I've been told that if you want to meet a goal you have to commit yourself to it. I've also heard that telling people about your goal forces you to take responsibility for it. It's more embarrassing if you have to tell people you quit, you lose face...no one wants that. So here I am, committing myself to my goal. Which is to get into a regular workout routine. I am not setting a goal weight or dress size because, while I really DO want to lose weight and look fabulous, the real reason is that I need to get healthier. With two wild little men in my life (and one of them just so close to being mobile), I really need to be in top shape! I want to be the Mom who chases her kids on the playground. I want to be in good health so I don't miss out on all the wonderful things my boys are sure to do!
So, now it's out there (for whoever it is that reads this thing....mom???). And hopefully I'll remember that tomorrow at 7 am, when my alarm goes off or when I'm too tired (hm hmm...lazy) to lace up my sneakers for the gym.
As a military family, we get to enjoy living in locations that we would otherwise never dream of. We're very lucky to have the opportunities, job stability, and benefits that we have. We have learned to live with the cons of military life and enjoy the benefits -- but the one big, huge, major con that we have not gotten used to, let alone learned to accept, is saying goodbye to friends.
Being far from family is very hard, particularly around holidays, birthdays, and milestone events. But we always know where they are and that we will see them again. It's different with the friends you make along your military journey. Pre-military, I don't know that I would have thought I could have a confidante in someone I'd met only a month or two earlier. In the military, everyone knows that you have to make friends fast or you don't make them at all. Even when you're stationed somewhere for 3 years, everyone you meet is on a different schedule, so you are constantly saying goodbye.
Sadly, we just had to say a goodbye to some wonderful friends we met and became close to here in Iwakuni. Despite it not being a new thing for me, it was terribly sad. But I feel the worst for Bennet. He's at the age now where he really has preferred playmates and this was his first real BFF. As of yet, I don't think he gets it. We talked to him about moving away and how we won't see our friends anymore, but I think the idea was too abstract. Perhaps over the next few weeks, when we don't go to their house or see them, it will sink in for him.
So for now we have a Tanya-Brian-Kirby-Addy sized hole in our hearts. But we hope that the military will bring us back together one day!
2009 has been pretty good to us, but we're very excited to see what 2010 will bring! And just as we always do, we've discussed our resolutions for the year. So without further ado, here they are:
Jude plans to learn how to walk and talk this year. Bennet will continue to expand his vocabulary. I'm working towards cooking from scratch more often. And Tim is going to finish a marathon.
As a family, we have also resolved to continue our quest to go green. This year, the adults are focusing on cleaning and eating green, while the children are going to work on playing green! Basically the boys are giving up battery operated, plastic toys in favor of natural toys that stimulate the imagination. Don't worry if you've given them toys like this in the past -- we've kept a box for rainy days!! BUt as for their everyday toys, we are making sure that anything they play with is constructed safely (no bpa, pthalates, lead paint, etc) and does not do the playing for them (bells, whistles, lights, songs, and buttons). It's certainly going to be a big change, but we all feel that it will help the boys expand their imagination considerably! If you are interested in going green with YOUR child's toys, I've listed several simple ideas and stores at the end of this post!
As I said, the adults are also going green. I am buying more organic and local food as well as cooking more of our food from scratch. We have a steam cleaner on it's way so that we can disinfect our floors and counters without the use of chemicals and I'm testing out different natural cleaning solutions.
Books, videos, and non-toxic craft supplies are always a hit and easy enough for anyone to find, even if they aren't up and up with the green movement. Several web stores out there have done a fantastic job of stocking educational and natural toys. The go to stores for us include Jillian's Drawers (www.jilliansdrawers.com) and Oompa Toys (www.oompa.com) for young kids and Fat Brain Toys (www.fatbraintoys.com) for older kiddos. Haba, Plan Toys, Green Toys, Sevi, Sprout, Playmobil, Lego, and Sprig are all great brands too!
Today marked the official start of Bennet's winter break and he celebrated by sleeping in until 9 am!! Now, that is amazing on it's own. But what made it even better was that Jude must have talked it over with Bennet, because he slept until 9 as well! Needless to say, I was a very happy, and well-rested Mama.
This morning was the Jingle Bell Jog 1.5 k here on base. So we had to get dressed and out the door by 10:30. I quickly fed everyone, dressed them, and threw a diaper bag together. I sent Bennet to go put on his shoes and off he ran to the shoe basket in the front hall. Now, normally, he pulls out his favorite orange crocs and puts them on himself, but today he pulled out his black dress shoes that we bought for him to wear with his holiday outfit. I saw what he was doing and told him to grab his crocs. What happened next was so sweet and funny!! Bennet shook his head, "Uh-uh." Then, with a twinkle in his eye and goofy grin on his face, he said, "Fancy shoes!"
What could I possibly do? Certainly, I couldn't deny such a cute request!! So my sweet 4 year old jogged 1.5k in his "fancy" shoes this morning!
I have to add that the plan was for me to push both kids in our double stroller, but as soon as Bennet saw all the costumes, heard the music, and saw other people running and walking, he hopped out of his seat and literally ran the entire way! He was so pleased with himself! Of course, I wasn't thinking and I didn't take my camera with us today, so I missed out on taking photos of his very first racing experience. Bad Mommy!!
After the run, everyone went inside the gym for some lunch and raffles. Both Jude and Bennet won!! Bennet got a giftcard to the NEX and Jude got a toy. So after the run, we went to the NEX where we exchanged the toy (it had far too many flashing lights and sound effects) and got Jude a few outfits while Bennet chose to buy two Melissa & Doug toys (I may have gently swayed him towards those rather than the plethora of "boy toys" lining the shelves) with his gift card.
All in all, it was a very fun, and thoroughly exhausting, day!
January 28th will be the 2nd anniversary of Adoption Day!! Of course, Bennet came to live with us in September of 2007, but January 28, 2008 was the day he became an official Nelis and we were finally recognized as a forever family!! Last year we had a special family dinner, but I think this year we may take a weekend trip. Not sure though. Do you have any good ideas for celebrating our family's special day? We'd love to hear them!!
Vacations, holidays, and children have been keeping me thoroughly busy and away from the computer. But I found a spare moment today and decided that I really needed to update here! So here is the past few months in a nutshell:
Bennet started going to school 5 days a week which has been great! He's opened up a lot more at school and he's beginning to repeat a lot more! However, this has meant that Tim and I have had to watch what we say...
Jude started eating solid foods. Super fun and SUPER messy! His favorites are green beans and squash. He's rolling all over the place now and is sitting up on his own...well for a little while anyways until something catches his attention and he rolls off to the side!
Tim is still training for his marathon and working long hours for the Navy. In his spare time, he's been building toys for Bennet and Jude. More on that in a later post -- don't want to spoil the surprise!
As for me, I've been preparing for the holidays and working towards my goal to feed my family wholesome foods from scratch as much as possible. As you know, I've been enjoying bread baking for about a year now and I recently tried my hand at making my own pasta!
It would be ridiculous for me to try to tell you every little thing from the last few months, so I'll leave you with a few photos and videos along with a solemn vow to blog frequently in the coming year!