Thursday, December 30, 2010

To resolute or not to resolute: January

With the new year upon us in a day, I've been thinking about possible resolutions or goals for 2011. I have so many ideas and they are all such BIG ideas, its overwhelming and I'm not sure I can find the level of detail for them all to satisfy my need. I try very hard to create goals for myself that are (1) reasonable, (2) measurable, and (3) framed in a time period. So far my ideas include such things as.... (but not limited to...)

(a) do more knitting and crocheting with some specific ideas and goals
(b) develop and establish good routines for good household management
(b) get the herb garden going
(c) plan the summer/fall garden

Unfortunately, these are not measurable, there's no time frame (for some of them) and I'm doubtful such broad and sweeping goals are reasonable (especially a & b). So, I'm thinking to break down the goals into monthly goals. That's what flylady does after all, so it must work at some level. I can figure out what is reasonable for the month (1 or 2 things), I have a month to focus on that habit/goal and with fewer items I can add the detail I desire.

So, for January 2011... my goals are:

(a) Finish the "February Lady Sweater". I've only got the sleeves left, even if I am feeling frustrated with them.
(b) figure out or develop and establish good kitchen habits, including sorting out the pantry regularly, cleaning out the fridge regularly, and do a menu weekly (with shopping list). I am not too far from the weekly menu and shopping list (it happens on most weeks), but the other two need work. My pantry is scary to look in right now and the fridge needs some wiping down.

How do others handle new year resolutions? Do you establish year long goals for yourself, and if so, do you keep and obtain them?

Monday, December 13, 2010

And its a ....

Can you guess? Today, was the ultrasound to look at anatomy, and we got 8 pictures of our little boy. He's a cutie!

Here you can see him from the side quite well, with his little hands up around his head.

We saw his arms, legs, face, fingers, feet, heart, ribs, spine and numerous other bits and pieces. We also have a very clear picture of his boys parts that I just can find in my heart to post.  I've started to feel him move, and each day I feel a bit more; I'm utterly thrilled at the movements I feel. I know, I know, I'll get tired of it at some point, but I'm not starting there, and I'll stay in the utterly thrilled stage just as long as I can.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Belly Pic

Now, I'm stinking excited about the baby belly that is forming on me. I know not all women find the changes in pregnancy the most becoming, and this is certainly different from anything I've experienced before. Sure, I dealt with widening hips at 24, and the rounding off of angles (into curves) at 26, but this is quite unique. I'm so excited about the baby inside, I can't help but be excited about the belly showing off to the world that there is a baby inside!

The main event of this post:
It's a baby belly!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flow in the Kitchen

As my previous post was related to one of my favorite blogs, so this one is.  Auntie Leila mentioned thinking about how your kitchen flows when you are working in, so I started thinking. I realized I had a pretty good system that only needed a bit of tweaking.

So... here goes. I hope I can express well my thoughts and that you, oh, reader, will understand.

When I started working on the kitchen -- (in the midst of making bread and dishes not done... just being honest!)

The right side holds the sink, the dishwasher and cabinets. Plates and bowls are in the cabinet above the dishwasher. Drinking glasses and mugs are in the cabinet just to the right of the sink and all tupper-style containers in the cabinets to the lower right of the sink. (Hubby created a wonderful organization system for the lids.) When I was still drinking coffee, pre-pregnancy, the coffee maker sat under the paper towel roll.

This counter space stays busy. Dirty dishes go on the right and clean dishes to the left; that makes it easy to put still wet tupper-style containers in the dish drainer.

One the left side of the kitchen is the fridge, the stove, microwave and plenty of cabinets. Pots and pans are in the drawer on the bottom of the stove, my container of cooking utensils, such as spatulas and spoons, is to the right of the stove, and the knives to the left. All the things I use for cooking are on this side: spices are in the cabinet to the upper left of the stove, measuring cups in the cabinet to the upper left of the stove and in the drawer just to the left. Mixer, rice maker, griddle, tortilla press, food processor (and several more small electrical appliances) live in the cabinets to the lower left of the stove.

The kitchen is just the right width for me. Someone can work on each side and still move freely, in fact, over Thanksgiving I think we had 5 women maneuvering around each other (it got crowed, for sure). The pantry is at the far end of the left side (open door), and the laundry room is at the far end on the right side (see the laundry waiting?). The kitchen triangle is pretty good; this is the lines between the stove, fridge and sink. They should flow easily and not be blocked by anything (ideally, I think). There is plenty of counter space and cabinet storage. Should I get the chance to design a kitchen there are things I'd do differently, but this isn't too bad, at all.

I gave it all some thought. I realized I do most of my chopping, mixing, etc on the counter to the left of the stove, but its crowded there with the microwave and toaster there. The knife holder should be there, with all the veggy chopping to do there. Often, I end up doing some on the counter next to the sink, b/c my preferred counter is too crowed for work. My cookbook, if I have one, will often block the microwave, thus shuffling is required to warm water for bread or some such. I've given up coffee for the pregnancy, so that cabinet had some more room. After making sure Hubby was okay with the changes, I moved the microwave to under the paper towel roll, along with the toaster next to it. I did some more clearing off and picking up and now have this:

I now I have a nice, wide open space to do all the chopping, mixing and kneading my cooking requires of me. The ride side counter is a tad crowded, but I think it better to have one crowded, one open counter, than to have 2 semi-crowded counters. I'll see how this works, and might make more changes, but I don't want to make too many at once. There will be habits to change as locations change.

So, reader, what do you think? Let me know what you think of my lay out and my ideas, and I pass the challenge on to you to consider the flow in your kitchen and how can you make it better.

Shortly-after update: I decided to put a towel on the drawer handle that is just to the right of the sink as a dedicated hand towel. The towels on the stove, I think, should be dedicated to cooking and hand wiping while cooking -- then they can get dirty all I need without worry about drying my hands on them (or drying clean dishes).

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Kitchen Sink

Well, not exactly, but the shelf behind the kitchen sink. For better or worse it, it opens into the living room. Not all bad, I can watch TV or a movie while washing dishes, which is nice. (except trying to cut back TV and movies!). I somewhat wish it was a window outside, but I'm quite happy how it is.

I was inspired to clean up the area, so I could post a link on one of my favorite blogs.

Here is the before:

A bit cluttered, and all those pots and pan in the drainer block the fun frog dish. So, I spend about 2 minutes, cleaned it off and arranged.....
 The frog dish was a gift from a good friend back in LA when we were leaving. I keep jewlry in it; like when I need to take rings off to cook and such. The plates and cups were gifts many years ago from someone who was more my Mom's friend than mine.  The small red candle was a thank you gift from my aunt at Thanksgiving. The angle holding a baby is a gift from my mother-in-law soon after we discovered we were pregnant. The tarnished silver creamer and sugar are from Hubby's grandfather's collection. They are due for a shining, which I hope to do soon. :P And the candle I bought on the candle warmer I purchased years ago. I enjoy the candle warmer, except that it uses up the scent without using up the wax, so its hard to know when  candle is spent (and I haven't have an effect smeller in several weeks).  I have pump bottles for dish washing soap (left side, white) and hand soap (right side, clear), and a fly catcher (the sink traps are hard to dry and attract the little fruit flies -- easiest way to control them).

I try to keep the sink shiny (Thanks, FLYLady!), and hubby helps keep it empty.  I hope to show the flow of my kitchen soon, I think I've got it mostly figured out.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sinuses and relief

Finally, after watching me suffer over the last 4 or 5 weeks, my sweet, sweet coworker, office-mate and fellow science teacher, Kat, encouraged me to call the Doc. I was feeling particularly miserable today, as I couldn't breath through my nose AT ALL and I'd had a bad night with sinuses, Hubby saying I woke him from snoring at least once (oh, that's bad!). So, I called.

I chatted with the nurse for a few minutes and she declared that no, this was not 'pregnancy stuffiness' but likely a full blown sinus infections (based on colors and duration). This evening, after a bit of run around, I talked with the doctor on call and got the low down. She issued a prescription, which Hubby is currently picking up from the store, and told me to take guaifenesin and dextromethorphan (expectorant and cough suppressent). Looks like I'm finally on the way to recovery -- should have called weeks ago!

I'm also glad to find that I'm not doomed to such crazy sinus congestion for the duration of my pregnancy, that was beginning to sound utterly miserable. As of 830 this evening, I'm still stuffy and mostly miserable, but hopeful for the morning.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Life, School and Stuffiness

Life continues as per normal. Hubby is stressed over those last 2 papers to write. I don't blame him at all, I'd be wound up over them, too. Especially when the class grade is based on that one paper. Previously, during the 3 weeks of crazy paper writing time, he worked well enough that the last few days weren't all that bad. I sure hope this round works out the same. He is quite disciplined with his time, but its still hard to get yourself to work when you are tired.

Tonight, I'm feeling pretty good. Thanksgiving was great, and I had a wonderful time with all the family in. Last minute, I discovered we only had 11 forks, so I used a plastic fork. I had 12 knives, and 12 spoons... and 12 adults! Luckily, the toddler wasn't using silverware, nor was the newborn (6 weeks -- that would be my sister's little boy). We ended up with 12 adults, a toddler, a baby and 2 not-yet-born-babies! Quite a full house. I had a ton of fun playing house all week and was feeling great by week's end.

Then, the week back to school was very up and down. By the end of last week, I was weary and tired and still stuffy (still am, in fact), and Saturday evening I was feeling quite miserable. I began to wonder if I was coming down with another cold! But it passed and quickly, so I think it was just the stress/tired/weary effects. Today, Monday, was pretty good. In fact, I got all the current grading done this evening while watching Dr. Who (season 5). I've got a biology final to write, which is the big stressful thing on my plate currently -- but, as a plus -- finals week makes for a much easier schedule for me at school. I'm very much looking forward to it.

A little over a week ago, I thought I might have felt baby move, but I'm not sure. There have been a few times that I wondered if it was baby, my digestive track, or my imagination moving, so who knows. Next Monday, we go for the ultrasound to check anatomy (and find out gender!), and a good MD friend said that would really help me identify if its baby moving or not. He said I'd see the baby move in the ultrasound, feel it and know what I was feeling. So, here's to hoping!

I'm off to bed, now. I'm making for early nights these days, to see if I can make it through the day with out crashing at 230 or 3 pm. Hope all out there have a good sleep tonight and find themselves refreshed in the morning!