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January 1, 2011

The Good, the Not-so-Good, and the Hopeful, Part I

I’ve never been one to write “resolutions” at the start of a new year, but I thought I’d take a moment to reflect about what’s going well in my world, and project what I’d like to improve in the future.

I’m breaking this post into two parts…today I’ll focus on “Baby” stuff. (Maybe one of my resolutions should be to not call my almost-two-year olds “babies” anymore? Nah…) Tomorrow I’ll post about “Me” stuff.


The Good
I’m so proud of my girls, of course…what mom isn’t? When I step back, I think I can break that down into a couple of broad categories…

· The girls eat really well, and I hope to continue to enforce good eating habits.

· The girls are in a great routine, and I think that’s key to them generally being very good-natured.

· At almost two years old, I think the girls are very well-mannered.

· I think the girls are well-stimulated at home, between books and music and toys, and – so far – no TV. I intend at some point to introduce the Boob Tube to them…not sure when…but I think it’s pretty funny that they call almost any electronic equipment (like a stereo) a “TV”, and they have no clue who Dora the Explorer is. :)

The Hopeful
I know some of this will naturally come with age, but for a lot of these items, I have got to force myself outside of my comfort zone.

· Potty training. The first step is for me to do some more research about different techniques…which requires me to kick it into gear!

· Baby-proof the kitchen and allow the girls out of the “holding cell” in the den. The den is a great big playroom for the girls, but at some point they need venture onto the hardwood floors!

· Stair masters. The girls don’t get a lot of practice going up and down the steps…I usually carry them, as I have someone waiting on me above or below, and I don’t have time to dilly-dally. This could be embarrassing if they’re seven and we resort to installing an elevator.

· Become comfortable to take the girls out by myself – to the park, for example – out of the confines of their stroller. We get out and about all the time, but they are almost always under the watchful restraint of a five-point harness, even to drop off a package at the post office. The few times I’ve run a quick errand with them not in their stroller, I needed a shower afterwards, as I was sweating like a horse...followed by a dose of chocolate to calm myself down. :)

· Leave the girls with a sitterwhen they’re awake. Hubby and I have left them with a “house sitter” a few times, going for a late dinner after they were in bed. Otherwise, they’ve never been alone with anyone but Mommy or Daddy. I know this isn’t healthy for them…or for me!!!

· Transition the girls to eating with utensils. I think they’re probably capable, but I still just shudder at the thought of the colossal mess they’re bound to make. I know there are some cultures that eat predominantly with their hands…but I’m not prepared to move to a different country just yet.

· Go on a family trip (other than to see family). I hope we will be able to brave the beach this year!

· In general…CHILL OUT (just a little bit, from time to time)!!! I know it will be good for us if I occasionally throw caution (along with fear and dread) to the wind and Jump in puddles, play in the dirt, go down the slide…do more art projects, make an introduction to Play-Doh, decorate some cookies…let the girls be KIDS.

There have been a few instances when I’ve seen for myself that children will do things on their timetable, when they are ready (like transition away from bottles).

I need to do the occasional gut-check to make sure I’m open to allowing evolution to take its course, that I’m not hanging onto a baby routine (like carrying the girls up and down the steps) out of convenience for me.

Whew…easier said than done, but at least I’m aware of my potential tendencies!

So I hope to look back 12 months from now and feel like I've continued to steady the base for the girls, but that I've challenged them - and primarily me! - to grow.

2010 was a fantastic year...and I'm looking forward to much more magic in 2011.

Happy New Year!


Marcia (123 blog) said...

I loved this recap, Mandy. I'm thinking about some of the same things too.

But also glad my kids don't know the TV yet :)

Sadia said...

Mandy, this is a lovely look back and forward. I wasn't nearly so proactive about looking forward to the next stages in my girls' development, but between Mel, Jess and their daycare, I got dragged along!

MultipleMum said...

Well done you. You are growing some lovely people at your place. I reckon a little dirt and mess in their lives will top it off beautifully! (I cringed a little thinking about my poor two who have had to do a LOT of those things themselves, out of pure necessity, for some time. No-one is free of guilt are they?)

Anonymous said...

great list! for what it's worth: we JUST started having "free range baby time" where we let the kids out of the family room and they can run all over. they slip and slide all over the hardwood floors, open the spice cabinet in the kitchen, and reach up to the piano. it's been a good experience for all three of us :)

here's to 2011. bring it on.

Dolli-Mama said...

I agree that having a good routine is keep to having happy/healthy babies! Life is so much easier with a good routine.
Those sound like great goals!

Momma Chantal said...

Sounds like a great list! I have a few of the same things on my "baby" list!

Rebecca said...

If it weren't for Knee, the Crazies probably wouldn't know TV either, but alas...sigh...

They still don't know who Dora is though!

They'll transition to some of these things on their own as you will. You'll find yourself becoming increasingly surprised at what they are capable of doing. I still have panic attacks as they go down the stairs, but they are good at it and only one has fallen (all the way down)...that's pretty good, right?

We just used chopsticks at lunch and they loved it...I haven't seen Hailey eat like that in ages! I'll post about it soon b/c I took pictures (surprise, surprise).

reanbean said...

Sounds like you're doing great! Good luck as you make your way through your "hopeful" list. I've got "go on a family trip" on our list this year too. We're currently in the process of getting passports made, but don't have any plans finalized yet.

Happy 2011! :)

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Very cool list!

I've been wanting to blog about TV & kids. I have actually thought about you a lot in regards to it, maybe I will do that sometime this week.

Christina said...

I have something to say about the tv, but I won't. :)
Great list! I remember feeling a lot of pressure with all of those things. Everything just comes into place. Your an amazing Mother. :)

Barbara Manatee said...

Good job on the no tv! We pretty much kept it from the twins till about that age other than Signing Time but Adam has been drawn in with the older two - not so proud of that!!!

I forgot your two are right around Adam's age...potty training? a distant thought right now! lol! I think we started when the twins were about 2.25 yrs old. Sarah was good by 2.5...Jacob about 2.75 months :-)

Stairs? utensils? life outside of the stroller? Go For it!!!! If I can do it, so can you! Just think, I had two 2 year olds and an infant not that long ago and we were out and about everywhere alone! It gives you a feeling like you can do anything when you conquer a day like that!!! :-)