May 30th, 2011
it’s the little things

I am just under eight months pregnant and feeling the weight of that. Feeling slow and tired, like my limbs are moving through heavy mud. The weather has not been helping, it is very humid and sticky here and I am having to get creative in finding ways to help me cope (this is compounded by having a three year old who wants to run and play all day). I will refrain here from listing all of my current complaints and discomforts, trust me it is rather long. But these little soul soothing things often make all the difference.

Things that help right now

-fruit sorbet (this is also really helping my daily heartburn!), I found a great company that uses Coconut water. My husband found me some “Blood orange” and “salted caramel”, both are healing in their own ways.
-I have been cooking a lot from Super Natural Everyday Cooking, right now craving the watermelon salad. The oatcakes are really incredible, (I made the mistake of using rock salt instead of regular grind and it was very much a happy accident. I recommend it highly.) The other winner was the “Potato and Broccoli Gribiche”, which conjured the sensation of sitting in a paris cafe for lunch.
-Malabrigo yarn, (just looking at the colors makes me feel good), they have a wonderful variegated hand dyed coloring.)
-all natural bedding. I mentioned a while ago that I was making the switch to wool, which regulates body temperature in all weather. This has been an ongoing process as wool is quite expensive, so I have been doing it bit by bit. But I have decided that it is something that makes my life better in so many ways and well worth the cost!
-drying my clothes outside. the smell helps me to sleep at night (I have also been having pregnancy insomnia, read: can’t get comfortable). I have a lovely wooden drying rack which is an object that I find beautiful as well as being highly functional.
-journal writing, (a good place to vent)
-listening to Pema at night, while I knit
-reading a great novel. This one is hard to put down.
-cool showers
-a constant flow of water into my body
-researching and writing about the concept of “mystery”

if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!

addendum: LOVE this post on advertising by the mnmlist.

May 30 2011
12:49 pm
Tracy writes:

I’m sure you already do this, but a drop of lavender oil in some minted ice water helps too.. orange and grapefruit oils are also good as general mood elevators. They’re both fairly easy to find in organic brands.

May 30 2011
2:03 pm
crissy writes:

Keeping a spray bottle bedside and spraying the sheets (top and/or bottom) before going to bed.

May 31 2011
7:47 am
Olithée writes:

Wet and hot where are u from ur lucky!
Here in Paris its freezing although we’re meant to be in summer.

Any tips, nope- never been pregnant but congrats!

May 31 2011
8:29 am
rahel writes:

Oh I know how you feel! Towards the end of my first pregnancy I felt the same… weather like this is really a killer.I could have spent the whole day taking cold showers. Good thing is always the thought that this will not last forever. Have a good day!

May 31 2011
11:14 am
Shari writes:

Mint ice water with some honey, and simple crackers….

It’s hot here, too, in PA. Sticky, hot, but it’s summer! I was so sick of the winter. It was a long, cold one. As I’m not pregnant, I can handle the heat a tad easier. Though as a Californian, this isn’t normal heat for me so I have to take it easy.

Hope things cool down for you… if not, a nice damp washcloth on your forehead while the fan is on is good, and not too cold… also, lavender scents at bedtime are calming and help bring good dreams….

May 31 2011
1:47 pm
Tiffany writes:

Hi Keri,

I don’t have any pregnancy tips, but I did recently watch a TED talk (I try to listen to one each day over lunch) from J.J. Abrams which focused on the concept of mystery. Perhaps you’ve seen it – if not it might be something interesting to check out.

May 31 2011
3:36 pm
nina writes:

If you dry your clothes outside on a line, plant some mint and lavender under it. Mmmm….

May 31 2011
4:07 pm
Maria writes:

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am also 8 months pregnant and I love your recommendations regarding pregnancy. I love your writing and ideas in general. You are very inspiring to me! Thank you!

May 31 2011
6:33 pm
sheila writes:

hey i loved that book you are reading, my sis just loaned it to me…and perhaps a way to cool you off is to think of us poor souls here in colorado still waiting for it to stop snowing!!!!!!! great job on all your work and i loved your place in canada, i hopeyou got it rented out awhile back, sheila

Jun 1 2011
5:10 pm
Colleen writes:

Huge fan of yours, huge fan of Heidi Swanson, huge fan of Leo Babauta, just finished Cutting for Stone.

Always a pleasure reading what you have to say and I enjoy all your books so much.

Life is a constant mystery that is unlocked when we look into the eyes ourselves and in turn the eyes of our children – you are blessed.

Jun 1 2011
11:19 pm
kate writes:

I was a big fan of getting handkerchiefs damp with cool water and tying them around my neck and wrists to cool down. Hope you can get some comfortable rest soon – though this is all nature’s way of training us for night feedings.

Jun 2 2011
3:51 am
katie writes:

congrats keri!

Jun 2 2011
4:34 pm
T.S. Luna writes:

This isn’t related to this blog, but can I share your “How to Feel Miserable as an Artist” with other people? I really love it and I think a lot of people I know can relate to it.
Thank you!

Jun 3 2011
9:04 am
kerismith writes:

you are welcome to share it. that is what it is there for.

Jun 4 2011
3:14 am
Ellen Benson aka 'elle jaye rose' writes:

when I was heavily pregnant and at the impatient slow-cooker phase – I kept myself sane by writing and illustrating a self-help calendar titled “Up the Duff Creek without a Paddle: Calendar Musings for Bewildered Mums to Be”… might be worth while browsing at online if feeling despondent, tired, isolated and in need of a chuckle :)

Calendar link online :

Jun 4 2011
11:05 am
Ramona writes:

I loved that novel.
Finally we have some better weather back here on the west coast so I am looking forward to feeling the warmth… so I can’t relate at all to being too hot. or sticky. But, it sounds as if you are finding some relief. I have also hauled out the drying rack.
wool sheets moderate temperature? I did not know that.
be well.

Jun 6 2011
10:25 am
Beautymist writes:

hello there,

careful with essential oils during pregnacy! you should avoid them.
*but* you can use mint hydrosol instead, wiwh is soft on the skin and so refreshing when sprayed on face, neck etc…

you are *so* blessed.

I will definitely check on Cutting for Stone.


Jun 8 2011
12:40 am
pixie writes:

ooh, i love the idea of mint and lavender planted under the clothesline! i’m so going to do that. or just move my line over the lavender that already exists! dear mama, you know so well how to take care of yourself, i’m always in awe. you’re almost there! so happy for all of you! oh,
i used essential oils during both of my pregnancies, but just checked on them in valerie worwood’s bible to be sure. chamomile and lavender were good friends-all of the mellow non-stimulating ones were. i’ve never been summer pregnant, and never in a humid state, either. sending thoughts of comfort… xo

Jun 9 2011
1:48 am
Lindsay writes:

I didn’t know you were pregnant. Congratulations!

I’m a huge fan and consider you a great inspiration. What books of yours I don’t own are prominent on my wish list. I’m looking forward to using your book “how to be an explorer of the world” with my daughter – who was born in January.

A great tip I enjoyed this last winter is finding a comfy pair of slip ons. I bought a pair of keds (with the blue gel insoles) and never looked back. I could be on my feet for hours without discomfort. They are still my favorite shoes. :)

Jun 13 2011
11:17 am
Alexandra writes:

You must be an extraordinary mom. FYI, if you have been enjoying the blood orange sorbet by Ciao Bella you must try their Key Lime Smore ice cream sandwiches. So good so good!

Jun 14 2011
4:33 am
susanna writes:

Hello Keri,

I’m wondering whether your baby has come yet, or are you still in that transe-like almost there not quite, waiting for the Universe to change and birth transfom every inch of your everyday existence.

We were in touch during your last pregnancy with your son. I was pregnant with my second daughter. I am British and I live in France. I used all the Neal’s Yard Mother and Baby lotions and potions

For me those last days of pregnancy are a wonderful time to think about mystery. the etymological roots are from mu, to close the eyes, initiate. Mystery is secret, I link it to Merveille, a concept I explore in my work, that which takes us from everyday sensations using the emotion of surprise, making the impossible real.

Be well and enjoy your precious mysterious and merveilleux moments,


Jun 14 2011
6:30 am
Lee writes:

Hi Keri!
I’m sad to say, that I have no suggestions which could help you get through this rough time, as I’m not pregnant and never have been. So here are some useless suggestions instead (which might at least cheer you up):

-Cutting your toe-nails…It could be an exciting and in the end rewarding challenge trying to reach them :)
-Doing some art-work on your belly. what could your belly be? a basketball? a watermelon?
-Thinking up silly costumes for your baby and you (my mum once put on a self-made super-mum-costume and put me in a super-baby-costume…which is pretty funny in contrast to what my dad put me: a brown communist-overall–>he was serious about it)
-Asking your man to change the curtains…ten times (watching someone work has never been so amusing)
-Acting like a silly success-orientated mum and starting to practice your favourite lullabys in different languages (I could suggest some German ones)
-Getting into fights with policemen (imagine the scene!)
-Walking around in a track suit like Vicky Pollard
-Eating loads of chocolat

Right, that’s all from me…
I wish you good luck and lots of fun being a mum :D
Your biggest fan,

Jun 22 2011
6:02 pm
Jasmine writes:

Swimming.. Keeps you cool, weightless, good for getting the baby in a good position in the pelvis & keeping the hips loose.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!


Jun 26 2011
10:00 pm
M writes:

congrates keri!!

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