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Month in review and November goals

Halloween cuties

I only partially achieved my October goals. We didn’t get out to enjoy the Autumn weather nearly as much as I would have liked, due to a combination of laziness on my part, inclement weather, a daughter who thinks she should wear summer attire in freezing weather, and sickness. I worked out a fantastic toy storage solution, but didn’t organize much else. Halloween costumes were thrown together at the last minute thanks to Emma hand-me-downs for Johnny and Lily and the gift of a princess dress-up chest for Emma combined with unseasonably warm weather for a single day that allowed me to NOT fight with her over dressing warmly for one day. Mike’s aunt and cousin moved their invitation to Thanksgiving, so we’ll be seeing them this month instead. We had a fantastic visit with my brother B, and we are still enjoying a visit from Gramma. There are plenty of blog switchover issues to take care of, but I made a blog button. I also uploaded my patterns and templates as PDFs for easier downloading (see my navigation bar for links).

On to annual goals:

  • Find places to keep all those odds and ends that get stashed in random places: My house feels still cluttered, and I’ll be making specific goals in this area for November
  • Potty training: No longer a goal for this year, but bound to reappear in 2010.
  • Get Johnny to eat more solid food: Some success and some failure, largely due to illness.
  • Be more patient with cooking/baking that involves a rolling pin: Ignored. I didn’t even make my planned sugar cookies, due to illness the week they were planned for.
  • Take the kids outdoors more: Some success, some failure. Emma and Johnny enjoyed a fantastic off-road strollering adventure with Mike and Uncle B. Turns out my double stroller stood true to some intense tests. Lily and I stayed indoors and missed out.
  • Get the kids to sleep through the night better: Emma was doing great until she got sick, but I don’t think she’s slid back too far. Johnny is doing miserably at this since getting sick. Lily was great but then got sick. She still does well for a not-quite-three-month-old, though.

November will be a busy month – we have family visiting for about half the month, Thanksgiving dinner to plan, and we are getting ready for a BIG trip across the Atlantic to visit my parents in Vienna, Austria at the beginning of December thanks to an amazing deal on airline tickets! I’m very excited, particularly as this means a return to the city I lived in and loved for all four years of high school (a long time for me to live in one place as a child). My two youngest siblings (12 and 15 years younger than me) are students at my old high school, and I will get to see them perform in their winter concert. I had some fantastic high school teachers, many of whom now teach my brother and sister, so it will be fun to see them as well. We’re kicking off the month with a short three-day road trip to the Massachusetts Cape thanks to the very generous gift of a timeshare from Mike’s aunt and uncle. This blog is going on vacation too, so you won’t hear from me for a couple days.

November goals:

  • Go through the kids’ toys, donate several and toss a few that are worn out.
  • Go through hand-me-down toys from friends sitting in the garage. Choose some to give to our kids for Christmas (yes, we give secondhand gifts to our children) and donate the rest (with our friends’ blessing).
  • Remove all clutter from the kitchen and bookshelves – and keep it from reappearing.
  • Plan out our “25 Days of Giving” for December – if you have suggestions, particularly of things that can be done by young children on a plane and in a foreign country, please let me know?
  • Make some sort of gratitude-themed countdown for Thanksgiving.
  • Create some activities to keep our three young children busy on their plane rides across the Atlantic. I’m hoping to make at least one quiet book, and will be visiting this blog for inspiration!
  • Get Emma to dress warmly WITHOUT a daily mother-daughter showdown. Step one: pack ONLY long sleeves and long pants for our road trip. Step two: surreptitiously remove ALL summer attire from her wardrobe and hide it in the attic.
  • Figure out Thanksgiving dinner.
  • BONUS goal: fix the remaining blog switchover issues and start on handmade Christmas gifts.

What are your November goals?

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

18 thoughts on “Month in review and November goals”

  1. You are such an inspiration. Your youngest is just three months and you are always so busy. I laughed at the goal of getting Emma to dress warmly. It seems the colder it gets here the less clothes sunnyboy wears. The boy just loves to be naked!

    The picture is adorable! :)

  2. About the 25 days of giving…remember the nursing home we used to play at on Christmas Eve? It’s somewhere right in the neighborhood (didn’t we used to walk there???)…perhaps the kids could make something for the residents. I wanted to look it up last year when I was there, but didn’t get around to it (and I got there on the 25th, after their Christmas celebration was officially over).

  3. I love the Halloween pictures – so pretty. All that I can say about taking 3 young children across Atlantic in early December – you like to live on the edge :) We have visited Germany when Anna was about 20 months old – it wasn’t fun. Of course, our case was extreme, because while everyone was happy to see Anna, nobody was comfortable enough to actually babysit her or play with her without our presence. I still have bad memories about that trip. I hope it will go a lot better for you.

  4. Andrea @ The Train To Crazy

    Have a wonderful vacation!

    I really need to pay attention to the goals I write. They always seem to fall to the wayside!

  5. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    You did so well this month! I was particularly impressed with your genius toy storage solution. I’m also working on decluttering — this is huge for us now. And lots of handmade Christmas gifts! Have a safe and happy trip! We will miss you!!

  6. I’d love to hear more about your toy storage solution! We didn’t get outside much in October either, we had an awful October here – rain and cold, yuck! Hopefully November will be a mild month for all of us! I think it’s great that you are making these goals, it’s really making me think of what I want to accomplish. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Adorable photo! Your November sounds insane … in a good way of course.

    You know that I have the same warm-weather clothing in cool weather issues with my two. One thing that worked was to let them pick out their own jackets at the store. There’s a little bit of peer pressure here, but since they share all their other clothes, having an article of clothing that doesn’t have to be shared encourages them to actually wear it.

    So far, putting my foot down and reminding them over and over that they’ve lost their privilege to choose their own outfits is working well.

  8. Great goals! I also think that setting goals is a wonderful idea. I don’t have major goals set for my family, but I should think about that. I do however have goals set for my business. They are as follows:

    Publish my next ebook by the end of the month.
    Get my two new websites up and running and promote them like crazy.

    I think I’ll try to figure out what goals I can set for my family.

  9. Elisa @ blissfulE

    Love that photo!!
    I’m sure the flight attendants and people you know through your old school will be delighted to be recipients in your 25 days of giving. My best idea for airplane crafting would include glitter… wait, no, just kidding. How about removable stickers?

  10. I love the idea of monthly goals. I will have to sit down and think about it and get back to you! What a great opportunity for you and your family to travel to Europe. We flew with our little ones to Florida last July and I recommend that you take LOTS of snacks, stickers, and coloring books.

  11. I have a suggestion for Thanksgiving…come to my house! :) It’s a serious offer, especially since we were at your house last year, and you haven’t been here since the day Lily was born…I’ve been intending to talk to you about Thanksgiving plans, but I have so much happening between now and then that it seems farther away than it really is…let’s talk when you’re back in town.

  12. Cute costumes!
    You have quite a month ahead of you. Can’t wait to hear all about it. November goals? Get going on Christmas presents, try and be thankful, rake leaves with the kids… and much more!

  13. Wow! That’s so cool that you are going to Vienna. Does that mean you speak German as well as French? I am making a quiet book for Bear right now and am halfway finished and I got a lot of my inspiration from Jill. Mozi Esme posted about a gratitude countdown for Thanksgiving if you are interested.

  14. I am also impressed by your goals, especially after having your 3rd baby. It gives me hope that my life won’t come to a screeching halt once my #3 is born (any day now).

    I love the idea of 25 Days of Giving. Your kids could make something for the pilot for the day(s) your traveling on a plane. Kaia did that on our last airplane trip and I think both she and the pilot enjoyed that.

  15. Wow, some lofty goals as usual :) How fun to go to Austria!! Have the kids been on a plane that long? I’m looking forward to hearing about that! Our November goals are simply to make it through our six hour road trip and four days at the in-law’s house. A seriously difficult thing to take on…They have three dogs and we may have to bring ours as well!

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