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Six years ago today, I was checking into the hospital for the 2nd time that week. Earlier in the week (Tuesday), I had been having contractions and was hopeful that the baby was coming. Of his own accord. Otherwise, I was scheduled for induction on Thursday. I was not looking forward to being induced. What was the urgency, you ask? Was it significantly past his due date? Concerns about health? Nope. It was insurance. Brad had been laid off from his teaching job and our insurance was ending 8/31.

On Tuesday, we got to the hospital and I was admitted. My contractions weren’t getting any stronger. We walked. And walked. Nothing. I was started on pitocin. The contractions stalled out completely. (Hmmm, that wasn’t supposed to happen.) Lather, rinse, repeat. We tried again on Wednesday. No luck. This baby was comfy and not going to budge. We called it a day and rescheduled the induction for Friday.

I went home and slept for 13 hours. I was exhausted from the ordeal and depressed at the thought that I would have to face it again. Even more depressed that I was subjecting myself and my child to this because of money, or lack thereof. (Go ahead, ask me my opinions on health insurance reform.)

Friday morning we went back to the hospital. I was so certain the baby was NOT coming that day, that I left my bags in the car. Once again, I was hooked up to monitors and pumped full of pitocin.

I guess he was ready to meet the world that day. Seven hours after checking in, we had:

Joshua Rivers Neuhauser

He quickly picked up the nickname Happy Buddha.

Since then he’s added the monikers Mr. Mayor and Mr. Personality.

On the one hand, I live my life confounded and frustrated by his behavior (all action, no impulse control). On the other, I can’t help but smile and acknowledge he is clever, funny, outgoing and creative.

Although he lost the chance to have a birthday party (he hit his sisters a few too many times), he doesn’t seem to be missing it. In addition to multiple Lego sets he received from grandparents, we brought down the mother load of Legos from the attic. Brad spent time sorting them by color into drawers of a CD-turned-Lego storage unit.

Although not as exciting as thousands of Legos, I couldn’t resist buying this print for him from Paul Chung‘s Etsy site.

For a child who claims “rice and tofu” as his #1 favorite meal of all-time and is currently obsessed with super heroes, how could I not buy it?

Happy Birthday, Buddy! Hope you enjoy your Lego-induced birthday high. Olive Juice!

It all started with the idea for the sunflower. With the math curse still going strong, I ended up with spirograph on the brain. You should see my sketchbook. Pages upon pages of spirographs. Although I had printed enough sunflowers for the swap, I decided to print some spirograph cards, too.

Great in theory. Not as great in practice. I filled an 8.5 x 11 page with spiros and placed that randomly on the mat to burn the screen. I realized I had some problems once I started printing. First of all, my cards were already cut to 5.5 x 8.5, which made the print orientation awkward. As a result, I had issues with ink pooling at the edges of the card. I also noticed that the screen didn’t burn completely. Argh.

After an extended argument with my inner-perfectionist, I decided to go ahead and send them. (Note the fact that I didn’t photograph the really bad ones.)

Now that my cards are out the door and on their way, I have my sights set on a couple other gocco projects. Someday, it’s rightful owner is going to reclaim it. I need to make good use of it while I can! I also have a couple linoleum blocks I want to carve. Then there is the new, irrational NEED to try screenprinting. It is safe to say that the blame rests squarely on Lotta and Lena‘s shoulders.  Damn them and their inspiring books!

When I got home from work the other day, I was greeted by two very exciting pieces of mail. The first was this:

This is my first copy of MixTape and I am very excited. Just the dual covers by Blair and Daria are reason enough to love it.

The second piece of mail was a delivery attempted notice from the post office. What’s exciting about that? It meant that the lens I rented was that much closer to being in my hot little hands. The next morning, I took the package slip with me and picked up the lens on my way to work. Brad, acting as the voice of reason, made sure I didn’t leave the house with my camera. He knew full well that if I picked up the lens and had my camera with, I’d skip work and take photos all day. Good man. I had a meeting, anyway.

I did, however, come home earlier than usual and tore into the package. I think I’m in love.  It is a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro.

Better yet, Brad has acknowledged how fun it is and has stopped scoffing at my pipe dream to own one someday.