Saturday, January 27, 2018

I want to write a book

Do you have any life-long dreams you've been hoarding in the back of your mind, waiting for the perfect time to bring them out and obsess about them?  One of my long-long life-long dreams has been to write a book.  Or just write anything that can get published.  So, naturally, now that I'm 2.5 months away from giving birth to my first child, working full time as a music teacher (with no plans to stop teaching), and considering starting a PhD in the near future... now would be the perfect time for me to obsess about this book idea...

But, really, I can't get it out of my head.  It's an itch that won't go away that I reeeeally need to scratch.  Write - a - book! Write - a - book! runs through my head 24/7.  Never mind that I have absolutely no idea what I would actually write about... that minor detail is insignificant...  No matter that I haven't written anything that's ever been published...  

"It seems easy enough... have an idea, write it, publish it.  People are self-publishing all the time these days, right???  Ok, ok let's give in to my fantasy for a second and really think about this book idea.  Where to start?  Well, I need a topic.  Wait, first I need a genre.  Non-fiction?  Fiction?  Self-Help?  Biography?  Diary-style?  Novel?  What do people want to read about?  Does that even matter?  Who am I writing this for anyway?  Who's my 'audience?'  Do I need an audience?  Can't I just write this for my own personal fulfillment?  Then what's the point?  Why go to all the trouble if no one is going to read it except for me and my mom?  Writing a book is a lot of work...  Ok, maybe I shouldn't write a book..."

So I table it for a few days.  "I give up.  No one will read it anyway, so what's the point?  It was a bad idea.  I need to just stick with what I'm good at - teaching music, and not get involved with other projects I know nothing about."

A few days go by and suddenly, there's that itch again.  Write - a - book! Write - a - book!  

"I'm good at music... maybe I should write a book about music.  I wonder if there is a niche for historical musical fiction?  Is that weird?  Who would read that?  Maybe I should write a textbook.  Ugh how boring..."  And on and on and on it goes.

I have a feeling this is not going to go away until I actually do write a book...  Or maybe I'll just think about it, obsess about it, and be generally confused about it forever, without ever actually writing anything.  Yep, that seems about right...

Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Pregnancy symptoms I was *not* prepared for!

I thought I knew everything about pregnancy...I've seen movies... I have four sisters and 14 nieces and nephews and heard all their horror stories... I thought I knew everything about pregnancy and its joys and pains. WRONG! Here are some things I did and did not know to expect...

I DID know that pregnancy causes hormonal changes which can result in mood swings.  Even though I knew about that, I was still unprepared for the surges of emotions and the random urges to cry for no reason.

I did NOT know that pregnancy can cause major skin issues. For the first trimester my skin got extremely oily (I'm usually super dry) and I had major breakouts. I've never had breakouts or acne before, so that was an unpleasant surprise. For the second trimester my skin got extremely dry and sensitive. Any contact to my skin whatsoever would cause it to be red and irritated. And no amount of lotion could quench the dryness.

basically the state of my skin right now

I DID know about food cravings. I did NOT know about food aversions. I couldn't eat meat for 4 months. Just the thought of chicken made me want to barf.

I DID know about morning sickness. I DID NOT know about all-day nausea. All. Day. Nausea...

I DID know that many pregnant women experience breast sensitivity. I did NOT know how painful it would be. Especially during sleeping.  Luckily the pain went away after the first trimester!

I did NOT know about the panic-inducing hunger. I would be completely fine and then within seconds I would be so hungry I would get a panic attack, feeling like I would die if I didn't eat something right that second!

I did NOT know about nosebleeds! I actually had to ask my doctor about this. She said it's completely normal. I've always been prone to nosebleeds anyway, but apparently when you're pregnant, the changes in estrogen and progesterone can cause your blood vessels to become more sensitive, which can result in more frequent nosebleeds. One day while I was teaching choir, I was sitting at the piano playing for the kids while they were singing, and my nose just started dripping blood. Blood just started dripping down my face. My students were a little traumatized!!!

I did NOT know about round ligament pain. I started experiencing round ligament pain around week 12 and it has been constant ever since. It feels like a knife is slicing through my groin and pelvic muscles. It's more painful when I first wake up in the morning and at night after a long day of work. It makes it difficult to change position (standing to sitting, laying to standing), and it is extremely painful. My friends were making fun of me because I was waddling so early in my pregnancy. They were joking that I would be in a wheelchair by the third trimester. And honestly, I'm hoping I can be. Because it is so painful!

I did NOT know about the change in smells.  I did know that pregnant women have a more sensitive sense of smell, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the smell that I give off... the way I smell to other people. I suppose it makes sense - hormonal changes can affect your body odor. But now I have to be very careful to wash myself both morning and night, always wear clean underwear, always wear a fresh pantyliner, and make sure I don't skip out on the deodorant! (TMI? Sorry!)

Let's just say I do not smell like these roses!

Were any of these a surprise to you?  Did you experience any of these with your pregnancies?  And if you've never been pregnant before, you have now been warned! :)

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Goals

As I think back about previous years' goals, I realize how different this year will be.  My greatest fear is happening - I'm becoming a mom!  I can already see my priorities shifting before my eyes.  In previous years I've had goals to travel more, have more adventures, be more creative, do more projects, use my art journal more, etc.

This year I want to purge and organize my house, use more natural/safe products, and overall just survive and thrive.  How boring, right?!  I guess this is what they call "nesting."  I know that this year is going to bring a lot of changes, and I will be exhausted and my life will be verrry different.  I'll be adjusting to life with a baby, as well as working full time.  So I anticipate not having a whole ton of time for art journals and DIY projects.  So here are a few simple and easy "goals" I'm giving myself this year:


This one is huge. My husband and I have decided that this whole year we will not buy anything. Well, of course we have to buy some things... food and necessities.  But as much as possible, we will not buy anything we don't need.  We don't need new clothes or shoes, we don't need electronics, we don't need jewelry or home decor.  Our goal is to completely use up everything we currently have before we buy anything new.  This includes all the random beauty products, skincare items, light bulbs, picture frames, etc, that we've been hoarding. And if we don't use it, or haven't used it in 6 months - toss or donate!

 - In the interest of saving money, here are some other ideas I've had... make my own cleaning supplies, make my own laundry detergent, make my own deodorant, make my own toothpaste... AND if I can successfully make all these things, I'll be ridding my life of toxic chemicals. I already have most of the ingredients needed, and the other ingredients I have to purchase are cheap and will last a looong time.  (Here are some recipes I'm excited to try: Toothpaste, Laundry Detergent, Deodorant.)


I guess moving overseas, moving back to the US, moving across the country, moving to a house, and moving back across the country again has helped us accumulate a bit of debt.  Somehow it got a little out of hand.  Actually, I know exactly how it happened!  When we moved back to the US, we didn't own a single thing.  We had no bed, no couch, no table, no nothing!  We should have been more responsible with our purchases, but... well... you know...

Of course I have a ginormous to-do list before baby comes. I need to purge and organize and clean my house.  I need to set up the bedroom to prepare for baby.  I need to organize my bills and file a ton of papers... But that will all happen in due time (hopefully!).

What are your 2018 goals???