Portrait From the Artist as a Four-Year-Old

I am turning into a zombie.

I have had several things going on the past week (or two, or three…), but have been too exhausted by the end of the day to actually sit down and write about any of it. Lucky you. I’m going to cram it all together now.

Let’s start with Saturday…

People, there are some things that you probably shouldn’t do when you are seven months pregnant. Hiking a gorge with over a dozen Cub Scouts might qualify.

Physically, I did pretty well. I mean, I was definitely huffing and puffing my way up the extremely steep steps that led back out of the gorge, but I did fine.


Never mind the constant fear of tripping over the rocks jutting out of the trail we were walking.  Or my concerns over my lack of close proximity to a bathroom (oh, man, people…I learned the hard way that pregnant women do NOT belong in port-a-potties—some things defy reason). No, I was in a constant state of panic over the reasoning abilities of the herd of eight to eleven year olds walking along a trail with little to nothing to stop them from plummeting down into this:

OK, you don’t really get a good perspective since I took this one from the gorge floor. Just trust me.

Or, there was the heart attack that was watching them come jumping out of this cave, landing several feet down the hill/sort-of-cliff it was at the top of, and rolling uncontrollably past the rocks jutting out of the trail:

Again with the perspective thing. I was at the bottom of the trail, looking up and zooming in.  Just trust me—jumping out was not the greatest idea.

This, people, is where I suck as a mother to boys. Instead of seeing adventure and glee, I see sprained ankles and broken necks. I was sure some parent was going to end up holding me personally responsible for the fact that their son was air lifted out of that gorge on a stretcher.

Other than a few scraped knees and bruised egos, we all came out intact.

After such and exhausting morning, I got to enjoy an afternoon of tree shopping. Alone. Except for the Eli.

Have you ever tried to carry a three foot tree while pushing a stroller? Good times. But, I finally have a tree!


We decided to go with the Japanese maple, which I think will be gorgeous. Assuming it survives. It turns out that this variety doesn’t particularly like direct sunlight. And this part of my yard gets full sun exposure from about 8 am to 2:30 pm. So if you see me by my little tree with a bottle of spray sunscreen and a parasol, you’ll know why.

While I was out tree shopping, Sean was tilling up my side yard (and slicing the power line to our invisible fence in two places) for my garden:

garden plot

My mom and I started planting yesterday. So far, I have a mound of pumpkin seeds (at the insistence of my children), a mound of spaghetti squash, two mounds of butternut squash, two short rows of onions, a small row of lettuce, two rows of beans, and a small row of cucumbers.

We didn’t plant the tomato and pepper plants that will fill up most of the rest of the garden since they were calling for severe thunderstorms last night and we didn’t want them ending up in Kansas. They still aren’t planted yet, since it has stormed a couple of times since then.

Which brings up an interesting new development. My little fat dog has suddenly developed a strange fear of thunderstorms. I mean, I know a lot of dogs have that fear, but she’s seven years old! This has never been an issue before. Suddenly, she is panting non-stop and following me everywhere with the slightest hint of a rumble off in the distance. Last night, I couldn’t even put up the foot rest on my recliner because she would not budge from my feet. I have no clue what the dog’s issue is.

I guess I can’t tie her to the flagpole in her spiked collar during thunderstorms anymore.

Finally…Some cute kiddo moments.

Eli figured out how to give closed-mouth kisses today. He’s been trying to make out with me ever since. Really, though, it is very cute. And it sure beats being covered in spit.


I think I have mentioned before that, due to an old back injury, I sleep on the couch when I am pregnant. Today, Noah asked me if I will still sleep on the couch after the baby is born. I told him that, no, my back should be a lot better after the baby is born and I will start sleeping in my bed again.

“Does that mean that Daddy will have to put pants on to sleep in then?”

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

In a herculean effort to remain appropriate, I resisted the urge to tell him that that is why we are having a baby in the first place.


Wyatt decided to draw a picture of me today. Since I have done a horrible job of instructing him on putting details on drawings of people, I was really impressed with how much thought he put into it. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that, from what I understand, a lot of school counselors will use portrait drawing to help evaluate a child’s maturity and what-not (something I still need to set up for the whole stupid school thing). He gave me hair  (even if it is really short), arms, feet, glasses, a baby in my tummy and…n*pples.


Um, yeah. I probably wouldn’t want a school psychologist evaluating that one. Unless, of course, I want to know what the nice people at Children’s Services are like.

I’m still putting it on the refrigerator, though.

And for the record…I don’t walk around the house topless.



Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Parenting, pregnancy

3 responses to “Portrait From the Artist as a Four-Year-Old

  1. Hee-heeeee! The picture is CUTE! 🙂
    We have a Japanese Maple and I have to tell you it really is beautiful. This is the first year that it has really taken off…but unless we have a mini-version, it doesn’t grow much. Ours is pretty much the same height it was five years ago when we bought this house. Ours gets a pretty decent amount of direct light as well, though and so far I haven’t killed it.
    Oh, and I would love to help with the whole dog and the fear of storms thing, but my resident expert, ‘Dr. Shad’ is out right now. Maybe later when he gets back from whatever past-related moving thingee he is doing.

  2. I was reading about assessing drawings of people in little ones and was fascinated to read about how kids draw three fingers/toes and sure enough it seems true. Weird, right?

    Aside from the baby and the n*pples, my favorite part is the eyeballs. I love how they are so complex!!

    I love your cute tree! Our Japanese maple at our first house was in direct sunlight in a similar climate and flourished. Not sure how since we are both black thumbs of the worst variety!

  3. Your stories made me smile this morning…thanks!

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