Sunday, February 11, 2018

12 Months Old

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind! First, we had a week of birthday party preparations. Then, we had a week filled with a well-baby appointment and daycare visits - and capped with a sick weekend. Then, just this past week, we started daycare (and I went back to work).

Of course, I've been meaning to blog through it all, but... well. I thought I was short on time before! I'm going to try my best to catch up on a few things today, starting with the last of our monthly updates. I didn't even take proper photos for this - the plan was to capture some "good" ones last weekend, but then Marc had a fever so we just lay low instead. These two photos were captured on Marc's birthday, along with plenty of others I will save for a future post detailing his big day and party.
As you can see, Marc had his first haircut this month! Here's a before photo:
I knew it would, but I was still blown away by how much it changed his look! He is such a little boy now... my baby is gone. I'm not ready!

Marc was officially walking before his first birthday! He's getting stronger and steadier every day. At this point, he chooses to walk more often then he crawls and he's getting pretty fast too! He's also getting good at carrying things or clapping / waving his hands around while walking. Along with walking, Marc has figured out how to climb. He loves getting on the 2-step stool we have in the kitchen and can't get enough of climbing onto the couch (and racing us to the side table for anything he can get his hands on).

We've been switching out milk for formula this month. He still prefers if it's warm, but he will drink cold milk now (which is a lifesaver since we don't have to bring any formula to daycare). Once we finish the last 3 boxes of formula in our cupboard, I'll be putting away the bottle warmer and sterilizer. EEK! I won't really miss dealing with all that... but I kind of will too. Where has the year gone????
You can tell that Marc's understanding more and more each day too. He knows what we mean when we say it's time for a bath, bum change, dinner, snack, etc. He knows he isn't supposed to get into certain things (kitchen drawers, mommy's bookshelf) and will look at you slyly as he's about to get into those very things. Now we're listening intently for his babbling to turn into distinct words!

A whole year.... and what a year it has been. Here's to another great year of reaching milestones and learning new things!

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Goals

I decided not to continue the trend I've been on (16 goals in 2016, 17 goals in 2017) and keep things a little simpler this year: 12 goals. I made them as achievable and measurable as possible. And I'm going to set quarterly reviews instead of monthly - reviews where I can add or remove goals if it fits. Life is only getting busier and I need to simplify where ever possible!

So far, I'm pretty happy with how these are shaping up though:

2018 GOALS:
  1. Read 30 books.
  2. Journal and sketchbook daily. 
  3. Finish 2 cross-stitch projects.
  4. Blog weekly.
  5. Meal plan and veggie prep weekly.
  6. Establish a new morning and evening routine once back at work.
  7. Establish a consistent exercise routine.
  8. Weekly games / date night.
  9. Sign Marc up for swimming lessons all year.
  10. Have family photos taken in the fall.
  11. Get G1 license and start learning to drive.
  12. Go camping at least once this summer.
I'm tempted to blog about one goal a month, looking at my progress and motivations and just talk a little bit more about each one. We'll see if that works out. I tend to make big plans when it comes to blogging, but then it falls through. I'm not going to stress to much about it. Again: simplify! Plus, I'm tracking everything in my goals journal:
Similar to last year, I wrote out my goals and created logs so that I can easily track my progress. Some of them are simple, like the first goal above, and some of them are year-long:
I learned a few things from last year and made these logs a bit easier to follow. For example, the daily logs have the date listed along one side of the table so it's much easier to catch up when I invariably fall behind. Similarly, the weekly logs are sorted by month, so I don't have to count from the beginning each time. I tried to make everything just a little prettier too - helps staying on track when I actually want to open the book and look at it!

I'm using the goals journal for more than just this though - last year, I added in a bunch of recipes I loved and this year I added in a cleaning schedule: 
Before baby, we were never very consistent with cleaning, usually leaving most of it to the weekend. This year, I've been able to do housework every day, throughout the day. Now that I'm going back to work, I can't exactly do that but I don't want to be spending a good chunk of the weekend cleaning either. So the goal is to do one load of laundry, dishes and one small area each evening so that the weekends are much more enjoyable!

Well, these are the things I'm planning on working on this year... what are your 2018 goals?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

2017 Goals Review

2017 was an amazing year. I can't believe it's already over. This year will always remain close to my heart as the year I became a mom; the year I grew and changed the most; the year where my priorities shifted from me to him, from the two of us to the three of us. In many ways, it was a difficult transition. But coming out on the other side, I wish I could relive it over and over again. Slow down and just be more present. Not worry about him not sleeping on his back and just enjoy having him asleep in my arms. Not worry about how he was being fed and just enjoy feeding him. Still, I do think I truly embodied my word of the year: savour. I tried to savour each and every moment, even the hard ones. And as we settled into routines (ever shifting routines, but routines nonetheless), it did get easier. These last few months have been pure joy... and I'm so sad it's over (and yet so grateful I've had over a year to enjoy this new little love).  

I just looked back and realized I never posted a goals update for November. Ah well - I haven't been blogging much lately. It seems like I can only focus on one or two hobbies at any time. I just don't have the time (or the concentration) for any more than that! And since I can't easily pull out my laptop without little fingers constantly trying to push keys or pull on the screen... I just haven't bothered. Still, I do enjoy blogging and really love being able to look back at older posts, remembering trips and projects and little moments of joy. So I'm keeping blogging on my goals list for 2018... but more on that later. First, let's review my goals from 2017:

17 GOALS FOR 2017:
  1. Read 30 books. (17/30 = 57%)
  2. Finish 2 cross-stitch patterns. (1/2 = 50%)
  3. Finish Amber art book and start a new one. (did NOT finish)
  4. Take monthly baby and family photos. (12/12 = 100%)
  5. Journal or sketchbook daily. (294/365 = 81%)
  6. Set a schedule for blogging (weekly) (40/52 = 77%), crafting (daily) (218/365 = 60%) and getting out of the house (3-4x weekly). (47/52 = 90%)
  7. Make and freeze meals for post-partum.
  8. Gather 10 good crockpot recipes. (5/10 = 50%)
  9. Set a routine for exercising (3-4x weekly). (14/52 = 27%)
  10. Catalogue library. (NOT done)
  11. Organize, declutter, minimize, purge. (some progress)
  12. Figure out cloth-diapering, nursing/pumping and making baby food. (3/3 = 100%)
  13. Stay in touch with friends while on maternity leave. (done)
  14. Be intentional deepening relationship with Pat. Set weekly date nights. (52/52 = 100%)
  15. Go to a weekly drop-in session or mother/baby class. (21/25 = 84%)
  16. Make a fabric book and a colour sorting game for Marc. (NOT done)
  17. Use fresh herbs and tomatoes from the garden as much as possible and preserve them come the fall. (done)
I mean, wow! I think this has been the most successful of any of my yearly goals lists! I'm pleased with myself. The only goal that I usually manage to crush no problem - reading - is a bit disappointing. But like I said: it was impossible to keep up with all the hobbies I enjoy. I had to balance those with other activities, exercise, housework and baby care. So throughout the year, I went through different waves of creativity: some months I spent more time painting, others stitching. And I'm OK with that. Once I go back to work, things are only going to get busier... so I guess this was a little preview on how things will continue to be. One small bonus is that I have a solid hour plus of commuting time that I can devote to reading!

Looking back, one thing that really helped me keep track of my goals - and work towards accomplishing them - was my goals journal. This journal started out as a bullet journal, but since I prefer to keep an actual agenda instead of creating my own, it turned into a goals tracker. And I loved it. I've already started updating it for 2018. I'll share some photos with my next post outlining my 2018 goals.

Friday, January 5, 2018

11 Months Old

My baby isn't such a baby anymore. In fact, it might be time to start referring to him as a toddler... he is toddling around now, after all.
That's right. Marc turned 11 months old at the end of December, and he's been taking some unassisted steps. In fact, he's managed about 4 or 5 in a row (and more than that by now). He's still tentative - and still prefers to do it on him own. If we try to stand him up, he usually flops down like a limp piece of spaghetti. Mr Independent!
He is still not a fan of napping... the week before we left on holidays, he was taking very short naps, once a day. The other "naptime" was spent alternatively crying, screaming and chatting away with himself in his crib. Napping over the holidays? VERY difficult (understandably so - strange place, strange bed and, in the case of my parents' place, a not-so-dark room to boot). Luckily, our parents live about an hour apart, so he at least got a few naps during those drives. And Pat became very good at putting him to sleep before putting him down, since he wouldn't put himself to sleep like he usually does at home. Now that we're back home, things have levelled out - naps are still iffy, but better. And he sleeps like a champ at night (around 12 hours), so I can't complain.
Marc eats very well - he just isn't a big fan of veggies. Sweet potatoes are his favourite and carrots are pretty good too. Anything else? Not so much. He did eat a lot of mashed potato over the holidays, but only so much before he refuses. Fruit though? Yes please! He LOVES fruit, as well as crackers, "cookies" (arrowroot, digestives or graham crackers), cheese and whole grain bread. He'll eat scrambled eggs if I cook them with apple and cinnamon. And he often has leftovers from what we've had for supper (shepherds pie, chicken and dumplings, soup, and stew, to name a few). He's getting better at feeding himself, though I still feed him breakfast (oatmeal isn't really finger food) and dinner (so that he gets a good meal before bed). He still takes a bottle, though this next month is dedicated to weaning (off both the bottle and formula).
Speaking of the holidays, Marc was spoiled rotten! We had an advent "calendar" of wrapped books for him - so by the time Christmas rolled around, he was well rehearsed in ripping paper. Opening the box? Not so much. He did enjoy playing with the boxes though.. haha. I've kept out all his new toys too (I'm going to put a few away soon so that I can rotate them and keep them "fresh" for him), and he's been playing with all of them daily. He's great at independent play - though prefers when I'm sitting in the living room chair or - even better - on the living room floor.
Marc is playing more and more appropriately with toys: stacking cups and rings and "driving" vehicles. Cars and trucks are still his absolute favourite. He also love anything with music - he received a few for Christmas and plays with all of them each waking period of the day. He also LOVES soft things. He'll pull the blankets off the couch and smoosh his face into them. His soft plush toys get the same treatment (so many wide-open-mouth kisses!). He also "reads" his books each wake time, pulling them off the shelf and paging through them. Needless to say, the trucks one Pat picked up for Christmas is one of his favourites! Unfortunately, he also likes pulling mommy's books off the shelf.... and still doesn't quite understand the meaning of NO (or rather, he does, but likes making me get up to stop him..).
Lately, he's been imitating us more too. Blowing raspberries is his favourite - he'll do it in response to kissing noises as well as blowing and whistling. He'll lift his hands with I tell him to (during diaper changes) - sometimes hesitantly because he knows the tickles are coming! He's waved a few times recently, has started handing us things (especially little pieces of dirt or dust) and has managed to stand up without assistance... though these developments are post-11 months I think. The days really blend into each other!
We've been cloth diapering almost exclusively for a few months now. The only time we used disposables within the last month was to travel (four hours in the car each way - the short trips between our parents was fine with cloth). And shortly before the holidays we started using cloth overnight. I use a fitted diaper with a cover and hemp doublers for extra absorbency. It's been great! I love our cloth diapers... I wish I hadn't waited to long to start!
We've upgraded to 12-18 month clothes this month. It's always so heartbreaking to pack away my favourites... but so much fun to try on new things! The sleepers are always the first to turn over - especially now with the extra fluffy nighttime bum! It's funny to me how variable different brands are in their sizing - some are really wide but short and other long and skinny. And within the same brand the fleece sleepers are smaller than the cotton... so weird. Just means we have a few different sizes that fit right now.. and he already seems to be outgrowing some of the 12 month sizes... yikes! Slow down little man!
This coming month is all about preparing for daycare. The biggest thing I'm unsure about is wake time. Currently, Marc wakes up around 7:30. I need to be on the train at 7. Do I wake him so we can all leave together? Or do I head out while he's still sleeping and Pat gets him ready to go? Not sure what our best bet is... I just know, based on our schedules, Pat will drop him off and I will pick him up. Otherwise, I ordered clothing labels with his name on them yesterday. And I need to contact daycare next week to set up a few days where we can slowly transition before our start date. Oh how I'm dreading the 5th of February! I know Marc will be fine once we get into the routine... but my heart?! Oh man. NOT excited one bit.