Saturday, October 29, 2011

Summer Goals Update

Considering it is officially fall now and it's currently snowing outside (yikes for October snow!) I figured I owe an update on the Summer Goals I set for myself back in June.

  1. Clean out/organize the built in shelving area in our downstairs. 
Cleaning is not my favorite thing in the world.  I did look at it quite a few times (if that counts) and came to the conclusion that almost everything in there is stuff to keep (picture albums, our wedding china & crystal still in the boxes, extra paper towels, toilet paper, our recycling bins, and baby items from A that we’re saving for the next baby).  I did manage to clean out a shelf of old books and throw out a handful of other items.  So much for a big clean out.  Whoops :(
 I don’t have any before & after pictures because I forgot to take pictures before I started throwing things away - plus you really can’t see much of a difference…..

  1. Finish transforming A’s room to a ‘big boy’ room. 
This was my best project of the summer.  While I really enjoyed redecorating A’s room, it made me a bit sad to take out all of his baby things.  No more changing station; no more diaper pail; no more glider; no more toddler bed.  They have been replaced with a dresser, a book area, train table and of course his big boy bed.  I just need to find a bed skirt to match the bedding and the transformation will be officially complete.

  1. Utilize the pool at our complex more. 
This was an easy one.  Who wouldn’t want to go to the pool more, right?!  We used the pool more than last year and as much as we had free time for.  Between my work and our active weekend schedule it didn’t leave a ton of extra time, but we managed the best we could to fit in as much pool time as we could.  Anthony loved it and by the end of the summer was swimming by himself around the pool(with his life jacket of course).  A huge change from last year when he wouldn't go past sitting on the stairs.

  1. Loose these last 10 stubborn pounds!! 
Stubborn was a good word to describe this one.  It was a lofty goal indeed.  Summer time is a difficult time to diet with all of the BBQ’s and vacations going on.  I tried my best and what I ultimately ended up with was maintenance.  So while I didn’t get rid of the weight I wanted to, I still consider it a win that I didn’t gain back anything that I had lost.

  1. Take more walks 
On weekends and weeknights when I got home on time, I would take A out to play as much as possible.  He loves riding on his plasma car so I would take him around our complex on his car.  I would have liked to have gone on more walks by myself so that I could have done some speed walking, but some is better than none, right?!  Plus it’s much more fun when you have this face looking back at you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celebrating Working Mothers!

This past week I spent 2 days at the Working Mother 2011 Work Life Congress that was held in NYC.  The theme for the two days was:  
How to Succeed in Business -- with Work Life! 
Leaders from corporate, government & education spoke about the many issues busy working moms face and how we (the collective we) need to do more than “talk the talk”.   The conference offered workshops on topics such as the best ways to implement successful flexible work programs, dependent care needs and innovative strategies for engaging men in the dialogue for work life support and effectiveness.  There was also a silent auction, from which all proceeds benefited the Museum Of Motherhood and on the second day, Working Mother held their annual Gala Dinner honoring the 100 Best Companies and the Working Mothers of the Year.  One day soon I hope to see my company not only be an attendee at this dinner, but also honored as one of the top 100 Companies.

The best speaker at the conference, in my opinion, was the keynote speaker on day 1 - Amy Hilbrich Davis, Founder & CEO of FamilyLife Success.  The majority of her talk focused around her 5 Key Ingredients to Family Success:
1.       Personal Wellness
2.       Partner Relationship
3.       Parenting Skills
4.       Support Network
5.       Home & Family Management
In her talk, she mentioned an interesting fact from her research that surprised me - 2 out of 3 parents do not feel successful with their parenting life, regardless if they work or not.   I guess managing the work conflict is not a complete solution.  Amy spoke at last year’s conference as well, which I very much enjoyed.  She presented a workshop on her inspiring mom balance map - a personalized document that helps you focus on and prioritize the things that matter most to you.

Another interesting (and quite shocking) fact that was brought up during the conference is that The United States remains one out of three countries that don’t mandate paid maternity leave (link to article is here).  To try and do something about it, Working Mother Magazine has partnered with the National Partnership for Women & Families to start an online petition to Congress.  They are asking for paid parental leave to be universally available to U.S. workers by 2015.

Join the fight by signing the petition & passing the link around.  America's Working Parents Deserve Paid Family Leave! 

Overall, I’m glad I attended the conference as there was a lot of interesting conversations though the workshops and it was also a great networking opportunity to meet other working moms. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Simplifying Family Life

Almost a year ago I attended the Working Mother Media Worklife Conference since I am the co-leader of the Working Parents Network at my company.  While at the conference I picked up a TON of information and pamphlets.  My intention was when I got back from the conference to sort through them to see if there was anything useful for me that could help in balancing my daily workload. Well…. 

---- insert busy life here and a sprinkle of forgetfulness ---- 

9 months later as I was cleaning out a drawer in my desk at work I came across these pamphlets and picked up one in particular that caught my eye – Cozi Family Calendar.  This may not be a new site to many of you, but to me I had never heard of it before.  Cozi has a lot of functions - it’s a calendar, to-do list, meal planning organizer, family journal, and more.  Events can be coded by family member and best of all….it’s FREE!  What I liked best is that you can synch it between all of your computers, phones & tablets in the family so everyone always knows what is on the calendar for the coming week.  Gone are the days of hearing from my husband, “I made plans to do xyz because I didn’t think we had plans this weekend.”  Now we both get an email at the beginning of the week with our appointments/events for the week and a text reminder the day before each of our appointments.

We’ve been using Cozi for the past few months and I find it much easier to keep track of our appointments.  For example, rather than waiting until I get home to write down on our calendar a new appointment, I can enter it from my phone as I schedule it and it’s automatically entered into our family calendar.. It’s perfect for keeping our busy family organized!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Cozi and have received no compensation for this post...just something I found helpful and wanted to pass along. 
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