2011 Year End Review — The First Half

Pregnancy, international travel, major surgery, and a new baby, all superimposed on the usual topics of biking, food, and gardening.  Here’s a look back at 2011.

Already increasing my carbon footprint
I mean that in a very loving and motherly way, of course :)  The big changes won’t come for another six months or so . . . .

Little did I know exactly how big those changes would be.

Seed starting: Make a functional, affordable heat box
I’ve used this one with great success and reliability for four sets of plants now.  We set our thermostat pretty low in the winter, so the heat box helps keep the seeds cozy.

Mama-to-be’s reading list
Your Best Birth, by Rikki Lake and Abby Epstein, was the first book I read post finding out that I was pregnant, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  Even if you are not pregnant, have no plans to become pregnant, and can’t see any way this subject applies to you, I encourage you to read it . . .

Turns out, no amount of reading can prepare you for life with a baby.

Good sauerkraut — make your own
Yesterday, I wrote about my hunt for good sauerkraut and how we ultimately decided to make our own.  Fortunately, making sauerkraut is quite simple.

O-oooh, we’re halfway theeere

21 weeks

Brine your beans
While I was happy enough with my bean-cooking method (quick soak or an overnight soak, drain and rinse, boil for about an hour), we recently discovered a new method that yields delicious, lightly salted cooked beans, reminiscent of the canned variety in a good way.

Biking with babies
The idea that a young infant could not be safely transported by bicycle, when we give no thought to putting them in cars, seemed quite ludicrous to me, but I couldn’t find much information on safe options.

There’s no place like home
All of the sudden, I look significantly more pregnant.  So what changed?  Turns out I’m having twins — my regular baby, plus an Italian food baby.

Traveling while pregnant

In London, I could count on relatively easy restroom access when out-and-about by ducking into a Starbucks or McDonalds.  I became accustomed to walking in, quickly scoping out the place and the most likely restroom location, and making my way there, and back out, without making it too obvious that I wasn’t a paying customer.  Italy was trickier on the restroom front.

Eating for two — A vegetarian pregnancy
Not having to scramble to make dietary changes when I found out I was pregnant was one nice aspect of having a well-established healthy diet, though I was a little worried for the few weeks where pasta and rice noodles made up the bulk of my diet.

Cycling Savvy Instructor!
Despite the heat and my “delicate condition” ;) , I made it through the Cycling Savvy Instructor training this past weekend!  In fact, I didn’t just make it, I had a great time.

Biking with baby — Part II
Comments such as, “If you and your husband want to go for a bike ride, leave your baby with a sitter,”  reveal general ignorance about using a bicycle for transportation. What if we want to go to an event in the park WITH the baby?  What if I need to pick something up at the grocery store?  Am I confined to only using my car for these short, easily bikeable trips for the first 12 months unless I leave baby behind?

Rolling toward the finish

Biking to lunch at 37 weeks

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