Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tea Party

This is apparently the boy version of a tea party. O and S pulled out our step stool, grabbed a few glass vases and sat down and delicately perched their toy cars in their fancy teacups.

Friday, 13 April 2012

After putting O and S to bed, I took a little while to cuddle J before he fell asleep. When his moans trailed off and his eyes more or less permanently closed, I went to lay him down in the now quiet and dark nursery. From the corner I heard O's sweet voice, "Sebastian's car?"

He wanted to take S's little toy car to bed so I asked him where it was. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you know where Sebastian's car is?

O (in a Boston accent for no explicable reason): Yeah. I put it somewheh.

Me (all full of hope for a quick toy find): Where did you put it?

O (still from Boston): Sebastian had it and then he gave it to me and then I put it somewheh. I don't know wheh I put it. I put it somewheh.

We have a lot of conversations like this. So much time and empty hope could be saved if he just said no.

And the P.S. to this story? As I finished typing this post, I went back into the room to check on the boys. O informed me that he had found the car. Sigh of relief, until he used his very next exhale to say he didn't know wheh it was and that he put it somewheh. After putting my cheeks to some very dirty floors to look under some very huge fur/post-pregnancy hair loss hairballs, Bastian's car was found. In the car basket.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

I love projects. I especially love to start projects. I love coming up with projects to do. Dreaming about working on projects. Shopping for supplies for projects. Staying up late at night thinking about projects. Making lists of the steps and things I need to finish a project. Planning how I'm going to sneak moments into my day to work on said project. I love that moment I finally put my hands on a new project. I love that moment I'm in the middle of a project when I know enough about what I'm doing to let myself be absorbed in it, after I've suffered through all my failed beginning attempts and found my rhythm. I love that moment I finally put my hands down and realize that a project is complete and good enough (perfection isn't in my reality).

I just kind of struggle in a couple of points in a project timeline. The first stall comes right after purchasing supplies and right before actually picking up those supplies for the purpose of using them. The second stall comes right after I've made the first few frustrating attempts at trying something new and being forced to stare at a concrete example of my imperfections, inadequacies, and utter failure to fulfill my expectations of myself.

I've come to realize that I have a huge amount of fear in my life. I'm afraid of so many things. I won't list them here but I will mention one huge fear-- the fear of failure. It paralyzes me and helps fuel those stalls in my many many projects, both dreamed about and begun but not completed. So here is my attempt to force myself to push through that fear. I am listing my projects here so that they are out there and holding me to some amount of accountability.

So far on my list of projects to work on that I keep on my nightstand are the following:

Julian's birth announcements (Oh yes, I have had them here for about three months now but, you know... holidays...three kids...ear infections...buying cat food...ok fine, making them a priority.)
Vests for Oliver's school (Um, yes, I committed to sewing 60 little vests for our little preschool because I am filled with hope and delusions.)
Floral botanical Rorschach cutout (Just click on the link if you're curious.)
Blown up photos of baby's breath (They are the flowers we used at our wedding that I plan on using as some art for our bedroom.)
Smoke wheel photo (again, because of delusions but I have the perfect spot to put it if it's ever done)
Black and white crane mobile for Julian's bed (actually did complete one for Sebastian)
Mapplethorpe-ish photos of the boys (You may have seen my beginnings in that one and here we are at a stall.)
Smoke photos (just think they're pretty)
Butterfly painting (a big big big one)
Star painting (a big big big one but a lot less work than a butterfly one)
Alphabet book for the boys
Bleaching a shirt I accidentally bleached part of so that it looks like I did it on purpose
Sewing stronger elastic in the waistbands of some of O's pants (Most likely will just be put off until he grows into them. Until then his pants will just keep falling down at school-- nothing traumatizing there)
Organize the desk and closets (Already have a pretty collection of tins and boxes to use. Cue stall)
Knit a scarf (prep work for the next project)
Knit a blanket (Spent an awful lot on supplies for this one because the knitting shop wa sjust so sweet and cozy. Also, it was supposed to be for Sebastian last year.)
Pillows for the sofa (Not actually sure what I mean. Did I mention I come up with a lot of these late at night and write them down in a bit of a haze. Seriously, what do I mean?)
Photo of the world according to O (Or the world according to him back when he was about 18mos. Got to learn Photoshop for this one and.... stall.)
Monthly photo of Julian (Four month photo-check.)
Line drawing of Julian nursing (All I need to do is learn how to draw figures for this one. Easy peasy.)

While typing this I came up with a few more. Ah failure, thy name is Marie.

P.S. Anyone have any great projects for me to dream about and write on my list late at night and go buy stuff for so that I can feel comfortable surrounded by my mounds of potential (that's what I've decided to think of my mounds of unfinished and unstarted projects as)?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I came across the above images on one of the blogs I read. They're by photographer Edward Mapplethorpe, who takes the photos on the child's first birthday. I love the simple composition of the photos and the way it allows each child's personality to really show itself.

For a while now I've been wanting to blow up photos of each of the boys to hang over their cribs but I haven't been able to find the right pictures. When I saw the Mapplethorpe series, I fell in love and knew I had found my inspiration. I'm toying with the idea of taking similar photos on each boy's birthday to kind of document their growth. So I started playing around with my camera and took the photos below. I've uploaded an album of some of the cutest shots from my Mapplethorpe inspired series but I warn you, you probably only want to take a peak if you're really interested in seeing photos of my boys. The album can be found here.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

If we lived closer...

...you could help me decide: reindeer skin or IKEA wool shag? Personally I like the skin there. Don't know why I was so surprised at how thick reindeer fur is. The wool shag is groovy and I love the way it kind of shimmers in the morning light but I hate when it's dirty and I feel guilty enough to spend an afternoon washing it int he bathtub.

I bought the reindeer skin because Andrew was coughing a lot from all the little wool hairs floating around our sitting area. Turns out he's allergic to reindeer, too. So we're making a choice based on aesthetics and laziness. Your vote?

A is for....


I've been wanting to write about this guy for a while now and since he's out getting some drinks with a friend, I get to do it without him around. He'd probably be quite annoyed if he knew I was doing this and I'm hoping he won't delete the post. But today I had one of those times where I realize just how wonderful he is and I have to share despite being warned by a friend who was warned by someone in her church not to brag about your husband because then someone might want to steal him. I'm going to brag, but I don't thing anyone reading this is out to steal him, right?

When we got married, Andrew's grandfather officiated and I kept telling Andrew to ask him not to mention eternity. I knew I loved Andrew. I knew marrying him was the right and best decision. I just didn't want to think about an eternity. I knew every day I couldn't wait to see him the next day and the next day came and it was the same thing. I knew eternity was built on chains of todays and tomorrows and each of those would be spent either with him or wanting to be with him, but taking it all in one chunk seemed like too heavy a weight. I also knew that for me, the longer I spend with someone, the more I love them.

We've been married nearly ten years and I still feel the same, minus the fear of forever. Here's the thing, Andrew is the most selfless man I know. He gives and gives and gives so much that I'm afraid it has turned me a bit spoiled and perhaps made me insensitive to his kindnesses. That's why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to put into words all those little things he does that I should but don't thank him properly for.

Andrew comes home from a long day of work and takes over feeding and bathing and putting to bed all three boys as much as is necessary for me to be able to exercise. That's manly. But even more, he has never complained about it and treats that time as if it is as much of a priority for him as it is for me. That's gentlemanly.

Andrew comes home for lunch every day to help me feed and put the boys down for naps so that they can sleep at the same time and I can have some quiet time. He could be going to lunch with guys from the office or could just use his lunch to eat and relax and de-stress, but he doesn't.

Andrew does the grocery shopping every Saturday, sometimes with me and the boys, and sometimes alone. We do a big weekly shop to take some of the stress out of the week but it's a GIANT pain. Andrew does it and doesn't complain. That's manly (even if he's pulling one of those old lady grocery carts). Some weeks he does it with a couple of the boys, without me. That's gentlemanly (especially when he's got a kid strapped to his chest and is pulling the old lady cart).

Andrew has been known to incite the ire of some of my friends' husbands as my friends tell them what Andrew does. But then they all love him because the guy is just fun to hang out with. One of my favorite things to do is watch him interact with his friends and my friends. I feel like his charm outshines my social awkwardness so I can just bask in its glow.

Andrew works hard. The man fulfills his duties and obligations no matter how irksome they are to him. And he keeps his cool most of the time. When he doesn't, it's kind of exciting. He has so many different personalities to deal with at work but manages to be incredibly diplomatic and sensitive without getting caught up in personal dramas. And then he comes home and deals with three little boys and a usually cranky wife.

Andrew has a habit of going after bad guys. A few weeks ago he threw his bike at a purse snatcher. A week ago he caught a guy getting into someone else's backpack. For some reason, the American in me tends to cheer him on until the wife and mother in me catches on and realizes how dangerous that can be around here. Fortunately this latest episode only resulted in Andrew needing to get a haircut and put in his contacts to disguise himself from the neighborhood do-no-gooders for a few days. That'll fool them, I'm sure.

Most of all, Andrew puts up with things like me spending our last night in Florence searching for the perfect ice cream bar after spending all day looking for the perfect but expensive leather jacket and getting the just right last pizza. I thought he was going to leave me after that one, but he didn't. Maybe he just didn't want to waste the plane ticket back. He understands my obsessive need for things like made beds and picking up before I eat and he doesn't try to change them. I, on the other hand, can't help but tease him by flipping one or two light switches the wrong way in his parents' basement because I know how much it bugs him to have them not going the same way.

Sorry for the long post and please feel free to skip it. He wasn't supposed to be gone this long but I got to let a few things out. Andrew, I see the things you do for me and for us and for others and I just wanted to thank you.

P.S. Andrew's birthday is coming up. Anyone have any fun Andrew stories or things you love about him you'd be willing to share?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

So I have been obsessed with this flat for some time now. It is decorator David Collins' London apartment and I love everything about it. If you click on the link above you can see more. What really captured me, though, was the artwork. I have spent way too much time and brain power trying to figure out how that giant purple piece was created and if I can in any way reproduce it.

And tonight, success! Well, in one respect. Found out who did it, and am fairly certain I'll never be able to reproduce anything like it. Grrrr. It wasn't until I figured out who did it that I could even figure out what it was. I was about to go sourcing large pieces of silk to dye because I thought maybe that's what it was. Turns out it is a super secret photographic process developed by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans.

I really hate discussing art because I spend huge amounts of time thinking about it but any time I try to put thoughts into words, they seem to go through a process that sucks any intelligence out of them and the resulting words are kind of like talking to O. Random ramblings that may or may not make any sense and may or may not express what I'm thinking. So all I can say about this series by Tillmans is that I am fascinated by how familiar something so foreign appears. I've noticed this theme come up other times with other artworks I fall asleep with swirling through my brain.

Any ideas how I can recreate these?