Thursday, August 30, 2007


This peice of art was submitted to a design firm for a project they are working on. It was one of two they looked at. I'm waiting to hear if they want one of them or a commissioned peice. The Harrison Gallery sold "Monedas de papel" on Monday, that makes two peices that were purchased in the Unusual Animals show. Wow!! In addition, my first commissioned art buyer is wanting 3 peices for his home.
How honored I am that people around me are interested in my work and wanting to bring my art into their homes! Now, I need to dedicate some slots of time to my work.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

little guy

Nigel is such a little guy. He's consistently been in the 50th percentile whereas Marshall and Stewart shot into the 95th percentile within two months of birth.
His head is so narrow and he has a long, lean body. It's strange how he was the hardest to deliver, and even more strange (probably because I see it every day) how different he is from the older two. It is equally striking how much more progressed he is with supporting his weight (if my memory serves me right).
This is Nigel with Merritt (his friend who is half his age, but the same size if not larger).
How cute the handholding is. I think he'll make a good friend.

Monday, August 27, 2007

memories and Lego hazards

I remember playing Legos with my brothers and dad for what seemed like whole days. I remember being so intent on finding that perfect piece that would serve just the right purpose on whatever it was that I was building.
Now, I can see our children doing that in the coming years. They have started to get into Legos more and more over the last several months. It began with Marshall's Lego advent calendar that Mike's parents got him from Lego Land.
The other day, Stewart must have spent an hour sitting quietly by himself... just building. He's two! Marshall got into it again by seeing that Stewart was amused by it. So, Marshall built a satellite, complete with controls and antenna. Everything had a reason, which he described precisely without being asked about it. On the other hand, Stewart was happily working without any explanation. Two very different boys!
So, let the Lego-pierced feet ouchies begin... but let us always be conscious of the ever-present choking hazards that are laying around for our little scooting baby who loves watching and listening to his big brothers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

it's sunday again

Sundays are crazy days for us. At least they start out that way. It is alway so difficult to get everyone fed, ready and out the door. But the hard part is when we get to service. Most weeks, Mike and I look at eachother as if to question why we even came. We enjoy being there and having a special place for worship but it always seems that at least 2 of the 3 boys are upset, tired or figgety. It makes our actual worship time very slight and we always want more... mostly, we want more tranquility and time for reflection.
It turns out we enjoy that we were present, even if not completely. And we agree that we want church to be an intentional part of our family's life. So, no matter the state of our spiritual selves we arrive and we make time for it. Someday... maybe there will be more space for the spritual. And someday... maybe the kids will search for a place in their lives for the spiritual.
Sidenote: I was invited to give an "artist talk" today after the service and was glad to speak about the work that's hanging in the Harrison Gallery, and the process of it. I know that it is right for me to make time for the creative in my life and to share it with others.
Even though Sundays start out crazy, they end gracefully. At the home of friends we enjoy our sunday night dinner. It is the rest in our Sundays. It is the community we love and are at home with.
We look forward to another Sunday night together.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A friendly fellow

We went to visit Mike's grandpa, Grandpa Whaletail (Boring) and Ruth in Shelbyville. We joined them for a cookout lunch at their new home.
There was a lot of talk about the cute baby. Additionally we heard, "how in the world did we ever come up with that name?", and "he's so friendly", both more than once. Funny. It was good to see Ruth and Grandpa in good health and with such happy spirits. Now that they are closer, we hope to visit them every month or so.


Our families had a celebratory feast last night for Kaori. We are full. Full of appreciation and love for our friend.
We thank her for sharing four months with us, for getting to know our family and friends, and for opening her life to us.
Indy will miss her and Saitaima and Shuizoka will welcome her home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

morning walk

I went on a walk this morning with my friend Rachel. It was great to start my day by spending an hour with adult. Thanks Rachel.
Then both mothers came over to help with the kids so I could go through all the kids clothes and phase out the things that didn't fit and get their fall clothes in queue.
So, my day was better. It could be the walk or the time alone this morning accomplishing something.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FUNK when my bed looks like this every morning?

I'm in a funk right now. I want out!
Also, I dislike having a bunny. Entirely.
Yes, she's really cute but the following is the list of dilemas that she poses: I have to manage the daily cage cleaning and feeding, Stewart can be rough with the bunny, Marshall doesn't want to share, it lives in my studio and everything smells like hay to me, and I could find other things too.
But, the kids love Bumper. So... we'll keep her.
So why am I in a funk? Don't know. It doesn' t seem right though. I don't feel like I should feel this way when I wake up to this every morning. What a gift it is to wake up to this. I do love it and I'll take it for as long as we fit.
I fear it will be over soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

meltdown morning

Stewart had one meltdown after another this morning. All over little things like wanting chocolate milk and then not wanting it and making it known my throwing it. I was trying to figure out what to do with him to make it all better. I tried holding him and loving him. He hated that! I was beginning to wonder if he was sick. Finally, I decided I had to get him out of the house (and constrained in his car seat)!
All we did was get a new water filter and some water-softener salt. But that trip got us out and gave us all a change of perspective. Ale! Alleluia! While I'm sorry we had to use gasoline and emit pollutants, it was good to get on the phone and talk to Mike's mom for a few minutes and connect with someone (one of the only times I can have a phone conversation is in the car with my bluetooth).
After naps, Marshall, Stewart and I cleaned their room up a bit and I put their clothes away in drawers (not laundry baskets) for the first time in over a month. I had finally had it with filled-up laundry baskets becoming permanent fixtures in our hallway and bedroom. Now, the boys dressers are in their bathroom. This will make it so much easier to put their clothes away after they are asleep (when I usually get to it) without waking anyone. Tiptoeing is required when three little boys share a room- one awake can quickly turn into an unpleasant thing.
The picture is of how I felt yesterday. Maybe I'm a bit better now... I think.

Monday, August 20, 2007

a pissy mood

I'm in one (a pissy mood). Maybe it's the rain? Can't be, I actually like the rain (it reminds me of the "rainy season" in Quito).
Maybe, I need these kind of days to make my life more dimentional. But... the thought of it's value doesn't make it feel less pissy.
It could be because I didn't leave the house all day and I'm feeling the need to get out into the world. Also, Mike is gone tonight for a meeting so it is making for a long day with no end in sight.
Why isn't "my world" sufficient? You know, that I have to get out every day and do bunches of "extra" things?
I feeling like I'm already failing in so many ways. (Yes, I still monitor my value by the order or lack of order around me and my production.) I'm usually frustrated with myself, that I can't complete all the things I want to the way I want to do them. I'm not even talking about the "failures" I feel as a mother (i.e., loosing patience, anger at my kids, consistent "screen time", etc.).
Also, I am feeling stiffled. Creatively, there is this huge desire to work. But where will I find time?
And if I'm feeling this now, why do I think I can add Marshall's school to the picture?
Blah! So many pride issues to fix. Can't someone fix them for me? You know, like Jesus? He doesn't work like magic, solvong all problems instantly?
Don't comment (on my sarcasm either). I'll feel better tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


We finally added another girl to our house... does it count if it's a girl bunny? We got her at the Indiana State Fair today, mostly because of a very pushy little sales girl named Melody Marshall. She kept saying, "You're interested then?" and then re-negotiating the price and trying to add in another bunny or two or a cage. So when she asked, Marshall's eyes lit up and I posed the question to Mike and so we did it.
Meet Bumper, because that was Marshall's favorite ride at the fair (bumper cars).
We biked up to the fair, leaving the house at 8:30 a.m. We didn't get home until 4:30, and we arrived with three tired boys. Because we biked, we couldn't bring Bumper home so we enlisted mom and dad to do that for us (since they met us up there and had a car). Thanks M&D!
Marshall keeps running in to check on her, and is a little scared of getting scratched when he holds her. Stewart squeals in delight when he looks at her.
We had a pleasant time at the fair but we stayed a little too long and spent way too much money on food and rides. I guess we think that since it's only once a year, it's not a big deal and we like the tradition of going. The biking made it extra long but it also made it quite fun, and a way to burn off the best milkshake of the year.

Friday, August 17, 2007

little legos

I just looked in on my boys.


They are especially amazing
when they are sleeping.

Oh yeah, Nigel is pulling his whole body up and even getting his knees under him. He rocks back and forth on his hands and knees, and scoots backwards. Time to make sure the little legos are picked up, the new phase of choking hazards has begun.

playgroup... oops

Thought we had playgroup this morning at Carrie's. I was mistaken- it's next Friday.
I tried to salvage the boy's hopes for something fun away from home, so we went out for a picnic at Meadow Oaks Park (I think that's what it's called) in the Old Northside neighborhood. It's one of Indy's little secret places, where you can tuck yourself away in a tiny corner of nature. (The sign says it is a Victorian Walking Garden.) It comes complete with a fountain (that's not working now), a gazebo, walkways, benches, and some calm shaded garden spaces. One of the best things about going there with kids is that it is gated, shady, and there isn't an obnoxious plastic play set that has everything surrounding it. It's nice to get away from the "entertain me" philosophy of most other parks. And the kids love it just as much if not more.
We met two doggies, GiGi and LuLu and observed 10 or more empty beetle shells after eating PB and Honey sandwiches.
Before the park, we ran by the bank. The boys enjoyed googling over two incredible "cool cars" at an auto body detailing place next to the bank on East St. The guy who was cleaning them said they could look and take photos and he even opened the "wing" doors up so the boys could look inside. Marshall and Stewart were in heaven.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kaori's kose' box

A box with the word "Kose'" was delivered today for Kaori. After a Ratatouille dinner, we had "Christmas in August" at the dinner table. All three boys got a "Jinbei" (pronounced jen-bey) from Kaori and her parents, Tsuyoshi and Shoko Matsuo. This is the traditional costume of Japanese men (the Kimono would be the costume for women).
After getting Stewart dressed in his, Marshall finally agreed to try his on and decided that he loved it. Maybe he loved the idea of being a Japanese warrior (what we told him the costume was), or the maybe it was the idea of competing with his younger brothers in wearing what they so easily agreed to wear. I started calling them Jinbei One, Jinbei Two, and Jinbei Three. We snapped some photos of them together and then talked for awhile before bath and bed.
Stewart, Nigel and I had a good time gently touching and listening to the owl and bell wind chime. Tomorrow, Marshall and Stewart will try the special cookies that were in the Kose' cosmetic (the company that Mr. Matsuo works for) box. I am especially excited about the map of Japan and the Japanese "Everyday" newspaper. Thank you Matsuos!
Mostly though, we are so thankful for having Kaori with us for the last 15 weeks. We are so sad that she will be leaving soon, but are hopeful that we will stay connected. Mike and I agree that her presence has enriched our lives this summer.
Things I like about Kaori: her openness to be fully present with us, her expressions and laugh, her love and patience for our children, and the way she puts us and those she is around at ease.

madison, wisconsin

We left the farm party a day earlier than normal because we wanted to see Madison. A while back, Mike read an article about Madison and how it is a good town to bike.
After deciding to stay in the Best Western on Capitol Square, we set out for a bike ride down State Street. This street is really great because it is a bicycling and walking street, where cars aren't allowed. There are cool shops on both sides for 4 or 5 blocks. The street runs right into a square at the University of Wisconsin. Then, when you cross the street you're at Lake Mendota and there is a trail that runs right along the lake. So we biked all the way to the end of the trail, watching the sailboats the entire way.
We had sandwiches at Potbelly's and then ice cream at Cold Stone before a dip in the hotel pool. Bedtime was supposed to be early, but the kids were so wound-up that it took forever (could be the sugar?).
The next morning, we biked down State again, had Einsteins, and while Mike took Marshall and Stewart on a new trail, I went birthday present shopping. I realized (again) that I'll spend way too much money on my neices because girls clothes shopping is the best.
After we met up again, packed up our stuff, we headed out to the outlook of Lake Menona and ate our thai noodles while enjoying the view.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

living field

On Saturday, I took Nigel into Princeton to do some shopping. I always get Mike a new "Henry's" t-shirt while we're up there and I like the Mochas at Twister.
On our way home, I was awestruck by a field of soybeans. The wind was blowing the plants in what looked like streams. The crop was up on a hill and it was living, almost speaking. I stopped the car, rolled down the windows and took it in. I could, because Nigel was asleep. It was a moment of peace, one that I really needed. One that you can't capture with a camera.

Monday, August 13, 2007

naked baby in green lake

After crying for several minutes upon getting in the water, Nigel enjoyed the swim in Green Lake, Wisconsin on Friday. I 'm certain that the crying was the temperature of the water, which seemed cold until you got used to it. And he did quite well getting used to it considering that he was naked and has virtually no fat layer, while I have some of that and my "new" 1950's swimsuit to keep me warm.
Nigel's eyes would get real wide and he would kind of suck air in dramatically when any waves came up. Maybe it was a startle reflex? But he kept on, the little naked baby in a big green lake.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

camping the "farm party"

We continued the tradition of traveling up to Princeton/Green Lake, Wisconsin for the "farm party". Every year the Ferg family puts on a huge party at their old family farm. The land is rolling shades of green farmland, woods and marsh. It has a really old farm house on it, a newer farm house (maybe built in the 1970's), a working bathhouse, several old barns and then the newest house recently built as a residence for Tom and Diane (our friend, Jodi's, parents).
The "farm party" consists of a big campfire, lots of friends and family, usually 20 or more tents, several kegs of beer, a hog roast on Saturday evening, crazy story-telling and jokes late into the morning, fireworks, and a Huevos Rancheros breakfast on Sunday morning.
Well, this year things were different for several reasons. First, Ryan and Kelly were in charge of the hog roast, which meant the pressure of the big meal was closer to us because they are mostly who we hang out with. Second, we had a torrential downpour that hit right when the hog was being carved and dinner was ready to be served. There was a big scramble to get everything and everybody out of the rain. That meant a rush to our van to get a tarp that would protect the hog and the hog-carvers, and 10 odd people holding it up around Ryan and Kelly. On getting everybody out of the rain... Nigel had finally fallen asleep for his first real nap of the day and I had laid him down in our tent 20 minutes earlier. When I was helping hold up the tarp, someone came running over from the house, saying, "Mike and Elizabeth, your tent is sideways". Well, I bolted to our tent because I knew Nigel was in trouble. Wouldn't you know that after I got the door unzipped, I lifted up two or three pillows and heavy blankets, and there w as Nigel, sound asleep in the middle of the tent (normally, he is a light sleeper).
What else made it different this year? Oh yeah, some of the Ferg family members couldn't come this year so the crowd was light, which made for a mild fireside "chat". Then, we got hit hard in the night with another thunderstorm and everything in the tent that hadn't gotten wet the first time, got drenched. (Luckily, we had decided to stay in the basement of the new house so that we could sleep in a dry place.) The rain situation meant that packing-up was more difficult. I think we probably brought home 20 pounds of water in our soaked sleeping bags and bedding.
Marshall and Stewart had almost no boundaries what-so-ever. Marshall had a great time with a pack of other kids. They played and played. Stewart played with them at first, then mostly did things independently, with the occasional running after the pack of kids screaming with excitement.
Stewart also found out what the bottom of a 7-foot window-well looked like. Nigel, Stewart and I were visiting with Ryan, Jodi and Uma inside the new house when Stewart threw a stuffed animal door stopper. No big deal right, but I've been trying to encourage him to only throw balls, so I told him to go outside and find a ball to throw. Well, I guess while he was exploring around the house, he stepped on a window-well cover and it tipped. Down he fell. From the inside and from the other side of the house I heard a faint "boom" and then crying. I asked Ryan if that was Stewart, and opened the door. I knew someone was in trouble, and as I started running towards the cries, I knew it was Stewart. When we got close, Diane, who had been inside sleeping was also approaching in a panic. Ryan yanked the cover the rest of the way off and said, "he's ok" and jumped down. He passed Stewart up and I held him for a long time. It was very scary, but he got away with only two little scratches on his back. Such a tough kid. He kept saying, "Mama, fell hole. Mama, fell hole".
It was an adventurous trip. All of us are extremely tired, and hope to recover quickly. I am certain we'll do it again next year. It's now a tradition.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

anniversary date @ the fair

We enjoyed celebrating with Mom and Dad today at the Indiana State Fair. They celebrate their 37th Anniversary!
The weather was almost unbearable. When we arrived it was 102. Yikes! We tried to find any pavillions that were air conditioned and to drink as much as possible. Poor Nigel couldn't drink much because it was too hot for him to nurse.
Now we are crashing and will pack early in the morning for our camping trip to Wisconsin.
Before we left, we had Sam take some family photos of us. Malcolm took pictures of the goings-on while our pictures were being taken (the first one of his- thanks Malcolm).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

banjo dancing

Ever heard of it?
Well, our kiddos did it with such enthusiasm tonight. Pa Gary was playing away on his banjo and the dancing began. Even little Fiona got into it. Of course, the dancing turned into wrestling rather quickly. Malcolm, Marshall and Stewart against Taylor. Crazy kids! Fiona was smart to stay away at that point.
I remember doing things like that when my cousins and I were little. I remember it now as a feeling, not as specific images. I think of those times as untempered excitment in the activity and in the closeness of those friendships. Now, I can only think of a couple of friendships like that (and even those friendships don't always feel that relaxed). But, I think that the older I get, the more comfortable I feel in various situations. Kinda sad how when I grew up, I gained that "maturity" or "tempering" thing that mostly feels like awkwardness.
Funny note... Marshall dances while holding onto the crotch part of his pants. I wonder if he'll grow out of that?

the museum flurry

A perfect title for this visit to the Children's Museum... the museum flurry.
Indianapolis is known for it's kids museum, but the problem is that it contains too many exciting things for my kids to consume. This is exactly why we have a membership, so we enjoy it year round and don't feel like we have to cram everything (or even two things) in on one trip.
Marshall, Stewart, Nigel and I arrived at 10 and we spent almost two hours in one exhibit- the mazes. It was a favorite a couple of weeks ago when we were there with Uncle Matt too. I am only sad that it isn't a permanent fixture, but you know that if it was the kids would not enjoy it as much. Marshall and Stewart ran the mazes...over and over and over again. And then when they got tired they ran over to the spot on the floor where I had plopped down, hugged me and caught their breath. Then they went back for more. For the last hour or so, they crawled under the biggest maze... over and over and over again. They finally collapsed close-by.
A little before noon, we met Nana Karyl, Malcolm, Auntie Sarah, Uncle Sam and Fiona. We had a quick eat at the cafeteria an then I took Stewart and Nigel home for their naps.
I am guessing that the flurry continued.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Taylor and I went to get coffee/Italian Cream soda today and then went to Antiques on the Square to shop their vintage clothing. Immediately, we ran into Aunt Deb and Kelsey Laitinen who were doing the same thing we were. We looked around for a bit and then started with the clothes. They had so many good things there, and just when we thought we were done, we saw another one to test out and photograph. The above pictures are the highlights, minus the 50's bathing suit in blue that I bought for $12. Taylor looked so great in everything. I especially loved this fantastic rose colored crepe dress on her. What fun we had!
Later this evening, we went to Laura's for yoga class. It was Mom B., Kris, Sarah, Taylor and I. We worked up a sweat. I always find myself renewed by the experience. To do yoga (or other activities) with those you know is interesting because although you aren't talking to eachother, it's bonding. For this reason, I've enjoyed the class more than I normally would have, rather than being with a bunch of people I don't know. It's good for me to challenge myself while being with people who will not compete with me for some unknown prize. It's grace in action- working side by side without the burdens of comparison. A challenge to be in that "place" of aiming towards being fully present in the moment , not allowing the mind to wander into useless thoughts.
I'm relaxed and need rest desperatly. Goodnight.

the smell of pancakes and coffee

I enticed my nephew, Malcolm, to spend the night with the prospect of pancakes in the morning. He was so into the idea of a sleepover until the reality set in that his mama and sister were not going to be here.
So pancakes it was. And coffee for me. The smell reminds me of being a kid and the taste leads me to think about being an adult and parent. I remember eating pancake after pancake, and always ordering the big pancake breakfast (whenever we where in the States). Meanwhile my parents were always drinking coffee.
Now, I'm not as interested in pancakes, but coffee... that's a different story. I thought it was the caffeine, but I don't usually have it (because of nursing and because I don't want to get hooked). It's the smell I rely on. The smell does something to me. It triggers the day, it helps me take on my "responsible" self with grace (usually).
The children are running through the sprinkler and racing into the pool, while I sit with Nigel. Soon, I'll be sitting alone, while he joins them in play. And I'll have my coffee. It's my "grown-up" way.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fountain Square Dinner

Yummy! Let the Fountain Square Sunday Night dinners continue!
We hosted Sunday Night dinner again. I think it was the fifth time this calendar year. It's been Ecuadorian food all five times with Locro (potato & cheese soup) being first, then Arroz con Pollo y Humitas (chicken & rice with sweet corn tamales), Beans & Rice (burrito style), Menestra y Empanadas de Queso (lentils and mini cheese pies) and tonight, Seco de Gallina. It was accompanied by chifles (fried plaintain slices), chickpea and red pepper salad, potato and lettuce salad, and coconut rice pudding for dessert. The best things though were the Sangria (fruity and bubbly wine) and the Cafe con Leche (milk with instant coffee).
These meals are something we look forward to every week. We're also glad that we don't have to cook every week and that we can enjoy some new food in the midst of familiar faces (and new faces too). It's the best! Thanks for the idea, Beelers!
Tonight, I missed Aalsmas, Sinsabaughs, Kyle & Cindy, and Rachel. We were glad to have Mike's parents, Sam, Sarah & Fiona, Kris, Taylor & Malcolm, Dave & Amy join in our meal. We were also honored to have Laura and Tyler, Elisabeth N., Kipp and Paul join us.
I really missed you Matt! It was better than last time.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Kris, Taylor and Malcolm

I am enjoying a visit from Mike's older sister, Kris and her kids, Taylor and Malcolm. It is great to have almost the whole family together (we are missing Kale, Kris's husband). Tonight we hosted game night and were so happy to not have to get the kids home to bed but be able to be with everyone, even with the kids already in bed.
Marshall was crying tonight, mostly because he was tired but also because Malcolm decided the time wasn't right for him to sleep over (something Marshall was really looking forward to). They are only about 9 months apart in age, and just are the best little buddies. They played in the pool for the longest time before dinner.
Taylor is now 12 years old and just such an interesting and plesant girl. She and I plan on getting coffee or tea one of these afternoons.

Friday, August 3, 2007

art show

I was so proud to share my art with so many people tonight. I felt so loved and supported by my friends and family. I was also thankful to have some adult time, talking to people about my work and not having to chase kids around (THANKS MIKE).

shopping with boys

I wanted a new top for the art show tonight. So, it being America and all, I went out to get what I want. (It wasn't selfish at all!)
Marshall had gone to visit Grandma and Grandpa Laitinen in Kokomo with Mike's mom, sisters and the cousins. So, after Stewart and Nigel woke from their naps, I took them to Circle Center Mall.
I didn't have the Bjorn carrier, so I opted to carry Nigel while Stewart rode in the stroller. A good choice, I think, because I don't imagine I could chase Stewart around the mall. We went directly to H&M and asked for help right away. A nice kid helped us. When we had finally decided on several options, he set us up in a handicapped dressing room. To keep Stewart entertained, I told him that we were in our own little magic room and we had to stay in there until we tried on the magic clothes. He chose several scarves to try on as belts and then he wanted to try on the other size of the shirt I was trying on. We did and I couldn't help capturing a picture of it. Meanwhile, Nigel is precariously laying on the bench, being very patient. I kept myself to the one side of the bench to prevent him from rolling off, while trying on clothes at top speed.
We finally decided on a teal top that I could wear to the show. Here's the shot!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


... .... .... ...
... ... ...
... .... .... ....
We made it a morning out at the zoo. It was very hot, but it was good for us all to get out.
Marshall loves hanging out with his cousins, Malcolm and Taylor and even stayed at his grandparents all afternoon and all yesterday evening.
Mike and I had a date in the evening. We biked down to a yoga class and then got an iced coffee before our return. I have been trying to get him to take a class, as he has been working on some yoga poses, but never been to a class which is what makes it so much fun and so engaging.
I then stayed up way to late (or early), clocking my bedtime at 3am. But I am so relieved to have gotten the art done for the show. I delivered it this morning, and I just feel really good about showing off my creations! I'll try to take some photos of them and get them up here.
Stewart is asking, "Where's Uncle Mut?" so I've got to go explain it to him again.