Thursday, March 03, 2011

Until Easter

Now that we have resurfaced from our winter flus, I have been thinking a lot about what's next. This is typically in terms of creative projects. Specifically Lent is coming up in a week or so and last year I took on a huge creative endeavor with my forty forts.

I am not repeating that again. Whew!

I would like to say for the record that I had a great night's sleep the night before I came up with the idea. And a year later, we are still battling the sleep monster.

Earlier this week, I thought that I wanted to focus on making money. This seems to be the antithesis of Lent. But if you consider that I am not really good at making money, or let's say uncomfortable with requesting money, then it seems like a perfect challenge. Being disciplined about doing something I would rather not do.

So would that be forty days of posting something on Etsy? Hmm... Until I get an Etsy iPhone app, I don't think I can manage that.

Plus during the summer of 2007, I made myself super-depressed in my business building attempts. Could I possibly return to the topic in a healthy way? I don't know.

Then I had another thought. Maybe I need to focus on finishing things instead. I have felt a little frustrated lately because I don't have the mental space for new ideas. I sit down in the studio and try to think. But shuffling materials on my desk is always interrupted by me telling Lucy that she can't climb in Stuart's stuff, which is far more interesting than any of her toys and materials.

I just need to work. I need small productive tasks. Then I realized that i have three projects I have started, a new canvas for church and an idea for a large-scale project where I need to learn the "language" of book origami first. Plus I want to make editions of some of my earlier works and add them to my Etsy shop. So I have plenty to do. I just need to remind myself that they are my priorities even though they aren't attached to a deadline. Well, until now.

Otherwise I have been trying to clean out areas of our apartment. A small space can feel so cluttered so easily. This week I tackled our magazines. But I still have two closets, our bathroom, books and my sock drawer, which has been in a trash bag for a month. Just one of those a week will keep me busy until the end of April.

And finally I am starting a new playground initiative for downtown DC. I emailed our Penn Quarter Parents Group and some moms from church. I only needed eight people to meet with the Washington Interfaith Network. I had ten people within an hour. This is something we have talked about for years. So I am hoping this momentum and Morgan's simple asking of what I am passionate about will help us finally lead to a place our kids can play. Because we are definitely bored of being inside.

I plan to post more about playgrounds and play to my blog in an attempt to gather materials in one place. Plus it is a great way to record our progression.

So that's a full plate until Easter, which also coincides with Henry's birthday. Easter is late this year. April 24th. I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My New Site!

I am making the switch to Wordpress today. I am petrified. But I guess I will figure it out as it goes. I know that one of the most important thing to many of my readers is to have a link to Sarah and Corey's blogs. I promise to add them to the side bar asap.

Please follow me here! This is my new web site. I'm still trying to figure out if there is any easy way to redirect repeat visitors to my blog. So there will likely be many changes over the coming weeks.

Goodbye blogger. I enjoyed our time together.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Little Party Girl

Thanks to Linda for this great little party dress. Because Lucy is getting really good at feeding herself teething biscuits (and getting them all over her clothes), we decided to have a photo shoot and then a wardrobe change before her birthday party dinner at 2 Amys.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy 9 Month Birthday!

She didn't love the pink grapefruit sorbet. But I did!

Photos of Lucy in her party dress to come later.

Oh, yeah... Happy Valentine's Day, too!

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Before the third snow

So... How will those huge piles of snow ever disappear? They are hauling it away.

When I was about to fly into DC on Monday, Henry told me H & 6th Street Sidewalks were clear. Hmmm... This is the scene from the Verizon Center last night, five days later.

Trucks are all over the city. We spotted dozens more on our way to Two Amy's tonight. Based on the side streets, there is A LOT of haulin' to do.

Plus I just received an email that we are to expect 4-8" more tomorrow. Before just that amount would be enough to send DC into a tailspin. Too bad we can't transport it to Vancouver.

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My Favorite Valentine

I spent four hours working at the studio yesterday. All. By. Myself. It was wonderful. I put together the print out of this diagram and traced it on to the fabric for embroidery. I'm hoping to have it finished by the March studio opening. That might be incredibly optimistic since I haven't sewn the first stitch.

My goal for this Chinese New Year (my second chance at resolutions) is to spend 20 hours in the studio alone each month. And additional hours with Lucy, of course.

Thank you, Henry. It felt so great to accomplish some work. You would never know at the end of the day I had only had two solid hours of sleep the night before.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lucy pets Truman

Last night, Lucy and I visited Rocky to check out the cats. This is about a close to nature she has been since returning to DC. Seems as if it inspired her to speak. Listen for a "kitty" mixed in among the "Da-da-da"s at around the 20 sec mark.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Color Quiz

As my baby pulls at my leg and I attempt to gather up the creative voice of rehashing last week's strange incident involving feral cats, I opted to take this color quiz at True Value Paint instead. Thanks to How About Orange for diverting my attention. Maybe we would become fast friends, because we are both black. Hmmm... I am a little surprised by that, too.

Okay, nap time. What color are you?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To the Capitol

I ran into these two tourists on my way back from Safeway on Tuesday. They were puffing cigarettes on the corner and looking for the Capitol. I pointed them in the right direction, but I wonder if they made it in their kitten heels. I'm going to guess they are Eastern European, so maybe they are laughing at us right now. Seems as if our record snowfall has crippled the city. I'm also guessing they are still here.

Good news - a chance for more snow on Monday.

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Snowed in

These are some shots outside the building on Tuesday BEFORE the blizzard. After squeaking into DC on Monday just before Snow-hysteria 2.0, I ran a few errands before hunkering down for the last 48 hours. Rumor has it the wind gusts are dying down tonight, so we may venture our into the world tomorrow.

Today is Thursday, so that means it's a weekly birthday, but I can't remember which one. I guess we stopped counting. But I suspect by now Lucy has been out in the world longer than she was in the womb. But this week marks a big birthday - 9 months on Valentine's Day. We are going out for pizza with The Adamses to celebrate. Although I'm concerned there will be a mountain of snow in every parking space. We may need to change our destination.

All of a sudden, we noticed that Lucy's hair is thickening up. She is still no Amelia nor Jed, but you can see that she is a little Ginger on top.

Lucy loves to stand. My guess is she will walk before solidly crawling. She certainly moves around, but she won't be winning any baby Olympics in a crawling race. I'm still not really sure how she makes it across the floor.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

I have had several people check in with me to see if we are surviving the 2010 Blizzard. I respond with I'm actually in NC. I am still not sure which is worse - DC with twenty inches of snow or NC with one inch of ice. Regardless, I have had so many bloggable moments that I hope to hunker down and capture them in one epic blog entry while I have an uncle and a grandma to watch Lucy.

Above you can see the view of Friendship Gate, as in "Beyond Friendship Gate." They were showing shots of the neighborhood throughout the Georgetown vs. Villanova game on ESPN. Henry, Rocky and BCole went to the game. However, we did not see them on TV. I told Henry that he needed to go ahead and recruit them to meet me at the Gallery Place Metro exit on Monday evening to help carry Lucy's stroller and our luggage home. I imagine that we can make it as far as the exit, but there is no way we will be able to push the stroller down the street. I will be wearing my new red galoshes.

Throughout the trip, I was obsessed with the fact that I needed rain boots. I have a pair of pink rain boots that I left in DC. First of all, Henry has a lot of anxiety around travel, even when he isn't traveling. So he kept telling me that I was making a big mistake with all of the stuff that I was taking home. By the time I was packed and out the door, I was almost to the point of good riddance. That is not how you want to leave your husband for a week.

So I kept our return flight in mind as I edited my suitcase. Since I would have to wear the rain boots on the flight, they didn't make the cut. Flying solo with a baby is hard enough. You have to take off your outwear, shoes, break down the stroller, remove the laptop, hold the baby, walk through the security and then redress and reassemble her baby gear. Rain boots would only make it harder.

So once I saw my mom's front porch and took note of the week's forecast, I knew that I needed to buy boots. Target was completely sold out of a pair of cute black boots with polka dots. So I bought these bright red size tens from Wal-mart. The options were extremely limited. I wear an 8.5, but these work okay.

Now I am so thankful that I have them. Because it sounds like I will definitely need to wear them to make it from the Metro to our apartment in the 20" of snow. Now most people would read this and think, why don't you take a cab? Well, if you take a cab, then you have to break down the stroller AGAIN and put it in the trunk and there is no one to hold the baby while you are doing all of this. It is much easier to just get yourself situated and take the Metro.

After I bought the boots on Wednesday, we went to eat at a massive Chinese Buffet in Stanleyville. They offer Hibachi and sushi all-you-can-eat, as well. We were in a section full of children, so they were all saying and pointing baby. The waitresses were really into Lucy. One kept insisting that we should trim a tiny bit of hair off her head to help it grow. She also told us that you take the trimmed hair and create a "pen" with it. I assume that she meant a Chinese brush painting pen. She said that you would write with it when it was older and different, like in China. I believe that Lucy's hair is a little too fine to create a successful brush. But I will keep that in mind if her hair ever thickens.

At lunch the same day, a lady said that she wanted to take Lucy home to her family, "where they could really get a hold of her cheeks." I laughed. But by the end of our dinner, Danny, the son of a restaurant worker, decided to do just that.

He walked up to her and just mashed her little cheeks with one of his hands. Then he proceeded to settle in and cup her chinning squeezing them simultaneously while saying "whoot whoot." As you can tell, Alex did not really know what to do. I was on the other side of the booth, so I just started laughing. He passed Lucy off to Mom, but that did not stop Danny. He climbed into the booth behind us and reached over to grab Lucy's cheeks. She loved it.

On Thursday, Eris and I met for a little shopping and lunch. She wanted to check out re-tale, a new shop in Winston. It is super cute. The guilt-free prices make you feel a little guilty about how cheap everything is.

Cama also loved to pet Lucy. She enjoyed spending time with her cousin. We learned that Cama has named her little kitty "Baby Lucy." Yet, she was having a hard time deciding if she was eating lunch with Baby Lucy or Baby Finley, another cousin around the same age.

We left Cama and Eris to head back to Friendship for J Van's military funeral. This was my first military funeral, so I was somewhat excited. Plus I figured I would learn something new about J Van, our neighbor who ran the little store across the street from us. It had been years since I had seen him, other than at Memaw's funeral. When I talked with him there, he was full of laughs and a cute little old man.

However, when I pulled off of 52 to head north, the car started to shake and the check engine light came on. Instead of risking it, I decided to stop at the Shell station. I told the person inside the station that I was on my way to a funeral and I had a sleeping baby in the car. That did not put them in fast forward. Instead I took my place in the extremely tiny waiting area next to a full ashtray. A classmate of mine was working in the back office. Ironically, I had just seen a great picture of her on Facebook the week before. Very funny how people pop up like that.

We sat there quite a while and the lady next to me told me that she had been there since 11 am. It was 2:15. Once I learned that, I made sure that Alex skipped the funeral and came to pick me up. While we waited I took a couple of pictures. I could not resist.

This Shell station has lots of pictures of the old Shell station, which Sarah helped restore. It also has a layaway plan.

You read that right. "Layaway available for toys, knives, and everything else in the store."

This is a preview of the profile of my new haircut.

Alex did rescue us. On our way to lunch, we were behind a car with printed across the back. It obviously worked, because I could not get Rural Hall Taxidermy out of my mind.

Okay, I think that's enough for now. This was all before the weather hit. But dinner has been served.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Trapped in Friendship

Hitching a ride to North Carolina, I was a little concerned that we might be snowed out. Alex drove us all the way home before nightfall Monday and, after returning home, he warned that us we should not try to drive down Friendship Road. It was too slick.

So we were torn on whether we should even leave the house yesterday. After all, Dad gave Mom the day off to celebrate Groundhog's day. Well, actually we made brownies for Sarah's birthday. After all of the ice and snow, we just want to plow through to spring. There is no need to celebrate what the groundhog has to say.

I knew if we went to the office, Mom would start working and we would never leave. The office is like a vortex that sucks time right out of your life right before your very eyes. But with the mixed forecast, it was likely Tuesday was Lucy's only chance to see Shelby.

Around quarter of four, we packed everything up and headed out the door. We managed to make our way through the snow and ice to the safety of the car. Instead of questioning the lower driveway prior to getting in the car, we lurched forward and stopped.

My parents have a circle drive with a small incline on one side and a steep dip on the other. It bottoms out and rises back up to meet the road right in a curve. Alex and I spent countless hours sledding this hill as children. After the state's ice crews had made a second pass with the scrappers, the bottom of the driveway was no longer clean. We definitely couldn't stop once we got started. But there was no guarantee we wouldn't get stuck. I told Mom to just back up.

As soon as she put it in reverse and began backing up, Mom's wheels began to spin. A yellow triangle and exclamation point appeared on the dashboard. "What's that?" "That means the car doesn't have any traction." Hmmm... After spinning our wheels a couple of more times, we decided that was enough for today. We made it five feet. I did remind her to put on the parking break.

Last night, when Dad came home, he asked, "Why did you park at the top of the driveway?" Simple. "We're stuck." "Well, now I am, too." Oops. Mom was in trouble.

This morning when Mom went to check on him, I suggested she take Lucy so that he wouldn't be as mad at her. He had freed the cars and left Mom's parked in the road at the foot of Hansel's driveway. Hansel was one of two vehicles we saw while making our way to the car. Both were tractors with plows on the front.

And now the forecast is calling for more snow. I think it is going to ruin our plans for a family gathering to celebrate Grandma Merritt's birthday. Plus I have received a DCAlert that they are expecting 12-20 inches of snow.

Is this a repeat of the Blizzard of 2009? Because I am using the ticket from that canceled flight to return home on Monday. I think that Henry is already lonely and it is only Wednesday. And Lucy started saying Da-da when she heard his voice on my camera. We miss Daddy, too.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Up next, the zoo

Lucy loves the baby animals in Good Night, Wasington, DC, which Shannon gave to her long ago. Maybe on their first meeting? I think we may need to visit the zoo as soon as it gets a little warmer.

After the H1N1 booster, Lucy developed pink eye. I'm not sure if she got it from the shot, the doctor's office or church. She also has a little cold. I broke out the portable humidifier, which leaked everywhere. That's one of the reasons she is reading this book in the daytime vs night. We have a little drying station on the kitchen counter.

Henry sent me a text message to let me know it was making a dripping noise, as he rocked Lucy. I was so happy to have him home considering she has been extra clingy, I didn't even notice until an hour later. So much for the moist air. In the future, any dripping water is an emergency. Got that Henry? Especially with these laminant floors. Ask Rocky.

After a small fridge problem, he has a whole new floor. That's why our loud refrigerator would keep me up at night worrying. This week I finally had our's repaired.

The guy from GE said that it was a quick fix since he didn't have to let it defrost for 24 hours, unlike four or five others in our building. Basically these condos were outfitted with appiances that look really good, but don't last very long. It's hard to believe our building is five years old.

The repair was $100, not bad considering the cost for peace of mind. Our apartment never sounded so good.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Today is Alex's birthday! We are very excited about his trip to visit this weekend. We have his "cake" ready and will be eating it all week.

Lucy loves this fun stacking toy from Ike and Laura. It makes different noises as you remove and replace the rings from the base. Plus it matches her cute new outfit from The Razzas.

In other news, Lucy absorbed a little Chinese at Dr. Lee's office. She waived at the receptionist, who loves and wants to kiss Lucy whenever she sees her. She does refrain herself. But Lucy enjoys the attention and listened to every word of what she was sharing with another patient. She even gave them a wave, her first. We left without a whimper from her H1N1 booster.

Although right now, she is not very happy. She finally figured out how to get on all fours from sitting up. But she still ends moving backwards instead of forwards. I have tried to teach her how to crawl by acting like a dog. It wasn't very effective but it did make her laugh. Maybe I'll try again.

Happy Birthday, Alex! We love you!

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