Weigh in Wed.- 2/10/10

Today is my update for the ‘Blog the Weight Away’ competition being held at 4BabyAndMom. I just started feeling better yesterday after being sick for over a week and a half so I haven’t exercised once nor have I eaten healthy. In fact yesterday I had such  a horrible day and was really upset so I turned to comfort foods. I had two huge helpings of homemade macaroni and cheese AND a big bowl of ice cream. I am definitely an emotional eater. As you can probably guess I did not lose any weight this past week, I actually gained some. I only gained .8 of a pound but it’s added weight nonetheless.

Please visit my other team members and encourage them :)

Anabelle -who lost 4 pounds (yay!!!)

Patricia

Charissa

Tot School- Winter

This week’s theme is: Winter

Here are a few of the activities that I have planned:

* Bring the snow indoors- It is supposed to snow tomorrow so we will be bringing snow into the house. We will use a bucket to fill the sink up and sand toys to play in it.

* Coloring a snowman printout from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Song- “I’m a Little Ice Cube” from A to Z Kids Stuff website

* Chalk winter themed picture- Use white chalk on a blue piece of paper

* Cutting practice sheets from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Winter themed board books

* Snowman Craft- gluing cottonballs onto a snowman shape

* Play with white playdough

* Footprint snowman from PreschoolLearningandCrafts.com

 

Looking for Valentine’s Day themed ideas? Find my Valentine’s Day lesson plan here.

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

 

Toddler Time- Structure

This past weekend I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what I wanted for my toddler, Jacob. I had been thinking lately that I really wanted him to have more structured time and guided play and less free play. I will be creating “lesson plans” each week. There will still be a large amount of free play but I think these additional activities will be wonderful for him.

I have spent hours tonight online looking at different sites (mostly homeschool sites and preschool lesson plan sites) and also have years of experience working with young children so I am very excited about all the fun that Jacob is going to have each week.

I came across something called “tot school” on http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com and I love the idea of it so I will be participating and linking up. The main point of tot school is that it is FUN for the child. I truly believe that children learn through play.


My First Menu Plan Monday

I have never attempted a menu plan for my family before because I don’t cook. (Well, ok, I cook but not much) I have been thinking a lot about my toddler’s schedule this weekend and have decided that 1) I want him to have more structure  2) I want him to eat a larger variety of healthy foods 3) I wanted him to snack less throughout the day. The first step I am implementing is a menu plan. I work Monday-Friday outside of the home so my children are home with either their dad or their sitter (but mostly dad). While spending some fabulous alone time together this weekend he told me that he would love if I came up with a list of foods that are toddler friendly because he wanted to feed Jacob different foods but didn’t know what to make. We decided that each week I would create a menu for him to follow.

Please note that dinner is made by my father (who we live with) because he loves to cook and used to have a restaurant so in this case I believe in “if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it” :) The dinner listing will be very general because I know the main dish but that’s about it. I will also be only planning Monday through Friday because our weekends vary but include a lot of leftovers and eating at places other than our home.

MONDAY

Breakfast- Pancakes w/ Syrup, Peaches, Milk

AM Snack- Graham Crackers and Juice

Lunch- Cheese Quesadillas, Beans, Apple Slices, Milk

PM Snack- Dried Kiwi Slices

Dinner- Fish, Side Dish, Veggie, Milk

TUESDAY

Breakfast- Eggs with Cheese, Sausage Links, Strawberries, Milk

AM Snack- Muffin, Applesauce, Juice

Lunch- Ham and Cheese Sandwich on Wheat Bread, Grapes, Milk

PM Snack- Ritz Bitz Sandwich Crackers and Juice

Dinner- Leftovers

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast- Waffle with Jelly, Blueberries, Milk

AM Snack- Orange and Water

Lunch- Pizza Bagels, Dried Mango Slices, Milk

PM Snack- Sweet Potato Puffs and Juice

Dinner- Meal at Church

THURSDAY

Breakfast- Grits w/ Brown Sugar and Raisins, Cinnamon Apples, Milk

AM Snack- Nutrigrain Bar and Juice

Lunch- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Banana, Millk

PM Snack- Pudding

Dinner- Chicken, Side Dish, Veggie, Milk

FRIDAY

Breakfast- Cheerios, Banana, Milk

AM Snack- Granola Bar and Juice

Lunch- Grilled Cheese, Pears, Milk

PM Snack- Apple Slices w/ Peanut Butter, Juice

Dinner- Fettuccine Alfredo, Veggie, Milk

Obviously I need some help planning healthy, toddler friendly meals. I plan on researching more on this topic in the next couple of weeks but am happy that I have a plan for the week. I will go shopping tomorrow night for the ingredients that I am missing.

If you have any ideas or know of any resources that you could lead me to that would be great. One fabulous resource that I have found is http://orgjunkie.com/ and I am linking this post up to her “Menu Planning Monday” roundup. Check it out for some great meal ideas :)

How To Get A Job In Social Media- The Mom’s Guide

Today you can find me as a guest blogger on ‘The (UN)Experienced Mom’. I love Tamara’s tagline- “Just when I figured out what to do, I went and added #2” because as a mom of two little ones I feel the very same way!

My post today is a practical guide to getting a job in social media if you are just getting into the business. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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How To Get A Job In Social Media

Create a Child’s Wardrobe on a Budget

I am very excited to announce that today is my first time guest posting on a blog. You can find me sharing my tips on how to find cheap clothes for your children at the website ‘Saving Cents With Sense’ here. Thank you Melissa for giving me the opportunity to meet your readers :)

Create a Child’s Wardrobe on a Budget

Weigh-In Wednesday 2/2/10

This is my weekly “weigh-in” post for the Blog the Weight Away Competition.

I was very nervous to get on the scale today because I only went to the gym one time this past week. I walked on the treadmill at a fast pace for 45 minutes. The boys and I have been sick so I haven’t been able to get to the gym.

I did eat healthier this week though. I snacked less, drank less pop, and made healthier food choices. I ate fast food once when I was out but was proud of myself when I only ordered a jr. cheeseburger at Wendy’s but didn’t get a frosty or fries like I normally would have. I also ate a few cookies that my sister baked but overall I think I did well.

So back to that scale… I lost 2.8 pounds this week :) A lot more than I thought I would lose and definitely a welcome surprise.

I also wanted to introduce you to my teammates this week since I finally know who they are:

THE BLACK TEAM

Patricia from LittlesRuleTheRoost.blogspot.com
Anabelle from Meettheboyles.blogspot.com
Charissa from Mimisbabiesgifts.blogspot.com
and me! :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

How to Use Freecycle.org

Freecycle.org is a wonderful website that I have been using for a couple of years now. The description from their website says that freecycle is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” You can go to their website to learn more and to sign up for an account but I wanted to do a quick post with a list of a few things I recommend doing if you are looking to receive items from others using this website.

First, join more than one group. I suggest joining not only the group of the town you live in but all towns within a 10 mile radius. One time I drove 30 minutes to meet someone but I left with three garbage bags of baby clothes. Worth it? I think so.

Second, when given the option of how you want to be notified of new posts, choose the ‘individual’ email choice. Emails are sent out when offers are posted and things go fast. I’ve responded to posts less than 5 minutes after they were posted and gotten email responses back saying the items were pending pickup. It’s a lot of emails but if you are looking to get the most out of freecycle it’s the best choice.

Third, set up text alerts on your cell phone. I have alerts come to me every time the words “baby” or “child” are in the subject of an email since I have small children and most of the items I receive are for my boys. These text alerts aren’t always from freecycle (since any email with those words come through as a text) but if I am away from my computer it’s the quickest way to find out about new posts so I can quickly respond. While not all people give the item to the first person who responds, I have found that most people do.

Fourth, say “please” and “thank you”. If you aren’t polite there is a huge chance you won’t get the item. Keep in mind that these people are giving something away for free and they get to choose who they want to give it to.

Lastly, remember that freecycle is a community and that a community works best when everyone gives. Look around your house and if you have items that you are not using consider posting an “offer” ad to give those items a new home.

Happy freecycling! If you have any questions about using freecycle.org or have another tip to share with us just leave a comment. :)

Just a Bit of Perspective…

A few hours ago I was fed up. I had declared this day to be “one of my worst mommy days ever” and was literally ready for it to be tomorrow. Ok, so sometimes I can be a little dramatic… I’m sure I have had worse days but this day was seriously horrible.

A little background: Both my children have bronchitis which meant I was tired from being up a lot the night before cleaning out noses. It also meant the boys were extremely cranky because they were not feeling well. On top of this I think they gave me some of their sick germs because I was was congested and feeling a head cold coming on.

Since it was the weekend most of you moms out there would assume that I probably had help. Nope, not the case. Daddy was working which meant I was home alone. I was dealing with things up until that point but then I got a call from Sinisa that he was working 5 hours longer than he was originally scheduled to. This is when I lost it and demanded that he tell his boss no he couldn’t work overtime because he needed to go home to his family. Oh. Yes. I. Did. Long story short he stayed at work and when he came home I was in a better mood.

Why?

BECAUSE I PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE…

Sinisa was working all day BUT at least he has a job.

My kids are sick BUT at least they are home and not sick enough they had to be hospitalized.

Lucas didn’t want to take his medicine BUT at least we had insurance to pay for the medicine.

Jacob wiped snot all over me continuously BUT at least we had tissues he could have used.

Lucas spit carrots in my face BUT at least I had a sense of humor.

Jacob was cranky BUT at least he has toys to play with and TV to take his mind off of being sick.

Lucas had major diarrhea BUT at least I have other diapers and clothes to put him in.

Jacob dumped two bowls full of food on the ground BUT at least he has food to eat.

Lucas cried a lot BUT at least he can vocalize his feelings.

As for me-

I’m tired BUT at least I have a warm bed to crawl into.

I have a messy house BUT at least I have a roof over my head.

I have a huge to-do list BUT at least I have opportunities for future personal growth.

I was frustrated BUT at least I have friends to talk to that reassure me that things will get better.

I had a hard day BUT at least I am alive and have a family to complain about.

AND I have an awesome little sister who, as I type, is making homemade cookies *and she even offered to let me lick the spoon*. Chocolate cookies make everything a little better, don’t ya think? :)

Blog the Weight Away… My Introduction

I am joining the “Blog the Weight Away” challenge by Lauren at 4BabyAndMom. I am so excited about this. Today is my introduction post.

Alicia in 2005- Weight 120 pounds

Alicia in 2010- Weight 179.8 pounds

My goals throughout this journey:

1) Lose 50 pounds

2) Go to the gym at least 4 days a week

3) Eat healthier

My rewards for achieving my goals:

1) One dessert a week for every week I go to the gym 4 days

2) One new item of clothing for every 10 pounds lost

3) A new wardrobe when I lose 50 pounds

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I believe in myself. I know that I can meet my goals.

I also believe in all the other women that have committed to this challenge because if a woman is willing to put her weight online you know she is serious about succeeding. I do have three teammates that I will introduce you to next week.

I want to thank my friends and family ahead of time for supporting me through this journey :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

Help for Haiti- How Much YOU Raised…

I am overwhelmed by all of the comments and link-ups to my ‘Help for Haiti’ post. I just wanted to let you all know that BECAUSE OF YOU I am donating $48 dollars and 22 hours of my time to Feed My Starving Children. Considering every $1 provides about 6 meals, we just provided 288 meals. That is awesome! The money will be donated this week and the volunteering will happen in the Spring (right now they are booked through March!). Thank you again to everyone who participated! I am so proud of everyone for coming together to help the Haitian people. Remember you can still help the people by praying for them over the next weeks, months, and years as they rebuild their lives.

What Inspires Me

What inspires me?

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These handsome boys :) Their smiles make me want to be a better person.

This post is linked up to ‘Just A Motivating Monday’ at http://www.garibaysoup.com. Visit her site and add your own post or just take a look at what motivates others.

Celebrating the Sanctity of Human Life

Today is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade so I wanted to share a few wonderful links that I have found online this week.

Brooke at A Life in Need of Change really touched me this week with her series on the Sanctity of Human Life Week. Some wonderful bloggers came together to share their personal stories on how abortion has affected them. They put a face and voice to the many women (and men) who have discovered, firsthand, the pain that abortion causes.

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Over at (In)courage Sarah Mae shares her personal story of abortion.

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If you couldn’t be in Washington, DC for today’s March for Life you can still show your support for the pro-life cause by joining the “Virtual March”.

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The mission of the 40 Days for Life campaign is to “bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America.”

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Considering abortion? Please call the Option Line at 1-800-395-HELP or email them at [email protected] .

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99 Balloons from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

This video is beautiful and made me cry today. It is a must watch.
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If you have any other links you would like to share for Sanctity of Life Week please link up here:

WFMW- Prayer

So many of my friends and family members are hurting lately. They’ve experienced the death of a loved one, miscarriage, illness, job loss, divorce. So much pain that I can’t fix. Sometimes I wish I just had a magic wand and could make all of their problems disappear but, as far as I know, that wand doesn’t exist.

When I hear that a friend is going through a hard time I usually don’t have many words to say other than “I’m sorry”, “let me know if I can help” and “I will pray for you”. All of these words come with good intention and from my heart. I am sorry, I do want to help, and I will pray for them…. or do I?

I’m going to be honest here. Many times I found myself saying I would pray for someone and then making a mental note to do so and mommy brain attacked and I forgot. It’s not that I didn’t want to pray for their need. It’s not that I didn’t intend to. The fact of the matter is that a lot of the time I would plan to do it “later” and would forget exactly who and what I had to pray for. I would forget about the lady from my MOPS group that asked me to pray for her friend with cancer. I would forget about my friend’s cousin who was going through a nasty divorce. I would forget about a friend’s brother-in-law who was hunting for a job. All needing my prayer, all forgotten.

I decided that what “works for me” would be to STOP what I was doing and pray right then. Many times I am sitting at my computer and a prayer request pops up on Twitter or Facebook and I have found that it’s best if I pray when the request is fresh in my mind. I can then say “I did pray for you” and not just “I will”.

Along with this I started keeping a prayer journal to write down prayer requests. I bought a cute composition notebook at Target and keep it on my desk at home by my computer. It’s also great when you can see God’s answer to prayer (note: I said his answer which may not always be what we want it to be or think it should be.)

So what works for you when it comes to the topic of prayer?

To see more WFMW posts head on over to We Are That Family

Help for Haiti- How You Can Help For Free!

Watching the video clips and viewing pictures of the earthquake’s aftermath in Haiti brings me to tears. Seeing the stunned faces. The battered bodies. The frightened children. The people sleeping in the streets…. I knew there must be some way that I could help them from where I was, with the resources I had available. When Crystal Paine a.k.a. Money Saving Mom asked other bloggers to come together and join her in giving to Haiti I immediately jumped at the opportunity to help. She has asked each blogger participating to choose which organization we would like to donate to and write a blog post inviting others to link up to us with how they plan to contribute. To do this I need your help.

Here’s what I would like you, my readers and friends, to do… Think about what you have done to help Haiti (or are currently doing). If you are a blogger please blog about how you are supporting the people of Haiti and add your link to Mister Linky. If you do not have a blog you can leave a comment below.

For every blog post that is linked up by midnight on January 21, 2010 I will be donating $1 to Feed My Starving Children. One dollar may not seem like a lot to us but this charity will stretch that dollar and provide six meals to hungry children. $62 will feed one child for a year and $170 will put food in one thousand mouths.

For every comment that is added by midnight on the 21st I will be donating half an hour of my time to volunteering at the organization helping package the meals. Financially I can’t do as much as I would like to so I want to offer up my time. Part of the reason I chose this organization is because it is within an hour of where I live and they use volunteers to package the meals. As of now they are booked through March with people wanting to help so I will be volunteering in the Spring- and into the summer if you guys overload me with comment love! I plan to have a ticker so you can see my progress and the hours served.

Most importantly please remember the people of Haiti in your prayers. This is the most powerful thing you can do!

Won’t you join me? Please link up or comment below.

Book Reviews coming soon!

Very excited that I was accepted to do book reviews through Thomas Nelson. For my first review I chose the book, How to Reach Your Full Potential for God- Never Settle for Less Than His Best by Charles Stanley. Look for my review in the next month or so.

(If you are a blogger and interested in reviewing a book you can find out more at their site.)

Making my Bible reading a priority

So I have a confession to make… I haven’t read the Bible since Sunday. That is so sad and embarrassing to say and a huge setback in my goal to read the Bible in 90 days. Monday night I dropped the boys off at my inlaws. On the way home I participated in the tweetchat and was so excited that I was participating in this huge challenge with such a wonderful group of moms. Then I came home and decided to have couple time since Sinisa was off of work and he is rarely off. I told myself I would do the reading Tuesday, that I would catch up by reading extra. I thought that surely I could do the reading because I had two whole days off of work, without the boys. TWO WHOLE DAYS. What most moms would do for two days of peace and quiet and how much reading they could do! Well, I was blessed with them and I didn’t do my Bible reading. Not a page. Not a word.

That doesn’t mean I did nothing. I got a lot accomplished around this house and am very close to having unpacked everything from my move. I also spent a lot of quality time with Sinisa. I did things that needed to be done but I just wish that I could have done my Bible reading, too.

I have decided that as hard as it is going to be I am going to wake up 45 minutes early for work (6:15am) everyday to complete my reading before I go to the office. I am not a morning person at all but I have found that if I wait until the end of the day I am always tempted to put it off and then I either 1) wait until 1 or 2am to read it or 2) tell myself that “tomorrow” I will catch up. This has obviously not worked for me so I need to change what I’m doing.

What works for you? If you are reading the Bible when do you read it? Do you keep your schedule consistent or does it vary by day? Any ideas or encouragement you can give me would be appreciated!

My main goals for 2010

I am very excited to start this new year. I’m looking forward to my best year ever! (ok, I keep hearing that from everyone but it’s true!) I’m a very goal-oriented person so I always keep a goal list that I update a few times a year. Kind of like my bucket list , I guess. Since I have hundreds of goals on that list I decided to focus on a select number of them in 2010.

Goal #1- Read the whole Bible in 90 days. To find out more about this program you can go here or here. This challenge is listed first because it starts today. I am very excited to do this but am also nervous because it is a big task. I’ve never read the Bible all the way through, let alone in 90 days. I think it is an achievable goal this year because of two main things: 1) I’m doing it with other moms who will hold me accountable and 2) it’s only about 12 pages a day! Wow. Reading the Bible had always seemed like such a huge task and I would have guessed it would take 30-40 pages a day to read it in just 90 days, but 12? That’s easy. Ok, well maybe not easy, but manageable with two kids and a career. (Update: My sister just read the first day’s reading as I was typing this post and it took her less than 20 minutes…)

Goal #2- Save half of our income. This will probably be the hardest goal that I have set for myself. I have always been a “shopaholic” who can’t resist a good “deal” (check out my dad’s blog post about me) but I have decided that is going to change this year. Part of why we moved in with my dad was to save for a house and in the past six months we have only saved about $500. In my defense we did have to fix our two cars, but in reality we had an extra income these past few months so those repairs should have come from that. I am still working on a budget and hoping there is some spending money but if not I will just have to learn to live with less.

Goal #3- Keep my house “company ready” (though really it needs to get to that point before I can keep it there). It doesn’t have to be spotless but it would be nice to know that if someone happened to stop by my home I wouldn’t be embarrassed to let them in the door. And it would be even better if they could look in my closets, cupboards, etc and they would be organized, too. The first step towards this goal is to finish unpacking from our August move. Our two car garage is so filled with boxes that only one car can barely fit in. Eventually I would like to have a weekly cleaning list, too.

Goal #4- Work on my relationships. With Sinisa I would like to make couple time a priority since it’s rare we are both home without the boys being awake. With my mom I would like to work on communication. With my friends I would like to focus on seeing them once a week whether it’s at playdates or mom’s nights.

Goal #5- Become a “better” blogger. This includes blogging more often than I have in the past (I am aiming for 3-5 times a week), building relationships with other bloggers, reading and commenting on other blogs, and looking into how I can improve the look of my blog.

Goal #6- Do something for myself daily. This “something” could be as little as taking a nice, hot relaxing shower to getting a pedicure to scrapbooking. Just a daily thing to remind myself that I am special :)

What are your goals for 2010?

A new year… new goals

Ok so I haven’t posted anything in months… since March to be exact. Wow a lot has happened since then… Just some short updates- I had my second child, lost my (step)mom, my family moved in with my father and little sister, and I went back to work full time.

My second child is a little boy, Lucas, and he turned six months old on Christmas day. Amazing how fast the time flies! He is absolutely adorable and Jacob is a great big brother. Jacob is 18 months now and growing smarter everyday. I am in awe of these boys.

My mom passed away in June overnight. It was extremely hard for me. One day I was over at her house spending the day with her and then early the next morning I find out she had passed away the night before (probably due to a seizure- she had epilepsy). The worst part was that Jake was in the room when she passed and I just pray he doesn’t remember any of it. The best part- I know my mom is in Heaven and during the wake and funeral we found out just how many lives she had touched.

In August, the boys, Sinisa, and I moved in with my dad and sister. It’s been such a blessing to us and I believe to my father and sister as well. It’s hard after living by myself for so long but it is best for our family right now.

In November, I returned back to work full time. This had never been my intention as I had always planned to be a stay at home mom. To my surprise I love working and I love my job. I promote my dad’s company through social media mainly and it is an awesome job. Seriously, I spend most of my day on twitter, facebook, linked in, blogs, etc. The best part is that I get to come home and have lunch with my boys everyday and if I need time off it’s no problem.

Ok, so enough excuses of where I have been these past months… I am back and more excited than ever to start blogging again :) Starting in the New Year expect to see new posts 3-5 times a week. I will include updates on my goals, insights into my life, and am looking forward to doing a lot of linkups with daily themes. This is going to be awesome and I hope you will join me as I journey through motherhood and not only strive to be a great mother, but a great woman as well :)

March Updates…

Jacob and I have been sick a lot lately. I think I can count on my hands  the number of days that we both have been healthy these past two months. It’s very overwhelming being pregnant and sick and then on top of that having to deal with a sick child. It’s been very difficult for me to stay at home and not go anywhere because the days seem very long and I miss all of the social interaction I get from my mommy groups. Being sick has kept us at home a lot more and I have managed to do a few things with the limited energy and time I’ve had.

My updated March “goal” list:

JUST FOR ME

Get a haircut :) I had not had one since before Jacob was born so for at least 10 months! And I actually got a decent one instead of the cheap ones I normally get.

-Have a “me” day

-Be more positive

HEALTH

-Take my prenatal vitamin every day -so far I’ve taken it maybe 5/13 days…

LOVE

-Cook dinner at least once a week for Sinisa

-Write a letter to Sinisa

Go on a date

-Start the Love Dare book (again)

Buy Sinisa something he’s been wanting

-Do something special for Sinisa’s birthday- his birthday is Sunday and my grand plans were ruined thanks to his mother but I’m going to at least try to salvage them…

BEING A MOMMY

-Write Jacob, Lucas, and Avery each a letter

-Get Jacob’s 9 month pictures taken

Take a belly picture

-Order Jacob’s birth certificate

FAMILY

-Spend at least five days with family- think I’ve spent 2 or 3 so far…

-Email my grandma

SOCIAL

-Go on kid-free weekend trip w/ friends- scheduled for next weekend

HOUSEHOLD

-Sanitize all Jacob’s toys

-Get rid of 10 magazines in my “magazine” basket

-Organize kitchen cabinets- I did one cabinet so far…

-Make crib rail covers- material bought/washed already

Clean vent and fan-

FINANCIAL

-Stick to monthly budget- so far we are doing good…

-Pay off car- thought I paid it all off but then got a letter saying I owe more… grr…..

Become current or payed ahead on all bills

-Save a portion of each paycheck- we are on schedule to save $500-$1000 this month

-Open a savings account- want to do at the end of the month

-Get Renter’s insurance- got a rate quote online but have to check another place before deciding

Make a menu for at least one week and follow it when grocery shopping– I forgot my grocery list at home but think I ended up getting almost everything I need.

ENTERTAINMENT

-See a new movie

WRITING/READING

-Read one Nora Roberts book

CREATIVE ENDEAVORS

-Complete scrapbook pages for Jacob’s birth and time in the hospital

-Start organizing pictures

GIVING BACK

-Do a random act of kindness

-Give away 50 items

-Leave a dollar somewhere a child will find it

SPIRITUAL

-Read Bible every day (using year plan)

-Tithe each week- haven’t gone to Church because one of us has been sick each week…

FUN

-Complete 10 suduko puzzles

-Try a new restaurant or a new food

ONLINE/COMPUTER

-Empty email inbox

Print out pictures on Snapfish through 6 months

Rename blog

THINGS TO BUY

Buy crib

-Buy video camera

Buy wii we are no longer buying this…

Buy new phones

-Buy toddler carseat- it is out of stock online at Walmart which is where I found it the cheapest so I’m trying to holdout until it’s available again…

JUST BECAUSE I NEED TO

-Get oil changed

Buy and use a fireproof box for important papers- bought it but it’s still in the box

-Resign lease for apartment

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So far I think I am doing ok in working towards my month goals. With getting my tax refund back I was able to complete or at least work on a bunch of financial goals which was good.  I got a pedicure/manicure and, with the exception of this week, have kept my house pretty clean this month. I also made it to Walgreens to start my diaper stockpile while they are having this amazing sale. I figure whatever Jacob can’t use, Lucas will be able to use…

I am on an antibiotic so hopefully I will feel better in the next couple days and will have more energy to do things. The weather also should be nicer these next few days which should motivate me to get some things accomplished :)

“Me” Time? What’s that??

So I had been looking forward to this Sunday/Monday for about a week or so. I was dropping Jacob off at my MIL’s on Sunday morning and then getting some things done around the house and running some errands. That I wasn’t looking forward to but Monday’s “to-do’s” were a lot more exciting. It was supposed to be a “me” day. First, I was going to get a haircut. A real haircut. Not the $10 bargain one I normally get. Afterwards I was going to come home and spend the day doing things that were enjoyable. I was not going to clean. I was not going to to laundry. I was not going to even think about doing those things or guilt myself into doing them. What a great day it would have been but life decided to “happen” so I had to cancel my “me” time.

It all started this morning with my MIL calling and saying she needed me to come at 1pm, not 11am. Ok, 2 hours. I can deal with that. So I decided to go over to my brother’s house to spend time with my SIL and my nephew. I couldn’t take Jacob to Church because he was still sick and we had the time since Jacob is on a “45 minutes is long enough for me to nap now” kick. While over there I was talking about maternity clothes and how I was going to buy a few things for myself. I told her I needed new jeans because the ones I was wearing (my go-to, great with gym shoes and flip flop jeans) were about to get a hole in the thigh area. While saying this I looked down and discovered that they weren’t about to get a hole, they already had one. Great. I knew they wouldn’t last another wash cycle so I added “go to store” on my to-do list for the day.

So we leave my SIL’s after Jacob and his cousin had lots of time to play together, or should I say around each other. I dropped Jacob off at my MIL’s and then went to the store. I had to pick up Jacob’s pictures anyways so I figured I’d go to JcPenney’s. After trying on about 25 bras (in three different sizes), some jeans, and a few shirts I left the store with a couple pairs of jeans. Then I thought that I might as well go to Motherhood Maternity and see if they had any bras that fit me and were comfortable. After trying on some different ones and not finding anything that worked, the lady at the store convinced me to let her take my measurements (cross that off my list). She came up with the same size that I had already been trying on. She found me some different styles to try on and I found a few that worked. I ended up leaving with five bras (2 sleeping and 3 regular) and was quite happy with my shopping day. Before I left I picked up the prints of Jacob from the photography studio and laughed again when I saw my son’s St. Patty’s day picture (the only picture I have of him crying his eyes out).

On my way home I mentally went through my to-do list and added up how much time I’d need to do each task. I figured the “make crib rail covers” would take a while so I knew most likely I’d have to use some of my “me” day to make that for Jacob. When I got home I had something unexpected happen and, long story short, ended up spending most of the evening in bed and sitting on the computer not wanting to do anything.

So basically I told you all that to get to the point that I now have to use my “me” day to do everything that didn’t get done today. I have to: dust, vacuum, organize kitchen cabinets, do laundry, clean Jake’s room, go to Walgreens, start the crib rail covers, clean the kitchen, and sanitize the rest of Jacob’s toys. Maybe if I’m lucky I can get a “me” hour in at the end of the day. Or maybe I’ll just want to crawl into bed. We’ll see….

Tomorrow starts a new month…

I can’t believe tomorrow is March 1st already. It seems like 2009 just started. Since it’s a new month it is time to decide what goals I will concentrate on. I have chosen the following:

JUST FOR ME

-Get a haircut

-Have a “me” day

-Be more positive

HEALTH

-Take my prenatal vitamin every day

LOVE

-Cook dinner at least once a week for Sinisa

-Write a letter to Sinisa

-Go on a date

-Start the Love Dare book (again)

-Buy Sinisa something he’s been wanting

-Do something special for Sinisa’s birthday

BEING A MOMMY

-Write Jacob, Lucas, and Avery each a letter

-Get Jacob’s 9 month pictures taken

-Take a belly picture

-Order Jacob’s birth certificate

FAMILY

-Spend at least five days with family

-Email my grandma

SOCIAL

-Go on kid-free weekend trip w/ friends

HOUSEHOLD

-Sanitize all Jacob’s toys

-Get rid of 10 magazines in my “magazine” basket

-Organize kitchen cabinets

-Make crib rail covers

-Clean vent and fan

FINANCIAL

-Stick to monthly budget

-Pay off car

-Become current or payed ahead on all bills

-Save a portion of each paycheck

-Open a savings account

-Get Renter’s insurance

-Make a menu for at least one week and follow it when grocery shopping

ENTERTAINMENT

-See a new movie

WRITING/READING

-Read one Nora Roberts book

CREATIVE ENDEAVORS

-Complete scrapbook pages for Jacob’s birth and time in the hospital

-Start organizing pictures

GIVING BACK

-Do a random act of kindness

-Give away 50 items

-Leave a dollar somewhere a child will find it

SPIRITUAL

-Read Bible every day (using year plan)

-Tithe each week

FUN

-Complete 10 suduko puzzles

-Try a new restaurant or a new food

ONLINE/COMPUTER

-Empty email inbox

-Print out pictures on Snapfish through 6 months

-Rename blog

THINGS TO BUY

-Buy crib

-Buy video camera

-Buy wii

-Buy new phones

-Buy toddler carseat

JUST BECAUSE I NEED TO

-Get oil changed

-Buy and use a fireproof box for important papers

-Resign lease for apartment

See you in March :)

Looking ahead…

Today was my little sister’s 13th birthday and while debating on what I should get her, I thought about every other special occasion that was coming up this Spring and Summer for my family. I decided to make a list because… well, that’s just what I do :)

March- Stepmom’s birthday and Sinisa’s (fiance) birthday

April- Easter

May- Brother’s 1st Wedding Anniversary, Other brother’s birthday and graduation from high school, Nephew’s 2nd birthday

June- Son’s 1st birthday, my due date for baby Lucas, my sister’s birthday, my sister-in-laws birthday

July- My sister-in-law is due with my niece, my birthday is at the end of the month

That’s 13 gift giving occasions. And knowing me and my pregnant, mommy brain I probably forgot something. I’m glad I made this list ahead of time because I have just started budgeting (March is month one) and I will need to include an amount for gift giving every month from now until the end of Summer.

I am not a homemaker…

I am not a homemaker. I have been fine with this, even joking about it, until recently. After reading other “stay-at-home mom” blogs in the past weeks I’ve begun to feel guilty and I’ve realized that I really could be doing more than I do. Before a couple weeks ago I rarely cleaned and I almost never cooked. One of my goals for 2009 that I shared with my mom’s group was to “cook once a week”. It’s not that we eat out all the time (though we probably do that more often than we should), it’s that I eat a tv dinner or something else easy to make or Sinisa cooks when he comes home from work. I really am going to try to make an effort to cook more this year. This is my next step in becoming more “domesticated” (is that even a word?)

Right now though, my focus is on keeping my house “company ready”. Before I could never just invite people over when I felt like it because I always had to “prepare” my home for visitors. For the first time this past weekend I was on the phone with someone and said “why don’t you come on over?”. Let me tell you how great it felt to be able to say that. Granted it was only family (my sister in law) but before I had never felt comfortable enough to say that and the thought of someone coming over unannounced gave me anxiety. Even though my house has stayed clean, I am not following my “daily” and “weekly” lists that I made for myself so that is one area I would like to improve on.

I’m off to get some things accomplished now. My to-do list for tonight includes:

-Putting laundry away that’s in the dryer

-Update “goals”

-Going through my email inbox and deleting some old emails (my inbox has over 3500 emails in it!) My goal is to delete 500 tonight…

-Write up a monthly budget (or at least start it)

-Post some pictures of Jacob on facebook

Of course I also am going to watch tv, including the Bachelor. Should be interesting tonight because it’s the “women tell all” episode…

A New Way of Doing Things Around Here…

So I have made and will be continuing to make some changes with this site. I’ve decided I really want to make this blogging thing a bigger deal than I have been.

The biggest change I’m going to make is the name of my blog. I named it “life” because I didn’t have any creative thoughts at the time. “Life” is just a little to broad and really doesn’t tell anyone what the blog is about. I don’t have a name for the blog yet but I’m brainstorming :)

Another change I’ve started with this post is actually giving the posts titles that make sense instead of just having the title be the date that I write the post. This way people will: 1) know what the blog is about and 2) it will maybe come up in search engines. I believe each post is dated anyways underneath the title.

I also want to add more: links, pictures, and media. I read about 100 different blogs so I’d like to introduce people to those blogs that I read by linking to them in my post if I think the blog (or a post in it) has to do with the subject I’m talking about. I also would like to add pictures that are relevant and maybe some videos/music that are as well.

The last thing I’m working on changing is the look of my blog. Every other blog I visit is fancy and professional and mine is just a template from wordpress. Guess I’ll have to figure out how to change it…

One thing I will keep the same is the theme of the blog which is talking about my life as a mom and also as a woman. My children are very important to me but a lot of what this blog is about has to do with achieving the goals that I have set for myself in all areas of my life, not just in motherhood.

Hopefully I can develop this blog into something more meaningful to my readers and encourage other moms to become the people they have always dreamed of becoming.

Now to end this lets try a link to my blogroll which will show all the blogs I subscribe to in a rss feeder:

http://rpc.bloglines.com/blogroll?html=1&id=aliciamarie112

FYI: It took about 5 tries to get the link above to be clicky… this may be a slow process :)

February 17, 2009

I was thinking a lot today about how I always get my house clean and then, not even a week later, am looking at a messy home again. I tend to “clean” only once a week or every other week when Jacob goes to his grandma’s. The reason I do this is because I like to interact with Jacob as much as possible while he is home and then at night when he is sleeping I just want to relax because I’m exhausted. This clearly isn’t working for me so I’ve decided to try something new. I’m going to make a “daily” list, “weekly” list, and “monthly” list of things that need to get done around the house for myself to follow. I will also start each week with a to-do list and then each morning pick 3-5 things off that list to complete each day. I will try this for a month and see if this works better than the method I am currently using. First, I need to make the lists. This is what I have so far for the “daily”, “weekly”, and “monthly” lists…

Daily- Sweep/swiffer kitchen floor, one load of dishes (start to finish), pick up kitchen nightly, one load of laundry (wash/dry/AND put away), Bible reading/devotions, clean up toy room

Weekly- Dust, vac., menu plan/grocery store, clean bathrooms, clean up Jacob’s room, update blog/goal list, check voicemail, pay bills, change bed linens, clean up desk area, upload pictures on computer

Monthly- Budget, one project from goal list

Those are the things I can think of right now. I know there are more things that need to get done on a regular basis but I feel pretty good knowing that I started the lists. As soon as I get some color ink for the printer (it needs color ink even to print only black and white) I will make a check list in wordpad and then print it out so I can physically cross each item off the list. I do better having things written down because there is more of a chance I will complete them.

As for the daily goals I will give myself each morning I gave myself a few tonight. I am going to do my homework for small group tomorrow morning, post pictures on facebook, and research who can qualify as head of household so that I can file my taxes. I am also going to watch some tv, including American Idol :)

February 15, 2009

I posted before that I was pregnant again and since then we have had the 20 week ultrasound where we found out that we are having another boy. This pregnancy I had hoped for a boy so I was excited when I saw that I was “growing a penis inside of me” (as one of my friends so eloquently put it…) As much as I would love to have a girl I know that financially we really wouldn’t be able to afford one. Having two boys means they can easily share a room, clothes and toys. Not to mention the fact that I hope they will become best friends :)

December 6, 2009

I figured I should post considering it’s a new year and it’s been months since I’ve done so. I updated my 300 in 3 years list as well. So far I have completed 28 goals and have 65 in progress. I am pregnant again and circumstances in my life have changed so I will be updating this 300 list with some new goals and taking away ones that don’t apply to my life anymore. When I first created this list I figured that I would change the list once or twice a year and looking back on the list I created in July 2008, I can see that many things have changed since then.

I would like to encourage everyone who has “New Year’s Resolutions” or just goals in general to write them down and look at them often. You can also look back and see how much you have accomplished which is always uplifting.

September 3, 2008

It’s been almost a week since I’ve updated. With fall tv season starting, becoming more involved in my social groups, and cleaning and organizing my house I’ve been really busy. I cleaned out Jacob’s closet and have a huge gathering of items by my door that I either need to sell or give away. I also rearranged things around my house to better use the space. I think once my house gets organized I will be able to spend more time on things that I’d like to do like blogging, scrapbooking, and reading. And working out, too. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the gym.

Today was a great day. Sinisa had a day off so I got a chance to spend some time with him and also work on things that I normally wouldn’t be able to do while watching Jacob. He also had some time to build a bookshelf for all my parenting books so I could keep them all in one place. I’m looking forward to just relaxing for a couple of hours with him before going to bed at a decently early hour (yes, 11/11:30 is early for me).

Tomorrow is my first MOPS meeting. I’m excited to see what it’s all about. In the afternoon I have a dentist appointment. I’m hoping I can just get a normal cleaning which is $50 and don’t need a deep cleaning which is over $600. My insurance doesn’t pay for either of them so I’d rather pay as little as possible out of pocket. I hate going to the dentist…

Today’s Challenge: When was the last time you saw the dentist? If it’s been a while, schedule yourself an appointment.

August 28, 2008

So it’s been a month since I “officially” started my 300 in 3 years list. I am proud to say that I have accomplished 19 of the 300 tasks and am currently working on a lot more. I credit my success with looking at my list everyday so that I keep my goals in mind.

Today was also the day that Obama became the “official” candidate for the Democrats. Obama seems like a nice guy and I think it is wonderful that MLK’s dream is finally coming true and a black man *may* be president. I really don’t care for either candidate but vote pro-life, so normally republican. What I read in a blog last night though changed how I viewed Obama. Go to Jillstanek.com and look at August 27th posts. Then go to factcheck.org and verify it. Obama had the chance, as a senator, to support the “born alive” bills and he did not… twice! I’m going to research this more over the next couple days.

Today’s Challenge: Do you really know what the candidates believe? If you are going to vote in this election (which I hope you are), you should know where each candidate stands on the issues.

August 26, 2008

I decided today that I have entirely too much junk. I am a “pack-rat” and always keep things because I might need them some day. Jacob’s closet has been being used as a storage closet for various toys and items that I want to keep but don’t know what to do with. I finally took most of the items out today and created a big pile by my desk of items to give away or sell. Jacob will finally have a closet for all his clothes and I won’t have to have stacks of bins in his room which is nice because it kind of looked tacky. Plus I figured that I should pull the large toys out because he will be playing with them soon enough and I want to clean them before he does. Poor Sinisa, when he comes home he is going to have to navigate his way around our apartment. I seriously have considered getting a storage space or renting a garage to have a place for all my stuff. Next Friday I am babysitting two children here at my apartment so I have until then to clean everything up and organize it. Giving myself a deadline will hopefully ensure that it gets done but may just mean I find a hiding spot for it.

Today’s challenge: Join your local Freecycle if you haven’t already.

August 23, 2008

I haven’t been on the computer much these past few days. I have really tried spending my time on “real life” activities. I’ve spent time with family, started making new friends, and worked on projects around my house. One thing I’ve realized is that I’m not going to miss anything important while I’m away from my computer (with the exception of my email because I did miss out on a free travel swing for Jacob because I did not see an email in time). If I don’t read my RSS feeder though, I might miss someone’s insight on life or a funny story but I am not going to look back on that time and wish that I had been on that website instead of spending time with my son. If I don’t check my facebook ten times a day I might miss out on a friend’s pictures or an update on what a friend is doing at that exact moment but I won’t look back on that time and wish that I had been online instead of spending time with my fiance. And if I don’t update this blog every night I might not get as many hits to my site as I would like but I won’t look back on this time and think that I should have been updating my blog with my day to day comings and goings instead of living the life that I would one day like to write about. At the end of the day I am doing what I should be doing…. living.

August 19, 2008

Lots of things going on lately… This is just a short update because I am feeling like crap (allergies and a cold).

-Jacob slept from 7:40pm-6:20am last night. He did not wake up once so I was very grateful for that.

-I had the worst experience at a dentist ever! When I scheduled the appointment I asked them if they took my insurance and they said yes. Then I confirmed that they took it for adults (and told the lady I was 25) because I had called other places and they took my insurance but only for children. She said yes. So I drive all the way to another town for this appointment. I can’t find the building and when I finally do I get in a chair soon after filling out paperwork. I get x-rays taken of my mouth and the dentist looks in my mouth. He confirms what I already know: I need two root canals. He then says my insurance will pay for the front root canal but they won’t pay for a cap so I’d be walking around with a giant hole between my front two teeth. He also says that my insurance won’t pay for the root canal for the back teeth but they will pay to get it pulled. Ok. I can deal with all that. Then he tells me that a cleaning is $50 and my insurance will not pay for it. Great. So I came all the way down there, dealt with a rude dentist (didn’t tell you the story of how he laughed at me), and couldn’t even get my teeth cleaned. Great. What a waste of time.

-I picked up a garbage bag full of free clothes last night. They are really cute. I’m trying to find 9 month clothes but am not having much luck. Just a couple of items in the bag were 9 months.

-I went to Starbucks this morning with the mother’s of infants group. I had a caramel frappucino and it was soooo good. I enjoyed talking to the other moms and it was nice to be reassured that I’m not doing everything wrong when it comes to raising my child (which is how I feel sometimes).

-My scrapbook area is almost set up. I have the chest emptied of toys and most of the scrapbook supplies organized. I am discovering items I didn’t know I had so I am really looking forward to making these scrapbooks.

-I was thinking last night about why I always put off doing things that are important. I realized that it is always because of two reasons. The first reason is that the task takes more than one step or could possibly take a long time. I don’t like starting things I can’t finish at that moment so I put it off until I feel I will have more time (as a mom time is never in abundance so these tasks get pushed off continuously). This happens a lot with phone calls I need to make. I want to call old friends and family I haven’t talk to in a while but then I feel like I need big blocks of time in which to do so because I don’t want to call and then have to hang up because my son woke up or I have to leave. The second reason is that I don’t want to mess up or not complete the task perfectly. I worry so much about doing something just right that I put it off until I feel I can do it correctly, which normally results in having to finish the task quickly because I have a deadline of some sort. The most recent example of this is my thank you cards. These should have been completed a long time ago but I never feel like I can write just “thanks for coming and thanks for the gift”. I get such anxiety over what I’m going to write that I put it off until I have to do it because I am going to see the person. I still have yet to write thank yous to the two people who have done the most for me and Jacob because I can’t figure out how to let them know how important they are to us, but yet I know that by putting it off it only hurts them. The completion of important tasks is something that I am really going to work hard on these next couple of weeks.

-As I wrote this post my son woke up twice. I guess he thought he was too nice by sleeping through the night last night….

Today’s challenge: Get some sleep! (and take some for me too)

August 17, 2008

I failed. I did not get everything done on my list. I did, however, succeed. How do you fail and succeed at the same time you might ask. Well I might not have accomplished everything on my list but the fact that I even finished one project, instead of sitting around watching TV and playing on the computer, shows growth in this procrastinator. I ran some errands, washed and put away all Jacob’s laundry, cleaned up the nursery, almost finished setting up my scrapbook area, cleaned out a file cabinet, organized all of S’s paperwork, vacuumed, and put the rest of Jacob’s older clothes in bins by size. I also spent time with my son, my fiance, my sister in law, my nephew, and my mom. I guess looking back I did do quite a lot. I think that I make unrealistic expectations as to what I can get done each day. I always wish each day had even just one more hour. Why can’t we have 25 hour days? Then again if we had 25 hour days I would want 26 hour days.

Today’s challenge: Look at your to-do list… Are you planning for a 24 hour day or a 25 hour one?

August 15, 2008

Yesterday I went to a “mom’s of infants” group and was so excited to meet other moms that had babies. I joined the group because I am trying to get out more often and I want Jacob to get used to being around other children. Not only did I leave my house to go to the group, I made an even bigger step by going alone (well obviously I brought Jacob). In the past I would never have went anywhere alone so I can see myself growing in that aspect.

Tomorrow I am going to an annual yard sale that helps raise money for the homeless. I’ve gone in the past and found wonderful things. I am going, list in hand, and have decided I’m only going to buy things that I am looking for. After this I am going home childless because my sister-in-law is taking Jacob overnight. (Thanks again Jen!)

I am looking forward to accomplishing as much, if not more, than I did last weekend (wow it seems like my last time alone was a lot longer than a week ago…). On the list of things to do between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon: go to Target, go to Hobby Lobby, empty out car and wash it by hand, wash and put away all laundry, rearrange furniture in nursery, dye my hair, put together a shelving unit, setup my scrapbook area, finish baby announcements/thank you’s and send out, vacuum, put pictures in frames, find and print out a living will form online, empty contents of one file cabinet into a box to sort at a later date, compile week’s menu plan and grocery list, packup Jacob’s clothes, clean kitchen/wash bottles, rearrange my 300 list, and lastly blog about my 24 hours of accomplishments. (Congratulations if you read that entire list) I listed these things because I am hoping reporting on what I have done at the end of the time will push me to work harder. I probably won’t post tomorrow night because I want to spend as much time as possible working towards my goal but I might post an update, we’ll see.

Today’s Challenge: Choose one thing you have been putting off and do it! It will feel so good to cross it off your list of to-do’s.

August 13, 2008

(*This was entered as a page yesterday accidentally…)

I cooked today for the first time in a couple of years (other than something in a box, can, or bag). It wasn’t much but the fact that I went into the kitchen with the intent on making anything is a huge step for me. I have always considered the kitchen to be my least favorite area in my house because it seems to get messy so quickly and I don’t think that I’m a very good cook. What did I venture in the kitchen to make, you ask? Zucchini. I know…I know… It wasn’t a meal but I have to work up to that. I cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and added salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. I broiled it for about 15 minutes. It was so good. My dad had given me the zucchini a couple of weeks ago and it had been sitting in the fridge because I did not know how to make it. My dad has a great recipe but I didn’t have any salsa so I couldn’t make it. I hope this will be the first of many adventures into the kitchen for me. I looked at a cookbook today and found a lot of great foods that seemed easy enough to make and I can’t wait to try them out. (If you are wondering if I always eat out- the answer is no. I just have a wonderful fiance who after work comes home and cooks me delicious meals.)

Today I was watching a recording of the Oprah show and it was about the health care industry. She was talking about Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko”. Though I am not a fan of Michael Moore, this movie sounds interesting. It’s sad to hear stories of people who die because they can’t afford the treatments that they need after their insurance companies deny them. And then Oprah said that treating cancer can be around “600 thousand dollars” and some insurances have a “150 thousand dollar” cap. $150,000 sounds like a lot until you look at what that amount will get you if you become ill. I was amazed and I think you will be, too. I plan on trying to rent this movie or find a copy of it somewhere.

Today’s Challenge: Look at your health insurance policy. How much coverage do you really have? If you get sick will they pay a portion of the bill, all of it, or none at all?

August 12, 2008

I finally figured out what is going on with my whole job situation… I am now officially a stay at home mom! My maternity leave was set to end tomorrow but my new availability does not work for them so I had to quit. I am still unsure as to how I feel about this whole situation. I’ve wanted to be a SAHM for as long as I can remember. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would occasionally say things like “a teacher” or “a writer” because you couldn’t study for a career as “a mom”. I never thought I would actually be able to be a stay at home mom and even throughout my pregnancy and since I had Jacob had assumed I would be returning to work. It will be hard to say goodbye to the wonderful people I’ve worked with and goodbye to the colorful conversations we had, but it is what I have to do.

Today I worked towards meeting my goal of becoming involved in “mom” groups. I went to a park play date with Jacob, Jennifer, and Camden. We got there early and nobody was there so we waited and waited and nobody showed up! I was disappointed because I did not get to meet anyone but proud of myself that I had made the effort to go. The old me would have stayed home. As for my other goals: today I finished a Nora Robert’s book and the crossword puzzle I had been working on. I started a sudoku book and tasted a snack item from another country that I had never had before. I also started working on cleaning/organizing my room. That is going to be a very long process. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to eating the papaya that S bought for me, spending a day at home with Jacob, reading the posts in my RSS feeder (481 and counting), and going through my books to see if there are any I’d like to donate.

Today’s Challenge: Make a list of your goals. It could be five or fifty or five hundred. What is it that you want to complete this month or this year or over the next 60 years? They can be little, they can be big. What would make you happy and fulfilled? Take as long as you need for this challenge. If you write down your goals there is a better chance that you will complete them. Please feel free to put a link to your post in the comment section. I’d love to read them :)

August 11, 2008

Yesterday was a very busy day for me so I didn’t post anything. I had picked Jacob up from my mom’s after a relaxing morning spent with the man I love. My mom told me that Jacob had slept through the night. I was so proud of him and happy that we would be getting some relief from middle of the night feedings (well, his dad would since he wakes up with him- I know I’m spoiled). After I picked up Jacob we went to my Aunt’s house and spent the whole day with extended family. My cousin was in town with her two girls. They are two and four years old and this was the first time I was meeting them. They were so cute in their matching outfits- definitely something I plan on doing when I have multiple children. I was never close with my cousins like some people are but now that my oldest cousin and I both have children we have something in common. I found it easier to talk to her because of this. She gave Jacob an adorable bedding set with jungle animals on it and it will be great to use in the crib (which is currently sitting half finished in the middle of his room).

Once we got home from my Aunt’s I played with Jacob a little and put him to bed. He slept through the night again. I normally put him in his swing between 8 and 9pm and then when he was waking up between 12 and 2am we would take him out and, after feeding him, place him in his bassinet for the rest of the night. I found that at night he was so tired that he was not happy anywhere other than his swing. Tonight I decided I wanted to break him of this habit so I put him in his pack-n-play which is in his room. It took him an hour and ten minutes (and multiple times of me going in there to put the pacifier back in his mouth) before he fell asleep. I hope that he sleeps as well tonight as he has been.

Ok, enough about my son. I could go on and on and tell you everything about his day from his smiles to the toys he played with but I will spare you :) Instead I will tell you all about our stroller fitness class today. I went to the class with my sister-in-law and nephew with the idea of meeting new people and getting in some exercise. I was not prepared for the high intensity workout that was to come. I was exhausted half way into it and was amazed at the other moms who were doing the workout with ease. They assured my sil and I that we were doing great and that everyone had a hard time at first. Watching them I did not believe that they could ever have been as uncoordinated and out of shape as I was. (Though, to make myself feel better, I decided that this was because I had just given birth a couple of months before. I would not admit that I would have been just as lost pre-pregnancy as I was post.)

After we finished up with the class the instructor reminded us that this was a free trial class and asked if we had the pricing list. We of course didn’t and I assumed it was because they want to get you excited about the class before showing you how expensive it was. I assumed correctly. It was $50 a month. That is twice as much as my gym membership. I laughed when I saw it (in my head of course because I didn’t want to be rude). As soon as Jennifer (my sil) and I were out of earshot we quickly decided that there was no way in hell we were going to pay that price. We could meet on our own to push our strollers and buy $5 bands at the store to workout our muscles. Or I could just go to the gym and put my monthly membership to use.

Today’s Challenge: Call one person you haven’t talked to in a while.

August 9, 2008

At 4:45am I was awake with Jacob and desperately wanting to crawl back into bed. At around 6 I was not just wanting to return to bed; I was wanting to stay there. By that time Jacob had fallen asleep and woken up about four times and each time he had done so after I returned to bed. The day seemed to improve when I actually was able to rest for a couple more hours. I then enjoyed playing with Jacob. We sang and danced, played with toys, and looked at all the colors on his mobile while it spun around. He also enjoyed time in his swing. Aunt Jennifer came over to spend time with mommy and Jacob. Then everyone went to Starbucks to meet Grandma Kelly. Jacob slept at the beginning but then woke up just in time to see mommy spill coffee all over. He was not very happy that he had to wait to eat while everyone cleaned coffee off themselves. After that Jacob went to stay with his grandma. Mommy and Auntie then got to spend some time “baby free” and remembered what it felt like to be “women” instead of “moms”. We started off getting pedicures (my treat for Jen’s birthday). It was so nice to be pampered. We then went to Subway to eat and Walgreens to pick up some essentials (and some things that were on clearance). After saying goodbye to Jennifer I walked up to my apartment and was thankful that I didn’t have to lug a heavy carseat and diaper bag up the stair with me (three flights of them!) I then wrote a list of tasks that I wanted to get accomplished this evening and set about doing them. I’m going to brag a little because I am so proud of myself… In three hours I managed to: do four loads of laundry, clean my closet, put clothes away, do a load of dishes, wash a sinkful of bottles, read all blogs in my RSS reader, e-mail three people, update facebook, go through some junk mail, read three chapters in the Bible, put away everything I bought at Walgreens, and read a chapter of the Nora Roberts’ book I am reading. I love when I set goals for myself and meet them. Tomorrow I hope to: write the rest of my thank you’s and birth announcements, wash two loads of towels, vacuum my apartment, dye my hair (brown this time), cleanout my e-mail inbox, go to the gym, visit family, and setup my scrapbook area. A lot to do but hopefully I will get a majority of it done before I pick up my son at two. Now I am off to spend time with my fabulous fiance and enjoy a night alone… reminds me of when we were dating :)

Today’s challenge: Do something nice for yourself- get a manicure, buy the shirt you have been wanting, spend some time outside in the sun… whatever it is that YOU want to do! Enjoy your Sunday.

August 7, 2008

I’ve been trying to spend less time on the computer and more time with my family and working towards my goals. Up until now I have been thinking of maternity leave as a vacation, knowing I would have to return to work. Recently though, I realized that my maternity leave may become my life for the next few years. It’s looking more and more like I am going to be a stay at home mom because my part-time availability won’t work for my job. I will find out for sure tomorrow. It will be sad to leave all of the wonderful people that I work with but it will be wonderful to watch my son grow up. I decided that if I’m staying at home I need to come up with daily plans for myself so that I don’t just waste the days away. I want to find new ways to entertain Jacob and continue to learn more about childcare and best practices for things like learning two languages, potty training, and any other topics that may come up as he grows. I want to spend more time with my family than I have in the past. I hope to keep busy and enrich my personal life with mom’s groups, hobbies (writing, reading, scrapbooking), fall tv shows (so many I can’t even begin to list my faves), and achieving all of my goals. I think this will be a positive experience for me. Please understand if I don’t post everyday. I am still trying to figure out how this all will work but am excited about sharing my journey with everyone.

August 5, 2008

Looking back at my post yesterday I realized I did not share the biggest news of the day…. my son was two months old!!! (bad mommy!) I can’t believe that I gave birth to him that long ago. I wrote him a letter last night telling him all of the new things he had started doing over the past month (smiling, noticing toys, and um, headbutting). I am so proud of him each day like I guess all parents are. OH and you will never believe what I did today… I hurt my child! Physically hurt him! It was an accident and I ended up crying more than he did. See he woke up this morning with a huge scratch right in between his eyes because his nails were long because someone (that would be me) is afraid that I will get some of his skin in the clippers. So I decided I could not wait any longer because he was getting his picture taken today and I didn’t want him to scratch up his face even more. I clipped one nail, then two, then three, then four and ahhhhhhhh!!!! clipped some of his skin. His face, the look was what made me feel the worst. It was like “how could you do this to me mommy?” And then the blood. Just the tiniest bit but I had made my child bleed. He’s fine now thank God. I know he won’t remember the time when mommy got his skin in the nail clippers but I still felt bad.

Tonight I went on a date with my wonderful fiance ( I actually got to use one of my 50 million cute purses). I had received a gift card to Chilis for my birthday (thanks to my mil) so we decided to use it. The food was so good. It was nice spending time with him. In other relationship news, we are starting the “21 Day Complaint Free Marriage Experiment” (www.simplemarriage.net -sorry I’m new to blogging and don’t know how to make this clickable so you are just going to need to copy and paste). As much as my fiance does for me I know I still find things to complain about so hopefully this experiment will remind me to keep my words positive.

Other than starting that experiment, today was my first day of my competition with my sister in law to see who can lose the most weight in three months. I had debated about putting my weight on here for everyone to see but screw it… please keep in mind I just had a baby… and don’t laugh when I tell you… 173.8. Wow I can’t believe I just wrote this down and am going to publish this. Anways, back to what I was saying. Yes, that’s how much I weigh and I haven’t yet determined how much I want to lose per week. I don’t even know what’s healthy and realistic to lose. I think I started today off ok. I didn’t exercise because I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible (my man works two jobs and it’s been over a month since he’d had a day off). Today I have had: ham sandwich with mustard and cheese, crispy chicken salad, two rootbeers, one strawberry daiquri (yum), and a cup of chocolate skim milk. Oh and I had half a scoop of vanilla ice cream, almost forgot that. My food choices weren’t the best but on the positive side, I didn’t snack on anything.

Today’s challenge: Remind your partner of one thing that makes them fantastic. If you are single then tell a family member/roommate one thing that makes them great. :) Have a wonderful day!

August 4, 2008

So I am a week into my quest to improve myself and am doing great with my list of goals. I have completed two items so far (play the lottery and go out for ice cream). They are little but it feels great to cross them off. I have started many of the other items. I am reviewing my list each evening to see what I have done that day and to come up with some ideas of what I would like to do the next day. This method is working quite well for me. I would like to point out that, while I made this list in a couple days, I have given myself three years to complete it. I will not change overnight nor will I fully develop in the next three years. I am a work in progress and I hope everyone will give me the opportunity to grow and evolve into the person I’d like to be.

I’m so excited to be starting towards one of my bigger goals tomorrow. I set a goal to lose 50 pounds in three years. I recently had a child and I put on 50 pounds during this pregnancy. I have already lost about 25 through having the baby, breastfeeding, and being in the hospital (twice) where the food was not appetizing. I figure if I lose 50 more pounds I will be around the size I was when I left college. This past week has been filled with many bad food choices (among them-oreos) and only one trip to the gym. I hope to improve my eating habits and go to the gym 3/4 times a week. All this being said, I’m starting towards the goal tomorrow because my sister-in-law and I are having a contest to see who can lose the most weight in the next three months. There is no prize except for the satisfaction of competition and winning. I think this is what we both need to motivate ourselves and move us towards our fitness goals. We start in the morning when we will each weigh ourselves. I have yet to decide how I will update my progress because y’all know I am not going to put my weight up here. It’s downright embarrassing that I’ve gained all this weight and the fact that I am going to lose it does not change the fact that it’s here now.

Oooh and I’ve also decided that I’m going to have a daily goal for everyone to complete. Today’s goal is think of ten things that you are thankful for and list them in the comment section.

My ten:

1) family

2) friends

3) oreos

4) lists

5) candles during a storm

6) my digital camera (thanks mom and Jen!)

7) my son’s smile

8) the internet

9) cute stationary to write letters on

10) anyone who reads this blog!!!

August 2, 2008

I didn’t post last night because I decided to spend some time with my family and watch an episode of Criminal Minds (seriously love that show). Yesterday I went to lunch with my grandma and then talked with her and my grandpa. I really enjoyed this time. I realized how old my grandparents were getting as I sat across the table from my grandma and looked at her “life” lines (aka wrinkles). I have never had a close relationship with them and, even though I live about 20 minutes from them, normally only see them on Holidays. I went out to visit them because instead of sending money for my birthday my grandma wanted to take me out to lunch so she could see the new addition to our family. I had been meaning to call her and set up a time to visit for the previous month but can never motivate myself to pickup the phone, always putting it on tomorrow’s “to-do” list. So anyways, I was talking with them and it was funny to hear all their stories. My grandparents said they used to pay fifty cents an hour to their babysitter. And then my grandpa was saying how when he was in college he made $7 a week. I couldn’t believe how much times had changed. It was nice visiting with them and I decided to make an effort to visit them more because I don’t want to regret not taking the time to see them later.

Today was a great day as well, but for different reasons. I went to garage sales with my sister-in-law and we found some wonderful deals. One lady was selling all of her baby boy’s clothes for 6 outfits for a dollar! Though Jacob has more clothes than I do (and those that know me find that hard to believe) I couldn’t resist buying him more because they were such a great price. I’m the type of person who aims to not have to have him wear the same outfit twice. A little materialistic I know but that’s just who I am. These clothes were so cute and then I got some with matching hats and I can’t wait to put him in these things. We went to Goodwill, too and I bought a bunch of parenting books. I’m always interested to learn new methods and ideas in childcare and in raising children. Then if these deals weren’t enough, I went and picked up some free baby items from someone I found on freecycle.com. If you haven’t been to this website I highly recommend you go now… yes, I’m telling you to leave my page that is how much I love this website. To end the afternoon I had a crunchwrap from tacobell. I normally get the same thing each time I go but because of my 300 list I have decided to try new things.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow (or today considering it’s 12:14 in the morning) and all the great possibilities the day will bring.

July 31, 2008

I spent a whole day thinking about what I wanted to do in regards to my work situation. I weighed the pros and cons and looked into multiple different options. At first I was discouraged and worried but now I have comfort in knowing I’ve made the right choice for my family. What is that choice you ask? For now it’s a secret but you will know within the week.

Other than that large decision and a bunch of smaller ones that you don’t want to read about (ie. I am going to switch car insurance and what my cleaning schedule looks like) not much happened. I have decided that I am going to start another blog based on “home” related topics like organization and frugal living. This will be up within the next couple weeks and I will provide a link to it.

As for my goals, I am working hard to make sure I do something that is on my list at least a couple times a day. This list holds me responsible because when I update it every evening people can see if I am slacking or not. I’ve said this before but I highly recommend lists if you aren’t as productive as you would like to be.

July 30, 2008

For the past couple of years I had been living day to day with no purpose. I went to work but other than that I did not have a drive to really do anything. I stopped hanging out with friends, stopped pursuing activities that were important to me, and basically lost part of what made me who I was. I assumed that I had just “changed” and did not find these things important anymore. I have found out recently that yes, I’ve changed, but I still have a longing for parts of the old me back. What made me think about these things were various websites I’ve found online in the past few weeks that talk about goal setting, communication, organization, and topics of similar nature. I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in the next three years and realized that I had many of the same dreams as before. While writing my goals I realized that I could make them reality if I made a conscious effort to do so. So far I have completed a couple of small goals and started working towards bigger ones. Some of them are just for fun (ie. go out for ice cream), some are good for my health (ie. go to the gym), and some are vital to my wellbeing (ie. love myself). I am proud of myself for working to find the old me and changing myself for my new life as a mom.

July 29, 2008

After my family birthday party yesterday my little sister stayed over night and then spent the day with me today and leaves tomorrow morning. I am so happy that I’m getting to spend time with her one on one because we don’t get a chance to do this often. I just wish that I could have taken her somewhere more exciting than the downtown of a suburb. It was fun. We walked around and ate at Coldstone Creamery (the apple pie ice cream is so good there). Having little money, a one and a half month old and a 12 year old really limited the choices of where we could go. Hopefully in the next couple of years my financial situation will improve and I will be able to find places to go and things to do that are a little more fun. That is if I go back to work. S doesn’t want me to return to work because he wants me to be a stay at home mom. As previously mentioned I had wanted to be a stay at home mom before so this isn’t just a man demonstrating a 1950’s mentality on a woman’s role. I can’t imagine getting out to do much of anything if I stay home. I kind of like the idea of staying home and taking care of my son and sitting online while he is sleeping but another part of me tells me I need adult interaction and places to go and these things will be harder to find if I don’t return to work. I have to decide soon because my maternity leave is almost over. I guess I have been putting it off because it is a hard decision to make. For now I will move away from this topic because it’s late and it puts too many thoughts in my head that I know I will think about when I’m trying to fall asleep.

July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! I thought a lot this morning about my past birthdays. I have had some good ones and some not so good ones but the one thing that they had in common was that they did not meet my expectations. That sounds so horrible to say but I don’t mean it in an “I didn’t get the gift I wanted” way. I honestly would be fine with a card or even no gift at all. What I mean is that each birthday I’ve had I’ve woken up thinking that it was going to be such a great day and everything was going to be perfect because, hey, it’s my birthday and it’s an important day. I think that I am selfish in thinking that because my birthday is important to me that it’s important to everyone else. I think this is why I get disappointed every July 28th. I just assume that everyone is going to find this particular day of the year as important as I find it. Every year it seems someone has forgotten my birthday or has better things to think about and do on this day. I think all I really want is everyone I love and care about to acknowledge that it’s my birthday. I don’t need a party. I don’t need gifts. I don’t need anything more than a “happy birthday” from the people I love. I guess I make it a point to say these two words to others, even if I can’t afford a gift or don’t have time for a celebration. I make sure to let the person know I’m thinking about them on this one day of the year. I guess my birthday is not over yet and they still have a little under two hours to let me know that they care enough to utter these two words but I’m assuming they are in bed and not thinking about me at this time. To all my family and friends that did wish me a “happy birthday”- thank you. You made my day so much better by uttering these two words (or in some cases, writing it). I am grateful for these people and hopeful that maybe next year everyone I love will love me back.

July 27, 2008

Since I have yet to decide if I can commit to writing in two blogs I am just going to write about everything in this one right now. I really want to do a separate blog for my life as a mom and then maybe one on a baby website for Jacob but I don’t know if I will have the energy or time to take those things on. I am still deciding what I’m going to do once my maternity leave is over. Sometimes I think that I’d like to be a stay at home mom and then other times I think that I might like to go back to work, even if only part-time. Anyways, about today… I took Jacob to a children’s waterpark with my mom, my sister in law, her mom, and my nephew. There was also a playground area and Jacob played in the sand for the first time. Ok, well really I just covered his feet with sand but that counts right? He was full of smiles so I think he had lots of fun. As far as the list goes, I wrote my very first thank you card from my baby shower. I’m a little late (it was at the beginning of April) but I figure better late then never. I also still need to do Jacob’s birth announcements from the beginning of June. I am such a procrasinator. Well, it’s now the 28th and it should be noted that I am now 25 years old. The past few years have flown by me yet it doesn’t seem like much has been accomplished. I worked, had a baby, spent time with family but other than that did a whole lot of nothing. I decided the other day that I am not going to let another few years go by without any great personal growth. By July 28, 2011 I will be a better me. But right now that means ending this post and getting some much needed sleep.

My list

I visited the site http://triplux.com/dayzero/ where they encourage people to do 101 goals in 1001 days. I liked the idea but I changed it a bit for myself because I wanted to include many small things in my list. I was wanting to start on Monday which is my 25th birthday but I started two of the items early. Here’s my list-

300 THINGS IN 3 YEARS

JUST FOR ME

  1. Keep a short-term to do list and complete items weekly
  2. Start a journal and journal at least every other day (0/548)
  3. Start a happy journal and identify 500 things that make me happy (0/500)
  4. Get a haircut every 3 months (0/12)
  5. Start and use a calendar
  6. Update my wardrobe with clothes that fit and I like
  7. Purchase wants: phone and videocamera
  8. Get a pedicure every other week in the summer (0/14)
  9. Have five “me” days a year (0/15)
  10. Write Avery a letter
  11. Make a list of 50 things I like about myself (0/50)
  12. Count clothing
  13. Find the perfect foundation in the right color
  14. Find great fitting jeans and buy them
  15. Dress up once a week even if I’m just staying home
  16. Get fitted for bras
  17. Find a ring I love and we can afford
  18. Get a facial
  19. Get eyebrows waxed
  20. Start tanning a few times a week
  21. Buy something for myself once a month
  22. Get a massage
  23. Spend money on five things I normally wouldn’t ie-peapod (0/5)
  24. Find acceptance in two private matters I’m struggling with
  25. Be more positive
  26. Be less critical of myself and others
  27. Be more patient
  28. Gossip less
  29. Love myself

HEALTH

  1. Lose 50 pounds
  2. Finish a 5k
  3. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week (0/468)
  4. Get my teeth fixed
  5. Go to 36 exercise classes (0/36)
  6. Keep track of my monthly cycle
  7. Drink one glass of water a day
  8. Take vitamins every day
  9. Do 100 push-ups (www.hundredpushups.com)
  10. Learn ten yoga poses (0/10)
  11. Go without caffeine for one week
  12. Develop a nightime routine and stick to it
  13. Go to dentist for cleaning twice a year (0/5)
  14. Find a primary care physician
  15. Go to eye doctor for a checkup
  16. Go to dermatologist to check moles
  17. Get a pap smear done once a year (0/2)

LOVE

  1. Plan wedding and get married
  2. Have another baby in 2009/2010
  3. Cook dinner ten times for Sinisa (0/10)
  4. Write a letter to Sinisa once a month (0/36)
  5. Take 20 walks with Sinisa (0/20)
  6. Watch the sunrise
  7. Watch the sunset
  8. Do two romantic things for Sinisa a month (0/72)
  9. Have a date day/night once a month (0/36)
  10. Take dance lessons with Sinisa
  11. Complete ‘1000 Questions to Ask Before you get Married’ book (0/1001)
  12. Have a fire in the fireplace twice a winter (0/6)
  13. Dance at home with Sinisa
  14. Go on a romantic picnic once a summer (0/3)
  15. Go stargazing
  16. Listen to 50 of Sinisa’s favorite songs (0/50)
  17. Go to pre-marital counseling
  18. Take a carriage ride
  19. Kiss Sinisa: at midnight on New Year’s Eve, in the rain, under water, under mistletoe
  20. Buy Sinisa something he’s been wanting once a month
  21. Have a candlelight dinner

JACOB

  1. Send birth announcements
  2. Write a letter to Jacob once a month (0/36)
  3. Read 1,000 books to Jacob (0/1000)
  4. Get professional pictures taken (0/19)
  5. Make all baby food unless traveling
  6. Take a photo of Jacob everyday
  7. Make and update monthly a growth chart for Jacob
  8. Complete baby book
  9. Order Jacob’s birth certificate
  10. Learn ten new songs to sing to Jacob
  11. Take Jacob to story time at the library
  12. Write Jacob’s birth story for his baby book
  13. Input list of Jacob’s “firsts” online and keep it updated
  14. Put snapfish pictures in group room
  15. Baby proof home
  16. Teach Jacob baby sign language
  17. Potty train Jake in 2009/2010
  18. Record 100 videos of Jacob and post online (0/100)

FAMILY

  1. Spend two days with each person in my immediate family (0/18)
  2. Visit with family once a week (0/156)
  3. Write a letter to 10 people who are important to me (0/10)
  4. Trace my family tree
  5. Contact each grandparent twice a year (0/30)
  6. Take a picture with ten people I love and write a paragraph about our relationship (0/10)
  7. Get a family picture taken twice a year (0/6)
  8. Send out Holiday cards and family updates each Christmas (0/3)
  9. Write thank-you’s for all gifts received

SOCIAL

  1. Visit with college friends two times (0/2)
  2. Have a girl’s day/night once every other month (0/18)
  3. Organize a “young parents” meetup
  4. Host five parties at my house (0/5)
  5. Get in touch with three people I’ve lost contact with (0/3)
  6. Call someone once a month that isn’t family (0/36)
  7. Make five new friends (0/5)
  8. Host a Holiday cookie exchange
  9. Go out to a bar with a friend
  10. Attend a meetup for each group I’m in
  11. Become active in Mom’s of Infants group-at least two activities a month
  12. Become active in Bolingbrook mom’s group-at least two activities a month
  13. Write notes to my friends telling them what they mean to me

HOUSEHOLD

  1. Make a cleaning schedule and stick to it
  2. Organize bedroom
  3. Clean out file cabinets and keep them organized
  4. Finish decorating the nursery
  5. Clean closet and maintain
  6. Clean bathroom and maintain
  7. Buy fresh flowers for the house twice a month (0/72)
  8. Purchase items for home: desk and entertainment center
  9. Back five times a year (0/15)
  10. Make my desk area more usable
  11. Clean out under bed
  12. Sanitize all Jacob’s toys
  13. Go through magazines and purge then keep only ten
  14. Frame and hang pictures on family
  15. Clean and organize laundry room
  16. Go through green laundry bag and hem/fix or take to cleaners
  17. Hang framed art
  18. Reupholster chairs
  19. Fix carpeting by bathrooms and kitchen
  20. Paint bathroom walls
  21. Clean out closet in Jacob’s room
  22. Clean out storage closet
  23. Repaint blue dresser
  24. Have maintenance fix door and blinds
  25. Organize family life binder

FINANCIAL

  1. Finish bankruptcy
  2. Establish a 3 month emergency fund
  3. Talk to family member about taking care of Jacob in case of our deaths
  4. Draft living will
  5. Pay off Saturn loan (0/10 payments)
  6. Open a saving’s account
  7. Save for a down payment and move into a rent-to-own house
  8. Develop and stick to a budget for 3 months
  9. Call SM loan and create payment plan
  10. Call GL loan and create payment plan
  11. Call CB loan and create payment plan
  12. Listen to Dave Ramsey’s financial CDs
  13. Sell five things on ebay (0/5)
  14. Purchase a new car
  15. Look into renter’s insurance
  16. Get current with all bills
  17. Check credit reports once a year (0/3)
  18. Pay movie store fines
  19. Change car insurance companies
  20. Keep track of spending and checking accounts

LEARNING

  1. Get an Associate’s Degree
  2. Learn 100 words/sayings in Croatian (2/100)
  3. Take a photography class
  4. Learn how to change a tire
  5. Attend three workshops (0/3)
  6. Learn the sign language alphabet (0/26)
  7. Learn how to use five different exercise machines at the gym
  8. Apply to University
  9. Read or watch at least two news stories a day
  10. Get college transcripts
  11. Watch a documentary
  12. Research bpd
  13. Learn 50 new abortion facts I didn’t know

CAREER

  1. Create a professional portfolio
  2. Write my resume
  3. Organize article file
  4. Find a flexible, well paying job

TRAVEL

  1. Plan and take a vacation
  2. Go to the beach five times (0/5)
  3. Go camping twice (0/2)
  4. Go to California
  5. Visit a state I’ve never been to
  6. Visit family in New York
  7. Visit family in Pennsylvania
  8. Go on a boat
  9. Visit a botanical garden
  10. Spend a day downtown each summer (0/3)
  11. Go to an orchard and pick apples
  12. Go to an amusement park
  13. Take a road trip
  14. Go to the zoo
  15. Go to a waterpark
  16. Go to a museum
  17. Go to Navy Pier
  18. Go skiing
  19. Stay somewhere overlooking the water

ENTERTAINMENT

  1. Erase songs on IPod that I don’t like
  2. Add songs to IPod monthly
  3. Create playlist on IPod for the gym
  4. See 25 movies I’ve never seen before
  5. Make a top 10 list of movies and songs
  6. Attend one concert a year (0/3)
  7. Attend 10 festivals (0/10)
  8. Go to a drive-in movie
  9. Spend a day watching a tv show marathon
  10. Go to a taping of the Oprah show
  11. See Blue Man Group

WRITING/READING

  1. Read all Nora Roberts books I own
  2. Start an online blog
  3. Read 50 parenting books
  4. Write a children’s book
  5. Catalog all books and organize them
  6. Write 10 reviews of places or services (www.lilaguide.com or www.yelp.com) (0/10)
  7. Participate in NaNoWrimo
  8. Write the book that’s been in my mind for years but first talk to HER about it
  9. Read 20 relationship books
  10. Subscribe to two magazines (0/2)
  11. Publish an article online or in print
  12. Try to get Morgan’s story published
  13. Publish something I’ve created through lulu.com
  14. Join a book club and read at least one book with them

CREATIVE ENDEAVORS

  1. Setup a scrapbooking area
  2. Create scrapbooks for Jacob’s first 3 years
  3. Create scrapbook for my relationship with Sinisa
  4. Create scrapbook of college years
  5. Join and sing in a choir
  6. Make Jacob five things including: ABC book, teddy bear, family photo album
  7. Be an extra in a movie or tv show
  8. Organize pictures
  9. Audition for something
  10. Do a project from cutoutandkeep.net
  11. Take at least five pictures from each event I go to
  12. Relearn how to crochet
  13. Do Live Journal’s “A Day in My Life” photography project

GIVING BACK

  1. Volunteer 20 days of my time (0/20)
  2. Give away 100 items (0/100)
  3. Give blood once a year (0/3)
  4. Do 50 random acts of kindness (0/50)
  5. Tell a manager when I get good service
  6. Attend a pro-life event
  7. Become a CASA (court appointed special advocate)
  8. Participate in Holiday gift tree for a needy child
  9. Write a letter to a politician about abortion
  10. Release five books through bookcrossing.com (0/5)
  11. Use reusable shopping bags for small trips to the grocery store
  12. Replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones as they go out
  13. Look into recycling and start recycling cans
  14. Donate 50,000 grains of rice through freerice.com
  15. Anonymously pay for five strangers coffees or food (0/5)
  16. Re-sign up to be an organ donor
  17. Complete two March of Dimes Walks (0/2)
  18. Go through clothes and give away what I don’t want

SPIRITUAL

  1. Read the whole Bible
  2. Tithe weekly (0/156)
  3. Find a church home
  4. Do devotions every day for a month (0/30)

FUN

  1. Watch fireworks live
  2. Go to a parade
  3. Drive around looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot cocoa
  4. Go mini-golfing
  5. Walk along the lakefront
  6. Decorate Easter eggs
  7. Play in the rain
  8. Go down a waterslide
  9. Shop at a Farmer’s Market
  10. Go bowling
  11. Make smores
  12. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  13. Go sledding
  14. Try 15 foods I’ve never tasted before
  15. Build a snowman
  16. Finish a 1000 piece puzzle
  17. Complete a Suduko book
  18. Mail a secret to postsecret
  19. Color in a coloring book
  20. Go swimming
  21. Play a board game
  22. Fly a kite
  23. Achieve a 30% winning percentage in solitaire
  24. Complete a crossword puzzle on my own
  25. Go horseback riding
  26. Plant flowers
  27. Race a go-kart
  28. Play laser tag
  29. Go pumpkin picking and carve the pumpkin
  30. Shop at a thrift store other than Goodwill
  31. Buy a lottery ticket
  32. Visit five new restaurants (0/5)
  33. Send out a message in a bottle
  34. Go out for ice cream
  35. Go to a sporting event
  36. Get a typing speed of 100wpm at typeracer.com
  37. Register $5 at wheresGeorge.com

ONLINE/COMPUTER

  1. Create and maintain a list of favorite websites
  2. Create and maintain a list of my online profiles
  3. Clean off computer hard drive
  4. Empty email inbox and keep it empty
  5. Setup google applications
  6. Organize pictures on the computer
  7. Add pictures to flickr account
  8. Update all online profiles
  9. Start a blog and blog at least twice a week

JUST BECAUSE I NEED TO

  1. Wash car inside and out twice a year (0/6)
  2. Get oil changed four times a year (0/12)
  3. Renew license plates (0/2)
  4. Update address book
  5. Get a new passport
  6. Get a new license