Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Esther has croup, which is a pretty horrifying experience. I remember my brother having it a lot when we were little, but it's different when you are the one that has to make sure the croup-ed is still breathing.

This year has been change, but the biggest change for me has been my idea of why we become parents. Not the initial reason, because that is usually wrong, at least it was for me.

In Mormon culture having childREN (plural) is a duty. Well, there are cultural implications and then religious ones, but without going into it, basically it is expected to have children. And if you "can't" people pity you as if you have failed at your duties, so on so forth. So, I have expected that since I am fulfilling a duty (which parts of that duty I do subscribe to) that I should automatically be fulfilled by it in return.

Negative, good buddy.

I am finding that being fulfilled is not a passive action. I think it is more like the action words like love and struggle. It must be made and created and cultivated and everything cliché. Which is obnoxious but there are clichés for a reason. I still haven't fully processed what that means for me. How do I create fulfillment when I am pretty house ridden due to Esther's nap schedule.

It is also hard because the original idea of House Wife is dead. I don't clean the clothes all day, it takes maybe an hour and we have clean laundry. I don't churn any butter, I don't have a garden (because SF), I don't do pretty much all of the things that women in the past have done to create fulfillment or at least keep their minds and hands busy. So, we have kids to keep us busy, but they are usually pretty boring. Sorry, Esther but you don't really bring a lot to the conversation yet.

So, here I am. Bored. Expecting to have a halo for doing what I am told. But I guess nothing is ever really done. At least not in this life. I can't just have a kid and my life is automatically full. I have to do it. Instagram doesn't do it for me, I usually feel guilty for not being photogenic or taking Esther on nature walks every day. Reading is great, but then I get cracker mouth from never opening my mouth. Friendships are hard too, because first of all, all the moms with the same aged kids are typically older than me in this area and, like, nap schedules man.

I remember a Bishop telling me that I may never feel fully comfortable in a new position that I found myself in, but then I did. But parenthood, motherhood. This is foreign. I feel pretty similar undertones in this situation as I did in uncomfortable ones in the past.

So, maybe I will get comfortable. Maybe as Esther gets older and I can have a relationship larger than feeding her and making sure she stops chewing on the dang cords all the time. Or maybe it will just never feel right.

But really. I do feel like it is meant to be. I wouldn't take it back. And I am feeling that deeper and deeper. Also, get over it. Life is hard. I can't just sit my life away. I need to work and struggle and fulfill and love. So what if I am bored? That sounds like a pretty nice problem to have, right? I am sure I can find something to fill my time with without feeling sorry for myself. It's just shocking. This whole thing was a huge shock. But it is also too wonderful and heartbreaking to not do. So, I choose to do this and not just wah wah wah do it. I heard Amelia from Man Repeller say that the secret to happiness is to be it. So, I am going to be "IT" I am going to be happy and I am going to work really hard at fulfilling my life and especially Esther's because there is something holy about it and something fun and shoot have I learned so much? I may not have a degree in anything important but I can keep a baby entertained while making dinner (sometimes).

Steve asked me recently if I still feel the same as I did with the last few posts. No, because I am choosing not to. I could if I dwelled on it for a while but I don't have time to dwell. I have crap to clean.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Masters in China

That last post is proof of my capabilities of finishing a thought lately.

A few things that have been helping me transition with my new life:

- The Longest Shortest Time podcast.

This podcast is just people talking about becoming parents and how you feel like it is such a long time but also so short. I saw a picture of Esther on my dad's chest and I can't believe that she was so small. And she wasn't so small. She was 8.14 when she was born. But she was small. And now she is even bigger and my back is sad about it.

- The Dailey Method

I have been doing barre exercises for a long time, mostly from videos. But I am doing trade work with the Castro-Mission studio and it is a life saver. I go every Tuesday for three hours and do some light cleaning and greet the clients. Esther is in the room next to the front desk so I can hear her cry, which is hard not to rush in there and rock her the way I only know how, but it is good to get space and to have a check list I must complete and actually complete it. I also get unlimited classes which are great and unlimited child care. Basically, I am not joking about it being a life saver. Depression is real and even though I am on medicine and was during all of my pregnancy, I have been working on getting back to my normal self after giving birth. hormones man.

- Golden Gate Park

This park is right next to our apartment. It's huge. There are so many nooks and crannys that I have yet to discover. Once Esther is big enough, we are going to create a fairy garden somewhere secret. Or Station and I will just do it now. The park is a fairy garden and it is so nice, unless you get a nice view of where all the homeless guys pee. Avoid the puddles.

Honestly, this transition has been better and harder than the transition with our first baby. I felt great right after Esther's birth. I felt like a human, which I did not after first baby. My depression was/is rough, but nothing compared to first baby. Thank goodness for modern medicine, open communication and less negativity toward mental illness.

 The guilt is real. I felt so guilty about not having that mom baby connection right away. It actually took about 2 months in for me to really really feel so connected to Esther. And once it hit it was hard. I woke up in the middle of the night and was just overwhelmed by it. I felt so guilty watching Station be so over the moon in love with her while I was like, yeah she is cool. Mostly she was an inconvenience. Which is a really bad thing to think. It is horrible. Right? But it is more normal than I thought and that is where The Longest Shortest Time has helped. It has brought up a lot of common feelings I have had that have made me feel more normal and given me hope that everything is fine.

My thoughts are still so fragmented, but I have to start somewhere. Maybe I will get back into the hang of writing. Not that I have ever been super at it. Here are more Esther pictures for the family.
My best friend holding our new buddy for the first time 

a few days old

sleeping in the wrap

She got me a free side at KFC because she is so cute

Station says she looks like a dork haha

Her preferred sleep position. Big head 

Her new outfit. And her sweater made by Grandma.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Need My Girl

I guess I will start with that I had a baby. She is a bundle of joy. I don't think I can make sense of all of it in a coherent way, but I will try.

You would think that after having the experience of losing my first baby that once I had Esther it would be easy and happily ever after. But that isn't the case (that sounds super depressing and ominous so let me explain).

Everything that people have said that is super cliche about babies and being a parent are true. but you just don't get it until you are in it. Being constantly in charge of someone's well being is paralyzing. Some nights I have gone to bed thinking that I just can't do this again. Waking up. Feeding. Changing. And she is the best sleeper. So I don't have a thing to complain about, but I feel completely out of my element.

I think it is a cruel joke to tell someone they will be a natural parent. I just don't think that is a thing. Or maybe it just isn't for me. I am completely clueless most of the time. After I had her and the nurses came in and asked whether she had a wet diaper yet. CRAP. I am already failing at this. I didn't even think about that. I felt so stupid. Going from self involved to selfless in 30 hours of labor is not something that is natural. I mean, it is actually natural, but I have needed and continue to need to google new questions. Do you know anything about napping? I sure don't, I continue to google it and I am still sure that I have messed her up already. That is the thought that I am constantly fighting.

I am already messing up this perfect little thing.

I know people have raised babies forever and things have gone well, but I think I have a little PTSD from our last experience that I didn't know about. Things have gone wrong before and what is going to stop it from happening again?

She has a birth mark on right bottom side of her back and her doctor and another doctor that he brought in were concerned about. "I'm sure it is nothing to worry about."

This whole thing feels like I am going to wake up and things will be back to normal. That is what happened last time. We woke up and I wasn't pregnant but we also didn't have a baby. I just don't feel natural at this, but I also really feel like this is good for me. Basically I am on a rollercoaster. I go from feeling totally into this and then I have the fear and worry that I am lost and will never be found.

I am lonely. But when she laughed at me today? It is so cliche. But that's just how it is. All joy and no fun. Well, not the same fun. Fun that I am learning to get used to.

These photos are for my grandparents. Her middle name is after my grandma. hopefully I will get into the habit of writing again since we are in SF.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spiral Jetty

Last Week from Steve Clayton on Vimeo.

Salt mounds scattered across the flat horizon. Low tide allowed us to go out to adventure past the jetty and see the baby jettys next to it, possibly made by other adventurers. The salt crackled beneath my bare feet as I tried to avoid the many moths that lay in their preserved graves.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


These pictures are from our trip to the Muir Woods. So beautiful.

This week we will be taking a vacation from our vacation (my vacation) and staying in a hotel while Station does some other work-y things. Same place, different location.

I have begun doing yoga at a studio. I really had to pump myself up to go in there. Once I was in there, the bright walls and smiley faces made me feel better. I looked around and noticed a shrine for Amma (there was a sign with her name) with fake flowers and vines around it with candles at the bottom. As well as a sticker of Obama's head. I grabbed all the stunt pieces in case I needed them and found a spot. And then remembered that the particular leggings I was wearing have a sort of see through affect when bending over. Let us all hope that everyone was following the yoga spirit and minding their own business.

Once class started we got a sort of hindu sermon, which was fine, nothing I didn't agree with. She had us go into child's pose and then sit crossed legged as we began our chanting. I have never chanted, nor did I ever feel the need to. She played her mini accordion piano as we om-ed with her.  I have only recently felt totally comfortable singing at human recognition level for Mormon hymns. I will continue to mouth and or whisper the chants until I completely understand what it is I am saying.

Here's to a New Week!!