Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Third Quarter Review

So, this is the third quarter review of the new years resolutions I made in the original post of this blog at the start of 2014. The first review in March 2014 can be read here. The second review in June 2014 can be read here

First off, this post is going to look like I've not achieved much and I'd just like to say, I'm okay with that. Funnily enough, what doesn't feature on my new years resolutions is 9. Get through a year of motherhood and 10. Be a good mum. 

I don't know why I haven't got any baby related- child upbringing resolutions. It's maybe the most important one I should have, and maybe the reason why some of the others aren't being done, so again, I'm okay with that.

Also, this song.

I just shake it off! 

If you're having a bad day, turn this up and just SHAKE IT OFF. 

1. learn to drive
This is about as much driving as we've got.

This still hasn't made it's way to the top of my priorities list. I can still make do with my own two legs and public transport. Oh and I got a bike on the bike to work scheme and I now bike the 3.8 miles to and from work, it takes 20 minutes each way and that's much faster than any car in the town traffic. 

2. pass my Certificate in financial planning exam for work
I haven't passed.

I was holding off on writing this post in the hope that I would pass my re-sit this last week, but I didn't. It costs a lot to re-take the exam, so it's having to go on the back burner for the time being, cos you know, I don't own a house yet. 

3. complete some pinterest projects
I'd say less completing projects and more pinning new projects. We are full steam ahead on saving for house, so less so on fun projects around the home that isn't even ours. 

The link to my Pinterest is here

I'm totally addicted to it. I just went to find the link to add here, and 10 minutes later I'm now continuing this post. I pinned 5 new things in that time. Not to mention the 20 minutes I spent before pretending I was 'shopping' by pinning baby boy clothes from Zara to my baby boy clothes loves board

So I have a new board called 'room mods'. It's basically a board full of idea's to use everyday items or furniture and use them for another or better purpose. 

One of my favourite's is the IKEA knife magnetic rack for take n play trains... 

I wouldn't use them to store ALL of his trains, because that would be wall overload, but maybe have a couple of strips to store 8 or so, like the picture.

Another one I'm going to do once LJ has his new room is spice racks behind the door for books. We already use the photo frame holders for his 'tearable' books in his room, for bedtime reading. They are up high so that they don't come to any damage. I like this idea for some of the hard back books that we might want to keep upstairs. (Currently, all his hard back books are stored downstairs, but they are overflowing and we haven't even got to Christmas). 

One for our future bedroom is the three ikea side tables stacked.

I like that you have everything accessible and it would HOPEFULLY decrease my ability to shove everything in a draw and forget about it. (Although I like the draw idea next to it)

Finally, as I have got to that age where I'm prepared with such things as keeping a stock of wrapping paper for any occasion, the below idea for keeping them all together is genius!

I've seen this idea pinned a few times and people have even attached them to the back of a downstairs cupboard door, so they are hidden but not taking up valuable wall space.

So lots more projects to add to the list, but not a lot completed. 

I decided to move the name letters in LJ's room, mainly because I wasn't happy with their location and also because they kept falling off the wall and waking him up. The original project is written up here

I also finally got round to doing the hand and foot mould frame kit that my friend got me for my baby shower. Firstly, I thought, let's wait until he can open his little fist for a hand print. Then we moved, then I packed it away, then suddenly he's one and I'm boarding on not fitting the foot print in the frame. It's done, it looks lovely but after two months of asking Ali to fix it to the wall, it's still sitting propped up in LJ's room. So I'll wait to share that one. 

4. Write a journal entry in my new notebook blog entry for every day of 2014.

Always an ambitious one. I'm quite happy if I get more than one blog post done a month at the moment. My friend Soph has a lovely 5 year journal that leaves a couple of lines for each day, I'm thinking of finding one like this and seeing if I can at least manage to write what I did that day and if it was a good one. 

Because quite frankly, sometimes people ask me what I did yesterday and I DON'T REMEMBER. 

I do have a new app to recommend! My friend Helen linked it to me on Facebook and it's amazing! It's called Lifecake.

You can search for it in the app store, but if you give me a shout first with your e-mail address, I'll send you an invite link and we'll both get an extra 1GB storage space. (let's face it, I'm gonna need it!)

The idea is you can upload your baby photos to the app, and after telling it what your baby's date of birth is, it uses the timestamp on the photos to organise them for you. You can then invite your partner to be a contributor and they can upload photos (Great if you have a partner who takes photos and THEY NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY). You can then invite family members or friends via e-mail to view the timeline. It's great for us because we have some family who don't use Facebook (I know, I know) and then they can see the daily photos without me having to e-mail spam them. 

It also has a fun feature where you can shake the phone and you get an adorable slide show of random photos you have uploaded.

Like 10 month old LJ.

You can also hold down on the app and flip through any of the months of your baby's life to easily access a photo from that time. 

5. Learn how to use my new DSLR camera.

I can't say I've learnt anything 'new' since the last review. I'm still playing around with the manual settings when I have the time, usually while LJ is eating. 

I'm not sure if it's because sometimes I've got my contacts in and other times I have my glasses on, but I find it quite hard to get the focus right when I look through the viewfinder. I'm properly doing something wrong, I think I just need to play with it more. 

6. save save save. 

It all goes so well and then you have something like June birthday season or Christmas incoming. I can't wait for Christmas this year, LJ is going to love it! He'll love everything from the lights, to the tree, to the decorations, to the wrapping paper, to the presents. So understandably we want to spoil him (within reasonable means) and due to our excitement (and my inability to resist a sale item) we have already got all his Christmas presents.

I'm quite proud of the bargains and deals we have got along the way. Such deals include a Mega Blocks Thomas set reduced to £10 from £40. The use of our Tesco double up club card points to get a Thomas Trackmaster train and track and some spare take and play track for £2.99. A happy land football set half price to £7 and good deals on Osbourne books via a book party. I don't think we paid normal price for any item and my biggest problem left before Christmas is what is Santa giving and what are we giving, out of the presents we've got. Stress reduced!

The boring part of course is organising the rest of the Christmas Presents for adults! Who am I kidding, I even love that part! I've stored the presents so far in the draw, mainly because I love a good festive wrapping session by the Christmas tree with some top 40 Christmas tunes on the TV. 

I've even got one of Ali's presents! He's one of those Christmas babies, so I have to work out what to get him x2. 

In order to fund Christmas, I'm putting in all the hours I can in overtime at work. This does mean my mummy guilt levels will and have already risen. I was already doing one night of overtime and now i'll be doing three. I just have to think that even though I basically see my child for one hour in the morning (an early hour at that), that I am doing it for him and it'll only be temporary.  

In terms of house saving, we're still plodding along. House prices continue to rise and the dream feels further away than ever, but maybe it's because we've been living one year in the 3G household and that's all we had planned on. Now it's obvious it will be longer (but not too much longer dad!) and the new direction is before LJ's second birthday next year - June 2015). 

7. Get media organised.

This one I'm actually doing ok on! I don't know whether that's because my Mac pops up and says 'You haven't backed up in x days' or whether I'm up to date on doing LJ's monthly videos and therefore to make my life easier, it helps if I've backed up all his photos and videos to the files on my back-up HD. 

I enjoy the monthly video editing and even though the months seem to creep up so quickly, It's lovely to see everything we have done with him in the last month and all the new things he's learned.

8. Video everyday.

I'm keeping true to this one as well, even if it's just 4 seconds of him sleeping with his legs up in the air. It's the little things I want to remember and it's all I need for my monthly videos. 

Things like feeding the bunnies, which LJ LOVES doing at the moment, are lovely to have on film, we can show him when he's 8 and less excited about going out to feed the bunnies. 

We will remember when he learnt the cool new things he does (like jumping!) as we have a video timestamp for it all. 

We can also look back and remember how little he was when he first was walking and discovering things like wet sand. 

So the next review will be just before the New Year (who am I kidding, it will come after, but refer to before). I know i'm unlikely to complete all of my NY resolutions but they were guidance points to what I thought I wanted to achieve this year. In reality, what I want to achieve has changed a lot over the year. Things have shifted priority and my main focus is and always will be bringing up my toddler baby. 


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