Resolutions for 2016

Last year I tracked my resolutions each month to see the progress I was making. I found this to be extremely helpful as it kept me on track. In the past, I quickly forgot my resolutions and by the time February rolled out I had abandoned them. Since it was so helpful last year, I will continue to track my resolutions here and share my successes and failures along the way!

 

In this age of technology, I am quite adept at texting. It is fast and I can do it anytime. My friends without kids often operate on slightly different schedules than I do and so texting has become my fall-back. A phone call seems inconvenient, but it can be more meaningful than a text. So, my goal is to contact a different friend or family member each day. Phone calls will be preferred, but texting will be ok if that is all time permits. I hope this will help maintain and strengthen the relationships around me!

I received a FitBit for Christmas and I am loving it! The watch is set to a goal of 10,000 steps a day. While walking 10,000 steps a day does not feel realistic at this point in time, it is certainly something to work toward. My goal is that I will increase my daily steps. This will require me to collect some more data through January, but I think this is a good goal since I can constantly monitor it through my watch and adjust my day’s activities as needed.

We have now lived in our new home for just over seven months. We left a wonderful support network of family and childhood friends. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed to meet many wonderful people here! In 2016, I want to work toward strengthening those ties. I would like to host one get-together a month at our home. We meet up with others frequently out and about or at other people’s homes, but rarely here. I would like to change that!

I love being a work-at-home mom. I get to hang out with Cupcake and also still remain in the working world. Prior to Cupcake being born, I was a teacher. Since we moved states, I need to transfer my teaching certification to our new state. It is important that I get my teaching certification in Maryland for several reasons. One, it gives me the option if I ever need/want to go back to teaching. It also makes sure that I do not lose any of the paperwork I collected before we left Connecticut. Finally, it makes sure that I get my certification before requirements change and somehow prevent me from getting it!

As I mentioned, working from home is great. It has taken me several months to find the right groove and rhythm to give Cupcake what she needs and also get my work done. I initially found myself relying way too much on electronics to keep her occupied when I was up against a real deadline. A friend of mine also works from home. She mentioned a homeschool preschool curriculum she was doing with her son. As I researched it more, I realized it was exactly what I needed. It helped to give me more focus in my time with Cupcake and it also provided activities to help build up her stamina for “work time.” My goal is to start the homeschool preschool curriculum with Cupcake this year and continue throughout the year!

In 2015, I used a cleaning schedule to keep myself organized through the first part of the year. Once the craziness of us moving hit, it was hard for me to stick to it identically, because there were so many other things to do! I am hoping to return to the FlyLady cleaning schedule this year so that I can have a more organized home. With so many responsibilities, it is often hard for me to keep track of everything. Since she puts together the schedule for cleaning, it is one less thing I have to think about.

Eating healthy and sticking to our food budget are two challenges I have worked on in the past. My goal for this year is to Meal Plan each week. This will help me in several ways. I will be able to plan ahead so there is less temptation to reach for the Mac and Cheese box. It will also require me to look at what we already have in the house so that I can avoid waste.

My goal in 2015 was to breastfeed Cupcake all year long. With her second birthday approaching, I am starting to feel ready to wean for several reasons. We’d like to expand our family at some point in the future and Cupcake’s frequent weaning schedule will make that difficult for us all to manage. So, my goal is to nurse Cupcake to 2 years old unless she chooses to wean earlier. I will take it month by month at that point!

I recently has the opportunity to start volunteering with a local group. This group has been instrumental in helping to get me established in our new state and has introduced me to some women that will become life-long friends. I want others to benefit from this group as much as I did, so my goal is to help increase membership by 25%. This is a highly ambitious goal based on based trends, but I am going for it anyway!

My last major resolution will change from month to month. I realized that although the long-term goals were awesome, there were different things that popped up throughout the year that I wanted to include and short-term goals are important. So this will be a changing goal! In January my goal will revolve around a career decision. I have two opportunities that sort of put me at a crossroad between continuing my education in one area or starting my own business in another. My goal for January is to research both options and come to a decision by the end of the month what I am going to do!

My last goal is to blog about my progress each month. This kept me accountable last year and I am hoping for the same this year!

Happy New Year’s everyone!

 

-Lindsay

 

PS What are you resolutions? Post them below! Also, if you have a FitBit or recently received one, let’s be friends! It is great motivation when I know someone else is looking in on me!

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Raising a Reader

As a former teacher, one thing that brings me immense joy is watching my seven month old adore books.

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From her first day home, my husband and I surrounded her with books. We read to her each night and had books out during the day. While she played, I would often sit beside her and read whichever book was closest. Now we can’t keep her away! It makes my mommy heart smile to see her so excited by books!

She’s nearly eight months old, so we are early in our journey. I love taking her to the book store and library. I greatly look forward to when she’s a bit older and she focuses more on the story (and less on trying to chew on it)!

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As a teacher, there were a few commonalities I found with those kids that enjoyed reading and those that did not.

1. Books were available

This may seem silly, but making sure your child has access to books is essential! Books can be quite expensive, which is why we LOVE our public library. For real, we have a place with thousands of books for free. Let that sink in for the immense miracle that is! We also frequent thrift shops for books. Cupcake has a huge collection on a wide variety of topics.

2. Daily reading was encouraged

Growing up, I was read to every night. Once I learned how to read, I continued to do so each night. Sometimes I read to my parents; sometimes they read to me. It was just what we did and it never occurred to me to do anything differently.

The students I’ve had who love reading come from similar families who place a high value on reading every day.

3. Understanding what “counts” as reading

All too often, I hear people say they do not like reading. Then I see them scanning through news stories on their cell phone. Or reading a magazine. Or reading the latest football stats so they can update their fantasy team (hi sweetie!).

Reading comes in SO many forms. It’s so limiting to think that reading only counts as sitting with a large fiction novel (although that sounds lovely for me!). Reading happens all the time and kids need to know that. Reading is comic books. Reading is the newspaper. Reading is sports statistics. I’ve never found a single person who doesn’t like reading in any form. It’s so important that parents help their child see the many types of reading there are!

4. Everyone in the family reads

This is a biggie! I can remember multiple parent-teacher conferences about a kiddo who did not like to read. The parents often admitted to not reading much themselves.

Seeing parents reading is so important for a child. As per the last point, there are many types of reading. My mom loved fiction, while my dad was all about biographies of baseball players. It’s wonderful when parents read to their children, but it is so important that children see parents read on their own, too!

5. Reading happens everywhere

A lot counts as reading, and therefore reading happens in so many different places. Granted, Cupcake’s seven month-old self might not have fully understood, but you better believe I told her how happy I was to read that Dunkin’ Donuts now has almond milk. Mommy is so lucky to be able to read that big sign or she would not have been able to order her coffee! Isn’t reading helpful, Cupcake?

Wow! Thank goodness that blue car could read the stop sign so that our car was safe!

Hmm, I’m looking for Poppy’s house. Thank goodness I could read the number on his house so I know for sure this one is his. Whew.

Reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child. It is never too early to introduce your child to books and it is definitely never too late!