Sunday, September 4, 2011


Back in July, I sort of introduced the Pioneer Project. It sort of...didn't happen. At least not as much as I would have liked.

Biggest flaw in this project? The fact that I put myself on a schedule for cleaning. While I like schedules quite a lot and they can be loads of help in keeping me organized and on track, they can also cause chaos. If I put myself on a schedule I have to be on that schedule. I have a hard time drifting from what I've told myself I have to do, but if I do change the schedule in some way, it's really hard for me to get back on board.

What I did like about the Pioneer Project, at least at its inception, was the bigger picture, where I was looking at things like the general health and well-being of myself and my family. When I think about being a pioneer, I think of people who work their very hardest to keep their families as healthy and happy as possible while they worked towards something bigger. That's what I want to do.

So, I'm modifying the Pioneer Project to better fit my needs. These are the areas I'll be focusing on (for now...I may decide to add or take away later):

Cooking/Baking - Try to cook at least one meal/item a week where you know where all the ingredients you’re using are coming from (preferably local).

Homesteading - Do something to improve your home or yard at least once week. It can be as simple as mowing the lawn or finally getting at that dust under the couch or be as big as planting a vegetable garden or painting a new room.

Technology – Try to limit certain technologies (T.V., computer/internet, phone stuff, etc.) to just an hour or two a day. If this is too much (and it could very well be), try to pick just one thing to focus on limiting (for me, it would be my laptop and iPad).
Health - Exercise, in some way, every day. It doesn't have to be a full-blown Biggest Loser workout, but it should be something, everyday. And don't forget about mental health, too. Consider what grounds you and makes you feel happy or at peace with your life.

Spirituality - Take the time to reflect on things bigger than yourself. Go to a place of worship. Meditate. Talk to someone about the biggest questions in life. Go beyond yourself and your little piece of the world and think globally.

Family - Every day, find a small way to recognize your family and everything they do for you. This may seem small, but it adds up

What I'll attempt to do is every Friday give a quick little quip about what I did in each of these areas. I think what I'll realize is that I do a lot of this anyway, but after five years of college and two years of that being mostly education courses, I'm all about documentation. I enjoy the satisfaction of seeing my accomplishments, no matter how small. I also believe a broader consciousness of how you lead your life has never hurt anyone, either.

Now, considering my abject failure to do anything with my original Pioneer Project, you might be leery on my ability to participate in two projects, but I'm about to introduce you to a second thing I have brewing:

Project Baby. (You'll notice how I like to call things "projects"; another by-product of being in education.)

Because I am finally gainfully employed, with benefits, summers and weekends off, DOH and I decided it might be time to talk about when we can get pregnant. We've settled for some time next summer. Why then, you might ask? Number one, right now I want to focus on my job as much as I can. I love where I'm working and I want to be able to give 110 percent. Two, waiting until next summer gives me almost a full year to drop some  a lot of weight. And three, we'll have time to save money and make any other adjustments to our lives in order to bring in a new kiddo.

Maybe it's because Lizzie was such a surprise and we were such bumbling idiots through the first months (okay...years) of parenthood, but there is something makes me want to really, really prepare for baby number two. And that's not to say we haven't put our best feet forward in raising our daughter, but I feel like we parent her much better now than we did in the beginning. I think a lot of our success with baby Lizzie can be credited with sheer dumb luck (like having the perfect infant who never cried) rather than actual skillz. We can't count on lightening striking twice.

So all this leads to project number two, which I'll be updating every other Monday, depending on how I see fit. The basic timeline of the project (as I've set it up for me) goes as such:

Pre-conception: September 2011 through June/July 2012
This will include - Me, trying to not be fat. Eliminating as many chemicals and preservatives from our household and diets as possible. Building a stronger and even better relationship with my husband and daughter (and facilitating a stronger and even better relationship between DOH and Liz).

Trying to Concieve: (Hopefully) July/August 2012
This will include - Taking the necessary steps to be able to conceive again. Maintaining a relatively healthy weight. Speaking with midwives and OB/GYNs and figuring out what's best for me and my potential pregnancy and health.

Pregnancy: (Again, hopefully) Late Summer/Early Fall 2012
This will include - OBGYN vs. Midwife (if that's even a choice). Birth plans and what to expect during a second delivery after an emergency c-section. At the hospital, at a birth center, or at home? Continuing to eat healthfully and remain active (because I'm assuming I'll be doing all these things at this point). Preparing Lizzie to be a big sister and how to most peacefully introduce a new person into our family dynamic.

Birth: Late Spring/Early Summer 2012
This will include - Recovery. Parenting two kids. What I'm doing different this time around. Babywearing (because I'm obsessed). Breastfeeding. Cloth diapering. Woodstock (not really).

So, if you're interested in participating in these projects, please do! I realize my number of readers is small, so the chances of either of these projects taking off beyond myself is quite small, but  it would be cool if others did participate, too. And when I say participate, I mean you can take what I'm doing as inspiration for your own version of either project (or both!).


Kate said...

I will gladly forge ahead on Project Baby for you, although everything about my experience will be different than yours. I am somewhat forced to have not only an OB/GYN but a perinatologist due to health issues. I'm also having to have another c-section due to those issues. What we are hoping for with this birth is one that one nothing like Santi's - no infection and NICU stay for baby #2, no hematoma and surgery #2 for me, no 14 day hospital stay for the baby and no 12 day hospital stay for me. I think those are pretty decent and realistic goals for us. :) I will make a post on this and link back to you! Good luck with everything - we look forward to following along!l

Kirsten said...

Sounds great, Kate! I can't wait to read what you post!

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