Tag Archives: kids

Ideas for changing your life

10 Mar

Ok, so, these are ideas for changing my life, but I want to know what changes you’re looking to make, too. Add them in the comments! Though these aren’t all ‘marriage’ changes, I think all of them will benefit my marriage in some way.

Changes I want to make / Things I want to do:

  • Kiss and hug my husband every day.
  • Stay calm, particularly if we start to argue.
  • Walk away from a less-than-calm argument, instead of becoming an emotional trainwreck.
  • Spend 15 minutes a day talking….work, kids, schedules, our relationship, and chores are off-limit topics. It’ll be interesting to see what we talk about.. I feel like all we talk about sometimes are these topics.
  • Put up more pictures of us around the house.
  • Discuss (and write down and post somewhere) our 2 year goal, 5 year goal, 15 year goal, and retirement goals.
  • Have more sex (we’re tired parents of a 7 year old and 15 month old!) I read that the average is 1.5 times a week, so we’re already ahead of the curve, but I’d prefer more if I could actually stay awake!
  • Encourage my husband to get out a little more. He works long days at work, and though we make time for our ‘couple friends,’ he doesn’t get out much for a guy’s evening. I’m thankful for the time he is at home, but wondering if he’d be a little happier if he got out every now and then.
  • Be more positive and less negative. I tend to see the negative side of everything. I’m a realist!
  • Expand our circle of happy  ‘couple’ friends.
  • Have more ‘active’ dates with my husband. We LOVE dining out, but I’d like to try something a little more involved and active. (Any suggestions?)

Any other ideas? What are some things you’d like to change, or even do every day?

#35: Tips on not becoming a junkie.

23 Nov

Credit: fuffer on Flickr

An iPhone junkie, that is.

My husband and I both have iPhones (I’ve got a 3Gs, he’s got a 4.) I don’t think he ‘plays’ with his iPhone as much as I do; but in all fairness (to me and my bad habit), he just got his after switching from a very old Blackberry, and he doesn’t know how to download and use all the nifty apps yet.

Here’s what I use my iPhone for:

  • Checking my work email
  • Checking my personal email
  • Looking at my ‘friends’ feed in Facebook
  • Checking for Facebook notifications
  • Reading celebrity gossip
  • Playing Bubble Shooter (free edition)
  • Googling anything I don’t know
  • Checking my bank account
  • Checking my Amex account
  • changing the channel on the tv (thank you Verizon Fios app!)
  • Texting my family
  • Talking on the phone

What do you use your mobile phone for?

Now, I’ll be clear now. I’m not addicted to my phone. I’ve left it at home and not had a panic. I’ve forgotten my charger on vacation and not had a panic.

However, I’m on my phone way too much. It follows me around the house (as in, I bring it with me around the house.) I play too much Bubble Shooter. A lot of times, I just fiddle away on it while we’re watching television. My rationale is that, well, we’re watching television. It’s not like we’re interacting.

However, is my phone use contributing to any lack of interaction? I don’t know. But I’m not particularly wanting to find out. Especially since I read this article today online about how your happiness level actually seems to depend on your spouses happiness level (this was only true of married couples in the study.) It says that if you’re happy, you’re spouse is much more likely to be happy.

Well, how can my hubby know how happy (or unhappy) I am if I’m buried in my iPhone?

As a secondary point, my daughter is seven years old. I need to start NOW setting a good example about phone/digital device etiquette.

So here are some tips on good etiquette that I intend to follow:

I won’t text while driving. I typically don’t, but I’ll make an effort not to at all. I’m really not use to my family if I’m dead from a texting accident.

No phone during any meals. I never do this anyway. Mostly. The only exception is if I’m checking for texts from the babysitter.

I won’t play games/read celebrity gossip, etc for more than 10 minutes at a time. Hey, let’s face it. I’m going to do those things. My phone has practically replaced the computer for those sorts of things. But 10 minutes, max, especially if I’m hoping for some quality time with the husband. I don’t want him to feel ignored.

I won’t bring my phone into the bedroom at night. I’ll leave it to charge in the kitchen. This is a new rule for me. I bring it in a lot, and scan the news or check Facebook before bed. There’s no need for this. Bedtime is ‘cuddle’ time. Reconnect time. (You get the idea.)

What other tips can you recommend?

#31: The obligatory pre-Thanksgiving post: What are you thankful for?

9 Nov

Credit - IKEA.com

What’s a good way to keep track of all the things we’re thankful for as Thanksgiving draws closer? I don’t know, but my friend Mrs. C. emailed me with a great idea.

She passed on a fantastic project from one of our favorite blogs, Young House Love. In today’s blog post, John describes how he and his wife, Sherry, created their own jar for writing about what they’re thankful for. Each day, they’ll write something on a piece of paper that they’re Thankful for, and on Thanksgiving, they’ll read them.

No peeking until Thanksgiving!

I’m going to adapt this project for my family, as well. This weekend on a trip to IKEA, I bought several glass jars, one of which is still empty and will do the trick (see picture above.)

I will not be etching the glass as John and Sherry did, as I’m not that creative, and I’d probably etch right through our counters. Better to not ruin my apartment.

I think my husband will play along, as he’s all about building family traditions as of lately. This could be a good one.

Here’s YHL’s finished jar:

 

Credit: YoungHouseLove.com

So now I have to get thinking… what am I thankful for? There’s lots that I’m thankful for; that we both have jobs, that we’re all healthy, etc, but I’d like to find more specific examples of smaller things I’m thankful for as well.

What are you thankful for?

Updates: I had every intention of doing this, but life sort of got in the way. There’s always next year.

Reason #5 – Would your husband encourage you to go away for a weekend with your sisters?

28 Oct

Mine did. At first it felt like a trick. Like, “Why does he want me to go away? Is he up to no good? is he sick of me?” You know, all the general paranoia stuff.

My older sister is a world traveler. She’s traveled a lot for work, and she’s also traveled because she’s a professional athlete. China, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, England, Guatemala; you name it, she’s been there. Now, she’s been hounding me for a bit to go on a weekend trip with her. I haven’t been on a weekend trip with her since early 2004 when we drove from New England to Virginia Beach for a WEEKEND (for a conference she was going to.) That’s it!

I do see her quite often, however. As you may have noticed from some of my posts, I live in Washington, DC. My sister, by air, lives only an hour away, so she flies down to (or through) DC quite often.

Finally my husband said to me a few months ago, “Why haven’t you planned this weekend trip with your sister yet??”

Really?? I’ve WANTED to go, but as a mom who loves her family, I’ve felt pretty guilty about planning a trip to California, or Vegas, or Colorado, or WHEREVER for the weekend so I can hang out with my sister and have fun!! I felt guilty abandoning the kids and my husband.

But most of all, I feel guilty going out and having fun without him! He works just as hard as I do!

He told me to worry not, and plan the darn trip. Isn’t my husband amazing??

Well, it’s planned. Tomorrow afternoon I will be flying to Florida with my sister (who was awesome enough to fly here first to meet me, and then head down with me!) And guess what, my other sister already happens to be down in Florida on vacation with her boyfriend, so I’ll get to see her too. And if you can believe that, can you believe that my father and grandfather will be in Florida, too? They drove all the way from New England to pick up a car (my grandfather is an antique car buff), so I’ll get to see them, too! What a weekend!

But, “Florida?? Kind of boring, no?” I’m sure you’re asking.

Yes, I think Florida can be kind of boring, except when your sister was able to win a lottery and purchase tickets for the second to last ever space shuttle launch!!!

That’s right, on Monday, we’ll be seeing STS-133, the space shuttle Discovery make its last flight. How exciting! I got to see STS-49, the maiden voyage of Endeavor, when I was younger, but I think I’ll appreciate this a whole lot more since I’m older.

So a whole weekend in the Orlando area with my sister, before the launch.. what to do, what to do…

Update:

  • The launch was scrubbed
  • I ate dinner at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney
  • My sister and I drank lots of Bailey’s on the rocks on our flight down
  • Did you know they call Panama City, Florida (a stop on our flight) the Redneck Riviera?
  • My 15 minute stop in Panama City, Florida, was the first time in my LIFE that I’ve been in the central time zone. I’ve been to Eastern, Atlantic, and Greenwich, but never anywhere west of eastern time.

#27: Have you ever actually sat down and made a list of reasons why you love your spouse?

25 Oct

Courtesy Google Images

I haven’t either. But I’m going to make a list about why I love him and what I love about him. Tomorrow morning when he goes down to the gym, I’m going to tape the list to the bathroom mirror so he sees it when he comes back after the gym. Pretty darn simple.

Here’s the first five on my list (I’ll post the entire list later.)

  1. I love you because you make me want to be a better person.
  2. I love you because of your infinite patience with the kids (and me).
  3. I love how serious you look when you’re reading a book.
  4. I love how handsome you are in a suit or in jeans and a sweatshirt.
  5. I love you because you’re forgiving, even when you don’t have to be.

What would be the first five on your list?

Update: I started my list, folded it up, and it’s currently in my bag. I need to finish this and get it to him!

Marriage Project Assessment #4 – Bake, Cook, Ego-Boost and Clean your way to a Happier Marriage

21 Oct

At least, that’s what I’ve been doing to work towards a better marriage. Not that there’s much wrong with it to begin with, but it seems to me that it’s easier to tend to your marriage when it’s not in trouble.

Well, all this cooking, cleaning, and loving up my husband seems to be making a HUGE difference (either that, or he’s found and reading my blog!) I started this blog to work on things I can control in my marriage (as opposed to using this as a place to vent about marriage and my husband). I can’t control my husband. I can only control me.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, the intent here is to better MYSELF in my marriage, but then unintended consequence here is that my husband has been just amazing. He’s been communicating a lot more than he EVER has. I mean, he talks a lot (we love to talk about anything and everything), but as far as communicating about feelings, emotions, or dealing with issues, that’s always been a little struggle for us.

So yesterday, when he IMed me about some errands we needed to get done, I was feeling particularly lovey, and I told him out of the blue, “You know, you’re a GREAT husband and father.” And he wrote back, “You know what, THANK YOU, that means so much to me.” Who knew?? I thought I’d get a standard “Thanks.”

Last night, I got home before he did and got to work reviewing my cleaning planner. I did some dishes, got dinner started, got coffee ready for the morning, and finished folding the laundry. I had quite a bit done before he even got home. We watched the rest of the Yankees game together (Yeah!!! They Won !!!!!!.) Then we went to bed super-early to watch the Giants against the Phillies. At 9pm. We just kind of cuddled, and it was incredible. Then out of nowhere, he tells me how happy he is in general, how glad he is that I’m his wife, and how glad he is that I’m the mother of his child. He also went on to tell me that he’s made an effort to try very hard lately – my hangups are staying clean and orderly and keeping my head on straight, his is that he tends to get a little angry and let things bother him. He told me that he’s trying hard to not place blame every time something small goes wrong, and he apologized for sometimes placing that extra blame on me when it’s not warranted.

Wow!

Am I making a difference here?

Furthermore, our marriage IS good already. Do you think for people who are having marriage troubles could follow the same steps that I do and receive the same outcome, even if they think their spouse is at fault? If they work on the ‘small things’ like I am, could their spouses outlook improve as well as an unintended consequence?

 


Some useful links:

 

Archive of my marriage projects

My marriage project assessments so far

What is this marriage project all about?

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#25: Bust out my OCD cleaning planner (and wedding weekend follow-up)

19 Oct

As some of you may have read a few days ago, I have a cleaning planner now. Yup. A weekly planner, dedicated to cleaning and my chores.

Why?

  1. I’m a little OCD (or maybe a lot)
  2. I won’t remember to change the cat box, brush my teeth, do laundry, etc, if I don’t.

The reason I forget these things is not because I’m lazy; it’s because my brain is too busy and has too much going on.

Well, after our fabulous trip to our friends’ wedding this past weekend, I’ve gotten out of the habit of busting out my planner to do my chores (aka, the normal duties of wife and mother.) And then in the day and a half since we’ve been back, my excuse is that we’ve been EXHAUSTED. So it’s back to the chores planner tonight!

How does this benefit my husband, you ask?

“I wish you picking up after yourself and helping me clean the house a bit more was a perk of your OCD.” – Real quote from my husband.

Wedding Weekend

Some of you may be wondering about our weekend at our friend’s wedding and how it went. It went AMAZINGLY! Thank you everyone for all of your help!

We had friends babysit, and we flew up north and had two whole nights to ourselves!

And we caught up on our sleep. NOT!

Friday night, after several drinks to ease the stress of flying on an airline I don’t know on a route I don’t know (OCD, I tell ya!), we arrived at a lodge that the wedding family had rented, where we’d all be staying. It all started with some wine and catching up, and more wine, and many lobsters, and more wine, and more catching up…and even though we went to bed at 11pm, didn’t end until 3am when the loud music and drunken festivities ended.

“Those youngins’!!” is probably what you’re thinking, right? Except it wasn’t, it was all the ‘young folk’ in their 20’s and 30’s as well as several sets of parents, grandparents, and other ‘older’ relatives. Whew!

So naturally, even though we didn’t fall asleep until 3am, we were up by 7:00 since we’re on parental time, and also since the wedding rehearsal was at 7:30am. (Who had time to do it the day before??)

After that, we spent the day relaxing a bit, and, umm, ‘spending time’ together, and then were back for the wedding which started at 4:30 at the lake outside the lodge. We laughed with friends, drank some wine, chatted with friends, danced, drank, danced, drank, and then somehow it ended up being 1am. And since the guys had decided to smoke some cigars toward the end of the night, I had a very sick husband on my hands. We got to bed at about 3am, and were up at 7am to pack and head for the airport.

In the end, it was a great success of a weekend. My husband and I got to spend some much needed alone time with each other, we got to reconnect with some great friends….but the sleep? We’ll have to catch up on that another time.


PS – Join me on Facebook! Click the image below!

 


(Curious what my Marriage Project is all about?)

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