Women’s Issues

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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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}

split personality

Split Personality

[photo here & here]

I’m not usually one to post photos of celebrities (or the like)… but I recently saw both of these photos of Elizabeth Olsen and they were so striking.  Not only is she a beautiful young woman, but the difference in her hair color seems to change her personality.

I’m sure there’s been many studies on our perception of women’s character, etc. based strictly on hair color and this is no exception.  I have automatically assigned a back-story for each of these looks.  The thing is, I find myself wanting both, regularly.  As much as I like to rearrange my home, I really like to rearrange my look.

I certainly don’t think I have a “signature look”.  Most days I would like to channel some combination of Katherine Hepburn and Cate Blanchett.  (Ha! Who wouldn’t! I know, such low standards…)  Who am I kidding — most days I’d settle for a notch above Nick Nolte’s mugshot!  However, I digress.

I don’t know any of these women so I can assign personalities to go with their style at will.  And I guess as much as changing my look is “for myself”,  if I’m really honest, it’s just as much about trying to control other people’s perceptions of me… an impossible and exhausting task.  Sure it’s fun to try on different “personas” if you will (thank you Chloe Sevigny), but I guess I’m always questioning my own motives.

Who knew such an existential crisis would arise just because I’m going to get my hair done today?  I’m not sure which persona I’ll end up with today — but hopefully I’ll still be “me” under all that effort.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see about my mood thoughts when I get there.

to corporate america: stop stalking my uterus!

Some time ago when I was sick with pink eye, my dad inadvertently signed me up for a Target pharmacy rewards card while picking up my prescription.  (He is still denying this fact mind you.)  However, ever since said card has been ascribed to me, I have been inundated with baby business.  It started with a few issues of something called “American Baby” and then onto Target coupons for maternity clothes and baby-esque things. I finally wrote to American Baby and asked them to stop sending me their junk mail magazine (but I have still received more issues).  Then came an onslaught of “Babies-R-Us” fliers and coupons.  To the recycle bin it all went… until last week.  Much to my surprise, I found a sizable package addressed to me on the porch.  Having not ordered anything myself, I was giddy with joy thinking someone decided to surprise me!  Well, the pastel lavender package should have been an immediate dead giveaway.  One quick flip of the box and I knew this was no gift for me, it was rather, a gift to my Corporate American Consumer identity.

According to this super-scary article about the tracking habits of Corporate America (and specifically Target) I should be having a baby.  I mean, they now know my age (a shocking 34!), my meds that I take (for a wonky thyroid), and that on my last trip to Target my purchases included a frozen (albeit organic) pizza, bottle of wine, and cookie dough.  That doesn’t exactly scream new-mom-in-the-making material to me.  But apparently these purchases along with my age and income (which they know!) have sent out smoke signals that “IT’S TIME!”

Well I’ve got news for you Corporate America, if a dying old woman with ties directly to the center of my heart can’t convince me to have a baby — then neither can you, even with all your fancy marketing material.  Lord knows I’m a sucker for good packaging and the big red box store will continue to suck me in with its affordable, semi-trendy designer goods, and newly-expanded-grocery-section (hallelujah!), BUT you cannot trick me into having a baby — or even thinking that I want one.  If anything, you are just continually reminding me of exactly why we have chosen to not reproduce.

Look, it’s not you — it’s me.  So you can stop wasting all that paper and packaging.  It’s not going to happen — at least not because of you or on your time-table.  When and if the time does come for us to make that decision, we will not be consulting the aisles of Target, Babies R Us, or any other store that sells STUFF.  Oh, and you might want to tell the tracking people that they missed they mark because pre-baby stuff has given way to post-baby stuff — starting with the TWO FREE jars of formula that were sitting on my porch last week.  (Well, maybe it was the wine that gave it away after all. I guess I will be getting a breast pump coupon next!)

a fresh face

Sorry fellas, I need to “girl-out” for just a second.

I’ve been a Bare Escentuals gal for years (since 2007 in fact).  But recently my skin has changed and so have my needs.  I just felt like this 33 year old face needed a bit more coverage.  But the thought of using a liquid (or even pressed) foundation was not an option.  Enter Korres Mineral Foundation.  I was perusing one of my favorite blogs and came across her glowing recommendation of the aforementioned powder.  It seemed like it was just the solution.  I must admit that I was not optimistic. I am however, a believer in Sephora’s return policy, so why not try it.  Boy can I tell a difference.  I’m not sure that other people have been able to tell; it’s not like folks are stopping me on the street (let’s get real, if any one ever complimented me on my skin they would be my new BFF… I’m just not that girl that gets those compliments.)  But I can tell.  If feels so good and the biggest change, it’s still on my face come 4pm.  I have recently developed oily skin (thanks Dr. Dermatologist and your industrial strength skin creme!), but this stuff seems to keep the shine in check.  (And yes, I have used both the regular and matte formulas of the B.E.)  But the best part about this new-to-me line of products: it’s 100% natural!!!  What?!  How can this be?  I’m not quite sure what those Greeks are putting in that jar, but I can tell you that they are not putting all that toxic garbage (I’m talking about you sulfates and paraffin!)  So even if I thought both offered about the same coverage, why not switch for that reason alone.  I know it’s not cheap ($28!) and their color choices are limited, but I cannot imagine them not growing their line of products, soon.  Fortunately for me, the lightest shade is just right. What about you all?  What do you use?

fearless women

Once upon a time I fancied myself a climber — or rather one who fell from tall places.  That girl has been dormant almost seven years and rarely does anything wake her.  But this video … breathtaking and awesome and a whole string of other adjectives hardly describes it.  {And the best part — there are no stinking boys around to ruin it!}

I want to be friends with these women.  Heck, I want to be them!

{originally spied here}
more here