Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not quite sure what to call this...

When I was a teenager, I always wore a lot of make up and thought a lot about what I was wearing even if it was just going to be the outfit I wore over my leotard for the drive to my ballet classes or rehearsals (which was always). Now, anyone who knew me then (probably just my immediate family at this point in terms of this blog's readership) may be feeling like reminding me that I was also weird... and wore weird stuff... like turquoise mascara with silver eyeliner... and rolled up all my jeans (which wasn't cool yet)... and clear plastic with silver glitter platforms... and as much hippie jewelry as I could get away with. But anyway...

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, in Texas ladies wear make up, and we mostly like it, and no one thinks it's weird. Around here, girls who wear make up (like, more than just clear mascara and tinted moisturizer) I think are usually labeled as one of the following: sorority girl, from Bellevue, from California, from Texas, or slutty. Maybe that's not fair, but come on... it's pretty true. When I first arrived here to dance at PNB, I got to keep up my Texan appearances. They wanted us to wear make up even though we were doing intense exercise all day. In fact, they'd comment when we all got tired and would often remind us that it mattered how we looked and maybe we needed to just wear a little more make up or put on some earrings. I never had trouble with that because, though I mostly HATE shopping, I do love shopping for lipstick and earrings and never felt fully dressed without both.

When I stopped dancing and started dating a short, somewhat grunge-styled boy (who I married), I did relax a little on my appearance. I definitely stopped wearing heels because of Brendan (and, yes, I miss it, but I feel like Bambi when I try to wear them now...), but the rest of my wardrobe became un-Texan just like I always wanted. I always had been kind of weird before, but it definitely increased. I swayed too far in the Seattle direction, though.

At this point, when I feel like I'm not interested in fitting any stylistic modes, I'm kind of sad because I've been dressing sort of bland for so long that whenever I wear something I really like, I feel really garish. Flashy people are ok, but when normal girl dresses flashy, everyone's thinking... umm... she needs a helper. I often say that I can't wait until I'm an old lady and have, I HOPE, truly gotten over giving a fig about what anyone thinks of my appearance and just will wear my costume jewelry, flashy clothing (I own a lot of sequins, people), pins, big earrings, big hair, sparkle lipgloss, and get back into my turquoise mascara and silver eyeliner. Then I can go back to Texas on vacation, and they can all wonder how that nice ballerina turned into such a weird, freaky, voodoo medicine (that means naturopathy) midwife... but maybe they'll want to know where I got my lipgloss and my hairspray.

This post is coming from the fact that the other day I got my new Mary Kay catalog in the mail from my Mary Kay man in Texas (see, things a lot of you didn't know about me). I've been feeling so hideous and drab since that miserable first trimester, and I often feel frustrated that I'm the only girl in my house (I grew up with a sister, and of course had tons of little ballerina sisters). So, I got out all my make up and potions, sat down with that catalog, and proceeded to do up my face like I used to when I was 17. It was SO fun. I even got out eye make up remover and did my eyes over again because I didn't like my eyeshadow combination the first time around. I also put on long earrings and picked a For Real outfit. I ALMOST wore platforms, but we had to go to a 3 year old party in a park on a chilly day; so, the shoes seemed a bit much. You know what? I FELT GREAT! I felt like I didn't look like death (or anemia at least) warmed over. I felt like I got to do an art project. I felt like I looked lovely.

I wondered why I don't just let Seattle think what they will; after all, I AM from Texas and I get flack for it all the time anyway even though I'm one of the most un-Texie Texans I've ever known ('cept for the Christian part!). I realize that my friends wear make up too, but I think it's pretty safe to say that very few of them have teal and sparkle-purple eyeshadows or ruby red lipgloss. It's happening people. I'm going to start being weird again. I'm just going to wear my hot pink shrugs and my green sparkle eyeliner.

Someone once passed on this fashion tip: When you're all done getting ready, quickly turn around to the mirror. Whatever your eye goes to first, take off.

Ummm... no thanks. I like that rhinestone costume jewelry pin... and the faux patent leather, school bus yellow flats... and the sequin tank top... and my maternity jeans... and my electric coral nail polish... and...

Well, maybe for starters I can just start wearing one flashy thing at a time. And just because I like it so much, I do want to start wearing make up again- like, more than just mascara and tinted moisturizer. You know, if I can manage to get myself and my two children clothed, shoed, fed, pottied, and on time... huh, maybe I'll just have a Make-up Day each month...

If I can get to it, what I really want to do is the pretty product review post I have in my head. But, I always wind up doing these weird public journal entries instead!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meadowlark Cards

Can't believe I haven't done this yet. (well, yes, I can... did you read my last post or what???)

I'm very happy to announce and lend my recommendation to Meadowlark Cards, a new crafty business belonging to my sister and her friend. Follow their blog for updates on the biz, and visit the etsy shop to purchase beautiful handmade cards! They have a lot of projects under their belts at this point and would love to talk with you about everything from wedding materials, baby announcements, and Father's Day cards (though, I suppose you're a little late for that for 2011!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My First Trimester

I realize that waiting until I'm 13 weeks pregnant to blab my business all over the internet seems very out of character for me. Of course, I have my good reasons, and I'll get to all that shortly. First, the happy announcement: I'm due to birth my next baby sometime around Christmas Day. (I am very serious about using a due "window" rather than "date" as I am, 2-for-2, late.) I am sorry if you didn't know yet, and we are friends. I told as many as I could in person and let it out on FB about a week ago.

I really have been a firm believer in celebrating a new life ASAP. Having had a pretty early miscarriage, I know that keeping it secret would NOT have made it easier for me or in any way less painful. That may be the case for some, so I try not to judge those who feel differently. However, I believe that most women keep their twelve week secret (through illness and all!) out of fear due to the taboo on miscarriage that our culture has sadly allowed.

So, why did I wait? Oh, that's a long answer, and all shall be revealed.

First, I'll share an interesting and somewhat disturbing discovery: announcing a third baby is EXTREMELY different than announcing the first or second, and the responses, I believe, reveal much about an individual's feelings and perspectives on children and parenting. No kidding. I have had some downright nasty sounding responses even from people I thought I knew well. "Oh my gosh, are you ok?" "Oh, no!" "Why in the world would you do that?" "But, you'll be done after this one." and the classic, "This was an accident, right?" Aside from all that, though, some people react with pure worry. These reactions are usually from people who've had difficult babies or a rough time with their own children, so I totally understand. Still, it's not really the response you want.

To be fair, my 2nd and 3rd children are going to be very close in age, 19 mos, (exactly how we wanted, for the most part). And, having a baby is difficult no matter what, but I can see how having 3 under 3.5 seems a little crazy. That's all fine. I know it's a little nuts, but I sort of crave those out-of-my-element situations that force me to trust God for my every breath and move. Not to mention the fact that every day as a parent of any number of children is an opportunity to believe what God, the Maker and Lover of those children, says about them rather than listen to the absolute lies of the world and even my own heart. According to the Bible, children are a blessing from the Lord, a heritage, a reward (PS 127). According to many on the planet, children are parasites sent only to suck your will to live OR are meant to be some chance to relive your own childhood and try to eke out some significance for your life. I will definitely, wholeheartedly agree that all the items in that last sentence are often true, and I don't think it's bad to admit that. HOWEVER, if you believe every day that children are a pain, then they will be just that: a BIG, FAT PAIN. If you believe every day that your children are your reason for living and that everything will be fine if only your kids turn out ok, then you are not safe. So, Rib and I have gone into this pregnancy like we're learning to go into every new heart-wrenching adventure in parenting (and love, and marriage, and life...) with the attitude that what God says is true and that if this is what he wants for our lives, then we will have everything we need to not just survive, but to learn and thrive.

Thankfully, we are surrounded by lovely friends and family who gave us the same genuine smiles, laughter, and "hoorays!" that came with our previous announcements. For you, dear ones, we are thankful! If we didn't have some good energy around us, it would be much harder to be brave!

I'll admit that having the surprise of negative feedback made me want to keep a bit more mum about our news. But my main reason, initially, was the fact that on the day my two pink lines showed up Brendan was preparing for his last day at Urbanspoon. We had decided a few weeks prior that Brendan would leave Urbanspoon, a secure, well-paying job and group of people that we love, to start from scratch as the only developer on a new project. I cannot say what it is, but I will say that after 2 months, I'm excited about the possibilities and slightly terrified at the same time. It is a risky move in that we are living on our savings to do it; but we feel good about it as Brendan has dreamed of this for a long time, and we have faith that a new job will crop up if we need it! Still, my heart leapt to my throat for more than one reason when my test was positive. I wanted to wait to spread the baby news, so that Brendan wouldn't get as many raised eyebrows. He was taking a big step already, and while I know that Brendan can handle a LOT at one time, I was afraid that he'd get a bunch of skepticism which would kill both his start-up and baby joy all in one swoop. I also didn't want his partner to worry that Brendan would be too distracted to do good work.

THEN, things got SO STINKIN' HARD! It makes me sad and tired to rehearse it all, so I'm going to give you the bullet points:
  • more nausea than the last two
  • anemia (I should type it like this: ANEMIA THAT DOES NOT RESPOND TO SUPPLEMENTS OR DIET! AGGHHH! I'M SO FAINT AND TIRED I CANNOT FUNCTION... ugghhh.... choke... gasp.... fizzle... out... to... depressed... nothingness...)
  • hypothyroidism
  • norovirus (times 4)
  • strep throat (twice)
  • Ivo sick for 2 months
  • me sick for 2 months
  • sick baby desperately nursing practically around the clock
  • hormonal craziness
  • near total loss of spiritual fortitude
  • a little bleeding
  • difficult to find heartbeat
  • husband having to be mommy, wife, AND start-upping husband. Oh, and Daddy.
  • introvert husband dying from overuse
  • extrovert wife suffering from humanity withdrawals
  • a plucky Ezra bouncing off the walls.
Ok, I do have to stop here to praise Primo. He has put up with so much dysfunction from his mother in the last couple months, and done so beautifully. He's been sweet, affectionate, helpful, and very patient (all in a going-on-3-years-old way, but I'll take it!!!)

You can see from that pathetic list that I'm worn out. It has been very difficult, and I've asked myself many times what business I have being pregnant. Good thing God has business with me being pregnant; I feel better when I think about it that way. Brendan's and my personality differences have been more obvious and challenging than ever, but we're talking, talking, talking through it all. Thankfully, things FINALLY took a turn over the weekend due to beginning iron/B12 injections, moving closer to a correct dose for my thyroid med, and leaving the 1st trimester behind. I've also been cutting back some on the nursing. Beginning last week (too late!), I finally started getting good at asking for help which did a lot for my mood.

So, there you have it: why I've been MIA. Totally legitimate! Meanwhile, I get to have another baby! Despite all this mess, I have, as usual, already fallen in love with my new baby who we call, very creatively, "New Baby" or sometimes Newbie. I'm very excited to give birth again, and I cannot wait to find out if it's a boy or girl. Ezra says it's a boy and that we shall name him "Bartells." Yeah, I don't think I'm going to use the name "Bartells;" we'll break it to him sometime soon.