Curious.

I was a curious child.

Often my curiosity manifested itself in mischievous, semi-destructive behaviors. To me, it was curiosity. To my parents, grandparents, babysitters, relatives… it was mostly just a mess. (I like to think they saw some of the beauty in it after they were done being angry about having to clean up after me…)

For instance (and I don’t particularly remember all of the details about this, but I’ve had this story told to me so often that I feel like I can vividly re-live it in my mind) there was a day that I got intensely curious about the brand new tube of lipstick I saw my mom put in her purse.

You see, mom was a lipstick woman. Still is. Secretly, I wish I was confident enough to be a lipstick woman, too… but I digress. (Maybe when I grow up?)

My mom always wore lipstick. I thought it was pretty. It’s what moms did — put on lipstick. Especially while in the car using the rear-view mirror or the pull down one in the little sun visor. The lipstick mirror.

Being a lipstick mom, she always kept a fresh tube in her purse. And she was a bold, deep-red, maroon, burgundy, berry-crush lipstick wearer.

There was a day when I was in the car with her and I think we were on the way to go pick up my older sister from a friend’s house. On the way to pick up my sister, mom had to run home to grab something. I was about 3 years old at the time and mom was just going to be a minute, so she left me in the car.

However.

The phone rang.

Inside the house, not her cell phone… we didn’t have those yet, this was 1989.

So, the phone rang, I was in the car, mom was trying to be quick, and I was insatiably curious. And today I was curious about lipstick.

Deep-red, berry crush, burgundy-maroon, lipstick.

There was a brand new tube in her purse. It still had that perfect flat, teardrop shape near the tip. She may have used it once or twice, but it still looked like it was freshly pressed from the factory mold.

I climbed out of my carseat, into the front of the car, and dug deep down into the pocket of her purse which was tucked between the two front seats. I found that glorious brand new tube of lipstick. And I put it on.

I put it on my lips.

I put it around my lips.

I put it on my mouth.

I looked in the lipstick mirror and realized that wasn’t enough.

I put it on my cheeks, on my arms, on my hands, on my forehead…

On the steering wheel, on the door, on the radio knobs, on the seat!

I put it on the window and the seatbelt and the floor mat and the car horn!

Oh it was glorious.

The dingy, grey upholstered interior was now a beautiful berry-crush red.

I did it.

And mom was going to be so proud of me!

Well…

Not quite.

As soon as she came outside and saw what I had done, proud wasn’t exactly the emotion she was feeling. I think she was pretty angry. I got quite the spanking but, since I had completely covered myself and most of the interior of the car in lipstick the spanking got her! She was covered in lipstick, too.

Berry-crush.

My mom was mad. I was curious. And we were both covered in lipstick. And… I sort of, maybe, kind of, probably totalled the car that day.

It was an old car. And there was no getting that berry-crush out of the grey upholstery. (Sorry mom!)

I’m still curious, and I have an insatiable need to make things and understand how they’re made and to know how things work. However, I do try to be a little less destructive these days.

So, take the time to get a little curious today and be careful around that new tube of lipstick.

Love,
Janine

Goal setter.

I am not typically a goal setter. What I mean is that I’m not usually driven by the end result, the finish line, the goal. I’m more driven by the process or act of getting from point A to point B and the experience I gain along that journey; hence the piles of mostly finished paintings and almost complete projects that litter my world.

Lucy may only be just shy of 7 months old, but I can already tell she is a goal setter.

Take this morning for example.

Usually I let her play on a play blanket for a little while each morning while I work on the dishes or get the low down on what’s happening in the Facebook and Instagram world. ::gasp:: (Yes, I admit it, I actually USE my phone while my baby is awake!) But, today, I decided to watch Lucy. I wanted to test her a little. Conduct an experiment of sorts.

I unfolded the biggest play blanket we use, placed it on the floor, put her on one end and her favorite giraffe toy on the other. (We use “play blankets” around here because it’s warm here in California and our dog sheds like crazy and I don’t vacuum every day ::gasp again:: and Lucy spits up sort of a lot and it’s easier to toss a blanket in the wash than to clean the carpet thoroughly enough that keeps the dog from licking the spit up spot all day long. That was a really long sentence.)

And I watched her.

I watched her eyes light up when she saw the giraffe. It’s one of her current favorite toys, so naturally she wanted to play with it as soon as she recognized it.

But she can’t crawl. It was definitely out of arm’s reach.

It was too far away.

I can imagine that if I were a baby in that situation, I likely would have reached my arm out and once I realized I couldn’t easily get what I wanted would direct my attention to something else or just start to cry.

Not Lucy.

I saw that sparkle in her eye turn to a look of deep concentration. I watched her lay on her belly and wiggle her little legs with excitement and determination. Though she couldn’t crawl, she was going to find a way to get that toy.

She tried tugging on the blanket to see if she could bring the giraffe closer to her, but the blanket was much too heavy and she couldn’t pull it hard enough from the position she was in. So, she kicked her legs and began to spin herself in the direction of the giraffe. Even though she wasn’t moving forward, she was making progress and getting more excited!

Eventually she turned to the one means of transporting herself she knew she could do. She rolled.

She rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled.

And rolled.

And she got it!

She got that silly little giraffe toy. She was so pleased with herself, she played with it and rolled around with it and had a complete conversation with it. I imagined her telling him, with delight, how nice it was to finally play with him after all that hard work.

But that wasn’t enough.

Once she had a little momentum, she kept going.

Even further away, by our front door, under a small table, was an embarassingly large pile of (mostly my) shoes.

Lucy had a new goal. And I watched her again with the same sparkle in her eye…

She did it.

(Insert a really cute picture here that would already be inserted if I wasn’t having technical difficulty and needing help from my hubby… it will be here soon… promise!)

My tenacious little baby girl got a shoe and immediately inserted it into her mouth.

Wait.

Am I supposed to be excited about that? It’s a really dirty shoe…

Okay, I let her enjoy reaching her goal by chewing on the shoe for a minute and then redirected her attention.  It was time for a fresh diaper and a nap anyway.

So, maybe you think this is all a bit silly. Maybe.

But, maybe, just maybe, this little one really is a goal setter. A quality I can only hope to learn from her! Maybe she really is determined and full of character.  (Well, she’s definitely full of character, that I’m sure of.)

And maybe she just wanted to chew on a shoe.

Either way, I’m proud of her. I am her momma after all.

Love,
Janine

Honestly.

Honestly…

I like to sew and bake and get way too involved in TV shows. I enjoy reading a good book (or even a pointless-waste-of-time book) and doodling in my sketchbook and painting. I even love scouring thrift stores and playing with makeup and trying different ways of doing my hair.

I love pastries and Kraft American cheese and peanut butter and candy. I love cheeseburgers and fresh berries and bagels and sushi.

I do not cook dinner every night. Not even close.

I do not like folding laundry and matching socks. And I especially hate putting folded laundry away when I do finally get around to shaking out the wrinkles and folding it. I like to organize, but I never keep things organized. Our window sills are covered in layers of dog drool and snot. And dust. I loathe dusting. Our bathrooms need to be cleaner and I can’t remember the last time I mopped the kitchen floor. I am messy and I leave a trail of unfinished projects throughout the apartment with good intentions of finishing them… but hardly ever do.

I’m a terrible dancer, can hardly do much more than simple math in my head, and thought Morocco was a city in Spain.

And I love my life.

My baby doesn’t sleep through the night consistently, but I try to enjoy the extra sleepy snuggles I get during those middle of the night feeds. She won’t be needing me forever.

I feel like I’m failing all the time at this motherhood thing because I guess a lot and don’t really know what I’m doing. But, I’m learning that’s okay.

(Nobody really knows what they’re doing even though they pretend they do.)

I post way too many pictures of my daughter on Facebook and Instagram, but lets face it… she is adorable. And those cheeks! (I’m probably obsessed.)

The dog licks our baby’s face and I burned Mac-n-cheese and I probably spend too much time sitting on the couch doing nothing.

And I love it.

All of this is to say…

You may see me post a picture of the latest drawing from my sketchbook or project I made for Lucy. But know that there were probably 20 failed attempts before I got to something I felt worth sharing.

And that latest batch of pancakes or heart-shaped waffles I made? Half of them burned or were slightly undercooked and dense and made me feel like I ate a pile of rocks after I finished eating them. Too many of them, of course.

I stress out relatively easily, take things personally that I shouldn’t, and worry about things that will likely never happen. Ever.

Why?

Because I’m a work in progress. I’m not perfect. I don’t have my act together all the time, and I’m just doing my best to enjoy each day and take one baby step at a time.

Honestly.

Be kind to yourself. We’re all a work in progress.

Love,
Janine