Friday, May 18, 2007

Up, up and away!

Well, tomorrow we are flying to California (of course not in a biplane, but isn't this photo cool?) This trip is the reason I have not been writing because I have been busy shopping, organizing, and cleaning. I got some new dresses, a new bikini, and some new bras. The shopping was quite an experience for me because I finally decided to go to some decent stores for a change. Last year in Holland I got some beautiful, although expensive, clothes that were so much better quality than I was used to. I vowed that even if I was going to live in the U.S. (where it is so easy to get really cheap clothes) I would only buy good quality clothes. Somehow last winter I forgot that vow and just bought a bunch of stuff from the clearance rack at Target. I was happy at the time, but a lot of it didn't last long and in reality I bought too many things.

This spring sometime I decided to go back to last year's vow. I got some really cool retro dresses (sorry Theresa, I really do think the retro 60's dresses are cool) from Dressbarn. I never would have thought a store with a name like that would have some classy things, but they did. I got a big, stylish, black sun hat that will go with two of the dresses. I was so excited because I have been looking for a hat like that since the summer of 2001 when I went to Greece. I also went to Victoria Secret for a bra fitting and discovered some interesting things, like that I have probably always been wearing the wrong size. The quality of both the dresses and bras is really good; you really do get what you pay for with clothes. Funny I learned this years ago with shoes (I pretty much only wear Dansko,) why did it take so long for my attitude to change about clothes?
Well, now I better get back to packing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Beep, Beep, Beep!

Joseph has an incredible love for anything with wheels. He is always talking about them, playing with them, and today pretending he was one. In one of his books about construction vehicles, it describes the kinds of sounds they make, such as 'when backing up the dump truck says "Beep, Beep, Beep." Yesterday on a walk we saw a large passenger van backing up (thus beeping) and Joseph said "The van is like a dump truck." and then he laughed triumphantly because he made this connection. This morning as we were getting ready to go to our La Leche League meeting he was walking backward around the living room saying "Beep, Beep, Beep." And a little while later "Memmy, I'm a dump truck! Beep, Beep, Beep." Sometimes it is difficult to get him out the door, so I told him to "Beep, Beep, Beep" out the door. He loved the idea of this and got moving right away. I had to be careful the he didn't fall off the porch, but this time he didn't fight me when I lifted him to help him down.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Artist Trading Cards

A couple of weeks ago I went into Barnes and Noble bookstore and caught sight of a book called Artist Trading Card Workshop. I had never heard of Artist Trading Cards (also called ATC's) before. The images in the book were intriguing, ranging from collage, to resin sculpture, to traditional painting and drawing techniques. The book also listed some websites, so I decided to check those out when I got home.

The basic idea behind these cards is that 1) they are 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, and 2) they are traded, never sold. Both of these ideas appeal to me. I like the idea of working on a small scale, with the size as the only limiting factor, and also that they are exchanged. Often the trading happens in face to face meetings (if you are lucky enough to be in a place where there are other people who make them,) but lots of trades happen over the internet as well. I found a website where you can join trades based on a theme. I just finished my first two cards last night. The theme for this set was a portrait of someone famous. I did Paul Gauguin (from his Les Miserables self-portrait,) and Vincent van Gogh (after John Russell.) They are both pen and watercoler, and are mounted on scrapbook paper. I think this is going to be fun!

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Today we celebrated Joseph's birthday. I made him a cake and it came out great. I decided to make vanilla and chocolate in one cake, and it worked! It was actually pretty easy; I just made a batch of each and then poured it in to the pan. It came out amazingly straight. I had a lot of fun making the lily pads.

Joseph's presents were a little people house that I got on e-bay (the same one I had when I was little,) and a drum with music instruments inside of it. We were going to also give him a Tonka dump truck and Tonka front end loader, but decided against it at the last minute. We gave him the first two in the morning, and were going to give him the trucks in the afternoon so he wouldn't be too overwhelmed with so many new things all at once. Last time, at Christmas, this seemed a good strategy, but for a couple of days afterward he would periodically ask for more presents. Today he seemed so involved in his first two presents that I didn't want to ruin it with "too much" stuff. I will save those trucks for another time; I'm sure he will enjoy that sort of thing for quite some time yet.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

From this...

to this....

in just two short, yet eventful, years.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

How about a Train?

Today I was telling Joseph that tomorrow is his birthday, and that I am going to make him a cake, we will sing Happy Birthday to him, and that he will get a present. So with big eyes he said 'How about a train?'

Now, most people would just be dumb-founded that a two year old could be so astute, however I will explain what he most likely meant. About a week ago I said to him that his birthday was coming, and also mentioned that he will get presents on his birthday. As a joke (for me) I asked him if he remembered his last birthday, and he said (with the same wide eyes as this morning) "Ja, Jo-jo got a train!" Which means he is remembering Christmas. That is really not too hard to believe, since it was only five months ago. I guess that train really did make an impression on him though!