Friday, January 16, 2015

Christmas Recap and 2015 Goals

It's been a few weeks, but after that exhausting year in review, I think everyone, readers and writer, needed a blog break.  This week, as a part of their semester exam, I had my students reflect on their experiences in 2014 and create a few goals for the future.  One sweet student was kind enough to point out that, although I promised in my last blog that my 2015 goals were coming, I never posted them for the world to see.  So, here you have it: a quick recap of Chloe's Christmas (because one day I'll want to remember this), and my 2015 goals. 

 I'll start with a little recap of the past three years.  My girl REALLY needs to stop growing up! :(
Six Months Old

18 Months Old

2 1/2 years old

3 1/2 Years Old


Chloe had quite the year.  She's growing up so fast.  Literally, growing UP.  Her toddler bed was running out of room for those long legs of hers, so we ever so smoothly placed the idea in her head that she should ask Santa for a big girl bed.  Our argument must have been smooth as butter, because she bought right in adding, "Yeah, and a TB, too."  For those not fluent in Chlonese, that would be her word for TV.  We had it all worked out.  When she went to Santa, she had three things on her list:
1. A bid durl bed
2. A tb
3. A reindeer bell (That's what happens when you watch Polar Express.)  And, here is how her Santa visit went...

Needless to say, Santa got an earful of screaming, but when we left, he still had no idea what she wanted for Christmas, only that she had a very strong, healthy set of lungs. No worries, though, we fixed it with a letter to Santa.

You know Santa can't disappoint such a cute, sweet little girl, so on Christmas Eve, Chloe slept in our room, and Santa brought her a TB and a "bid durl bed."  He was nice enough to even put the bed together, make the bed (one of my most loathed chores), and mount the tv away from the prying, destructive hands of a toddler.  When Chloe walked into her room Christmas morning, she threw her hands in the hair and said, "Are you kidding me!?"  I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I got it on video. Nope.  Only smart, well prepared mamas think of intelligent ideas like that. :/  Here she is in all her glory, celebrating with her new roommate, Luke.

"Are you kidding me!?"

This didn't take long at all.  Her first thoughts were, "Now Wookie (Luke) can sleep with me.  AND, he can watch the TD!"

Then, she discovered the reindeer bell Santa left on her pillow.

Isn't it just too cute...

Who knew the simplest of gifts could bring such joy.  This bell has had LOTS of play time the past few weeks.

Her overnight room makeover was a success! (and still a work in progress)
The sheer joy this sweet smile brings me is insurmountable.  Look at that face!  She was so excited Santa liked her cookies and milk.
Chloe and her new roommate.  I promise Luke is thrilled with getting to sleep in Chloe's room on her bed with her.  This is just his poker face.

Their first night as roomies. <3

 Christmas was a success.  It doesn't escape me that not every child is as lucky as Chloe, and yes, I know we spoil her, but as long as she is a good, sweet little girl with a loving heart and a giving spirit, we will try to always make these holidays as special as we can for her.  That said, we also reinforce the reason for the season.  Chloe can tell you all about the Christmas Story and why Christmas is a celebration, and that, my friends, is the biggest gift of all.

Now, on to 2015 goals.  I don't do resolutions.  If I want to lose weight, then I buckle down and lose it.  If I want to get fit, then I do it.  I don't need the first of the year to resolve to make changes in my life.  I do have goals I try to make for myself, though. 

It has hit me pretty hard recently with the realization that, if we start Chloe in Kindergarten on time, and that's a big IF, she only has a year and a half left before starting school.  Saying that literally puts a lump in my throat.  Chloe is a summer baby, and I have seriously thought about waiting another year to start her in school.  I mean, there will be kids in her class almost a YEAR older than her!  We all know what a difference a year can make.  I do feel like she will be mentally ready to start on time, and she already knows so much, but I can't help but be sad that in a year and a half, her whole life changes.  Being a teacher, this next line might be hard to believe but.....wait for it..... for pete's sake, let her just be a kid.  Let her have her time to enjoy being a kid without any responsibilities, knowing what it is to wake up without a required place to be, required work to do, and living your life according to a school calendar.  It's sad to think that from Kindergarten all the way to retirement, each and every day most everyone wakes up with an expected place to be, required tasks to accomplish.  That being said, I want to go into this year as if she will be leaving the nest to start school soon, and really savor every moment together.  I'm too busy right now.  I take on too much, wear too many hats,  and drag Chloe along for the ride most of the time.  She's such a trooper, but I want this to be her year.  My goal is to simplify our life (I have a plan but I'll save that for later), and find the time to spend and savor doing what SHE wants to do rather that what I have to do. 

Another goal, which directly aligns with simplifying my hectic life, is learning to be more patient and less controlling.  Kids are kids.  They're messy, do things "their way," get into everything, and have their own ideas that don't always match up with ours.  Let it be said, I am a control freak.  I like things done my way, and I can sometimes not be patient enough.  It's the worst when I'm stressed out and lacking in time to do the basic things around the house.  I see it in myself. I'm a good mom, I don't doubt that, but I see those moments where I need to let loose, not feel like I have to control every second of every day, and let Chloe lead the way.  I'm really trying hard at this one.  The last thing I want for her to remember of me during her childhood was that I couldn't let loose, couldn't let her just do things her way, was nitpicky,or that I wasn't any fun.  Truthfully, it takes a lot of discipline for me to just let go, but here are two examples from tonight of me forcing myself to let loose of all control.  Goodbye perfectionistic ways, hello home with a toddler.  Chloe helped me fold the towels and put away the silverware tonight.  She did an excellent job, she really did.  Is it the way I would do it?  No way.  The old me would go behind her and fix it all, or worse, on a stressed out kinda night, just not want her to help me.  It feels good to let her help out and see that bright smile so proud of what she has done.

Seriously, she's three.  This is pretty darn good.
A perfect job with just a hint of chaos to it.

Those are my two main focuses this year.  I don't like to overload myself with too many goals at once.  It makes them less achievable and certainly less difficult to focus much time on.  Aside from those, though, I would also like to:

*Find a church home that we all three love
*Read a few "raising a daughter" books
*Buy my very own custom URL for my blog
*Redecorate most of the house

I'll keep you posted on my progress throughout the year.  Exciting things are coming, my friends!  On the first day of January, I donned this year the year of change, and I promise, there will be lots of it!


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