Focusing

Winter is full of opportunity, if you think about it. It’s a chance to do all sorts of things that you couldn’t make time to do in the warmer months- time to craft, time to rest, time to learn, time to play games and watch movies, time to organize and fix up the house, etc. While I’ve done some of these things, I find myself here in the middle of January feeling largely disorganized and unaccomplished. The first trimester of this pregnancy left me really fatigued and kind of dopey, and everything just seemed to slow way down… I’m feeling much better now, but I look around and feel the need to stay really on task and organized if I’m going to get everything I want to done by April. April is kind of my deadline, because in April we’re going to start building the greenhouse and chicken coop and the rest of the garden. I won’t have time for much else, other than the regular house maintenance and taking care of Vera… and I’ll have much less time for these things come July when I have two. So. I’m thinking in order to keep myself accountable I’ll use this journal as a record of my accomplishments. Maybe you guys could actually help me with ideas and motivation! I thought about making a massive list of goals and stuff, but I don’t think that’s wise, because life just happens, and I don’t want to feel unsatisfied with what I DO accomplish. So I’m just going to list general categories of things I’d like to work on for the next four months, in hopes that it will help to focus me a little more.

1- Food/Cooking: I am always evolving in this area. In many ways my life looks the way that it does in part because of my relationship to food. Anyway, some of my goals are to get more regular with making sourdough bread and yogurt and stock (any of "the basics"), soaking/sprouting grains and flours, menu planning, and doing more with fermenting food.  

2- Garden planning: I have NO IDEA what to do with this much garden next year, all the planning for just the food garden (rotation stuff, starting seeds for the first time, learning about how to keep a greenhouse, etc.) in addition to trying to plant up the herb/fruit area and the front yard with native species all at 7 months pregnant… well, I’m just going to have to have lots of fun with it! That’s the only option. I do have to sit down and map it out a bit though, and fake some kind of know-how, just so I don’t go in completely blind. As overwhelming as some of this stuff can be sometimes, I’m kind of in love with it. I’m never disappointed, I never fail, because my only goal is to learn and smell that smell that a tomato plant leaves on your skin, and to just see all that green everywhere. I’m just in love with the experience of it. It’s also so so fun to have a creative vision- even if it’s not met always.

3- Organization/Purging: I’m really on this path to getting rid of extraneous stuff and really clarifying my life in those terms. Most of the things I have are purposeful in some way, or sentimental, or what have you. However, I’m finding that the more there is, the harder it is to keep a clear head, or clean, or develop any kind of functional system for life with that stuff. Before this baby comes, I want to make this house a really functional, clean space. My house will always experience occasional clutter and mess, but there is a lot that can be simplified. I recently purged Vera’s toys, and I’m finding that she’s now playing with the ones that are left way more often. They are all easier to get to, all have a place and purpose, and she can be more creative with it all now. In this area, I guess I’m thinking "More with less".

4- Crafting: Lately I’ve been in the habit of plopping down on the couch each night and zoning out to a movie or one of our shows. This is really nice some days, but it’s becoming too frequent. I’d like to spend some of the time at night learning to relax by sitting down in my art area and doing something a little more enriching. There will always be a time for a good vegging-out session, but I don’t want to take it for granted or use it so often. I have lots of projects lined up, some in the works, and I’d like to see them finished while I have the freedom to do it. 

5- House projects: We’re coming up on a year in this house, and we’ve accomplished a lot. There are lots of little odds and ends, though, that got swept under the rug now that we’re feeling so settled. I had so many "before and afters" to share, and yet there aren’t really any that are completely done. Like the downstairs apartment. It’s totally functional and finished, but we still have to put some knobs on a couple of kitchen drawers, and Jeff is working on finishing ceilings and putting up closet doors. Little things, but stuff that keeps me from taking that "after" photo. I guess I’d like to see that happen. Take some projects all the way to the end.

6- Body/Mind health: Before I got pregnant I was feeling pretty fit. Things slowed down a bit with my lack of energy, but now I’d like to get back into it and stick to a routine. I want to get back into the regular aerobic exercise and start doing more yoga- maybe take a class if we can afford it.
I’m also really interested in learning how to meditate, because I think it would just be good for me on several levels (in preparation for labor, but mostly in preparation for having two babies and dealing with new stresses, and just having some good relaxation time). I think I’m occasionally prone to some anxiety due to thinking too much. I’d love to learn how to really clear my head of that clutter. 
I want to keep writing, too. With all the reading I’ve been doing lately, and all the new things we’ve been thinking about (most notably the talk about joining/forming an intentional community), I feel like I need some way to process and share it.

My baby! She’s so big… and blurry! I’m going to have to learn how to take better pictures of kids.

Belly pictures of me at four weeks, and me about a week ago (with a new camera!). I’m not really showing much yet, at 13 weeks, but I’m definitely in that sort of shapeless stage… getting thicker. Soon enough it’ll be a cute bump, until then I’ll just look a little like a rectangle. 🙂

I had my first prenatal appointment with my midwives yesterday, and I got to feel the top of my uterus. It’s definitely growing! Otherwise it’s really hard to feel pregnant right now. I’m not that sick or tired anymore, and the excitement of the pregnancy test has worn off now. I guess I just mean, in my due date community everyone is getting more conventional care and has had ultrasounds and heard heartbeats and have all sorts of "proof" that there’s a baby in there, but I’m just kind of waiting to feel the little bugger. I don’t mind it though. I’m doing my best to soak up this quiet time, because soon enough it’ll be undeniable that there’s a little human rolling around in there.  

Tonight’s dinner. I’m having a lot of fun using what we’ve got and being creative with it. I made a quick baba ghanouj with some frozen eggplant we’d stored, and served it with other roasted veggies (cherry tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers- all from last summer’s garden) and some marinated lamb in pita bread. Oh, with a dollop of greek yogurt. It was great. I really appreciate this yummy eggplant dip because I’m allergic to chick peas and can’t eat hummus… boo. So this is the closest thing to it for me. Although, I recently found out that I can eat some things I’m allergic to in sprouted form, so I’ll try to sprout chick peas and see what happens! 

Polenta fruit cobbler (made with all local fruit from the summer). Jeff’s birthday was on Tuesday, but there hasn’t been any time for dessert for TWO DAYS. Can you believe it? No time for birthday dessert? Unacceptable. Anyway, I would not let this boy go without one, so we’re about to take it upstairs with a little ice cream and watch a movie together. I should probably put a candle in his bowl so he can make a proper wish. 

I can’t tell you how glad I am that he was born. I mean, just look at him… can’t you just tell he’s a good soul? 

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (20)

  1. stupidfool

    she is so big!!! i feel like it’s just yesterday you were pregnant with her, and now look at her, and you’ve got another on the way… things change so quickly! (or at least from my perspective, they do.:-)

    and as always, you completely impress me with all of the things that you do and create and plan, to make things better for your family, all with so much respect for the planet and all the living things on it… you are amazing!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You are sweet for saying those things! And you’re right… they do change quickly. It’s not just your perspective!

      Reply
  2. lilpeace

    I’m excited to work together this summer on garden stuff, and totally planning to spend long spring and summer days over there, helping to plant and weed and do things while you waddle around, or sit down and drink some iced tea. 🙂 And then to harvest with our babies strapped to our backs!

    I’m also with ya on the purging of extraneous items. Tuula has so many toys and she has a hard time sitting with one thing…she spends a few minutes and then throws it on the floor and goes on to the next thing. I think this has something to do with the space being full and not optimally organized and just having too much. I keep thinking it’s unfair to take away toys she’s had for awhile, without asking her, but I’m starting to think it’s a disservice to leave her with so much chaotic overstimulating stuff. So, this might be a “Mama knows best” moment, where stuff will just disappear gradually and she (hopefully) won’t notice but will play more peacefully and be able to focus better. I’m really starting to give more credence to the Waldorf philosophies of early childhood, and creating a peaceful and organized environment for everyone can only be a good thing.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      We’re gonna have so much fun with this stuff!

      Maybe with the toys you feel guilty about totally getting rid of you can just put them in a box and rotate them out and back in. I remember we did that with Maya’s dog toys and every time we did a rotation she went NUTS with her “new” toys. But yeah, I think we have the right idea with this one. They’ll play better and be more creative if they have the space to do it. We’ll also be happier without all that junk!

      Reply
      1. lilpeace

        I initially thought “Hey, why don’t we just trade toys every once in awhile…” but then I thought better of it because I think that could go very, very badly. Our poor girls wouldn’t have any hair left after they were done figuring out what’s “MINE!”

        I’m dreaming about a shared kids’ room, adjacent to a shared living room and kitchen attaching our separate residences on our ECOVILLAGE COMPOUND! We could build off of it like the spokes of a wheel, with several families, and shared little open air courtyards/summer kitchens in between the spokes. CAN YOU SEE IT? Beautiful.

        I think I will rotate the toys rather than get rid of all of them, though I am thinking more seriously about really paring it down, even if many of the toys are in good condition and totally functional. I’m really thinking that too many toys makes it harder to play.

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Although, they’d probably both be blind after that ordeal, so there wouldn’t be much fighting after that… awww.

          Um, your vision has me daydreaming. I SO want to make this a reality. The center has a big greenhouse that grows fresh food for everyone year round and helps purify our air…

          Reply
  3. purerandomness

    Happy belated birthday, Jeff!
    I’m glad you’re feeling less ‘blah’ now that you’re out of the 1st trimester. Are you working with the ladies at New Moon again?

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yep, I’m going with New Moon. It’ll be a first in terms of that partnership- I hired Riverside Midwifery last time with just one of the Amandas, but now they are a team. But I really like them both a lot, so I’m happy. 🙂

      Reply
  4. ladyfaith3

    Your partner looks like a kind man! It’s sweet that you posted a pic of him!
    Your daughter is adorable as always and you’re so pretty! I imagine you will look so healthy the rounder you grow! I am 18 weeks and I feel huge though I know it will only grow and grow I get a bit discouraged about my changing shape!I can’t wait to watch you grow too it’s fun isn’t it?

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Aw, I’m sure you look great! I want more pictures! I know you’ll probably post one in two weeks, but I can’t wait! I know what you mean about the change be a little daunting- even just thickening a little around the middle is making me wonder where it’ll all lead and how hard it will be to bounce back… but I can’t worry about it! We will be beautiful!

      Reply
      1. ladyfaith3

        aw your right, these little babies growing make it worth it anyway! I am getting kicks and wiggles SO much more now! It was so nice to see the ultrasound! Do you get ultrasounds? It’s so neat to see the little one!

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Nope, I won’t get any ultrasounds unless something seems wrong. I did have one with Vera, at around 10 weeks, and it was really fun to see her. I’m just looking forward to feeling the little babe move!

          Reply
      2. ladyfaith3

        I updated a pregnancy pic for ya 😉 I think I will start doing it more frequently anyway I am really growing!

        Reply
  5. pearlstreetdiva

    yesjeff isanawesome guy and incredibly funny!

    have you ever tried a reverse to do list? just make a list of everything you HAVE DONE! helps you feel less anxious or stressed.

    im so excited for your garden expansion! tell me all about yuor greenhouse plans please!!! are you gonna use glass? jeff is gonna build it?? maybe he come down here and help us build a chicken coop 😉 we could work out a trade….plus you’d get to visit!

    Reply
    1. lilpeace

      Ahhh!!! Let’s have “coop-raising” parties! We can each have a weekend where we host each other and build a chicken coop! That would be SO MUCH FUN!

      Reply
      1. Gracie (Post author)

        YES YES YES. I think we’d both love to come visit and help you guys. 🙂

        I love the reverse to-do list idea! That will definitely help me on the days I think nothing is getting done.

        Reply
      2. pearlstreetdiva

        um yes please!!!

        Reply
  6. malimizu

    1. Congrats on your second pregnancy! 2. I am continually amazed at your dedication to living a health-conscious, environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Kudos to you! You’re an inspiration to me. 3. You look beautiful 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you thank you! If you ever move back to MI we’ll have to meet. 🙂

      How’s everything going lately? I feel like I don’t have the update- maybe I missed an entry! I hope everything is good and your family is being nice…

      Reply
      1. malimizu

        Things are going well – I just updated a few days ago about starting up classes again. And I’d love to meet up at some point, maybe we can coordinate something one of these days when I’m home!

        Reply

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