Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something else to be in love with

I had never heard of this until this week... and now my heart is bleeding because I want one nearby so much. Adventure Playground in Berkeley. It's a major pet peeve of mine, the fact that all playgrounds are exactly the same these days, and I have this dream for a brilliant and amazing playground made from salvaged materials for Austin Creative Reuse. But this is all that and a bag of chips, to say the least. This is the description on their site:

"The Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina was opened 30 years ago in 1979. It is a wonderfully unique outdoor facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively. Come climb on the many unusual kid designed and built forts, boats, and towers. Ride the zip line or hammer, saw, and paint. By providing these low risk activities Adventure Playground creates opportunities for children to learn cooperation, meet physical challenges and gain self confidence. The concept for Adventure Playgrounds originated in Europe after World War II, where a playground designer studied children playing in the "normal" asphalt and cement playgrounds. He found that they preferred playing in dirt and lumber from the post war rubble. He realized that children had the most fun designing and building their own equipment and manipulating their environment. The formula for Adventure Playgrounds includes Earth, fire, water, and lots of creative materials."

I love it, I love it, I love it so much. Is there a limit to things I can create in this lifetime?? I feel like I want to do it all.

Check out this story on NPR about Adventure Playgrounds. Apparently there are 3 in the U.S. but thousands across Europe. ARRRRR, America, get it straight why don't you!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My life is getting kind of amazing...

Well I've gone on at length about my delirious rapture concerning the Tinkering School, founder Gever Tulley, and his 5 Dangerous Things (You should definitely let your children do) talk on which I saw about 2 years ago and which had such a big impact on me. I was so inspired by that talk and went around for awhile trying to convince other people to start a Tinkering School in Austin. People would smile at me in the way you might smile at an insane child so eventually I took it upon myself to try at least leading some tinkering classes,
which were really fun, though of course nowhere near the scope and breadth Gever is able to achieve with the kids. For one thing it's a week of total immersion so they really have time to dig deep into projects, and for another I just don't have the chops, not at all. This bums me out a lot because if I could time travel I'd spend four years of my ill-spent past studying tinkering and then journey back to the present to start my own Tinkering School here in Austin. And I still might do that, I'll just have to hire some real savvy folks to help out. So anyway, la la Gever Tulley is like my hero and I'm just in awe of everything he does, he's so cool... his book came out, Fifty Dangerous Things (You should definitely let your children do) and he like totally published it himself because he didn't feel like making the compromises the other publishers proposed. And it's a freakin' AWESOME book and is the PERFECT gift for kids like ages 7-17... seems like people are always stumped for gifts for kids between those ages, and this book is a perfect one-gifts-serves-all... it's also a really neat bonding book, because kid and parent (or friend, uncle/aunt, whoever) can make a pledge to complete all 50 together with pages for taking notes. And the 50 things are really neat and not necessarily that dangerous or complicated... for me it was refreshing to remember that some things that my kids do that I automatically find annoying are really valuable. Like always always always wanting to play with fire, or wanting to throw something out of a moving vehicle or from a great height... it's actually totally compelling and gives them a visceral/tangible lesson about the world and it's workings so this book gave me the inspiration to let them have at it.

Anyway, it's a great book you should buy it but back to me me ME.... I facebook friended Gever 'cause I'm just cool like that. I was seeing all these updates of his little adventures here and there promoting the book, and it all seemed really homespun, in the way that it would be if you didn't have this giganto publishing company creating a cushy little book tour for you... Gever just tooling around going to Casper, WY to read at a bookstore, and doing an interview on New Zealand radio... and I just got a wild hair last week and decided to write to him to see if he'd be interested in coming to Austin. Why yes, he very much would be, he wrote back. Would I be interested in helping him coordinate some events during his visit? HELLZ YEAH!! I'm jumping for joy over here. I should add that he knew something of me due to facebook and blogs etc. so he had some intimation that I was not a crazy person but still you have to say hats off to a fella who can operate on instinct and actually enjoy doing a book tour that's just kind of a grassroots effort with different peops around the country inviting him places. That is just so cool, that's just Tinkering School cool.

SO, what all is Gever going to be getting up to here in Austin, TX? A truly awesome line-up of events. I've been connecting with some amazing people and the events and people and connections and offers are just flowing together rather magically, I must say. He's going to be speaking to design students at UT (which will be open to the public), then the following evening give a talk at Sri Atmananda with a few other folks like Bernadette on the topic of Innovation in Education... that is going to be supremely awesome and very well attended I can only imagine... and then, bestill my beating heart... he proposed that he do a day-long Tinkering School with a handful of lucky kids, and I get to assist!! This is really truly beyond my wildest dream coming true, 'cause I get to see how the real Tinkering School is done, and gee, just really get to dive head-long into a project and see how it all plays out... my little heart's just going pit-a-pat. So we have all that set up but hope to get Gever lots of coverage and hopefully a news crew and the Statesman and/or The Chronicle will be there to uh, chronicle the awesome event... because you do know that Freerange kids and anti-helicopter parenting are all the rage right now, so this all just fits in perfectly. Looks like this is shaping up to take place end of March, I will most definitely keep you abreast of events as they solidify.
And in the meantime let me assure you that I am excited beyond all measure. To your left take note of some kid safety labels Gever designed for Make Magazine. You can click on the picture if you want to see it bigger and actually read the text.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My life

This picture just seems SO what my life is like right now. Kids are feeling like if you're not pressed square against me, nose to nose, toes to toes, you're nowhere near as close to me as you'd like to be. It's exhausting to say the least. Sometimes I feel like I'm experiencing parenthood as one hindrance after another. I have so many projects I'd like to work on and ideas I'd like to follow through on, and there's at the very least three very opinionated people around here who would like to drag me in the complete opposite direction from where I am headed, a good percentage of the time. I know it's an exercise in Zen, but that doesn't mean I like it. No way. Boy howdy what I wouldn't give to go around all day accomplishing things and crossing things off my list and bringing ideas to fruition. Ahh how grand that would be.
But I do have my moments where I ace the Zen test and just give up and surrender to being the number one for three little lovies. I can't say for certain it's as good as going around crossing things off my list all day, because I never get to spend my day that way. But it is pretty nice.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I was lucky enough to have a mid-December mama gathering, where the men folk and kid folk were sent off to fend for themselves, and some very excellent mamas came to my house to quaff a few fine wintry brews or sip my sweet and creamy tequila drink that I love to make in the winter-time, Cola de Mono... sit around the fire and laugh and confess and talk...
a well-deserved respite from the stresses of the season. To add a dash of gravity to the conversation I had some paper and pens out so that (if we wanted) we could write what we were ready to let go of for the new year and toss it into the fire, to watch that dastardly old albatross sizzle and go up in smoke. How satisfying.
I also had these little slips of paper on which I suggested that we might write our wishes for the new year... and tie them in our nectarine tree... for the wind and rain to wear away over time. Did you know I was such a taskmaster when it comes to the woo woo stuff? Are you afraid to come over now because I'll say, "I thought since you were coming over anyway, we'd do some journaling and maybe a guided meditation or two"? Well watch out, I just might. No no, it just seems fun (and of course just even figuring out what it is that you want increases the likelihood of it happening, but you all know that) and anyway, there was plenty to talk about and we didn't even get around to that, and then suddenly it was rather late, my family arrived back home and everyone took that as their cue to rumble on out of there, I got called inside for a sad baby, and everyone went on their merry way. It wasn't until the next morning that I had the startling and pleasant surprise to see all the wishes hanging from my nectarine tree!! I just love that. Your wishes are safe with me, ladies. And out there for the universe to see, and take into consideration. 2010, baby, all the way!
And also, to prep for this awesome new decade, I took the awesome best year yet class with Carrie Contey. Took it last year, loved it, back for more. This is my motto that I came up with in that class for the year to come. I really love it. I feel like it's huge for me. There's so much that I love to do, and yet I piss away quite a lot of my time doing stupid stuff on the internet, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. How fun and amazing it will be when I get that time back for actual fun stuff. I way prefer this to a new year's resolution... instead of grimly chastising myself for my failures as a human being, and solemnly vowing to do better (and almost certainly failing), this makes me all jazzed about the goodness I'm going to receive by bringing awareness to that area of my life. And gently, slowly, lovingly shifting towards something that's more healthy, more fruitful, more dynamic, more zowie for me and my family. So yeah, if you can dig it it's not too late, well I mean, it is too late to take Carrie's class unfortunately (which is really the best way, in my opinion), but you can get the book, and Best-Year-Yet it up your own fine self. You won't regret it. It's so cool, and just think... all the things we spend time racing around doing, but just taking a few hours to reflect on the year that has past and what we want for the year to come? And drawing up a little action plan? I think you've got that much time to spare.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Marshmallow shooters

Someone was inquiring about marshmallow shooter birthday party and wondered if I had some photos
to kind of illustrate what they were all about a little more clearly. As you can see, it's quite simple. Lengths of pipe, T-joints, ankle joints, and end caps... you can build the standard model shown here (or an even smaller, simpler version) or you can just get creative and build whatever you want. As long as it only has one entrance (into which you blow a big puff of air) and one exit (into which you put the little marshmallow, to be propelled outward by your breath) it should work. I love this project and we do it all the time, in tinkering class, at camps, at parties, or just in the afternoon when we're bored. It's a great tinkering project because kids as young as 2 can totally work with these building modules, they're easy and satisfying to connect. Throw in a few marshmallows and not too many kids are going to turn their noses up at this one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great find

We're in the throes of a second Peter Pan obsession over here. Jack was so wild about Peter Pan that he dressed like him back when he was three for almost a year, it seems like... my more mild-mannered second child is simply toting around his little tape player, plugging it in wherever he happens to be, and playing this Peter and Wendy tape over, and over, and over (and over). Luckily I happen to completely love it. It's an unabridged version of the book and also dramatized, by the California Artists Radio Theater Company. I got it at Half Price Books and Jack never really got into it. Now we're listening to it non-stop and I do feel it's tremendous. The original book is just SO fabulous and funny and charming, here's the first few lines:
"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
Of course they lived at 14 [their house number on their street], and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there is was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner.
The way Mr. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door. "

Writing like this just makes me swoon! On top of which, it's all dramatized with sound effects, and WONDERFUL actors reading the dialogue, and real children's voices where the children should be, and narrated by Roddy McDowall with this great Scottish burr which is so pleasing to the ear. Unfortunately we are missing the second tape. I searched on Amazon and couldn't even find this fine piece of audio, and was worried that it was only a matter of time before our toddler destroyed the first tape as well, and there we'd be, Peter Pan-less. I tell you, it just wouldn't be the same listening to an audio recording of someone reading the book, no matter how fine their voice might be. Well lo and behold the wonders of Google yielded this treasure trove: California Artists Radio Theater Company website and an archive of dozens and dozens of other radio dramatizations of books they had performed... lots are for adults but there aresome great ones I'm dying to purchase and listen to with the kids: Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Sherlock Holmes (not sure, but they might dig it), Wizard of Oz... $6.99 to buy the MP3, which I think is quite affordable. Yes, it would've been possibly more exciting if I had discovered them all hear for the listening for free (a la kiddierecords) but I'm willing to shell out for such high quality listening. We listen to audio books so so sooo much and I am always seeking ones that won't drive me batshit bonkers. Like the Magic Treehouse series.... which Jack started listening to when he was three and gosh it's been about three years we've been listening to the incredibly dull and predictable and annoying Mary Pope Osborne of whom the kid never tire. Good stuff is Hank the Cowdog AS READ by the author... I haven't read the books but I can't see how they could possibly compare to the audio because all the voices and songs he does just can't be beat. I don't know if I've ever succesfully turned anyone on to Hank the Cowdog but please hear me now: it is SO funny, even for adults. We love it. We also discovered Eleanor Estes and Pinky Pye and Ginger Pye... loved that... and Harriet the Spy was one we all listened to constantly until it had to go back to the library... and there's awesome Little House on the Prairie ones read by Cherry Jones.... do any of you all out there have any suggestions?

And on a Peter Pan related note, please do not click this link.... don't do it... please please don't do it... my gosh you just had to go and click it, didn't you... please don't blame me if this guy haunts your dreams/nightmares, you brought it upon yourself, dear reader....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ergh, part II

I was going to post this photo with a neat little idea and story attached to it.
I seem to have accidentally erased all the photos on the camera. Effin' A.
It wasn't really authentic anyway, at this moment my thoughts are far away. Jealously comparing myself to another blog I just read. The writer is just really good, REALLY good, she nails it with every post. I wish I could write like that.
The only way I can really do it is just blurt out something really quickly and disengage from the computer pronto. If I tried to make it perfect-er I'd never write anything, ever. And that is an option, and maybe it's the right one. But plunging blindly ahead is kind of working for me, strangely enough. These past few years I've just been trying out stuff, trying to not feel too keenly the shame and embarassment that comes from failing in front of folks, or not operating at quite the level where I wish I was. And some stuff works out, and some stuff doesn't. I get myself into scrapes, I get myself into pickles. But more stuff happens, I meet more people, and I have more fun. So next time you find yourself wondering why I didn't hold off on this blog for a few years until I polished up my grammar skills, you'll know why. Here I am, flailing around in plain view for all to see. Ergh indeed. And yippee.
And as far as comparing myself to other folks who do great work in one area or another, I'd really love to learn how to just enjoy their contribution to the world and not (oh so very self-centeredly) have it cause me to go into a very old habit of despising myself. This quote from Joan Borysenko's Fire in the Soul which I just read sums it all up nicely and was quite a revelation for me when I read it a few weeks ago. This is a big idea for me and one I plan to have fully digested by the end of 2010. Right-o.

"On the one hand, each of us is unique, an individual who has not yet existed previously, clearly different from all other persons. On the other, however, clearly different does not mean better, more beautiful, ahead of the competition, but rather simply other, unique, "just as I am", clearly differentiated from every other. Precisely when this uniqueness is not combined with haughtiness and pride, community is possible both with other persons and with the newness developing out of one's own soul. But if we base our uniqueness on the devaluation of other persons, we are taking an isolating attitude that destroys community. I am placing myself apart from the community with people because I reject being like them and instead always want to be better and more beautiful. This isolation leads to loneliness, then to anxiety, and finally to the ever greater need to be better and more outstanding. This is a vicious circle that leads to the collapse of healthy, natural community." Theodor Seifert

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm so excited. I had a kind of Eureka moment a few days ago and I've been dying to take action.
I have been a die hard coffee drinker for years and years and years. Started realizing sometime last summer that I was sick of being on the coffee rollercoaster, you know, that rollercoaster that plummets in the afternoon into a pit of malcontent. Coffee makes me scream-y at my children-y and I also discovered that I could drink caffeinated tea instead my energy would ebb and flow a lot smoother... the tea pony ride rather than the coffee rollercoaster. And I discovered Zhi Tea which is in my 'hood and I quickly became addicted to the finest tea has to offer because that Zhi Tea is fi-i-i-i-i-i-ine. I thought this all evened out at first because I took my coffee very seriously and spent many bucks each month on Ruta Maya coffee beans and organic half and half. Suddenly I'm not shelling out those shekels so I have some $$ to burn at Zhi tea. And if I can't afford the Zhi tea I can just buy a lower grade tea when the coffers are low, right? Well, no, not exactly, because as it turns out that once you're hooked to the good stuff there's just no going back. So suddenly I'm burning through premium tea at an alarming rate... yes my moods are more mellow but the coffers, they're empty. What to do?
I'm not really a purist either and rather than just singing the praises of an oolong or an assam I like some other interesting flavors in there and then some black or green leaves for a little kick of caffeine. My most beloved flavor which I can drink by the barrelful is Cacao Chai... chai with delicious cacao nibs etc.... really pretty much orgasmic. But I also kind of desire something else which I am always searching for... something with kind of a red berry with citrus notes thrown in with the black tea somewhere... I haven't been able to find the right combo, anywhere. I know it might seem painfully obvious but I finally just realized I could make it my own self! That and so much more! I've been dying to get over to Central Market and I finally had a baby-free morning on which to peruse the various and sundry dried herbs and such. I procured dried cherries, hibiscus, (fresh) ginger, dried goji berries, cacao nibs, peppermint, pink rose buds, dried cranberries, lemongrass, pink peppercorns, dried pomegranate seeds, cardamom, and rosehips. Oh and a big bag of green tea and a big bag of black tea. I'm so excited to play around with this! I just made myself some tea with black tea, pink peppercorn, goji berries and rosehips. I can't say it was exactly a winner but I'm willing to press on til I find that masterful combination that I just know is out there. Excited to try a green tea with perhaps peppermint, lemongrass, and ginger... and a chai of course... can't say I exactly saved money at this point but hopefully at some point it will all even out... oh the price I pay to stay caffeinated.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My dirty little secret... that though I teach these art classes for children, my own children absolutely hate art (I'm sure hate is a strong word, but they are positively not fans). And according to the book Young at Art, on which I base my art class for toddlers, this is simply not supposed to happen, or, I should say, it's simply not mentioned because if you present your child with all these great art experiences it will most definitely not happen, but here I was dead set on having artistic young children and they would more often than not tear up the paper, dump out the paint, dance on the table, and run away. OK, truthfully, that was mainly Jack. Bruno painted happily for a few years there until suddenly he became an utterly pugnacious three year old and started to turn his nose up at it all, too. Ah, parenting, always so full of surprises. I was a devoted artiste and maker of things when I was a little kid. I'm sure I probably sat happily absorbed cutting and gluing and drawing away for as long as they'd let me. I was my own dream child. I was SO looking forward to doing this with my children. It's actually kind of heart wrenching. Sometimes I meet a kid (er, you know I want to say 'a little girl' but I'm trying so hard not to) who just has the crafty glimmer in her eyes. She/He's got an attention span the size of this great state of Texas and is just champing at the bit to get happily absorbed in some wonderful big art project. When I meet that kid I have to admit my heart does a little 360 in my chest. I thought I would have a kid like that, I wanted to marvel over their hilarious and beautiful pictures and books they would make me, and paper dolls and comic books... but no. No no no no no. I have these little boys who don't want to do any of that... they just have to immediately climb everything in sight, touch everything in sight and take it apart or drop it or throw it, or kick it, crawl behind couches and open drawers and go behind counters where you're not supposed to go at stores and just push every boundary in sight because they're really just explorers and ultra curious but oy it's hard to appreciate sometimes. But appreciate it I do, and I know I wouldn't have appreciated it or understood if I'd have had a quiet artistic little soul first off. I'd have been the one looking at the parents with the rowdy boys wondering what kind of awful parenting they'd been doing to have turned out such ruffians. I've learned so much from having these awesome energetic little men and appreciate so much, at least sometimes, their own unique attributes instead of dwelling overly on the proclivities I hold most dear.

And so, of course, what do the unpredictable little fellas do once I've accepted them for who they are and given up my fantasy of kid poetry and murals and fish prints? They make me some awesome art, of course. I found a fresh set of those wonderful scented markers at a thrift store this week... I had them as a kid, maybe some of you all did too? Purple smells like grapes, red smells like cherries, you get the picture... I loved those markers so much when I was a kid and everything about them was a flashback, the packaging, the wonderfully artificial smells that I found SO heavenly... anyway, I gave them to my kids and by gum if they didn't make me some real art! I was so excited I had to restrain myself from making TOO much of a fuss, just play it cool, don't want them to be on to me that I want this behavior to continue or you know how it goes. Jack's picture started out with some fruit hanging from a branch and some birds flying past. He kicked it up a notch and added a shark and a tidal wave. One bird is crying out, "Shark!" The next is crying out, "Tidal wave!" And the last is screaming in fear, "Fruit!" Bruno's is a rainbow, which he was excited about, but it was really the picture on the back that I liked so much more... he said it was the Tomten's footprints.
So now maybe those two will throw me a bone occasionally and make their poor mama a drawing every now and then... and of course I have my dear little daughter growing up at the back of the pack... and I do have my fingers crossed for that one, I do I do... she really does love to draw, she LOVES to paint... I'm SO glad I've learned all that I've learned, but please, just one little crafty child, universe? That's not too much to ask, is it? Pretty please? We'll make you a tie-dyed bandana...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oy my aching boobies...

I had mastitis starting yesterday. I've been working on weaning my littlest (she's only 19 months but I'm feeling quite emphatically DONE after nursing pretty much straight for the last 6 plus years... except for a few relaxing 6 month stretches of not nursing but being pregnant, instead) and I think somewhere in these last few weeks of trying to majorly decrease the demand of the ol' milk supply my boobies got confused about how much milk was actually needed, resulting in awful soreness and flu-like symptoms and total weariness. It was actually a pretty great experience because Matt was home from work and I really got to take my bed and actually really really really REST. It was a dream come true. I think mastitis is a message from your body that you've been over nurturing others and under nurturing yourself... at least I read that somewhere, once, and it sounds good. But it just royally sucks when you're a mama of really little kids and you just CAN'T. I would love to figure out a solution for this problem. The other two times I have had mastitis I went into such a total tizzy. It was very interesting. I am very lucky to be hale and hearty almost all of the time, and I have a lot of preventive stuff that I do and also little home-cures that I do when I feel the familiar onset of cold or flu, that almost always knocks it out... so I am very fortunate to feel kind of empowered about my health. But the times when I got mastitis I definitely had a huge feeling of powerlessness. I didn't know how to treat it on my own, and as I said I (though I may not have known it at the time) was probably overnurturing and felt like who in the world was going to nurture ME, or, forget the nurturing, just fracking let me and my poor boobies take a nap. I ended up pulling some strings and managing to get myself an acupuncture appointment with Genevieve Sprinkle, and I totally burst into tears on the table. She's such a smart strong caring woman... just makes you feel like she's the big mama who knows just what to do. Which really helps when you're feeling like a scared sad vulnerable little two year old.
I would love for there to be some kind of support set up for moms... moms who just never or hardly ever get sick days. A sick day where you could just stay in bed, or could get a chance to go to a doctor or acupuncturist or whatever without wrangling a toddler... or even just a sick day that you could call in because you just knew you needed some extra rest. I know so very many of us are chronically tired (which is a sad enough state as it is) but sometimes you are just really dragging and I think sometimes if we can recognize this rather than trying to power through we can actually sidestep illness. Like your body is saying, "Hey, slow down, I'm tired here" but then you ignore it so it says, "OK, we really need to just stop" and gets sick. I really think we should all be able to take to our beds once in awhile and have it be totally acceptable. It's utterly silly that we think this is pure decadent shameful laziness, especially when so many of us do so much so much of the time.
So anyway, about the support... I would love for their to be some support set up for moms. I don't know quite what it would be or what it would look like... but moms of all people really do need time to rest and recuperate and be well. And what a fine example we'd be setting for the next generation.
And by the way, I'm proud to say that I licked mastitis on my own this time (ew did I just say licked? That can't be right.) I woke up around 3 am last night sick as can be. I googled (oh the google!) home remedies for mastitis and discovered that a few different sources advised chopping 3-4 cloves of garlic into small bits and swallowing them whole with water, like little pills. 3-4 (preferably 5-6) per day. I took 3-4 right then and there (how brilliant to find a nice home remedy that you can take right away at 3 in the morning, and not have to wait to go buy a tincture or mysterious herb later in the day) and when I woke up I downed a few more. By mid morning I found myself miraculously cured. Hooray! Now to thoroughly wean... ergh. Not easy with such a milk-lovin', opinionated, sassy little lady. Though I think with all the extra rest we've had this week me and my boobies are up to the task.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More pop ups

Progress on the dollhouse creeps along...

I'm still dead set on making my marvelous modern dollhouse a reality, but it is moving at a snail's pace, a bit. You'd think it'd be fully furnished by now, wouldn't you. It's just difficult because, as many of you mamas out there (or other people pinched for time and space) well know, by the time you get all your stuff out and set up to work you've got about fifteen minutes before you have to put everything away again. Yesterday I was in pure paradise when I found myself with time on my hands and I got the dollhouse out, got out various power tools and had to search around for the proper drill bit and find a long enough extension cord.... I finally made one cut and what do you suppose but the mister pulled up in the drive with the children in tow. Oh woe. But seriously, it wasn't that bad because I really was able to finally make the bunk bed that I'd been scheming on. Oh and I realize now I probably haven't featured the amazing concrete countertop that my friend Eric Billig made for me... I guess I just raved about it on Facebook. Do you see the teeny tiny faucet (a bent nail) and sink? And the tiny little cabinet pulls? This picture does not do it justice, at all. I feel so incredibly honored that this dude with the Super Skills and Amazingly Creative Super Powers shared some of them with me... the guy is funny, he is nice, he's an Awesome Papa.... and if you have any shekels to spare, go buy some of his furniture, it's unbelievable.
Only problem is it's a bit much to live up to... Chez Wilt has looked so ultra modern with it's sleek countertop and not much else... I think I just have to be OK with the fact that it's all downhill from the countertop but since I'm really just in it for the experience I guess that doesn't matter at all! So if I share with you that my dollhouse is looking progressively dorkier but I'm having a ball, then you'll know I'm on the right track.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bla, bla, bla

I feel like I'm letting this blog go to the dogs and I'm just attempting to write anything... just anything... as it seems that the longer I let go between posts the harder it is to get back on that old blogging horse. But what to write about? No tidy topics spring to mind, once again it seems there's just the messy gobbledygook of life. I've been considering admitting that the holidays sucked a little bit which I think is kind of out of the norm for This Kind of Blog. Seems like if you're a mama crafty blog you should be full of warm glow-y photos a la Soulemama and delightful handmade gifts but this year it just didn't unfold according to the template. I guess it just was that the kids were just kind of fight-y and challenging to be with for about 3/4 of December so I ended up feeling just ground down to a nub and generally irate that we didn't match up to the template but also kind of realizing that this kind of thinking does absolutely no one any good... so I tried to just kind of roll with it and not worry too much about the fact that we weren't doing much holidays-y and that my posting on this blog was mighty sparse especially as compared to last year, and as far as keeping up with old Soulemama I've fallen farther behind than ever. I decided that rather than fret that Christmas was not Christmassy enough, and that this blog was not ChristmasCraftyMamaBloggy enough, to just let go and let all those expectations go all to heck... just breathe and meditate and accept my kids as they are even when that's mighty hard to do... connect with friends, let some silence in, walk in nature and fill my lungs with fresh air.... bit my tongue even when they'd be being so gosh darn rascally and I really really REALLY found myself wanting to bellow something about Santa and coal in stockings.... read my good spirtual-y books that help me get inspired, help me get centered.... all that jazz. It all helps and Christmas loomed and then crested and afterwards it seemed like after a hellish first week of winter break we all settled into each other and we started having fun again. The big boys were playing non stop with minimal shrieking and hurting. They went to a sleepover and when they came back the reunion between Bruno and Henny was truly heart melting. Henny with a huge delighted smile wanting to pat Bruno's face and Bruno repeating rapturously over and over, "I missed you little Honey, I missed you little Honey...." So as it ended up we may have had less of the Kodak moments this season but it all came out in the wash and we had lots of goodness, lots of sweetness, lots of good memories... just more of the same, the ebbs and flows of family life, and just because it's Christmas doesn't make that go away, in fact I think they're probably more pronounced... it's like what I sometimes say, that having kids doesn't exactly make you happier per se... you have higher highs and but oh some very low lows.... it's just the zigzaggy ride that we signed up for.

So there you have it... my little spiel. I managed to write something after all. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this blog rolling along.... we'll just have to see, shan't we? AHhhhHHHhhh so very glad this lovely fresh new year is here... doesn't it feel so good, so refreshing? It's gonna be a good one.