ninanevermore: (Christmas)
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My son, Sweet Pea, does not sit still. He also does not smile at strangers. This makes it a waste of money to visit a professional photographer, unless I want to pay a whole lot of money for a blurred picture of a scowling child. Incidentally, after 6 years I have yet to get a picture of him with Santa Clause. His very first Christmas he was only a couple of months old and was still kind of in his unattractive newborn state, so I didn’t have one taken. This was a mistake, as it turned out to be my only opportunity.

By the next year at the age of 1, he was already terrified of Santa and it would have taken a team of wild horses to get him on that strange man's lap. I hoped it was a phase, but it wasn’t. I have never been one who thought a picture of a crying terrified child fighting to get away from a fat bearded man in a red suit was charming, so I have never pushed the issue. No, I am biding my time. One of these days he will get over his fear of St. Nick and that year I will get my picture of him sitting on the old guy’s lap looking sweetly at the camera. The fact that my son will probably be able to grow a beard himself by that time will not faze me. I’m his mother, damnit. He owes me at least one picture with Santa. It if happens when he is 25, so be it. I can wait.

So each year, I dress him up in red (because it is Christmas and because the color suits him) and take picture of him until I am sure I have at least a couple that are cute enough to share with the family. This year, it took 188 attempts. Most of them I deleted because he was moving, closed his eyes, was talking, he put his face right up against the lens at the last moment, or he jumped out of the frame and all I had left was the background. Below are a few of the ones that were keepers.

Because of the Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) recently issued by the school, Santa was legally required to move Sweet Pea to the Nice list. I had to threaten the North Pole with legal action if this didn’t happen, but it was worth it. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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ARD stands for Admission, Review, and Dismissal. It’s what the state of Texas calls an IEP meeting. IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. I will attend my first one tomorrow to go over what his school things might help him learn and function a little better. I am neither looking forward to or nor dreading it. I guess, to borrow a phrase from Pink Floyd, I have become comfortably numb.

Sweet Pea is suspended from the YMCA After School care again for throwing a Lincoln Log at another child and hitting him in the eye. Jeff is on vacation this week, so we are okay as far as childcare goes. When I got the call from the Y today, I didn’t even ask what was wrong, I just said, “Oh, God,” and the girl spilled the beans on what had been going on. I called my husband and told him, “You need to go pick up your son.”

And then the numbness set in.

No one here is practically perfect in any way at all. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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If I am ever queen of the world, daylight savings will be eliminated. I’m not bitter about it today at this moment; in fact, I’m happy that the time is back to normal. As a person with a somewhat rigid circadian rhythm, the clock and my brain are somewhat in sync again for the next few months. The US Congress has been going to great lengths to see that they are in sync for a shorter and shorter part of the year.

I suppose I could just up and move to Arizona, but all my family and connections are in Texas. Besides, I am a Gulf Coast woman by birth, and I like the lush greenness of my native soil. I love magnolia and live oak trees, and moving someplace where they are not everywhere I look would cause me grief. I would be perfectly content if the government would quit $%&ing with my clock and leave it be.

Round and round )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I recently joined a Facebook group for descendants of a set of my great, great, great grandparents (I think I got all the greats in there, at least) and too my delight came across a group photo that included my then 2-year-old mother sitting on the lap of her maternal grandfather. My mother was born in 1933 during the Great Depression. Not a lot of money was spent on luxuries like cameras and film during that era, so pictures of her as a child are a rare find for me.

One thing that I’ve noticed about almost all the photos I’ve seen of her as a child feature her standing or sitting with her left side facing the camera. In a lot of them she is in three-quarters profile, standing or with her body at that angle (in a few with her face turned toward the camera). In the pictures of her as a toddler, she is always looking off to the right, as if someone outside of the frame of the photo were standing in that direction calling her name to keep her from turning toward the photographer.

In the photo below, which features all of grandchildren of the couple taken on their 50th wedding aniversary, she is almost the only child not facing the camera. A casual observer would think this is a case of a squirmy toddler not cooperating, but I suspect it was very deliberate. They didn’t want to ruin the picture by showing her right side, so they made a point to hide the hand wasn’t there.

A very pretty little girl, aside from that one small thing )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I apologized to my husband this morning for what I said to him on Saturday when he felled a tree onto the Mercury Cougar that used to belong to his mother and that was servicing us as our back-up vehicle. A loving spouse doesn’t roll her eyes and say, “That was really stupid, hon.” But I did.

This was wrong of me. In marriage, you are allowed to think your spouse is stupid, but it’s not something you ever say aloud. You are only allowed to say it with a look, and everyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship knows the look I am talking about: raised eyebrows, half smirk, and bald-face incredulity. It is a look that says, I love you, but you are an idiot. Women are better at this look than men, who generally respond by showing their palms and saying, “What?!” When men give it women, we tend smile sadly and look at them big sad eyes so they will go all soft and mushy inside and forgive us.

Wet Hair and a Crushed Cougar )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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In the Spring of 1994 I was still living at my father’s house, having graduated college the year before but having not found permanent reliable employment to afford myself a place of my own. I had graduated with a BA in Journalism around the same time I figured out that I was not cut out to be a journalist, but had yet to figure out what I was cut out to be (something that has not changed in the last 16 years). Responsibility and commitment were not high priorities for me, so one morning God sent me a puppy to help me along and show me the way.

You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. -Robert Louis Stevenson )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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“Use these to draw a picture of yourself,” he told me, handing me a sheet of paper and some tubes of colored glitter-glue dispensers.

“A picture of myself?”

“Yes, wearing a dress.”

I don’t wear skirts or dresses very much, in large part because you have to pay attention to how you sit when you wear them. I am a little over 5 feet tall, and since my feet don’t touch the floor in every chair that I sit in I’m often tempted to wrap my legs around the legs of the chair so they don’t dangle in the air. I’ve found that trousers save me and the person sitting across me a lot of embarrassment, and so they are my garment of choice. Sweet Pea has been looking at my wedding photos, though, and my wedding was one occasion where I did wear a dress. It was long, so it didn’t matter how I sat in it.

Photos allow you to invite your unborn children to your wedding. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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No rhymes, no reason, and no clever observations to this post. Just a few random photos of things I’ve written about in the fast couple of months. Why now? Because I finally loaded the pictures off of my camera last night, that’s why.

A teapot, Santa's air fleet, fishing for cats, red staplers, how to discourage free loaders, and tasty treats )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I tried to wrangle my 5 year old into sitting still for a portrait to go out in my Christmas cards to last week. It's never an easy task. First, I had to get him a haircut, because his bangs were in his eyes and I didn't want him to look too shaggy for the only picture that certain family members will see of him all year. Then came the whole process of getting him to sit still and smile at the same time. It's easy to get him to smile when he is swinging him arms or running around, but that makes for a blurry portrait. With a little work I can get him to sit still, but he doesn't like to smile while he is doing so.

Every year, without fail, the picture I think will work from how it looks when I review it on my digital camera doesn't look so hot once I load it onto my computer. The one I end up using is always a surprise, and this year was no exception. And the winner is… )
ninanevermore: (Jack)
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With no income (my unemployment is still listed as "pending" with the Texas Workforce Commission; until they deny me I can't even feel angry yet), I didn't go all out on Halloween this year like I wanted to. Which means that I only had a few more decorations than last year. I usually add a few things every year. I am the Halloween Lady in my neighborhood. It's my favorite holiday, hands down. I think the main reason I love Halloween is because it is the holiday they tried to take away from me as a child. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 8 the week before Halloween and sent me home from the hospital the morning of Halloween. I went trick or treating that night only to see my parents take my candy away from me as soon as I got home. All these years later I'm still ticked off about that. Because of that trauma all those years ago, I do Halloween like no one else. It's a holiday centered around handing out candy, but unlike my candy back when I was 8 no one can take it from me. It's mine. Keep your hands off it.

The Go-Ahead-and-Take-Candy-From-Strangers Holliday )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I could post pictures of the animals I saw, but mostly I only took shots on one particular smallish primate (my favorite one).

Labor Day at the Houston Zoo )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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In the past I have railed against the deer that are constantly invading my back yard and munching on whatever sort of vegetation I am trying to cultivate back there. Now they have really crossed the line, though. When they ate my passion vine, I was annoyed. When they ate my rose bush, I was irate. But now that one of them has slipped into by back yard and given birth to twins, I am filled with something that can only be described as "Awwwwwww."

Damn it. They are just too cute.

Bambi and Bambette )
ninanevermore: (Default)
I'm busy this week. No time to write. Just so you all don't forget about me, though, here are a couple of pictures of my Dad's foundling Schnauzer for y'all to look at.

Meet Hank:

These were taken shortly before he was taken to be fixed. He went along with it, though he didn't think he was broken. He's confided to me that next time anyone offers to fix anything on him, he's going to ask some questions first. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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My son's new babysitter, who I'll refer to as Coco (based on how my son mispronounces her actual name which sounds nothing like that), reminds me of someone, but it took me awhile to figure out who. She has her serious intensity when she talks to you that then turns into a bright smile as soon as she's had her say. She's also very assertive. I've gathered that she either likes you, or she doesn't. She likes me, which is the only reason she's agreed to accept my money and watch my child. I mulled over just who it was that she reminded me of when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I called Jeff to warm him. "When you pick up [Sweat Pea] and you meet Coco, don't be alarmed if she reminds you of Patty a little bit. She's a lot like what Patty would be if she weren't a complete %$#! up."

"What would that alarm me?" Jeff asked, "I always liked Patty except for the fact that she's a complete %$#! up."

A boy made of steal )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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"She told me to tell you not to bring him back this week."

I love how people pass the buck. I've done it myself: told a manager, "This is my opinion of what we should do, can I say that you authorized it? It'll have more impact if it comes from you."

"I'm in your corner. I'm gunning for you," she said, "But we've had too many other parents complain. We love him and we don't want to see him go, but my boss is telling me this and my hands are tied."

It's not me, it's my boss. Yeah, I've used that one before, too. This must be Karma paying be back.

My glass was half full, but then it all evaporated. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I live in a small town, which makes the small world we all live in even smaller for me.

One of the houses in town, just a few blocks away from my son's daycare, had a large oak tree in the front yard that was damaged by hurricane Ike last September. They hired a woodcarver to make a sculpture out of what was left of the damaged tree, and the local weekly had a write up about the project.

"Have you seen this thing?" Jeff asked me, showing me the paper.

"Nuh-uh. Where is it?"

"On Baker, right across from the nursing home. People are always stopping to watch him work, taking pictures and kind of tying up traffic. It looks like its going to be a mountain lion or something."

I looked at the article. "It's going to be two mountain lions," I said.

A few days later I drove by and saw the work in progress:

Cougars in Progress


Michelangelo with a Chainsaw )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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Earlier this week, I was caring my 4 year old from the bathroom to the bedroom after his bath. He was wrapped in a brown towel that looks like a teddy bear. It has a little hood that has little bear ears on top, and bear eyes and a bear nose over his forehead. I was teasing him about looking like a bear.

"Aren't you a cute little baby bear," I told him.

"No, I'm not a baby bear. I'm a little boy," he corrected me.

"A little boy? Are you sure? You look like a little bear to me."

"Nope. I'm a boy." He was very serious; he wanted to clear up any confusion I might have about what species he belongs to. He yanked the hood of the towl off his head. "See?"

Once apon a time, a Firefighter a Princess decided to be friends. They lived happily ever after. The end. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
I should post something deep, but I'm on vacation and don't feel like it.

So, instead, here are more photographs. No, not of me. Never of me. I don't like pictures of me. The video I posted last week had my voice in it, which I also don't like much, but that's as much of me that I am comfortable putting out on the Internet.

Nope, these are more of my son. When I downloaded the pictures off of my camera the other day, I found this series that made me laugh (which is awful, because my son is crying in the last one).

I was trying to take my son's picture to get a nice Christmas portrait to give out to the grandparents, and at one point he picked up a stick off of the ground. He began to waive it around, and hit my camera. I then took the stick away, which caused him great distress. "My stick!" he cried, "My stiiiiiiiiiiick!" Then he dissolved into tears and turned on The Big Wet Puppy Dog Eyes.



A story in 5 photos )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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A couple weeks ago, I discovered that I live 13.4 miles from entrance to one of the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States. I knew that I lived pretty close, but I haven't actually gone to the Texas Renaissance Festival since I bought my house so I didn't realize exactly how close I lived to it.

They have a garden on the grounds that exists for the soul purpose of providing photo opportunities. With a 4-year-old boy in tow destined to star in a calendar that I needed to print for his maternal grandfather and his paternal grandmother (the only two grandparents he has left) in time for Christmas, I took advantage of these prefab ops and scored not only my calendar cover photo, but the pictures for 4 other months as well.

I love I love I love my Calendar Boy )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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So we got a little damage in the storm; it's no big deal in the large scheme of things, I guess. The generator helps with the power, but I'm a little irate that the water is still out. Jeff and I drove into to town to see what was opened (one grocery store running on auxiliary power, but we decided there was nothing we needed bad enough to stand in the 2 hour checkout line), and noticed a sign from our utility district saying to boil our water.

"Give me something to boil, and I'd be happy to do it," I said.

I haven't had a shower since Friday morning. You would be surprised at how well deodorant works when you keep putting it on for several days straight. At this point, by the time I do get to take a shower, I will need a putty knife to scrape off the layers of deodorant from beneath my arms. To avoid injury at a time when emergency services in my area are strained, I will use a plastic and not a metal putty knife.

Yesterday I took a drive though my little subdivision of about 200 households, to see how the neighbors faired. Some were better off than me, and some were worse. One house also had its front door blocked off by a tree, just like mine is.

Wow, it looks like a hurricane blew threw here! )

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