Thoughts

Parting Thought(s)

I come to this nearly abandoned space without apology.  This election has been too big to remain a silent participant.

I have been sitting with my thoughts for two days.  I have so many it’s hard to make sense of them.  But I process with words.  These are just a few.

There is so much grief.


For the nearly 9 years I’ve been present in this space, I have yet to overtly voice my political opinion.  I seem to be able to wax on and on about design, dinners, and days in the sun.  I’ve alluded to my political leanings with quotes and hints at how I volunteer my time.  I can say the same for my religious affiliation.  I believe this quote; but now is the time for words. Words matter; they have weight and meaning. In this space I’ve not wanted to offend nor seem intolerant, never wanting to be lumped into one group or category and labeled just a demographic box.  But every day millions of my fellow citizens who are anything other than “white” wake up to such a reality — a demographic box.  And they are terrified…. as am I.

In recent weeks I heard someone say “liberals take Trump literally but not seriously and conservatives take Trump seriously but not literally.”  I’m still processing this pithy summary.  But how are we NOT supposed to take him literally when he seemed to repeat the same horrible things?  History will be the final judge; however, that is little comfort for those of us here and now.

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My Birth Story

Prologue:

I don’t have the “Pinterest Perfect” images I thought I might capture during my labor and delivery (you know, a la Kate Middleton).  But these images are invaluable to me and was all thanks to my amazing doula for being able to multitask.  They are raw and real and capture the energy of the experience. What I’ve written here is not everything I remember from that amazing day; I could write more about expectations, conversations with my nurse and the choice to encapsulate my placenta. But those are stories for another time.  

Day 1

Well, I should clarify, this is not MY birth story, but rather, my son’s!  *insert some serious side eye*

Like any lover of good stories, I love me a good birth narrative.  It’s got great story structure built right in: an obvious beginning, middle, climax, and then an end.  Even when I adamantly didn’t want children, I still loved this narrative. And it’s time I add mine to the history books.

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Coming Up For Air

Struggle Quote

I think we’ve finally emerged from the fog of newborn days….20 weeks later!  I think I’ve finally caught my breath.  I seem to not only have my nose above water, but I’m actually treading water over here.  I’ve got a lot to say.  I hope I can find the words to adequately capture the last 20 weeks of my life.  Maybe it will all come out all at once, maybe it will trickle slowly.  But words are what I need right now to keep this experience in perspective.  And I want to remember; I want to not have rose colored glasses when hindsight is all I have.  I feel a new strength has surfaced…and lord knows I’ll need it as I find my new pattern of life.

*Mediterranean Sea Moraira, Spain, 2014*

The Day Is Near

Waiting

How do you describe the day before you know you’ll meet your child?  I am being induced tomorrow.  My mom texted me today and said that today feels different for her; for me it feels the same as the last 39 1/2 weeks — completely normal and completely surreal.

My last post at 34 weeks seems like yesterday and 100 years ago.  Maybe this is the entirety of being/becoming a parent: a constant paradox.

Ironically, since my shingles has cleared up, I’ve never felt better.  Really, these last 2 weeks in particular have been the best of my entire pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, my pelvis is about to completely fall apart and I walk like a 2,000 year old person, but mentally I’m finally there.  I’m finally ready to say: #letsdothis!

When I went in for my 37 week check up the doc told me, much to my surprise that I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The adrenaline kicked in.  At my 38 week check up I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  The adrenaline really kicked in and I thought for sure I would be meeting my monkey over Memorial Day Weekend.  So last Friday at my 39 week appointment I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, my progress has stalled and I’m still the same (3 & 80).

The emotion of it all manifested at the 37 week check up.  My sis came over that weekend and helped us set up the guest room baby’s room.  She and I and B nearly all lost it a few times, but especially during another Target run when I realized that I lost my mucus plug.  It was “gettin’ real in the whole foods parkin’ lot” if you know what I mean.  But we’ve all had time to settle a bit and now I just feel calm — a really weird calm.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten a little staycation weekend with the hubs over Memorial Day weekend.  We thought for sure it was our last together as a family of two so we made the most of it.  We watched like 5 movies (even went to the theater for one of them!) and cleaned the house, played cards, cooked almost all our meals at home together, limited phone calls, slept a lot; it was magic.  Then nothing.  I was all geared up — or rather zen-ed out — and then, nothing.

So I’ve tried to keep that level of internal calm for nearly another two weeks.  I’ve tried to be present to every opportunity — including junky tv, a random breakfast date, “long” walks, watching B cook for me, listening to music and meditations, and just sitting in the quiet of the house staring at my budding lemon tree.  I know that there will never be a time like this again.  As melodramatic and cliche as it sounds, I know life will never be the same again.

But I am ready.  I am ready for this new journey; a chance for renewed self-discovery and connection with my husband and the world.  And mostly, I’m ready to get this squirmy creature out of my body so I can squish it pieces!

Wish me luck!

We’re Having A….

BOY or GIRL

{Photo taken at one of my favorite places ever: the James Turrell tunnel at the MFAh}

I decided that I wanted to wait to find out the gender.  It could have something to do with my fear of early attachment… but I don’t think so.  I’ve just always thought it would be great to wait to find out.  I mean, I’ve got enough issues that I don’t think I need to start projecting gender bias onto something still in utero!  I also kind of like the personal challenge of turning down the opportunity of finding out.  It’s like being able to say no to a piece of free chocolate cake. (I mean, what sane person does that?!)

One of the unexpected enjoyments has been how EVERYONE has an opinion about what I’m having.  I’m not kidding.  Just last week a lifeguard, parking lot attendant, entire Chipotle staff, and a random lady on the street offered up their unsolicited opinions.  Bradly even had someone at a taco shop tell him what they thought it was and I wasn’t even with him!!!

It’s pretty predictable and usually conversations go something like this:

[Stranger:] “Wow… how far along are you?!” or “Congratulations”

[Me]: fill in appropriate blank

[Stranger:] “Is this your first?”

[Me:] yes

[Stranger:] “What are you having?”

[Me:] Not sure, we’re waiting to find out.

[Stranger:] “What?!?! Really? Wow!  Well I think its a {insert boy or girl}!”

I’m not kidding.  People flock to this belly like free ice cream on a hot day.  Surprisingly, the misanthropic introverted part of me doesn’t mind this.  I actually think it’s really funny.   I’ve talked to more strangers in the last 3 months than I have probably in the last 3 years combined!

I’ve also really enjoyed reading about all the old wives tales about gender.  Most of them suggest that I’m having a boy.  I keep flip-flopping as to what I think it is.  I wish I could say I have this other-worldly connection and my intuition is spot on, but really I have no idea.  I think for sure that it’s human…  But these days this is what I think I’m having:

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It Is What It Is – Thoughts On My Pregnancy (so far)

Thirty one weeks….  T-H-I-R-T-Y O-N-E W-E-E-K-S people.

31 Weeks

I finally feel like I can spend some time reflecting on this whole thing.  Time is such a strange phenomenon and concept.  Pregnancy has been one of the most unusual and difficult experiences of my life (and sometimes overwhelmingly amazing).  Let’s go ahead and add to that experience the purchase of a new home, a remodel of said home, moving, and having a husband in a major accident and unable to use one leg for 10+ weeks.

I guess I should start from the beginning… (hang on, this is a LONG one)

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We’re In

Home Sweet Home

How has it been nearly 3 weeks since we moved?! I’ve had about 10 blog posts running in my head, but actually sitting down and writing it out (with photos!) is a different story.  Needless to say, we’re in our new house.  It wasn’t finished before we called the movers, but sometimes, you just gotta make things happen.

Here’s how it all went down…

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I Resolve To…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

In the past I’ve been up for resolutions/goals at the start of a new year, but these days, it’s a good day if I can get pants on by noon.  I’ve had the privilege of working from home since August; this worked out well since I found out I was pregnant the first of September.  Strange sleeping hours, constant peeing, and being so exhausted that the thought of expending energy on brushing my hair was paralyzing has all been great to experience from my own home.  I’m one of the lucky ones for sure and I do NOT take it for granted.

Although I’m not up to making resolutions since I have so much on my plate right now I’m lazy, I do want the hubs to make a few!  *insert giggling emoticon*  Really, just one: standing up at work.  No, not metaphorically, but literally.  I know we’ve been inundated with “sitting is the new smoking”, but I’m surprised at how few workplace environments are doing something about it.

I read this great article about one woman’s experience and decision to stand at her desk at work.  I like that she was honest and said it was HARD at first, but eventually she’s become a convert and now she’ll never go back.  Read the whole account here.  I get really worried about the hubs sitting at his computer hunched over all day just clicking away — really that’s all architects do by the way: click, click, click.  But he assures me he takes regular breaks and he does usually walk somewhere in the neighborhood for lunch, but still… I guess for now I should probably focus on being able to get myself to go around the block at least once a day, much less stand for 8 hours!

If and when I am ready to make some habit changes, I will have to remember what I learned yesterday in this interesting article.  The premise of which is that if we want to make change/break a habit then it is not enough to just change our attitude about something, but that we need to disrupt our environment.

…our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don’t want…

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it’s not that simple.

It’s as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

I guess it’s not just mind over matter after all.

Is a “Meditation Challenge” an Oxymoron?

Meditation Photo

For the month of June I’ve given myself a new challenge: meditation.  I know it’s apparently all the rage these days, but it was last fall when my therapist recommended that I try it.  Well I did…sort of.  I was only practicing it very sporadically and at weird times.  Needless to say it felt forced and like me trying to put ice on a pulled muscle rather than a preemptive conditioning for my muscles.  Thus a proactive approach to my self-care has emerged.

Because meditation is hard, I thought I would build up my tolerance.  So starting on June 1st, I meditated for 1 minute; and on June 2nd, 2 minutes.  You see a pattern emerging.  So today is June 20 and I’ll meditate for 20 minutes tonight before I hit the sack.  Sitting for 30 minutes seems much more doable now because I know I can do 20 minutes.

I’ve learned 2 things since I’ve begun.  First, I can actually sit and calm my mind, but it does indeed take practice and it’s (still) hard.  Second, I do a lot better when meditating at night. I’ve tried at all times and places (hello bathroom, couch, floor, kitchen).  But “success” has come to me when I turn out the lights, turn on the twinkle lights (or light a candle), sit on the floor (with a block) or on the Eames ottoman and cross my legs.  In order to help get me calm I use an app — which I really like for background sounds and the fact that it has a really gentle alarm that lets you know when you’ve achieved your desired time.

I’ve really enjoyed my practice so far. But I think I would also like to try this “progressing” meditation while syncing up with my cycle.  That way when when I hit day 30-ish full of cramps, bloating, rage, and other general PMS, I’ll be able to get centered and tackle the introspective beast that sometimes threatens to eat me alive.

And I found this great infographic showing the benefits of mindful meditation.  And here is the full Time article and a response in The Huffington Post.

Meditation Infographic

{source}

Interesting Things

Color & Texture

I’m hanging out with family this weekend, but I’ll also check out these other links too:

This is a hilarious way to identify an artist by his work.

True stories of sultry, southern women…I’ll read it.

This takes “…stop touching me!” to a whole new level.

Wow — So this is why I feel like a failure!

Even as just a hobby graphic designer I can learn from this great list.

Great…now I want to knit again.

Another Brene Brown interview to watch.

On the more serious side of economic things

Enjoy the weekend!

Three original images here: 1 | 2 | 3