Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gratitude for the Year and the New Year's Goals

I would say all in all it's been a pretty good year. I met some of my goals from last year, and honestly, if I hadn't gotten pregnant, this would be the first year that one of my New Year's goals isn't "to eat healthy" or "to get into shape." Why? Because I actually did that! Successfully! This year! First time in a loooooooooooong time that I haven't started off the year with a weightloss goal or a fitness goal. That's nice. But I guess I should review the year before I start with the goals.

While I wanted to get three articles written this year, I only succeeded in getting one written and published. I'm still in really good shape for tenure right now. If I'm in this exact same position next January, I'm going to start to panic. I presented at a major conference for the third year in a row in a branch of my field. I also got a paper accepted for a major conference in another field that I'm trying to work my way into (which I see as being related to what I'm already interested in) and was asked to join another panel in this field but had to decline once I found out I was pregnant because the conference is three weeks before I'm due (which also means that I'll miss my annual major conference, too, but at least I have the one in April). So I didn't get everything done I wanted to, but I did get *something* done. And when I compare that to where I was two years ago, that's a lot. However, compared to last year, I'm behind the ball.

We survived a summer of no paychecks with the help of one of my retirement accounts from my old job, though not as smart with it as we should have been, it did allow us to get things we needed for the house, buy new shoes, pay bills, and I could get to my cousin's wedding. And then shortly after that the J got a full time job. A permanent full time job, one from which he can one day retire. I miss having him around all the time and being here when I come home, but the best part of this job is that part of his benefits package is that his insurance is paid for, or rather our insurance is paid for, and then soon so will the Magpie's insurance be paid for. If we were covered under my insurance, I think we'd be looking at close to $500/mo for the three of us come July, and for my little paycheck, that's a lot. We are grateful and thankful for that. While we spend more than we should probably, we are able to keep ourselves well fed with good food, and though perhaps it seems trivial or a stupid thing on which to spend a large portion of our disposable income, I am thankful that we are able to order grass fed beef and free range chickens and wild caught fish to have delivered. I am thankful that we made that commitment to ourselves last year to do that, and I'm thankful to have a husband who has the same values toward food and health. We are able to keep a roof over our heads, feed and care for the mutts, buy the things we want when we want to (most of the time). Do I wish we were doing better? Yes. But we can pay our bills and eat every month, so that's better than a lot of people out there.

Our families are healthy, relatively, for their ages and conditions. The J's grandmother survived breast cancer this year, so we were grateful to be able to see her over Thanksgiving.

Health & Fitness
In the fitness and health category, I do still have goals though. Because of my morning sickness, I have not been able to maintain the strict Paleo way of eating that I like. Up until this point, I have had to eat what doesn't turn my stomach thinking about it because everything just about made me sick at some point. Which, I guess on the one hand, if I'm going to get sick anyway I should eat good things that adhere to the Paleo way. However, I'm not able to force myself to eat something that is making me gag at the sight or thought of it. Sometimes, it got so bad that mid meal I'd find myself repulsed by what I was enjoying four bites before. I digress. Since I am now experiencing the second trimester energy bump/boost/whatever, I feel like working out and eating homecooked meals again. The main goal here then is to get back on track. We've been walking more parallel than perpendicular to the track the last couple of weeks, but now that I'm feeling better, it's time to start undoing what the last three months did.

Why not just continue with what I've been doing since it's easier to just eat canned soup if that's what I want? Because while I know a lot of how I've been feeling is pregnancy related and beyond my control, I believe it's at this point that nutrition and what I eat becomes more and more important from here on out to the fetus. And since I'm finally feeling better, now is the time to do this. Sleep is going to become more and more elusive, and if I can do things like get closer to my Paleo eating and work out more consistently, then it's going to be better for me, for the Magpie, and for the J because what I do affects him. Poor guy, he's getting some sympathy pains, I think in part because our diet has been off. But at least it's not like we're starting at square one.

I was also planning on running the half marathon in February. However, running is already uncomfortable. Not painful, so don't worry, it's just uncomfortable enough that it's not enjoyable. And I'd rather lift. So I'm going to walk it. I can handle that, and I'm actually looking forward to it now.

We have been looking at a house. It's my friend's house (they've already moved into their new one). It's the only house I've seen here that's in our price range that is nearly exactly what I want. We had started to work on getting pre-approved then got bogged down with the VA and red tape and she told us that they had gotten a second offer on the house. It fell through. Again. This is the second time they've gotten offers and the people's banks didn't come through. We had decided that if this offer went through we were going to abandon our house hunting and concentrate on getting out of debt and getting rid of the house in Home City. But last night when we found out that the offer fell through, I think the J felt that the universe was saving this house for us. It's in a great location, the price is phenomenal because they want to get rid of it, it's a GORGEOUS house, and only 10 years old at that, and people want it, but everyone's finances keep falling through, so really, this house should be sold already. When I told the husband, he said, "really? Well, I will get back on the loan stuff." So the immediate goal is to try to buy this house. The other immediate goal that I'm working on is getting enough saved up for the summer so I don't have to work and so we're not living on the J's paycheck to paycheck because while that's fine for the two of us, we'll have a kid now in right under six months. At the same time, I need to be chipping away at our bad debt so we can get rid of that business. I feel like this should be easy. There's no reason why this can't be done. It's just a matter of making the commitment, like we've done with our health and fitness, and doing it.

On the table immediately is to get to work on the conference paper that I'm presenting in April. I also plan on getting that final article that I need for tenure at least drafted by the time the baby comes. I know that is easier said than done, and I know it will involve taking advantage of this 2nd trimester energy boost. My schedule sucks ass right now, so one of the things I've got to do this week is figure out a research and writing plan for the remainder of the quarter. If I get the schedule I want next quarter, then Tuesdays and Thursdays are research and writing days. It's just a bit trickier this quarter. So this week I'll work on that.

My other academic goals are to get ahead in both of my preps. I would like, this week, to get the novel that I'm teaching next week read and prepped and start on the next one. And I'd like to get everything for the survey classes read and prepped. I think that will be key in being able to get my research and writing done this quarter. The J goes back to work on Thursday, so that gives me time, but really it means I need to start working a bit today. That sucks, but it'll work out for the best in the end.

My other goal is to take off Fall quarter for maternity leave. We'll see if that's even a possibility.

Organization. This really means weekly food prep. And I'm going to try to do a monthly or at the very least bi-weekly menu. And this time I'll be smart and work in easy go to meals on the days I know I'm tired. Like Wednesdays. Mondays are long and so are Wednesdays, and by Wednesday afternoon when I get home I'm done. The J will be in charge on Mondays. So if I can cook T, Th, F, S, and have another easy meal or "must-go" night on Sundays (or maybe that'll be our eat out night), then I think I can manage that. As long as there are lunch leftovers then we're good.

I've got to continue chipping away at the office and eventually what will become the nursery. I had big plans this break as you know, but I tell you what. It's been so pleasant not setting an alarm and not doing anything but lounging around in my pjs that I actually am not worried about what didn't get done last week and what still needs to get done.

I'll bullet point these, and I saved it until last because I know for some, these are probably the least interesting.
  • Have as natural a birth as possible. I don't want an epidural, and yeah, I know, everyone says, "Oooh, you say that *now*" but I'm terrified of needles more than I am of labor. I'm actually not scared of labor at all. I saw Lamaze birthing videos when I was 12, and I know it's not the same as experiencing it, but of all the things about pregnancy that scares me, labor is, oddly, not one of them. I'm more worried about being in the hospital (I'm also afraid of hospitals), than I am about a creature splitting my crotch in two.
  • Breastfeeding. While I know it's possible it might not happen, this is the goal. And if it doesn't happen, then we sacrifice stuff for ourselves so I can buy non-GMO, organic formula.
  • Get back to my workouts as soon as the doc says it's safe, postpartum that is (It's safe for me now). The J and I have actually already come up with how will we handle this so we can both workout. 
  • Get the nursery in order before the kid gets here.
  • Try to get the full fall quarter off for maternity leave.
  • Enjoy the rest of this pregnancy.

Happy New Year's All!


  1. I'm hate hospitals. Least favorite thing about my first two birth experiences was being in the hospital. at least the first time, I got this rad nurse who had four kids of her own. The second time I got this perky 22 year old blonde girl and I swear to God I was going to kill her with death and fire if she called me "mom" one more time. Hello! I am a human being with a name!

    The natural labor thing is tough. It can be done, of course, and if that's what you want, go for it. It's mostly mental and if you've trained and run marathons, I feel like you get that mental thing--pushing past what you think you can handle. On the other hand, the needle is behind you and you don't have to see it and I am a big fan of women doing whatever they need to do to get through the experience. Plans change. But with natural childbirth, recovery is so much easier. It's worth it.

    Also, breastfeeding hurts like a bitch for the first two weeks. At a minimum. Get lanolin! K, I'm done advising you. :)

  2. Your advice is *always* welcome Anastasia!

    I've heard that breastfeeding is very very painful and that when the milk comes in it can hurt just as bad.

    I think one of the things helping me get my mind around labor is that I do see it as a long, difficult workout. I imagine it being the toughest most painful workout I've ever had. I'm sure it's totally different than that, and it may turn out that I take the epidural (but I hear so many people tell me their awful experiences with it and how they wish they hadn't had it, although I don't judge anyone who has done it--I agree, whatever gets you through labor to get the baby out safely and healthy, then go for it), but I just really really really don't want it. I know labor probably feels like it lasts forever, but I know it won't. And I know there's a very real possibility that I could have to have a c-section just because I know I can't predict everything. But my doctor is on board with doing everything as natural as I want it with as few interventions as possible as longs as I stay healthy, so at least he's supportive of that.

    But yes, I am very much aware that I may change my mind once the labor goes down, but at least for now, labor doesn't scare me.

    And I would kill that nurse, too! Labor is not the time to be all cutesy and shit. No.