Every year, April is a busy month for our family. It starts with our anniversary on April 1 (no foolin', as our wedding invitations said), then Dashiell's birthday on the 9th, and Chris has a hectic schedule all the way through. Plus allergies hit! Chris gets them the worst, Cedric seems to get them too, and I've had a few days of sneezing and other unpleasant symptoms. Even though the month felt busy it was so much more manageable now that I'm not working full time plus we don't have the drive to and from daycare. I'm thankful for this.
In April I started thinking a lot about our summer plans. I'll be home with the boys this summer and currently don't have any camps or consistent childcare on the calendar. And I feel okay about it! I'll go to Austin with the boys for three weeks in the middle of the summer and I think that will break up the summer nicely: three weeks in Gilbert, three weeks in Austin, three weeks in Gilbert, and then school starts August 1!
In the past month, even with the busyness of life, we seemed to have reached a new phase with the boys. It's just easier. Not only do they get themselves dressed in the mornings but they also put away their pajamas, make their beds, bring their breakfast dishes to the sink, brush their teeth, pack their backpacks, and put on their own shoes. Some mornings it takes reminding several times but I can count on them being able to do all those things themselves. What is this life?! I am appreciating it for all its worth. This year I've had more time to think about my parenting plus more time with the boys to put ideas into practice. It's probably a combination of their ages plus the thought I've been putting into it but I feel confident in my parenting lately which is a great feeling. I've never felt like a bad parent but some behaviors just give you a run for your money. Now I have a more clear idea of how we want to approach those behaviors in a "leading with love" way (that's the phrase I came up with to describe my approach and philosophy).
Last month I revisited my recurring love of checking cookbooks out from the library. It started when I read this blog post and all the comments about favorite cookbooks. I was inspired to check out Cravings, and to make French toast casserole with salted frosted flakes for Easter (it was fantastic), Super Natural Every Day, 100 Days of Real Food, and Run Fast Eat Slow. I love bringing a new cookbook with me to school pick up and going through it slowly at the park while the boys play. Reading cookbooks is one of my favorite pastimes.
Also in April I thought about my summer wardrobe. The heat is coming and I want to be comfortable + put together. I tend to put off purchases even when I've thought about them and determined that a purchase would be really beneficial. But last summer I defied my under-buyer tendencies and bought two new swimsuits in March. It felt so good to be ready for swimsuit season (which always comes faster than expected here) and not scrambling to find a suit to wear. And so, learning from my past self, I researched and purchased the Patagonia Quandary shorts I've been eyeing. I've been wanting shorts that look like regular shorts but will dry quickly when I sweat, which I will be doing plenty of this summer. These are exactly that! They already came in and I love them.
There are just three weeks left until school is out! Which means my personal deadline for my book proposal for a nonfiction book for working mothers is fast approaching. I won't have the revised draft that I was hoping that I would. But I will have drafts of an outline, two chapters, credentials, a competing and complementary books section, and hopefully a marketing plan. It's not nothing and I'm proud of the work that I did. I hate to miss goals that I set for myself but don't feel that I'm going to completely miss this goal. I wanted to work on a book proposal this year and I did. I also did lots of other things this year that contributed to my family, my creativity, and personal happiness and I'm remembering that those things count for a lot too.
April goals update:
+ Track my food every day. Yes – every day (or the next day) I wrote down what I ate. I do think writing down what I ate, and knowing that I'd be writing it down, somewhat influenced my food choices for the better (I already eat very healthy so I don't feel that I have huge improvements to make).
+ Monday and Thursday writing sessions. Did okay. Things come up as they always do including sickness for one of the boys. Plus the boys had a four day weekend around Easter. But I fit in writing where I could.
+ Try a few yoga classes. No! The class times are not ideal for me but they did say they'll extend the Groupon for me so I still plan to make use of it.
+ Weekly budget check-ins with Chris. We've been doing more check-ins but still not weekly.
+ Rotate clothes. Yes! I put away cold weather clothes and even took my winter jacket to the dry cleaner so it'll be ready for next season. I also bought a few things, including the shorts mentioned above and feel like my summer wardrobe is set.
Other April wins:
+ Celebrated nine years of marriage with a dinner date and seeing Wicked (loved).
+ Celebrated Dash turning SIX.
+ Donated blood. Happy that my iron level has been high enough to donate the past two times. Taking consistent iron pills leading up to donating makes all the difference for me.
+ Had a fun solo parent weekend while Chris hung out with his guy friends. One evening I had a neighbor over for dessert after bedtime and it was so nice to catch up.
+ Had a fun one night staycation with Chris. In the midst of all the busyness it was so needed to have quality time together. Chris was attending a conference too so I got some alone time as well plus I was able to see him give the final keynote address and he did so great! Afterwards I felt completely de-stressed. For our date night we had a delicious dinner at Citizen Public House and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while the symphony performed the score which was a fun and different way to watch a movie we've seen so many times.
Hope you had a good April!