29 June 2012

Weekend Links

I haven't done some good weekend reading links in a while. How about a few?

Great article about "networked moms" and the power they have in the elections.

Don't you just want to raid her closet? Kendi at Kendi Everyday

What, peach cupcakes? Why yes, thank you!

Have a great weekend filled with sunshine!

Always, EAA

25 June 2012

On writing for myself (and how it changed me)

Behind the scenes of this blog, I write for my self. Personal things I think about, private life happenings and the like. I originally created this blog as a way to lightheartedly share my life with those I cannot be physically close to. I hope some day my blog is read by those I don't know, sharing my life with them as well.

I try not to write too much about my feelings. I like to write on here about what I know, what is happening. If feelings spill over because of some subject matter I am writing about that particular day then I am ok with it.

For me, my personal time cuddled up with a journal and my thoughts is some of the best and cheapest therapy around. I treasure the alone time I spend writing. In the same light, I have found that writing on a blog about what I love to do also makes for good therapy. As I write about my actions, not just my thoughts, I realize how the life I lead on paper comes out in my day to day life. Some how writing down what I actually do makes light of the hopes and dreams I have privately written.

This makes me very happy. This was not the case for a long time.

I would be lying if I said I was always happy with my life. Sure, I liked it well enough, but it was not the life I saw inside myself. I was not true to my voice, my values or even my wants. I did things because I thought I was suppose to or it looked good on paper, summarizing that this is how life is. This is not to say I did not learn from these experiences or hate where my life was going, it was just not me.

I hid behind flowery words of what could be, what should be. I assumed, very wrongfully so, that what I didn't say was understood by others and myself. I did not take the time to evaluate my decisions. I did not share my real feelings. I thought "some day this will work out" or "something or someone will change eventually" or even worse "other people will some day realize my real feelings".  

Notice to my real self: This rarely, if ever happens. People don't change just because I think they can. Things don't always just work out perfectly, some things require hard decisions and lots of effort. People aren't mind readers, and I should not expect them to be.

These realizations came at a transitional period of my life. A new relationship, a lost relationship, a location changes, a new job and a new sense of self. My realizations fueled some wildfires in my life. They caused big changes, some I was not ready to deal with. Nevertheless, change can happen swiftly with little notice for preparation. This does not mean I am not in charge. In fact, taking charge immediately is the best thing I could do.

Taking charge is hard. Really hard some times. So hard that I still struggle with the courage to do so. Some days I can do it with ease and grace, others days I contemplate for hours.

For me, taking charge meant confrontation, something I used to dread. It meant telling people the truth, not in the pointing fingers way but an honesty that can be difficult for others to handle. While I am always sorry I have to hurt people's feelings, the build up of not saying what was on my mind, hurts me too.

Changing my attitude about life made me grow, but it can be painful. 

So here I am, changed and in charge. In charge of my feelings, sharing those feelings and not just expecting things to change eventually. I make changes as I go, making my life the way I envision it. Writing all my thoughts down still helps greatly, as does checking in with my real life.

Am I following what is in my heart? Am I being true to my values? Is this what I really want to say? Do my actions reflect my feelings? Is this what I want to do?

I still write about what I want life to look like, but the best part is living it just that way. As difficult as some choices have been in the last few years, I am exactly where I want to be.

Always, EAA

12 June 2012

Hello June!

Well that's swell. It is already June! Time flies.

Although my post have been slacking, this blog is not fading away. I have taken some much need rest and relaxation over the last few weeks. I am ready for more writing!

Aside from brief, but still dreadful morning sickness, my pregnancy is going wonderfully. We were able to see our little bundle of joy moving around in an ultrasound two weeks ago. We also know the sex of the baby, in case you are interested: It's a BOY! A beautiful baby boy. He is precious, has all the correct body parts in the correct places and even gave us a good show of the family jewels  I love him already. And he will always be my baby.

Can't you tell I am EXCITED?! 5  months seems like a LONG time to wait to meet him. I can't imagine how much pain or long nights might lie ahead, but it will all be worth it.  Being pregnant is a great joy and I am sure having children is an even bigger joy.

Only because I want to brag ever so slightly, we almost have his room put together. My husband found a dinosaur mobile and crib sheet (on clearance for that matter! because he is awesome and the best and the coolest and the greatest and shiz-niz- and stupendous and the cat's pajamas and the bees knees, and smart and funny and handsome, and wonderful and a chick magnet and awesome again (note to the note: my husband hijacked my blog and wrote that I swear!)) which has made the room look even more put together. We have a crib, a dresser and even a changing table. Half way there, now all we need is a baby!

Lately my reading list looks more like the how to section at the bookstore. I have several books for expecting and already mothers a like. I wanted to share some of the reading material I find help and others that just didn't cut it for me. As buyer of "motherly things" I like to have some extra advice into uncharted territory.

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff: Probably the Dr. Spock of our generation. Almost every mother I know whom has had children in the past 10 years has read this book (or at least has it lying around somewhere). I picked up a copy at a local used book store when I first found out I was expecting. I breezed through a few sections (i.e.-eat super healthy just increase your healthy food quantities and frequency) and found some alarming facts. Before I reached the point of no return with our fetus, it got a little scary. I started reading about a lot of conditions that are one in a million while I found myself asking my medical student husband some strange questions. I think I made him nervous. I decided this book is a great reference tool for specific questions or issues. Perhaps I have first time mom jitters but this book was not my favorite.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine: By far one of my favorite books so far. This book was a real pick me up as I started to feel run down, moody and huge. I was really glad to have a good laugh about pregnancy and feel like my best girlfriend was giving advice. I would rate this as a must read. Although it is not all informational in regards to you and your baby's health, it does make you realize how fun and exciting pregnancy is (and should be!). Highly recommended.

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating During Pregnancy by Allan Walker: Ok, I sound like a huge "health freak" when I say I read this kind of stuff, but I thought it would be helpful to have some idea of how much I should eat. Turns out no matter what, I eat what I want pretty much when I want (for instance I had a rice krispy bar at 9 am today). I am hungry ALL THE TIME. That is no exaggeration. My husband recently asked if I was hungry every hour, why yes I am! This book is a great reference for the kinds of foods you "should" be eating for your health and the baby's. There are some pretty simple and yummy recipes along with reasons for why you should be eating more of some foods, less of others. I read this shortly after my first trimester only to realize all hell breaks loose your second trimester when you want to eat EVERYTHING in sight. Overall a good book, just not the bible on pregnancy diet for me. 

You Having a Baby by Dr Mehmet/Roizen, Michael F Oz:I have seen the "You" series of books before (Thank you midday talk shows) and was curious when I saw this one at the library. I thought it was ok. Filled with a lot of science and technical information, a lot of the "why" to pregnancy, it had lot of information. Too much information for my liking. I know the general process of pregnancy (thank you student doctor husband) and the specifics are not something I need to know in detail. I have a great doctor, a knowledgeable husband and intuition to help me stay healthy. The book has some great drawings and charts that might be really helpful if you would like to see what is happening each day. I am glad I read it (most of it any how) but again, not my trusty companion. 

The Pregnancy Calendar at Alphamom.com: Hilarious. I love visiting this website for a quick peak at what is in store for me. Although it is just one woman's account and no two pregnancies are alike, it does make you feel like you aren't alone (good, I am not the only one who feels like a house!). I like that is done week by week so you don't have to read every single page in order to enjoy the calendar. I love the author's attitude and personality so this is a must read for me.  Highly recommended.

There are hundreds of books out there for pregnant mothers. What kinds do you (or did you) find that worked? Any faves? Any dislikes? 

Always. EAA