2011 Recap

Now that we’ve all survived Christmas, and are relatively unscathed, its time of course to take a few moments to reflect on the past year and what’s to come. 2011 has been quite a year! I am finding it hard to believe we’re heading towards the very end of another year. Over the past year, my daughter was born, my son turned five years old, we’ve moved (a couple times). I left my job (terrifying). I’ve found new passions, lost others, and rediscovered some the old.

2011 has been a year for learning- learning things about myself, and learning what I’m capable of. I’ve always been the type of person to be self-confrontational and to face whatever I’m afraid of. Sometimes it might take longer than other times, but eventually, as long as it has nothing to do with spiders, I will face it. I did something I never would have imagined myself doing in the past- having Bella naturally. I actually had imagined doing that in the past- and thought I’d never be able to do something like that! I’ve talked in the past about how transformative this experience was and still is for me, and it will continue to be as it leads to some of my plans for this coming new year.

2011 has proved a time to realize my little guy, no matter how much I love him, will have time where he drives me Bat-Shit Crazy. (In case you’re not familiar with that term, its a description of how parents feel when they reach the point of going outside just to scream or to tear their own hair out in chunks.) Its also been a time for me to learn how to deal with it. Sometimes the only way I’ve been able to face it is to shout, to Time Out, to let that Bat Shit Crazy feeling have its turn. But other times its been a great opportunity to reflect on how to deal with the situation differently, thanks to some shiny new ideas from attachment parenting techniques, to find some compassion and redirection and solve the problems before they get to be a problem.

2012 is full of hope and optimism for me. I’m excited for some projects I’ve already been working on for a couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward to striving towards some new goals I have set out for myself. Because I don’t necessarily believe New Year’s Resolutions are effective or often even achievable, I’ve been working on forming these goals since the beginning of December, but am excited to work them more into my daily life with the freshness of the new year.

My biggest ‘umbrella’ goal I’ll be working on in 2012 is organization. Those who love me or know me well enough know I suck at planning and organizing. If you want me to put together a great menu for a special party, I’m your girl. If you want me to do something a normal adult might be capable of, such as scheduling my dog’s shots annually or knowing where I took off my shoes, or actually mailing the bills I just wrote checks for, you’ll need to look somewhere else. The amazing thing is I’ve gotten much better than I used to be. Before Jax was born, just getting out of the house was a struggle: I’d get out to the car before realizing I had no idea where my wallet was (I still lose my debit card a few times a year).

So this is the thing I’ve promised myself: no more chaotic moments of forgetting where I’ve put something, and no more ‘oh I meant to clean that’ or ‘that was due WHEN!?’ I’m fine as long as I have a system; my remotes never go missing as long as they are returned to the same place everytime. My shoes are always put away on a rack because that’s where I’ll look to find them. I’m the type of person that has to park in the same place whenever I go to the mall otherwise I won’t be able to find my car. And I’ve promised myself I’ll make those appointments, like bringing my dog to the vet on time. (Somewhere my sister in law, aka ‘our vet’, just did a happy dance of relief- finally she’ll make that appointment!, haha). I solved the bill issue (where I’d write the checks and forget to mail them), a long time ago by automating, but this year we’ll be taking a step further towards some bigger savings goals. I’m working on losing the baby weight consciously, with a system, instead of floundering unhappily day to day with the issue staying I’ll sign up for that doula course I’ve been wanting to take, and we’ll make some plans for our family, really mapping things out better for ourselves.

I plan on organizing everything to bring a sense of calm and order to our lives. Too many things in 2011 and before were full of ‘ups and downs’ and temporary fixes, so its wonderful to be feeling like we’re aiming towards a place of permanence and balance. And with that comes a time to purge the closets (moving and leaving the majority of your things two states away puts things into perspective for ‘needs’ vs ‘need to get rid of’). Overall, I’m hopeful and excited to see what 2012 will bring for me and my family.

What about your goals and hopes for the new year and beyond?


Holiday Wishlist

In the spirit of the holidays, I’m putting together my wishlist. I have a real list, mostly some easy things I really wish I was doing for myself since I became a mom of two. I also have an I-wish-this-was-real-List: the one I’ll fulfill myself once the Lottery Commission straightens themselves out and finally gives me my Jackpot (I’m patient but seriously, if I was running that place, I’d have won a long time ago. Really). I also have a list for Bella, since she’s four months old, I would be the one using the majority of things for her, so its really a natural extension of my list, right?

We’ll start with the Dream List, the stuff I’m not really asking for or going to get anytime soon, but it couldn’t hurt to at least write them down. Without further ado…
-a treadmill, elliptical trainer, spinning bike, or one of those treadclimber things. Or all of them. The baby weight’s gotta come off somehow and it is going to start snowing at some point. And don’t give me a gym membership unless you plan on watching the kids and getting Bella to take a bottle.
– I’m going to need a nice room for that equipment.
– Might as well make that a house, because the room would have to be attached to something. Nothing crazy, just something with a yard and not near loud, smelly neighbors. I’m all set with apartment living.
– A super nice, pillow top, king sized mattress, and boxspring,
– A nice computer, preferably a laptop, suited well for my digital photos. All my pictures are stored on their SD chips (compact but easy to lose). I’d love to be able to organize and edit them easier and even do little slideshows!
– Let’s throw in a nice digital SLR camera while we’re at it. Although my Blackberry takes okay-quality pictures…
– A bigger car. Silly me, Bella wasn’t on my radar when I traded the gas guzzling Yukon in for the cute little Impreza, which was ‘just enough’. Now we’re cramming all four of us into a car where Bella’s carseat base barely fits. Oops. We all make choices that end up not being the best I guess.
– Jax keeps asking if we can have a wedding. Like, he asks my grandmother if she’ll babysit him so his mommy and daddy can get married sometime, and then go on a honeymoon “someplace nice”. I’m all for us getting married, apparently our ability to plan really sucks! But by now its sort of a moot point, isn’t it? I’d feel awfully silly spending money like that for a dream wedding, especially since I’m wishing I could have a bigger car and a nice house. But then again, I do think every girl wants her dream day of being a princess, right? Right.
– While we’re on that subject, something sparkly wouldn’t hurt. Just no gold. I. Do. NOT. Like. Gold. (This ones next to impossible because I like to hold onto the money, and the money’s not going to me for something to wear on my hand. Nope.)

Okay. On to the REAL wishlist. This one’s far more realistic and what I’d really like. Since I fell into the ‘don’t do nice things for myself’ trap ages ago, and added two kiddos on top of that, I’m finding it super easy not to feel good about myself. SO, I’m making an early resolution for the new year of taking care of myself. From a parenting perspective, the kiddos DO always come first, BUT I need to be doing some things for me, to be a happy mommy/ wifey/ girlfriend. So here goes:
– some nice smelling perfume. Maybe a lotion, or something light. I can’t stand heavy scents but like something pretty.
– a great haircut. If I am trying to avoid the look of a frumpy lady with two little ones, my hair is NOT helping. Enough said.
– a REAL date night. We haven’t had a night out, just us, in maybe a year. Really!! And whoever offers to let us have a date night, it’d be awesome if you could miraculously get Bells to take a bottle. She’s not too interested in them at all, ugh.
– If the weather is at all cooperative, I would like to take a walk everyday. Especially cathartic would be to get time to take the dog out for a walk and to leave the baby at home, seeing as how strollers are tricky in the winter. Really, it’d be pretty awesome to get a nice walk outside everyday, with the baby or not. Lately I’ve really sucked about going on walks, and its not helping with my moods or that ever-stuck baby weight I keep wishing I’d drop.
– A 3 month subscription to Weight Watchers Online. You get the theme here, I’m sure.
– A nice workout outfit or two that will also be cold weather friendly. I have the jackets, but some new ‘activewear’ that’s slightly stylish would be cool.

That’s really it for me, so the rest is things for the little girl. If you don’t cloth diaper, you might not get what some things are, but trust me, they’re all good:
– a diaper sprayer. Really, just trust me on this.
– a gift certificate to Cotton Babies (www.cottonbabies.com). Their BumGenius are out in new colors I’d love to add to the stash (Mirror, Dazzle, Sassy, and Lovelace. Fun, right!?)
– Minky inserts (6 or 8 ) from Fuzzibunz (www.fuzzibunz.com). They’re awesome!
– Cloth Diaper friendly rash cream, like from Earth Mama Angel Baby or California Baby (regular creams cause repelling issues which equals wet baby leak mess). She doesn’t really get rashes, but every once in a while she wakes up with some redness and some cream could be handy.
– A Baltic amber teething necklace from Inspired by Finn.
– A couple fun toys for her. I’ve tried hard not to over-accumulate for the little girl, Jax always had so much stuff we barely used. So just a couple.

All in all, not too crazy of a wishlist. We may as well throw in that I wish Jax wasn’t asking for blasters and army men, but he’s drawn to them like its nobody’s business. So, with the exception of legos, let’s all try to give him some gifts that are crafty and fun to do activities, over more plastic he’ll just add to the pile and lose interest in five minutes later, mmmmkay? Mmkay.