Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Then, the other day, it began to drain. Lovely. Now my throat hurts even worse and somehow, even though I know some of the pressure HAS to be relieved, my cheeks feel like I've stuffed them full of pinecones or something. Right over my cheekbones. OUCH! The cough hasn't gotten bad, but it's there. That "Oh I need to cough, but if I start, I might not stop" kind of thing is going on.
However, regardless of that, life is good. Life is always too good to deserve. God is faithful and He never disappoints. Even when things are tough, I know that He is in control. I'm so glad He is Lord over all, because I know that I couldn't do anything without Him.
Hubby and I stayed over at my mom's, Bebe, while she stayed over at my sister's with the three kiddos. Originally, hubby and I were supposed to housesit and stay with our neices and nephew, but for some reason, the crib was not brought over there and so we used the crib at Bebe's. Poor Bebe. I don't think she knew what she was getting in to. But she did GREAT!
Hubby and I took turns staying over at my sister's throughout the day when I had to go feed and put Ham down for a nap. One day, my oldest neice came with me back to Bebe's and we drew pictures and laughed at my horrible attempt to draw Yoda. We were giggling so hard and every time I would draw an ear or an eye, I'd say, "WOAH, that is way off. Oh goodness. This is bad," and my 7 year-old neice would just laugh and laugh. She said it looked like a rabbit at first and the end result looked like Baby Yoda. It was bad.
Ham did OK at night. The first night she cried for an hour and then woke up at least 5 times yelling out, "Ma ma? Ma ma?" She began to scream at one point, so I gave in and wen't to feed her. That got her thinking she would get to nurse every time she woke up, so that wasn't good.
But, you know what...? This was not a regular thing for her and she was in a strange place, so I gave in...all night. And I'm not ashamed of it. :) It was about getting sleep. When we got back home yesterday, I laid her down in her crib for a nap and she spread out her arms and legs and got a big smile on her face. She slept for two hours. Monday night she only woke up once and last night, she didn't wake up at all.
So, a note to all first-time parents like me: Know that sometimes, the schedule is not going to be perfect. Sometimes the schedule will be completely thrown out of the window (Ham went from 9AM-4PM one day). It will be OK. The baby is not messed up forever.
I'm so glad I know as many moms as I do. It's helped out tremendously. Thank you Jennifer, Mary, Karen, Tricia, Mom and Mom, Grandmama, Karina, Amy Poole, Allyson, Emily Graffius, and all those other moms out there! I love you!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
In the end, I am happy with the result of my first attempt to paint on a tiny little glass. I know it could always be better, but let's face it, I'm not making a living on this...yet.
I am going to do some research on how to get the paint to go on a little more smoothly (smoother?). It may just be that I need better paints. Right now I'm working with the cheapest paints I could find...with the best brushes. It probably evens out somehow.
I was only using the quarter dollar, quarter, two bits, Johnson Sandwich (I still don't understand why it was called this since LBJ was never ON a quarter) for a size reference, but my husband pointed out, "Because she'll be playing Quarters with this glass." Ha ha. Funny. I wanted to use a bottle of fiery pink fingernail polish called 'Scarlet' by SinfulColors...hmmm.... Maybe we're both in the wrong. Typical.
Anyway. It was cool making it. Now on to the wine glass.... I have asked myself whether or not I should be painting glasses that will inevitably hold liquor or wine (or booze in general). I am not for or against drinking alcoholic beverages unless you are a) underage, b) don't know when to quit, or c) causing someone else to stumble (i.e. you have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic and you bust out a bottle of wine around him...not cool).
I'm serious. Don't be a jerk. Drink responsibly.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I'm not bragging here. I really like t.v. I'm no tree-hugger (not that I have anything against hippies) and I don't shun television. I LOVE LOVE all the Discovery Channels and could sit and watch Baby Story every day (I used to do that before Ham came along). I don't like commercials, though.
However, let's get back to the reason I am blogging about t.v. in the first place.
I DO know when The Office comes on...NBC, 8PM Central Time on Thursday nights. The new season starts this Thursday and I have asked my husband to promise me that he will be home in time to help me put Ham down to sleep so that we can watch The Office together. That's how important it is to me. To us, really.
I'm serious when I say that this show makes me laugh like no other show I've ever seen. It's stupid. It's ridiculous. There is nothing like it out there. And I love it.
Sometimes I am like Michael Scott...and that scares me, but also makes me laugh. Sometimes I am like Pam or Angela....or...ugh...yes, even Kelly (but not often).
Michael Scott says the dumbest, sometimes the most politically incorrect (OK, he ALWAYS says the most politically incorrect thing) a person can say. Yet, somehow, everyone feels bad for him. He always comes out being supported by his employees. Like when he 'outted' Oscar. Or his stupid reason to get back together with Jan and then you actually feel sorry for him when Jan uses him. (Insert 'foliage' here.)
And then of course, there is Jam. Pam and Jim.
I've gone on way too long about this, but it's the only show I have been excited about in a long time. FRIENDS doesn't even compare...and I still have fond memories of Rachel, Ross, Pheobe, Joey, Chandler and Monica.
So, my husband liked this show first...and for that reason, I gave it a shot...that and the copious amounts of pain medicine I was on, trying to recover from surgery.
Back when I thought it was another reality show (I really did thing it was a documentary), he liked it. Back when I shunned its stupidity, he encouraged me to give it a chance. He's the reason I am obsessed with it now. Thanks. No, really. Thank you. :)
It got me through 6+ months of the most excruciating pain I've ever felt (besides labor) after Ham was born. It kept me laughing when I feared the words Necrotizing Fasciitis, surgery, and more surgery. It helped me nurse Ham just one more time than I though I could bare. And now...Ham loves the intro music. She can literally sit through an entire episode of The Office and I'm in the process of weaning her. Hurray!
I don't know how I feel about that...either of those things...her liking The Office or me weaning her.
I'm telling you now...do not call on Thursday nights between 7:45 and 9:15. We will not be available to anyone...unless you are from Dunder Mifflin, The Scranton Branch.
Monday, September 22, 2008
1. Spend way too much time thinking about what to draw.
2. Spend way too much energy wanting to draw something perfect.
3. Spend way too much research on supplies you 'might' need.
4. Spend way too much money on those supplies you don't need. (But they are SOOOO cool!)
5. Not going dumpster diving before buying expensive media.
6. Trying to figure out what your medium will look like.
7. Trying to remember what 'media' and 'medium' mean and feeling like a poser because you keep getting those words mixed up.
8. Not realizing that you can use anything as a media for your art.
9. Forgetting to look around your house for things you already bought before going to buy more.
10. Not putting yourself out there.
So, yeah. I have done, or not done, all of these things. I have been addicted to gel pens, Mod Podge, went and bought more supplies before finding a treasure trove of stuff in a box, in a drawer, under some clothes, on top of my assortment of pliers.
I have drooled over rolls of duck canvas at MisterArts and fantasized about painting on old artifacts I find on eBay, when I could just use the plywood in my garage. (Right now, I'm obsessing about finding double hung, single pane, distressed wood frame windows to paint on. If you know of anyone or a place that has them-preferably, for free-then please let me know.)
Trodding on to other things I've become
Way back when this deliciously low-sugar vitamin drink began popping up in celebrity hands, I thought it was just hype. I thought that it was just another way for actors to push the "Green Scream" and be cool. Yet, last week, I was fatigued and sore from working out, so I grabbed the Revive Vitamin Water and thought, "Oh, dang. This stuff is good." I don't know if it was the placebo phenom or if there are actually enough B vitamins in that product to give a person a boost, but I felt better after drinking it.
However, after almost two weeks of spending $1.50 on these things, I realized that they really aren't anything more than glorified soft drinks.
They still have 13 grams of sugar in them (except they call it crystalline fructose) and all these vitamins are something we get if we are eating every day anyway...which, most of us are.
It tastes good, but I think that I got punk'd.
So, things have been absolutely wonderful lately. Ham is just getting cuter and more entertaining (if that is possible). She plays really well by herself, but I find myself looking for excuses to watch her all day instead of doing housework or run errands. I have the heart of an organized person, and none of the skills I desperately long for to be a clone of Martha Stewart-ness. (I do not want to be Martha Stewart, however.)
I have had another order for glasses. YAY! A girl from etsy.com wants me to do a wine glass and shot glass with the pink owl on it and Chi Omega written in black on the opposite side. I'm working on that today.
Also, I have now gone to the infamous Sips-n-Strokes twice in one month. The second time we went to the Vestavia location and the painting was really difficult and took a lot of time. We also ended up moving our table halfway through the lesson because...well...because of the 'sipping' part of SipsnStrokes, some ladies get WAY too loud. So, for the second half of the night, we couldn't see what the instructor was doing at all. We were pretty frustrated. Regardless, this is how ours turned out:
We will probably stick with the Highway 280 store because we had a great experience there.So, as you can see, no one painting is going to turn out exactly the same. I decided I wanted some blue in my background instead of all brown and white, while Meredith followed the instructor at first, she then decided she didn't want a lot of black in the background and it turned out really cool and sorta abstract. Mine is more realism...which, I wish I could get out of that stage. I'd love to do some abstract and even cartoonish-style stuff.
Anyway, here is the finish product of the wine glasses I did for my friend Ashley's Bachelorette Party two weekends ago:
That was a lot of fun and it definitely opened up some doors. However, painting glass is a lot harder than I thought it would be! I'm glad for the experience.
BTW, Ham heard a bird outside this morning and she cupped her little hand around her ear to sign 'hear.' SOOOO cute!
No teeth yet. LOL
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Ham began to try to walk on September 5th. That morning she took two steps (I missed them). Later that day, I was there when she took two more steps. Through the last two weeks, she has taken several more steps. On September 17th, she took the most steps I'd seen...8 steps. She took four steps, turned, and took four more. I cried.
Other new things is that Ham can now say six words...sometimes while signing them. She can say, "Ma ma, da da, pa pa, ba (ball), buh bye, and manana (banana)." She began signing "banana" three days ago when I sat her in a her highchair and was making her oatmeal. She said, "manana" and then reached for the bananas. She has been doing a weird 'more,' or 'clapping' sign and when I didn't know what it was yesterday, she crawled into the kitchen, pointed to the bananas on top of the microwave and turned to sign it to me again. I was shocked.
Life has changed. And it is good.
Sorry that it has taken me so long to update. I have been pleasantly busy with art and hanging out with my friend, Mer. It's been a long time since I've been out and about this much, but it does cut into computer time.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We did the Body Flow class. It's a mix of Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. It's a lot of stretching and strength training. I thought my legs would give out while we were doing the lunges that go along with the Warrior positions. I have found out that I am a spazz. I have no balance what-so-ever and could not even rival the Kung Fu Panda in complete and utter spazticity (not a real word)...not to be mistaken for spasticity, which is a real disorder and I'm not mocking it.
I will be working out more in the future. Meredith, you are an inspiration! Mom, so are you! I'm proud of all you women in my life. The award for fitness and healthiness has to go to my dad and Augusta, though. They are pretty amazing.
Monday, September 8, 2008
She has grown so much and then again, she's still just a baby.
I could have never imagined what a joy my own child would bring. I have fiercely loved my nieces and nephew with all of my heart. I would do anything for them. I would lay down my life for them. I have also loved the kids I baby-sat for in the last 10 years. I have become so attached to other people's children that I cried when I had to say good-bye.
When I look into Ham's eyes, I see my heart. I am so in love. She is the funniest, wittiest (yeah, yeah, she can't even talk, I know), most brilliant, sweetest baby ever. I love everything she does...even when she is crying or whining, I love her. Even like her a lot. I love her voice. I love everything about her squatty (my sister's coined word for Ham), chubby, silky-soft body. I love her open-mouth, a-little-too-wet-kisses. I love it when she pats me on the back while I cradle her in my arms. I love it (and it breaks my heart) when she cries out, "Ma ma ma ma," if she doesn't want to go in her crib. I love watching her discover EVERYTHING. I love discovering things all over again through her eyes.
If we have another baby, I can't even imagine loving them as much as I love her. But I know I will. My sister told me so. And she's really, really smart. She had the same thoughts, the same fear, "How can I love anyone as much as I love my first?" Then she had her little boy and she fell in love with him, too...and with her second little girl after that.
I know each parent feels the same way that I do about their children. I know that every aunt and uncle love their nieces and nephews as their own children. To all of us, however, the love for our own flesh and blood is unmatched. It is what it is.
So, anyway, we don't know what we're doing for Ham's 1st Birthday, but I'm sure it will involve family, friends, cake and ice cream, NO PRESENTS (I hope, but know she'll get some), and lots of pictures and laughs.
Here's what Ham learned to do for the first time on September 8th...her 11 month 'birthday.' (What DO you call that, anyway?)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I had something called Leaky Gut (yes, very technical) and to anything I ate regularly, or two much, I became allergic.
This is different than intolerance. Intolerance is when you just have stomach upset. When you have allergies, you actually break out in hives and itch like crazy with the joy of stomach upset, too. My friend Ginger went through this for years before she knew what was causing her hives. I can't imagine. Just several months was enough to drive me up the wall.
So, I became allergic to dairy of any kind, mint (thanks Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream), beef, black pepper, almonds, selenium (the green stuff on the skin of potatoes), and apples (I was downing jugs of apple juice a week). Even most starchy foods would send me over the edge.
At the time, I weighed 140lbs. (I am only 5', so don't knock it if you weight 140lbs or above. A healthy weight for me was 98-110lbs.) Most people say that they can't remember me ever being that big, but trust me, I was. I have the pictures to prove it.
I was miserable. Every time I ate, I would either get sick to my stomach and blow up like a balloon or break out in hives. My doctor said to lose some weight so I began exercising regularly. No change. Then I met an allergy specialists and a nutritionist and they told me about Leaky Gut. The Dr. took 6 vials of blood and told me what I was allergic to. So, I began eliminating potential trigger foods from my diet.
After a year and a half, I had dropped almost 40lbs and felt healthier than I ever had. I still couldn't eat dairy, but at least I could eat without getting sick.
In steps my love for apple juice. Apparently, I'm not so highly sensitive to it or I would have broken out in hives the last week. I drank two and a half jugs of the stuff in two weeks. Big jugs. Oh how I loved it.
Then the symptoms began. I felt nauseated. My stomach blew up...and other things. Do you remember the Colon Blow cereal commerical from Saturday Night Live? Yeah, I'd sworn I ate a whole box of it. Enough detail.
There's half a jug still left in the fridge and I don't know what to do with it. Ham doesn't like juice (which is fine with me) and I know that I can't drink it.
Anyway, I've realized that for me, apple juice is of the devil.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I would love to paint an owl on one, my giraffe on another, an elephant, and maybe a koi fish. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I am far from that man in the Bible who went to his master and said, "Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours." No, at least this man admitted to burying his talent. Parable of the Talents
Even though he was still punished, the message I see in my case, is that I didn't even want to tell anyone that I had a buried talent! If it's hidden, no one can hold me accountable.
So, now that it's in the light (and I'm so thankful and excited about that), a friend asked me if she could pay me to paint 12 stemless wine glasses for a bachelorette party in a few weeks.
Here is my rough draft:
For this, I actually used Sakura Gelly Roll pens. I wanted to get a good idea of what it would look like and what I was aiming for with this. I don't know if I'll do the first initial of each bridesmaid or what. My friend has to OK this design. However, I am generally pleased with my first attempt. Now let's see if we can do it with enamel paints and a tiny paintbrush! I also have to write an actual saying on the glass.
This has led me to list the item (as an example) on Etsy.com and try my hand at painting glass on commission. If it gets too crazy and I get orders I can't fill, I'll just stop doing it.
I also uploaded my painting of the peacock I was working on for weeks. For your sake, I'll just put a picture of it up, here:
However, it is on sale at Etsy.com. Feel free to check it out. I also have a semi-precious bracelet I made for sale.
On a different note, same vein, my awesome sister-in-law and her husband have put up a shop on Etsy, too. They had been thinking about doing it for a while now. It's called thesmallwoods and they sell Mr. Fox Brand products. TOO cute. Here's a sampling: He is a handmade, embroidered felt plush original based on Mr. Hoot Hoot of TheSmallWoods world. Isn't he adorable? He comes in different colors, too!
That's all for now, in my world.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The mom, Her Awesomeness, called me in the middle of the night and said, "OK, Baby is coming (They had yet to find a name for him). You ready to come over?" I was the 'go-to' girl and had agreed to come over to watch Princess-with-a-Smidgen-of-Dirt and Tornado, no matter what time of the day, when the mom, went into labor.
BTW, I walked in at midnight all frantic, concerned that it had taken me 8 minutes to get there and afraid I'd find her on the floor pushing Baby out and it'd be my fault. However, Her Awesomeness, smiled and ushered me in the door while she was having a contraction. That kind of calmness happened for the next 30 minutes while her husband got things all packed and ready. She'd be talking and say, "Oh, hold on," walk over to a piece of paper and right down the time and duration of the contraction, and then say, "ooo, that was a strong one. OK, anyway, I was saying...." CA-RAZY! Make a note, that I was 3 months pregnant at the time and thought, "Man, labor's not so bad!" HAHAHAHAHAHA
So, anyway. Her Awesomeness asked me if I'd come to the rescue once again and keep the boys before MDO started this week. Of course, I said, "YES!" right away. (I am very naïve and will jump at taking care of kids...no matter how many.) She asked me if I need to pray about...insisted actually, but I knew my answer would still be 'yes.' I didn't know what it would be like with two babies (one walking, one crawling) under the age of two and one very energetic little boy.
So, I headed off to her house at 8:00AM after a 7 o'clock appt. with the chiropractor...I'm naïve, but not stupid! Of course, this meant that Ham had been up since 6:45AM. That's really early for her. By the time we got done at the chiro. she was ready to go to sleep. However, once we got to Her Awesomeness's house, Ham was excited and wanted to play.
Within an hour of Her Awesomeness leaving me with Tornado and LB, my chest began to tighten. LB could not contain his love for Ham and was tackling her every chance he got. Ham would crawl about two feet and LB'd be crawling right behind her and then tackle her legs in a bear hug. Ham would lay there, immobilized, arms splayed out and probably staying as quiet as possible to make LB think she was dead. It didn't work...he only tightened his grip and then Ham would let out a whimper.
This went on all day. Poor Ham. She was no worse for the wear, but she was exhausted from playing 'dead' all day.
Anyway, when it was time for Tornado and LB to take a nap, I put LB down and Ham and I went to read Tornado a story. I asked Tornado to pick out a book and at first, he wanted his Bedtime Bible stories. But then, he said, "No, no. I want this one. This is the Bible." Before handing me his Bible, which was a pocket-sized one with the tiny writing, he said, "Here I'll pick out a story. Please read this one." Tornado was instantly transformed to I'm-the-Calmest-Boy-Ever.
When I looked at the story he was pointing to, I almost said, "Let's read a different one," but decided, it's the Bible. It's really OK to read the Bible. :) It was the story of Pontius Pilate sentencing Jesus to be crucified. As I began telling how the Jews were yelling, "Crucify!" I'm-the-Calmest-Boy-Ever (a.k.a. Tornado) said, "I know what happens." I asked, "Yeah?" He said, "Yes. They take him up a mountain, to a cross, and these soldiers play a GAME to see who gets Jesus' clothes and then Jesus DIES." I was astounded. I said, "Yes, you're right, baby. And Jesus forgives them." He nodded and said, "I know dat. And he came back to life in just two days." I said, "Three days." He said, "I know dat." :)
As I laid him down and covered him up, holding Ham in my left arm, I wanted to weep. How incredible. He gets it. At least, he knows it to the extent that a four-year-old can. And he is not questioning it to be true. To him, it's fact. It's not a fable or a story of a good teacher. It's Jesus, the Son of God. Who died for us because we need him. We do things like gambling for a dying man's clothes. We're mean sometimes. And Jesus wasn't like that. He was always good. Tornado knew that it was preposterous that Jesus 'DIED' while men mocked him.
I love children.