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Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:34 PM



Double the fun. Here's my other news.... we found out we are having twins. Yes, TWINS. And now to answer the top ten questions we get from everyone (following the five seconds of stunned silence that usually comes with our news): 1. No, we’re not kidding. Really. 2. Yes, we were surprised! We figured we were expecting, but nobody was expecting that. 3. Yes, it does run in the family. 4. No, their names will not rhyme and we will not dress them alike. 5. May 8th, 2004, but twins can come up to a month ahead of the due date. We’re at 12 weeks now. 6. No, we’re not going to find out the sexes till they’re born. 7. The verdict is that they’re not identical, but there’s no surefire way to tell until after they’re born. They each have their own food source and sac (just like a single baby) and that’s the healthiest situation, so we’re really happy about that. They’re A and B on the ultrasounds. 8. Since Sophie was the Cinnabun, they’re the Muffins for right now. 9. Yes, we’re very excited! 10. Yes, we are a little overwhelmed and could use all the prayers and help we can get. And nobody better say "I knew it!" ... you might of known half of it, but nobody could have gotten this kind of thing. ;)

french toast girl #




Welcome to the world, little Beatrice Milly. Now go ask your daddy to write you some lullabies and put out an album, please.

french toast girl #



Tuesday, October 28, 2003 3:39 PM



Sophie needs eye surgery. We just got back from Sophie's checkup at the eye doctor's and the verdict is that she needs surgery before she's a year old - that gives us just 4 months to work with. (For those who might not remember, Sophie has a ptosis - the muscle that opens her right eyelid never developed, and she has a difficult time seeing out of her right eye.) Paul and I had discussed earlier that if she needed the surgery we wanted it done during the summer, but it looks like the decision's being made for us. It's not that her eyesight is so horrible, it's just that the patch isn't doing as good of a job as it should for her, and rather than make her go in a cycle of increasing and decreasing patch times, the doctor felt it would be best to take care of her eyelid as soon as possible. We can't say we're all that surprised. We have the names of two cosmetic surgeons to check out - we have to see who's in our group and who's available - and meet them and set up a date for her surgery. The good thing is that it's an outpatient surgery, they aren't going to touch her eye (just her eyelid), and our doctor says that many kids are up and playing that afternoon after surgery. There's even a possibility they will let one of us in the operating room with her. So - please keep us in your prayers to find the right doctor and the right solution for Sophie. It seems like God's putting an awful lot on our plates right now, but somehow we'll get through it. :) I'll finish with some good Sophie news - Sophie just turned 8 months old this weekend; she says "Mama" and "Daddy" (in general, although she has called us Mama and Dada a few times to our faces); if you say "boing" to her she bounces up and down; she crawls all over the place; and she just started clapping her hands, she applauds herself for everything - finishing her lunch, getting her diaper changed, when you sing her a song - she claps for it all! I also have some more news to share - but that's going to have to wait for another day... this is about all I can handle for now.

french toast girl #



Sunday, October 26, 2003 8:37 PM



The Saga Continues ~ or ~ AAaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh! Wednesday I got the proofs for the cards back - and found that 3 of the cards had off-color backgrounds. My fault, but I had printed these images 7,000 times already, so I didn't see the problem on any of my proofs. So tonight I fixed the files to the best of my ability and reposted them. Hopefully, this will do the trick. I have to admit, when I saw the proofs, I cried. I also found out that it was cost-prohibitive to print 5 rather that the 4 I had originally been quoted - but I the decision of which one to drop was made for me with an innocent question from Paul: "Did you ever find out if the Little Drummer Boy is in the public domain?" Naturally, I thought it was, and naturally, I now can't find verification of that fact anywhere. (And believe me, we have manymanymany piano books in our house, and not one of them has the information.) So it's a really good thing I painted a new one this year; I'll still have four. (Still investigating the Drummer Boy fact for the next printing.) Sometimes I feel like I'm fighting against the tide, and every step I take drags me two steps back. I can't stop trying, though.

french toast girl #



Tuesday, October 21, 2003 5:49 PM



I DID IT!!!!! I DID IT!!!!! I DID IT!!!!! - I put the package in the FedEx box - I placed an order online - I spent money on my credit card - this is the real deal! - Proofs should come in a week and the cards should ship a week after that! Now... where am I going to put 2,000 Christmas cards?

french toast girl #



Monday, October 20, 2003 8:58 PM



MONDAY UPDATE: The new card is all scanned in, proofed, I'm making mockups for the printer, and all I need is for Paul to burn me a CD and then I'll send it tomorrow. I will be kissing the CD, and each and every one of you who encouraged me along the way. It's helped me SO much to post here - to be accountable for the work I set out to do. I'm not sure yet if I will be selling the 5th card, or just using it for our family to send out this year - but here's a little piece of it to show.

french toast girl #



Sunday, October 19, 2003 7:49 PM



WEEKEND UPDATE: Saturday I finished the entire 5th painting. When I was done, I just started crying and crying uncontrollably - I think in part because I couldn't believe I had actually done it! Sunday (tonight) my plans were thwarted by our scanner not working, so I couldn't scan in #5, format the new card, and make the CD I was hoping would go out tomorrow morning. Instead, I will go in to work early and use the scanner there; and my wonderful wonderful husband printed out color proofs for me to compare to the originals and send to the printer. I am 90% of the way there... tomorrow I'll scan and make the 5th card, and Paul promised me that after his work (at 10pm or so) we'll print the final proof and make the CD. And then Tuesday morning it will be on its way in the FedEx box with a kiss for luck. :) Keep those good vibes coming... I'm nearly there!

french toast girl #



Friday, October 17, 2003 9:41 PM



FRIDAY UPDATE: Oh my goodness - I AM ALMOST FINISHED WITH CARD #5 - just have a little more lettering work to do. This weekend I want to scan it and set up the card so I can send 5 to the printer instead of 4! This is one time when I really exceeded my expectations - by taking things one step at a time, I was able to chip away at the project and finish it - and not in a rush, but the way I want to! Thanks again for the support - more reporting tomorrow (when I hopefully will finish all the lettering at least) - and Monday should be the big CD burning for the printer! Woohoo! Keep those good thoughts coming!

french toast girl #



Thursday, October 16, 2003 9:38 PM



THURSDAY UPDATE: Before work today, I compiled all the files into one folder for the printer and relinked the images so they'll print correctly. After dinner, I was so psyched to paint - but then Sophie needed to be put to bed and she has a cold and it was a large ordeal - and I could feel my painting desire slipping away from me with each squirm. So I just sang enough songs to get her to sleep and when at last I had time to myself, I made myself do a little painting and see how it went. I managed for an hour - and now I'm falling asleep so I'm afraid I'll mess things up if I work on it more. I had fun and I'm happy with how it's going! Back to painting at 7 am tomorrow morning.... There'll be another update tomorrow! Thanks for the support!

french toast girl #



Wednesday, October 15, 2003 9:06 PM



WEDNESDAY UPDATE: I spent time before work this morning painting my newest card (#5) - it's coming together and I really like the way it's turning out! Tonight, I found myself waffling on doing more work... so I promised myself that I needed to work for 1/2 hour, and then I could take a break and eat something (my fridge... is... calling... Hey, artists need to eat, too!) I worked on the form for the site and I'm learning how very much I don't know yet. But I'm willing to learn! Going to make myself some turkey now... :)

french toast girl #



Tuesday, October 14, 2003 9:37 PM



Christmas Card Countdown: Monday and Tuesday MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Hot diggety! I've done two important things tonight: made a big list of micromovements (which could probably be broken down even further), and emailed the printer to get some final specs and to let them know the files would be coming by the end of the week. Yay me! And my wonderful hubby is right this moment transferring my files and artwork from an old drive to one of his laptops, so I can work on them when- and wherever I need to. (The computer I had all my artwork on is in one of his studios and students are in there all afternoon and evening, so I can't work on it.) Okay - that's day 1. Tomorrow: hopefully I will be able to work on the order form and figure out what food I need to make my programming coworkers to get them to help me make it work..... TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Tonight I set up all the files for the printer - using a new program I've never touched before (InDesign - I'm a Quark girl). So that's 4 cards all ready to go! I have a fifth card I've been painting; and I'm going to do my best to get it finished, scanned, and on the CD for the printer along with the other 4. Oh yes, and I followed up with my programmer friend at work who said he'd help me with making the forms work properly in the next week! I also got an email back from the printer, who said, "We look forward to printing your Christmas Cards!" Woo hoo! I really want to thank everyone for the support - it's working!

french toast girl #



Monday, October 13, 2003 4:55 PM



Okay, kids, I've decided that this is the week that the Christmas cards get done and finished. I have honestly been too drag-myself-up-the-stairs exhausted to work on anything for a while now, and it's literally eating me up inside. I've passed up my past three precious Art Nights in favor of a nap, and the thought that I might not get these cards completed is (one of the many things) keeping me up at 3am. So. Starting tonight, I will be working diligently - painting, making lists, compliling all my art on a CD to send to the printer - all that stuff. I hereby vow that one week from today I will be able to announce proudly that they're at the printers and I'm just waiting for proofs. Any thoughts, energy, strength, and cookies you can send my way is appreciated. It's really difficult for me to work lately and I need all the help I can get. You'll hear the play-by-play, the thought process, and I'll try to tone down the agonizing part of it. :) And then maybe I'll be ready to talk about what's been going on with me.

french toast girl #



Thursday, October 09, 2003 4:54 PM



Today would have been Nana's birthday... She was an amazing woman; 95 years old and still succulent. She was a fighter, she believed fiercely in prayer, and she loved to have her picture taken. She was also one of the best cooks ever. She was my Nana by marriage but she became my real Nana too. It's amazing now to see some of her expressions on Sophie's little face and to know she lives on. I'm so glad I learned how to make her meatballs.

french toast girl #



Tuesday, October 07, 2003 4:34 PM



Sophie's crawling!

french toast girl #



Thursday, October 02, 2003 10:21 AM



Artists in the Making Auction is this weekend! I'm excited - an original painting of mine is being auctioned off to help raise money for middle schools in San Francisco that have NO money for art supplies. It's a wonderful cause, and as I've never sold a painting before, I'm curious to see what someone would pay for one! You can see the painting and read more about the auction here. It looks like I will make it. I am doing okay - thanks for the concern and well-wishes. My new mantra is: "If someone wants to help me, I will say thank you and accept their help instead of trying to take care of everything myself." It's a big step for me, to not be super-woman and let someone run an errand for me or watch Sophie so I can nap or just get a shower, but I'm pretty human, and a fragile one at that. There are huge (but great!) changes ahead for me, and I can't do it all by myself. I don't mean to be intentionally vague, and I promise all will be made clear soon... but if anyone could throw a prayer my way, it would be greatly appreciated. :)

french toast girl #



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