Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year's Goals

I thought if I didn't call them "resolutions", I'd have a better chance of keeping them.

I have long stopped making resolutions for myself.  Let's face it; there are only so many years one can say "this year I will lose weight" and still remain credible.

So, instead, I shall focus on Natalie and Abigail.  There are a few things I want for them this year.

While the girls are excellent playmates with each other, put them with other kids and they clam up a bit.  On playgrounds, they stand still and stare at the other children.  Since our neighbors (and their 6 months older son) moved, we have have had almost zero playdates.  We did spend a lot of time with Walker and Bean, with whom the girls interacted well, but we've had little exposure to kids closer to their age. Traveling so much and being at mom's and mema's also makes playdates and making friends harder.

So, this year (once things calm down and we return home), I am going to pursue playdates and friendships for the girls.  They need to practice those wonderful playing skills they have with other children.  Also, I am very much a homebody and could easily go weeks without hanging out with anyone.  I do enjoy getting out to Walmart, etc., but I'm not the type to call a girlfriend up to shop, hang out, or even to talk. (I generally dislike talking on the phone).  Ben is even worse.  He's a classic introvert.  I'm very conscious of not letting our personalities and preferences dictate the girls' social life.

Class Participation
Along the same lines of socialization, I would like to see Natalie and Abby enrolled in Little Gym or some similar activity this spring.  We once started Little Gym, but the girls soon became ill and it seemed best not to continue.  They are older now, eating better and weigh more, so I think we need to give it a try.  We may not be able to enroll this spring semester; it depends on how long we stay here in Franklin.  However, I'm hoping there will be a summer camp they can try out.  If not, I will look for something similar so they can have a group activity to enjoy.

Sunday School and Church
We have been very, very, very bad Christian parents.  I'm afraid the girls have never been to Sunday School and to extended care only a dozen times or more.  Some of it is due to all our travel.  We are frequently gone on Sundays.  A majority, however, is due to our own laziness.  I am not a morning person.  Yes, I know Sunday School is at 10am, which is not "early" by most people's standards.  But, I can sleep until noon with no trouble at all, so 10am is early - to me.  However, that is no excuse.

We have worked on their religious education at home.  Natalie and Abby love Baby Jesus and love to read the Christmas Story.  They have learned the story very well.  They loved the little cardboard Baby Jesus we made and they love playing with the figures in the Nativity.  We have a number of Bible story books and Children's Bibles and we reads stories from them.  We have learned to sing Jesus Loves Me, and for a while we were saying our prayers at night (we need to start this again).  They also know how to fold their hands for prayer and give a resounding "amen" after, "in Jesus' name, we pray".  But, it's not enough, so this year, we are taking the girls to church.

A Pre-school type organized day
I've been flirting with the idea of homeschooling, but in preparation I have some work to do.  To start, I need to get up at a decent hour.  This is probably the hardest thing for me.  As I said, I am NOT a morning person. I am a night owl.  I was born to burn the midnight oil - and the 4am oil.  In my perfect world, I would stay up until 3ish and sleep until noon every day.  Clearly, this is not a good plan for toddlers or pre-school.  I have been most fortunate that the one thing Natalie and Abby got from me is the sleeping gene.  They usually sleep until 9am, and rarely awaken before 8:30am.  I honestly don't know what I would do if they got up at 6am every day.  But, starting at 9 does shorten the day.  Plus they often nap two or more hours, which also cuts into the day.  So, something has to change, mainly, me.

I also want to start a more organized method of instruction for them.  I'm not talking about hours spent in a desk, but at least several minutes throughout the day spent focused on sitting still and concentrating on an activity.  Right now, we are sort-of in the "teachable moment" style of education, which I fully believe in and will continue, but they need some more organized learning as well.

Clean-up and listening
Natalie and Abby are very, very good little girls.  They really are.  They are sweet, loving, kind, playful, funny, happy, energized, and delightful.  They have their moments of whining, but are generally very agreeable.  They also follow instructions pretty well most of the time.  However, clean-up time is NOT one of those times.  They can destroy a room in minutes - and are generally disinclined to help put it back together.  I need to be more consistent about insisting they help (instead of just doing it myself) and they have to learn to listen a little better.

It goes without saying that feeding and gaining weight remain, as always, a goal.  I've spent so much time in the past 2.5 years on that subject, that I am weary of it.  So, in the words of Forest Gump: that's all I have to say about that.

I guess I will throw out a few goals for Ben and I.  For the most part, they boil down to two main goals:
One: Sell our house.
Two: Buy new house.

So, if anyone wants to help us with goal one, we have a cute 3brm/2 ba home with a beautiful new kitchen and gorgeous new bamboo floors.  It has a small yard, but nicely landscaped and also has a great deck with wisteria (that provides both privacy and gorgeous flowers in the spring).  It's a great house and we'd LOVE to sell it to you!

Happy New Year to all - and I wish you all the best of luck on your New Year's Resolutions!

1 comment:

Judith and Jason said...

OK wish you lived closer. would have a playdate with those girls ASAP!

I think you are good to enroll them in the a gym or music class. We put Nina in Gymboree music at 13 months and it really helped her(and me-I met and are friends with 2 moms from the group)

We too, always wanted to take N to church but were always afraid of the germs..

Nina has been going to preschool since April 09. She goes 3x a week 7 hours a day. She naps there and eats there. She loves loves loves it! I an amazed at the stuff she learns. She is FINALLY coming out of her shell these past couple months. She was usually reserved and would not sing outloud, but now she is up there with all the kids signing and playing and having a ball.
With the cleaning and seems to always listen to someone other than the parents. Nina is a great helper at school and I really have to ask her a few times before she will clean up around here. If I tell her "you are my big helper" that works.

We have our transition meeting out of EI on Tuesday...I will be posting about that this week.
Cannot believe these girls will be 3 soon!

PS how is potty training? Have you tried that fun yet? We are maybe 40% there. ha ha!