Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2009 Goals Progress Report

It's hard to believe it's already the end of March! That means it's time for another Goals Progress Report:

  1. Potty-training Emily: Still in a holding pattern with this one. She asks to sit on the potty a couple times a week but never actually goes. She also has the pages of her "Big Sister" book memorized that talk about big sisters wearing panties because they are too big for diapers, but there doesn't seem to be any application of the concept--yet.

  2. Moving Emily before Easter: This was the big accomplishment this month. I posted earlier with pictures of the redecorating. The move itself went off without a hitch. Emily never even blinked. She loves the butterflies and flowers. I'm still working on some wall decorations. I also hope to eventually move more books onto the exposed bookshelves. For now, her bin shelf is in the closet. I filled the bins with some clothing items and different toys. We have locks for the bi-fold doors, so everything can be easily be shut off at night when she is supposed to go to sleep. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been working on a quiet playtime in the afternoons in lieu of a nap. So far Emily has done great entertaining herself for about an hour with the toys in her closet and a CD of kids music. At the end of the day she has to help clean up and sort the toys back into their proper bins in the closet. Then she gets a sticker to put on the poster hanging on her door (Thanks Aunt Brandi & Grandpa Lorenzen!). That has also worked very well. She still tends to get out of bed to grab the books that are on the exposed bookshelf, or sometimes even sneaks into the bathroom to dig hair accessories out of the drawers, but she scampers back up on her bed as soon as you come check on her and eventually goes to sleep without a whole lot of fuss.

  3. Deep-cleaning one room: I consider Emily's room the accomplishment for this goal this month, although I think I still need to vacuum/dust the mini-blinds and window sills. However, Austin took it upon himself to do most of the kitchen, too. One night he completely cleaned out the fridge--including the vent panels on the bottom. Another Saturday I left to run some errands in the afternoon and came home to find him removing everything from the kitchen cabinets/drawers and wiping everything down inside & out before reorganizing and putting things back. Wow--do I have an awesome husband or what!?! In addition, when my mom was here to paint it was such a nice day on Saturday she ended up brushing the screens and washing all the windows in our kitchen & breezeway. I'm lucky to have such awesome help!

  4. Cutting grocery budget by 25%: I completely blew this one in March. As stated last month, I was running really low on inventory. My other excuses are that we were home almost the entire month (therefore eating all our own food) and I took not one, but two major shopping trips to Sam's Club, which can do a LOT of damage in a hurry! Let's just say I should be stocked up on baking supplies for quite some time. ;o) I went through a baking spree/binge about a month ago. After doing some price comparison I discovered how much cheaper it is to buy basic baking staples in bulk. Now that I'm stocked up I feel another baking binge coming on. This morning I made 3 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls for the freezer to be baked later and 7 dozen monster cookies. I think it's my way of nesting. :o)

  5. Praying nightly over Emily: I am still doing this. It is so precious to tip-toe in her room at night and see her peacefully sleeping. You can't help but forgive her no matter what happened during the day. It is a good, daily reminder of the kind of unconditional love God has for us all!

  6. *NEW GOAL* Catch up on photo albums/"scrapbooking": I know, I know--what mother doesn't have this totally unreasonable goal?!? You're lucky if you get through age two of your firstborn, the pictures printed for your second and pictures taken of your third. All the sudden your "babies" are graduating from high school and you start panicking about what you're going to display at their open house. Well, here's my game plan: I upload all our pictures to Winkflash.com. (Note: you can view them with a user name/password, which I will gladly provide if you don't already have it--just ask!) I only order/print pictures to put in frames or to send to people, which rarely happens. Instead, I have created digital photo albums through the web site and have had them printed in hardcover, bound books. Then I add stickers and handwritten captions as needed for embellishment and explanation. I call it "digital scrapbooking." I tried traditional scrapbooking of my own baby pictures when I was in junior high, but I'm not as artistic as I would like to be, and it would take up to an hour for a single page. I only made it to age 2. Now it takes me a total of about 3-4 hours to put together a 100-page book online and another couple hours to add stickers/captions. I can usually get 3-5 months worth of photos in a book. So far I have Emily's picture books completely done through 14 months (3 books). I have the books printed and stickers purchased through 22 months (2 more books). I have another book almost put together online through 25 months (November 2008). There are enough uploaded photos on Winkflash to create at least one more book, although the picture volume has slowed significantly since Christmas. I am already in the habit of uploading, sorting & organizing all our photos on the computer on a regular basis because of the blog. I always upload them to Winkflash at the end of the month, if not periodically during the month. Now that I'm almost caught up with putting together books, I've decided to try and add to the current online photo album at the end of each month, too. I only print/purchase the books when Winkflash runs a flat-rate book sale (saves 60%). You usually only get a window of about a week, so if I have books waiting to be printed I don't have to go crazy trying to get one put together before the deadline. I missed two opportunities last year because of that. One of the other nice things about putting together these books online is that once kid #2 comes along, it's so easy to use the same pictures in separate albums. You don't have to worry about ordering doubles/reprints and sorting which pictures go to which kids. So, after all that rambling explanation, my goal is to be as caught up with Emily's pictures as I can be by the time the baby comes and going forward, adding photos to online albums on a monthly basis so I'm ready to order at any time. Whew! (P.S. If you'd ever like to look at my photo albums to see what I'm talking about please let me know!)
Well, I think that's enough to work on for now. Stay tuned for more exciting updates! ;o)

1 comment:

Heather's Henhouse said...

Wow! It makes me think that maybe I need to set some goals. I'm sure I do but just not "formally". I've been debating on some cleaning but probably should just plan on doing it. I struggle between cleaning certain things regularly or just waiting until it really needs it. Example: the bathroom, clean it every week regardless if it really needs it or just clean it when I can't stand it anymore? Another example, windows: clean them every spring or just clean the really dirty ones when they need it?

I'm starting to get a "clean out" phase which happens about once a year, where I just want to clean out tubs and drawers and get rid of what we don't use. So we'll see if that happens.

Phil and I are still shopping at Aldi's and it seems to save us money when we check out at the register. We used to shop at Fareway and Walmart but Aldi's seems cheaper for some reason. I know it doesn't make sense but I guess it's the total amount we spend in the end that matters.

One last note... pictures.. humm. what a tough thing. One thing I've done that I'm hoping will help is at each birthday Phil and I go through the past years pictures and make a collage (5x7) of our favorite pictures, shrink them down to about one inch size and then put many on one sheet. Hope that makes sense... if you want to see one let me know. What I never thought to do was to make some notes of what he was doing/why the picture is important to us. Since I only have two collages then I might be able to remember so I might go back and try to do that.. so thanks for the caption idea.

Thanks for all the updates and keep up the good work!