Thursday, December 31, 2015

How About Those 2015 Resolutions?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2016 here we come!! Please be kind!

On the one hand, some things on my resolutions list from last year remain undone. On the other hand, I've had a banner year in terms of getting things done! So let's start with all the positive (non-resolution) change.* This post is long, so I highlighted key stuff for you. Haha.

In March, Kevin got me this book for birthday because he knows I'm interested in organization books. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing* by Marie Kondo (Konmari) is no joke. I don't just have a more organized home, but it was LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC! It's real. Let me explain.

After I had started successfully decluttering my home so that I could bask in the things I love most, it occurred to me that this problem I had been unable to solve with willpower or other books-- I was able to solve with a better system. Maybe I just needed a better system for... everything!

So I asked for recommendations, specifically seeking something that was similar in style to Konmari: a book with a system to fix my problem, with some instant wins, that would keep me motivated, and was free to implement. I think that the "free" part is kind of key because it somehow prevents shysters from profiting (and therefore recidivism on your part).

So for finances I did The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. I'm not going to get into my financial details online, but huge improvement! If you want to ask me in person, I'll tell.

At this point it occurred to me that what I really wanted was to lose weight. This one was tough. I was asking around everywhere. I tried reading a few bad diet books. Meanwhile articles were coming out that diets don't work. Ugh.

Finally I found this BBC documentary from 2012 about accidental diet research on mice and its effects on humans... as far as we know now. Basically the documentary talked about the scientific method of eating 500 calories every other day, and your regular current diet in between. There are a few different names for this method of eating: alternate day fasting, every other day diet, or 5:2 fast diet (if you only do it 2 days a week).

I read the three best books on the topic (Mosley, Varady, Johnson). The thing is, you don't need to read the books at all because I just explained the whole diet to you, but if you want to be convinced that it's healthy and scientific then read one of the books. I still think the best one is The FastDiet - Revised & Updated: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting by Michael Mosley. I also like the Facebook group Alternate Day Fasting. (I would recommend actually reading and following KonMari or Dave Ramsey if you have problems in those areas, but the diet is really straightforward.)

I've done the 5:2 diet for 5 months, and lost 15 pounds so far. I lost the weight I gained when I was pregnant plus another 7 pounds. I'm the weight I was when I got married in 2009, and there's no signs that I'm stuck or that I've plateaued yet. So I'll report back when I do.

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Lost the Miranda weight plus more, except 
that Miranda makes me carry her all the time.

I asked around again for life-changing systems, and this time I found bullet journal which is a very easy, simple, and fun way to make your own planner and keep track of your short-term and long term goals. No book this time, just this website: http://bulletjournal.com/. I also like the Facebook group Bullet Journal Junkies. You don't have to buy, borrow, or read anything.

I'm in the process of finding information on meditation and mindfulness. I'll report back this too. 

Also, we bought a house this year! So that was an awesome bucket list item for me. I'm super happy about our little house near the beach and near Kevin's job.

As for my actual 2015 Resolutions, below I highlighted which of my 2015 resolutions I actually accomplished. I'm doing a separate post on my 2016 resolutions but hopefully I can keep that list SHORT and manageable.

2015 Resolution "Musts":
  • Spanish: Started to get serious about teaching the kids Spanish! 
  • Complete our powers of attorney (was also on my 2014 resolutions)
  • Living wills (was also on my 2014 resolutions)
  • Healthcare powers of attorney (was also on my 2014 resolutions)
  • What would I do for our kids? Letters?
My reading list:
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 
  • Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munroe 
  • Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler 
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
  • (I also read 21 other books that weren't on this list including: Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey)
Also fun reads (bonus):
  • the third Magicians
  • the rest of Game of Thrones 4-6 (read 4 and 5, stuck on the boringness of 6)
  • Enders Game 
Charity: One donation a month. I might also encourage you to donate to the one I pick. (I gave this year but not to 12 places, or each month.)

Things I still needed to do from my 2014 Resolutions:
  • Back-up my entire computer.
  • Learn to bake!
  • Lost the baby weight I gained with Miranda! And not a resolution - but also James weight! (Thanks 5:2!)
  • Culled my dad's books (thanks Konmari!)
  • Finish James's baby book
  • Baptize the kids.
  • Learn Italian this year.

* I used three associate links above, because why the heck not, but these are all books I used to great effect. All of you who know me in real life know that I won't shut up about these books. My "cults." Also, you don't need to buy any of these books because they're probably in your local library.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cape Cod- December 2015

Saturday, we got to the Cape and James and Miranda got to play with Ellen, Lillian, and Beatrice. The three girls are Dolores's youngest granddaughters (of six total).

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
 Lillian (7.5), Ellen (8), James (4.5), Beatrice (3.5), and Miranda (1.5).

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Miranda, Beatrice, and James

Afterward, we went to a little family party at Nesie and Steve's. We had Chinese food! Yum. James became totally devastatingly obsessed with Harry the dachshund and didn't want to leave him.

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
James kissing Great-grandma, Aunt Nesie on right

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Great-grandma and Miranda drawing together

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Uncle Dickie and Grandma Kathy

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Katie, James, and dog Harry snuggling.

Sunday, Aunt Mary and Chris babysat in the early afternoon. Later we went to Great-grandma's and the kids opened the gift that were still under the tree for them. Great-grandma gave us a family Aquarium pass which is awesome!

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Great-grandma also gave James his first real bike!

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Snuggling mini-me.

Kevin, Katie and I went to see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. And it was good! (I was not a fan of the modern I-III.)

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Movie happiness!

On Monday morning, Kevin took himself and Miranda to the doctor- he has a sinus infection, and she has an ear infection. James was still recovering from his double ear infection but seemed a bit better. Later, Grandma took James to the train show, and the kid's went to Dolores's (Yaya's) to play with her new puppy Holly. James also became obsessively in love with her. 

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Trains!

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
James giving Holly orders

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Puppy excitement!

Grandma Kathy's best friend from childhood Nancy and her sister Doreen came over and eventually we went back to Great-Grandma's for dinner.

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Kathy, Nancy, Doreen (Mary and James playing with the dollhouse)

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Snuggling at Great-Grandma Ruth's

On Tuesday, the kids saw their first snow of the winter! Aunt Nesie and Uncle Steve babysat while we took Grandma to lunch at Pain D'Avignon Café Boulangerie.

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Little bit of snow.

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Aunt Nesie trying to teach James Crazy 8s

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Miranda snuggling Uncle Steve

Cape Cod- Dec 2015
Grandma Kathy and Kevin (with a bad cold) at lunch.

As always, a very eventful visit!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Port Jeff Ferry 2015

First time on a boat!! We took the ferry from Long Island to Connecticut to shorten our trip to the Cape a bit. As a bonus, it was the first time either kid had been on a boat before. We were more excited than they were but they liked it.


Port Jeff Ferry 2015
We got a table on the ferry.

Port Jeff Ferry 2015
Looking out into the harbor.

Port Jeff Ferry 2015
We're on a boat!

Port Jeff Ferry 2015
To the Long Island Sound

Port Jeff Ferry 2015
LOVE!!!

We timed it so that it would be Miranda's naptime when we got off the ferry- and success!-- double success!

Port Jeff Ferry 2015
Napping through Connecticut.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

This was a pretty fun Christmas. James was very excited the night before! I was so excited I had trouble sleeping! Miranda... was not excited in advance and doesn't know who Santa is or what's up. But unlike last year she was excited about the toys that came out of the boxes and not just the boxes. Still... I think next year will be the best Christmas yet in terms of both of them being excited for Christmas morning...

Christmas 2015
James opening matching lanterns for him and Miranda to explore the dark

Christmas 2015
Helping Miranda open presents

Christmas 2015
A puzzle he saw on Daniel Tiger!

Christmas 2015
Nana squish. (Nana's favorite.)

There were a few sharing problems...

Christmas 2015
Miranda wants to play with the race car too.

But they worked it out after a lot of encouragement. And yes, eventually we got the car out of the box too.

Christmas 2015
Pushing loud buttons together.

They are fairly cooperative when it suits them.

Christmas 2015
Miranda eating Santa's leftover cookies


Christmas 2015
James won't tattle ("Miranda is doing something bad!")... if he can share

I made a french toast casserole for breakfast.

Christmas 2015 
French toast casserole

The rest of the day was pretty laid back. The kids mostly played with their new presents.

Christmas 2015
Shoots, scores, breaks net!

Christmas 2015
Reading to Miranda- James is distracted by his new toy watch with games.

Christmas 2015
Naptime.

Christmas 2015
G-chatting with Andrew in Japan, and the rest of Kevin's family in Cape Cod

Christmas 2015
Tickling Miranda. They both love to be tickled.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Noche Buena 2015

Noche Buena is what Cubans call Christmas Eve. We always serve pork for dinner. Traditionally you'd have an entire pig roasted in a "Caja China" in a pit, but we made due with some well-seasoned pork tenderloin in the oven. Also, yucca in garlic sauce, rice and black beans, and salad.

Noche Buena 2015
Christmas Eve Clous

My mom, her boyfriend Bob, and his daughter Jen joined us this year. It was our first Christmas at the new house.

Noche Buena 2015
Mom, Bob, Miranda, Jen, James

Noche Buena 2015
Miranda loves Bob

Noche Buena 2015
Kevin making my mom feel awkward before dinner.

James actually helped me marinate the pork the night before. It came out great!

Noche Buena 2015
Dinner!

Noche Buena 2015
As usual, Miranda started dinner in her baby chair but...

Noche Buena 2015
... ended up on our laps.

We exchanged a few presents too. Usually just the adults do presents Christmas Eve (the kids have Christmas morning) but Jenny had to leave so she gave the kids an awesome Mr. Potato Head and a tiny mechanical puppy.

Noche Buena 2015
James re: Mr. Potato Head "We have like this at school!"

Noche Buena 2015
Puppy wearing Mr. Potato Head's glasses.

Noche Buena 2015
Hugging my big 4-year-old boy!

After I put Miranda to bed, Kevin, Bob, and I took James on a short little walk around the neighborhood to see people's Christmas lights. Did I mention it was like 70 degrees?

Noche Buena 2015
Christmas lights walk

Noche Buena 2015
Christmas Lights walk

Then it was time to prepare for Santa! 

Noche Buena 2015
James put out the milk and chocolate chocolate chip cookies we made together.

Noche Buena 2015
And then Kevin and James opened the chimney flue so Santa could come down.

And off to bed because Santa won't come unless you're sleeping!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...