Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Here's What I'm Hoping:

1. That my children are not, in fact, ignoring me and requiring me to repeat myself multiple times daily out of spite and a staunch commitment to a rude and disrespectful lifestyle. Instead they are appropriately distracted by the wonders of life and are begging me to slow down and notice them too.

2. That Svea will someday understand and embrace the concept of privacy, for herself and others, while at the same time remaining a thoughtful, liberated woman.

3. That when I have to count to three to get Henry to focus on the task at hand it will encourage his love of numbers and learning and not teach him that he can make smoke come out of my nose.

4. That the teasing and arguing is just part of being siblings and that I shouldn't intervene all the time, though the line seems thin sometimes.

5. That the fact they can hurt each other's feelings the quickest is reconciled by how hard they make each other laugh...and that these two things happen in 43 second intervals all day long. It is my current soundtrack.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How We Survived Spring Break '09

Trips to Rural King to see the chicks:

Playing with friends:

Making silly faces:

Loving on Baby Boobah and Cinderella the Purple Whale:

Climbing the spider web at the zoo:

I can't believe how very long, full, tiring, and wonderful this week was.
Good thing Spring Break only happens once a year.

New Catcher's Mask

Henry has been asking for a catcher's mask for about a year.

I, Husband and I have been able to successfully distract him from this acquisition for about 11 months and 27 days of that year. Then we tried to make him one out of a clothes hanger. He totally bought it for about 13 minutes.
It even matched his armor! And his glove!

Then he decided that wire masks were for 3 year olds and that his would better fit Svea. Then he asked Brian to look up on the computer a better one for him (!?!?!?!?!!).

He counted the days until it arrived, then wrote the mail carrier a Thank You note for bringing it to our house. That sweet mail carrier even wrote him back.

Thank goodness for birthday money, youth-sized equipment and nice postal workers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Welcome Aviva!

We celebrated the arrival of Aviva this past weekend.
It was the first time I had attended (or planned for that matter) a shower after the baby was born and it was so fun to have her there, sleepy as she was.

We had fun playing nerdy games like word scrambles, a race to see who could pack a diaper bag with one hand the fastest, and a word match of Hebrew and English since this child, like big sister Lilah, will be bilingual.

Aviva, the party animal pea in the pod, slept through all the games:

Here she is with proud Mama:

We, of course, had plenty of food:

Dips and sweets and spanikopita and even an appearance of the Crimson Tide Jello Salad from the White Trash Cookbook. That salad had cream cheese, olives, celery, cherries and some other treats all packed inside...I tried it, but don't think I'll be eating that again...Thanks, Jennie, for the experience!

I think overall, Aviva had a great time:

When the Football Players Break for Lunch, the Power Ranger will Rest

And the Tow Maters and Lightning McQueens will line up and wait and the Etch-A-Sketch will stand guard.
Never a dull moment around here...

(The blocks are new - Brian made them for Henry for his birthday out of scraps from the shop. Who knew the triangle ones would become feeding troughs for the offense and defense?)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wish I Could Have Gotten the Shot of Her Face in the Spoon

Svea found her reflection while waiting for her supper the other night.

She's been working on crossing her eyes since Henry already can do it. I think she was pretty proud of herself for achieving the blurry goal as well for making everyone crack up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Deli

Henry and Svea came home from school the other day and asked to make their own sandwiches. What the what?

It was so awesome.

Especially when I came back from running to get my camera and found Svea eating gobs of jelly straight out of the jelly jar.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Happy Birthday Henry!

Henry turns five today...

...and we have had quite an eventful weekend...

...full of a pirate ship pinata and ice cream cake...

...happy birthday, sweet boy.
(all the pictures are here.)

Good Intentions

This is the last week of Project Aware.

We began with Noticing Our Daily Lives with simple photography in Week One.

In Week Two, we focused on awareness around the Ingredients In Our Food.

Then Week Three was about noticing our immediate environment and Tiny Benevolent Changes we could make to our surroundings.

This Fourth and Final Week, we concentrated on an intention.
Here was the assignment:

1. Find an intention for your week. For those of you who have done this before, in a class or a group, you may have held an intention for yourself for an hour or maybe a whole day. This is one you will carry with you all week.
To define, an "intention" in this case would be something you are needing for yourself. Something that calms or balances or inspires you. This is only about YOUR intention.
Some examples may be courage, strength, balance, calm, peace, love, joy, laughter, pride, wisdom, clarity, etc.

2. Once you have decided on your intention, everyday M-F write it somewhere. You can write it on the back of an envelope, on a piece of napkin, your arm, the mirror - anywhere.

3. Finally, find a way to "image" where you wrote your intention. If you wrote on a tiny pieces of paper, you could collect those and take a picture of them. If you write on fleeting materials, then photograph where you wrote each day. If you simply make a list on the same pad of paper, take a picture of the list at the end of the week.

All of these photos of Intentions can be found here and here, if you want a closer look.
Let's see what everyone came up with...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tiny Benevolent Changes, XIII

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. get some quality, matching sink accessories for once in my life.
2. fix the stopper on the sink faucet - it's been broken for 5 years.
3. finally find a window covering that works.

2. Your bedroom
1. new lamps and shades.
2. hang the curtain rods correctly.
3. patch the nail holes.

3. Your living room
1. finish painting the trim.
2. new lamps and shades.
3. mop.

4. Your kitchen
1. get the grout professionally cleaned.
2. remove the hideous valances.
3. put new pulls on all cabinets and drawers.

5. Your car
1. get it professionally cleaned and detailed.
2. fix the CD player.
3. get an estimate for body work and paint.

6. From shoulders to top of head
1. new lipstick.
2. get these damaged ends cleaned up.
3. figure out acceptable, stylish ways to wear a scarf wrap until this mop grows out.

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. more post-baby-belly-covering casual shirts.
2. more shirts.
3. less blah.

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. finally find a flattering shorts length that works.
2. get a decent, stylish belt.
3. flattering jeans/pants that fit, and more of them.

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. give up the idea of wearing heels while caring for a toddler.
2. no more frumpy socks!
3.try long skirts again.

10. Tools you use for your art
1. subscribe to a Photoshop magazine/tutorial site.
2. create a space to paint.
3. don't be a afraid to draw.

Tiny Benevolent Changes, XII

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom

2. Your bedroom
1. Hang pictures
2. Remove/donate old dresser
3. Recycle old magazines from nightstand

3. Your living room
1. Spot-clean carpet
2. More babyproofing (though this might not be a "tiny" change)

4. Your kitchen

5. Your car
1. Consign curtains that have been in the trunk for a year

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Tiny silver hoops

Tiny Benevolent Changes, XI

Filling in the Form:

My Bathroom
1. I recently realized that many of the bath products I have been using contain some form of paraben. (Thanks Jennie and Jesika for letting me know about this nasty preservative!) I will purchase something this week that is paraben-free, and be more conscious about what I put on my body.
2. The shower curtain in my hall bathroom has been bothering me because of the mold growing on it. I haven’t purchased a new one because of the expense. However, this week I found one I LOVED and at a reasonable price. It has transformed my bathroom and makes me smile every time I see it.
3. When I was little I used to light a candle and take a shower in the dark. I don’t know when I stopped doing that—probably when life got too busy. I vow to do that again, once a week, and reconnect with that child who possessed an innocent wisdom about serenity.

My Bedroom
1. I love waking up to the sunlight on my face. Unfortunately, my husband hates
that. One of the small sacrifices I have made, as we all do in a marriage, has been
to shut the blinds to bring him comfort. However, what I fail to do is open the
blinds during the day. I will do that now and enjoy all hours of the sun—not just the morning.

My Living Room
1. Many of the pictures hanging on my walls have not been dusted in ages. I will
take each on down and clean them. While doing this, I will reminisce about what attracted them to me in the first place, or think about the people who gave them to me as gifts.

My Kitchen
1. My Aunt Carol always has quotes or inspirational phrases up on her refrigerator. I
always love reading them. I will do the same, picking favorite quotes for the week or stanzas of poems that I love.
2. All of the art hanging in my kitchen are pictures I purchased in the store or had
framed. I have started the slow process of adding one personal art piece to each of
the rooms in my house—adorning the spaces with things either I have made or
friends/family. My kitchen is one of the few rooms left to do. This assignment
pushed me to be courageous and hang one of my first paintings on the wall.

My Car
1. I went through a phase (mainly in high school and college) of buying sunglasses
with various colored lenses. I have some with blue lenses with black rims, orange
lens with gold rims, red lenses with black rims, and clear lens with silver rims.
Somehow they have all ended up in my car, crowding the nooks and crannies. I vow to finally purge myself of them. However, before I do, I will put each of them on and remember how I looked at the world at the time I bought them.
2. Because I often think of lines of poetry or writing ideas when I drive, I will put a
notepad in my car to collect them. That way I can get rid of all the pen-stained

My wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Soon I need to cut my hair. It’s driving me crazy. I always wait for months on end
in between cuts because I hate paying the money.
2. My earlobes refuse to cooperate and allow me to wear earrings. I seem to be allergic to everything. The only metal I have not ruled out is platinum and our budget doesn’t allow that purchase. Because I have always loved earrings and have quite a few, I will slowly start to give some away to those that would get some good use out of them.

My wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. Buy a bra that FITS.

My wardrobe from waist to knees
1. I can only think of x-rated changes for this one that I’m not brave enough to post.
Hopefully the results won’t be tiny, but definitely benevolent.

My wardrobe from knees to floor
1. I have a plethora of shoes that need a new home. AND, I need more closet space.

Tools I use for my art
1. I need to buy batteries for the digital tape recorder that my husband bought me years ago. With fully operational equipment, I can verbally record my thoughts when I’m too tired to write them down.
2. I will create a special place for my art tools. Now they are scattered all throughout
the house, which, for some reason, keeps me from using them. Perhaps with a little organization I can find some creativity.

Tiny Benevolent Changes, X

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. Clean tub
2. Purchase loofa

2. Your bedroom
1. Organize and put away items from the move
2. Light a candle
3. Sweep floor

3. Your living room
1. Buy some real flowers and put them in a vase on the table
2. Sweep floor
3. Put the rocker facing the sunrise rather than away from it

4. Your kitchen
1. Get some green tea ice cream that has been tantalizing me
2. Clean off microwave
3. Organize spices

5. Your car
1. Shoo girl…figure out how to get the passenger door panel to stay on sans duct tape
2. Make or buy an air freshner…or spill some perfume on the seat
3. Clean out the center console (laudy it has been a while)

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Remove shoulder pads from khaki coat, tricky because they are sewn into the lining
2. Find a cheap 20’s style hat and buy it and wear it

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. Change shirts when I get home from clinical at night to set the mood for what I want to accomplish that evening – work out hard, walk, study, go to sleep….
2. Not wear the strapless bra that always falls down…maybe even pitch it (oh that would be a big step)…it just doesn’t work anymore…perhaps I could turn it into a belt...

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. Wear a skirt 2x per week, I like how they make me feel

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. Take socks that have holes and cut them into pieces to make a craft bag for Kathleen

10. Tools you use for your art
1. Use them
2. Glue and deocorate project prayer for 8 mins x3 next week
3. Get 2 items out of the small craft bag that I brought so that I will see them and be more prone to use them…it might even add some creative ambiance to have them out :)

Tiny Benevolent Changes, IX

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. Find matching paint
2. Touch up where blue tape pulled wall paint off
3. clean shower doors

2. Your bedroom
1. dust top of bookshelf - scared to even look
2. curtains would be nice
3. throw pillows for the bed needed

3. Your living room
1. need more light - maybe one more lamp
2. throw out dead tulips that are leaving pollen dust on the mantel
3. clean off coffee table so that the mess is not the first thing I see
in the morning

4. Your kitchen
1. clean window over sink
2. organize cabinets
3. throw out kitchen table - not very tiny, but new table desperately

5. Your car
1. vacuum old smushed goldfish in the back
2. clear out the 100s of books we have in the back
3. find new music

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. new earrings to replace the hoops I wear everyday
2. learn how to put on eyeliner correctly
3. new haircut and style

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. get a bra that fits

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. new shorts for the spring

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. new socks to go with my new brown clogs that I love
2. new flip flops for the summer hooray!
3. pedicure (is that considered wardrobe?)

10. Tools you use for your art
1. take the time each day to sit and be aware. patience to let things
come to me
2. finish an old project before starting a new one
3. make a project idea notebook

Monday, March 09, 2009

Superheroes Do Not Say "Excuse Me"

...or so I'm told...

Tiny Benevolent Changes, VIII

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. Clean it more frequently
2. New shower curtain
3. Change the paper in the medicine cabinet door.

2. Your bedroom
1. Organize
2. Clear out junk that I'm planning to get rid of
3. Get a better trash can

3. Your living room
1. Clean off desk
2. Paint door
3. New couch pillows

4. Your kitchen
1. Make flower garland
2. Do something with the junk that piles up on the countertops
3. Fun lights

5. Your car
1. Wash
2. Vacuum
3. New air freshener

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Wear something other than the same pair of earrings I've been wearing every time I wear earrings for 9 months
2. get some fun new barrettes/hair accessories
3. get a cool hat

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. Wear some of the clothes currently languishing in the closet
2. reconstruct some tees
3. layer differently

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. new shoes!
2. new socks!
3. wear new rain boots

10. Tools you use for your art
1. new blades for paper cutter
2. use them every day
3.get rid of what i don't use anymore

Tiny Benevolent Changes, VII

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. light beautifully scented candles more often
2. change the wall color from stark white to a warmer color
3. fix ceiling cracks that have been driving me crazy for months
(they keep reminding me of how much is left undone)

2. Your bedroom
1. raise the blinds more often to let light in
2. declutter
3. make a meditation/relaxation spot just for me

3. Your living room
1. declutter
2. change couch cover to a brighter color
3. have a fire in the fireplace more often and actually sit and enjoy it

4. Your kitchen
1. get rid of appliances I don't use much and don't have room for
2. get a new set of dishes that aren't chipped and cracked
3. make valance and placemats (another very old, undone project)

5. Your car
1. find my favorite CD's that are MIA so I can listen to them while
2. clean it
3. keep peppermints in the console

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. wear more scarves
2. wear jewelery more often
3. try to wear hats without feeling silly

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. throw out my ratty tops that are 15 to 20 years old
2. wear my jackets more often

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. get rid of pants that don't fit (that would be most of them!)
2. wear more flowy skirts

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. get rid of socks with holes in them
2. find more comfortable & stylish flats to wear

10.Tools you use for your art
1. remember to take my camera on more outings with me
2. keep current on saving files/printing pictures I want (they
overwhelm me now because I'm so far behind)
3. take at least one photo that inspires me each day

Tiny Benevolent Changes, VI

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. add a hanging plan
2. put better towel hooks on door so towels won't constantly fall off
3. get more delicious clove soap from Etsy!

2. Your bedroom
1. purge closet of stuff I can't/don't wear
2. get depressing cobwebs off of light fixture and out of distant corners
3. change art (again, depressing)

3. Your living room
1. organize book case
2. bring up more CDs from basement to listen to
3. wash windows so won't get angry everytime I look out of them

4. Your kitchen
1. eat older grains, dry beans, etc. to make room for new
2. organize top of fridge
3. put more plants on windowsill (cactus?)

5. Your car
1. put in new stereo
2. put emergency diaper bag in trunk
3. dust dash

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. organize earrings so I can wear them once again

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. go through closet and identify shirts that don't fit
2. give away jackets that are out of style/don't fit
3. identify a few t-shirts that will always work and hang them so they aren't lost

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. go through closet and identify pants that don't fit
2. give away bad pants I hang onto for no apparent reason
3. resew buttons/make repairs to good pants

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. give away all boots as I can't wear them due to ankle issue
2. find a new pair of boots that I can wear as I love boots
3. give away some of the dozens of unworn socks I own (I don't like socks but have a million)

10. Tools you use for your art
1. get better at downloading and formatting pics from new camera
2. organize and unclutter desk at home

Tiny Benevolent Changes, V

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. Hang a towel hook
2. Hang my towel on the hook
3. Change light bulb

2. Your bedroom
1. De-clutter top of dresser
2. Hang pictures
3. Make or buy window covering to replace blanket on our window

3. Your living room
1. Paint the kids table a fun color
2. Put more photographs in frames
3. Keep our one plant alive & add fresh flowers

4. Your kitchen
1. Quit making piles on the counter
2. Put Hershey kisses in a bowl instead of the bag sitting on the counter
3. Add a rug at the back door to keep the floor a little cleaner

5. Your car
1. There's nothing "tiny" to be done - it needs an overhaul inside and out

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Blow dry my hair more often
2. Small, simple, daily earrings
3. Wax my eyebrows (Do #1 and #3 count as wardrobe?)

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. Replace buttons on two sweaters and one shirt
2. Buy nicer underwear (this goes for #8 too)
3. Add some bright, spring colored shirts

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. See above
2. Add some bright, spring colored shorts/skirts

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. Paint my toenails
2. Throw away my slippers
3. Buy some new slippers

10. Tools you use for your art
1. Un-pack my art supplies
2. Organize my supplies in our new house

Tiny Benevolent Changes, IV

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. cleaning the hair off the floor
2. getting softer toilet paper
3. putting my stuff up after getting ready in the morning

2. Your bedroom
1. putting shoes in the closet
2. hanging up my clothes
3. going through magazines

3. Your living room
1. cleaning up piles
2. cleaning up piles
3. cleaning up piles

4. Your kitchen
1. light a candle
2. clean the island cart
3. get some more wine

5. Your car
1. dust it
2. duct tape the passenger handle
3. put in a new selection of CDs

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. get a hair cut
2. get a new color of eye shadow
3. wear more lip gloss

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. get some tops that fit
2. stop complaining about my post baby body
3. enjoy dressing my curves

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
1. get some pretty panties
2. enjoy maternity pants (cause that’s all that fit) and the elastic waist
3. get a fun new skirt

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. new black shoes
2. cash in a pedicure
3. wear flip flops

10. Tools you use for your art
1. get out the water colors
2. paint with a fat brush and don’t worry about details
3. create something on a new medium – like wood or something!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tiny Benevolent Changes, III

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. A bud vase by the sink with a fresh-cut bloom in it.
2. A bigger shelf for my shampoo/conditioner/body wash items.
3. Much, much stronger water pressure.

2. Your bedroom
1. Artwork on walls.
2. Heavy curtains so that the room can be really dark during the day when I work nights.
3. The perfect scented candle. I'm still looking.

3. Your living room
1. A way to get our Persian rug to stop developing ripples on top of the underlying carpet.
2. A way to ensure that Nadya Suleman will never appear on our television screen ever, ever again.
3. Plants.

4. Your kitchen
1. A radio / iPod docking station so I can listen to NPR / music while I cook.
2. A constant supply of pomegranate juice and sparkling water.
3. A way to get rid of the bizarre smell underneath the kitchen sink. It was there when we moved in and I'm ready for a new, more benevolent scent.

5. Your car
1. Navigation screen.

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. Awesome earrings. I just bought a pair in New York that I wish I could wear every day.
2. A bright pink scarf like the kind my aunt Diane has.
3. A hat that actually fits my big head. Seriously, my head is really big.

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1. Tops that fit a bit better instead of being too loose or roomy.
2. In my fantasies, a ridiculously soft cashmere sweater by Loro Piana that I saw with my aunt Diane in Newport Beach -- it was a bright fuscia with bright orange trim and orange suede elbow patches. It would make you cry, it's so soft.
3. Chunky, statement necklaces.

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees

9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
1. New cotton trouser socks in black and charcoal grey.
2. No more high heels - they kill me after roughly 8.5 minutes, and then the whole next day I have lower back pain. Not worth it. I am old.

10. Tools you use for your art ---> (um, I feel the need to state that I have no art)
1. I'd like a new stethoscope, instead of the cheap model I use that says "Nexium" on it after I lost my last three stethoscopes. I feel like a drug rep groupie whenever I use it, and I'm a little embarrassed when colleagues eyeball it. Not that there's anything wrong with Nexium - it just doesn't need to be plastered on my stethoscope. It would be a benevolent change to have a pharma-neutral stethoscope.
2. A clean, new white coat that has my married name embroidered on it, instead of my infinitely longer maiden name. Plus, my white coats from residency are just gross, no matter how frequently or vigorously I wash them in scalding hot water.
3. The perfect pen. I'm still looking.

Tiny Benevolent Changes, II

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1.try bleaching the stain from the fake blood drips on the vanity front left
over from Halloween
2.scrape the 6 drops of ceiling paint off the floor tile
3.touch up the ceiling

2. Your bedroom
1.sew new curtains
2.spend more time reading in bed

3. Your living room
1.plan the new quilt
2. create a cushion for the computer chair
3.don't turn on the box

4. Your kitchen
1.cull plastic storage containers
2.make more bread

5. Your car
1.wipe the dust off the dashboard
2.clean out center console

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1.redye my hair
2.get a trim

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
1.buy more cardigans (47 is not enough)

8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor

10. Tools you use for your art
1.have new images printed
2.find space for a design wall
3.write more down

Tiny Benevolent Changes, I

Filling in the Form:

1. Your bathroom
1. the baseboards could be cleaner
2. I could frame the postcards of the Sutro Baths that I have been meaning to mount
3. more fresh flowers, more often.

2. Your bedroom
1. dusting!
2. replace the broken lamp instead of just straighten out the shade.
3. more fresh flowers, more often.

3. Your living room
1. I live in San Francisco. My bedroom and living room are the same room.

4. Your kitchen
1. spice organizer. Much needed.
2. replace the lightbulbs that are blown, for the love of God.
3. replace the broken wine glasses.

5. Your car
1. needs brakes.
2. needs to stop leaking power steering fluid.
3. needs vacuuming like nobody’s business.

6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
1. I cannot afford to address questions 6 – 9 though many “tiny and benevolent” changes are needed.

7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor

10. Tools you use for your art
1. more stationary! Or maybe just more stamps! Or more time?!
2. cute scrubs.
3. a ricer to make gnocchi.

Project Aware, Week 3

Last week, participants in Project Aware spent some time thinking about the the space around them.

This was their assignment, inspired by an activity in Julia Cameron's book The Sound of Paper: Starting From Scratch:

Cameron writes,

The truth is that a little self care can make finishing our creative projects much easier. This exercise is called Filling in the Form. It benefits a sense of well being. List 3 tiny, benevolent changes you could make in the following areas:

1. Your bathroom
2. Your bedroom
3. Your living room
4. Your kitchen
5. Your car
6. Your wardrobe from shoulders to top of head
7. Your wardrobe from shoulders to waist
8. Your wardrobe from waist to knees
9. Your wardrobe from knees to floor
10. Tools you use for your art

That's 3 tiny, benevolent awarenesses about 10 places in their lives.
If they didn't find 3 for each category, that was okay. It was about noticing, not even actually completing the list or the change they were thinking about.

Let's see what they came up with...

Rainbow Party

When my niece was planning her five-year-old birthday party, she decided that she wanted a rainbow theme. Pure and true, this was a wonderful idea. And a little easier to decorate for than the jungle theme a few years ago...

This year's party was full of jumping in the castle bouncy:

As well as presents, streamers and ice cream sundaes on rainbow place mats:

and puh-lease do not forget the pinata:

That eventually busted with parental help...

Happy 5-year-old birthday, sweet girl!

Fun at Lydia's House!

Lots of chasing:

Dancing and hugging:


And drawing the Auburn football game:

I probably have to explain this one.
To his dad.

Henry saw a Football Guys game that was specific for Auburn and specific for Alabama on an ill-fated trip to the mall. For two days, that was all he talked about. Seriously. At meals, bath time, bed time, play time - it was all about that football game. So his grandmother bought it for him as an early birthday gift and he has carried it around and slept with it for the past 4 days.

He does usually wear his Julio jersey when drawing the Auburn players' helmets, if that's any consolation to his father...and uncle...and aunt...

THIS aunt should be so proud, though, you Head Cheerleader, you. Congratulations!