Monday, May 21, 2012

500 Days (Again)

I'll admit, it feels weird to be setting up more longish-term goals right now, when I'm barely making it day to day in pure survival mode. Still, I really want to feel like I'm doing something more productive than just figuring out dinner. So, more 500 day goals. Some of them are the same as the last 500 days, because I didn't get them done last time. Hopefully this time, they'll get done. Let's find out!

Also, I'm cheating ever-so-slightly on the actual number of days; I'm setting my goal date as LL's 5th birthday, which is slightly less than 500 days from now, since I didn't post the list in time. Not an ideal start, but oh well.

1. Have two happy kids and a happy husband. (I had the two happy kids on my last list, because when I wrote the list I was trying to get pregnant with number two. But then S got really offended that I wanted the kids to be happy and not him. So… the two kids and the husband I have, but I'll leave it as a goal for them all to be happy. Whatever.

2. Lose 50 pounds. (That's only 1 pound every 10 days. Should be infinitely doable. Embarrassingly, 50 pounds is not my ultimate goal, it's just an intermediate goal. But it will bring me to where I was when I graduated from college, which is better than where I am right now by, um, 50 pounds or so.)

3. Work in a job that I enjoy (again). (Hopefully I can just continue to mark this one off, but I'm not completely betting on the fact that I'm going to be able to stay in my current job for the next 500 days, so it's going back on the list.)

4. Buy a new (bigger) house. (Good lord, this one had better happen a lot sooner than 500 days. Especially since I'm fairly annoyed that it didn't happen in the last 500 days!)

5. Have permanent assigned "homes" for most objects in the house. (Yep, this is carried over from the last list, too. We're planning to sell/donate/eliminate a ton of stuff before moving, which will help. Having a bigger house with a decent amount of storage should help, too. But I need to get this done, because the constant clutter is driving me insane.)

6. Finish Kermit's baby book. (This one should really be "start and finish." I had LL's baby book finished by the time he was 15 months old. And I always swore that I wouldn't be one of those parents who neglected the memorabilia for the second child. So yeah, I'm going to be getting this one done.)

7. Make a real baby blanket for Kermit. (Related to the last item, kinda. I crocheted a really nice blanket for LL before he was born, and he still sleeps with it every night. I started knitting one for Kermit when I was pregnant, but I never finished it, possibly because I made the totally stupid decision to knit instead of crochet, which is never a good choice for me. So I'm going to need to just start over, I think.)

8. Decide on a preschool for LL. (This one obviously has to happen before 500 days. I'm putting it on the list just as a reminder that I need to do it.)

9. Read 10 non-parenting-related books. (Last time I said fiction, but there are several interesting political and economic books that I kinda want to read, and I want those to count. The goal here is reading for fun, and those should count.)

10. Wear sunscreen every day. (I've been slacking. Bad bad bad.)

11. Continue wearing makeup every work day. (I'm doing this now, but it doesn't feel like a real habit yet, so I'm leaving it on the list as a reminder.)

12. Wash and moisturize my face every night. (I've always had awesome skin, so it never mattered if I slacked off on this one. But I'm starting to really see my age a bit, so I should really start developing some good habits before it's too late.)

13. Shower regularly. (Last time, I said that I wanted to shower every day, which never really happened, though I did go through periods where I got to shower a bit more often. But when things get busy, I tend to lose my ability to take the time for myself to actually wash my hair. Which is disgusting. I'm not even asking for it to be every day this time. I just want it to happen on a regular basis. Ew.)

14. Eat salad for lunch 3 days/week. (Related to the weight loss thing. I eat lunch during the week in our work cafeteria, which serves a wide array of high-fat foods. My only options for controlling what I eat are either the salad bar or bringing my lunch from home. Salad bar is faster.)

15. Have a fully funded 12-month emergency fund. (We have this right now, but are likely to dip into it when we move, both because we'll be using some of the cash and because our monthly expenses will be higher because of the new mortgage. So the goal is to get back to that point again.)

16. Pay off all debt except the mortgage. (Yep, haven't paid off that student loan yet, mostly because I'm hoarding cash for the house downpayment. But once we move, I'm paying it off. Mostly because I'm embarrassed that it still exists.)

17. Bring both kids to visit my parents at least twice. (Should be easy. We already have one trip planned.)

18. Bring both kids to visit my in-laws at least twice. (Again, should be easy.)

19. Finish that iPhone app that I've been talking about for two years. (It's not going to make me a millionaire or anything, but (a) I want to figure out how to do it; (b) I'd find it really cool to have an app in the iTunes store; and (c) I really want this app on my phone and nobody else seems to be writing it.)

20. Exercise 3 times/week. (This one also goes with the weight loss one. I need to find a way to make this work in my schedule. I don't know how yet. I predict that this will be the toughest item on this list.)

For random reference, my last 500 Day Goals were posted here.

Once again, I plan to check in every 100 days. So, expect updates:
8/15/2012 (400 days left)
11/23/2012 (300 days left)
3/3/2013 (200 days left)
6/11/2013 (100 days left)
9/19/2013 (deadline!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Toddler Fun

Ugh ugh ugh. Things are getting better, little by little. I guess. A tiny bit. My job is a little bit better, but only because I got so tired of the total dejection and apathy and disengagement all around me that I finally just showed up to work one day, gathered all of my favorite coworkers into a room together, and said, "Screw it! Our management sucks, so let's just ignore them and do what we think is important and interesting! Here are three ideas I have for projects that we could do, just us, with very few dependencies on anyone outside of this room, and we could have results to show in a month or less. Who's with me?" As far as I can tell, they were all basically waiting for someone (anyone) to start paying attention and give them some direction, and even though I'm new on the job and have zero authority, I'm better than no one. So, I now have a team. And a project. And we've made good progress on it. And a few people we've mentioned it to think that it will be really cool if we can pull it off.

Of the people working with me on it, one of their managers is clearly kind of pissed at me that I took charge of members of his team without consulting him, but whatever -- he wasn't giving them anything to do, and they were all getting ready to quit, so at least I got them re-engaged at work. One of the managers was hesitant at first, but has since asked to join the project (!). And my own manager is ... I don't know. He's hard to read. He hasn't asked me to stop and go back to what I'm "supposed" to be doing, so that's something. He seems like he's willing to give me a little bit of space, but he will probably deny all knowledge of our "rogue project" if it ends up not working. I'm okay with that for now. It is what it is.

My mother-in-law is still living with us, taking care of Kermit during the day. She's driving me crazy in many of the ways that I expected her to be driving me crazy, but eh, I'll get through it.

I'm still not getting any sleep. It is starting to be a real problem. But I don't feel like I can fix the kids' sleep until we have our house back to ourselves, so I just need to push through for a few more weeks.

BUT, work and sleep and living arrangements are not what I wanted to write about. I want to write about Kermit. Because he is so cute these days!!! Seriously. Really very cute. And I feel like I haven't given an update on him in forever, so here goes.

Kermit is 16 months old. He runs and climbs. He loves being held. He loves being tickled. He thinks everything is hilariously funny, and has the absolute best belly laugh in the whole world.

He is getting very very good at communication, even though he says very few words. He clearly understands everything. Everything. When he wants to be picked up, he does his best to climb your legs until you go ahead and pick him up. If you mention maybe possibly putting him down before he is ready to be put down, he locks his little legs around you with incredible thigh strength and digs his hands into whatever he can grab and shrieks in anger. It is nearly impossible to put him down if he doesn't want to be put down.

He shakes his head "yes" and "no" very clearly. He waves his arms to signal "all done" after meals. When he wants to read books, he gets out a book, hands it to me, then turns around and backs his little tushy into my lap and patiently waits for me to start reading. He wants to read approximately 100 books a day. (The reading is particularly remarkable because even 4 months ago he rarely sat still for a single book, and now he will sit through dozens at a time. Not sure what changed his mind about books, but he is obsessed.) He has favorite books, but will branch out to others if it means he gets to sit in your lap for longer and read. He is starting to flip through books on his own as well, though he still has a bad habit of trying to remove pages. He is obsessed with pictures of dogs.

He says "no" and "dah" (yes) and "uh oh". He went through phases where he said "car" and "look" and "Go Pack!" and "Baba" (Grandma) but they seem to have disappeared again. He does a fantastic fake "Ha! Ha! Ha!" laugh when he wants to be part of the conversation and other people are laughing. But he is multilingual, if you count animal sounds. He says "woof" and "moo" and "baaa" and "meow" and something that I can't describe in writing but it is what a fish says. Also, my very favorite: he says "cockadoodledoo!" His rooster call is without a doubt the most hilariously funny thing he does right now.

He waves bye-bye (to us when we leave; to random people in cars; to neighbors we pass while going for walks; to every single airplane that flies overhead). He blows kisses. He claps. He plays peekaboo. (He covers his eyes with his hands for peekaboo, but even better is when he runs and hides behind furniture, then jumps out with super dramatic presentation and laughs when you jump in surprise.)

He builds towers out of stacking cups. He knocks down towers made out of absolutely anything. He sorts toys into buckets for hours at a time. He loves cars. He loves hugging stuffed animals. He has a turtle puppet that he wears on his wrist like a bracelet.

He is getting pretty good at following commands. "Shall we change your diaper?" makes him turn and walk to his room and wait patiently at his changing table. "Where are your shoes?" makes him bring you his shoes. "Do you want to go outside?" makes him run to the door and frantically try to turn the doorknob, because once there is a possibility of going outside, he must be outside immediately.

He follows LL around all the time, and wants to be playing with whatever LL is playing with. He does not accept that he is younger than LL. He is fearless.

He learns new things every single day. He is getting taller by the hour, which is particularly strange because he was already in the 95th percentile for height at his 15 months appointment, and his parents are not 95th percentile people. (I am short, and S is charitably "average" in height.) He can open every day in the house, he can defeat most of our baby-proofing, and he can now reach almost every surface in the kitchen and living room.

He likes to eat. Everything. A lot. He is always willing to try new foods. He is a bit suspicious of cooked vegetables, but loves raw ones because they are crunchy.

He is super snuggly. He loves being cuddled. He adores being sung to (and quite clearly has favorite songs). He adds appropriate sound effects to a ton of songs. (Does the song mention sleeping? He'll fake a snore for you. Does the song mention a mouse? Wait for Kermit to squeak before you go on. Does the song mention something going "boom!" Kermit will happily yell "Boom!", or perhaps whisper "boom" if it is bedtime.)

And he loves to laugh and smile. All the time.