Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Home Works

A little sneak preview into the back room / ex rental / new office space I started working on this past weekend. It all started when I lugged home that little wood hutch from a local flea market and realized it didn't really go in the space I had in mind when I bought it. I moved it out to the spare room and realized how handy the storage inside could be. So I moved all of my crafting stuff there and started creating a new space, just for myself. But more on that later, once it feels more finished. 

For now, I am working little by little (like everything in my life these days, I have to squeeze into two hour increments while the baby naps) to clear out and organize. The one rule being, I have to use things I already have on hand which makes it kind of fun trying to repurpose items I've had tucked away or neglected for years. 

I've also taking up a mean new stitching habit I indulge in late at night when I escape outback and practice getting these little pieces down the way I want them. Still a ways to go, as far as the finished outcome is concerned but it's been a sweet and relaxing break from my usual late night habit which consists of sitting on the internet browsing mindlessly until I finally decide to turn in for the night. 

Planing on sharing a proper tour of the space (as well as a complete essay regarding the importance of "A Room Of One's Own") over on The Ma Books when it's ready.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Month Nine

Let us just say, because I am behind on these, that this was the month you:

- Clapped your hands for the very first time.

- Learned to sit securely on a moving skateboard pushed across the length of living room by your ever attentive, always encouraging brother / mentor, Rex.

- And flat out refused anybody, other than me, that sought to touch or hold you.

Like the switch of a light you woke nine months and decided it was me and me alone you wanted. Crying when I walked away to answer the door, reaching desperatly, furiously for me even in the familiar arms of your father when I went to hand you over. Heartbroken anytime I plopped you down to help your brothers.

Luckily, it passed.
So you have returned to accepting (at times) the smiles and arms of others.

But in all the plight and exhaustion that came with trying to sooth a baby who decided, on a whim that he was the only one I might need hold or tend to, it was still hard to stay frustrated very long at boy who saw you as the sun, the stars and the moon no matter what or where on the day you stood to offer.

Scenes From a Weekend

*As in - Last weekend - because I am still terribly behind here due to major computer issues and ongoing genius bar consultations. 

YEAH! Pop - Up

Anyway, I got the chance to spend two whole days with two boys in tow. Leon, Hayes and I packed up and crashed my best friend's place in Korea Town last weekend where we cozied up in pajamas and ordered in burgers and watched movies the first night, then headed downtown bright and early to visit my Friend Elizabeth and her husband's newest venture Yeah! Furniture, hosting a jam packed two-week pop up extravaganza in the Hudson Loft to help celebrate the launch of this new line.

The agenda was chalk full of great events ranging from crafting workshops for kids (and adults) to discussions revolving around all kinds of interesting topics led by an array of inspiring folks, as well as beautifully stocked catering tables handing out samples from a few favorite local food stops, to wine pourings, to flower booths, to art shows, film screenings and so on. Literally the list went on an on. Every event I made it to proved a complete blast. And I would say they did a fantastic job of showing how you can work to promote yourself, and each other in a warm and authentic way that in turn, helps engage and connect the community at hand. I know I met quite a few familiar online faces  so it was nice to get to know them a little better there in the skin, in such a such a welcoming space. Nothing like the kind of try hard hipster stigma these L.A gigs tend to wear.

Though the best part of it all was having all my attention there with Leon. It's so hard these days, to get that with any of them that I really cherish the times when I am able. I had my friend there to help with the baby so I got to really soak up my time there with him. Watching his God's Eye construction at the Crafting Community's neon colored yarn decked booth, sharing a Popsicle in the lobby, conversations over dinner and even a long day at the Rose Bowl flea market where he was such a good sport and so much fun to have by our side. That kid's whole vibe is infectious. Proof is in everywhere we went, vendors and strangers alike stopped to hug or talk to him. There were more than a couple times I stood back and watched with pride over how much palpable joy he carries with him and how much it seems to transpire when he is with others. On the flip side though it also gave me a heavy heart in realizing how much I take for granted on the rush of a regular week with each of them. Because of all the good things I have to say about the gifts a big family brings, there are times like these where it pains me to admit how sliced my time and attention as a mother to four has become.

Hopefully though I'll be making more of an effort from here on out to secure these special days with each of them, alone. To stop and fully appreciate what unique and incredible people we are raising. God knows it whips by in a flash and what I am learning more and more is that the greatest milestones are not necessarily the ones that you mark in the books or share in photos, but more the small moments you start to see them as their own, working through a particular situation or carrying on an ordinary conversation where it tends to assure you that they are indeed stocked full of all the qualities you could want and hope for in the those fleeting days when they are brand new.

Don't Look Back

Rex Michael, in a justified pout after having a block tower he built swiftly toppled by his younger brother.

How quickly the tables turn.

In the end, I convinced him to built another. Even better. That sits safely high up on a bedroom shelf. For now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Break

When original plans for a Spring Break getaway up near Tomales Bay fell flat we were stuck trying to figure out what and where to spend our time seeing that the weather was so nice and we were all desperate for a few listless days in the sun. We didn't think too much though before settling on our favorite fall back spot which, if I were to think back, is probably where a majority of our Spring Break vacations - even prior to kids - were probably spent.  "Old Mans" beach, with kid friendly surfing conditions and a convenient sand parking lot to offer up the motor home up as easy lunch and nap access. Though this time around we had baby Hayes sleeping happily inside an oversized teepee made especially for the beach, which he seemed quite content in. (Despite what the photo suggests!)

We had the first couple of days to ourselves. And then had family out overnight and friends who met us there for dinner and a "holi powder" fest on our very last day. We barbecued hot dogs, watched and a rooted along a beached sea lion who finally made his way back into the water after a four day pause there on the shoreline, played volleyball, learned some new songs on the harmonica, flied kites and tossed around a big nylon Frisbee. Mike also unearthed and fixed up my old bike for this trip too so I found a new, tiny slice of freedom riding around from beach end to beach end and back again. The baby didn't go far with me the way we are photographed below, just to be clear on that. But only around in circles on the sand to feel some wind on his face. He laughed happily, cooing joyfully from behind my shoulders. So I'm now looking to buy some kind of seat for him before summer comes so we can ride a little further, and freely. 

As far as toys go, I kept things especially simple with what I packed and what I brought for each of the boys to play with. The goal being less and less to pack, and then of course have to put away upon return. Coming back can be so overwhelming that it tends to take away from the actual trip. Each season, the first voyage we take helps me gage what we really need and use and what can be left behind the next round. Definitely I need to bring a lot less clothes, and keep the entertainment limited to: bubbles, instruments, crayons and paper, sand buckets, balls, and small blow up pool, checker board, and a couple kites. Outside of that, they really don't need or ask for very much. 

So with that in mind, I am already aching for the official start of camping season, for all the days and weekends ahead spent cramped there in that big green summer home on wheels. Sitting after long days in the sun by a campfire with s'mores. I know I've said it a hundred times before but these trips always make me sentimental in the way that I know these particular memories will always be my very favorite. Seeing my nine year old out in the ocean surfing all day long with a guitar at his side and a song on those strings by night, I know that at least we're getting this part right. Hopefully the long term impact is big. The "good times" will always outweigh the few rough. 

In the meantime, that RV will be needing a transmission tune up, me, a new bathing suit, and the boys, some serious lessons in checkers. 

All in good time.