Thursday, October 20, 2011

The state of me.

For the first time in nearly a year, I am starting to feel "myself" physically. My energy level is up, I have a spring in my step when I walk, all that good stuff.

I have friends who are pregnant now who seem to be feeling fine, and maybe I'm just a whiny baby, but really from the beginning of my pregnancy I started feeling like crap, and pretty much felt that way to varying degrees until, oh, now (over 2 months since I gave birth).

I felt big and sluggish and tired throughout my pregnancy. Then I had to heal from a c-section while caring for a newborn. It's good to put all that behind me. I've been taking daily walks with Anton in the baby carrier. I'd enjoy some different scenery than this subdivision, but at least the weather is nice.

It's odd to me that I can both adore my baby to bits and miss him when I'm away from him for, like, an hour (which is pretty much the longest I've been away from him), AND at the same time miss my "old life." But, that's where I'm at.

Last night, I had quite the ordeal, trying out a new recipe for dinner that turned out to be more complicated than I'd anticipated. Anton was tired but only sleeping in 10 minute increments, then screaming for me, then I'd nurse him, then back to sleep (for 10 minutes). It was really frustrating and cooking dinner took forever. After we'd finally eaten, I felt so exhausted by the whole thing...then I felt depressed that the central challenge of my life these days is cooking dinner with an infant. This time last year, I was working on my Fringe Festival show.

I'm going to try venturing out for longer periods of time, so I can do more creative stuff. I plan to start attending writer's group again, while David watches Anton. I have a lot of pumped milk stashed in my freezer and Anton has been okay with a bottle the few times we've tested it out. I'm hoping to start doing some massage soon, as well.

I've been trying to write, but I can basically only do it when Anton naps, which is also when I need to do laundry (cloth diapers = lots of laundry), eat, cook, etc. I got a dictation app for my iPhone, I'm going to try writing via dictation while nursing. We'll see.

I go crazy without creative outlets. I'd love some tips from experienced artist moms on how to make this work!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Latest reads: Room by Emma Donaghue and Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

So. I've finally mastered reading-while-nursing (much easier on the Kindle than with a "real" book). It has improved my life greatly. I have yet to master typing-while-nursing, though, so I haven't been posting here much. The baby's asleep right now, let's hope he allows me to write about my recent reads before he wakes up.My friend Caitlin recommended Room to me, she thought that, as a new mom, I would enjoy reading this book that centers on a mother-son relationship. I adored this book. The most impressive part of it was the voice of the narrating character - a five year old boy, who has lived in a small room with his mother for his entire life. His mother is the prisoner of a man who rapes her repeatedly, fathering (only in the biological sense) her son, Jack. It was no small achievement for Donaghue to tell this story entirely in the very believable voice of such a young character. The story is told in present tense, as well. I felt like I was there, and my heart was racing at several points in the book, hoping Jack and his mother would be okay. I read this in two days. I kept looking at my baby Anton while he slept, so thankful for him. The book is a wonderful account of a mother's love, while at the same time a bit of a thriller.

Next I read Ten Thousand Saints on my Kindle, which I'd read about in Poets & Writers magazine. The characters are part of the straight-edge hardcore punk scene in the late '80s, and I've never come across a novel about this particular subculture before. I was marginally aware of this scene in high school (although that was in the 90s, I must point out), and went to a couple of shows because I had crushes on boys who were into it. So I was intrigued by the subject matter. I liked this book a lot, and thought the characters were genuine and interesting, and I found myself caring deeply for them. However, I found Henderson's writing style a bit confusing, at times. She loves similies like my cat loves smoked salmon. This book is full of them, like seeds of a pomegranate.

Okay, okay, her similies are mostly far better than mine. But there were And some of them didn't quite work for me. So then I'd find myself pondering the weird similie, and it would take me out of the story. And overall, the style was very intellectual-poetic, which didn't seem like it fit any of the characters' view of the world. Also, the perspective shifted quite often. Sometimes it seemed to shift mid-paragraph. Sometimes I wasn't sure whose head we were currently in. It was not a huge distraction, but I think it might have been better if she'd just picked one or two, or heck, even three characters through which we could view the story.

The wonderful characters and the unpredictable and intriguing story made me keep reading, though, like a straight-edge teenage boy at a free vegan buffet. Sorry, I couldn't help that one.