Sunday, April 7, 2013

My babies

Here is Clara 3.5 years old and Jack 8 months. Normally Clara just does her thing and occasionally grabs things from Jack's hands, mildly upsetting him. Or loving on him dramatically, also mildly upsetting. But mostly ignoring him.
  But sometimes Jack fights back.

Actually, despite the evil look on his face, I think Jack innocently caught his fingers in her tangled rats nest. That's the only way I can get her to let me comb her hair. I tell her about all the rats that are stuck in her hair, while I yank them out. "Oh there's grandpa rat, he really doesn't want to leave your nice sweet rats nest. Come on! Get out of there!" Clara's fascinated by the rat colony that resides on her head.

Clara is pretty funny. I love talking to her, she says the funniest things. She is one of those kids who can never actually stop talking or moving. Here is a list of her favorite things right now:

  1. dressing up to pretend and dance
  2. Fancy nancy tea parties (recently discovered checked out a Fancy Nancy book from the library)
  3. playing with friends
  4. playing with friends
  5. playing with friends
She's obsessed with playing with friends lately, which is perfectly wonderful. And it would be more wonderful if we had some live in friends. So she is constantly begging me to go to friends houses or invite her friends over to play. Luckily we have some great neighbors with kids about her age so she gets to play with friends at least once a day, at least since everyone is starting to come out of winter hibernation.

Jack is a pretty chill baby. Well, a little less so now that he is getting to be more mobile, but still so much more laid back than Clara ever was. He's pretty content most of the time to play with his toys or observe the craziness that is Clara. These are his favorite things right now:
  1. Stand up
  2. feed himself
  3. put everything in his mouth
  4. not sleep
  5. the remote control
But mostly just stand up. If I want to have him sit I have to physically bend his knees because he won't sit down voluntarily. He just wants to stand up, he recently started shuffling from side to side, holding onto thing (I would say 'cruising' but that would be misleading it's definitely more of a slow shuffle) and sometimes letting go for a few seconds and balancing before crashing down. We love him, he's so happy and full of cuteness.

And that is all for now! Until next year.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm going to start throwing stuff out on this blog that I don't want to forget. I'm terrible about writing things down and I need to record things so Clara will know she existed as a child. And not just any child, but also extremely opinionated, verbose, and a little bit strange child.

-her practice of tucking anything and everything into bed, at anytime, and anyplace. Mostly this involves her collection of stuffed animals, which she loves loves loves, but it's not limited to the logical. My favorite is when she made me lay down, covered me with a blanket and told me to sleep. At first I tried to get back up after a minute, but after she shouted me back down, I realized this was actually a fantastic opportunity to rest for a bit.

Here's the photographic evidence. Top left: all the crew (okay, part of the crew) tucked into bed. If she runs out of blankets she layers her clothes into a stuffed animal and t-shirt trifle. Top right, rubber ducky all cozy on the bathroom floor. Bottom left, jar of daphnea that Cameron brought home from the lab tucked under a blanket of magazines. Bottom right, a block of wood tucked under a block of wood blanket on a block of wood pillow. You'll just have to trust me on that one.

-extremely opinionated. Do not try to argue or rationalize with this girl. We've had heated debates about whether Mowgli from the Jungle Book is a boy or a girl. Also whether or not the apostle Boyd K. Packer is male or female. I can understand the confusion regarding Mowgli, but I can't quite see where she's coming from with the other one. Back me up here:

-related to Disney movies, since we've been watching them quite a bit since my mom donated her VHS collection to us. I loved it when Clara would refer to me as "my darling" or "my little darling", as in "come here my little darling, sit down". She would also occasionally address me as "your majesty" as in "yes, your majesty" which I thoroughly enjoyed, although I don't know if I should be too flattered considering most Disney "Majesties" are pretty wicked or obnoxious. Still. Sad when that phase ended.

-Clara recently completed potty training with flying colors. I was dreading it, but it ended up being pretty painless. Needless to say, bowel movements have been a pretty hot topic around here. This is a conversation the other day:
clara: momma! momma! Come LOOK!!!!! Come look what I did in the toilet!
me: (admiringly) Wow, that's really nice Clara. Good job.
clara: it's kinda scraggly isn't it? (long pause as we contemplate)...but I still like it.

and this is a collaborative drawing we did. I drew a snowman and was then art directed to draw the rest of the snowman family. With cheese hats and faces. At a park.  Clara then took over and drew them each a toilet with pee and poo coming out of them. She then directed me to write what each was saying. Note: this is not related to any actual events.

mother snowman: You went poo in the park!
little snowman: Oh sorry mama, I went poo.
father snowman: We better get you some new undies!

Do I have a budding award-winning screen writer on my hands here or what?

Well that's about all for now. I'm going to try to be back here more regularly as life occurs. I'm sure this was super boring for anyone not related to my darling offspring or really into poop, in fact, if you are still reading I suggest you unsubscribe now, as things are probably not going to get more interesting around here anytime soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

no news is good news

I think I am going to relegate this blog entirely to cute stuff my kid says. Because it's way more interesting then all this crafty junk. Actually I am moving my business/illustration stuff elsewhere, but now for the funny quotation.

We were driving home from church when Clara says from the back seat, "I not ugly. no. I not ugly." We laugh, "you're not ugly Clara?" "NO," she says, "I not ugly like Papa."

From anyone else that would've been pretty rude, but coming from this impish two year old, it was pretty funny. No hard feelings. Just the other day she said, "papa is best my friend." which puts him in a elite group consisting of me, the neighbor, her stuffed bear and a spoon.

Uncle Keith and Clara in Washington

And here is the little worm with the fakest smile ever. Or at least that's what happened when we told her to smile.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I have the best genes

After raising bunches of kids and channeling her creative energies into amazing birthday cakes and prom dresses (thanks mom) for many years, my mother has dove back into the fine art world. She's been studying and painting pretty intensively the past few years and this year she's been entering contests and really making a splash. She's won some awards already alongside well established artists and no wonder really because she's, well, amazing.

I helped her out by making a website to showcase her latest work, which you can find here at Check it out. And if you have lots of money, you should consider commissioning a work of art because you'll probably get a steal compared to her prices in ten years.

Mom's website

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watch as I master blogger

I'm trying to figure out how to post bigger pictures from Flickr on here. So here goes. If this works you will see the following pictures (and a follow up from last post):


a. A shirt I sewed for myself, from Simplicity pattern 2856 or something like that. I just went and looked at the pattern and forgot the number on the way back to the computer. It was an easy sew, but the neckline was pretty low, so if I were to make it again I would bring it in an inch or so. Great fit otherwise. And I especially love this fabric I got at the thrift store. Some sort of lovely linen blend with a great pattern. I wish I could get more of it actually.

the tomatoes!

b. My tomato garden. It's about a 5' square patch of solid tomato. Like a tomato plant cube that is spilling over into the herbs and melons. Don't know what I'm going to do with all those tomatoes when they get ripe, but I'm sure it will be delicious. If only I could get Clara to eat some too. And my yogurt turned out great by the way! I already made another batch and frozen yogurt twice and ate it all (with some help from Clara) I'm also about five pounds heavier since last week, I'm addicted. If I had to choose one food, right now, to live on and only that, it would be frozen yogurt.

evening walk

c. An illustration I did a long time ago, which I have been printing out over and over again to try and figure out my $%#^@ photoshop printing problem. Everything prints out dark from Photoshop! but if I place the same file into an illustrator document and print it out, it's perfect. I can't figure it out. I've been learning all sorts of things I never wanted to know about color profiling mumbo jumbo and it's not helped one bit. OK, going to push the publish button now and see how it looks.

Friday, July 29, 2011

evening musings

I had a good evening tonight. After the little one was in bed, I sewed myself a fancy dress and made yogurt. Feels so good to make. We'll see if the yogurt turned out tomorrow morning. This is my first time making yogurt from scratch, although that's pretty much the only kind I ever experienced growing up. I spent a good a portion of my week also dry canning various beans, wheats, and dry milk in the dining room for our food storage. It was also surprisingly satisfying, I felt very Little Red Hen. Even though I didn't actually grow any wheat myself, I am making yogurt from dry milk. I'm still a hen.

I did harvest three cucumbers from my garden today though. Makes me feel less like a complete failure as a gardener. My zucchini plant is about dead. How do you kill zucchini? I don't even know how it happened, but I know it takes something special to fail at zucchini growing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

e-books for kids

This is an interesting post by Scott McLeod on the transition of children's books from print to digital. I have mixed feelings about it. I love sitting with Clara and reading a book, but the convenience of the digital form could be super nice. And I think digital books really are the future, so why not learn how to read from an e-book? At the same time, it's just not the same as having beautiful illustrations and words in your hands. I watched a few examples of ebooks for children and most were filled with weird, distracting animation, like you touch part of the picture and it gets big and floats away. I liked this one though, I don't think the animations detract from the fabulous illustrations, and I love Helena Bonham Carter's narration. I can't resist a good British accent.