With the first days of 2009 under our belts (only figuratively, of course!), it's a good time to take stock of those New Year's resolutions and make sure we are sticking to them. We resolved to do what every normal, average American family strives for: get organized, stay fit, do well in school and sports and travel. These five resolutions don't sound like much, but are at the core of family life today. Here's how we've tackled our five resolutions in the first five days of '09.

Travel – This New Year's eve my family, Bella, our new Malte-Poo, and I checked-in to a pet-friendly hotel for two nights to ring in 2009. Tradition says that if you start the New Year traveling, the rest of the year will be a trip! Since the financial outlook for us is rather bleak, taking any exotic jaunts around the world are out of the question, so we took up residence next door – literally – at the nearby resort. Hey, I didn't have to cook or clean, so in my book this counts as a Bon Voyage!

         Bella – the family Christmas present

Getting Organized – I made a deal with the kids; clean out your backpacks and desks, and we'll watch TV and movies until your eyes start to water. My husband was especially thrilled with this arrangement, and it worked! All of us filled up the recycling bin 'til it overflowed with paper. The TV-movie-watching  marathon wasn't that bad either. We caught up on several silver screen gems we'd missed like Eddy Murphy's Meet Dave, Role Models and Tropic Thunder. Fortunately, we didn't pay box office prices for these 'brain-teasers'.

School and Sports – This aspect of the resolution deal isn't just for the kids; parents drive them, sit there and wait, and pump them up to keep at it – all from the comfort of our SUVs. So far so good.

Staying Fit – This is the most challenging of all resolutions! Admittedly, these first five days have been difficult in this regard since it's been so cold (by San Diego standards 55 degrees is very cold!), to get out and move. But, we are trying hard to limit our intake and increase our physical output; we run to the car instead of walking, we run up the stairs and we run to the bathroom.

It's a start …

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