Saturday, May 17, 2008

Beauty and Praise

Hedra, an online acquaintance of mine, is a very wise woman. To our joy, she has recently started blogging. She always has interesting, well-informed, and thoughtful things to say, which was why we all (the community over at AskMoxie) all encouraged her to start blogging.

Today she wrote about praise and beauty, and I hope you find her remarks as thought-provoking as I did.

I've never worried too much about my appearance. When I was born, it was evident that I would be a person of some size, and my parents instantly embarked on a "big is beautiful" campaign, which worked quite well. I've never been "fat", although I've always had some womanly curves about me, which some who obsess about that sort of thing might think of as excess. Every once in a while, when my jeans get a bit too tight from drinking too much soda, I fuss about it a bit, to myself if no one else, but I never really change my habits. My body is as it is, and I like it as it is. There are things I'm not too fond of - my appendix scar, for one. But there are many more things I like, even love - my hair, sable and wavy, and beginning to turn the beautiful silver of my grandmother's; my eyes, dark hazel-brown, big and liquid; my waist, uneven from scoliosis but swelling sexily to my hips. I actually inherited most of my physical traits from my mother's mother, from my hair to the shape of my nose to the very way my pants crease over my thighs. It was a revelation the day I was looking at pictures of Gran as a very young woman, and admiring her beauty, and then realizing how much I resemble her (except for the part about being seven or eight inches taller). I wish I had some of those pictures of her to show you. Maybe I will someday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First, the inevitable Belly shot. It's not a skin shot this time because I'm modeling my brand new, just arrived in the mail ten minutes before Bravado nursing tank. Comfy!!!

I'm now 37 weeks and pretty much down to playing the waiting game. I hate waiting, always have, but at least this give me knitting time. :) The most uncomfortable part is that I'm now suffering heartburn bad enough that it occasionally makes me throw up... and Maalox doesn't do much. >.< Oh, well, a few weeks, and that'll be done, and I'll have other things to worry about...

Remember the peonies I got a snowy shot of a few weeks ago? This one is currently gracing our dining room table. The color's a bit off - the depth and intensity are about right, but it's actually a vibrant magenta, not red. It also smells WONDERFUL, although the fragrance is very light and you have to stick your nose right in the flower to catch it. I'm so glad for the delightful surprises my new garden keeps giving me... even with the occasional unpleasant one.

These three little charmers are Josh's nieces (I suppose mine, too, now, but I haven't quite gotten comfy with that notion yet). In order of age and height, they are Rachel, Paige, and Jessica; Rachel and Jessica are sisters, and the daughters of the younger of Josh's two elder sisters. Paige is the daughter of Josh's eldest sister. They're all dressed up for their great-grandfather's funeral last Friday, and looked so sweet and beautiful that this is almost the only picture I (well, Josh, really) took of the occasion, despite my best intentions. The funeral was... ambiguously melancholy; Grandpa Roy was Grandma's second husband, and while a lovely man, most of Josh's family wasn't terribly attached to him. It did serve for an opportunity for me to cry some for my own departed grandparents, for whom I hadn't really had much chance to mourn. A little embarrassing to be sobbing at the funeral of a man I barely knew, but hey, you grieve when you can, right?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Greeeeeeeeeeennn!! ...Eventually.

Norma is such a gardening inspiration... damn her eyes. I mean, I've been craving gardening space for years, and one of the things I was looking for while house-hunting was gardening space, and I was so happy when this house, in addition to its other perfections (well, qualities, anyway) had two raised beds already installed in the back yard. But then I look at what I can do, and what she has... *sigh* I really shouldn't compare, she's had her garden for years, and this is my first, and I'm pregnant and mobility challenged, to boot. Next year it'll be better. I still covet her bed edge thingies.

Tomatoes! Itty bitty yellow pear tomatoes, which Josh and I both love. The big sprawly thing is the parsley that our realtor gave us as a moving-in present, and which I had been keeping on the kitchen windowsill. The rosemary is still there, but the parsley had grown beyond my ability to keep it happy in a pot. What you can't see (because they haven't sprouted yet) are marigolds, to the right of the tomatoes, and chamomile, up in the watered panhandle.

This is the current state of the larger bed. I turned the soil in the last couple of days - half at a time because I'm so gimped right now - and now I'm getting out with the hoe and smoothing the clumps out. I expect that to take about two more days, because I can only do about a third at a time before I poop out. I wish I could do a better job of smoothing, etc., but I'm doing what I can. This is going to be flowers! Veggies, which I shall do in abundance another year, would be redundant because of the CSA we're doing, and I also anticipate that they would just be too dang much work with a newborn. So, flowers, many of them edible, to look pretty in the yard and to put in vases inside. :)

I noticed the other day that the climbing rose near our back door has begun developing buds. This spring has been so cold and dreary that I thought the roses wouldn't flower for another month at least, but here's a promise that it'll be only a week or two!

And the inevitable belly shot. 36 weeks today, and Igor is still very much a wigglewort. We had some fun times in the last couple of weeks with Igor experimenting with heads-up positioning. One reason I've been doing so much garden digging, despite my gimpiness, is that I discovered that the vigorous exercise made Igor turn back head-down to where s/he's supposed to be. Effective, and good for getting me more in shape, but rough on my poor bones and muscles!

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's all over but the Hemming

So I spent Tuesday afternoon working on this dress. I cut it out about 8 years ago, when I had fewer mature curves and pregnancy wasn't even on the horizon (for one thing, I was about to break up with my long-time boyfriend... but that's another story). I don't really remember why I didn't sew this up immediately - it can't have taken me more than 3 hours to put it together now - but I suspect heat (I remember it being late summer when I cut it out) and laziness factored in. Anyway, it's been on the edges of my crafting mind ever since, and I was reminded of its existence when I went through my fabric stash the other day. Since my adventures with the mei tai reminded me of how much I enjoy sewing for its own sake, I decided to pull this out and get it sewn. I have no clue when I might be able to wear this; for one thing, I seldom attend occasions when its formality would be appropriate, and for another, I have no idea when my body might be this shape again, if ever. Still, on the off chance I might be able to wear it while still nursing, I left the slit at the front bodice (a design feature present when I bought the pattern) open a bit further than it's supposed to be. I suppose that when I get to the finishing (I also need to tack the lining down to the zipper in back) I'll put a hook and eye at the front so it doesn't gape so badly.

At the time I bought the fabric and lining for the dress (I think I was working at JoAnn's at the time - all hail craft store employee discounts!), I also found this lovely sheer. I think it was a remnant, which is why there isn't quite as much of it as I would prefer in a scarf of its type, but it went so well with the dress fabric that I couldn't resist. It, too, needs work; I'm thinking that I won't bother rolling its hems by hand, as I would with silk. I'll probably follow a thread so that the edges are absolutely on the straight grain, and then zigzag. But all of the finishing will have to wait for a day I'm feeling like handsewing, which I'm not, at present. ;P Maybe in the next few weeks, as I feel less and less like sitting in hard wooden chairs...

And finally, the inevitable belly picture. 35w, 2d, and I feel like I've exploded in the last week and a half. Of course, this is the period in which Igor should be pretty much just finishing up, gathering minerals, and adding weight, so I'll be getting bigger by the day, but it's still startling. Josh looked at me the other night and said something about how weird it'll be for me not to have this great belly any more, and it will be, but I'm ready for it! I don't want Igor to come before s/he's ready, but *I'm* ready to be done.