#nannylife

For the past 8ish months, I’ve been watching my friend’s baby a few days a week in exchange for keeping my horse on her property. It isn’t always the easiest job taking care of an infant, but thanks to some imagination and excellent social media image filters, I’m managing.

Face-swap goodness

“You’re a wazard!”

We created some sick alter-egos. Meet “Mildred and Ethel”. They enjoy gossiping, pointy edged glasses, and silently judging you.

Working on her RBF

“Unlimited power!!”

This is just my son being…my son.

My Book Writing Journey: Leaving a Legacy of Laughter

toddler wearing purple sweatshirt

The recent death that has hit my circle of friends and acquaintances got me really thinking about several things. One of them is the idea of leaving a legacy.

I guess we don’t often think about our legacy or what we’ll leave behind when we’re gone from this life. We’re focused on the here and now. Nothing wrong with that. Here and now is where we live, so it’s good to pay attention to it. When death happens close to you, you consider what things would be like if you yourself passed on unexpectedly. What will you have left behind to benefit humanity?

I’m a strong believer in laughter. It has the ability to flood in and replace things like sadness or anger. In the worst of times laughter can lift us up, even if just for a moment. Besides love, laughter has the most power in this world for good I think.

As I’m writing my book and drawing illustrations for it, my thought is “What is going to make people genuinely laugh out loud? How can I make this drawing even more funny?”. It’s a desire to bring positivity into a world that can never have enough positivity injected into it. Funny trumps a bad day and it can rejuvenate a tired, bitter soul in a very unique way.

I’ve always looked up to the people who’s biggest ambition in life has been to make people laugh (Red Skelton, Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, etc.). While not everyone understands every joke, laughter is universal.

I think that’s what I love about comic art, you can create something that transcends any language barrier. It’s the expression on the character’s faces, the movement you create in the image that everyone can understand, because most body language and expression is universal.

This is what I hope to create with my book. A legacy of laughter. Something that will inject that positivity into the world long after I’m gone. Fingers crossed.

It’s Almost Summer?!

Untitled_Artwork (3)The sun is shining, and for the moment my kids are in school, but not for long! They only have a few more days of school left and then it’s summer break 2018.

I personally have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love that I get to be outside in the sunshine riding my horse, or out in the kayak, or camping. I also love not having to wake up early to get the kids ready for school (that’s always a marathon in itself). It’s just awesome.

On the other hand, summer means lots of heat and sun exposure. I am a very pale person that doesn’t tan, I burn. No matter how much sunscreen I dowse myself in, I always feel like i’m burning/melting. If you’ve never experienced that feeling because you have gorgeous, not mega-ultra-pasty skin, I probably hate you.

The other reason I tend to dis-like summer is because after the summer break “honeymoon” period is over, there always comes a time when I realize my kids are home for the next couple of months. With me. Every day. That realization tends to make me a little sad. Not because I don’t love my kids, it’s because their bickering and constantly injuring each other really starts to grind on me after a short period of time.

So whether I’m ready for it or not, summer is nearly here. Fingers crossed for good times and no trips to the emergency room because one of my kids seriously injures the other¬†one with all that time they’re going to be spending together.

Chugging Along on My Book Writing Journey

pexels-photo-891674.jpegThis last weekend was a pretty busy one. I wished that I had more time to write and maybe begin to illustrate for my book, but life got in the way. I managed to write a couple of short stories and came up with more topics that I can write stories about, so it hasn’t been totally wasted time as far as the book is concerned.

This whole thing has been good for me because it’s the first time that I don’t feel compelled to rush through things to get a complete product. I really want this book to stand a chance at being successful, so i’m making it about the journey instead of the destination. Once the book is finished, that’s it. It’s out there and there’s no changing it.

It’s funny how this book has been evolving along the way. My original idea was to make it almost exclusively about my marriage and why I think my husband and I have lasted as long as we have from such a young, clueless age. It would have been about humor and how important it is in life, but especially in marriage. The book has had other plans for itself it seems. I’m now writing more about all the funny experiences that I’ve had in my life that lend themselves well to cartoon illustrations. When I started thinking about it and when family members started to remind me of stories that I’d forgotten about, I realized that it was the perfect content for this book. So that’s what it has become. A humorous book about my life. The thing I have going for me is that no one besides me has lived my life.

The biggest challenge now is remembering all the stories I have to tell, but that’s what friends and family are for. No writer/illustrator is an island.

Interested in seeing excerpts and illustrations from my book before it’s published? Check out the Facebook page for it:¬†https://www.facebook.com/thisisfinewerefine/

Good Luck and Stuff: Writing and Illustrating a Book

bookCover002

(Book cover draft for my upcoming book “This is Fine. We’re Fine.”)

I’ve been creating comics about my life and about other things I find funny for about 3 years now. I started out drawing comics on paper and scanning them (yuck). Now I use a tablet and illustration software (yay!). Like most artists, it’s taken me a long time to find my style. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to art, which is simultaneously awesome and intimidating. Not that I can compare myself to Picasso, but I feel like i’m going through the same sort of thing that he did. I began my artistic career doing very realistic work. Horses in particular have always been some of my favorite things to paint. Now i’m primarily a comic artist, drawing pretty unrealistic things for the sake of comedy. Obviously Picasso didn’t draw comics so much as he painted whatever the hell he wanted to because he didn’t like being told how to create art (go, Picasso!), but you see my point. This is not where I started.

So now I’ve decided to throw myself into the deep end of the pool by attempting to write and illustrate a book. It isn’t so much that I think the whole world will love what I create and I’ll become famous, but that I believe humor has great power to change people and brighten their day, and I have the power to do that through something as simple as a book.

This is going to take me a lot more time than I’m accustomed to taking on a project. I am impatient and work fast, and I wont be able to do that with this book. Writing and drawing with quality takes time, so that’s what I’m going to give this project. Fingers crossed that I come out of this feeling like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to, even if only two people (probably my parents) buy the book. Wish me luck and stuff.

 

Sex (or Something Like it)

Imagine you’re in the middle of getting it on when you hear someone banging on your bedroom door. Turns out your toddler really needed a drink of water 15 minutes after you put them to bed. You rush to put clothes on (hopefully not inside out), get your unsuspecting kid a drink and put them back into bed. You run back to your room where your spouse is waiting for you. You close and lock the door, strip back down again and attempt to pick up where you left off. Now you hear the voice of your toddler again, but this time it’s coming from their room. You try to ignore them, but they get louder and louder. You angrily put some clothes back on and quickly walk to your child’s room to ask them what on earth they need now. They inform you that you forgot to tuck them back in and kiss them goodnight. You’re frustrated, but to avoid further delays you’re obliging. Now you’ve done your parental duty, so you rush back to your room. Your spouse is still waiting patiently for you and you try for round three. Things seem to be going well. So well in fact that you’ve now attracted the attention of your curious dog, who until now was asleep on the floor at the foot of your bed. All of a sudden you feel a cold, wet nose on your ass and that makes you jump. You shove your confused dog off of the bed. You try desperately to regain your sexual momentum, but no dice. The mood has been wrecked. Your spouse is exhausted. You’re exhausted. You’ll just have to try again some other time. Welcome to married life.

I wish I wasn’t speaking out of experience, but I am. It’s the sad truth about how few and far between good opportunities to have sex are when you’re the parents of young kids. It’s like they have some kind of evil radar system that goes off in their little brains if their parents think about trying to have sex. It definitely makes things challenging. So is there hope? Sort of. To make uninterrupted sex work in a house with kids, you either have to get creative with your timing, or you have to put a lock on your bedroom door. A combination of both is recommended.

I personally think it’s more difficult to have sex once you have older kids in the house because there’s a chance that they know what you’re doing, which begins a vicious cycle of psychological warfare for you. When your kids are little, they have no idea what’s happening. They are blissfully unaware. For example, our oldest son waltzed into our room once while my husband and I were “enjoying each other’s company” under the sheets. Apparently we forgot to lock the door. He was only about 3 at the time. He had no idea what we were doing and he didn’t bother asking. He just needed to say hi and then he was back to whatever he had previously been up to. Those were the good old days.

Housework

Untitled_Artwork

I know that I should be better about housework, but I’m not. I’m pretty terrible at it actually. My poor husband rarely gets to come home to a spotless house. The problem is that I’m a creatively driven person. That basically means that when I get an idea in my head, I have to execute that idea. It could be as small as putting an entry in my journal, or making a vlog or blog, or creating art, or coming up with new ways to improve my business. It could be any combination of those sorts of things. Whatever the inspired task that I give myself is, it trumps housework. It trumps housework every time.

Thankfully for me, I have a husband that tolerates my lack of interest in housework. He doesn’t necessarily love it, but he tolerates it. I think that as long as he comes home to his family and we’re all healthy and happy, and there’s a plan in the works for dinner, he’s a happy dude. One of the many reasons that I love him so much.

Growing up my mom and dad kept our house pretty clean. My room and my brother’s rooms and our bathroom might have been a different story, but I remember my mom being good about cleaning pretty regularly. The point is that I don’t come by my lack of affection for housework honestly. It’s just something that I have never made my priority. I almost need to throw a party once a month to force me to clean. That isn’t going to happen, but it’s a thought. I clean a little here and there and when we have guests over I clean as much as I can. I both envy and pity the people who have a beautiful, spotless house. I envy them because, who doesn’t love a nice, clean house? I pity them because I know how much time and effort it takes to keep a house perfectly clean.

My husband and I joke that we could have a clean house, or dogs and kids. We chose dogs and kids. Also, I’m bad at cleaning which doesn’t help.