Comic relief

•April 9, 2009 • 6 Comments

Have I mentioned lately the particular genius that is Libby? She took these photos over Christmas break and still when I look at them I laugh until I can barely breath.

elzy

scout

georgia

daryl

To see mine you’ll have to go and check out my new fb profile pic.

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More process

•April 6, 2009 • 4 Comments

I finally joined another swap. It’s been over a year since I participated in one, and this one was irresistible. We’re all making winged charms with text, a la Deryn Mentock. I had started playing around with this technique right before the swap came up, so it seemed like providence. I’m not entirely happy with them yet, but I’m getting there. The proportions seem a little off to me. I got these beautiful amazonite stones in the mail today, along with some yellow turquoise that I can’t wait to use.

fairywings

I’ve also been having lots of fun figuring out how to make some fairly basic stuff with the sterling silver wire – twisted jump rings and such. I’ve started a necklace and a bracelet now that are both sitting unfinished. Almost all of these techniques require hammering and my very limited baby free time usually comes when she is sleeping, so progress is rather slow. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a finished product in mind! Process, right? These simple little sterling rings make me so darn happy, though.

rings

Process

•April 5, 2009 • 8 Comments

I got to collage yesterday with a lovely group of friends. We all agreed (again) that we need to do this more often. I spent Elzy’s nap time that morning cutting out this bird stencil (and complimentary mask) and another deer one. I think this might be my most favorite collage I’ve done yet, which is cool because, at the suggestion of a fellow collager, I was really trying to focus on process, not product.

bird

Wishes

•March 25, 2009 • 3 Comments

“Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth.”

Happy Birthday Daryl. Eleven never looked so beautiful.

daryl11

Stick that in your pipe

•March 24, 2009 • 3 Comments

“He wants to fly me to Kansas City for the day?” I ask, incredulously. There must be some mistake. I was sure this client had dropped me like a hot potato when he went to a big shot firm for guidance with his brand identity. I assumed that they had convinced him to go to an equally big shot ad agency who would transform him into a rock star overnight. Hot burning shame, the kind that makes my stomach do flip flops, coursed through me whenever I thought about the ideas I had presented to him for updating his Web site. Because I suck. Oh, and did I mention that I’m a fraud?

“Yeah, he wants to get together all the people that he trusts so that we can start hammering some of this out.” People that he trusts. ahem.

I’m freaking out. I don’t know whether to jump up and down excitedly or run screaming in the other direction. “Sounds good” I say.

Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit is what I’m thinking. I’m going on a business trip! Somebody else is paying not only for my time but for my airfare to fly to another city so that I can share my skills with them. If I had made a vision board in the last few years, this would have been on it. An airplane, a svelt, confident lady in a smart outfit and an Acme laptop bag filled with brilliant designs.

But what if I fuck it up? Oh my God, I think I might make myself sick.

“Isn’t there some part of you that feels like you deserve this, though?” Patrick asks. “Like, maybe that small spot on your left heal, and it’s down there saying ‘I’m here! and I know that you worked hard for this and you deserve it!'”

“If that voice is there, it’s awfully quiet.”

“You’re going to have to develop it then,” he says, “or you won’t be able to enjoy the plane ride.”

“I know,” I say. “Because I’ll be too busy throwing up in the bathroom, right?”

“Right.”

I go to my Tuesday night meeting and the topic is grandiose thinking and the satisfactions of remaining right-sized. I drink up the message greedily. I need this reminder. It’s not about design awards or getting recruited by an awesome design firm or even about the money. It’s not about me at all. I’m pretty sure it’s about clearing all that gunk away so that I can be a channel. It’s about being of service. When I think of it that way, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and I think I might even be able to enjoy it, because I have worked awful hard at this.

Now if I can only I hadn’t given away my breast pump…

My Body Rocks

•March 24, 2009 • 4 Comments

“We have some nice swimsuits, too. What are you, a size 8?”

I’m shopping by myself, no kids, at a discount store I just learned about from my friend Heather. It’s a cross between Goodwill and Marshall’s, only they crammed two stores worth of crap into half the square footage. It’s Oleoptene’s worst nightmare and a place I could easily spend an entire day in. It’s department store dumpster diving at its best and it’s making my head spin.

“Um, my size is kind of fluctuating right now. The pants I’m wearing are a size 2, though” I reply tentatively, knowing full well this girl doesn’t give a damn what size my pants are. But I care. I discovered this very morning that I could fit into these pants again, my first size 2 since Elzy was born. Wearing these pants I have felt sexy and slim all day. I may have even strutted a bit on my way to pick up Georgia from school (can you strut while pushing a stroller and holding the hand of a two year old?) Anyway, why should I care if the adolescent checkout girl mistakes me for being three sizes bigger than I am? It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last. But the internal chatter has already started up, telling me that I am just one of those people who looks frumpy or thick, even when I’m in a size 0.

Up until a couple of months ago I had this wonderful black mug that had “My Body Rocks” written on one side and “Birth” on the other. It was my favorite mug ever, until I dropped it in the sink and it broke. I loved this mug for its sentimental value as much as its message; Mara and I each bought one as a memento of our trip down to Austin to see the play Birth a few years ago. I was pregnant with Scout at the time, and pregnancy is a wonderful time to enjoy one’s body.

How can I even begin writing about how important this mug was to me?

“My body rocks.”

I want to reaffirm this fact as much as possible.

Even though I had been abstinent from an eating disorder for years when I got pregnant with Daryl back in 1997, that first pregnancy was when I learned to truly love and care for my own body. It was doing all this amazing work! And then to experience the labor and the birth? And breastfeeding? I truly felt like my body rocked. It didn’t hurt that I was able to bounce back pretty quickly after my first, second, and even my third pregnancies. I was one of those annoying people who was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes before the baby was eating solids (not that anyone was actually annoyed by this or even noticed because, remember, I’m one of those people who looks “thick” regardless.) But I knew, and for some reason that mattered.

Well, I’m not bouncing back as quickly after this last pregnancy. In part this is because my priorities have shifted. I’m not nearly as motivated as I once was to get to the gym, and believe it or not, that is a good thing. I haven’t felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin if I didn’t loose my pregnancy weight NOW, and I find so many other interesting things to fill my time with these days. Of course, my body has also now been through four pregnancies, and I’m rapidly approaching 40. Those things might also have something to do with the fact that I’m struggling with postpartum flab and skin that can’t be convinced to shrink back to non-elephantine proportions. I’m guessing that I will never look the same as I did a few years ago. But I seem to be straddling this middle ground where I don’t want to have to fit into a size 2 anymore (let’s face it, the pants I’m wearing today are a fluke) and yet I still kinda want to.

The winter issue of Brain, Child had an article titled The Mom Job that was all about this dilemma. We were driving to Sioux Falls when I read it. I read parts of the article aloud to Patrick, saving the more detailed sections for myself and finally skimming to the end to find out whether the author had the surgery or not. I related to the author so much – same size, same tummy issue, same obsession with removing the excess skin and flab from my abdomen (and I would add to that the fear that my breasts will all but disappear when Elzy is through with them). Now I know that Brain, Child isn’t a feminist publication and so I shouldn’t have been surprised that in the end the author got the tummy tuck, but damn it I was disappointed. I really really wanted her to come to terms with her body and be happy with it. I cried, I was so disappointed. It had brought up so many of my own fears and insecurities, so many of my hopes for myself as a woman and as a mother to girls and as a sexual partner to my husband because, let’s face it, there are things a woman just can’t do when she isn’t feeling sexy, and it’s incredibly difficult to feel sexy when your body doesn’t even remotely fit the mold of the ideal woman.

But there’s still a glimmer of that old spirit, that old “My Body Rocks” attitude. I never dared dream of such confidence in my early twenties, when my body actually did resemble that of the “ideal” woman, and yet that confidence saw me successfully through several pregnancies and most of my thirties. This is why I don’t believe that I have to live at the gym or get a “mommy job” in order to get it back. I really believe it’s an inside job. Which is what makes me so sad that my lovely mug is gone, because really can’t we all use a little affirmation in this department?

birthmug

Non–vanilla sex

•March 22, 2009 • 2 Comments

post is going to have to wait. I have a chance to connect with my husband and I’m gonna take it.