Brief synopsis (since this is a long post): 2015 was good. It was the year where I learn to take care of myself as well as my family. The big goal of 2016 is organization. By the end of the year, I want to be able to keep track of the whens and the wheres and the whos. And I want to be comfortable doing it!
2015 is over…..2016 is just beginning. As an attempt (again) to get back into “blogging”, I thought I would do a brief posting about what has happened in the last year and what I would like to see happen in 2016.
2015 was (overall) a good year for me and my family. Most importantly, we all maintained good health. That was something of a focus for me last year. I wanted to spend time making sure I was healthy and learning what I needed to do to maintain good health beyond 2015. I started seeing a health coach in February and saw her twice a month for six months. And overall, things really did get better. My energy was up and my weight going down. I bought myself a FitBit so I could better track my activity level and sleep quality (which I really wish was better). And I started making an effort to spend more time doing exercise. I also began eating healthier. I discovered kale which I really like and actually found salads that didn’t want to make me gag (no, I’ve never been a fan of salads). I still love my mushrooms and try to minimize the number of carrots I eat, but give me kale, avocados, peppers, mushrooms…..I’m a happy girl! And with the start of the new year, I plan on experimenting with winter squashes too!
I finally addressed the edema issues I have with my legs. This started while I was in college (spraining my ankles continuously wasn’t helpful) and got considerably worse while I was pregnant with Big Brother (and even worse after my twin pregnancy). I had reached the point where I couldn’t wear sneakers because I couldn’t find anything that would fit without causing me pain, which made it very difficult to do any exercise (one of the best things to do to combat edema). And I know that the edema was a contributing factor in my bout of cellulitis a few years ago which had me down and out for weeks! But I’m Mom…..Mom doesn’t take time to take care of herself but spends her time and energy caring for her kids (and sometimes her husband). But I couldn’t risk that happening again. So, I had my first physical in I-don’t-even-know-how-long. I went for daily edema therapy (Monday-Friday) for approximately 6 weeks and walked around with 4 ace bandages compressing each leg (and a boot that people wear to protect casts that slipped off my feet every 6-8 steps). Since then, I’ve been wearing compressing stockings during the day and tight wraps every night. The goal here is maintenance. There is no “cure” for edema but with exercise and continued compression, it’s livable. Right now, it’s still annoying, and I suspect I will be repeating the process again later in the spring, but for now, maintenance is sufficient.
But the driving force behind all of this……our trip to Disney World! I know I haven’t blogged about that here…..I need to do so early in the year. I’ve been waiting until we finished going through the pictures. But we went in mid-November for a week and it was our first REAL family vacation (without any obligations for anyone besides the 5 of us) in over six-and-a-half years! We did a lot of walking and a lot of eating and we all had a lot of fun! Rachel was made up to look like a princess on our first day and we were able to keep it together for the entire visit! I WILL post about the trip (after the fact)…..I just have to put everything together so I can include some of the better pictures!
And of course, you can’t forget the things that the kids have done. Rachel and Simon are now going to Sunday School and learning hebrew and Jucaica traditions (Big Brother has been going for some time). The twins both continue to do well in school and are making progress. I wish the reading comprehension was better than it was, but we continue to work on it and do what we can to address the problems that they have. Otherwise they are at or near grade level. They have given up trying to teach Simon penmanship and allow him to work on the computer or with a word processing device or use a scribe when neither option is available. However, they still try. They are just not hopeful that he will ever have legible writing or the ability to effectively express himself while putting his thoughts to paper using a pen or pencil. And Big Brother has surpassed our expectations by announcing to us this summer that he wants to attend a magnet middle school. So during the fall, he completed the application to the local magnet school and took the test. He also applied to a specialty school where his entrance would be determined by a lottery. This one would be more complicated if he were to get in because they don’t provide transportation and the school isn’t exactly local, but we will determine how best to handle this situation should (1) he get in and (2) we decide it’s the best placement for him.
But like I said, 2015 overall has been a good year!
Now, onto 2016. This should be a very busy year for our family. Here are just a few of the things that we have “planned”.
(1) Job. Yes, I said job. I am hoping to get a job outside the home. Not a full time position. Just 15-20 hours per week. I found a place that I think is a good fit and I have been volunteering there for a month or so and I hope that they feel the fit is as good as I do! But hopefully, this volunteering will become a paying position early this year and we can have that second income that will certainly help with things around here. Also, it will get me started on a career path as this position is completely different than what I was doing before. Stay tuned for more information and whether this comes to fruition.
(2) Big Brother’s education. At the end of January, we will be learning of Big Brother’s Bar Mitzvah date. This is a rite of passage for Jewish boys (Bat Mitzvah for girls) that happens on or around their 13th birthday (or at a different time if felt it would be more appropriate). He will be turning 11 in April and it takes a bit of time to prepare for such an event (he will basically be leading a Saturday morning service and reading from the Torah and Haftorah for the first time). So, sometime approximately April 11 2018, this will be happening for him. Also, and more immediate, we will be learning what middle school he will attend. In February, the results of the magnet selection process (including the consortium schools) will be released and we will know whether he has qualified for either of the schools he applied worked in his favor. Then we have to make the decision of whether these programs are best for him or if he should remain in the general education programs (which is also a good option). But he is excited about it either way. And he is VERY excited to be preparing for his first graduation from elementary school in June!
(3) Organization. This is a problem for me since I stopped working. I will admit….I’m hoping that, with a job, this will come back a little more naturally as I will have to find that balance between work and family. I need to be sure to find the time to take care of my family AND of myself and not allow things to slip through the cracks. I would like to find ways to keep myself in better physical shape and getting more exercise as well. But in order to do that, I need to find the time in my days, which is always a problem. That’s where the “organization” comes in.
(4) Return to writing. Everything seemed better in my life when I’m blogging. It doesn’t solve any problems, but it helps me to directly see what is happening and keep myself on track. It helps me to see the progress that we are making as a family and that I’m making personally in my own journeys. At least once a week, I would like to sit down and the computer and “blog”. Sometimes the posts will be stories of things that have been happening with the kids. But these weekly posts are for me to keep myself grounded. Posts like this. Just a chance to say what I’ve done this week and where I need to go in the week coming. This will help with Goal Number 3 and will hopefully prevent me from bumbling ideas in my head.
So…..long winded post here……but a plan.
Long story short. 2015 was good. It was about trying to get my health on track and learn to take care of myself as well as take care of my family. 2016 is about getting organized.