Goal Review: February 2019

1. Be mindful, present, and grateful every day with Claire. 

I definitely have been more intentional about finding moments of mindfulness and gratitude this month. Almost daily, I experience these little flickers of illumination, these brief, fleeting moments where I'm nearly (or completely) moved to tears by how thankful I am to be Claire's mother, to feed her with my own body, to snuggle her against me. I'll truly relish an adorable little giggle or a precious smile. I become cognizant of how indescribably sweet it is to feel her tiny fingers wrapped around mine as we cuddle and look at books together.

However, I must admit that, day after day, it becomes easier to take my time at home with this precious baby for granted. Providing care for a sensitive, fussy, needy infant, through developmental leaps and teething, with no help or support or relief, is draining, and I often find myself "just trying to make it through the day." How quickly I forget that I could be dropping her off at a crowded daycare while I go work for twelve hours at a nursing job I despise. Sometimes it's hard, but not being with her would be far harder. I don't want to take a single day for granted.

2. Continue breastfeeding. 

Five and a half months of EBF and I'm still powering through, despite some terribly painful vasospasm issues.

3. Eat the same vegetables I'm feeding Claire. 

We're following a more Montessori approach to feeding by combining Baby Led Weaning with a few homemade purees. I have to say, making food for your baby is unbelievably simple if you're eating healthy yourself. If I want to give Claire sweet potatoes, I make sweet potatoes for all of us. If I want Claire to eat broccoli, I steam broccoli for Matt and me, too. That's one major benefit of Baby-Led Weaning. It forces you to address the way your entire family eats. Wanting to make sure your baby gets the best, most nutrient-dense foods can give you the push you need to change your own diet. It's certainly done this for us. With BLW, if I'm eating Domino's pizza for dinner, I don't have anything to offer Claire. In order for her to have nutritious veggies, I have to cook them.

4. Track calories and water intake daily. 

Downloading MyFitnessPal was a game-changer this month. I've been tracking calories, water, and exercise daily, and it's made me so much more aware of everything I do.

5. Exercise four days each week. 

I've alternated between restorative yoga (soooo amazing for my back after carrying around this fifteen pound little girl all day) and challenging HIIT workouts on YouTube by Team Body Project. A couple of weeks, I even exceeded this goal by doing five workouts! 

6. Compile a brand new running playlist to have ready to go in March. 

I made a list of songs I want to add to iTunes, but my phone, an old iPhone 5, is no longer connecting to iTunes. So. I made the list, but I didn't make the list. 

7. Limit social media checks to twice daily. X

Uh, this one's a giant no. If I'm honest, I'm probably checking Facebook fifty or sixty times a day. I need help. It all started because I was following our real estate company as they've been posting daily Facebook clues for their red balloon scavenger hunt (they're hiding balloons across the city, each one worth $500). Finding myself already on Facebook, I lost track of time, dillydallied on articles, etc. 

8. Keep my phone in a pocket or tucked away somewhere that I can still hear it, but where it's not constantly within sight for distracting, repeated checks. Limit use when Claire is around and keep out of her reach. X

Nope. And Claire reaches for my phone constantly. Constantly. I've got to figure out something with this. 

9. Write during at least one baby nap each day. 

This month, she's been getting about two ten-minute naps a day. I haven't picked up one article assignment and this blog has been pretty silent. However, I've written this post and one other in multiple sessions as she's napped on my chest in the ring sling, so I think I've done enough to count here.

10. Go outside for a while on nice days. 

Nice days? What are those? Seriously, this has been the rainiest month ever! We've had about four or five rain-free days this month, so we've gone for walks when we could. At the very least, we've roamed around our backyard and gone to see the chickens during brief precipitation-free periods. 

11. Go for a hike with Matt. X

His few days off never coincided with nice days.

12. Share any positive stories I come across on social media. MEH.

Since I've been wasting so much time on Facebook trying to find those dang red balloons (all for naught, btw), I've been sharing way more regularly than I ever have before. Sharing positivity, however, has been a major challenge. I've managed to find and share a few happy/inspiring/motivating stories, but, um, well, I've also shared a few disturbing/upsetting ones. I've gotten a bit bolder and a lot more fired up about the state of the world in my old age (and definitely after becoming a mother; my goodness, how it changes your worldview). I've never been one to be openly political, but man, oh man, the times are calling for it, and I'm struggling to keep quiet. I shared one political post on Facebook for the first time ever this last week, and that went about as well as one would expect (ha). I'm torn between staying quiet to avoid conflict and doing my sad little part to stand up for social justice.

But I suppose a simple Facebook post isn't going to change anyone's deeply-ingrained political assumptions. While I feel that I'm promoting awareness of social injustice, in actuality, I'm only creating barriers between my Facebook friends and myself. Right? That's the only thing that happens when you get political on social media? The last thing this country needs is more division.

I just don't know. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of either going full-on social activist or unplugging everything and going completely off grid in the mountains of Switzerland.

Living in 2019 is difficult. 

13. Check recycling information on store packaging and choose the options that can be recycled here in town when possible. MEH.

This month, I've observed that Aldi pretty much offers only one option of each product. So, if I need bell peppers, I get the plastic-wrapped bell peppers, 'cause that's all they got. If I need mushrooms, I get the mushrooms in the plastic bin with the #5 (which will not be accepted at the recycling center in Huntsville) on the bottom. So. As long as I'm shopping at Aldi, this is a no-go. I love their prices, but I am beyond irritated by their ridiculous usage of plastic packaging. 

14. Find ways to reuse/repurpose things that can't be recycled. 

I realized the little plastic mushroom bins are the just the right size for drawers, and they are perfect for organizing the KonMari way. (I also realized we eat a lot of mushrooms in a month.) I used a few of them to organize miscellany in our junk drawer as well as baby things in the drawer of the changing table.

15. No stupid, unplanned dining out. Make a weekly menu and cook meals at home. Then actually eat them. 

We were better about this during February. We only did this once, and we noticed that it could have been avoided if we had had something quick and easy to prepare in the freezer. 

16. Have a February budget meeting with Matt. MEH.

We didn't sit down and make out a budget together this month because there was not enough income to even make cash categories. We did address our finances together many times this month as we prepared taxes and tried to make decisions on how to proceed. 

17. Declutter and organize the kitchen. MEH.

I did this a bit, but I didn't go full on KonMari and do it properly. I got so frustrated with all our stuff, I just had to stop. 

18. Begin child-proofing the house. 

I've covered electrical outlets with hand-me-down outlet covers from my sister-in-law. My father-in-law temporarily baby-proofed the most dangerous areas where the remodeling has screeched to a halt due to insufficient funds. He covered exposed wires with new drywall and reused pieces of laminate flooring we pulled out of the space that became our new bathroom to fill in the dangerous holes in the floor. 

I also got to work on putting away a few fragile items that were within Claire's reach. I had displayed my deceased grandmother's jewelry box and my deceased aunt's jewelry box on the bottom shelf of this bookcase, which just so happened to be in the spot we've now designated as Claire's play area. When I noticed this, I gave the bookcase a makeover.

Everything breakable or "fancy" has been swapped out for Claire's books and toys. I know, a vertical bookcase like this isn't exactly child-proof, as it can topple over on the baby once she is able to pull herself up and reach high. But that's all we have, and until I can find an alternative, this will work.

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