Friday, November 5, 2010

Haiku my heart- bridge

one side of the bridge
is the constant overwhelm
the other side is peace

I haven't written since September.  I have two children under the age of five, I work full time as a mental health therapist, I teach at two universities, I am reading three theses (is that the plural of thesis?) for three of my students, I supervise interns, and I try to make and sell art.  I am in constant overwhelm and my poor little blog has suffered (my family is not very happy either.)

Lately, I have been looking more critically at this whole overwhelm thing.  Why do I overbook myself?  Is the constant buzz of being busy distracting me from something else?  The real problem is that in the past, I overbooked but always met my deadlines and met the expectations of those around me.  With two little ones, I am not quite so able.  A sick child (I have one right now) throws my entire schedule into a tizzy.  
I have been reading a wonderful book called "Healing Rage" by Ruth King.  She says that it is anger that I am distracting myself from.  She also talks about a fear of being still.  Something in this resonates.  The only time I feel still is when I make art.  It feels meditative... and I haven't done any of that lately either.  Something about this revelation feels so important right now.   I have to gather up some courage to be still and see what happens.  Anyway, that is where I have been and what I have been doing.  I have missed my Friday Haikus!   Anyone else suffer from a constant need to be busy?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Handy Dandy Random Number Generator

I tried a new number generator from psychic science!  
The winning comments were - comments 18, 35, and 22.  
Congratulations to Rebecca, Carol, and Wendy!  
Thanks everyone for visiting my blog and leaving such sweet comments.
Hope you have a wonderful week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Practical Magic- Sisters


What super fun- and believe me when I say that this has been the best escape for a pretty terrible evening.

The thing that speaks to me most about this film is the relationship between the sisters.  My sister and I are incredibly close, and  although we don't live near enough- we communicate constantly and I would definitely drive across the country if it meant helping her in some way.  She is a part of my heart.  With that, I am dedicating this little piece to her.  A quick aside, I ended up needing her tonight- and she came to my rescue- from a thousand miles away.

The piece was created in a "Romeo Y Julieta" cigar box.  
I was waiting to use it for the right project- what better than for a piece about love?


young and beautiful 
she exposes her heart

the butterflies speak to 
vulnerable transformations


innocent strong
amidst cold crystal branches

and glittering blossoms
romantic but safe

I am not sure which sister I am, and which is my sister... but the love feels familiar.
Wishing everyone a happy practical magic blog party!

OH.... how about a giveaway!
I will give away a glass charm pendant with my image of Sally or Gillian - you can pick. 
How about 3 lucky winners!
I will choose from comments on Sunday!

I will be working all day on my daughter and son's birthday party,
but can't wait until this evening when I can sit down and enjoy the party!
Feel free to comment:-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Haiku my heart - Tangled Red

In searching for a haiku picture today- I found this picture in my archive.  I think I was in my early thirties.  I don't remember taking this picture at all.  I thought it was funny- especially since I wonder about where my daughter gets her theatricality from.  When I was in my twenties one of my favorite things to do was to set up my tripod, get dressed up in outlandish costumes and take pictures.  I can't imagine doings such a thing today.  When someone shows up with a camera, I hide.  In 11 days, I will be celebrating my birthday.  I think maybe this year, I will try to get over my recent fear of cameras and spend some time playing dress up with my daughter.

 Please check out the talented Rebecca's blog,
Recuerda mi corazon
and get linked to all of the other
Friday Haikuers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Haiku my heart- When she looks

 when she is looking
precocious discovery
creating herself

My little one is theatrical by nature.  She loves to look at herself in the mirror and practice her emotional faces and the conversations that she might have with others.  She began preschool last week.  It was a new school, new children, new teachers, and I was full of anxiety for her.  I was always a shy little wallflower.  My daughter is so much like me in many ways- but with a confidence that I don't think I ever had.  She ran into the school and immediately began making friends.  The teachers all remarked on her wonderful social skills - where I continue to feel awkward in a room full of strangers.  Where did she learn this?  Is it all that practicing in the mirror?  Next time I am feeling social anxiety, I think I will try to conjure up my inner Caya Papaya and see what happens:-)

 Please check out the lovely Rebecca's blog,
Recuerda mi corazon
and get linked to all of the other
Friday Haikuers.

Find a photo and join in the creativity!

Friday, September 10, 2010

no haiku today....

  I had to skip my haiku this week.  I promise to be back on track next week.  I spent all of last night eyes glued to the television set watching the fire in San Bruno.  I work in San Bruno- about 6 blocks from the fire.  I was overwhelmed thinking about the houses that I pass by on Sneath and Skyline- and of the people impacted by the tragedy.  Luckily, all of my family, friends, and clients are okay.
  I have been a little in my own head this past week.  My daughter started preschool - which she absolutely loved- and my son began daycare -which neither he nor I loved at all.  The place is wonderful and the people are caring and loving.  I know he is in good hands... I just am sad that they aren't mine.  He is such a little thing that always wants his mommy.  Anyway, it was all feeling pretty tragic... until the fire happened and  shook me out of my space of feeling sorry for myself.  My plans for this weekend include donating a huge stash of baby clothes to the red cross for the victims of the fire.  The fact that they are short on toddler clothes and infant clothes breaks my heart.
   Life is tricky... and things could always be worse. 
I am not really sure if that makes me feel all that much better.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Haiku my heart - tree

the view you must have
against blue sky and water
roots firmly attached

I took this picture overlooking the bay.  I just loved how this tree was leaning into its environment.
Hoping everyone has a lovely weekend- for many of us a much needed three day weekend!
I plan on doing lots and lots of cleaning... and hopefully some art!

Please check out the lovely Rebecca's blog,
Recuerda mi corazon
and get linked to all of the other
Friday Haikuers... (I think I just made that word up.)
Find a photo and join in the creativity!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Haiku my heart - eating cake

I have been feeling nostalgic after my last post about the birthday invitations (click here!) I make for my children's birthday parties. I pulled up some of my old photographs of my daughter at past parties.  This one was taken two years ago.  It is such a cliche to talk about how quickly your children grow up-  but when I look at this picture, I ache.  She is such my little muse.  She can cause me to completely feel like a crazy person- and in another instant, I feel like mothering her is all I was meant to do.  Her next birthday party will be in September, and she will share the stage with her brother (we will see how that goes!).

Someone asked last time about my photographs.  They are photos that I play with in photoshop.  This one I used the colored pencil tool- setting the brightness of the paper to white, and then fading the effect a bit.  I also played around with the contrast.  I have such a hard time leaving a photograph alone.  

Hopefully you can read the Haiku okay.  Oh - I did a syllable counter on stained, and it came back as a two... just in case you were wondering :-)  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!! 
For more Haiku goodness, check out the beautiful Rebecca's blog. 
It only takes a few minutes to add your own!  

Birthday Invitation!

I have always dreamed about being a mother- and about all of the different creative things I would do as a parent.... the bohemian artistic family life that we would lead.   I have had a lot of time to think about it.  I didn't have my first child until I was 39 years old.  My second child came as a sweet surprise from the universe at the age of 42. (A surprise I had been trying for- but really didn't think would happen.) Unfortunately, the reality leaves me with little time for all of the parenting fantasies that I had entertained when I was without children.  I didn't really take into consideration that I would have to work full time, that I would have little sleep, that I would live in one of the most expensive areas in the world - and that my children would have their own ideas about how they needed to be parented.  Who knew?

But there have been a few ways in which I have been able to stay true to those early visions of mothering. One of the big ones has been around birthdays.  Each year, I write a letter to my daughter (and this year I will write my first one to my son).  In the letter, I describe the person they are becoming, the milestones, and the way in which they move me.  I bought a special album to keep the letters in, but haven't gotten around to that part of my vision yet.  I figure as long as I have written the letters- I am doing pretty good.

Another thing I have done is thrown special birthday parties.  I love a creative party!  And I adore making the invitations.  I usually do some basic artwork and then use all kinds of embellishments to complete them.  Although I don't have scanned images of the final invitations- I thought I would share some of my basic artwork for the last few:-)  The one at the beginning of this post  is for the upcoming September joint birthday party.  (As long as I can, I am going to try to do these joint parties.  I am sure that pretty soon, my daughter will protest.)  Their birthdays are only four days apart.  So, this is what I have been working on lately.  I just finished the web invitation- but I still will send out paper invitations too.  I guess I am a purist.
This one was for Caya's first birthday party.  We had a mad hatter theme and I made all of the guests wear funny hats.  Okay... to be honest, no one agreed to it and I was the only one who wore a funny hat.  Caya took off the cute bunny ears within two minutes of beginning the party.  I am learning that I can be flexible around my visions- and find the beauty in what happens there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Haiku my heart - His eyes

Looking in his eyes
sleepless warm who knows me best
wrapped in tomorrow

August 19th is my husband's birthday.   This is my second marriage, and yet I can barely remember a time when my husband and I we were not side by side.  This raising of children can be trying- but I feel we have weathered the sleeplessness, the discombobulation, the awkward feelings of not knowing - and are growing as partners.   So my haiku today is a thank you to my husband and a wish that this next year is full of creativity, opportunity, laughter,  passion, and love.

Thank you Rebecca - for even though my life gets overwhelming, 
I always try to at least do this post each week.  
For more Haikus- visit Rebecca's beautiful blog and maybe even join us.
click the image below!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Haiku my Heart- fishes

Under the current
beautiful busy and blue
mermaids can explore

This is my offering for Haiku Friday.  I took this picture at the Monterey Bay Aquairium - which is one of my favorite places.  Hopefully, I can visit there again soon.  I haven't taken my son yet-  my daughter used to love it when she was little. 

I have neglected my little blog this week.  
Too busy with children and work.  Hopefully, this week will be better:-)

For more Haikus- visit Rebecca's amazing blog and perhaps you can add to the fun.
click the image below!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Haiku my heart-

she can feel too much
little heart angry broken
fighting sleep and me

I don't really know why I decided to take her to Target at 5:00 pm without a nap to buy a present for her little friend's birthday party... but I had a huge lapse in judgment.  Each small tantrum igniting the next one.  My empty threats to leave the cart and go home were of no help. (I needed diapers for my son - so this really wasn't an option).  My mother said that I could throw an amazing tantrum when I was little.  I can throw a pretty good one now- so I would imagine that she is telling the truth.

Just so you know, I didn't take pictures of my daughter in the midst of her tantrum - although there are times when I look at her eyes full of tears, red face, and pouty lips and think she is quite tragically beautiful- that would feel a little too exploitative and not exactly the empathic nurturing mother I want to be remembered as.  The picture above was taken during one of her acting sessions.  She loves to have photographs taken while she pretends to have different emotions.  (No wonder her tantrums have the emotional intensity of an oscar winning performance). 

So- this has been my life as of late.  I am learning how to stay calm- and repeating the mantra, that a wise woman told me...  "Just because she is upset - doesn't mean I have to be upset.  Just because she is emotionally overwhelmed, doesn't mean I have to be emotionally overwhelmed.  Just because she is having a tantrum, doesn't mean I have to have a tantrum."    Doesn't always work, but I am trying.

To read more haikus on Haiku Friday or
maybe to add your own
visit the enchanting Rebecca

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sew Wonderful

In high school we had the option of signing up for home economics or shop.  Boys chose shop, girls chose home economics.  Being contrarian by nature, and thinking this might be a good way of meeting boys- I signed up for Shop.  I made a very nice wooden stool shaped like a turtle- but I didn't make any love connections.  Since that time, I have completely and utterly regretted my decision. 

I love clothes!  I love fabric!  What was I thinking!

I finally found a way to  make right that bad adolescent choice I made 25 (or more) years ago.  I signed up for an online sewing class!  I am so excited, I can't wait to go shopping for my fabrics:-)  My husband bought me a machine for my birthday two years ago - and I have used it, but teaching myself has many drawbacks.  I have made some lovely playscapes for my daughter, some very funny hats, a couple of wall hangings, and I have hemmed a few pairs of pants.  I also have many projects that I have begun- and never finished.  Button holes and zippers are daunting tasks that I haven't drummed up the courage to attempt.  So, here I go.  Of course with working full time, taking care of two small children under 4, teaching, having a relationship with my husband and friends, and trying to still make some art- I will get even less sleep.  But who needs sleep!  I am too excited!  Think of the possibilities!  
  My machine... I should think of a suitable name for her.  Have you named your sewing machine?  
Who taught you how to sew?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Haiku my heart- swimming...

diving in water
 her awkward fearless beauty
 surfacing happy

I never learned to swim... which is why it has been so important for my daughter to learn.  I love how passionate she is about being in the water.  It takes all kinds of bribery to get her out of the pool.  
Maybe one day she will inspire me to give it a try.
Can't be a mermaid if you don't know how to swim.

To read more haikus on Haiku Friday or
maybe to add your own
visit the enchanting Rebecca

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pinkness- Haiku my heart

distressed and ravaged
wind captures blushing blossoms
keeping you hidden

To read more haikus on Haiku Friday or
maybe to add your own
visit the enchanting Rebecca

Monday, July 19, 2010

Frida's waiting

I can become distracted by all kinds of things.  Etsy browsing... beautiful blogs... a gorgeous children's book.. I am also someone who is constantly thinking about new things to occupy my time with.  Whether it be investigating for two hours who teaches the best Flamenco Class to where I would move if I left the bay area.  In the wake of my distractions lie all of the little projects which never get quite completed.  My daughter's alphabet monsters waiting to be hung in the play room - the sketches for paintings that will never see canvas - the little dress I started to pin that never rendezvoused with the sewing machine - the yards and yards of tulle for the colorful tutu that was never made - or those paintings that are near completion, but are missing something that I can't really identify.   
My little Frida painting is one such painting.  

She sits with her sister waiting for me to figure out exactly what should be said above their heads.  "Love yourself" - "Love" - "I had a dream about you" - "Know yourself" ... I am not sure what it should say.  Should I write it in English?  Should I write it in Spanish?  Should I just leave it blank?  
Should I write something absurd?  (Like - "She didn't know what to say." ) Too many questions... so there she waits for an answer... next to the other little paitings needing to be rescued. 

What do you think I should do?  Any ideas?  Maybe I should sleep with her on my nightstand.and see what I dream about.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Haiku my heart- for my mom

and I have her eyes
her strong dark intensity
but she has my heart

Feeling much better this week:-)  Called my mom, and she cheered me up.
Thought I would honor her this Friday.

It is Haiku Friday!  
Please visit the lovely Rebecca for links to more haikus- 
and perhaps if you are feeling inspired, you can add your own.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Haiku my heart

i am so sorry
wishing i could stop the pain
knowing that i can't

Two very sad things happened this week.  Early in the week, one of the special education teachers passed away of a brain aneurysm in her classroom. She had two children under the age of five. The thought of that fact is almost too much for me to hold on to.

The second thing is this morning my best friend told me her father died.  I am heartbroken for her.  I am of that age- where parents pass away.  It is hard to find a friend wth two living parents.   I am so blessed that both of my parents are alive and at this moment healthy.  My mom battled cancer last year- but emerged cancer free... but I constantly worry.  I want my children to really know their grandparents. 

Sorry for the sad post.  Guess that is where I am today.  I need to find ways to move out of this sadness and into a place of thankfulness.  Anything can happen- which is why it is so important to always make sure that those in your life know how much you love them- and to try very hard to not take life for granted.

More Haikus- and hopefully much less depressing can be found at the lovely Rebecca's blog

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mama bear

I have interspersed this post with lots of beautiful mama bear prints I found on ETSY.  
Click any of the links to look at some very cool artwork:-)
So, by nature I am a bit feisty.  When I don't like something, I will be the first to tell you.  I have a strong sense of justice- and don't like it when people are treated unfairly.  I probably write at least one letter a week to some lawmaker about something that is irritating me.  I am the one who is constantly posting links on my facebook page to one petition or another.  I teach a class about unlearning racism.  I don't like authority figures.  I don't believe in complaining without action.  I have been this way since I was a little girl.  So- how might this translate into being a mom?

Okay.  I think in the two and a half years Caya was in daycare, I wrote a total of about seven angry letters.  Angry because they give toddlers stickers- and then take them away when a child misbehaves (a no-no for any behavior management system), a letter because they did a project with what looked like India Ink and didn't use smocks for any of the children, a letter  because they didn't give my daughter or the other children much structure, and became angry when the children rebelled.   Lots of reasons.   At the last parent/ teacher meeting- I became so angry that I pulled my daughter out of daycare.  I felt that the caregivers were so animated and excited when talking about my daughter's faults- but lacked any enthusiasm when discussing her strengths.  When they became insulting because she likes princesses- I had no other choice but to remove her. 

Maybe I want too much.  In my professional life, I work with extremely difficult children- but not a day goes by that they don't know how much I care about them.  I can tell a parent something heartbreaking about their child (like that I fear the child might be psychotic) and at the same time help a parent find hope.  It is something that is important to me.  I guess I want the same from those people who I ask to take care of my children.

   So, this week I looked at numerous different day cares.  Some were full of play with no focus on academics- others were too focused on academics with no play - some were a bit shady - some didn't feel very safe- and some were extremely expensive.  Is it too hard to find something that encourages children to learn, is fun, safe, and affordable?  I finally settled on one- to find out today, that they are at full enrollment.  So, I will begin looking at more preschools tomorrow.

Okay... sorry for the rant.  Life just feels complicated. I think I have talked about my daughter many times before on this blog.   As someone who diagnoses children for a living, I am constantly looking at my daughter and trying to figure out who she is.  Too focused to be ADHD.  Too attached to people and attention to be Autistic or Aspergers.  No real history of a mood disorder.  But what I do have is an extremely sensitive, bright, willful, independent little girl who is not always very compliant.  When I am focused and teaching her, she is amazing.  She will sit for hours listening to me read to her.  She is already sounding out words.  Her language skills are incredible- words like ridiculous, hilarious, and exquisite are common.  She also can throw a tantrum because she doesn't like the feel of her socks.  She cried and became very angry when  I tried to watch the news because she can't stand to hear about the oil spill.  "Too many animals are being hurt!"  She fills my psyche.

   Sorry for the long tirade.  I am just really struggling.  She really is a lot like me growing up.  Where do I send her?  Will I be writing letters to caregivers forever?  Is this normal?   Will I ever calm down?
Thanks for listening.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another mermaid

I am busy right now grading papers - I only have twenty left of 70!  Each paper is about six pages long- so it is still a ton of work.  I can't wait to be done so that I can take back my evenings for art making.  Anyway, I found an old journal and saw this image I drew six years ago.  September 26th is my son's birthday (2009).  Interesting.  That was actually my daughter's due date too - but she came four days early in 2006.  I have had two clients born on September 26th that I totally adored and think about often.  Hmmm.
  Anyway, I thought I would share this mermaid who was swimming about in my right brain six years ago :-)   For those of you who didn't see my last mermaid post -  mermaids and me.  I actually like her quite a bit.  Maybe she is worth visiting in a larger painting.
  Okay... it is late.  I better get to sleep before the baby wakes up!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Haiku my heart!

This is definitely how I am feeling this morning!  I have been surviving on 4-5 hours of disjointed sleep a night.  Hopefully soon the two little teeth I see under the surface will break free and bring my Leo some relief!

Happy Haiku Friday!  Follow this link to find more haikus and to maybe add your own!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

hot hot hot

It was a sweltering day- but I am proud to say that we left the house and took the kids to the park.  Children everywhere- screaming and running in the water.  My husband and I took turns following (more like chasing) our daughter from activity to activity- while the other sat on a blanket in the shade with Leo.  A beautiful day full of family and sunshine.  I didn't do the laundry.  I didn't clean up the patio.  I didn't read my students' papers (which scare me a little- they are sooo long).  I didn't go through the pile of no longer worn baby clothes that are sitting  in the bedroom.  I didn't take the latest exercise dvd out of the shrink wrap.   And I am not going to.  I smell like sunscreen. And now I will make art and consider the day a beautiful success.
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