Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Festing, photography & papier-mâché

My mission: to dance to the drums around our sacred fire at fest while my babe was still in the womb. Mission accomplished. Little did I know that I would be given two additional blessings while at Fest.

One came in the form of a beautiful shaman, Christin Dennis, offering to photograph me while at a festival together. I borrowed some pretty things from a sister, lined my eyes and off we went to the river - which was FREEZING - but worth it...

 ...then off to the open faerie fields, the woods - living and dead - and to a patch of ferns where I was bitten in places no woman should have to apply topical Benadryl. Just sayin' it's not overly attractive to be waddling through a festival site scratching your ass. 

And, proving once again that mistakes can work out phenomenally well, one of my favorite shots ended up being when the setting on the camera was thrown off and the lighting was "wrong" pffft.

I'll take it.

The other was an incredible blessing and sharing ritual with my spirit sisters where they decided they would attempt a papier-mâché mold of my belly (it was colorful). 

Please note, when using tissue paper it's a good idea to put a layer of heavier paper down first, so when someone decides to goop a bunch of glue on top the mold won't distort. And lots of shea butter on the skin first. Holy hell, if you could have seen us trying to pry my skin away from the mold where we didn't lotion it up first... it was a sight. 

So, just make sure when you're doing this that it's totally dry before taking it off. One of my boobs deflated... guess that's what's coming after breast feeding anyway. 

I absolutely loved this experience though, having sisters singing as they placed pieces of paper to mark my growing womb... sharing their birthing stories and passing on advice as the mold dried. Really quite incredible! Although, I may need to try a cast to see if it will hold the shape better, maybe I can layer the mâché with that...

I know when I look back at the photos and recall the memories from that week, it will be like celebrating the second phase all over again. 

Nothing but love of sisterhood and the Goddess.

Next up: henna tattooing

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Ninja flips, body paint & commemorating the belly

Everyone says you have to mark your pregnancy somehow... who am I to disagree? Over the course of the last month or two, I've been presented with a few opportunities to do this. All unique in their own way and each with their pros and cons. 

The first was something we had been hoping to do since my belly bumped. Being an occasional model for Shelley of Belly Beautiful (You Name It Face & Body Art), it made sense to remember the pregnancy with one of her beautiful paintings. 

But what's the point of doing that if you don't have great shots to capture the art? 

Enter Cat. (Cat London Photography) Photographer extraordinaire, fellow yoga practitioner and lovely woman who just happens to also be approaching motherhood! Happy girly squeals as she tells me she is totally up for doing a maternity painting as well! 

Bet you'd never guess from the photos, that while I was being painted my little ninja decided she wanted to  practice her back flips. Turns out with every stroke of the brush she wanted to hit back. I'm lucky enough to be one of the few moms who can provide their daughter with a target, in the form of my diaphragm, for her to practice and perfect those high kicks. I can't wait for the cartwheels.... 

oh, no. wait. yes. yes I can.

So as I was dealing with the dizzy spells and nausea, Shelley just kept on painting - I'm so ridiculously impressed. She was down on the ground shading flowers while I had my forearms up against the kitchen wall like a fugitive being harassed by the police. You'd think my head had been pushed down towards the wall and someone was screaming "spread 'em" in my ear. But it passed, and we got to do a photo shoot in the back garden. 

So, not only do I now have some stunning art to show her, I also have a great story to share with my daughter later on about her early ninja training. 

Next on the list: Festing with photography and papier-mâché !

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Hi my name is Tricia and I'm addicted to...

... the grill. Yes, that small round thing that you put charcoal blocks into and light on fire. An odd addiction? Maybe. But it's all I want. If it's cooked on the stove, I don't want it. If it's crispy from a toaster oven, I don't want it. Basically, if it doesn't have those gorgeous grill marks on it, I don't want it! Let me put this into perspective for you: A new meat thermometer made me squeal this weekend. In the middle of Winners.

I told you – PROB-LEM.
Now before you chalk this up to pregnancy cravings, please allow me to rewind, and explain. About a month ago we moved into our new house and due to various circumstances we decided to use the small charcoal BBQ we have rather than use the oven (I vaguely remember something about oven cleaner and how toxic it is for babes in womb). I had never really barbecued much before and was delighted that it led to us eating delicious steak for dinner.

A week later I found myself at Old Farm Fine Foods (best local organic meat you’ll find in Kingston outside of the Farmer’s Market) looking for something to grill. Problem was all they had was Fillet Mignon. A fine cut of meat I know… but a little… intimidating to the amateur barbecuer. After many silent mantras, a quick “Om” and a self lecture in fear, I decided, the hell with it... and to just go with it. Okay, really I decided to buy these beautiful cuts of meat, then to go home and research the hell out of how to cook them properly (performance anxiety?).

YouTube video after YouTube video I studied different grilling techniques. BORING. Then I found the greatest website ever (for us BBQ addicts anyway):

Following the instructions and suggested temperature led to us, once again, enjoying a delicious steak dinner. Mind you this wasn’t just any steak; this was bacon wrapped fillet mignon that melted in our mouths. They have links that don’t suck, basic instructions on how to grill everything from sausages (3 different ways) to asparagus to chicken and of course, that phenomenal fillet mignon I told you about.

This website was/is my double edged sword...

Now, I find that, in addition to simply wanting BBQ 5 nights a week, I also want consistency, perfect grill marks, to be able to prepare rare, medium and well done perfectly. This has lead to me coveting a bigger surface to grill on. After sharing my dilemma in attempt to get help, I was told repeatedly to move up from the charcoal and that I should be in the market for a gas/propane BBQ. (Thanks for the support btw). *#&! it. I’m giving in. For now, I’ll indulge my addiction and enjoy the BBQ season… bacon is next...
...but if I end up grilling pancakes on Saturday morning I’m totally blaming you.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Stretch marks have texture!?!

When I got pregnant I was aware that I would be subjecting my body to a lot of changes. I knew I would gain weight and I'd have to deal with my organs readjusting as the baby grew. I accepted the back pain, and looked forward to the bigger boobs*. I even expected the stretch marks, so I was surprised when I didn't get any.

Now, before you start screaming at your monitor calling me horrible names because I was blessed to have a beautiful baby body, please know this didn't last. I'm into my 33rd week, and it wasn't until a coworker made a comment about a week ago that I gave the marks much thought. She asked to see my belly and after said, "wow, you lucky bitch... you're not even going to have any stretch marks" and that did it.

I think she cursed me. As in "entrails, eye of newt, toe of frog, double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble" kind of curse.

Two days later as I lay on my esthetician's table for my waxing session (what? it's not like I can see down there to groom right now; someone's gotta do it) she informs my ignorant self that I am finally getting a few stretch marks.


I have been slathering the shea butter on my growing belly every day, but apparently that doesn't help. You still get 'em. I'm open to suggestions as to how to make them fade after bebe though.

I find that I have gone from enjoying my day stretch-mark-thought-free to standing in front of the mirror and watching in horror as they grow. Not across my lower stomach but upwards, like tree roots in reverse. Then yesterday my prayers of "please let them stay below my belly button" are interrupted as I notice... they have texture. Texture!?!?! As in raised higher than my skin like big ol' varicose veins. Oi.

This I was not prepared for.

* as a woman who has gone into her 30s seriously lacking in the bosom department, the baby boobs are a total perk to pregnancy; they're so much fun... no wonder J likes 'em so much! Just sayin'.