of my day. So, I haven't done it yet and the longer I wait, the more difficult this task becomes.

I'm typically not a procrastinator, but I also need to submit an expense report for goods that were damaged during the move. Thus far, our list includes the boys' bunk bed, our media center, three lamps, two curtain rods, several pictures, a bicycle and my psyche.

There are expense reports that need to be submitted for duplicate housing expenses that were incurred during the time that we were living in hotels and still paying a mortgage on our California house. In order to complete these expense reports, I need to go dig up all of our mortgage statements, utility bills, hotel receipts, food receipts, and a host of other things which also sounds simple enough, but will take me the latter part of two days and result in much cursing. My new "substitution" word is SNAP!

I learned it from William.


There is DMV paperwork to fill out for securing our licenses in Virginia. We also need to get new license plates. We need to revisit our auto insurance and life insurance and wills and find new doctors for the family. These things constitute To-Do Items #40 through #47, respectively.

Then there are the mounds upon mounds (upon MOUNDS) of paper that my children are bringing home from school. God bless the man that I married, when the children return home from school each day, he takes everything out of their backpacks and piles it up in the middle of the kitchen table. So, the management of school paperwork has been falling under my realm. Now, I've "mentioned" one or two times how my husband might better "assist" with this effort. It usually starts with me saying, "GAH. FOR PETE'S SAKE" and typically ends with, "MUST I DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE?"

But then I remember that my husband is a huge contributor the success of this household and I most definitely don't do everything around here. Not by a looooonng shot. If I did indeed do everything around here, we'd still be driving cross-country. Stuck somewhere in probably Oklahoma. Warding off fire ants.

However, when I'm buried in paperwork up to my eyeballs and my husband is leisurely folding laundry while watching a football game, I tend to go a little blind with those feelings of OVERWHELMED.

Now, back to the topic surrounding the oceans of paper the school sends home everyday...

This is where some of my greatest frustrations lie. Because everything looks important - and in my quest to be an involved parent - I feel like I should review each piece in great detail. But then, when I review these slips of paper, each one requires that I actually DO something.


And then, I'm stuck on what to do?

Do I have one of the little pictures that my children drew in class, transformed in to an Original Artwork creation that will benefit the PTA?

If so, what do I order?

The mug, the apron, the trivet, the magnet or the Christmas tree ornament?

(Times three.)

I completely neglected to send money to school on picture day and now the proofs are back.

Do I order their Kindergarten pictures?

If so, what set should I order?

The 1-8x10, 2-5x7 and 8-billfolds? Or, do I just toss the whole lot of it out, scan the image and store what I want on my computer? Who, other than a child's mother, really keeps their Kindergarten pictures? Do I honestly need more than ONE photo?

The children are going to participate in a Turkey Trot for their school. The entry is $25.00 per child, with all proceeds benefiting the PTA. So, the question becomes, do I send the children around door-to-door asking that everyone sponsor their run, OR, do I fork over the $25.00 per child and be done with it?

These are the things that I think about when I should be doing expense reports.

My calendar is booking up faster than I can believe because I've signed up for various volunteer activities in my quest to be a part of this whole "school" experience.

Although, oddly enough, most of the activities that I'm partaking in, in no way involve my children. For example, I'm volunteering for two hours, once every six weeks, to help school children make sandwiches for local homeless shelters. It wasn't until after I signed up, that I learned my children won't participate in this activity until NEXT year.

Apparently, the homeless shelters don't want sandwiches made by Kindergartners.


Gee. I can't imagine why?


I'm also baking several dozen muffins for the teachers on one of the days that we have parent-teacher conferences. I'm also volunteering at a book fair. And chaperoning a field trip. The good news with the field trip is that it's actually FOR my children's class. The bad news is that I'll have Henry there which means I'll spend much of the time chasing after a three-year-old, who has received the green-light to attend this particular outing.

Does that sound negative?

It really wasn't meant to. I just think that it's important to dispel the image that it's a carefree jaunt to chaperon a kindergarten field trip when you also happen to directly supervise a three-year-old who runs around ROARING and routinely throws himself on the ground while kicking his feet and yelling, "I NOT DO IT! I NOT, NOT, NOT!"


Charlie would probably contend the strength required to remain sane when outing with Henry, is comparable to the strength necessary to remain sane whilst being married to me.


And I'm afraid he might be right.


Speaking of Administrivia and things on my To-Do list, tonight as I was once again unintentionally postponing my expense reporting I created a spreadsheet with all of the generous contributors to my 3-Day walk and ran the total number through Random.Org.

The winner of the PBK bean bag chair is Ms. Stephanie A. This came as little surprise to me since she donated close to 10% of my fundraising total. Which, by the way, exceeded my goal by close to $500.00. So again, a HUGE thank you to everyone that contributed to such a critical cause.

For those people that wrote they'd like a bracelet, I'll get them in the mail to you as soon as I can. (Soon as I can = January?)

Stephanie, please drop me a line when you have a chance and let me know: 1) What color beanbag chair you'd like and 2) The initials or name that you'd like monogrammed.

Yay!! One more thing is off my To-Do list.

Snap!! Expense reports are still outstanding.


  1. You might want to check on that field trip may not be able to bring Henry. I seem to remember that you could not bring other children not in the class when my kids were going to school.

  2. sounds like you have a lot on your plate and you will conquer it, i would not take henry on the kindergarten field trip, he will have his own, they are already splitting you 3 ways and if it is appropriate for kindergarteners it probably won't be appropriate for him, read a lot of not not not, good wishes

  3. I'm stressed just reading that---yet I can completely relate! MINUS all that moving crap....or should I say, "SNAP?"

  4. Jen, as someone who has moved twice in the last year, I can so relate. Keeping the office organized has probably been one of the biggest challenges! Especially since our desk broke during the last break. Off-topic question: Did you decide to bring your awesome Rainbow swingset with you or did you leave it in CA? We just purchased one, although not as big, and am wondering if our kids will use it enough to justify moving it with us in a couple of years. Would love to hear your experience! -Karen

  5. I also started drowning in paperwork when mine started Kindergarten. I got a sterlite box (you'd need one for each kid). and throw all the artwork/school work stuff in there each day when cleaning out the backpacks. Then once at the end of the month, I go in and pick one favorite, toss the rest. At the end of the year I have 12 great pieces for a scrapbook, file cabinet or whatever.
    This way each day the kids see me put their things in the "Special Box", and at the end of the year have the best to reminisce about.

  6. Reading your blog has always made me tired, but I think today's post has put me over the edge. I don't know how you do it. You need to hear more often how amazing you are. So here goes: You are amazing!

  7. I'm not entirely sure where you're finding time to breathe!

  8. Poor gal... seems to me you need a clone of yourself. I remember well what it was like to have three kids in school all wanting my energy, my time and my money and then there was my job that also required my energy and time because I wanted the money. I would fall into bed at night wondering how I ever made it through the day, but I did make it and then through the next and the next and the next... and before I knew it the kids were grown and now THEY are wondering how to make it through each day with less than enough time, energy, and money than they think they need. They bring the kids over and I love them to pieces then send them home with their overwhelmed parents. When I look back I wouldn't have traded one stress filled moment away for an easier time if it meant not having them in my life and I think you feel the same so just hang in their, you will get through. Life is fun.