Friday, March 30, 2007


I saw a story on the news this morning about a sailor coming home from war to his family. He's been overseas for I don't know how long, and he just got back. They didn't tell his six-year-old son that he was coming, and Dad showed up in Junior's class unannounced.

Oh, the look on the little boy's face...

I'm still crying because of it.

He jumped up from his desk and ran across the classroom to meet his father, who scooped him up and hugged and hugged, and kissed and loved.

They were both crying and I'm pretty sure anyone in America who saw that piece dissolved into tears right along with them.

I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it, and about how happy that little boy is to get his daddy back. He's written his dad many letters since he left, and his class put together care packages and such. I can't imagine how much he's missed his dad, or how much his dad has missed him. And I can't imagine how scared he's been that he'd lose his dad.

It was one of those stories that hits you in the solar plexus and stops you dead in your tracks, and makes you so, SO grateful for getting to see your loved ones every day. Or almost every day.

M returns from his business trip tonight, and while his homecoming will probably not be quite as poignant as the sailor's, he'll be every bit as welcomed and loved. No, I haven't alerted the media.

Best wishes go out to Judy for a speedy recovery! She underwent back surgery to remove a bulging disc this morning, and everything went remarkably well. In and out in under an hour, and she's probably already home by now. Woke up without the pain she's been suffering from for the last three she's got quite the homecoming as well.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

M = Master Presenter

So on Tuesday M gave his presentation at the trade show he's attending in Vegas. Presentation went well, as it always does, because M is great at building shows and then phenomenal at presenting, but he was rather disappointed because they had to move him into a different judging category because not enough companies registered in his category. He thought that since he was competing in the "wrong" category that he didn't stand a chance to win anything.

He was wrong.

He won!

Was called up in front of everyone yesterday afternoon, flashbulbs popping away, to receive his award from the organization's muckety-mucks.

I'm so proud I could just explode. That's my boy!

I'm checking the show's web site to see if they post any pictures. If it goes up, I'll post a link here.

Last night he went out with Tiffany and Doug, friends of Beano's actually, who we've commandeered to be ours, too. Doug picked M up at his hotel and they met Tiffany at The Roadrunner, a place the locals go to away from the strip. Doug convinced M to try the Dr. Pepper Steak Tacos, which was apparently a very good recommendation as M absolutely loved them. Many thanks to Tiff and Doug for taking him out and showing him a good time last night! He really had fun!

As for the home real news here. Zozo and I had a quiet dinner together before going on another walk. I hope she enjoys our walks as much as I do. She's adorable in her stroller, waving at the cars that go past. Tonight we're heading to Grammy and Papa's for dinner with the fam. Joey is excited because he hasn't seen his Doodlebug walk yet. They grow up way too fast.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Beano was apparently going through some old e-mails this morning, because she sent me one that I had e-mailed her March 2, 2005. Even though that's only two years ago, it feels almost like it was a different life.

I had attached an image that I scanned in at work: our ultrasound picture from five weeks before then that showed our Doodlebug at 12 weeks of age in utero.

She's just a little bean in there. We didn't even know she was a she at that point.

It's fun to think back to then and remember what I was thinking (Is it a boy or a girl? I can't believe it finally happened. How am I going to tell my new boss? Can I really do this?) and what I was feeling (tired).

It's also fun to compare how our lives have changed since then. Different, definitely, but not earth-shattering. Different in a good, comfortable, "where have you been?" sort of way. Better, on so many levels.

Beano was on a roll, apparently, because she also found and sent the later ultrasound, the one from when we found out she is a she, and that she now looked like a real person. So, yeah, a couple little e-mails from Beano today made me all reflective and gooey.

And then I remembered that the little bean pictured above is the same creature who tried to hit me with sticks yesterday because I wouldn't let her toddle out onto the street in front of our house.

All in all, I'd have to say that being a mommy rocks. And being Zozo's Mommy is the best job in the world. Sticks and all.

Sticks and stones

I unloaded my rocks from the trunk last night while Zozo "helped." First she decided to take a walk in the general direction headed away from me (of course). I let her get to the end of the sidewalk where she was turning to head down the driveway before calling her back. She turned and gave me a look that said, "You're going to have to entice me to return." I picked up a stick off the ground and held it out. Turns out, that wasn't the brightest idea.

She came back for the stick, and was so enamored of it that she began collecting other sticks off the driveway. She looked adorable, toddling around with four sticks in one hand, bending over to pick up a fifth with her right hand and try to cram it in her crowded left hand. When that didn't work, she placed them all in a neat pile on the driveway, picked up one in each hand, and took off again.

Down to the end of the sidewalk and towards the street. I took off after her, again, because she wasn't heeding my calls. I'm sure she was thinking, "Yeah, right. Like I'm gonna listen to you. Last time all you gave me was a stinkin' stick. Whatever." I got in front of her, causing her to tack to her right, then back to her left when I kept moving to block her. This is when she started to get angry.

That was nothing, though, compared to how she flipped out when I picked her up. That's when the sticks started flying. Not so smart, giving your child sticks to play with.

I took the sticks away and you'd have thought I pulled her arm out of her socket. Total meltdown. I took her inside while she wailed like a banshee, and turned on the kitchen faucet to wash her hands. That's when she became mesmerized by the water and turned off her eye faucets and started to laugh.

Ahhhh. Life with a toddler.

The rocks look fantastic around my little Japanese maple, by the way. Very zen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sometimes I'm sourdough

"Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven."
- Yiddish Proverb

Something about that just tickles me.

So, you know you went to bed too late when:
1. a bird chirping 30 minutes before your alarm goes off drives you to wish you had a shotgun under the bed to blow its friggin' beak off.
2. you stumble around in the morning and put your bra on inside out. And you don't realize it until you catch a glimpse in the mirror.
3. you go to brush your teeth and you realize that your mouth still tastes like toothpaste from the before-bed brushing.

I don't handle lack of sleep well, obviously. Stayed up too late working on one of my "if I stay busy I won't miss him as much" projects. Ridiculous.

Once I got moving, though, I was okay. Beautiful, gorgeous, incredible day outside! I think I'll celebrate by sitting in a windowless room with my management team for a three-hour meeting. Yay.

Got some rocks from the spa, so I'm thrilled! Yes, I know how stupid that sounds. Let me explain.

We have this awesome fountain here at the spa, and the water runs down into a bed of rocks. Those smooth, round ocean rocks. I love rocks like that. So anyway, we've figured out the fountain needs to be cleaned every five seconds to keep it looking beautiful, and the rocks are a big pain in the rear to move every time we need to clean it. Out go the rocks, in goes some plastic grass stuff that I questioned at the time but have fallen in love with now that it's installed. Since we're not using the rocks anymore, I am taking them home to put them under my Japanese maple outside the front door. I wanted to use those kind of rocks from the beginning, so I'm stoked that I get them and don't even have to pay for them!

That's my "if I stay busy I won't miss him as much" project for tonight. Rock arrangement.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring is sprung!

Ahhhh, what a lovely weekend!

Friday: fish fry
Saturday: two walks, lunch with Grammy, GG and Aunt KK, dinner with Grandpa Ray and Judy
Sunday: two walks (one with Daddy, one without after he left for Vegas), White Castle picnic lunch at Love Park, swinging on the swing in the backyard...

The weather this weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Couldn't have been better. Flowers are in bloom. Trees are turning green. Lovely.

All in all, very restful. Well, except for the fact that M can't hardly sleep with his arm being so painful and that we were both dreading him leaving.

Zozo peed on her potty again last night. I swear at some point I will stop giving you blow-by-blow descriptions of her potty adventures. I'm just so dang proud!

Oh, and she learned to scale the ottomans in the library Saturday afternoon. Sigh. Guess we can't use them as barriers any more.

M is in Vegas now, and will be there until late Friday night. After he left, I kept myself busy to try to not think about him being gone. Zozo and I ate dinner and went for a walk, came back and had potty time, then a bath. After she went to sleep I emptied the trashcans, cleaned the litter box and took out the trash and recycling. Put all the screens in the windows. Started cleaning the copper fountain, which, by the way, was a total mess and turned my fingernails green. I got all the gooky parts off, though, so now I just need to get some copper polish and finish it all up.

That's about it from the Lou. Wish I had more to report!

Dang, I've put absolutely nothing witty in this one. So, I'll end with this:

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Potty Redux

Got a call from Grandma this morning...Zozo went on the potty again today!

We think she might be on to something here.

Maybe she's making up for the whole sippy cup thing by being extraordinarily early when it comes to potty training.

Or maybe we just got lucky twice.

For those keeping score: 2 pees, 0 poops

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Big news. Big. HUGE.

Tonight we had a lovely evening of Mustgos for dinner, and then a walk around the neighborhood, and then a bath.

Dinner was uneventful, except for Zozo deciding that things would be a lot more interesting if she took her spaghetti-sauced hands and rubbed them on her head. It wasn't enough that she had enough sauce around her mouth to make her look like Bozo The Clown's little sister, she wanted to create the red hair to match.

It was a Kodak moment, so to speak, so of course I jumped up and grabbed the camera. Got a few shots, and here's the best:Yes, she is quite pleased with herself. M was ready to call off the planned post-dinner walk due to sheer mortification of his very messy baby, but I promised I could at least get her somewhat street ready and proceeded to mop her up as best I could with wet paper towels.

Her hair was a little crusty (let's just say she used some mousse or gel) but at least not tinted red. Very much.

After the walk, we came home and got ready for her bath. Daddy drew the bath while Mommy got Zozo undressed. Then, for only the third time, we put our naked little baby on her new potty, and talked to her about it. She knows "potty" now, and can identify the potty when you ask her where it is. And she doesn't cry when we set her on it like she did the first time, so I figured we were making progress.

So there she sat, cute as a bug and naked as a jaybird, and I talked to her about what we do when we're on the potty, and then I looked down and saw it.

There were little drops of liquid on her leg. Huh? What's that...ooooooo. There was more in the potty.

Yep, that's the big news: Zozo used the potty!

See how I did that? I made you wait until all the way down here to announce it. I'm sneaky like that, forcing you to read all the mundane stuff just to get to the good part. It's like putting the milk in the far corner of the grocery store.

Anyway, I'm sure it's totally a fluke and was just lucky timing, but we're proud nonetheless. It's not everyday that your little girl goes on the big girl potty for the first time.

No, we did not take pictures. That would be gross. Plus, she needs her privacy. And I didn't have the camera nearby.

There's always tomorrow!

Stormy lens caps

Spectacularly creepy skies this morning...I love storms. Although now the thrill of a good storm is tinged with the dread of losing power, since it happens so often...

Heard recently that Ameren is talking about creating a "credit" plan whereby its customers are compensated for extended loss of power. $25 a day for up to four days. Uh huh. By that plan, they owe me $300 just since last summer. If you remove the four day limit, it'd be $475. I can get some new gear with that. M could add to the display. Zozo could get a lot more footie pajamas. We'll never see it, but it's nice to dream.

Here's another picture of Zozo, taken last weekend. I had removed my lens cap and left it on an end table, because, you know, photographs tend to turn out better when there is no cap on the lens.

She was fascinated by it, apparently, because she kept returning it to me. Mommy's little assistant.

I'm getting her started early. "Nikon. Can you say Nikon? Niiii-kooooooon."

I got a "Guh!" which I translate from babyspeak to "Nikons kick ass, Mommy!"

About now is when M rolls his eyes. Yeah, like he's not going to be teaching her the difference between a C9 Christmas light bulb and a C7 as soon as she's able to understand.

Nothing much else to report. Perhaps this afternoon will be more interesting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Muh crane done turned over


I'm guessing that's what the operator of this crane said when his crane toppled over at SLU this morning.
Yes, it's a Taylor crane. No, it's not my Papa's.
It's a young punk-ass operator who thinks he's all that.
Yeah. Uh huh. Not anymore. Ha!
(My family, only because no one was hurt, finds this inordinately amusing.)
I hate it when I topple my crane.

Diane Arbus

I'm reading the autobiography of Diane (pronounced Dee-yan) Arbus right now. She's a very famous photographer who did most of her work in the 60s. She started out shooting fashion with her husband, Allan, but then branched out on her own. Her speciality was shooting "freaks." Transvestites, nudists, circus freaks like the guy whose hands grew out of his shoulders (he was called Seal Boy) and the hairy woman and the man that was over seven feet tall. That sort of thing. Ol' Diane was pretty messed up.

She battled depression a lot, and my guess is that she had some other chemical imbalances going on upstairs, so she was a little wacky. Some people love her photographs, some people hate them. They make a lot of people uncomfortable because they force you to look at things that aren't "normal."

I, personally, am not a huge Diane Arbus fan. I think her photographs look too much like snapshots and that there isn't much that's "artistic" about them. More documentary, less creative art. That's just me, though. Some people would argue that the snapshot esthetic is her "style." I don't think that's style. I think it's a snapshot that anyone could take. Granted, not anyone would go and search out the freaks of the world so there's something to that, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I'm not a big Arbus fan, but I am intrigued by all things photographic, and therefore love to read about the lives of the "great" ones, even if I don't personally think they are great.

Unfortunately, Diane is having the same effect on my noodle that reading Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" did. I had to put that down after awhile, going back to finish it later, because it's so dang depressing. Sort of sucks you in. I'm over three-quarters of the way through it, though, so I'll plod along and get through it.

It's amazing when a book has that kind of power.

If you're interested in seeing the work of Diane Arbus, give her a google. She committed suicide in '71 so you can't ring her up or anything, but there's plenty out there to see. If I had to pick a favorite Arbus image, it would have to be "Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park," made in 1962. It's haunting to me.

Rant Retracted

I had an entire rant written here this morning that I (wisely) thought better of and decided not to post.

One should not blog when one is under the influence of anger.

Because then it's in writing. Permanent like. For all the world to see.

So, I shall abstain from blogging until cooler heads prevail.

On a lighter note, I got my cool Starbucks t-shirt in the mail yesterday. It's awesome, and it came with a little card for me to take into my Starbucks and get my very own favorite drink. I love Starbucks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Secret

has become a non-entity. A non-issue.

There is nothing to tell. Nothing to disclose.

Sorry, folks. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.

No, I will not give any additional information.

So don't ask.

Ow! Thank you, may I have another?

Received my first IPL treatment yesterday. IPL is Intense Pulsed Light, or PhotoFacial. Let's just say that I don't think it should be called "facial" at all, because it's not like any facial in the traditional sense of the word.

And I would know, being SpaGirl and all.

It's very, very bright light used to zap (for lack of a better word, I'll use "zap" although I'm fairly sure that's not anywhere in the promotional materials from the IPL manufacturer) age spots, sun spots (on your face, not the ones actually on the sun), broken capillaries, etc. It minimizes fine lines and wrinkles (yeah!) and helps with acne and acne scarring.

Essentially, it's like a facial on steroids.

Not the most comfortable thing to go through, but you only need five treatments to get rid of spots completely. How great is that?! It feels like a rubberband being snapped (hard) against your face. So it hurts when it happens, but the pain subsides immediately, so it's not like you're suffering for hours on end (like the Lipo Dissolve).

I have a few sun spots on my cheek that popped up years ago, and I think it's absolutely incredible that something I thought I was going to have to live with my entire life will be gone completely (and forever) in a few short months. It works on hands, too, which can sometimes be the biggest reminder of age due to exposure to sun.

And I haven't even talked about the whole fine lines and wrinkles thing.

I joked with my laser technician that people with foreheads like mine ought to be charged more. You know, like by the square inch. We'd make a killing that way.

No afteraffects to speak of. Some folks may come away feeling like they have a very mild sunburn, but I didn't. And I even have a bit of rosacea, which is essentially hyper-sensitive skin, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Last night and this morning, my skin feels so sooooft and so smooooth.

I will not, however, give up my regular facials. Those are just too decadent and pampering. IPL is just something new to add to my "treats" list.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A bright idea

We purchased our first CFLs this weekend, and have installed four of them. CFL stands for Compact Flourescent Lamp, and while it's not exactly the wave of the future (LEDs are), it's a step in the right direction.
CFLs replace your regular old run-of-the-mill incandescent light bulbs. The technology has progressed to the point where a CFL creates the same light as an incandescent for a lot fewer watts. And they're a lot better than the old flickery flourescent lights that you remember from hotels back in the nineties. They don't flicker any more.

The package we purchased (at Sam's no less), says that one CFL bulb replaces 10 incandescents due to their longevity. 10 bulbs! And, they put out a lot less heat.
We decided to convert our incandescents to CFLs as they started burning out, and this weekend the yard lamp (three bulbs) and the porch light (one bulb) needed replacing, so we started. I'm so gosh darned excited about it that I'm ready to replace 'em all.

M says not to get too excited because as efficient as CFLs are, they are nothing compared to LEDs. However, LED technology is still relatively new and it's therefore cost prohibitive to run around converting all your lights to LEDs. For instance, just one of the can lights in our living room/kitchen would cost $55 to convert. That's just the bulb. LEDs (and CFLs for that matter) will work in regular sockets. Anyway, since we have six in the living room and four or five in the kitchen...yeah...

So, we're making our little effort to reduce excess use of energy and try to halt the freight train that is global warming.

This may not seem like a big deal, but I get totally stoked about finding new ways to help the environment.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Happy St. Paddy's Day to everyone, a day late!

I'd like to say that I was busy drinking lots of green beer and that's why I didn't post yesterday, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. I was just busy doing other things.

We took the morning off, loafing around the house and just being slugs. It felt nice. I put new batts in the flash (finally), and was able to shoot with a lot more freedom (it really stinks to have to wait 30 seconds for your flash to recycle). Got some great new pix of Zozo, as usual. It's very nice to work with such a cute subject.

I'm posting only one here today as I have stuff left to do and therefore don't have time to go through and format them all. This is my favorite.

Lunch was at Clancy's out in Ballwin with Grandpa Ray's side of the fam. Very Irish, we are. Really. Despite the Polish surname. Grandma's maiden name was Foley, and you can't get much more Irish than that. Her folks came over on the boat.

Lunch was good, especially the cheesecake that I had afterwards. Cheesecake originated in Ireland, didn't it?

After that we went home and loafed some more, and then went to Grandma and Grandpa Z's for some awesome corned beef and cabbage.

Then we headed to Elsberry, Missouri, where we saw one of M's old colleagues play in his band, Short Leash. Darrell plays bass, and his brother is lead guitar. We've seen these guys play maybe four times over the years (we'd go more, but they simply don't get that many gigs) and every time it's great. They are a fantastic cover band. Well worth the hour-plus drive up to Elsberry. They are named Short Leash because all four members are married. Darrell's brother, Dwayne, is a graphic artist and created a cool logo with a dog playing guitar (and a leash blowing in the wind). At the bottom it says "See Spot Rock." Very cool guys.

I have images from the evening, too, but they require horrific amounts of formatting due to the absurd lighting situation and will have to be posted at another time.

Today we cleaned the house and ran some errands and did family stuff, and had a very enjoyable time doing it. We had our first visit to Trader Joe's, and I'm pretty sure we're already hooked. M is preparing a phenomenal meal for tonight, concocting a delicious-smelling marinade for a pork tenderloin.

Boy, is it nice having his arm back, even though it's not all the way back. I missed my personal chef! He did okay with the only one arm for a month, but the way this marinade is smelling he's gone to a whole new level.

That's about it for now. Hopefully I'll have more time to post later.

Oh, one last question: is it bad to see your child rocking out (and car-seat dancing) to Quiet Riot's "C'mon Feel The Noise" when you're out running errands? Methinks we should be playing The Wiggles or Laurie Berkner more often.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Good quote

It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; focus your energies on answers - not excuses.
-William Arthur Ward

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Good luck, buddy

Whilst browsing on one of my favorite photography sites,, I found a post from someone asking for help in fixing a Nikon F100 with a stuck self-timer. He wants to fix it himself, and thereby save the cost of sending it to a professional. Someone posted a helpful PDF of the disassembly of a Nikon F100. I pulled page 7 of 18 to show here.

This cracks me up. This isn't a squeaky wheel, people. It's an incredibly intricate piece of technology, built by really smart engineer-type people.

Yeah. Good luck, buddy. Let us know how that works out for ya.

The sling is gone!

The above can be sung to "The Bitch is Back" by Elton John, or "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey, your choice.

Yes, M went back to the ortho doc today and was cleared to never, ever wear the evil sling again.

For those of you not living in our home for the last four weeks, M likened wearing the sling to the greatest punishment imaginable on God's green earth. Those of you who have carried a child in their womb for nine months and then given birth, you may now groan.

His shoulder is pretty tight, as you can imagine, having kept his arm close to his side for four straight weeks, and the muscles in his right arm have atrophied, but he's now officially on the road to recovery. The shoulder has healed, and we're now cleared to work on loosening the joint and getting his strength back.

He's allowed to do some minor stretching (the hardcore stuff will start once he meets with a physical therapist sometime in the next week) and some light weight training. I've fetched my five-pound weights from the utility room downstairs, where, obviously, they were doing mounds of good for my own arms, and he's already doing reps with those.

He's so happy to be out of the sling he's downright giddy. He usually doesn't get this way unless he's been driving a Corvette (the only time that's happened is thanks to my Mama), playing 14 straight hours of volleyball, or drunk off his butt.

Actually, right this moment he's passed out on the couch, blissful in sleep that is unencumbered by worries that he's going to screw up the healing of his shoulder. But he was giddy earlier.

So, anyway, now that I have my husband back (or mostly back), I'd like to say thanks to all the fam and friends who chipped in and helped throughout the last four weeks. Your support and love was crucial to our making it through this very difficult time. Especially when I was ready to scream, "Cut your own damn chicken already!"


Today is the Ides of March.

When I was in high school and I was first learning photography, I saw an art exhibit in one of my school's display cases. They were photographs, all by one student, that had been entered in some art show. I don't remember the show, but it was significant enough that the staff had elected to put these images, by one student, in a main display case.

I was mesmerized by them. They were phenomenal, and I couldn't believe a mere high school student had created them. Every day, for as long as they were in the case, I would stop and scrutinize them. The student's name was Kevin Thayer, and I had no idea how to meet him. I didn't even know if I wanted to meet him. I'd be embarrassed, as my own fledgling photography attempts paled in comparison.

One day, many months later, I was working in the darkroom at school. There was another student in there, and even though I normally got agitated when I had to share the darkroom with anyone else, we were working well together. Could be that he didn't make the rookie mistake of turning on the enlarger without a negative carrier, which pretty much guaranteed the ruin of the images of everyone else in the room. Plus, he wasn't all chatty, which was a good thing. Photography is a very personal thing for me, and I don't like to talk while I'm doing it.

After an hour or so (yes, I skipped a lot of classes my senior year to spend time in the darkroom), he said, "You're Amy, aren't you?" "Yes." "I've seen your work. I really like it." "Thanks. And you are?" "Kevin Thayer."

I could have just melted on the spot.

I'm pretty sure from that moment on we were friends. Somehow my other friend, Ryan, was in the mix, and we three were pretty inseparable. We seemed to be the only ones who loved the stink of fresh developer, and we spoke our own language. We formed the photography club, called ISO, and did let a few other students in, but it served primarily to put a name on our little trio. We made photographs together, developed together, and printed together. We mounted prints and cleaned the darkroom and experimented with new techniques. And we laughed.

Kevin introduced me to so much. He made a mix tape for me with bands I had never heard of (The Vapors, among others), and they are my favorites to this day. It turned out that he wasn't only one hell of a photographer, he was a true artist, in every sense of the word. He could sculpt. Paint. Draw. And it was all incredible. I had never met someone so talented, and modest at the same time. He loved art...all art. He was a creative genius, and I adored him.

Best of all, he never, ever, made me feel inferior, or stupid, or weird. I could be my quirky self and he just accepted it. He never laughed at me, but with me. Ryan was the same way. They were my best friends senior year of high school, and I thought we'd be best friends forever.

Graduation came, and I got ready to go to Rolla. I was still fighting all my creative juices and hatred of all things math and had convinced myself I was going to be an engineer. Stupid girl. The summer flew by, and Ryan, Kevin and I drifted a little. We were all headed in different directions. I found out later that Kevin had been accepted to the prestigious Chicago Art Institute, but had been told by his parents that he could not go. It was too expensive. Ryan was going to attend community college.

Off I went to school, where I studied too little and had too much fun, and tried to find myself. I'd wander the campus and make images, but having no access to a darkroom was somewhat limiting.

Then, on March 16, 1992, as I was laying in bed sick with a cold, I got a call from my high school photography teacher. Even though I had severe medicine head, I was so happy to hear from him. He didn't sound right, though. After exchanging pleasantries, he said, "Ryan's on the phone." Ryan said hello, and choked back a sob. Then my world spun out of control. Mr. H. said, "Amy, Kevin is dead. He committed suicide yesterday."

I don't remember much after that. I remember crying for what felt like weeks. I remember feeling like my insides were hurting. I remember feeling like I was living in a daze. Because I had no car, Ryan came down to Rolla and brought me back to STL for the funeral. I wore my black Chuck Tayler Converse hightops, and someone told me that Kevin was wearing his, too. I also wore my men's tie (black with olive green polka dots) that Kevin loved.

I swear there were a gajillion people at Kevin's funeral. It turned out he was a friend to all. High school students, obviously, but not just our little art clique. He had the jocks, the geeks, the motorheads and the nerds. Now, this was almost a year out of high school, so it wasn't like all these people were going to "be seen." They all had stories about Kevin, too, that proved that they really did know him. There were little old men he had befriended when we went to the park. There were customers from his job at the frame shop, and coworkers from his job at Steak 'n Shake. The line went out the door. I had never seen so many people at one person's funeral, and I still haven't.

He had to have a closed casket, because he had stuck his father's gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He had surrounded himself with his art, and placed a plastic bag on his head to avoid ruining his work. The art filled the room at the funeral home, and I remember thinking that the world was really going to miss out on what he could have created, but was blessed to have what he had done.

Word was spreading that he had left a note, a letter to some girl no one knew. People said it was because he couldn't go to art school. Or because he had wanted to break up with his unstable girlfriend (who was actually living with him at his parents' house) but every time he tried she threatened suicide and so he felt trapped. Or that he has mental issues and hadn't taken his medicine.

I don't know why Kevin did what he did, but I know it had to be pretty rough for him to reach the conclusion that life wasn't worth living anymore. My mom was intensely worried about me, because she had read somewhere that people can get so upset about their loved ones' suicides that they might want to do the same thing. I never felt that way, but instead just felt a profound sadness that I couldn't ever quite shake, and guilt, that I hadn't stuck around to help. Of course, at graduation I was just an idiotic 17-year-old, too, and I wasn't sure how to make my own way either, so I got past that okay.

The sadness, though, is still here. Sometimes it goes deep, sometimes it's right on the surface. But it's always there.

I put down my camera after Kevin's death, and didn't pick it up for about 10 years. I transferred to another school, graduated, got a job, got married, bought a house. I didn't even think about photography.

Then one day I was sitting on our sun porch reading, and something clicked inside. An internal shutter. And the click said, "It's time." I retrieved my camera, loaded a fresh roll of film, and made images of my neighbor's flowers. And it felt good. And I've been shooting ever since.

I'm in a different house now, and I am a mother along with being a wife, and I work full time and have an active social life. Sometimes I go a few days without thinking about Kevin. I must be healing, I think, finally, because I don't dwell on the coming Ides of March like I used to. This year it whacked me upside the head this morning as I was driving to work. I had a missed call on my cell and the date said March 15 and it was the first I'd seen the date and it hit me. Kevin. Thunk.

I miss him, it's true, but I think I miss more what he could have been. I miss what he could have contributed. And that saddens me more than anything. I doubt we'd still be as close as we were (hell, I don't even know where Ryan is these days), but I'd at least be able to see his art. Instead, we'll probably go see his grave this weekend sometime, and I'll wonder if anyone else goes to see him. For a few years after his death there were flowers on his grave, but that hasn't happened in a long time.

I have just two precious prints Kevin made for me. My favorite shows me shooting Ryan, while Ryan shoots Kevin. We three had gone out on a photo jaunt, to shoot and spend the day together. He titled it "Latent Love Triangle." He wrote a little blurb on the back, which I won't share because it's private and quite frankly, none of ya'all would understand it, but "Latent Images of the Mind" comes from that.

So. Now you know why my blog is titled what it is. And why I hate the Ides of March.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On second thought

After posting about Zoe not talking yet, and how I wish she would, I received this e-mail from Beano:

Joey and Shawn were playing Star Wars on PSII and he said out of nowhere, "What the hell is that?" Then he lied about what he said. I was NOT a happy mom. He went to bed at 7:15, it was not pretty."

Maybe the grunts aren't so bad after all.

Speech: not so much

So our weekly e-mail from BabyCenter says that Zozo should have a few words now, and will start making small, two-word sentences. "No more." "All done." That sort of thing. And she'll start to refer to herself in the third person. "Zozo all done."

Not so much with our little one.

She has a couple words. Dad. Mom. Light. Well, it's not quite light, but we know that it's her sound for "light." Apparently Zoe is going to talk on her own schedule, just like she walked when she was ready and not a moment before.

So far our conversations go like this:

Z: Mama
A: Zozo
Z: Maaaaamaaaaa
A: Zooooozoooooo
Z: Mom
A: Zo
Z: Maaaaaaaaaama
A: Zooooooooooozo
Z: Mamaaaaaaaaa
A: Zozoooooooooo

Repeat ad nauseum.

Someone told me, "No one ever went to college in diapers, and they all learn how to talk eventually." Yeah yeah. Other people tell me, "Just wait until she starts talking. She won't shut up and you'll wish she never started." Uh huh. I've also heard that we're not helping her by deciphering her grunts and not "forcing" her to talk. Whatever.

I figure it's a good thing that, as her mother, I can tell the difference between her grunt that says, "Look! The moon!" and her grunt that says, "I'm quite parched and would like to partake of a chilled beverage, please."

It helps that she points when she grunts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maybe Sioux City needs a monorail

Do the means justify the end?

If you're trying to get there, does it matter how you get there as long as you arrive?

Exactly how much do you give up to get what you want?

These questions, by the way, have absolutely nothing to do with anything going on in my life right now. They are just questions brought up by an episode of WW we watched last night.

To get a budget passed without a particularly idiotic resolution, upper-level staffers were prepared to dole out millions in pork projects (a nicer way to say it is "earmarks") to appease the resolution supporters, an attempt to get them to drop said idiotic resolution from an otherwise reasonable budget. For instance, someone wanted funding for an indoor rainforest in Montana.

Methinks this happens quite often in American politics, which is unfortunate. Is it simply a "cost of doing business" though? Can it be avoided? Is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created their system of checks and balances? I think not. But, it is what it is, and at least our Constitution is robust enough to withstand the ever-shifting tide of politics, moral obligations, economic factors and now world events that used to camp out on our doorstep but now invite themselves in and make a cup of tea.

This flexibility, the very concept of the Constitution being a living, breathing document open to continual interpretation in a society that allows free speech and open debate, I think, is only part of what makes America great.

I really need to watch something with less gravitas. Someone lend me a copy of Talledega Nights.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Comfy Cushy

Big milestone this weekend: we bought a potty seat.


I feel like we just brought her home from the hospital.

Got an e-mail from BabyCenter a couple weeks ago that says we should put a potty seat out now so Zozo can at least start getting used to it. Maybe sit her on it sometimes, that sort of thing. Apparently at 18 months you start to become aware of your bladder and bowels and that you can control them. Usually.

So we went to Target yesterday and looked at potty seats while Zoe took an entire lot of American Red Cross first aid kits off a low shelf and arranged them on the floor. (Yes, we were good parents and helped her put them back before leaving the aisle.)

The variety of potty seats available amazes me. There was actually one called "The Royal Flush," or something like that, where trumpeting sounds are made when you make a, ahem, deposit. Really now, I do not think I need to teach my child that taking a dump means you ought to be heralded. There is another one that's all about fun, with a large handle that, when pushed, emits loud flushing noises from the toilet, along with music.

After laughing at the deluxe versions of essentially a pot that sits on the floor, we went with a middle-of-the-line model. The Honda Accord of training potties. We chose the Safety 1st Comfy Cushy Potty. Not a whole lot of over-the-top bells and whistles, but gets good gas mileage and has a comfortable ride. That blue ring you see is the "comfy cushy" part. It is quite soft, if I do say so myself. (No, I didn't sit on it. I just pushed on it with my finger.)
We assembled it last night, and I placed it on the floor in the hall bathroom and dissolved into tears.
Do you think if we just don't potty train her, she'll never grow up?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

At the Park

Today was another great day. Trip to Sam's and Target, and another walk to the park. We went to the park yesterday afternoon, which I just realized I forgot to mention in the previous post. I'm hurrying here, as M is anxiously awaiting the posting of today's images, and we have freshly baked cookies cooling on the counter. It's Sunday, so M is taking full advantage of being able to eat dessert (he gave it up for Lent, silly boy).
Zoe loves the park. LOVES it. Starts squealing when we turn on the path that leads into the park. How lucky are we that we live within walking distance of a really great park?

Unfortunately, Zozo loves the park so much that she practically melts down the minute we try to leave. Well, she did yesterday afternoon. Today we tried something different. Upon pulling her off the swings, we told her to wave "bye bye" to the swings. And blow them kisses. Which she did. I guess she understood that, because there was no meltdown today.

We got some great images from today. Let me just say that it's fairly difficult to get decent images of a small child while swinging with a digital point-and-shoot. There's that whole delay issue, and the fact that the shutter speed is never quite fast enough to stop motion. I guess one of these trips I'll have to haul the Big Dog up to the park and get some decent shots. Until then:

Roadtrip to Grammy's

Saturday, after breakfast, paying bills and putting together the tax stuff for the tax lady, we went and dropped off the tax stuff to the tax lady, and then headed to Grammy, Papa and GG's as we were in their 'hood.

It was such a gorgeous day that Zozo decided to take a walk. A long walk. First she and Daddy went down the hill and came back up to Grammy's driveway.

Then she set off up the hill, and she was so darn adorable we decided to grab a couple shots.

Couldn't resist this one. She just took off up the hill by herself. Made it all the way to the top, too!

Papa popped for lunch for all of us, including Beanie/Aunt KK, and I'm pretty sure we drained his wallet with our Taco Bell feast.

Thanks to Grammy, Papa and GG for letting us stop by and hang out with you guys for awhile!

Saturday afternoon consisted of a nap and just hanging out. All in all it was a blissful day...the perfect blend of accomplishing something and getting to relax.

It helped that the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Plea to Mother Nature: please please please give us at least a few days of this. A few weeks would be preferable, but we'll take what we can get.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Just keep my paycheck

Some days I absolutely adore the fact that I work at a day spa. Okay, well, that's most days, really, but today it's especially true.

I was at one of our other locations this morning for a staff meeting and got to see a new line of products we're carrying. It's by Thymes, which is a really great brand for soaps, lotions, body washes, bath goodies, etc. I love most of their lines. This new one, though, oh my. I'm ready to buy every last piece we have of it.

It's called Azur, and it smells so yummy. Clean and fresh. Mmmmmm. Perfect for spring.

And the packaging. Oh. Wow.

M says I'm a sucker for great packaging, and he's right, I am. He also says that as a marketer I shouldn't be sucked in by great packaging, and he's right, I shouldn't. But perhaps the fact that I'm a marketer is exactly why I love great packaging. I can appreciate it. I am a package connoisseur, so to speak. It's like asking him not to get suckered in by the latest and greatest roller coaster. Will never happen. The boys loves his coasters.

Anyway, the new Azur line is so beautiful that I have a strong desire to paint the walls of my house in its green and blue hues. I want to buy the stuff just to be able to look at it every day. Okay, really I'd use it, too, but that's how great the packaging is.

The Liquid Foaming Bath (doesn't that just sound decadent?!) comes in an actual glass bottle with a silver metal top. It's reminiscent of the old milk bottles. Not real practical for the one tub in our house that I share with an 18-month-old, but I suppose I could hide it during rubber-ducky time. There's also a candle, hand wash, hand lotion, triple-milled bar soap, body wash, body lotion and body water. That last one isn't quite perfume, but just a little pick-me-up refreshing spray. How cosmopolitan. How chi-chi.
So this is why I like working in a day spa. I get to see/use all these great products. Not that looking at the latest Disaster Supplies Kit isn't great, but let's just say I'd much prefer the spa environment over the not-for-profit.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This post is ugly, that's what's ugly

Hmmmm. I got nuthin' today. I've waited until now to post in the hopes that divine inspiration would strike and I'd have something good to post.

But really, it's all pretty boring right now.

Well, except for The Secret, which is still a secret and which, therefore, I cannot comment on.

I keep thinking it's Friday, which sucks because it most certainly is not, and I still have one more day to go before the weekend.

Nothing planned for tonight, unless it's maybe pulling all our tax stuff together. Oooo, fun. Almost as fun as ordering more checks on-line, which is what I did over lunch today. I know, I know, my life is so exciting you can hardly stand reading about it.

I think life must have been pretty inconvenient before the internet. I like being able to review all my account balances online, and transfer funds around and such, and being able to order checks online, and being able to pay bills online. I like that my paycheck gets automatically dumped into my account on payday, because if it were up to me to deposit it, it'd take a couple of weeks or more. If I could only use my personal printer as an ATM, my banking life would be perfect.

Getting cash is really the only reason we have to go to the bank, ever, and even then it's not too often as we simply stick everything on the Discover and then pay it off in full each month (online of course). Essentially, having to go to the bank constitutes a major pain in the rear for us, and I know it wasn't always like that for folks, you know, back in the day before computers and the internet.

I remember when I was a kid and the ATMs first came out and were called "Ugly Tellers." I really didn't get it at the time, and actually it still sounds a bit odd to me. Is it implying that all live people tellers are attractive? Or at least more attractive than machines? Is it calling all machines ugly? Because I gotta tell ya, not all machines are ugly. Take the Corvette for instance. This car is beautiful, and I know this because I rival it for attention from my husband. Not that I'm beautiful. I'm not saying that at all.

Oh jeez. This is precisely how I stick my foot in my mouth on a regular basis. Sigh.

Really, I should just stick to posting images and leave the writing by the wayside. By the by. By the dock of the bay. Bye bye birdie. Bye bye Miss American Pie...

Well, what do you know. I managed to fill a whole post with drivel after all.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


We're having a potluck lunch today for a colleague who is celebrating a birthday. I haven't participated in a potluck for many years, since, well, way back in my non-profit days. The first time I was at that particular non-profit, not the second time.

My contribution to today's potluck is a fruit platter: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, bananas, oranges and pineapple. Pretty yummy stuff, if I do say so myself.

But on the way in to work I was thinking about potluck and the tradition of it and how great it is when people actually contribute. We had potlucks go awry at the non-profit and once had a meal where all that was available was chips, soda and desserts. Not that anyone complained at the time, but productivity was severely hampered that afternoon due to all the upset tummies. After that we had to divide up the dishes by departments: Development brought meat, Marketing brought salads, Accounting brought dessert, etc.

At my first real job at the now-defunct ad agency (I likes to get my digs in when I can, hence the attribute "now-defunct"...bastards), we had a potluck once and everyone brought the traditional casserole dishes and desserts and such, except for two of the creatives. They were the super-smarty-pants guys who had created the Budweiser frogs and other legendary ads, and they, in their infinite wisdom, brought sacks of White Castle (it was the days before the Crave Case) and Taco Bell tacos (it was the days before rat-infestation at the Bell). A few of the stodgy geezers crabbed that those items weren't traditional potluck fare, but let me tell you, they were the first things gone off that table. I've always been tempted to do that, but don't quite have the cajones. Which is probably why I'm not a millionaire creative like those two are.

M's old company had a big company picnic every year where the company provided the meat and the beer, and everyone else brought a side dish. We stuck with cookies every year, because everyone loves cookies and they were relatively easy to do, especially when making them involved stopping at the grocery on the way to the picnic. M is a big proponent of bringing home-made items to the potluck, whereas I'm a big proponent of not adding one more thing to do to my already-loaded plate. We compromise, and sometimes we take store-bought stuff and sometimes we make something. Just depends on what we've got going at the time.

I looked up potluck, trying to figure out the etymology (or is it is the study of bugs and the other is the origin of words, but I get them confused all the time...which means I really should just look them up, too), because that intrigues me. Although potluck shouldn't be too hard to figure out, really. I mean, pot-luck. You're lucky to get whatever is in the pot, right? Something like that, maybe.

Here's the Webster definition:
Originating in 1592, potluck means
1 a: the regular meal available to a guest for whom no special preparations have been made (which would fit in nicely with my store-bought special preparations there!)
1 b: a communal meal to which people bring food to share - usually used attributively (a potluck supper)
2: whatever is offered or available in given circumstances or at a given time

I looked then in the on-line etymology dictionary and found this:
from pot+luck, with notion of "one's chance or luck as to what may be in the pot."

So, really, I was correct and it wasn't too difficult to figure it out, although strictly speaking the way the non-profit potlucks went they shouldn't have really been called potlucks if you're going to parcel out what everyone can bring. Kinda takes away from the chance of it all that way.

Yes, I know. I'm a dork and this is really boring.

Sorry folks, but it's all I got today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Be Like Kermit

Seems we're all going green these days, and I say, "It's about damn time." Whodathunk the green movement would propel Al Gore to the forefront of American pop culture?!

As I drove down the street on the way to work today, I passed many houses that had their trash out. The amount of trash generated by people never ceases to amaze me. Some of the smallest houses had the largest piles of trash bags. How on earth can people create that much garbage?

Even with the addition of Zozo to our family, we still do not generate that much trash. Granted, I probably shouldn't be on my environmental high horse since I'm a huge proponent of disposable diapers, but I feel as though I do my part in other areas and can be granted that one little luxury.

We typically have less than 1 can of trash to go out to the curb every week (even with the diapers). Another can carries our recyclables. All our paper recycling goes to the paper retriever at church. I take our plastic grocery bags back to Dierberg's and stuff them into the plastic bag recycling receptacle. I used cotton bags for awhile when I went grocery shopping, figuring that it wasn't that big a deal since I was bagging my own groceries at Shop 'n Save anyway, but M was mortified and thought I looked like a bag lady so I stopped.

We use cloth napkins at dinner instead of paper ones, and we don't purchase much "disposable" stuff. We buy in bulk to reduce packaging, and refill our smaller containers from the bulk containers. I get riled whenever I have to throw away a giant box with all the tape, wire and cardboard that kept the small toy within from being stolen from Wal-Mart.

We drive fuel-efficient cars, and we plan our errands so as to maximize our trips out. We consider ourselves pretty environmentally friendly. But then I went here and I got a rude awakening.

It said that if everyone lived like I do, we would need 4.1 earths. Ugh. That's rather sobering.

See what kind of impact you make on the world, and what you can do to reduce it.

My first task? I have an e-mail in to Citibank asking how I can be removed from their idiotic mailing list that sends me multiple credit card applications almost every day of the week.

Up next: CF's for all the lamps in the house. Let's go green, shall we?


I do not like dogs. Do not like them. Hardly at all.

This is surprising to my family as I grew up with dogs. We had two wonderful golden retrievers whom I adored. Shannon and Abby weren't dogs, they were members of the family. My family.

But things happen. You grow up and you start to be more cautious and afraid of things. For instance, I cannot enjoy roller coasters like I did as a child. I still go on them (most of them), but I spend the first few minutes going, "I shouldn't be here. This is insane. I am going to die. I am going to orphan my poor little child who is sitting down there in her stroller waiting for me." I get off at the end saying, "That was fun, but I'm glad it's over."

When I was a child, I got bit by a dog. It wasn't fun, as you can imagine, nor were the shots afterwards (both the one I had to get in my rear end and the one the dog got from my dad's gun). I don't know who owned the dog, but I remember clearly everything about that day, including the abject terror I felt as I was attacked. It was a big dog, and it was vicious.

Because I was a child, and because we owned pets, I got over my fear pretty quickly and rebounded as children tend to do.

But I'm not a child any more, and large, barking dogs terrify me, probably because of what happened to me as a child. I'm okay when the owners are around, or it's a small dog, or a dog I know well. But when they come running around the corner of the house with no warning, as one did this morning as I was carrying Zoe to her grandma's, I freeze. I panic. I forget all rational thought. And I freak out.

And let me just say that it doesn't help when people say, "You grew up with dogs! You're a dog person!"

I am most definitely not a dog person. I am a pet person. I like my pets and the pets of my family members. I do not like all dogs, nor should I be expected to just because I grew up with dogs as pets.

I have related this morning's story to three people, and all of them have told me to either a.) get over it so I don't instill a fear of dogs in my child or b.) that it was a harmless dog simply because it was a golden retriever.

Can anyone guarantee me that a golden retriever has never, ever bitten someone? I didn't think so.

I refuse to believe that I'm supposed to simply swallow my fear and let a crazed, barking dog I don't know jump all over me and my child, because "dogs are innately good." They are not. Many are, but not all. How in the hell am I supposed to know the difference? If a dog is charging me, and barking, I'm going to take the route of self-defense every time.

I am standing up for all of us non-dog people and saying, "It's okay to not be a dog person. It's okay."

So all you dog people can get off my back and quit trying to convince me that there's something wrong with someone who doesn't love all dogs.

Mocha, you are, of course, excluded from above rant. You are right up there with Shannon and Abby. Except you gotta learn to control that tail. That thing hurts!

Grrrr. Woof woof!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Top Secret

Isn't it fun when you know something that only one other person knows? It's like belonging to a secret club.

At the same time, when it's a good something, it's hard to not shout it from the rooftops.

But you will all find out in good time, my friends. All in good time.

And no, we're not pregnant.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Zozo Walks!!!

That's the big news of the weekend. Saturday morning, she up and decided that it was high time she started walking. So she did. And she pretty much hasn't stopped since. She's fallen maybe twice, so we're thinking she's been able to walk for quite some time and just hasn't allowed anyone to actually see her walk.

To celebrate, I made some images. Of course. Because that's what I do.

She likes this pose. A lot.
Sometimes she throws her arms out to the side and looks like she's hanging ten.

She can also stick out her tongue on command.
Much to the chagrin of her daddy.

How happy is our baby?!

This is her "I know more than you do" look.

Zozo rocks. In more ways than one.

Sassy girl.

It probably isn't nice to catch your child mid-sneeze,
but I figure this will be handy on prom night.

Can't figure out if she's air kissing
or sniffing for cookies.

The only reason she's smiling like this is because
Daddy is nearby making her laugh.
She so has her daddy's grin.

I told her to stand up for this picture.
This is what she did.
Mind of her own, I tell ya.

Another tongue shot. Just for Daddy.

You gotta wonder what an 18-month-old is thinking about
to have an expression this serious.
Perhaps "I believe I have just filled my diaper."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Julius Must Die

Ugh. This thing is taking over my face.

So I spackled myself up this morning and came in and gamely gave my marketing report for our monthly staff meeting, all the while hearing this repeat in my head: "Are they looking at Julius? Of course they're looking at Julius. How can they not see him? He's huge. He's waving at them, and they are waving back. No one is even listening to what I am saying. They are listening to Julius instead. And wondering why on earth the marketing director looks like an ad for what happens when you don't get regular facials."

This afternoon I finally just chucked my embarassment and shame out the window and decided to do something about Julius.

I went and found one of my favorite estheticians, Erin. "Erin, I need help." "With what?" she sweetly asked. Darling girl to ignore the giant pustule on my chin. "With this!"

She zapped Julius with this high-frequency thingy that's supposed to kill all the bacteria, all the while giving me the standard, "You know you shouldn't pick at it" and "Come see me as soon as you feel one of these things burrowing up from your spleen" esthetician lectures, while I nodded glumly and said, "I know. I know."

What was really unexpected was that many of our coworkers gathered around and commiserated on how miserable it is when you get one of these things. Molly showed us one she has coming in now (Julius' sister, apparently), and Erin zapped it for her. Ashley showed the remains of one she's been battling for weeks. Chris went all Vanna on us and displayed his oily t-zone. Soon the conversation morphed into one about cold sores and the differences between the herpes virus, and my Julius was completely forgotten.

Funny how the people you are embarrassed to let see your face are the very ones that end up making you feel so much better about everything.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Magic House Photographs

First trip to The Magic House!

This shot was taken right before the wailing began.
Roughly translated, it meant, "I hate the balls! Get me the hell out of here!"

Who is that darling baby?! Oh's me.

We go up the ramp, we go down the ramp. Then we go up again.

The light emanating from my child's belly is the flash bouncing off the plexi.
She's not really getting ready to give birth to an alien or anything.

Too many tags for this photo available. Just a few:
"I'm looking for something that helps with frizziness. Do you have anything?"
"Oh, so that's what a light socket does."
"My mommy looks like Einstein."