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. πŸ™‚

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? 

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