When your dentist tells you to chill, you better chill.

Milo and I made this bird house a few weeks ago.

Well, I went to urgent care yesterday thinking that I had a kidney infection. Turns out I am really tired, dehydrated, and my back was hurting from sleeping half my nights in a rocking chair holding a 25 pound person in my arms. On Monday I went to the dentist because I thought I broke my filling, nope.  I’ve been grinding my teeth so bad that I was causing myself all sorts of pain. Yup, I got it together.

Buddha lives here now.

I tell myself all the time that I have it under control and that I can work and have my kids, my marriage, my family, my friends, my home, my art, and my health. I found out in no uncertain terms yesterday that I am out of balance. Even my dentist told me that I need to, “Chill the *(@)% out.”

A little more sleep is what we all need.

Weakness and me don’t go together. I don’t mind being openly flawed, I don’t even mind making mistakes, owning them and fixing them. I just have to fix them myself. When my dear friends and family ask me if they can help, I tend to cry, then say no thank you. If I do accept help, I end up with a horribly anxious feeling that the person helping doesn’t really want to or, I am being selfish, or I will never be able to repay the debt.

My dentist may be right.  I’m working on it. I just have so darn much I want to do. I’ve decided that I will tell myself more often, learn to to lean.

So, the kids went to school and day care. I got a sub and took the doctors orders to rest. After spending the first 2 hours of my day thinking that I should really get up and clean the house, I fell asleep and slept for four hours. Guess what happened next? I woke up a much happier, more centered, more motivated person. Much needed rest for this momma.

I’ll exit this post with t a talk  by Brené Brown that I first saw on  Alyson’s blog post. If you have 20 minutes and you haven’t seen this yet, please watch. Her research on shame and vulnerability is remarkable.

Image

Snuggly Hybrid

Snuggly Hybrid

This is hands down the most amazing all-in-one snuggly ever! Milo is in love with his new hybrid. Now taking suggestions for trade backs.

“I don’t know how to express myself sometimes when I need to be properly different.”

I think about you all the time dear blog. I yearn to update you but instead I watch episodes of Trailer Park Boys and fall asleep with my laptop perched on my belly. The last couple of months have been intense and fantastic and well, needless to say my life is filled to the brim. My kids are becoming wonderful, intense little humans, I will be teaching creative, project based learning to K-3 kiddos next year, and the art game is hustling. I was actually a key note speaker at a creatives mixer at the MCA last week (I spoke about bartering). Which leads me to this post.

For one reason or another, my barter work has taken off and it seems that more so than ever, people are attaching to the idea that they can trade a little something or a service and get a work of art. It is as if the act of trading has become so entrenched in my work that it is hard for me to view a piece without thinking of the connection that it might create. The trade is the performance and the painting becomes that backdrop. Maybe the art is in the action.

Image

One of my latest trades, a vintage ukulele. Now who want to barter for lessons?

If we’ve traded, thank you. Our life is filled with little reminders of how a simple exchange can move us forward and create connections that last longer than dollars in a bank account. Check out this blog post about my work on Jennifer’s Review from one of my favorite artist, writer, and momma, Alyson Kahn.

“Like” my Facebook artist page for free art, shows, and trade info.

I updated my webpage and created a new fan page for my art on facebook. Be one of the first 100 to “Like” my new Facebook page and be entered to win a  painting from the 100 Days series.

Patience and gratitude

I’m not so sure I’m an expert on patience, but as I watched my first baby ride into the sunset on his two wheeler, I realized that things come in time and life is as much about patience as it is about practice. 

Image

He was ready to ride. Grew just enough (mentally and physically) to get those pedals pumping.

I wait for paint to dry, I wait for my students to be ready to learn, I wait for the kids to fall asleep so I can steal a moment to myself. I wait to go on that quick vacation so that Wyatt and I finish nursing when we are both ready. 

Image

Just waitin'

I practice parenting, I practice my art, I practice yoga, I practice teaching. I practice patience.

The whole world does not need to come to me today. Life will unfold as it does and I will be there to steer my own ship as I wait for a cool breeze (maybe a pina colada in my hand, listening to a little yacht rock).

I wait and I cultivate. 

Image

Day 100 from the 100 day challenge. Practice. Makes. Good.

 

A not so perfect, perfect little person.

Milo's latest painting

“Mom, I drew a picture and I didn’t like it so I put it in the trash. I forgot that paper has two sides and that artists always try again.”

Milo's spot in the studio

Milo is really growing up and as a mom it is so hard to watch sometimes. He’ll be five in May. Over the past five years I have come to understand that I control a lot less than I thought I would. Parenting seems to be lessons in duality and letting go. Milo can be diabolical and sometimes down right mean. I occasionally ask myself, is this really my child? Could someone that I made really be so…so, terrible? I know that sounds bad. Let’s face it, I think most parents would be lying if they haven’t wondered how  they’ve messed up their kids. Am I too strict? Am I too nice? Did I handle that tantrum calmly or like a crazy person trying to put out a fire with a eye dropper of water? Then, I take a deep breath, I let go, and I remind myself that he’s only been on the planet for four years and that he’s learning and it’s my job to calmly teach him not to say things like, “eww, that’s nasty.” in a valley girl voice when served a meal with something green in it.

That's me bossing him around. At least I look happy while I'm doing it!

He struggles sometimes,  but his highs are remarkable and I might just be saying this because he’s my kid, he’s pretty neat and I like the way his mind works. I have a feeling that things won’t always be easy for Milo. He has to try out everything before he knows it’s not for him. His little heart gets broken easily and he gets mad when he’s hurt. But he’s also the kind of kid who spends three hours hand crafting 27 valentines for his classmates.

Milo's valentines and heart crayons

In the same day where I was convinced that I was going to lock him in his room until he graduated from high school, I saw my boy holding his little brother’s hand so that he doesn’t slip on the waterslide at the pool and waiting patiently every time Wyatt wanted to go down so that he had a safe set of hands to splash down into.

A cat and a buffalo

It’s Show Time!