Friday, May 29, 2015

Dear Sprout,

Dear Sprout,

Last week I went to the gym to awkwardly swim slow laps in an old one piece from Junior Lifeguards while senior citizens passed me in the adjacent lanes. After I got home, I realized that part of the suit had completely deteriorated into the kind of fabric that resembles cheese cloth. You are probably already embarrassed.

This week we've been swimming in the ocean with a full wetsuit on because the water is the same temperature as the cold pasta salad I've been making us for lunch. It takes me approximately twelve minutes to get into my wetsuit now, but it is always worth it. Last Friday we swam around with my friend Christine. She told us stories about being raised as a vegetarian, but how her brother grew-up to be a chef who specializes in preparing meat. I hope we all spend time together in the water in the future.

I'm officially starting maternity leave from most of my part-time jobs mid next week. I had my last day of surf coaching for this season with the kids yesterday. They gave me one of those cards that's so sweet, you want to put it on the refrigerator and since it came with magnets that had pictures of them surfing, I did! 

So far today has been weird. I have accomplished close to nothing except re-folding the duvet cover and re-heating leftovers. One of the highlights was seeing this bartender who once threw the tip we left him in our faces on Valentine's Day win a lobster dinner from the Valley View Casino on the news. 

These next few weeks are the beginning and the end of so much.

I have no idea how to understand what it will be like when you are here and aside from ordering curtains and nightlights for your nursery online, I don't really know how else to prepare myself. I don't feel like in a few weeks we will finally meet because I feel like we already know each other. I feel like I've known you my whole life. But in a few weeks we will finally see each other. There is no way for me to comprehend what this will be like, so in the meantime I will make long to-do lists that say things like "Finish Baby Shower Thank You Notes (seriously!)" and try not to kill all the house plants before you come home.

me, your mom 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From My Notebook

{from my notebook this weekend} 
"This morning, during the early hours when the light still seems tired too, I heard the crinkle of something on the roof. 
For some reason my first thought was that it was an aardvark. 
I go over the things in my mind I know are true. Sprout is here with me now in my tummy; small and completely unaware of all that's waiting for them on the outside. 
At some point we were all in this position. Maybe in some way we still are-completely in the dark about what is to come. 
How intimidating. How thrilling."

+I hope you had a nice Memorial Weekend! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

May Sponsors + The Unofficial Start to Summer?

Happy Friday everyone! Are you gearing up for the long weekend? Any plans? This is the unofficial start to summer, no? I'm sure in August stores and TV commercials are going to be claiming it's fall, so I guess the idea is to start thinking about summer now (or ignoring those things all together). Truthfully, I'm really mostly thinking about Sprout, but I'm always happy to turn my face to the wind and sun and elements to embrace a new season. I hope you have a nice time doing whatever is in your life for this weekend. Here are the May sponsors. Thanks for the support! 

W e l c o M e N E W s P o n s O r ...

Tu Camino TravelThe mission of TuCamino, literally meaning "your way" or "your path," is to offer a unique travel experience geared specifically toward women

Our tours in Costa Rica and Mexico include yoga, surfing, nature exploration, community service, and so much more. We aim to foster meaningful relationships and provide true immersion in the local community, while always leaving behind a positive footprint.

Learn. Explore. Create TuCamino.

W e l c O m e b a c K ...

Pom Pom- "The first surf, skate and snow wax company for girls." #findyourfun Check out the new longboards and skateboards

Matsumoto Studio :: "Designing with aloha no matter where we may be." Be sure to check out their ocean inspired cards, luggage tags and more in the Masumoto Studio Shop! Use the code mermaid15 at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase!

INT Softboards :: "Here at INT, we take Softboards to a whole other level. Combining precision with innovation, we create hand shaped boards that are great for beginners to the most experienced surfers, at any age." I've used INT Softboards exclusively throughout my pregnancy. Use the code mermaid20 at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase!

Roxy :: "We inspire girls to dream big in and out of the water." Check out the Run+ SUP + Yoga events. Things I love lately... POP Surf Collection // Summer Dresses // Sandals  

FinBan:: "Safely keep ocean predators away with magnets!" Does the device work on all shark species? What is the effective range?... FinBan FAQs

Dakine :: "Everything we design and build is all about quality." They have a new women's line. Check out the swim section

Daphne's Greek :: "At Daphne’s, we offer fresh, high-quality and healthful food without compromising great taste. We’ve added a dozen menu items that build on a “California-fresh” ideal with savory, rich and robust Mediterranean undertones." Check out their menu and even order online.
Hippo Sweat-"All natural vegan friendly sunscreen. Amazing sun protection made safe for reefs, animals and people!" Use mermaid30 at checkout for 30% off! 

LuSa Organics- "Elevate your everyday with all organic handmade products from LuSa, a family brand named after the owners' children, Lupine and Sage. Products for bodybaby and moms too. Based in Viroqua, Wisconsin." 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

San Diego Eats: Hill Street Cafe

Scott and I have been eating at Hill Street Cafe for years. The menu accommodates vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters easily, plus it's a certified green restaurant which means they do eco-friendly things like compost the coffee grounds and leftover beans and rice. They also steer clear of styrofoam containers and harmful cleaning chemicals. As for drinks, Hill Street serves beer and wine as well as fresh pressed and organic juices. 

When we were there the other night I was starving. For lunch at work we had eaten at a hot dog and sandwich shop designed for meat lovers. I tried to order one of the salads without meat and the waitress was like, "Literally every single thing in this salad is meat" (I didn't know capocollo was hot boar's head!). I ended up getting an Italian salad there with every veggie possible and it was good, but my 7 p.m. I was starving and Hill Street seemed like the perfect call since they totally get the "I don't want animals in my food" thing and have a bunch of choices to accommodate this request. Our favorites are the Avocado Burrito, Tofu Stir Fry and the Baja Bowl (Scott gets his with chicken). I went with the Tofu Stir Fry and Scott got the Baja Bowl. I kind of wish I got what he ordered since I was starving and beans and rice coat the ribs a little better, but both options were good. 

Recently I have noticed service here is a little slower than it used to be, but I'm hoping we've just had bad luck the last two times we've visited because usually the staff is incredibly nice and the wait time isn't so arduous. Besides the food, one of the best things about Hill Street Cafe is the fact that it's located in a historic landmark called the Weitzel House, built in 1888. They occasionally have live music or open mic and when we left there was an eight-year-old girl with sandy hair free-styling Lorde White Teeth Teens. Awesome. 

524 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA — 92056
Open Everyday
8am — 9pm

Monday, May 18, 2015

How to Surf While Pregnant

How do you surf while pregnant? 

This is the question I've probably gotten almost as much as "Is it a boy or girl?" and "Are you still eating soy sauce on your cereal?" so I thought I'd answer it here too. 

There are three main things that I would note from my experience of surfing during my pregnancy so far...

1. You must be an experienced surfer. Surfing isn't the safest sport, so it's not something you want to be doing while pregnant if you aren't very confident on a board and in the ocean. 

2. Surf differently. In my experience it's not that hard to ride your regular boards and surf with friends whose abilities you are familiar and comfortable with in the beginning, but once the baby grows and rises past the protection of your pelvic bone (usually around three or four months), you have to start to rethink your approach completely. After my first trimester, I began looking into safer, softer boards with more volume. From probably four and a half or five months until my eighth month of pregnancy I've ridden a 5'10" fish from INT Softboards. It's been perfect because not only is the surface soft and forgiving, but it's longer, thicker and wider than my typical shortboard and has made catching waves easier. To avoid putting weight on my stomach, I've placed weight on my chest and knees. This makes paddling more difficult because your arms are farther out of the water and your weight is distributed differently, so a bigger board helps. That being said, I found it easier to paddle prone on a shortboard over a longboard since the tail sinks down, allowing more water to support my body. Later in my pregnancy I've knee paddled a 9'0" INT Longboard when it is small and now that I am nearing the end, I have begun body surfing instead of paddling out on a board most of the time. In summation, it's helped me to...
-Learn to paddle differently-
-Ride a safer board-
-Ride a board with more volume-
-Surf alone or with only a few people I trust-

3. Put your baby first. This is obvious, but I figure it's worth mentioning anyways. Sometimes when the waves are really good, it's tempting to revert to old habits of pushing yourself and not holding back even unintentionally because that is what feels more familiar to you. 

+Have you or do you know anyone who has continued with a sport during pregnancy? 
+Use the code mermaid20 to received 20% off INT Softboards!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rain and Worry

In February I looked hopefully out our train windows at the grasses turning green, but by mid March record high heat seemed to sip all the color right out of them and almost everything through those windows was yellow by April. It made me think of the water tanks in Catalina and how if you opened one you could probably see the bottom.

On my birthday, after we finished the backyard and planned a baby-shower-luau, it finally poured. Last week new clouds came and did the same thing. I used it as an excuse not to water any of the hanging baskets. I love how sometimes when it pours everything starts to look the same, doughnut shops and clouds, cop cars and bushes, but then when it stops everything looks different.

I am quiet and contemplative today as the rain falls haphazardly. Sometimes my voice even surprises me when I hear it out loud talking to Sprout about ripe avocados and surfing in Mexico. 

When people ask when the baby will be here we respond now with how many weeks are left instead of how many months. I look in the nursery and think about how I want to get storage baskets that will hold baby powder and wipes conveniently next to the changing pad. It's easier to draw my focus in on little things that need to happen instead of bigger things.

Lack of sleep and surfing, hormones, Scott going out of town this weekend and the unfortunate passings of people I love has left me in some sort of fog not unlike the one accumulating outside my windows right now. 

Over vegetarian sushi last night I tell Scott I actually don't understand how not to worry and that even though I will soon join him in drinking a beer and having a few pieces of sushi, I will take on a whole new set of worries about other things like SIDS and choking hazards. 

Life is long and short. 

We feel we have so much control over it and none at all. 

These things I know, but tell me honestly, how do you get past worrying about it all?

I'm hoping some of these wonderful anxieties will clear away with the rain as well as some advice.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Capas, a Short Surf Film {Trailer}

Last year we flew down to Mexico with our friends Basia and Phil to stay in a concrete floored bungalow with colorful placemats and two creaky hammocks next to a shore break that could've swallowed all the stray dogs around. Pescadero is a small town on the South West Coast of Baja. I remember feeling warm every day. I remember drinking tequila and Tecate every day too. I remember watching locals pull into house high barrels going the speed of a Porsche on the freeway. I remember trying to skate this turquoise skatepark in the middle of nowhere that was patrolled by pit bulls and local Mexican guys that liked Reggae. The directions to get to our place included lines like "Turn right after the last bougainvillea." Basia and Phil were unfamiliar with the plant at the time. I think Phil still calls it Bogdanvillea; some kind of hybrid of the actual plant species and Basia's dad's name. Anyways. Phil is an amazing cinematographer and film maker and has put together a short film about our experience called Capas. Above is the trailer. I will share the full film in a few weeks. And if you will, stop by Phil's site and check out some of his photographs and other videos. You will not be disappointed. They always offer me a little escape to somewhere else. 

Capas (meaning layers in Spanish) is a short surf film put together by four friends whose desire for travel led them to Baja California Sur. The film and editing style are a reflection of the natural and cultural diversity or “layers” encountered throughout the southern half of the Baja Peninsula. Featured surfing in the film are Devon Holloway DeMint from The Tale of a Mermaid and Scott DeMint. Filmed by Philip C. Nowak, Devon Holloway DeMint and Scott DeMint. Edited by Philip C. Nowak.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Might as Well

It's almost as though I didn't expect the seasons to come the same way. Like I thought everything would be different now just because my life was suddenly becoming so different. But May so far has been just as grey as always and even the end of April had showers despite the lack of lowered jet stream. This is not a complaint, though. 

Sprout is almost here. Everyone tells me so, and I absorb this information and nod my head as if, of course, I know, but sometimes I'm not sure I really do. Maybe my knowing comes in other ways like how my senses have been taking in everything lately; the smell of hot lint that the dryer spits out of the vent and onto the back porch, the taste of the salt that sticks to my upper lip, the way Scott's beard feels on my face, the smell of jasmine whirling in the air in the supermarket parking lot when I'm trying not to get run over by an old lady, the scratching sound of warm water wax across a new surfboard, the way inanimate objects seem to look back at you.

Life is so seriously overwhelming sometimes. And when I have random crying spells about it I sincerely regret buying the kleenex infused with Vicks Vapor Rub. At least the fact that they make my eyes feel like they're leaking fire always makes me laugh. 

There is more laughing than crying. I threw balls of wadded up paper into the opened pocket planner of an obnoxious man speaking into his cell phone on the train as if he was making an announcement to everyone about emergency exits. He said things like "Because I'm the boss, that's why!" and "You don't have time for dessert when I'm calling!" And then there's Dave sending me videos of surf anti-hero Christian Fletcher attending the funeral of one of his closest friends. "What a psycho," he says. "How about just roll your friend's bones up and smoke 'em like it's the formalist thing in the world." And then I'm the loudest person on the train snort-laughing like Maureen used to. Even now when it seems like death is surrounding me, begging me to acknowledge it and embrace it like I try to with life, I'm still laughing. And I think, I might as well. 

p.s. the pictures at the beach are from when I met my long-time blog friend Kari and her friend Kate while they were in town. 
p.p.s. thought I'd post a link to these beautiful empathy cards made by cancer survivor Emily Mcdowell in this post. I wish I'd seen them sooner.