This week I learned how to keep flowers fresh, classical pillars, the meaning behind Pope Francis’ coat of arms, Howard Moss’ motto, the tronie, complement vs compliment, and what makes up watercolor paint.
This week I learned about the composition of glass, the March birthstone, the composition of a penny, color vision, plurals, alchemy, and pectin.
This week I learned about super glue, violets, Oscar statues, who vs whom, water colors, and who named the days of the week.
This week I learned about the composition of rainbows, the year of the snake, blood types, the international language of love, raindrops, Galileo’s middle finger, and cursive.
During the first week of February, I learned about the content of crayons, helium, affect vs effect, synthetic v natural food dyes, floating clouds, bananas, and the month’s birthstone amethyst.
A few days before Christmas and almost a year after my daughter Emmy was born, I was talking to my friend Angie. Maybe it wasn’t so much talking as spilling a pool of sounds that somehow, with a patient ear, communicate thoughts. With jaw agape in “uhhhh’s” and a screeching kid on my hip, I was struggling to pull every word out of my fuzzy brain. My pal Angie, a doctor and a mom, understood what was happening and then informed me that “mom brain” is real: those chubby miracles are actually tiny burglars that loot 7 percent of your brain. Maybe forever!
I did not question this because, like the belly rolls still tucked into maternity leggings, it is the truth and motherhood’s indignities, which are legion, are weak in comparison to rewards. The sentence that followed this realization was: “And, anyway, when did I last nurse because my shirt is unbuttoned and I just had a whole conversation with the UPS guy and don’t even pretend to have the willpower for a juice cleanse and the catalog had a wrong SKU and I just can’t get into “Justified” but the juice place is just next door and she just ate a ball of dog fur and why is everybody obsessed with washi tape and how many seconds to heat 3 Super Pretzels?”
On the first day of this year, I decided I would combat this brain loss by teaching or re-teaching myself something new every day. Because I remember things better when I write them down, I will record these lessons with sketches or photos or collages or whatever. Due to my compulsion to overthink-to-the-point-of-paralyzation any pursuit, I will throw something up every day (no matter how lame or typo-plagued) without my critical eye tearing it down first. Just something to do for myself that lays bare –see UPS incident above– the state of this cloud housed above my neck. Here is the first month, January, posted in its entirety. So please follow along here or here or here and if you know a new mom give her a damn hug and tell her the fridge is a fine place for house keys.
UPDATE: Via my Instagram and Twitter, I have received awesome and supportive comments and questions about purchasing prints of these shots or maybe turning this into a book. This is really just a personal project for now, and I enjoy it in its aimless glory. Please keep the comments flowin’ and chime in if you have anything to add about a specific topic or if you have questions you want me to figure out.
When I was coming up you were either Purple Sunglasses California Raisin, Saxophone California Raisin or Lace Glove Madonna. I knew I would get side-eyed for putting my eight month old baby in a black trash bag (even with the requisite purple sunglasses and saxophone) and, unless Baby Hot Topic exists, the lace glove would be a challenge. Back at square one I knew I needed a costume that was safe, soft, warm and easy to take off. Grabbed some felt, fabric glue and scissors and whipped this up. Here is a slide show of how I did it:
Last night I took a needle and thread to the sides for extra strength. Something about sewing up a tiny Halloween costume felt like official Mom business. And I totally loved it.
So, Emmy, Happy first Halloween! And Happy Birthday to her Aunt Emily! She lucked out with this Halloween birthday an I lucked out with this hilarious and talented baby sister. Love you Emily Beth! And Happy Halloween to all of you!