Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fondue

I had about three posts I wanted to write. I've been taking Sudafed lately for a sinus infection and it's left me with energy out the yang! I can see why they keep that stuff behind the counter. However, all of it has been spent elsewhere. I'm starting a new job, Jack will be going to pre-school Monday (WTFOMGWHEREDIDMYBABYGOOOOO*TEARS*?!?!), we'll be headed up to Phoenix Saturday for one of my dear friends' burlesque debut and laundry. Oh, the laundry I need to catch up on...
Anyway, it's Friday! There's always that period at the end of the week to embrace right? Let's hug it out.

I lurve the hell out of this print.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these sandals. I think I'm leaning towards "hell yes".
Duvet cover coveting.
And a perfect summer dress (yes, I got a little UO crazy).
Cool craft project for the mini chime lover in your life.
How fun would it be to swim with a manatee?!
Beautiful birthing scene photos. They almost brought a tear to my eye.
We've all been there.
My new-totally-bad-for-me-super-awesome-time guilty pleasure.
Pretty offices.
Dreamy bathroom.
Good idea for a patio. Perfect for Tucson sunset sitting!
Easy and delicious snack idea.
Screaming for this ice cream (or at least loudly asking politely for).
The Tucsonan in me LOVES this cake.
Gorgeous photo sesh (the one with them on the blanket w/the record player is my fav!).
This has been my mantra for my week (and for many more to come).

Musica of the week!
"A Summer Thing" by Oregon Bike Trails
"I've Just Seen A Face" by Ludella Black (Awesome Beatles cover!)
"The Headmaster Ritual" by The Smiths, covered by Radiohead!
"Gold Teeth" by Man Man OR "Feathers" by Man Man (I couldn't decide, I have a thing for pianos).
"To Fail You" by Low Skies (I used to listen to this on the bus on my way to school, it breaks my heart in the best kind of way).
AND! My FAVORITE. It makes my insides feel like shooting stars- "Ashes To Ashes" by Warpaint (David Bowie can see why I love it so, yes?)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I'll keep the light on for you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The End Of A Hair-a

"A woman's hair is her crowning glory."

I suppose that COULD be true. Hair is a funny thing. It's amazing how much we tend to hold on to it. A security blanket that we place a lot of stock in. Bad hair days giving us strife, good ones giving us confidence.

For the last three years I had tried to grow out my hair.

"I don't want to let myself go", I thought, after having Jack. Growing out my hair seemed like the right route to take to ensure that. Because long hair meant effort. It meant options. I clung to it, thinking it made me sexier, less "mom-like".

I dyed it red. A color of confidence, whether I truly had it or not. Turning the bathtub into a horror movie scene every three months or so, I changed my hairs chemistry and swore that, in turn, it changed mine.

I walked into the salon ready. I had had enough. I handed the hairdresser my desired hairstyle and she went to work. Down, one by one, inches worth of hair fell. Freeing up my shoulders, taking away damaged hair and split ends I would be found picking at like a fiend. I breathed.

I've carried a lot on my head the last three years. Growing things out all around. Changing, learning, pushing forward to get to a place that I can look upon with a smile, contentment, pride.

She clipped away, for about forty minutes she worked, cutting away piece after piece, examining and cutting again. And when it was over I smiled, thanked her, tipped her and headed to my car.

"I let myself go" I thought, only this time it meant something entirely different. I freed up my back, my neck, my shoulders, yes, but I also freed up myself. I felt more womanly than I have in a long time. I wasn't hiding behind anything anymore.

And I'm not hiding behind anything anymore. Not even myself.

On the birth of your daughter

Dearest friend/new father,
May you braid flowers in her hair and let her keep the strays she brings home, and she will bring them. Our hearts are made to take in the poor, stranded, sad. You will be amazed at how much so.
She will cry and scream and curse you. Stay there. Understand. Give her time.
She will have her heart broken. It will make her stronger if you give her the foundation in which to flourish.
She will have good days and bad days. Days where the tears stream for unknown reasons or for reasons all too obvious.
Let her wear a tutu to the dinner table, her favorite bathing suit in the bathtub. Let her dream the wildest dreams and don't forget your own.
Let her blow bubbles in her milk. Laugh with reckless abandon. Give her chocolate for no reason other than you're happy to see her face. You will be. Everyday.
She is made of you and the woman you love. Stardust and years of a tender love that radiates under the chests of millions. She is precious. She is love.

Congrats Rene and Megan. Welcome to the rest of your lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hair Muse

I finally accepted it- I need a haircut. I've been trying to grow out this mess of a mane for about three years now (getting it trimmed/touched up every six months or so) but it's reached a sad state. My ends are fried and I've dyed it far too much (been dying it red consistently for a couple years and since red fades out fast, I've been dying it a lot). But! I'm ready now. Cute bob here I come! My inspiration- Annie Monroe (of The Like).

Also, is The Like not the cutest/hot girl band you've ever seen?! I mean...c'mon-

This cut will likely spawn a vintage hat thrifting obsession and regular red lipstick wearing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Fondue- Stubborn Swede Edition

Now, not all Swedes are stubborn, I just used to hear my grandmother calling my grandfather "that stubborn Swede" enough times and it has been ingrained in my head. Plus, I also happen to be a tad stubborn, so maybe...?...I digress.
Anyway, I happen to love a good 'ol Swede/Scandinavian aesthetic. So I figured I'd share some of my favorite Swede related findings from the web.

I would love these dresses for my errand running.
Badass car for kids (albeit a tad pricey)
They will be mine...oh yes...they will be mine.
Funny and cute (and also my favorite candy for obvious reasons!).
Add this to the list of things "For My Future Daughter" (I'm losing my mind...seriously).
This too...
Prints (for the kitchen)! Prints (for the bedroom)! Prints (for the baby)!
A VEGAN Swedish Meatball recipe?! WHAAA?!? Although I won't hold it against you if you MUST have them the way grandma made 'em!
Swedish Street Style and some more...
Swedish girls who don't look Swedish (I feel this since I AM half Mexican after all...I got the dark hair and ability to tan (my mother burns), whereas my brother basically looks like a teenage Dolph Lundgren)

Some sweet Swede tunes-
"Can't Hurry Love"- The Concretes
"Young Folks"- Peter, Bjorn and & John
"Black and Blue"- Miike Snow
"Heaven's On Fire"- The Radio Dept.
"Our Own Pretty Ways"- First Aid Kit
"Play It For Today"- The Legends
"Hate To Say I Told You So"- The Hives
"Dancing Queen"- Abba (I HAD too!)

Now, the question remains- have you hugged a Swede today?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Run, run as fast as you can...

I've not been writing as of late. But I HAVE been thinking about it! That counts right? RIGHT?!?!

The truth is a lot of things have happened in the last couple of weeks. Some heartbreaking. Some great. Some good news. Some bad. All of them requiring an energy I feel I need to acquire more of. That's another thing I need to add to the To Do list- Acquire more energy.

I'm trying to collect the thoughts from a multitude of events/topics/realizations and get them down. I hope you can bare with me for the drop/lack of substance in posts lately. It pains me because writing has been a large outlet for me. This is probably why I don't see a therapist- I'm a cheapskate and I have a blog. If it ain't broke don't fix it right?

So, I apologize. Once I get a little bit more situated in my thoughts/sleeping habits I should be back with something.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Out losing my mind...

Be back after the videos...

I need a power nap like nobody knows.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Birth Story, For What It's Worth

Since starting Lullabies and realizing that my blog, whether I choose to accept it or not, tends to slip into "mommy blog" territory, I've toyed with the idea of posting my birth story. I've read a few at other places and have enjoyed tales of women doing, in all shapes and forms, one the most challenging aspects of life; the bringing in of another. The MOST challenging aspect of life? Getting your coffee maker and VCR to stop saying 12:00. I digress. Since Jack is taking a nap right now (the voodoo is working you guys!) I figured I'd regale you with the tale of how Jack almost but didn't come out of my vagina but came into the world nonetheless.

Here is that story.

March 6th, 2008

"Lets have sex. I want this baby out now. I've walked all day and he's overdue and I'm kind of horny anyway. Your fatherly duties start now. Pretend I'm hot and lets go for it."

Greg won the Oscar for his role in "Things I Did So My Pregnant Girlfriend Wouldn't Maime Me" that night.

March 7th, 2008

We wake up and Greg starts getting ready for work while I get ready for my job that I started around my seventh month of pregnancy- being aggitated. I start thinking that nothing will get Jack out and that I'm destined to be that forty year old woman on the Discovery Channel who is PREGNANT FOR TWENTY YEARS or something equally horrific. But then-
"Whoa. Uhhhh...I think we may be on to something here."
"Yeah. Call in. I think this is it."

Greg calls in and the first thing I think of is how hungry I am and how I'm happy he's off because now he can drive my fat, laboring ass to Burger King to eat the last thing I would be able to eat for over twenty four hours. I scarf two, yes two, Whoppers and fries and proceed to lay around counting the minutes between contractions and freaking the hell out. Because I am twenty years old and while all my peers are gearing up for spring break I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I will soon be trying to push a living, breathing human being out of my body. I suppose my peers and I did have ONE thing in common in that moment- the want of a really strong margarita.
After things started to progress (read: I was cussing more at the contractions, Greg, my unfinished french fries) we decided to move the party over to the birthing center. I spent the next hour or so being hooked up to monitors and pretending like I knew what the hell I was looking at. After that they said I wasn't dilating enough and to take a walk for an hour to speed things up. Because that was EXACTLY what a wanted to do. Go and pick some daisies while my insides were being squeezed by invisible man hands. So walk we did. It was nice to be able to scream at things like lizards and cactus. I knew they wouldn't judge me and my colorful language.
Once we walked around for a good hour I was admitted into my room. It was swanky. I immediately perked up and became slightly confused. Had Greg won a crapload of money playing craps with other expectant fathers while I was on the monitor thing and we got upgraded to the "High Rollers Birthing Suite"? Whatever it was I liked it. There were wood floors. Wood floors land directly on #15 of my all time favorite things. We settled in and Greg began the first of his many trips to fetch me cherry flavored popsicles and ice. I hate cherry flavored anything, but labor does weird things to the mind. I turned on Scrubs (television lands on #14 of my all time favorite things) and the wait began...

"Yes. YES. I would like the epidural! YESPLEASEKTHANKSBYEDOCTORMAN!"

I had held out long enough. It should be known that prior to going into labor I had this grand plan of what my labor would look like. Wanna know what I thought it would look like?
1. I would breathe like I had taken yoga for five years instead of whining about how "I should take yoga"...for five years.
2. I would walk around and pause, letting contractions wash over me like a birthing goddess and people would marvel over my birthing goddessness.
3. I would have my ipod playing a thoughtfully planned birthing mix and we would cry and get excited and cry again when the right songs played.
4. My hair would've looked a lot better.

But, I forgot my ipod at home so none of this went down. I proceeded to eat ice pops and tell my mom "this is the first and only grandchild you're ever getting out of me so I hope you're happy" repeatedly. I became THAT woman, when the going got tough. Luckily, I had an AMAZING team of nurses to guide me along and support me. I will say that much about my birthing experience. The nurses made it bearable. My doctor, for some reason, could not be there for my labor and I was introduced to the guy that would be. Remember that scene from "Knocked Up"? Well, I couldn't find the right clip on Youtube, so this one will have to do. But my doctor was kind of a step up from that being that he asked me politely, but with a slight off-putting grin, if he could "pop my waters" (my water had not broken) and then proceeded to go to Barnes and Noble. How do I know he went to Barnes and Noble? Because he told me "I'm gonna go and get some coffee and read at Barnes and Noble". This was the man I trusted to fist me periodically throughout the evening to check my progress. I considered becoming a lesbian after that, what with my hatred of men growing by the minute. I know you can't just BECOME a lesbian, but if freshman year of college taught anybody anything it was that you could for a little bit, if you wanted to.
So things are going kind of okay. I'm sucking down water and chewing ice cubes like I'm going to win something (hint: I DID win something! You'll find out at the end of the post!), people are doting on me and I can't feel the pitocin they had me hooked up to because I had used jedi mind tricks asked for an epidural and was marveling over how awesome the world was and I no longer wanted to be a lesbian. None of this would prove effective for actually HAVING a baby. My body just wasn't having it. I have a small pelvis. Jack ended up being 9lbs. 5oz. and after about three hours of strenuous pushing and no progress, we began considering a c-section.
I cried.
They wheeled me into the OR and did what they had to do. It was kind of like Inception. Only instead of being really confused at the end, I had a baby.

March 8th, 2008

I awoke from the anesthesia and looked into my sons eyes for the first time. It was like Christmas. It was like all the birthday wishes I'd ever made had been wrapped in a blanket. I smelled his head and fell in love.

It wasn't a perfect. But he was.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Friday Fondue

Obsessed with this jacket (who doesn't love EmersonMade though?).
For my future daughter. Should I ever have one.
I want to make/eat this NOW.
I want to paint a wall this color.
Songs That Have Been On Repeat-
"Burning"- The Whitest Boy Alive
"Heartless Romantic"- The Dears
"Pitseleh"- Elliott Smith
"No Key, No Plan"- Okkervil River
"Do You Believe In Destiny?"- The Fresh & Onlys
"When I'm With You"- Best Coast
"Black Cab"- Jens Lekman
I'm not really the biggest Angelina Jolie fan (not a hater or anything, there are just other actresses out there I like better) but this picture made me happy.
Outfit coveting in 3..2..1...
Oh, hi, yes, I'll take a 7 1/2.

For those about to catch up on sleep/eat/play/dance/laugh/watch a movie/drink/pick up some nice plants for your yard/maybe go out and get some frozen yogurt/chase your kids/relax/freak the geek out/check your mail for Netflix/wang chung tonight/kung fu fight/rock the casbah.....I salute you. Happy Weekend to all and to all a goodnight! THANK YOU VERY MUCH TUCSON!

.....okay...second wind has expired...Amanda out.

One Second Outfit Posts

Swedish fish in the desert.

Sometimes vanity lacks a second party photographer.

Ants On A Log

Some people feel like a parent when the big moments happen. The first steps, the first words, goals achieved, milestones passed. I've always found it in different places. When I step on a toy car. When I pluck Panda off the floor and find myself holding him just a second longer, smelling the top of his over loved head before setting him somewhere more civilized than the floor. The floor, with it's shoes that bring dirt in from the park. Parks that, three years ago, I never cared about. Too old to appreciate the swings anymore.
Today I found it in these-

I haven't had ants on a log since, well, probably since I was close to Jack's age. But we had the ingredients, I had the time and it seemed like a good idea. How many times have you wished for somethings that "were around when I was a kid"? I still think Nick Jr dropped the ball when they dropped Eureeka's Castle. I spent quite some time filling in those celery stalks with peanut butter and placing raisins in their designated spots, making sure there was a proper peanut butter/raisin/celery ratio.

For some reason I felt a great pleasure in this otherwise mundane task. Relishing in the almost meditative quality of it. Being absolutely boring can be underrated. My brain unwired, my hands busy, the music on, the kitchen empty of people; it was a moment.

And then it was gone.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Doors and Me

Through years of casual observation, I’ve noticed that friends of mine either completely love or flat-out loathe The Doors. Doors front man Jim Morrison tends to be described as either “deity” or “buffoon,” depending on the person's mouth these words are falling out of, though not exclusively from each camp. I happen to like them, The Doors. Him. Jim.

It was probably my junior year in high school when I, for a lack of a better word, opened myself up to The Doors. The boys I crushed on usually talked about them in the midst of deep discussions of classic rock album catalogs, and since they rarely failed me in recommending music, I went to the local Target and picked up the two-disc Legacy compilation, a perfect Doors starter kit.

I went home and drew a bath, as was my usual nightly ritual, and put on Disc One in my bathroom-appointed CD player. The Doors’ first single, “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” off their self-titled debut album, poured from those tiny speakers, reverberating across the bathroom tiles.

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side

By the time "The End" came on, my bathwater had turned cold. I laid there mesmerized, unaware of my pruning violet fingertips or my pending homework. Unaware of the day, now almost over; of my little brothers or my parents; I was now looking well beyond those boys who recommended the music to me in the first place. I was a slate wiped clean, and one thing filled it back up- sexuality.

I know it's a cliché to wax on about how Jim Morrison was sex poured into leather pants, bellowing on about Native American Shaman and lizards, but it was the mix of dark and light that pulled me in. He was Dark and Mysterious, yes, but underneath it was a man dying for something sacred, as was I.

My makeshift bathroom séance was not the first time I’d heard of The Doors. Through my parents I had cultivated a love of classic rock in my early years. My dad would fill the house with Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd and, sometimes, even Neil Diamond. I remember my mother getting a wild hair up her ass one night and hijacking me from my room because she HAD to go pick up a copy of an Ozzy Osbourne album she realized she’d lost years ago. And so we drove home singing, riding the metaphorical "Crazy Train," and feeling, well, like a couple of wild and crazy broads. They had their jams, but The Doors were my thing. My parent's weren't that big on ‘em—they knew songs, but never bought any of their stuff. Meanwhile, my girlfriends mostly rejected The Doors right off the bat in favor of Dashboard Confessional (another post entirely) and music in the same vein. Again, that ‘60s L.A. foursome remained my thing.

The Doors’ music relaxes me in a way I struggle to put into words. It pulls out my inhibitions and replaces them with reckless abandon. I slip into a different skin entirely. Suddenly I’m a dog with my head sticking out of the car window. I’m jumping into the deep end with both feet, on a moonlight drive. And yes, I am ready and willing, onto the next Whiskey bar.

About a year ago, while celebrating a friend’s birthday, enough cocktails drove the conversation from giddy laughter into talk of strippers and strip clubs. I’d never been to one. "You know what we SHOULD do...."

As we walked into our designated gentleman’s club, the lighting instantly threw me off. Despite the half-naked entertainers working the club, I felt even more uncomfortable within my own clothed skin. I knew what the majority of the patrons were there for, but my intentions were more in the spirit of fun and games, like a reverse-bachelorette party. I felt a little weird knowing that by being there I was wasting these girls' time, as they were earning a living and I was merely taking up precious real estate, sipping my Midori Sours. I felt uptight and weird. Then my friend decided she was going to buy me a dance.

"Nooooo. No way. No. No. Nah uh. No."
"Yes. Just one. You have to. This is probably your first and only time here. I've had one before. They're fun!"
"No. Maybe. One more drink… And if I see a girl I like/respect/can talk to. Maaaaybe."

I texted Greg in various stages of my intoxication and regaled him with stories of who I saw and what could happen."

"Do it!"
"You're just saying that because you're a guy."
"Well, don't do it if you're uncomfortable. But you ARE at a strip club. Trust your instincts."

I sat back down and waited for The Right Moment, noting the paying customers around me so I’d know what to do with my body language. Watching the dancers to see where mentally they were at. Normally I’d be much too emotionally sensitive to be in a strip club, but there I was. The hours passed; my Lap Dance Window closing. I would go down as a prudish square, on this the day of my friend’s birthday. And then....

A song.

And a girl. A lithe, blue-eyed blonde with all the tenacity in the world. A twenty was exchanged and I got my first and last lap dance. I tried to focus on just the song, and despite the fact that I was totally out of my element, at some point, it WAS fun. I felt like girl, a woman, in the oddest way. She may not have been Dark and Mysterious, but in a flurry of body glitter, distorted guitars and a faux-Shaman warning of Mister Mojo Rising, I broke on through.

Just the way Jim would've wanted it.

And here's a few of my favorite Doors tunes. Bathtub not required.

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