Sunday, March 25, 2007

What I've Been Doing Lately

The house: We have pretty much made up our minds that we want to move. We want a house that's bigger, one that is one-story and has at least four bedrooms, and one with a better master bedroom/closet/bathroom configuration, one that is here in South Davis. Not many of those come on the market, so for now we are waiting, and keeping our eyes and ears open. And because I have serious anxiety about the idea of selling our current house, I've been working, slowly and steadily, on getting it ready to sell. Spring came early this year -- at the end of February, more or less -- so I've been doing lots of work out in the yard, and I've also been doing some painting inside. I've painted the family room a more neutral shade of yellow -- more of a cream -- and I'm still seesawing back and forth about changing the red accent walls to something more neutral as well. On the one hand, our real estate agent advised me to paint them. On the other -- this house is full of color, and anyone who doesn't like color isn't going to buy it with some of the other bright colors I've chosen for other rooms anyway. To me, the red accent wall with our fireplace is the highlight of the entire house, and I imagine that half the people who walk in would love it and the other half would hate it.

I know this isn't hugely important, but it's the kind of thing I've been thinking about lately.

I've also been doing a lot of work at school lately. The first week of this month was the spring Scholastic Book Fair, and I'm one of 5 chairpeople for that. I actually wrote a long post about kids and money last weekend, which Blogger ate, but I think I can summarize it here pretty easily:

Considering how out-of-control materialistic we are as a society, it's touching how most 6-year-olds still think a couple of dollars is a lot of money. They walk into that book fair thinking they're going to be able to buy everything in sight.

Tax is a difficult concept for pretty much everyone under the age of 10.

A lot of kids want to share with their friends, and for every generous kid, there's one who is willing to exploit their friendship in order to get stuff. That's why we made a new rule during this book fair, that if you want to buy something for your friend, a forty-five cent eraser is fine and a five-dollar book is not.

I personally don't let my kids spend money at the book fair unless I'm right there with them (since I'm a co-chair, that's quite a bit of the time).

When promoting the book fair, Scholastic is all about the books. Then you open the doors and the kids flood in, and they are all about the stuff. A huge portion of the profits from Scholastic book fairs comes from third graders buying highlighters they don't need, bendy pencils that don't write well, scented erasers, notebooks, planners (!?), bookmarks, and pens with all manner of junk attached to the ends of them. I have mixed feelings about this stuff. I love to shop, and some of the stuff is awfully cute, so I can understand the attraction to it. But I also hate the fact that we are basically exploiting kids who have a few dollars and want to spend it so much on junk they don't need. I just read a book about the ill effects of advertising to kids, and the bottom line is that it is shameful how much marketing is directed at kids who are too young to know they are being manipulated.

In general, though, I love the book fair. It's fun to work on something that people enjoy so much.

I'm also working on our annual Parents' Night Out auction, which is this coming Saturday on the UCD campus. For the third year, I am collecting reservations, and I'll also be helping to set up on the day of the event. Fun stuff :-)

So that's what I've been doing lately. Not terribly exciting, but it's keeping me busy.

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