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Trust me, the chili really is that good.

Following in the footsteps of my friend Sarah Kriger, here are my new year's resolutions.

1. Post something worthwhile on Productive(adj). Links to other online stuff I do (see 2 below) don't count. A year off with a new baby is a unique time to take stock of how things are going research- and life-wise, and I ought to take advantage. I know those of you who have followed this blog long term (and it would have to be long, since my update schedule has been outrageously bad) have heard some of these before, and to them I apologize. All I can do is try to do a little better. With a year off to look after the strangest & most adorable baby ever, and all the time off from parenting that her 6 naps a day afford me, I think I have a chance to decrud my blogging. [weekly]

2. Keep on with the Weekly Roundups over at the Bubble Chamber. I say "keep on" because by and large this has been something I've been able to stay on top of during school. So, stay the course. This includes promoting those posts like a real social media star, on Twitter and Facebook and Google+. [weekly]

3. Get off the couch. This includes stuff like a walk around the block or up the 3 flights of stairs to the apartment, and more serious workouts once my gym membership starts up again at the end of the month. This time last year, on a post-comps break, I was working out every day (rock climbing, volleyball, weights, pilates-yoga-taichi and cardio at the gym). Even thought I'm almost of the way back to pre-babyness, I can tell that my abs are still Jello-soft. [daily]

4. Cook in bulk. I have a Cuisinart Slow Cooker that I love using, but I haven't been taking advantage of its amazing ability to turn combinations of meat, stock, sauces, beans, and veggies into heavenly-smells-that-fill-the-apartment tastiness. The squash soup, pulled pork, and sausage chili* which have come to be my go-to recipes when company's coming are surely just the start of a universe of low-effort cooking. Plus having something in the fridge for multiple meals means it's less tempting to order pizza.  Baking treats counts too because having high-caloric snacks on hand is useful both for our energy levels and for unexpected guests. [weekly]

5. Keep a toe in the research pool. I only have about a month of dissertation research under my belt. Putting together a panel for a conference this spring based on those interviews will prevent me from stagnating any more than I already have, and start the wheels turning for what I'm eventually going to do with those results thesis-wise. This also includes visiting campus for our awesome seminar series. (Why yes I did design that awesome poster, how kind of you to notice!) [ongoing]

6. Find the sweet spot between recluse and social butterfly. We swung between these extremes in the fall, since a baby is a great excuse to both invite everyone over ("come see the baby!") and to stay home and never see anyone ("sorry, we can't, because of the baby..."). There are weeks I never left the apartment and only saw Isaac and Madeleine, and other weeks we had so many guests that we wore ourselves out. The week before our trip was especially bad, since we tried to cram as many well-wisher visits into too few days as we could. 3-5 visits/visitors a week is probably in the ballpark, depending on what else is going on. Making this a priority will keep us in touch with good friends I never see anymore. [ongoing]

7. Carve out some couple time. I was going to say that this had to be something other than watching Netflix, but I know us too well for that. TV time is alright as long as we get to relax together. [at least weekly]

8. Read something that isn't Facebook every week like a novel or a magazine. Reading the internet maybe counts, but not too much because it can be too depressing. [weekly]

9. All the stay-at-home parent stuff like keeping the place clean and keeping us fed and pre-treating stains so that they don't set and making grocery lists. Oh, and making sure the baby is alive, fed, and clean(ish). [ongoing...]

10. Cut myself some slack if not everything gets done because this stuff is hard work and I'm figuring it out as I go.

That's it for now; I have a few others kicking around but I don't want to get overwhelmed.

*I won a chili cook-off with this chili; I can't recommend it enough. Just add at least 4 cups of your veggies of choice to the linked recipe, and substitute the tomato paste and sugar with a can of tomato soup. Serve with cornbread and grated cheese on top.


  1. Man, I don't get half that stuff done, and I don't have a baby to look after. Hope all your resolutions turn out great (which I'm sure they will :) ) and happy new year!


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