I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Budding Artists

  Introducing art work by Jackson Abell!

 The drawing-painting-gluing-coloring obsession has taken another one of my children and he is now scribbling his way through stacks of paper the same way Ayla has been doing for years. Once he figured out how to draw his stick people, he has been creating his own "art" and posting it on the refrigerator himself. 

 Nearly half of our dining room walls are covered with Ayla's artwork from school and it looks like we will have to devote the other half to Jackson. (And Elliot isn't too shabby with the watercolors, either!) Plus - when I am in my sewing closet, trying to punch out another cloth diaper, they are nearly an assembly line of creators. They bring me drawing after drawing, often with glittery glue or most recently, with Ayla's real hair taped to the portrait. She is starting to become a genuine tortured artist - ripping out her own hair for the sake of artistic vision! 

 Please enjoy these people created by Jackson. Especially the one of the baby being thrown into the pot. :) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A "Bunch" of Weirdos

 This is the story of how my kids turned a boring dinner into a laugh-until-you-almost-pee-your-pants ordeal.

 I was feeling a little frustrated and annoyed with my day...we were in the middle of Gregory's work week of night shifts. My least favorite part of being alone with the kids at dinner is that after all the stressful prep, fielding their pleas for snacks and little hands stealing food from the cutting board; is that when we finally do sit down... they seem to lose interest in eating. We can sit there with Jackson for a half hour, begging him to just FINISH YOUR DINNER. Elliot also loves to stand in his little chair, making it bounce dangerously and giving me heartburn while I try to feed him macaroni and cheese.

 But, somehow, the mood was turned around with a bunch of broccoli. A camera, some vegetables and our weird personalities made finishing dinner that night a ridiculously funny experience. Apparently the weirdo gene is a dominant one, because we have certainly spawned a bunch of lunatics. Often, I find myself getting frustrated because I cannot keep these kids on a schedule or really get anything done in a timely manner. But such is the nature of childhood - who am I to complain when they would rather take absurd pictures of broccoli than just finish up and get onto the next task? Thanks, my children, for keepin' it real.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Thanks to my Mom and my Aunt Mitzie sending me seeds for a tropical egg plant about six months ago, I now have my own strange looking fruit-bearing plant in the midst of oregano, tomatoes, peppers and kale.

This might qualify me as a crazy plant lady, willing to grow anything green without promise of real fruit or flowers. My neighbors have already caught me talking and apologizing to my porch garden for sometimes negligent care.

I promise you the seeds were sent from Florida and didn't just "appear" at a exotic plant stand during a "total eclipse of the sun". (If you aren't already following the Little Shop of Horrors reference, there's no need to explain it to you.)

But this little seedling turned into quite the interesting plant! It hasn't talked or ask for blood, it is just producing cute little egg shaped fruits that (according to more plant nerds on the internet) promise to taste like cantaloupe.

Seems innocent enough, right?

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Learn How to Snoop

  Do you look in the medicine cabinet when you are in the bathroom at a friend's house? Do you survey bookshelves and pictures on the wall? Do you make quick judgements about them? Does a clean house give you the impression that a person is neurotic or open to new ideas? If you were to survey a strangers bedroom - would you be able to tell if that person were male or female or extraverted, for that matter?

 Why do I ask, you ask?

 I recently finished the book Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. The author, Sam Gosling, has researched personality and how we interpret or display our attributes through our stuff. Where we put our stuff, in what rooms of our homes and where on our work desks we place family photos (if we do at all).

 While many people would say that "stuff" is not important, it is interesting to research why we hang on to things and how we decide what to do with them. If you think about it, decorating the spaces around us is very unnecessary. Paint color on the wall doesn't make it safer or more sturdy. Hanging pictures is then actually destructive to those same walls! Do we need fancy patterned sheets or to keep books after we have finished them? All of these aesthetic efforts are part of our overall effort for self-expression.

 Duh, I know. But not everyone realizes why exactly they conform their spaces to make it feel more like "home". It is either an important form of displaying your values or just a perfunctory duty to put stuff in a room. I have seen people in cheesy furniture showrooms who literally bought everything on display: down to the weird napkin rings and stock art.  Personally, that would be a nightmare. I couldn't think of anything less welcoming. Yes - I always oooh and aahhh at the Ikea displays and take note of how the colors are mixed together. But I realize that it's important to me to have a high percentage of personal items on display, things that the author would call mood regulators. Reflections of my family and my experiences make me happy. Prints of random flowers and beach scenes do not.

 The book reads much like a textbook because the author gives an overall recap of personality research. Studies of hoarders. personal websites, office spaces, front porches and bathroom cabinets. It's fascinating what you can tell about a person if you are looking for the right clues. Think about a world where you wouldn't interview for a job, but the potential company would come and inspect your bedroom. They would be able to tell if you were agreeable or honest based on your bedside table.

 One of the more interesting sections was about the types of quotes that people include at the bottom of emails. (I know this was a more popular thing to do five years ago, all of this research was done before Facebook exploded.) You can tell a lot about a person in that simple gesture.

 So, if you are like me and stay up way too late reading at night, this is an interesting read!