Friday, February 27, 2009

An Open Letter to my Younger Self

There is this great song that talks about what this guy would say to himself if he could go back and meet his younger self. Hmmm…That got me to thinking yesterday. I said to myself “self, what would you say if you could meet the younger you?

A lot.

Because if I were actually able to go back and meet my younger self, I could save myself the trouble of some things that I put myself through.

So without further ado…(and please feel free to skip over it because it’s likely to be long):

Dear Younger Me,

There are going to be some things that go on in your life that I’d like to give you some advice about.

(Pause) If I do this, does it change the future? (Resume)

Try and be a little nicer to our younger brother Barry. As irritated as you get with him, every.. single…day…. when you are 33, you will still feel guilt over how many times you beat him up. Yes, you and he eventually become very close but you will always wonder if he resents you for bullying him.

When you are 8, you are going to bury a letter in the dirt that you wrote to God. When you dig it up, don’t cry…because even though it’s still there, he read it. Just have faith. Oh and while on the subject of God, try not to keep yourself up at night worrying about if you will go to hell or not. That’s way too much burden for an 8 year old to carry around. I have it on good authority that we are tight with God.

When you meet the man that is ultimately going to adopt you and be your dad, try not to give him such a hard time. While his patience is never ending with your foul mouth, he’s going to be there for you no matter what…so you can quit trying to chase him off. Just accept that not all dads bail on you, and this one is a keeper. Trust me. I know these things.

When we you hit junior high, PLEASE oh please don’t frost your hair and then jump into a chlorine pool. Your hair just may just turn bright green. For a long time. And then don’t let your sister put a bowl on your head and give you weird haircut that your mom is going to freak out about. It doesn’t matter if it is early 90’s; green, weird layered hair is not the thing.

When you get your license and go out on your first trip (with Josh and Julie), be careful. You might just hit two cars in one hour. Don’t freak out though because even though your parents told you that they would take your keys if you got in any wrecks, they give them back. Of course, you won’t hit that second car if you just go home after you hit the first one instead of going to the mall.

Don’t cheat in Spanish. You will need that skill later on down the road…it may seem unlikely at the time, but trust me….it’s a useful thing.

When your mom gives you the book “Meditations for People who May Worry too Much”, take the hint and try and relax. You can’t fix the world’s problems and eventually you will figure that out and learn to chill a little. Learn the phrase “it is what it is”. That’ so true.

To my 17 year old self, you do not know everything. You don’t even know a third of what you think you know. Don’t lie to your parents one night and say you are working when you are not. Don’t leave home for a week because you think you are grown. And if you do anyway, accept the month of being grounded with grace. It could have been a lot worse. Because if you don't heed my advice, not only will you have no life for a month, you will miss that very important Mardi Gras parade that you were supposed to be in and you will let everyone down.

Hug your granddad as often as you can. Let him know how much you love and appreciate him for all that he does for you.

Maybe you should try to think before you speak. Social filters are “the thing”, you may want to visit that concept. Not everyone will appreciate your blunt honesty. Sometimes people would rather you lie to them. Try not to wait until you are in your 30’s to figure that one out. It will save you a lot of headache and aggravation.

Your mom is not the enemy. Actually she will end up being your best friend but I think deep down you already know this. She’s been the one constant in your life, your one source of stability and love, and she will be steadfast as you grow into an adult.

If a good friend of yours dies, mourn with your friends but know that it does get easier. You will still remember him every day but eventually it will be with fondness instead of pain.

I also highly advise you to not graduate at mid semester of your senior year. Even though you will return to walk with your class at the end of the year, you miss out on so much. You will miss out on seeing your friends every day and goofing off just for the fun of it. You will miss the last half of a year of being a kid. Don’t try to grow up so fast, you will work full time for the rest of your life. Trust me.

And while you think you want to get into criminal justice…you will just be wasting 3 years of your life with classes that you will never do anything with. How about nursing or something? No, you don’t end up in nursing but it’s a great idea.

If you meet a boy named Steve…just keep on walking. While he is a wonderful person and a great friend…he’s not your soul mate. No matter how much you think he is in the beginning. You will just break his heart in the long run and feel guilty about it for years.

You lose touch with some good friends but maintain close ties with quite a few. You worry a lot about how your life is going to turn out. Don’t….you do just fine. You end up a well rounded, self confident, happily married individual. Your bumps and bruises along the way are worth it, because you learn so much. Learn to accept people for who they are and realize that not everyone can live up to your expectations. But most of all….be happy.


Older You

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things That Make You go Hmmm....

I hear tell that every child has a "thing" that they do when they are young. I certainly know that Ethan has a "thing" and lemme just say that I just don't get it. I'd also like to say that once said child did this "thing", you'd think that he'd learn his lesson. That is not the case. Not one bit.

What is Ethan's "thing"? I hear you thinking that very question. And because you are my dear friend, I will share this "thing" with you. Lets just keep it between us, shall we? Thank you.

In the past 8ish months, Ethan has done something to his hair four times. Yes, you heard me right. The first time was the most traumatic on us all. Actually, as freaked out as I was about it, he was really upset. Distraught actually. You see, he took his dads mustache trimmer and shaved part of his head. To. The. Scalp.

See? I told you! He barged into my room freaking out. I will admit that I reacted by gasping. He kept saying "It's OK" over and over again. The only thing that we could think to do was to shave his entire head.


I'm taking a break from the story to inform all of you {again} that Ethan gets an unfortunate trait from me. A round head. A very round head.

::End intermission::

So there we were, shaving his head with Jerry's clippers. Ethan went into melt down mode when he saw the end result, it was very upsetting actually, having to watch him go through this.

His hair was shaved so close to his head that he looked like a cancer kid. While I am not making fun of this fact, he really did.

He wore a hat to school for days and begged me to make him a boy again.

OK so after such a trauma, you would think he would learn his lesson right? No. A few months later, he got a hold of some Vaseline and proceeded to lather his head in it. We had our heads turned for just a few moments and he recreated the term hair style. Again.

30 minutes post shower and 50 hair washes later, I had most of the damage out. Oh it was still slick, but the worst of the damage was out. All the while he was pleading with me not to shave his head. Ah so he remembered that part, but did it stop him from experimenting? No.

A few quiet months go by so Jerry and I were lulled into a false sense of hair security.

Ethan cut a chunk of his hair out with scissors this time. His safety, kid friendly scissors. I'm here to tell you that kid safety scissors do a fine job of cutting hair. This time I was able to avert another hair shaving incident. Don't get me wrong, it was still quite apparent, but for the most part, his hair was intact.

And then last night rolled around. Did you know that 4-year olds can manage to get stuff in their hair in the most unlikely places? Or at least, Ethan can. I gave him a chocolate covered caramel as a treat. Mistake number 1. Then I let him take it to his room to eat it. Mistake number 2. He came into the room a few minutes later stating that he had something in his hair.


He had caramel on the back of his head. He did such a superb job of getting it embedded that I again had to cut his hair just about to the scalp. At that moment, he remembered his first brush with hair disaster and begged me yet again not to shave his head.

So, my son has a bald spot on the back of his head. Sorry pictures.

He does however, make me shake my head in wonder. What is it about his hair that refuses to go quietly into that good night? No, it rages, sorry...I got a little carried away with the poetry. I'm done now.


I Just Don't Get it

PS- It does make me smile though.

PSS- And the pictures make for such good leverage tools when he's older.

PSSS- Don't think I won't use them to my advantage!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Photos by Angie- Take 2

Ethan is going through this phase where he really dislikes taking pictures. My sister attempted to get some shots of him last weekend and he wasn't entirely cooperative. He has this tendency to look away or flat out walk off when you are trying to capture a moment. He obviously doesn't get that his cuteness gives us free rights to his image.

This photo tells a wonderful story of a boy that is not happy to have to be bothered by sitting still as the imposing photographer is wasting his time. The little girl on the other hand, the super model, is doing her best to pose like a good girl. She looks so sweet doesn't she? That hat gives her sass. Excuse me Aunt Angie, but are we done yet? I'm wasting precious moments bothering with you while I could be acting as captain of my own ship. That is what this photo says to me. That and the fact that both of them were running to the front of the boat saying "aye aye captain!".

But this photo? This photo melts my heart. He was in a sweetness mood and actually showed off his baby Snow Buddy for a moment. You wouldn't think for a moment that he could actually test your patience as you are telling him to get out of something, right? His cuteness face is very misleading.

As a matter of fact, one of his teachers is on to his cleverness. When he's being bold about something, he will flash the most enchanting smile you ever did see. It actually makes you forget for a moment that you are trying to correct him.

Warning to all future teachers: Do not look him directly in the eye as he flashes his sweet smile. It will totally make you grin at him when you are trying to be stern. Then he knows he has you right where he wants you. In the palm of his hand.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Mom to Mr. Enchanting

Or alternately,

Mom that adds "ness" on to everything tonight. On purpose.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hanging with His Homie

Do you see this picture? I said something incredibly witty, and my niece Jaiden cracked up. I'm good like that. I crack wise jokes and make people around me laugh. OK well not really. But in my own world, I'm witty. Actually, Jaiden spent the night with us Saturday night and in this picture, she was in the process of throwing a ball at Ethan's head and cracking up. Ethan thought it was funny too. I guess I wasn't "in the know" for this particular situation.

We went to the park the next day where Ethan tried to give me a heart attack. He's discovered how to climb the "kiddie rock wall". He's quite good at it actually, but that doesn't make the mother in me feel any less panicky every time I see him climb this thing.

There is a super model in our midst. When there is a camera shoved in her face, she does the exact opposite of Ethan. She strikes a pose. Ethan on the other hand has started telling me "no more pictures". The poor child, if he only knew what was in store for him in the next 15 years. I don't have it in me to tell him that this affliction I have is not going to go away any time soon. I guess he'll have to figure out the hard way.

But my niece, she hasn't been around me enough to learn that I have this handicap. So, she is perfectly happy to pose whenever I sneak up on her with that black thing attached to my face.

Ethan starts off cooperating. He is just happy to be at the park running off all of his energy.

And JaeRae is perfectly happy to go down the slide. Over. And over. And over.

I often watch Ethan and try to think back to when I didn't have a care in the world besides climbing and sliding. Son, enjoy it while it lasts.

Of course, this shot is the epitome of what the joy of childhood looks like. I got this same look on my face when I realized that I could keep my same blog look and not change it to something else.

See!? Don't you just want to have a myocardial infarction when you see him climbing this rock wall!? Oh, sorry...I get carried away sometimes. Like when my son decides that 4 1/2 is old enough to become Spider Man.

Speaking of my son....we had the following conversation last night at bed time:
Ethan: "Mommy? How do I go to sleep really fast?"
Me: "Hmmm....I'm not sure."
Ethan "Do I just shut my eyes tight and tell myself to go to sleep?"
Me "That's a good start. Yes, try that."
Ethan "OK Mommy, I'll try."

See the difference in height? They are only a year apart. My son is a giant. That's what happens when you have a daddy that is 6'2". I have to remind myself sometimes that he's not as old as he looks. I have to remind him of that fact too. A lot.

Because, he already thinks he can drive. He also thinks that he can pick up hitchhikers. I tell him that is not acceptable, but he does it anyway. Errr...wait. Is that my niece in the picture? Sorry, I get carried away sometimes. Ethan? It's OK to give your cousin a ride but no strangers!

Of course, he's stubborn like his daddy. You can't tell him anything. Ethan has never met a stranger when it comes to another child. Our child is a social butterfly. He takes after me.

PS- I have a few pictures that Ethan's Aunt Angie took Saturday. I'll try and get them posted tomorrow.

Peace out, yo!
(slang for "good night")

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Self Absorbed Today

A little birdie (birdy?) told me just the other day that I don't have many pictures of myself on my blog. Of course, because it's my blog, I'm normally the one behind the camera. But last month, in an effort to take pictures of my new hair cut, I took about a trillion pictures of myself. It's always interesting trying to do so and frankly, I almost deleted each and every one....but since we are close, intimate friends....I figured I'd post a few.

This was also one of those moments that Jerry just shook his head and then promptly ignored my obsessive camera behavior. Oh look, that girl in the picture has some good looking nails! Sorry, I was admiring my fingers.

In this one, I look like...well, I'm not sure what I look like....hmmm....holier than thou maybe? Be gone peasants before I squish you with the toe of my boot. Err..or something like that.

There really isn't much to my point tonight. Frankly, I'm just rambling. I do that sometimes. It's an affliction that I have. Rambleitis. Wow! There is a camera hovering over that girls head! How DOES she do that? Sorry, sleep deprivation sometimes causes me to drift in and out of reality.

Please. Please. No autographs today.

And while we are on the subject of rambling. Well, not really but go with me for a moment. Would you like to know what I love about Windows Vista? Automatic spell check! On everything. How did I ever survive without it?

Oh and I'm having a very hard time finding new shoes to wear to work. Mine are falling apart but I refuse to buy any that I have to break in.

And one last thing:

Smile...and the world smiles with you.


She Who Should Just go to Bed Instead

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Life Behind the Lens

Whenever something happens, I have an unnatural urge to document it behind the camera. This is something I'm told that only other photographers understand. Please note that I use the term "photographer" loosely. This affliction baffles almost everyone I know. You see, it's hard to explain something that I can't put into words. Sometimes I just feel the need to snap a picture of whatever is going on at any given moment.

That's why I am continually baffled every time Jerry expresses surprise when I jump to grab my camera when something interesting happens. To me, it's as normal as breathing. To him? To him, I'm just plain weird. Although, every single photographer friend of mine reading this understands where I am coming from.

So last night was no different when (as kickoff started on the Superbowl) our satellite went out. Not five minutes later, the sky opened and the most amazing thing happened. It started raining Sonic Ice! This weird occurrence went on for about 15 minutes as I frantically ran from the front door to the back. Snapping. Pictures. Like. A. Mad. Woman.....

It's not every day that it rains Sonic Ice.

Doesn't it look like it's snowing? Our windows were being pelted and we were thoroughly convinced that one was going to break...but did that stop me? No. I was too worried that I might miss a Kodak moment. Jerry (in typical Jerry fashion) just shook his head and ignored me. Well, he ignored me after he said for the gazillionth time "Why do you always feel the need to take a picture of everything?" In our household, that is now a rhetorical question. I could get all anayitical and state that maybe it's because I lost all of my childhood pictures and now I'm OCD about Ethan having plenty....Or not....

No, I really don't think it's that. Not anymore anyway. I think it's just a photographers addiction to capture a moment. The need to document life through a lens.

Besides....without pictures, what would I talk about on my blog?


She Who Treats the World as if it's a Fishbowl