Monday, June 30, 2003

More toastiness than you can imagine Summertime brings lots of great things. Weekends lounging in the hammock. A long-anticipated book and the time to read it. Strawberries and raspberries growing in the garden. Swimming. Shorts and flirty dresses. Lemonade. And... A redesigned French Toast Girl site! French Toast Girl is 4 years old this July. To celebrate, the site's getting a much-needed face-lift and reorganization. What you'll see: • Vivid, juicy colors • A totally retooled gallery with a new special "peek in the sketchbook" feature to see sketches and projects that haven't made it to the gallery yet • A shop with frenchtoastgirl merchandise, cards, and special artwork and projects you won't find anywhere else. • Special free items like wallpapers, screensavers and icons to make your computer more toasty • A whole new organization – condensing some sections and making others easier to find – and the addition of some new sections • And, as always, fun, insightful art and articles. The goal is to have it all built and completed this summer – with a four-month-old, time for artwork can be hard to come by, so please be patient ;) The home page is done, and thanks to all the back-end work I did last summer, updating the rest of the site should be (relatively) simple. In the meantime, there are many many new photos of Sophie for your viewing enjoyment, and at last – a Sophie movie! Her favorite game is "Where's Sophie", and you'll get a chance to hear the best baby belly laugh in the whole world.

Friday, June 27, 2003

A certain little miss just turned 4 months old... I can't remember what my life was like without her sweetness.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Just got back from a weekend in VT, where I am learning the same hard lesson over and over and over again: don't expect too much and be happy with whatever miniscule amount you can manage. (sigh) At least I have Harry. I walked home from my local independent bookstore, nose buried in the book, and read as much as I could without tripping and falling flat on my face. I read book 4 in 24 hours straight. Somehow, I get the feeling this one will take a little longer.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Welcome to the world, little one. Sophie's brand new little cousin Amanda Jean was born this afternoon. Her family is doing just fine. Baby Amanda update: She's fighting an infection and has been in the ICU. Currently she's on an IV but is eating too....she should finally get to go home at the end of this week. If you could take a moment and offer a little prayer for her and her family, it would be appreciated by all. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Star-struck. Happy birthday to my second-favorite Paul. I think there should be one person in everyone's life that still gets you a little star-struck. If I actually met Paul #2, I would probably faint, or throw up, or do something equally as impressive. I used to write him fan letters in the 80s. When I was in college and went to his first concert in over a decade, by some happy quirk of fate we had our tickets upgraded so that we were in a row of folding chairs in front of the first row (they were filming a documentary and needed girls to sit in the front rows and scream. I obliged.) I used to wear a denim jacket that I had handpainted "The Beatles" on the back of it with acrylic paint. I used to wash that tour shirt in Woolite so it would last longer. And I still love, love, love, his music. Think about this... who would you faint for if you met them in person? Do you think you'd be disappointed? Or would you know exactly what to say?

Monday, June 16, 2003

I'm up! I'm up! My being-a-mom-and-an-artist essay "The Orange Carpet" is posted at the wonderful website, "Divine Mother, Mortal Me." I'm up at this ungodly hour because we're trying something new: I do Sophie's morning feeding so Paul can journal, and he does her nighttime feeding so I can do art. (Usually it's the other way around and all the other one does is sleep!) However, she just woke up, muttered, and went back to sleep, so here I am! But it just goes to show how I'll take any time I can to do something creative, and how Paul and I have made it a priority to schedule in some creativity time, or it just doesn't happen.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Am I a nice godmother, or what? This is the cover of a tape I made today for my little nephew Joe, who just underwent a tonsilectomy and is now going to have his little world rocked again when his baby sister arrives on the scene next week. He's such a cheery kid; it'll be an adjustment but he's taking everything in stride. It's amazing, the kind of books that are out there for children. Some are simply wonderful. Some are just awful. We read a lot to Sophie, and sometimes I will stop dead in the middle of a story and put it away because I don't want her to hear any more of it. F'rinstance.... The Three Little Kittens. Mom tells them to put their mittens on, then gives them blueberry pie, then punishes them because they got the mittens dirty. Hello.... The kids listen to mom and then get punished when they try to follow her orders. Nope. Not reading it. Beatrix Potter: I think we were reading The Flopsy Bunnies or some deceptively sweet title like that. The McGregors plot about how they want to kill and skin the rabbits and make gloves out of them. Ummmm.... .nope again. Mother Goose: How about the bough breaking and baby falling? What kind of a terrifying lullaby is that? So I've been reading The Chinaberry Tree with great delight. It's by a mom who had these same thoughts when reading to her first child and started a book review for children, to choose the cream of the crop. I'm already tagging pages of books to check out at our next library trip. Although our library doesn't have Chicken Soup with Rice, which I consider to be a major mistake on their part; they do have this book, which I remember reading with my mom when I was five. (Yes, I was one of those kids.)

Friday, June 06, 2003

"The Antidote for the Overwhelming" I have to share this: "My friend showed me a quilt she made.... one little piece at a time. No single piece of her creations is all that impressive. But when you see the whole tapestry, it's beautiful. And assembled, not all at once, but one little piece at a time. She didn't work on a flag or a quilt. She worked on one piece at a time. Which is exactly how God weaves the amazing tapestry of your life and mine. He sees the whole thing, the finished product. We see the piece in front of us. It's this little 24-hour thing we call a day." Although I know this, there's still a part of me that tries desperately to do everything, perfectly, right now. I need to remember that baby steps are okay, and right now, they are the only way I will get anything significant done. I went to this favorite site yesterday, and got so incredibly jealous reading about what everyone else was doing. Not that I think I'm better; but I'm aching to do those things too. My mom would be the first to say, "stop beating yourself up, those people don't have full-time jobs and newborns too." But it doesn't stop the ache completely. From my journal: ...the strong conviction I've had lately about redesigning FTG, the site, getting cards printed -- I feel like this orange carpet of a path has opened up and is rolling and bouncing along in front of me, and all I have to do is step on it -- just like Dorothy -- and it's going to take me somewhere just wonderful. I need to remember that Dorothy got to the Emerald City one step at a time. And that in the end, she had what she needed in her heart all along.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Sophie's eyes. There's a very weak muscle in her right eyelid. So she will start wearing an eye patch (looks like a big bandaid, not like a pirate!) for 4 hours a day for 8 weeks in the hopes that it will force her to use her right eye more. I can't imagine what it's going to be like taking this OFF her eye every day. The doctor assured me that she would still have eyebrows by the time this is all over. We go back to the doctor at the end of July to get another assessment and see how the patches worked out. We may need to talk about surgery on her eyelid then. It's a real possibility. We have a lot of learning and research to do ahead of us (including the chiropractic idea). We are pretty upset.... I guess it's silly to think that her eyelid couldn't have been affecting her vision yet, but it is. I know that there are way more serious things that could be wrong with her, and that we should be thanking our lucky stars that she's such a happy and healthy baby. And we do. I still think she's perfect, but I guess we'll have to put the modeling career on hold for a bit. (ha ha ha.... although I do think she is pretty enough to be a baby model!) So I will end on this note -- please, please, pray for Sophie. Pray that her vision is healed, that the doctors are making the right decisions, that the patch works fine and she doesn't have to have surgery. And if she does, that we'll all be able to deal with it and that she will be able to see everything just fine. Miracles can definitely happen in 8 weeks.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

A vital truth: It is absolutely impossible to listen to "C is for Cookie" while driving without singing along. Loudly.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Sophie goes to the eye doctor We're taking Sophie to the eye doctor tomorrow. Since birth, she hasn't opened her right eye completely. Her eye appears to be fine, it's just her eyelid. We complained since day one but the doctors all assured us it was temporary and that she'd grow out of it. Surprise, it hasn't taken care of itself; and at our last pediatrician's visit a month ago he agreed that something really needed to be done. It's been mentioned to me that Paul and I are Sophie's advocates in this world. It's true -- we need to speak up for what's right for her. It makes me feel proud and determined. While I am relieved that we're having it looked at, I'm scared that they're going to want to operate. I'm torn between being upset about the possibility of an operation and the possibility that she can eventually lose the sight in that eye if we do nothing. Any prayers you can offer are welcomed. :)