Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Piles of Isaac

Look how little! And he can already blow kisses.

Rad hair, baaaaaad attitude.

Imitating mama in labor.

Heart-shaped nostrils, special ordered.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Isaac Thomas

March 24, 3:35am
8 lbs 10 oz
21.5 inches

We're all happily lazing in our hospital suite, letting them do the laundry and cooking for a couple of nights. Plus I like the bendy bed. Everything went perfectly and I am so pleased to meet him.

Thank God!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Same, you?

Sorry, I got nothin.

I hope we'll have news and pictures and gushing of all sorts soon.

You must be at least 76% as sick of hearing that as I am of saying it.

Friday, March 14, 2008


{Should you be so curious, you'll have to click the pics to enlarge and see the pirate ship in the first one and the relevant text in the second.}

Pirate stories, especially the Shanghai-ed variety, are fun because people are often whisked away from the daily grind and forced into a complete otherness of perspective. When I was a kid I daydreamed about being kidnapped by the circus or transported back to Mozart's time (where I would be the best player EVER and would also understand that rats carry the plague) or I would be taken on some kind of adventure in which my family would unknowingly be saved by my incredible horsemanship and Wonder Woman costume. I was (was?) a daydreamy kid. Mom often had to remind me to "stop dawdling" and put on my other sock as I sat on my bed in a reverie on school days.

The hijacking of my life by my family feels a bit like one of these imaginary sagas. Daring situations come up, new characters are introduced, the path just gets randomer. Today it occurred to me that I like it that way. Call it a new flood of hormones on an already swollen sea, but the next year is looking more like a beacon and less like a burden by the day.

I recently posted a 35 x 35 list of things I wanted to do before turning 35 in May. That pipe dream has been revised as I have been busy doing much more important things like building a human being in my middle and eating several tankards of refined sugar daily. So, as owner-operator of this whole shebang, I have revised my list and expanded the deadline such that these things are now to be completed throughout my 35th year.

Just to avoid boring you to death, I'll refrain from including my list here, but maybe it will show up somewhere later if I find it motivating. My mom's not so likely to remind me to keep going with this, so maybe I'll be off on other trails and May 2009 will come and go without a whimper. I think I'll stay tuned to find out. You can see the old version here. For the record, I've completed 4.267 out of 35. That's 12.19 percent.

Heart wide open, fully invested life is all a matter of your POV.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Week 38 Round-up

I've caught that dreaded third-trimester bug, you know, the one where the preggo cannot stop watching Discovery Health shows involving rare disorders and high-risk deliveries. I have a few hours to myself right now and I spent part of it wallowing in frightening medical possibilities, with Toby at the Aumsville toddler ranch while I take care of some high powered (cough) viola career-related jockeying and teach a student in Portland. Mostly I had my bible study come over and also had tea with my pianist while we talked about what we wanna play this year.

As to my balance of ambition/parenting dilemnas, I think I have found a partial solution for at least the next few years. My focus will turn to my duo, building the viola studio at the college, and to opportunities I can arrange for myself. Those are the things I enjoy most artistically anyway. Those are also the most easily self-driven aspects of classical freelancing and they afford me the most control. I would rather put my energy there than in drumming up gigs and networking, though there are a few ensembles I will always agree to play when they call.

A brilliant friend reminded me about grace this week- and especially that it can include the ability to be okay with a different circumstance than one has planned. This relinquishment of control and trust in grace applies both in sacrifice and in receipt of energies and abilities.

A phrase from a song lyric has been rattling around my head: heart wide open. I want that in these preschool, busy, boring, frenetic, rapid adaptation years. In the three most important years of my life (marriage, Toby's birth, and now Isaac's arrival) I've always longed for the ability to be present, to slow down, to remember and absorb my own days.

I tease and complain about pregnancy, but I hope I don't forget what it's like to actually contain all this life, otherness, potential.

And I hope he comes soon.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Toby's old enough now to actually notice and enjoy the animals. In the last pic he's demonstrating his look of deep concentration. Wonder how he'll look at his brother for the first time... and when- WHEN?! WHENNNNN???!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Recent Viewings

We've seen a lot of movies lately. Each time my parents volunteer to have us stay, we like to swing over to a theater after Toby's gone to bed. Or sometimes Dad will go with us and Mom and Toby have play-time on the ranch. She's particular about movies, and we take all comers, so it works out nicely.

The Departed: C+.
Is it just me, or does Scorsese pull a wiggle of his enormous eyebrows and at the very end make fun of the audience for taking this movie seriously? There are good performances, of course (Leonardo, Marky despite his hideous hair), but generally I think if I was a writer for this film I'd be ticked. I don't mind shoot-em-ups, but Reservoir Dogs this ain't. It felt like an ad for the Scorcesian style, the movie itself be damned.

Be Kind, Rewind: B+. I really like wonky movies centered on characters rather than tidy plots. And it's well-known I have a thing for Jack Black's style. My personal jury is out on director Gondry (LOVED Eternal Sunshine, and all those Bjork videos, but not so sure about Science of Sleep) and there are certainly some cliches of his own style in this. He has this one habit of setting up little scenes and then walking the camera along them horizontally, like a child would move from room to room of a doll-house or diorama. He seems also to like things that wiggle: fingers, children, streamers. If you want your movie to make a moral statement and to have an easily discernible plot structure/form, you probably won't like this. His pacing is all his own here, so you won't have the constant gags of standard Jack Black vehicles. I think he got a bit lost in his exploration of the middle act, but otherwise I liked it just fine.

No Country for Old Men: A. I have a huge crush on the mind of Cormac McCarthy. My dad put me onto his writing way back when, before any of the books were movies. I remember All the Pretty Horses made me cry actual tears from my hard-hearted cold-blooded ducts. It's the kind of writing you feel older for having read. No Country is one I haven't read, but it felt like McCarthy. They didn't glam it up, they didn't make it about anything less than the foundations of the human condition. In his writing there seems always to be a few distilled conversations between austere characters that define the kernel of the work, and these were not absent in the movie. Again, there is no hollywood tidiness here but you won't mind for the richness of the tale. Also, Tommy Lee Jones is yet another lawman, but like none other he's played, and his lack of an Oscar should embarrass the little naked bronze man.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WFMW: Backwards Edition: Graceful Transitions

Today's Works for Me Wednesday is a backwards edition, meaning I ask for advice & solicite your ideas rather than coming up with my own.

So, here's what I'd like to know.

How do you gracefully handle fundamental change? We are about to go from one great kid (2 y-o boy) to two. I am about to go from miserably pregnant to ALL THE HECK DONE (whoooopp!). My career as a musician/teacher is sort of in adjustment, per the general SAHM-ness of my life for the next few years. I don't take the ability to be home with my kids for granted- it is exactly what I want- but I won't pretend my personal ambitions are in some parental deep-freeze.

I would love anything from practical advice on balancing being a mom and caring for my own drives (ambitions, goals, professional stimulation) to tips on how to breastfeed while potty training.

Thanks and check out all the other folks looking for advice (and the neat ideas they'll get in their comments) here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Dude, where's our car?

Sorry for our absence.

I've been working on a couple posts, but we were delayed in Salem by the guy who hit our parked car, putting it out of commission for at least a week. I gotta say, as much as having somebody hit your nice innocent car stinks, the best scenario for this to happen is while you are inside a movie theater watching the Movie of the Year and it is parked outside. No arguing about fault, no one hurt. Even the tree he creamed after glancing off our car and pushing it into the street had only a few scratches in the trunk. Poor guy had low blood sugar, or so we heard.

Now we're careening around in a ginormous Durango thingy, which we have dubbed the Black Jeep of the family because Toby has a thing for Jeeps. It has room for the entire World in the dashboard alone, so if you come by we'd be happy to put you up in the 800 thread-count cupholder cozies.

Yay for insurance. Poor Jeep!