Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The essay I wrote that was totally embarrassing and revealed my gynormous flaws? It's now published in Femamom, a little online magazine that just begun, for 'edgy ' stories of parenthood, which really suits me- to read and to write. :)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Summer is here.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I am really happy to be able to give something wonderful away to my blogging community. I've been offered many trades and giveaways before but I refused, simply because the products weren't anything I was interested in using or owning. When I was offered an exchange with EasyCanvasPrints.com I was thrilled, because anyone who reads here knows I take a lot of pictures! The idea of a wonderful photo made into an art quality canvas to hang made me happy. :) I have a nice little collection of selected photos that are all very special to me, and it was hard to pick just one to use, but I knew that I couldn't pick one of just Ever ( ...big sissy might not feel great about that ) and I also knew the boys....could give a rats arse. So I chose this:
And am in love with it. This is a photo from ee's sixth month shoot, and I hung it in our hallway by the front door, where it looks wonderful.
The process of picking an image and a canvas style was so much fun, like paper dolls for photos! You upload an image, and then through easycanvasprints.com you pick the details- the size, the thickness of the canvas, the style of the sides ( I picked a color border- blue- to match the blue in the girl's clothes and eyes, but you can also pick mirror image, wrap, etc ) and then see a mock hanging of your canvas before you commit. The software is excellent and the site is incredibly easy to navigate.
They also have an Idea Gallery to help you narrow your choices and decide on the best photo for your canvas.
Giveaway closed on Monday Night at 8pm!!!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
This is the Getty Museum above. I like it because it's made out of marble. Marble is very interesting to look at and it feels smooth like when you put paint on your hands and rub it.
I really like riding the tram, but I thought it was going to be a little roller coaster with a bunch of drops, but it's just a tram.
I was sitting on the smooth tile floor because I was tired. Grandma and I spent five hours walking around the museums.
Grandma took many pictures and she wanted me to walk forward and get a picture of my back.
This is a painting. I think it's a very gorgeous picture. I like the way the man is standing and the way he looks so serious. When I look at paintings I feel happy because I want to be an artist when I grow up. I feel happy and excited to look at all the colors- interesting is the best word to describe it; I feel interested.
I don't get to learn a lot of history in school, it's not a main subject, and The Getty has a lot of history. It's very nice for me to get a look at all of it, because each painting tells a story.
This is Mary and baby Jesus. I think this makes people feel happy and like if you are going through a hard time it makes you feel better because you know baby Jesus might be looking down on you, when you look at the painting. You feel blessed.
This is me purposefully making a funny face just to make Grandma mad. Grandma is amazing, she loves me so much and she is very nice to take me all the way to the Getty. Grandma and I have a lot in common so we don't get bored talking. At the Getty we talked about the paintings and how good the food was we ate, and how I shouldn't touch the paintings or the security guard would get mad at me. I love the Getty and it's fun and I hope I go again.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Make love on the grass and get ants and flowers stuck to your sweaty back
Drink river water
See the silver flash of a fish by the moonlight
Smell the moss and leaf rich air
Hear the birds, grasshoppers, frogs and owls
Feel the hand of God in the vast infinity of nighttime sky
Watch your children scream in laughter and tears on wooden steps and in wooden tree arms
Wash your babies shirt in a stream
Dry it lain flat and staked with heavy rocks
Swim naked and cold and dry in the hot goosebumps of sun
Dance to violins by firelight
Read poetry to the woods
Sleep in tangles of blankets on small beds pressed against your family
Return to intimacy
Be afraid of the dark again
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Sunday, June 19, 2011
Each artwork is carefully and beautifully mapped out in a series of steps that achieve this wonderful depth and luminosity. The images all evoke emotion, and the details ( look at the skirt gatherings and little hands above, for instance ) are exquisite.
Many of her works invoke a dreamy, timeless quality, and I think that she'd be brilliant as a children's book illustrator, don't you?
Friday, June 17, 2011
My first mistake was caving. The mistakes I made afterward are too numerous to ensure a correct count, but let us attempt to document them, you know, for shits and giggles.
1 I didn't eat before we left, instead consumed coffee, ensuring that my nerves would be even more high strung than usual.
2 While entering the wedding, I failed to communicate to my husband that I was entering a mental twilight zone, where rational thought and emotion was leaving me.
3 When Lola asked me Mom can I please take these earrings off they are killing my ears for the second time, while crying, I said no!, because everyone knows that special family occasions are the best time to ensure catastrophic meltdowns and make a point, because I didn't spend seven dollars after you whined at me (guiltyguiltyfeelings) so you could whine at me again until I cave and let you take them off the first ten minutes of the event. SO NO YOU CANNOT TAKE THEM OFF, MY WHINY UNGRATEFUL CHILD.
4 Continue to fail to inform my husband that my unexplainable panic was becoming epic and as the breast implanted skinny tanned drunken blonde chased after the even more terrifically drunk groomsman across the lawn of the event, I became convinced that I was a jiggly, enormous old looking mess, and promptly wanted. to. die. ( In my defense* I'm so hormonal since ee's birth. I cannot emphasize this enough. )
5 Panic further as I slowly realized that we were the only ones who brought our children. As in, THE ONLY ONES. Were we allowed to bring them? Yes. Did we RSVP for each individual family member. Yes. Did everyone have a secret memo saying Nah, I'm not bringing my kids either and never pass it to us: YES. The awkward/old/ugly panicky feeling became horrible. I broke out in a cold sweat, holding Ever, feeling enormous and clunky an MOTHERLY ( the irony! oh sweet irony, you stupid bitch. ) and was horrified to see
6 My eldest daughter SITTING ( the amount of capitals in this story is meant to inform you of my emotional state during this time, not to annoy the hell out of you ) in the middle of the throngs of people walking around, holding her head in her hands while almost crying, in silent protest of my refusal to let her take the damn earrings off. Next mistake
7 was becoming ENRAGED.
8 I grabbed her arm hard enough to hurt ( I can count on one hands the times I've done that. This was a really, really, really, really bad day for me. Sigh. ) and pulled her up, whispering in my best Mommy Dearest impersonation You better get it together right now. You are embarrassing me. If you do not stop pouting you will not watch TV all weekend. Her face crumpled even more. Oh my Lola.
9 I took her out front and stood, Ever in arms, making Lola stand behind me. I was so embarrassed at the entire situation, my own emotions and Lola's ( first time ) public meltdown
( I know you are thinking to yourself that some other people might have been having a public meltdown as well, and I KNOW THAT SOMEONE ELSE WAS BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS ADMITTING IT SO LETS BE NICE ) that I was literally afraid to talk to her, least I do something unforgivable like curse at her ( I've never) or slap her (never done that either). Maybe this wasn't a mistake, on second thought.
10 When my sweet husband sat next to me during the actual wedding twenty minutes later, I refused to talk to him about why I was being a total freak from outer space and sitting with what was, I'm sure, a really robot looking smile on my face and crazy black and white spinny wheels in my eyes. I was afraid I'd bawl. So instead of being glad he was so sweet and supportive and loving and delicious assed, I made things worse. Let's leave that there, where it belongs, HIDDEN FROM ALL HUMAN VIEW.
11 The entire bottom of my heel fell off.
12 We left.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
After ee was born, I was tremendously motivated to stay on the lower dose, but before I could even arrive home I was hit with a tsunami of panic, a humiliatingly aggressive anxiety that engulfed the darkness of my dreams before I could even open my eyes, and continued, picking up pace, relentless and grinding, all day. By the time my sweet husband came home I collapsed into his arms, sobbing. Back up. 100 mg. It took two weeks, but it worked, and I began to come out of the nightmare. I'd never experienced such abject terror after a birth. Depression, mild anxiety, yes. This was different, and considering that the cirumstances of ee's birth were the most supportive and loving of any of my baby homecomings, there was no circumstantial reason for this. Ever was a C-Section delivery, my first, and I have come to believe that the construction of a C-Section is what led to my chemical nightmare. My body didn't make milk for days. That alone is evidence of the powerful ways we tamper with the body's homeostasis when a surgery is necessary for childbirth- and mine was. We elected, last minute final decision, for the CS because ee had been flipping like a seal back and forth up and down the entire third trimester. We'd go in and find her head down, leave relieved, and a week later at the stress test find she had her hard little skull wedged neatly in my right rib cage's cupped skeletal hand. As she was born, I heard a rumbling that grew louder, and as I cried and kissed ee's little face I turned to my husband and asked What is it? He explained to me that ee had had what is called a 'true knot' in her cord. The nurse held it up for a picture, the slimy blue and purple thickened cord tied as a good sailor would, in a perfect bulbous knot, tight enough to stay the storm. It was lucky Ever lived, they said. I'll talk more about that when I do her birthing post.
The morphine and sedatives pumped into your body during a C-Section are incredibly omnipotent, cutting off all communications between your brain and your nerves. This is probably a precarious situation for someone with any issues of the brain, like anxiety. I say probably because I haven't researched any scientific studies- yet- I'm simply discussing my theory here. What I know is that immediately after the surgery, I felt the shadow of the first wave hit my face and bleed down, into my body. In the large, machine crowded room we stayed in afterward, the wave crested and slammed into me, rendering me almost mute. Are you OK, Mr. Curry kept asking me. I nodded. I wanted so badly to be OK. Sometimes wanting a thing enough can create it's existence. Not in this case. I went from bad to worse, and the first day home from the hospital I felt a horror and pain that I imagine is what people feel when someone they love very much dies. A muted, horrible disbelieving terror that erodes with stabs of pure adrenalin fear. My poor baby, I kept thinking, looking at my newborn girl. I was so sorry to be so faulty. I bathed her, I nursed her, I held her round the clock, but inside... There has to be a better way to do this, I thought after the worst had passed.
What a woman puts into her body while nursing is a serious thing, and all kinds of herbs or treatments that may otherwise be available are not when you are breastfeeding. But the placenta, a disgusting, verbotim and mightily powerful thing, is. When I read this post by The Feminist Breeder, it occurred to me that I might have missed the opportunity of a lifetime- to experience the babymoon of my darlings in good mental health. The more I read, the more I was convinced. Consider this:
Your own placenta, made into capsules, is incredibly nutritious and beneficial to you. Women who take their placenta capsules tend to have better postpartum experiences, avoid the baby blues, have an increase in energy, and an increase in milk production. Traditional Chinese Medicine has used placenta for centuries to treat issues such as fatigue and insufficient lactation, and scientific studies have bolstered the use of placenta for these conditions. Using the placenta for your postpartum recovery is a very easy and natural way to help you feel better after the birth. @placenta info
What is considered off the charts weird in American culture might be the way we can stock our bodies with the appropriate building blocks for post partum health. I felt and feel a profound sense of loss that I could not be emotionally and mentally present and intact in the months after ee's birth. While it is more comfortable, trendy and acceptable in modern life to take a pill than eat your guts (as I cannot help but think of it) I'd rather be happy than be acceptable.
What would you do?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
If I was web savvy, I'd like to make an old school idea storming bubble, with the central bubble being something like Our Successful Family and all of the offshoot bubblets being all of the ways that our family runs. Right now my bubbles would include: ( I'm including what we were doing before school got out )
Daddy makes dinnerMommy puts Ever Elizabeth to sleep at 7-7:30Lola homework 5pm, shower, dinner, no TV before 7pmFriday Night Family Night ( usually take- out and a movie we all watch- we used to play board and card games but since ee's birth we haven't )
Every other Wed. Lola has Girl Scouts
Dakota bass lessons Monday at 7pmMommy writes ( hours undefined, but I'd say 1 to 3 hours a day wherever schedule allows ) Lola practice math/reading/writing ( evening )
Saturday 'out' day, in afternoon we often run errands all together or go to park, bookstore, a family birthday party, etc.
Sunday lazy day ( which still means laundry, dishes and bills to be dealt with ) OR Sunday chore day THEN lazy day ( used to always be chore then lazy until ee birth )
Mommy's lunch break= picking up kids, making phone calls
Daddy bedtime 8-9pm ( wakes at 5:30am )Mommy bedtime either never get back up from nursing ee @7pm or around 10pm
Lola bedtime has been embarrassingly inconsistent since ee birth. Between 9-10pm.
Dakota walk dogs daily Lola feed cats daily Mr Curry picks up Ian every Friday
That's what I can think of. The challenges:
1 My schedule is ALL OVER THE PLACE. My work schedule changes every week. Some days I'm 7-1pm, some days 7-4pm, somedays 8-5pm. This week, for instance, I'm 7-1 today, 7-4 Thursday and 8-5 every other day.
2 Mr. Curry's schedule is almost as bad. His line of business has no 'hours' so he's off to work the same time but can come home anywhere between noon to fivepm, on average. Over the summer he can get home as late at six or sevenpm, and be working 12 and 13 hour days.
3 My writing output cannot slow. Now is the time to grab on tight and not let go, for me to make a living writing. I have great momentum going with various projects and some new offers on the horizon. I'm also trying desperately to finish my novel, Agitate My Heart.
4 There is no housecleaning or chore schedule/responsibility list anymore. This means it's done on the fly when someone thinks of it and can do it. This means our house is a mess most of the time. Of course, that's not the 'only' reason, the real reason is that obviously it's not a priority. But I want it to get done! Just not at the expense of my writing, or time with the family (where the kids are not moping or groaning) or sleep. Hahah!! I know. I'm funny.
5 I'm not getting enough one on one time with Lola. We talk in the car after school, we talk in bed at night for a half hour, we snuggle, we spend Friday Night Family Night and Saturday all day all together, but it's scattered, rushed, not focused, and often on Saturdays I spend the morning on the computer. I want to make better use of that time, which to be honest, has been hard because I've been mildly depressed since ee was born ( I always am after a baby ) and zoning on the computer makes the noise in my head stop. I also do get actual work done during that time, but I know I could cut the time down maybe in half, and use the leftover to be with Lola or to clean? Or get exercise?
6 There is no time ( in the thought bubbles above ) for extras that are still important, like organizing the massive amounts of paperwork that have to do with the kids and school, activities, insurance and etceteras or answering non essential emails or watering my poor plants.
7 I avoid doing chores and paperwork because it's so hard/stressful to do them with ee around. Mr. Curry and I, as I mentioned, aren't on the same schedules, so we arrive home at different times, and usually he gets home after I do right now, and is exhausted, and goes straight to making dinner. After dinner he watches ee so I can hurry up and write, and then I take her back and do bedtime with the girls while he eats and talks to Dakota or picks up a bit and then he's off to bed. There isn't much budge room for him taking ee so I can clean, and he's really exhausted and often doesn't clean up from making dinner, because he's holding ee!
Whew. So please, as I work on this, share ideas with me- what's worked in your family?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
photo aled lewis
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Amanda is a historical-fiction writer with a staggering intellect and ability to amass enormous amounts of information on a subject and turn it into thrilling literature. Her first bestselling book The Duchess of Devonshire was turned into the movie with Kiera Knightly, and you can read all about that and more at Mrs. Foreman's website.
Here's an wonderful article about her at The Independant
In another interview with Harper Collins, when asked about Georgiana- the Duchess she ended up writing a novel on, Mrs. Foreman replied:
′I was a graduate student at Oxford and had just started my doctorate on attitudes to race and colour in late 18th century London. As part of my research I was reading a biography of Charles Grey, who, as a young man, proposed the motion to abolish the slave trade. The biography also referred to his tragic love affair with Georgiana and quoted some of her letters to him. But the way the biographer referred to her, dismissing her as some inconsequential, rather sad figure, contrasted - and I felt wrongly - with the brilliance of her letters. And from then on I just kept thinking about her, convinced that someone was wrong, and that this woman whose words had so moved me had clearly been mistreated.
′I started to neglect my thesis to the extent that one day I realised that I′d spent six months reading about Georgiana and doing nothing on my doctorate at all! So I went to the authorities and threw myself on my knees and said please, please will you let me change my subject and write about her? Fortunately for me, they agreed.′
I love that she was a student at Oxford- immediately impressive. I love that she saw through the lens of history her own way, and I love that she had the balls to throw herself and her skills toward her passion not knowing if it would work out in the end.
In reading the interview with Vogue, I was impressed with her capacity for structured, organized and illuminated thought and creativity combined with a hunger for real love and close relationships. Many successful people find it extremely daunting- if not impossible, history shows- to balance enormous success and personal achievement with close family life, and Mrs. Foreman, by her account, is doing just that. I found her words about her children touching in addition to relating exactly on why she wanted and has a big family:
Foreman absorbed a feeling of profound isolation in her childhood..... For a long time, I felt incredibly lonely. It's just a part of who I am.... It's one reason Foreman offers up for wanting a large family. " I would have had six or seven or eight ( *if it weren't for a fractured pelvis during her last pregnancy ) I felt a need like my head was going to fall off if I couldn't have more, perhaps from feeling isolated and lonely inside. So I created an island, a peninsula. "
Her honesty here is moving to me, the vulnerability of revealing a deeply personal reason for wanting a big family, a reason I could echo myself. I created an island, a peninsula. Yes.
Mrs. Foreman's most recent accomplishment truly boggles my mind- a new novel, twelve years in the making, on no less than the ENTIRE CIVIL WAR. Read about A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War and say Holy shit! That is awesome! As a woman, Amanda Foreman makes me damn proud. Graduate, wife, mother, historian and writer, she is taking on her passions proudly and exceedingly well. CRUSH.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
She Never Got Over It
The Parenting Secret I Am No Longer Willing To Keep
There Is No Arguing With You
Snooki Makes Me Want To Off Myself
Also, I'm going to take Stacey's awesome idea and say that if you have a blog post you love and would like to be nominated, please email me and I will do so!! ( I just nominated myself. Sweet niblits I love to write! )
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I'm sitting outside holding a baby. At work. Preschool. It's hot, the sun is beautiful and glorious and radiating into the sleek arms and legs and faces of little children playing all around me. It's later in the afternoon, some children are tagging around the gate, subdued, waiting for Mom, Dad, Grandma. The leaves are lime green. Adult faces are sagging. Tired, but cheerful. I am present. I am happy. And then I see my son. My Dakota. My boy. My first baby, my singleton, the baby I had all alone to myself with no Daddy to have to share him with. This is the way I remember it, in my heart. I didn't have to share him. I slept with him against my heart and rib and breast and certainly it would be fair and true enough to say I have never quite put him down. Although he will be seventeen this month, over six feet, beautiful blue eyed blonde haired bright faced laughing son. I easily understand the crazy mother of literature who keeps her son living at home and sabotages his relationships, I am a few rock skips across the lake from her. Because he was my first love, and because I had no man to share him with, and because he saved my life. I cannot help that. It is the way it happened for us. I still have his preschool teacher's letter home that said he was the best and sweetest child she had ever had in her class. And it is a testament to my heart then that I thought Of course he is. My son at two years old said please and thank you and when going to do something he wasn't sure of, paused and looked at me to see if I would nod yes or no, and when it was no, he listened. My son at three years old waited patiently for me in stores because he understood and was able to carry out taking turns. He rescued lizards. He danced with me. He loved pink clothing and wore pink nailpolish until four years old. He loved Star Wars, legos, magnets, dinosaurs and Pokemon cards. He loved reading and being read to. He had an old soul. He made direct and constant eye contact when conversing. He woke in the middle of the night scared and said Momma I need you, and then when I held him told me, Momma I know you will always help me when I need you, no matter what. And I cried and held him tighter and when he was fifteen and making everyone around him hate his guts, I heard his little voice in my head saying this to me and I held him tighter.
So when I saw him on the playground, in my mind, the way he used to be, somehow it was the right moment with the right angle of the sun and the right drowsy openness of my heart and I was completely and totally stunned to realize I will never see that little boy again. Do you understand? I had to cover my mouth. I had to close my eyes. I saw his curls. His blonde waves and curls, his little sweet pinchy smiling face, completely open and trusting and tiny. His little hands always in my hands. His awkward shorts, always too big for his tiny waist. My son's chin. His enormous blue eyes. His little boy mouth and the way he smelled around his neck and in his hair and his armpits. His tiny butt on my lap, his arms around his neck, my boy. I held my hand to my face. I realized that when we love our children, as children, we are loving a completely temporary being. Like the stars in A Wrinkle In Time. We are loving little human beings who will never be there again. We are putting our hearts and souls into the beginning of a person. And then that little person runs away with their heart and pulls it straight out of our chest until our entrails are flying behind them wherever they go however far they go and we are never comfortable or fearless again in the same way. That little person is in the bigger people. But it's not the same person, it's not a fairy tale where they are always there, because they are not, they change like everything changes, only so brutally fast, and that small sparrow boy I put my entire heart and soul and guts into is a soon to be seventeen year old man-boy who will never again be my best friend going to the bookstore four times a week to sit perfectly happy and almost silently for hours with his Momma reading in Borders until we went home to eat and flop into bed together and snuggle up close until that little boy said Momma you breathe too LOUD and turn the other way but make sure his feet are still touching my feet and fall asleep and I would read until I fell asleep- that little person is a memory and a flicker in my son's sweet face.
I felt a deep and profound sense of loss that was the loss of my son baby boy but also the recognition of loss that is inherent in good parenting and then even more so the deeper pain of recognizing how for us human beings loss is the bell that rings in our ears our entire lives until it rings for us and then we cannot hear it.
I cried today because for the first time I really understood that my son is going to leave.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
I picked this bib from Alliecraftwhich has one of my favorite all time styles of black ink illustration filled in with color. I can wash it and it spot cleans pretty well. I'll probably purchase a few more and rotate them.
And then, my coworker and friend Cathy gave us this KitchenAid KHB100OB Hand Blender, Onyx Black!!! I feel like a huge dork for being so excited over a kitchen appliance but this thing is awesome. It's pretty to look at, very modern, and extremely efficient. (Cathy has scored a place in my heart forever, not because she bought us a blender haha but because she is wonderful with Ever every day at work- loving, sweet, as cuddly and patient and attentive to her as if she were her own Grandma. )
So now all that is left to do is make food! I'm steaming and blending this weekend, and hopefully Ever will dig it. ee and I have been makin out and snuggling and grinning at each other the whole time I wrote this post :) She says hi :)