2015: The Year in Review

12.31.2015


Poor blog.

Ms. Blog got no love in 2015. The coming of the Ziggy threw the world as I knew it into utter chaos and I am just now recovering from that crazy chick's arrival. (Eight months in...)

I loved putting this year in review together. I laughed at just how home-bodied I've become. Almost every darn picture was taken in my home because that's where I've been holding up like the cute little mama hermit that I am.

Having a baby... I seriously go dumb trying to think how I can summarize such a thing. It's impossible. I can dabble in the details: This year was all about survival. Pure, unequivocal hang-on-to-your-big-girl-panties-folks! survival mode.

It's like I entered this mom machine. It tumbled me around; knocked the living shit out of me a couple of times (had me crying in showers and cars and shat...) and then spit me out as this crazy being who googled everything and couldn't stop taking pictures of the alien creature she popped out of her hoo hoo.

I've survived on 2-3 hours of sleep some days. I've been pooped on both literally and figuratively. So much newness...battles to get back to the old me just to realize that I'll never get her back. I'm this new entity; this brand new Tish that I'm slowly growing to understand. It may be cliche, but I don't give a rat's arse. It's the truth.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and cuss out loud; surprised at the woman I see. She knows how to keep a baby alive (a task I swear I once thought was beyond my grasp.) She has a weird new patience and a crazy amount of love and adoration for her daughter. She surprises the heck out of me.

When I was pregnant I was all dreams and theory...how I'd mother and parent. I laugh at that woman now. I have no time to philosophize and dream. I am what I am. I've learned to stop planning...stop controlling and just let her life and my new life unfold. Woody Allen isn't my favorite cup of tea, but I love his quote, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

God was laughing mighty hard at the old me.

I think I may start a vlog in the new year... a place where I can help other mamas out there who experienced the fear, loneliness and panic that I felt when I became a mom. It's a work in progress...just like me. I just know that having someone out there who gets it is necessary for that wonderful buzz word I keep mentioning. That's "survival" in case you too are working on three hours of sleep.

So here goes, 2016... I walk freely into the new year without expectation. I'm winging it folks! Let's see how I do.


Movies to See. This is My Kind of New Year's Resolution

12.30.2015

I don't do so nice with resolutions...much too ADHD...the world changes too damn often once you have a baby (you can't resolve to do anything...Mr Universe laughs at people who think they have control...over anything...even bowel movements)

BUT I CAN resolve to see great films when they come out... here are some I've stumbled upon. This better happen. First I see the good films. Then I get inspired. Then I ask how can I get in these great films. That is how 2016 will go.

I really do have a psychic sense...



Okay so here are the films....










(She's on How to Get Away With Murder... I'm a fan.) 



Is it wrong that I feel like I've watched a film after finishing this post? I could spend a day watching trailers and feel accomplished...but I'll see the films. 

Hopefully.

That Mom Life though...


Moms Need Socks and Friendship Times 100

12.20.2015



I found this website and have been devouring the articles with a fervor usually reserved for new Netflix series.

You're welcome.

This one article, On Socks and Friendships, was just delightful. The writing is clever and delightful and leaves you wanting to curl up by a fire and sip some really smart hot cocoa.

"Friendship is the oatmeal sock version of who we are."


The idea of authenticity and truth actually inspired me to write. Me! The person who hasn't touched this blog's login page in a very sad and long time.

I was so pissed at moms after I had Z. Being a mother was sooo much harder than people let on. No one was sharing how much you'd cry. How mad you'd get...how often you'd shake your fist at the Universe. No one prepared me so I vowed I'd be different. I made sure to keep shit real on Instagram. When new moms announced their new arrivals I gave them my number and told them to call me if they ever needed someone to open up to...and when they danced around the same feelings I once had I let loose and shared my dark, frank and blunt truths. I felt my friends' fears easing up. When you learn you're not indeed the lone weirdo mama of the world, forced to walk the planet blind and alone, your spirits lift a bit. The hard stuff is inevitable, but it's sooo much more easier to navigate when you have friends who can give you road maps along the way; help you brace for the bumps...exposing the oatmeal socks if you will. 

So I've been keeping it real and seeking others out who also know how to keep it real...keep it real without being Negative Nancies. 

I recently joined a private facebook page specifically for mamas who are actors. Just when I thought (again) no one could possibly imagine how hard it's been trying to audition and be a mom I find a group of women in the exact same boat. 

There's just something about learning you're not alone that helps you ease up. I grow more confident. I take greater risks and enjoy the process just a bit more. Sharing is caring.

Word to your mother.



No makeup. House a hot mess. Real on crack. 


Miracle for Three Thousand, Alex

12.03.2015
Holy cow chomping on some 'spiritual' grass do I need a miracle...

I didn't realize just how hard we've been struggling to stay afloat until I auditioned for a commercial and got put on 'avail'. It was the first time in months I actually allowed myself to dream and think about what we could do with the money I'd make from that job...We'd take a break from stressing about rent, groceries and child care fees. We'd be able to actually give each other Christmas gifts.

Then I didn't get the job and all of that hope and joy and dreaming just vanished.

Man, this Thanksgiving was a hard one for me. I couldn't find the gratitude. We went for a walk and I cried to my husband. I felt sorry for myself and then felt terrible because our baby doesn't understand what's going on...and I wasn't strong or optimistic for Mark. I really wanted to be a light to make the situation better, but I just couldn't kick the pity I was feeling.  (Which for the record made me feel worse. Everyone has rough times and having a Debbie Downer around doesn't help at all.)

I just don't know what to do. Do I give up the dream and move my family out of California so that we can breath? Am I being selfish by keeping us here... punishing my family as I miss job after job?

Being a big kid is HARD, yo!


Suffragette: Movies and Motherhood

11.10.2015
Man I have changed! 

I used to be the girl who watched three films a week...at the theater! Now getting me out of the house is like an act of God. When Z is with me anxiety follows me around like a mean shadow. She's fussy and unpredictable after 4pm so I'd rather stay in. I've made my peace with being a recluse. If it keeps me from twitching in a corner I'm down for just about anything. 

Kind friends have listened to me explain this and have suggested I play without her, but that brings on a whole other set of anxieties... There's the issue of her being exclusively breast fed and me having a limited supply of milk to give her nanny each day (translation: I can't be away from her during her evening feeding hours) and then pumping in public just freaks me out. The boobs fill up and out pops that good ole anxiety shadow to remind me my life is not what it used to be. Basically she may not physically be with me...but homegirl is with me; crawling all over my thoughts and nerves.

Still a friend managed to nudge me enough to get me out on a Monday night for a special screening of the movie, Suffragette. An act of God...and so I trudged over the hill to the land of pretty people who stay up late.

I won't lie. I stressed about it all day, but the minute I arrived at the hotel (where the movie was screening) my worries subsided...because I saw free wine and champagne at the bar...and popcorn...and peanut butter cups. 

That film though...



So Suffragette was amazing. The gist of the film: A woman named Maud finds her inner feminist; sacrificing her professional and personal life in the process. She meets some amazing women who inspire and help her find her voice and the courage to keep going. It's heart wrenching and endearing and inspiring and visually outstanding. I love historical pieces that pack huge relevant and current punches and this story did just that. It was about working class women who helped change the direction of the movement. Maud was a mix of many women's stories from that specific period of time within the movement which leads me to the whole representation part...fiction and fact. 

The writer, Abi Morgan (who attended the screening and stayed for a Q and A) discussed the amount of research and time that went into writing this film. Her and the director put up a case for why there were no people of color. (I just loved that it was the first question the audience asked concerning the film. Go Film Independent alum!) 

Usually the excuses leave me with permanent butt twitches, but I respected their choice to tell the stories of a very specific neighborhood. (Research will shut me up for a brief time.) Yes, it would have been nice to tell the stories of the women color and nobility who the writer was able to find information on; but the film wasn't about the fancy folks preaching from comfortable perches in society. Fair enough...for now. Just don't get me started on the damn shirts used to promote the film. 

Keeping focused... 

The film. I just kept thinking how far we've come, yet not. Let's keep it real. We women are still fighting the equality battle... and while some of the atrocities you'll see in this movie will make you thankful you live in 2015 you'll also be pissed that you live in the year 2015 and STILL have to deal with the same bull shit. That damn glass ceiling...equal pay...civil rights...family law. There were so many moments that made me think of my daughter. Sooo many moments that made me wish she was with me. Nothing like a good feminist flick to make you appreciate yet fear for the tiny girl you've sworn to protect. 

Which brings up another crazy point and the reason I wanted to write this post. My whole life I've watched films and found personal connections to characters. I've always thought of myself and put myself into the situation. This was the first film I watched that left me thinking of my daughter. If she were in those situations... Is this what folks mean when they say having a child is deciding to have your heart go walking outside of your body? I get it now. Lightbulb moment.

I will be purchasing this film when it comes out on DVD. It's one of those great stories that you need to share with all the phenomenal women in your life.

I'm glad I pulled I womaned up and headed out for that event. I swear movies find you at just the right time...much like books. I'm thankful I know more about the movement. The Hollywood on the other hand... I didn't stay at the after party for long. There were some super talented and interesting writers, producers and directors, but for the first time I didn't have networking desperation. I spoke. I ate. I sipped sparkling water and hugged my friend Reena who invited me out and then I reserved my desperation for the exit strategy. I just needed to get home to my girl. Yes, I came home to a crying baby who needed her mama, but I was so thankful she woke so I could hold her and hug all the hopes I have for her into her squishy little body.

I have totally changed.


Trust in God - she will provide. ~ Emmeline Pankhurst



Embracing Gassy. Boom.

11.05.2015


I filmed this commercial a while back and it hits the television world soon. I've never been so happy proud to see myself embracing gas. (And I embrace a LOT of gas.) 

Little tiny baby steps to a career in acting. Now if I could just get the callback I've been waiting for all week. 

Fingers crossed,

Tish (AKA The Queen of Gas)

Immune to Luck and Frolicking in the Fears

10.28.2015
Z and I have a new routine: she gets fussy around a certain time every day so we go on a three mile walk around the hood and all becomes right with the world. Except lately sleep hasn't come so easy to the kid and thus for me. I'm physically and mentally exhausted. Couple that with some good old fashioned audition disappointment and you've got some depressed ass mama on your hands.

I swear I thought I had this last audition. The lines came super easy. I had energy. My face decided to be nice and not explode in raging hormonal acne. I was happy. I felt alive. Then I waited all that night for my obvious callback, but no one called.

(I swear waiting for your agent to call is the worst kind of wait. It's worse than ten thousand rounds of waiting for a guy to call after a first date.)

So yeah... I've been feeling mighty defeated. And scared! Don't forget the fear! Crippling fear that I won't be able to provide for my daughter doing what I love and have always wanted to do in this world. Fear that we'll rent for the rest of our lives. Fear that I'll be sitting in the same desk chair dealing with the same damn problems.

Dude! I need serious magic. I'm pretty sure I'm immune to luck. The mom readers may relate to this next bit. I get serious anxiety when I look on my social media accounts and see nothing but baby pics. My kid is the only thing I have going on in my life right now. That is scary.

This post's timing I swear. Let's discuss the things that terrify us most the week of Halloween. Skip the slasher films. A dead end job chills me to my bone.



This is a typical day (via Snapchat) in the life of me, the actor. I kept this one because I just knew I'd get the part and want to save the moments leading up to the win. Ho hum...




Poetic Farts: How Amy Brenneman Became My Shero

10.21.2015



It's been so long since I've written anything resembling a coherent thought I kind of forgot if I could write at all...which is why it's ironic as hell that I ended up at a gathering for Hollywood writers.  

To be perfectly honest I didn't know it was a meeting for writers talking about writing. I thought it was a Hollywood screenwriter bringing in Amy Brenneman (an actor I LOVE) to talk all things Hollywood. 

Bit of background info: I've had this weird stalkerish relationship with my acting dreams for months now. I've loved my dream, but without knowing it...without being in it. I've just moped about; wondering if it'll ever happen; staring at it creepily from my couch. I have sucked at being an actor in pursuit. I hate going to auditions because I have to pump all the dang time and I have my kid to think about...I can't be away for long periods of time (like an hour and a half...otherwise my boobs explode. It's super fun.) I'm basically tied to my house and my neighborhood...I wear an invisible baby tracker that keeps me tethered to Z. I know it's worth it because I've chosen to take care of my kid via the boob, but I still get bummed that acting has taken such a considerable back seat. 

Which brings me back to Amy. So I'm just minding my business in my coffee shop when I see this flyer for a speaker series featuring her and since I've loved her work for years and years I signed up without even really reading what she'd be gabbing about. Blind love...it has its moments.

It would be in my neighborhood...it would expose me to some Hollywood magic hopefully. SIGN ME UP! 

Mark came home early from work. I fed the kid and off I went praying she'd sleep the whole time I was gone. 

I arrived at the coffee shop and the folks were running a half hour behind. I swear my knockers filled up with half a gallon of milk in just the seconds it took me to figure out I wouldn't be home by the time I specified. That is why my life is one big broken dream right now. I can't even focus or enjoy anything outside of feeding my kid. Not even Amy Brenneman. No one tells you this when you decide to start nursing. 

Luckily when Amy and Peter began talking they brought the awesome. She was plopping out so many inspirational nuggets my head starting spinning. She briefly discussed how writing took a backseat when she needed to raise her family...she spoke candidly about vultures who had screwed her in the business...she talked about her process. She shared the good good, y'all. 

I found myself forgetting all things boob and laughing at the great shit coming out of her mouth. Like for instance a team of writers took partial credit for her Judging Amy idea so she now "can't even fart without running to get it registered." (I snort laughed when she said that...and also when she said fuck over and over again. God! I love a woman who cusses! Homegirl went to Harvard. Smart women cuss.)

I left the coffee shop with a spark of hope that someday it could happen...I could actually make something of myself in Hollywood. This woman has enjoyed a rather idyllic career in the industry and she doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. I just have to remember the sage advice she shared: 

  • Collect with abandon and then prune
  • Be comfortable in your own bones
  • Register your damn work or leave a digital trail that proves your work
  • Write like a poet...(I asked her how she found brain power during the early years of motherhood. She said she wrote like a poet...bits and pieces of thoughts that years later would find their way into larger ideas. 
I may not be a writer, but I'm definitely a collaborator and frankly; the industry sucks ASS right now so if I'm not wiggling my way into the business based off of work I've created for myself I may never get in. 

So what now? Well, I go back to mama life...and commercial auditions... and I write like a mother fucking poet. We'll see where this newfound approach takes me. 





Baby Steps to Sleep: Part II of Team No Sleep

9.09.2015



Oh happy day... Oh happy day. Queue Lauren Hill!

Yep, there is a happy follow up to that sad, sad song I was once singing. The baby is learning to put herself to sleep. Hall-la-frickin-lu-yaaaaaa! I think it's funny that I was so distraught and sick over the idea of teaching my baby to put her own darn self to sleep. 

I thought only monsters would allow such a thing. Of course I should put her to sleep and rock the shit out of the girl for hours on end...until it turned into hours and hours for months and months and I hit the proverbial rock so hard I was screaming not so proverbial nice words at 2 in the morning. 

Now we get her ready for bed...from bath to bed is an hour process and then we get actual grown time to eat and play and be frickin merry. 

Life is better. 

Last night she slept a five hour stretch and I about lost my darn mind. I had to get up and pump because my lady parts weren't used to going so long without a snack. WORTH IT THOUGH! 

It's weird how life just calmed. I'm gonna love it up while it lasts! Look out for part III when Miss Thing starts teething. Having a baby is some kind of adventure, yo!




Sleep Regression. Otherwise Known as Hell on Earth

8.25.2015

If you can't see the video, go here foo. 

I don't know why I thought making a video would somehow be easier than writing. I had to wait four days to get some damn sleep before I could even begin to process the idea that I would have to then edit said video.

(It ain't Snapchat after all!)

A couple of days later...after quite a few tearful meltdowns I have the beginnings of a sleep journey documented. I'm laughing as I type this because the pessimist in me keeps slapping me stupid and reminding me that I don't really believe Z is in a phase. I kind of think she's going to take 20 minute crap naps her entire life. She'll be 20 years old, still sleeping only 20 minutes at a time, living at home and asking me if she can nurse.

I may be losing sleep, but I haven't lost my sense of humor. (I think. Everything hurts so I may have and just not felt that yet.)

The sleep trainer is calling us today. I might cry because I'm totally waiting for her to say "Oh this kid is hopeless! I've never seen someone this wound up and clearly gone. You've rocked her and nursed her to sleep?! You've ruined all chances of her self soothing!"

Hopefully she comes in like Super Nanny and saves the day. I had a dream this morning (she actually slept for TWO WHOLE HOURS!) and in that dream I was Super Mom and I had the power to magically scan Z's body for ailments so that I would know why the fuck she keeps waking.

SCAN!

"She's wet."

SCAN!

"Her eczema is flaring up!"

SCAN!

"She's teething!"

Wouldn't THAT be grand.

... wish us luck.

Signed,

One dazed and confused walking zombie.

ps can we all just ignore the weird thing on my lip in part of the video? Who knows what it was... a chili flake, baby poop. This is motherhood in all its glory. Lets just chalk up to life in the trenches and call it a mother truckin' day.

Rebel in the Open

8.11.2015
I'm back...sporadically (queue the scene from Clueless!) and I have so many thoughts and feelings and things I've been meaning to share, but there's too much and the hole/window to release all those things is super small right now. Instead, I share this article that made my heart swell.

I love messages like this. I print them out and neatly fold them into Z's baby book for her to read when she's older.

This one in particular was near and dear to my heart because it reminds me of something my Grandma Mary has always shared. When I was younger and filled with a precocious need to tease her I'd end our visits with, "Now remember to be good."

She'd pull away from me with a look of disappointment and say, "Oh Tish...never tell a woman to be good. Where's the fun in being good?"

She was and is still a wise, wonderful and witty woman. AGREED! Where is the fun in limiting girls that way? Now that I'm older and have a spunky little nugget of my own I'm much more sensitive to what my daughter hears...what she learns. The messages that float around have to be positive and clear.

It's a harsh world out there for our girls...we have to fight like crazy to build them up so that when Society the Bully comes a'knocking (and it will) they're ready and able.

Rebel in the open, women!

Luv and Kiwi,

Tish

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes. Turn And Face The Strain

7.27.2015
...So it feels like it's been a million years since I've visited my dear old blog. Eons since I've picked up a pen or had the quiet moments to sit and process some dang thoughts about my life as it is now.

The struggle, currently? Balancing the internal me that's never changed with the external predicaments that come with having a baby. Como say what, you ask? What's changed?

Well, I still google like a mother trucker, but now it's crap like "Is my baby going to die because she has crap in her nose? How do I get said crap out of her nose? What's the best nursing bra? How do I get my boobs to stop hurting when I start working out?"

I so miss the days when googling entailed finding out what the Kardashians were up to...

I also physically look different. I'm bigger on top and have a soft belly now. I wear the same four outfits that are conducive to flashing a certain chunk a boob when she sees fit. My skin is different and my hair is a frazzled, hot mess. I just don't have the energy for makeup and hair gel. Who knew squirting crap in your hand took so much energy...

I go to bed at frickin' 7:30. If I'm up at 8:30 it feels like midnight and I'm hurting...mighty bad.

I can't go super far from my kid...she feeds A LOT (have I mentioned that before?!) and hates the bottle. You have no idea how happy I'll be when she starts eating solids. Everyone says I'll miss the constant feedings but I miss the days when I could get lost in a Barnes and Noble for a couple hours without worrying if I was killing my child slowly by puttering around the fiction aisle.

I eat like a beast. It's not cool to watch... I went to a two year old's party recently and had two helpings of cake, a sandwich, veggies, cookies... I just kept going back and back..and back. I'm sure people were side eyeing me. Move over kiddies! Mama needs to eat!

With all the weirdness I have little time to see if the old me is still in there doing ok. I'm hoping that me is just biding time. I know I'm getting an itch to audition again, which is good, but I'm terrified of jobs that would take me out of town.

We're supposedly out of the fourth trimester...meaning things are supposed to ease up a bit, but my wonderful Miss Z hasn't gotten the memo. Or maybe that was all an urban myth to give me the strength to carry on...

Only time will tell.

I'm back at work now so I SHOULD have more time to write. That being said I have to have something groovy to write about. I'm okay with life drifting by quietly and nicely... with sprinkles of awesome news circling around acting gigs and Z milestones.

I have no idea how to end this so I'll do so awkwardly. That's it. I have nothing more to say. [She turns abruptly and walks away.]








The First Rule of Parent Club...

6.11.2015

The first rule of Parent Club... you will forget every rule of Parent Club (Exhaustion is a bitch.)

I began this post when Ziggy was three weeks old. Cute that I assumed I could think or write...or that I had actual time to do either. She's now eight weeks...the picture above she was six weeks. Time is a stupid unicorn lately.

I've read so many great posts from women who get the kind of motherhood I've been thrown in to. While some moms experience nothing but joyous bliss and look at their sleeping babies lovingly I spent the last two months sobbing about how hard it's been. 

I had breast feeding issues out the wazoo... I got mastitis TWICE. Had a wee case of the baby blues when my mom left after six weeks and have been dealing with a baby who can't sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time. If I hear a sneeze or fart coming from her general direction I weep. 

"And she's up." 

She's adorable and wonderful, but home girl refuses to let me put her down and she LOVES the boob. Can't get her off the boob. She's the champ of cluster feeding. 

I'm pretty sure acting's going to get put on hold for quite some time. Mark plans to take off a sweet amount of time after my maternity leave ends to care for her and then we're hiring a nanny once she's five months old, but nothing about having a baby has been easy or manageable. It's a tornado of scary new and just when I think I've figured her out she goes and has a leap and changes up the game again. 

Oh.My.God. My child is the Goblin King! She's totally cheating and changing up the maze. Why is this just occurring to me?! Forget Ziggy Stardust! She is the other Bowie persona reincarnated! 


Basically I'm not going to get my hopes up that the me I miss will return magically when it's Mark's turn. If we can even call it that... 

So yeah, what I moved to LA to do...what I've loved my whole life and dreamed of...envisioned on a daily basis is so blurry. It seems so far away. I hope it comes back. I hope I'm able to get a chance...but right now I have a fussy baby trying to poop her brains out and I need to drink my cold, three-hour-later matcha green tea.

Three days later because yeah time is a unicorn...

So here's where I am. I don't know what the heck to do with a newborn. I'm supposed to be playing with her how much? She's supposed to nap...on her own? Without my boob attached? Will I fuck her up if I watch TV or when I let her cry while I go to the damn bathroom?!

A new mama friend sent me this article which I so want to plagiarize because it's everything I've felt. I actually despise people telling me I have postpartum depression..that somehow mourning the person I was before I pushed out a kid is bad or abnormal. Props to Renegade Mama. Seriously. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your brand of honest. I dug it. 

I feel like I really need to re-read The Awakening. Ever read it? For this awkward mama it's ringing true...Well all the parts except taking crappy lovers and going into the ocean and drowning. 

Don't know when I'll be able to write again, but for now that's the world I'm swimming in. 

Over and out. 

The Broken Places

4.08.2015


The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places. ~ Ernest Hemingway

There are sooo many bizarre and annoying things that happen in the third trimester of a pregnancy that no one warns you about until you're there. Google insights ain't got nothing on the friend who says, "Yeah that happened to me too. I just didn't want to scare you so I didn't mention it." What?! Where were you when it was happening at 2am and all I had was a computer, symptom and my tear ducts? I need to be warned of any and all oddities just in case I, too, end up experiencing that ish.

Mention it people! Mention the hemorrhoids you have to name and pray to. Mention the cramps and the not sleeping and all of the joyful reasons why you can't sleep and the nightmares about your baby being born pregnant.

...How pent up farts will rock your house and cause you to fear early labor or your husband divorcing you because he never said nothing at all in his vows about putting up with the bog of eternal stench making home in your ass or even worse than all of those outcomes--a shart.

Also mention that it may suck for you to dress yourself if you don't submit to a girly ass pregnancy mentality. Where is all the tomboy maternity gear? Can't a woman just spread eagle without fear that someone's staring at her baby's forehead? (My kid chills super low. I know she's a fart away from saying howdy. Did I mention I fart... a lot?)  I hate dresses and I hate pink and I don't like maternity designers. I wear my husband's gear.

Have I mentioned Mark hates me?

No one mentioned these things to me when I was trying to get pregnant...when I assumed feeling "fat" was the only thing I'd have to contend with.

So now I am thankful for the Erin and the Jen and the Vikkie who text with me and share hilarious, but truthful anecdotes on new motherhood. We ask questions...we lift each other up. We laugh. We're inappropriate and brave enough to share the not so flattering parts of our daily thoughts. It's so helpful. I find myself sending encouragement and reminding myself to do the same once I'm in a similar situation. I'm also thankful for Amy effing Poehler who wrote THE book on motherhood. I mean it was Amy who said, "It's easier to be brave when you're not alone."

I am not alone. Chicks may never have mentioned that weird bruises could possibly show up around my belly button because I've stretched too thin, but somehow the good ones showed up just in time to save me from the Googling "you have cancer and/or you're dying" doom of all dooms. Find your crew. Share a really gnarly fact about poop or hairy nipples and see how they react. If the response you get chills you out and reminds you that billions of women have done this for thousands of years then you've found home. If they listen to you discuss your broken places and commend and remind you of your strength then try to do one of the following:

suggestion a: convince them to move with you to a commune and live happily ever after.

suggestion b: name a child after one or all of them (Jerrinkkie?)

suggestion c: write a blog post or email and make sure they all read it.

Signed,

38 weeks, five days Tish




Pregnant Forever...Will I Be THE One?

4.04.2015

third trimester, pregnancy, miserable


So I've decided I'm a pregnant Bipolar type. I am done, done, DONE with being knocked up, but I'm not so sure I'm down for the labor part to come. One minute I'm complaining I want her OUT and then I get pains and I'm pleading with her to give mama a break and go to sleep...because I suck at pain and I'm a wuss and I am not ready. Yeah, I know there are pregnant unicorn mamas out there in the world who actually enjoy labor...even orgasm like G's BUT I've been experiencing false labor and cramps and I'm pretty damn sure I'm not going to be the woman who flushes a beautiful flush and giggles like a fairy every time  I dilate another centimeter. 

I had jury duty this past week and on my way home from the LA downtown area I went into full blown false labor...meaning I had these crazy, no good, horrible pains that didn't ebb and flow. They just consistently shot up and down my belly and into my crotch and had me screaming to Mark for 45 effing minutes.  Note to future mamas: Never get knocked up in Los Angeles. If you can't help yourself and you do get pregnant, never leave your home. Never go into traffic. 

He'd ask me to pull over, but I just knew if I did I'd have a baby on the 101 and I just couldn't be THAT Californian with the obnoxious freeway birthing story. 

luv and kiwi, californians, la, traffic, freeways, SNL, Kristen Wiig


I drove myself home like a boss... promptly peed and felt completely better. 

Mark now hates me.

Third trimester = When you feel all the feelings and I feel miserable. My belly is big for me and it's tight and she kicks me and I swear she has three legs and nails like Flo Jo. 

Luv and Kiwi, pregnancy, baby fingernails



That's incentive for birthing her...please let me see that she has two legs and two arms only...and that her nails are clippable. Not Wolverine-ish stuff that can't be cut or damaged. I've gone through airport security scans one too many times. I actually think and worry about such things. 

So yeah, for all the friends and family checking in to see if I've popped and how I fell: there ya go. I'm kind of a hot mess, but I'm owning my madness. 

Signed, 

OUCH! Mark! Can we get a cupcake? If you ask me to walk one more time I'm going to kick you in your piss pump.




The Nursery

3.20.2015

I started planning this durn nursery so early. It's what Type A, anal retentive and hormonal folk do. It's super almost done at this point. We have one large white basket to purchase for the gazillion soft blankets the kid's tush will be playing on and then I shall calmly take a chill pill.

I think I've found THE only creative outlet my mama brain would allow...I can't read. I can't really write a lick of anything clever, but gosh darn it if I didn't super focus in on gliders and art work for Miss Ziggy.

















36 Weeks | The Brilliant Narcoleptic

3.18.2015
I've reached that point in my pregnancy where I'm ready to not be with child in womb. I want child outside of womb.

This kid is supposed to be so squished she can't move anymore, but my ingenuous offspring has found a way to still kick the living shit out of me at all times of the day and night. There's no stopping her wiggles, punches and kicks. Sometimes they're hilarious and I can laugh them off. Other times they hurt so bad I cry. I actually cry!

Mark seems to think this will make me a weak candidate for labor, but the doctor assured his doubting butt I have not a lick of body fat on my belly so when she decides to stretch she's in fact stretching my rather taught skin tortuously. Good, fun times.

Being I'm an actor and movie buff I had to find an exemplary clip to help him understand and see the pain. Behold... Ziggy kicks:



Yep, friends... One minute and eight seconds in. That be the joy I experience.  I remember listening to women talk about how little they enjoyed their pregnancy. I would shrug off their complaints and tell them how magical and beautiful pregnancy was. I want to sucker punch that naive and totally clueless, opinionated chick in her vagina. She knew NOTHING! 

36 weeks...just a couple more and this kid will fly the coop. In the meantime you can find me on my couch, passed out. I sleep through her rockstar antics like a G. 

Yours Truly,

The Brilliant Narcoleptic 


A Baby Shower Fit for a Ziggy

3.05.2015

Last weekend, four of my dear friends, Elaine, Jen, Nina and Glenda threw us the best co-ed baby shower. Chock a block full of our favorite people and our favorite foods, we got down Ziggy style; celebrating the impending arrival of our spunky little lady... the one, the only...Ms Ziggy Stardust.








Sadly both Mark and I's fam bams are back in other states, but our framily out here in LA helped us to remember that we need not feel alone. I've never felt more blessed and more loved. This little girl definitely has a tribe of wonderful people.


Bea's Bakery, Donut Snob, Ele Makes Cakes

Sugar Swag Bakeshoppe


Speaking of wonderful! One of my lovely friends, Brandi of Sugar Swag Bakeshoppe spoiled us with the pink and white cookie treats. (She is definitely a baker who knows pregnancy cravings because bringing white chocolate covered pretzels was the best idea on the planet.) I have THE weirdest food aversions to this day (week 34 and still dealing with metal mouth...feel for me.) so meat was out of the question. I was really hoping I'd pull a Miranda from SATC and be able to go to town on fried chicken, but that isn't in this mama's cards. We straight up served vegan dishes from Veggie Grill and it was awesome. There were lumpia (a yummy Filipino dish) for the meat eaters. A lactose intolerant mama got mac n cheese... All was right with the world. Donut Snob came through as always (If you've been reading this blog for awhile you may recall seeing an appearance of these round pieces of perfection at our wedding.) Ele, one of Mark's bootcampers made THE most perfect Ziggy strawberry and carrot cake flavored cupcakes. AND last but not least they served my favorite dessert for the moment, strawberry shortcake. It wasn't just any strawberry shortcake, though. It was the kind with the whipped cream frosting and the lightest, most fluffiest angel food cake you have ever tasted. If you're ever in the Tarzana area hit up Bea's Bakery. That place is mecca. You'll walk in, see crazy amounts of delicious and start humming "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music" or something equally as epic.



Jen helped plan the event from Middle Earth (isn't she just the best?! I mean she was very much pregnant throughout the whole planning stage.) Together with Nina, Glenda and Elaine (pictured above in that order) they pulled off the greatest shower filled with sweet baby shower activities such as a photo booth and a onesie station. It was so awesome I didn't even mind the odd cold weather.

Right as we opened our last gift one of our guests felt a rain drop on their forehead. Perfect timing if you ask me! I think it's good labor luck to have a shower on your shower, no? I'm gonna roll with that.




We had the best day and feel so grateful to have such thoughtful, generous and caring people in our life. Now it's time to nest and prepare for a whole new world filled with baby girl goodness. Life is swell.

Luv and Kiwi,

Tish

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. 
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