Friday, July 26, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mid-century modern flea market love

I have a "thing" for anything I find in a flea market that even remotely resembles mid-century modern furniture. If you ever find yourself in a flea market in Arkansas & see a middle-aged woman hopping from one foot to the other while clapping & pointing at a bit of furniture in this style, please introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you. Anyway, this piece was picked up for $40. (I know, right??) A few coats of paint & it looks perfect in my living room.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Art Wall. I think that's what this post is about.

This is the way my dining room wall looked before the boys came home to us. I never realized anything was missing.
Until our boys came home, trailing bits of art projects & pipe cleaners & random inexplicable bits of things. Rocks. Lots of rocks. All sorts of things that I didn't realize I needed in my life.
Now the wall is full. When I didn't even know that anything was missing from it just a few short months ago.
We are still talking about the wall, right?
Just checking.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Feature Art Friday: Transform

This art was created in an effort to embrace change and transition in my life.
I'm getting better at it every single day, but it's good to always have a reminder.
Prints available as 5x7 & 8x10 here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Confessions of a New Parent: The one about fake fainting

It began innocently enough. Like most other ill-fated ideas; with absolutely no thought wasted on possible long term implications. In the early weeks of suddenly parenting three children with fully-formed personalities, when one of the boys did something well, one of us would fake fainting. Soap opera style.  Back of hand across the forehead, swoon, fall out on the floor. The complete & utter chaos that descended upon our house the moment the boys arrived spontaneously rendered us incapable of foresight. Or maybe things were just so bad in the beginning we couldn’t imagine enough good choices being made to cause multiple fake fainting spells in a week more or less a day.

I can’t blame the entirety of the problem on the boys; it is exacerbated by the fact that they have a parent with an underutilized degree in theatre. I’m assuming they devote entire semesters to the art of fainting, although not much time is spent on how to avoid injury. Trust me, I have seen the bruises.

Seven months into this adventure the behavior issues have dissipated to the point that recently there were four adult fainting spells in one night. One of the boys does something great & looks our way expectantly. We eye each other wearily. “Are you going to take this one?” Flop. Off the couch, onto the floor.

Honestly, things were so difficult in the beginning that I might have considered setting myself on fire while tap dancing & singing the star spangled banner if it had elicited the desired behavior. However, in hindsight (stupid, stupid know-it-all hindsight) we should have considered a few things prior to the first swoon.

Fake fainting is tiring. More specifically, the getting up part is tiring. I’m middle-aged. I wake up before the sun comes up. If I fall down, I want to stay there. But you can’t, not with three little boys. There is some genetic predisposition I have noticed with boys, something that makes an otherwise normal adult suddenly look like a trampoline when found napping on the floor. Or maybe they just realize that you are suddenly vulnerable in one of those “separate the weak one from the herd” wild kingdom situations.

Fake fainting can be inconvenient. Like when I am walking up the stairs in the front door & down the two stairs into the living room with my arms full of groceries & my nine year old runs up to me waving a social studies test in my face shouting “YOU ARE GOING TO PASS OUT WHEN YOU SEE THIS!!” And I did. And it hurt.  You try to fake faint off a landing while holding a gallon of milk in each hand. Go on, I’ll wait. And by the way, who builds a house with stairs up into the house & then immediately back down into the living room? A masochistic builder with a chip on his shoulder & no kids, that’s who.

Also, how much longer do we have before one of them do something amazing & faint-worthy in public? It’s honestly a ticking time bomb when you think about it. Will it happen at my office? At the gas station? The post office? How long until I end up flat on my back staring at the fluorescent lights in Target?

And finally, what if one of us ever actually really faints? Will the ambulance driver find it odd that there are three little boys squealing with delight while hopping around an unconscious adult & trying to decide who gets the first turn on the trampoline?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Practicing gratitude, or a flat tire on a Monday morning

Yeah, that happened. And on a Monday morning, no less. Prime time for a whining baby fit or some serious "catastrophizing" (as my best friend would call it) on the side of the road. And then something happened. It occurred to me how much better it made me feel to sink into the gratitude of my blowout not causing an accident. Of the fact that I had just dropped my boys of safely at day camp.

After apologizing to the kind stranger who was so sweet about me parking my giant car in her driveway (thank you, kind stranger) & calling AAA to come change my tire (thank you, AAA) I decided to ride the wave of gratitude while waiting on the repair guy to show up. If a little gratitude made me feel somewhat better, what would a lot of gratitude feel like? Who says moderation is key? Pfffft. Someone who has never tried this out.

After grabbing a notebook out of the car I found a shady spot to sit while waiting for AAA & I started writing:

1. The blowout didn't cause an accident. Nobody was hurt.

2. The boys were safely playing at day camp, with not a care in the world. Just how I like it.

3. It happened in the morning, before it gets too hot. The afternoon temperature in Arkansas this time of year is approximately 4,000 degrees. Fine, 95 -100, but it feels like 4,000.

4. I was able to safely pull the car off of a busy street & into the circle drive of possibly the nicest lady in America. Or at least on Mississippi Avenue in Little Rock. I didn't even block anyone in.

(At this point in the morning, I am beginning to wonder if one can actually get high on gratitude, which leads me to the concern that maybe it is hotter than I mentioned in #3 and maybe I've had a sun stroke.) No matter. Back to the list before I start coming down:

5. I have AAA, which is roadside assistance and a terribly responsible thing to have. After standing in the shade & watching someone changing my flat tire in the blazing heat, AAA is something that I will never be without.

6. This wasn't a work day that included any big meetings or travelling to a city a couple of hours away, so if I had to suddenly miss work this was the day to do it.

7. It happened just a few miles from the mechanic I use, so I could drive there on the spare tire.

8. I had a new magazine in the car so I had something to do while I waited. Something besides get high on gratitude, I mean make a list.

9. I had also fixed myself a giant glass of ice water just before leaving the house, instead of the big travel cup of hot coffee that I often take.

So by the time the tire was changed & I went to work, thanks to the gratitude list,  I was in a better mood than I was when I left the house. Which probably had my coworkers wondering what I was really doing between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Flat tire indeed...