Sunday, April 27, 2008

26 Weeks

Here you go. The latest evidence. I love the pic on the right because Mark took a lower angle accentuating belly mass, and I really pushed the belly on out there. I feel like my belly growth has been quite dramatic in the past three weeks, and I fear that if this rate keeps up, I will be in big trouble. Also, I can tell that Baby Covell is fattening up in there, as my appetite has increased. Unfortunately my stomach is being squished, and I can't eat very much. So I eat very little bits all day long. And I have cut out all refined sugar. Well, with the exception of a very few treats.
Speaking of sugar, I have to do the glucose test for diabetes this week. I have to drink some sugary syrup, wait an hour and then they will take some blood and hopefully tell me I am not diabetic.

And in a week I will be officially in the third trimester. Wha? Already? We better get our act together and start getting the apartment prepared!

All in all, this past month has been so incredible. I have energy and can keep up in yoga classes. And finally I appear obviously pregnant to people, which is so cool. It's amazing how many folks smile at you and even say, "congratulations!" Or just glance at the belly. I feel the little guy kicking and flipping around, usually when I am in savasana, right after I eat, or trying to go to sleep. And Mark has finally felt the kicks from the outside. But He is definitely getting more and more active. His main work now is to fatten up, keep making brain cells, and building his lung strength and functions.

It still does not feel real. I cannot clearly imagine what it is going to be like, how everything will change. I hope I have the brain power to handle it all. I hope I have the strength and zen to keep it together. I hope I can give all I can give and still be my own person. I visualize what it must be like for the little man to be in this dark, warm, squishy place, and to know nothing else. Does he feel my emotions? Does he have the awareness to know I am here, all around him, protecting him, feeding him, thinking about him?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Studio

When Mark started his hiatus from Family Guy, I was kicked out of the studio so he could work on his paintings without my interruptions and sudden hug attacks. I moved my laptop to the dining room table, which had already been pushed up against the wall for some painting lessons I was giving a while back. Now I have started painting in the 'dining room' too. Eventually, we will both be out here painting because the studio will become bedroom for when the Little Ninja needs his own room. So there will be the Big Rearrangement, where we move the studio, bedroom, and nursery around. That is a subject for another time.

I have been going through a whole load of changes with being pregnant and having TEN TIMES the amount of hormones a normal human has. 24 hour morning sickness, tiredness, no physical activity, dangerously low placenta, feeling very chubby, feeling bad for not working, clothes not fitting, felling better, energy!, comparing myself to skinny pregnant women, play-dough skin, feeling Baby Boy squirming around, peeing every 20 minutes, can't sleep on belly anymore, feeling amazed and blown away that I have a person in my body. All in one day. I love it.
But throughout those months, I wasn't painting. People would ask me, "Have you been painting?" A logical question because I have all this time now, but it felt like an deep cut to me. Mark was painting like a madman, and I was sitting here on the computer, walking, practicing yoga, or eating. What was wrong with me? I wasn't inspired to paint the things I usually want to. I was so cold all the time that I couldn't even think of going out to paint. I felt even more useless.

I reminded myself that painting is pretty much my only skill(other than making a sinfully good cookie), and I had better keep it up. And I wanted our son to see his parents working hard at their passions no matter what. So I grabbed my paints and set up a little studio in the dining room and painted a pretty pathetic painting. It felt good. I am averaging a little study every other day. I will post them soon.

I feel so much better now. I am not embarrassed and can say, "Yeah, I have been painting." Plus I work right by the window where I can look out on the bird of paradise tree, hear the birds singing, and reach over and do this:

Here is the messy new studio and my little workspace with a study in progress.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Me, Me, Me

Inspired by the great, funny list posted by Kristin, and having no other ideas, I will give you some interesting tidbits about ME.


1. was born in the Philippines on Clark Air Force Base. This makes it very hard to do my astrology chart.

2. gave myself a hernia when I was 3 or 4 from riding my Big Wheel too much. I still have no core muscles. Honestly, I don't know how I stay upright.

3. never had any of the childhood diseases. A recent blood test proved I am immune to the Chicken Pox without ever having contracted it. Yes, I am like the guy in Unbreakable.

4. was a tomboy. Never liked dolls, and am so relieved we are having a boy.

5. always knew that I was an artist.

6. believed in Santa Clause until I was 9 years old.

7. lived in Italy as a kid. Air Force Base again.

8. don't keep very good track of my possessions. I buy things, only to discover that I already had it. I lose things all the time.

9. can see myself as a surgeon, astronomer, psychotherapist, or a genetic engineer.

10. am afraid of heights.

11. haven't eaten anything that had legs since 1988.

12. hate the eyebrows I was born with. I spend a whole lot of time grooming them.

13. have one green eye and one brown eye. That means I am a mutant.

14. have an IQ of 146. And it's sad that I know that and put it in a list. Even sadder that I still get right and left confused.

15. love, love, love to eat. If I am at dinner with someone who hardly eats, it bugs me to no end. Eat, dammit.

16. kiss my cats on the mouth. It smells like ass, but I love it anyway.

17. HAVE to write everything down, or I WILL forget it. See, that IQ is useless.

18. don't know why I have so few friends here. Any ideas?

19. am most proud of my hands, out of all my body parts. Oh, and my neck.

20. don't have many talents or interests other than art, but I will listen to your problems until you feel better.

21. always kept bad jobs and wrong boyfriends too long.

22. love it when nice people are touchy - huggy. Warm fuzzies.

23. have wanted to have a baby for 7 years.

24. can roll and curl my tongue, have hardly any earlobes, and can spread all my toes apart. I guess I have other talents afterall.

25. am always disappointed when I get no comments on my silly blog.

Well, there you go. That was 30 minutes well spent! Please tell me something about yourself!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Does anyone else think this is just wrong? (her arms, dear God, her arms!) This was on the Old Navy website. It came up when I went there to order my big momma maternity clothes. Nothing against this lovely girl - I am sure she is a wonderful person, and it is not her fault. As someone with a history of eating disorders, this bugs me. I am all over it now and have no desire to look like this girl anymore, thankfully. But I remember being younger and what an (manipulated)image like this would do to me.

Is anyone else sick of this? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Am a Creator of Orphans

In the past I have been outraged by things our government does. Like NOT pass a Bill that would give medical insurance to millions of poor uninsured children. Or it's foreign policies, or it's unlawful taxation of our incomes. Oh, the list could go on and on. And I have emailed letters to the Congressmen about it. But when Mark told me about this the other day, I went from disbelief to outrage and finally to that feeling when you realize that your best friend stole your prom date.

Basically, there is a Bill being written right now that could very well end Mark and my art careers. This is not an exaggeration. It's called Orphan Works. It would make it very easy for anyone to take photographs or works of art from artists and use it for monetary gain, and take away the rights or ability for the artists to do anything about it. So why would any advertiser, publisher, or licensing company ever buy art directly from an illustrator, photographer, or fine artist when they could just browse the web and take any image they came across. This Bill reads as if someone was specifically making a plan to bypass paying artists for any work they use, and make it nearly impossible for the artist to take legal action. Please listen to this interview with Brad Holland, who is part of the Illustrator's Partnership. It explains it better than I can. There is information on Orphan Works there, too.

Since the Universal Copyright Convention and the Berne Convention Implementation Act in 1988, intellectual property has been protected by the government. Artists, along with authors, musicians, or anyone who created a work, were protected. Nobody could use your work without your permission, and if you registered the work with the Copyright Department, you could get monetary damages for the violation. You simply showed them that you possessed this work.

If this Orphan Works Bill passes, artists, only visual artists and photographers, are NO LONGER PROTECTED, can NO LONGER GET THEIR WORK COPYRIGHTED, will have any existing copyrighted work UN-COPYRIGHTED, and have to prove HOW and WHEN someone stole their work, using their own lawyers. It would make artists and photographers the only artists who can't. Artists can register their works for a fee with private commercial agencies(which don't exist yet), but this gives no protection either. A company will just have to look at one or two of these agencies, and if they don't see the work, can legally use it, paying a whatever fee they choose. The artists has no say. The company can always say,"Oh, I just came across this image." And legally they are protected. Artists will have to register their images with every single company if they want full protection, and still get close to nothing if an image is used. A lot of time and money for nothing. My paintings will no longer belong to me.

The Orphan Works Bill supposedly has a purpose of freeing up artwork done by artists who have passed away, thereby 'orphaning' the work. Or making it legal to use artwork of which nobody knows the origin. This is all fine and dandy, and Canada has figured out a simple way to deal with this. If someone in Canada wants to use an orphaned work, they just apply with the Canadian Orphan Works to use it, then research is done, and permission denied or accepted. Simple, huh? Well, my hunch is that some VERY wealthy special interest groups here in th U.S. saw some major money making potential for dealing visual images and decided to have the government orphan ALL artwork and photography done in America. Corbis Images and Getty Images, sellers of 'stock images', are two such groups, and they have expressed their interest to Congress, in support of this Bill. THIS is the real reason for the convoluted, over complicated, nonsense of a Bill that is wasting everyone's time. If it wasn't about these companies looking to profit, why wouldn't the U.S. just do what Canada is doing?
Obviously, everyone involved with this Orphan Works Bill has no idea about the art world and absolutely no regard for professional artists, and I am furious. To make it worse, the Bill is said to be based on the ramblings of a self absorbed Law Professor and his students and their Marxist views about authorship of intellectual property. First of all, who in their right mind bases a Bill on this crap? And if it isn't really based on it, then what kind of looney says it is? And if the theory is that all artistic creation is based on what other artists have done before them, therefore rendering it instantly communal domain, why attack just visual artists? And not musicians, poets, writers, sculptors, architects, designers, etc?
It's obvious to me that visual artists are being singled out because it is easy to take advantage of them, and there are no big corporations to fight.
I really feel like my world is dissolving around me, and I have little chance to save myself and Mark from this nonsense.

The new Orphan Works Bill is not written yet and so has no official number or title. This means that letters to Congressmen and Senators will have no effect yet. I am afraid that this is on purpose, and that the new Bill will go to a vote with no time for opposition to write or protest. Mark and I are writing to every artist and friend once letters can be written to bring attention to this violation of rights and ask for help in fighting it.

I am terrified for our future.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Need Your Prayers

I know that I get a pathetic amount of visitors to this blog, but I want to ask for you to keep this precious little angel of a baby girl in your thoughts. She is the baby girl of my best friend in the whole wide world and her amazing husband. She is in the hospital fighting off what the doctors are pretty sure is botulism. Very rare and serious. Her parents, the best, most wonderful people I know, are at her side, suffering with her. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pregnancy Soup

By far, the biggest thing for me in this pregnancy has been food. First, I couldn't even look at it or smell it without wanting to die. Mercifully, those many weeks are a blurry, faint memory.

Then came the weeks of eating whatever seemed edible at that moment because I realized an empty stomach was my one way ticket to vomit town. So I spent hours of my nauseous time shuffling around the grocery store looking for something that also didn't make me sick. Some days it was canned peaches. Other days it was Ramen noodles without the sauce. Whatever it was, the next day I couldn't even think about what I ate the day before.

Then I started feeling better(totally better by the 18th week), and I wanted to eat again! Hooray!! Yippee!! "Yes, lets get Indian food!" and Mark couldn't believe his ears! Now it is just the occasional heartburn that comes about for no reason at all.

But what I had never heard of too much about pregnancy was the constipation. Or maybe I just thought it wouldn't ever happen to me because I had never had a problem with that before. Well, I never had heartburn before either, so too bad for me. I am not complaining at all. I am so ecstatic that I don't have 24 hour a day icky nausea anymore! I apologize if this is too much information for you, but if you know me, you know that I don't have a problem with potty talk.

Anyway, I have found the solution to my little preggie problem: Lentil soup. I decided one day to make this soup from a fabulous book I found at the Burbank library book store: Laurel's Kitchen. I have the Laurel's Bread Book, which is also amazing.

The lentil soup is very tasty even for non-pregnant folks, and it is so quick and easy to make. Here is the recipe for the soup, with my adjustments:

Greek Lentil Soup adapted from Laurel's Kitchen:

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils
1 leek, dark green parts trimmed, and then chopped
1 large or 2 small carrots
2 celery stalks
1 small potato ( I like these ruby gold ones)
a big bunch of kale, chopped
1-2 tablespoons oil ( I like olive oil)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar ( red wine vinegar would also be good, I think)

Mix all ingredients , except the vinegar, in a soup pot and cook until the lentils are very soft, about one hour. Add vinegar at the end and serve.

This make a good amount of soup, but double recipe if you want to freeze some or have a lot of people to feed. So good with nice warm, crusty Italian bread. And it will keep you regular! Yay!

China Must Be Made of Lead Paint

I subscribed to the Department of Consumer Protection's mailing list for updates on recalled stuff to make sure we don't buy anything for ourselves or our baby that might fall apart or poison us. I am stunned because every single day I get an email about at least one, usually more children's toys that are recalled because of lead paint. And these things are always made in China. I know, just about everything is made in China. I was mad enough when pets all over were being killed by pet food containing poison from China. Now TOYS. With lead paint.
How long has the world known that lead is poisonous and deadly? Why hasn't China been given this news?
Gah! I am so furious.

How do you avoid buying things made in China? There must be websites devoted to safe products and toys out there. Any ideas?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Because We're Weird Like That

This might seem odd, but in going through all of our photos from Maui, I realized that we took more pictures of industrial stuff than the typical things you might expect. One reason is that we like these shots for artistic inspiration and reference. And another is that we both love these kind of images. And I don't care if you are thinking,"Why go all the way to Maui for that? You have tons of that in LA." I get that when I go to Monhegan and paint trucks. What makes the trucks so amazing is that they are in Monhegan, just like the docks are even more beautiful to me because they are in Maui.

I really do feel so lucky that my sweet hubby loves this kind of stuff as much as I do. We talked about when we started to appreciate the mystery of these images. I remember feeling a very strong feeling when I was in desolate or broken down areas as a child. It wasn't a scared feeling, but one of wonder and another feeling that I still can't name.

As artists we love these images for the colors, textures, history, juxtapositions, and symbolism. And also for that ineffable feeling we get when in that atmosphere.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Popped!

11 weeks....................19 weeks......................23 weeks

No, the title doesn't say 'I pooped'. Even though that would be exciting news for a pregnant gal. It seems if you want that kind of thing, you should go here. Sorry, Christy!

About a week ago, after we got back from our trip, I woke up one morning and *ka-BAM*, there it was. A brand new belly popping on out there, saying hello.

The little ninja has been really kicking it out in there.
Being pregnant has really made me aware of many things. Like how much of an ego I really have, and that I have some more work to do in letting go of it. And my competitive nature, which I also thought I had taken care of. I will not let pregnancy be another way to compare myself to other women. Which then makes me aware of how I want to be a good role model for our son, so he can know and appreciate a confident, loving female energy.

I am also aware that I am coming to terms with a body that is doing it's own thing. I am eating the best foods, exercising every day, and I am still turning into a Venus of Willendorf. I trust completely that the divine power that made this new life and continues to help it grow also knows the best way for my body to grow and nourish it. And I love meditating on that magical energy running through me and surrounding the little guy.

I am also becoming very aware of the fact that many of my internal organs are being evicted from their usual places and finding new ones. Now that's a new feeling!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Maui Waterfall Hike

Mark and I went on a guided hike with one other couple into the West Maui mountains. Randy, our guide, and Romi and Raoul, the couple, were great folks. We took so many photographs, but I will give you some highlights.
First we drove back to the scary road we abandoned the first day, parked the car in a lookout point, and walked down to a the edge of the road. I never would have found this trail on my own. We followed this stream along a trail of wild ginger plants, bamboo, and some amazingly beautiful trees. Saw no animals, except a millipede, which I had no desire to see closer, and some cardinals.

There were three waterfalls, each with it's own little swimming hole. The water was frigid, though, and Mark was the only one of us brave enough to take the dive.

Randy taught us so much about the local history, plants, and myths of the area. Where we were was all sugarcane farming, with the occasional bloody battle. We asked him all kinds of questions about the native culture and their modern day situations, stray cats, and ooh, what tree is that?

One interesting fact: Since the Hawaiian islands are all volcanic and fairly new geologically, most plants and animals were brought over by the settlers. Not many indigenous species. And there are no snakes or poisonous plants. A hiker's dream. Just watch out for those pesky daily flash floods.

We took a break here and munched on dried papaya, pineapple, and chips. I could have stayed here all day.

I realized that I much prefer wooded places with streams and little hideaway ponds over beaches and mountaintops. They say you are either a forest, ocean, or air person. Which one are you?