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Archive for May, 2010

beautiful words

I read this poem in my Mother’s Nature book, which I am enjoying more and more, and suggest you pick up for yourself if you also enjoy reading quotes, poems, and other inspirations from mothers and those writing about motherhood. The author is Andrea Alban Gosline, and I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting her here. (Andrea, if by some small chance you ever happen to read this and would like me to remove this, please just let me know and I’m happy to respect your wishes.)

Andrea is an author of inspirational parenting books as well as children’s books. You can read about her and her published works here. Unfortunately I can’t get her spacing and indention exactly right on this blogging platform, but I think the intention of the words is still carried out despite a slightly different form. Andrea writes:

Child’s call, fresh as sunrise,
deep as velvet dusk,
rings wild on wind’s chime.
Ten toes dig down
roots in red earth.
Bloom inside, fragile one.

I will not sleep
in this time of ten moons.
Touch me, I am native drum,
rhapsody in hollow cave

To child’s pace I slow
and build the feathered nest.
Skin pulls taut over soft, flat plains.
Steady trumpet vine,
I pose for the sun.
My dance is ripe,
your mystery fills the passage.

Exploring corners in my home,
I hear ancestral hum.
Between the wooden walls,
the web of life is spun.

Welcome to my feast.
I hold my family’s heart in mine
and toast the weaving of our souls.

Thank you, Andrea, for your beautiful words. I only hope I too can share this magical experience of pregnancy and motherhood, and write about it in a way half as beautiful as yours. Readers: is there a piece of writing that has struck you or inspired you during your journey into motherhood? If so, I’d love if you’d share!

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I am the first to admit that really all I know of the Chinese zodiac comes from the paper placemats set on the table of my favorite childhood Chinese Restaurant. I don’t put much stock in the monthly zodiac system, nor do I believe in this one. The idea that people who share a common birth month or, even harder for me to believe, a birth year have similar characteristics…well, I just don’t know about that.¬†But sometimes don’t you read a horoscope and it seems to fit?

I was born in the year of the dog, 1982. According to chinesezodiac.com, this means I am:

  • Loyal (yup)
  • Faithful (yup)
  • Honest (very much so)
  • Distrustful (can be)
  • Often guilty of telling white lies (nope — see above: honest)
  • Temperamental (got me)
  • Prone to mood swings (gulp)
  • Dogmatic (i’m trying to unlearn my dogma)
  • Sensitive (oh yeah!)
  • Excel in business but have trouble finding mates (sure, but it all worked out “in the end”)
  • Compatible with the tiger or horse

Yay! Hubby is a horse born in 1978. He is:

  • Energetic (sure)
  • Self-reliant (most definitely)
  • Money-wise (for sure)
  • A lover of traveling (yup) love (double yup) and intimacy (sure)
  • Great at seducing (this makes me lol…I think he’d say yes, at least! love you, hubby! tee hee)
  • Sharp-witted (oh yeah!)
  • Impatient (can be, yes)
  • Sometimes seen as a drifter (Not sure about that)
  • Compatible with the dog ([beams happily]) and the tiger

If we have a child in 2011, he or she will be born in the year of the rabbit! According to the Chinese zodiac, he or she will:

  • Enjoy being surrounded by family and friends
  • Be popular, compassionate, and sincere
  • Like to avoid conflict
  • Sometimes be seen as a pushover
  • Enjoy home and entertaining at home
  • Be compatible with a goat or pig

So I think we all have a little of each of these traits in us. That might be why it’s easy to read a list like this and think, “yes, that’s me! That’s me to a T!” Eh, no matter what, I find things like this interesting and amusing. And what do I know, anyway? Wait, don’t answer that! ūüôā

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Yesterday hubby and I had two crows flying around our balcony. One kept landing for really long periods of time on our balcony ledge, really close where we (and the happy cats) could clearly see his shiny black feathers. One of them even returned today.

I always used to think of the crow as a bad omen, so to dispel that myth from my head I looked them up in our Animal Speak book and saw some info on the crow in relation to the magic of creation. I then remembered that at our last spiritual retreat, my husband had been given the crow as his “totem” animal for the next six months, and I the (related) magpie. My curiosity piqued by the appearance of one of our totems, I decided to talk to one of our spiritual advisors about the crow to see if he had any additional insight into the appearance of the mysterious and surprisingly lovely bird.

My Dear Sister,

The Crow is an awesome totem to have when preparing the path for a spirit to enter this realm (having a baby).

Meet the Crow

The Crow is about life, death and rebirth. It is also about integrity and doing unto others as we would like them to do to us.   Crow teaches us to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws.  It is about bringing magic into our lives.   This animal teaches to us to appreciate the many dimensions both of reality and our selves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity.  There is magic wherever crows are.  They give us the message that there is magic alive in our life, in our world and this magic is ours to use and create a new world for ourselves.

I send you and [hubby’s name] lots of love, light and Crow energy.

Now I don’t put as much stock into the metaphysical properties of animals and natural objects as some, but obviously I am interested enough that I asked our advisor’s opinion in the first place (and to go to the type of spiritual retreat in which we pick totems for ourselves!). Mostly, I just believe we create our own symbolism and meaning for the things that happen in our lives, but that in many cases archetypal images and themes of interpretation have evolved over the centuries in a way that makes sense and imparts meaning. To me that means not necessarily that the crow has actual inherent spiritual qualities, but that I (and many others before and after me) can interpret the crow in a way that just seems to make sense. I know many people would disagree with reading meaning into a bird on a balcony, but I hope you can respect this way that I may be different from you. Thank you for doing that.

Another interesting tidbit I learned: a white crow was said to have watched over Apollo’s pregnant wife Coronis. Maybe I have a guardian?

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life inside of life

Yesterday I met one of my best friends for dinner. She and I have been friends since the summer before 8th grade, and she is now expecting her first child, a boy. She is the first of my closest friends to have a baby.

While sitting in the booth and after we had finished eating, the baby began to move. She graciously let me put my hand on her big, beautiful, 34-week belly, and I felt the baby kick or squirm or something to that effect. The baby would stop moving, and she would gently move her belly, and he would begin to move again.

It was so amazing it made me want to cry.

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nursery ideas

So we haven’t conceived yet (that we know of) but I like to think ahead and I lo-o-o-ve to browse Etsy. Put those two things together…and WA LAH! (How do you spell that very technical magician terminology, anyway?)¬†Some ideas for a future nursery are born!

I found the seller bomobob just the other day and love his colorful photo prints! I would like to have a gender neutral nursery in the future, one that inspires creativity and that can be used for future babies down the road. I can just picture any of these sets (perhaps matted and) framed on a colorful wall in a coordinating color. I see something like one of these sets serving as the inspiration springboard for the rest of  a nursery design. What do you think?

Of course I would like to reserve the right to change my mind at any time, as last week I was imagining an owl theme. ūüėČ

Large Bird Prints

Looking Up

Summer Fun Set

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We’re only on month two of this journey, but as the song goes…the waiting is the hardest part. ¬†I’ve been on birth control for ten years. First Depo Provera, then Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. My cycle regulation since going off has been…interesting.

First cycle off: 41 days
Second cycle off: 29 days
Third cycle: 21 days and counting (will it be early? late? not at all?)

I’ve noticed during this cycle that the hardest wait for me is the second half of the cycle, the part where I know I COULD be preggers. The first two weeks felt carefree, lighthearted, and fun. Now I find myself this week trying to fill my time (dance class last night, dance class tonight, workout class tomorrow, dinner with a friend on Thursday) trying to catapult myself as quickly and happily as possible into next week…into a period….or maybe not.

The weirdest part is not knowing my body and what the way I feel means. I actually feel like I’m about to get my period. Is it coming early? Did we totally miss my ovulation window thinking my cycle would be about the same length as last month when it will really be shorter?

But like I told hubby this morning, maybe what I’m feeling is just the need to go to the bathroom.

TMI, huh?

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Today was the first really hot day of Spring here in Atlanta — the first day when, in the car and despite its (however faltering) air conditioning, sweat ran in thick rivulets down my stomach from beneath my breasts, and my legs became as slick as if I had been dangling them into a pool.

Hubby and I ducked into the glorious, blasting cold of the interior of a Virginia Highland restaurant called¬†Everbody’s Pizza and settled into a booth. A few minutes later, looking out at the hot, sunny day as yet another server swung through the rear door to serve guests who were braving the patio, I said:

“It’s days like this I would kill for a cigarette.”

Hubby, when he smoked, always liked them in winter, bundled up in sweaters and exhaling warm smoke into cold night air. I preferred the smoking of summer, the smoking of margaritas, lounging poolside with a magazine, or driving around  town with the windows down and warm air blowing my hair all crazy like around my face.

I realized the other day that there hasn’t been a year since I was 18 that I haven’t had at least one cigarette. In college I smoked a pack a day at times after picking up the habit within just a couple months of arriving to school. I have since¬†vacillated in my commitment to quitting, sometimes smoking none for weeks or months at a time, but most of the time having at least a couple a week. Since hubby and I met I have smoked less than I have smoked in the last 10 years, but as athletic and otherwise health-conscious as he is, he also has enjoyed that guilty pleasure in his past, and we’ve been guilty of indulging together, however rarely.

Since the New Year I have only had half of one cigarette, when my best friend was in town visiting from where he teaches in South Korea, and hubby hasn’t had any. Since we decided to try to conceive at the end of February, neither of us have had any. I’m absolutely 110% committed to never, ever, ever smoking when I am pregnant or could be pregnant, and I also don’t want to be a mom who smokes after we have children. (No offense meant to any of you moms who do smoke…I love cigarettes, I just wish they were healthy for me! So I totally get the desire…)

But on days like these when the desire crosses my mind more than normal, I think about how much I am willing to change my life to create another. I can’t deny that it feels hard to slough off a lot of my selfishness, and let me tell you — all volunteerism, empathy, and generosity aside, my 20s have been a pretty selfish time. But really, to me it only seems right that we’re more focused inward, or even self centered, during that time in our lives…isn’t it when we are learning about ourselves and what makes us who we are? Of course many of us are more focused on ourselves…we’re finding them.

So it’s a hot sunny day in Georgia and I reach for my water, chew my gum, grab a book. And while I am absolutely looking forward to this new time of living my life and taking care of myself not only for me but also for others (hubby and future baby,¬†primarily) — ¬†I’ll admit it — it feels hard to give up living life for yourself.

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