Well, I have successfully overcome my panic about the onslaught that is FALL. Rather than getting lost in that fear-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach feeling, I channeled it all into hyper-organization. What have I done, you might ask?
Well, I will tell you, but much of it is so nerdy and anal that many of you will snicker at your computer screens when I describe it.
1) We put the meal plan into place. Not so much the "every week's the same" plan, but the actual "decide upon and shop for the week's dinners in advance" plan. I'm quite sure that I'm the last idiot in America to figure this out, but Christ Almighty, does it make a big difference! It's a whole new world, this coming into the kitchen knowing what I'm going to make and having it all on hand. Ludicrous, but true. We're eating better and don't have to go to the store nearly as often, which saves us time and money.
2) I switched us over to an online calendar. Good-bye behemoth family calendar on the fridge, hello Google Calendar! We do keep a printed copy of the next few months clipped to the refrigerator so that we have easy access to it when we're making plans by phone, but I also love having the "next four days" option printed so that we can see what's coming on an immediate basis. It's extremely detailed and Matt and I can both access it quickly from home and work. Awesome.
3) I've had my new accountant get my business accounts up to date and I also wheedled her into setting up an account for the condo association so that I can easily deal with my treasurer responsibilities. I've set up online banking for the association and have already sent an email to all of my neighbors, threatening to poke their eyes out with sticks if they pay their fees late. Or something to that effect.
4) I finally purchased one of Levenger's Circa notebooks; I ordered tabs for it and have it organized into sections for my notes and to do lists: "home", "work", "condo", "church", and "shopping". All of my lists and notes are now in one place. This is a satisfyingly sturdy notebook with pages that can pop in and out - handy when you want to pull your grocery list out to take in with you but need to put it back in afterwards because you didn't find everything at that store. Basically, this notebook is the adult version of the old Trapper Keepers I keep yammering on about. Oh, and I had so much fun creating a photo collage all over the cover. (I seriously doubt that anyone out there hadn't bought into the fact that I'm a huge nerd, but if that's possible, then at least now we're all on the same carefully tabbed and detailed page.)
5) I had a party at The Container Store website - there's a lot of great stuff on clearance right now, and I bought colorful file boxes to keep all my paperwork for different jobs (condo, church council, work) separate and off my desk. My favorite finds there were these bulletin boards which are now hanging above my desk and are extremely cool (and, yes, I did spring for the matching push pins - totally worth it!). Oh, and their file folders are to die for. See, I told you you'd be laughing at me! I can hear you from here.
6) I already started my work-out routine for fall, just to get into the habit before work and school start up again, and it's been great. My new gym is totally amazing and I really look forward to going there. It's the first time I've belonged to a non-YMCA gym, and - given how skank the one here was - it's a change for the better. But without a doubt, the best part is that exercise always relieves my stress and it's already helping. And, I've talked two friends into joining this week as well, so maybe I'll see familiar faces there at dark o' clock in the morning this fall!
In addition to these organizational changes that I've implemented just in the nick of time, our new nanny seems fabulous (Lyle paid no attention to me at all today and was her new best friend - thank God!) and both kids' teachers have sent them lovely letters introducing themselves and sharing what they've been doing this summer, what their hobbies are, etc. It goes a long way to make the kids feel comfortable. We also met Baxter's teacher and dropped off the 6 bags of school supplies; she was great and sent him home with some books he was eyeing, to be returned on the first day of school. So she scored big with him and me.
So, even though big changes are afoot starting next Tuesday - and we already have child care lined up for both Wednesday and Thursday nights next week due to commitments that both Matt and I can't get out of - I'm feeling like we can handle it. We know so much more than we did last year going into it, and there's a lot to be excited about for all of us.
Wish me luck. Me and my army of organizers, that is.