Aah, New Year's resolutions. Don't do 'em, never have. I don't even like goal-setting, thanks to the backfiring efforts of the Young Women's program. My life has ebbs and flows of productivity, motivation, and energy, and those can never be tied to the calendar, so, as a friend put it, "I just try my best every day."
But this year a small crest of motivation happens to coincide with the turn of January, so I've got a couple things to write about. Some are changes, some are accomplishments, and some are just things I feel like mentioning.
Zero to Two-and-a-Half in Just Over a Year - Last night I finished Ginger's baby book. I was going to finish it in time for Christmas but that didn't happen. Before that, I was going to finish it before Poppy was born. Oops. Hazel has a book I made about her first year, and both girls love to look at it. I like it, too, but all I see are what I wish I'd done differently. So before Poppy was born I started a rather ambitious, comprehensive book for Ginger, got about 80% done, then stopped. I did a final push these last two weeks, hoping to get it done in time for Ginger's FOURTH birthday on the 23rd of this month, and finally stayed up until 1 am last night to finish, upload and publish (on Blurb.)
Since I have four years of pictures it was hard to know where to stop, so I asked Ed for his opinion. "Two-and-a-half," he answered definitively. "That's when they stop being a baby." I said that sounded good, and it turned out to be just right. Not only was that about my breaking point last night, but also around that age Ginger started to look less like a toddler and more like she does now. Wish you could see the book? Don't worry, if you live within striking distance of me you will see it sometime. I love to show off my Blurb creations. But if you don't, here's a 15-page preview (the whole book is 98 pages.)
Eat My Veggies - It's no secret, I've got some weight to lose. I did great a few years ago, then tapered off a bit, then got pregnant, then fell into survival mode and all food-tracking went out the window. I don't feel ready for a program, or worse, a diet, but I do feel ready to do something. Which is why my Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light was so perfect to read. This year, the entire Cooking Light staff is making and taking a 12 Healthy Habits Challenge (12HH.) Each month they will do a feature on a different healthy habit they are all adopting, with features on a few specific people. The January habit is to eat three more vegetables a day. Which, if I am honest, some days would bring my total to four. OK, three.
But as I read, I felt inspired. It's a baby step. It's totally achievable. It only takes a little more time and effort (face it, produce is a little more work than Ritz crackers.) It's hard in the winter to find something good, but not impossible. I told the girls about this goal, and then explained what a goal is, and they shocked me by jumping on board. "We want to do the goal, Mom! Give me some broccoli!" I exaggerate not. So that's it, the girls and I are eating more veggies and fruit, too. And anyone who has changed eating habits knows that success begets success and healthy eating begets healthy eating. No one has told me I can't have See's peanut brittle or that chocolate swirl bread that just came out of the oven. I just have to eat more veggies. EAT MORE - that's a goal I can work on. (By the way, I've lost 1.5 lbs in two weeks with my new habit. Baby steps.)
Healthy Glow - As with my health habits, my dedication to skin care has been variable over the years. I'd get on board with some great - and expensive - regimen, then back off when I got sick, too busy, or too poor. I used to have great skin. Until I didn't. Not sure when that happened. Sometime during the fog of the last five years, maybe? Fact is, I look terrible. I'm splotchy, I'm wrinkly, I'm puffy. I'm AGING! I do wash my face and moisturize with an SPF 15, but that is it. When one of them runs out and I enter the face-stuff aisle at Target I glaze over. I know I should be using some of this other kind of stuff, but who knows what it all is?
This week I took charge (a little.) I like Olay products so I went to their website. I took their very nice survey/tutorial that is supposed to "take the guesswork out of skincare" (thank you!) and offer suggestions tailored for your skin. You answer friendly multiple-choices about your skin type, priorities and concerns and they tell you the products you should use and how. Kudos to their techie, by the way. Loved the web experience. I was already committed to improving my skin by complicating my regimen, but I didn't know how. I took the suggestions, bought the products, and at least feel like I'm taking a little better care of myself. It's only been a day, so I can't speak to the results, but it can't be worse than what I was doing before. Or rather, what I wasn't.
New Tricks - Poppy has developed some serious new tricks in the last few weeks. She's changing so fast I don't think we can wait for the 9-month post. But I don't want to give it all away in a listy post like this. Just a reminder to myself to post some vids of this amazing little munchkin.
Family Circle - Who else out there gets this magazine? At first I started getting it for the recipes - they have some pretty good ones, especially quick-easy-healthy-yummy dinners. Then I started reading some of their health/beauty/shopping features. Interesting enough. Then I started to read everything else, like their feature articles, and I realized they have been holding back.
You see it on the checkstand, it always has a fabulous-looking food on the front, like cinnamon rolls or lasagna. Admittedly, that's why I bought it. Must be what sells it. But now why I get it is for the articles. Family Circle is geared towards families of tweens and teens, and the articles reflect that. Topics include bullying, discipline, lying, sexting, body image, college preparedness, summer jobs, volunteering, and everything else parenting through adolescence brings. Serious stuff. Stuff that is not otherwise on my radar. Stuff I have never thought about. Stuff that is going to sneak up on me sooner than later and pull the rug out from under my naive feet unless I get a clue. I know nothing can prepare me entirely for the unique job of raising my girls, but a monthly reminder of what may lie ahead helps. You should see Ed's face when I tell him some of the things I read. And I thought I was naive.
I guess that's it for now. We are having a sick day/snow day at home and I have made everyone take a nap. Which means now I am going to, too!