- Project 52: Each Week of this year I want to prioritize a date night for Brian and I (Please note, this will not always involve babysitters, take a deep breath Mom and Dad. We won't be standing on your front porch each week). Once a week we will have a planned date night, after the kids are asleep, for at least two hours. Nothing electronic (unless it is the blender making my pina colada).
- Time for me: I do not want to be the mommy martyr, But I do want to be a good Mommy. I want over this year to continue to carve out time and space for myself, without short changing my family and to make sure I take care of myself. I set a few specific goals. Do my hair and lotiony stuff each day. Even if I am still in pajama pants, smelling good and my hair are the triggers that makes me feel "put together". Basic makeup would be nice, but it might have to wait for 2011. Baby steps, Jenn, baby steps.
- More Patience: I think I do fair with this now. But I would greatly like to increase my patience level, especially at about 4:30 in the afternoon. This is ground zero for me. I have used up a good portion of my patience schooling the kids and dealing with the problems of the day by late afternoon. Plus when Brian is out of town, we are about to start the grind of picking up, preparing dinner, baths, story times and bed. I have two ideas for myself so far: take a mandatory break from 4-4:30pm and have a snack for both me and the kids at 3pm to ward off impatience from low blood sugar levels.
- Less eating out: We have made huge strides in this department during this year. Over the last year, we have reduced the amount of times that we eat out. January of 2009 our habit was eating out once a week as a family, and probably once or twice a week we drove thru. Now, over the past year we have whittled it down to eating out as a family once every two weeks-month and we drive thru or pick up something quick once a week. I still want to cut this down even more. It's just such a WASTE of money, very poor nutrition and I can usually prepare the same foods better at home. I need to do more prep work and carry snacks for unexpected events . When we decide to eat out, I want it to be a planned event with a purpose. Ideally I would like to NEVER drive thru another restaurant. Since that may not be attainable, I would like to cut it down to every two weeks on average.
- Eat Healthier: Which goes hand in hand with the above. About two years ago we focused on cutting out artificial preservatives, colorings and flavorings. This past summer I started focusing on boosting our fiber intake by offering either brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli at every meal, offering an additional vegetable like carrots and offering a bean dish at every meal. (unintentional side effect: lots more farting at our house). We intend to continue these ideas through this year. But starting Jan 1 we have changed our dessert policy. Previously, I had offered the kids a little dessert after each meal if they successfully ate their protein and vegetable dishes. Even if it was just a handful of chocolate chips, I would give them a little something. Our new policy is that we will eat a sugary dessert when Brian is off work to celebrate that daddy is home. On the other days of the week, we will have a fruit based dessert (think baked apples). Even though some of the nutritional value of the fruit is lost in the cooking process, I at least feel it isn't completely nutritionally devoid of all value.
- Be Adventurous with Cooking: 2008 was the year of devising a system for careful meal planning and shopping. 2009 was the year of making everything from scratch (I even make my own cream of chicken soup now). I really enjoyed both years, it stretched me and I learned and grew. Things I really valued became just a part of what I do. For this year, I want to be adventurous in cooking. To make things I have never made, or tasted before. For example, this week I am going to make risotto. Never made it before in my life, and frankly it intimidates me. Next on the list will be pie crust! Even though I made everything from scratch in 2009, I was very careful to never make a single pie. I know it was chicken of me.
- Household Management: I have a confession, I am a flylady dropout. It just didn't work for me. At the time I started it all three kids were ages 4 and under. That alone should have warned me it was doomed to fail. However, I have kept with some of her ideas and I have made a few my own. Our house is lived in, but usually clean enough that I won't die if company stops by. My problem now is: with Brian gone as much as he is, and homeschooling the kids, If I devote the time I need to schooling and planning I can't do all the items I need to check off my list each day to keep the home running smoothly. My goal for this year is to find some kind of balance. I have a feeling this will mean involving the kids more in the chores around the house. Thankfully, they don't read my blog and won't have the time to fake illnesses that would relieve them of their duties.
- Financial Education: Brian handles our finances. He is so much better at it than I am. I freely acknowledge that I am dysfunctional financially, so I totally listen to him. He tells me what I have to spend, and I stay inside the limit. Instead of making sure I am a part of all the finances and having him educate me, I have chickened out and just hidden from any of the financial decision making. If money were to land in my lap, and Brian wasn't around to direct it, I would have an anxiety attack. I need to grow up a bit. Only God knows what the future might hold, I need to be a financially responsible adult.
- Household finances: this is the one area financially that I control. I take out a set amount of money each paycheck and this is the household expense budget. It is a generous amount that covers everything, so I don't need to increase the amount. But I have no freaking idea what it gets spent on. This is appalling because I am the one doing the spending. This year, as a part of growing up financially, I want to track what our household money is spent on exactly. To the penny. If anything were to happen, I want to know what could be cut, what our bare bones amount would be.
- Decorating: we have lived in this house for three years now, and its about time I finish decorating. There are walls that still need to be painted, and accent walls I want to paint. Items I need to sew, and craft. I have awesome ideas and poor execution. So for this year, I want to go room by room finishing up the decorating. Focusing only on that room, so I don't get overwhelmed and give up. I have made a good start with the kitchen and the living room. By the end of this year, I want to have each room done.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
10 for 2010
Usually I am not one for resolutions, so I have decided to call these "goals". I used to make completely crazy, unattainable goals each year. Now, I try to just take a little chunk that I want to change, something easy and doable. Since its 2010, I decided to set 10 goals. This may come back to bite me when it's 2025 and I have to come up with 25 goals.... so I'm not committing to this system.