January is beautiful. Sometimes I just stare out the window and lose track of time.
But it's not welcoming or friendly or energizing or motivating.
I've been frozen this month. Emotionally, mentally, physically. Kinda wishing the month away. I've actually written several blogs and then deleted them. This might be another deletion. Heh :).
Yesterday my hot yoga class reached 108 degrees and it felt absolutely perfect to me. So warm and cozy. Like a 90 minute vacation, with 30 smelly farty people next to me. lol
Speaking of vacations, we weren't going to do one this year, because I finally decided to start being an active participant in our budget/saving/finances (much to Mike's surprise after 6 years of me being completely uninterested) and realized that we needed to do a lot more saving and a lot less spending. I calculated what we need to save for the girls college :/ Don't do it. Trust me. That number is suffocating. I calculated how much I really spend in groceries and decided to start doing the "cash" system (thanks to my friend Ashley for teaching me this, among many other things) vs. just grocery store free for all, which always ended in an embarrassingly full cart. Let's just say that play dates have dropped from averaging 3-4 a week, to just one. The cash system doesn't leave room for many play dates. I think I might actually bust out a coupon one of these days. Something I've never done. Actually handing over all that money for food is painful, much more so than using a debit card. And guess what? We stayed on budget this month for groceries! So the cash system does work! The only thing I really screw up are the random Amazon/ebay/craigslist/clothing/makeup purchases. Suddenly $30 here every few days turns into a crapload at the end of the month. Eek. In an effort to combat that, I've been selling stuff we don't need on craigslist. I sold a marble slab from our pre-reno house for $250 today. TWO FIFTY! That was just something shoved in our garage for 18 months. Score!! Mamas gonna buy some new jeans, lol. Oh wait, that's not what I should do, hmm? :P
What that was all leading to, was I'm 99% sure we ARE taking a vacation. A short trip to Hawaii to celebrate 5 years of marriage, probably sometime this summer. My lovely parents have said they'd come watch the kids like they did in 2010. They are quite possibly the best parents around (and yep, they still live in Egypt, but will have moved back to the US before we take the trip). I figured that we could make it work, because our flights are free (miles) and Hawaii is a fairly quick flight from Seattle, so I'm justifying that we *have* to go before we move (which is who knows when, lol, but 3 years goes by fast and that was when we took our last solo vaca!), because going to Hawaii from anywhere else in the US is a huge pain in the arse.
Anyway, this is just a ramble. A long ramble of things going on in my head at 11pm on a Wednesday night in January.
Other things that happened this month (all via. instagram cell phone shots)
I loved on my kids, cause they are truly the best people in my world. One day I was having a debbie downer moment about my work/business (comparison is the worst thing to do to yourself), when Addie overheard me and said "but you take beautiful picshas of childwen and I yove you mommy, you are my best fwiend! Awen't you happy?"
Yes Addie so so happy that I have you. Seriously, one of the biggest lights of my life.
She learned to write her name properly this month and has been signing everything (upper and lowercase, vs. just uppercase). Her teacher told me during her mid-year review that she has a kind heart, that she is a good friend and is always nice to everyone. Her teacher made me tear up when she said that she was glad I had three daughters, because she could tell I was raising them to be the "nice girl" who accepts everyone. ::tear:: That is my goal. Always.
She started ballet this month and she loves it. I think this might be her "thing".
(She goes to school 4 days a week 12:30-3pm. She's 3 1/2 now.)
Then there's my Portia. She's funny. She makes me laugh every single day. The other night I told Mike that I wanted to see his diary on My Fitness Pal and she said "you have a diary?! Where have I been?! That's so cool! Can I read it?!" Hahahaha.
She is sooo independent. She wakes up on her own, gets herself ready and doesn't need much more from us other than a hug, a chat over breakfast and a wave at the bus stop. She is totally self sufficient. She can make herself lunch, breakfast, clean her room, pack her suitcase, do her own laundry, etc. Sometimes I fear that she's growing up too fast. Sometimes I have to remind myself that she's eight, because she looks and acts so much older.
And I really think she's going to be an artist. I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom, she's really really good. Better than I've ever been at art.
(Portia's on the left, Addie's on the right)
Scarlett is walking! That was the biggest news from this month. You can't stop her now, she just wants to walk and walk.
Her personality has started coming out. We drop her off at the gym daycare a few times a week and every time I put her in the baby room, we come back to her in the big kid room. The teachers tell me that she does not want to be with the babies, she wants to be with her sisters. She is totally a third kid. She adores her sisters. Most mornings I make my coffee, eat my yogurt and relax for a few minutes while the little girls play downstairs in the play room. As soon as I hear crying or fussing, I know it's because Addie has left the room. Scarlett hates to be left alone, she likes the noise, the busy-ness of her sisters.
When I get her up from nap I say "do you want to go get Addie from school?" and she gets this huge smile on her face. Then when we get home, I say "oh I think Portia's bus is almost here" and she squirms with excitement, trying to get out of my arms to run inside.
She says a lot more little babbly words. Baba, nana (banana), mama, dada, hi, hey, yeah, etc. All the standard stuff. And she signs "eat". That's the only sign I've taught her (laziness on my part).
She is really into putting hats on her head or my head, brushing her hair, trying to put shirts on, trying to put laundry away/back in the basket. She's always opening drawers and taking things out/putting things back. We have two cabinets dedicated to plastic stuff for Scarlett to dump out while I cook or clean.
Our family feels settled right now. Really content.
I am so glad we decided to have Scarlett. She is the
And as for me? Well I already wrote about my January seasonal-depression above. Oh wait, I didn't? Well I did in my other two deleted posts, lol. It's not depression, it's just heat deprivation/sun deprivation I think. Gah I miss the heat. The hot hot heat. That feeling of being wrapped in a thick layer of humidity. That feeling of your skin burning when you get out of the car. I love that.
I've been combating this downer-ness with exercise and determination to lose the last few pounds. You probably remember that I was tracking everything up there at the top of my blog, then I moved to MFP (myfitnesspal) in October and have been on there [almost] everyday since. I've lost just shy of 21 pounds since last March (39 since giving birth). I'm sitting at 131 right now, with my goal being 128 and a size 27 jean (those fit now!). That would be my pre-Scarlett weight. My pre-Addie weight was a few pounds less, because I starved myself the month before our wedding. Not really, but I didn't eat nearly as much as I do now. Now I just eat normally, usually around 1400-1800 calories and workout 5 days a week. I'm happy with this slow loss. It's been good for me. A real life change. I've realized that nothing that works for other people works for me. I cant do any type of "diet or plan". I like to eat, what I like to eat and that's it. I like everything in moderation. If my grandma can drink a cocktail everyday at 5pm, eat butter, olive oil, cheese, milk, coffee, real food for 80+ years and maintain a 120 lb weight for her whole life, then I think I'll follow Grandmas diet. lol
And the best part of this month hands down (minus my family of course) is my business. I feel like the sky is the limit this year. I am finally ready to put 100% into it, be completely dedicated. Last year was the year we had a new baby, the year before I was pregnant and renovating a house, the year before I just was getting started, the year before we moved and I was even more of a newbie to photography, not ready to be in business. Four years later and I feel so inspired and excited. I absolutely love my clients. I love the people I meet. I love the emails. I love the work. I love the feeling I get when I get a great shot. I love the travel. I love everything about it.
I'll leave you with the best January day. These are the days that remind me that the clouds will pass eventually.