Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

January 30th. Hmmmm, obviously one of my resolutions isn't about procrastination. Maybe next year.

First a few thanks. Thanks to my real life friend here in Brazil whom I'll call "Ballerina Girl" because she used to be a professional ballerina; she's taking a course on flower arrangements (see "What Expat Women Do All Day" #2) and today when I got back from my run with Pedro the guard had these for me:

Nice, huh? And very professional looking. I told the guard they were from my boyfriend and not to tell Guapo. I shouldn't try to be funny in Portuguese, I don't think he got it. Oh well.

And thanks to bloggy friends Maine Mom and Marina for my blogger awards. I am so bad about making updates to my sidebar but now I will have an incentive! (my mom called me last week and reminded me to change Julio's age-she got it wrong on all of her Christmas cards because she used my blog to "double-check" the kids' ages and I hadn't updated it. He is 7 and has been for several months now. Sorry Julio.)

Ok, on to my resolutions. I contemplated for a while whether or not to blog about them and I've decided I will post the ones that aren't too personal. I'm a big believer in writing down goals and having to report on them. Nettie did that last year and I loved reading about how she accomplished her goals. So, I'm going to post them now and hopefully report on how I'm doing every now and then (read: when I can't think of anything clever to write about).

New Year's Resolution #1- Weight

Does anyone NOT have this as a resolution? I really am ok with my weight-I'm probably only carrying a couple of extra baby pounds and those can be found in my still-nursing chest region. But, what I want to work on is my attitude towards exercise. From the time Margarita was around 6 months up until I got pregnant with Pedro, I had a good attitude towards exercise. I expected myself to workout at least 4 times a week. With Juan Carlos's pregnancy I made sure my heart rate was up at least 2 1/2 hours a week throughout the pregnancy and then I ran a half marathon when he was just under 3 months old (ok, so not the smartest thing I've ever done-but I still had another kid so I guess it didn't do too much damage),

Then I got pregnant with Pedro and I fell apart in that department (and several others). I was so sick at the beginning and middle of my pregnancy and then by the time I felt OK I was so big I just felt like, "what's the point?" After his birth I suffered from PPD and just couldn't get it together enough to ever work out more than once or twice a week.

I'm feeling much better now and need to get back to it. I want to do something physical every day of the week except Sunday. Activities may include: running, walking, biking, swimming. To motivate myself I am planning to do a half marathon in June when I get back to the States with my mom who is my exercise idol.

Resolution #2: Pick Up After Myself

Do you ever see something in your kids that makes you go, "oh boy-that came from me."? That happened recently to me watching Margarita pig up her room. Drawers and closets open, clothes and shoes flung everywhere. Guess where she gets it from? Yep. I can finally admit it came from me. I always justified my messiness by telling myself I was the one who picked it up, so what did it mattered when I did it? But, it really is annoying. And I can't very well ask her to do something that I'm not doing.

So, I am making a conscious effort to put my clothes in the correct place ever time I change. And close the closet doors. And the drawers. . .

Resolution #3: Execute New Laundry Strategy

I loathe laundry. So I have, in the past, done lots of loads two days a week so as not to think about it the other five days of the week. However, doing laundry here in Brazil is even less fun than doing laundry in other places because their dryers are totally inefficient. Just to give you a clue as to how inefficient, you can set the time knob for up to THREE HOURS (that's not normal, right???):

And that's about how long it takes to dry a normal load. So, instead of wasting all the time and electricity, you have to hang up each load and let it partially dry and then stick it in the dryer for a hour or so to finish the job (did you want to see my running bra? Good. I thought so.).

This makes it impossible to do my two days of 3 or 4 loads. So, I am changing to 1 or 2 loads 6 days a week. I'm not happy about it, but it's necessary for now.

(are you wondering why I do laundry since I have a maid? Hmmmm. Well, that's a post for another day, but, long story short: 1) I have control issues, and 2) my maid's not the best cleaner in the world (she is however, good at other things))

Resolution #4: Hug my Kids More

I loved President Hinckley's message found in December's Ensign about how we treat our kids. Since he passed away this week it's even more special to me as it was his last written message. Not Mormon? Don't be afraid, this short article isn't too "Mormon-y" and it was just so uplifting to me as a mom. The part that stuck in my head was the following:

"There once was a commonly seen bumper sticker that asked the question, “Have you hugged your child today?” How fortunate, how blessed is the child who feels the affection of his or her parents. That warmth, that love will bear sweet fruit in the years that follow. In large measure, the harshness that characterizes so much of our society is an outgrowth of harshness imposed on children years ago"

I am affectionate with my kids, but now that I have 4 I think sometimes I give the majority of my hugs and kisses to the baby and Juan Carlos. I need to remember that it is just as important for Margarita and Julio. So I am printing out something that says, "Have you hugged your child today?" and putting it on my bathroom mirror.

Resolution #5: Learn Excel

I need to learn this program. I sick of having to ask Guapo, "Now, how do you make the numbers add up again?" I have been elected (ok, not really; the lady who was rightfully elected abandoned her post) to be the book buyer for my book club (it's as if they know how much I like to buy stuff) and must keep a updated file for the president (sounds important, doesn't it?).

(See "What Expat Women Do All Day" #2 and #6)

Resolution #6: Portuguese???

Still undecided if I want to put the effort in and REALLY learn it or skate by and try to preserve what remains of my now-sorry Spanish. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Resolution #7: Learn to Play the Primary Presentation Songs

I just about killed myself learning to play the piano in Small Town, Mexico. There was no one who could play in our branch so I practiced and practiced so I could play on Sundays. I learned around 75 hymns. But, when I am not required to play, I don't practice and I really don't want to lose all of my earlier efforts. So, I am going to learn the Primary songs for the Sacrament meeting presentation this year, just in case I am needed. Those would be:

  • I am a Child of God (already know it)
  • Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
  • If the Savior Stood Beside Me
  • We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (already know it)
  • Home
  • I Love to See the Temple
  • Called to Serve (have crashed and burned on this one several times)
  • When Jesus Christ Was Baptized
That's it. Well, and a few more personal goals, but you don't want to hear about those!



marina said...

Thank you for acknowleging me I kind of feel a little of a othersider since you have estabished relationships .I guess what caught my eye was you title I just love it and as I read your blog I love the stories you tell and the places you have live in and I think its all neat!
Thank you for allowing me into your world and allowing me to post and get to know you and you family.
I guess you wounder why I hang around but I just love your engery for life, I would of never of thought you went through PPD. I know I went through that with my last baby and then I had surgery in April 07 and that relly took me down depress was all I could feel while I was getting my health back that is how I got into blogging I needed to talk with women mommies no that I am not alone ,even if I do feel it at times.Anyway Gab's out of all the blogs I have read I always enjoy visting you even if I feel like an out sider. Blessing amiga,marina

Shelah said...

your goals are way funny. Very worthy, but also funny. I love them.

Maine Mom said...

Your welcome!

I enjoyed reading your goals. I think it's great that you're planning to do a half marathon again. I would like to do some sort of marathon someday, too. I think it's neat that your mom is your exercise idol.

I was doing loads and loads of laundry 1 day a week up until before Christmas, but now I am doing the 3 or 4 loads 2 times a week, which I like much better. Sorry you have to do laundry 6 days a week!

I enjoyed President Hinckley's December message, too. I have been thinking lately that I need to do more one on one time with my kids because I don't feel like they are all getting the attention they need and deserve.

Good luck learning the Primary Presentation songs! I think it's neat that you have learned how to play the piano...definitely keep practicing so you don't lose the I did. Someday I would like to learn how to play again.

Traci said...

hey....great goals!!!

I'm gearing up for the exercise thing...

And for being brave enough to tell people what my goals are. (eek!)

I'll look forward to seeing your success!

Ballerina Girl said...

Thanks Gabriela for the mention and the foto!
I think we need to add one more goal that we can do together....
ROWING! We should seriously make an effort to learn how to row on that lake!
Love ya, and see you soon!
Ballerina Girl (formerly known as Anonymous)

utmommy said...

Great goals!

I'm working on the weight/exercise one myself. Not fun, but necessary.

I try to do the same with my laundry. I find that it is much easier even though I'm doing it every day. On the days I don't get it done, it feels weird, and then I know I have even more to do the next day. I wish I had enough money to buy new clothes all the time instead of having to do laundry. Oh well, such is life.

Janice said...

Wow! Great goals. I do two loads of laundry every day except Sunday. It is ridiculous.

No Cool Story said...

YAY! Ballerina Girl doesn't have to go as Anonymous anymore :)
Good resolutions and totally do-able (doable? dueable?)

Three hours for one load in the dryer? Yikes, I guess that's normal down there, but sheeesh.

nikko said...

That does seem like a long time for a dryer to run. I'm sure they're dry on the line in three hours, right?

Good luck with excel. I avoid it wherever possible. DH, however, is an excel WHIZ!

Kari said...

What a great thing to read on my Friday afternoon! (chuckle at the dryer and telling the guard not to tell Guapo about the flowers...:) )Wow, another half marathon. Fantastic. And thanks for the thoughts on President Hinckley. I loved his quote he mentioned (Jenkin Lloyd Jones) from a recent talk so I put it on my blog topper.

Sketchy said...

Good for you! I'm always chicken about putting my goals out there, like somehow everyone will be judging me by that standard now. But I should use that as a motivator shouldn't I?

PS: Excel isn't very hard, you'll get that down in no time.

Calandria said...

These are really inspiring goals! I wish you the best. I had been posting weekly goals on my blog and reporting on how I was doing every Saturday, but I stopped for various reasons. Maybe I'll start again.

Good idea about putting a sign up on the bathroom mirror.

Fabiola said...

Dear Gabriela,

I loved your goal post. You are really brave to put them out there.
I can relate with number 2. I am married to one of the most organized men on Earth, so I am trying to discipline myself... And how hard that is.
About the dries, I can assure you they are almost useless. I brought one American dryer with me when I moved back from Michigan to Brazil.

I am wondering...are you going to Marques de Sapucai to see all the Mardi Grass festivities??


Tyler and Karen said...

Hey G,
What an inspirational post. I loved the hugging part and am going to be the worlds best hugger from here on out. Thanks!