Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Interview with 7-month pregnant Liz

1. When are you due again?
(I get this question a lot and don't expect anyone to remember even though I am counting each day.) I'm 29 1/2 weeks, which puts me at 7 months and the third trimester. I'm due December 18-22ish.

2. Do you have a birth plan? 
Yes! My plan is to give birth.

3. Are you taking a birthing class?
If I am, I don't know about it yet. [3 minutes later] I literally just signed up for a class at the hospital we're delivering at. This was a good reminder.

4. How much weight have you gained now? 
I've gained 19.2 lbs since I got pregnant. My husband is eagerly waiting for the day we are the same weight. I think his wish will 100% come true in the next month. I think he weighs around 155lbs and I'm at 152.7lbs now.

5. What? You still have morning sickness?
Yup. Also, a rant: I find "morning sickness" to be a fairly dismissive term. I call it "pregnancy illness" because I'm not only sick in the morning and in fact, a lot of women are sick at all hours of the day. In my first trimester, I was sick from the moment I woke up until I went to bed, not to mention depressed and miserable. And now I'm nauseous intermittently throughout the whole day. I usually feel "best" when I wake up before I eat breakfast because I often get nauseous immediately after I eat breakfast. Sadly, I'm still nauseous every day and it seems to have gotten worse after my second trimester. Nausea is limiting in a way I couldn't have imagined before I got pregnant. Some days I have the energy to just fight through it, but usually I have to submit and take it easy. When I am able to "fight through it," what I mean is that I'm still nauseous, but I just do whatever I need to while feeling bad, gagging, and sometimes vomiting.

6. Do you take any meds for your pregnancy illness?
I've been on unisom+vitamin b6 for five months now. I think it helps, but I'm thinking I need to up my dosage. Some have suggested going on prescription meds, but I have a real mental barrier to that idea, so I'm tolerating what is. 

7. So what's your belly button look like these days?
I wish I took a picture when it actually got bigger before it got smaller. My sister says it'll turn into a pancake! I'll have to report back as I get further along. It's not quite a pancake yet. See. (Whoa, my skin looks super discolored. Did that happen to any of you while pregnant?)

8. What's been a top priority this month in terms of preparing for baby's arrival? 
It's been getting our house in order. As in, we are in escrow to buy a home and it needs a little work before we can move in. I think when we get new flooring in and move all our stuff, I'll feel a bit more settled. At least I hope to be. We're sort of floating in transition right now and that's been a medium source of stress. 

9. What's your approach to getting baby stuff?
I'm basically getting a few essentials to survive the first three months and then planning on purchasing things (hopefully mostly used) on an as-needed basis. I've heard from many parents that you don't need a lot of stuff and you don't know what your kid is going to take to or not. Almost everything I've gotten so far (it's not a lot) is used. If you're curious what's informed my thinking, you can read this and this. I also asked some girlfriends to share their "must" list for baby related goods and that's been a helpful gauge.

Let me tell you, it is somewhat tempting to set up the perfect pinterest-worthy nursery, but from what I've gathered from mom experiences I've heard/read about, if something doesn't have to do with pooping, sleeping, or eating...forget about it. So that's what I'm doing: focusing on the stuff that will help me with baby's poop, sleep, and eat cycles.

10. Do you feel like a pregnant goddess lady? 
OMG. Have you heard that some pregnant women feel like a goddess? I don't know any of these supposed women and they seem as mythical to me as mermaids. Well, I thought AT LEAST the hair on my head would grow faster so I can finally have Joanna Gaines luscious locks, but it's still barely above my shoulders after a major haircut last fall. My hair growth seems to have come to a halt, except for my big toe hairs. They seem to be growing suspiciously long. Ew?

10.5. Did you really have to post such a large picture of your toe hairs?
Uh, yeah. How else would you believe me?

11. Speaking of...any unusual cravings?
I want SUSHI and KOREAN food every day. I guess this isn't unusual. Confession: This is totally pathetic, but when I wake up in the morning, I'm usually starving. But instead of fixing myself a meal, I'll look through my instagram feed and scroll through pictures of delicious foods primarily consisting of sushi, korean, breads/cakes (with puppies and babies sprinkled in between) until I can't handle it anymore and I have to rush to eat. Sadly, I just stuff some whatever I can into my mouth and then sit there nauseous for a while. I don't know why I torture myself like this. 

12. Any "whoa this is really happening" moments this month?
I think I had one, but I'm too nauseous to remember. 

13. What normal activities are getting harder to do? 
Leaning over to put on socks and shoes or scrubbing my feet in the shower. I finally realized today (10/5/16) that when I lean over/bend down, I get super nauseous and start gagging. I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, but now that I know...time to ask husband to help me put on my shoes and scrub my feet.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Interview with 6-month pregnant Liz

First, ramblings.
I just noticed that my last post was January of 2016. It's August 31September 1, September 2, 2016 today. Clearly I haven't been "writing inspired" or perhaps "living inspired" lately. Okay, that's not fair. A lot's transpired since January of this past year. For instance, I'm 6 months pregnant now and this is the first time I've actually wanted - and had the energy and motivation - to write a post in a while. The first trimester was a grueling time of my life. I was depressed and sick as a dog bed-ridden for months. I could've never known how horrible I would feel. If you want to know a bit more, I wrote a short piece here.

Anyway, I was in France for a couple weeks visiting my husband's family, napping, eating, enjoying the sunsets and trying to stay cool. (I swear, trying to stay cool as a pregnant woman is a full-time job.) While in France, I had this idea of conducting a monthly self-interview of my last few months of being pregnant. It's more for me than anything so I can remember what was happening to me during this period of my life, but if it amuses you too, I'll consider that a huge victory. I'll take any victory these days, like even taking a shower. VICTORY. Cooking a fresh meal. VICTORY. Going for a short walk. VICTORY.

Second, FAQ's.
1. Do you feel the baby moving?
YES! It's graduated from light flutters (that feel like bubbles) to distinct kicks/punches. I like to imagine the baby is HI-YAing me and doing lots of flips like a penguin. 

2. Do you know what you're having?
A human baby! During the first four months, I was 100% sure I was having a dragon-alien in the shape of a bunny, but my most recent ultrasound confirmed I'm having a human. 

3. Are you going to find out the gender?
Yes! When the baby is born. 

4. How many weeks are you?
I'm in my 24th week. This means, I'm still in my 2nd trimester. I still have 16 more weeks to go.

5. When are you due? 
Mid to late December 2016.

Finally, the real interview.
6. What's been the easiest part of pregnancy?

Uhh, not much. Wait. Being present. When I'm feeling nauseous, I'm right there. Being present to pain/suffering has come quite easily.

7. What's surprised me in pregnancy?
Three things: 
a) How destroyed I would feel
b) How vast the spectrum of pregnancy experiences are and
c) How pregnancy and entering motherhood connects me to a huge line of mothers who have come before me and who will come after me.

8. What did you hear about pregnancy symptoms that's been true for you?
I heard about constipation and thought..."no way, not me." Well, "yes way, yes me." My BM's have gone from fast and easy to slow and labored. It's starting to change now that I'm eating more vegetables and less cheez-its. 

9. Any other notable side effects? 
I never really broke out even as a teenager, but my forehead is now covered in those small annoying pimples you can scratch and/or squeeze. Also, my white hair count has doubled. (Note: Believe me, this forehead selfie really does not do the pimples and white hairs justice.) Oh, and I am hot all the time now. Even as I type, 60 degrees outside, windows open...I am sweating, especially between the boobs and belly and my pits. Dear pits. 

10. If you could get rid of one pregnancy symptom, what would it be? 
NAUSEA. Hands down. Even though I don't like vomiting, if the vomiting wasn't married to the nausea, I would take vomit over nausea. But feeling nauseous every day now for 6 months is just plain torture. I mean, vomiting sucks too...but which is the lesser evil? Vomit.

11. Do you mind if people touch your belly?
Nope! I actually feel like it's a way people bless me and the baby. There's something intriguing about making that physical connection with someone. I've noticed that women of color are more prone to just going for it, but most white women have been quite hesitant to touch my belly. I'll often have to give permission. I know some pregnant women can't stand having their belly touched, but I'm really enjoying it. 

12. Would you want to go through all this again? 
Oddly, yes. When I was barely crawling out of the first trimester, I remember I was showering (which didn't happen very often mind you), and I had a thought float through my mind that I'd want to be pregnant again. I was completely surprised that I would even think that when I was still feeling miserable.

13. How many times a night do you get up to pee?

1-2xs/night. It just started becoming 2xs/night. Pre-pregnancy: I would sleep 8 hours straight without waking up ever. I don't think I'll experience that sleep bliss for many years to come...

14. How do you feel about your body?
Big question for any woman! I've always struggled with my body and feeling comfortable in it without pregnancy as part of the equation. I read about how women finally accepting their bodies during pregnancy, but I don't think that's happened for me necessarily. I think my focus/attention is just redirected by the wonders of my changing body like the dark line forming down the center of my belly or the kicks I feel, or the shape of this growing bump. But overall, it just feels like it is what it is. I don't ever really feel sexy, sometimes I feel cute, but mostly I feel kinda frumpy and just plain big. In my better moments, I try to appreciate that I still have some muscle tone despite my lack of physical movement. :) Yesterday I wore earrings and let my hair down (for as long as I could tolerate before tying it back up again), to try switching things up. I felt cuter than normal and that was nice, but honestly, I couldn't wait to get back home, take off the earrings and slip into comfortable shorts. nice.

15. Any wisdom you've gained from pregnancy you'd like to share?
Nausea cures me of all the cares of this world (even one as scary as Trump). Haha. For real, I've learned that 1) we really need each other to get through suffering and 2) when we ask for help, it comes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Quote | To Bless What Is

"To bless whatever there is, and for no other reason but simply because it is—that is our raison d’etre; that is what we are made for as human beings. This singular command is engraved in our heart. Whether we understand this or not matters little. Whether we agree or disagree makes no difference. And in our heart of hearts we know it."

Br. David Steindl-Rast

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Review

2015 was a particularly big & full year. This is to help me remember moments that shaped who I am today.

  • I launched Snowqueen & Scout - It was in its infancy still, but I finally put out into the world something I'd dedicated a lot of time and energy towards
  • Started supper club - Weekly(-ish) dinner with neighbors
  • Hosted: The Kims - So much fun to have family visit during the winter to partake in all things wonderfully cold and snowy. It really deepened our relationship with the Kim family. (Ps. This is my middle sister.)

  • Started my Wilderness EMT course with Aerie - I invested $2500 in taking this course and learning a huge deal about wilderness emergency scenarios.
  • Began reaching out and meeting women in the outdoor industry - Met Alyx of Shoestring Adventures which eventually lead to creating Wild Sage Summit with her (see September)
  • Began working on freelance graphic design projects for HopeLab and Humanity United
  • Hosted: Michael & Meredith
  • Mothers Symposium's first artist. Created this video for the event and realized I love the challenge and energy by creating creative and emotional experiences for people
  • Started the process for going on Discovery's Naked & Afraid
  • Spent 24 hours in the Emergency Department at St. Pat's as one of my clinicals for getting WEMT certification. Helped bag someone who died; saw someone stabbed.

  • Created Frank's Little Farm website
  • Took and passed my WEMT certification test
  • Met Tae Kim of Alite who gave me very helpful insights/advice/feedback
  • Celebrated Pat - who has influenced me what leadership can look like.
  • Special time with Sheri in SF 
  • Reconnected with old college friend Chanell over some amazing shrimp & grits
  • Quicky bike tour from Idaho to Spokane and back with Samuel
  • Conducted user research for Snowqueen & Scout
  • Backpacking in Sweeney Creek (Bitterroots) with Samuel and Vlad
  • Hosted: Vas & Al

  • Participated as a patient in my first MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) with Aerie; idea planted for possibly teaching with them
  • Teaching collaboration with YWCA's GUTS! program: Taught young high school girls how to build proper fires and demoed how to make friction fire using a bow drill 
  • Collaboration with Bold Betties: Took a group of women on their first backpacking trip in the Indian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado
  • Traveled to LA to visit family
  • Hosted: Sophie, Lucas, & Alice

  • Traveled to LA to visit my mom
  • Went camping at Glacier National Park with the Ongs
  • Spent two days in Ennis at 9T9 Ranch with Ongs and Kims
  • Fly fished for the first time ever on the Madison River
  • Amber & Sam in town?!?! A huge surprise to see these two!
  • Got to celebrate Sage turning 8 years old in Montana
  • Hosted: The Kims
  • Hosted: The Ongs
  • Hosted: Nate & Sarah

  • Road trip to Canada with Ongs + AMAZING CHINESE FOOD in Calgary
  • Bike tour from Jasper to Calgary 
  • Backpack the Wonderland Trail in Washington; trail magic from April and her entire family.
  • I let myself get LIVID and ANGRY and YELL. Wow. I rarely ever lose my cool these days and I let it all hang out. Lizzy was a very messy Lizzy this month. 

  • Hosted Wild Sage Summit with Alyx - Met amazing ladies Jaymie, Korrin, and Steph for the first time!
  • Stayed at the the Morgan Case Cabin with the Jarvis'
  • Caught my first brown trout (and ate it)
  • Solo 24h backpacking trip where I realized I just wanted to be back home with Samuel!
  • Hosted: Matt, Wild Sage Summit ladies

  • Cut my really short for the first time in 10 years!
  • Attended Outdoor Blogger Summit / ShiftJH conference in Jackson, Wyoming; Met Kenji
  • Celebrated my 2nd anniversary sitting on a flight to LA
  • Hosted my first giveaway on Snowqueen & Scout. Learned how to organize and promote a giveaway (from overseas, at that). 
  • Went to Korea with Samuel, my mom, the Choi's
  • Introduced Samuel to my great grandfather, who's a wax figurine at the Independence Hall. He was one of the founding members of the Korean provisional government. (See pic below with the circle around a face.)
  • Found my favorite new shirt. Can't stop wearing it. 

  • Still in Korea!
  • Went to Atlanta to present at the AORE conference with Sasha and Kristina
  • Stayed in a dry tiny cabin with Michael & Meredith in Georgia. First time experience. I was amazed at how few resources they use. Amazing.
  • Coordinated the meal for our first all-family Thanksgiving gathering in 10 years! What a gift to be with family. I've missed them all quite a bit, and I realized I've changed a lot too. Not as awkward and insecure as I used to be. Haha :-P 
  • Skyped with Torea and was totally energized by our conversation!
  • Oh, I turned 33
  • Reconnected with my oldest childhood friend Annette, visited her mom in the hospital. Remembered the gift of old friendships.
  • Persimmon picking. It was heaven. 
  • Hosted by: the Kim's, the Choi's, my mom, my aunt, 

  • Annual photoshoot with Joanne & Conor
  • Got super into Shark Tank 
  • Finally got into Taylor Swift! She's wowow.
  • Gained more clarity on where I want to take Snowqueen & Scout.
  • Watched Star Wars Episode 4 for the first time (I think)
  • Started Strength Swap - an exchange of strengths with my sweetheart Samuel. (Didn't mean for so much alliteration in that last sentence.) I'm good with ideation, and he's good with structure and systems. We decided to start giving feedback on our ideas/plans/execution. So helpful!
  • Started Konmari

As I reflect on this past year, I have so many people/things/experiences to be grateful for. And at the same time, I've finished out this year feeling like it was a bit too full and a bit too rushed. This year, I've felt the sting of not living close to family after getting a taste of what it might be like to live closer to them during the month of November.

Also, I've become more clear that I have no idea what I'm doing in life. Wow. I haven't felt that as sharply as I did in 2015. And yet, I feel more comfortable in who I am than I ever have before. How is that possible? Is this just what happens with age?

Well....I'll leave it at this: Thank you. 
Thank you to everyone who touched and shaped my life this past year. I am who I am because of every person who crossed my path and reflected back to me ways I need to grow and ways I am loved.
Thank you.

2016. You scare me. But here you are. Let's get it on. 
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