Monday, September 28, 2015

Healing From the Trauma of a C-Section

One year ago this past Saturday, I pushed my 8 lb. 10 oz. baby out of my vagina and into the world. Sorry if that sentence was impolite, but the vagina part is important, because that birth was a successful VBAC, a vaginal birth after a C-section (you can read the full story here).

Newborn Baby

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Simple Celebrations

texas wildflowers for birthday

Today is my birthday.

(It's also the first day of autumn, so obviously it's a great day.)

My husband does a really great job of making my birthday a special day. He takes over most of the household duties and makes me Texas sheet cake just like my mom used to (he's gotten really good at it over the years) and generally always plans some spectacular birthday date for me. Already it's been a pretty special day.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Summer Projects: Making My Home More Beautiful

Let's start this post off with a huge caveat. I am NOT a professional interior decorator. I do not profess or claim any sort of talent or taste worth noting in this department. In fact, there is a side of me that likes to pretend I'm above such trivial things as worrying about paint colors and fabric swatches, although I realize this attitude is more about hiding my lack of talent and subconscious envy in this department, rather than an actual disapproval of home decorating itself. It goes without saying that, except for the purchase of furniture and items deemed necessary when we first move into a place, we have a home decor budget of approximately $0.

Then, last October I read Myquillyn Smith's (otherwise known as "The Nester") really fun home decor how-to book The Nesting Place. The book actually gave me a lot to think about how I viewed my home and the atmosphere I wanted to cultivate. I've learned several things about myself in the past year, and one of them is that I like beautiful things. This is not a bad or a trivial thing, but actually a very worthwhile and fulfilling pursuit. Smith's book helped me realize that I don't necessarily have to wait until we have that nice big dream home to start living amidst beauty. I could start now, in our small, 1,000 square foot city apartment, without much of a budget.

I didn't make any changes right off, because I had a new baby, and then I started school again, and I needed time to think about what I wanted to do anyway. But after getting my clutter cleaned up, my home was just begging to be rightly spruced up. So over the summer I set myself a to-do list of small, manageable, relatively cheap home decor projects, and I'm so pleased with the results that I can't help but share them here. Without further ado:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hashtag Bookstagram

I love Instagram quite a bit. For me, the primary purpose of Instagram is to post quick and cute pictures of my kids for all the various relatives and friends across the country who care about them. And I mostly follow friends and family I care about who post pictures of their kids. So my feed has lots of baby pictures. Lots and lots of baby pictures. And I love that.

However, a few months ago I discovered #bookstagram and the various other hashtags (#igbooks, #igreads, etc, etc,) that led me down a rabbit hole and into the world of artistic book pictures on Instagram. I've always followed some of my favorite book bloggers on Instagram, so I was familiar with the idea of people who post pictures of their current reads, but these hashtags introduced me to a set of accounts that take bookstagramming to the level of an art form.

We are talking about straight up book porn, people.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Kids and Clutter

Kids and Clutter

I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about kids and clutter. After getting the majority of my own stuff under control following the KonMarie method, I could feel a major shift in the atmosphere of our home, but at any given moment on a day to day basis, my house still looked like a disaster zone, thanks to my kids. It feels like they are just programmed to make messes and leave a constant stream of clutter in their wake. My 3 year-old "plays" with his toys by systematically dumping every basket or bin of toys on his floor every morning, and then slowly disseminating that mess throughout the house as the day wears on. It's discouraging, to say the least.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Two Week Mark: Panic Attacks, Erotica, and Other Crazy Stories

School's only been in session two weeks and I've already:

  • Lost multiple fights with the bookstore and Amazon.com to get my books in on time. Barnes and Noble just flat out canceled my order, after I'd paid! (Obviously got refunded, but no wonder they are going out of business if they purport to sell books they can't actually provide).
  • Experienced my first ever real panic attack. It was fairly mild, but that first week of the semester was pretty overwhelming.
  • Read a post-modern novel described as a "dream of electrifying eroticism and inexplicable violence." It's so different being a literature student at a non-religious school.
  • Had the professor of my research and bibliography course tell us that he disagreed with the MLA style guide, and that we should follow his rules instead for citations (I'm sorry, but what?!?!)
  • Used a ruler in class to measure the exact length in millimeters of a line rule on the title page of a 1790 copy of Pamela. I'm still trying to figure out just why that measurement was so important.
  • Had a professor announce on the first day of class that truth does not exist. Once again, so interesting being at a non-religious school (although this experience was far less inflammatory than the professor in my first semester who openly mocked an Indian student for believing that Hindu mythology was true, that guy was a real jerk).
So anyway, if I'm a little MIA around here for the next while, it's only because I'm expending all my energy trying to wrap my poor, sleep-deprived brain cells around Foucault and Derrida and the like. It's going to be a doozy of a semester.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Books I Read in August

August was a mixed bag when it came to pleasure reading. I felt distracted, and didn't get as much reading time in as I wanted because I was trying to finish up a bunch of other projects on my summer to-do list before school started. Still, five books (only one for homework) is a decent month for me. It was a bit of an unusual month blogging-wise in that I actually reviewed three of these books before this end of month round up (the traditional book reviews have been thin around here in the past year, but I had opinions to share on these books).