Tuesday, February 28, 2012

collection of thoughts

you guys, it is raining sideways outside right now. like pouring buckets, howling wind, the whole nine yards. and it's one of the things i like about living on a tropical island.


i've been working on my graphic design classes and just finished a class on design & composition. i took quick a few art classes in college, and most of them seemed to expect that i possess an innate ability to know what a good compositionAdd Image is without anyone ever telling me. this particular class was SO helpful - very straight forward and clearly stated explanations. here's a couple of projects i turned in:

the first two are addressing different kinds of negative space, using the theme "ode to bicycles"

the second image is a poster for a "mostly mozart" concert. i used images on flickr, found under the creative commons license.

what do you think?


last night, during another bout of insomnia, i was perusing some websites and guess what? i found a doula on island who teaches a natural birth class!! just in time too...my due date is coming up quickly. i am so excited to start the class and relieved to have found another way to approach childbirth, rather than the negative stories that i addressed here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

childbirth is scary...or so they tell me

i went to a childbirth basics class today and it was...interesting. the course went over what to expect during labor & delivery, along with the different stages of labor, average hours per stage, and other bits of information along those lines.

there was a video - but it wasn't as graphic as "the video" from a previous class. and by "the video", i mean the most traumatizing thing i've ever seen. have any of you seen a birth video? if you have, well, i'm sorry. if you haven't, then avoid it at all costs!! i guess part of the reason it freaked me out so much was due to the fact that i'm going to have to birth this baby at some point (he or she can't stay in there forever) and i really don't want my experience to be like the ones on "the video".

there is SO much focus on how painful and agonizing giving birth can & will be (according to most women) - it's like hearing women trying to "one up" each other. "well i was in labor for 30 hours..." "oh yeah?! i was in labor for 40 hours without drugs AND i had to get a c-section at the end anyway!! BEAT THAT!!"

why can't more of these classes focus on how our bodies are incredibly smart and know what to do, if we just don't overthink the whole thing? that women have been having babies forever so maybe all of those generations will have passed down some inherited ability to have a kid? and instead of telling pregnant women how painful this process WILL be, why aren't we told about the numerous stories of women who have had a pleasant, natural birth?

alright, i didn't mean for this post to be a rant. i understand that sometimes things happen and medical intervention is absolutely necessary. i'm thankful that we live in a time when we have the technology & medicine to save moms & babies. and i'm not saying that choosing an all natural birth or a c-section or any other kind of birth is right or wrong. i guess i'm just frustrated in how the information i'm receiving is so biased.

fortunately, one of my friends gave me this book before i moved - and considering there aren't any lamaze/breathing/natural birthing classes available here - it's been a very comforting read.
you know what's funny? i had no problem kicking butt through a multi hour martial arts black belt test, where i was tested physically & mentally for my endurance, knowledge & skill, broke numerous boards, sparred with a number of people (sometimes all at once) - yet having a baby is kind of freaking me out. time to put all of the mental strength training from years of martial arts to use - and focus on a positive birth experience for this baby and for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

my birthday

my birthday was a few days ago and usually i'm pretty excited about it - as in, i do a countdown and "remind" close friends and family on a somewhat annoying basis. but this year was a little different. being so far away from home made a big difference. plus, i turned the big 3-0.

i don't even feel grown up enough to be 30. but i suppose i'm doing all of the things grown ups do. refinancing a house, moving halfway around the world, eating real meals instead of mac & cheese every day... and i'm fortunate. lucky even. and i certainly appreciate and am extremely thankful for my life, my hubby, and my family.

this birthday was special for a number of reasons, but a huge one was due to my hubby. he's awesome. he worked all night, came home, decorated the house AND a homemade confetti cake. YUM! he also got a ton of family & friends on skype at the same time & surprised me with my loved ones wishing me happy birthday!

he also bought me a great present - a kindle! i'm looking forward to getting back into reading on a regular basis...and i have to say, buying books on the kindle provides instant gratification (since i bought 5 in the last hour - thank goodness for gift certificates). i tried to pick a few books that would give me some options depending on my mood. here's what i have so far:

- the girl with the dragon tattoo by stieg larsson
- the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon
- a million miles in a thousand years by donald miller
- MWF seeking BFF: my yearlong search for a new best friend by rachel bertsche
- an object of beauty: a novel by steve martin

overall, my birthday was wonderful - i had a relaxing day with my pups & hubby. time to get reading!

Monday, February 20, 2012

feeling "crabby"

i'll admit it...since the big move, i've been a bit of a hermit. in some ways, i guess i didn't realize how much a move like this would affect me. i'm sure a big part of the emotions i'm working through has to do with crazy pregnancy hormones, but another part is simply that i am an introvert. a home body. i like being at home...and am comfortable talking to my pups and my growing belly.

i haven't exactly been motivated lately either (as you can see by my lack of posting). i've never had the opportunity to relax and be lazy - there's always been school, a job, projects to work on, social calls, and occasionally, sleep. i tried to cram more into each day than time allowed. but, after being on this planet for 30 years, i think it's okay to allow myself some time to digest my feelings.

have you experienced a big move? how did you cope? do you have any tips?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

the story of nozomi

as most of you know, i have a soft spot for dogs. over the last couple of years, hubby & i have come across a number of lost dogs and have done our best to get them back to their owners. about a month after we arrived on island, hubby took our pups out for their morning bathroom break. a few minutes later, he is calling for me to help him. i put our two pups in their kennels and a moment later, hubby brings in a medium sized dog with long, dirty, matted fur and no collar. she was jumpy and seemed to be a bit afraid of hubby.

i sat on the floor and beckoned to her in a soft voice and she immediately came over and allowed me to pet her. we wondered how long she had been out on her own. as we spent some time with her, we assumed she must have been someone's pet. we fed her and gave her a bath, as well as attempted to groom her - cutting out the matted chunks of fur. let me just say, she had kind of a bad haircut by the end of it. but at least she was clean.

we started making phone calls and trying to get information about where to take her and how to find her owner. turns out, the resources for saving animals are practically none existent. there is an adoption service run by volunteers that deal mostly with puppies & kittens. the vet and kennel on base was no help. the stray facility located off base (even had STRAY in the title) wouldn't take strays found off base. the local pound would only keep an animal for 5 days and then the animal is put down. we were trying so hard to do a good thing and kept running into walls and red tape. so we took her to a vet off base and had her checked out - she didn't have a microchip, was given her first set of shots, was dewormed, and tested for heartworm. unfortunately she tested positive for heartworms; however, the vet was very confident that she would recover with treatment.

after all that she had been through, i decided she needed a name - so i chose "nozomi" which means hope in japanese. we started contacting our small group of friends to get the word out about getting her adopted. as much as we wanted to keep her, it wouldn't be fair to her considering we already have our two pups plus a baby on the way. word got around quickly and we found a family who was willing to foster her until we found a permanent home for her. shortly after she went to her foster home, another family heard her story and gave her a furever home!

sweet nozomi