Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekly Goal #2 and ART

First things first. I actually have three goals this week that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Quite ambitious of me!

First and most important to me, choose my battles with Lucy more wisely and let the small stuff go. This is an ongoing goal for the rest of our lives. I have been talking with several very helpful and knowledgeable mommas lately about Lucy's "attitude." I think that I am letting it get to me more than I should. We are having a battle of the wills and I think I am actually making it worse by making a big deal about it. I feel like I end up telling her No a million times a day and then I wonder why she says no so much. She is going through normal 18 month old stuff. Most children go through a no and very vocal (in not a good way) stage. I am so used to my quiet, sweet Lucy and this new temperment has just caught me off guard. I am going to take the approach of ignoring her seemingly constant whining and shouting no and really praise her good behavior. She HATES to be ignored, so I think it will actually work and won't require Justin or me raising our voice. I am only going to use time out for very serious things - like hitting, which she doesn't do much. Time out is extremely effective with Lucy, and I don't want to lose that by over doing it. I am pretty sure that she is not actually a bratty child, she is just enjoying testing me at the moment. Thanks to all of my friends who have let me vent about this and have given me such great advice. I truly appreciate it. I don't know what I would do without such great friends.

Second goal, organize our tax deductions. I STRESS out in a major way about taxes every year. Our taxes are really complex and take a lot of time to get prepared for the accountant. We always have a million unorganized receipts all over the place. This year, I am not going to stress because we are going to tackle it this week. I am going to have everything ready to go to the accountant by the time all of the W-2s and 1099s get here in the mail. I will not work myself into a tizzy over taxes this year. WILL NOT DO IT! I am so excited to be so ready to go this year.

And my final goal, read the owner's manual of my camera and watch my Nikon dvd. I need to actually know what the buttons do in order to maximize my picture taking. I have literally never opened my owner's manual. I pulled the camera out of the box and just started shooting. I want to know more of the technical stuff.

And now, what I am just giddy with excitement about - I picked up all of our artwork from the framer that we bought in Vietnam. It is all back on stretchers and looks awesome. Here are all of our pieces. You can't see all of the detail, but they are each amazing and several have a lot of texture to them. They are all oil paintings done by artists in Ho Chi Minh City. If you are ever in Saigon, DO NOT MISS THE ART! It was such a pain in the butt to get all of this home, but it was so worth it. Which one is your favorite? I think my favorite is the red one with the Vietnamese girls and the Buddhist monks. I can't wait to get it in frames. Slowly but surely I will post pictures of the pieces in frames and actually hung on the wall!

Three small Van Goghs. These will likely go in our downstairs bathroom. They are very textured because the paint is very thick. These were $15 each!!!!!

Three men with no face (Thomas Crown Affair) paintings - all of the paintings this size were $35 - seriously, I feel like we stole this stuff

The detail on these is so amazing. The gold is very metallic and rich. I wish you could see it better. You kind of can in the up close one.

This is for Lucy's room. One of my favorites

This one is kind of hard to see, but it is elephants where their legs are kind of stilts. The color is amazing.

Working in the field. The grass is all textured.

This one is so cool - it is swans in a lake, but their reflection is elephants. Until the recently, I had only seen the elephants and never noticed the swans.

The Buddhist monks. My other favorite. I actually really love every single one of them.


Kate said...

oh my gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
where do i the goals...first,you are one of the best mommas i have ever seen! i think you are doing the right thing by focusing on the positives! love that! the die for...the paintings!! i think you will have to put them on the ceilings!!!! there are so many! they all look so good..i can't believe they are all so textured! that is awesome!!!!!
i think i love "the kiss" ones the best!

Susan said...

I know what you mean about choosing your battles. We're kind of going through the same thing in our house. Petunia, like Lucy, hates to be ignored so that tactic has worked for me so far. Good luck!!

Also, the art is fabulous. I only got a few things when I was there, but nothing like yours. I actually just framed a couple of pieces today and will post photos as soon as I get them on the wall. They're not paintings, though, but I'll blog about them later.

I love "The Kiss" and the piece with the girls on bicycles. The one with the monks is a favorite, too. I can't wait to see them framed and on your walls. They're going to look SO great!

Mia's Mommy said...

I LOVE the gold metallic ones! I know about getting art home from VN, what a pain, but soooooo worth it! I'll have to email you some stuff I've gotten from trips there. You're right you do feel kind of like you've stolen it!

And, I will say, four kids later, picking battles is a great thing. The hard thing is remembering in the heat of the battle that you are going to choose. Good luck!

Lucy is such a girl! You'll have quite a few opportunities to choose battles, trust me. Two girls and two boys. It's always the girls!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love the one with the Monks. You are on a roll! Good luck- you are one determined woman :)

Leslie & Shaune said...

i absolutely LOVE that red painting with the VN girls. i want it. it is exactly what i'm looking for for chloe's room. haha. can't convince you to sell it to me, huh?

great paintings!@\

Courtney said...

Good luck with the testing portion of your goals. My son is almost 4 and he is still doing it. But I sometimes feel like I am constantly saying no too. And your right, gee I wonder where he gets it from. Stick with what you are doing it will work, but you have to stay consistent. I love the art work!!! And how nice that you have them all and can tell a wonderful story about them.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, this was actually painful to look at, I'm so jealous!!! My favorite is the Klimt, its the one I wanted most in Hanoi. I also LOVE the Thomas Crown Affair set sooo much. And the one for Lucy's room! Ugh - how to chose just one?!

Jayme said...

I started reading Eat, Pray, Love last night and I can tell I'm going to like it! We will have to discuss more when I finish it. Also, love the art cool!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Kelly!

Last night I got home from taking my mom to Las Vegas for her 60th birthday (the trip was fabu - we even won some $$), and I was catching up on some emails when I decided to check in on Miss Lucy and see what all of her latest happenings were. Anyhoo, I LOVE the goals (in lieu of resolutions) that you have set, and I had to comment!!!

(1) Cooking - I too made cooking/eating more meals at home a goal for 2008. The expense and health issues related to eating out all of the time finally got to me, so I've really made cooking/eating at home a priority. With my limited window of experience I have found that two things make coooking at home successful - (1) planning and (2) simplicity. I've tried since the end of December to map out my week on Saturday or Sunday and do my shopping for the week at that time. Saturday mornings are typically pretty quiet at the grocery store, and I can zip in/zip out with my items. Also, I've tried to be realistic and plan only 3 to 4 meals for the week. I think when I set the cooking/eating at home goal previously I tried to be TOO big TOO fast and was attempting to cook at home every night of the week. Anyhoo, the other factor of my "success" has been simplicity. I've never been interested in any sort of named diet regime, so I've never known much about Weight Watchers or any of the other programs on the market...but when I went to Barnes & Noble to find a simple cookbook that was relatively healthy I found that Weight Watchers makes this cookbook entitled MAKE IT IN MINUTES that is fabulous for SIMPLE and QUICK meals. If you are looking for an easy cookbook with pretty tasty results, I encourage you to get a copy. I usually pair the meals with better sides that the book suggests, but the book has helped me stay consistent with cooking at home. My other cookbook suggestion that is Southern to the core is the Junior League of Little Rock's TRADITIONS; some of the casseroles and other dishes in the book are out of this world. Do you have a copy? If not, you need to get one next time you are in LR!

(2) Eat, Pray, Love - I read it over Thanksgiving and concur with so much of what you said. I loved how the book made me feel - little odd to say, but her words came to life for me and I felt like she was in the same room as me telling her story to me over a very good cup of coffee. I too want to read it again...and maybe even again. We were actually out in Park City, Utah, over Thanksgiving, and I was reading the book on our deck looking at the was my own idea of a sanctuary of happiness. Anyhoo, at the resort where we were staying they offered several yoga classes a day, and I tried a couple. You would love yoga; you definitely need to try it out! Also, I don’t know if you watch Oprah or are a fan, but one of my guilty pleasures is tivo’ing her show every day. I check once a week or so to see if the subjects are worth watching; anyhoo, Elizabeth Gilbert has been on two different times about the book. The shows were amazing; you might be able to watch at least clips on the internet? Definitely worth checking out.

(3) Organizing the house - sometimes I think God hits me over the head with things that I need to do. We are thinking about moving, but in order to do so we’ve GOT to spiff up our house to sell it. During several conversations over the past week something about cleaning/organizing/”purging” has come up – thank you for bringing the subject to my attention again – it is just a must that I have got to tackle!

…Maybe I need to get my own blog to start processing my thoughts? My goodness, this was so much fun! Hope you have a wonderful week – good luck with this week’s goals. Tootles for now, Mary-Margaret p.s. Miss Lucy continues to be the cutest little girl; thanks so much for sharing her with your friends. I LOVE seeing all of her funny faces and fabulous outfits. She is a joy!

Living to Love said...

You have inspired me to read our Canon Rebel guide...I have been meaning to but haven't yet!

Jen said...

Klimt is one of my favorite artists--but I absolutely love the original works you picked up. Have to say that the monks are my favorite!

Thanks so much for the great advice about the dress for our friend's wedding. I was hoping you would shed some light for me--you always look so fashionable!

Carissa said...

The goals, very ambitious of you and here is hoping that you meet each one of them! I LOVE the prints, the red one for Lucy's room is the best!

Shawna said...

The goals are awesome...I know you're going to great again this week! The paintings are awesome! I think I love the red one the best too. How did you do that super cute header? I need to spice my blog up a bit!

Anonymous said...

The art work is beautiful! I want to go back to VN so that I can buy more! Like you, I need to read a few owner's manuals. Unlike you, I'm completely inept with the camera. I just gave up my Kodak Easy Share and am giving the Nikkon D40 a go. So far, all I can do is remove the lens cap, turn it on, and click. My husband's D80 is overwhelming to me, so I'm starting with the D40. We'll see how it goes!

saucygoat said...

Good luck with all of your goals. The artwork is absolutely beautiful, but the monks one would be my favorite, followed really closely by the one for Lucy's room.

Love the pictures in your header, by the way!! Lucy is such a cutie.

The Condreys said...

The art is amazing! I am so jealous! Can't wait to see you guys soon. Lucy looks adorable as always!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Lucy is absolutely adorable! We have just started the process of our Vietnam adoption, and we are also using VORF. We know it's going to be a long and trying process, but we couldn't be more excited, and the blogging community seems so great about keeping each other encouraged. My wife is from Fort Smith, Arkansas, but defected to Missouri and went to Southwest Missouri State which is where we met. Her parents are still huge Hogs fans. My wife even recognized the name on the portraits that you had done as being a girl she knew from Fort Smith! We are planning on starting a blog once we get a little further into the process, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for us going into this, especially regarding VORF? You can reach us by going through my website. Thanks!! Matt

Anonymous said...

I thought it would leave a link to my website when I posted my comment, but apparently not. We would love to hear any advice you have regarding our upcoming process and VORF. We contacted a few of the references that they provided, but it's always nice to hear what the people who aren't on their "approved reference" list have to say.


StaceyF said...

The new header looks great Kel! I love all the art and Lucy will treasure will treasure them so much! I am so sad that I didn't get to see you guys when you were in town because I was sick but I am looking forward to seeing you guys when I am in Dallas in February. All my love to you, Justin and Lucy!

Nicole - Raising Animals said...

So I'm TOTALLY in love with that one you got for Lucy's room!
I also wanted to tell you that the slide shows (I think that's what they're supposed to be) are blocking out most of your text and just showing grey boxes. Which is sad because I wanted to see Lucy with her blankee. I use Firefox.

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