A year of motherhood




It’s true, a year is a broad expanse of time, hard to define. Time seems to slip off it’s axis with a baby; the days pass by so slowly but you blink and a whole month has passed. You’re always looking forward at milestones and simultaneously feeling a strange amnesia as to when things happened.

I tried to write something when I was still home on maternity leave but it turned into a jumble of unfinished sentences and thoughts. My exhaustion ran so deep I could not think straight, let alone write. I knew those first few months would be hard but I did not know how thoroughly destroyed I would feel. Between waking every two hours, recovering from the birth and the intense flood of hormones that came with it and any nutrients I was getting being literally drained from by body in the form of breastmilk, I felt like a ghost of myself.


I’m thankful that I was able to find a community online to connect with. They saved my sanity and answered my inane questions for the many months when I had no idea what I was doing. They helped support me when I felt disconnected from everything from my life before. There were so many times when I was trapped under a baby when I was still able to check in with my people on my phone and I’m not sure how people managed before without that. I suppose they had friends and neighbors who might drop by in real life. Or they were just lonely.

朋友警告我母乳喂养会多么困难。I’m not hardline about any parenting strategy in particular so I had already made peace with the possibility of using formula despite the rhetoric of breastfeeding being the way and the light. Yet when we struggled from the beginning I could not let it go. I toiled through weeks of pain and things just not working, hours of being attached to machines and not able to just cuddle my baby, meeting with expensive consultants and taking hard to get medications, just because there’s this idea that breastmilk is magic and not just food. I cried a lot. I felt like I was in a limbo because I wanted to give up but I was afraid of feeling like a failure and never being able to turn back that decision.


很多人谈论回到themselves after they have a kid. At the beginning there was certainly a loss of autonomy and an inability to do the creative things that before felt like they defined me. I would never say that I didn’t feel myself though. To be honest I feel even more myself now as a mother than I felt before. It was if it was always a part of me that I had just been waiting for. This comes as no surprise to me.

There certainly was an adjustment as things got more manageable, and as I went back to work, to not having as much free time. Overall I don’t mind that much though. I don’t feel like I had expanses of free time before, but rather that I have more to do now and generally do it more efficiently. Creative endeavors are still a struggle but I don’t feel as bad about it. Instead of feeling like I’m letting things slip by, I feel like my time is full and it seems right.


I’ve seen my fair share of sexism, overt and otherwise, but having a child has really highlighted the societal ways that women are pushed down. I’m fortunate to have a job that has been understanding of my time off and schedule but just thinking about how men don’t have to deal with many of these things makes my blood boil. Women I know have stayed at bad jobs so they wouldn’t lose their FMLA protections. Others have been fired while pregnant or on leave even though it’s illegal. It is such a hinderance to have to build in a year of work if you want to make any change in your career if you also want to plan to have a child. I took time off to stay home with our son but no one expected Shawn to do the same. It creates an imbalance from the beginning that is hard to correct even in the best of situations. There is a certain level of responsibility that comes with being a gestational parent but I wish culturally that other things were a bit more level. In the current political climate, where it feels like we’re backsliding on women’s rights daily, all of these fears and frustrations have been crystallized.

I’ll try not to end on such a negative note though. Despite the difficulties, having a kid has been an absolute joy. We are still going on adventures and though it takes a bit more planning and a little more travel time it’s been great. Things I’ve always wanted to do (making a halloween costume for my kid for example) have been a delight. All the hard things are offset by exciting firsts and dreams come to fruition.

I don’t know what the future of this blog will be. I do miss having a place to write, but I know that blogging is not the same as it used to be. I probably won’t write much on parenting going forward because I’m certainly no expert and I don’t feel especially comfortable with sharing details about my child with the whole world. I was feeling reflective and wanted to put some of my thoughts on this first year down though for myself if nothing else. I’m looking forward to incorporating more creative things back into my life. I can’t wait to make another quilt (when it cools down) and perhaps will share some of those projects like in the old days.

A new year



In the past month or so I’ve gotten a few emails and notes from readers who asked about the blog and since I hadn’t totally removed it, it just seemed better to put it back up for posterity. I most likely won’t be updating it anymore. I’ve started posting images and back entries from our adventures over at慢宇宙




The new year is here. Now is the time for both looking forward and looking back. What was accomplished this year and what can we strive for in the next?


Another goal was to do more camping and exploring and we did much more than I ever expected. Shawn and I visited约书亚树, Yosemite (in冬季, spring,summer和冬季again) andPinnacles。We went backpacking in国王峡谷, inBig Sur和theFish Canyon Narrows。We took a trip to Oregon and Washington, visitingMount Hood,Mount RainierOlympicNational Park。我们徒步到顶端Mt. Baldy和I took my first cross country ski lesson, two things I could not have imagined myself doing even just a year ago. There were also several trips I haven’t even blogged about, including Death Valley, Sequoia, Point Reyes and the Salton Sea.

Clearly Shawn and I had a bit of wanderlust this year, which was both exciting and refreshing. It did make me feel less productive though than I normally am. I watched significantly fewer movies this year than previous years, which in some way was a relief. I did on the other hand read more books, a trend I’d like to continue in this new year.

So what are my goals for 2015? It’s best to write them down, lest I forget, which I inevitably will. I want to make more meaningful connections with friends, more time spent in the real world than online, which includes making an effort to meet people in far away places that I consider dear to me. I want to put myself out there more as a filmmaker. It’s much easier for me to be reclusive about such things, but what I really want is to be out there making stuff. That means working on other people’s films (especially lady filmmakers) and sharing more of what I’m doing. I also want to allow myself time for hobbies. The thing I missed the most this year was small creative projects, which really fell by the wayside. I already have a sweater in mind to knit and some quilt ideas on the horizon. I’m looking forward to all the things a new year can bring.


new things


sunset-1It’s easy to let blogging slip by when you’re outside exploring. I try to take pictures, remember moments to bring back to this place. I keep finding that the weight of a large camera gets in my way. So it takes awhile for me to collect my thoughts and assemble them here. Too long, one might say.

There are other things too. I’ve been blogging here in earnest for over six years now. It has evolved over time, from a place of mostly food, to a more personal journal and then to catalog of adventures. I’ve let things go quiet in part because the blog world isn’t what it used to be. Long ago I sought out blogs to connect with others. These days blogs feel like a window where you’re always on the other side of the glass. It’s easier to chat on twitter or just ignore the internet all together. Social media or whatever seems to be spiraling into a new place.

我开始了一个新的instagramaccount and in many ways it’s taken the place of a lot of what might appear on the blog. A cell phone is light and easy to carry with me up a mountain. This isn’t some kind of goodbye post, more like an introduction for a new place to find me. The past month has been full of travels and October is full of Halloween festivities and it feels like there hasn’t been a moment to sit at a computer to write it all down. I will though, in time, I will.



San Gabriel Mountains from Mt. Baldy在这里,我们是,进一步爬进今年。夏天烧伤但突然间,我可以在地平线上看到秋天。我不准备放弃在户外玩的周末冒险令人兴奋,但我开始期待较冷的月份。必威平台幸运的是,随着加利福尼亚的各种气候区,我们将能够继续探索冬天。我期待着访问夏季太温暖的沙漠。但我在这里领先地;它仍然是八月,未来有许多闷热的日子。

There have been a few, brief, glorious rainy and overcast days here in Los Angeles. Having spent most of my summers on the East Coast, it’s something I miss greatly. I remember one year, leaving the Newark airport on a bus, the grey skies unleashed a wondrous downpour and I thought to myselfI am home.我记得闪电风暴和脂肪雨滴落在我身上。这些是我最喜欢的一些夏季记忆。然而,在这里,干旱持续,森林转向野火火种和湖泊完全晒干。


We visited New York this weekend for what felt like only a moment, spending time with family and not having time for too much exploring. While we were there, time moved slowly, as it can when away from every day realities. We walked the streets of the bustling city, celebrated the love between two people and got to meet our new nephew and it was so nice. My heart was full and upon leaving I felt that small pebble in my stomach, the sadness of going home, back to real life. I wish I could have stayed, seen the friends I missed and spent more time with those close to my heart.

我对长期计划不太好。我不知道我的生活在年底的日子看起来像是现在的那样与现在一样)更不用说五年。当事情总是改变的不论我的意图时,制定计划似乎如此愚蠢。This postfrom Liz, posted the day I started writing this, coincidentally touches on exactly this. I do believe in goals though and deadlines.



In theory my accomplishments are still in my future. It’s best I get started making them happen. I was going to make a list here for some sort of accountability purposes but I’ve gone over it so many times in my head it’s burned there like a mantra. Summer may be coming to a close but creative times are ahead.