Year end.

First attempt at posting art here. I have a Live Journal account that I was primarily using to upload artwork, but I haven't really used it to its full potential and I don't think but maybe 3 people were looking at it, so you're going to see more artwork here.

Eventually I want to merge this and my comic site, as mentioned before, but I haven't figured out how yet.

This piece is for the Art Swap over at Penciljack. It's my first serious piece in a while, serious meaning not cartoony or sketchy but something on a nice 11x17 piece of Eon board, blue lined and inked. I think the composition turned out well, but I'm really rusty on inking and it's kind of sloppy there. Mrs. A will say I'm my own worst critic which is fine, I like it that way. The day I'm happy with my work is the day I'm done being an artist.

The family made the trek to the Austin Trail of Lights down at Zilker Park last night. It was the first time in the six years we've been in Austin that we visited the event. We've seen the Moontower or Zilker Tree before, and that was fun. Just a few minutes of standing under the tree and spinning around while drinking cocoa and eating kettle corn and signing impromptu carols. The TOL, however, is another matter entirely.

Luckily it's not a day long festival in which people park and stay for hours. You park, you walk through and you leave. Sure 20,000 people may have been there at any one time, but it was all mobile. So we sat in line on Mopac to park and as we closed in on the cops they turned off their sign and feed people back onto the freeway saying to go downtown and take the shuttle.

Yeah, go ahead. Picture me being all bent out of shape and frustrated. Get it out of your system.

Fortunately Mrs. A kept a cooler head and we parked by the footbridge that runs under Mopac, so it's just a mile or so hike to the front gate. We had the kids in the wagon so it didn't seem too bad. Until we got there.

Yogi was really enjoying the lights, as you'd expect. They were bright and shiny and colorful; all the things a little brain needs. Lil Miss Austin on the other hand couldn't have cared less. The initial walk up was full of excitement and anticipation, and then about five minutes after the big opening tunnel, she started losing interest and spent the rest of the time faking sleep in the wagon or wrestling with Yogi.

Toward the end Mrs. A and I were just speed walking to get out of the place with two seriously antsy kids. Fun.

Which brings up today's final thought; child behavior.

LMA is a constant work in progress. Until she's 18 we're going to be learning how to deal with her behavior and emotions and her boundaries. We're not doctors, we're not analysts, we're just parents who are both working to pay the bills. We don't see the kids a lot because they're in daycare/school and it really hurts me to only see them for about two hours a day and most of that time spent disciplining them.

So, we're constantly adapting. LMA so far is getting the brunt of our experiments as we move from physical punishment to reward system to ignore system back to physical, but we're doing our best. She is a little person who just needs to move constantly, doesn't know how or is physically incapable of shutting down until she's passed out asleep. She constantly says, "No," which is typical. She cries as soon as you tell her "No" or that she can't have/do something. Lately she gets so bent out of shape she screams and runs to her room and slams the door. (I expect I can look forward to this behavior until I'm dead.)

But it's really wearing us down. There's no middle ground with her. She's either mindless out of control or melting down to the point where she can't comprehend what we're telling her, even if she's not in trouble.

So we're going to try new things and those things won't work so we'll try different things. Mrs. A has decided she just wants to let LMA do her own thing. She thinks maybe we've got too many rules or are too strict. I'm going to try the reward/ignore thing for a while, see what that does. Expects say that's the best way, but I tell you what, if you see a kid pitching a fit in a store and the parent is ignoring the kid, what's your thought? Mine too.

For your information, we did celebrate Solstice on the 23rd since I had to work on the 22nd. For those that read this, thank you very much for the gifts. We all love them.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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