Mamas Gonna Mom

2.24.2015

It's still happening... I'm moving farther and farther away from the stubborn "I'll never give up acting for motherhood" mentality and inching closer and closer to "taking a break isn't the end of the damn world."

I've been going to my acting classes, but they're getting harder and harder. We start at 7pm and end at 11pm... okay 11:30 if I'm being honest and that ish is for the birds. I'm the narcoleptic momma. My naps need naps and staying up to think of the moods a room can exude and then "reflect" that mood with my body just isn't working. Yes, that was our latest class assignment. I don't got the chops for it right now.

I missed the Oscars because of class and had to watch a recording the next day. I didn't tear up once. I didn't even dream of my own Oscar speech I've had down pat since I was four years old. Things, they are a'changin!

At first this bothered me. I had nightmares the night after my last class...just thinking of my dream and the grasp I'm losing on it. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to give up acting. I'll NEVER give it up, but right now all I can think of is playing with my baby and spending time with her and watching her grow and be. Leaving her just sounds dumb. I don't wanna do it.

And then I read a quote Zoe Saldana said when someone asked her about taking a break from Hollywood to be with her twins:

"They don't have a choice! I'm not going to rip my child off my tit to go work. And if I do that, then maybe you shouldn't hire me because I am willing to sell anything," she says, laughing."

Somewhere harps started strumming and I fell in love with the woman. Okay, I loved her before, but the shit got real after she said that. Yes, the woman is WAY more established than me when it comes to Hollywood so homegirl can afford to take off and come back with ease, but that's not the point. The point is haters gonna hate; mamas gonna mom. I'm gonna mom!

I'm still flabbergasted that I'm morphing. I mean I didn't think I'd be this deadbeat mama who resented her kid and was off dilly dallying with Hollywood while her child chilled at home, BUT I certainly didn't see myself welcoming a pause.

So yeah... I've discussed this a lot with Mark and the best friend and everyone's pretty cool and chill about it. I'm the only surprised one.

Thank you Ms Saldana for your validating, strong voice and thank you child in my belly for being so groovy. She makes this decision so easy. I mean she sticks out her little booty when she sleeps and lets me tap it delicately while saying, "Tap that ass, tap that ass," and then I sing inappropriate rap lyrics to her...this kid and I are gonna have fun man.



Pre-Audition bump shot. I'm finally getting auditions for pregnant chick...eight months in. Sad I didn't get to milk that ish sooner. 

31 Weeks | A Coconut Tale

2.09.2015


A writer I have most certainly not been, but as I inch closer to the big pop I find myself wanting to document more of this fleeting stage of my life. Pregnancy has been such a magical time. I love it that it lasts nine months because some days I know my butt isn't ready and I need more time to marinate over the parent I wish to be; some days I need to work on my confidence with knowing I'll be able to handle the lack of sleep...the instinct will kick in like I've seen it kick in for countless mothers I've been privileged to know and I'll be okay. I'll do okay.

We've been working on the nursery and it's coming along. I freak about practical placements in a weird way... am I creating the proper spaces to make her room functional...these aren't things I ever thought would consume me, but thankfully I have a partner who is equally down for getting that ish right. We spend weekends at furniture stores...on design web sites...watching YouTubes to figure out how to store ish. This is my life now. I've had some weeks to get used to this idea. I don't know when it happened, but I basically morphed into this completely different person. 

I'm not really hung up on the pains of my past. I don't worry about the superficial... I rarely, truly think of myself actually. I'm consumed with her. I got a really bad plague of something awful and I swear I'd wake out of deep, hard sleeps to feed her (even though I wasn't hungry in the least) to make sure she was getting what she needed. The amount of focus to making sure she's okay... it makes me wanna cry actually. 

Last week I had a dream that like the fellow in About Time I could travel back in time, but I went back too far and changed my pregnancy. I was no longer having Ziggy (it was another baby) and I woke up choking back tears. I've already bonded to her without even knowing her physical self. I don't know how, but I sense her little personality and spirit. I feel it.

My heart is full...so very full and I can not WAIT to meet this little one who is currently wiggling inside of me; happy with the hummus I've been scooping into my mouth in large quantities. She dances when fed like her mama. It's funny the traits you pass along...




She's the size of a coconut this week. 

Netflix, I'm in Love

1.23.2015

Oh this is gonna happen... First it was Orange is the New Black. Then the terrible, but addicting Hemlock Grove...

...and now (suck in lots of breath)




I've been singing "Apocalypse, apocalypse" for an hour now.  



20 Years

1.14.2015
fit bottomed girls, baby showers, pregnancy, pregnant friends, friendship

I went to Middle Earth over the weekend for Jen's baby shower and had the most amazing time. It was during this delightful weekend that we both learned we've been friends for 20 years. Neither of us had done the math for quite some time and were pleasantly shocked to realize, indeed, we have been flexing the friendship muscles for a substantial amount of time.

Crazy how time really does fly.

When Jenn first became pregnant I knew the dynamics of our friendship would change. I did the same careful prep when she married (She's always the first to do things with us I'm slowly gathering...) but then I got pregnant and I had to prep in a whole extra sort of way.

Our pregnancies have been completely different (practically night and day) but we've still managed to grow into this new phase as an awesome duo. We spent the weekend giggling in bed (her husband was kind enough to allow me to sleep with her instead of on a couch.) peeing every half hour in solidarity and carrying on like we don't live thousands of miles from each other. It was just what the doctor ordered.

...And then came her shower. I've been to a couple, but I swear the love and support in that room was pretty thick. Instead of cutting it I just swam in it until my hands felt pruney. It's so touching to see women come together to honor someone you care about so much. (The fabulous nosh her relative and fellow Fit Bottomed Eats writer cooked up didn't hurt the experience, either.)

In all it was a fine baby shower weekend that I shall never forget. Heck, the next time we see each other we'll both have babies...chilling on the outside of our womb. That's just crazy talk, man!

It's good to have friends. It's great to have friends you've known for 20 years and it's magic that you're still able to find your way back to the good stuff that's held you both together through all of life's crazy changes. I'm one lucky girl...who just happens to have another little phenomenal woman kicking the living shit out of me right now.

Here's to the next 20 with two new little buds we plan to add to the mix.


Selma

1.04.2015
I just got back from seeing Selma. I've never been so eager to get to a computer.

Talk about relevant! I knew going in I'd need tissue for tears, but I wasn't expecting the tears to hit so soon after the movie started...definitely wasn't expecting to cry over what I began to cry over: the relevance..the timing of this film and what's happening with the deaths we're currently mourning now...the connections were eery.

There are too many similarities between the messages being shouted in this film and the messages being shouted in the pages of our news sources. Dr. King's words early in the film could have been written for what's currently happening...the protests, the social injustices we keep hearing about on the daily. People screaming why through angry tears while others turn a deaf ear. (If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around does it make a sound?) It's too similar. It's too close to home. What would Dr. King say and do if he were alive today? How heavy the heart... Yes, we've come far, but this movie shows just how far we have to go...still.

I cried over the similarities and the world I currently live in. I also cried because the child I'm carrying was kicking something fierce every time the actor who played Dr. King spoke. I have a little freedom fighter on my hands, apparently. There's this moment in the film between Coretta and a woman named Amelia Boynton (played by the magnificent Lorraine Toussaint): Amelia offers words of encouragement to Mrs. King; reminding her of the great people who came before them...ancestors who helped mold civilization; who survived dangerous times crossing vast oceans during the Middle Passage, endured slavery to prepare her for the nerves she was facing in that particular scene. It reminded me of my darling daughter and the great spirits that she's connected to. She is the descendant of an overwhelmingly beautiful group of people with a deep history... a history I hope to teach her about one day.

Who knows what souls she's encountered while waiting for her upcoming arrival...the stories other spirits have shared with her; the histories she may have already lived. She definitely let me know she was moved (literally) by what her daddy and I were watching.

It's all a bit overwhelming. Forget pregnancy hormones; the theater gasped and wept together. I will push and plead for everyone I know to see this movie. Those who criticize the peaceful protesters...those who criticize us who believe racism is alive and well and would rather not go there...those who are apathetic. I will tell them most especially to see. Back in Selma it took the media; broadcasting brutality to inspire people (from all different races and religions) to stand together to fight against injustice. I think this film is a blessing; written, directed and produced to help us all see we're no where near close to a post-racial world. I shutter even writing that silly, nonsensical and dangerous word.

Go see Selma when it comes out on January 9th. Bring lots of friends. Support this film and the message.

Selma, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, film, protesters, social injustice, Oscar nomination

2015 | I Resolve That I Don't Know Jack

1.02.2015


My friends are swell...bling with messages I can get down with. 


2015... 

Am I feeling reflective?  Meh. 

Am I feeling resolution-y? Meh. 

I live a pretty straight forward, honest life. Sure, I need to say "no" more often and do some of those things others resolve to do each new year, but resolutions don't really sink in with me. Each day brings on new perspective and new moments to clarify and learn so thinking I have all the answers to leading a swell and perfect life right now... at the beginning of each new year is sort of weird concept for me to truly get down with.

I have one regret in life. ONLY ONE! Last year we went to a stupid time share meeting and walked away stupid arse suckers. Yeah, they totally knocked me down and convinced me I was investing in adventures for my future kiddo. Not even a month later I was frantically trying to get out of that beast and now we have a stupid debt that makes my ass twitch. I think overall it's pretty cool that I've managed to see all my other oopses as blessings in disguise so silver lining there, BUT it still sucks to know we owe on something we'll never use. Never EVER attend a Global Exchange Vacation Club event. Bastards are ruthless and they will literally laugh in your face if you try to get out of the deal. The devil isn't a little red guy running around with a pitch fork. No he lives in California and sells timeshares that no one can actually use. 

Any who...back to resolutions. Having only one regret... if I HAD to resolve to change anything it would be to not say "yes" to anything with a price tag without sound research and time. THAT I can stick to. For all the other deep stuff life throws at us...I just have to remain present and approach it all with gratitude and joy. (Something I've been doing for a couple months already.)

So while everyone is brainstorming I'm researching in other ways. I'm checking out some music that will be new to me. I'll also continue listening to THE best Pandora station out there: Hopeless Radio (Hopeless the song from Love Jones) I swear it takes you back to a wonderful time in the 90's when Neo Soul ruled and we all  yearned for some blues to hit our left thigh. 

I'll also prepare for my little girl and be okay with life turning upside down...and STILL approach it all with joy and gratitude. Beyond that I've got nothing.

I did see some goodness on Tracee Ellis Ross' Instagram that warmed my heart. Thought I'd share:

May you be filled with grounded space.
May the wisdom of my body guide me.
May connections and shared experiences nourish me.
May I remember to allow space, compassion and curiosity.
May I be teachable and gentle.
May I trust that I'm exactly where I'm meant to be and breathe joy into this wonderful, messy and delicious mixed bag experience that is my life!


Happy New Year, folks. 

2014 | A Year in Review

12.29.2014
It's that wonderful time again! My year in review via pictures from the Queen B of documentation.

I absolutely adore this time of the year when I get to reminisce and look back at the year and relive all the good moments. I'm no amnesia-sporting Pollyanna, though. I'm the first to admit there were some utterly stank moments that I'd much like to forget, but it also had some great times that made me laugh out loud...made my heart swell up a whole bunch, too. For the luv of kiwi! I got knocked up for goodness' sake!!!

The song this year proved quite tricky. I haven't really heard of any new bands that were tickling my fancy enough to become the soundtrack to my version of It's a Wonderful Life. (So if you have anything that's inspired you this year, share! No one likes a stingy music grubber.)  I ended up having to go back...back into time for this year's music selection. Being that the beloved Joe Cocker passed the week I started this project it felt right ending on one of my favorites sung by him. After all, I really did make it through this year with a little help from my friends. The advice and support have kept me going for sure. So much so that this is THE longest year in review I've ever done. I just couldn't cut anything out. One symptom of my pregnancy is an insatiable appetite for nostalgia. I apologize in advance.

I've heard from lots of friends that 2014 was a particularly hard year. Hopefully this little gem brings some love and light so that none of us have to end on a sour note.

Thanks to all those who made 2014 memorable!


Groucho Marx Dreams

12.24.2014


"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." ~ Grouchy Marx


Funny man he was. Early this morning Mark woke up (I was awake already from the incessant pee trips I had to make to the bathroom.) and told me in a dazed and confused stupor that he had been dreaming about Ziggy and how she didn't want to be in the Asian club or the Hawaiian club. Then he promptly fell back to sleep; snoring gently while I laughed myself into another pee trip.

Apparently he still remembers the dream and said she was stressed out because she couldn't find a club she fit into. Classic multi-racial predicament. Fortunately for her, she will have a mommy who has been there and can help her deal with the "What are you?!" comments and the proverbial racial boxes people try to throw at her. We've got this, Universe. Now I know part of the reason she chose us to be her parents.

The realization couldn't come at a sweeter time. I wouldn't say we're paupers; w're not strapped for cash, but preparing for a baby is expensive and can be a bit overwhelming...especially when you live thousands of miles away from family. It was that overwhelming sensation that led me to comment on a mommy blogger post for a dream nursery contest. I really didn't think anything of it. There were hundreds of entries, but then they emailed and said Mark and I were finalists so we submitted our story and poof! We had a crazy amount of wonderful people rallying behind us voting their brains out over a weekend stretch for us to win.

Unfortunately there was some super shady business afoot. There was some highly obvious vote tampering happening and the contest folks decided to turn a blind eye... even getting a bit snarky about me bringing the malarkey to their attention. It disheartened me for sure. I felt bad for all the folks who had tried to help us win..the hours they put in. We'll still have a nursery no matter what so the actual prizes didn't mean much ...it was a matter of principle. Something that special shouldn't have required cheating... I felt so vulnerable and used almost. I hadn't shared my heart aches with getting pregnant with a lot of people. Very few knew of my fears of having cervical cancer and what that could mean for my future. I'm still disappointed in those contest people. I refuse to ever do another contest and I won't be supporting them (which is why you won't see a link here promoting their page.)

Monday was a hard day, nonetheless. The contest results and baby bump pains definitely got to me. Then Tuesday I had a surge of energy from God knows where. I went and worked out and while on a treadmill; doing a mean 3.5 walking pace I realized I'm blessed. I'm blessed this little lady chose me to be her mama. I'm blessed that my husband and I have good jobs and family and friends who care. It will be enough. I am enough. After Mark's hilarious dream I know that for sure even.

Dreams have a funny way of helping us see the day clearer...It's sort of beautiful, isn't it?

Our story for the contest:

Tish and Mark Arana and baby girl Ziggy Stardust coming in the spring 


Deep down I never really thought I’d be able to have a child. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer at a young age and even though my doctor said I was in the clear, I thought the worst when my husband and I started trying. I totally believe that our children choose us, though…that they come to us when their little spirits are ready to live in this world and so when I did see two lines appear I knew a miracle had happened and that some special little soul had chosen us. My pregnancy hasn't been golden, but it’s been magical. I've went from thinking it was impossible to believing in all the possibilities. Now begins the time when I yearn to do as much as I possibly can for her. We’re reading the books and taking the classes, watching the documentaries on child birth; doing everything in our power to create an inspiring and loving environment for her arrival. I’d love to continue that preparation with a perfect little calming nursery. That dream space would mean the world to my husband and I. We’re in LA alone. Both of our families live in other states so any and all help would be so greatly appreciated. I dream of a room that I rock her in; quiet and lovely that celebrates the love we have for her. The fact that the dream room nursery is gender neutral and grey (images that I’ve dreamed of since I first learned I was pregnant) is sort of kismet. We’re two very enthusiastic and appreciative parents looking to make our little miracles’ birth as welcoming as possible.

Her womb name: Ziggy Stardust…we didn't know the gender so we chose an androgynous name. The album mentions spiders which is our last name in Spanish so we knew it was sort of perfect for her. She totally acts like a Ziggy. She’s definitely our little rock star.



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