Wednesday, April 30, 2008

got brains?

I totaly think I could stand a spare- mine isn't working as well lately!! I love this shot of my 2 year old this week, with some of his Cambridge Science Festival loot!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dear Magazine Editors-

There seem to be a tireless parade of articles these days touting celebrity moms. I am slightly bewildered by them. Call me crazy, but I don't know how being wealthy, being beautiful, being famous, or being successful in business qualifies you to be a wise parent. In fact, I would rather controversially argue that success very things may keep them from being true mothering experts. In fact, I get a bit riled when I read some of their comments, either trying to justify their lack of involvement in their children's lives, or their whole view of motherhood where children are treated more like paper dolls to be dressed up for show, or high maintenance pets to be indulged. And well we won't even start on their bizarre tips and advice

I don't want to hear from these women, I want to hear from the experts, the unheralded moms who seriously devote their efforts and energy into their work as mothers, that spend quantity time not just quality time raising their children-- Good children, moral children, caring children, please bring on that advice!

I don't covet the world of nannies and maids, extravagantly expensive designer clothes, elaborate events and "having it all". My brand of motherhood is one of sacrifice, hand me downs, saving pennies in your bank, homemade birthday cakes, and being there at bedtime every night. So editors, if you want a really good article, start looking for the CELEBRITY in the great MOMs, not the mom in the great celebrities.
1. testing out cake recipes
2. starting a new painting
3. learning new things

Sunday, April 27, 2008

birthday cake plans

So I forgot to post this funny story about my my birthday. So about 2 weeks ago, I joking asked at the dinner table what kind of cake my family was going to make me.

My 7 yo said "Whats your favorite color, mom?"
"Red", shouts my two year old.
"Okay we'll make a red cake", my 7 yr old declares emphatically.
"No, no I don't want a red cake (envisioning how much food coloring that would take and how nasty it would taste. I am not quite sure what I want, I'll have to think on it".
"Okay", my 7 yo son replies, "but I will be in charge of designing it!" and he promptly runs off from the dinner table to get a pad and pen to start sketching it (you can tell he is the son of an artist and an engineer because he thinks birthday cakes should have a "designer" and require a variety of preliminary sketches.

So then to really get my creative son going I said, "I think I'd like my cake to be a replica of Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater aka Kaufman house, wouldn't that be cool!" (because this is one of my sons's favorite buildings)

"I don't know mom, I think maybe we could do something WAY more COMPLEX than that"

"Let me remind you that your father will be spearheading this culinary architecture project". I retorted,bringin him back to kitchen reality. Despite his engineering prowess daddy-o lacks more serious kitchen skills
My husband piped in, "How about something in a round shape?" (Generally what materializes for mom's birthday cake is a round shape, made from a box, with a frosting one color and a candle stuck in it. C'mon where's your sense of adventure smart daddy-o?)

But how cool to start a birthday tradition of cakes in the form of famous structures. Lets see maybe Eero Saarinen's JFKs TWA terminal, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, or I. M. Pei's Pyramide du Louvre. There's always next year right?

(My son later shared with me his original idea a cake with all different color Popsicles stuck into the cake by their sticks to form the number 32 when you look down on it- which would actually probably make very cool picture but could be hard to eat unless you have 32 guests on hand.

1. inspiring architecture
2. creative boys
3. a good nap

art of the week

Here are this week's pieces. I was too tired to paint this week, but I did sit in my bed and do these collage/mixed media pieces. I must get my painting groove back- I shipped out the 60"x40" piece that hung in my dining room and the space is still bare, ugh! As you can see smart son 2 is into being photographed and is slightly obscuring the art (you can see them individually here). I think i'll have to do a summer art giveaway one of these weeks. Because winning things is just fun!
1. good bananas
2. colors
3. creating

Saturday, April 26, 2008

celebrating the big 32

Yep, today is my day. I slept in and woke up to sourdough pancakes delivered to me in my bed. Then, to celebrate we did a family outing to Cambridge. We took the T in. We did some fun kids shopping at Curious George & Friends in Harvard Square. (You know how I love a good bookstore/toystore and this gets 2 thumbs up!) Of course it wouldn't be a birthday without some very tasty eats- so we lunched at the Middle East Club (chicken kebab, beef kebab, and kafta pita). We strolled through Cambridge and took in the Science Fesitival at Cambridge City Hall (interesting but a bit unstroller friendly).We stopped for the boys to take a walk around the Boston Temple and came home to my birthday coconut cream pie made by smart daddy-o and some yummy cake compliments of my friend Christy. What a great day!
I love that my kids are adventursome ethnic food eaters. It's kind of funny because although they may shy a way from a totally normal casserole they will dig in when it comes to Mexican, Chinese, Moroccan, Indian, Turkish in fact SS#1 said today "I just like other kinds of food so much better than American food!"

And specialshout out to my BF Shelah, who gave me a great birthday present- she rocked the Country Music Marathon today 3 hrs and 27 min and qualified for Boston! Which means party at my house next year!!
1. one year older and wiser too!
2. middle eastern food
3. flowering trees

Friday, April 25, 2008

Take that Mt Everest!

Some people think it takes a lot of determination, stamina, and endurance to climb Mt Everest but really, I think it takes a lot more guts to tackle mountains like this every week.

So here's one for the moms who don't get the credit they deserve for doing "hard things"! We take it every week and keep coming back for more. Now thats endurance!
P.S. Anyone know where I can hire a good sherpa?
1. a mellow morning
2. yummy toast
3. clean counters

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"sharing=caring, mom!"

I guess in giving the "only mom and dads can give our new baby food" and the "choking hazards" lectures I failed to expressly address the ever critical point of not feeding your 5 mo old brother sprinkles (yes I can see how edible food decorations are not clearly contained in the category of regularly eaten food or toys, coins, and other miniscule objects). But I will give him 5 points for this "prosocial behavior" and being a generous brother and unselfishly SHARING the treat he furtively snatched while mom was moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer...

and yes for the record I would like to note the garish fabric on my bouncy seat- seriously could they make baby items that actually looked nice in your home in solid colors!!
1. brotherly love
2. the yellow vacuum
3. shorts

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I love this picture of my son-you can see how fixated he is on reading, lately I have had to tell him to stop -- a terrible thing I know-- but it is interfereing with eating, getting dressed, getting in the car, and just about all daily activities! I love though that he has found things he loves to read. We checked out over the legal limit at library. Here's to summer reading starting early!
1. kids discover magazine
2. library books- lots of them
2. inquiring minds

Monday, April 21, 2008

call me spontaneous mama

This morning I told my boys to put on their shoes we were going to watch the Boston Marathon. Seriously, I am a planner, I like to be prepared for any excursion, I like time to pack a full compliment of snacks, get detailed directions, make sure everyone is well occupied, etc. Instead this morning, I brushed my teeth and hair, put on lipstick, grabbed 3 drink boxes, 2 packs of pretzels, the camera, and off we we went. To be honest I didn't even know where I was going just drove and drove and well we wound up in Newton about mile 17. This was quite adventuresome of me to do singlehanded with 3 kids and a baby who eats every 2 hrs! It turned out to be great though. It was really fun to watch! It is such an EVENT~It is packed with cheering crowds. My boys though it was very cool. My hands hurt from clapping and I'm kind of hoarse from cheering (I can only imagine how the runners feel!) We did have Lance Armstrong run right past us- along with thousands of other people. One of ss#1's friends parents were running so we kept our eyes out for them. My boys were all excited to make a big congratulations poster and cookies to surprise them when they came home after the race (way to go P&C)! I wish I knew everyones name so I could hold up a big sign just cheering them on!!
I actually really like to run but I've had knee surgery 2x and not much cartilage left in my right knee so taking up serious running is not in my future. But I secretly wish I could do it. My best friend Shelah is an awesome runner (you can read some of her running posts here), seriously I wish I could run like her (I also wish I could look like that after 4 kids (hey I forgot i'm only at 3)- maybe it has to do with working out everyday).
Also a big shout out to my other running MOFs, like Sheree, Melodee, Rebecca, Jen, you guys really impress me-good luck in your upcoming races and I can't wait for my MOFs to rock the wasatch back this summer!
1. boston
2. marathon fun
3. cooperative kids

Sunday, April 20, 2008

wait let me explain...

I feel like a lot of things in my life need explanations so here goes...

1. Indeed my son was wearing his Velcro corduroy shoes to church today because -3 min to departure one Sunday shoe was missing- so in order to not make the shoe fiasco so obvious- I threw him in khaki cargos with the khaki shoes. Lets hope we find the shoes.

2. Yes none of the paintings are at the right height and are all hanging very crookedly in my house right now. Last night I did "art shake-up", this happens usually about once every year- I move a bunch of stuff around- It is the joy and curse of being an artist-and being a very flavor of the week person. So last night over 15 paintings played musical chairs in my house, some were summoned from and others retired to the studio shelf. This because of some holes left by recent sales. Also yesterday smart daddy-o's home improvement task was to trim our bathroom mirrors with moulding- so no more looking at ugly clips and that calls for a makeover! But I have to leave them all like this for about a week as I continue to reshuffle and decide if I like the current placements so my walls don't look like they had a bad encounter with a shotgun. (see here the downstairs bath redux the trimmed mirror, new art not hung at appropriate height and the crab painting resting on the towel bar - i like it there but it is too big so I have to paint another in a smaller size.)

3. If my skirt looked funny today, well with good reason- it was on backwards all day--and its not cut the same for the front and the back- no wonder it felt funny.

4. To the lady at the paint store no I wasn't assuming you'd carry my gallon of paint to the car for me- I just totally spaced that that is why I came to your store- it's just i haven't slept through the night in 5 mo now- and my brain is getting a bit hazy. But thanks for loading it in my car anway- such service.

5. And if that pan of dinner rolls look funny, well it's because i forgot to turn off the oven when i put them in to rise- so instead of a gentle rise in a warm oven i full on cooked them with a towel on top which is why my kitten tea towel is now a scorchy golden color- hey at least i didn't burn down the house.
1. communal meals
2. having good friends who are good examples to your kids
3. neighbors who you can call to borrow an egg

Thursday, April 17, 2008

don't be jealous of the chicken casserole

Dear Smart baby-

Really you don't need to cry everyday between 5:15 and 5:45. I may break eye contact with you while I measure hot pepper flakes or saute vegetables. I may put you in the bouncy chair because I need to don oven mitts to remove some piping hot thing from the oven but, rest assured this does not mean I do not love you. Please don't get jealous of the chicken casserole, or the steamed broccoli, I know you feel very threatened by my attentions to them at the dinner hour. Hopefully the trauma of this momentary division of my attention will not forever scar your psyche. I promise I will always love you more than making dinner!

Very Sincerely,

Your one and only smart mama

P.S. Don't worry I promise not to divide my attentions between you and the dirty dishes- we'll save all those for your dad!
1. binkies
2. bouncy seats
3. babies so cute you love them even why they fuss

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my beef with barstools

Okay bar stools come in 2 standard heights 24" and 30" -- And in my opinion 24"s too short for a counter and 30" is to tall (you can't get your legs under the counter). Seriously I don't know who picked these standard heights and why they think they are that great- because I think they are all wrong. My kids spent a lot of time in the bar stools and if I put them on 24" ones their kids would be scraping the counter. So every time we get bar stools we buy 30" bar stools and I make my husband cut them to fit my desired height specifications. Which is generally 27.5 inches.
We just got new bar stools because our old bar stools which had been with us, lo these last 6 yrs died. Died a hard, slow, and painful death. They had wooden backs and rush woven seats. After much wear and tear and my son was picking at it and it the rush seat began to unravel. I was not ready to invest in new stools at the time so I whipped up some spiffy "anthropologie"esque skirted seat covers to hide it and we made do. But all the while they would shed little bits of rush down onto the dark hardwood floor below which drove me CRAZY! Then one day so weakened by the loss of rush that my 2 year old put his foot through the seat. Okay definitely time for new bar stools. Thrifty smart daddy-o tried to convince me to just remove the remaining rush and he's make wooden seats for them--(that did not sound like an aesthetically acceptable outcome- slab of wood seat- no way)! I put my foot down and adamantly determined we were just getting new bar stools. So we made numerous trips, looked at numerous bar stools and couldn't find just the right thing. My requirements were solid wood (preferable hard wood) (no rush- I learned my lesson on that one), no metal, no sharp edges, not too tippy, must have backs, and somewhere in between traditional and contemporary. Last Sat we stumbled upon some in my search for a new plushy bathroom rug (to make my coat closet of a bathroom feel more spa like) and they are great. Last night they were trimmed and are now officially open for sitting.
(barstools old and new (before the "cut down") but oh don't they look so shiny and new-- unmarred, unbesmduged with sticky paw prints! Pure heaven!
1. new furniture
2. small town library's (where you can never lose your children)
3. breaking out the sandals

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Living in the Country

I always get a kick out of reading this rather sarcastic children's book (as I do its predecessor The Happy Hocky Family). If you haven't read it is a must especially if you live in the "country". Basically it is filled with little snippets about adapting to small town country life. For the education of those of you non New Englanders, despite living near a big city, it's not "suburby" here like other areas, it's all little small towns. Mine boasts a population of about 7,000 very nice people. We have our town center complete with white gazebo and our town hall which also houses the police, fire, and library. It is charming and quaint- although inconvenient everyone fights to keep it that way. We have one stop light and 2 gas stations and no chain restaurants or grocery stores. It has it's plusses (Like being able to hurl your rotten fruit into your backyard without your neighbors caring, community traditions) and it has it's minuses like 12 minutes to the closest grocery store, and curvy 1 1/2 lane roads that change names thousands of times over a 5 miles stretch. Anyway, today I was pondering on these pages of city words and country words... I had my own city/country word experience. City Word

Country Word

Seriously- it's not even warm yet how are this evil little beasts out already!! Anyway we're on Lyme disease watch here for the next 3 weeks. My 2 year got on in the upper fold of his ear- it was at the worst angle and we couldn't get it all the way out- so we enjoyed a trip to the pediatrician today. Ahh the joys of New England country living--
1. fine drs. office tweezers
2. no tantrums all day (this was a truly benevolent blessing)
3. tasty fruit salad

Monday, April 14, 2008

thought of the day

I have always like this quote. So I will leave it with you today. It's a lesson I have learned from living in many different places and visiting the far corners of the earth. No matter where you are in the world good people around you make all the difference . They can make the most unlikely places the best. So be that person that makes a place somewhere others want to be. 1. being around friends
2. tasty chicken salad (and eating grown up food for lunch)
3. having my 2 yr old fall asleep in my arms

Saturday, April 12, 2008

i dig grapefruits

Yes, literally I dig out grapefruits almost every day. I love them, I always have in fact growing up I credited eating a giant box as the reason I grew 6 inches one year (can we say high waters?). Now my kids love them (and unfortunately they are not yet skilled enough to dig their own very successfully with the treacherous grapefruit tool) So add to my list of mom skills-the DD- Designated Digger. I bought these giant melon sized ones Friday at our local farmstand. They are pure heaven, so sweet like the ones of my grandparents trees in Arizona. But I have a beef with grapefruits- always they squirt juice on my counter (leaving little sticky spots that bane of my motherly existence), on my clothes, and in my eyes- why do I put up with this kind of abuse. Oh the lure of succulent citrus! Must I get a designated grapefruit apron and wear safety goggles?? The one good thing about when they aren't in season I buy the Del Monte Fruit Naturals in the refrigerated jar- no digging but I pay for the added luxury. I have to say If I were to create my own planet world I would create a lot more varieties of grapefruits (self digging of course) and totally extinct the rutabaga & the Brussels sprouts.
1. my kids being moderately well behaved in church (we'll give them 7 out of 10)
2. scrumptious grapefruit
3. new barstools

Friday, April 11, 2008

What is going on in that brain of yours?

(You may need to click on the image to see the detail labels)

My 7 yo son had the school assignment to: "Draw the inside of your refrigerator with your favorite foods inside"simple, straightforward- right.

This is what I got...

I explained to him as an artist I appreciated his creativity immensely, but questioned whether this was the given assignment as this is a rather fantastical interpretation of the inside of any fridge!

I labelled it so you could appreciate it fully- and note these are his favorites- grapefruits, olives, colby jack cheese, key lime yogurt...

(but seriously now- drips of grease falling from the ham? what is going on in that brain of yours?)

1. creativity 7 yo brains
2. black olives
3. the everyday amusements of motherhood

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a comb-over to beat ted koppel

No you're eyes are not fooling you- those aren't photographic effects- that is my sons real hair! My kids are born with hair, a lot of hair, and it always elicits comments from strangers. My first had a lot, went bald, then it came back as luscious blond ringlets. My second two have had lots of hair that never falls out it just keeps on growing. The weird part is it is very dark brown when they are born and then comes in very light blond- so yes the tips of their hair is very dark brown and the roots are very light blond- I'll admit it is pretty strange looking and the worst is still yet to come for #3-(seen above at 4mo! with 2 trims already) The other trouble is the back gets worn down some (not true bald spot but the hair is pretty short back there) and the front is really long hence the great two tone comb-over that would make many an old man proud.

I also had this bizarre hair as a baby so I know these are indeed my children. Some people may be proud of passing on prodigious musical ability, astounding intelligence, or mathematical prowess. Me, I delight most in the rockin' two toned Ted Koppel hair!

1. ted koppel hair
2. the first buds in my backyard
3. spring (it might really be coming!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

thank you, anna quindlen

I lately I have been reading her book Loud and Clear, while nursing my baby. Basically those are the only moments I snatch a good read these days, except for an occasional couple pages in a good hot bath. Although I don't always agree with her argument or conclusion I enjoy reading her writing. She has a true talent and gift for writing. She makes you think, either to agree or disagree or to contemplate on a path of ideas. I have always been a fan of essays/columns. I love finding greater meaning and looking for larger ideas/themes in everyday life experiences, which she does very eloquently.

She made me think about WORDS and their power for change and influence. Her words make me think. Which begs to ask the question: Do my words make people think? Granted I am no Pulitzer prize winner (that would require I actually spell and grammar check things and use appropriate punctuation- which I refuse to do- i am rough draft sort of publisher). But just as I teach children if you create art you are an artist- I can say I write therefore, I am a writer (albeit a very primitive one). But I hope my blogging- at least on occasion makes someone think.
Even though my audience maybe small, I need to use WORDS to give more voice to those things I am passionate about like:

*The power, purpose, and joy of being a mother
*Keeping perspective in our materialistic, myopic society.
*Promoting education and opportunity in our own communities and the rest of the world.
*Finding your own gifts and leaving a personal mark on the world.
*Helping women see that the size of the hearts and the size of their heads is far more important that the rest of their body measurements.
*Celebrating the one.

So thank you, Anna for reminding me to use my talents, WORDS, and power to make other people think. After all, it only takes one spark to start a fire.

life photojournalist any takers?

Okay I blogged 2 years ago about how I wish someone would make my life into a movie and create the sountrack to it (following me around and cueing appropriate music at just the right moments like in the movies- it would make life os much cooler). I would to my "life" wishlist - a personal photojournalist. Please could I get someone to follow me around and take pictures of me and all the great moments of my life to look back on. Really make them artul, make them beautiful. So my whole life looks like glossy magazine ads. Capture that homemade bread so perfectly that you can smell it, catch the way the light sparkles on my sons crazy hair, make me look glamorous, the full technicolor spectrum of my paintings.

As I read blogs, I realize what a photographer I am NOT. I have never claimed to be one, but i realize how much I want to be one. I guess this means I need to get serious about 1. A new camera, 2. Learning how to use one and 3. How to really kick it up with post processing! I want better images to go with posts (especially now that I am blog slurping this into book form ,which totally legitimizes my blog as journalling- right, how can I publish my words with such mediocre photographs? I want my book to look cool after all!) I need to hire someone like Alissa (oh master of light and camera) to follow me around everyday from dawn until dusk beautifully capturing all the things in my life. As an artist I love the power of a good image. They say more than a thousand words.

So please if your interested in the job- do send your resume!

1. a new round of library books
2. actually feeling hot today
3. getting things done on my to-do list

Monday, April 07, 2008

"as you like it"

"that flattering tongue of yours hath won me"
Truly Shakespeare is a genius of words and works. I just finished watching As You Like It (I started this back on smart daddy-o's birthday but fell asleep, not because it was boring but because I was that tired!). It was a good film and reminded me how delightful Shakespeare's comedies are. This adaptation, by Kenneth Branagh is set in Feudal Japan which adds a fun visual element and overall just a nice movie. I love it when a movie makes me think, makes me want to be better, when they teach and inspire in less overt ways. So here are 10 "life reminders" from Shakespeare's comedies.

1. How to be a great friend, Shakespearean comedies have great friendships. It is filled with confidants, people who delight in your joys, scheme with you, stand up for you, and stick by you. So be a more true friend.

2. Love, characters in Shakespeare as so in love, not 10%, not 25% but 100% yes usually to their blindness as some point but that exuberance and passion is to be admired. Love deeply, and show it (to your children , to your spouse, to your friends).

3. Mistakes, I love how openly people can admit their wrongs, their faults and apologize sincerely, and without grudging. A lesson many of us can take to heart, graciously admitting our wrongs. Apologize, forgive, move on.

4. A change of heart, although sometimes seemingly fantastical people, can have a change of heart. Like Saul's mighty conversion, change is real. However, we are sometimes too jaded to believe people can really change. In fact we give people very little opportunity to change our impressions of them. Give people room to change.

5. Wit. There is nothing like a witty line to bring a smile to your face. Be funny- seriously it makes the world better.

6. Being changed by the love of another. Truly our love for another can change them for the better, can soften them, can change their perspective, can bring them peace, or confidence. Give the gift of your love more.

7. Joy in living and the depth of human experience. In triumph, in sorry, in loss, in celebration. Find joy in the simple things.

8. Honor, your good name, respect, and virtue were important. Live so that your name is a "good name".

9. Mistaken identity. Usually this occurs in a comical fashion- but the principle is real. Sometimes we are easily fooled. Sometimes by people, sometimes by ideas. Watch out for things that may trick us or get us off track.

10. Types, yes there is always a fool, some one who is melancholy, a jester, a knave, a villain. At the end of the day what type are you?

So if you are looking for a something to add to your movie queue- throw in As You Like It and see if you can't find these little reminders. (SMART TIP: I always watch shakespeare with the subtitles turned on- I find it helps me process and appreciate the words even more)

1. good flicks
2. the talents of others
3.a quiet hour when my children are all asleep

paintings of the week

2 are from 2 weeks ago but I never posted them -oops! My friend d was telling me how much she missed some of my traditional pieces so maybe I'll stop and do an impressionistic series for old times sake.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

nothing says general conference like...

I love conference weekend. I know all of you not of my faith, think we are crazy because our church is 3 hours long each week. You must think I am even crazier when I say my favorite thing is every spring and fall when we have our general conference broadcast from salt lake when we get 8 hrs of talks over 2 days!

I just love being together. It is nice to have a day with no responsibilities, no classes to teach, meetings to go to, no stress of getting everyone up and dressed and out the door right on time. I love listening to wise words...and feasting on scrumptious foods all weekend!
1. a living prophet
2. inspiring talks
3. hangin' with my boys

Friday, April 04, 2008

you caught me with curlers in my hair

actually my neighbors have actually seen me with curlers in my hair- i am not that vain.

the time has come for a blog makeover- yep the whole 9 yards, facial, highlights, lowlights, a snappy cut, pedicure-- so pardon it's appearance as it gets spiffied up for spring.

(okay this is so long overdue- The last time i edited my template- oh 2.5 yrs ago- back before the "layout option" on blogger when to make an changes you had to hack into your HTML code! )

Do I deprive my children?

As I picked up my 7 yo son from school today, he was walking through the rain sticking his tongue out to catch the rain drops. This is a normal enough childhood behavior but, as he got in the car I told him to be careful and step over the chocolate milk because I had just come from the local dairy.
"Oh Good," he replied sounding ever so relieved, "I was so thirsty was trying to catch the raindrops for a drink".

At least I have taught him to be resourceful.

1.nice people at our little local dairy
2. staying up late painting with friends sons firefighter raincoat

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

why you shouldn't clean out your van

(Interior of my van in it's previous state-- pristine, yet unprepared for mothering adventures...)
Now I know many moms feel guilt an embarrassment at the state of the interior of their vehicles. In fact my mother is appalled, that anything besides post it notes and a pen resides in my car for more than 24 hrs. But I am here to make the case against cleaning out your van because your day may go something like this... after schlepping your 3 kids to a baby well visit, you get in you car remarking how well behaved everyone was despite a brief squabble over whose coat went on which hook. You then drive home on this blustery day thinking about the remainder of the afternoon when bam! someone in front of you swerves to miss a huge object in the middle of the road- you however cannot swerve due to the short distance between you and said roadway object, car to your right and no shoulder to the left (concrete barrier)- so try as you might the only option is to go over or risk sudden death either by 55 mph collision with 55mph car or stationary concrete barrier). Such a choice unfortunately instantly shreds your tire instantly reducing you to a limping crawl. Unfortunately this occurs just before the height of rush hour on a very major roadway. Now there is no shoulder- so you eek along with hazards on and finally make your way to the median section between the road and an exit. This doesn't sound like a hugely safe location but it had to do. Now as you sit stranded with your three kids waiting for roadway assistance and your husband to come you can look around your vehicle and find things to make this unfortunate hour pass more quickly and comfortably. You can pop in a DVD (although my car is outfitted with a DVD player i am a stingy TV mom and it is only ever turned on for drives over 1 hr in duration) Pass around pretzels, dried fruit, fruit snacks, snickers anyone?- and even chug down a fruit punch drink box. Everyone can remain calm and buckled in. All the while perusing the latest Ikea wardrobe catalogue, a copy of Discover, or Ranger Rick. You can use your phone to talk with your mom about the purchasing of bulk quantities of Calrose rice. You can explore the functions of your GPS. You can catch up on a little NPR and read up on Friday's PTO bingo night. And that extra coat you have in the car will come in handy because of course the moment the tow truck guy arrives and comes to your window to talk to you is immediately after the moment in which you start nursing your crying post- immunization baby.
(Now the unexpected events not accounted for is a 2 yr old announcing he has to go potty as we were limping perilously along the shoulder) Note:add porta potty to car.

any similarities between the above episode and my day today are NOT coincidental!

We rounded out our day nicely and it ended uneventfully with ss2 changing it from his sopping clothes into a self selected outfit of camo fleece pants with a red and blue sweater vest (nothing underneath)- an outfit that would have made the village people proud. smart daddy-o dropping $250 at sears for 2 new tires while smart mama sinks into a hot bath with a handful of girl scout cookies. And as the sun sets, the smart parents draw straws over who gets the unpleasant task of diaassembling one pee-d in carseat.

moral of the story- don't clean out your car- you never know when you'll need that stuff!
My three for the day:
1. walmart fruit punch drink boxes
2. scalding hot baths sons terrible fashion choices and the comic relief it brings

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

36 great things about smart daddy-o

I wanted to post this last night but I was too busy watching a movie with smart daddy-o,wait strike that, too busy falling asleep while watching a movie with smart daddy-o (which i always seem to do). But here I will enumerate 36 great things about my husband (in case you don't know him well) to celebrate his turning 36 yesterday.
1. He is great delivery service.When we have little babies he goes and gets them, changes, their diapers, and brings them to me to feed them, then when i am done, I kick him (gently) and he takes them back to their cribs (no not just on holidays - every night) so I never get out of bed.
2. He makes great sour dough pancakes every sat am for breakfast
3. He sews- no he's not the project runway type and draws the line before couture fashion- he will only use his skills for the good of our home. He is known to kick out a mean pillow, curtains, or comforter. Actually I think it's the engineer in him that gets frustrated with the 3-d spatially challenged wife and figures it is easier to do it himself than try to explain it to me.
4. He is good at drawing and perspective. Even though I am the official artist of the family. (Well i guess he should be seeing as he models things in 3-D all day long) I actually con him into doing my preliminary drawings for paintings alot of the time.
5. He has patents with his name on it- yes they belong to his employer but it's fun none the less to think you did something really unique
6. He made our dining room table- it is really cool, he's even had people offer to buy it.
7. He is in charge of all things trash (part of our marital contract) and never complains.
8. He is in charge of all things cold (another part of our marital contract) (which entails alot here in New England) and never complains.
9. He is in charge of all things dirty (and yes yet another marital requirement) and never complains.
10. He gets up with our boys and lets me get more sleep, which I am not an early morning person (forever scarred by early morning seminary)- Just give me 10 more minutes which usually becomes an hour and 10 more minutes.
11. He has a great voice if you haven't heard him sing, you should.
12. He plays the guitar very nicely- couple it with the singing-and it is a treat ask him to play for you-- he hasn't been doing it much lately and I miss it.
13. He is doesn't need much to be happy- when we got married everything he owned fit in his car with room to spare- we won't take about how much i brought into the marriage- i think i brought more than he did in Christmas decorations alone.
14. He spoils me - yes yes my husband has been know to drive 15 min to friendly's to get me my favorite peanut butter cup sundaes or go downstairs and get me a sprite with a fresh lime squeezed into it simply because I asked him to.
15. He doesn't get mad- really we're both mellow people but this is a very good thing.
16. He is frugal- seriously i have to convince him to buy a new pair of shoes- i think he had to marry me or he wouldn't have anything to do with his money.
17. He supports me in the things I do- which if you know me is a lot- whether it is making cakes, doing art shows, giant pto posters, catering weddings, callings, you name it.
18. He is a good dad to our boys- and takes them places and does special stuff with them.
19. He's appreciates cultural things- I really like having a husband who doesn't find it torturous (as too many husbands do) to watch foreign films, or PBS documentaries, or Jane Austen movies.
20. He cleans the house alot, he does the lions share of dish washing at our house) and a great mopper- I have often been know to come home from an evening event and find the house 10x cleaner than when i left.
21. He lets me go on trips without complaining, when we were first married i travelled the world doing a lot of medical missions- all the while he was slogging through days of work, not i often take my boys to visit family and friends across the country- he doesn't have that much vacation time, but he still lets us go- and while we are off playing he is hard at work and footing our bills.
22. He respects me- which well if you read this you should know i am an strong woman with my own ideas but this is something he appreciates.
23. He is a good guy- now that sounds really plain but i this is actually why i married him- because if you know- you know that he really is a GOOD person and there is no better way of saying it or describing it.
24. He has this quiet chuckling laugh he makes especially when our kids do amusing things.
25. He always tries to do the right thing.
26. He rubs my feet or gives me a massage whenever i ask for it.
27. He has good thoughts and ideas.
28. He always thanks me for making dinner.
29. He is disciplined and never cops out- me I am known to use the "i'm too tired, too sick,too...something" to but he'll get up even when exhausted, has basically never taken a sick day from work- he just keeps going.
30. He tells me I look nice (well at least on sundays when I brush my hair and try to wear matching clothes).
31. He is a great swaddler- seriously he can burrito any baby. He gives any baby nurse a run for their money. although don't ask him to dress your child because for this he randomly pick items that don't match and places them on your children.
32. He perseveres without getting distracted- not me- I remember when we were dating he'd spend 8 hrs a day straight working on his Masters thesis- now if you have ever done a thesis you know this to be torture in its truest form I don't think I ever worked for 8 hrs straight on my thesis- I am way to distractable.
33. He's really cute- not that I wouldn't love him if he wasn't- but that is a nice bonus.
34. He always lets me take more than my share- of the bed, of the closet, of the bathroom counter, (I even use part of his dresser- I know I should be ashamed!)
35. He is great at cutting wedding cakes- this was a skill he aquired by default- engineer + cake baking wife= designated wedding cake cutter.
36. He is smart and works hard- this was actually why i didn't keep dating him the first time around I was 17.
37. He puts up with me!

okay and my friend LL always put three things at the bottom of her posts that she is grateful for- and I love celebrating the details of life- so i think i am going to follow suit-0 yes i am a big old copycat so my 3 for the day

1. watching shakespeare
2. my husbands pink cherry chip cake that totally reminds me of the 70's.
3. falling asleep during movies (this is actually my favorite way to fall asleep- crazy I know.)

art of the week- "green" collages

Here are some collages I did this weekend- The first I added to a pieces I started a few years ago- it reminds me of spring and bubble gum and cute clothes. Then I did the next two I am trying to decide on a new giant series for my dining room and Collage is a really fun medium and anyone can do it--I love the texture and the juxtaposition of shapes and colors. So get creative try one today these are from magazine pages (some painted), paint, tissue paper, adhesive, and varnish!