Friday, November 9, 2012

Grand Goals

So I was chatting with my best friend about our planned sleeping arrangements for new baby Kevin & Amber. She might lend us a toddler bed for Amber for when Kevin outgrows the cradle in our room, so he can use her crib that we just converted to a toddler bed.
We plan to co-sleep at first & then put him in the cradle. After that we weren't sure what we were going to do, but we were leaning towards just using the Pack 'n' Play as his crib & leaving her where she is until she's big enough for a twin-size & by then he should be ready for the toddler bed.
That's not totally ideal, since the Pack 'n' Play isn't really meant to be used as an all the time bed, but I really didn't want to invest in another crib or toddler bed. I'm also not even sure where we'd put another piece of furniture. The way Amber's room is now, we can just barely fit the Pack 'n' Play in, but it'll block a bit of the closet... which isn't a big deal, it's a pretty big one with double doors. Maybe the crib could go over there, *or the bookshelf could & the crib could go where it is... Idk. This all depends on their being able to share the room, too. If their sleep schedules don't mesh, we'll have to figure out putting one in the guest room.
So, I have been thinking about all this for quite a while & I finally threw the idea out there to her & then to hubby as well. So, now we kinda have a rough grand plan of how we'll shift around all the furniture & kiddos & stuff and make it all work.
So, the caveats are that we don't really want to put a kid in the guest room as is b/c most of the furniture pieces in there are antiques I inherited from my great great aunt & only other place to really put those (& have them be remotely useful) would be in the basement bedroom, currently known as my craft room/ the black hole. Which is crazy cluttered & crammed right now. That's my ├╝ber-Mega Project that I've been putting off for... well, a couple years actually.
So, I hope to sort through, pare down & organize all the stuff in my craft room & my part of the office & then to move the genealogy stuff & maybe scrapbooking stuff to the office & hopefully free up enough space in the craft room to put the antiques down there & have it be a guest/craft room with the craft portion being primarily sewing & beading stuff.
Paul pointed out that if we were to get rid of the giant desk (which is starting to fall apart) currently in my half of the office that would free up a lot of space, even if we put in a smaller desk. He also talked about getting a hutch. That would be nice. We might be able to use the desk I already have in the craft room. That would help a lot with freeing up space all over the place.
Then, the guest room would be freed up for one of the kids & Amber's room would be opened up however much more for the other. We'd eventually need another bed & dresser, but I think that can be accomplished in this time-frame.
I think that about covers it for the overall plan.
So, any of you want the remains of a giant desk with a big piece of tempered glass on the top? We'll have to take it apart to get it out of the room. It was VERY difficult for the professional movers to get it down the stairs and IN to that room & that contributed greatly to the falling apart.

Day 9 Update

I feel kinda bad about babysitting today. I went to my moms' group with both kiddos & had a nice time there learning tricks for themed parties. When I picked the kiddos up, little boy was fussy & had a poopy diaper, so I changed him. Discovered a bit of diaper rash & no cream in the bag. Poor kiddo. When we got back, I put him straight down for his nap. He went right to sleep. Got Amber & I lunch. Went out & got the mail & then his carseat. Sat down & check computer stuff & read chapter 9 in the 21 Days book... and kept hanging out, paying no attention to time, but listening carefully for little boy... nothing. Finally, I look up & realize it's almost time for his dad to come pick him up! I go check on him & he's still laying down, but gets up as soon as he hears the door open. He's fussy again, but when I change him, the rash isn't as bad. I check his temp & it's fine. Get him a snack & his dad gets here within ten minutes of his waking.
I mostly feel bad because A.) I didn't have to do much & B.) he's not going to nap for his dad.
On the other hand, I have made it a rule for myself that I don't wake a baby (or a cat) unless we really need to go somewhere right NOW or some similar extenuating circumstance. Perhaps little boy just doesn't need so many naps any more. He's one & a half. Also, he's been teething & might be growing & they're trying more & more new foods... who knows? *shrug*

So, Chapter 9 was an extension of yesterday's which talked about writing down your goals & breaking them into more manageable pieces. I'm not sure if I misunderstood something... like, were we supposed to come up with a different goal besides the Mega Project? At any rate, I'm not ready to add any more goals as I'm doing well to keep up with the Mega Project & life hack & small daily goal (which has become a 2xweekly goal). I did, however, already plan out some of the other Mega Projects I'm hoping to tackle next & started breaking some of them down into more manageable bits.
My assignment to myself for today's bit of the Mega Project was a catch-up day. I did find homes for the rest of the random stuff from that one box, though a literal handful of small things were just stuck in a bin in my craft room. I did photograph 6 more records (ALL Barry Manilow! I'm so sick of his face... didn't know my dad was such a fan of him & Neil Diamond!) despite having to run all the way upstairs to help my daughter dawdle.. I mean, use the potty & get back to avoiding her nap... I hesitate to say anything, but it seems like in the last few minutes as I wrote this, that she's finally crashed. That only took, what? An hour & a half?? Ugh.
Anyway, I think the records are my new daily task, as I've been doing well to get 4 or more photographed each day, so I'll just let that be a goal so I don't get so burnt out on them.


Meanwhile, my friend who hosts a server for our multiplayer Minecraft game started a new world a couple days ago & I'm all excited to play again. I need to figure out this newest update & what bats are good for.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8 Update 2

I read the chapter & she mainly just said to write your goals down & post them somewhere conspicuous to remind yourself to accomplish them. She also suggested wording them as if they're already done.
I did write my list out in a notebook, but it's bright orange & I leave it on the couch next to where I sit on the computer. ;)
I also picked up most of the toys. :)
Paul's working on the office now because we have friends coming over to roleplay tomorrow.
I think I've earned myself some gaming time... our cat, Leela, thinks so too. She's laying on my hand that's working the mouse. I typed this whole thing with just my left hand! (I think I fixed all the typos, but if I missed any, I blame it on that! I'm very right-handed!)

Day 8 Update

I haven't read the chapter for today yet, but I did part of my challenge.
Amber did much better about going down for her nap today! Yay! I was, however, much more productive yesterday when she fought it for two hours & then napped for an hour! :P
I got my shower. I photographed four more records. I got 8 done yesterday. I wasn't able to find homes for my few items left from yesterday before Amber woke up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 6/7 Update #2

Well, Amber seemed pretty tired around 1:00... so, shortly thereafter, we headed upstairs & got her ready. It's now 3:00 & she's yet to sleep.
She's discovered that she can get out of her bed & open her door, so she's been running all over. I feel exhausted & my throat's getting sore from yelling "back in bed!" and "lay down!" at her.
In the mean time, I did manage to photograph some more records, though that task is proving MUCH bigger than I thought... and tedious.
These are the records I've gotten photographed in the last few days.

And this is what I still have to do...

So, After a while, I took a break from that & did my Day 7 challenge step.
Thankfully, I actually did what I set out to do in that step all in one go & much of what I set aside for step 8 as well! :) So, that makes me feel better & a little more on track.
I had a box of random stuff that I needed to sort through & put away elsewhere or get rid of. My goal for today, Day 7, was to sort through the box & then my goal for tomorrow was to find homes for everything in the box. I found many homes for things as I sorted, so there are just a few more things in there that need homes yet. I have ideas for them, but they mostly require getting the office & some other areas cleaned up. I guess the office may have to move up on my list of projects to tackle next.
I'm going to do my best, however, to balance these projects that are "chores" with ones that I find fun... like crafts & home decorating. :)

The Day 7 chapter in the book starts with "We've all heard the phrase, 'Can't never could do anything.'"
Um, sorry, never heard that before... but I get it.
I mis-stated in my earlier post that it was partially about avoiding negativity... I guess I had read a teensy bit ahead. ;)
Crystal goes on to tell us to remove "I can't" and "try" from our vocabularies (at least in regards to this process)... I have heard the phrase "Do or do not. There is no try." Thank you Yoda!
So, that's the goal here. Take up the Nike slogan & "Just do it!" Gah...
Ha! Next part of the book says to watch this video... called, yup, "Just Do It." Nothing to do with Nike, though. Some guy named Art Williams giving a speech back in the '80s.
Crystal suggests we watch that clip every morning for motivation.
Sorry Crystal, I can't handle that much of that accent! That's why I can't stand country music... all twangy.
No offense to you fans & southerners... just my own personal aesthetic. I'm used to the Midwestern non-accent. ;)

3:27 & kiddo's FINALLY sleeping! Woot! I'm taking a break that I feel I actually deserve! ;)

Day 6/7 update

Hard to believe I started out ahead in this challenge!
Well, Day Six is all about avoiding negativity & being realistic with your goals. Crystal asks if they're SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding & Time Specific.
Specific? Yes, I wrote down specifically what I wanted to accomplish.
Measurable? Yes, either I'll accomplish my goal & the basement hall will become a kids' arts & crafts room or it will continue to be a storage area.
Attainable? Yes, I have to remind myself of this, but it really shouldn't be that hard to accomplish!
Rewarding Yes, my hubby will be so much happier once this area is uncluttered since he walks through it at least once daily & Amber (& I) will love having her own space to do her art projects. It will be totally awesome when it's tiled & I won't have to worry about her messes so much either!
Time Specific? Yes, since it's part of the 21 days project, I've given myself,... well, 23 days since I actually began.

So, I updated a little below, but we were talking about re-assessing the goal and the steps along the way to make sure it's reasonable. I did look through my steps & remembered/discovered that my past self knew my present self pretty well & what was my day 9 assignment for myself? -"Catch-up Day!"
Yup, and the day after that? - "Misc. Clean-Up."
I knew. So, at least in a few days I'll officially be back on track if I stick with it until then.
My one fear is that my Day 6 step is taking much longer than I'd anticipated.
I have a whole container full of my dad's old vinyl records. Ages ago we bought a USB plug-in record player to convert these to digital files. It didn't work quite the way we'd hoped & it's a long & tedious process, so we've set it aside & the crate full of records have sat, untouched, for ages.
I am hesitant to just get rid of them for so many reasons, but there are only about two or three I can think of off-hand that I might actually bother listening to. One or two of those are because they're by a friend of ours & I don't know if he ever produced tapes or CDs. I've actually recently gotten back in contact w/him via facebook, so I guess I could ask, but I still don't plan to part with those. I think that's reasonable, but I still have the whole rest of this crate to deal with. I think about a third of it is Neil Diamond.
I know there's not likely to be any worth any particular amount of money. Dad's parents were among those who got rid of his Beatles albums, so there isn't much cool in there that would be rare now.
My concession to the hoarder in me is to photograph all the albums & their covers. That way I'll still sort-of have the art & be able to reference what we had.
That was my Day 6 assignment. I started on it yesterday, but due to difficulties with lighting & a late start, I only got through three records & their covers... in 49 pictures!
Unfortunately, Day 7's step is another one I expect to be time-consuming. Good thing I have those built-in catch-up days & such! My other contingency plan is to only make my goal for this 21(23) days the hall instead of the hall AND furnace room. That cuts almost a week off of my original plan. :)

So, I'm proud of myself for sticking with my "life hack" and getting all the laundry I did yesterday folded & put away... yesterday! :D
On the other hand, I haven't made much effort towards picking up the toys.
I didn't list it, but a couple other goals I've had are to do a better job with providing lunches at home for Amber & myself & do a better job cleaning up afterwards & not leaving the mess for Paul when he gets home.
I did make some progress on this yesterday & today. Yesterday I made actual grilled cheese sandwiches for us. I didn't "cheat" by making toasted cheese. ;)
Today, I took her leftover chicken from eating out last night & mixed it with some leftover pasta Paul made & added pesto & cheese. Just wish we'd had some veggies to mix in. Oh well, at the restaurant last night, about all she ate was her broccoli, which is why there wasn't much leftover for today. ;) Then we had grapes. She had part of an apple with breakfast, too. Getting her to eat fruits & veggies is the easy part, it's getting her to eat grains & proteins that I have to work at! So, I was glad today when I went to clean her up & only threw out one bite of chicken. :)
I can't wait for nap time so I can try to take this momentum & get some more work done!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 5/6 Update

So, I referenced an article in the previous post that Crystal wants us to read, so here's a link to Michael Hyatt's "5 Steps to Developing Discipline.
In the article, he talks about anticipating obstacles that might impede your reaching your goal & coming up with a plan to deal with & overcome those obstacles. Crystal assigns us to think about those & write down at least one foreseeable obstacle & two strategies to overcome it.
My number one obstacle is right here: the computer. I spend so much time parked in the same spot on the couch, checking my email, facebook & other sites obsessively. I know that's my biggest time suck. So, my strategies for dealing with it: setting a timer is one option, but I haven't really tried it yet. My other strategy I've used is to use the TV & Amber. In the morning, especially, the TV is usually on. So, I'm going to try & make a point to get up when the show changes. Most of the time that's every half-hour. The other cue I'm giving myself is if Amber asks me to get up or to get her something. I'll make a point of breaking away from the computer, even if I'm not consenting to what she wants.
I came up with these ideas last night, but I'm afraid I didn't really follow through that well this morning. I didn't completely fail, as I did manage to work on my to-do list & got out of the house.
Today I have worked on the laundry (see previous post), gotten dressed, made lunch, voted, done a little shopping & read the article above. Now that kiddo's napping, I've worked a bit more on the laundry, gotten a pic ready to hang, checked things online & updated this blog while, admittedly, getting distracted by the TV. Back to it.

21 Days Update for days 4 & 5 & Jewelry-Making Update!

Pretty much fell off the bandwagon. Already.
Day 4 we were supposed to write an exhaustive list of habits we want to change. I didn't. I also haven't kept up with the one habit I'm supposed to be working on. The toys are everywhere again.
Monday/yesterday was babysitting. Both kiddos did fine for me, but I was super tired & low on patience. I think they may have had upset tummies based on little boy's diaper & Amber's accident... ugh. So, doing Amber's laundry is high on my priority list today.
On Sunday, on a total whim, I looked at FireMountain gems & beads & started picking out some things I was interested in. I wanted to get my daughter some real Amber to make a special necklace for when she's older. Then, I noticed a link for their 67cent sale! Tons of items for 67cents or less! I ended up finding a bunch of birthstone gem beads. I ended up going through & between what I already have & will be getting (because I did go ahead & place my order yesterday), I'll have real gemstone beads for all the birthstones except diamond (April), ruby (July) & sapphire (September) which I just couldn't afford. ;) Some of the others I used alternative stones that were more affordable as well. So, here's what I ended up with:


I'm excited to make birthstone gifts & products for sale!

But, back to the 21 Days challenge...
I still haven't done the day 2 assignment I gave myself (hang the pics that are ready to go up) but I tried talking to my hubby & the only one we know for sure where we want it, we can't get to the wall to hang it until he cleans up stuff in the office. The rest, I'm not sure where we want them. So, all that's left of that challenge is to clear up some space in storage to get hubby to lift the heavy bin & put it in storage.
I did my day 4 assignment ahead of time, so I'm good on that. My day 5 assignment I gave myself was to go through some CDs I have in the hall & figure out where to store them. I've been thinking about it & the only idea I have for where they should go is in the office... which is also a big mes s& there's not really anywhere to put them until we clear out some stuff in there. *sigh*
So, I added a step that wasn't in my original plan... which turns out to be what Day 5 was all about. Day 5 was all about what to do if you get off track. Crystal talked about the importance of not giving up or going overboard and just to let a little setback stay little & get right back on track. The extra Day 5 assignment was to re-assess the Mega Project plan & make a contingency plan for if/when you get off track.
Well, I'm already off-track. So, it's time to re-assess & re-vamp the plan. Since I found more stuff that I'd set aside for the garage sale, I decided to photograph some of it & list it on facebook for my friends to look over. I did get that done yesterday.
So, today it turns out that I have nothing scheduled today except to go vote at some point.
I actually prefer having more to do, structured time to work around. This has been my greatest struggle since becoming a stay-at-home mom: the complete lack of externally imposed structure. Without a work/school schedule to work around, I have nothing but "free" time that isn't really free. Now, the only structure I have to work with are meal & nap/sleep times, which keep changing as Amber gets older & are about to change even more as we add her little brother in to the mix! I do NOT know what I'm going to do except to try my best to go with the flow & figure things out as we go along.

So, my to-do list for today:
*Vote
*Laundry (Amber's: _Wash _Dry _Fold _Put Away Towels: _Wash _Dry _Fold _Put Away)
*Re-vamp my Mega Project plan & complete another step. [I didn't really need to re-vamp it. I looked back through it & remembered that I had built in catch-up days & similar!]
*Pick up the toys
*Read Michael Hyatt's "5 Steps to Developing Discipline" (Another assignment from the book)

AND, if I get through all that with time to spare, I'll read for Day 6 & try to get back on track!