2014 – A Recap

2014 – A Recap

Babies birthed – 1
Uninterrupted nights of sleep – 3 (dear God, can that be right?!)
Trips to the ER – 3
Boxes of mac & cheese prepared – 50 +/-
Diapers changed – ??? (math too complicated)
Children potty-trained – 1

Of course, there is a lot of good stuff that happened in 2014 that can’t be quantified: giggles, moments watching sleeping babies, personal and professional successes, hard work, quiet times, growth.

And there’s some not-as-good stuff to remember, too: tears, weariness, worry, frustration, sadness.

“No resolutions beyond the ones I make every morning: to be kinder and calmer and less demanding of happiness. To listen better. To be curious. To show my love for the person lying next to me. To be grateful for every messy second of this glorious life.” – Armistead Maupin

That about sums it up for me. I’m not much of a resolver (see my 2012 resolutions where I resolved not to eat monkfish liver or get a face tattoo, or my 2011 resolutions where I resolve to use up bath products). It’s pretty clear that I like to set the bar low. But I am a reflector, and the New Year, in its cold, dark stillness, seems to be a good time for that, winter ice like a mirror.

I can do better.
I can be less grumpy.
I can strive to feel less harried.
I can work towards letting go of things that create a sort of self-inflicted overwhelmedness.
I can accept help.
I can strive for more patience.
I can work on tenderness.
I can try to save my kindest words for those I love most and for myself.
I can embrace stillness when I find it.
I can try to emulate my small children’s wonder.
I can learn to give without compromising myself.
I can strive to have a generous heart and spirit.
I can read more books.

I can also avoid monkfish liver and face tattoos for at least another year.

Wishing you all peace, grace and love, now and always.

-ST

Happy New Year

Resolutions 2013 Revisited

Time for the yearly check-in to see how I am doing with those pesky New Year’s Resolutions.  Remember, I set the bar low this year – and good thing I did.

1. No face or neck tattoos. Not even temporary ones.

SUCCESS!

2. Avoid Diet Coke, monkfish liver and Pitbull concerts.

SUCCESS! Though I admit, I’d probably have a lot of fun at a Pitbull concert.

3. Learn to play an instrument (maracas, kazoo and tambourine count).

FAILURE.  Though we did buy a piano.  Which doesn’t make too much sense, since none of us know how to play.

4. Shower most days.

SUCCESS!  Except some Sundays, but that doesn’t really count.

5. Read one book, and see one movie in a theater.

SUCCESS!  I read the very long 11/23/63 as well as some others, and I saw Silver Linings Playbook in the theater.

6. Figure out how to listen to my podcasts in my car.

FAILURE.  But I’m giving myself a pass, since my house was broken into and my iPod (among other things) was stolen. The good news?  The police found the perps and all of my stuff.  The bad news?  They still have it in evidence.

Crime scene, dusted for fingerprints.

Crime scene, dusted for fingerprints.

7. Avoid reality shows about the Amish, and/or large tumors.

SUCCESS!  I’ve actually avoided most TV (except for Sesame Street and the ever-annoying Caillou), and most reality shows.  I have seen the entire first season of Orange is the New Black (love!) and I’m working on House of Cards now.  I call that a TV win.

8. Sleep. At least some.

SUCCESS! Kind of! We are in that magical place where both kids nap at the same time.  So that means Sunday naps for me. My kids are still up a bit, but that is slowly improving, and I’m up a bit (more on that later), but I’m still going to chalk this one up as a win.

9. Remember every family member’s name, every day.

SUCCESS!  We even lost and then added kitty family members. And I still remembered everyone’s name.

10. Organize the hall closet by April.

SUCCESS!  Done!  Twice this year!  Why this teeny closet get crammed with weird junk I don’t know.

Things to work on for the remainder of 2013 include: more time with friends, better breakfasts, and less clutter.

What are you working on?

 

Resolute. NYE 2013.

Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits!

Hunny Bunny

 

The whole parenting/working/being an adult thing is tough enough.  I feel like I work hard every day to be a good person, a good parent, with an intact sense of humor and some semblance of sanity.  Then, New Year’s Eve comes along and I’m supposed to set some goals for self-improvement.  But heck, I’m not going to strive for things like enlightenment, marathons, vegetarianism, volunteer work, or travel until I can succeed at some smaller things, like peeing solo, making my bed (weekly counts), eating breakfast, and/or going to bed at a reasonable hour.  I need some successes, so I’m setting the bar low this year.

Resolutions for 2013

  1. No face or neck tattoos. Not even temporary ones.
  2. Avoid Diet Coke, monkfish liver and Pitbull concerts.
  3. Learn to play an instrument (maracas, kazoo and tambourine count)
  4. Shower most days.
  5. Read one book, and see one movie in a theater.
  6. Figure out how to listen to my podcasts in my car.
  7. Avoid reality shows about the Amish, and/or large tumors.
  8. Sleep. At least some.
  9. Remember every family member’s name, every day.
  10. Organize the hall closet by April.

I’ll report back.  The Amish reality show one is going to be tough.

Resolve Revisited.

At the end of 2011 I dedicated a post to my New Year’s resolutions.  I’m revisiting those resolutions here and giving myself grades for each one.  Self-assessment = brutal = ouch.

 

1. Use up bath products

The good stuff:  I threw away my self-tanning products.  (Okay, perhaps I threw them away in anticipation of this post, but it still counts, damn it.)  And while I was under my sink, fixing a slow drain (please, no applause,) I got rid of some more stuff.  Sigh. Sometimes it is just so hard to part with things. Even things you didn’t really want in the first place.  Years ago – YEARS, people – I received a big box of high-end hand soaps and lotions.  I never really used them because they weren’t my kind of stinky.  I’m sure they smelled great to someone, just not me.  But I couldn’t make myself throw away bottles of $30 hand lotion.  Until today.  Goodbye stinky expensive lotion.  I tried to make it work, I really did.  We just weren’t meant for one another.

The bad stuff: I bought these giganterous (new word, I like it) buckets o’ shampoo and conditioner at Target when they were on sale so I’m not using up my old shampoos and conditioners like I could be.  I also realized that I have about 40 mini-perfumes in my drawer.  Many moons ago I went through a buy-a-lot-of-mini-perfumes-from-eBay-phase.  Not one of my better phases.  I haven’t really worn perfume since 2008 – I just kind of stopped.  Wait, that is about the same time I stopped wearing cute, uncomfortable underwear AND it is the same year I got married.  I am sensing some unfortunate cause and effect here but that is a post for another day.  Anyway, I don’t know how I am going to work my way through those tiny little bottles of smelly.

Grade: B-

 

2. Freeze Something

The good stuff: I did freeze a bunch of things in prep for Miss Plum’s arrival.

The bad stuff: A lot of it is still in the freezer dying a slow death.

Grade: B

 

3. Make something.

The good stuff: I MADE A BABY.  FROM SCRATCH. (With hubby’s help, of course.)  That has to count for something.  I made a blog.  I made some neat Shutterfly books (okay, I’m stretching here), and I started writing a children’s book.  A rhyming children’s book.

The bad stuff: The sewing machine sits, alone, unloved, unused, weeping quietly.

Grade: B- (saved from a “D” by Miss Plum!)

 

4. Read something.

The good stuff: I did read some books.  I don’t remember what they are (except for “The Hunger Games”) but I did read some.  Clearly, I should read better, or at least more memorable books, eh?

The bad stuff: Magazines aren’t books.

Grade: B

 

Overall:  First, I am much chagrined by the fact that I have the most to say about my bath product resolution.  Ouch.  That is sad.  Second, based on the first half of the year, this gal ain’t graduating with honors.  But, all things considered, I am making slow-but-steady progress.  Next week I will revisit the topic with my mid-year resolutions.  Any suggestions?

Resolve!

I’m not big on resolutions.  I suppose I subconsciously make a “lose weight’ resolution every year… or week, really.  But that’s never really happened (except in 20 pound chunks here and there – which I quickly put back on with some bonus pounds), so I’m vowing not to make that resolution again (and again and again).  I did feel a sort of head-nodding relief when I read Tara Parker-Pope’s recent article in the NYTimes Magazine, “The Fat Trap”.  An interesting read.  It helped me feel at least a little bit validated that perhaps what I’ve always felt about my own weight struggles are true – that in order for me to lose and maintain that loss, I have to eat much less than other people my size and exercise twice as much.  It doesn’t seem fair, and I’ve said as much to my doctor, but it seems to be true.  My Mama Pajama was right, “Life isn’t fair.”

(Aside: as I’ve gotten older, I’ve pretty much figured out that my mom was right about most things. Even about wearing comfortable underwear.  So annoying.)

So this year I’m going to make some resolutions that are easier to keep – things that are sort of on my to-do list anyway.

1. Use up bath products.  I know this seems silly, but honestly, I have a lot of half-used, and still good hair products, shampoos, lotions, and the like.  I am going to first clean house (see my Exorcist Needed post) and throw away all of my self tanning products because I finally realized after 12 years that I am not meant to be tan, and I am not dedicated enough to slather/spray/goop myself every morning or every other morning to become so.  I am then going to throw away anything that has made it through 3 moves (aka anything over 7 years old – yuck).  And then, I’m going to knock those bottles down one by one!  I am not looking forward to having to use up the “Scrunch Spray” I bought when I thought that enough goop could make my straight hair “wavy”, but resolutions aren’t supposed to be easy.

2. Freeze something.  Baby is coming in 10 weeks.  I am going to plan a few menus, and cook up a storm.  When Mr. Pickle Pumpkin was born I didn’t eat enough, and I didn’t eat well.  It is a little thing I can do to take care of myself when Baby Plum arrives.  Plus, I was lucky enough to receive a perfectly sized little chest freezer for Christmas from my parents. Please, no comments on my extreme level of excitement relative to receiving a freezer for Christmas.  The lameness factor is not lost on me, just let me revel in my little icy joy.  Great posts on prepping a freezer for a new baby can be found on Annie’s Eats and elephantitas alegres.  I’ll be using some of their recipes for sure!

3. Make something.  I have a lovely sewing machine.  I have fabric, and all sorts of sewing accessories.  I am capable of following directions.  I am in desperate need of a creative outlet.  AND I have a Home Ec teacher for a mother, and she is always just a phone call away.  I’m going to make something.  Perhaps starting with something simple, like little decorated cloth diapers for my sister.  They are made by sewing a piece of ribbon onto the diaper.  Straight lines.  That’s it.  I have a degree from the Ivy League, I should be able to handle straight lines.  Should.  Expect more  posts on my sewing adventures…

4. Read something. I have a toddler, a full time job, and will be welcoming a baby in 10 weeks.  I’m not under the illusion that I’ll be crossing a bunch of to-read books off of my list.  What I would like to do, however, is always have a book going.  It may be that I read only one book in 2012 – one. slow. page. at. a. time.  But I love to read, and books are good for me.  So that is resolution number 4.