Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Living

At the risk of taking on too much at once- focusing on too many things and accomplishing nothing- I am also going to commit to adopting healthier eating habits for myself and my family.

I think I am finally ready. While life is busy, and stressful at times, there is never the perfect time to do this! In the last few weeks and months, I have slowly been "getting there" mentally. There was a time when I think I was pretty good about limiting the sweets we kept on hand in our house. It was not a daily event to have a sweet snack. Lately, we have somehow morphed into a constant state of scrounging for the next sugary treat. It has got to stop.

Today, rather out of the blue, my 7yo told me, "Mom, I think you should try to lose 16 pounds by Christmas." I don't know what prompted this comment, or where he came up with that amount, but I am taking it as a sign. It's a rather daunting goal for me, considering that I have gained 20 pounds in the last 7 months. It is time to get serious. Life is too short to waste any more precious time.

I am still trying to figure out how best to fit exercise into my life, but I am going to give myself 1 week to come up with that plan. For this week, I am going to focus on getting my eating under control. I am going to "count points", Weight Watchers style, and track them in my journal. I also really want to focus on eating healthy, nutritionally dense, foods; lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables. In addition, I need to work on cutting my coffee habit, mostly because I "have" to use flavored creamer. Too many unnecessary calories that I can't afford! I am going to try to drink herbal tea in place of my after-supper cuppa java to start with. Then I will work from there.

Wish me luck! I will try to post my progress here each Saturday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Routines and Organization

I have heard it said more than once that children thrive on routines. I also know that it is the lack of strong, established routines that often cause our family life to feel so out-of-control. I need to work on this. While I don't want it to be so ridged that we can't (every once in a while) just throw the routines out the window and be spontaneous and have fun, I do want to have some systems in place so that my children can experience a better atmosphere to grow and thrive.

The first thing that I am going to focus on establishing is a working "chore" system. Believe it or not, some of my kids have been requesting this! "Mom, you should make a list so that we know what each person has to do every day and then we can put a smiley face by it when we get it done." Along with this, I want to incorporate an allowance system. Teaching them that, as members of our family, we are all expected to do certain things. (Ex: make our beds, carry down our own laundry, pick up toys) In addition to those tasks, they can have the opportunity to earn money by going above and beyond. (Ex: matching up the socks and putting them away, cleaning and wiping out the dish drawers) And I want them to each have their own place to keep their money- some for "saving", some for "spending", and some to put in the collection at Sunday School.

A while back, I came across a kit of sorts to help establish a system of chores. I stumbled on it through A Prudent Homemaker's recommended reading list. It has been on my mind ever since, as I have mentally wrestled with the idea of having to spend money to set up a "Job Chart". Seems so simple. But, everything I have tried in the past has petered out, or sometimes never even made it off the ground. I have decided that today I am going to order MANAGERS OF THEIR CHORES. I will keep you updated on how it all works out.


I think I am going to take this blog in a little bit of a different direction.

I started this as a way to take some time out for myself, away from my busy family, to focus on the things I enjoy. It was the perfect outlet for several reasons. It was easily accessible; I could take a few moments out during the day, or use it to unwind in the evening. It gave me a chance to "window shop", or admire (obsess?) the "things" that I couldn't afford to go out and do or buy. A chance to throw parties that I didn't have the time or resources to throw in my real life. And, I could do it all without spending a dime of my dear hubby's hard-earned coinage.

I think I will still do some of this, from time to time.

I am hoping to do something more here, though. I would like to use this as a sounding board for those thoughts and events that effect me as a mother. A place to share "those" moments, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Something more like my own personal diary.

I hope that it will continue to give me that refuge that I seek from the day-to-day activities, but that it will also help me to grow as a woman, a friend, a wife and a mother.