Welcome! I’m an actress and blogger who lives in Los Angeles. I’ve accepted my fate that I have to chase my dreams (and document that ish along the way!) I give you my stories with all the luv and all the kiwi a gal can muster.
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.
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.
My friends are swell...bling with messages I can get down with.
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.
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.
"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.
In my last post I mentioned all the reasons why pregnancy isn't my favorite stage. I wrote briefly about my skin and how I look like a raging, hormonal 13 year old. My acne has acne. It's annoying and I'm vain as hell, but not enough to banish myself to a hermit's life and never go out in public. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and it's Christmas shopping time.
I finally popped which means for the most part people can see that I'm knocked up and they smile (getting it that not every pregnant woman glows the good glow) and leave me be but this total ass clown at the mall today... OOO WEEE! Did I want to rage against that particular man.
I had been putting off buying maternity bras for the longest. I hate shopping. I hate shopping for maternity stuff even more, but the gals are growing so I took one for Team "No Longer an Iddy Biddy Girl" and headed to the mall. The women at Nordstrom were super nice and helpful. They cooed over Ziggy's womb name and laughed with me about my anti-pink stubborness. I left in good spirits; did a wee bit of Christmas shopping, grabbed a delightful ginger-infused juice from Jamba and was heading out of the mall when it happened...
This man working at a lotions and potions kiosk shoved some moisturizer in my face. I politely declined stating that I had to be careful about trying new products being that I was pregnant. (You'd be shocked to learn all the crap that's too toxic for babies to absorb through your skin!) He flippantly waved off my comment and said his products were totally safe for pregnancy (which didn't convince me at all) and then he dropped a stupidity bomb...
He looked right at me and said, "I even have some great products to help out all that bad acne you have on your face." He called it BAD. AND he grimaced when he was looking at it!
Quick side note: Everyone farts. It's a fact of life. What you may not know is pregnant women fart the most cruel, putrid smells known to Planet Earth. They're downright dirty and shocking. I obviously have no shame in my tooting game, but even I, fart obsesser, get a teeny bit self-conscious if I let one of those bad boys slip in mixed company.
Back to the story. I have never wanted to lash a preggo fart on a stranger so bad. Who says that?! Note this oh clueless ones of the world: There are a plethora of rules out there about what not to say to a knocked up chick. Add this one to your list.
I'm feeling generous and helpful...
'Tis the season to prevent the sleasin' after all.
...Oh how I looooove being pregnant.
Me and all my pregnant acne glory. No filters. It's pregnancy. There's nothing I can do about it right now. But there is something you can do, folks. Don't comment on my skin! I have lethal gas activated and I'm not afraid to use it.
It has finally happened. She's popped out and made a belly for herself.
Sorry readers, I have lagged. It's been awhile since my last confession. Latest: I'm not a fan of pregnancy.
I swear it seems every woman I talk to who is knocked up is glowing and beaming with happiness, but the memo to soak in bliss never made it to my desk. (I knew it was a bad idea to start working from home full- time!) Current list of why pregnancy isn't my favorite liminal stage:
I'm not a glower unless you count oily, acne-ridden skin. I swear it's like I've hit puberty three times over and the ish is just wrecking shop. You don't know what I would do for some harmful, toxic product that would eradicate every pimple and dark spot I've collected over the last couple of months.
I've developed all kinds of issues related to the butt and what comes out of the butt and what shouldn't come out of the butt. Use your imagination.
I've never had weight in my midsection so I don't know how to handle the belly like a boss. I JUST popped and it's still tiny for a five month mama, but it's getting harder to bend over or sit like a normal human being. The bump reminds me on the daily that I no longer have control over my body. It belongs to her. Ziggy, Boss from the Belly. I'm making her cards.
I have no energy. Like none. I use to be THE crackhead of joy. I would bounce around and I was active every dang day of the week. Now going up the stairs in my home feels like I've just completed a marathon. I'd give myself a medal, but I don't have the energy to make it.
I had a weird ass hormonal moment that I hope never returns. Out of nowhere I started laughing uncontrollably... while Mark was trying to go to sleep. I felt terrible and tried to stop but couldn't which made me start sobbing uncontrollably out of panic. What the?!?! Where does that come from and why?! Stop it!
I'm getting super lazy when it comes to acting. Classes, auditions, waiting on avail to find out if I booked the darn thing...it's all weighing on me and I'm bummed that it's suddenly harder. The folks in my class don't get the fatigue I speak of. They also don't understand why I'd need to take off a couple weeks/months once the baby is born. (Who knows if I'll be back to myself and able to sit through four hour classes. Will I be able to breastfeed and therefore tied to Ziggy for however long?) These questions mean nada to folks...I guess I used to be one such clueless gal. The me today forgives the me of then.
Don't get it twisted, though...
All that said, I'm excited as can be to pop this little one out and have her in the world. I think this is why I've never heard mothers speak of pregnancy crap. It's like we're judged for saying it sucks sometimes. Now that I'm sharing symptoms I'm amazed at the amount of women who are stepping forward and sharing just how much they hated pregnancy, too.
I would say more, but the kid is currently rolling like the homies...a hint that it's time to eat. It's also a reminder that even though this is uncomfortable, scary and weird it's temporary and results in a swell perk. Man, is this what they call growing up?!