Saturday, August 30, 2008



I was lucky to have time to spend the last few days after work hanging out with both the boys *and* Celeste, who had been staying later at the hospital for a bit. Inspired by one of the slide-shows on Celeste's blog, I switched over to black and white pictures the last time we were there in good light. Thursday she and I traveled down to the cafeteria for dinner during Obama's DNC speech. It was wonderful to be there among a gathered crowd of nurses, doctors, workers, patients, visitors, all heads turned to this historical moment.

...And then we could go upstairs to watch our own histories unfold much more slowly, and close-up. :)


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I almost forgot:

With all of this photography I've been doing and very, very random times spent photo-editing, I forgot I had whole hundreds of photos left over from June and July that never got edited, blogged about, or added to Flickr. Obviously, around the same time I stopped posting on Swatchy (so sad!) and since have rarely caught up with the disparate drawings I had been doing up until July.

Well, I'm playing catch-up and even begin to consider the steps it would take in opening my shop again, now that the babies are here and most major transitions in moving here are (at least) apparent... if not over. We are swimming in onesies over here and, I swear, each time I see one I think... hmmm, where to get that color printer? Anyway, the first step on those things isn't always to draw, though I'm doing my best to catch up and consider new designs. I was looking around on Mintd, for example, and completely forgot that last year I opened up a "shop" profile there as well. Oh my. Lots to do.

In less on-point a topic- Celeste and I saw the most huge rainbow I've ever cast eyes on in my life while driving home from the hospital last night. My camera wasn't fast enough (though I'm posting this photo in it's bigfoot-esque vagueness glory) but it was a nice reminder to not become overwhelmed by these things, or hasty to snap that brilliant picture, either. Just watching the rain pass, clouds spread and turn brilliant reds, and seeing this amazing rainbow was like a special treat slowing down and marking time.

...And if you need your fix of adorable baby pics? Yeah, we got that:

Shoghi (air guitar?) falling asleep in his new blue knits last night.

Monday, August 25, 2008

at the NICU

This little tour of the temporary stop the boys are taking before they come is for family and friends who want a closer look at where Max and Shoghi, as well the lot of us!, are spending time these days. Last night Celeste was looking through the photographs on my camera and it was amazing to see just how fast the boys really are growing and changing. These two weeks with the boys in the hospital have felt painfully long for their mama, but let's just take a stroll through their progress, before the happy day when we all get to welcome them home.

When Max and Shoghi first entered the scene they were housed in two separate pods... pods being the "units" or rooms that make up the NICU. Pods each tend to hold 4-6 babies and the nurses who care for them. It took about two days to get the boys in the same pod together, their first victory that came right along with coming off the CPAP. Due to security issues in the neonatal center you aren't allowed to visit other people's babies, but Celeste, Korin, Mom and I still ended up befriending another family from our pod those first days, whose baby was about to go into surgery. You can imagine it is a pretty emotional place, sometimes.

Upon entering the unit you spend the first several minutes washing your hands. Especially after a day at work, for me hand washing has taken on a new vigor for the sake of my preemie nephews. Korin was right, shea butter works great on raw hands that have been scrubbed time and time again. I took pictures of this room because, you know, it will be so nice months from now to look back on the blog archives and stumble upon them thinking, "Wow. Remember that!?".

While they were still in their earlier pod the boys had just *delicious* light in which to take pictures. Oh, it was so nice. Somewhere between week 1 and 2 they moved pods again. At least now they have a little stereo that plays lullaby's for them, but the light in there is just nowhere near as tasty. After they moved down the hall they began sleeping in the same crib, which was their move after a warmer (covered bed) and the original glass-sided beds they had straight after delivery. My pictures since then have been mainly at night or in low light, which I already mentioned. Even since my last post, Max's gavage (feeding) tube has finally come out, too!

Celeste also chanced upon a meeting with the dad from our other pod whose child was going through surgery about a week ago. Such a pleasure to see him happy and rested, letting us know that his baby was doing just fine. On occasion you get these windows into another family's challenges and successes, undoubtedly humbling moments of fellow people in such vulnerable states. We are watching the days pass and counting them down until the twins come home (Lord knows we all are), but meanwhile everything that we have seen and experienced in the hospital has been exceptional in it's own right.

Friday, August 22, 2008

back to work

Shoghi in post-feeding slumber

For the last few days I've been back at work and, afterward, irresistibly drawn to the hospital to visit the boys on my way home. If you're keeping up with Celeste's mama blog you know the twins are now tucked cozily away in their own crib *together*. Finally! For her (and those of us in her support) the week started out very rocky emotionally, with questionable nurses and so many tasks lined up for Monday-Tuesday that it was hard to get a moment's peace... let alone snuggle time.

Thankfully, this has all settled down just a bit... or maybe less that it settled down and more that everyone re-shuffled, as well as the nursing staff. For me, getting that quiet time to sit with the babies (or rock, as it were) meant stopping by on my way home from work. I even chanced on a visit with Celeste yesterday while she was visiting at night. Some of my photos are grainy, then, because the sun is setting early now. Though we were offered more lights by the nurses on duty, I'm alright with the low lighted look.

Shoghi waking up

Shoghi & Maxwell enjoying their new crib

There have been some (though not many) opportunities to grab a quick sketch here and there. This weeks theme? Floating bubble-blowing children. Oh, and sunflowers... because those are everywhere here right now.

So we are all doing our best around not the best schedules and slightly askew circumstances. Speaking of which, it's time for me to get back to work for another day. There is plenty more to tell and photos to share from our week of ups and downs... more in a bit! Happy Friday everyone!

Celeste & Maxwell

Monday, August 18, 2008

my weekend

The beginning of the work week marks my "weekend", a relief in it's own right. This morning, just as I was considering getting out of bed, thunderstorms rolled in over the yellow sunrise and delighted the senses for about 15 minutes of rumbling wet. Nothing beats wrapping up days of oppressive heat with a noisy thunderstorm. I hustled downstairs to make coffee and sit with the purring cat (he doesn't like thunder I've learned) while the rain swept through.

The mugginess broken, temperatures comfortably tucked under the 90 degree mark, it looks like the next several days could be far more easy to handle. I have my eye on finishing a couple of celebratory crafts & projects I've started for people. I'm happy to say this month appears to have shelled out life-changing blessings to more lives than our immediate circle: this calls for paper goods. Otherwise there is quite a bit of baby snuggling (and photographing) I need to catch up with, friends and family I feel as though I haven't seen in weeks, and some continued moving/ unpacking effort to undertake.

~Hope everyone has a happy Monday~

Sunday, August 17, 2008


With the heat so ever-present an actor in the events of the last few days, instead of giving into looming exhaustion I've tried to focus on simplify, simplify, simplify. At home: some house cleaning and the ongoing organization of my new room while I settle in. And around these things? More drawings, though mostly sketches, have been unfolding into view.

The owner where I work and I were talking the other day and he asked (I was surrounded by books and magazines at the time) if I use every spare moment I have to read. A fitting question~ I did clock in around 7 years of bookstore employ and feel quite comfortable surrounded by tomes. But I looked instead toward the foreground of the unruly pile of reading material stacked around me and smiled at my dinky little lined journal... "No," I thought, "lately I've just been drawing every chance I can get."
And that's just fine with me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

ice cream for dinner

Here we are in a heat wave: temperatures over 100 degrees are expected to last for the next several days. Unlike summertime on the east coast, here temps do tend to fall overnight offering some relief. Though I confess- not much this week. The humidity is holding strong.

Around spending time with and taking new photographs of the twins (happy first week, boys!) I am still trying to get drawing, sketching and painting back into a routine. Portland, as seen from a coast away, gave the impression of being an intensely artistic place- and it is, it certainly is. I admit I wish I was watching the Olympics more than coming home to draw, but while I'm TV-free it's probably better for me to get some (art)work done. I feel very much miles away from the wonderful richness of this city's art scene, basically because I haven't done as much exploring up until now as I thought I would. Best to start with what is within my hands and go from there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

nice to meet you

Beautiful Maxwell on his first day

8 months of pregnancy, four weeks of bed rest, and 17 states across the country later: my sister has brought two absolute miracles into the world. The story is full of exciting twists and turns... but finally, finally, finally we all get to meet you two on the outside! Just days before our friends P and A came over for Celeste's first photo shoot outside (real grass!) since bed rest with our mom, JoAnn:

Our mom was scheduled to go back to Massachusetts on Friday afternoon, but those grandkids were having nothing of it. Celeste delivered baby A punctually Friday morning at 15 past midnight. Baby B came close behind at 12:16 a.m. With prayers and tears of joy all around them the boys were here on lucky 08.08.08!

Beautiful Shoghi just 17 hours old with Auntie Korin

Sweet Maxwell, the same day

Max with his Memere and a smart new hat

We are all taking pictures when we aren't cuddling with them, so there is plenty more to come. As preemies, they're doing great- breathing on their own and growing every day. Celeste, of course, will have more info pouring in on her blog. I had my first opportunity after work last night to hold Maxwell and it was an absolute joy. Actually... what am I doing blogging~ off for another visit! :)

Shoghi dozing off

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

photo tour

...bought Celeste some poppies last week to brighten up the room. We both had fun taking photographs of their drying seed pods, although they weren't drying too fast here in the hospital so I brought them home to my apartment. They are such peculiar plants.

...a photograph from my place of work where I play with paper all day and think about fun projects I someday hope to tackle.

...speaking of peculiar plants, this wonderful passion flower is in full bloom here in Portland. Grabbed this quick photo on my way over to our friend Korin's house the day before yesterday (I never actually know what day of the week it is anymore) with a couple more I'll get on my Flickr page soon. They look like spaceships to me: spaceships!

...and these are the people in my neighborhood. Celeste can go for wheelchair rides every other day, so here is the whole gang (two year old Ruby riding on Korin's shoulders, Celeste sporting wheelchair, and my mom having a laugh) on a sunny and beautiful late afternoon walk. We all had a lot of fun that day! brought some really adorable infant and baby clothes for the twins. These boys are going to be sporting quite a lot of stripes, I wanted to take pictures of all of them (but I thought I'd leave some for Celeste).

Monday, August 4, 2008

catching up

no pictures today, and just a quick post. as you've probably figured out there is not much art making going on these days. celeste my resilient sister has made it through 3 whole weeks of hospitalization and bed rest. three weeks! i had mentioned not blogging about this time in the hospital, but the longer she is staying at OHSU and this pregnancy unfolds, it is obvious that this experience for me (as well) has been a major focus and where my heart resides day after day.

so many things in portland are new, my introduction to living in this city has certainly felt like the condensed version. i'm plugging along at my new job, grateful to be working with such creative, spirited people who, on more than one occasion, have ridden along with me the waves of sudden changes going on at the hospital or a night of no sleep with grace and understanding.

currently my mom is in town (all the way from massachusetts!) creating relief and diversion with her presence. familial ties, i think for both of us, feel light years away since celeste was admitted, we started learning about preemies, the reality of even just the labor part of this whole equation started looming. mom's visit couldn't have come at a better time to help us all revive and reset (she'll be leaving just as celeste marks 32 weeks/ 4 weeks at the hospital) and spend some much needed time simply celebrating this wonderful pregnancy.

i trek my sketchbook all over town with me in my handy backpack (thanks, korin!) that holds my most important necessities around this wacky home-work-hospital schedule... but seriously it is not getting much use. i feel blessed to even be blogging right now, and will fill you in with photographs of this chapter next.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

because the other things going on with me are just so small compared to this...


me and you be sisters.
we be the same.

me and you
coming from the same place.

me and you
be greasing our legs
touching up our edges.

me and you
be scared of rats
be stepping on roaches.

me and you
come running high down purdy street one time
and mama laugh and shake her head at
me and you.

me and you
got babies
got thirty-five
got black
let our hair go back
be loving ourselves
be loving ourselves
be sisters.

only where you sing,
I poet.
~Lucille Clifton