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Month in Review and February Goals

playing with icicles from our roof

Playing with icicles from our roof

January was a mixed bag in terms of meeting goals. We went outside to play exactly once. The weather was pretty miserable for the entire month, but there were a couple of other days when we could have gone out. Emma doesn’t like getting dressed up to go out in the cold (surprise), and Johnny and Lily tend to follow her lead. And I give in, because I’m not that keen on spending an hour getting the kids all geared up for 2-15 minutes of play before they come back in.

I actually got a LOT of time outside, shoveling snow. Mike flew off to Italy (well, he got stuck in DC for a night before actually MAKING it to Italy…) right before our big overnight snowstorm, and I woke up to 18 inches (where it had drifted) of snow to shovel. After four hours of shoveling, and a wonderful random snow plow truck who finished off the end of our driveway for me, I was done! We had an electric snow thrower, but it chose that morning to catch fire! What is it with me and cold-related appliances catching fire?

Some things went really well in January. I found a fun gymnastics class that Emma and Johnny both enjoy, and they are signed up for that through June. We tried out a music class that I thought was pretty cool, but the kids were not impressed, so we’ll skip that one! In other class-related news, Johnny’s speech therapist had the brilliant idea to have him practice his words while completing an obstacle course, with phenomenal results! Hooray for speech therapists who think creatively!!!

I got thank you cards sent off, and even invitations for Emma’s fifth (!) birthday party this month! All three kids are back on target for bedtime, even with Mike out of town. Sometimes they even ask to go to bed. Sleeping through the night is another story, as is getting up at a reasonable time. I woke up last Thursday to find Lily sitting (silently) on my back, and Friday morning all three kids were up by 5:38am. We’ve made some progress on getting the kids involved in cleaning, but I still resort to doing it myself because that’s faster/easier more frequently than I should. One thing that has worked really well has been for me to choose one chore for myself (such as folding laundry) and one for the kids (picking up legos), and racing to see if they can beat me! I used to do the same chore, but then they race against each other while making sure that I still pick up the most!

Goals for February:

  • Finish planning Emma’s birthday party – any suggestions of fun and simple indoor activities for five-year-olds and (perhaps more importantly) younger siblings? Target area: gratitude
  • Do some fun things with the kids for Valentine’s Day (Emma’s favorite holiday) – again, I’d love suggestions/links to activities you enjoy! Target areas: gratitude, generosity, and education
  • Try at least two new slow cooker recipes. We made coq au vin Saturday, and chicken in red sauce Sunday, and both were great! I borrowed this cookbook from the library, and several recipes in it look intriguing. I like the simplicity of five ingredients! And Johnny likes the cookbook as a bedtime story, which is a little unique – although I remember Emma reading cookbooks at his age, so it must run in the family… Target areas: peace, education, and health
  • Take advantage of the Winkflash flat-rate photo book sale – 100 pages for the price of twenty! Target area: gratitude
  • Continue to work on getting the kids involved in household chores. Target areas: peace, gratitude, and education

monthly goals at mama smiles


MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

12 thoughts on “Month in Review and February Goals”

  1. Two Chicks and a Hen

    Ugh, we are having the same problem with getting dressed to go outside. My oldest is fine with it, but my youngest freaks out. Every day we leave the house with a 2 1/2 year old with no mittens. In Montreal. And five minutes after we get outside, she’s screaming hysterically because she’s cold, but she’ll still rip her mittens off right away if I try to put them on outside. Trying to go outside to play is a real treat!

  2. We keep hearing reports of all the snow and cold weather up your way. I feel (a little) bad for the beautiful weather we’ve had lately! We’re supposed to have a few days of cold weather but other than that, it’s been in the 60’s and 70’s!

    Love your list of goals. Getting kids to clean is always hard for me. I feel like I’ve tried everything. It works for a while and then I have to find something new. I love Valentine’s Day, too! Working on lots of crafts right now for it!

  3. Great goals. I can see that getting three kids dressed just to spend a few minutes outside might not be worth it. What a fantastic idea of Johnny’s speech therapist to combine words practice with some exercise. And I can’t believe that Emma is turning 5 already – time flies so fast!

  4. We haven’t had a lot of snow this winter, but when it has snowed it’s bitterly cold. This means our outdoor time is limited to a few minutes simply because no one can stand being out longer than that.

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    It’s hysterical to see Emma so excited about icicles while wearing a summer top. :) They do look like a lot of fun!

    Love your idea of racing chores! We’re using a timer right now and trying to beat the clock, but with so many legos it sometimes seems like a losing battle.

  6. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    I love reading your monthly goal posts — good luck with February! We’ll be cheering you on!

    Johnny’s speech therapist sounds amazing. What a creative way to have him practice his words!

    I’m hoping we can spend more time outdoors in Feb. too. We’ve had such frigid cold weather, so it’s been difficult.

  7. I like the idea of focusing on gratitude. I would like to see how you incorporate that goal into your day to day lessons. I just may focus on Gratitude in March after I get some ideas from you!

  8. Great post! We haven’t been outside much either. Abby wants to go out, but it’s so cold!

    Sorry about the kids waking up so early. That can really mess up the whole day!

    One thing popped into my head for an easy indoor activity. For Easter, we had the kids balance a plastic egg on a spoon and see how made it the farthest. You could do this with something birthday related.

    I hope Emma has a great party!

  9. I had to wait to read this when I could concentrate beyond the cool looking icicles.

    Easy activities indoors…….. You could have the kids hunt for their party favors.

    We bowled for one of Princess’ birthday parties, I used water bottles partway filled up and the kids all thought that was great fun.

  10. I can’t believe Emma is turning 5 already! And it is so funny that Johnny likes recipes as bedtime stories.

  11. I’d love to hear how you include the kids in the household chores, this is something we’ve been working on too!

  12. I hope Emma has a blast at her party!

    Your idea for racing to clean up fastest is a good one–thank you!

    How are they enjoying gymnastics?

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