June 30, 2008

Accomplished Weekend

Team Craun’s Weekend To-Done List:

make spring rolls for friends to bless the arrival of baby # 2

teach Nathaniel how to eat an ice cream cone by eating one every day

clean out spare room, for real this time

teach Nathaniel how to ride on the rocking horse

walk down memory lane pulling childhood toys out of attic

let Isabella + Nathaniel “help” with above task

select Carriage Door 770-D5 for the new curmudgeon color

purchase and have paint mixed, invest in new cutter brush

mow the elderly neighbors lawn

and then the next lawn down: Mary, just turned 97, who wants to die

mow our own lawn

refuse money from the above Mary

reluctantly start a “green fund” with above money

buy spark plugs for mower with above fund

eat fast food, from favorite college place, YUCK

loose track of time and let the kids stay up way too late

stay up beyond late watching a movie with hubby

sleep in while hubby gets up with kids

dance with my two babies at church

persuade Bella that dipping is fun and not scary

finish that curmudgeon painting already, reassemble the living space

take the opportunity to clean the above spaces, desk included

swing on the porch with hubby while kiddos are napping

frame some more art to redecorate again

wrap Bella’s reward presents for good behavior

teach Nate that not all furniture in the house rocks like the horse

marvel at the beauty of those flowers that keep blooming

replace Bella's picture in her art lamp with her newest marker drawing

loose track of time, again, and let the kids stay up way too late, again

settle into sabbath evening with hubby and a few drinks

fall into bed exhausted but feeling so victorious

June 27, 2008

Second Saturday

Dave was home after lunch today -- for a variety of reasons. Mostly, we played and pretended it was Saturday. It's going to be like Christmas when we all wake up tomorrow and get a Second Saturday.  Here is play shot from our January picture session.  Bella and Nate often indulge in these super great "pillow piles" with their all time favorite person Nonny. They are legendary, so I hear.  I have never actually had the privilege, but, I sort of liken this shot to the "person pile" -- one that I am quite familiar with. The whole Fam, as Bella likes to call us.

June 26, 2008

Curmudgeon 123D-4

Yesterday was one of those days where I woke up and something just needed to change.

I fed the two little people breakfast and mulled over how much the milky blue of the dining room was a color I couldn't live with any longer.  It's so falsely happy and cheery like the waiting room of a Children's Hospital. I think the color might actually be Hospital Sheet 911D-1.

People have been very generous in complimenting the color since we moved in, nearly 3 years ago now, commenting about how the colors of our home were fitting for an artist's home.  I am not sure if this is actually a compliment, or an awkward observation, rationalized that we are creative and therefore crazy.  And that said, it would all be perfectly natural, and expected really, that we would go with such bold and wild color schemes.  Completely normal for the crazies to have a home with an offensively jarring and unsettling color scheme. 

What they wouldn't likely know, is that we have already painted over such colors as Jaundice Yellow 411D-7 in the nursery, Home-From-School-Sick Lilac 777D-7 in the girl's room, and Spearmint Gum Chartreuse 999D-3 in the living room. We simply just lost our steam, when it came to overpainting the placid blue dining room and the, I kid you not, Pepto Bismol Pink 313#-3 Kitchen.  What's more, the already alarming pink is adorned with lighter It's a Girl Pink 121D-2 stenciled flowers -- AND multi-color glitter suspended in some clear overcoat.

Actually, Dave and I are a lot more boring than people would like to imagine.  We really like the dull Oyster color we bathed our last apartment in, and have already coated the walls of a few rooms of this house.  

So, we are looking at Curmudgeon for the new color of the dining room.  A little deeper, and richer than the Oyster living room -- the once-chartreuse room adjacent.  Only, turns out they don't mix Curmudgeon.  I guess it would be hard to sell to most.  In it's place, we are looking now at things like: Coconut Husk 730D-6, Village Square 730D-5, Carriage Door 770D-5, Clay Pebble 770D-4, and Spartan Stone 780 D-5.  All a variation on Curmudgeon 123D-4.

June 25, 2008

He Loves Me

"You were born to compose – both in written word and visual expression – beauty.  It has always been my deepest attraction to you – everything you touch, including the children you work so hard to raise – exudes beauty.  I do truly love you."

And this is "just because". I am so lucky. And ladies, He is all mine.

June 23, 2008

Spare Time

I am pretty sure that I need a million of these. Bella received this precious gift from her cousin Elia. It stays in her wispy thin hair, and is the first clip Bella has ever allowed to stay in her hair for more than 30 seconds.  So, it's situations like these that prompt me to think I am suddenly going to have tons of spare time to start the production of a small assembly line of these in my home.  

It first starts with the "that would be so simple to make" thought.  It's usually no more than a fleeting observation as I admire the simplicity and functionality of the thing of the moment, and critique its craft. And then, before I know it, I have found an online store [or several] where I could accrue all the necessary units for making these things as my next small business endeavor.  The alligator clips, the velvet ribbon, and the little crochet creatures. I could even learn to crochet, I persuade myself, and make instead of purchase, a variety of cuties for the clips.  All new best friends for Bella. Something that will bring us together.  Maybe a project we could even execute together, I dream, now expecting my 3 1/2 year old to be able to behave and work like a 16 year old at my envisioned factory at the dining room table.  Her first job.

Then I start to reinvent the simple project with a  thousand hypothetical variations. And I could make them for friends. And I could sell them at the gallery boutiques where I sell my prints and books.  And then, I take a picture, I save all the links, sometimes I am only a few words shy of a full business plan, and I file it all away in a poorly named folder on my desktop.  Weeks later, I forget what said folder contains and throw it into the deep dark pit. The "catch all" folder. The one Dave buried in finder, and is labelled JEN in all caps. Like, stay away, you have no idea what else might be lurking in here.

June 22, 2008

Truth and Lies; the little white ones

I have been swatting at little white lies for almost a week straight.

It all started last week, actually, but I was doing my best to ignore it. Because I really didn’t want to tell a lie, but I also didn’t have the courage to be honest.  So, a week passes, after much wasted time of planning and preparing for a way out of the truth that didn’t involve lying, I compromised.  And the burn of that compromise, provoked an entire week of a nearly legalistic pursuit of honesty.  I am not even going to share the stupid request that prompted all of this -- it is entirely ridiculous and mundane.  horribly petty. but it really got me thinking.

How even white lies chip away at character in such convincingly negligible amounts, we have all actually decided that it is ok.  In fact, I was sort of shocked when I began to read a few definitions; an untruth told to spare feelings or from politeness; white as in harmless. really? really harmless? because when I hear a lie come out of my 3 1/2 year olds mouth, harmless isn’t the hard swallow that always follows. My mind races almost immediately in disbelief at the words or phrases she has just left hanging out there in our air space. And reasoning with her about it, usually draws out a few more tall tales before the truth. 

It seems, somehow she has already downloaded a cultural truth, that these lies are not only convenient to tell, one is generally excused when caught in telling one.  Turns out, we like lying so much, we have more than a few different kinds.  And some of them sound as equally innocuous at the white variety, which some believe is not only acceptable to tell, but actually beneficial to self as well as others.  Some sort of placid social regulator, a good way for us all to just get along.

The Bald-faced lie, Lie by Omission, Lie-to-children, Noble Lie, Emergency Lie, Perjury, Bluffing, Misleading, Dissembling, Exaggeration, Jacose Lie, Promotion Lie -- all close friends with one another.

We made a major life decision this week.  A small part based on one little assumption. Harmless, maybe, but it felt a little like a candy-coated white lie.  Somehow easier to swallow.  So, we put our faith in the truth. We made a decision to stay. To not make a huge leap into a mostly known, but great unknown territory.  And in less than a week, we reap some pretty major and unexpected rewards -- and know that they are directly related to the truth.

Turns out, in a culture that is regulated and maintained by such a variety of lies, the truth is actually refreshing. Like a cool drink.  Like somehow, in a sea of untruth, it is actually precious and rare, and worth holding onto.


"In a time of almost universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" - George Orwell

Thought I would add this quote, I came across it from someone in my Artist Book Group.  More to think about, and so appropriate to this post.

June 20, 2008

Entire conversations

Nate is attempting to hold entire conversations today.
in babble.

it is hysterical.
he holds a very serious face, and I match it.
making eye contact with a cave man.
to show that I am listening.
that mommy wants to know what he is saying.
and that i somehow understand his struggle.

it is almost as funny as Bella's new laugh talk.
which is nervous, and funny, and just plain nuts.
it's a combination of fake laugh stutter.
and matter-of-fact description.
overlapped with repetition [for emphasis].
of whatever she is excited about.
and urgently trying to tell me.
but drunk with a nervous laugh.
every word is interrupted at least once.
with a huh or a ha and a fake chuckle.
paired with her silly smile.
and her anxiously shaking arms.
expressing this uncontainable excitement.

I have got to get this stuff on tape.

Hope deferred

new work fresh off the press. this print is one in a new series of hope, and change. a series of freedom and travel. soul longings. playful juxtapositions. this print [hope deferred] is the first completed from the series of 25 or so unique works. i love yellow. a color of hope. and the pairing with gray. such stillness. even sadness. like a whisper. a revealing secret. little quiet poems of where i am right now. a slow journey. but decidedly moving forward.

June 18, 2008

Talking to a 3 1/2 year old

"get your foot out of the pot right now."

June 17, 2008

Pooping on the Ground

Dave was explaining some basic camp etiquette to Bella this weekend.
Bella LOVES to pee outside. 
[this privilege is only entertained when camping]

So, I sort of tune out their lengthy conversation in the car on the way there, until I overhear D:
"you can't just poop on the ground...and leave it."

[long awkward pause, as the three year old tries to figure that out]

Beating Bella to her next question, he adds:
"animals do that"

Contemplating, that a three year old might find doing what animals do as fun, rather than embarrassing or inappropriate, he finishes with:
"and that's...eeewy."

I can't believe how often parents talk about poop.

June 16, 2008

Already leaving home

I am less than a week into this, and I have already left home.
Visit me here today: Anna's House.

My sister invited me to be a guest on her site, and I just love parties, so I eagerly jumped on the opportunity to make her regret extending the invitation.  At least I didn't bring my ill-behaved new puppy and let him pee all over the place.

June 13, 2008

First Official Blog Post

my kids chatter all day long.
why shouldn't I get to?


i feel like i have just graduated from diapers to big girl panties.
and now i want a party.
with presents.


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