Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mamasay Memories: Writers Write

"And I'll be damn sure she could be teachin' somebody. School to street smarts, girl ain't no dummy." ~ Latyrx

It's been a while since I've written about my mom. I think about her on a daily basis, especially as I'm wanting to share my emotional lunacy and excitement about this baby girl growing inside of me. (Thank you, blog readers, for letting me go on endlessly to you all instead.) But, what I want to write about today is not how much I miss her and wish she could be here with me through this pregnancy. This post is my attempt to honor the amazing teacher that she was, both as a parent and as a middle school instructor.

I recently had the pleasure of reading a scholarship essay by one of my mom's former students in which she features -- you guessed it -- my mom as her most inspirational teacher. The essay was well written, personal, and definitely worthy of a scholarship. Here's to hoping she gets it (vote here)! I felt incredibly proud of my mom while reading it. She achieved what most teachers dream of -- she made a lasting impression on her students.

After reading her student's essay, I thought about how she always encouraged me to write. She knew that I loved writing. That writing was my strength but not necessarily the biggest moneymaking skill. She taught Language Arts because of her own deep-seated passion for literature and writing and her desire to spread that love and inspire others to find the same joy in it. When I decided to make a risky job change a few years back that would allow me to write more creatively but would not be as lucrative, she supported me. She told me to just keep writing. Writers write, she said. I know she would be proud of me for keeping at it with this blog. Even if I'm not writing profound pieces in every post, I'm writing and always discovering ways in which I'd like to improve.

I realize that not everyone loves writing. That writing is not always fun and more challenging for some folks. But I still think the ability to write well is such a vital skill that is often overlooked. And I do believe it can be learned. With my mom as my inspiration, I encourage young people who have trouble with words and sentence structure and language skills to keep writing. To employ writing tutors if need be. Because maybe writing an essay someday will help you pay for college. Or writing will allow you to express yourself in a way that gives you peace of mind when you can no longer talk to someone who did that for you.

Thank you, Mamasay, for keeping me motivated.

Please take this opportunity to "like" the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund on Facebook (see sidebar) and spread the word! We really want to see another deserving student benefit from my mom's legacy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

20 Weeks: Tickled Pink

"She loves to be one of the girls. She lives in the place in the side of our lives where nothing is ever put straight." ~ Psychedelic Furs

Happy Easter! I'm 20 weeks along and everything is coming up girly! From the start of this pregnancy I've been feeling a very feminine vibe, particularly style-wise. But during the fall and winter, I was more inspired by the tomboyish, minimalist look, so the sudden attraction to floral prints and brighter colors sort of took me by surprise. Now it all makes sense, what with this chica in my belly. Plus being pregnant obviously makes you feel more feminine. It's basically womanhood all up in your face!

20 Weeks
Yes, the same dress as Melissa from Dear Baby. Couldn't help myself!

On M:
Dress = Francesca's Collection
Cardigan = Gap
Belt = Hive & Honey from Piperlime
Wedges = Reaction Kenneth Cole

On Q:
Shirt = Splendid Littles for Target
Pants = Old Navy
Shoes = Puma

We were headed out to Q's girlfriend's 1st birthday party on Saturday, so clearly Q had to look smart but be comfortable. He was just up from a nap for this photo and not in the best mood, but he soon warmed up as we neared Vivi's house and he saw so many of his favorite ladies there. Q hugged and kissed as many of them as he could throughout the party, but the birthday girl really got showered. He's not a player, he just crushes a lot. So, yes, we had a ton of fun at the fiesta.

Also, this is my first time participating in Harpers Happenings Steppin' Out Saturday link-up. I love checking out what those lovely ladies are wearing. Harper is such a doll and her mom Mandy makes staying chic as a mom look so effortless. Be sure to hop over there for some Easter eye candy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glorious Girl!

"Thank heaven for little girls" ~ Maurice Chevalier

Apparently I'm still winning like Charlie because today we found out that we're having a healthy baby girl! I'm sort of still in shock but mostly ridiculously and utterly happy. Peep the evidence below.

We're pretty sure that she doesn't have ANTM in her future because she was very stubborn about posing for photos and spent most of the ultrasound curled up in a C and hiding.  But she did allow for one sweet profile.

I feel beyond lucky to have my perfect dream family in the making. Counting my blessings and celebrating with ice cream tonight! Thank you all for your good girly vibes and continuous support.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Flights of Fancy: If I Wasn't Pregnant . . .

"Daydreamin' and I'm thinking of you" ~ Aretha Franklin

I'd be all over Isabel Marant Spring '11. It's perfectly undone Parisian chic. Well, also if I had endless funds for shopping.


I'd be at Coachella. Okay, maybe not since I've never been, but I'm quite jealous reading all of the tweets about Coachella and seeing all of the recent fashion features on music festival style. I think I just want to be 23 again and not care about being in a hot, sweaty crowd and dancing to amazing music.


I'd be thinking about having a couple of cocktails or glasses of wine at dinner tonight with my girls. Instead I'm dreaming about trying the drool-inducing salted caramel pot de creme for dessert at Starbelly. Thank goodness for small miracles.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the Q-tip: My Tender Toddler

"Only tender ronis can give special love, a special kinda love that makes you feel good inside" ~ Bobby Brown

Today I'm 19 weeks pregnant, but I think it's about time for a little Q update. I miss writing his month day posts. And if we were still going by months, we'd say he's about 27 and half months at the moment. It's funny how time seems like it's flying when I think about how much he's grown and continues to mature at an alarming rate. But then there's the seemingly snail-like pace of this pregnancy. Ugh. How long is it until I drink wine meet this baby again? Anyway, back to the first born!

Q's vocabulary is immeasurable at this point. It's incredible how much he can communicate without actually stringing sentences together. He also will repeat any word he finds interesting. Not any word that you ask him to repeat, mind you. Just the ones he is intrigued by. He's also amazing with names. He loves to talk about the people he's met or spent time with recently. For example, our friend Camille came over the other night and he immediately started calling her "Mieu" or something to that effect. He now randomly says "Mieu? Mieu?" throughout the day. He also now truly calls me Mom (with the occasional Meem thrown in) and calls T Dad. Or sometimes he calls him Tob, which is hilarious. He obviously hears me yelling his name around the house because he doesn't just say "Tob", he hollers it.

Speaking of looking for folks around the house, Q is sort of like a sheep dog or any other kind of herding dog. He wants everyone to stay together in the same room. Lord help us if somebody has to go to the bathroom. He'll be asking for that person repeatedly and practically banging the bathroom door down until that person returns. But I think this is mainly because he enjoys being the center of attention and if someone leaves the room they may be missing a moment of the entertainment personified that is Mr. Q!

Working his Uncle Ted's ranch with Aunt Doogie in the background.

He also attends a Parent & Me Gymnastics/Movement/Music/Semi-organized Confusion class once a week now. You know, for developing social skills and for burning all of the energy possible in a 45 minute period. He seems to like it, but we did have to leave early from his class this week after an apparent overstimulation meltdown. There were twice as many kids this week due to their drop-in policy. He wanted to hug/push/pull the hair of pretty much every kid. After the third timeout in a 20 minute period, it was time to go home. But hopefully he's learning. And hopefully I'm learning to not be on the brink of an anxiety attack every week.

But overall, what I love most about this stage is his love for cuddling with his mama. When he's just waking up from a nap or when he's feeling low-key, he'll want to hug me and touch my face and kiss me and stay close. Heartmelt overload! I just want to eat him up. I'm trying to cherish these last months that we have one on one together. When he's still the only child. When he's still my baby.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wild Winning Streak

"You may be my lucky star. But I'm the luckiest by far" ~ Madonna

So, in an unlikely turn of events, I've actually been lucky and winning things lately. I feel like my friend Natalie who wins practically every contest, competition, and sweepstakes she enters. For instance, she recently won $200 on a scratcher. I don't know anyone who wins more than 5 bucks on those things. But this time I'm winning! Take that, Chatty. (Just kidding, homie)

Anyway, so far my lucky streak has been due to this wonderful world of blogging and the big-time bloggers who spread a little love to their readers. Mary from Mommyologist generously donated a $100 Spafinder gift card to one fortunate reader who watched her interview on Dallas Cyr's site and commented. And I was lucky enough to win! I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to reuniting with my Mom Sexy and indulging in a prenatal massage. Um, that sounds way naughtier that it is. But if hop on over to the Mommyologist, you'll know what I'm talking about. Thanks again to the MILF-y Mary and the inspirational Dallas for offering this giveaway.

 And then I entered to win a coupon for free Huggies via the witty and wonderful Morgan from The Little Hen House. All I had to do was comment on her Facebook page and bam! I was one of five winners. Free diapers may not sound like much to get excited about to some, but as I think about another couple years (at least) of diapering ahead of me, every free diaper counts big time. Be sure to check out The Little Hen House for a healthy dose of wisdom about motherhood and some fun, too. Thank you, Morgan!

So, you know how they say that good things come in threes? Well, I'm expecting one more win for ultimate Charlie Sheen-like domination. Could the next win be a perfectly healthy baby seen via ultrasound on the 21st? Possibly even a healthy girl baby? Is it weird to talk about my baby in the context of winning? Probably. Who the heck am I competing against here? Or maybe the win will be a quick and painless potty training of Q! More on that later. For now, let me revel in all of my glory.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

18 Weeks: Tadpole Meet Milkshake

"Float, float on"~ The Floaters

So, here are a few pregnancy updates because you're just dying to know and I like to give the people what they want.

Symptoms: A bit of mild cramping from round ligament pain and occasional lower back pain, but nothing bad. The old rubber band is on its last legs with my jeans. On to leggings! Also, exacerbated seasonal allergies. I've now given up and taken Zyrtec twice in the last week.

Cravings: Hard-boiled eggs (especially deviled egg sandwiches), walnut bread, chocolate milkshakes, blueberries, kale (well, not exactly any kale, but this kale and chickpea salad they have at Whole Foods which is super yum and makes me feel okay about having milkshakes)

Aversions: Anything too acidic, especially vinegar-y salad dressing

Weight gain: Other people actually put this on their pregnancy blog posts. I don't think I can do it -- it just seems like TMI and also jinxing myself because I'll probably become ashamed at the weight gain after one too many milkshakes.

Growing baby: Now the size of a bell pepper but feeling more like a wee tadpole swimming around in my belly. Which is all kinds of wonderful. Those first movements are the best.

Counting down:  2 more weeks until the big ultrasound! I can't stand it. How do people wait until the actual birth? I'm such a weakling.
Outfit: Lace top (Forever 21), blue tank (Old Navy Maternity), jeans (Urban Outfitters), wedges (TOMS), bracelets (gifted, one made by my very talented friend Krissy)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Asinine Assessments

"I don't wanna open up my eyes, I don't wanna see what you have done to me, I don't wanna know what's under your disguise. And I don't need to see what's on the inside" ~ Esthero

Pregnancy in the 21st century = assessments, tests, procedures, screenings

I'm sitting here trying to avoid looking up my recent 2nd trimester blood screening results online. People have told me to stay away. Don't go there. It will just make you more stressed. So I'm trying my damnedest. Even though it's really hard to not look this stuff up. That's what I always do when I'm concerned about something. Go online, see what I can find out, do a bit of research. I'm a researcher! It's what I do! But I don't want to make myself crazy with the infinite range of results that could come up.

Two friends who had kids in the 20th century told me about not being screened for all of these possible ailments and disorders while pregnant. They just didn't offer them. I see the positive and the negative in that. Now we are better informed (supposedly). We can make more educated decisions about our pregnancies. Or if we choose to terminate them. It's a really terrible position to be put in, though, and I never want to experience that. For anyone who has had to make that incredibly challenging decision, I have much respect and sympathy for you.

But on the negative side, do all of these assessments just create more stress? How accurate are they really? And for the ones that are reportedly close to 100% accurate, there are real risks to consider. I don't want to say that I'd refuse any of the standard tests and screenings they recommend, but I can't help but wonder how so many people were able to have healthy babies back in the day. I guess I really don't know the statistics and how many more healthy babies we're able to birth nowadays. I think it's just frustrating. The vagueness of some of these screenings. The inaccuracies and false positives I've heard about. Even how wrong they always seem to be at estimating the weight your baby will be at birth.

The stress. The unnecessary stress. And just another potential detriment to the baby growing inside of you.

Really, I'm trying to make myself feel better. I want to believe there's something wrong with the aggressive, seemingly over-sensitive assessments. And not with my baby. Please. Not with my baby.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

UBP: Yeah, You Know Me (now)

"My girl likes to party all the time, party all the time, party all the tiiime." ~ Eddie Murphy

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

So, I don't usually participate in these sorts of soirees, but after seeing a few of my favorite bloggy friends taking part, I had to see what this UBP was all about. Plus, I'm not one to miss out on a party. I did go to UCSB after all. So, here I am (fashionably late?) and here you are. Hi!

My name is Micheline, but most peeps call me Michie (me-she). When I was growing up here in the SF Bay Area, people became sort of obsessed with knowing others' ethnicities. And fools would try to guess what I was and never got it right. So, since I'm multiracial, I came up with my own label -- Flyrish. That's Filipina and Irish among other things. Namely, fly girl. Over time Flyrish has evolved to represent my multifaceted identity, from mama to wife to music lover to vegetarian. I also make a fun time out of discussing my flaws -- hence the foibles part of this blog. And I like alliterations. Yes, I'm a geek.

Here are my two favorite guys (so far), my son Quincy and my husband Toby. They are most awesome. Q is about 27 months old, a full-on boy who's obsessed with trucks/trains/buses/bikes, both a lover and a fighter, and a mischievous joker. T and I are amazed by this rambunctious guy every day, especially since we both are more mellow than manic.

T and I connected in 1997 at UCSB over our love of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest and Portishead and on and on. Mixtapes eventually led to a proposal on the back of an iPod, and we've been married since 2005. 2009 brought the birth of Q and a brand new life, brand new life, a brand new life around the bend. So, who's the boss in this relationship? Probably Q. But T definitely has the skills to pay the bills (he's a stationary engineer). I work in the non-profit world, writing and researching and hoping and dreaming.

Now we're expecting numero dos in September. Stick around to see how many more foibles arise as we add another babe to the Guido household. (Oh yeah, Guido is what we call the house we bought in January 2010 -- I'd tell you why we call it Guido, but then I'd have to kill you.) Thanks for stopping by and please do come again. Because a Flyrish Foibles party don't stop.