Monday, 11 June 2012

The 2012 Plan - A six month review

At the beginning of the year I set out some 'Hope and Aims' that I would like to achieve, both personally and as a family in the post 'The 2012 Plan'.  I thought it was best to break the - quite extensive - list into bite size pieces by choosing a few to focus on each month.  Progress of these were outlined in posts 'The Plan - January', etc.  I paused this quest during April as we had our move date approaching as a rapid rate.  May saw us unpacking and settling into our new home and I am pleased to say a newer, healthier living lifestyle.

So with us now well into June I thought it was high time for a mid-year review and an action plan for achieving those aims not yet fulfilled. 


Continue to encourage J1 to try new activities and adventures to help with his fine and gross motor skills and his speech :
Ongoing.  We have been trying out all the sensory rooms at our local special needs activity centre and continue to try and get extra swim sessions whenever possible.  We have also managed to secure a special 'Duet' bike for our holiday.  As mentioned in last weeks 'Special Saturday' post J1's speech is developing amazingly well.

- Be more vigilant with J1's home physiotherapy, even though he complains :
Also ongoing.  J1's new (bigger) standing frame has now arrived and been fitted so that is all positive.  We have also ordered some new 'swim aids' in anticipation of muchos swimming on holiday.  Hmm this might be the first the Hubby is hearing of this...

- Help J1 school fundraising group :
Not done too much with this so far apart from donating items for raffle and tombola for the school fete next month and volunteering The Hubby and my Dads services in helping set up the tables. 

- Try and find new and suitable activities for the whole family to participate in at weekends :
We were making reasonable progress with this at the start of the year but the move and home making has taken up most weekends of late.  I am sure we will get back to it with full force when the summer weather arrives.  Always assuming it IS going to arrive (sighs whilst looking at the driving wind and rain outside of the window...)

- Potty train J2 :
This was always an aim for the 'summer' months (easier drying abilities!).  Up to this point we encourage J2 to go on the potty (or on the trainer seat) first thing in the morning and before and after his bath.  This was going well.  Then we went through a 'stubborn' phase (read - wouldn't look at the potty let alone sit on it) but now we seem to have come full circle and he is undertaking it with gusto again.  In actual fact as I sit here typing, J2 is sitting next to me for his 'experimental' hours in 'big boy pants' and so far no accidents but two successful potty visits.  Hoorah.

- Start weekly swim sessions with J2 again :
This has taken some time to get going but I am pleased to say we are now back to the 'Under 5's' swim session.  This has actually been two fold in achievement.  Not only are we getting J2 back in the pool but if my mum comes along I get to have a half hour swim afterwards.  This is great as my 'non impact' exercise session on my running training plan.

- Cook 'real' meals at least 4 times a week and re-start my favourite recipes folder :
This has been achieved for the most part and with my new running regime is coming into effect a 'healthier eating' menu.  Not sure this is going to go down that well with the Hubby and Kids... I also might start linking up with the 'Monday Meal Planning' linky over at At Home with Mrs M.  It'll be good encouragement to set out a menu for the week so I know exactly what groceries to buy.

- Bake something new with the boys at least once a month :
This was progressing really well, with baking taking place almost weekly.  Since the move all the baking stuff was boxed up and remained that way.   However with the imminent approach of our Jubilee Party I had to set to, unpack it all  and set up a 'baking area' in the utility room. I christened the 'baking area' with a traditional Victoria Sponge for the Bank Holiday.

- Start some basic learning plans for J2 for towards the end of the year :
To do.

- Do house filing once a month and keep on top of it all :
Not touched, nada, nothing, nowt.  It's all been thrown in a box somewhere and is probably lurking beneath other untouched boxes in the garage...

- Start saving for a big family holiday :
Although saving hasn't technically started yet, discussions, action planning and researching has.  For the big holiday plans we would like to undertake it is going to take some serious logistical organisation and research to ensure everything will be possible and as 'problem free' as it can with regard to J1 and his needs.  All steps in the right direction for that dream vacation.

- Child - proof new garden for the kids to use in spring :
We didn't end up needing to child-proof - instead we moved!  This garden is child-friendly and much has been blogged about already (see The Garden Project 2012 and The Garden Project Progress for more information on this one).


- Try and find a bit more personal time to do the following :

- Make at least 3 blog posts per week
Achieved!  I am so pleased with the slow but sure development of the blog.  It is still finding it's way, but with the Disability Diaries getting such a good response I am certainly going to continue focusing some posts on raising awareness of living with special needs / disabilities in our lives.

- Write first draft of my series of childrens books
On going.  Notes are now all computerised.

- Read at least 1 book a month
Yes, achieved (just finished the first in the series of Alexander McCall Smiths '44 Scotland Street') and with the Kindle I received for my birthday I can download books almost at the speed of light.  Am currently reading a great book called 'Saul : Between Two Eternities' by Rosemary Kay.  It follows the story of a premature baby - but here is the fantastic bit - from the eyes of the premature baby.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G writing.

- Start taking more photographs and learn how to edit them
Making a big effort to take more photographs but do not get the time to edit them at the moment.

- Try and run twice a week, establish some safe routes
I am most proud of this one in the last three weeks.  I have really focused and put my mind to it and have been getting out for at least three runs and also doing one non-impact training session.  Moving has been a key factor in this as I can now run along the seafront which is both interesting and relatively safe (busy).  I have found a great website called which allows you to plot specific routes and logs all your information to build a portfolio of your training.  I am loving getting home and logging my run details in, it gives you a real sense of achievement. 

I have caught up with some running magazine reading for inspiration and training plans and have booked myself into numerous races with the 'goal' being the BUPA Great South Run at the end of October (10 miles).  Of course the big question is 'To Marathon or Not to Marathon' in 2013.  Watch this space.

- Continue to learn about gardening and possibly go to The Chelsea Flower Show :
When I mentioned the Chelsea Flower Show on here back in January, it was a mere pipe dream.  Then after disclosing to my mum that I would love to go she booked it for my birthday.  So off I went for my first CFS on a baking hot Friday in May.  It was a fabulous day out, made even more fabulous by the glorious weather.  Inspired I set about my own Garden Project as mentioned earlier and am enjoying seeing my efforts starting to come into bloom now.  Just wish there was some more sunshine to carry on the tasks.

- Continue to try and make an effort with my appearance as it is making me feel better
I make an effort when I know I am going out generally and did treat myself to a shopping splurge at Next a few weeks ago.

- Enjoy any available one to one time with Hubby and take opportunities to go out
We are trying to do this and had a very welcome and unexpected evening together last week.  It was wonderful and we both felt a lot closer for it.  We have a few events in the pipeline that is 'just us two' that we are very much looking forward to.

- Treat self to a spa afternoon once every 3 months
Although this hasn't happened yet this year I am banking them up, so I have four afternoons to look forward to in the second half of the year.  Also I got a fantastic birthday card from my best friend, who unfortunately lives faaaaaaaaaarrr away (well Cardiff) gifting me a Spa Day for my birthday.  Spa Day and catching up with the fabulous Ms.L, good times.

- Plan one weekend away a year, just Hubby and Me :
I think I have mentioned before we are hoping to get the same weekend away as last year for a black tie charity ball in Cardiff towards the end of the year.  We did have an overnight stay booked for May but a stomach bug the day before (for me, of course) put paid to that.

- Try and stop being so Gung-Ho with 'No' to new ideas and suggestions (although I do normally come round to them eventually)
I am probably not the right person to be updating this one.  I am not sure that I have been 'gung-ho No' to everything but I tend to be a bit more practical about things which sometimes seems boring.  One thing I am not going to relent about however is getting a dog.  This is not a 'gung-ho No' - that is a thought about - can not think of one single good reason No.  No.

- Try and be more positive on believing in what I can achieve :
Without sounding corny The Hubby has so much belief in me - all the time - that he has really helped with this one.  He believes in my ability to write a novel more than I do.  He gives me the lifestyle opportunity that will give me the best chance at writing it once J2 goes off to school, or maybe even nursery.  Anything I mention I might like to try he says 'Try it.' 
My mum also introduced me to a programme called 'Losing it with Jillian'.  From this I have bought a couple of Jillian Michaels books.  They are not all about weight - loss (I am not trying to lose weight) but they are about positive lifestyles (using exercise, good diet and positive mental attitudes).  This is all good for me, given that sometimes I am prone to get down about J1 disadvantages in life - which is no help to him. 

So I do not believe that is bad going for the half way point in the year.  All but three have had some action taken, not too shabby at all.  Apologies if this got slightly long and boring.  Needed to write it to get some clarity for the mind.


  1. Wow. What amazing progress on your list. I'd be very pleased if I were you. Go Mother Duck!
    I am sure that you can write that novel by the way...once J2 is at school I'm sure steam will be coming off the keyboard! x

    1. Yep, once I can get into a routine when J2 starts nursery!x

  2. Wowee. Great advert for the power of Groovy Mums support and lots to be proud of for being you too.

    1. Yep, without Groovy Mum's I would not have thought to have set out these aims at the beginning of the year and been inspired to actually ensure they get carried out!

  3. Wow ... you are doing amazingly well! So much to be proud of. Love the idea of the book you are currently reading. Also love that you achieveing your goal of three posts a week - that will be so good for your talents as a writer. Wish I could do the same! By the way, this might be my computer and how rubbish it is, but the font on this post is tiny and I found some parts difficult to read. Its not the same as your usual font. Just thought I should let you know. X ps sent you an email about Britmums!

    1. I have no idea what happened to the font or (for the millionth blog post) the layout, it just keeps doing as it pleases, which does not please me. Think I have remedied it now, hopefully! Will check my email re : Britmums!x

    2. Yes, its all sorted from my end too! Phew!

  4. You have achieved an amazing amount and have set yourself some challenging tasks for the future. You are right, it's great when you can see it all written down in one place and realise how much work has gone into it all. Great post. Polly

    1. Thanks Polly. It's like the ultimate list for me, and I do love a list :-)

  5. Gosh you seem to be making awfully good progress. I'm not really sure we could be friends at all! Just joking! Great stuff. Looking forward to meeting you at BML. :)

  6. Cool review! So nice when we find the time to improve our lives and who we are!


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