Dragonfly Rock Art

 

Since our new school relies on parent participation, with each family expected to work one shift per week per child, I’ve been leading an art enrichment in R’s class every Wednesday. It’s a lot of work and can be stressful at times, but I’ve come to realize that I do it as much for me as I do for them. This past decade as a SAHM/writer has made me realize that I need meaningful work. Not paid work, necessarily (hello priviledge!), but meaningful work for mental health.

So as soon as the school closed, I shifted from classroom planning to remote planning: how to demonstrate over video, what supplies might parents have at home, what supplies can be made using items parents are likely to have at home, how long will it take for me to get over my fear of being in front of the camera?

For the first remote project, I decided to start with something that would be fun for me to make and not stress about technique or how best to make a fool of myself in a recording that will last millions of years and one day be studied by anthropologists eager to understand culture during the 2020 pandemic.

We had been working on painting rocks, especially with bugs and flowers, in previous weeks so I went with a demo of a dragonfly. I searched for a model to work from and found this dragonfly rock. (I’m not affiliated with the Etsy shop, just liked the pic.)

I’m hoping to find more time to make videos between schoolwork meltdowns, writing my novel at a consistent snail’s pace and scolding my parents for leaving the house. Maybe I’ll even show my face and do some awkward talking.

How have you kept up with meaningful work during #stayhome2020?

Spirited and Sweet

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This is his “silly face”

I need to mommy boast for a moment. On Saturday we took the kids to Comic Con at the Santa Clara library, apparently to wear them out for days to come. S was starting to get “melty”, which is what I call it when he acts like he’s lost his bones. He becomes a puddle of human goo. BUT, there was a LEGO building contest! So, of course I signed him up.
 
He was super chill about not winning and waited in line to get a piece of candy for participating. When he walked over to me with his mini Twix bar I said, “OH YUM! You picked one of my favorites! Can I have it??? OM NOM NOM” He smiled his melt-the-coldest-heart smile, laughed and said, “you can have half and I’ll have half.”
 
OMG, I just about cried from mommy pride. All the challenges we have with this kiddo fade to the background when I remember how loving, sweet, compassionate, and caring he is. Who cares if you need five reminders to put on your PJs between the living room and bedroom, kiddo. You gave me a hug yesterday when I was frustrated and yelling. You’re gonna be just fine.

Goodbye, Alan Rickman, You Were the Best Friend and Mentor I Never Had

 

When I awoke last Thursday, I rolled over and grabbed my phone as I do every morning. I did the obligatory Facebook check and noticed that a friend had shared an article about Alan Rickman.

Oh hey, someone else who thinks he’s as awesome as I do, I thought.

Pause.

What a minute. There’s only one reason people start sharing random articles about people who haven’t just released a blockbuster film, checked into rehab, been arrested, or made a sex tape. All of which I was nearly certain hadn’t happened.

Frown.

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Shit.

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Celebrating My First Published Piece

I’m excited to announce that my first published piece came out recently in Brain, Child Magazine. I’m ecstatic! I have loved Brain, Child since I first discovered it and have dreamed of writing for them for almost as long. My inner critic told me it would be a difficult publication to break into because the writing is so beautiful and thought-provoking. But then it happened! Here it is!

“My mom admitted to me that she hates the color of my old bedroom, a peach like those circus peanut candies, with the air of confessing that she never liked a meal I’d proudly made her for years. I had just had my second baby and she had flown into town to help out. We were walking to the park for some much-needed outside time for my four-year-old. I looked over at her and studied her face, trying to reconcile this information with what I knew to be true. She and my dad had made me paint over my bedroom walls where I’d drawn a mural I loved, and it never felt like home after that.” Read more…

5-Alarm Fire in Downtown San Jose

I took this video at approximately 4:30pm from the 4th floor of Plant 51, a condo complex a few blocks away from the fire. The abandoned building used to house TV station, KNTV, Channel 11. It’s located at 645 Park Avenue on the corner of Park Avenue and S. Montgomery street. Across the street is a firefighter training facility and I’ve heard from neighbors that they would sometimes use the abandoned building for search and rescue training. It was also used by some homeless folks.