Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Martha Freakin' Stewart

I have a Betty Crocker Cookbook. We have a love hate relationship. I think the one thing I successfully made was a cherry cheese-cake pie with pre-made crust. Inside the front cover of my Betty Crocker Cookbook is a small stack of recipes scribbled on notebook paper, napkins, receipts, and what have you. I call this stack of recipes my "Don't Ask Betty Cookbook." It is all the things that I can do, that that stuck up, high falutin Betty can't do.

Well, it seems I may be starting a "Tell Martha to Stick It Craftbook."

I have been trying to get ideas together for making a home made Easter Basket for Aiden and not getting very far at all! So I "Googled" it.

If you ever come to me with a question, "What's the weather supposed to be like this weekend?" "How do I tell my girl friend I love her?" "When does the new Johnny Depp movie come out?" - My answer is usually, "Google It!" - Or sometimes I say, "IMDB it!"

So color me happy when Google turned up Martha Stewart's website for Easter basket ideas. She is one crafty kitten!

So crafty in fact that I would now like to punch her in the face as well as anyone who actually takes the time to make these ridiculous things....

About this glittery creation, Martha says " Being blue has never felt so good. Especially since little presents, such as a vintage blue bird are tucked inside these shimmering egg boxes."

Now listen here Martha...If I attempt this, the only thing blue will be my fingers from pure exhaustion and my carpet from an angry child smashing these stupid eggs on the floor.

Good thing Martha has other ideas...

 Martha says my child will treasure this basket long after the treats inside are gone....yeah, just like he loooves his Christmas stocking when it's empty huh??

Martha Freakin' Stewart.

Well I guess I am on my own with this one...stand by for glitter and vintage blue birds...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Night of the Arts

Before Spring Break, which is this week for Aiden, Abiding Hope does a "Night of the Arts," where the kids' projects are on display and they perform what they have been learning in music class. Last month, Aiden's hoe-down performance didn't go well but what a difference a month makes.

This is Aiden's "God's Garden" artwork - hard to believe I let his hair get so long.

The first performance was all the kids - 2 year old class through kindergarten, with Aiden's class right in front! 
He sang along and did all the dance moves.

While flipping through the program I noticed that his class would be performing the "Eentsie-Weensie Spider." A couple weeks ago Aiden began singing this at home and I thought to myself, "Hmmm, he must have learned the "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" at school."

So we sang it in the car, we sang it at the dinner table, we sang it before bed, all the time, everywhere. BUT - he asked if we could change the words. So Aiden has been rehearsing "The Isty-Bitsy Monster," the "Isty-Bitsy Fish" and the "Itsy-Bitsy Choo-Choo." I felt terrible... but he performed just fine - he's in the grey/yellow/purple striped polo if you can't see him (and he keeps turning around if that helps).

After their first performance, they did "This Little Light of Mine" and played along to the music with hand made tambourines - I have a video of this but am sort of hesitant to post it because my son's enthusiasm, while greatly enjoyed by myself, was not appreciated by the boy directly in front of his tambourine. 

Once each class performed they all gathered on the stage again, and Aiden took the very front of the whole big bunch, I was so proud I could cry!

He did all the dance moves and even took to leading the group like a conductor!

To see the video of Aiden front and center performing - see facebook!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Father's Day In March

Aiden hasn't been bringing home many art projects recently. For one thing, what he has been working on will be on display for Night of the Arts and then go into his memory book. Also, he's been working on a gift for his daddy.

Since school gets out in May, Abiding Hope celebrates Father's Day in March. This morning the kiddoes and their Dads had breakfast together at school and exchanged gifts before school started.

Please skip the next photo if you are easily prone to tears...

The big "goose" as Aiden told us...is his foot and the baby Aiden goose is I have no clue what body part!

Anyway, hanging around Abiding Hope has been really important the last couple weeks since Aiden's speech therapist and teacher suspect he might have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It's very common, lots of kids have it and never find out until they get to kindergarten so this is a good, early catch and we can intervene now.

First of all, Aiden has not officially been diagnosed and second of all -- all SPD really is, is that younger kids need more physical input in order to process and reason well mentally. Essentially, if Aiden doesn't get to run around enough his body focuses on his pent up energy more than say, story time or a sitting task.

So we are learning all sorts of ways to handle this, mostly from the school since Aiden hasn't had his formal evaluation yet. During story time he has a heavy medicine ball that he rolls back and forth over his legs (the school bought it just for him). After recess the entire class does "wall push ups" which they all think is hilarious but most importantly keeps Aiden from being singled out.

The class also participates in egg hugs together, which Aiden and I do at home and since Aiden seems to seek  sensory input with his head and upper body he gets lots of head rubs, shoulder rubs and back scratches from his teacher...sounds like a spa day more than a school day to me...

Anyway it all really seems to be helping and I am so thankful to Abiding Hope for helping as much as they do - have I mentioned how much I love them??

Sidenote: guess who goes to the potty at school now? And does it standing up like Daddy....

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Life Defined By A&D Ointment

When I got my first tattoo, the artist looked me dead in the face and said, "Do you know what this means...It means death. Toxic. Poison....You want that on your body forever?"

At that point I was on a path of self-destruction. I was under the sincere impression that every person I knew or touched would either die or leave and it was my fault. I was also under the impression that I was a bad-ass punk and no one could tell me different. Boy was I wrong.

I had never used A&D Ointment before that, and I remember looking back, thinking how well I took care of my first tat, it was my pride and joy. It didn't hurt, it made me a tough guy. Now, I hardly even notice it. Except that the bones on one side are slightly raised scars. Sometimes I run my fingers over the tiny lines and think to myself - toughen up punk.

Then I went off to college and life kinda kicked my ass. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way - twice. Found out I wasn't invincible and found out what toxic people are really like.

I also found out what good people are really like. I found my way out of a really dark place and vowed that I would take those lessons with me for the rest of my life.

This tattoo was a tribute in a lot of ways. Inspired by the original sailor tattooist - Norman Collins. The sparrows are lucky to be tattooed together - you never get one alone. The pairing represents a sailor's safe journey home.

The dates are representative of things which I know I may never understand or come to terms with, but are no longer for me to dwell on but to lay in God's hands. It quotes P.Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You" which I was stuck on for a long time when my Uncpa died "Every day we pray for you." And in a lot of ways makes me think of my sister - "Us in the six, shoppin for new clothes and kicks - words can't express what you mean to me."

I get more compliments and questions about this piece than the other, even though it is hardly ever seen. And hell yeah it hurt. I believe the reason rib tattoos look so sick is because they hurt so much.

Anyway, about two weeks after I got that tattoo, life handed me another curve ball. I got pregnant.

A&D Ointment meant something new to me.

This little boy has given me so much to live for. If ever there is anything worth a struggle it is him. I have been working full time and finishing school as long as he has been around. So when I graduated, I knew I wanted another piece to reflect my hard work and to tribute to him for getting me through it all.

I have circled around the idea of a tattoo that quotes "The Used" for a long time - planning on "Since you've been gone, I'm not the same" to reflect a time when I thought I might lose one of my best friends. However, she is around and doing better than anyone I know and with my other tattoo commenting so heavily on loss, I wanted the words in this one to inspire Aiden so I kept "The Used" but changed the quote to something that meant living and fighting.

I kept the Alex Pardee art piece "The Strangled Heart" because as an artist he defines my feelings without using words. The heart is hanging which to me represents the way love can keep us alive when we are lost somewhere in "the grey" which is where I find myself these days. Instead of hanging from a tree though, it hangs from Aiden's birthday because if ever there is one thread left to hold on to, it is him.

I was so relaxed with this one. My  motto for 2012 is sweet surrender. The surrender was in fact so sweet that I fell asleep.

And now I use left over A&D from Aiden's diaper days to cover a tattoo that represents everything I hope for him.