In the midst of all the business here in the Vega home, I have completed a list of goals for our family to accomplish this year. I have been using some very helpful organizational tools from listplanit to help me get organized again, something that flew out the window when Ryan was born! God has definitely been using the experience of being mommy to two babies in less that a year to refine and humble me. I believe I was making a clean, organized, near-perfect home an idol in my life....I've had to let go of a lot of my expectations to simply focus on meeting the needs of my very young children, as well as the other members of our family, myself included.
However, God's mercies are new with each new day, and I must say things are getting a LOT easier now that Ryan is almost three months old. I am feeling much more rested and energized now that he is sleeping for longer stretches of time. We have also found a few other helpful tools in making our days a bit smoother, including the use of Hylannd's Teething Tablets for Henry! I can not say enough good things about this product. My poor, sweet little man has been fussy, drooling, restless, wakeful during the night and at times sobbing inconsolably--these little wonder tablets have really saved the day for us! I highly suggest them, as they are an all-natural homeopathic remedy that really work to eliminate teething pain. They seem to have a mild sedative effect, which makes them great around nap or bedtime, especially if your little teether has trouble settling down or staying asleep due to pain.
One other tool that has been really helpful to us has been the implementation of a morning routine. I must confess that I am not by nature much of a morning person, but I do find that a structured routine gets the day off to a smooth start for not just myself, but my children! I find that if I have breakfast ready when they wake up, there is less whining during the day. Children find solace in structure. This also allows me to get my thoughts in order and get my heart and mind where they need to be to deal with the challenges of each day. It's so nice to have uninterrupted time to prepare for breakfast, wash dishes, start a load of laundry, etc... before the family is awake. This frees up more interpersonal time for us to enjoy together.
I have also been working on my daily routine, working to make it a bit more streamlined and thus, easier on me! Why was I trying to bathe two babies and myself (and when Brett is here, although he's pretty much bathing himself, I still must stand by, so there's an extra bath!) in the evening when Henry is at work? It's very time consuming, what with trying to keep one entertained while I bathe and dress the other...there's a stroller and a Baby Einstein movie involved, a binky, a bottle....the list goes on and on :). Why was I making it so complicated for myself and so miserable for my children, simply because I think kids need a bath before bed? I had to (once again) let go of an unrealistic expectation...that simply does not work with our routine! My husband works in the evening, therefore some of our routine had to be reworked to be more practical for us! I decided to try bathing the children in the morning after breakfast, when my husband was free to entertain the other and both while I bathed, and guess what? The world did not come to an end, and the children were actually happier and more calm throughout the day. We had more time to just simply play together in the evening as well!
1. Develop a better bedtime routine for Henry--bed by 8:30 (it's currently about 10...yikes!), limit bottles during the night, sleep alone the entire night in his bed. Sleep in his own bedroom by the end of the year.
2. Break Henry of the bottle and replace with sippy cup. Begin to teach him how to eat with a spoon. Work on table manners :)
3. Break Henry of pacifier. This is going to be a hard one! My original plan was to start this in the summer, but as long as we make it by the end of the year, we're good!!!
4. Begin a reading time with Henry. We just have not been reading enough to him.
5. Loose weight! Develop an exercise routine that we can enjoy as a family. Hubby and I both will benefit from this one :)
6. Reintroduce date night. This is going to be difficult, as my mother is the only person I trust to care for my children when we go out, but we need the time to relax and reconnect. Mother is getting ready to begin kidney dialysis, however, so I am not sure she will have the energy to care for the children, even though she would love to. Time to look for a babysitter, I guess!
7. Become more social! This seems to be really hard for us. We need to start spending time with other people on a regular basis. There are several couples that have expressed interest in spending time with us or have invited us to activities, but sadly, with Henry's work schedule, it's been almost impossible. We must work on this!
Those are some of our main goals for the year. How are you implementing goal-keeping in your family this year?