Thursday, January 21, 2010

Love, Love, Love...

We've been working on getting Bram to sleep through the night (or at least longer!) for the past few weeks. Last night, we put him to bed at his new official bedtime of 8pm and he fell asleep very well. But at 11, he was back awake and trying very hard to stay that way.

So I climbed into bed with him and tried to nurse him a bit, hoping he would fall back asleep soon. He did, and what happened next is one of those wonderful "mommy moments" you will never forget.

He was sleeping, snuggled next to me and he began to stir like he was dreaming. And then he reached up and signed "mama" several times! My heart melted! It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. He was "talking" in his sleep!

It was especially wonderful for me because although I knew he knew the sign for mama, he never signs it around me, only with Chad when he wants me.

So wonderful!
(While I never see Abraham sign my name, I managed to get a picture of him signing "daddy")

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grocery shopping- my way.

I wish I loved grocery shopping. I really do. I wish when I walked through the store I looked happy, relaxed and stress-free. Something like this:

Instead, it takes me days to complete a menu, scour the internet for the best possible deals, and assemble the shopping lists to the various stores. By the time I get to actually do the shopping I feel more like this:

(I love the eloquence of Fry!)

I guess I just wish there was a better system. One that involved unlimited cash and home delivery. But until that magical day comes, I'll have to keep doing it the best I can.

Practice makes it possible

Oh dear.

My very first post after making my "resolutions" is about how I'm not doing as good as I hoped. I was afraid this was going to happen.

BUT... then again I'm a frustrated perfectionist so I shouldn't be surprised. This is why I evaluated and picked the resolutions that I did. So when the inevitable happened and I became sidetracked, I could look at them honestly to see if they were the right ones to start with.

When I started to beat myself up for not following through (again!), this time I tried to re-evaluate instead. Did I need to do something different? Did I need to look even further out of the box to accomplish my goals? Did I need to break the goals down even smaller? And instead of just feeling angry with myself, I came up with a couple of do-able solutions.

1) The places I scattered my devotionals are not necessarily in plain view so I'm going to make little reminder signs to help me out.
2) Even though I haven't posted twice or even once a week, I HAVE done a lot of behind the scenes work on it, finished up some old posts, and worked a lot on my other blog.
3) And housework- the bane of my existence! I've haven't followed all of the reminders the FlyLady send me but I have shined my sink most nights and I'm learning how to make better use of my time through using my timer!

As I was thinking about all this, I realized anew the problem with New Year's resolutions- you fail before you even begin by expecting perfection just by making the resolution. I've done this to myself so many times before. Attempts at piano lessons come to mind. But we really don't work that way. We need time and lots and LOTS of practice.

I also have to remind myself that the goal was to get better at all of this by next year, not be perfect next week. (It begs to ask the question if it really was the goal, if I'm frustrated already!)
So I'm going to give it a go again with more patience and permission to take time to build these habits in my life. I'll also keep you updated how I'm doing.

Here's to making our Timer our Friend in 2010!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's resolutions

True Confessions: I've never been much of a New Year's person. It really doesn't seem like a holiday or even a special day to me. Most years, after all the fun of Christmas, I forget it's even coming up, so I guess it goes without saying-I'm not much of a New Year's resolutions kinda gal either.

Making big resolutions and proclamations of grand goals at New Year's seem to go against human nature so when challenged by reality they end up discouraging and depressing us instead of spurring on to greater heights. And combined with making them at the darkest, snowiest/rainiest/cloudiest time of year, it seems like a recipe for disaster. It's no wonder by spring most resolutions are cast aside and forgotten.

But despite my opinions on New Year's, I went against my habits and made some resolutions this year.

There is something about having a baby that makes you live so in the moment that you lose sight of the greater world and your whole person. I was warned about this phenomenon while pregnant but now it's so real. I love my baby so much I am willing to drop everything for him and tend to his needs. But, when I am old, I want to look back on my life having achieved certain goals and being a certain kind of person. I want to learn to balance what's happening now with my whole life.

So in light of those two opposites I thought long and hard about what goals I wanted to achieve this year and balanced them against the reality of having a small child before making any commitments. I thought about what disciplines/life skills I would like to have deeply ingrained by next year and came up with a list. I though about what I would need to adjust or delete from my life to make each one work because as we all know, in a perfect world we can just keep adding more and more to our life but in the real world, by saying "yes" to something, we are saying "no" to something else. I looked at what I would need to buy or acquire to achieve the different goals. When whittled down, the end result surprised me.

My Resolutions:
1)Do a devotion everyday.
2)Write a post on my blog once or twice a week
3)Incorporate as many of the FlyLady habits as possible.

I also came up with two skills I want to became markedly better at by next year:
1)Become more proficient at knitting, specifically learn how to knit cables.
2)Learn how to bake artisan bread in my oven.

I was surprised that losing the last of the "baby weight" didn't make it on the list. I was also surprised that reading certain books or certain reading lists didn't make it either. What made it on my list answered "yes" to these questions

1) Do I have the means to make it happen right now?
2) Will I have the money to make this goal achievable through the whole year?
3) Is this goal small enough to work towards with a baby?
4) Is this goal large enough to change who I am?
5) Do I need think "out of the box" in order to achieve this goal?
6) Am I doing this for my personal growth or because I feel pressure from someone/something?

By trying to answer these questions honestly, especially the last one, I really feel I will be able accomplish my goals this year. Here are a few of the ways I plan trying to do this.

Morning devotions have always been a problem for me mainly because I'm not a morning person! And since my son is not sleeping through the night yet, it's unrealistic for me to try and be up before him to do a devotion. So I'm accomplishing my goal by putting all of my devotionals in various rooms of the house that way when I have few minutes, one of them is available.

For my blog writing goal I'm aiming towards 1-2 posts a week. Instead of setting up a schedule that may or may not work, I'm just trying to post more often. If I get out 2 in one day, I'm done. I get one done that week, I'm still accomplishing my goal.

And for the FlyLady, she sends out an email everyday of the tasks you should do. If get all of them done-Great! If I just get my sink shined by bedtime- also great.

Hopefully by doing this with a thoughtful, truthful approach, I will be able to accomplish so much more than I have in the past!

So here's to a great year!

(photo/comic strip- Bill Watterson)