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Adult Beverages and Post-31 Days

31 Oct

Yesterday, I talked about how important it is to enjoy traveling before getting pregnant and having kids. I mentioned that Paul and I are going to travel to Napa Valley on our pre-pregnancy-moon. This brings me to the second thing I want to enjoy before getting pregnant: adult beverages. And not just alcohol.

When you’re pregnant, you’re not supposed to consume more than 200 mg of coffee. That is the equivalent of one, measly, tiny12-ounce cup of coffee. One. That’s it. *Sigh* This means that my 2-3 cup a day habit has to go. Or go decaf at the very least.

And, of course, I want to enjoy the regular kinds of adult beverages, too. It seems like I just acquired a taste for wine, and now I’m talking about giving it up! So, before I have to trade in my wine glass for a water glass, I’m going to enjoy my wine, and other adult beverages, as fully as possible.

Now, today’s post and yesterday’s post both stemmed from a lesson that I learned from 31 Days: Enjoy not being pregnant. However, I also learned another lesson: Discipline and habit are important in blogging. So, I’m going to start some regular features for post-31 days. You can expect:

 Sweet Shot Tuesdays – On Tuesdays, I’ll post my favorite photos from the previous weekend and discuss any photography techniques that I learned that weekend.

Thanksgiving Thursdays – With less than a month (gasp!) until Thanksgiving, I need to start practicing my recipes! So, each Thursday, I’ll post a recipe that I experimented with that week. You can expect things like this:

and

And you can also expect that I will post at least three posts each week. 🙂

Thanks for joining me for 31 days!

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Travel: Near and Far

30 Oct

One important thing that I want to enjoy before I get pregnant is travel. My sister-in-law recently took her 4-month-old to China. Let’s just say a jet-lagged baby is not something I want to deal with. However, it’s not just far-away vacations that can be difficult with a baby or while pregnant, sometimes ones nearby can become difficult too.

My husband and I recently went camping in the Ocala National Forest. We stayed at the Clearwater campgrounds. It was beautiful! But not somewhere I would want to be while pregnant. Why? Well, first my eating habits while camping are horrible. Canned soup, pancakes from a bottle, you name it. Second, going to the bathroom at night involves what seems like a dangerous trek through dark woods in what is usually (with our luck) freezing or rainy weather. But, camping is still something that I want to be able to thoroughly enjoy. I understand that I probably won’t want to bring my pregnant self or a small baby out into the wilderness, so before I get pregnant, I want a chance to enjoy camping! And I think we were pretty successful:

Of course, the far trips can be difficult too. I once babysat for a couple who loved to go to football games. One weekend, they had a friend visiting from Hawaii. They had a 6-month-old who cried. All. The. Time. Unless you were holding her. And she was the biggest 6-month-old baby I have ever encountered. Or at least it seemed that way after holding her for 4 hours straight. Not only is the jet-lag awful (both coming and going), but the plane ride itself can be trying. No one likes a screaming baby on an airplane and I bet I wouldn’t like being the person with the screaming baby on an airplane.

So, Paul and I are going to take a pre-pregnancy-moon. We’re going to go somewhere far from us that I wouldn’t want to visit while pregnant: Napa Valley. 🙂

What were some trips you wish you had taken before getting pregnant and having kids?

Enjoy Not Being Pregnant

29 Oct

31 Days is almost over! How did that happen? It seems like I just started blogging every day . . . though it hasn’t seemed like that long, I have learned a lot about how to plan for pregnancy. However, I have also learned how important it is to enjoy not being pregnant! There are a lot of things to avoid and worry about when you’re pregnant. Though I’m planning how I’m going to deal with these issues, I don’t have to deal with them right now. I can sleep on my back. Or my stomach. Or whichever side I please. I can enjoy a glass of wine with a rare steak right before I go skydiving. So, for my final few posts for 31 days, I am going to blog about things that I want to enjoy before I get pregnant. The two big ones for me are: travel and adult beverages. 🙂

What are things you wish you did before you had kids?

Bad Beverages

28 Oct

There are so many things I enjoy drinking. My absolute #1 is coffee. Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going. Coffee = caffeine and caffeine is to be minimized during pregnancy. Now, I know there are many of you who say “just switch to decaf!” I’m sorry, but it’s just not the same. I have the brand and roast of coffee I like and decaf just doesn’t taste the same! I tried it for the purposes of this post. It was still alright, but just not the same. So, I have no choice but to cut my coffee intake. I can have one cup per day and still be within the recommended amount of caffeine.

Now, I know these posts are about how I’m going to start healthy pregnancy habits now, but this is one thing I just cannot part with until I have to. In fact, knowing that I can’t drink coffee while pregnant will serve only to increase my enjoyment (and consumption) of coffee now, because I know someday in the not-too-far future I will be sniffing around that second pot of coffee Paul has brewed knowing that I’ve already had my one cup and that I’ll just have to settle for sniffing Paul’s steaming cup of freshly brewed, amazingly delicious coffee.

Now, a close second to coffee is wine. Pinot noir. Merlot. Red. White. Delicious. But, of course, wine contains alcohol and cannot be consumed during pregnancy. No, not even a sip. Not for me. Like coffee, I will not be cutting wine out until I have to. And like coffee, I will be enjoying wine so much more during the limited time we have together. In fact, Paul and I are taking our last-hurrah-before-pregnancy trip to wine country. Yes, wine and I will not part until the last moment.

Thinking about these “bad beverages” taught me something important about planning my pregnancy: there are some things I really, really won’t want to give up. I should enjoy those things as much as possible now. Because someday I won’t be able to enjoy them.

What was the hardest thing for you to give up during pregnancy? Did you replace it with something else?

The Danger of Deliciousness

27 Oct

So, the past few days, I’ve been talking about some pretty heavy stuff. Car safety ratings. Disability insurance. Health insurance. Today, I’m talking about something lighter, but equally as important: the dangers of sandwich deliciousness. That’s right, those delicious cold cuts I enjoy daily for lunch are forbidden during pregnancy. Even delicious Jimmy Johns California Club. Even though it has avocado on it, which is good for you!

What makes sandwiches so dangerous? Listeria. Listeria are bacteria that we can normally handle with ease, but during pregnancy, it is 20 times more likely to make us sick! And if we get sick, it can cause miscarriage, preterm labor and death. So, no deli meats for me.

There is one exception to that rule: deli meats are safe if they are heated until steaming hot.

So, it looks like my sandwiches must be microwaved or of the PB&J variety for nine months . . . This is going to put major cramps in my eating style.

But, since I’m trying to put healthy habits in place now, instead of once I conceive, I need to start incorporating some non-sandwich lunches into my diet. I’ve found a few categories of substitutes that look yummy:

Soups & Stews

Since I’m planning to conceive in the fall or winter season, these are great options. I could make a soup or stew for dinner and then use leftovers as lunches for a few days.

Hummus Sandwiches

Hummus is a great substitute for meat in a sandwich. It’s full of protein and nutrients.

Pasta Salads

I can make these in advance and then toss in leftover meat from dinner the night before to add some protein. And, substituting whole grain pasta can add some fiber. 🙂

How did you handle lunch during your 9 months of pregnancy?

Baby + Job = Uncertainty

26 Oct

Despite being a near-lawyer, I am embarrassed to say that I know next to nothing about laws governing maternity leave. So, when thinking about how I would handle maternity leave, I did what I always do in uncertain situations: research. And what I found started as encouraging:

In 1993the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed. It entitles most workers to up to 12 weeks of job-protected medical leave for birth or adoption. 

But then quickly went downhill:

However, the FMLA doesn’t cover those who work for smaller companies

I have three people in my office. Including me. So, I continued reading:

Most likely, you’ll use a combination of short-term disability (STD), sick leave, vacation, personal days, and unpaid family leave during your time away from work.

Well, my company does not offer short-term disability insurance. So, that leaves me with sick leave, vacation, personal days, and unpaid leave. Which means a very short maternity leave or a very unpaid maternity leave. So, it looks like disability insurance is a must for me, along with health insurance. But, information on disability insurance isn’t as easy to come by. Companies require you to contact a representative in order to get information or a quote. So, it looks like I’ll have to make this decision when I’m closer to getting pregnant and more willing to have representatives calling me all the time. ;P But, because I took the time to do this research now, I’m aware of the problem and will be able to deal with it when the time comes.

How did you handle your maternity leave?

From Camaro Convertible to Baby-Friendly Car

25 Oct

Paul and I wanted to have a fun car before we had kids. And, let me say, we have it in spades. We have a bright red, manual transmission, Camaro convertible. And I love driving it. So much.

Unfortunately, I can only imagine that I will not love trying to get a car seat in and out of the back seat. Although, I have considered that if I put the top down and then lowered the car seat in from above . . . Yes, take that as a gauge of how much I enjoy driving this car. I am considering constructing some sort of pulley system to put my yet-unconceived child into the back seat. But, since the schematics of this pulley system are yet unperfected, I need to think about what we are going to do about a baby-friendly car. It needs to have 4 doors. A back seat. Good safety ratings. And it needs to be fun to drive. I am addicted now.

I started out by looking at Car and Driver’s reviews. Paul used to own an Acura, which he loved, so I started there. I was loving the TSX and even the TSX sports wagon.

That is, I was loving them until I started reading reviews. The sports wagon lacks pick-up. Cross it off the list.

The TSX fared a bit better. Car and Driver cited its “doom-and-gloom cockpit” and stated that “the driving precision we’ve come to expect from Acura’s offerings was, well, not so much missing as dulled and dumbed down.” But,  “it offers a list of features and amenities as long as your leg” and “it’s a European Honda Accord, so resale value will remain strong and nothing should break”. And they seemed to like the 4 cylinder manual model a bit better. So, leave that at a maybe.

In the same road test that the TSX flunked, the VW CC was described as “quiet, smooth, responsive, and emanating subtle whirrings that will have you confusing it for a small V-6. Or a turbine.” And “the CC’s “bests” clogged the floodgates: best skidpad grip, best ergonomics, best fit and finish, best exterior styling, best interior styling, best handling, best transmission, best steering, best as-tested price, and best driver comfort. ” And it’s less expensive than the Acura. And it was named 2011 top IHS safety pick.

Of course, as with my dream house, the reality of spending $30,000 on a car is questionable. But a girl can dream! And buy used! 😉

What do you drive? Love it? Hate it?