Friday, July 29, 2011

Rounding it Up and Acknowledging Your Accomplishments

Reading Young House Love today, I couldn't help but feel a little jealous of their accomplishments. They get a lot done in a month that us normal people can't quite do. The idea of a round up, though, can really help the rest of us see all of our accomplishments for the month or even the day.

As each month passes by too quickly, I really wonder if I'm making the most of my time to do everything I want to do. My to do list doesn't seem to get shorter, so a roundup would allow me to see everything I've accomplished, even if it's just fun things like taking Claire to the park or boating.

If each month passes too quickly, it's hard to describe the quick passage of days. Especially at work when I spend an entire day on one large project, it seems as if I never get much done, yet the projects I need to complete are done on time. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest a roundup at the end of the day for me or anyone else, but maybe a quick glance at check marks on my to do list or a smaller stack of paper can help me feel accomplished.

So, with that, a round up of July 2011 without pictures (I hope to get pictures up for future posts):
  • We celebrated the fourth of July with a long weekend, a day trip to a fish hatchery, a small BBQ at home, and viewing our neighbors' fireworks displays. We also finally bought a patio set.
  • Granparents visited the next weekend when we blew up Claire's pool for the first time. She liked splashing and wading in the water but wouldn't sit down (too cold!). 
  • The next weekend brought friends from out of town. We took Claire to a picnic in the park, and she enjoyed playing and watching other kids. Friday night and all day Sunday were spent at the lake on our new boat.
  • Last weekend was another busy one for us. We attended Nick's stepbrother's wedding reception where Claire danced the night away and met one of her step uncles for the first time. That Sunday was spent at another BBQ, and all of us enjoyed an early night in bed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things I Said I'd Never Do

Like most women pregnant for the first time, I knew I'd never do certain things. Like most first time moms, I've given in. One of those things I'd never do that I ended up doing was sleep training or cry it out.

I like to refer to it as sleep training; maybe that's me trying to make myself feel better or it just seems like a better explanation. Either way, after research, thought and discussion, Nick and I decided to give it a try with a few rules. We set a 20 minute crying limit, decided to only try it for a week and get her if the screaming became too horrible. 

Claire cried for just under 20 minutes the first night. I found that keeping busy really helped distract me from her crying. I finished washing the dishes and picked up the kitchen. By the time I was done, she was sleeping soundly. Over the next two nights sleep training went well, and Claire began to cry less. By night four, Claire was practically sleep trained.

Now, almost four months later, she's ready for bed by her bedtime and sleeps through the night. Starting at 8:00, I begin the countdown by telling Claire how many minutes she has until bedtime. Usually, right at 8:30 she walks up to me and puts her head down on my lap. When I ask her if she's ready to go to bed, she looks at me with the cutest, most earnest look and nods her head.

Sleep training worked for us, but it doesn't mean it will work for every kiddo, so do your research!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Moving On

The decision to move wasn't an easy one to make. Sure, there are really good reasons for us to move--family, quality of life, career prospects, and more--but moving our family required more consideration than that. It required that we consider the advantages and disadvantages of moving our daughter.

Even though she'll be under two when we move, I believe it's important to consider the impact this move will have upon her. I know that leaving her daycare, home and family will be difficult, but here's how I've considered each of those:
  1. Daycare- Claire loves her daycare and her provider. I'm even going to be sad when we have to say goodbye, but Claire is very outgoing and adjusts to new things well. I think she'll enjoy making new friends. 
  2. Home- Claire really won't remember this home. I don't feel sad about leaving it even thought it's the home we brought her home to. I may tear up a little as we leave, but I don't think Claire will really know the difference. To help her adjust to her new space, her room will be the last packed and loaded onto the truck and the first unloaded and unpacked when we arrive. 
  3. Family- We are taking her away from Nick's family here, but we don't have a solid relationship with them. In fact, my older brother who lives nine hours away has seen Claire about as much as my in laws who live 15 minutes away. (As a side note, after having a child I realized I couldn't live somewhere without family, so that's played into our decision.)
So, there are a few of my thoughts on moving.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Get it on the Market

I have one hour and 45 minutes until Thursday, so I'm still getting this post done as promised. I'm really proud of myself for that.

My July and August goal is pretty simple: get projects done around the house to get it on the market. We hope to move to Minnesota by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes. We have so many projects left to finish and plenty of fun summer things to do.

Here's to getting things done and getting it on the market.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chaos after Visitors

Whew! We had a fun, relaxing weekend. My parents came for a visit. It'd been five weeks since we'd seen them, so we had a great time showing off what C can do and say. C got to wade in her blowup pool for the first time. She was so cute because she didn't want to sit down; she slipped onto her tush a couple times and quickly got back up. We definitely enjoyed their visit, but now we're left with a hangover of sorts.

When I have guests, I get a little lazy with housework because I want to enjoy their company and relax. My lax cleaning over the weekend coupled with the house not being really clean when they showed up have made for quite the to-do list this week.

What's on my to-do list you ask? Well, I need to clean all three bathrooms (the master is the dirtiest); wash dishes; wash, fold and put away laundry (our clean laundry covers our king-size bed); sweep the great room, especially under the couches; clean the kitchen and dining room and vacuum the rugs.

Hi, ho off to work I go. I have lots to do. I hope to be back on Wednesday with a post about my goals for the month.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why, hello there, blog!

After just a little time away from the blog, I've decided to come back regularly. I didn't really have a plan when I first started this blog at the end of December. It just seemed like the thing to do, so I did it. I've realized, though, that if I'm going to do something, I want to do it well.  I'm busy enough as it is, and I need to continuously redefine my priorities and goals to determine if I'm doing what I need to reach my goals and that I'm spending time doing what I enjoy. 

So, what are my goals for this little blog? My first and main reason for writing this blog is to just write. I've always loved writing, but don't spend any time besides work doing it. The only way to become a better writer is to write. That seems obvious, but it's something I haven't really done. My second goal is to get a better grasp on the concepts of social media and using them for promotion. As a 20-something-year-old marketer, this is something I really need to understand better than I do. I can't think of a better way than to write a blog and use other social media to promote it.

So, you can expect to see me around here two to three times a week sharing decorating, organizing, cooking, cleaning and family stories. Until I can find my niche, I plan to be a general lifestyle blogger.