Still here. Promise.

Dear Reader,

Hi there. How’re you doing? Sorry that I abandoned you all for so long. I’d say that it won’t happen again, but we all know that’s a dirty rotten lie.

So… where have I been? Well, at last post I had just started teaching 2 dance classes a week  at Pure Energy Dance Productions in Bryan. Hippie and I were just beginning to plan our wedding, and were coming to grips with the fact that Hippie Jr was walking, which meant that once again, life would never be the same. Now I don’t just teach more, I somehow became the Assistant Artistic Director for the studio. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m legally Mrs. Hippie, and Hippie Jr is not only walking, but running, jumping, identifying colors/letters/numbers, and is in pre-school. So much. So very much.

Every so often you have something happen that makes you realize just how quickly time cruises by while you’re busy trying to make daily life happen. This time for me, it was nothing major, just feeling an irresistible urge to write again. Feeling like something of myself had been missing in the last year and a half since I had written. Feeling so desperate to play with words that I DIDN’T CARE WHAT CAME OUT OF IT, I just had to write SOMETHING. Sitting down to write for the sake of writing doesn’t just happen, as it turns out. Not when there is a Hippie Jr who needs you to come and be the Percy to his Thomas (trains = life in little man’s world right now). Not when there is a full time job and steady acting work that you love, but that requires a lot of prep work and hustle (lesson plans don’t write themselves either, it turns out). Not when there is a Hippie who utterly adores you, who deserves to feel utterly adored too (he is. Don’t you worry, dear Reader).

Like all creative endeavors, writing has to be made a priority. Has to be given a little bit of that most precious commodity that we all like to horde for ourselves, or it won’t happen. Time is a bitch, but I’m going to start making an effort to give my writing a little bit of it once again. Art ain’t easy, and my life is full of so much beautiful artistry that it’s kinda unfair to the rest of the world to NOT share it. No guarantees that I won’t disappear again. But I can guarantee that I will try.

Sincerely,

A “No, but really. A LOT has happened the past year” me

 

 

 

Advertisements

My own kind of list.

Dear Reader,

I’m not the only one who constantly sees Huffington Post lists on “The Top 10 Habits of People Who Are Successful/Efficient/Flawless/Better Than You” am I? These little things pop up in my newsfeed all the time, and it’s almost like Facebook/Pinterest/the entirety of the interwebz is intentionally taunting me with how little I am able to consistently accomplish these days. In response to this, I have decided to compose a list of my own. My college roommates, and fellow new moms contributed to this list. I hope you enjoy.

The Top Ten Habits of People Who Are Hanging in There (new moms, specifically).

1. We don’t shower. Not regularly anyway. Who needs hygiene when you know that 10 minutes after you get out, you are GOING to have baby poop in your hair? It’s easier, and more efficient to just not care, grab a hat, and embrace your greasy hair.

2. We don’t clean in general. We don’t stress about it, either. The dust gives us something to draw with, thusly allowing us to explore our creative side a little while the baby that pooped in our hair earlier sleeps on top of us. We don’t want to wake up the baby, so dust bunny decoupage it is!

3. We plan ahead for the next day by falling asleep in our clothes. 6:00AM is awfully early, especially after being woken up 3+ times in the night by a hungry infant. We maximize our personal sleeping time by consistently falling asleep in the previous day’s work clothes, and simply changing our shirt 10 minutes before having to walk out the door. We think we look great. You should too.

4. We drink coffee like it’s water. Not to maximize productivity, but to keep our eyes open long enough to change one more diaper, get through one more feeding, and read “The Napping House” one more time. Why we torture ourselves with a book about everyone getting to sleep but us is beyond me.

5. We avoid mirrors. It’s much easier to to be ok with your lack of shower, and yesterday’s applesauce covered pants if you can’t see yourself. If you can’t see yourself, you can pretend that you are ready for your “Vogue” cover shoot.

6. We don’t eat. Well, we do, but frantically. If we have the luxury of having time for a hot meal, we tend to wolf it down so quickly out of habit, that we burn parts of our mouth.

7. We don’t wear makeup. Not unless we fell asleep in it the night before, that is. Again, it’s an excellent timesaver.

8. We frequently take naps in the driveway. Sometimes, the baby who pooped in your hair (nope. Never letting him live that down) falls asleep while we are driving around, trying to eat a couple of cold french fries. We take advantage of this opportunity by pulling into the driveway, NOT turning off the car, and trying to catch a couple of zzz’s ourselves while our little one snoozes happily in their car seat.

9. We stop caring about wasting gas. It bites us in the ass sometimes, but that driveway nap… Sacrifices must be made. If paying a little extra every month insures that I get to freak out my own parents by taking a bi-weekly snooze in their driveway, then so be it.

10. We have learned to stop sweating the small stuff. Things happen. Hair gets pooped in. Showers become a rare treat. Chick-fil-A has become our idea of a gourmet meal. But you know what? We’re doing ok. We’re hanging in there. And we kick ASS at this whole “mommy” thing. The rest? It’s just icing on the cake.

Well, I’m officially a mom.

Dear Reader,

Why am I just now “officially” a mom? I have clearly been a parent for over 8 months now, so why is it just now official?

Orange puke.

Gross? Yes. But I would relive that moment a million times if I had to.

Here’s what happened. My sweet boy has been in the throes of teething for several months now. He still has no teeth, but he DOES have the drippy nose, constant drooling, and the need to gnaw on EVERYTHING that tends to accompany teething. Another lovely side effect?

Nausea. Poor buddy.

One day this past week, he seemed to be having a pretty good day. Ate with abandon. Was playing happily. Insisted that he have some of mommy’s hummus, in the way that only a baby who has a tendency to grab all the things can do. I wasn’t worried. He’s had hummus before, and loves it. But on this day he apparently had more of a nasal drainage problem than I noticed initially. That + garlicky hummus = orange puke. All over his doting mother’s new white skirt.

Why does this incident make me a mom “officially”? Because I didn’t even notice.

I was standing there, holding my poor, puking child, and I didn’t notice. He was throwing up all over me, and I didn’t even notice until after he was done being afraid, and decided to be impressed with himself (really. He was quite proud of the sheer volume of what was coming out of him. Giggling, even).

As gross as it all was, I can’t tell you how empowering that was. I wasn’t freaked out. I didn’t panic. I just held my sick boy, and let him get all the “yuck” out of his system until he felt better. And I didn’t bat an eye.

Booyah.

Sincerely,
A “oh, and I had food poisoning this week too. It’s been a fun week at our house” me

This? This is a happy boy. I think we need a puppy.
This? This is a happy boy. I think we need a puppy.

Why do I do it?

Dear Reader,

Acting is HARD. Like, back breaking, emotionally weary, all encompassingly HARD. Making a living off of it? Even harder.

So…Why do I do it?

I have a son.

“Well, yes!” I can hear you saying. “Shouldn’t you be trying to do whatever you can to provide him with the best that the world has to offer?” You might say. “Acting doesn’t pay enough for you to do that. You should do something else.”.

I can’t do that.

I am an actor. That is what I am. I can try to be something else. Hell, I HAVE tried to be something else. It didn’t end well. Denying the part of myself that is an actor is the same as attempting to be someone who I am not. That never goes well for anyone.

There was a period during my pregnancy when I was convinced: that was it. My life as an artist was over. I hadn’t “made it” before having a baby, and it was time to set aside my dreams, drive, and my passion in order to find something mundane (to me) but stable in order to help provide for my family. I spent days trying to convince myself that it was what was best for my son. After all, it’s not about just my hippie and me anymore. It was about what was best for our son.

We thought we had already fallen in love with him every time he kicked his little feet, or got the hiccups. Every weekend when I came home a little larger than the one previous, the hippie was so thrilled to see proof that our tiny was thriving. We really thought we were prepared to meet that little person, and then he was here. Nothing, not hearing his heartbeat, feeling his kicks, watching him grow inside me, NOTHING prepared us for how desperately in love we fell with that little pink person.

And THAT’S why I do it. I love my son. More than I have loved anything.

This is who I am. It’s unconventional. It’s damned inconvenient around the holidays (I sing for church services), and it certainly doesn’t pay very well. But it’s who I am. I can’t hide from that, and trying to be someone else while raising a child to be unafraid of who they are? YOU try it sometime.

In the words of my hippie: “How can we teach him to be who he is, if we stop being who we are?”.

So, now you know.

 

My boys. My motivation. My loves. My life.
My boys. My motivation. My loves. My life.

Derp.

Dear reader,

I cannot lie, this character is kicking my ass. At first I thought it was just because she made my skin crawl at first glance, but that isn’t it. She is …complicated.

In spite of my best efforts, I feel sorry for her. She is a woman who is just doing what she thinks is right, dealing with a lot of hurt (see my previous post on her lack of children), and (up to the point where she takes someone else’s child) she is not entirely in the wrong. The little boy she tries to “protect” from his parents is actually in a bit of crisis. She is right in addressing the problem, but very flawed in the way she goes about it.

As uptight as she is, I can’t imagine that she had a very pleasant childhood. Her need for order probably stems from having controlling parents of her own. In my history that I have written for her, her parents are the reason her own child was taken from her. Her love for her students (because she IS a good teacher. The kind that students go back to visit after they leave) stems from a desperate need to give her mother’s love to the children she can’t have, and the one that was taken from her. Her need to save Max is a direct result of having her own child ripped from her arms, and given to strangers without her consent.

When Max begins to turn into a puppet (it’s a part of the show. Just trust me, it’s AWESOME!), she has already been informed that he’s being moved to another kindergarten class. Her brain IMMEDIATELY associates this with having her baby taken from her, and she can’t let that happen. Not again. So she does what she does.

Ok y’all, that is a LOT of depth. And the audience doesn’t necessarily know that is her story. This is what I, as an actor, have created in order to bring her to life. And I’m missing. Maybe it’s just that I’m still scrambling to remember lines. Maybe it’s just that she’s not a part of me yet. Either way, I’m falling short of what she needs for people to take her seriously, and to see her as more than just a baby stealing, uber conservative, Obama impeaching hard ass. This is the toughest role I have ever tackled, and I still feel like I look like this…

maka__s_derp_face_by_kawaiiakumu-d5ddiic

When what I am aiming for is closer to this…

images

CLOSER to.

Anyhow, until I can lose the “I don’t know what happens next” derp face, that’s where I am. She needs more, and I have to find it.

Here! Enjoy random picture of my child. He turned 6 months old yesterday!

IMG_2571