Saturday, February 24, 2007

Life in 3-D

The first 3-d project is complete. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing an intense art project though - one feels as if one’s life can continue again, as if it was on pause while one tries to fit pieces of illustration board together with weldbond glue and painters tape. Three weeks of paper models, measuring and measuring again, cutting and glueing, being off those 1/16th of an inch that add up is a study in patience and frustration tolerance. That’s why I’m not laying the plans for the next Boeing or Calatrava. In fact, I’m on to learning to use electric saws, drills and sanders in the woodshop for project # 2. Watch out! And lets hope there is no more bloodletting in the sculpture studio.

Our weather luck has turned a few times in the last week and we have enjoyed 30 and 40 degree days of sunshine and melting snow. Lil Petunia and I explored the slipperyness of ice, the muckyness of mud and the wateryness of puddles. It was a melty, messy, wet walk and little Petunia continues to try to eat seed pods, dirty ice and bright green moss. I have been thinking about a quote from a book by Magda Gerber about respecting children: "To respect a child is to create a little distance so that you refrain from interfering with her experience of encountering life."

I try to remember these words as she falls on the ice, kicks her boots off in frustration and has multiple meltdowns throughout the day, which surprisingly affect me just as much the second time around. I try to think about her fears, big feelings for a small child, really. And then I let her have her hurt and frustration and thrashings about on the floor and in a few minutes they pass. Then we are on the the the constant snacking, brushing of teeth (eating the toothpaste, more like) and the emptying her bookshelf of all books, which are her latest wrinkles. And wrinkles, I don't mind!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Breathing for Beginners

Yoga for Toddlers
Originally uploaded by monpon.

So I woke up this morning with soreness in my “big toe ball mount,” which is supposed to be screwed to my mat in Parighasana (Gate Pose) and in my inner, upper thighs from all the inward turning during Tadasana (Mountain Pose). I've gotten more comfortable with the stack of wool blankets, the bolsters, the belt, blocks and folding chairs, but still eye those ropes with suspicion. I am enjoying Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) and Virabhasrasana (Warrior I and II poses) and whose favorite isn’t Savasana? Too bad we only get the drive-thru version of 30 seconds in corpse pose. I could use an hour.

Luckily, Mr. Yoga keeps us laughing, even as we lose our balance in Tree Pose or bend far too close to the ground in Powerful Pose : “Arms by your ears, reach up, tighten those kneecaps... yes it may not feel that comfortable, but at least someone isn’t holding your arm in place (cow pose), someone who doesn’t like you - like a cop. And, turn your head to the side, you don’t have to be the exorcist or anything, just keep the head to the side. And people, hold the poses - not just when I am looking at you!

I can understand why so many people take up yoga seriously and for the long term - the poses are energizing and restorative, relaxing and strengthening and most of all, for me, they integrate body and mind through the breath. And who doesn't forget to breath these days?

Here is poem called Savasana by Peggy Hong, Mil Town's Poet Laureate and Iyengar Yoga instructor.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Self Portrait

Originally uploaded by monpon.

It is late on a Monday - a day of accidents and injuries. It snowed lightly for most of the day and the roads and sidewalks were slippery and slushy. S. encountered an accident on her way over to my house this morning - a fender bender, but still a collision. Poor Juji slipped on the stairs going down into a church basement for soccer practice and fell painfully on his tailbone. He was sent home with instructions from the coach to ice his back. I gave him some Tylenol and left him with JB and Lil Pet. In 3-D tonight, a classmate sliced his finger close to the bone and had to go to the ER for stitches. Blood was dripping from his hand and he fell faint, a whitewashed, pale face. Now, my project sits on the table top, covered in blue drafting tape, and drying; my only injury a sore finger from using the exacto knife for two hours and fatigue from all the runnings about of the day. Let's hope for more harmony tomorrow. Here is a photo of me-self, taken on one of the coldest days of the year. For more photos, visit the latest installment.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Top ten reasons for night time crying/waking in toddlers

10. Ate too many flavor blast goldfish before bed
9. Don’t like the plastic pee-proof covering on crib mattress that crinkles every time they move
8. Saw too many episodes on PBS where Miss Lori "sings" her own songs
7. Just realized that they were not going back into the womb
6. Worried they just might have to clean up that mess they made with the yogurt/oatmeal
5. The shadow on the wall looks like someone with a diaper
4. The "soothing heartbeat" teddy bear sounds like it is in heart failure
3. Dreaming about being eaten alive by a big puffy snowsuit with ears
2. The obsessive and intrusive thought: is that a washcloth coming towards my face?
1. The number one reason for nighttime waking: the American Diabetes Association won’t let the furry, blue monster in the closet eat chocolate chip cookies with abandon anymore.

Lil Pet hasn't had a night terror episode in a week and we've been working on getting better naps, but she's still a night waker. It has become so absurd that I've begun tickling her toes and babbling in baby talk when she wakes up crying. Jb and I giggle like school kids while she fusses hoping that ignoring it will make it go away. We both think time and brain maturity will help, but until then, we will keep having our nocturnal laughing/crying/tickling/fussing/sighing/night waking fests...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Humor for Snow Days

E-mail exerpts from friends with kids:

You find out interesting things when you have children, like...
1. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
2. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old.
3. Super glue is forever.
4. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
5. VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

(thanks S.)

If you give a Mom a muffin
If you give a Mom a muffin, she'll want a strong cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some and soon enough her three year old will spill it.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks and remember she has to do laundry.
Putting in the laundry, she remembers the pile of bills that were due yesterday.
She looks for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in the purse that is being dumped out by her one year old.
She'll smells something funny.
She changes the one year old's diaper.
While throwing away the diaper, the phone rings.
Her three year answers and hangs up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend
Not for coffee but for a very strong drink.
Thinking of drinking will remind her that she had a cup of coffee going.
If she finds her coffee, which will have to be reheated by now,
Chances are her kids (or dog) will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

(Thanks W.)