Thursday, August 18, 2005

Reaching Goals!

Here's an update on how I'm doing on the little goals I set a week or so ago:

1. Stop drinking soda: TODAY IS DAY 2 IN A ROW W/ NO SODA

2. Drink 7 glasses of water a day: YES!

3. Plan & eat healthier dinners to include more salmon, chicken, turkey, & veggies/fruits: PLANNED WITH BEST OF INTENTIONS

4. Continue to replace snacky food with fruits/veggies while at work:

5. Make & drink ice tea (& green tea) w/ Splenda instead of sugary drinks & soda:

6. Remember to take multi-vitamin every night:

7. Continue to exercise every week day morning (like I have been for the last few months):

8. Re-write & follow FLY routines (morning & before bed routines & basic weekly plan):

9. Work on my patience with Brendan, Adam, & Joe!:

And also, Brendan is doing great too! We've been working with him for a month or so to take on more responsibility. (he's 4-1/2) His "jobs" are to make his bed & feed the cat(s) in the morning, and put his plate in the dishwasher after dinner. He's been doing great! He complained a lot every morning at first about his bed, and kept saying he couldn't do it and he didn't know how to make his bed (even though we both showed & helped him many times). But now he does it without complaining, and he's proud of himself when he can come tell us he made his bed (and of course we give him LOTS of praise). He even puts his jungle pillows on the bed to finish it off! (he has a jungle-themed room) No, a bed made by a 4 yr old doesn't look perfect, but that's, of course, not the point. He likes to feed the cat(s), so that one hasn't been a problem at all. And I do still have to remind him about his dinner plate sometimes, but he does it right away when I remind him.

(BTW, the reason I write "cat(s)" is because we don't know if we have 1 or 2 right now. We *had* 2, but they are outdoor cats (due to Adam being allergic to them) and 1 of our cats has disappeared. She eventually showed up with dried blood on her nose & mouth, but then was gone again. For several weeks after that she would show up about once a week. Now, she's been gone again for several weeks, so we think she may have died. But we thought that last time too, so who knows).

Who knew my boy's room could look so GOOD!

Wow, I feel great! Tuesday morning I woke up at my usual 5:00am to exercise, but I had a terrible headache, and my left ear & left side of my throat hurt, so I climbed back in bed. Slept for another hour, got up with the intention of getting ready for work, but still felt terrible. So, I called in sick and Joe took the boys to daycare on his way to work. I got back in bed and slept for 2-1/2 more hours and woke up feeling fine! However, coincidentally, my keys had been left in my office Monday (Joe & I had carpooled in his car & I walked off w/o my keys!) so I couldn't go into work even if I wanted to at that point. So, I decided to take care of Brendan's room as best as I could while he was gone! (since that is one of my big stressors!)

Oh my, it took forever, (6 hours!) but it looks GREAT! I got rid of so much junk!

I filled a 30-gallon trash bag to throw away, a whole box full of little happy-meal-type toys ready to donate to daycare's treasure box they have, a big laundry basket of stuff to put in the yard sale, and another small box of stuff to put in the basement for Adam when he gets a little older.

The only things he has in his room now are the things he actually plays with:
-Games (neatly stacked on shelves in closet)
-Puzzles (neatly stacked on shelves)
-Action figures (all together in a plastic storage basket on shelf)
-Little plastic animals & dinosaurs (all together in a small plastic storage box w/ clear lid on shelf)
-blocks/legos (on shelf)
-books (on book shelves)
-movies (on shelves)
-V-smile machine w/ game cartridges (near tv)
-desk stuff in the desk (paper, crayons, etc)
-trucks neatly displayed on set of shelves (Joe's dad is always buying him trucks and so proud of it, so I felt like I had to keep those).
-Clothes in closet & dresser.
-and ONE other plastic container of a FEW miscellaneous boy toys that he plays with (flashlight, laser tag type thingy, etc) which is neatly placed under a set of shelving.

If it didn't fit in one of those catagories/places, then out it went! Now everything has a place and his room looks SO much better!!! He was so excited when he got home & saw it. His eyes lit up and he said "Thank you Mommy for my new room!" LOL He didn't even notice that 1/2 of his stuff was gone! heehee And he put everything he played with away before bed the last 2 nights. WOOHOO!!! I can't say enough how much better I feel every time I look at his room now. What a weight off my shoulders, and a great feeling to have accomplished something.

Now...if I can do that to the BASEMENT too I think I will explode with excitement! lol

Monday, August 15, 2005

I did it!

I made it through the weekend without any meltdowns! Woohoo! LOL

Friday evening, some people came to pick up our old bed. We actually ended up talking with them for quite awhile! It was the aunt (& uncle?) of the person that claimed the bed from us on freecycle. Then I got a very sweet email from the lady herself later, thanking us for the bed and how very much she appreciated & needed it, and she was so pleased with what good condition it was in. That was so great! It really does feel good to help someone out, while getting bulky stuff out of our house at the same time! So, 3 families now have "new" beds, and none of us paid a cent for them! This family got our bed, we got the queen bed from friends at Joe's work, and that was because they got a free bed from someone else who bought a new set. That is just really neat.

Saturday morning Joe went to help someone on a project related to work, and I stayed home with the boys (who were both up at 5:30am!). Brendan likes to watch Saturday morning cartoons, so he watched those & Adam played next to Brendan. They were both so good! I actually managed to do about 5 loads of laundry, empty & reload the dishwasher, and some other things too before Joe got back around 11:30am. Adam did not take a nap, but he was okay anyway. After Joe got home, I cleared out part of Brendan's room to make way for the new desk. The desk arrived on Friday! We weren't expecting it until this coming Wednesday at the earliest, so that was a pleasant surprise. Joe put it all together & it looks great! We forgot to get a desk chair to go with it, oops! But Brendan pulled up his little rocking chair and colored, drew pictures, looked at books, etc at his new desk. I think it will be a great one for several years. It can hold a computer/monitor too, so when he gets older if he has a computer, we will already have a place for it! And right now he is just so into drawing & coloring, that he can use it now...then when he starts school he can use it for homework, etc. Even as much trouble as Joe gave me for spending "unnecessary" money on it & the bill payer's desk we got for the living room, I think he really has to admit they were both good purchases now. And in my opinion they were both VERY affordable compared to many I've seen! The bill payer's desk was only $88 from (most others I've seen are around $200!) The desk for Brendan is a desktop with a cabinet door, a hutch type thing on top with shelf & another cabinet door, and it came with what they call a printer stand, but looks like a small bookshelf and can be used for other things. The entire set was only $44 at!!!

The rest of Saturday I finished up laundry and cleared out our full-size sheets out of the linen closet, since we have a queen bed now, and played with the boys. We were going to watch one of our movies Saturday night, but the movie "Any Given Sunday" was on tv and we ended up watching that instead.

Sunday Joe slept in while I got up with the boys. Once Joe got up I decided it was necessary for me to go get groceries. We were out of all the basics, and I knew that we wouldn't have anything for breakfast or to make for our lunches for Monday, so I ventured out to Super Wal-Mart. UGH!!! I HATE Super Wal-mart on a weekend! I usually avoid it if at all possible. But I survived. I was a little frazzled after that, as crowds annoy me, but I calmed myself down on the drive home. lol Later my dad & his wife stopped by for a quick visit. They were headed home from an out-of-town massage class (they are both certified massage therapists) and decided to stop in and see us & the boys. That was nice. I feel like it's been a really long time since I've seen them. They were impressed with how much more advanced Adam is since the last time they saw him. And Brendan was glad to show off his new desk too. So, we had a nice little visit with them. Once again Joe & I had planned to watch one of our movies, but Sunday is a good tv night, so we watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition and My Kind of Town instead.

There was one moment where I almost started yelling excessively in frustration when I discovered Brendan had completely messed up his room after I spent so long on it again, but instead, I sternly got after him and gave him a warning that if he can't keep his toys picked up then we're going to start getting rid of them. And that was it. I *will* follow through with that too. He has way too many toys, and if I declutter them it will really be doing him (and us) a favor anyway, and will certainly be easier to keep picked up.

Most importantly, I was feeling & acting pretty normal all weekend! No arguments, no feeling sad or mad, no excessive yelling, and no meltdowns ;) I felt like me again :) I felt like I accomplished some things...nothing major, but seeing a small difference in Brendan's room and having an empty space in the linen closet did wonders for my outlook! And I have been following my FLYlady routines for the most part too. Just wait until I get Brendan's room finished, and all the stuff decluttered out of the basement...I'll be soaring then!

Friday, August 12, 2005

random thoughts from this week

Last night we slept in our new Queen-sized bed for the first time. Well, it's not a "new" bed, but new to us. Some friends Joe works with gave it to us. Joe had a heck of a time w/ his allergies last night though. We don't have a frame yet, so right now we just have the boxsprings & mattress on the floor. Personally, I don't feel like it's much bigger than our full size bed was. I thought it would be quite a bit bigger. It also wasn't very comfortable in my opinion, but Joe thought it was fine. So, offered up our full-size mattress, boxsprings, & frame on freecycle and it was claimed within 5 minutes! Someone is coming to pick it all up tonight. That's great, because now we don't have to worry about it being in our way or where to store it. Freecycle is such a great thing. Now someone else can get use out of it!

We haven't made any real plans for the weekend yet. There is an outdoor showing of the Sponge Bob movie in the park on a huge inflatable movie screen on Saturday, but I don't know if we'll attempt that or not. Brendan would love it, I'm sure, but not sure how Adam would behave. And as always, I have hopes of getting some decluttering done around the house, and maybe Brendan's room cleaned up again & organized! I ordered a desk for him that should be coming in next week, so I probably should make cleaning/decluttering his room the priority for this weekend. I'm sure Joe has things he wants to get done this weekend too though.

I *think* I've been having a better attitude again Wed, Thurs, & today. The weekends are usually the TRUE test of how I'm doing though! LOL Let's see if I can make it through this weekend without a meltdown.

This week at work was the annual Summer Dance Camp that I started up 7 years ago. It went pretty well again this year. They had their final performance today for the parents. I always love to watch the parents look so happy as they watch their children perform. I always hear so many compliments about the camp every year, and the kids really do seem to have fun. The instructors are great, and the little routines they come up with are adorable. I had all the participants sign cards to give to the instructors. Then at the end of the performance I gave them the cards & a long-stem rose each, and gave all the kids a "goodie bag". Several parents commented to me that that was so thoughtful of me to think to do that. That made me feel good. I do that every year, but these were people who were participating for the first time this year. Dance camp, and the Father-Daughter Dance I put on in June, are probably my two favorite things of the whole year. These are both programs that I started myself, so I guess I'm a little biased. LOL But, anyway, it was fun watching them perform's always a nice change from my usual days spent in my office.

Well, it's about time to leave work & head home, so I better end this and get a move on. Here's hoping for a fabulous, stress-free, positive weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Backwards slide

Whoa! Okay, so trying to force myself to be happy & positive didn't exactly work for long. I had a big backslide over the weekend, Monday, & Tuesday. I think my hormones are still screwed up from having a baby, and it makes things seem like such a big deal. I'm torn with what to do, because on one hand I think I should be communicating my feelings and things that I'm not happy about to Joe (isn't communication important?), but on the other hand, it makes him feel like he's in the "hot seat" when I mention things and that makes him feel worse. We had a pretty in depth talk last night, and tried to find what each other thought the problems were. He is so hung up on the money issue he can't even answer any of my questions without it being an answer about money. We don't have a lot of debt, there's about $3,000 on our credit card right now. Yes, I agree that we of course need to pay it, and yes it is important to make smart spending choices. But it absolutely consumes him. He doesn't want me or us to do anything until it is paid, and then he doesn't want us to do anything until we save up for the addition, and then he doesn't want us to do anything until that is paid, and then he doesn't want us to do anything until we have a surplus. That's all well & good in an ideal situation, but we obviously have to buy groceries, gas, and household things, and then there's this thing called life! I don't believe in sitting around waiting for conditions to be perfect before doing anything. I have faith that everything will work out, and it always has. We usually pay off the credit card every month, we just got behind a little over the last 6 months after the unpaid part of my maternity leave. Even when we didn't have any credit card debt, Joe was still the same, saying we shouldn't go on vacation and we shouldn't spend money on anything. It's a no-win situation. So even after the debt is paid, it's not like his money anxieties will disappear. We *are* paying off the $3,000 and to me I don't see the point in letting it consume our every thought & action in the meantime. Especially when I have so many other things that are stressing me out already.

But anyway, we also talked about how neither of us feel like we have any time to get things done around the house, and how sometimes I need help but that takes time away from when he wants to be getting work done outside, etc. And I tried to let him know that a lot of my anxiety comes from me being frustrated with myself about losing the last of the baby weight, and never having time to declutter the basement, and trying to keep things clean only to have them messed up again right away, not having enough me time, not enough sleep and juggling the kids and their needs along with my own. I also told him that it hurts my feelings when he doesn't take the time & effort to remember me on birthdays, Valentine's, and holidays, etc. He usually doesn't even get me a card or anything, sometimes he'll say he owes me a dinner out or something, but it never happens. It's not that I want expensive gifts or anything like that, I just wish he could do something to show me he cares & thinks about me. It's like a slap in the face to not have Valentine's & my birthday celebrated or acknowledged. That was the one issue that he totally agreed with my point, and he apologized and said he is usually just disorganized and doesn't think ahead about things like that.

He also pointed out that he wanted to go back to working at Domino's some evenings/weekends, because that is his way of contributing a little extra to the debt, and makes him feel like he's working towards it. That's fine. I just wanted him to help more with the boys in the evening and not be gone EVERY evening, but a couple times a week is fine. Adam is finally getting a little more independent, so it should be getting easier. It was just so hard when he had to be tended to every waking moment, in addition to Brendan needing things, dinner, baths, feedings, etc. Now he can play more, crawl around, and sometimes even watch Baby Einstein videos! So things are becoming easier in the evenings, and I won't be needing an extra set of hands as much.

There was a lot more discussing and things we talked about, but this is getting too long! The important thing is, that we both agreed to try harder to not be so critical of each other and to bear with each other. And we are going to try to do more things as a couple again too. We are establishing a once-a-month date night starting in September. And Joe himself even said that we need a vacation- just the two of us. I agree! Not a big vacation, but maybe we can get the grandparents to watch the boys for a couple days and we go camping and on a float trip. We use to do that all the time, it's our favorite thing to do together. So, I think things will be fine. (And hopefully my hormones will straighten back out too, so that things don't seem like such a big deal to me).

As for my list of goals from last week...ha! Not doing so well on those either!

1. Stop drinking soda (not yet...still having 1 a day)
2. Drink 7 glasses of water a day (no, usually around 5-6 glasses)
3. Plan & eat healthier dinners to include more salmon, chicken, turkey, & veggies/fruits
(not yet)
4. Continue to replace snacky food with fruits/veggies while at work (hit & miss depending on the day)
5. Make & drink ice tea (& green tea) w/ Splenda instead of sugary drinks & soda. (not yet)
6. Remember to take multi-vitamin every night (yes!)
7. Continue to exercise every week day morning (like I have been for the last few months) (yes!)
8. Re-write & follow FLY routines (morning & before bed routines & basic weekly plan) (yes!)
9. Work on my patience with Brendan, Adam, & Joe! (work in progress)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Happiness Goals!

"A woman is about as happy as she makes up her mind to be."

Got an email from my friend who sells Mary Kay, and this quote was at the bottom of the ad in the email. Pretty good timing for that quote to be delivered to me, since this is the exact concept I've been working on. Overall I've been feeling much better. Yesterday I had a little backslide and felt irritable & cranky, and today I feel so tired, but most days these last couple weeks have been good.

My weekend away with my sister & mom last weekend was good. We talked a lot, ate a lot, and worked on our scrapbooks. It was a nice little break from reality. I only finished 18 pages.

This weekend I once again hope to get some decluttering done. But if it doesn't work out & I don't have time, I'm going to try not to get upset. I hope to re-write my FLYlady routines, and work on menu planning too. I want some more healthy meals to make. I've been doing really well these last 3 days eating more healthy than I have been. Lots of fruit & veggies throughout the day at work instead of snack food, but I need more ideas for dinners. I would like to cut out soda completely, but I still seem to end up having 1 a day. There was a period of 2 years back in high school that I did not drink a single soda! But ever since college I have become addicted. Was a Mountain Dew addiction for many years, then I tried to go to diet & Diet Dr Pepper was the only diet soda I could stand, so that became my addiction. But I now have a new addiction: Sugar-Free Red Bull! I drink one every morning on my way to work. Sometimes I'll have 1 more in the afternoon at work in place of when I use to drink a soda. But, I haven't cut the soda out completely, as the last 2 days I've had a Mountain Dew w/ dinner. I need to just make up a pitcher of ice tea w/ Splenda instead of sugar & drink on that instead, but I keep forgetting!

Oh well, lots of little goals to work on I guess. At least the exercising is a habit. I get up around 5am every week day morning still to do my exercise. Now if I can get the better eating habits down as a habit too the rest of the baby fat should melt right off, right?! That would make me SOOO happy! Joe keeps insisting that I'm not fat and that I look good now. I hope he really thinks that. But even so, I need to lose at least 15 lbs before I will feel comfortable w/ myself again. Really I'd like to lose 30 more lbs, but I'll take 15. I think I could fit back in my size 8 clothes if I lost the 15 lbs or so.

Okay, I guess I just need to write down my little goals so I can be constantly reminded & brainwashed. heehee. So, let's see...I'll write some goals below & see how I do & update my blog as to whether I actually follow these!

1. Stop drinking soda
2. Drink 7 glasses of water a day
3. Plan & eat healthier dinners to include more salmon, chicken, turkey, & veggies/fruits
4. Continue to replace snacky food with fruits/veggies while at work (today is day 3 of doing this!)
5. Make & drink ice tea (& green tea) w/ Splenda instead of sugary drinks & soda.
6. Remember to take multi-vitamin every night
7. Continue to exercise every week day morning (like I have been for the last few months)
8. Re-write & follow FLY routines (morning & before bed routines & basic weekly plan)
9. Work on my patience with Brendan, Adam, & Joe!

Okay, now lets see if I can work on these & be successful!

I'm determined to change things for the sake of my happiness! I WILL be a happy person again. I will change the things that I can, and not stress about the things I can't change. The things I'm not happy with that I can't change, I'll just have to change my attitude about. That reminds me of another favorite quote I need to remember:
"Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it."

And then there's a line out of the song "Something More" by Sugarland that goes...
"Some believe in destiny and some believe in fate. But I believe that happiness is something we create."