So, it’s new school year, and to me that feels more like a new year than January 1 does. Given that, I set some intentions for our little family on the first day of school for Selam. So far, we’re doing pretty well.
- Get Selam ready the night before on school nights. We look up the weather online together, and then I show her two choices for clothes, and she picks one. We lay it out, together with hair doo-dads and everything. Then I get her backpack ready, too. One thing that has helped with this is that she has two backpacks: her “old” one from day camp and her new one. The new one goes to school on JCC days, and the old one on pickup days. (The reason old gets the quotes is that it’s from June, and hardly figures as old unless you’re Selam). To say this has made our mornings better is an understatement. It’s not so much the morning scramble–with just one kid it’s not that hard. But it just helps Selam to feel a bit more prepared in the morning. She gets up and tells me at breakfast that it’s going to be cold. She knows that from the night before. She reiterates that she’s going to the JCC and there’s swimming, or whatever, because she knows it from the night before. It just makes things more chill. What I’d like to get better at is getting my clothes planned out the night before, too.
- Eating out only once a week–and yes, fast food counts. One of my lessons from Hurricane Irene was that I have (had) a lot of food in my freezer and fridge that I just wasn’t eating. And we were eating out way too often. So far, we’ve mostly stuck to the once a week. The exception was the weekend we went to a wedding. That was a lot of eating out, and then we went out before that twice in the same week. It was a bad week, but we’re back on track. I’d like to say that I’m cooking a lot more, but that’s not true. We had tuna helper tonight for dinner and rock out the red beans and rice and also mac and cheese regularly. Last week, I was really good and made three cooked from scratch meals and she hated all of them. I need to get better at that.
- Selam needs to take on some more responsibility. She now has a few chores. 1) Every night, she puts away all of her toys before bed. The faster she does it, the more book time she gets. In order to do this, I have lowered my standards. If it’s in a toy basket in the living room or in her room on a shelf or in a tub, it’s away. This means toys are really mixed up–there are legos in every conceivable location, which drives me nuts. But it’s a start. She did it tonight without prompting, which is amazing. 2) After every meal, she brings her own plate to the kitchen. Sometimes she brings mine, too. 3) Every morning she helps me make her bed. Prior to this, I didn’t even usually make the beds more than once a week. 4) She feeds the cat. She’s doing REALLY well with these jobs. She seems to like having the responsibilities.
- I am only buying 2 new outfits this year. A suit in the fall and a dress in the spring. So far, so almost good. I did, in fact buy a dress in addition to the suit, BUT…..I took it back. I didn’t want to, I took it back. It was cute. I took it back. I hope I can be as brave next time. (My thought was that I got the suit for half of what I budgeted, and therefore, I could buy one more thing….now that I brought it back the extra money is in the vacation fund.)
- I am making budgets for smaller events and sticking to them. I am doing great with Selam’s birthday presents and her party. I did pretty well with her back to school clothes (I went 10 dollars over.) I’m actually finding this a fairly entertaining challenge.
- That’s it.