Tuesday, July 31, 2007

showing on 080307

I'm showing some new art at the Harrison Gallery this Friday night. The opening is called Unusual Animals. It's being presented by the record label, Asmatic Kitty.
Here is a teaser of my work.

picture people

We went to get 2-year old pictures done of Stewart today (this is why he isn't pictured here... he refused to pose again). I have one of these portrait-style pictures of Marshall when he was 13 months and had wanted to get one of Stewart at the same age, but I kinda missed it (he's now 26 months).
You almost can't go wrong with a picture of Stewart, but most of the pictures that were taken today were of him doing yoga. He was shy and Marshall and I could barely get him out of my arms and in front of the backdrop until we introduced yoga-ing. Needless to say, the shots turned out quite funny. He did kid versions of the grasshopper, the bridge and downward dog- each a number of times.
This blog reminds me to call Stacy Wasmuth of Blue Candy Photography to book Nigel's pictures. I'll sign off to do that now.

Monday, July 30, 2007

disobedience, blah, blah, blah

It is such constant thing here- confronting disobedience in my kids. So, how do help Marshall and Stewart understand how important it is to obey. Not "obey -so you get rewarded", not "obey -so you don't have to face the consequences", just "obey"! It's not that simple is it? I don't want to be overly strict and crush their little spirits either. They need to make their own mistakes, but it's my job to protect them until the time is right for them to gain that understanding for themselves. The timing that is right for Marshall, may not be for Stewart, so my job gets tougher.
I've noticed that there are times when disobedience happens more frequently (today was one of those times). I've read that sometimes when kids act up they are externalizing things they are feeling, things that they aren't able to express in a "mature" way. So, I want to be sensitive but instructive too. It's simply one of the things we have to deal with as parents. But today, I'm frustrated about it and I don't even want to write about it anymore, so I'll just get on with it.
We visited with friends this morning and were pleased to get out of the house for awhile. I am so thankful and often flabergasted at the friends I have. I feel honored that interesting people want to spend time with me when I feel so tired and dull. Kinda nice, huh? Thanks girls!
This afternoon we ventured out to the YMCA pool for an afternoon outing. Besides having incredible weather, can you guess why I'm so desperate to get out of the house on my first "solo" day in a couple of weeks? My mom said she was going to give me some space since we had been doing so many family things with my brother having been in town. Although I was ready for space, I almost cried. Actually, I did cry at the thought of doing it by myself again. So, thanks mom for hanging with us.
Laura killed me tonight at Yoga! I'm sore already.
When I came home, Mike pressed some coffee for me so I could finish some art that will be showing starting this Friday at the Harrison Gallery. It's still not finished.
Blah, blah, blah. What a boring post. Maybe I should spice up my life a bit. Ideas? Dancing anyone?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

our little blogger

No it's not Nigel blogging. Visit http://www.marshallatfive.blogspot.com/ to see Marshall's blog. He has begun taking photographs and is learning the process of uploading them and then selecting which ones he wants on his blog. This idea of story telling comes from a Charlotte Mason learning theory, that children learn experiencially through narration. So there is an enormous focus on story reading and story telling. We're beginning this fun with Marshall before the school year begins.
While the name for our school has not been decided, we're excited about the lessons we'll take together in the next year. More on the course of learning later.
For now, enjoy these pictures that Marshall snapped. Thanks Amy for the camera.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

goodmorning for 10 months

"Happy Birthday Uncle Mut", "Merry Christmas", "Happy Thanksgiving Uncle Mut", "Happy New Year", "Happy 2008", etc. We went through the whole year of celebrations in the car yesterday when we dropped of Matt's car at the storage garage.
Today, after a family brunch, a rest and a long game of Uno, we took some photos and said our goodbyes. I told Matt that this house will seem so void of the laughs my kids produce when he is around, so lonely without his company, and just so strange. After five weeks of being together, of having four hands, eyes, and ears instead of two, things will be quite different. It's not that I haven't been here before, but now I have all these fears about getting through each day. I question if I can. And did I grow to rely on Matt too much?
I told my brother that I dislike who I am with kids. I feel so ragged and tired 90% of the time. I simply hate being bossy. "Discipline" just comes out sounding so mean and bossy. And even if it doesn't sound mean, I feel mean inside. I would love to just be cool and nice all the time, but parenting three little boys isn't like that (for me at least).
Sometimes, I wish I could be the me before kids. But would I really? It's difficult and messy, but parenting (and age) has broadened who I am. So, here's the order, God... the me before kids, but with kids and the wisdom that having kids has brought... oh yeah, and the pre-pregnancy body (not that I was so happy with it then). Thanks!
So, how weird is this? That even with the degree of difficulty and messiness, I love my work. And, it is the most enlightening job that I could have. It has challenged me to look at the shadows and holes that I have (and sometimes, I look at the good stuff too). So, cancel the order, I do actually like who I am becoming. And it is fun sometimes.
I'm rambling, so I'll say goodnight now.
And, goodmorning for 10 months, brother. You are celebrated!

Friday, July 27, 2007


the bills and brown county

The things I did yesterday were the bills and Brown County. Because Matt drove, I was able to squeeze in the paying of the bills while we travelled. I dislike it greatly, because I don't think I'm very good at staying on top of it. In my life, I tend to work in spurts of productivity. That means that I usually get things done right before they absolutely need to be finished. It's not real great for being consistent with bill paying. In many ways, I feel like we are just "surviving" the bills.
Once we arrived in Brown County State Park, we did a small hike called Discovery Trail which was super easy and nice, graduating to a mile-and-a-half long hike down and around a small lake. It was downhill all the way to the lake (partially on a long section of stairs). We rested when we arrived to the sounds of a light rain and to Bailey (my brother Dave's black lab) running into the lake after sticks. Marshall and I explored the path around the lake and really enjoyed eachother's company, so much more than we are home and I have a million other things to attend to.

The way back up the hill was hard- a good hard though. But I don't know what I was thinking when I tried to keep up with Dave. I quickly heard Nigel's cry and was happy to have that as an excuse to fall back. I nursed him en-route and by the time we arrived at the head of the path, we were both ready for a bath.
We picnicked and headed over to Monroe Reservoir for a swim at the beach. The boys got a short nap on the 20-mile drive. Matt was the villian in our game of, "I'll get your toes". He chased Marshall and Stewart while they ran in and out of the water, clamoring to find safety by spashing into me. It was pretty wild. I liked being where I was, but whenever I thought about Nigel asleep under a tree with Nana Jan, I really wanted to be there. I didn't get to sleep until 10, even though I needed it by the time we were leaving the park. After some dinner at Subway and a yucky diaper disaster we didn't make it home until after 8.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

duckpin bowling

We woke up with rested kids this morning thanks to the uncles! I had finally had it with bedtime and didn't know what to do to resolve the hour and a half long, night after night drama. So along came Matt and Dave. They read to the boys and got them all tucked-in last night without the resistance that we usually have.
With spirits high and no unkindness happening, we set out for a walk with Tina, Josie, Norah, Merritt and Kyle too. We hit Fountain Square's Cognito coffee place like a tornado. I imagine they have never experinced what they did with all of us here. There was Stewart stuffing his hand into Kyle's iced Mocha, me without cash to pay for drinks, Josie playing performer on the mini stage, and the voluminous Marshall "oohing" and "aahing" over the cool car picture book. Oh yeah, and then Stewart almost killed himself and Tina by running away down Prospect Street. Any volunteers to take the kids next time so Tina and I can finally have a complete conversation?
We closed the day with the step back to the 40's for Duckpin Bowling. Stewart was quite good at railing the ball down the lane. Or is it called lofting? Which we weren't supposed to do. He almost got his fingers smushed between the balls around 20 times on the thingy that brings the balls back. Marshall loved it and got quite good at playing. I guess dad was happy bowling with Nigel in arms, because I don't think he gave him up once. So while the whole thing was fun, the kids tummies were growling and I was growling at Stewart's behavior.
A hillarious moment... I saw movement behind me as we were leaving the bowling place and my brain thought it saw our rambunctious 2-year old, and I panicked to run after him. Then I saw Marshall on my left, the baby in my dad's arms and another boy under my arm and then realized a second later that I had started to run after a Stewart that I had in my grasp! Dad and I both started cracking up and he was looking at me as if I had lost it. I had lost it, and I do more and more these days.

dinner with uncle "mut"

Uncle "Mut" has been staying with us in our make-shift guest quarters for 5 weeks now. In this last week of his before his return to Taiwan we have been packing our awake time with fun memories. One such time was last night when Uncle "Mut" treated us all to a tasty dinner at Carrabba's restaurant.
It's funny that almost all of my family is now calling my older brother- Matt, Stewart's name for him- Uncle "Mut". I guess it's because it sounds so adorable coming from Stewart's mouth. At this moment he and Marshall are playing chase or powers with Matt. Stewart is yelling "chase me Uncle Mut", while Marshall is yelling "super fire power" and "I'll get you with double cold power and bubble-spray-in-the-eye power". Imagine the intensity and volume that paints these rooms.
In his words, "I surrender".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

no advertising please

Finally, I am joining the ranks of the bloggers on blogspot.com. I was on another site but prefer the lack of advertising on this blog site. Can I get a "thank you"? Who needs that stuff? Oh yeah... businesses that are trying to make money. I guess they are ok but I'd like some say in what is advertised to my friends.