2009 was a year of extremes. On the high end we had the birth of E. On the low and stressful end, we house hunted, tried unsuccessfully to buy one home and ended up buying another. We are still not moved in. We struggled to keep up with 2 under 2, work, school, health and all of the million little things that make up life. I feel like I haven't had time to catch my breath this year. About a week ago, I decided that there has to be a better way. I am a lucky person. I have two beautiful children, a house, a job and a lot to be thankful for. This point in my life will be stressful, but why is it this stressful? Is there any way I can improve the quality of my life? I decided that I needed a plan. These are not resolutions, mind you, but ways I can make myself more mindful of the three areas in my life that seem to need attention at the moment. In each category I have some general goals that I want to strive towards as the year progresses. Will I accomplish everything? Maybe not, but I will certainly try and I think the effort itself will have a positive outcome.
My question is, would you like to join me? Do you feel the need for a better plan in 2010? You can use my general categories with your own goals or make up a whole new system for yourself. It would be great to have others to check in with and encourage. All it takes is some thinking and one post per month. So, what do you say? My plan is listed below:
- lose and keep off the rest of the baby weight
- Take vitamins!
- Become more active
- Finish dental work that I've been putting off
- Follow-up with breast surgeon
Mental Well Being
- Ask for help when I need it (laundry, dishes, general tasks)
- Simplify (Throw things AWAY)
- Make more of an effort to connect with people
Self-Improvement - Save more, waste less
- Plan a weekend get-a-way with girlfriends
- Make an effort to spend more alone time with M
- Find a babysitter other than my parents
- Complain less
- Become a better friend
- Become a better writer
- Become a better photographer
Ah, Christmas. It was a really good Christmas this year. Interwoven with the family time and eating (ugh, so much eating) was our own little health drama. M stayed home with both kids Monday and Tuesday because daycare was closed for the week. This was fine since we were leaving for my home town on Wednesday. It was also a good thing because we discovered the week before that L had a terrible ear infection and pink eye. We found out by accident when M took him in to check to his never ending cough. So, with both kids on antibiotics along with my own visit to urgent care over the weekend for pink eye and an ear infection, I thought that we were finally on the mend. Then, M got sick and E's cough got worse. Poor M looked after L for a few hours while I took E in again. She was tested for RSV because of a little wheezing. Thankfully, the test was negative, but I was told that since she's already on antibiotics it was probably viral and there wasn't much that could be done. I could give benedryl and try to keep her upright. As a precaution, I was given scrips for some Xopenex, Pulmacourt and a nebulizer. (Those are actually the same things I take for my asthma).
We managed to get everyone well enough to travel a few hours west and made it to B-Town. I was glad to be home and L was thrilled to be able to run around after being cooped up all weekend. Poor E was miserable. The nights were full of coughing fits and crying when she would wake herself up. M sat with her for hours in the rocker since she hated sleeping in the car seat. Thank goodness we were with my parents. My mother took E in the morning so I could go back to sleep and M would nap in the afternoon. My brother and Dad did a great job making sure that L was looked after. I finally decided to break out the neb and started E on twice daily treatments. Her cough has gotten better, although I still have her in the car seat at night. We aren't often sick, and this is the first family wide sickness, so I found the whole experience very stressful. Despite all of that, though, Christmas was wonderful.
Everyone enjoyed the visit and helped out with the kids so much. L and E got a lot of toys and a lot of cuddle time with the family. We ate food, drank wine, and watched TV. The kids even napped at the same time!
Of course, M and I are both utterly exhausted, but I think (hope) that everyone is actually on the mend now.
I hope that your holiday was healthy, happy, and uplifting. As I prepare to say goodbye to 2009, I am working on a new plan for 2010. I hope you'll come back to read about it. I am very excited!
Six months ago you joined us in the "outside" world. I can hardly believe how much you have changed. I have to admit, when I found out I was pregnant, I was very surprised and a little afraid of the chaos that would ensue with two kids so close in age. I was right about the chaos, but I can't imagine our family being complete without you.
You love to smile and have started to make a lot of sounds. I think you're going to be very chatty! You are sitting up very well and love to see the world from this new perspective. You aren't quite crawling yet, but you can definitely move when you're on your tummy. I'm sure that crawling is just around the corner. You love to eat your cereal and you seem to be equally fond of fruits and vegetables.
You and your brother are best friends. You love to laugh at his antics and you already laugh at him when he falls down and bumps his head. (We'll talk about that one later). He tries to comfort you when you get fussy and you even hold hands on the way home from daycare.
You are a happy, beautiful, and smart girl. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you!
I love the holiday season, but I'm having hard time getting into the spirit of things this year. Last year, I was pregnant and just beginning to show. This year I'm still trying to suck in my stomach, but for different reasons. I can probably attribute my lack of Christmas enthusiasm to the upheaval that continues to rule our daily lives. We still haven't moved. Everything is taking longer than I thought it would. We thought we would be in the new house by Thanksgiving, but that didn't happen. Now I'm afraid that we won't even make Christmas. We still need flooring in the new place and I haven't even begun to pack in fear that boxes will make an already crowded house even worse. No space means no tree or decorations, which makes me kind of sad. It's probably a good idea with a 21 month old in the house, though. I know that L will have no memory of this, but I always like things to look like Christmas.
Despite the frustrations, I can't say that life is so terrible. Thanksgiving was good, despite the cramped quarters. L was in heaven with my brother around and I just love seeing him play with his uncle.
E has started eating cereal and I think we'll soon start vegetables. I can't believe how quickly she's growing.
Last year, I asked everyone if they were going to cut back for the holidays. It doesn't seem that the economy has gotten much better and cutting back has become a way of life. Is that true for you? Are you going to cut back even further? If so, I'd love to hear how. The tip I recently learned from Darcie is to start reading the Walgreensflyer. I got almost $30 worth of free stuff on Sunday and I can't wait to go back! Where is your favorite place to save?