Friday, February 29, 2008

Call me something! Anything! Please!

Say "Mama" ...say it, come on.... SAY it! Nearly two and a half years old, you would think she had this down! I can get her to say the sounds...bribed by chocolate. It’s a defining moment in motherhood, right? That sweet expression of love from baby uttering that word for you alone. Well, I've always wanted to be a "mama" anyway. Boo won't say "Mom" or "Dad" or call anyone, anything.
Then recently...out walking the kids in the wagon, Boo turned around and said something. Wait a minute....was that "hi"....or even "Hi, Deedee?" "Honey, I think she just said Hi to her sister!” I know it didn't sound like it, but those sounds were definitely directed to Little Bay and I know she said "hi!" I think she called someone, something! Spontaneously! Woo Hoo!
But wait...she's been calling someone else something. It came to me in the near dream/wake period of sleep last night. "Jeejeez." Boo calls Jesus, "Jeejeez." And has been for some time. That's the first name she learned and identifies??? That's cool. She is calling Jesus by name...identifying him by picture...calling him by name. She hasn’t done that for anyone.

On a trip to Las Vegas last weekend to see the cousins, we brought the portable DVD player to entertain during driving time. I’ve mentioned that Boo’s favorite videos are Baby Signing Time. Not this trip! “Jeejeez” she would ask for over and over again. Joy to the World. The Christmas video about the birth of Christ. It has songs by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in-between excerpts of the story of Christ. It’s well done, but not in any special way catered to kids. Boo LOVES this DVD. I think it’s the music. Home from the trip, we were running some errands and every time we got back in the car it was “Jeejeez, Jeejeez.” We weren’t even in the same vehicle and I had to keep telling her, no sorry, we don’t have the DVD here. This went on for the entire day and the next. I started to get a little concerned. “Are you trying to tell me something, Boo?” “Are you seeing something I’m not?” “Are you trying to prepare me for something?” I know, I know…but mom’s get a little freaked out when their kids do these sorts of things.
Or, I could look at it as Boo just being closer to that Heavenly world than the rest of us, and perhaps this is why she is taking so long to talk. “Oh the things I would tell you, Mom, if I only could!”

Kids express their love in other ways, aside from calling you those endearing, wonderful, completely normal things like…mom. Boo gives hugs. Awesome hugs. Little arms, full bodied, big grinning hugs. I’ll take that expression of love.
And this week, Little Bay clearly said “mama,” just for me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why-o why-o why-o do my goldfish die-o?

I like fish in the house. Boo learned to say and sign “fishies” with the little guys. They are peaceful and if the tank is clean, decorative. Some feng shui tips about keeping fish to bring fortune only added to the benefit, but that actually turned out to be more of a fresh running water issue and the fish merely decoration and you had to place them correctly and…. Anyway!
They keep dying!
Why do they die?! We had a set of goldfish for about 10 years (a guy asked my sister to a high school dance by filling the bathtub with water and goldfish... "of all the fish in the sea...." blah, blah, blah). Well, they died in the latest move (sad, tragic story). Now we've been through about 5 more sets of goldfish and two Plecostomus or 'sucker' fish.
Why do they die!!
We tested the water. It's fine. We have a filter. We grow algae. HELP!
I think rules of feng shui would be telling us that the tank is incorrectly positioned in the house and very soon we will go bankrupt.
Now we are trying mollies and platies. Hearty little fish. And they are living! Guess we can put off that bankruptcy for a while.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Children's Literature

I LOVE children's literature. I love the pictures! I was invited to a critique group made up of illustrators and artists and have really enjoyed getting back into the world of art. It's been too long!
So, my latest 'masterpiece' is a book dedicated to, written for, and written 'by' my daughters. It uses only words known by Boo. It's the adventures of Boo and Little Bay together; and, I love how it turned out. Oh, I don't think my art is fabulous, they were quick, fun sketches. Nor it will be a Caldecott winner. But it turned out just the way I wanted it to. I scanned their clothes to use as the backgrounds (great idea from a friend!). The objects in the story are photos of their objects. Above all it serves it's purpose: the girls love it too.

Scrapbooking is Definitely ART

This is an area of 'art' where I definitely could use help. I consider it my sister-in-laws specialty and when it comes to real embellishments and cardstock, I will let her have it! (She has tried to convince me otherwise!) Now, I made this scrapbook page digitally using Paint Shop Pro, and I love the page (I copied the idea from a scrapbook magazine). But it took me SOOOO long to do it. I had to make every embellishment; every little bit you see was pieced together. I know there are faster ways to do this. I just don't know those ways.


My good friend and sister-in-law says that with every stage in a child’s life you gain something, and you lose something. So true. Like putting away those 0-3 month clothes because baby is too chubby to wear them anymore. But she’s also giggling for the first time.
"You never gain something but that you lose something." - Henry David Thoreau
Babies are a miracle. They are expression. They are art. They are entertaining. Couldn't you just watch them forever? Especially those firsts. We caught this first of Little Bay's on Sunday.

A Great Man

I'd like to express my love and admiration to a great man who passed away this month.

President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley. I am certain the reunion in the heavens is great. Especially with his dear little wife.

It reminds me of the poem from Hospice, to paraphrase, as a large ship is going over the horizon, people on this side are saying "there he goes," while those on the other side are saying, HERE HE COMES!

Artistic expression through clothes

I have so much fun outfitting my girls. Not in the “make a statement” stylish approach. I know very little of style, nor do I care for the most part whether or not I’ve followed the latest fashion. More like, their clothing is my palette. Colors. Materials. Knits. Patterns. I take Great-Grandpa's interior decorating advice and apply it to clothing: Choose your base material then pick your colors from that piece. Seems to me that anything goes if you stick with that instruction. Layers. Stripes with flowers. Home made bows. Not too girly, please. Gimme pink only if you can balance it with brown. Matching...or not.

Expression through flannel boards

Boo has found expression in flannel board stories. Well, two particular characters for the most part. They are Bible stories and each time she plays with them she picks out David (from David and Goliath; he's even holding little stones) and Elijah. I don't know why she chooses these two. I have a thought that Elijah looks like the pictures of Jesus she’s seen, making him a familiar character. Stone carrying David, I don’t know. She ‘walks’ them and carries them around like they are little friends.

Weight Loss Competition

When I care, how I look can effect my mood and imagination. The family has started a Weight Loss Competition. Actually two: one on each side of the family. We decided to loose a percentage and maintain for 4-6 months. We put in money for a prize reward going to those who have kept their goal.

I've found that my favorite workout so far is "Dance Baby Dance" a dvd for the postnatal mom to dance with baby. Boo loves to watch it with me. Not dance to it. I can get her to dance occasionally. Little Bay on the other hand, loves to dance with me! It almost puts her to sleep, but she doesn't want to be put down.

I'm a nursing mommy so I am starving a lot of the time. To loose this weight, I have made a goal. I eat MORE! haha. No, it’s true. I have five eating times a day...or six. I eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and then maybe a snack. It’s basically the girls eating schedule. The goal is that during these times I EAT. Even if I'm busy, I take a moment to remember that I NEED to eat, or I will be hungry and eat without thinking. This way, I am THINKING about what I eat before I'm starving. I have some healthy choices handy and I grab them to eat usually while I'm getting the girls food. It's been great because I have to think about food, which makes me NOT think about food as much. Sounds odd, but it's working for me.

Expression through Sign Language

Language has come at it's own pace for Boo. We began teaching her sign at a very early age, but she didn't pick up on it (or maybe we didn't?). When she didn’t even babble until she was over a year old, we started signing again, this time with more effort. At around 21 months she began to sign with "more" and "please" and language has taken off from there! Now she begins to recognize that speaking is even faster than signing and her vocabulary is building daily. (More work for me. I understood her rubbing her tummy for ‘please’ much easier than I identify the ‘eeez’ of ‘please’ from ‘eeez’ of cheese).

Baby Signing Time has been her choice (or is it really mine?) of the signing videos we've shared with her. She learns the signs quickly because it is set to music! (Or is it me that picks up on it more quickly because it is set to music?)
At Christmas time she was able to meet the cast and she was captivated. (She is signing "cracker" in the above picture.)

Enjoying the art of Riverdance

We bought one Christmas gift for one another: Tickets to see the performance of Riverdance at the University of Utah Kingsbury Hall.
We took Grandpapa, while Grandma babysit (she received tickets to see Wicked).
The performance: Wow. Amazing.
How do you start your kids in this kind of dancing?

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2007 we decided to exchange gifts that expressed a service to one another. I really enjoyed doing this! For my husband I attempted a quilt from his old t-shirt logos. By no means do I sew, but I have a hand me down machine that I occupy myself with and I did manage to get the thing pieced together. I wanted it to have a theme (guess I like themes). I randomly searched the internet and found this nice lady to machine embroider the first two lines of Robert Browning’s poem: Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be!

My husband loved the quilt, poorly made as it was.
For me he made a photo montage tribute to ME! I loved it! We watched it on his laptop during Christmas breakfast. The most meaningful part was the music he chose. He divided the slideshow into themes: my adventures, my creativity, me as a mother, and me as his wife. Very sweet. (a little self-conscious watching a tribute to oneself)

Here is where an interesting thing happened. One of the songs he chose, a song he had not heard before he chose it: Peter Brienholt's "God Bless this Love" begins with the first two lines of Robert Browning’s poem: Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be!

Expression of the Holidays!

During Christmas of 2007 we had some family living away (some for the first time) in sunny, snowless areas of the world. We missed them and wanted to share some of our snow and Christmas with them. I made this little 4 min video of the girls performing to their favorite version of Jingle Bells.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A little Political expression

I rarely do this, and will probably never do it again on this blog: that is, talk of politics. Even at my level. If you are into politics, here is my little blurp, that is all. I mostly just listen, form my judgments, and vote.

My husband likes politics. He's not the type to get into heated arguments, but he will ask you your sources and make sure you can back your opinions with fact. He likes to know what is going on and form educated opinions. This is why I value his information. We learn about it together or he updates me and explains different things so I can form my opinions.
I realize it's a little late to post support for this candidate, but we were for Mitt Romney and are disappointed that he is no longer in the race. There are many whys, and I've linked a few websites that explain those, because this is not one of those websites. We just wanted to give expression to our support. Thanks!

The Early Years

My husband suggested this be a 'webpage' for my artwork. To his credit, I suppose that he believes I’m selling myself short by not trying to display, sell, publish, or in any ambitious way make money from my artistic efforts. Cause he thinks I'm good. :) My thoughts on this have always been: once I do try to sell and have to conform to please the money…I won’t enjoy it anymore. I also feel the lack of education, talent, and time put in required to ‘be really good’ enough to actually make money off of my creative endeavors. Maybe I'm just scared. But lets go back a few (several) years to give you some of my art history. It's a sample. A fun, varied one.

To start: a really old work. My Young Women Personal Progress Project. We posted them with coordinating flowers on the church grounds. Idea from the Salt Lake City Beehive House.

The following are from High School. What fun to go back and see this stuff!

We drew this on the walls of my college apartments at Ricks College. When the manager saw it he was pretty upset; but, he calmed down when we showed him how easily these washable crayons come off.

Washable crayons again. I drew these on the walls for my sister's kids. I've always loved Disney!

This was in my sister's bedroom.

Oil painting class at BYU.

The home I grew up in. My art teacher didn't like this because he didn't like to put surreal, religious stuff in paintings. Oh well, families can be forever, right!

Just some sketches.

Pumpkin art. I mostly just painted them...but I had some fun with this one.

Watercolor card made for one of the girls in my Young Women's class.

When we lived in Dillingham, Alaska
we were able to enjoy the culture, the dance, the costume. They were a great people.

Carving from whale bone or walrus tusk was common. This is a digital piece I was having fun with for the logo of a local radio station.

In our second year of marriage, my husband and I took a tour through Europe for a couple of months. We got to see areas of his Mission in Italy, and meet old friends. It was an amazing trip. I guess I just couldn't get enough of it. This is my husband's dresser.

Alaska again. We had a luau for the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation. This is one of those boards you put your face into and take a picture.

Watercolor for a friend who liked cows.

Watercolor for a friend who liked frogs.

Some more pumpkin art.



"Aww, you made me ink!"

My nephew in pencil.

This was for a friend in Alaska. Her son. Oil painting.

A cousin of my husband.

This is all for this entry, now I will just add as I do more work. Thanks for looking!
My poor kid during Halloween.