Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesay, September 29th 2010, 7:30 PM

21 weeks has finally heralded the arrival of my 2nd trimester. Or at least what I am told the 2nd trimester is supposed to be like...except add in cramping every time I am on my feet for longer than, say, a half hour and the relentless exhaustion. Other than that, I'm not not nauseous (yay!) and I LOOK pregnant which, let me tell you is awesome, see, if you've never been pregnant I'll tell you that the first several weeks are a bummer because everyone thinks you're just moody and fat.

Colin's potty training adventure turned out to be a bit anti-climactic as it went marvelously well and he's standing in front of me in a pair of Buzz Lightyear underpants he's kept clean and dry all day. Be aware that I bribed him mercilessly with jellybeans and gummibears, and we did a sticker chart, AND he is still struggling with the pooping thing. But darned if we don't all feel terrifically successful!

He's been feeling like quite the big boy and has been asserting his independence in a myriad ways. He likes to help me clean up, but he doesn't like me to tell him what to do. He hates riding in the cart at the grocery store but by the last aisle he's ready to be done. He doesn't want to take a nap but he really still needs one and so he crashes out at like 4:00 in the evening which I hate because by then I feel like it's to late for a nap for either of us but there's not stopping him. Sigh. I do like having a little boy around though, if only for the hilariously awesome things he says.

Babylove is growing big and strong! And I feel him move every morning bright and early, kicking me soundly in the bladder, despite the fact that I am carrying so high it's difficult to breathe sometimes. We talk to him in the evenings as we all pile in our big family bed and cuddle. It's a lovely time and gets me off my feet for a while.

The weather channel tells me it will be in the hundreds until well into October but I wanted a little touch of fall today so I wore what I called my "hippie mama of the world" get up. It's terrifically comfortable, and cute! However I am rapidly expanding out of it and I wanted to get one good wear in before my belly cannot be contained any longer.

On that note I will leave you with a question: what is your most creative wardrobe fix for a cold weather pregnancy? I don't want to buy a ton of clothes since winter here lasts only a short while, but I'll be at my largest when it finally gets "cold" and I want to be at least a little prepared you know?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Inspiration!

Photo by Luke, Colin and I on our last day in Hawaii

Hey! Look at that! After missing last week I'm back with a whole new round of links to scare away the Monday ho-hums... Lets call this the "lamenting the fact that fall hasn't really started here yet" edition

Getting a million and one ideas to spruce up my house and make it lovely from this fabulous blog, just in time for fall cleaning!

And a million and one ideas on how to inspire a love of learning and creativity in my kiddo from this fabulous blog

Speaking of scare...see how I did that there? BHG has a whole set of fantastic DIY Halloween decorations for your house, now that fall is upon us.

I mean hypothetically it's fall, because I was oohing and ahhing over the awesome fashion at this event here in the Valley and then sighing because 90% of the people are still in tank tops because it's 104 degrees today.

Getting ideas for quick and easy dinners because freakish heat that lasts this long makes me less likely to cook.

Perhaps to escape the heat we can visit here because gorgeous!

Whatever the case, all the heat makes for excellent indoor dance party times!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


photo by Luke taken on our 3 year wedding anniversary

It took a pregnancy hormone fueled emotional meltdown to get me to write today. The meltdown was last week, but the takeaway lasted.
So here I sit, eating gummi bears that should be hoarded for potty training rewards and wondering where I begin...
I am not yet 30. My nails are chewed down to the quick, my arms are freckled, my toenail polish is chipping off. My breasts are striped with the marks of 4 pregnancies: 2 failed, 1 in process, and 1 marvelous failure of a successful labor and delivery winning me a gorgeous ball of 3 year old boy. My heart is criss-crossed with the slashing scar of the heartbreak of a divorce before 25, the myriad remnants of a thousand cutting remarks made by a man who was also to young to be marrying anyone, the deeper wounds of a high school relationship fraught with screams and fists and emotional terrorism and yet there too is the soothing balm of marrying my best friend in the world...1 year after I ended my first marriage, the healing over of those old wounds at the hands of a man whom had seen me through the initial injuries, who loved me despite my trauma. My long brown hair has been purple, has been less than an inch long, has been salted with silver since I was 19 and I have permanently marked my body with ink 10 times, I will do it 10 more times before I am finished with that particular obsession. I am legally blind without my glasses, I wear no jewelry except my wedding ring. I have been a million different people in the last 5 years and therein lies the breakdown.
I have been daughter: once
Sister: once
cousin: dozens upon dozens of times over
wife: twice
mother: spoken aloud only to one, but felt 4 times over yet.
I have been Christian and Liberal and Feminist and Friend and Lover and Confidant and Mentor. I have been student and teacher. I have been lost and found, Sane and Mentally ill.
I have worn a million labels, been a million things to a million people and last Friday, on a non-descript hot September day I lost track of who I was to myself.

Does that even make sense?

I have come to believe that the feminine spirit in us is what makes us elastic, capable of survival, of bending and curving and not ripping in two. There are some who have been blessed (cursed?) with it in abundance, some have just enough so that the inevitable changes in life (moving to a new home, meeting new people) don't cause them to go catatonic. I am a fairly stretchy individual.
And that has given me no end of grief in this life of mine of late.
I stretch to be the wife I think my husband wants, needs, longs for. I twist to be the mother my son needs, the mother society wants me to be. The Christian the church wants me to be, who God wants me to be. Dutiful daughter, available friend...
I stretch and bend and change and 5 years after taking an incredible risk to end a toxic way of life, I begin to believe that I am 1/3 the person I once was. That who I was, before my divorce, before my son, before leaving school was this vibrant impassioned individual and who I am now is bland, colorless, simple: mommywifegirl.
I have stretched right out of myself and into a person I don't recognize.
I wrote a letter to a dear friend trying to capture what it was I was feeling:

I read old correspondence and I can picture myself writing the things I wrote to all of you but I can't seem to muster up that energy in the woman who is typing these words to you now. As though in becoming more still, in releasing those vicious whispers that made up my specific brand of crazy, I also became thinner, paler, less like myself. And when I try and bring that old me back to life it feels forced, it feels knocking on the door of a room you know is empty. What's more irritating is that I find that after a bit of rumination I am perfectly fine with this "less than" version of myself...and that just pisses me right the hell off.
I try not to compare the two, the woman I was had completely different circumstances than me...And I try and remind myself that the woman I am, is just that: who I am. End of story, somehow it seems less than comforting.

This hollow sound echoing back was what got me weeping the other day. The thought that I really was less than who I was. A shadow of my former self, so to speak.
I began thinking of the titles we give ourselves and how we start to limit ourselves within them and the barriers get tighter and WE're (the real we, the we under all those layers of people) squeezed almost out of existence.
I wept and raged and Luke sat by me and rubbed my back and waited it out...
And eventually I stopped because I realized that I have chosen to be here and that there is benefit to that. There is a big difference between sleeping with a new person every weekend and being so vulnerable with one person you can't imagine sleeping next to anyone but them for the rest of your life. There is a big difference between staying out all night just to see where the adventure takes you and the adventure in watching your kids face light up when they discover something new. It's investment and understanding the arc of one's own narrative. Because who I was has built who I am. That passionate, angry, fuzzy woman I was laid the foundation for the passionate, still, focused person I am. I have earned my sorrow through all the experiences that led me here but I was forgetting about the joy that accompanied it.
There is nothing "less than" about growing a family, nothing less risky or passionate or lovely than choosing the a life for yourself that is made up of good things...even if sometimes the good things seem a little bland. A little everyday.
We have to handle the repetition and monotony as gracefully as we can, and when the pockets of brilliance come, indulge. Because truly that's all anyone can ask for.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out and About

Tonight I get to be a grownup and attend a CD Release party for a band that is friends with my husband, the talented sound engineer. Plus side of being married to the tech guy? Free entry. Minus? I have to make my grand entrance alone because my date is at the board, usually not fun at all, I feel awkward and silly and usually underdressed...
BUT this pregnancy I have really gotten into the groove of dressing up my belly. I still fit my pre-pregnancy pants (thank heavens) and own a lot of long stretchy shirts (thanks fashion!) and I have enjoyed looking at and getting inspiration from all the pregnant fashion forward ladies online!
So I have embraced wearing heels, wearing skinny jeans, and getting dolled up. I have moved away from the schlumpy fashion of my first pregnancy (sorry honey!) and have really had fun with my newest accessory (this is tongue in cheek folks) my baby bump!
I will definitely post shots of my concert attire tonight after I get dressed...though you'll have to forgive the weird angle of them, my photographer has already left to go have beers with his band. ;)

Jeans: BDG Skinny Jean in Indigo
Top: thrifted
Shoes: Hand me Downs from my super stylish sister...they're quilted leather!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday, September 18th 2010, 6:45 AM

20 weeks, housedress, early morning because we have church stuff all day edition.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A night off...

several years ago, it was my habit to spend as much time as I could with people all the time. I didn't mind being alone, but I certainly preferred company. I could tell when my depression and anxiety were digging their sharp little claws into my throat because I couldn't be bothered to spend time with anyone, I had no desire to interact with people. For years I associated being alone with the singular empty throb of a downward spiral.
However as time has gone by and as circumstances of my life have moved in that peculiar winding dance that life moves in I have found that time by myself is a valuable commodity to be cherished (...especially with babylove half baked and well on his way!) Truthfully, I find time alone to be healing in a way I never thought possible. I turn my music up loud and dance as I do little odds and ends that get overlooked (like blog posts! And polishing my toenails! And packing up long overdue birthday presents to be sent all over the country!) I take time to be still and be quiet, I turn off my phone at some point during the night and I spend time with God. My prayers are scattered, like my thoughts but I always try and end with a litany of "thank you's" because now the feeling of being alone makes me grateful of the life I have, the feeling of being alone has become associated with feeling refreshed and joyful...even when I was my most sad.
Tonight Luke works late and Colin is having a sleepover with his beloved Nana (my mom) I have made a beautiful panzanella from heirloom tomatoes and french bread, I have some fresh mozzarella and an hour long playlist of music that I adore. I got a few quick texts from a dear friend who has promised me the most recent chapters of his novel (give it 2 years, this book will be topping bestseller lists, it's just that good) and so I will tuck in, re-read his book from chapter one and enjoy my music...
And a little later, much later than I would usually be up I will take a little time and talk to God, I will sing my gratitude for this tiny slice of quiet, for my lovely life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morning Music

Monday, September 13, 2010

Inspiration for my Monday

(I've decided that Mondays are a marvelous day for a little link roundup. I hate Mondays)

image via Green Baby Guide
This week we get REALLY get back into the swing of things! We also embark on the terrifying journey that is necessary potty training! Oy vey. Also on our list is laundry (always), bread making, and finishing up the mending pile! What are you doing this week?

The fabulous Sara Janssen of Walk Slowly, Live Wildly is selling gorgeous Barefoot Books. These would be entertaining potty reads this week!

Our breadmaking might involve adapting this delicious looking foccacia recipe from Smitten Kitchen

This is a lovely tribute to the struggles and joys of fatherhood (via Anne's guest post at Marvelous Kiddo)

and speaking of the Marvelous Leigh, I am looking forward to the fantastic guest bloggers she has lined up this week!

Beautiful post from Linda of All and Sundry about the difficult transition from full time working out of the house mom to stay at home mom. I still struggle with these feelings myself!

We LOVE this album lately (and truthfully the movie isn't half bad) around here, I think this music will make up a big portion of our fall soundtrack.

This end of summer camping adventure looks like a perfect vacation!

Colin's favorite show of all time just so happens to be a vintage favorite (and perfect for fall! All those Halloween monsters!). Thank goodness for the wonders of the internet that allow me to put a bunch of episodes on at once!

Looking forward to tracking down and devouring this new magazine! (via Design*Sponge)

Have a great week folks!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September11th, Emmanuel Ortiz

September 11, 2002
by Emmanuel Ortiz

Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join me
In a moment of silence
In honour of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September 11th. I would also like to ask you To offer up a moment of silence For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, For the victims in both Afghanistan and the US

And if I could just add one more thing...

A full day of silence
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of US-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation. Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year US embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem,

Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa, Where homeland security made them aliens in their own country. Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin And the survivors went on as if alive. A year of silence for the millions of dead in Vietnam - a people, not a war - for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives' bones buried in it, their babies born of it. A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of a secret war .... ssssshhhhh.... Say nothing ... we don't want them to learn that they are dead. Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia, Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem.

An hour of silence for El Salvador ...
An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
Two days of silence for the Guatemaltecos ...
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years. 45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas 25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke into the sky. There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains. And for those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west...

100 years of silence...

For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears. Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness ...

So you want a moment of silence?
And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut
A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust.

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.
Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem.
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.

This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written. And if this is a 9/11 poem, then: This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971. This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977. This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York, 1971.

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored. This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children
Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window of Taco Bell, And pay the workers for wages lost. Tear down the liquor stores, The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton's 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful
people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence
Then take it NOW,
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all... Don't cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime. But we, Tonight we will keep right on singing... For our dead.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10th, 2010. 4:00 PM

19 weeks seems a lot like 12 and 13 and 14 and so on...not at all like I'm almost halfway to meeting my second child. Our big trip to Hawaii was so marvelous but it did set off our rhythm a bit and it's taking me longer than I'd like to get back into the swing of things.I think that while this 2nd trimester is certainly YARDS better than the first (hooray for keeping all my meals down!) I am still very tired and prone to cramping if I go to hard for to long. I have days where, when asked how I am feeling, I respond: "Very VERY pregnant". It's a pity I have 20 weeks to go!

Which is easy to do with a kiddo like Colin. He is non-stop with talking, being a "supah fast wunner!", building, investigating, asking questions, and refusing to nap. It's such a precious time to be sharing with him, he has inherited his father's natural curiosity about the world around him and we read a lot of books, a lot of Wikipedia entries! I realized this week that having my children spaced as they are is a blessing in disguise, I was lamenting the fact that they would be almost 4 years apart and won't be right next to each other like my sister and I, and then I realized that having a child headed out of his toddler years and a newborn is a perfect pairing! I regularly ask Colin to get me small things from around the house, to help with loading and unloading the dishwasher, with folding the clothes, and while those things are not done perfectly, it doesn't matter because he is so delighted to be helping his mama! I look forward to being able to ask him to hand me diapers, to pick up little toys, and help me with his brother. Such a lovely discovery!

Keeping with tradition, Babylove has been as active as his brother was. Tuesday my ob had to chase him down to get a clear listen to his heartbeat, so rapidly was he flipping! I can feel him almost all the time, and would love to share the experience with others, but alas, it's still a little soon! My placenta was lying fairly low the last ultrasound we had and with my previous run in with previa I am going in for another one just to make sure everything is moving up and away the way it should be! I am so grateful for all the modern technology I can take advantage of to make sure everything is alright and an easy going Obstetrician who wants nothing more than for me to have a happy, healthy pregnancy on MY TERMS. It's so marvelous.

We seem to be surrounded by pregnant ladies and new little ones these days. While I rejoice in the company, I sometimes feel bit bittersweet about it all, missing our wee bean...It seems that that is one heartbreak that will never fully heal, but I am grateful for one more angel baby watching over my little ones here on earth.

So onward and upward into Fall! It was cool enough here in the Godforsaken heat to throw our doors open this morning! WAHHOO! It won't last but it was nice taste of the next few months to come!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Sorry for the silence, we've been in Hawaii, enjoying sun, sand, family (Nana, Papa John, Auntie Zil, Miss Vicki-Zil's roommate-, Mama, Daddy, and Colin...WHEW) and the perfect weather.

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