art and whine

I’m down for the count this morning since apparently scrubbing my own shower yesterday for the first time since um, probably Russel Crowe was born, sent my temperamental uterus into a midnight hissy fit from which there was no escape. I spent hours in Braxton-Hicks hell and Caleb has placed me firmly on couch arrest. So I’m taking most of today off and over-sharing with you fine people instead of cleaning the house my mother will see (and smell!) in 2 days.

This whole fourth kid adventure has been an eye-opener. I’ve always, always had super easy pregnancies up until, well, I didn’t. My last 2 babies didn’t make it at all, and this one–while still superbly healthy in every way–has been giving me a run for my money for reals.

Cue the violin:

I don’t even recognize myself. It’s safe to say I’ve become the world’s worst pregnant woman. I’m exhausted, I’m cranky, and I’m starving–but only for french fries smothered in grease and salt. My legs and belly ache, my hands and feet swell, and I get winded after a 2-second trip to the bathroom–which, incidentally, happens 800 times a day.

I’m a measly 22 weeks and I’m toddling around like I’ve got a 5-year-old in my stomach. Bonus: I’ve (shockingly) only gained 7 pounds. Not-bonus: I’m measuring too humongous and this is supposedly a cause for concern. Doctors are like: “Cha-ching! That’ll be $300 for your fourtieth ultrasound. Thanks, and don’t let the ovary cam hit you on the way out!”


Second online rant of the week: over.

My contribution to our house-building endeavor:

This sink right here.

This sink right here.

I might go pick up one more just so we can cross 2 bathrooms off our list. Well, 2 bathroom sinks. Not including drains and faucets. So really I’m not a ton of help to Caleb at this point, but I can sure enough bargain hunt on Craigslist and that can be worth its weight in porcelain if I play my cards right. What does that mean? I have no idea. But if you come visit my farmhouse one day, you’ll have me to thank while you’re washing your hands in that bad boy.

Art and stuff: not a whole lot going on in this department. I did a couple of small projects this month and then I just sort of…quit. Merrick wore me down earlier in the spring with a request for an authentic pirate painting. He wanted me to help him create canvas magic with a realistic-looking Jack Sparrow. It started well: I let him cover the background with the color of his choosing. I sketched and erased and sketched some more. Merrick stroked in some dreadlocks:


Then I did a light wash of color, some more sketching and VIOLA! I was done with what was, I thought, a Caribbean masterpiece. But as it turns out, Merrick had very specific ideas and was ready to get his paint on. So I tried to plainly outline what I thought he might like to lightly fill in with a delicate paintbrush. Instead, he globbed on about 4 tubes of the thickest paint in my possession with a brush so large it practically qualified as a broom. Also, the good Captain needed a hat, not a lameballs bandana. What was I thinking?



It was so hard not to go straight Martha-Stewart all up on that kitchen table, what with the very conspicuous plastic brown turd on Jack Sparrow’s head, but I restrained myself to some light shading. The bottom line is this: Merrick got the picture of his dreams, and I know nothing of pirates.

In keeping with the swash-buckling theme (but not really but what do I know?), Merrick next decided to paint a volcano. At this point, he had realized that any input I had to contribute was only unhelpful and useless:

“What about palm trees, Merrick? Green leaves?”


“Want me to help you with your lightning?”


“Isn’t lightning white or yellow? Not black?”


“You really wanna do black lightning?”

“Black is cooler, mom.”




It did end up awesome, and we now have official decorations for at least one kid’s new room. Custom, hand-painted pirate-themed artwork? Check!

I paid $7.99 for a 2-pack of canvas at the store, plus what probably amounts to $10 in paint. You can’t beat the cost for 5 hours of creative thinking and color mixing. Plus, the sense of pride my kids get from a finished product of (mostly) their own doing? Freaking priceless.



About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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