Thursday, November 29, 2012

Suffering TMT and PMT

Tomorrow The Mouse is eight months old. And it does sound old. Compared to one month, or six months, it sounds A LOT closer to one year old. And yet, she's so tiny!

Tiny and yet, sitting so well by herself, wriggling herself around on the floor like a caterpillar, and growing teeth. This is called 'TMT' (The Mouse Teething) and it's not so fun for anyone. I am very grateful that she seems to have inherited my high pain tolerance, or maybe just being a month older than the other babies in our Mum's Group makes a difference to her understanding of what's going on? However, getting up every two hours through the night is starting to take its toll on me and, yesterday's crazy chocolate cravings aside, today it's also 'PMT,' which means mood swings and feeling bloated, just in time for the first 38 degree day of Spring.

Last night I lay in bed, and it must have been something about the way I was lying down but, I got nostalgic about being pregnant. For me being pregnant was like an extra-long Christmas Eve. I know that makes it sound like it was all rainbows and good times (it wasn't) but there was that quiet thrill of excited expectation. A growing secret shared body feeling, so alien and yet so a part of me. The wondering and the imagining 'what will she be like?' For me Christmas Eve, more so than my birthday, has always been like that - 'what will tomorrow bring?'

I had to trust, every day that things were going how they should be, but every day there would be a wriggle or a bump to say 'I'm coming... expect me.' It was simply a matter of waiting.

I didn't love being pregnant, it was physically and emotionally simply a 'waiting expectantly.' And I do love being a mum; there's still waiting, still trusting, and there's still things to look forward to. But last night I felt, for a short while, a grief for the loss of that going to bed moment when: I would get comfy, then The Mouse (called Chilli Pepper in utero) would get comfy, and, aware of each others presence we would go to sleep, like every tomorrow was going to be Christmas Eve again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A taste of summer

I love Apollo Bay. I have been going there almost my entire life, and it's just one of the best places on earth - for me. I qualify this statement with 'for me' because the reason I think it's so great is intensely personal, I'm not trying to claim it is amazing for everyone. Besides which, I think you should all not go, in fact that's probably best (you wouldn't want to be disappointed,) leave the place to me.

Unlikely? Yeah, probably.

We went down for the Melbourne Cup long weekend, not being horse racing enthusiasts much (at all.) Raven, her two kids, Moth, and Lola and Nonno came as well.

And, well, as promised Franklin did bake bread and it was yummy. He also made cinnamon cookies and was enthusiastically assisted in both these endeavours by little fingers and many questions - 'why?' and 'can I do it?' predominantly.

Tiny toes were dipped in the super-cold ocean. This proved both a tickly and confusing  sensation, which required a nap on mum in the sun fairly soon afterwards, to recover.

As we were there with family, Franklin, TM and I slept in my old room. This prompted much gazing at the ceiling and marvelling at how much life can change and yet, not.

Standing on the beach I played on as a child, holding my daughter and looking out at the most familiar landscape of hills and sea was honestly, kind of mind blowing. How did I get here? How did she get here? How does time pass so quickly?! What will the future look like? Will she stand on this beach with her daughter some day?

Way too much reflection and romantical-type thinking went on. I'll admit it here - I needed that nap on the beach to recover, just as much as TM.

Drawing, maybe it's a thing I CAN do after all these years

I remember thinking while I was in Uni, that if I was going to be a good illustrator, I probably should be one 'by now' and that maybe I should peak my self-expectation at drawing for my kids, like my mum did.

I'm very glad I didn't do that. I love drawing and experimenting with textures and mediums. I have had many opportunities to draw and illustrate for my work over the years, and throw in a few drawing courses and an interest in photography and I can look at my handiwork and know I am better than just being able to accurately draw a horse or dog or flower for my kids.

I have recently done two drawing as presents for friends. The first was the image we used on my friend's baby shower invitation. There's certainly a few mistakes in there, and I haven't quite worked out how to come to terms with not being able to ctrl-z or edit curves and line weights. The down-side of being a graphic designer using a pen and paper? Also, I'm not sure what the code is with re-drawing - does a drawing still have a soul when it's the fiftieth clone of your first attempt in which you accidentally (gasp!) coloured out of the lines?

If I was working and had access to CS5 (Adobe Creative Suite 5) I would've used Photoshop to make the invite look better, but maternity leave has left me with just Illustrator 10 (!!!!) on my 4-year-old laptop so 'bumps and all' was how it had to be. As an aside, this totally blows. Limited to this way of working has not been very conducive to a peaceful household. Sorry Franklin!

This one was for some friend's who just got married, I think it turned out super cute. I hope they liked it, I haven't heard yet (the wedding was just on the weekend)

If you would like to hire me to draw you something, or as an illustrator, please contact me!