New (Calendar) Year’s Resolutions

The new (school) year’s resolutions didn’t hold for very long so I figured I’d take another stab at making a few changes now and do it again at the beginning of May so that maybe I’ll get three good months in a year. If I keep it up, I just might make some of these changes stick for good. So here I go again with another list of changes for the good of all…who am I kidding? They’re for my sanity.

1) Turn the TV off and the music on – Last time, this one both worked and didn’t work. I certainly watched less of my own TV shows, but the TV didn’t seem to be off any longer than before – at least not after the first few days. I also didn’t manage to fit in much music since Liam kept telling me to turn it off. I know I’m the boss of him and not the other way around but the little, nagging voice that won’t go away makes it difficult to enjoy the music anyway. This time, though, I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve: Liam goes to preschool twice a week which gives me a guaranteed four hours a week without that voice, and I got an HP Notebook for Christmas so I can now play my music all over the house and not be forced to listen to a billion commercials for things I don’t care about.

2) Kick the kids out to play more often – Alas, I did not make it to the park all that often (if ever) over the last few months and since it’s gotten colder out, I’ve hardly sent them out to play in the backyard either. This is unacceptable. Aiden seems to think that the outdoors is boring; I’m of the opinion that he’s just not using his imagination enough. It’s my hope that being forced to go play will lead to creating games or something. I remember having hours of free play time outside as a child and I always had something to do. Kicking them out will also get them away from the TV.

3) Clear my desk off and keep it clean – I gave myself a new desk for Christmas and insisted that no one put anything on it but me. I am not the only one to put things on my desk. Just yesterday, Ian put a couple cables on it “for now” and left them there. Now it’s covered in pictures, cords, movies, batteries, controllers, bills, wrapping paper, and a sticker book. I may love organized chaos it its place but that place is not on my desk.

4) Be more efficient with food – I managed to plan some meals in advance over the past few months (I just turned the TV off!) but I realized that I ordered out weekly and wound up throwing out more leftovers than we ate. No more! Not only am I going to plan in advance, but I’m also going to work leftovers into the plan so that a) the kids realize that they have to be eaten and b) I don’t have to throw them out. I read in Canadian Living recently that we throw out approximately 38% of the food we buy. That’s almost 2/5 of what we buy. To put that into perspective, consider that we spend about $600 a month on groceries. If we truly are throwing out 2/5 of that food, that’s about $240 worth of food a month that we don’t eat. That may be a bit high, I’m more inclined to say that I throw out no more that 1/4 of our food but that’s still $150…whatever that wasted food amount is, it has got to stop.

5) Bake more – I know how to bake. I like baking. I don’t do it nearly often enough and then I find myself picking stuff up at the grocery store for Aiden’s lunches that I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Why? I’m not willing to admit that answer just yet. It comes down to economy. It’s cheaper to make my own cookies than to buy them. I can make bread that Liam will actually eat which will therefore not waste the bread he won’t eat. I can bake a tasty, nutritious dessert that will keep us from eating other, less healthy, more expensive foods. I have the power and I should use it.

6) Sew more – I managed to get Liam’s quilt finished before Christmas (my mother can tell you the story of me kicking everyone out of the house on Christmas Eve so I could finish it in peace) but hardly did any other sewing. Sewing used to be a creative outlet for me (along with knitting and writing) and I’ve realized recently how great it is to know that you made something. I miss the joy of creating something. I need an outlet.

7) Do crafts with the kids – I bought white glue sometime between September and now that I intended to use with that construction paper. I haven’t used either yet, but I still intend to. Not only do I need a creative outlet, but Liam does as well. I should get Aiden crafting, too, so he can stop saying that he’s bad at art. They don’t have to be difficult crafts, just little projects that let the boys cut, glue, and colour or draw. I really should get on that.

8) Exercise more – Apparently, dancing around the living room with the baby is not enough exercise. I got an XL (PINK!) pajama set for Christmas this year. As a rule – when I’m not nursing – my tops are size S-M and my pants are M-L. I am not an XL. I refuse to be an XL. But apparently, I looked enough like one to someone that it seemed acceptable to buy me clothes in that size. Here’s the thing: I’d rather look healthy than skinny and I would rather feel healthy than be larger. I have nothing against people of most sizes with the exceptions of those who take up two seats and those who don’t eat (though I also take issue with parents of larger children when I see them eating fast food). I just prefer to be somewhere in the healthy range than in either at risk range.

9) Convince Ian that we need a clothesline – More on this in another post at another time,  but I think we need one and Ian doesn’t. I’m right…he just doesn’t realize he’ll have to cave in yet.

So these are my good intentions for the next few months. I’d like to say that I’m posting and then going off to do something about any of them, but chances are that will have to wait for a little while since I’ve got a table to clean and a bed to make.

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