There was a single blue line of crayon drawn across every wall in the house. What does it mean? I said. A pirate needs the sight of the sea, he said & then he pulled his eye patch down & turned and sailed away.
Someone stole my cell phone and my iPod nano out of my car today.
I went out to lunch with a friend and my car was parked right in front of the restaurant.
Now before you start asking "oh, well, was your car locked??"
No it wasn't.
I have a karma security system installed on all of my possessions. I've always figured that if someone wants to steal something of mine, fine. Well, today somebody decided to take me up on that.
We ate at a restaurant near campus so I am ignorantly assuming that it was a poor student who took my things. I think that whomever they are they should first bring back my stuff and then second turn around and march right back into kindergarten and pay attention to that whole part about BEING NICE.
There are many levels on which this incident just plain sucks but right now I am the most bummed about the fact that I had some really really cute photos of Ray on my phone.
To whomever you are, mystery thief, I hope Santa puts a big lump of coal in your stocking.
Sometimes when I need to relax and 'check out' for a few I just sit back and read what I've written. I love being able to do this. I can transport myself right back to that moment in time and relive it all over again.
I'm particularly fond of that last quote. It resonates so deeply with my life right now. Somedays I still find myself forcing things and just pushing and pushing. This quote reminds me to slow down and take it easy. Enjoy these moments.
Life's been a little too hectic lately. My german shepherd, Gretta attacked another one of our dogs and he had to be taken to the ER too. Now he's got drains and stitches and antibiotics, the whole kit and caboodle. That's two dogs within 2 weeks taken to the ER vet. Two fights I've had to break up and 2 dogs I've had to mend. The worst part is that now I am petrified. Gretta went after my lab Lucky again today and immediately I felt my adrenaline surge. My brother broke the fight up but I felt wiped out and weak after it was over. This last fight between her and Charlie took a lot out of me. I still have bad dreams about it.
There's been way too much adrenaline in my life lately.
I actually feel a little like there's too much electricity in my body, if that makes any sense.
The brightly shining star in all of this has been my brother. He's been staying with us for a couple of weeks and helping us out around the house. He's cut down all the dead trees on our property and helped trim back the good ones. He's also taken on the (ginormous) project of fixing the 'free' hot tub. I'm very happy to report that it is no longer leaking, there are bubbly bubbles and it's a nice steamy temperature of 105 degrees. I'm hoping the hot tub will counteract all of the adrenaline and stress and bring a little zen back into my life.
Just looking at it is already calming so I know it's bound to be a lifesaver.
There was an intriguing post over at superhero the other day. She was writing about labyrinths
and after I read the post I did a quick search and found 3 labyriths, right here in my backyard!
I'd like to take a day this week and go walk at least one of them.
I can't seem to pin anything down, make any progress. I feel like I'm wading through wet concrete. It's deeper than just my daily life, like spiritually I'm stuck. I'm feeling no greater purpose and I'm sure as hell not seeing any grande plan.
I feel like I need a jump start. A quick shock of inspiration.
I'm trying to narrow my focus, eliminate the riff raff, but I feel swamped.
I feel like I am treading water in a pool filled with receipts and little scraps of paper and every time I move my arms and kick my legs I get covered in these wet sticky bits. If I stop treading, the water calms, the pieces float on by, and slowly I sink to the bottom...
“This is the true joy in life, to be used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, to be thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap. To be a force of nature instead of a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am a member of a community and as a member it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can before I die. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
-George Bernard Shaw
and another great one from my brother:
"time is relative...
Time and space combine to form space-time, and everyone measures his or her own experience in it differently because the speed of light is the same for all observers. In other words, if all observers have to agree on the speed of light being 300,000 km per second, then they can't agree on the time it takes for other objects to travel relative to them." - Einstein's theory of relativity.
I hate it when all of my days start to blur together.
I really hate it when I start memorizing tv schedules.
Lately I find myself feeling frustrated and bored at the same time. When this used to happen I'd spend 2 days cleaning and rearranging my studio from top to bottom and as much as I would achingly love to do this, I'm afraid that is no longer possible.
I'm learning that a lot of the things I used to enjoy are just no longer possible. It's a tough pill to swallow. One of my biggest gripes these days is that I can't seem to finish anything. I've learned how to work on things piece by piece, each pause punctuated with breastfeeding, dishes, laundry, diapers and fussing, but I cannot for the life of me seem to finish anything.
On a brighter side, little Ray bear is truly a joy to be around. He giggles and babbles and keeps me entertained. I think that's where the root of my frustration comes from, not from the giggles and babbles, but from my ingrained definition of the word accomplishment.
Does a long day being a mom count as much as a long day working a job for someone else?
Mommy-ness doesn't pay those crisp green bills but in my opinion every one of it's rewards blow those little pieces of paper out of the water.
So why can't I convince myself that every day is an accomplishment in itself?
"My grandfather used to come home from work & he'd stomp twice on the porch with his big boots & he'd say, It's time to be afraid & we'd start screaming & my sister hid behind the piano & I'd hide in the hall closet that smelled like moth balls & it would get very quiet & then he would say, Now, it's time to be very afraid & then we'd start laughing & he'd drag us out, one under each arm, & give us toffee & chocolates & to this day whenever someone says it's time to be afraid, I scream for a little while like everybody else, but I'm really just waiting for the treats"
As you can imagine, life with 5 dogs can be hectic at times.
We have 2 females and 3 males; 4 black labs and 1 german shepherd.
Rain is never good (and it's been raining), our floors get trashed in two minutes flat. I already have to vacuum every other day to keep the hair under control and rain brings in the mud. Well, to add to the chaos our two females have started fighting.
Lucky is originally my dog. She is probably 8 years old by now. (I never really knew, she was a rescue.) She is a full breed English Black Lab. Shorter and stockier than her American counter-parts. Her size and shape comes from being bred to pull nets out of the ocean and up the beach. It's a long story (which you can read here) but I found her with a broken leg, had her all fixed up and she's been my girl ever since. We've been through a lot together and she truly is my best friend.
Gretta is a full breed German Shepherd. She is about 4 years old. Gretta was the last piece in a nasty divorce. Her previous owners couldn't decide who got to have her so they went to the vet to have her put to sleep. Luckily one of my husband's friends worked at that vet clinic and told them that no one was going to put her to sleep and took her home. She knew my husband had lots of land and called and asked him if he could take her. So she became dog number 3 for my husband. Gretta is a wonderful dog but we all agree that she may have a screw loose. She is very hyperactive and a little bit of a handful from time to time. When she is quiet and calm she is very loving and sweet.
So. for the past two months or so Gretta has started picking on Lucky. When she gets really excited, ever since I've known her, she would put Mick's (the skinny black lab mix) head in her mouth. I always imagined her saying "oh my god, oh my god, I'm. just. so. excited!" Well now she makes a bee-line for Lucky and starts "dominating" her. She bites her (not hard) and forces her to the ground where she stands on top of her and bites her some more.
In the beginning It scared me so bad to see this and I would break up the fight however I could. Which usually meant throwing rocks at Gretta. So for the past couple weeks I have been trying to ignore them and let them do their dominance thing and it seemed like Gretta had won and everything was fine.
I was walking back from the studio to the house when Gretta made a bee-line for Lucky. No big deal, I thought just ignore them. Well, this time Gretta was more aggressive than usual and Lucky started to cry. I yelled at her to stop but she wouldn't give it up so I ran inside and put the baby down. Ran back outside and Lucky was still crying only now Bob had joined in and had bit Lucky on the leg and was pulling on it. I lost it and started yelling at the two of them. As soon as I yelled at Bob he quit and backed away but Gretta wouldn't stop so I threw rocks at her again and as soon as she let go Lucky ran inside.
Based on the way Bob was acting I think he just got caught up in the moment and went a little too far but the fact that they wouldn't stop when she started crying worries me. What if I leave one day and come back to find her seriously hurt, or worse dead?
The final episode of Project Runway was last night followed by Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.
I finally stopped watching tv at 1am and went to bed grumpy and exhausted. Baby Ray and I had walked all over downtown FC putting up posters for my craft show. (by the way, I'm putting together a craft show) We were out for about 3 hours of straight walking (and he now weighs 16 lbs) I was pretty tired.
Anyway, back to my clothes.
I've never claimed to be a fashionista but I do remember a time when I thought of myself as fashionable. I used to sew my own clothes and I even owned 40 different pairs of shoes. Now I wear hand-me-downs and have 5 different colors of chuck taylors. I don't want to be uber-hip or trendy, I would just like to be able to wake up, go to my closet and have to choose what to wear, rather than stare blankly at my closet wishing an inspired thought would enter my brain.
I have been sewing some cute clothes lately but unfortunately they are not breast feeding friendly. I guess the trade off for getting my figure back is needing to worry about whether I can easily whip out my boob or not.
At the bottom of it all, I think being a momma has left me with this deep worry that now I look like a "mom". Which to me means tired, out of touch, and well, frumpy. Minivans and mom-jeans, you know? Or even Suburbans and soccer gear...
I know I need to change that view. My momma never looked like that, in fact I totally admire her sense of style. I guess I really just want some clothes that make me feel like a beautiful woman. Not like a college student, not like a little girl, not lazy or clueless, but something that would grace the pages of anthropologie.
I took a workshop last weekend at the artist's nook. The teacher, um... not so great. No offense, but she was very eager to talk about herself and her accomplishments. That's almost all she talked about. Not exactly as spiritual as the last workshop. Actually everyone left by 3:00 (headaches and long drives were to blame). So I had 2 hours all to myself to just make art. Now that was lovely.
not too sure about this one. made on a book cover with other book covers and spines. colors are good, just not a huge fan of the style of illustration.
antique and vintage book covers ad spines, protractor found taped inside the back cover of a vintage surveying book. handwritten notes. I'm not sure if this one is finished yet...
first collage finished. Love it. My favorite. Four thousand questions and answers. antique brass stencil, book covers and spines.
second collage. I love this one too. book parts and an old handwritten note found in a children's book. vintage sewing pattern
As most of you know I have a love hate relationship with the internet.
I love how I can find answers right when I have a question, I love how I can research and learn new things, I love being able to 'meet' and talk with new people. I love being able to browse through things that I'd never buy/be able to afford and honestly, sometimes, I do like how I can completely 'check out' when I'm surfing the net.
It reminds me of when my husband is watching 'the worlds worst videos mixed martial art cops' show.
"what do you want for dinner?"
"what do you want for dinner?"
"oh, you want fish? (he hates fish)
"....." (no answer)
"ok fish it is!"
(Ha hA! I actually played this one on him the other night and surprise surprise he actually liked the fish! )
Anyway my point was that sometimes real life is just so much better.
Lately my life has been so good that I haven't had the urge to be online, so I'm sorry about the lack of posts. Here's the skinny on the whats and whys:
~I'm planning a local craft fair for this holiday season. (If I can't find time to make things myself, maybe I can help others sell their things)
~I am actually selling more things locally than online (always a good feeling)
~We switched to cloth diapers. (yay no more stinky landfill waste)
~I'm landscaping and planning out my new garden area. (super excited about this one)
~I am a composter. (you wouldn't believe how much longer it takes to fill our trash can now)
~We now recycle. (same as above)
~And we actually own half of a dairy cow and are now drinking raw milk. (the most delicious thing ever)
Ooh.. That last one may be taboo but I did my research and this milk is cleaner and is tested more than regular grocery store milk. It still has all of it's healthy enzymes and probiotics (and because of this, my lactose-intolerant husband can drink it). It also has more vitamin C than a glass of orange juice, not to mention all of the vitamin D and calcium.
This dairy is awesome. Through them I also have access to handmade cheeses and of course anything else dairy (yogurt, creme, cottage cheese..) I also can get 100% grass fed beef and pork. I'm in hog heaven.
So anyway, last but not least, my brother is coming to visit soon and that always makes me happy. He's my best friend and I can't wait to see him.
Back when I was taking my prenatal yoga class, there was a core group of about 5 of us that were always there, others would come and go, but we were all due right around the same time. Well, now that we've all had our babies we still get together and hang out.
It's been fun watching the other babies grow and listening to everyone's ideas and concerns. I'm much more of a listener in those kinds of situations and that's probably ok because most of the time I feel like I think about things that most other people don't.
But if there ever was a moment for me to speak up and be heard I would want to tell everyone that I think we are all doing a wonderful job.
So many of the moms are worried about this and afraid to do that and I just sit back and think "Well, I'd never really thought to be concerned about that" I think I walk away each week feeling even better about the choices I make and the way we are 'raising' this little man. Life's too short to be worried about what your doctor said versus what her doctor said.
Maybe I'm too lax. But I'd rather be accused of being too laid back than being too uptight any day. Anyway, my point is that no matter how we are all raising our babies, we are all raising our babies and that is good enough.
I'm clearing out everything. Junk Envy will remain until the junk is all gone and then it will be no more. I have much more fun finding really really really cool stuff and keeping it rather than finding really cool stuff and trying to sell it. I hope you can understand.
There's going to be more woobie joobie swip swappery but not yet.
#3 Just think to yourself: "what would Jesus do?" & if you don't like the answer, try again with a slight variation: "what would Jesus do if he were in your shoes & had all those bills & he was used to all the perks of being an American, too? Would he do it any different?" & usually the answer is No. (magic religious 8 ball)
I find myself either spending time doing things or not doing things based on whether or not there's any profit involved. Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't be more successful if I followed my heart and did what I felt like doing regardless.
If only I could make money for all of the time I spend thinking about money.
The changing of the seasons always seems to bring about reflection and reevaluation. I like to take a personal inventory and do a little priority check. My big question lately is what am I meant to do? Other people just seem to know.
Lately, I have no idea.
I feel like I'm always going in a million directions, pulling and pushing this way and that. Giving up on this to accomplish that. I'm running four different etsy stores, selling things locally and somedays I wake up and I don't want to do any of it. I know why I do so many different things, so that I don't get bored, but maybe if I focused on just one or two things I might grow and evolve in whatever medium that might be. Then I could just let the others fade into the background.
I guess the only thing I know right now is that I love being a mom. I look forward to going to bed just because it means that I get to wake up the next morning, see that little boy's killer smile and do it all over again.
There are a few places that for me are completely saturated in personal history. I can't comfortably visit these towns without feeling somewhat oppressed by the memories.
I found myself in one of these towns yesterday. Baby Ray needed to change his stinky pants and momma needed a cupppa joe for the road. I debated stopping because there was (always is) a good chance that I could run into some people I don't necessarily want to see. But I was feeling particularly mature so I decided to stop. (I even imagined the pride I might feel introducing them to my son). Anyway, diaper changed, coffee bought and no chance encounter.
I felt for lack of a better word, proud.
I faced my fear and felt like I had finally made peace with this town.
Then I saw the police sirens flashing in my rearview mirror.
You no-good, piece of junk of a town.
Four points and $80 later I left feeling a little gypped.
My clock seems to be changing. I find myself getting sleepy before 10 pm. I actually don't mind going to sleep earlier. Sometimes I get so tired of watching tv that I would rather just go to bed. And a good thing about going to bed earlier means I naturally wake up earlier and then I don't feel like I'm wasting a chunk of my day sleeping. Ray bear just about slept through the night a few days ago. I fed him at about 11, when we went to bed and then I didn't feed him again until 5 am! Great for the beauty rest, not so great for the booby rest... (ha ha) But he didn't nap at all that day, so I think that had something to do with it.
Maybe I'm feeling more sleepy because I feel like I am carrying around some 'extra weight' these days.
Let me see if I can explain this.
Do you ever eat too much sugar or drink too much coffee and get all sorts of energy but then never do anything to burn it? And then you find yourself feeling more exhausted than if you had spent that energy actually doing something? Well I feel that way lately, only not so much with physical energy (although some yoga wouldn't hurt) but with mental energy. I haven't been doing enough mentally lately and it wears me out. Specifically, I haven't been doing enough creatively and I'm getting a little cranky... I'm hoping I can set up my new (borrowed) sewing machine tomorrow and make some stuff. I have so many new ideas. I'm looking forward to the fashion denver show (october 18th) I'm going to bring all sorts of clothes, bags, slips and jewelry. This will be the first time I try to sell my sewing stuff so wish me luck. So far I've had awesome luck online and I'm hoping that when people can see and feel the stuff in person it'll be even better. I'll try to post some pictures when I get some new stuff made.
I'll leave you with a small list of a few of my new favorite sites:
Today was the first day of Fall-like weather and I realized it was the perfect opportunity for him to wear the sweater I knitted him while I was pregnant. The only problem is that he's grown so big that it barely fits! The arms are still ok but the body of it is very short, sort of like a baby belly shirt. It is still pretty darn cute though.
Speaking of crafting, I found this new awesome website called ThreadBanger. They run web episodes, sort of like an online tv channel. Well, they were running a contest to win a new Janome sewing machine. The rules were that you had to submit a video plea for why you needed a new machine. They said the videos would be judged on creativity and originality and on your passion for sewing. So I made a video and submitted it just in the nick of time (due date was midnight and I got mine in at 11:57) They said that the winner would be announced today so I have been patiently waiting all week and THEY DID NOT ANNOUNCE IT!! I've been checking the site all day and nothing! Not even any mention of the contest. I'm sorta bummed. I feel like I put all of this time and thought into my entry and I have no idea who won.
And the reason I wanted to enter in the first place is because my piece of crap machine broke again and I'm in the middle of a huge sewing inspiration moment. Ugh.
Luckily my momma is letting me borrow her machine but man, it would be so nice to have a new, powerhouse of a machine, all my own. I've always gotten hand-me-down, sorta working machines. The type you spend more time fixing than sewing with.
Little Johnny is upstairs in his bedroom playing with his trains. His mom is downstairs making lunch. She yells up to Johnny to come eat lunch but he doesn't hear her so she walks upstairs towards his room but she stops short when she hears him saying:
"choo choo, the train pulls into the station" then she hears him say "All you sons of bitches who want to deboard the train get off and all you sons of bitches who want to board the train get on!"
His mom rushes into the room and says:
"Johnny! We do not speak like that in this house. You're going to have a time out!"
She tells him to sit in the corner for one hour. She goes back downstairs and about one hour later she comes back and says:
"Now Johnny did you learn your lesson?"
He says "yes ma'am"
"Ok" She says "You can come out of the corner"
Then little Johnny says "Can I play with my trains?"
"Yes, you may play with your trains" She says
So she leaves the room but waits outside the door to listen..
She hears him say "Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, if you would like to board the train please do so now and if you would like to deboard the train you may do that now and if you'd like to complain about the one hour delay talk to the bitch in the kitchen!"
I would see a beautiful book sitting on the shelf; it's blank pages calling to me, and I would buy it. I would succumb to this little voice over and over until I had a whole shelf of my own beautiful journals. But then I would feel guilty about having all of these journals and not writing (or drawing) in any of them. So I would carefully choose one and then loudly state that I WAS GOING TO START WRITING IN A JOURNAL.
I am a happy person (and I'm ok with that), but a few times in my life I have been in a negative place... There was a proverbial cloud over my head... A funk, if you will. And whenever I found myself in one of these spots I would decide to write in one of my journals.
I would take this gorgeous example of someone's handiwork and I would start filling it's pages with icky negative thoughts and feelings. The mood would pass, generally within a week; (although there was that one period that lasted on and off for about 5 years, but that's another story) and I'd never write in that journal again because every time I looked at it it reminded me of those negative feelings or that uncomfortable situation.
Then the next time around, I'd poison yet another of my little blank treasures.
Well, I stumbled across one of those journals today.
A large, sumptuous, handmade blue nepali-style journal with a wrap around cover. I had written in one tenth of this book yet ever since I did, I couldn't bear to look at it much less write in it. So you know what I did? Before I wasted a whole afternoon re-reading my mini saga, I tore all of those pages out! But that wasn't enough, while doing this I noticed how beautiful the binding itself was so I tore off the cover too! Then I found a lighter, went outside and burned all of those crappy pages. I can't even tell you how good it felt to watch the flames lick their edges and then eat away at my long lost feelings. I have too much good in this life to be carrying around anything negative.
So I'd like to welcome this new journal to the world.
I have figured out what is creating the feeling of unrest in my daily life.
hello. my name is whitney and i am a procrastinator.
Not only am I a procrastinator, but it seems my wonderful husband is also suffering from the same disease (of course he is, no other pair would be able to put up with each other's excuses rationale the way we do). Anyway we were talking in the park yesterday about moving and building our dream house when it hit me that the real reason our current house feels so unfinished is because it isn't finished.
We tackle every project with gusto, we work our tails off, until we get about 90% finished, and then we stop and leave the last 10% undone, secretly hoping that the little house project elf will come and finish it for us.
The back side of our house? unpainted.
The pile of stuff that needs to be put in storage? still sitting outside.
The siding on the front of the studio? maybe next weekend.
The riding lawn mower in the driveway? still broken.
The hot tub out back? still leaking.
The landscaping? at least dirt doesn't need watering.
The doorbell? let them knock.
We're two plastic flamingos and a couple of busted cement figurines away from being that house.
So our new game plan is to tackle as many tens as we can each weekend until they're all gone. Then and only then will we start a new project.
"People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even. But every so often I'll have, like, a moment, where just being myself in my life right where I am is, like, enough." -Angela Chase
"I had what Oprah calls an "a ha!" moment yesterday. I was considering hiring a personal organizer and wondering why my apartment was so unorganized when I realized my year had no cycle. I wasn't going back to school, and thus, I didn't have that pre-back-to-school organizing frenzy: that time of year when you stock up on Trapper Keepers, clean out your desk and closet and get ready to start a new year." (from etsy article)
That's it. I'm going back to school.
Step One: We're replacing the carpet in our bedroom with wood floors today. HooRay! Repeat after me "Down with carpet! Down with carpet!" I am not a carpet fan. Never have been, never will be. Especially with five dogs.
Step Two: Get rid of all of the junk we had to move out of our bedroom in order to lay down the floor.
Step Three: Continue along the de-junking path. Nothing is safe. Freecycle, Craigslist and eBay here I come!
But back to my scholastic desires...
I have always had a weakness for school supplies.
"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." (-tom hanks in you've got mail)
Ooh, I'd love a bouquet of pencils! And maybe a fresh new moleskin to go along with them!
Andrea wrote: "Shame can't survive when empathy is present," she told me. Something got rearranged in me when she said this. "Shame thrives in secrecy, it transforms in empathy."
I thought a lot about this statement and realized that that is why I blog. When I have a problem and I write it out and present it to the world it becomes more than my little problem. It allows me to step back and look at myself from a new perspective.
So my point in all of this is what makes that feeling of unfairness disappear?
Would writing about it help? I don't like talking about things as unfair, I generally think it just sounds like whining. So what do I do?
I'm wasting too much energy wishing things were different. How do you get to that place where it all makes sense?
Is life like snowboarding? (stay with me here) When things get difficult and you start falling down more does it just mean you are getting better?
Last weekend I spent a whole day away from home (and baby) at an awesome art workshop. I took a class taught by the very talented Lynn Perrella at the wonderful, new, Artist's Nook, right here in my backyard (no, not literally in my backyard, but wouldn't that be cool?).
Anyway, she is a very down to earth and approachable teacher. I love that. She makes you feel comfortable and safe. Which is an important thing when you're venturing into new artistic territories. We made these huge pieces of artwork and then at the end she abra-cadabra-d them into books. It's incredible. Just by turning it into a book, this large, sometimes hard to digest piece of art becomes a small, manageable and enjoyable, tactile, finished product. I love it.
My finished piece, large.
I like it, but wait until you see it as a book:
book cover (and small feet, I couldn't resist)
and the next
and the last
So? Whatd'ya think?
Now back to the title of this post, do I dare?
Do I dare to write this down?
Do I dare to say this out loud?
I want to be an artist.
They're only six little words.
But to me, they scream out loud.
Saying those words is like saying 'I want to be Santa Claus'. Other people think, 'uh.. ok, then be an artist'. But how? How do you become an artist? Where do you start? There's no business plan when it comes to making art. Is there?
So, when she was asked 'How do you make a piece of art?', Lynn Perrella said, 'You make one mark and then that mark will tell you where to make the next one and so on'.
Today we went to the bank. Grabbed a chai and a bagel at cafe´ ardour. Ran into Jerry's for some more gesso. Hightailed it back towards home and stopped at the post office to mail some packages. Took a nap. Read the new somerset magazine. Took some pictures for etsy. Went on a walk. Went on another walk. And took a nap again.
And I thought it was impossible to get anything done.
A lot of my energy lately has been spent planning ahead.
I've adopted this boyscout-be-prepared attitude and I'm really starting to get on my nerves.
For example, if I'm going to sit down on the couch to feed Ray, I make sure I have everything I might need right there next to me. Water? Check. Computer with power cord? Check. Telephone? Check. Two different types of pacifiers? Check. Burp cloth? Check. Pen and paper? Check. Food? Check.
I'm running out of table space...
And all of this just so I won't have to risk waking Ray after he's finished eating.
Lately, (ok, in the past day) I've started wondering what all I'm missing out on by playing it so safe. Babies are spontaneous. Babies are about living in the moment. Babies live for the now. So what if he wakes up. So what if he starts crying. There are more important moments out there, waiting to be had...
Me and the little man went on a long walk yesterday. We left the house early, while it was still cool outside and walked along a part of the bike trail that I had never been on. At one point there was this funny square of land with a tall chain link and barb wire fence all around it.
As we approached, I tried to figure out why it was fenced like it was, then I noticed that it had a gate and that it was open. It actually looked like the gate hadn't been locked in some time. While passing by I took one more glance inside the gate and I saw two big ears and two little eyes looking right back at me.
I stopped in my tracks and a small fawn hopped up to her feet. Her back leg was hurt badly, I think she had been hit by a car. She jumped up and ran into the back corner of the fenced area. I was concerned that maybe her leg was hurt very badly and that maybe she didn't know how to get out of the fence. In retrospect, I'm sure she knew how to get out, but at the time I thought maybe I should call animal control, I mean, she was so small.
So, I followed her into the fenced area to try and see how badly she was hurt. I didn't want to scare her any more than I already had so I stayed far away and walked very slowly. About 10 steps into the gated area another little fawn popped his head up! I like to imagine that he was her brother; looking out for her until her leg healed.
I stopped right where I was and just stood still and watched. The new little fawn was jumping around and puffing his chest out, being very protective, I didn't want to scare them any more so I just stayed still. The boy took one last bounce and then bolted out of the gate. Well, now I felt really bad. What if she couldn't get out and now her brother had left her too! So I very slowly started to walk around behind her while clicking my tongue. As I did this she moved closer and closer to the gate until AHA! She realized she could get out and ran after her brother.
It was the coolest.
These sweeties were only up to my thigh, they were still so small but their ears were so big! They had the most beautiful spots on their coats. I can't believe I was lucky enough to see one fawn up close much less two!
Our little walk reminded me of a story people story I had just read:
"She left pieces of her life behind her everywhere she went. It's easier to feel the sunlight without them, she said."
I think it is important in life to question things and lately I find myself questioning everything.
From the simple, daily, "wait, when did I feed him last? Is he really hungry again?" all the way to the existential "what is my purpose here and where am I going?"
Mostly though I've been questioning my relationships with people. I don't have very many friends. In high school, my last big social experience, I had tons of friends and lots of very different ones, but now that I'm older I find it really difficult to find people from my tribe.
Do you know what I mean?
Somedays I feel like I am bombarded by people who are specifically not from my tribe and I get exhausted. I like people in general, but many times I find myself wishing for a friend who just gets me.
I find myself revisiting people I know, just because I know them.
Because when I step back and look, they really aren't that nice to me...
For example, one such person insists on pointing out that I have gained weight and because I have "a little meat on my bones" the world is fair and just. Another is very gossipy and makes me wonder what she says about me behind my back. And another just makes me feel depressed because she is just plain mean.
I feel like I keep trying to find friends, but I have to admit, I don't really know how to make new friends at this stage in my life. In school, you were friends because you had a class together or lived near each other and then your list of friends grew because you were friends with their friends and so on. But now, what do I do? where do I look? Sometimes I worry that maybe I come off as something unattractive like snobby or stuck-up, but I think one of my people would see right through that...
But where are my people?
I'd like to post a want ad in the universal paper.
I like to remind myself of this when I'm feeling out of balance.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light , not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others will not feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I have a nagging problem and I don't know what to do about it.
Ray has been eating so much lately and when it gets to the point where I just fed him 10 minutes ago and he's already hungry again we feed him a bottle. In the beginning it was a bottle of pumped milk but lately he has been eating so often that I haven't even been able to pump so he gets formula. My problem is that I really don't like the idea of feeding him formula. I don't know why it bothers me so much but it does. My husband doesn't mind at all and of course, he likes being able to feed his son. He calls the formula "protein shakes" and for some reason that just pisses me off.
Every time he gets a bottle I think about all of the advantages of breast milk and I feel bad because for that moment, he's not getting any of them. Is that silly?
I know that a bottle may be necessary every now and then, and that it is even helpful at times but it's the formula part that is driving me crazy. I bought organic milk based formula, so I know that there are no GMO ingredients or growth hormones or pesticides, but still...
I think, in a small way, it makes me feel like a failure. Like, I can't feed my baby enough.
I did some reading last night and I didn't realize that my boobs always have milk in them. I thought that they had to fill up before he could eat again, I also read about how babies get milk the whole time they are sucking not just during letdown. The fat content in the milk is the only difference. So, according to the ask dr. sears site, I should feed him whenever he seems hungry, whether it be 2 minutes after the last feeding or 2 hours. And in order to increase and maintain my milk supply I should feed him at least every 2 hours and wake him up to do so if necessary.
That site is very much pro-breast feeding, so it is biased, but it warned against using bottles because they can send a message to the mother that she isn't making enough milk, which in turn does in fact affect her milk supply. They also warn that because it's so easy to give a bottle it's easy to start giving more and more bottles and less and less boob. I can see how that makes sense. Already in our house if the baby is crying and my husband can't figure out why, he gives him a bottle.
I want Ray to be big and strong but I feel like if he gets big and strong from my milk, then he'll be super healthy too. He'll be invincible! I worry that too much formula will create an unhealthy habit of overeating, or worse, cause him to gain too much weight too fast.
This breast feeding thing is so much more complicated then I had thought. Maybe I'm taking it all too seriously, but it seems important to me...