Sunday, January 31, 2010

Collage, Cruise and Jobs

Jeremy and I tried to go on a hike out to the White Rocks on Saturday, but the trail was soooo muddy. We made it about a mile before it just wasn't worth it anymore. When you're paying so much attention to where you're putting your feet, it kinda takes away from the scenery, you know? Besides, after being sick for the last two weeks, I needed to not push myself too much anyway.

After the "hike", we drove into Boulder and attended one of the two demonstration sessions artist Patricia Chapman was doing. She does these amazing mixed media collages, and she was demonstrating several ink transfer techniques. Once she completed the demonstration, she gave us free reign with her supplies. I picked out a masonite square with some paint splatter that I liked, several transparencies and some gampi paper, and collaged it all together with soft gel medium. I think it turned out pretty great! I might add some things to it later, I'm not sure.

Saturday night I went over to Hobby Lobby because they were having a 50% off sale on their pre-cut mat boards. I got a few to frame some of my art pieces, and some foamboard for backing. When I got home I cut up the watercolor that I had been working on and put it in the red mat that I bought. The straw technique I used for the painting was cool, but I think the red mat really made the painting special.

Jeremy's parents offered to take us with them on a cruise through the Caribbean in the last part of March. We waffled on it because of the cost of boarding the dogs, but in the end we took them up on their generous offer because we knew this would be the only real vacation we got this year. The further into the year we get, the bigger I get and the more restricted I'll be. Plus, after July we'll have an infant to think about! So, we're taking advantage. It might mean some unpaid days for me if HP shuts down for two weeks again around Christmas, like they have for the last two years, but hey -- it's a freaking cruise!

And in more awesome news, after job-hunting since his college graduation last May, my youngest brother finally got himself a job! He's going to do tech support for Dish Network. Not his dream job after putting in all that effort to get a degree in Business, but it'll pay the bills. Two of my friends got jobs this week, too. This gives me such hope that the economy is turning around. I just know Jeremy will find something soon. And if he doesn't, he's going to make this Internet business work. Good things are abounding!

And lastly, I'm still pretty run down from being sick, but I'm getting better every day. Maybe at some point I'll be able to start enjoying the second trimester! Baby has decided he/she prefers my right side, thus shoving my liver into my diaphragm -- but the good news is that as Baby is moving up and over, he/she is getting off of the nerve in my back. I'll take what I can get! Look for the next pictures in about 2 weeks.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Watercolor (yes I'm playing with techniques I learned this week!)


Start of a new collage

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pinkberry

Jeremy: Lemme see your phone.

Me: Okay. (I hand him my pink-skinned Blackberry)

Jeremy: I'm just going to do some hacking.

Me: On my little pink phone, huh?

Jeremy: Did you just call it a Pinkberry?

Me: (wiping away tears of laughter) No! But now my phone has a name. It is now the Pinkberry.

Date Night at REI

What happened to my immune system? Did the baby suck it all out of me? Because I'd like to go just one day without being sick, please. I was laid up for the last two days with a painful sinus infection, and I am DONE being sick. Done, I tell you!

Since I was feeling a bit better today, Jeremy and I decided to go on a date. We went to Turley's for dinner first. Wowww. I could have a small bowl of their tomato Parmesan soup and it would last me two meals. So creamy and tasty. Mmm. And their veggie dumplings were delicious too. Sadly we were serenaded by a screaming 4-yr-old with a father who refused to take him out of the restaurant. When my brothers and I were kids, even attempting to be HALF that loud would result in us being promptly removed from wherever we were, swatted on the bottom and admonished. Whatever happened to parents taking responsibility for their children? My parents did it. My friends do it with their kids. So where do these parents, these lazy or given-up parents, come from?

I digress.

After Turley's, we had an hour to kill before the talk we were going to. So we popped over to Barnes and Noble, where I found a hundred books I HAVE TO HAVE. And Jeremy found one with pictures of clown tattoos that is going to give me nightmares.

Finally we went to REI in Boulder. I hadn't been in that particular store before, and I was impressed. The layout was similar to the one in the Springs, but cleaner and easier to navigate. And they have this neat community center right in the middle, all set up with a projector screen and dozens of chairs. Way better than the storage room they use for classes and seminars in the Springs. Dave Sutherland was giving the presentation tonight, and if you locals ever get the chance to hear him speak, jump on it. He's so knowledgeable about local wildlife, geology, plant life, etc., and he's a wonderful speaker. He's a big player in Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. He talked about the 9 different conservation areas in Boulder County, and showed us where a lot of great trails were located. He also talked about some endangered and rare plants and animals that are found only in this area, and explained why they are here and nowhere else in Colorado. I left there DYING to go on a hike. If I'm feeling okay on Saturday and the weather is decent, I'm going on a hike to look for mink and burrowing owls!

Tonight was just a reminder of what a special place we live in. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to live in such a nature- and culture-rich place, and I will not take it for granted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dinner Theater, Etc.

I had my piano lesson on Friday. My teacher really boosts my confidence by telling me how quickly everything is coming back to me, and praising how I play. Playing piano feels pretty natural so far. Reading music, however, still isn't easy. I can read treble clef pretty well, but base clef still leaves me counting lines.

Saturday I woke up feeling pretty energized. Before Jeremy got out of bed, I managed to get the entire downstairs and both bathrooms cleaned, and made both of us breakfast. That left the entire day wide open to be lazy. Other than a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs, we just relaxed.

Saturday night we met my family at the Boulder Dinner Theater. Dinner was decent, dessert was FABULOUS, and Singing in the Rain was awesome. During the actual singing in the rain part, they put a set on stage that held the rain falling from the ceiling in one big puddle. The actor splashed around and soaked the first row of the audience. It was hilarious. Peter Pan is showing there this summer, and apparently they rig the actor up and he actually flies around the room. I would definitely like to go back for that.

Sunday was spent as I have been spending every Sunday lately. First I went to the service at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. It's a very uplifting experience every week, so no matter how lazy I'm feeling on Sunday mornings it's been pretty easy to get motivated to go. After the service, I came home, got changed and drove down the rec center for my prenatal yoga class. As always, Michelle unwound all my knots and helped me stretch my poor pregnant body out. She picks really great music for the final meditation, too.

Speaking of pregnancy, baby is finally making him/herself known. I'm not obviously showing yet, but I can see the difference in the mirror, and the way my belly feels is different now. Apparently I'm supposed to be able to start feeling movement in about another week. It sounds like 16 weeks is the magic number, in fact. That's when all the activity starts, baby can start to hear and see, and he/she moves more upward in my stomach. I'm 15 weeks today, so almost there!

Tonight I went to my A.R.T.S Anonymous group. It was a sharing night, but I didn't know that before I went because I missed last week due to having the flu. So I didn't get to share, but I did get to enjoy everyone else's art. Paintings, journal entries, poetry -- it was all inspiring. I got some great ideas for new painting techniques. I'm really hoping tomorrow night is a high energy night for me so I can try some of it out.

Catching up on the Fostering Creativity:

Wednesday 1/20/10:
Practiced piano

Thursday 1/21/10:
Practiced piano
Read some of Finding Water
Flipped through the books I got in the mail: Finding the Voice Inside, One Year to a Writing Life, The Daily Writer, Everyday You, and Stirring the Waters

Friday 1/22/10:
Piano lesson

Saturday 1/23/10:
Read some of Finding the Voice Inside and Stirring the Waters

Sunday 1/24/10:
Practiced piano

Monday 1/25/10:
A.R.T.S Anonymous meeting

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hope

I'm reading a book called Stirring the Waters tonight. It has thought-provoking ideas for writing topics, and interesting exercises to get the creative juices flowing. One topic suggestion was to write about what brings you hope. So here goes.

The sounds of geese flying to the lake bring me hope, because it is a reminder that nature is right outside my door. The cat curled up at my feet brings me hope, because he's a reminder that I'm loved unconditionally. I gather hope every morning from the pink clouds outside my bedroom window, because there is another fresh day afoot. My fingers dancing across the piano keyboard easier every day gives me hope that I will be able to play lullabies for my child. This blog, with how long it's lasted, gives me hope that I'll always be writing. The strong man sitting next to me gives me hope that our child will be born strong and healthy, even though my body feels weak at the moment.

Hope has always been easy for me to find. I am blessed for that. I know that hard times only mean good times ahead. And problems are only lessons left to be learned. This knowledge is intrinsic and unquestionable to me. Hope is my constant partner.

Sometimes my high hopes make people call me idealistic. Sometimes it sets me up for disappointment, when I have hope in something that doesn't come to pass. But I can't let it go. I can't shake hope any more than I can change the fact that I have green eyes. It's my nature to be hopeful, which also gives me a certain tenacity.

I was listening to a podcast the other day that talked about how artists are people born with "extra". Extra energy, extra motivation, extra bravery, extra drive, extra ways of seeing the world. And that extra can easily lead to excess. When you have extra energy, how can you not court mania? When you have extra motivation, how can you ever feel satisfied when something is completed? When you have extra bravery, how can you not risk your life more than most? And this is why so many artists become alcoholics, depressed, or addicted to unhealthy behaviors. I wonder sometimes if one of my "extras" is hope.

Jeremy gets upset at me sometimes because when a friend hurts me or lets me down, I easily forgive and forget. Sometimes it takes me longer than others, but if that friend is apologetic, I always forgive and let them back into my heart. He thinks I should just drop people that hurt me. And logically I should. I am a big proponent of not allowing negativity into one's life. However, my excess hope prevents me from blocking people out like that. I hope that they won't do it again, and I give them another chance. Sure, it bites me in the butt. A lot, in fact. But I've also garnered some really deep and trust-filled friendships from this constant state of hope.

So there are my thoughts on hope for the night. Hope you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Daily OM

Does anyone here subscribe to the Daily OM? If you've never heard of it, you should check out the site. When you subscribe, they will email you a little something to think about every day. Sometimes it's spirit-lifting, and sometimes it's just thought-provoking -- but I do enjoy getting them in my inbox every day.

Check out www.dailyom.com if you want to check it out.

First Flu

So remember how I was talking about my plans being constantly ruined by my rebelling body? So guess what happened Monday, on my day off. Argh!

Late Sunday night I started feeling sick to my stomach. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the fumes from the stain that Jeremy had used to darken some of our dining room furniture that day (yes, my husband actually did something handyman-ish!). So I asked Jeremy to put the furniture back outside until it had aired out more. But that didn't help. Then I thought maybe the sandwich I got from Snarf's for dinner had given me food poisoning. But after throwing up allll night, I realized it was neither. I was full-on sick.

I have never had the stomach flu (at least in my adult memory), but I've known enough people that have, and I recognized the signs. Knowing the danger of dehydration, especially since I'm pregnant, I woke Jeremy up at 7am and had him call the doctor for me. We got an appointment with a nurse at 11, and sure enough, she confirmed I had the flu. She also confirmed severe dehydration and low blood pressure, and insisted I have an IV. One of the assistants went out and got Jeremy from the waiting room, and when he walked in and saw me in a hospital bed with a nurse putting an IV in my arm, he said "Leave it to you to need an IV." LOL. A couple hours and 2 liters of saline later, I was sent home with some anti-nausea medicine and strict food and drink instructions.

I've been feeling better each day. Because I do tend to get pretty severely sick should I ever catch anything, I have always paid a lot of attention to my immune system. Supplements, vitamins, a healthy diet and frequent hand-washing are all in my everyday arsenal. And it works! I don't get sick. Of course, since I am pregnant, my immune system is down. And while I was fully aware of that, getting sick still took me by surprise because I am so diligent about my health -- plus, I hadn't been around anyone with the flu.

Anyway, it threw me off my game pretty good this week. I've been pretty much bedridden. So you can imagine how antsy I am. I am dying to practice piano, to put on some makeup, to leave the house. I wish I could at least read while I'm sick -- but it requires focus I don't have when I'm feeling ill. My head hurts from how much trash TV I've been watching.

There is a gallery opening in Boulder tomorrow night. I'm really hoping to make it to that. Pray for me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Knitted my first baby bootie!

Ruiner of Plans, Routine, and My Good Mood

The number one most frustrating thing about being pregnant, for me, is never knowing when fatigue will hit me. That makes it impossible to get into any kind of routine, and regularly ruins my plans.

Friday morning I woke up and went to work feeling great. I went to my piano lesson at lunch. My teacher is continually impressed at how much I remember from when I was a kid. That gives me a lot of confidence that this time around I'm going to be able to learn this stuff well. Still feeling good after my lesson, my plan was to finish out my workday and then go to a Relaxing Yoga class -- but right as I was wrapping my work up for the day, I started feeling like I got hit by a bus. So, I spent the night sitting on my butt feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday we went down to Colorado Springs for the day. I had a hair appointment, then I went to lunch with Josey while Jeremy went and visited Matt and Katie. Later that afternoon Jeremy and I went over to his parents' house and spent some time with his family. We all went to dinner at Mimi's Cafe. The twins (now 4 months old) do really well out in public -- I hope we have the same luck with our baby. We left the Springs at about 9:30 at night, and while I thought I was holding together pretty well (though verrry tired), as soon as we got in the car, I about fell apart. My back was killing me, I started getting tightness and a cramping feeling in my abdomen, and fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. A trip down to the Springs used to be a quick jaunt -- now it's an ordeal! My poor body. :(

This morning I woke up and the uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen had abated a bit, but now my tummy feels tight to the touch -- like overnight my body decided to embrace the second trimester. It was like I woke up to a big ol' sign saying, "Now it's time to show the world!"

I didn't make it to the Sunday service at the UUF today, but I did make it to Prenatal Yoga. My awesome teacher Michelle assured me that everything I was feeling was par for the course, and gave me a few stretches to try to help alleviate some of that uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen. She also suggested prenatal massage, which honestly I've been thinking about doing recently anyway -- so today I'm on a mission to find a good spa, and after my next paycheck I'll be making an appointment.

I have tomorrow off for MLK Day. So, as long as my random fatigue doesn't ruin these plans, we're going into Boulder to have lunch and walk around, then we're doing some registry shopping at Babies 'R Us.

And reporting in on the creative front...

Fostering Creativity:
Thursday, 1/14/10
Practiced piano
Read some of Finding Water
Wrote down some ideas for a new book
Printed, signed and framed one of my photos as a gift for a friend

Friday, 1/15/10
Went to piano lesson
Read some of Finding Water

Saturday, 1/16/10
Spent some time drawing with the nieces

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Colors in the Winter

I went for a walk around Waneka Lake today at lunch. It's still pretty icy and muddy, but it was worth walking slowly to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. As I walked around the frozen, snow-frosted lake, I looked at the leafless trees and imagined how beautiful they would be come spring. Winter trees look like skeletons to me. Twisted, dry skeletons. Combined with gray skies, white snow, black ice and the grim outline of mountains shadowed by clouds, it's enough to ruin any good mood. So I make it a point to look for colors to lift my spirit. Rich green fir, silver spruce, brightly painted houses, and in the evening, the last desperate flash of color in the sky as the sun goes down over the mountains.


Maybe that's why my art is always so colorful. While I respect artists that work with limited palettes, I prefer mine to be varied and bright. Color makes me feel alive.










Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creativity Obsession

I think I may end up becoming a creativity guru. I swear I spend so much time researching creativity and what makes creative people tick, I am becoming an expert. When I can't create -- when I'm in my dry spells, experiencing writer's block, or I'm fighting my creative side for some psychological reason -- I spend my time studying creativity.

I ordered 5 books from Amazon tonight. One of the books I wanted to order, but didn't have the money for, was a book of photos of various artists' studios. I saw some snapshots of the book on Google Books, and I knew it would be something inspiring to me. I love to see artists' workspaces. That's why Boulder's Open Studios tour is so fun to me. Seeing where artists work absolutely charges me up.

Maybe I should own a gallery. Hmm.

Some of the books I ordered tonight were about memoir/personal writing. I have dabbled in just about every genre there is, but none of them have ever stuck. My interest in this blog (and my last one), however, has never flagged. And I think my writing "voice" has really been established here as well. I've had several people tell me I should write a book about my life. Now, I don't think I've had enough tragedy or triumph do a memoir necessarily -- I think it was more a comment about my voice and style. So maybe these new books will help carve another book out of me. Personal essays this time.

And, to check in on Fostering Creativity, Wednesday 1/13/10:
Read Finding Water
Practiced voice exercises from "How to Say It" CD (attempting to curb my mumbling habit)
Bought Brenda Ueland audio book on writing
Ordered several new writing books

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nephew and Artistic Recovery Notes

I have known for years that I would be having my first child at the same time my friends were all having their second. And sure enough, I was absolutely right. Two of my closest girlfriends are having their second children -- one in April and the other around September. Several other girlfriends are trying for their second too. It's pretty cool to know that my child will have so many playmates.

I'm hoping he/she has a cousin too. My brother's ex-girlfriend just gave birth to my first blood nephew, Nicholas. It's a complicated situation -- not just between my brother and his ex, but also with Nicholas' health. Poor baby is still in the hospital. I don't want to get into a lot of detail here and trample on my brother's privacy, but I thought it was time to say something here. At least to mark the occasion, as I do consider this a journal of sorts. Also I am putting my prayer in writing to give it some extra power -- I pray that the situation eases for everyone, that Nicholas gets healthy and strong, and that the two cousins will get the chance to get to know each other.

Now on to a less somber topic...

In the spirit of "artistic recovery", I have decided to report here on my blog what I do each day to foster my creativity. I don't know if I'll necessarily do it daily, because my poor readers would probably get pretty bored of reading that, but I'll at least put notes in my regular blog posts.

So, here we go...

Fostering Creativity, Monday 1/11/10:
Attended A.R.T.S. Anonymous meeting
Read some of Finding Water by Julia Cameron
Sketched an idea for a painting

Fostering Creativity, Tuesday, 1/12/10:
Practiced piano
Read some of Finding Water by Julia Cameron

Monday, January 11, 2010

13 Weeks and A.R.T.S.

Today marks week 13 of my pregnancy. We had our 12-week prenatal appointment today, and I actually got to meet the doctor this time. She seems very competent. We got to hear the heartbeat on a doppler for the first time, and the second the doc put it on my belly, the heartbeat was loud and clear. She had just been warning me that it's perfectly normal to have a hard time finding the heartbeat, and was visibly shocked that she found it so easily. Obviously we have a very strong, healthy child, and I feel really good about how things are going.

So the fatigue is finally easing. It's not gone, but it's not so completely debilitating, nor is it daily anymore. One new thing that's been happening is that I've been getting woozy after taking a shower. Apparently I need to shower with less hot water. Great. Cold showers sound like fun.

I went to my first A.R.T.S. Anonymous meeting tonight. It was really interesting. It's based on the 12-step program, but applied to creativity. We "acknowledge we are powerless over our creativity". It's really a program of accountability. We have to report in what we've done with our art that week. Perfect for someone like me -- I need accountability in order to tie my shoelaces. The people there were artists of all stripes; painters, writers, composers, poets, even a director. It was a wonderful experience to meet such amazing people! I will definitely be going back. Even though it means I'll miss the beginning of Castle every week...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thoughts on God

I don't know if it's from being pregnant, going through and coming out of the trials of last summer, or a side effect of my extreme writers block (slash low motivation), but I have been thinking about god a lot lately.

Anyone that knows me for five minutes knows I'm not religious in any way. I consider myself spiritual, if anything. I have a lot of views on god, which fluctuate depending on my state of emotion, place in life, etc. Growing up, my parents introduced me to church and bible study -- but not so much to push me into religion as to introduce me to the concept and see if it stuck. It didn't stick. It didn't jive with my way of thinking, though I still believe Jesus was a wise, god-filled human being. I started studying world religions in my pre-teen years, and earth religions in my teen years. In my college years god became a natural force -- the energy in and around all living things, the thread that connected us all. And these days god feels like a higher power that is all of those things and more... more, I guess, meaning "accessible".

I have experienced firsthand the power of god (spirit, the universe, or whatever else you want to call it). This force has always led me to where I need to be, guiding me through hard times and into easier ones. I have never doubted the existence of something greater than myself because there is no other way to explain the wondrous things that have happened to me. Finding the motivation to graduate from college a year early, getting the guts to move to California and Texas by myself, reconnecting with Jeremy and opening up a new life in Colorado just as my life in Houston was coming apart at the seams, even getting pregnant the week we signed the lease in Lafayette -- all of these things had the hand of god in them. You have heard me say "The universe always looks out for me", and it, god, does. No matter how rotten things are in my life, I know on a soul level that I'm supposed to go through that, and there is going to be a good outcome from it. I have never ever doubted that, no matter how bad things got, because that higher power has never let me down.

As you know, I read a lot of Julia Cameron's works. She speaks my language. And she refers to prayer and faith in most of the things I've read by her. She recently published a book called Faith and Will, basically a long essay about her thoughts on god and faith, and I have been reading it for the last two weeks. She talks a lot about communicating to god through prayer. I've never really been a praying kind of person, but again my life is in a new place and maybe that's what is causing me to think more about it. But I find myself wanting to have that communication with god that she talks about. The daily open dialogue rather than the weeping confessional that occurs when I'm in a crisis, or the weekly meditation that we do at the UUF. I have seen the hand of that higher power in my life, and now I feel like I want to reach a hand back.

See? Even thinking about these things has made me write a nice long blog post. It's working already. :)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Piano Lessons, Counseling and Pain

I had my first piano lesson on Tuesday. I LOVE my teacher! Her name is Heather Cummins, and she's a graduate of the CU Boulder music school. Her teaching style is going to work well with my learning style, I think. When she asked me why I wanted to learn piano, I told her that I have fond memories of my mom playing the piano when I was growing up, and how she could just sit down and play any music in front of her -- and I want to do that for my child. Heather almost teared up! LOL

Jeremy and I went to the first appointment with our new marriage counselor last night. We both like this woman a lot. We've realized that regular counseling is a great way for us to not only work through issues in a safe environment, but it also makes us a lot more accountable for how we treat each other every day. It helps keep healthy communication techniques forefront in our minds. You know how hard it can be to think compassionately when you're angry or upset about something -- but when counseling is fresh in our minds, we have an easier time recalling the right communication tactics.

In baby news, I think Baby is lying on a nerve in my back. Or at least causing some kind of inflammation that's pressing on a nerve in my back. Remember last spring when my back got so tweaked I had to stop yoga for weeks and go to a chiropractor? Yeah, same problem. Same nerve. Argh. And on top of that, I've had this wicked headache for 3 days now. Some friends suggested it might be a sinus infection. They might be right. Good thing my next prenatal appointment is on Monday.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

BABY!

Here it is. The moment you've all been waiting for. The announcement. The cat leaping out of the bag. The big news.

I'm pregnant!

Yes, Jeremy and I are expecting our first child on July 19.

Yesterday marked week 12 for me. Keeping this a secret so long has been all but impossible. Not only do I want to shout it from the rooftops, but a certain someone's family has a hard time keeping these things under wraps, so it was leaking out left and right. So as of this post, most of you are probably not surprised by this news.

So, to recap the last couple of months...

I found out I was pregnant at about week 4. Given that we had been trying for so long, and none of my symptoms were abnormal for me, it was quite a shock. A good shock though! I was feeling great, no morning sickness or too much fatigue or anything... until week 6. Then I thought I was going to DIE. Constant nausea, major food aversions, and ooohhhh the FATIGUE! Just getting through the day sometimes took all of my willpower. Thank goodness that at about week 9, the constant nausea went away. Since then, I still have food aversions (even the thought of pizza makes me want to hurl), and the fatigue will still sometimes hit me out of nowhere -- but it's all a lot more bearable without the constant nausea.

We went to our first prenatal appointment on December 11. We got to see the baby via ultrasound for the first time. He/she looked like a little tadpole with an umbilical cord. But Baby was so incredibly active, doing a little dance for the audience -- we joked about me being pregnant with a jumping bean. Jeremy said "Spastic mom, spastic baby." The nurse commented how she had done a lot of ultrasounds that week, and none of the babies had been that active. Oh boy. Can't wait to see how this pans out in the third trimester...


Anyway, Baby is healthy and mama is healthy. All of my tests came back without anything abnormal. Since my yoga routine came to a screeching halt when the morning sickness set in, I'm easing my way back into exercise (when the fatigue doesn't have me in a heap on the couch, that is). I've been going to prenatal yoga on Sundays, and trying to walk during my lunch hour a few times a week. There are also 2 relaxing yoga classes at the local rec center that I go to when I'm feeling up for it. I have had pretty bad back pain every morning since about week 5, so it's important for me to keep up some kind of exercise practice -- when my hamstrings get too tight, the pain doubles.

I will start posting pics of me and ultrasounds of the baby soon. Right now I just look like I'm losing muscle tone -- I'm not showing at all. I still fit into all my jeans, though loose clothing appeals to me a LOT more these days. Baby doesn't like to be squooshed. As for the ultrasound, well, it's the most clear picture I've seen of any baby at that age -- but it still looks like a tadpole. The next set I get, the baby will be baby-shaped, and I'll probably post that for you. And yes, we definitely want to know the sex of the baby. We should know by mid-March, and I will be sharing that in a very loud way.

Catching Up from Being Lazy

I admit it. I was too lazy to blog for the last week. I had plenty of time to do it, and plenty of things to talk about. But I was lazy. That's what happens when I'm not working. Lack of structure in my day equals lazy lazy lazy.

So, to catch up. Wednesday my mom came up and met me at the house, and we drove into Boulder for lunch and shopping. We ate a delicious meal next to the fireplace at Turley's, then headed to Pearl Street. Lots of shopping success that day -- we found a vintage store with some great deals, and the new age bookstore was having a buy-one-get-two-free deal on select books. Afterward we came back to the house and she showed Jeremy and I the video she took while she was out in CA for my grandmother's 90th birthday. I still can't believe Mimi is 90 years old! She still teaches fitness classes and plays piano at the senior center in San Jose, and she's still living by herself in her own home. Amazing. I really hope I inherit those genes.

Thursday was New Year's Eve. Sadly that was also the day Jeremy was scheduled to get a root canal. But given my current health status (more on that in the next post), I wasn't able to be a party animal either, so it wasn't that big a deal to spend the night just hanging out at the house. We watched the rest of Dexter season 3 and I made banana chocolate chip walnut muffins.

Poor Jeremy has been put through the ringer the last month. We were trying to get everything out of our insurance that we could before our deductible started over again, so he got all his dental work done and completed a sleep study. His tooth had been bothering him for a while, so the root canal, though painful to go through, was a relief in the end. Especially with the help of Vicodin. LOL. And the result of the sleep study is now he's on a CPAP machine while he sleeps. He's still working with his doctor to get the settings right, but so far he's feeling a lot better physically in the morning, and he's not snoring. I've slept without earplugs for a whole week now!

I honestly don't remember what I did on Friday. Probably another lazy day.

Saturday Jeremy and I had a "date". We went to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, to start with. I want my $10 back. There were only three collections on display. One of the collections was photography from Andrea Modica, and it was a series of photographs taken on a working farm in Fountain, CO. I think that one was kind of ruined for me from having lived near Fountain for the last few years. The pictures made it out to be like a rural farm -- but I know that Fountain is far from rural. The other photography collection was photos of chicken coops. I kid you not. And the last collection was abstract art from Heather Wilcoxon, interestingly living in the same small town as my aunt Peg -- Sausalito, CA. I couldn't help but wonder if my aunt and the artist knew each other.

After the museum, Jeremy and I went to lunch at Carrabba's. What can you say about Carrabba's? I had noodles.

Sunday I went to the weekly service at the UUF (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship). They focused on the "web of care" and taking care of each other and our community. It was really nice. Then I went to yoga -- which ROCKED. And finally Jeremy and I had a bit of a movie day. We rented Jennifer's Body and 9. They were both pretty decent. They were the types of movies that Jeremy would purchase, but I wouldn't unless they were in the deeply discounted bargain bin. He and I have slightly different taste in what we spend our money on.

Last night I tried to go to the weekly ARTS Anonymous group in Boulder -- but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get to the meeting. It was at a church downtown, and the instructions on the website said to go in the west doors -- but there were no west doors. And there were no lights on anywhere. So, frustrated and tired of walking around on the ice in the dark, I went back home. Jeremy and I decided to go out for Mexican food instead. We went to Si Senor over on Arapahoe and Hwy 42, and we were pretty impressed. Especially with the chile rellenos and the apple chimichanga.

Today after work is my first piano lesson! I took lessons as a child, but gave up on it. I tried re-teaching myself recently, but it's not working out so well. So, I'm enlisting the help of a professional. My teacher seems amazing -- I can't wait to go!