Monday, April 30, 2012

Being a Tattooed Momma: Ashley, Donna & Marian

Continuing with our tattooed momma Q&A, we start with Ashley from Ohio and Donna from Texas, with input from Marian from California. Tattooed mommas are all over the place.

Ashley, tattooed momma of 4

When did you start getting tattooed and why? I got my first tattoo when I was 18 on the night of my high school graduation. It was a random decision with a friend of mine and I got a dragonfly on my back on my left shoulder blade. It didn't really have much meaning to it, other than I thought it looked really cute and wanted to see what it was like to get a tattoo. Now I have several more tattoos and most of them now have significant meanings behind them.

How has being a tattooed mom affected your life? I think it's had a positive affect for me on a personal level. To me it's my way of artistically expressing areas of my life that are important or significant to me.

What do you kids think about your ink, and what do you tell them?  My kids are always interested with my tattoos when I first get a new one, but it quickly fades and they get used to them just being a part of me. My half sleeve of the solar system is the one tattoo that they still show some interest in by asking what all the different planets are. It's a cool way of teaching them about our solar system!

What kind of experiences have you had in public, negative and positive, regarding your tattoos? I've, for the most part, had pretty positive responses from people. I often get told about how they like my tattoos (mostly my half sleeve) and people start asking me who did it for me and such. It opens up some pretty neat conversations with people who also have tattoos or who are thinking about getting one and want to know more about them. I've only had a few people give me nasty looks about them and I just ignore them. Although, I did have one older man once tell me that I would "regret" getting them once I'm older like him and I just smiled and said "Damn, that sucks. Too late now, huh?" Haha!

Donna, tattooed momma of 2

I got my first tattoo when I was 18. It was actually illegal in MA so I went over the border to RI and got a heart with a cross going through it on my chest. The tattoo was a sign of rebellion; I grew up in a strict Catholic Portuguese family. Then I got Tweety bird on my left hip with my husband's name, which is a hack the lines are horrible and the color is faded. I have a pegasus on my right leg, which represents freedom and the ability to do what I wanted.And finally, but not last, I have tribal work with my daughter Hailey's name incorporated on lower back.

Most people don't realize I have tattoos. When they do find out I get a lot of, "You don't seem like the type to have tattoos." Well, what is the 'type?' I've never gotten a real good answer to that one. Usually by this time, they're my friends and don't care. I haven't had anybody be directly mean to me based on my tattoos. Well, unless you consider when I was young, my community (Portuguese) thought I was worshiping the devil...

After I had my first child, I decided to really think about were to put my tattoos (hence the four years of no tattoos). I don't want people to judge my girls and I had to think about my career . Unfortunately, I do believe you will have those teachers that treat your children differently based on my appearance. I have seen and heard it. I try to respect my upbringing and parents by not getting too many, but then I feel like I'm not living for myself.. Is their such a thing as balance?

Both of my girls think mine and hubby's tattoos are cool, and both have said when they get older they will want one. They have asked why I got them, and I tell them each tattoo represents where I was as the time in my life. They're a story. I do have three more tattoos waiting for a home and will hopefully be getting on in the next few months for my birthday. One is a portrait of my beloved mom.

Marian, tattooed momma of 2

Marian has a different take on the subject of tattoos. She said, "Well, my stories are probably very common among moms who have ink or want ink.."

I've picked out a tattoo for the inside of my foot - that's not a big deal. When my mother-in-law found out my husband got another tattoo (on his rib cage) she said to me, "I hope he's done with doing that to himself." I kept thinking... "have we not cut the cord YET?!" I felt this was the perfect opportunity to mention to her that I was contemplating a half sleeve, or modestly, a quarter sleeve. I think she almost passed out.

I get comments like that all the time, so it wasn't a shocker. My favorite is "What's going to happen when you are a grandma with all those tattoos?" I guess I'll just be a grandma who understands that everyone has a right to express themselves... Some paint pictures, some collect knick-knacks, but I'd be doing both in ink... On my body... I guess?!

And of course we've all heard the "what if you regret it" line. Isn't that getting old? What IF we listen to all the naysayers and go through this life conforming to what's normal or acceptable? We might wake up a grandma regretting the conformity and hitting the local tattoo shops and which point in our life, would be called a crisis. I don't get it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being a Tattooed Momma: Heather & Amber

In today's society, tattoos are becoming more common, especially among mothers who want to honor their children with their ink. With the changing of the times, I asked a few out-of-the-box tattooed mommas to answer a few questions about their own experiences. This is a series that will feature a handful of moms spread out over a few days. I hope you enjoy it.

Heather, tattooed momma of 3 

When did you start getting tattooed and why? My first tattoo was a tattoo with my husband's name. We both got similar tattoos over our hearts with each other's names. We did it on Valentine's in 2006 or 2007. 

Chest piece done by Pat Beck at Arsenal Ink, Denton. Arm piece by Fort Worth artist.

How has being a tattooed mom affected your life? I think that it speaks true of who I am. My husband and I are very focused on raising our kids in a creative and open minded household. I love tattoos and plan to have more work done in the future. I would say that most people especially older generations frown upon my tattoos when they see me with my kids in a public place, but I honestly have more people comment on how much they like my tattoos more.

Ani, Loki and Leni
What do you kids think about your ink, and what do you tell them? My kids love my tattoos! I think they especially like them because it has their names on it! My daughters talk about tattoos that they want all of the time and I tell them that when they are an adult they can decide if tattoos are right for them. My eldest child is a Type 1 Diabetic and must wear a medical ID bracelet at all times in case of an emergency, and I am planning to take her to get a diabetes tattoo as soon as she is old enough so she wont have to wear one anymore. That is, if she still wants one when she is an adult.

What kind of experiences have you had in public, negative and positive, regarding your tattoos? Like I mentioned before, I have had people give me dirty looks about it. One time I was at the grocery store in the checkout line and they man standing behind me wouldn't stop staring at it. He then said "You sure have your hands full..." Staring at my three kids. Then he said "How many of these are yours" ... "Um, all of them..." then he looked at my tattoo and rolled his eyes. It was very rude but who cares.

Amber, tattooed momma of 3

I started first by getting a tattoo in memory of my brother when I was 17 years old. From the womb, he was my best friend and it was a must that I carry his name on me forever. I hid it from my parents until I was 18. It was easy since I had been living on my own for some time. I think I did it as a way to both rebel and honor my brother. My parents never let me so much as have my ears pierced. I got my first piercing when I discharged from the Army in Sept. 2002. Got my tongue done before my ear lobes. Definitely to rebel.

I don't really consider myself alternative. I'm just myself. But my tattoos motivate me. They're mostly all reminders of significant points in my life and make me smile no matter what's going on around me. I think of it as a way to "decorate my temple." However, many people see them as just a way to rebel, which has lead to some pretty negative experiences.

My kids absolutely LOVE my tattoos and from infancy were fascinated by my piercings. My daughter Samantha (my youngest) calls my tattoos "beautifuls" and attempts to mimic me by drawing on herself. I don't stop her. I think she's trying to be like mommy, which is perfectly okay. I hope she's able to express herself without discrimination as she grows older. My sons think I'm the coolest mom ever. My oldest has showed all of his teachers my right ankle, where his name has been tattooed since 2004, the year of his birth. My oldest used to tell me, "You need to get back in the bath, you missed a spot," referring to my tattoos. I had to tell them that they don't go away, that my art will always be there.

I've received mostly negative responses regarding my tattoos and piercings. When I was working, my HR manager saw the tattoo on my right wrist (9 falling stars) and immediately moved my cubical out of her sight. Her reasoning? "Her tattoo is offensive." I'm not entirely sure why stars offend her, but I let it go. I've also had a preacher tell me that I wouldn't get into heaven because I have defaced my body.

I have had some positive experiences. I've been stopped several times in stores and at my son's school and I've gotten compliments on my art and comments like, "Wow, that's beautiful! Who did that?"
Kids will point them out to their mothers: "Look, she has tattoos like you!" I think it's very cute. I think as inked mommies, we are raising tolerant and accepting children.

I've got - have to count - 8 tattoos. My right wrist is colorfully decorated with 9 falling stars (which represents deceased family and friends) and a Latin phrase honoring my best friend who passed away in a single car accident in March 2005. It says Alis Volat Propriis. It means "She flies with her own wings." My left wrist is not so colorful. I've got a simple vampire design and another Latin phrase, "Carpe Noctem," which means seize the night. I've always been a night owl, from birth (of course) and my children are the same. On my left shoulder blade (left side = heart), I have 3 cherry blossom flowers, each sized and colored for each of my three living children. My lower back dons a LARGE Chevy bowtie with the number 3 and below that, a separate tattoo of my baby brother's initials in a gorgeous font. And finally, on my right ankle, my son Aeric's name in script. I have plans to have my other two babies' names in script so that they wrap around that ankle and ID tags to signify my time in the military and also to honor my grandfather's service in WWII.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seven Year Tattoo Itch

This week is my husband and my seventh wedding anniversary, so we got tattooed to celebrate. We took the kids to grandma and grandpa's and drove to our buddy's shop.

I ended up getting a daisy from our wedding bouquet that I am quite in love with.

Kevin got this mechanical ant from his friend Derrick. I'm lovingly calling him Anty. It's a Don Pendleton piece.

The artist Dan drew it up freehand to flow with my body. I didn't want any of my nearby pieces covered up, so he positioned it nicely. I plan on getting a yellow rose on the other shoulder to match this one, which will hover above my pirate girl piece on my left arm. Out of all of my tattoos, this spot definitely hurt the worst. He worked from detail/shading into the flower, and by the time he was inking the petals, I was squirming in my seat. It took me forever to get back into my tattoo "zone" once something took me off focus. All I could feel was the pain.. every time he hit a certain spot with his tattoo machine, I could feel the shivers down my collarbone.

Next time, there will be some pain pills involved with the yellow rose. And it will probably be a while before I can even go there. I always forget how much tattoos hurt.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Colored Jeans and Other Things

Today I pulled out my new red jeans, which turned out to be more pinkish than red... but hey, I still like them.

shirt: Eddie Bauer, thrifted. belt: The Buckle, old
colored jeans: Target. shoes: TOMS. glasses: Zenni Optical
riding boots: Payless. tank: Old Navy. scarf: Walmart. toys c/o my children.
Stella's attached to Momma. Bunz is our dwarf rabbit, off to the right. The Deuces Wild poker slot machine was a gift to my husband from his boss's private collection.

In other areas, I've decided blogging every day isn't my style. For one, my kids keep me so busy that I can barely keep up. My house is disturbingly cluttered with toys and my kitchen is always overrun with dirty dishes, but hey, my kids are happy. Building block towers and scribbling with sidewalk chalk are like my reality TV and a cigarette (bad, I know).. they hit the spot every time.

The last two weeks brought forth some significant events and will be remembered forever. Wish someone would have told me that before so I could have prepared. ;) Last Friday we took Cole to his preschool evaluation, where the speech therapist said, "He isn't pronouncing the end of any of his words, which is a definite indicator that he needs speech therapy." It's not like my heart sank, because we were already aware his tongue-tie made his speech develop poorly so he had a lot of work to do to train the muscles in his tongue to speak more clearly. We meet with another speech therapist next week so she can teach me exercises to work with him on at our house, since they are closed for the summer. This is disappointing because it means Cole won't have real speech therapy until the fall, when he will be 4 and supposed to be entering preschool. Although we can't afford preschool at this time, I was really hoping to get this figured out before he enters kindergarten and has to deal with other kids teasing him or worse, getting frustrated because he can't be understood and starts acting out.

Today I saw my OB after having a positive pregnancy test about a month ago. The second test, four days later, was negative and I started what I thought was my period that day. Three weeks later, while still bleeding, she confirmed that I had miscarried early on. I was emotionless until I sat down in my car in the parking lot....then I gave myself 10 minutes to cry and collect myself before heading home to my beautiful family. This being our second miscarriage, today made me hold my children tighter knowing how lucky we are to have the two beautiful babies that we have.

Five Things You Don't Know About Me Friday:
  1. I've had my nose repierced 4 times, the first time at 17.
  2. I only had one tattoo from 18 to 26, when I started covering myself. I have 10 tattoos.
  3. My husband and I celebrate 7 years of marriage this month.
  4. Instead of going on a honeymoon, we bought a house.
  5. He is my best friend, security, and makes me laugh more than anyone ever has.

Monday, April 16, 2012

red skinny jeans

red skinny jeans

red skinny jeans by stacywill featuring black shoes

For those of you who've been keeping up with my blog, you know I've been coveting a pair of red skinny jeans. Last week while at Target, a pair called out to me from the rack and I told that little voice to shut up. Well, tonight I had to pick up milk and baby wipes and those damn red jeans were staring at me from the rack. I stopped. Only the size 1 and 3 were left. I swooped up both and tried them on, ending up with the size 3 for $22. Yay! When I told the mister I picked up a new pair of jeans, it helped that I was changing into my pajamas and he caught a glimpse of my boobs. ;)

Here are a few tops I already own that can be paired with my hot new red jeans. Though I have a serious TOMS addiction, I only own the houndstooth ones in the picture.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favorites & 5 Things You Don't Know About Me

Friday Favorites:

Five Things You Don't Know About Me:
  1. I've had a subscription to Us Weekly for over 6 years.
  2. I have the ugliest feet you have ever seen. Seriously. Don't make me show you.
  3. I am 5'2" and was only above 100 lbs. when pregnant with my children.
  4. I have two birth babies, a stepbaby, and an angel baby, who we lost in July 2009.
  5. I am married to a geek, the best husband in the entire world. We celebrate 7 years this month.

My kids are smart. Phew.

Cole's evaluation went extremely well this morning. He is off-the-charts smart on everything but his speech/articulation, so we will move forward to work on that. He doesn't pronounce the end of any word and is missing syllables in the middle of words. He also needs to be re-tested for his hearing. He hated the headphones he had to wear to listen to the words and point to the picture, so he gave up halfway through. He pointed to all of the pictures when listening with the headphones on his right ear, however, so they want to test him for hearing in his left ear.

Stella impressed everyone, too, with her block stacking and motor skills. Kevin said the women's eyes' lit up watching her do everything Cole did even though she is only 16 months old.

The next step is meeting with a speech therapist and speech pathologist in two weeks, where they will teach me some exercises to work with him at home on. Since the school district lets out in the summer, we'll have to pick up real speech therapy with an actual speech therapist in late August when school starts again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Random Kidisms

My son Cole has a slight speech problem due to his tongue being tied, so he often relies on hand movements and pointing to show us what he wants. After his tongue-tie surgery, his speech improved, but he is still skipping entire syllables that he is supposed to touch his tongue to his teeth to pronounce, and he can't do it. My hubs and I shared some of them with each other the other night.
For instance, he has started listing the things we did during the day. "We ate muffins, we play at duck pond, me watch TV, me went in kitchen and Stella did it." haha.
He was trying to figure out the word for throw up and he said "Sick. Belly hurts." Then made a vomiting noise. "That's called throwing up," Kev told him.
Another one was the word for boom. He would crash his cars and make an explosion noise, and say "Cars go... (explosion noise." "That's called boom," Kev said. "Cars go boom," he repeated.
His evaluation session is Friday morning to see if he needs speech therapy and if he's behind in any other areas.

Monday morning -- You know the scene in Stepbrothers where they're sleepwalking and making a mess in the kitchen? That's my living room right now only with mini oranges, red apples, wooden spoons, hot wheels, play bowling balls, and a lot of sound effects.

Kev to Cole: What comes after 1?
Cole: (counts) 1, 2, 3...
Kev: So what comes after 1?
Cole: 5!
Kev: No, what comes after 1?
Cole: (counts) 1, 2, 3..
Kev: So what comes after 1?
Cole: 7!
Kev: No, what comes after 1?
Stella: Tewwwwwwwwww.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ruche favorites

While browsing my favorite fashion blogs today I came across a dress by Ruche and had to check out the store link. As a lover of all things vintage, especially clothing, this site could spend hours on my computer screen and I'd never get sick of it.

Here are a few of my favorite things from Ruche.

Monday, April 2, 2012

black & white & plaid

This morning it was cloudy and looked chilly outside, so I immediately put on a cozy black and gray tunic that buttons down. So, today's outfit looks something like this:
black & white & plaid