Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the Year Updates!

It's been over a month since my last post, but rest assured, I have not been ignoring my to-do list.  I have knocked a few more goals off the list, and I have plans to work on a few others in the near future.  So, as the year draws to a close, I wanted to make sure to post my latest updates.

#54 - Complete my Level II Educational Specialist certification (in progress)

As a guidance counselor in Pennsylvania, I am required to obtain my Level II Educational Specialist Certification within 6 years of receiving my original Level I certificate.  I have all the work done, paperwork completed, and necessary documentation compiled to submit for my Level II.  All I have left to do is drop everything off with Human Resources and the ball will be rolling.  I had every intention of doing just that last week, but the office closed early for the holiday, just as the schools did, so I will have to wait until next week to drop it off.

#20 - Date night with Dave at least once a month (more progress)

Disclaimer: When you have two children and one more on the way, "date night" is defined by any time you are doing something together, just the two of you, regardless of time or activity. 

We had 3 "dates" in December.  The first can actually be considered a "real" date.  My sister (who clearly is insane and/or a saint!) volunteered to watch not only her two children, but my other sister's daughter, and my two children, and to keep them all overnight on December 10th!  We started the evening by taking all five children to get their picture taken with Santa (a tradition we started with Matt and Ali for Matt's first Christmas).  Then Erin and Tony took all of the kids back to their house.  Dave and I then spent the evening having dinner together, finishing some Christmas shopping, and then watching a movie at home.  It was lovely, and a rare treat :)

Dates #2 & 3 would not exactly fit the traditional definition of a date.  However, it was just the two of us, so I'm counting them (but I'll count the two together as one, to be fair).  They were both baby-related.  On December 14th, we went to the OB together to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time.  If I'm going to be honest, it wasn't exactly the first time since we have a doppler and cheated by listening to it at home a few days prior.  But this was our first "official" time hearing it.  Then, on December 23rd, we went to the perinatal testing center for an ultrasound for the sequential screening.  We are happy to report that everything looks great with the baby so far!  We do not know the gender yet (it's still too early to tell), and we don't know if we'll find out in a few weeks at the 20-week ultrasound or not, but it was great to get another sneak-peek at our newest little peanut!

#26 - Write and send a letter to my godmother the old-fashioned way (completed)

For years my godmother has sent me hand-written letters on my birthday and enclosed in her annual Christmas card.  I have always told myself that I should write one in return one of these days.  As you know, life frequently gets in the way of doing things like that (hence, one of the reasons for this blog!).  I didn't want life to continue getting in the way, and I really wanted to write to Wilna because she is a very important person in my life, so I finally sat down and did it.  I enclosed it with our annual Christmas card, just as she always does.

#40 - Get a Keurig coffee maker (completed)

My fabulous mother-in-law happened to have a Keurig sitting, unused in her basement.  When I mentioned that I really wanted one (not to mention needed one to complete my 101 list!), she said I could just have hers.  It's practically brand-new, works perfectly, and I'm sure will save me money in the long run over my trips to Wawa and Dunkin Donuts!  So far I've only tried two blends, and I can't wait to try out some caffeinated ones once I have the new baby!  Thanks again, Terri, for the great gift!

#74 - Organize all the pictures on my external hard drive (completed)

A few years ago I bought an external hard drive to store the multitude of pictures I have amassed since switching over to digital photography.  The thought behind it was fabulous, but the execution became a bit lacking over time and with the cleaning out of multiple computers as they began to crash on us.  So when I received a Dell gift card with the purchase of my new laptop over the summer, I purchased a new, larger, external hard drive to continue my efforts at backing up files as well as to organize the many years of photographs, many of which had become jumbled and/or disorganized in one way or another.  The task proved to be a bit more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated, but I can thankfully say that I am now done and since I have developed better filing practices over the years, I am hoping to keep everything better organized from here on out!  The screen shot below isn't the best, but I swear, every photo is now safely located in an appropriately labeled file folder.  :)

#84 - Have dinner at a sushi restaurant (completed)

I am pretty much terrified of the thought of eating raw fish.  Really, fish and I in general are not friends at all.  I hate the aquarium, it creeps me out.  I don't like eating fish, cooked or raw.  About the farthest I'll usually go is shellfish, and I'm even limited in that.  However, I've been trying to push myself recently to try new and different things.  So while I was nervous at an invitation to a local Hibachi restaurant for a friend's 30th birthday (happy birthday, Steph!), I agreed, knowing at least I had a reason to skip all the yucky raw stuff, being pregnant and unable to partake.  Little did I know that there would be plenty of pregnancy-friendly sushi options on the menu, as well.  While I was still nervous, I knew Dave and I would never go to a sushi restaurant on our own, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  I ordered the Crunchy Spicy Philly Roll (Crab, Cream Cheese,Temp Flake, Spicy).  I was delightfully surprised that I enjoyed it and I am excited to say that I plan on trying more sushi again in the future!


You made it all the way to the end of this ridiculously long post!  Here's the final end-of-year recap:

Days since beginning my list: 102

Goals accomplished: 7

Goals in progress: 3

Goals yet to complete: 91

I'm right on target with the approximate pace I'd like to keep in completing my goals, especially given some plans I have in place to tackle a few more goals in the upcoming weeks and months.  Thank you again for following me and encouraging me along my way!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

#61 - Done! #20 - Progress! #9 - Progress!

#61 - Find out my blood type (completed)

At a recent visit to the doctor, I finally remembered to ask what my blood type is!  I know I found out when I was pregnant with Matt, but I can never remember, so I needed to ask.  In case you're curious, it's A positive.

#20 - Date night with Dave at least once a month (making progress)

It was nothing fancy, but we took some time on October 27th to do some birthday shopping for Jack and some Christmas shopping for the kids and their cousins.  After spending too much money on toys that nobody needs, we went out to dinner and then watched a movie at home.  And Jack loved his motorcycle tricycle that he got for his birthday :)

We are huge Harry Potter fans and have been anxiously awaiting the first part of the final installment in the series.  While we aren't quite obsessed enough to head out to a midnight showing (especially when we had work the next morning!), we managed to get a babysitter so we could see it the second day it was out.  So yesterday, after a relatively successful trip to Kiddie Kandids for Jack's 2nd birthday pictures and Christmas pictures for the boys, we headed to the movies to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part I.  We enjoyed it and can't wait for the final part to come out in July!

#9 - Potty train Jack (making progress)

We have been a little nervous about potty training Jack.  To be honest, we thought we may have wasted an opportunity to do it.  Over the summer, he peed on the potty once and after that would tell us every time he peed or pooped in his diaper.  (I know, parenthood is so glamorous!)  But then we went on vacation where it was obviously much more difficult to try working on anything, and being that he wasn't even two yet, we thought nothing of it.  Shortly after we returned from vacation, we realized that he wasn't telling us anymore, which is when we started to worry that we may have missed the perfect opportunity.  But we've picked back up with our efforts and have had great success so far (knock on wood!).  He definitely knows what we're asking him to do when we ask him to go potty, and he definitely knows when he's gone.  He now pees on the potty every morning when he wakes up and every night before bedtime, and during the day also if we take him.  He also tells us when he poops (after the fact though), although he wants to tell us on his own time.  If we ask him if he did, he says "No, not me!"  Our plan is to start taking him at every diaper change over the Christmas break while I'm home from work.  Hopefully he'll take less time to train than Matt.  He's already lightyears ahead of where Matt was at this age.  We weren't able to get him to go with any consistency until he was three, so we're very hopeful since Jack only just turned two!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Date Night #1!

#20 - Date night with Dave at least once a month. 

One down, thirty-two to go!  We went out to dinner at Carraba's and then to see "The Town" on Friday night for an early celebration of our 7th anniversary tomorrow.  We had a nice time.  It's always nice to get away just the two of us, and something we definitely don't get to do enough of.  Usually when we leave the kids with a sitter it's because we have something to do like a wedding or some other event.  This time it was just us and it was quite lovely :)  I'm looking forward to the next 32 (or more)!

Monday, September 27, 2010

#56 - Completed . . . sort of

We have quite a few friends who participate in various races on a pretty regular basis.  Races, 5Ks, etc. are also a great way to raise money and awareness for various charitable causes.  There is a particular charitable cause that I am very invested in supporting.  (Haha!!!  Aren't puns amusing?) 

On January 2nd, 2009, beautiful twin girls were born to my friend, Hillary.  On February 19th, 2009, Hillary and her husband, Keith, received the devastating news that one of the twins, Zane, had the genetic disorder Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1.  She was only 6 weeks old.  SMA is the leading genetic killer of infants.  It is a terminal, genetic disease that results in the loss of nerves in the spinal cord and the weakness of the muscles connected with those nerves.  SMA impacts the ability to walk, stand, sit, eat, breathe and even swallow.  The mind and spirit are no different from that of a healthy baby, but the body eventually fails.  Typically, babies with SMA Type 1 have a life expectancy between one and two years.  They require around-the-clock medical assistance and monitoring.  Zane passed away of respirtory failure due to her disease on June 18, 2009.  She was just 5 1/2 months old.  Thankfully, her twin sister, Avery, does not have SMA.

Since Zane's diagnosis, Hillary and Keith have been dedicated to spreading awareness about SMA and raising funds to support research for a treatment and/or cure for this horrible disease, as neither one currently exists.  Approximately 1 in 40 people is a carrier of the genetic mutation that causes SMA.  SMA is considered a "common" rare disease.  How's that for a terrible oxymoron? 

Until learning about Zane's diagnosis, I had never heard of this disease and I want to find as many ways as I can to help Hillary and Keith in their crusade to fight this disease in any way they can.  In that spirit, I signed up our entire family to participate in a 5K on Sunday, September 26, 2010.  Which brings me to my completion (or non-completion?) of item #56 on my list.  We did participate in the race.  We ran.  We walked.  We pushed strollers.  We did not stop one single time until crossing the finish line 40 minutes after we started the race.  So, I will unofficially say that I completed the goal since I did not run the entire time.  But we did finish.  And I'm proud of both myself and Dave for that.  We're both horribly out of shape and had no motivation to train in any way, so finishing in and of itself is an accomplishment.

More than finishing the race, I am proud to be a part of helping raise both awarness and financial support for such a wonderful cause.  Please consider helping in any way you are able to as well.  Every little bit counts.  You can make a difference in the lives of so many!

If you would like more information, or would like to support the cause, please visit the links below:
Sweet Baby Zane
Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Gwendolyn Strong Foundation

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#29 Completed!

I wasn't necessarily planning on completing a goal this quickly, but the situation presented itself, so I thought, "Why not?"

We went to dinner tonight at Happy Days.  Our waiter was nice, not excessively so, but quite pleasant.  He brought wet wipes to the table with the boys' syrup and pancakes, and he made them extra-long straws for their drinks, just to be silly.  Those small things, combined with the fabulously cheap prices at Happy Days, made me think that it would be a great time to take care of #29.  It almost feels like cheating since our bill isn't nearly as much there as it typically is at a chain restaurant, but I'm hoping/assuming that Kevin appreciated a tip that equaled the bill. 

So, while it may not have been incredibly extravagant, I did technically complete my goal.  I didn't have my camera with me, so a cell phone picture will have to do!

101 Things in 1001 Days

Welcome to my ambitious adventure!

I got the idea for this adventure from a friend. It is not a new concept, it has been around the internet for a few years. It's a challenge, really. A challenge to set personal goals and to make every effort to achieve them.

My journey begins today, September 18, 2010, and will end on June 16, 2013 (my oldest son's 7th birthday). The objective is to come up with a list of 101 goals to be achieved over the course of 1001 (or fewer) days.

My goals are quite varied. Some require significant effort, some are frivolous. Some are for others, some for myself. All of the goals hold some sort of meaning for me. As I complete or attempt to complete each task, I will update this blog so you, too, can track my progress.

Thank you for following me and encouraging me along my ambitious adventure!