Book

Old Mrs. Creet

creet

Once there was an old lady
Who looked like my grandma maybe

Every night
She’d take a bite

Of children’s toes
And a nose

If it’s past your bedtime
And you hear a chime

It’s old Mrs. Creet
Looking for something to eat

Don’t let her catch you
Awake or she’ll chew

Your toes and maybe your nose
So hurry and doze

Off to deep sleep
And as you count sheep

Out will creep
Old Mrs. Creet

Valentine

valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day
I wouldn’t have it any other way

Second holiday of the year
With our son, our newborn dear

Magical forest your dark hazel eyes
Who knew we’d have an angel in disguise

You’re his and mine
Our stars have aligned

So thankful I am for you
There’s nothing I won’t do

So eat and sleep, sweet love
There’s nothing I’m more proud of

For you have made this holiday
Surpassing a thousand bouquets

Holiday Gift Ideas

charliebrownholiday

For those of you who plan on taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to shop for gifts, here are a few ideas to get you started:

(1)  Aromatherapy–Pregnant or not, many people appreciate a soothing scent.  Great for the office or home, male or female, this gift is perfect for just about anyone.  Ideas include diffusers, candles,  and/or soaps.

(2)  Philanthropic Causes–Donate to a worthy cause in honor or memory of someone important in your life and/or help create awareness of a charity.

(3)  Food–Food has always been my favorite things to receive as gifts.  Whether it’s a hearty batch of soup, a dozen boxed cupcakes, and/or a basket of trail mix, food is a sure crowd pleaser.

(4)  Classic Movies–Know someone who’s a fan of movies from the 80s, 50s, or any other decade?  Amazon has some great deals on DVD sets.

(5)  Activities–Recent studies show that money can buy happiness: it’s better to spend money on experiences instead of things.  Ideas include a cooking class, gym and/or workout class, art class, museum exhibit and/or event, etc.

(6)  Cold Weather Accessories–Many people I know (including myself) tend to lose gloves, ear muffs, and/or scarves every winter so it helps to have an extra set just in case.  Ideas include ear muffs, scarves, gloves, and/or hats.

Trafficked

bloodyhandcuffs
 
Somewhere over the rainbow
Someone will hear my cry of “No”
 
Lured in a parking lot
Before I knew it, my arms tied in a knot
 
Could this be happening?
Head against his car slapping
 
Eyes blindfolded
The terror has unfolded
 
Taken to a cold house
He tore open my blouse
 
Threw me onto the bed
Monster and his friends then fed
 
Once untied
I asked why and cried
 
“Right place at the right time,”
He said, “You’ll earn me a pretty dime”
 
I stared out the window
From this place of hellish limbo
 
And saw a line of men
Foxes to devour a hen
 

Pregnancy Must-Haves

hautemama

It occurred to me last night that I should come up with a list of pregnancy must-haves to help those who might need some (fashion and beauty) tips.  Of course, every pregnancy (and woman) is different so bear in mind that these are things that have helped me through the third trimester (to get the best deals and selection, start shopping as soon as you start trying to get pregnant; but keep all tags/receipts until after you get pregnant):

(1)  Maternity clothes and shoes.  No need to go crazy here–just a few pieces to put into rotation are fine.  Suggestions include a couple pairs of leggings (great for every day and for all seasons), two to three wrap dresses (easy to wear and, again, for all seasons), hosiery (for fall and winter months), cocktail dress (nothing too fancy–just something to wear for more formal occasions [i.e., weddings, holiday parties, etc.]), rain jacket/windbreaker, winter coat (for fall and winter months), nursing tanks/camisoles (again, great for every day and for all seasons), and comfortable shoes (Nordstrom.com has an excellent selection of wide sizes).

(2)  Maternity underwear.  Bras (go without saying) are definite must-haves.  If you don’t want to stretch out your pre-pregnancy underwear, get maternity panties ASAP (you’ll need them before you realize you do).

(3)  New skincare routine.  Since the first trimester, my skin has gone into overdrive in terms of oil-production.  It’s high school all over, again.  Whether your skin  is changing for the better or worse (oilier or drier), it’s time to re-evaluate and change your skincare routine.  Basics include a cleanser fit for your skin type NOW (versus pre-pregnancy), toner, moisturizer (if you need it), and SPF protection.  My favorites include Dr. Weil’s Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cleanser, Christian Dior’s Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract, La Mer Moisturizing Cream (yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way; there’s something about that sea kelp formula that WORKS), and Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 (great for all seasons–if you have dry skin, you can use moisturizer underneath).  Also, your nails will likely grow quite fast so keep a good set of nail clippers on hand.

(4)  Prenatal Vitamins.  This one is self-explanatory.  Of course, use per your doctor’s instructions/directions.  Same goes for your diet.

(5)   Aromatherapy.  Have a scent and/or scents on hand to relax you (especially if you’re prone to pregnancy blues, anxiety, and/or depression).  Whether it’s candles, perfume, lotion, soaps, and/or shampoo, it’s nice to have something that smells pleasant around you.  My favorites include Origins Smoothing Souffle (body cream that smells like mint), pine cones, and  Nature’s Own Essence Peppermint Essential Oil.

(6)  The book, What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway).  Even if you already have other baby books, this is a great resource that offers some interesting perspectives.

(7)  Simple and/or streamlined makeup routine.  Even though I’m less of a makeup fiend than I was during pre-pregnancy, it still helps to have a set of go-to items for days when I want to glam it up a bit (but not take two hours to get ready).  The three main areas that need coverage are face, eyes, and lips.  Basics include a foundation, mascara or false lashes, and lipstick or gloss.  If you’re blessed with flawless skin, all you need on your face (in place of foundation and/or powder) is a good SPF (and maybe moisturizer).  My favorites include Christian Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation (pricey but a little goes a long way; wear a shower cap and apply with your fingers to get the most natural look; great if you want an air brushed and I-just-walked-out-of-a-magazine look [with every little effort]), Ardell’s Natural Lashes (Demi Wispies), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (favorite colors are Caviar, Espresso, and Ivy Shimmer), Estee Lauder’s Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, and Christian Dior’s lipstick and fluid stick (CD’s selection of color is amazing; this stuff glides on and has a subtle shimmer; there’s something for everyone).  If you need makeup brushes, nothing compares to Chanel’s brush line.  Nothing.

(8)  Jewelry and/or accessories.  At a time when you’re feeling nostalgic for your pre-pregnancy clothes (and shoes), I find that there’s nothing that some makeup, nail polish, and/or jewelry can’t fix (and, cake, too–but that’s another topic).  A simple but eye-catching piece of jewelry can do wonders for your outfit (and your mood).  If you’re shopping for jewelry, try to look for something that you would consider passing down to your child and/or children.  This makes wearing (and buying) jewelry all the more meaningful (not to mention fashionable).

Half the Sky

halfthesky

Half the Sky is a book (and now documentary) by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that explores the some of the biggest atrocities of our time (sex trafficking, gender violence, etc.).  The documentary is available on Netflix and I highly recommend that everyone watch it (makes it a great Friday night movie).  Violent crimes against women and children have always brought out a visceral reaction within me and the book and the documentary do a good job at not only creating awareness of these issues but also highlighting ways that we can help the situation.

Bottom line:  the book and documentary are a must-read and a must-see!

Tale of Two Genres

sandrasilberzweig

I love running errands in the morning.  And, now that fall is finally here, I love it even more.  There’s a sense of renewal, nostalgia, anticipation, and reflection in the air.  Fall has always been my favorite season.

We’ve been traveling for the past couple weeks.  We went back to San Francisco to unwind and then to Portland for a wedding.  It was our first time in Portland and, yes, it is a bit like Portlandia.  If I were to describe the city to someone who’s never been there, I’d describe it as a very clean city for the wash-and-go set that has a fantastic public transportation system.  The uniform of choice of many there is cargo shorts or jeans, tanks, and T-shirts (all with no makeup).  In other words, you can roll right out of bed, head out, and you’d blend right in with the crowd.  There’s a Nordstrom (which meets my minimum requirements for a “real” metropolitan area–there are exceptions such as New York City) but no Saks or Neiman’s.  Although Portland isn’t exactly my kind of town, I fell in love with its public transportation system, TRIMET.  It’s a tram or above-ground electric train system.  A hybrid between a city metro bus and subway (but so much cleaner [not a whiff of exhaust fumes] and smoother [didn’t get motion sickness even once]).  Every major city should have a tram system like TRIMET (it is worth every tax payer dollar).

As for the wedding, it was beautiful.  My first Sri Lankan wedding.  It was full of traditional customs, colorful grandeur, and rich culture.  Perhaps I’ll wear a sari for my and D’s renewal of vows in a couple decades :).

In other news, I recently joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Horror Writers Association Are there many (successful) writers out there who write in two (or more) genres?  Many of you know that I have such a blast writing thriller and horror works.  As for the children’s stories, it’s still fun but it’s more to leave a legacy for my son (and, fingers crossed, subsequent children).  The children’s book is still in the works and the scary stories are still on the way.  And, as I head into the third trimester of my pregnancy, I will likely be doing even more writing.  So stay tuned!

Little Piggy

bloodyfingers
This little piggy went to market
Damn, this girl has spirit
 
This little piggy stayed home
Found her as I did my roam
 
This little piggy had roast beef
Told her the pain would be brief
 
This little piggy had none
Ravishing her was fun
 
This little piggy went
Still smell her blood’s scent
 
Wee, wee, wee
On to my next killing spree
 
All the way home
Smiling at her mouth’s foam

Boy

klimtpregnant
Who are you
I say and coo
 
Hopes and dreams
Your father and I beam
 
Smiles for miles
As I pick onesie styles
 
Will you turn out to be
More like him or like me
 
May you grow old
And have a heart of gold
 
Marry the one
Whom you love a ton
 
Have children of your own
Be there when they’re grown
 
And look back with joy
As you read to your son’s boy
 
But until then
You’ll be ours and when
 
You come out of my womb
And, again, love will bloom
 
Oh, how very proud
I say out loud
 
To be your mother
As we wait for one another