Friday, August 29, 2008


This morning I'm thinking about tolerance. At what point does a person lose their tolerance? Does it happen all at once or a little at a time? I'm specifically thinking about nurses and their tolerances. It seems like the ones who have been around for 30 years have lost their tolerance for any kind of bad behavior. But then there are the angels who nothing fazes them and they just take it all in stride. Those are the ones that really make a difference. I'm trying to increase my tolerance for others and their problems and perhaps the world would be a little nicer if we could all find just a little more tolerance for things.

Back to the Hospital

It is almost 3:00 am and I am here at the hospital with my mother. Her cancer is still having its way with her body, and now her brain is getting involved. She is terribly confused and is having a hard time finding her words. The doctors think that it is the brain tumors that are causing the confusion, but they are not yet sure. So many tests, so little information. As I watch her squirm in bed and try to get comfortable, I can't help but think of the similarities between her and my 2 month old daughter. It absolutely kills me. Everything always seems harder in the middle of the night, for some reason. I sit here, listening to the beeping medical equipment and hope for a better day tomorrow. My aunt and my grandfather are coming to town to help me with Mom, but I have to be hopeful that tomorrow will bring me my mother back. At least a little. Please keep us in your thoughts and I thank all of you for your support. Love to you all, Kelly

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Locks of Love

I did it! I chopped all my hair off! I had ten inches whacked off and donated to Locks of Love. I wanted to do that in light of my mother's diagnosis. I am glad to be able to donate all my hair to people who really need it. After all, it will grow back! I think the ponytail on the table looks a bit strange. Like a dead critter or something! Pantene is another company that takes hair donations and you only need 8 inches for them. They give their wigs to people under the age of 18 who lose their hair due to cancer or other conditions. There is too much cancer in this world and I really hope they find a cure one day. At least maybe they will continue to improve the treatments so that there is hope for these patients. My mom's cancer is not responding to the chemo like the doctor had hoped, and the chemo is just wearing her down. It is so hard on her and the side effects are really hard. Maybe one day, patients with cancer won't have to go through all of this. Let's hope for the best.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Great Opportunity

I have news! I have been accepted into a great retail show, put on by the American Craft Council in Charlotte, NC. It is the first time I have applied to this show, and I can't believe that I actually got in! Yippee! This is such a great opportunity for me and it has given me new energy and drive for my pottery. I haven't worked in clay in over four months, but now I am working again. With my mother's sickness and a new baby, clay just didn't have priority in my life. One of my concerns with having a baby was that I would lose myself and my creativity in taking care of little Marley. So I have decided to go forward with this show and keep my creativity alive. I am so glad and I think it is the right decision. We have hired a baby sitter, who is actually the mother of a close friend of mine (Hi Sheri!), and she comes a couple of times a week to babysit while I get some work done. My husband and I have also worked out a schedule that allows me 3-4 hours on some days to work on my clay. I couldn't do this without his help. He and I are both trying to maintain our businesses with this little one, and we both work out of the house, so it is a bit of a challenge. But I am working and here is a photo of some pieces that I have thrown. They are drying and waiting to go into the kiln. It will be a while before they are glazed, and in the meantime, I am working on some new urn designs. I want to have a lot of new work for this show and I have a little bit of time - the show isn't until the end of October and beginning of November. I am so looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She Sleeps

It is almost too good to be true - little Marley slept for 9 hours last night! It is the beginning of a new era! She will be 8 weeks on Wednesday, Aug 20th, and it is a miracle that she slept so much last night. In the beginning, she didn't really settle down very easily. Charlie, my other half, and I would take 3 hour shifts and take turns with the baby. That was rough. He and I were like ships passing in the night - we never really saw each other. You'd get about 2.5 hours sleep, if that, and just hope the baby would sleep after you fed her. She didn't always go back to sleep and you would have to stay awake with her and bide your time until your shift was over. This madness lasted for about 5 weeks. At the end of this cycle, she started sleeping, but only on your chest. You could lie down on the couch, and with her on your chest, you could sleep for a little while. It's totally against the rules these days due to SIDS, but at this point, Charlie and I were so exhausted, we would do almost anything to get a couple hours of sleep. This is when Charlie was about to leave the country to photograph a wedding in Antigua. How in the world was I going to manage by myself?? And then I stumbled onto something. I put Marley in the bed with me, snuggled up nice and close, so she could feel the body heat, and we slept together in the bed, with her at my side. This was a milestone for us. I could actually sleep on my side instead of flat on my back with a baby on top of me. At this point, she actually began to sleep more in between feedings - about 4 hours in between. I could handle this! Yay! This is how I made it through the nights with Charlie gone. Then we bought a "sleep positioner" for babies, which is a thing with two bolster pillows (one on each side) that is supposed to keep babies on their backs for sleeping. We used it for keeping Marley on her side, which is where she wanted to be. We put this in our bed, between the two pillows (with plenty of room) and Marley seemed to like this. We slept like this for maybe a week and a half, and then the sleep positioner (and baby) got transitioned to the bassinet. And that is where she sleeps now! It is so nice to have my bed back and to be able to snuggle with my husband! And then for the real miracle - she slept nine hours last night in the bassinet. It is an amazing thing!!! Here's to getting a good nights sleep! (This is where you clink glasses, or coffee mugs or whatever...)

I'm working again!

Not only was I MIA from the blog, I wasn't making pottery or sculpture either. But all that has changed and I'm working again. It feels good to be working in clay; I feel like I need to dust off the cobwebs and find the rhythm once again. I have been throwing some mugs and some lidded jars - after I had to search to find all my tools again. My studio has been in a state of disrepair - we ripped out the sink and transformed it into a closet. (We did that because we were preparing to put the house on the market and needed another bedroom.) So, I am working without a sink, but I am managing alright with buckets of water. I know I am not the first potter to work without a sink! In the new house, I'm going to have a bad ass studio and that will make up for it. I've already purchased a kiln - I got a large, electric front loading kiln from Bailey. I stayed with electric firing because all my glazes are formulated for it. To switch to gas firing, I would have to make so many changes to my glazes, and I'm not prepared to do that at this time. I don't have any pictures of finished pieces yet, because there are no finished pieces yet! I'm in a throwing cycle, and soon I will start firing and glazing some of the work. As soon as I have some pieces, I will take a quick picture and post it. Thanks and you all have a great day!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, well, well! After a long hiatus, I'm back. Things have been so crazy around the Thiel household. First off - we had our baby! Three weeks early, as a matter of fact. I went in for a doctor's appt, and had an ultrasound. We found out that I was running out of amniotic fluid and it was time to get the baby out! Wow! I didn't even have my car seat yet! We had ordered it, but it hadn't been delivered yet! The same goes for my rocking chair and other baby gadgets. So we scrambled, got a bag together, arranged for a dogsitter, made about a million phone calls and got ourselves to the hospital. I stayed the night and the next morning they prepped me for surgery, as I was going to have a c-section. (Why? I'll tell you all about that later...) At about 11:45, I walked into the surgery room (boy, that was a bit scary) and at 12:02, we had a baby girl. What a crazy experience! Marley Marie weighed 6 lbs, 12 oz and was 19.5" long. She had medium brown hair and was ours! Wow! Since then, we have been trying to adapt to this new life, and getting very little sleep while doing it. Baby Marley didn't want to sleep at night in the beginning, and we've only begun to turn that around here in the past couple of weeks. Thank goodness! Now the challenge is to get her to sleep in the bassinet instead of on our chests. That is where she is happiest. She is a cute little peanut and she is our biggest challenge. Having a baby is such an emotional event - nobody warns you that you will feel the strongest emotions of your life. You feel extreme happiness, excitement, frustration, stressed out, worried, guilty, crazy, exhausted and more. I realize that not all of those are emotions, but you feel them all! And then there is the reprioritizing of your life. Some things just lose their importance in those first few hours with a baby! And other things gain importance, like friends, family, health, safety, things of that sort. I could go on and on, but I will save it for another time. I have included some photos for you all. I'm sorry I was MIA for a while. I guess I was feeling overwhelmed! Love to all of you!