Monthly Archives: October 2007

in my compartment

Japanese Garden, Portland, OR, Canon Rebel Xti

I have been feeling very sequestered lately. Closed up in my little pod, hanging out with Ben, feeling disconnected from the big world out there. Don’t get me wrong, it is sweet over here… building castles made of blocks and knocking them down, climbing on furniture, listening to music, swinging at the park. The cuteness quotient is through the roof but it still can be lonely for a new mama. I find myself planning trips to Target or Whole Foods as a big adventure. Going to the pediatrician is occasion enough to get dressed up (out of my sweats) put on lipstick and dress Ben in cute clothes.

It strikes me as strange that our lives are set up this way: All of us in our little pods, perhaps all feeling disconnected, yet with the feedings and naps and trying to get a bit of work done, we are also busy and not always available for each other. I have been trying to find a balance with this since the beginning and I wish I could say I figured it out.

There is a way that I don’t feel on top of my game anymore (creatively, professionally) and I see my confidence waining at times. The longer I do this, I feel myself slipping away… I understand better now how people say they “lose themselves” when they have a child, dedicating every bit of energy and attention to their baby, their partner, their home. And yet, I don’t feel on top of my game as a parent either. I am still in limbo, trying to figure out who this new version of me is, clinging a bit to who/how I was, yet really wanting to surrender and embrace the now. I feel like I have this new, great job but I feel very insecure at it and it has terrible working conditions (24 hour shifts, no supervisor, no training program, on call at all times, someone’s LIFE is in your hands) Oh yeah, and you don’t get paid! Shouldn’t there be labor laws for this?

I spent the afternoon yesterday photographing SARK for her new book. Being with her, talking about our dreams and challenges and joys was like pure oxygen. We listened to Ben Harper and drank tea and I had her twirl for me in front of the camera. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I felt some part of myself rising up again. A really sacred, deep, me that has gotten lost in the shuffle. This is the part I can’t give up, the part I need to nourish right alongside Ben.

Have any of you found this balance?

back from Portland

leaf spectrum, portland, OR, Canon Rebel Xti

We love Portland! and had such an incredible time… as you can see below, Ben is a fan.

We had a sunny stroll in the Japanese Garden and took photos of the fiery autumn leaves, browsed in the ginormous Powell’s for as long as Ben could stand it, stayed at the very hip Ace Hotel (blinded Ben with the photobooth flash way too many times) and had the best cappuccino of my life at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. We also stayed with friends in Overlook and got a taste of life with kids in Portland. We will definitely be back.

The flight home was only a bit more than an hour but felt really long….we were those people. You know the ones with the screaming baby? Things were going okay when he was climbing the seats, pushing buttons and grabbing the hair of the people around us. He was even charming when he would wave at people until they agreed to play with him. But toward the end of the flight, he would remember how tired he was, hurl his head back and scream until he threw up. Then he would quiet down. Then he screamed again, threw up all over me, and quieted again. His diaper was extremely full but we were afraid to change him on the plane so we were trying to hold out until landing. The woman next to us looked like she was holding her nose and breathing into her hand. Matt and I kept huddling ourselves as close as we could to the window to keep our fumes concentrated. It was an adventure!

I remembered something my friend Susan told me once. She was on a plane and sat next to a mom with a baby. She told them at the beginning of the flight, “I love babies. I don’t mind crying and if you need to get up, I’m happy to hold him.” Wouldn’t you just love it if someone said that to you? I prayed that our seatmate would be an angel like that.

At the end of the flight, the woman next to me said, “He was so good!” I was shocked. I thanked her for being so tolerant. In her sweet english accent, she said, “Truly, it was my pleasure. He is such a sweet boy.” Then as we got off the plane, everyone gushed over him again. It was a good lesson in assuming that people are much kinder than we think.

And we are really happy to be off that plane.

needing a lift

ben, Canon Rebel Xti

Ben has his first cold and is very unhappy about it, especially when I try to wipe his nose.

Places to go to lift the spirits:
I’ve been loving every recipe I’ve tried on this site: Simply Recipes

The new Speesees colors for fall are so beautiful! See more of them here

Congratulations to Maggie and Melissa on the launch of Mighty Junior!

And one quick baby question for you out there. Has anyone had any experience with a baby that is having trouble with finger food? Ben seems to gag and throw up if I give him anything more than pureed jar food. One cheerio will throw him over the edge… I am very concerned about choking and don’t want to rush things… but I know that I need to keep trying. I’d appreciate any encouraging stories! (please no scary stories)

the things that scare us

self portrait in yet another friend’s bathroom, Canon Elph SD1000

I keep reading all of your responses to the last post (What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?) and it is an amazing collection of dreams… some of them will come true and some won’t. It’s really up to us.

I wasn’t trying to trick you when I asked that question. I’m not going to say What are you waiting for? or If not you, then who? or What’s stopping you?

Unless of course, you’d like me to.

What I will say are a few things that struck me as I contemplated your comments this week:

There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t realize these dreams.
You are still good.
You are still perfect.
You are still your superhero self.

The things that scare us are often what bring us the most joy.

What would you do?

Can’t fail Cafe, Emeryville, CA Canon Digital Rebel Xti

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

p.s. thank you for all of your suggestions about Portland. I will never go away again without consulting you first!

craving fall

pomegranate at the berkeley farmer’s market, Canon Elph SD1000

I have been craving seeing fall leaves… does anyone know if Portland, Oregon is a good place to see them this time of year? And if so, do you know of any good places to stay?

mama’s got her groove back

Rafael and me, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Monkey Zoetrope by Peter, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Mama got her groove back at the Burning Man Decompression party yesterday. It wasn’t exactly Burning Man but it was a damn good party. The monkey image above is a piece that I heard about over and over and finally got to see. It was a zoetrope! and the monkeys looked like they were swinging from tree to tree… it was unbelievable. I kept saying, “And they’re not really moving?” You can see a short clip of them in motion here.

Sasha and Rafael, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

More dancing pics on my Flickr page.

Ben talks to angels

This is your adorable little friend (10 months old today) standing up for the first time in his crib! We had to promptly lower his mattress after this tremendous feat.

*Please note the moments in the video when Ben is clearly getting props from the angels or perhaps having a chat with god himself.

for those of you who never tire of Ben pics

Ben is almost 10 months, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Ben at his favorite park, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Since Ben was born I have became a serious online shopper. I have mixed feelings about this because I love that real human contact, but when you can barely get to the grocery store it’s nice to have options. I have been doing some browsing (okay some purchasing too) of baby shoes since Ben is almost to point of where he will need them.

Ridiculously cute baby shoes: Buskins superstar from Australia.

Robeez are always a fave.

Me in Mind shoes are awesome as well, for that baby who likes to live on the edge.

Keepsake shoe..

Oh and if only I could dress Ben in these metallic Mary Janes

Photo Friday: Wholesome

Ben with his big eyes, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Photo Friday’s theme this week is wholesome…

This photo made my day today.

Off to see elizabeth gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) on oprah!