"when all your desires are distilled; you will cast just two votes: to love more, and be happy" -hafiz

Monthly Archives: September 2013

For my 16th birthday, I only wanted one thing: my bellybutton pierced. I wasn’t badass enough to find an unhygienic place that would do it illegally (must be 18+ to get piercings here), so, goody-two-shoes that I was, I begged my mom to take me. She was not on board with it at all but gave in because, as she even admitted, on the spectrum of ridiculous things teenagers do, this wasn’t so bad. However, she made it very clear to me that she thought it was a stupid and unnecessary piercing.

I didn’t think it was stupid or unnecessary though. I really loved it. I liked having a little barbell in it, with a sparkly purple stone. Then I went to college and my boyfriend gave me a hoop with a freshwater pearl on it to put in there (I thought this was extremely classy, which is hilarious, since it was a freaking bellybutton piercing).

Then, somewhere around age 24, I realized the piercing wasn’t really doing anything for me. I actually remembered back to high school when I found out my physics teacher had her bellybutton pierced, and it totally weirded me out. I then realized now I was a teacher with a bellybutton piercing and I didn’t care to be. Not that I would judge another woman for rocking it into adulthood, I know many people that still do, but it just wasn’t me anymore. So I took the jewelry out and didn’t think anything of it.

I had sort of assumed the hole would miraculously heal shut and disappear, just like some of my old ear piercings, tongue piercing (oh man can’t believe I had that, yikes) and even my nose piercing did.

However, if you’ve had your bellybutton pierced, you and I both know that it most certainly doesn’t go away. In fact I could probably still put jewelry in there if I wanted to. But you’ll see in a second why I would never, ever do that.

Anyway, the little dot above my bellybutton never bothered me. I was never that into my stomach. I wasn’t strutting around in cropped shirts on the regular or anything, so whatever. It was all good.


Belly circa October 2012.

Then I got pregnant, and one of the first things my best friend Kari warned me about was the disintegration of my bellybutton. At this point she had a one year old and was still (half-jokingly) mourning the loss of her pre-pregnancy bellybutton. She had also had a piercing back in the day, and told me that this was the very worst part of the bellybutton’s demise.

Oh maaan was she right.

In general, I’m really okay my belly’s weirdness. Linea nigra is fine with me. I know that it’s normal, natural, etc. Like a rite of passage. And my bellybutton itself is weird as hell, all flattened out, brownish, with the visible slit above, but I actually think it’s kind of cool. I always wondered what was happening inside there. But above that bellybutton slit… is just this weird extra hole that is now getting oddly brown and, dare I say, crusty? And the fact that I decided to put that hole there because I thought it looked cool, just makes me shake my head at 16 year old Carly.




So, just as I’ve done so many times before, I now need to admit to my mom that she was totally right. It was a pretty stupid and unnecessary piercing. But hey, I genuinely loved it at the time. I really did. So I guess I need to accept the way it’s playing itself out on my tummy today. And if I ever have a daughter begging to get her bellybutton pierced, I’ll show her these pictures before letting her make up her own mind.



All you need to know about this week is…

-I’m eating way too much chocolate…

-Trying to balance this with healthy meals though (my recent lunch of champions = brown rice/quinoa mix, crushed hard boiled egg, goat gouda cheese, avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, tossed with olive oil & whole grain mustard)

-Freezing my ass off. And it’s 70 degrees. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING. Poor Pokey is REALLY freezing her ass off.

-Just spent $30 on the only decorations I’m getting for the nursery and am SO EXCITED about them!

-Enrolled in a prenatal yoga class here that I really love. I’m the most pregnant one in the class, which is weird. Most women don’t even look pregnant. I actually came in the first class and was sure I was in the wrong place. But I love doing yoga with a community of pregnant women!!! Still loving yogaglo home practice too, though.

-Skin is super broken out in a way that it never has been in my entire life. It’s like tons and tons of little pimples, not red, only visible in certain light. Maybe it’s irritation from the cold? But it’s in that hormonal-acne spot (jawline, sides of mouth, below mouth) so I think it’s hormone related. THANKS PREGNANCY.

-Okay really can’t complain about my pregnancy because I actually feel pretty great. Except for the temptation that is online shopping. And the fact that I just looked at Athleta catalog and am way too into over-priced yoga clothes. Never going to buy anything from there but ohhh how I want to.

-I also want a prenatal massage… NOW!!!!!!!

Late for yoga…bye!!!


Poor quality picture, complete with blowing smoke/kiss/eating lemon face. Can’t explain. I just feel more and more ridiculous each week wearing this outfit so I needed an expression to match. Also, misleading picture because it was taken late and not exactly at 32 weeks but I promise by next picture we’ll be honest again. No more jet setting for this belly from now on. We are in official nesting mode here in Philadelphia. The weather has just turned slightly chilly, and after a year of endless summer and sweat in Mexico, to finally feel fall weather is so very welcome. It feels right, preparing for a baby at this time of year.

I’m having weird feelings in possibly my stomach? I don’t even know where my organs are anymore so when there’s a pain, it’s hard to figure out. Anyway, all I’m up for is drinking tea and laying on my left side so I’m going to go ahead and do that tonight. Much love.

Since returning to the States, Husein and I have re-discovered the awesomeness that is the public library. I scoured the pregnancy-related books and found a few titles that interested me. Here’s a few that I’ve read and my brief thoughts on each.


The Yoga Birth Method: A Step-by-Step Guide for Natural Chilbirth Even if you don’t commit yourself 100% to this method of birthing, I think anyone can appreciate the strategies it provides for a more “yogic” birth experience. It covers both the emotional aspects to consider and physical asanas you can do throughout pregnancy and labor. The part I liked best was where it discusses the importance of setting a birth intention and helps you create one. Here’s mine:

-accept feelings without trying to control them

-see pain as purposeful to bring baby into the world

-support the baby, don’t leave him to do all the work

-appreciate those supporting you (Hus, midwives, nurses)

-react to difficulty by learning from it

-have patience

-peacefully accept the possibility of different outcomes (requiring pain relief, episiotomy, C-section, etc)

-use the mantras “My body is strong and ready” and “My baby and I are a team”

The asanas it recommends practicing throughout pregnancy and labor are pretty straightforward, with an emphasis on cat/cow, squats and child’s pose. They are all poses you are bound to be doing anyway in your standard prenatal flow. I also read another prenatal yoga book called…


Prenatal Yoga & Natural Childbirth A simple title, but be aware that this is some hard core hippy stuff. I like reading things like this, even if they are written on an extreme end of the spectrum, because I think there’s something to be learned from every different type of birth experience. In the beginning there is a very practical prenatal yoga sequence, similar to the one found in the other book. This was cool. The author of this book gives birth to 6 children, the first in the hospital and the rest at home, so the rest of the book is basically the birth stories of each child and then her firstborn daughter’s birth experience. Her goal is basically to have as little assistance as possible, so by the later births she’s pretty much just chilling at home with her husband having babies, including TWINS. Again, it’s pretty extreme but an interesting read. Not for everyone though.


Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth This book is basically organized into these 12 secrets (which are nothing mind blowing, simple stuff like “read positive stories” or “don’t take labor lying down, gravity is your friend” etc), with one secret being each chapter, and each chapter includes tons of personal birth stories, informational passages and also excerpts written by doulas, midwives and obgyns. I appreciated how thorough this book is. It’s 320 pages of solid writing, not as repetitive as a bunch of other books I’ve read and providing many different perspectives. It covers a wide range of topics and moves quickly. I love reading positive birth stories, and this book is full of them. A good read overall.


Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth In a perfect world, Hus and I would have taken the 12 weeks of Bradley classes that you are supposed to do to fully commit to this method. Since that wasn’t possible for us, and I chose not to have a doula either, I am forcing Hus to read this book with me and becoming my “doula”. This book guides your partner in how to coach you throughout pregnancy and then labor, and it’s really written for the husbands (or partner, friend, family member that wants to be your labor coach) themselves. I appreciate that it’s written for the husband that knows NOTHING, which was pretty accurate for Hus. It prepares them for what to expect during a natural childbirth experience, and what they should and should not do along the way. It also guides them through husband-assisted exercises/meditations to do daily in the months leading up to birth. I’ve started doing the pelvic rolls and squats, but haven’t yet gotten Hus to do the nightly massages/relaxation things which I’m eager to do. WHY CAN’T I GET MY OWN HUSBAND TO MASSAGE ME?!! ARGGGH. Anyway, you need a pretty enthusiastic partner to make this work. Not sure if mine can really handle it, though I’m still working on him.

Okay, I’ve read others but will have to cover them later on. My back hurts. Chairs are dumb.



yum yum

If our baby comes out looking like this tub of gelato, I won’t be surprised in the least.

31 weeks

This picture is fake… shhh. Let’s pretend it was taken at 31 weeks and not actually 32.

I hope this doesn’t devastate you too much, but there will be no legitimate belly pic for 31 weeks. I know. There was just no way it could happen on our trip to California. We spent two nights in the Mission district of SF with our friends Jackie and Steve and their adorable 15 month old daughter, Lydia. Hus and I babysat her for a day while Jackie worked, and I think this experience gave us false confidence as parents because Lydia is just too freaking easy. She napped in her stroller for almost 2 hours while we took a leisurely walk around the city, and when she woke up she didn’t even freak out at the fact that she was basically with two strangers (we hadn’t seen her since she was 6 weeks old!). She just wanted to get up (she pointed up and said “up up up”) be held (threw her arms around my neck) and then used sign language to tell us what she wanted (water and food). She didn’t cry once the entire day. We were like umm… let’s just take this baby!

Jackie and Steven had their friends come to their apartment for the weekend to take care of Lydia for the weekend, and we all spent two nights in Sonoma with a big group of friends to celebrate the wedding of Jessica and Mikey. The pic from that wedding will count as belly pic:


I think the fact that I was the only person not drinking at the wedding gave me the super human ability to stay up way later than anyone else. Not only did I dance the entire night, I was up until 2:00AM when most people had gone to bed by 12:30. There were three separate women with itty bitty baby boys (1 to 3 months old) at the wedding and it was fun to chat with them, hear their birth stories and then watch them on the dance floor with their babies in slings.

After the wedding weekend, Hus and I spent two more nights in our old neighborhood of Oakland with Adam and Ashley. We didn’t do much, as we were exhausted from the wedding and Ashley was sick, but we ate a lot of delicious food and I got to go to one of Ashley’s yoga classes which was, of course, amazing.

Our last night in the Bay was spent at Jackie and Steve’s again for an impromptu baby shower with our California friends. We ate Patxi’s pizza and got lots of awesome books for baby Feez. Oh and an amazing onesie from Jeni that says “HECHO EN MEXICO”  (made in Mexico) which couldn’t be more appropriate.


Lia, Tracy, Tim & me – the only pic taken at the shower, and for some reason everyone has creepy eyes except me.

And just like that, now I’m technically 32 weeks and in Chicago with Husein’s family! We are having a BBQ here at the house tomorrow evening to see as many friends and family as possible here, since it will probably be awhile before we are back.

My body has been feeling pretty good actually. I’ve been drinking this tea daily:


And doing some type of yoga each day, be it 15 minutes of stretching or a full blown hour long session. I’m finally really into Stephanie Snyder’s prenatal classes on YogaGlo. They are just my speed now. Also trying to walk as much as possible. My biggest downfall right now is SUGAR. I want it… all the time. Especially the ice cream or baked good variety. My biggest obsession right now is gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I found the best one of my life at Arizmendi in San Francisco. It was called the Cowgirl Cookie and someone even wrote a blog post about them because they are THAT good. All I want to do in life is eat Cowgirl Cookies and drink Iced Decaf Lattes. I think I could bake this cookie if I tried. Image

Trying to figure out the ingredients from this picture. I think it is: oats, brown rice flour, sugar, butter, walnuts, dark chocolate, raisins, eggs, __________, salt, ____________. I am missing two ingredients because the picture is too blurry. I will get to the bottom of this.

Anyway, lots to do to prepare for the BBQ tomorrow so I should go. Much love.