Thursday, January 29, 2009

Myth of Sisyphus by Titian 1549

Many of you are probably familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus: "a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again" (wikipedia). It feels like that is my life right now: laundry, cooking, cleaning, picking up toys, changing diapers, ironing, bathing, making beds, sweeping floors, vacuuming, exercising. Even playing with the boys -- I try building a LEGO tower only to have them tear it down as I build it up. I try building a train track -- they pull it apart. I don't even see any progress with my attitude toward our dog, Atticus' attitude toward his brother, or my attempts to organize and simplify our home/stuff. Just a constant futile push against entropy, inertness, unchanging realities within and without. It could be winter -- my dislike of February leaking into January -- or living in winter-six-months-of-the-year Minnesota (though it never really bothered me before). It could be a lack of sleep (but I've had that for three years now). I may need to pith myself in order to keep functioning in my current role.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Stuff

1. My children have only been taking 1 hour naps this week. After I get them to sleep I have been getting about 20 minutes to myself each day. That makes my soul very tired.
2. Victor has eaten a hole in one of our living room chairs. He is eating the foam padding. Dogs should not live in people houses. I realize this is against the opinions of many people I love and respect, but I cannot reconcile good stewardship of property, finances, or time with animals and people co-dwelling. I feel like part of my soul must be metal and not flesh to believe -- nay, feel so deeply -- this grouchy, uncharitable, inhuman thing.
3. My husband gives the most wonderful back massages I have ever experienced.
4. I have two weeks and one day until my weekend vacation alone with my husband.
5. I made fancy chocolate/vanilla swirl cookies today: They look pretty. They look like the ones my friend Sarah Deems makes. They are her recipe. But mine taste yucky. Why? I don't know. Sad.
6. I would like to do that 25 Random Things survey on facebook but I am not persistent nor smart enough to figure out where the questions are. (Do people make them up? There must be some kind of guided list, right?)
7. My friend Leah watched her pastor's dog this week. It's a bull mastiff. It chewed the corner off her brand new couch. She was very angry and returned the dog to his home (She'll let him out a few times a day instead). She felt awful about being so angry and "failing" at dog-sitting. I would have been so much so much so much more evil and sinful -- And though I probably would not have sworn quite as much as Leah when returning the dog, I certainly would have been doing something much worse with my heart and spirit than what her mouth was saying.
8. Brad is back at work tonight trying to finish a big project due out this week. I miss him. The boys are sleeping fitfully, I need to stop typing random things and go work on my book illustrations.
9. Andrew Bird has a new album out this week. Bon Iver has an new E.P. I've listened through both of them a few times, but I still keep getting stuck on an old favorite album: Over the Rhine's Drunkard's Prayer.

My Boy Dietrich

My Boy Atticus

Trying to Get Along

The on-going prayer, discipline, crying (mine and theirs), trying again, talking, praying, asking advice, trying again to get along. Today was one of the better days.

Joslins Visit

Monday Laura & Madeleine Joslin came to our house to play, and we all had a lovely time together. Here Atticus & Madeleine play a duet.

Pretty Laura only 9 days away (7 now!) from her due date.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Snow Gathers Stars" & "Barn"

Brad gave me these two lovely prints for Christmas. We found this local artist, Nick Wroblewski, a couple years ago when we were first married. We fell in love with his work right away, though we couldn't afford the piece we originally wanted. We kept the guy's name in hopes of one day having one of his pictures in our home. This is the first "real" (not just a poster) art either of us have ever bought or owned. How I love my husband's thoughtfulness and how much he showed he really really knows me by the two prints he chose for me. Thank you, Sweetheart.

You can see more of Nick Wroblewski's beautiful work at:

Super D

Dietrich has been wearing a kids' home depot project apron around his neck backwards like a cape for 2 hours this morning.


Atticus has been referring to his grandparents as such:
My mom -- Pirate Grandma
My dad -- Chainsaw Grandpa
Brad's mom -- Bubbles Grandma
Brad's dad -- Pancake Grandpa

Monday, January 26, 2009


Look at this hilarious picture: It is from left to right -- my cousin Todd, my brother Aaron, me, my cousin Lisa. It's at their farmhouse a few miles from ours in Illinois. Those are our cousins' dutch rabbits -- They raised them for fun and for 4-H. I just found this picture on Lisa's facebook page. So funny, Lisa!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Run! Jump! Climb!

So Leah introduced us to Gleason's Gym down in Eagan (a southernly suburb). Wednesday mornings a two-hour toddlers' open gym is offered for a great price of $8 per family. This week was our second time coming with a group of friends. These photos are minutes before the rush of kids and moms arrived. When the 30-40 bodies are swirling about it is pretty difficult to stop and take photos. Lots of supervising, enforcing safety rules, and politeness and helping in and out of places (especially for Dietrich). The boys both had so much fun!

A while later in the "pit" with some of the crowd...


Yesterday when Brad came home from work he said, "Let's go sledding!" After nine hours of getting snow clothes on, we left for a nearby park. It was Dietrich's first time playing in snow. He was interested, though cried every time Brad took him down the hill -- pretty big hill for a 1 year old. Atticus loved the whole thing -- His face was pure joy sliding down that hill. And he climbed back up the half a dozen times Brad took him down. I am so happy for such a fun, adventurous husband and such brave young boys.

Dietrich's first time down...

Atticus' first time down. (They also went backwards once; And then there was Atticus' ill-advised and short-lived solo run down the hill; He's a little too young to go alone on a hill this size.)

On the last run, Brad took both boys together!