New Month's Resolutions: September

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This is my last full week at home with Hunter, and while I am very excited about him going back to school next week, it's also bittersweet. I am happy that he will continue to work in a Montessori environment, be with his friends, and that I will have some free time to myself during my last weeks of pregnancy (a huge blessing for which I am so very thankful). On the other hand, I am sad that this really is the end of an era. I will never again be at home with an only child. OMG. I am going to be a mommy of two. It's terrifying but also thrilling. We can't wait to meet our new little one! For now, Hunter is enjoying the baby doll we got him. He gives it lots of kisses and sings it "Rock-a-bye Baby." He calls his doll "baby brother" and my belly "baby sister" even though we don't know the gender.

On to an update of my goals from last month...

Connect with Hunter. While I didn't do everything on my list of ways to connect with Hunter, we did play, read, and cuddle together a lot, so that's good. I even implemented "Special Time," which is a dedicated amount of child-led play time with a parent (daily is ideal). I put the kitchen timer on for 10 or 15 minutes and give Hunter all my attention playing cars or Legos. What makes it special is that I don't answer any calls or texts or tend to anything around the house during this time. I also tell him that it's special time. Doing that sets it apart from all the other times that I play with him. Even the day after our first special time, I asked him, "What did we do for special time yesterday?" And he answered, "Play Legos!" So cute! He definitely asks for it now, "Mommy special time? Play small cars with Hunter?" The other parenting-related thing I did was create a "Getting Ready for Bed" chart. I took photos of Hunter going through his bedtime routine. Then, with self-adhesive hook and loop strips, I attached the photos to the poster. Since they can be removed, I can reuse this chart for "Getting Ready to Leave the House" as well!

Read books. Well, the goal was to read two, and I finished one (Montessori from the Start) I was in the middle of as well as my guilty-pleasure book (Primates of Park Avenue). Reading about the mommies of the Upper East Side of Manhattan was horrifying at times. I am glad I read the book, but I am not sure if I'd recommend it. That's all.

Keep the house tidy. Meh. This goal was not a huge priority. The house wasn't a total disaster, at least.

Now onto my goals for September... I usually like to limit myself to 3, but I added a couple more this time since I will have some time on my hands.

1. Take photos in manual mode. We got a new DSLR camera prior to our trip to Sicily, but I had been sticking to automatic mode because I just didn't want to make the effort to learn manual mode. Now with a few tips (from a pro!) under my belt, I feel a little more confident. I hope to see an improvement in my photos!

2. Get ready for baby! There isn't a whole lot to do, but I do want to go through the baby gear we have and see what we are keeping/can get rid of/need to acquire. I have some stuff I loaned to my sister, so I can get all that back. Plus, I hope to make a couple of Montessori mobiles for him/her.

3. Parenting stuff: avoid parenting with threats and saying "Good job!" In addition to keeping up connection time with Hunter, there are a couple of specific parenting areas I want to work on. One is to stop saying things like, "If you don't do X, I won't give you/won't let you have/will take away Y." Phrases like that are definitely not the positive parenting I aspire to achieve. Instead, I need to work on setting him up for success before resorting to threats by connecting, setting up expectations, keeping him in the loop, etc. I hope the routine of going to school will make things go more smoothly around here. The other thing is to find more constructive and useful feedback for Hunter. Let's say he helps me slice veggies for dinner. Instead of saying a quick, "Good job, buddy," I could say, "Wow! Look at all the hard work you did to help me get dinner ready! Thank you, Hunter!"

4. Tackle my to-do list. It's mostly fun stuff -- really! Decor stuff around the house, grabbing breakfast with a friend, work on blog posts, etc. I also have a Montessori project I am working on that I really want to finish by the end of the month. 

5. Relax! I plan to read a couple more books (Understanding the Human Being -- which I started last month, barely, and Disease-proof Your Child), do my nails, and maybe even work on a coloring book (I love this one).

So much to do, but I am looking forward to it all! Hope you all have a great month!

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