Archive for the Category »me, me, me «

Still here, still pregnant

We’ve hit the 28 week marker. Time has moved so slowly I thought that I’d never get here. And now it’s third trimester time. Did I hit the uncomfortable stage of things this soon last time? I don’t remember. I’m already having trouble breathing and eating – where’d all the space go? At my last appointment, I was measuring a week ahead already. That prompted my doctor to go ahead and schedule a c-section.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving gets in the way. And that means dates are limited, especially since I don’t want to go in on my other son’s birthday. I refuse to have two birthdays on the same day if I can avoid it.

So the doctor scheduled it the day after. Sigh. I don’t care about being in the hospital on Thanksgiving. I really don’t. But I am frustrated that I’m limited to two days just before then AND the doc chooses the 23rd. Why couldn’t he schedule it on the 24th and at least give us a day in between?

And don’t get me started on feeling like my choices have been taken away. My original due date was 11/29. But based on conception date, I know that’s early by at least 3 days. I didn’t get a chance to give him those details (and would he listen anyway?). Because of my gestational diabetes, he doesn’t want me to go to my due date. In fact, he apparently doesn’t want me to get too close to that since it’s possible my son will be big.

Let’s face it. i have a big family. I don’t think it has a lot to do with diabetes. We’re just big people. My other son was 9 lbs. 10 oz. My uncle was either 10 or 11 lbs. when he was born. Another uncle, other side of the family, was somewhere in the 6′ 6″ range as an adult. My hubby is 6′ 2″ See? Big people.

If I’m “lucky” I’ll go into labor on my own. But since the c-section is a week early and my last son was late, that’s not looking likely.

I was really angry and upset when I first got the news. Now I just feel resigned to it. The ultimate goal is a healthy baby and mommy, no matter how we get there. I just really hate feeling that my choices are limited. I was really hoping this pregnancy would be different. Instead we’re hearing the same tune just three years later.

And that’s part of why I’ve been avoiding much personal blogging. It all turns into angry rants or whining. And who really cares? It could be much worse. At least I’m not in the hospital on bed rest, unable to work or take care of my son.

One thing I’m dreading is caring for my older son while trying to recover from a c-section. Did I mention that he weighs 44 lbs.? Yeah, there will be no lifting him out of the crib in the mornings. Which is one reason why my husband is pushing to get him a toddler bed – one that he can crawl in & out of. (That still won’t help with diaper changes, though, which we do on our waist-high bed.)

I’m a mess. Have been the entire pregnancy. Worried about money. About how I’ll care for two kids at home by myself. How my older son will react to mommy’s attention going to the wee babe. How I’ll miss this wonderful time with my older son. We are such good buddies. Man, I love that little guy. But I don’t want to write a bunch of anxiety down, lest my younger son someday think he wasn’t wanted. He really is. So much so. But I haven’t done anything to prepare for his arrival — which is now ELEVEN weeks away thanks to the surgery — nor have I taken more than 2 weekly belly pics. Last time? Took a ton. This time? Not many. I wonder how I’ll give both of them adequate attention when I don’t even feel like I give ONE child enough attention (thanks to having to work so many dang hours – another story in itself).

See? Even I don’t want to listen to me anymore. Hence posts about anything or everything except my pregnancy. Or nothing at all.

I suppose I could write about how much I loathe both of my downstairs neighbors right now, BOTH of whom are doing remodeling. I hate it with a burning passion of a thousand fiery suns. Wouldn’t you think it would be, I don’t know, courteous to let your neighbors know that you’ll be starting some noisy remodeling? Especially those that you KNOW have small children? Yeah, none of that. I hate this place. Hence my looking for a 2 BR closer to hubby’s work. But those are way out of our price range. Actually, EVERYTHING is out of our price range. And I feel trapped. Another source of anxiety.

I really hope all of my stress doesn’t affect the wee babe, too much. But it probably has considering that it affects my eating and blood sugar numbers. See? Mommy fail AGAIN. I just want this to be over with so we can go visit my family and decompress for a month or so. Really hoping that helps. I need a break. I need to stop worrying about money, living quarters, my car that’s going to need a lot of work soon, working too hard for too little… I need something. I just wish I knew what it was.

30 Journals 30 Days

I’ve been reading Connie’s 30 Journals 30 Days series over at Dirty Footprints Studio. I have to tell you how much I have been loving the look into other peoples’ art journals. So much inspiration to be had!

Today is the day that others can join up in the project. We were asked to answer a few questions and link up. So here it goes!

How long have you been Art Journaling?

I’ve been doing this for about a year. It started when I took an e-course offered by Teresa McFayden. I had no idea what it was about, but it sounded fun. Soon I found other artists and techniques and I was hooked! I still have a long way to go in order to really find my own style. But I’m experimenting and playing — and I love it!

Journal of Interest

How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

I feel so much more creative since I started journaling. I look at things in a new light. I try to find a way to reuse papers and interesting bits of things I come across. I used to fill up journal after journal with just words. But I’m finding so much more fun when I put down a little color or some collage elements. So much more interesting than just a page filled with scribbles.

Journal of Interest - more inspiration

What are some of your favorite Art Journaling materials to use?

Still learning here, too. Definitely use a lot of craft paints, but I really want to move up to Golden. The paints I’ve been using don’t do well with most of the pens I want to use. I like watercolors, all kinds of papers (right now I mostly have scrapbook paper that I tear up & use), rub ons, and lots of found elements. One of my favorites right now is a big Bloomies ad that came in the mail. I’m gessoing over the pages and using them as my base for a completely different book and look. I love it. Also? Water-based paint Sharpies. I can’t believe they discontinued – so great for writing!

I started with Liquitex clear gesso but have moved to Golden gesso. I love it so much better – it’s way smoother than the Liquitex and much easier to apply elements over.

I want to eventually try nicer paints and some Pan Pastels – I hear such great things about them!

Remains of the Day journal

Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?

I discover new ones nearly every day! But so far:

Teresa McFayden
Teesha Moore (I love her YouTube videos – so helpful!)
Sabrina Ward Harrison
Pam Garrison
Judy Wise
Diana Trout
Mary Ann Moss
and there are so many more on YouTube with terrific videos that I love!

Swirls

What kind of words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?

Well, I still feel like a newbie myself. Keep looking around for inspiration. If you hate a page you made, let it sit for a while and come back to it. I had a page where I played with watercolor crayons. I loved the colors, but hated the shapes and designs I made. It sat & stared at me for days. I finally just turned the page away to start on something else. I’ll come back to it later and see what I want to do with it. You can always cover something up. Or tear it out and use pieces of it in another work. Just keep plugging away.

Remains of the Day journal

Where can we contact you… give us some link LOVE!!

I blog at misspriss.org – I’m working on taking pics of my work and featuring more of it there. I have posted in the past on my Flickr page (but not recently – I need to get back to that!).

Videos:

My Scrappy Journal from Becky S. on Vimeo.

Short Bio.

I’m a writer and editor and have been blogging since about 2003. I live in San Diego with my husband and son (soon to be two sons!). I’ve written journals as long as I can remember, but never considered myself an artist. Only recently have I learned to love combining images and words – and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner! I’m still a bit of a dabbler, but am trying to incorporate more art and creativity in my everyday life.

The boy & me

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31DBBB: Elevator pitch

I’m participating in the SITS community 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge. We’re working our way through Problogger Darren Rowse’s workbook of the same name.

Our first day’s challenge is to create an elevator pitch for our blog. I always stumble when someone asks me what my blog is about. Because, well, it’s about me. And my family. And whatever flights of fancy filter through my head.

How do you pitch that to readers? Or advertisers?

I’m a mom.

A writer.

A wife.

A woman.

As I try to balance all of those things, I’m still figuring out where the old me fits in with the new (mommy) me. So maybe that’s what this blog is about.

You see, I once thought I knew who I was, but that’s gotten lost in the diaper shuffle. Or maybe it got left under the dirty clothes. I might have left it under my desk since I work from home and don’t see a lot of adults at this point in time. Occasionally, but not that often. If it weren’t for Facebook and Twitter (and managing to get together in person with friends from there once in a while), I’m not sure if I’d have any adult interaction aside from hubby. And that’s a lot to ask of him. Can you imagine having to be someone’s all? Their everything? That’s quite a burden.

Maybe I should talk about that struggle a little more. Instead I keep it inside. I don’t know why. I’m sure so many moms can relate. For now, I think that’s going to be my elevator pitch. It may change later.

I’m a writer who’s trying to balance work and motherhood, while figuring out who I am beyond mommy.

What’s yours?

Oops, I did it again.

I’ve had several people ask me if I’m okay after that last post. I am, really. I was just having a super-craptastic day and needed to write something. Maudlin, much?

Of course, there could be a tiny reason why I’m a bit easily pushed down into the depths, thinking the world just might end.

And it may have just a wee, teeny bit to do with hormones.

Lots

and

lots

of

hormones.

Oops, we did it again.

It has been really tough not talking about this. I have been so very sick, averse to a lot of foods and just plain miserable. And happy. But oh how I wanted to share my woes over feeling so sick that I have been taking a nap almost every day at the same time as my son.

Or how utterly exhausted I have been. All. The. Time.

Or how my husband is thinking about banning me from drinking merlot ever again. (But that’s a different story.)

Last week, about Thursday or Friday my belly POPPED. It’s a little hard to hide the news now. And Friday night, I went to Mamafest here in San Diego and ran into a bunch of ladies I knew. During the course of conversations, the news slipped. Oops.

That’s really okay, though. I’d already had my first appointment, seen that tiny little being, and heard a heartbeat. It’s real.

Oh boy. I’m going to be a mom to two littles, exactly 3 years apart. And I do mean exactly as this wee one is due a week after his/her brother’s birthday.

We’re calling this baby 3.0, because the boy was jokingly referred to as 2.0 on our shower cake last time AND this kid will be the third. So there you go.

The holidays are going to be busy this year, y’all. I can’t wait.

I changed my mind. This is what I want for Mother’s Day.

Okay, so it wasn’t too many days ago I said I want a gift card for Mother’s Day. But after browsing through my reader I actually saw something else I really, really want.

I haven’t been into creating my own art for too long. Well, not on paper with paint, brushes, glue and messes. Photography, yes. Other art? No. And even though I don’t have a lot of time to work on my art journals these days, it still calls to me. So much so that I’m going to have to make time to get my hands dirty really soon. It speaks to a deep part of me that I didn’t realize needed its own form of expression.

Several months ago, I bought a book called Taking Flight: Inspiration & Techniques to give your Creative spirit wings by Kelly Rae Roberts. Before picking up this book, I was not at all familiar with her art. But it wasn’t her art that drew me in. It was the content of her book. At that time, at that moment when I started reading her book, I needed inspiration and encouragement. I needed to hear how we all find our place (in art) with experimentation. There’s no room for perfection, but there’s plenty of room for play.

I tend to get frustrated with myself because I see the amazing things other incredible art journalers are doing and I really wish I could do that, too. I want to be inspired by them and learn new ways to do things, not to be intimidated into thinking that I’ll never make anything interesting.

And then I remembered that I’m not making any of this for anyone else but me. Would I love to do this and someday have people want to see it and enjoy it? Yes. But not yet.

There is that someday, though. How would I do it if I wanted to get my art out there and maybe even make money with it at some point? How in the world do you get started?

Kelly Rae is giving a class just like that. It’s called Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks to Help Your Creative Business Soar . And I admit it. I want to take it. Who knows if she’ll even offer it again. There’s something about her tone in her writing that I really enjoy. I think I’d learn a lot from her.

Alas, the $99 price tag is nowhere in our budget right now. So while I’d love for this to be my Mother’s Day gift, it isn’t going to happen. But maybe one of you out there will get a chance to take it and I can live vicariously though you.

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Holy earthquake, Batman!

earthquake map 4.4.10If there’s one thing I will never get used to living here in Southern California, it’s earthquakes. Big or small, they freak me out. Today was no exception.

Or maybe it was, because this was no small thing. And it definitely freaked me out more than previous shakers. A lot more.

The unpredictability of earthquakes is what gets me. The ground starts shaking. Then it shakes a little more. And more. Is it going to keep shaking? Is it going to get a lot worse? Is my apartment going to fall down around me? How do I protect my son?

All of us were in bed, trying to take a nap. I was just starting to doze off when I felt the bed moving. It felt like someone was standing next to it & bumping it, trying to wake me up. But it kept shaking. Then it got a little harder. “Earthquake!” I said, and my husband woke up, too. It kept shaking, getting a bit harder. “Should we get in the doorway?” “Yeah, I think so.”

I grabbed my son & headed into the little hallway just outside our bedroom. Hubby went out into the living room. Things were STILL shaking. At that point, I was dizzy & couldn’t tell if it was me or if the building was still moving.

It finally stopped.

We decided to get dressed & get out of the house in case something bigger came along. We opened the front door & could hear neighbors downstairs, talking about the shaking. Our next door neighbor opened his door about the same time we did, checking in on us as we asked him how they were.

Just some shaking, a few things fell off of shelves and high places. Not so bad. No major damage that we can tell. Possibly some cracks, but this place is already so cracked who can tell?

First thing after the shaking, when I was sure we were all okay and things had stopped moving? I hit Twitter. Of course. So did a ton of other people in San Diego & So Cal. News gets around so fast.

Later, in the car, I posted a Facebook update as well, so friends would know that we felt it but things were ok. I didn’t stop being jumpy, though, for at least another hour or two.

Maybe it was waking up from a nap. You’re disoriented and it takes a moment to realize what’s happening. Or maybe it was because this really was the strongest and longest quake I can remember since I’ve lived in Cali (that’s going on 16 years, BTW).

I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. It could have been so much worse.

(thinking of those in Mexicali who did actually have it worse. and Haiti, where it was unspeakable.)

Photo: USGS

A St. Patrick’s Day Blessing

One of my favorite all-time Irish blessings goes like this:

May those who love us,
love us;
and those who don’t love us,
may God turn their hearts;
and if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
may he turn their ankles
so we’ll know them by their limping.

I hope you have a blessed St. Patrick’s Day.

I, for one, am so grateful to my ancestors who came to the US during the potato famine to forge a new life. Their hardships and trials made way for great opportunities for me and my children. I only hope I can be as brave and strong in order to pave the way for even better lives for my future lineage.

This is why I love the internets

Gratitude

“It’s really not all that bad.” That’s what I — and my husband — keep telling myself. I love the time I spend with my son, even as I feel guilty that it’s not enough… or especially not enough quality over quantity.

But then I lie in bed in the morning, after my son is up and we’re both snuggled up watching a cartoon or two, and I realize how good I have it. There’s no rushing around in the morning to get him to daycare and me to work. I doze a little while he plays with his cars and sips his milk. I smile as he runs his cars all over my head and shoulders, making these new little “vroom vroom” noises.

And I realize all of this, even as we’re terribly short on money, when I am able to get out of my own head. That’s not easy when you work from home and don’t really get out much. And yet, the internet helps me there, too. I chat with people on twitter when I take breaks. I read blogs and get to see how my internet friends are doing.

I’ve even made new local friends. That’s probably the biggest thing that the ‘net has brought me. As I think I’ve mentioned before, several of my closest friends have moved in the last few years. Since I don’t work outside the home any longer, it has been much harder to find new people to hang out with. But then I went to a couple of events that I found out about on Twitter. And I started meeting other moms.

From there, I found out about events through sdGNO (San Diego Girl’s Night Out) and sdIRL (San Diego In Real Life). And wouldn’t you know it? I have made a bunch of new friends and connected with some old ones, too. (Of course, that totally doesn’t include everyone, but you can see lists of people I’ve met via some twitter lists.)

Just getting to hang out with many cool people, get our kids together for playdates, and get out of the darn house has been making a big difference for me. It’s slowly getting better, the more I push myself to go do cool things.

As long as I can keep reminding myself not to think to hard about all that I’m not doing and not getting accomplished — and concentrate on the good — I think it’ll be okay.

Nah, I’m sure of it.

I’d also like to thank the kind person who nominated me for a “Best in Lifestyle” award from the San Diego Social Media Awards (#influenceSD). I absolutely wasn’t expecting it and no matter where I wind up, I’m honored to be in a group with so many of my friends. (PS – you can vote for me here, if you are so inclined.)

My reality

Recently, it feels like I am such a failure at everything. And when you feel that way, it is so hard to write about it. Since that’s all I’ve been talking about lately anyway, it gets pretty old. And if it’s bugging me, it certainly must not be fun for you to read about.

And yet… it is my reality. All I see are the things I haven’t done. Projects I haven’t finished, things I have failed my son and husband in, my messy house, a stack of books I haven’t read, filing and laundry and dishes to be done…

I used to be (and feel) so organized. I was on top of everything most of the time. And now, if it weren’t for automatic billpay, we’d probably be without living quarters or utilities. I just can’t seem to get it together.

It’s hard to admit. Hence, the ongoing silence. What do I say without sounding like I’m just whining? AGAIN? It’s still my reality right now. All I see right now as I look around is everything I haven’t done yet. Every misstep. Every failure.

When I get there

I used to think I would die young. I’m not sure why those thoughts were in my head. I just didn’t foresee a future of me getting old. But now, I do hope I get old so I can see my son grow up. Have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Watching my aunt pass away and seeing all of the people gathered around her to help in the end made me realize how much I want to be surrounded by family. Lots and lots of family.

And yet, even if I grow old and everyone’s gone except me, the kids are too busy with their lives & their own kids to visit, I will hold these times close. I will wrap the memory of these days around me like a soft, familiar blanket. I will comfort myself with the remembered feel of my sons arms around my neck as he climbs down from his high chair, pausing at the end to just stand there and hug me. I will store up these times and treasure them.

He’s small now, but he won’t be for long. I want to treasure the big things. The little things. The ordinary, everyday things. Things to keep me warm with rosy memories in my old age. When I get there. I do plan to get there.