Monday, July 28, 2008


I feel that things are finally, finally clicking into place in my life. Luke is growing (and growing) and becoming better able to entertain himself. This is better for us since he can play on a quilt or spend time in his ExerSaucer while I make dinner. There is a bitter sweetness to it when I realize this is just the beginning of the formation of his own Independence from me. I no longer drag to work in a zombie state of being since Luke now sleeps better, as well. With this new sense of semi-freedom, I now have time to think about then and now.

Then, I had time for my favorite things: reading, cooking, writing, going out or just staying in to watch a movie. Now, I can fit in some of these things, if M has time to watch Luke or in the event of a long nap. I am ok with that. I will always choose to spend time with my family before anything else. Lately, though, I have been feeling a lack of inspiration in the other parts of my life. The things that I used to find joy in doing don't seem to challenge me as they used to.

I feel very strongly that one of the ways that I can be a good parent to Luke is to be a person with her own interests outside of "mommyhood". Even though I wanted very badly to become a parent and am very grateful that I am one, it is not something that defines me 100%. I am not just a mother, I am also I mother. The interest in photography is one of the ways I am trying to branch out so that I can have something that I enjoy and benefits the family. I am getting used to always carrying a camera with me, which I never used to do. I think its going pretty well, although the subject matter is somewhat limited (but very cute).

Now that I have had to redefine myself I am looking for inspiration. I am looking for that spark that hits you when hear or see something that makes you stop and think. I am inspired by my son and my wonderful husband, absolutely, but I feel the need to find external challenges and meaning, as well.

Where do you find inspiration? Where do you go when you are feeling as if you need a boost to your inner self?

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Last of its Kind

The Last of its Kind
Originally uploaded by Kate Sowa
Kodak is getting out of the film business. This isn't breaking news, but as I came across my mother's film camera yesterday, I thought about how much has changed in the world of capturing images. The Canon camera that my mother uses looks like the first cell phones: big, clunky, and without a lot of perks and instant gratification that we demand now. The camera that I use is also a Canon, but a digital one. It actually belonged to my parents. M used his expertise to pick out a well made workhorse type camera that could fit in your pocket and take a little video, if you wanted it to. After a few weeks and several attempts to help them become more comfortable with the process of digital photography, I became the new owner. It's a good little camera, though, and has served us well over the past few years.

I am not a visual person. I wish I was. I wish I could see things the way that M sees them. I wish I could look at something and see the textures and the light instead of just a whole object. I try to memorize the little tidbits he mentions to me about reflection and flashes, but I think that part of it is just instinctual. He has a sense of how to make something become a beautiful photo. I have to work at it. I don't expect to become a professional. After all, he has the benefit of a degree from one of the best photo schools in the country and years of experience as a professional. But I don't want to be put in the same category as that guy who always gets his finger in the picture.

Looking at my camera made me realize how behind the times I am. The only photo processing software we have on our computer is Photoshop. I have no idea how to use it. NO IDEA. I see M clicking buttons, brightening teeth, erasing wrinkles and performing all kinds of magic tricks. I can't even prepare a photo for an e-mail. I am completely dependant on him for my photos. This is all going to change. I have set a goal for myself: become a better photographer and take more pictures. I love looking at photos from my childhood and I want that for Luke. I want some of those photos to be from my perspective, even if it is a little blurry or slightly out of focus.

M brought home a new work camera the other night. It's a common occurrence since each new model requires some time to learn how to use it and doing that during a photo shoot is not a good idea. It's the very latest and has a very cool low light feature. I picked it up and took a few test shots.

"You know, that's $5000", said M as he walked into the living room. I slowly put the camera down. I'll stick with my little Canon......for now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baseball, Haircut, and a Baby

If I had to rank the people and things in my life that I love it might go something like this:

1. Family (Baby, Husband, etc..)
2. Baseball

That's right. I love baseball. More specifically, I love the, but any baseball will do. Although I grew up in Texas my childhood was greatly influenced by my Iowan father's Midwestern sensibility and love for baseball. My memories of visiting Iowa as a child have a soundtrack of Harry Caray's voice and a television that was always playing a baseball game. Usually, it was a Cubs game. So, I suppose it is my sentimental side that is drawn to baseball, but it is a game that I love in its own right. There is just something about it.

The last three weeks before Luke was born I was on bed rest. I tried to be nonchalant about it all, but it was a little scary: low amniotic fluid, high blood pressure, weekly non-stress tests, a night in the hospital. I didn't really know what was going to happen and so my practical Midwestern side started thinking of things I needed to tell my husband, just in case. We spoke, of course, about the "what ifs" and for a moment I wondered if I should require that the baby become a Cubs fan. I settled for instructions that he become a baseball fan because I knew what his response would be if I brought up the

Why should I set him up for a lifetime of disappointment?

We haven't decided how we will raise him, in the baseball sense, but I hope he will follow me. There has been a lot of pain, I'll admit, but there is something to be said about the eternal optimism that goes along with it. On Sunday we headed to M.inute M.aid Park to see the A.stros (Lastros) take on the We did not take Luke, but his first game will be in September when the come back to Houston.

It was a wonderful game ( 9-0) and, to make things better, we sat in club level seats with an excellent view of my favorite TV announcers, WGN's Bob and Len! Years of the suckitude have made them both very good color commentators. I always enjoy hearing them call a game, no matter what the score is:

A few of you asked to see the new haircut. I asked my husband to take a quick picture, which turned into a little more of a photo shoot than I intended, so it's not a very candid shot. In weight loss news, I have lost 9 lbs so far and am very happy with WW. It seems to be working very well!

I am going to leave you with a picture that M took this weekend after Luke had his first swim. My dad was drying him off with a towel when he gave us one of his great smiles.

Monday, July 21, 2008


After much consideration I have decided that I would like to move to Minnesota. I've heard that during the summer you can actually travel outdoors during the day. It seems too good to be true, but I am willing to take my chances. As H.ouston faces another beautiful 96 degree, 85% humidity day, I have to wonder if my son will ever get to have the same kind of childhood that my husband and I did. The grass is either full of fire ants or chemicals that get rid of fire ants. There are mosquitoes that can make you sick unless they spray the hell out of everything (which they do) which means that there are no fireflies. Should humans even live here???? Why in the HELL did they put N.ASA down here? Unless they plan on picking up and moving JSC, I will have to be content with our annual escapes to the Midwest. In the mean time, I am going to stay inside and sit in a bucket full of ice water.

This weekend I traveled to my hometown of A.ustin to receive a haircut from the Devine Miss M. When I drive to S.outh C.ongress I am always a little shocked to see it. This is not the A.ustin I grew up with. This part of town is beginning to look a little too much like L.A. There are super tan women walking down the sidewalk with big sunglasses in desperate need of a good meal. I even saw a celebrity walking down the street the last time I was there. I feel a little better, though, when I walk in and my hairdresser has a bleach blonde spikey hairdo and bright red lipstick. That is the A.ustin I grew up with. She cut off the majority of my hair and I like it, but it is odd reaching back and feeling nothing where my hair used to be. It's a cliche to go through a big life change and then get a new haircut, but I have to also blame the intense heat. The last time I cut my hair this short I just ended a five year relationship. I could get into a whole thing about the symbolism of cutting my hair, but I just wanted something a little cooler and a little easier to deal with. If I can't have Minnesota, then I can at least have new haircut, right?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Losing It

Weight, that is. I finally decided that I want to get rid of the 15 pounds I never got around to loosing before I got pregnant. I am very focused when it comes to many activities, but dieting is not one of them. I am a little ADD and I need structure and guidelines. I am a pretty clean eater, but I tend to snack too much and eat when I am bored. So, after looking around, I joined W.eight W.atchers online. I was not interested in the meeting aspect, but the online environment is pretty cool. They will even adjust your points if you are a nursing mom. We'll see how it goes. So far I'm pretty happy with it.

The other thing I am getting rid of is stuff. I feel like M and I have too much of it. We have a very, very small house and will be looking to move next year, I hope. In this area where housing is pretty cheap, I think we could definitely afford a bigger place. In the mean time, though, we are IKEA gurus and I am constantly trying to weed out my belongings. When I was single I moved a lot to different apartments and had gotten pretty good at packing up and moving out. When I moved in with M, I gave away over half of my things. I used to save everything. I was defined by all of my "stuff". I won't say that is was a zen-like enlightenment that made me realize that I was weighed down by my belongings because it was probably the hassle of moving them that made me clean out. I realize,though, that I like open spaces and a few special things that provide memories. Now, with Luke, I find my desire to save every little thing has come back. It is all such a blur and it goes by so quickly that I want to cling to anything tangible that might stir my memory later on. Diana wrote about how hard it was to put away her little girl's newborn clothes and I can totally relate. I have a box I need to go through and it will be hard to decide what stays and what goes.

The biggest thing that happened this weekend was the completion of the baby room! I can finally post a picture of the nursery. M is a perfectionist and works as hard as he can after working all day at the office, so nearly five months after Luke got here, we put the final touches on the room on Sunday. We decided to go with carpet tiles from F.LOR, which was a very good experience. If you have ever wondered about using carpet tiles, I can answer all of your questions! The chest of drawers doesn't match, but it is mine from when I was a little girl. Other than that, it's pretty much S.noopy/Airplanes/Baseball and, of course, N.ASA stuff that he will collect whether he wants to or not.

Here is the final product:

Monday, July 07, 2008

19 Weeks

We were a little late getting Luke to his 4 month check up because Dr. I had some training she had to go to. So, today M and I took him in and got him "inspected" as he calls it. Boy, oh, boy. He weighs 18lbs, 1 oz is 26 1/2 inches long and is in the 95th and 90th percentiles for weight and height. I think I know why my back has been hurting! The shots were unpleasant for everyone. Even thought I know what's coming, I still get so choked up when I see him cry like that. It kills me. M is staying home with him tomorrow since he probably won't be feeling well. I also started giving him a little food, which he was skeptical about at first, but has since changed his mind. The rice cereal was not a hit, but peas have been more fun.

I am amazed every day by Luke. I am amazed by his ability to find wonder in everything and my ability to love him even more with each minute that passes. He is truly the light of my life. People often say to me, "Do you even remember what it was like before him?" It's an odd question, because I do. Of course I do. I will never forget what it was like before he came along. That time before Luke is precisely what makes me grateful to have him here with us now, healthy and happy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Only Constant In Life

Busy, busy, busy. It's been work, mostly. My company was awarded a massive contract. We will be building the next generation s.pace s.uit! When we go back to the moon, the astronauts will be wearing suits that were made by my company. We are a small division in a large corporation, so this win was a big deal for us. We also beat out a company that has the current s.pace s.uit and has had that contract since the A.pollo days. It is a big deal for us. I think about the fact that this is the s.pace s.uit that Luke's generation will be wearing and I get to play a small role in that. Since I am in HR, we've been plunged into resume HELL.

In cycle news, it's cd13 and no sign of ovulation or even two bars on my CBFM. Oh, well. We'll see. I'm very interested to see where this goes.

One of my dearest friends is moving away on Saturday. I have been trying not to think about it too much. She is one of those friends that I can always go to. She was one of the people who came to get me out of the house right after Luke was born and made me take walks so I could get some fresh air. We love all the same things and can talk for hours. She also got me back into yoga when I needed it the most. I know that we will keep in touch and probably try to work out some visits, but you know how it is. Things aren't quite the same after you move away. You loose track of each other's daily lives and there is an inevitable distance that accompanies the geographical divide. I am happy for her because she wants this move, but there is definitely a hint of sadness that goes along with it. It's odd to feel this way as an adult. I have a husband and a child and many other friends, but I feel like I'm twelve again and my BFF is moving away. I was just starting to feel like I had things together, too. It's like the saying goes, the only constant in life is change.