Friday, February 26, 2010

UnCreative Soul

I understand spiritual direction is challenging work to explain. I am helping many of my peers with their websites and find the right words is the biggest challenge. Today I had my first official client via a gift certificate. Let's just say this client would have never come had the gift giver not been so excited about giving it. Among the questions I received during the session filled with bitterness was "Where do you store you baby during this?" This lady thought I was going to try to get her to join a cult and told me everything I need to change with my business, including creating a parking lot at my house. I am happy with my presence as the director during the session, but I am just drained from her. I guess it is good to get the worst over with first in order to move forward. Hopefully she will not be my only.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Yesterday was my birthday. I spent some of the day working, some cleaning the house and then in the evening Shannon threw me a Batman-themed birthday party. We had six friends over (three couples) and their kids. We know them from different stages in our lives and while it seems like they might not all have much in common with each other, I think everybody had a good time. Our friends Sadie and Jason, whose daughter is a month younger than Link, had the same midwife we did (that's how we met). Shannon felt that they bridge the gap between the interests of the other two couples.

And I bridge the gap between the adults and the kids because I wanted to play Lego Batman with the kids (which I did after everyone went home). Shannon got me the game as a gift.

For dinner we had cream of broccoli soup (my mom's recipe), salad with cranberries and sunflower seeds, fresh bread, and baked potatoes.

I made a lemon cake (from a box, but still delicious) and was happy to use our mixer, which I've neglected for the couple years we've had it. It's awesome. I also made some lemon bars to give our neighbors, Josh and Kari, because whenever there's a lot of snow, Josh plows the sidewalk for the whole block with his four-wheeler. (I think he enjoys doing it, but deserves to be thanked anyway.)

I got many warm wishes for my birthday. Phil, Teresa, Naomi and Erika sent a cool home-made card of lion faces (with movable mandibles). My parents sent me a biography of Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Motivation Low

I have no motivation to work. I am in the spend and not earn mind set this week. I had two business ideas this week.

The first, I canceled the baby expo because I planned it on Easter and we will be in Columbus then, so Brenda is collaborating with me on something bigger in Rochester. So doing some baby steps to get that started. She stopped by when she came for a cpr class at the hospital and we had a lot of fun sharing ideas and catching up. I miss her.

The second, I am getting beat out of the market by photographers in the area who are doing cool things with babies and senior photos. All I really want to do is photojournalism weddings, but other people who don't like weddings so I think I am going to rename the business and focus on doing photography books. Such as a wedding story, a baby story, etc. Using some of the photojournalism I have already done I am going to make some books first to see if I like it. Because I want the "story" aspect of my photography I am thinking about Phairy Tale Photography as the title. What are your thoughts?

A couple of days ago I slipped on the ice while skipping along to the mailbox. I totally gashed my elbow, but ran inside fast because it was the beginning of school and lots of cars were going by so I was embarrassed. I think that had an impact on volleyball when I crashed into a teammate. I totally dislocated my elbow. We almost won two of our games this time. I am starting to really dislike one of my teammates who is really competitive. Although she is an average player, she thinks she is better than everyone so is running after everything, screwing up a lot of our plays.

On a more motivational high note, I finally got my family out the door on a Sunday morning to visit Gentry's church in McGregor. I have heard lots of good things and have wanted to try it out for a while. It was really nice as it was a small congregation with lots of kids Link's age so I didn't care when he was making noise and the couples were very friendly. In addition Gentry was lively. Bryce's comment was something like "What a difference a little enthusiasm makes." Gentry also brings a little bit of that black cadence and hop in the step in his sermons which makes you pay attention. Now I need to find out what the church's creed is and maybe we will attend.

Friday, February 19, 2010

all in a day

sometimes link utterly amazes me. all in one day he release a whole new set of skills. today he taught himself how to wave goodbye, how to look shy by turning his head into my shoulder and batting hi eyes, and how to make a fun noise by saying "ahh" when you pat his belly. what a brain!

on other news, he is working on new teeth. i see the teething rubbing, but no pearls before the buds. he also is showing he has rhythm, stomping his foot or shaking his head when we put music on or sing to him. and the shrieking continues as well as more leg kicking (which I think goes along with crawling, if he would just do that while being on his belly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

101 List Progress

I have checked off quite a few lately. The newest being joining a monthly baby group. In actuality I just started to hang out with my mommy friends once a week, which is good to go. I also finally have the art studio clean and am working in it.

Today my mad art skills came out. I am doing art on a cart with volunteers every Thursday in the elementary. This week the art lesson teacher couldn't make it, so I stepped in. Charles, the art history part, got confused from last time and had a different lesson than the art we were doing. So, I ran home and got the watercolor supplies and quickly got the pages cut and the stencils on while he was teaching.
The class went well and the kids enjoyed the work they did. Afterwards, Charles (who I highly admire as he was a teacher in Berkley during his prime) gave me the greatest compliment of the day. "You have excellent classroom interaction skills."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weathering a Fat Tuesday

I didn't even realize it was Fat Tuesday until I just glimpsed at something on the Internet faintly Mardi Gras related. So odd that last year we celebrated SO big and this year I didn't even know it was happening.

I still had a fantastic day however. We had our house looked at for weatherization through a grant program I heard about. After our evaluation we are getting a new fridge, furnace, water heater, and a bunch of other stuff like door weatherization and more insulation blew into our walls all for free! Well, we could pay $75 if we want an ice maker on our fridge, but we opted out. Whoopee! What a GIGANTIC savings! If this year has taught me one thing, it is to ask. I think we are getting all this because there hasn't been a whole lot of participants and all you have to do is ask for an evaluation.

To celebrate Fat Tuesday and our grant we called up Frederique and Brian who were out with Lee and Diane and met up with them at Jodi's in Monona. For everyone but me it was the first time they ate there. As I said to Bryce on the way home "I think they didn't hate it." Which is a compliment for two of the pickiest foodies I know. They spent too much time in Boston.

On a side note, Lee and Diane, who run the theater are pleasing me to pieces. Besides bringing 3D to the theater they are now cooking food. I have had two amazing Chicago Hot Dogs and they are showing movies at more times. 4 and 7:30 rather than just 7. Yesterday mom could stay at 4 so Bryce and I went without child to see It's Complicated. It was a super funny movie. Much more than I thought it would be. Once I got over how much everyone smiled and laughed I loved it. The interior and landscape design was like design porn. And that was pretty much the most realistic pot scene I have ever seen. Bryce loved it too, although he said it is sometimes hard to relate to movies where money is no object for the characters.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Motor Skills

6-12 month is the time of developing pincer grab and crawling. Because Link started grabbing things and passing things in his hands long before his time, I knew he probably would have the pincer grip down if we let him. The only problem is small things like that going into the mouth should be edible and I wasn't quite sure we were up to cherrio stage yet. However, last night Link and I went out for Valentines and while we were waiting for a table I let him chew on some super thick business cards. Sure, this might make me a bad mum, but I always let Link chew on paper products. I was sure he wouldn't be able to chew into these glossy things, but the next thing I knew a corner was gone. When I looked in his mouth I saw it on his tongue and when I did a finger swipe he went gulp and down the hatch it went. So at dinner I set out the oyster crackers that came with the soup to see how he would do. Well, at 6 months, yes, he can do the pincer grab! However, he has trouble with releasing. So no crackers ever made it to his mouth, just on the floor. I am not surprised. He loves to take things out of boxes but never tries to put things in boxes. With blocks, I think he is trying to stack but he ends up just knocking over towers with the block in his hand and it took him a long time before he opened his hands as a baby. Even today he doesn't clap with open hands.

Crawling? Nope, not there yet. We have a pretty stationary boy. He never really mastered rolling over completely and he doesn't really scoot. However he does go from sitting to belly sometimes and I let him wiggle in his frustration to try to grab an object for a little bit to encourage movement. His latest movement development is that of putting his arms up when he wants to be picked up. That usually gets him where he wants to go.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Lincoln's Birthday

Woops, wrong Lincoln.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mason Jennings in Iowa

Last night Bryce and I went to Luther College to see Mason Jennings. People from our birthing group got us tickets. Lindsey (a doula) and her husband Andrew were our rise and we sat with them during the concert. Mason was just as awesome as ever. I told Bryce earlier that had I meet Mason in another setting where he wasn't famous, we would most likely be friends. After the concert we unintentionally ran into him and talked to him about all random things and Bryce agreed, we would be friends. He is right up my alley in spirituality and art and travel, and of course MUSIC. His concert was extraordinary, bringing tears to even Bryce and Andrew's eyes. It was the first time I had heard "The Field" and wow, what a powerful song.
After the concert we went to Peter and Melissa's home, which I loved. Full of artwork and open. Decorah and its homes remind me a lot of St. Paul. We had a good time sharing funny stories for another hour or two before we headed home.

Ladies Night Out

Paula and Hannah, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

I am having more and more fun with this group from Monona. Beth is moving away, which is sad since she was my first connection to the group, but I have gotten close enough with them all now to know I belong. This weekend we had a Ladies Night out on Friday which was loads of fun. On Saturday they invited me to an Upper Case party, but I had to decline because I judged speech in Decorah all day. I had Mime, which I thought would be boring, but now that they add music it was rather fun. The group also invited me to a fish fry of fish their men had caught ice fishing, but I had trivia at Schera's which was equally fun. My doula Karin, and her husband Jason came too and it was a great time. We lost again, but Karin and Jason got 2nd. It was Travis' last night at the restaurant before he goes back to New Zeland for school. He was an odd duck, but I enjoyed his company. Sunday I saw the group again as most of them play on a volleyball league with me (although not on my team). Because they just can't stop partying, they invited us to a Super Bowl party which my whole family attended. I really liked the group that was there. I think there is a mix of conservative and liberal mindsets, but we all mesh over children, relationships, and having fun.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adventures with Lumina

The Lumina and I have been some places this weekend. Friday at 7, I ventured over to Joleen's for a meeting and as I was traveling down her long driveway on the way out I slid on the ice and ended up in a ditch of snow. Fortunately Joleen's husband is a dnr and we tractor towed it on out.
Later I went to Monona for a girl's night out and I got totally lost in the gravels on the way there. But I still ended up being on time. Thank God I'm a Country Girl.
When we were done hanging out I got in the car and had the sudden realization that I had told Bryce to pick up Lincoln after work, but I had the only car. Fortunately, Bryce had the babysitter bring Link home before I realized this.
Saturday I had to head out at 5 am to be in Decorah to judge speech. A day full of mimes, let me tell you, good times. ;P (It actually was not to bad of a category to judge.)
On the way home I got lost. I keep taking wrong turns and seeing if I can get out of them without backing up and driving all over the place. Why am I not taking my gps? I do not know.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I disappoint myself

I hate disappointing people, especially the same people multiple times. This week I forgot church council and I forgot to do my treasurer's duty of signing checks. I have only been on this bored one month and I already am a failure. I think my brain is being sucked out with the milk. Ahhhh.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In the kitchen

Our kitchen has been working overtime these past few months. I have been making soup every week, each a different one from Mothering Magazine. I also am making bread, but I am having a problem with brioche. I've tried three times and it ends up moist crumbles.
Bryce and I noticed that this month we bought a lot of produce and none of it spoiled since we are using it more often in our cooking. My favorite soup so far has been the parsnip chowder.
We are also going through our spices more than ever before. Can you get small quantities to refill them at a co-op? I don't want to have a bunch of bulk containers around.