Monday, August 27, 2012

Grumpy, Goofy, Our Goobers, and Groggy

Chris had a business trip in Anaheim, so he was away for a few days. Then while he was still there, the kids and I joined him. What's in Anaheim? Oh, lots of things. But I guess for most, Disneyland comes to mind. This was also to celebrate Chris and Mikelle's August birthdays.

PRO: Being able to join him.
CON: Coming off 4 days of Single Momhood prior to joining him.
PRO: A short flight over to meet him as opposed to a 6 hour drive.
CON: Flying alone with 3 kids, one of them being a squirmy toddler and an inflexible 8 year old.
PRO: Going to Disneyland almost straight from the airport.
CON: Going to Disneyland almost straight from the airport.
PRO: Kids got to miss school to go to Disneyland.
CON: Kids got to miss school to go to Disneyland.
PRO: The excitement of the new Cars Land at California Adventure.
CON: The excitement of the new Cars Land at California Adventure.

Needless to say, there were a lot of Snow White's Dwarfs' personalities on this trip: Grumpy, Dopey, Bitchy (yes, the dwarf who isn't as well known due to the need to keep the story appropriate for families), Happy, Sleepy, and then Grumpy again. Chris also was excited to see us and excited to go to Disneyland, so I think he was let down a little bit of the "reality" that came with it. 

Reality: Mikelle is 12. Enough said.
Reality: Christian with his ADHD, Anxiety and Inflexibility issues. He has always had a hard time with the toddler making things more difficult for him (don't get me started on the tray table situation on the flight)
Reality: As I already said, Alexander is 20 months. He's very active. He's very curious. He's very squirmy.
Reality: Mom is tired and stressed and a mixture all those Dwarfs mentioned above upon her arrival, due to these realities.

Plus, I was under the impression that it was California law to list all the calories on the menus. However, contrary to what I've been told, it's not that way except for chain restaurants. Therefore, Disneyland didn't have any of those perks to help with ordering. And when you asked them for Nutritional Information? They didn't have it. Therefore, some eating was a lot of "guesses" and Hail Marys. It was frustrating. 

However...YAY! We got to go on the Indiana Jones ride! When Mikelle went on it as a 9 year old, she DID NOT like it.  Now she did. It will always be one of my favorite rides. We also got to go on Splash Mountain (kids went twice!) Pirates of the Caribbean is always fun, even with the weird new additions. Some of the Jack Sparrow additions are fun, but I can do without the politically correct modifications of what used to be the men chasing the women. Now they have the women holding food to make it look like the men are chasing them for food and not the other "goods".

Sad thing is I used to LOVE Thunder Mountain. But on our 2009 Disneyland trip, I discovered that now it makes me sick and headachy. Aging ruins all the fun things. Therefore, Chris and the kids went on Thunder Mountain.  The kids and I didn't make it to Fantasy Land, but Chris and Alexander did. And I had to enjoy the Star Tours Star Wars gift shop as much as possible because I cannot go on Star Tours. Even back when I first went on it almost 20 years ago, it makes me so nauseous. It's sad, because I love Star Wars and I would love to see what cool new stuff they added.

However, when Chris and the kids went on it, we discovered Mikelle was a REBEL SPY! 
Who knew?!
No wonder she was so cranky the next day. Her cover was blown!
With Red in Cars Land!
 Actually, I'm trying to remember why she was so cranky. I think it had something to do with her I-pod and the fact that we as parents make rules she doesn't agree with.  

But she got over it, and we had fun at California Adventure.

Christian had some difficulties later that day. He had only $6 left of his spending money. He was really upset and having a bit of a meltdown when innocently, these 1930s era Amelia Earhart and a Cop came over. I don't think they realized what they were walking into! However, they stuck around for a bit and helped Christian feel better. The Cop had the 1930s NYC accent down pat too!

They gave him a special Telegram from Mickey Mouse! Stop!
Mikelle also got a special "Citation" from the police officer, but I cannot find it right now. She did try to sell it for money though. I'm not kidding. Therefore, I took it and now I can't figure out where I stashed it.

And here we all are, earlier that day.

And Dad with our Zonking X-Man in Bugs Land!
Art related, I just LOVED this mosaic wall in the Hollywood area of California Adventure.

On that same note (Art), I thought it would be fun if we went The Animation Academy and get a little lesson there in the Hollywood section where we were taught how to draw a Disney Character. This time they were teaching Minnie Mouse. I thought it would be fun, and Chris thought it would be fun. Mikelle? My artist Mikelle? Not so much. She was upset while we were waiting and said she "doesn't like art anymore". I know she does. She's just being 12. And Christian? He let himself get too frustrated with wanting it to be perfect. I am sad that he couldn't just have fun and "go with it". But I've had students like that. I assured him he was doing fine. He couldn't understand why I wanted to keep his drawing. Because it wasn't finished, he didn't understand why I value it so much. :-(
Mikelle's Minnie

Alexander's Minnie and Chris's Minnie
Christian's Minnie. (I made it vertical and saved it that way, but it keeps coming up sideways).
My Minnie
On that note, that's about it for now. If I find a way to view some other pictures, I'll follow this post up with them. The 6 hour drive home was nicer than the short flight over because we were in a rental minivan and the kids were not so close to each other like the flight. Plus, I can never sleep in vehicles, but this time I must have been so exhausted because for about two hours, I was GONE! :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beauty, Bumps, Birthdays, Babies and Blahs....

Chris at age 2? 3?
It's Monday and I'm feeling kind of in the 'blahs' again. A lot of it is the heat and hibernation. Alexander is also really good at climbing, getting into things and he manages to bump his head at least once a day. Today he bumped the back of his head on my forehead. I think I'll have a bruise too. Not only that, but it is becoming impossible to go into public with him. He has a fit in the shopping cart and keeps trying to crawl out and make an escape. Oh, those belts on the cart? Useless. He's Houdini with them.  And restaurants? Impossible. He won't stay in the high chair and making him stay and making him sit means a screaming fit. It's pure mayhem. 

We tried to go out for Chris's birthday last Friday night and it was clear that it was a huge mistake with the high chair screaming fit.  It's pretty bad when you're already in a noisy "kid area" part of the restaurant and your kid screaming makes everyone look.

Oh, yeah, like I mentioned. Chris had a birthday, so made sure to post this favorite picture of mine!

I did finish a new temple print, but Chris won't be in the office for at least another week for him to scan it for me so I can have it ready for anyone that would like a print. Therefore, prints of it won't be available at my Etsy shop until at least August 29th. However, I'm impatient and not good at waiting, so I'm showing it anyway! 

It's the San Antonio Temple. I haven't been there, but Chris has. He also talks about the beautiful stained glass adornments on this temple and I knew I had to incorporate it. 

Actual pictures of the San Antonio Stained Glass are below. Aren't they gorgeous?

Also, bringing together past photos and art, when Chris and I were at Sundust last Friday, we admired once again a painting called "Kissing Baby Brother" by Arizona artist Norma Ponce de Leon. There was no way we could afford it, but we did get a small 5x7 print.  Seeing the side by side comparison with the picture of Mikelle and baby Christian, you can see why I was drawn to this beautiful painting. 

I love the serenity that both those images give (along with the stained glass temple pictures above them), so that seems to be a good place to end this entry.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lucky Birdies and New Names

My Etsy shop hasn't even been live for a week and I already had a sale! I am so honored that Susan in Vermont who is with the The Alex Foundation purchased my African Grey Tribute print! Not only that, but my friend Sholee bought an Owl Print for her mom, and my friend Theresa (who approached me to create the Colonia Jaurez Temple) bought prints for her family members for Christmas. So this has been a great week for art! I also dropped off these two framed Sun Motif prints for the outlet at Sundust.

It was funny, when I got there, Ron (the owner) said, "I didn't think I'd see you again until it dropped under 90 degrees." HAHA! Well, that is partly true. But I had to go to Scottsdale yesterday, so it seemed only logical to drop these off on the way back. I had been putting off bringing those by because it was kind of far away, and two, it was over 110+ for days and I was in hibernation. By Thursday, we finally got a break and hit clouds, lower 100s, upper 90s, etc. That is closer to survivability.

While we were at Sundust, Chris convinced me to re-name the big Motifs I have there for sale in the Main Gallery. This one is now titled Enjoy the Journey and Buy Cute Shoes...

"Enjoy the Journey and Buy Cute Shoes" Copyright C's do not appear on actual artwork.

This one is now titled Hidden Profiles.

"Hidden Profiles"

And Hidden Profiles is also below (left), but the one on the right is now titled Travel Log.

(Left) "Hidden Profiles" (Right) "Travel Log"

The link where these can be purchased on line can be found here.  And this triptych that includes the originals of the Sun-Moon-Star Motif is also on sale there.  I'm honestly surprised it hasn't sold yet. I thought that would be the first to go. :-(

Sun-Moon-Star Motif (Originals - Pen and Ink)

And while at Sundust yesterday, Ron told me about a Bird Art show coming up there in November. So it's time for the original of the above African Grey tribute to be matted and framed and then work on some others! I hope to include the original of the Owl Motif, and then also include a new motif of a Blue Hyacinth Macaw and a Blue and Gold Macaw. Stay Tuned!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And We Have Lift Off...My Art Shop on Etsy

I have been dragging my feet with the prospect of putting my art on Etsy. However, I finally did it. I'm excited about it! Here is the link - please go check it out!

And a little "Wandom" Fun, some Whimsical Wandomness. Just a design that doesn't hold much meaning. It's fun sometimes to just draw and not have to think much about it! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Owl Motif...If you Give a Hoot

Such a "21st Century" Problem...
Well, yesterday morning, the internet was down and it didn't appear to be a small glitch like it normally is (where it comes back after a few minutes). 

Over the phone, Chris had me try a few things, and no dice. 

Therefore, there was no email or internet. For someone like me who despises the telephone, it was tough! I've been working on uploading and working on product descriptions for my art on Etsy (more on that in a sec), and when everything comes to a halt like that, it is more than frustrating.

Ironically, it was through the cable company's website that Chris (at work) was able to communicate with someone about the problem. (If we had both been home when it happened, he wouldn't have been able to talk to anyone about it that way. And I hear their phone support isn't as "responsive"). 

And if that wasn't enough, I was going to continue to work on some files and things for the artwork (something that doesn't require internet or email) and when I returned from some lovely errands in the 115 degree heat, the keyboard wouldn't work! But then I was about to explode.

Anyway, whatever upset the keyboard was fixed last night by Chris, and as for the internet, the cable company got someone out here today and the problem turned out to be a modem that was fried. Obviously, I'm posting this, so the problem has been rectified. 

I love that Chris opted to buy the cable  guy's modem he had with him and have cable man install it. Sure, it was more expensive, but I know if Chris opted to go buy a modem himself and install it himself I would have been more frustrated at the extra time and headaches. That was his reasoning as well. He knew I would have been more annoyed if the process took more time. I love that my crankiness and how well my husband is familiar with it helped this situation end a lot sooner. When it's 115 degrees, the last thing you want is to go out trucking for a new modem on a Saturday. And I love Chris, but I know he would have taken all afternoon going to multiple locations to price check.  And those locations would not be nearby or near each other.

Sometimes it's better to just have the professional do it right there.  Plus, it's added to our bill. Sure, we'll have to pay it, but at least we didn't have to cough up the money right then and there. now I can post what I intended to yesterday. 

I am a bird person, but owls don't fascinate me much. However, they do seem to be a bird that many are "drawn to" (no pun intended), so I figured it would be fun putting one together. I took it a step further and instead of owl subjects inside a standard circle, I created the shape of the owl as well. 

I'm also getting ready to launch my store on Etsy. That way those that would like to purchase prints can use the Paypal option and I don't have to wait for anyone to send me a check. I hope this helps boost some of my sales. The store isn't "live" yet, but it will be in a couple days.  At least I hope so.

I will post as soon as it is! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Mikelle - 2 Weeks Old - August 2000
Twelve Years ago today, this little Goober came into our lives. She was 7lbs 3oz and about 2 weeks early. Today, she is Twelve. TWELVE.

It's nuts. NUTS. 

I knew from the get-go, that she would be stubborn, and I was right. It was part of the fear I had in having a girl first. However, God knew what he was doing. She is the kind of stubborn that is frustrating because she's smart, but sometimes her grades don't show it because she's interested in other things and we have to pull teeth to get her back on track. 

But I digress. 

Age 8 Weeks - September 2000 with Zoey
Mikelle and her Mom's Cousin Katie - 8 Weeks
I can't imagine life without her, and she's really good at spoiling AleXander. 

She loves Christian and I've even heard her say it recently. They just have a turbulent relationship being that they are 3 1/2 years apart. I am confident that they will be close later. 

Mikelle - 6 Months - February 2001

Age 1 - With Daddy - August 2001
Age 2

3rd Birthday 8/7/03

Age 5 - Fall Soccer 2005
Kindergarten Picture Day - 2005 Age 5
December 2009 - Age 9
Spring 2012 Age 11 1/2

She had a little birthday party over the weekend. It's deathly hot, so it was a swim party at our neighborhood pool. Then we PLANNED for them to come back to the house and watch a movie. But it turned into only a couple of them watching the movie and the rest running around all hyper-like. That's okay. They had fun. But I won't lie - I was relieved when the end came. lol

These two were taken a week ago, actually, but this seems like a good place to put them.

Swim Party 8/4/12
Mmmm....Pizza and Root Beer
Back at the house for birthday cake, presents and craziness!
Love that smile!
They DO love each other.
"Inside Joke" Presents!
I still love that smile...
The following day, Sunday 8/5/12, she was sung to in Primary. Oh.My.Gosh. I wish I could have videotaped it. She was up there with another young lady and the other young lady was embarrassed, but she stood there politely. Mikelle? It was like she was so depressed and in agony. In agony to be leaving Primary? Oh no. She wants to leave Primary. It's the agony about being sung to. I get that she didn't like it, but she made sure we all knew it. If I did videotape it, I would have dubbed the music over with something depressing like the "Death March" or something.

I know I posted this already, but this bears repeating, based on how she reacted to the singing in Primary:

And no, she wouldn't say the below phrase, but the look on her face when she was being sung to on Sunday seems to fit the sentiment. 

But with Mikelle, it shows we don't have wonder what she's thinking. Sure, sometimes it's hard to "get it out of her" when she's upset, but she has no problem letting us know what she likes, doesn't like, and what she enjoys. I hope that spirit carries her nicely through adolescence and she is still her own person and not a follower of crazy peer pressure. 

Happy Birthday Mikelle! Keep growing, but can you do it without us feeling so old? Purty Please?