Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back at 2011

It's pretty sad when you have to look back through your blog archives to find out what your New Years' resolutions were. But I did it, and it's time to report:

1. Eat better. Less sugar and grains. Yes, I did this. I virtually eliminated sugar and we went grain-free from time to time. I can't seem to sustain being grain-free for very long, though. I get so hungry and end up eating a lot of expensive food ... For all their faults, grains are a cheap source of calories, and I eat a lot.

Then I got pregnant, and I stopped being so healthy. I know pregnancy is when it's most important to eat well. But it's also when you don't feel like the healthy food in your fridge, and you do feel like Taco Bell. I still don't eat a lot of sugar ... unless it's Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or someone made me cookies, or there's a party ... yeah. I find it almost impossible to turn down food that is available and delicious. For the first trimester, I hated sugar but loved processed fast food. Now, I want both. The amount of chocolate I eat is ridiculous. On the bright side, I think we ate even less processed food this year than last year, thanks to our garden and various elimination diets.

2. Pray better. Not really. I did try, and ended up about the same. I guess it would have been worse if I hadn't tried?

3. Be a better housekeeper. YES, I definitely did this. However, I also have more space to clean and it gets messier faster, due to the addition of a dog and the ever-increasing mess-making ability of the toddler. At least I am keeping pace with it. Sometimes I do dishes every single day! And that's without the dishwasher I used to have! When I was in the first trimester, I barely did a thing and we wobbled between John doing it and living in squalor. But now it's at least relatively decent all the time, and I do some housework every day.

4. To buy a house. We did this! And it's been great! When John had the two-hour commute, it was great for us and awful for him. Now that he's working closer, it's better in every respect than where we used to live. I have the garden, we have a dog (for better or worse), Marko has his own room, we spend less on housing every month (and it all goes toward owning this place for real), John's commute is shorter, the traffic and neighborhood are better ... it's great. I guess I do miss the apartment complex pool. I hardly ever used it when we lived there, but I would have loved to take Marko there this past summer.

5. To actually address stuff I'm angry about instead of stewing on it forever. All that really took was making the decision to do it -- and I'm positive that it helped. When I chose to remain silent about it, it was with the understanding that I had decided it was not a big deal and that I was going to get over it. When it was a big deal, I addressed it. And I do think we get along better when I am straightforward like that.

What has really made the biggest difference in our overall happiness, I admit, was not my new resolution but John's new job. Actually getting to spend time with each other and getting some rest was a really big deal. But what I've been doing hasn't seemed to have hurt.

6. To get another baby cooking. Check!

Here are ten of my favorite posts from the past year:

Conflict vs. cooperation
This Russian novel of a post is probably my #1 favorite. I'm just a way better parent when I think of my child as a teammate rather than an adversary.

Lessons from my first garden Rookie gardeners might find it helpful to learn from my mistakes.

A person's a person
Life has value. All life. That is why I'm against abortion, most war, and capital punishment.

Why I don't want another hospital birth Home birth can be just as safe or safer than a hospital birth in a healthy woman having a normal pregnancy ... so I'm having one this time.

Gender equality - I don't actually believe in the subordination of women, at least not in any really practical sense.

"Let kids be kids" - I think it's okay to give kids responsibilities. I don't think it's okay to let kids watch R-rated movies. Let's make a distinction, all right?

The fallacy of results
"Here's the deal: there is more that matters besides how a child will 'turn out.' I'm not just raising the adult he will someday become. I'm raising the child I actually have."

Birth scars
You never do forget what the moment of your child's birth was like. I wish the moment of Marko's birth were a happier memory.

Food sensitivities
When I see odd symptoms in my son, I always look first to what he's eating. This is an instructional post with everything I've learned about food sensitivities.

Teaching vs. training
You train a dog. You teach a child. This post is mainly about teaching children to deal with their big emotions.

Enjoy your New Years! I will be ringing it in by going to bed before ten and (hopefully) sleeping like a log all night. But if Marko's cough keeps up, I may find myself watching the clock turn over after all.

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