Last year, as I prepared to return to work after maternity leave with Isla I posted about my goals for the coming year. As 2011 draws to a close I thought I’d have a scan back and see how I got on.
As far as teaching Lilly to read is concerned – perhaps this was a bit of an ambitious one! I have come to realise that reading is something we can’t force on her or rush, at the risk of turning her off. She is a rather stubborn personality and doesn’t take kindly to not being able to do things! However, she does know all the letters of the alphabet and what sounds they make and she has begun to write her name, if you give her dots to join or lines to follow. I think the plan now is just to take things at a pace she is comfortable with and I am sure that, once she starts school in September, things will come on naturally.
We were lucky to enjoy lots of lovely holidays in both France and Center Parcs. But we didn’t manage to book another foreign holiday. We thought about it (lots) but everytime we did the sums it was just too expensive. And our trip to Kenya for 2012 (sister in law’s wedding) was cancelled too once we discovered that we were being joined by another little bundle of fun! But because the time away we have had was so lovely I don’t think we have too many complaints. Oh, and as far as brushing up my French was concerned, I didn’t do as well as planned. And there was a very embarrassing moment when we went through the McDonalds Drive Thru and I had to ask for “deux happy meals”… I am still cringing! We were also lucky to go on plenty of nice family days out during the year, some of which I have blogged about. Hopefully this will continue next year as I am off on maternity leave for a large chunk of it, and now that hubby is at home I can use my leave (which is more generous than his was when he was working) to spend some quality time with them all.
I didn’t really get around to tidying up all my recipes and updating my recipe database, although I have continued to collect them. Lilly and I have done some cooking together, although I’d always like to do more, especially getting her involved in cooking savoury meals, not just cakes and biscuits. I have though, been really good at meal planning, and my biggest success in terms of goals for 2011 was losing weight. I started Weight Watchers at the end of January and lost almost three stone before discovering I was pregnant in June. Obviously the weight loss has had to take a back seat now (!) but once the baby is here I intend to regain my focus as it felt fabulous looking and feeling good in my clothes again. Hubby also took up the Weight Watchers life a month after me and has lost somewhere near four stone… so hopefully he will help me keep on the straight and narrow next year!
One of my immediate goals for 2011 was to be superorganised to help the transition back to work. We didn’t have much choice on this one, it HAD to happen! And it is funny how much our domestic arrangements have changed since January last year. Hubby is now a full time dad and I am a full time worker (or at least I will be until I go on maternity leave in four weeks!) The new arrangement is working well, we are happy, the kids are happy and we are managing with money. Hopefully we will make it through the five months of maternity leave without going bankrupt and carry on as we left off. It isn’t going to be easy but we have to find a way to make it work for our family.
I didn’t quite get round to the first aid refresher, so need to think about that for 2012. The kitchen table remains Clutter Central, to my shame. I did take up swimming again, and I did use my Wii Fit more, as part of my weight loss, but both have gone by the wayside now I’m pregnant. We didn’t take the girls swimming very much, and I’d still like to do this. However, we will soon have three so it will be even more logistical!
Moving house. We knew a year ago this was unlikely to happen anytime soon. We could not have dreamed we would be planning to welcome another member of the family into our already too-small two bedroom house! But we have done lots of the practical jobs that needed doing to get the house into a state of readiness for going onto the market at a time in the future when things are more favourable. However we have also come to realise that we should be very thankful for what we have in this current ecomonic climate – we have a roof over our head and a manageable mortgage. Tony isn’t working any longer and that is ok, because we no longer pay childcare and we can manage our finances. But we can’t yet stretch ourselves to a bigger mortgage or the cost of moving, so although we both dream about the day we can move somewhere bigger (a third bedroom! Downstairs toilet! Garage! Conservatory! Big garden! etc…) we are also realistic. But the house is looking pretty good now and we have finally decorated every room… the last being our bedroom, which looks fab now.
I also managed to keep my job – just as well really. And I must make sure I can do the same next year!
And oh! How I laughed to remember goal no.15 – spend more time with hubby (alone!) I think i said we would aim to have one night out at least every six weeks. Well, that hasn’t happened. We have had a couple of nights away in a hotel, including for our anniversary but we have not done this nearly as much as I’d like. I am so lucky to have a husband I adore and whenever we spend time together, just the two of us, it is so brilliant. We MUST find a way to do this more in 2012,
especially because even though we will be parents of three very soon!
I had my new camera for Christmas last year and I vowed to learn something about photography – well, I have enjoyed playing with it but the photography book I got with it hasn’t had much of a look in yet. I did do plenty of shopping by App – Amazon remains my favourite and (expensively) Next.
Keeping family photo albums up to date – I am generally quite good with this but as I speak there is a bit of a backlog (to about July…) so that is a major job to get done in the New Year, maybe during those first few weeks of maternity leave while I inevitably wait for this baby to be horrendously overdue like her sisters! And in terms of being a better blogger, well… I don’t think I realised how much time going back to work would take up! So my posting has not been as frequent as when I was off on maternity leave. However, my main aim with this blog is to record our lives as a family and to document some of the events in our children’s lives that they won’t remember when they’re older. And I think, generally, I have done ok at this one. Without lots more time to play with my blog I don’t think I will ever be driving huge amounts of traffic, or appearing in any Tots 100 lists, but those things really aren’t the reason why I write this blog. So, I think I’m doing ok. I am also realistic enough to realise that, at some point in the future, real life friends and family will probably discover this blog somehow or other, and I have to keep that in mind when I am writing it!
Goal 21 was to help nurture a good relationship between my girls – Well, I don’t know how much credit we can take, although obviously we have done our best, but (touch wood) the girls seem to have a great relationship so far. Obviously they have their moments but Lilly is a doting big sister and Isla loves spending time with her. The dynamics will all be rearranged again when number three arrives, but so far it has been such a joy seeing our two girls laughing and playing together.
And in terms of goals for 2012 – well, having another baby and adjusting to life as a family of five is probably a big enough one to get on with! And of course, Lilly will be starting school. At some point we will probably think about re-introducing Isla to nursery, perhaps a couple of sessions a week. All quite big things. And we have to survive fincially while I am on maternity leave.
So, I think that, if the kitchen table remains cluttered, and the recipes remain un-filed, it won’t matter too much, will it?