My son has crabs

Yesterday, my son and his girlfriend spent the day at the beach. It was like any other day at the beach, warm sand, breaking waves, and the feeling of summer’s intimate caress in the sun’s rays and wind’s breeze. Oh, and there was a boatload of crabs all over the beach, mostly dead, a few alive. Wait, what kind of crabs did you think I meant?

IMG_3644When I picked up the kids, my son and his girlfriend showed me their prize possession, tucked safely at the bottom of a Styrofoam cup: a small crab. “Look!” she gleefully cried. “Isn’t he cute? We’re going to call him Mr. Crabs!” It was dark, I honestly didn’t see anything in the cup, but I’m a mom, and I know how this game is played. “Cool! How exciting! Are your seat belts fastened?” I am all about safe driving, ya know.

After we had arrived home, the kids put their beach gear away, took turns showering, and then settled down to watch a movie. Just as I was falling asleep, my son decides it’s time to find Mr. Crabs a more permanent housing situation. “Hey, mom, do you have a glass bowl we can put Mr. Crabs in?” Why is it they ask me questions after I have drifted into the state of relaxed bliss, ready to release the day and fall into Morpheus’s waiting arms? Foiled again! I’m sure I mumbled something mostly coherent, because when I awoke this morning, Mr. Crabs was tucked in his new home, safe from the cat and out of view of the curious (although mostly blind) dog.

Playrooms and unfinished sessions

I’m attempting to gain more interactive gaming fluency for my job (really). My 14-year old son volunteered to help me. Even though there were times he wanted to do things for me because it was more efficient, he didn’t. Instead, he patiently directed me with tidbits and helpful hints. We played a version of air hockey, which was trippy and fun. He won, but by only one point. Then we played something called Playroom, which was entertaining for about five minutes. He showed me how to navigate through the interface, and we explored various options. I decided on a single-player, puzzle game where I could explore, get used to the controls, and wrap my head around game theory and interactive play. I made it to level two before it was time to begin fixing dinner. I didn’t disgrace myself too much, but I have a lot to learn before I can smoothly move through virtual worlds.

After breakfast the next morning, I was jonesing for another Unfinished Swan session.

Mira in technicolor

20150225_212230I am sad to report that the first pair of Mira shoes had a run-in with a can of Scotchgard. My intentions were good! I wanted to protect the art for as long as possible. While the integrity of the shoes are still intact, the design is now muted. I think it looks kinda cool, but I prefer the stark contrast of its original state. Lesson learned: Sharpie pens and Scotchgard don’t mix.

The aforementioned experiment just gives us an opportunity to design another pair, right? Of course, right! This time, my colorful and creative younger daughter wanted the bamboo design in green. Well, okay.

It was cheaper with a coupon to purchase a set than it was to just buy a single green pen, and what are you to do with all of those color just screaming at you to use them? Well, d’uh, color savvy girls pick their favorites and her mom uses them. I’ve never Zentangled using a color palate before, I usually stick with the standard black and white. I must say, these are pretty exciting and I’m quite please with how they came out.

_WearingNewMiraClearly, my youngest daughter loves them, as she donned them this morning paired with her signature mismatched socks.

She’s a colorful person, without a doubt!

Mira, Mira on the shoes

20150217_163309My youngest daughter is a huge Animal Jam fan. Recently, she stumbled across Sketch Jam, where an artist demonstrates how to draw some of the animals featured in the interactive Animal Jam world.

My sweet youngest child decided that she wanted to draw an animal on the toe section, and that I could Zentangle the remainder of the shoes. It was fun working with her on this project. Listening to her talk about which animal to draw, which patterns she wanted to surround her animal, and wondering how long it will take to complete, made me smile. Once she decided on Mira, the crane, she hustled her dad out to shop for shoes.

20150217_163341She is proud of these shoes in which she took part in dreaming, planning, and creating. I can’t wait until we design our next pair!

Yarn of yore

20150206_064525My youngest daughter is gearing up for her sleepover on the Californian, the field trip for a cool history unit her class is studying. Last week, her blue eyes dripping with wistfulness, she asked me to knit her a hat. Well, yeah! What color?

She chose this gorgeous hand spun, hand dyed, yarn I bought a couple of years ago. I didn’t use a pattern, but how hard is it to make a hat, right? I wanted it to be slouchy, and I guessed at how wide to make the band, and when to increase and decrease stitches to give it that slouchy shape, but I think it came out okay. Not bad for my third hat (and no pattern).

I’m positive that she’s pleased with it, as she slept in it last night, wore it to the breakfast table, and occasionally reaches up to run her fingers over the stitches. It’s quite satisfying when someone shows such pleasure in a gift you’ve made for them.


Winter wonderland

SoCal winters are not at all white. I’m20141207_123154 amused at how our seasonal decor reflects snow and that my kids have never actually seen snow, let alone see it snow. I gotta fix that one of these days.

I kept to the role of Christmas decor subject matter expert as much as possible, and let the kids run with the actual decorating design and implementation this year. My son wore the mantle of Chief Executive Designer, my youngest daughter became the lead elf, and my oldest daughter decked the halls out of the house to attend a holiday party. That’s okay, as one of her friends helped to decorate the tree.

I am particularly fond of the way they did things, with joy and enthusiasm and not worrying about precision. I took pleasure in listening to them discuss options and hearing my son’s reasoning behind his decisions.

20141208_132340My youngest was given charge of the Nutcracker collection, and she took her time arranging and re-positioning each one in the window seat next to the tree until she was satisfied with it’s placement. She told stories about several of the “princes” as she went along. I enjoyed a treasured peek into her fertile imagine.

20141207_155032-1Busy with the lights and pearl garland, my son gave his youngest sister the job of arranging the Teddy bear collection next, where she was directed to arrange them in the dining room. She did a good job, until she got bored and asked me to finish. I added a touch of holiday spirit to the antique mirror while I was at it.

20141208_133350Next came the Christmas village on the ledge between the dining room and the kitchen.

(You can see my Post-it To Do list. It’s where I ask everyone to post what they need, wish, desire, and things of which we’re close to running out. It’s low-tech, but it works.)

As decorating, in the children’s minds, doesn’t necessarily include putting away all the storage bins, I suppose that becomes my job. Maybe I’ll bribe ask them to help me out…


Happy Holidays!

Comic relief

20141129_165902There are times in one’s youth when money burns a hole in your pocket. When you’re a teen boy with such a condition, you might simply be compelled to encourage your mom to drive you to the cool comic book store. Heck, you might as well make an adventure out of it, wrestle your sister and her friends out of their cozy chat corner, and make them go with you.

Yup, that’s exactly what you do. Look through large tables stuffed with comic books of all kinds. What happens when you find exactly what you’re looking for? Well, herd everyone together who have wandered off in different directions, load them in the car, and wait patiently until you can climb onto your bed and read the aforementioned comic books to your heart’s content.