Musings of a Mum: 13 Weeks

January 30, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Dear Baby Star,
     This week a shadow descended.  Did you feel my heart sink?  The sadness of grief and shock of pain as we face your Great Aunt Dee's battle with cancer has been a constant companion.  Don't be afraid of sadness, for as my child, you will be born of an ancient and contemplative melancholy.  If you can learn not to despise its company, you will find it to be one of your truest strengths.  It is one of my greatest hopes that you learn to sit patiently in these shadows and sift through the rich soil only a healthy, soulful sadness can produce.  We ache for our own loss, as your Aunt Red and Uncle Batman will be leaving Seattle.  You will know them until the day you die, but I mourn my friend's imperative role in my life.  However shall we manage without them?  I'm feeling ever-so lost.
     You must have been working on sprouting wings this past week, because despite many hours of sleep, I remained exhausted.   I wonder what it's like in there for you.  It's as if you already have a life of your own, experiences I know nothing about, sights and sounds and sensations foreign to me.  Your independence thrills me.  
     It was a very social week, did you find it thrilling or exhausting?  You heard many of the voices I love.  Did you flip all about in celebration of such good company and conversation? 
     Thanks for playing your little heart-drum so loudly when we went to the midwife to hear you.  There you were, a little rapid pounding inside large whooshes of my blood whirring around you.  I am shocked at how relieved I was to hear you in there; I wasn't even aware I was worried.   What else will your presence uncover in my subconsciousness? 

The Voice


Musings of Scientist:
Dear Fetus:  Don't let the sadness of the swamps get to you.  


Sunday's Letters

January 29, 2012 Candace Morris 0 Comments

Sunday's Letters 1.29.12
Sunday's Letters 1.29.12
Many of you are already in the habit of writing your friends and family WITH A PEN and paper!  However, if you are not, know that it's much easier than you think it might be.  Especially if you write to one of your most favorite people in the world to correspond with via mail post.


Reader's Choice List, Book Contest Winners, and a Ninny

January 27, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

Well don't I just feel like a ninny.  I must apologize! You see, gracious reader, I forgot to post the winner of my book giveaway from January 9.  So many strange things are happening to my brain with this pregnancy - for instance, I LOST my workbadge.  You shrug, but I tell you, I very rarely lose important things like keys and badges (lens caps are another story).  I have this strange visual memory that burns into my brain the items as they lay around the house.  Please accept my apology if you were biting your nails in anticipation of winning a free book of your choice, although I doubt you were.

Without further ado, I would like to announce that:
EMMY D is the winner of this contest. Emmy, shoot me an email!

In addition, I've compiled a list of recommended books from my readers.

Shoot me an email if you would like to receive this list via excel or pdf.

Happy Friday, whatever the state of your precious heart,


Thoughts on a First Trimester

January 26, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

Writing of the first trimester II
The First Trimester's Thoughts

Dearest Baby Star:
I wear a reminder of you around my neck.  A necklace given me by your Aunt Teresa, who has shared every intimate path of this journey with your mother so far.  We have nicknamed you thusly because we had a bit of a scare around 5 weeks when I decided dancing at a holiday party was a good idea.  If I danced as a normal person, things would have been fine, but I rigorously bounced you around until you decided to let me know you didn't like it.  After a weekend of bed-rest to restabilize you, I began to muse about how you were not unlike the gas balls in the night sky I pondered, atoms forming in their ostentatious "something from nothing" way.  Auntie me some Bowie lyrics, "Look out your window, I can see his light.  If we can sparkle, he may land tonight," and as I pondered you as a star looking down upon me and safely waiting to descend, it comforted me endlessly. We've called you this ever since.  I think of your essence, your spirit and soul forming in that safe, vast, expanse inside me.

We've spent 3 months together already, and I can hardly fathom it.  I hoped the weeks would pass quickly, as each meant you were statistically safer and safer.  These first weeks of pregnancy have been very hard, much of what I hung my identity upon was stripped from me in the name of nausea, fatigue, and paralyzing introversion.  Much of how I imagined finding out I was pregnant and telling people was so entirely different from what transpired, and within this truism I stumbled upon the first lesson of motherhood.  You will find that your mother loves to prepare herself as much as possible, but life is anything but predictable and we must allow ourselves the reality of now, its true pleasures and pains, instead of insisting on shoulds and would-haves.  I believe you will continue to be the teacher in this regard, and I humbly accept and anticipate any lessons the universe bequeaths me through you.

However, much like you are apparently swimming somersaults inside of me, I am also beginning to awaken and uncover excitement at the prospect of meeting you!  Instead of praying for the time to pass, instead of hoping to survive each day without nausea or a migraine, instead of the relational anxiety and attention involved in being pregnant, instead of the dread of birth and parental fears, I have brain power to now consider the important things - such as the soundtrack of your development.  Your father will be instrumental in that.  I am able to apply more thought to healthy eating instead of just what will stay with me, and trying to establish a way for me to move more so that labor is easier for us both.  I've begun to think about my birth expectations and plan, already realizing that many people have opinions about such things.  I've been learning to self-assert, to assure myself and others that the only thing good for you is what Joel and I decide upon.

I've taken to examining my body for any signs of growth, but still - despite small changes, you remain hidden.     However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to suck in my stomach and I am rapidly outgrowing my shamefully large denim collection.  I now steal your father's big sweaters and wander around the house ensconced in his smell, his comfort, and his goodness - which you will marvel at for all of your years.  We are so lucky, you and I.

I've refused to give up my nightly ritual of baths (as Western doctors suggest), but am careful to take my temperature before and after; I hope you are enjoying them also.  I am forever snacking during these bathings.  Last week it was a bean and cheese burrito.  In the beginning, it was either saltines or sourdough toast with butter and my homemade raspberry jam.  Sometimes I swear my belly pokes the water's surface, but I feel I must be imagining things.  I still get a bit fatigued standing in the shower and must sit for several minutes as the drops pour down my back.  I meditate on the nature of water and wonder if you will inherit my soul's longing for the ocean or your father's love affair with forested mountain peaks.  Where on this beautiful planet will you feel your eternal nature speak to you?  For precious borrowed time, I will whisper it in your ear until you can discover it yourself, in solitude, in your father's science and music, and in the words of your mother's poets, and in David Bowie.

Be at peace, Baby Star.
Your Mum

Writing of the first trimester


Musings of a Mum: 12 weeks

January 23, 2012 Candace Morris 7 Comments

Baby Star,
This week your father and I watched the Star Wars trilogy for the bazillionth time.  He exclaimed that no child of his would be without a taunton sleeping bag, which we promptly put on your wishlist.  Do you want anything else?  
We been watching my belly like hawks, and I have recently been unable to retract it with strong inhalations of breath.    
It was such a quiet week.  It snowed and snowed, but we had one afternoon of sunlight.  You and I wandered around the house in shivers, nursing hot cups of decaf chai tea.  You may have been concerned at the tears I shed one lonely evening, but dearest - that was just "Jane Eyre."  Can you cry yet?  You will love it.  Nothing in the world feels better.  This week, a few friends have been cast down, much put upon by the universe.  You and I have spent many moments loving them with our thoughts.  Have you noticed?  I imagine compassion coursing through your DNA, developing your love of humankind.
Your pop and I waver between moments of the full reality of you and the sameness of our everyday lives going on just as before.  Apparently, you are flipping all about inside of me and have your gender, but I can't feel a thing and have no hunch as to if you are a lovely little lady or a debonair little man.   Most of what I feel is cravings for donuts and bean burritos - you've got great taste, kid.

Today, I wandered around a used bookstore looking for books for your cousin Clara and wondered what you might like to read about.  Will you be curious about ladybugs or more fascinated by dinosaurs?  
I am ever so curious about you.  Is there a book I can read all about you, my firstborn?  I hope you're a handful, because our hands are expanding in readiness daily.  You will never reach the end of our adoration of you.
~The Voice

Musings of a Scientist:
Dear thing, you were made with love and science.  You have a great battle ahead of you for your freedom, waging war upon my wife's cervix.  Keep calm and carry on.
~The Genetic Donor

I have borrowed this concept from the lovely Emily, who has graciously permitted me to steal her idea.  Her small notes to her child moved me throughout her entire pregnancy and I wanted to share my intimate moments aloud as well, for in doing so, they become real.


Sick of snow photos yet?

January 21, 2012 Candace Morris 4 Comments

It's finally melting and we can all get back to our boring old lives.
Happy Saturday to you, weather permitting.


Snowpocolypse 2012

January 19, 2012 Candace Morris 10 Comments

 Look at these two opposite-sized pooches!  It must be chaos in that house.

Such a magnificent tree and sad pooch waiting for its coffee-saturated master.

 Here I am with my 11.5 week old fetus.  Note the last button of my coat is in protest.  Sigh.  So it begins.

When conditions become this extreme, I always seem to think of times in history when electricity, grocery stores, insulated houses, and the internet were not a part of life.  I wonder what manner of women I would be faced with those hardships?  I'm sure, as with most evolutionary processes, I would adapt and thrive in the environment afforded me, but man - I should would miss perusing thinkgeek for nerdy kid's stuff to put on the baby registry.  Instead, I would have to go churn butter or chop wood.   Now I know several ladies who seem to still have that pioneer woman spirit in them, but I think that was bred out of me in my easy-living, automobile-centric, fast-food loving, Southern California childhood.   But hey, not all is lost.  I certainly know my way around a computer, can manage my time like a professional planner, and have a god-given penchant for eye-makeup.  It's the 21st century Pioneer-ess.  That's me.

One more thing.  I had my 80mm lens on the camera for a while (easier to take pictures of family for holidays), and it completely uninspired me to pick up my camera.  I recently changed it to the 50mm, and now I am itching to use it more and more.  Now all is well.

Come again soon,


A snowy weekend in January

January 17, 2012 Candace Morris 3 Comments

After feeling ever-so triumphant on Saturday morning (I was able to purchase two tickets to Radiohead just before they were entirely sold out!), I decided to make Morning Glory muffins.  We sat to our light breakfast, which is 3rd breakfast for me since I have to eat so very frequently to ward off nausea), lighted a candle and watched the snow make its gentle way into our good graces.

A few days ago, I found myself smelling the air for snow, hoping we would get a chance to feel the power of winter in these sea-temperate lands.  When it began to fall, I noticed how much it changed my mood.  I began to feel the aching restlessness leave my bones to be replaced by a silence and calm.

We then set off to find my long-legged lubbok a few pair of jeans, after which we ended up in a pub for some food.  I discovered non-alcoholic beer, which is no great discovery at all.  However, it really made me feel more festive and less left out.  I've been so completely bored as a pregnant person, and since I am also so tired, my social energy is tapped.  Plus, I cannot drink which means everyone totally annoys me.  Have you ever been the sober one at a party full of nonsobers?  I advise you to avoid it at all costs.  People really are such a nuisance and I become ever-so cross and impatient with them.  Therefore, social mingling hasn't been my cup of tea.  

In order to break the pattern of watching television because both Joel and I have been so exhausted of late (he with work, me with gestating), we decided to play a game by the fire on Saturday night.  

He taught me to play Risk and them promptly lost.  Poor fellow.

We walk in snow
 Sunday morning we hastily clothed ourselves in order to take a long walk in the snow that had fallen overnight.  We went to breakfast and then popped into the most quaint little children's bookstore.  

Sunday Morning Letters
We came home and nourished ourselves with coffee and pastries and sat down to a quiet house to begin my Sunday morning letter-writing.  The rest of the day was spent in a wonderful household business.  I've not been able to keep up house for weeks now, and I feel myself waking up from a deep sleep.  I am able to carry laundry from one end of the house to the other!  I can stand for 15 minutes to cook!  It's all very glorious, and I took advantage of it on that cozy Sunday afternoon.

More snow is expected to dump tonight and tomorrow.   I am not sad.

Thank you to those of you who entered my book contest.  I've decided to extend it by a week because I want MORE of what you read this year - even if it's cookbooks or books on knitting.  Go here to enter!