For various reasons, January 2014 has not been our month. I woke up on Feb. 1st breathing a sigh of relief. January felt like we were being buffeted from one major crisis to another, all while I was sick with my umpteenth round of tonsilitis and fighting milk supply issues. Hopefully, I shaved off a little bit of time in Purgatory?
New year’s goals and resolutions? I didn’t even have a chance to write any down. So I decided I’m just starting over. February 1st is day one of the new year for me and the new year is going to leave last year in the dust. Anybody want to join me in starting the new year over? Let’s do this.
If it had been a January that wasn’t full to the brim of Survival Mode, I would have decided on a “one word” for the new year, like all the organized bloggers did in December. But, in regular procrastinating fashion (hey, it wasn’t ALL due to my disorganization this time) I’m picking one now (we’re starting the year over, remember?). And here it is: “Health.” That’s what I’m focusing on this year.
After giving birth to the world’s sweetest baby after my pukiest pregnancy followed by three months of post-partum exhaustion and then three months of on-and-off tonsilitis, times they are a’changing. Since we’re using NFP (Marquette) to postpone pregnancy for the first time, I’m motivated to really use each month to recover and replenish before we go back to “let’s get pregnant whenever” mode. (And please know that I don’t say that flippantly. I am well aware that secondary infertility can affect any couple and that our ability to get pregnant easily thus far is a huge gift. I really do give myself a little shake whenever I feel overwhelmed by our “hyperfertility” and say a prayer for all my friends struggling to conceive who would trade with me any day.)
But why am I so motivated to get super healthy? Well, post-partum NFP requires a good bit of abstinence which isn’t super fun (surprise!) so I really would like to toss it out the window and just be trying to get pregnant again. However, hyperemesis gravidarum (so bad that I couldn’t keep water down) and being too sick to lift my youngest into her high chair is also not super fun, so I’m in “prevent morning sickness” research and implementation mode. (This little quest deserves it’s own post, so I’ll get on that soon.)
So, here’s some ways I’m going to seek health this year:
1. Stay consistent with my vitamins and supplements (esp. the ones that may affect severe morning sickness in future pregnancies (B vitamins and Magnesium.) Probiotics also seem to be crucial for preventing morning sickness and having a healthy gut to absorb the nutrients that keep it at bay. I also need to take probiotics to prevent being GBS positive (I was with Lucy and with Gwen) so that I don’t have to be hooked up to antibiotics during labor if we’re blessed with another pregnancy (ugh. So uncomfortable.) This is the one my midwife and a reader recommended.
2. Choose a weekly exercise outlet (I’m not teaching ballet this year so I’m doing exactly ZERO physical exercise apart from chasing babies and chickens.) This might be a ballet class with the city, or a pilates or spin class if I can find one that meets before Daniel goes to work.
3. Shoot for at least 8 hours of sleep. I’ve always needed a lot of sleep, but I also love staying up late and getting up early to write. I have to make sleep first priority or I’m just going to wear myself down again. Caring for little ones and nursing takes a lot out of me, and I have to remember that part of being a good mama is taking care of myself.
4. Get serious about cutting processed sugar out of my diet. Not only does it mess up my immune system, I feel tired and crabby. AND sugar addiction seems closely tied to morning sickness.
5. Occasionally make sweet treats with the kids, but avoid the gluten (the kids are allergic and I know I don’t process it well, either, but I like to ignore that fact because PASTRIES!) (So I use this Gluten-Free baking ecookbook. Steph’s grain-free chocolate cookies are my favorite.)
And this almond joy cookie recipe has been requested for all my friend’s baby showers because they are oh so good.
6. Get back into the saddle with meal planning which always helps us eat more veggies (and plan meals around what’s growing in Daniel’s garden.) And planning ahead helps us remember to observe special days in the Christian Year. (p.s. our liturgical year ecookbook is still on sale until Wednesday!)
7. Prepare ahead of time with slow cooker freezer meals. With three kids under age 5, cooking from scratch all afternoon only happens every so often (or on weekends when Daniel does it). Does it take anyone else 3 hours when there are childrens underfoot to make a recipe that should take 1 hour?
I just got my hands on my real life friend Stephanie’s NEW edition of her awesome cookbook From Your Freezer to Your Family with 75 recipes (she sets it up so you can make prep everything ahead of time, keep it in the freezer, and just put it all in the crock pot the morning of. Life saver.)
Did you pick a “one word” for 2014? Care to share in the comments?
p.s. Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you purchase through my link, I will receive a portion of the sale. I only promote products that I would purchase myself and I always share my true opinions! Thanks for using my affiliate links. Each sale help support my family and is oh so appreciated.