Friday, January 22, 2010

So much to do... so few babysitters

Now that we are in Atlanta and somewhat settled, I all the sudden have time on my hands.  Why do I have time you ask?  I think there are four main reasons:

  1. I am currently not packing, preparing to pack, cleaning to pack, or doing anything that has to do with packing.
  2. Monkey sleeps better now that he is older.  He typically sleeps about 3-5 hours during the day (so 5 hours between 7AM and 5PM).  This leaves me with some free time.
  3. There is a HUGE difference maintaining a loft as compared to a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house... and I really like that difference.  It makes my life a lot easier.
  4. Brian is back at work.  While I loved having him home, he did take up some of my time.
So, what do with all of my free time - and more importantly, how to do it with an almost-5-month old and on a budget that will still allow me to pay our Texas mortgage and our Georgia rent?

Here is what I want to do:

Book Club: I am not a joiner by nature (my mother would say that is a bit of an understatement) but for the sake of my sanity and for the sake of teaching my child that the outside world is okay... I need to join things.  A book club is free and it will force me to do something I really enjoy but seem to not always do - read.  So I found a bookstore in the East Atlanta Village, Bound to be Read, that I think I'll check out.  I am too late for this month's book club, but should be able to make next month.  And bonus, the book club is scheduled for people who work so it's either at night or the weekends and Brian can watch Monkey.

Join a Food Cooperative: I have wanted to join a food cooperative for some time (for those of you who may not be familiar with this concept, the website of the place in Atlanta does a good job of explaining: Sevananda Food Cooperative - Atlanta).  There was one in Austin, but it was in Austin and I was in Cedar Park (I know, old story... but same tune).  Now there is one around the corner from me. I plan on dragging Brian there this weekend to see if I'm interested in this cooperative.  While it does cost money to join, the cost is realistic (I can do either $20/yr for 6 years, or $120 up front) and I can volunteer based on my schedule (and Brian's schedule).  This is something I would like Monkey to be a part of from day one - to truly understand more about the food we eat than that it comes from a super market. 

Take painting classes: When I was younger, my mother and father were kind enough to send me to art classes. I really learned a lot and still implement those lessons.  However, I now mostly concentrate on drawing as I find it is easier to fix a mistake in drawing than it is in painting.  My goal would be to be as comfortable with a paint brush as I am with my oil crayons (I love those damn things even if they are the poor man's drawing instrument).  I'm sure I could fit this in to my schedule, but painting classes and supplies are expensive (seriously, have you ever priced out canvas alone?).  This might be one to put aside for birthdays and Christmas.

Take cooking classes: I know, you are superbly confused because you know I am already an accomplished cook.  Yes, won't beat around the bush, I am a good cook, but I have two glaring faults in my cooking ability: 1) I find it difficult to cook from the hip.  I believe this one will get better with time (in that the more I cook the easier it will be for me to whip up something at a moment's notice). 2) I find baking to be a complete mystery.  So, I want to learn to bake... and not just sweet items.  I want to make pizza doughs, breads, muffins, all those items that need exact measurements and taste REALLY good homemade.  There is a cooking school I have my eye on (Viking Cooking School - Atlanta) and a cooking series I have my eye on, now I just need to trip over $500 and convince my husband that even though he works Monday through Friday that he should also take care of Monkey for 4 Saturdays in a row.  Hmmm... this one might be more difficult than anticipated.  Of course, I do have another alternative for this (depending on how social I want to be).  I could start my own "cooking classes."  Reach out to people in the neighborhood and see if people are willing to demonstrate something they cook/bake well in their own home - we could do one a month and make it children friendly.  I might not be ready for organizing a joining event just yet, but I'll keep this one in my back pocket.

And these are just my interests.  I also want to take Monkey to music classes, I also want to see Atlanta and do Georgia day trips, I also want to see the exhibits at the High Museum... so much to do.

Now I've put it out there.  This means people will ask me about these "to do" items and I will feel pressure to do them.  Because, let's be honest, if I don't have a little bit of pressure I'll spend the next few months watching all the HBO documentaries On Demand... and all the episodes of "Hoarders"... and all the other tempting items waiting for me just a click away.

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