Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Calm and Panic of Impending Motherhood

It hit me one day. Holy shit! I’m going to be a Mom! Sure, I had been knowingly pregnant for 16 weeks or so, but something clicked. I don’t remember what spurred it. Maybe I saw a minivan drive by, or maybe it was when I went to the children’s consignment store and TOYS WERE EVERYWHERE. I think that was truthfully my first moment of panic through this whole thing. And it’s entirely selfish.

This moment of panic wasn’t about raising a child, childbirth, or the many other terrifying thoughts that pop up when you know you will soon be in charge of a little life-form. It was about Me. Me, Me, Me.

How can I be Me, when I am called Mom? What is going to change? Will my cool nature fade away for some stomping tyrant? I don’t want a f*%king minivan! The stereotype of motherhood felt pressed upon me in one big suffocating moment. I was in a glass case of emotion, friends, and still kind of am.

I’m sure a flurry of internet searching would result in one cheesily-written, comforting article, but I’d rather fall back to the Moms in my life to be comforted. Moms like my Mother, who probably had some of these same feelings. Of course, I’ve only known her as Mom, but it seems her cheerful, fun personality has shined throughout the stress I surely caused. That is, if “You haven’t changed since High School!” refers not only to her beauty, but also to her charming ways.

I then look to my Chambana Mom friends. I am lucky to know some really amazing Moms in this community. Moms that take their children to community events like Friday Night Live and art shows at Indi Go Artist Co-Op. Moms that are active in bettering their community and incorporate their children into this practice as well.

I’d like to call out a good friend of mine, Stephanie, who will kill me for doing so. I first met her at a Surfabilly Freakout show at the Cowboy Monkey, singing and dancing and bringing, no BEING, the party. Yeah, that’s still her, with an amazing toddler in tow. Sometimes the dance parties are at home instead of downtown, and that’s okay.

I got this, right?

Motherhood will undoubtedly change me, as any large life event can and should. What I must have faith in, is that even in the moments where I say to myself, “Who ARE you?!” I can reflect to the times of growth I’ve experienced throughout this journey. Sometimes the house will be covered in toys and smell like a dirty diaper, but other times I’ll walk my child through Downtown Champaign with its shops, cafes, and art or through the beautiful parks of Champaign and know that we’re learning a lesson of community and growth together. Ultimately, that’s what it is all about, right?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

7.5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Indi Go Artist Co-Op This Friday

Indi Go Artist Co-Op is kind enough to support the Emergency Shelter for Families Project by allowing us (us being a small group made up of members of the Emerging Community Leaders Program through United Way) to host an art fundraiser starting this Friday!

This fundraiser has been so awesome to plan and I am truly blown away at the many people willing to donate pieces they've worked so hard on to this cause. We've got photography, paintings, glass etching, jewelry, and more!

What cause are they helping? The Emergency Shelter for Families Project. This project serves homeless families in need of shelter and guidance. Far too often, families seeking help are split up. Divided in an extremely stressful time in their lives is not a way to breed success. This project aims to increase the success rate of families moving on to permanent housing by keeping them together and through counseling/education. It has already aided over 32 families since its inception as a pilot project in February, with 26 moving on to permanent housing. It is making a huge impact, and deserves as much support as we can give!

Here is some info about the event:

Click to view larger!

Opening Reception: Friday, October 11, 6-8pm, at Indi Go Artist Co-Op. $5 Suggested donation to enter, music and complimentary wine at the event. Click here to view Facebook event page.

Can't do the reception? The gallery will be open Oct 12-16, 6-8pm so breeze through and see the amazing works that have been donated!

Below are 7.5 reasons why you should go to our opening night!

1) View beautiful art by local artists
2) Beautify your home with said art
3) Complimentary wine
4) Donate to the Emergency Shelter for Families Project
5) Live Music
6) You really need to get out more...
7) Celebrity doodles
7.5) I'll be there!

The last one is only worth half a point because, well, the cause is much more important than me... but come on, I'm totally a selling point, right?

Thank you for reading this and hearing me out. I am so humbled by the love Chambana has for its people. The support we have received through Indi Go Artist Co-Op, United Way, the Center for Women in Transition, artists, and community members is astounding.

If you are interested in learning how you can better your community, I highly recommend applying for the Emerging Community Leaders program. It has been an amazing year of learning to work with non-profits and now how to benefit these non-profits.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beer in Champaign

Champaign is a a beautiful place. A beautiful place with flowing taps of delicious beer! With places like Blind Pig Brewery, Triptych Brewing (okay, Savoy), and Desthil making it in-house; and then places like Dublin O'Neil's and Big Grove Tavern serving up an awesome selection of delicious crafts brews, you can drink the good stuff until the cows come home... which is all fine and dandy, until you get knocked up.

I'm 13 weeks pregnant, and have known since week 5. That's 8 whole weeks I've endured people, and approximately 26 to go. Yes, I remember the last beer I drank. Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale at Guido's, April 26, 2013
. It was great.

So what's a preggo to do? Non-alcoholic beer? Many of the local joints do offer it, but I had the misfortune of reading some forum that said most non-alcoholics have .5% alcohol and that the baby can't handle it. Say what you will, but because of this, I'm avoiding.

So NOW what's a preggo to do? Well, there is alcohol-FREE beer. Sadly, I haven't seen any menus rockin' alcohol-free beers. Hoping to keep this thang local, I visited Piccadilly and called Common Ground Food Co-Op (I mean, they don't have their Champaign location YET... i'm not driving alllll the way over there on hopes and dreams, ha) and sadly neither had alcohol-free beer. Friar Tuck and Binny's, however, both offer Bitburger alcohol-free beer.

Bitburger is the only option I've found locally. The first sip feels natural... but after the first sip and especially after it warms, you're out. It's over.

There are quite a few options online if I want to spend cray-cray amounts of money. Honestly, after having a few of these I'm not that interested. I guess it did its job, eh?

There will be a day when I will enjoy the delectable flow of beer bubbles into my mouth again. I look forward to trying Triptych Brewing, I haven't had the chance yet! Until then, friend, please... go have a beer for me at a wonderful C-U pub. My, I mean.. your first recommended stop should be Dublin O'Neils.