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Hello, last day of February! Forecasts indicate that March is definitely going to be “in like a lion” this year, but I’m still welcoming it! Let’s do a checkup on my 2014 goals.
Run a 5K – waiting for the weather to cooperate! I found my iPod touch, have a set of Couch to 5K podcasts, and my shoes. I’ve been exercising 4-5 times per week this month and while I’d like to eventually bump that up to 6, it’s better than the 1 or 0 it was before that!
Read the Bible and the Catechism - Chugging along. A few days behind, but working to catch up
Monthly date night with Ian – accomplished! We had a Valentine’s Day dinner date that was a ton of fun. We signed up months ago as soon as we heard that free babysitting was included – talk about an incentive!
Monthly “ladies/moms night out” - It wasn’t at night, but I did a Pilates class this month with a few other women I knew and had a great time (and discovered muscles I never knew I had!).
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Breastfeed Éamon until he’s at least 18 months old - still going strong at 9 1/2 months! I had meant to mention this in my post on tandem nursing, but in no way has Alisdair’s continued nursing meant that Éamon goes without. I just make more. Éamon is actually taller than Alisdair was at this age. He’s not as chunky, but I think he’s definitely following after his father in the growth department. He’s grown out of half his 18 month size clothes already.
Nighttime potty training for Alisdair – working on it. He’s never been a fantastic sleeper, and the focus is more on that at the moment. I think once he gets into a good habit, he’ll figure out the nighttime potty stuff. So far he’s fighting the good habit formation, though. We’ll have a couple of great nights and then he’ll figure out a way around it.
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Finish landscaping the front yard
You may recall that last week we had a bit of a glimpse of spring. I loved the rain, mostly because it was new and not my old friend from all winter long. But one downside of the rain did make itself known last week as well. I went downstairs and Alisdair came with me, and I heard a splash and then Alisdair said, “Mommy, my foot is wet.”
So let’s go over all of the things we’ve done to try and fix our wet basement problem: buy and run a dehumidifier, clean out gutters, repair the downspouts, and regrade the backyard (where most of the water has come in.) When I heard Alisdair make that splash, I’ll admit for a second I was absolutely crushed. I saw us spending thousands of dollars on foundation work, specialized landscaping, and feeling like our home was a huge money pit we’d never be free of. Then I remembered that when we had our home inspection done, the inspector recommended we have a French drain installed. We’d gotten the impression that it would be very, very expensive, but very worth it if we had the money.
On a whim, I decided to search for instructions on how to do it ourselves. And voilà. Not necessarily a cakewalk, but very, very doable. So this will be added to our landscaping projects for this year.
I have a feeling I’m not going to be your typical entitled American couch potato for much longer. Though it’s funny that it may be a project with the word “French” in it that does it.
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Continue working Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
This month we filed our taxes and we got a very nice refund, most of which was immediately sent to pay off loans. We aren’t doing the traditional snowball (order loans smallest to largest, pay off the smallest ones first regardless of interest.) Instead I have them organized in groups based on interest rate, then paying off smallest to largest in the group, starting with the highest interest rate. This may not seem like a big deal, but some of my student loans have rates of 6.8%, and my lowest is 0.35% (not a typo). Yeah, the 6.8% ones are being paid off first.
I have a payoff spreadsheet that I use, and just from this one extra payment I took more than a year off the time estimated to pay them. Awesome. Our goal is to have them paid off by the time I turn 30 (so 2017), which is ambitious, but I’m working on it. I do a happy dance every time we send them a little extra money, because it means less time until FREEDOM.
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Switching gears now: Éamon had his 9 month checkup this week (yep, I’m behind.) As stated previously he is crazy tall. I had to laugh, though – at his 6 month checkup, the pediatrician (normally, I love him, and he was great about Éamon’s jaundice and other issues at birth) insisted that I give Éamon baby cereal so he wouldn’t be anemic by the time he hit nine months (at which they test hemoglobin levels). This is one of the fun parts of being a mom the second time around – I felt a lot more confident. Not so confident that I said, “Oh no, we won’t be doing that,” but confident enough that I said, “Mhm,” and then just didn’t do it. With Alisdair, he told me the same, I went ahead and bought the cereal – which Alisdair then refused to eat and just fingerpainted with, as he did with most solid foods. I ended up throwing the cereal out. Alisdair’s iron levels tested well within the normal range, even though his diet was pretty much only breastmilk. Éamon eats a LOT of different foods including ones naturally rich in iron, gets a lot of breastmilk, and I eat very healthily myself, still taking a multivitamin. So why buy a cereal he doesn’t need? His iron was also well within normal levels.
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The other funny thing was when the pediatrician told me to start giving him whole milk a few weeks before his 1st birthday so he would be ready for me to give him whole milk when he was 12 months old – but wouldn’t I be giving him milk already…a few weeks before? I probably won’t give him milk before he’s 1, especially since I have no intention of weaning him at a year, but it was an odd way to phrase it.
The occasionally bad feeling I have about just ignoring, instead of saying, “Well, we don’t do that, and it’s worked for us,” is that there’s probably little opportunity for the pediatrician to rethink it. He probably assumes we comply. But I already fought him once on vaccines (for ethical, not medical considerations) and I mostly won that one (the kids will get the alternatives that are not ethically problematic if an alternative exists). So even when we disagree, he’s respectful and knows that I’m not an idiot. But I don’t want to push it too far – “well, guess what, doc, the kids nurse past 2 and they sleep in our bed and I potty train them before they’re a year old, even though none of your literature says to do ANY of that stuff, or even that it’s impossible/dangerous.” It can be a difficult relationship to maneuver.
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While I was reviewing this post, I realized that my link on how to do our own French drain was incorrect – it actually would have sent you to a list of Olympic hockey medal winners. The hazards of a husband and wife having blog post drafts open at the same time!
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