a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wolf studies


004 (2)


I had a husband-imposed deadline to draw a werewolf by Halloween. I have failed. :( So far all I've been able to do is a couple of wolf studies. It is so hard for me sometimes to work on something when I know someone expects it. There's so much pressure for it to be good and right. I'm my own worst stumbling block. Even though I'm now officially late, I'll keep working on it, and try to come up with a werewolf...soon?

Happy Halloween!












Evelyn's first nickname was "The Angry Tomato." She would scream so loudly and vehemently that her little face would turn red and she looked very much like, well, a very angry tomato. She really doesn't do that anymore, but I couldn't think of a more appropriate thing for her to be for Halloween than a tomato! Unfortunately I could not find a tomato costume to my liking, and thus had to settle for the closest thing to a tomato: a lobster. Before you protest, here is a list of ways in which tomatoes are indeed like lobsters:

1. They are both red.

2. Neither of them has a spinal column.

3. Lobsters weigh about a pound; you can buy tomatoes by the pound.

4. Both are edible.

5. ...well, you get the idea...there are so many ways in which they are alike, I don't want to waste your time listing ALL of them. I think I've made my point.

Happy Halloween from the Tomato Lobster, the puli and me!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are you finished yet?

Last night Julia and I went to Chili's. Although I worried how she would handle it, Evelyn behaved marvelously (at least until the last few minutes...we'll get to that in just a bit...). Evie just soaked in the noises and movement in the dimly lit restaurant, wide eyed but calm. She spent some time in her car seat and also "sat" in my lap.

Our waitress came to the table almost immediately after we were seated and asked if we were ready to order. I really knew what I wanted, but the abruptness with which she showed up questioning us took me by surprise and we asked her for a few more minutes. She dropped her pad and quickly strode off. When she came back a few minutes later and prompted us again, I requested the Turkey Combo. It's one of my favorites at Chili's and usually what I order. I was especially craving it last night.

"Oh, sorry. I forgot to tell you. We're out of turkey," the waitress blurted.

I thought she was kidding.

"We're also out of iced tea, draft beer, and Jack Daniels."

"Jack Daniels? Great, that ruins my evening," I said, bouncing Evie on my lap.

But seriously, they were out of turkey. I very nearly gave her a hard time by asking for the Cajun turkey sandwich instead, but thought better of it. I ordered a burger.

We were working on dinner with Evie more or less cooperating. She began to be fussy in the car seat at one point, so I held her while working on the burger one handed. It's a wonder that all mothers aren't ambidextrous after a few months. I was eating more slowly because of this arrangement and there was still maybe a quarter of my burger and more than half of the fries remaining when our waitress, Speedy Gonzales, showed back up and asked if we were finished. Julia and I had talked earlier about getting dessert, so I just let her take my plate. In one swift move she'd cleared the plates, laid down our bill on the table and was gone.

About this time Evie was getting really tired, but there was no way she was going to fall asleep in the hustle of the restaurant without a little help. I'd brought my nursing cover and diaper bag this time (lesson learned from the Thai restaurant), so we commenced the awkward juggle I have not yet mastered that is nursing in public. Evelyn was happily eating and the waitress came back, expecting us to have paid and instead we ordered a dessert--the chocolate chip brownie thing they have with ice cream and walnuts and mmmmm.....

In another minute it arrived, and since I was still occupied, Julia slowly started in on dessert. She was taking her time since I couldn't yet dive in, but even after Evie finished we weren't wolfing it down. I laughed and remarked how when Justin and I order a dessert to split, there's none of the dainty restraint Julia and I were showing. Justin and I usually dive in and sometimes duel spoons at the end to see who gets the last bite. (He always lets me win.) Julia said it was the same way with her husband, and still there we were, trying to be quite lady-like and restrained with one another. ;) We continued nibbling, thoroughly enjoying ourselves and in no particular rush.

"Are you finished with that?"

The waitress had popped out of nowhere and was reaching for the plate, about a third of the brownie thing still perfectly intact. Julia and I reflexively lunged forward, shielding the plate and blurted, "No!" Ahem..."No, no, I don't think we're quite finished yet."

Once we actually were finished, I decided that I'd better check Evie's diaper before we headed home. The evening had gone so well, I didn't want to spoil it by discovering a leak halfway to the car. I gathered my precious baby up in my arms and made my way to the rear of the restaurant where I saw that there was a room especially for changing babies. Cool. As I opened the door we stepped out of the relaxing glow of the barely lit restaurant and into the cruel and stark world of the florescently lit changing room. Evie looked up to see not her mother, but a horrifying ax murder who had assumed my form. Seriously, the look on her little face was one of pure terror and shock and I INSTANTLY regretted going into the room. If I were to do it over again, at that moment I would have walked right back out--maybe she would have calmed back down. Instead I pig-headedly thought she was just mildly started and would settle down as I changed her. Not. The. Case. She screamed with more fury and intensity than I have ever heard from her, and like I said, it wasn't just any old cry--she was terrified. I tried cuddling her and rocking her, and even did a little impromptu nursing standing right there in the changing station. I did the quickest diaper change in history and gathered her back up, still screaming bloody murder, hoping she'd calm down when we re-entered the restaurant. It helped a little, but at this point she was gone. I motioned to Julia that we were headed to the car. The commotion we caused as we left was considerable and I'm sure that some people wondered if they should call child protective services or if this was a ploy to get out of paying the bill.

It was only after we were back in the car and I nursed Evie once again that she calmed down. As I strapped her into her car seat she gave me a sleepy smile as if to say, "Oh! Thank God! It's you again! Where were you 10 minutes ago in the bathroom?" She doesn't seem traumatized by the event, but I think I'm scarred. I've never felt so helpless and horrible.

And I still want my turkey sandwich...

From the sound of it

We have new neighbors upstairs. The apartment has been vacant for a few months, so the noise from above is especially noticable. They aparently have a dog. I have not seen it yet, but from the sound of it, it is the dog from the Sandlot.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Project Underway

I owe so much of my creativity to my mother. When I was growing up, she was always working on some project or another...okay, more like 5 or 6 some projects or another. ;) I loved watching her and she would often give me scraps to make my own creations while she worked. I especially loved the holiday projects, and although I don't remember her making them, our homemade Christmas stockings have always had a special place in my heart. They are green (her favorite) and white mostly and have our names sewn into the top in cursive. After Justin and I married and I moved to join him in Oklahoma that September, one of the things I set about to do was make Christmas stockings for us. The fabric that I found wasn't exactly what I had in mind and I ended up setting out without an entirely well worked out plan for their design. The shape was based on my mother's design, as well as the patched toe and heel.

We moved to Germany a few days before Christmas that year, and as you can see, I only had time to finish Justin's stocking. Mine was in pieces and we just hung the "guts" and laid my goodies in front on the hotel room floor. After Christmas had passed, I changed my mind about the whole design (as I often do) and planned to come up with a new idea for the following year. I found some great fabric online and after (way too much) deliberation settled on a design that pleased me.

This go around I was much more pleased with the outcome and actually finished 3 stockings: one for me, one for Justin, and one for Chokydar. I'd done this maybe around October, and by the time I'd decided I'd like to order more fabric so I could make matching stockings for our future children, the fabric was sold out. Try as I might, I could not find any more any where.

SO, this year I again have searched out fabric and now that I think I've settled on some that I like, I'm going to get a whole bunch of it so that hopefully, I can make some stockings to last. Third times the charm?





Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm in trouble now...







Options are limited for local weekend activities here. I say that...you can find many things to do, if you are creative and mobile. Options are rather limited for the slightly weary and baby-laden. To put it another way, the grocery store is an exciting alternative. This being the case, when a coffee shop was added to our available amenities, it was cause for excitement, and I often find myself there on a Saturday (they're closed on Sundays).

Yesterday the weather was nice (THANK YOU!) and so I decided it would be a good idea to walk to the Java Cafe rather than drive. It's only maybe 3 blocks away--an easy, EASY walk, even though it's uphill. It was slightly chilly, so I set about adding a little extra clothing to Evelyn and making all the necessary preparations for our outing. Chokydar, of course, senses that something is up and begins to be a little anxious about what's going on. Going for a walk is enough to get her really revved up, but the prospect of being left behind for a walk (dogs aren't allowed inside the Java Cafe) is nearly enough to send her over a cliff.

At this point Evelyn is dressed and ready, and I have her lying in her crib as I put on the carrier-harness thingy. Choky is running in circles, barking (I'm trying to console Evelyn so this doesn't frighten her), and jumping up on my leg. With the harness secured, I lift Evie out of her crib, high into the air so that I can lower her down into the carrier. All is going well, despite Choky's increasing anxiety, until suddenly something happens that I had hoped would never happen. Chokydar, in an act of sheer desperation, jumps from the bed INTO EVELYN'S CRIB. Yep, that's right. I'm standing there with Evelyn and as my eyes widen in shock, Chokydar freezes, sensing she's crossed some line, standing IN EVELYN'S CRIB!!!

"Get OUT of THERE!!!" I gasp.

Choky leaps out immediately. I can only imagine she hoped it was the magical portal through which objects get to accompany me on the walk. I mean, it had worked for Evelyn, right?


Friday, October 24, 2008

Some Assembly Required






024 (3)a




Yesterday a new toy came in the mail for Evelyn. I started off without any fancy playmat type devices, but after we were given one (the pink would not have been my first choice), it was clear that Evie REALLY loved it. As it won't be too long until she's sitting, I thought she'd enjoy a play thing that is upright, thus the exersaucer.

Julia was over watching Evie so I could run to the mail room. I was expecting a large package or two and knew that I'd need both hands to successfully maneuver. When I got home, awesome Julia helped me put it together. We had fun. We got a little carried away. For the record, when the directions say "patterned side out" on fabric that is patterned on BOTH sides I have to scratch my head. I guessed wrong, and it was only when we were musing about why the manufacturer would put tags in such an awkward place did we look at each other and realize my mistake.

The little book would NOT snap into place. I tried then Julia tried then I tried again. Julia finally got it in...it's secure, but there's a tiny gap that worries me. I picture it popping off and flying through the air, whacking Evelyn in the head 3 months from now.

With a real live adult present (besides me), I have a couple of pictures of Evie AND me! Looking at them I'm amused at the state of our hair and can't help think like mother like daughter...

Another Picture Post.

Evie- October 2008 05 001a

Evie- October 2008 05 004a

Evie- October 2008 05 029a

Evie- October 2008 05 033b

Evie- October 2008 05 035a

Evie- October 2008 05 039a

Evie- October 2008 05 048a

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You're doing what?



"You're doing what? Ha. Okay, let me know how long that lasts."

I heard this phrase and several close varients whenever word got out that I was planning to use cloth diapers. (Since when did it become a hot topic what I cover my baby's bum in?) I'm not sure why it matters so much to people, but they all feel the need to tell me their opinion on the subject. And when I say 'opinion' I mean tell me that it's a foolish idea that I will regret and abandon quickly.

I must admit, I began to be a little nervous about it myself when, much to my chagrin, the one-size-fits-all cloth diapers I had intended to use with Evie from birth were much too big for a newborn. They would have swallowed her at 7 lbs 4.5 oz, and so I reluctantly busted out the disposables that I'd been given (against my wishes) for the day when my cloth diaper pipe dreams failed. Once using the disposables, I worried that in comparison I wouldn't want to switch to cloth--that I'd be spoiled to the convenience of simply throwing the thing away. A few weeks ago I tested Evie in the cloth diapers for the first time.

Soon my fears were assuaged and after about a week now of using only the cloth diapers, I'm getting fully into the routine with them and am quite pleased. They are washing very well and aren't at all the hassle I'd feared. Evie seems to like them and I'm pleased we're not creating as much waste as we were before. I mean, this girl can poop. It boggles the mind to imagine a pile out there somewhere of all the used diapers she could go through.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Counting Down

countdown October

I'm the kind of person who is a little preoccupied, some might say, oh--obsessed--with calendars and planning and such. One way in which this preoccupation manifests itself is in the form of countdowns. If you've known me for any length of time you know this is something I do, and that I find many things that are worthy of a countdown.

Both this deployment and last I've done a countdown with candy. It allows me to have something sweet everyday with no risk of overindulging (RUIN THE COUNTDOWN? ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!). This time around I used Everlasting Gobstoppers and thought I would post a picture of the progress. The jar began maybe a little more than 3/4 full, so we're on our way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me!




Justin was concerned because he was delayed in ordering an anniversary present for me this year. Ummm, hello?? It's more than okay, given the circumstances! In fact, it sort of made things more fun, spreading out the celebration to more like an anniversary season. A few days ago in the mail I received a package, a package I did not order--the customs form listed the contents as "books"--18 lbs worth. This, for a girl who was proposed to in a Barnes and Noble could not be more exciting.

I rushed home and discovered with glee 6 books, all dealing with various artists and the process of art making. Justin is so supportive of my journey to become an illustrator. He's always encouraging me to draw, and thus the cards he ordered attached to the gift wrapping could not be more appropriate, or make me smile more.

More pictures...just because.









I think this is a beautiful color on Evie. I've been trying to get some pictures of her in it for about a week and a half now, but she seems to almost immediately spit up on herself when wearing it. I just found out that the moon is glow in the dark too!
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