Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Birthday Party Weekend

Hello, friends! I'm glad to see I still have a *few* readers of this blog out there :) I've noticed that blogging has an important trait for me right now. It's a physical rest (which I need, chasing around 2 children is exhausting) but feels like I'm doing something other than just strolling Facebook. My time on FB was down a LOT last week (mainly because I'm tracking it using an app called Moment) and I want to keep that up. The first few days I used it I was spending over an hour a day on Facebook and I'm down to about 20 minutes. That feels like the right amount for checking in with actual friends, but not scrolling through people I don't care about and/or seeing the same post several times. 

It was a birthday party weekend here in our house. Normally I would never RSVP yes for 3 birthday parties in one weekend, but they were all ones we really wanted to attend and actually, it was pretty fun! First on Saturday we headed down to my best friend's daughter's 3rd birthday. We had to arrive a little early in order to fit in the 2 parties but it ended up being nice because the boys had a chance to play with her kids for awhile on their own and we got to chat/help finish the set up. 

On Sunday we had a party for one of Max's friend's from school. I have a love/hate relationship with those parties since I don't know the other parents well, and I typically can't bring Jack so it feels like special time with Max being kind of wasted. BUT, I know it's important for his relationships to go and he loves it so I try to say yes when it makes sense. Yesterday was the ideal party because it was at a park, so Jack could easily come along and Eric was able to plow through a bunch of house stuff while we were gone, so that was perfect. I heard on the Best of Both Worlds podcast... or was it on Happier? (I'm currently obsessed with both) that the more often you see people the closer you feel to them (apparently this is true even if you didn't really like each other at first, fun fact) and that seems to be true in this case. The more often I attend these parties, the more I enjoy going and talking with the other parents there. I am definitely the type of person who makes friends with people/feels closer to them the more often we see each other so, I just need to put in the time, I guess. 

This week I am going to try to focus on healthy(ish) eating, a couple of walks, 2 solid workouts and less than 30 minutes per day of Facebook. I'm also in process of figuring out how I can start having Max help make his own lunch- I'll let you know if that starts to happen.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Self Improvement Updates

One of the reasons I miss blogging was that I feel like it was a public-ish way to keep track of goals and things I was thinking about. Since having kids I've had a lot less time to think about goals and a lot less control of them actually happening but I've still accomplished a couple of small things along the way. 

I still keep up pretty well with planning/calendar stuff. I'm currently using a bullet journal but I already purchased a Get to Work Book for next school year because that system was working super well for me at work before I had Jack. In case you are wondering my bullet journal is the least fancy thing ever. On one side of the page I have a "To Do" list for the week, on the bottom some weeks I'll write meal plans and work outs, some weeks I don't. On the right side of the page I have more of a weekly calendar. I also use Google Calendar for appointments etc since this journal really only goes a week at a time.

Healthy Living
A couple of things I'd like to work on right now are healthy eating and exercise. I'm aiming extremely low because these are two areas that have been SO much harder than I thought they would be when I had kids. I've consistently maintained 2x a week of strength training for years now so I feel like that's pretty solid. Eric and I do an upper body work out on Sundays, alternating chest and triceps one week and back and biceps the next (Eric does the thing we don't do on Sunday later in the week, I do not). Then, on Wednesday or Thursday I'll do a leg workout. These both take under 20 minutes and work well because they can be done in my house, mostly with my kids running around in the basement with me/us. I also do a lot of walks, though I don't think walking with Max quite counts as a workout. My goal for this spring is to do at least 1 walk with Jack per week that is either a partial run OR over 2 miles (likely both). Two miles doesn't sound like much but it's hard to do in my small neighborhood without going down a GIANT hill, and once I go down that it's become less of a leisurely walk and more of an actual work out (that will likely be a bit longer than 2 miles) so that's my reason for picking that number. Basically I need to motivate myself to go down the hill, even if I reward myself with Starbucks passion tea on some of those days.

On the healthy eating front my issue is being at home all day. I've gotten myself in a bad habit of having chips (currently obsessed with Trader Joe's sweet potato chips) at lunch every day. I would never do this if I was at work because I'd feel like everyone was judging me for eating chips every day lol. So, I'm going to try for chips only 2x per week now. I hid them in the guest room closet so that I can't go back for them during nap time without waking Jack up. Ha.

Phone Use
I downloaded the "Moment" app on my phone to see how much I was using my phone in a day. It's not good. Not good at all. Some screen time is okay. I love checking in with friends throughout the day on Marco Polo. I use a calendar and daily to do list on my phone. But, I need to cut the random scrolling a lot. I have to think about how I'm going to do this. Send any tips my way. I'm a moderator so getting rid of Facebook won't work, ha ha. I know part of this is a life season because again, when I go back to work I just simply can't spend as much time on my phone and currently my phone is a good tool for connection.

What are some things you are currently working on? How much time do you think you spend on your phone per day?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Family Dates

Lately I've just been kind of missing blogging, so here I am. No idea if this will be a thing. Maybe it will.
You know how the busier you are, the more you get done? Or is that just me? I keep feeling like I'm wasting too much time on social media and need other things to occupy my mind. But at night even reading sometimes feels like too much energy. So, I decided I was going to do the #100dayproject and write every day. Which I've mostly been doing even if some days it's just a few minutes of writing. But, I feel so unmotivated to write for only myself. Thus, today I'm here. I suppose I may still be writing for myself here, ha. 
I've also been thinking maybe I should make it 100 Days of doing something for myself. Scrolling on Facebook doesn't count. I could write, work out, paint my nails... I probably wouldn't count reading since I already do that every day. I need something to motivate me to work out more. I've been averaging 2 days a week for years now. I don't count walking, but maybe I could make walks longer and then count them. I wonder if Jack would approve of that? I'm feeling very aware of my return to work in a few months and I have some things on my list to accomplish before that happens (both work related, and not). But a mix between "too much" time and children who never let me accomplish anything with any actual regularity make it so difficult.

One of my "goals" this year was to do one date (Eric and I) and one family date (us + kids) per month. We got off to a very rough start in January with a failed attempt to go bowling (the wait was 3 hours) so after that we decided we would bundle up and do outdoor dates to avoid overly crowded and germy locations. My original plan was to incorporate doing something fun with a restaurant, and that has happened some, but not all, of the times. Eric and I are on track to have at least one date a month (sometimes more!)... though we haven't had one yet in April so I need to get on that!

Here are the "family dates" that have been successful this year. Our first was to the outdoor ice skating rink in town:

In early February we managed to bundle up on a very cold day and go to the Great Meadow Wildlife Refuge in Concord. There is a small tower to climb, and the boys love to just throw rocks into water wherever we are. 

Following the wildlife refuge we headed to one of our favorite breweries: Battle Road Brew House in Maynard which we discovered last summer. 

We spent the rest of February in Florida, which I'm hoping to blog about soon. But in March we had to bundle again, this time to walk around Walden Pond. With all the wind we got that month, there was quite a lot of climbing over fallen trees but it was a beautiful day and a lot of fun exercise. 

A lot of sledding also happened in March, but I'm not sure if it's really considered a family date if all you have to do is step out your back door, ha ha.

I'm looking forward to the nicer weather because that always means easier planning for family adventures. But, it also has a be a bit more intentional since we tend to be a lot busier in the spring and summer months. Hope we can keep up once a month dates! 

What are your favorite family date ideas? If you are local, send recommendations my way- or even if you aren't, you never know when we will want to go on a trip ;) 

Also, shout out to my sister Caroline who fixed my blog so it doesn't have any crazy photobucket error messages anymore.