10 Sips for the Weekend: 10 New Year's Parenting Resolutions Checked!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

These trees were the last ones around here to loose their leaves last Winter and one of the first ones to bloom this Spring
I am not a great planner in the sense of sitting down and writing my goals. However, there is always a hidden to do list in the back of my mind, ready to be pulled out, with achievements that I wish to reach. Unfortunately, when the goals are not written, it is hard to go back and check them off, they just fade away.

It is Spring Season in full swing around Hoboken, even though it is just March, and seeing so many flowers bloom worries me that the year has started in fast speed and may just accelerate from now on. As if awaken by the Spring energy sparkled in the air, that motivates us to start Spring Cleaning Activities, I decided to take care of a few New Year's Parenting Resolutions written in my neurons.

Many of them happened during these past weeks, while others in the past months, but I am so happy to look back and realize that even in this chaotic daily life of parenting, there are always opportunities for improvement!

  1. Dinner is the last meal: as I described in my last post, I sat down with Luke to let him know that he is old enough to understand that dinner is our last meal of the day and after that, no more snacks are allowed (unless of course we are on vacations or visiting someone). He can eat as much or as little as he wishes at dinner, but he has to try everything being served. The dinner experience went somewhat from stressful to enjoyable and he is in fact eating as much as before!
  2. Pacifier: This week I told Mark that his pacifier now is only to be used while he sleeps inside his crib. So every morning I ask him to give me the pacifier when he comes out of the crib. Some mornings he cries, some mornings he just looks sad to see the pacifier go, but he always gives it to me. Five minutes later, he does not even remember it anymore.
  3. Bottles: Poor Mark, he is the target of my resolutions! This week the bottles were retired, without any complains to my surprise! Mark can use his sip cup, or drink with a straw from a regular cup.
  4. Walk or Scoot to School: We have a double stroller but to push both kids all the way to school was quite a workout, so now Luke has two options: he can walk or he can use his scooter. I know that it is a long way for him, about 10 blocks each way, but plenty of kids his age around here do it, so there are no excuses. Energy, he got plenty!
  5. Reward App: I installed the iRewardChart app on my cell phone and it has been a hit! Luke loves to sit down with me at the end of the day and check his chores off, as he adds stars that can be traded with treats (mainly he only wants to use his stars to have ice-cream, so very easy for me!) We have also added things like sharing, no whining, and other behavior points so he can focus on ways to earn stars during the day by improving his behavior. 
  6. Self Dressing: Luke has been improving a lot in his self dressing skills and I hope that by the end of the year he will be able to tie his shoes!
  7. Being Thankful: Every night before Luke goes to bed we pray together and I encourage him to say a few things that he is thankful for.
  8. Love for Music: I moved an old CD player to the boys room and placed all of their CDs inside a box. I know that they may get some scratches, but now they can change the CD, forward the song, and more important, just have music cheering the room as they play.
  9. Teeth Care: Luke has some problems with his front teeth enamel that require more care, so we have been brushing his teeth more often and after anything sweet. Mark loves having his teeth brushed and he is always asking me to do it. Probably all that he wants is to eat more toothpaste!
  10. Monthly Menu Planning: I find that to cook food from scratch everyday can be very stressful if there is no good planning, and yet home cooked meals are cheaper and healthier for the kids. So this past month I decided to make an entire month worth of meal planning. I chose my recipes mostly from this website because I know that everything there tastes good and uses lots of fresh ingredients. I have to say that I probably spent half in grocery bills and did not feel any desire to order take outs as the recipes are so yummy and fulfilling. With less time in the kitchen I can spend more time outside with the kids enjoying the nice weather.
Have a beautiful weekend!