Mom of My Dreams

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stuff for the New Year

There are some goals I have for the New Year... I won't use the "R" word... those always seem to fade into the ether by March.

No, these are just things I want to do or work on... for myself and others.

~ Actually follow through with Project 365

~ Become a better photographer... and actually be able to take my camera off of auto with consistent results this year

~ Take MORE pictures
~ Scrap MORE

~ Try to incorporate more fun, whimsy, and joy in my life daily

~ Move more

~ Spend less

~ Stress less

~ Enjoy the little moments

~ Say "yes" to more often to my kids

~ Say "no" more often to non-family and friends wanting my time and energy

~ Look into IUD or other method of BC - DONE started the Nuvaring 12/30/10

~ Spend more ALONE time with hubby ;)

~ Date night with hubby once a month... even if it's just ordering takeout and watching a movie after the kids are in bed.

~ Spend quality 1-on-one time with each child daily. (even if it's only 10 minutes!)

~ Spend time with each child separately weekly if possible (and errands don't count)

~ More consistent bedtime routines for the kids.

~ Continue to purge "stuff" from our lives - especially as we are preparing for a move.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Less really is more....

We survived Christmas...

I (greatly) scaled back my baking, and no one seemed to be any less appreciative of the homemade goodies that I delivered to them.

I also reduced stress and cost by forgoing Christmas cards this year. I sent over 100 awesome photocards last year... and I got maybe 10?! in return. This year? 4. So, I guess I am not the only one cutting things out.

We didn't do the huge, messy gingerbread house, and instead invited a couple of friends over and had the kids decorate cut-out chocolate cookies instead with M&Ms, red hots, spice drops, and icing. Sent them home bagged up and that was that.

I didn't embark on any drawn-out knitting projects, for people who wouldn't even appreciate it.

I shopped smartly,and over time. Purged existing toys from the house over weeks and months... Took advantage of Amazon Prime, YAY! Avoided the malls and crowds as much as possible... wrapped over several nights instead of cramming it all into one. The calendars were at the printers DAYS earlier than previous years. We did the Christmas Light drive several times... enjoyed too many Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates... Bailey's and Cream, and spiked Eggnog.

We gave less to each other and more to those who have less than ourselves.

And you know what? It was great. Better than great. And most importantly... the Earth didn't spin off its axis, and cease to be. I really know I need to chill out and relax more. Enjoy more, stress less, relax standards, and just BE in the moment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wrapping up the year

So, as much as I'm a blogfail this year... I believe overall my One Little Word choice for this year (follow-through) was successful.

In 2010 I followed through with:

~ I joined Weight Watchers and lost the equivalent of my 2 year old in weight. A few pounds +/-5 have crept back... but I am armed with the new Points Plus Plan... and am re-committing. RIGHT after Christmas.

~ I started a running plan. ME! A self-proclaimed exercise-hater.

~ I ran a 5K in June 2010. Ran. The whole thing. Stopping only twice to drink a sip of water.

~ I registered for the San Francisco Half Marathon for July 2011.

~ I built a Square Foot Garden and enjoyed lots of garden-fresh produce over the summer. Peas, radishes, summer squash, arugula, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, thyme, parsley. I have never been able to grow anything... so this was a huge accomplishment for me.

~ I started making time for myself... baby steps.

~ I started relaxing my standards for myself and others. This is huge, and difficult for me to do... I am my own worst critic... and sometimes I just need to tell her to STFU.

And, this final thing may not feel like "follow-through"... (in fact to most it probably seems like quite the opposite... it is)

After much deliberation, we have decided we are not as happy as we were trying to make ourselves believe we were with our house decision. At the time it was the "smart thing" to do... the rents in Monterey for a 3 bedroom were comparable to our mortgage in our 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath 2,200+ square foot house with walk in closets and a huge master bedroom.

Fast forward two years... The rapidly declining property value, and sharply increasing crime rate... the expense of the mortgage, PLUS the extra $600-700 a month in gas...the maxed-out credit card, and depleted savings accounts. There were a lot of things considered. Yes, the house is nice, and big and modern. But it also has things about it that bug us a lot. It's BIG. It's COLD. And it's got 15 foot tall ceilings in the living room... meaning every sound is magnified and echoes. To the point where I physically can't handle the sound. Like the yelling, screaming kids EVERY SINGLE DAY!

The spiral staircase, as dramatic and nice as it was when we moved in here with a non-walking 6-month-old is a now a daily nightmare with a dare-devil 2.5 year old. Ashley routinely scales the outer spindles, and leaps to the bottom from 4 stairs up. Also, today, she dropped a large toy from the top landing downstairs onto her brother's foot below. The 3 bathrooms take me forever to clean. There is wall-to-wall WHITE carpet upstairs... in the BATHROOM - you get the point here?

Also, there's the leaking roof from last spring we haven't been able to afford afford to fix, the backyard that needs complete landscaping, the back gate that's holding on by a thread and needs replacing. The silverfish and spiders, and wasps, that manage to encroach on us in no matter what we do...

Travis is afraid to go upstairs (even in the daytime) by himself, and hasn't been able to sleep in his own room since we moved in. Our neighbors (on both sides) have teenagers that play in garage bands. EVERY DAY in the summer, and most of the days during school breaks and every weekend. For HOURS. It sucks.

Ashley spends a HUGE amount of time in her carseat. Every school day we take Travis to school and then pick him up - out of our district (because as nice as the house is... the school district is abysmal)

It's 25-30 minutes each way. So, Ashley (and I) spend 2 hours a day MINIMUM in the car. Then there is the constant worry about leaving the house on time which turns me into a crabby, yelling maniac. That does not count the time we spend when she has gymnastics (in Monterey) or on the weekends when we just want to go to a NICE park, and Trader Joes.

So, soon, our home will once again be yet another red icon on Zillow... and we will take the hit to our credit, and try to move on. We are moving back to Monterey. Not with our tails between our legs in defeat... but with our heads held high with a sigh of relief. We are not sure exactly when or how, but we have set things in motion. The phone calls are already starting... Ironically enough, it doesn't take much, apparently, you just stop paying (which we did this month) and it kinda automatically proceeds from there.

I will say it feels very "wrong" to make this decision... when technically we "can afford it" but really, we know we can't - at least not at the expense of our happiness and mental well-being... and also scrutinizing every dollar we spend is just not how we want to live. If that makes me a "bad person" or "selfish" then so be it.

But I plan on making 2011 the best year yet. New beginnings, new adventures. Where one door closes, another opens, and it will be amazing to see where the journey takes us.

Also, this brings me to my new word.

My word for 2011 is OPEN.

Here's to:
Finding OPEN doors
Having an OPEN Heart
Keeping an OPEN mind
Embracing life and love with OPEN arms
Running on the OPEN Road (especially as I train for my first Half-marathon)
Being OPEN to the possibilities
Remaining OPEN to change
Staying OPEN to improvement

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hey there...

So.. this whole neglect thing where it comes to my blogging?

I'm working on it... things are going on, changes are coming soon... and I will be back. I miss my outlet and ability to hash out what's going on in my day-to-day...

A new design, a new direction... coming soon.