Monday, November 30, 2009

Eight Years With Litte Man

Eight years ago Tuesday I became mom to a 2nd baby boy. Little Man, who came flying into the world at warp speed, was born in the car. whole labor with him was about 25 minutes. Total. From start to finish. I am so NOT exaggerating. Had I known he was so intent on getting out of my belly that he was willing to forego all normal birth procedures and protocol, I would have stayed home and called an ambulance. But I didn't. I thought I had time. Seriously...who thinks they are gonna have a baby in 25 minutes?!

It didn't help that my husband forgot how to get to the hospital and asked me, the woman in full-blown labor, for directions. He obviously failed to notice the fact that I could barely speak due to the small child inside me whose head was relentlessly slamming into my nether regions like a battering ram as Little Man worked his way out of "confinement." It also didn't help that Big Man stopped at all the red lights, even though there was NO TRAFFIC at 4:30 in the morning, because he was afraid of getting a ticket for our expired tags. I think we could have come screeching to a halt right in front of the emergency room door just in the nick of time if "The Driver" hadn't lost his ability to think.

No matter...while it was scary when it happened and Little Man ended up in NICU for a week trying to expel crap from his tiny lungs, in the end it all turned out and being born in the car makes for a great story. One I get to share every year. And one that Little Man finds hilarious.
He is a major study in contradictions, this one. He loves adventure and exploring and excitement, but is scared to death to go upstairs by himself if no lights are on up there. He loves to cook and experiment with making new food, using every ingredient we have in the house, but until recently would only eat ramen, spaghetti and mashed potatoes...vegetables are only consumed after every viable excuse or dodge has been tried and denied, then they are gagged down with much drama and unhappiness.

This is a kid who wants to be loved and accepted and is keenly aware of how his friends view him. He loves his friends and thinks about their needs and works hard to nurture and care for them. But he is the first kid to walk away from a group of kids who are being disobedient or disrespectful and he is refuses to tell a lie, even when he knows he'll be ostracized or punished.

A free spirit by nature, Little Man finds clothes to be confining. He wouldn't wear long pants for the first 4 years of his life and getting him to put on shoes and socks was like trying to walk a chicken on a leash. When he does wear clothes, he's very fashion conscious, making sure his clothes and hair look perfect and trendy for school and church, but the grub monkey will go DAYS without brushing his hair if he doesn't have to go anywhere and getting the kid to wash his hands has become a family mantra, with each of us reminding him to "soap up" about 20 times a day.

This wild child of mine is a bundle of fabulous energy who wakes up running and punching and giggling and jumping. He can cover the entire floorplan of the house while getting dressed for school because the kid hates, I mean HATES, being still. But take him to church and he turns into a church mouse. He'll sit quietly looking though the hymnal or draw a picture while he listens to the speakers. His whole demeanor changes and he becomes calm and at ease. He knows why we're there and he loves how he feels when he goes to church. He absorbs every single particle of peace and love that he feels there, while sitting quietly, with a smile on his face.

My rough and tumble kid can take a major bike wreck or a hit on the football field and walk it off like it was a swat with a pillow, then have a complete meltdown over a scratch from a tag on his shirt. He is the toughest, most sensitve kid I know.

He is fiercely independent. His favorite phrases: "I'll do it." "Let me do it." "I wanna do it myself." "I can do this, Mom." He knows he's capable, he wants to be self-sufficient and he loves mastering new skills without help. He is also incapable of going to bed without some major cuddle time, cannot fall asleep withut at least a 2 minute backrub and when he's sick he requires constant hugs, love and attention. Like all day. He'll settle for Dad, but he NEEDS his mom.

I am so grateful that he needs me...most days. This self-sufficient child can be so dependent that some days he smothers me. I try to just let go and enjoy the smothering, knowing that one day he won't want to hang all over me anymore. And truth be told, I really, really need his little sticky, stinky hugs.

Little Man's hugs let me know that despite my imperfections and my mistakes, someone on this earth thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. It doesn't matter if the world doesn't see my red-headed, sensitive-skinned, social worker of a kid does.

Eight years ago this week, Little Man made his grandiose entrance into my life, my memory and my heart. I say I am my boys' biggest fan, but truth be told, I think Little Man has switched roles on me. My biggest fan was born that day in the car. And I love him for choosing me. I hope he doesn't regret it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day for Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving Days go, this could seriously go down as the worst ever if I were to judge it by normal standards. The meal was less than tasty, the company in which we ate the meal was very Jerry Springer-ish, there was nothing festive to eat at home when we returned from our wreck of a meal and the neighbor kid got his bike stolen from out of his garage in broad dayight, which made my boys sad. But you know what? It wan't a bad day. It was weird and different, but as a family, we enjoyed each other. And we really needed a day to just take time to be with each other.

The food thing? Went down like this...Gramma ended up having a lot of last minute dinner guests, which stressed her out and her food suffered because of the stress. So hubby and kids didn't chow down like they normally do. Now me? I'm not judging Gramma or her efforts cause been there, it's a lot of food to cook and I've messed up my share of meals.

The people thing? Was just wierd. The in-law situation is touchy when things are normal, which is NOT our definition of normal. Again, not judging, just stating a fact regarding our differences in how we filter reality. Their reality is an open door kind of thing, where lots of different "characters" are welcome in their home, like their current son-in-law and his friends. There were some real winners there today. I won't go into details. Let's just say we lead very different lifestyles from the visitors there today. Which is fine, but awkward when they are obviously used to "that special kind of oregano" and kegs as part of the meal...and having to constantly remind them there were kids present during some of the conversations was even MORE awkward, given that some of the kids were their own! Again, not judging...they were nice people. Just different and I think they were glad to have a place to be for Thanksgiving.

THEN... because I have moronic moments of what think is brilliance, I decided not to buy a lot of food for today, because I usually bring home lots of leftovers. But we boogied so fast from Grammy's house this year that we didn't have anything thanksgiving-y for dinner. Little Man was straight out mad that he didn't get deviled eggs this year and Big Brother wanted some stuffing without burnt gravy like Gramma's.

We didn't have any of that. So we ate burgers and watched Star Trek the movie. The kids were happy, Big Man was happy, I was happy and we had brownies for dessert. Total peace and satisfaction. And I am grateful. Because as weird as the day was...I recognized my blessings. Actually, I recognized them because of the weirdness.

I realized how important my husband and boys are to me. Their happy faces and laughter make my heart sing. Spending time with them brings me joy (most days) and I would be lost without them (most days).

I realized that the guests at my MIL's house were just cash strapped people trying to build a life like we are right now, but they had no family to turn to or to eat with. And I am grateful that we have somehow managed to keep our home and a shred of dignity and that through the grace of God and generosity of family, we have survived an incrediby tough year.

I realized that even though the food was not her best, I am very blessed to have a MIL who was willing to take the time to prepare a huge meal and have us over to celebrate with the family. I am so grateful that I have family close to me. And that I didn't have to cook. Or clean up!

I am grateful that my MIL was understanding when my husband wanted to leave early. She was gracious and loving and honestly? I think this group freaked her out a little bit too. It was nice to leave without a guilt trip.

I realized that I really am growing to love my neighbors. When M came over to ask if we had seen his bike he was so sad and it made us all sad for him. My boys immediately helped him scour the neighborhood while all of us parents stood around commiserating about the state of our neighborhood and speculating about who we think the offenders might be. I am grateful that I have neighbors who look out for each other and that our kids all get along (most days) and that my boys love their friend enough to want to help him with his plight.

And I am most grateful that I have a loving Heaveny Father who helped me recognize that I am where I need to be right now and that I am truly blessed with all I need right now. Other than a job. I still need that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Really HP?

Okay, not to get all "corporations are evil" on everyone, because I don't believe that all corporations are evil. But when one does decide to go bad and it directly affects me and my family (and MORE importantly, my ability to blog)? Ya gotta know I'm gonna open my big mouth and shout from the rooftops so that EVERYONE within hearing range will know that company does NOT stand behind its products nor does it value its loyal customers.

Who am I hatin' on? Hewlitt Packard. And just so ya know...I'm really sad that I am even having to say bad things about HP, becasue I have been a big fan of their products for a long, long time. I've owned 3 printers in the last 13 years. All HP. None of them quit, I just upgraded. I've owned 4 computers in the last 13 years. 2 were HP's. One was so out of date we donated it and the other is my current laptop. So you know, I've been throwin' some love and money at HP for a few years now, thinking we had a pretty good thing goin.' But this week, when I needed HP to step up? HP just dissed me, people. Left me hangin.' Not even a goodbye kiss.

Where did things go wrong? Here's the story: HP sells us a laptop for $900 a little over 2 years ago. It's an awesome laptop. We love it. We use it. It becomes part of the family. After a year and a few days, when it's warranty had expired, the motherboard fries because of a defective video card. I know this because of my extensive internet research and gazillion conversatins with HP Customer Service reps. Eventually they agree to fix it free of charge because it has come to HP's attention that they have purchased defective parts and so they repair my laptop under the recall issue.

YAY! We love HP! They are great! Whoo-hoo! We trust them! They value us as customers! The love fest continued and all was well with the laptop world. Until last week. When the computer died again, a little over a year after the first repair. Same problem. So apparently they installed ANOTHER faulty motherboard when they replaced the first one! And now, of course, they want me to pay for them to replace the 2nd defective part that they installed, knowing it had issues. And of course, HP is getting all snarky because I'm not very happy with the soultion they have offered. Apparently, there are several hundred, if not a few thousand other people like me around the world who are also not happy with HP, for the same reason. Go figure.

So now, because I am broke, angry and computerless and having to use THIS for a substitute until I figure out what to do,

I feel the need to call HP out on their bad behavior. Once they knew this was a problem, HP should have replaced the affected motherboards with a non-ddefective part or they should have completely traded out the laptops for another unaffected model. Instead, they chose to continue to sell these models even after they knew there were issues, and worse, they continued to use defective parts in the recall/repair efforts, knowing that the problem would likely occur again. Sad. And wrong. Bordering on evil.

The timing for us could not have been worse. No money to deal with the issue and we are both in the middle of a massive job search. So many places want online applications and resumes! It's fine, in the end, we found a way around it. Without HP's help. So the love affair is over. HP has lost my business and my confidence in their products or their company. I would rather use my Charlie Brown computer the rest of my life than give them another dime of my money or minute of my time. After this post, I mean. Because I want to make sure everyone knows how HP deals.

So what have I learned? Computer manufacturers are like conceited high school boys - good looking with lots of bells and whistles doesn't always equate to quality. Am I right?

BTW...some big box stores are having huge price cuts on the affected Pavilion laptops for Black Friday. Unless you want to buy another laptop within a year or so, BUYER BEWARE!! I believe they also make Compaq, which means I'll be looking at Toshiba or Dell I guess.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

As broke as we are this year, I am really, really ready for the holidays. Not with gifts and all that stuff, I haven't done anything yet and may not be able to do much at all for people in that respect. But mentally? Emotionally? I want to feel Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I want to enjoy the chill in the air (even if it's only for a few hours in the morning or only gets so cold in the desert folks). I wan to sing the songs and decorate and think about all the Christmases past and I really, really want to create memories for my family this year as we decorate and play and sing and laugh and talk about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. It's a lofty goal, given my chaotic state as of late, our house runs more like Ralphie's house from A Christmas Story...Fah Rah Rah Rah Rah, Rah Rah Rah Rah.

To help me with my Christmas Mood? TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you:

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?

  • A writing job
  • A sponsorship to Blissdom
  • New sneakers
  • Some new clothes
  • Lots of work for my husband's business!

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?

  • Some fabulous ornaments

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?

  • My MIL crochets these amazing blankets, I'd love to do one sometime
  • Some really cool personalized scrapbooks.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?

  • A Chrissy Doll with the hair that grows when you push her belly button. I still have her.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?

  • Nintendo Wii
  • Rock Polisher
  • Anything Star Wars
  • Anything Military

6. What is your favorite holiday food?

  • Pumpkin Pie with Homemade whipped cream
  • Fudge (technically not food, but sooo yummy!)

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?

  • Candy and baked goods
  • Ornaments

8. What is your favorite holiday movie? So many, not sure I can pick just one!

  • Comedy - Elf, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story.
  • Romantic - White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street
  • Religious - Mr. Kruger's Christmas, The 4th Wise Man, The Nativity Story
  • Classics - A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life
  • Cartoons - A Charlie Brown Christmas

9. Favorite holiday song? many!

  • Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. I found out I was pregnant with Big Brother about a week before Christmas 11 years ago and heard this song a few days later. I sobbed for days thinking about it. I still cry everytime I hear it.
  • Were You There On That Christmas Night?
  • Angels We Have Heard On High

10. Favorite holiday pastime?

  • Going to see the snow,
  • Hanging out with family watching movies and drinking hot cocoa!

It all sounds so fun and so yummy I am totally ready to start right now. Okay, not right right now, cause I have to clean the kitchen first and do some laundry and go to parent teacher conferences tomorrow and then I have to send out about 8000 resumes and look for work. Which does not feel Christmas - y at all, so maybe I'll start getting festive this weekend. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where Would You Go?

We had the "Where would you go?" discussion in the car the other day as we were driving to the Veteran's Day parade. You know the one..."If you could go anywhere in the world..."

I found my boys' answers intriguing. Little Man wants to be a paleontologist, so he wanted to go to the African deserts where dinosaur bones were recently discovered. Big Brother wated to go somewhere relaxing and where there's good food, like Italy.

You can definitely see there are distinct differences in how my boys filter the world!

Then we talked about the places I've been. I've really only been out of the country one time, when I went to Spain. One of the best parts about my trip to Spain was flying British Airways. Seriously? It was one of the most comfortable flights of my life. We are not in the position to go anywhere right now though, which is unfortunate, because British Airways is having a huge fare sale to destinations all over the world. With flights starting from just $229 and Flight + hotel packages from $659, now is a great time to see some exotic destinations. How awesome would it be to spend Chrismas in London or Hong Kong or Milan? BA flies to all of those locations! They cover the Middle East, India, Asia and Europe.

If you haven't flown out of the US before, you should know the flights are very long. Like 14 hours plus kind of long. Which is a long time to sit in an airplane belonging to an airline company that doesn't value its customers. Does it strike you odd that my flight on British Airways stuck out so much in my mind? It's because BA offers a much more upgraded travel experience! The flight became part of memory because it was so pleasant.

When I flew? Right after we were seated on the plane, they brought hot towels around with which to freshen up. I was suprised at how much better I felt after wiping the airport "air" from my face and hands. Plus the towels smelled of lemon. That was a really nice touch. Before we took off, we were given a little travel bag, filled with toothpaste, eye masks, little warm socks, etc. along with headsets and pillows and blankets. It's a long flight and British Airways goes the extra mile to help their passengers get as comfy as possible. Along with the really, really comfortable seats (lumbar support, adjustable headrests) they have over 200 On-demand Entertainment options, so you can watch movies, listen to music, whatever helps you chill.

I won't go into a whole long thing about every little detail I experienced, suffice it to say that the food was outstanding (they served little individual fine chocolates after the meal), the flight attendants were very, very attentive and there was not one thing I lacked during that flight. Oh...and all of the food and beverages are complimentary. No paying extra 'cause you're thirsty and up in the air and so desperate that you'll pay $5 for a bottle of water! British Airways doesn't roll like that. They really do take the honors when it comes to top notch flight service. British Airways IS all that and a bag of chips. And yes, this is a sponsored post that I am being paid to wirte. But you all know me well enough to know that if I have a problem with a company or product? I SAY SO! Not the case experience with British Airways was spot on.

So...where would I go if I could take a dream trip right now? My first response is always Spain, because I loved it so much and only got to see part of the country. I could probably go almost anywhere in Europe though and enjoy it. I would love to go to Egypt sometime and see the pyramids, and I think Japan would be an amazing country to see. I just love to travel, so I guess my dream vacation would be almost anyplace new and different.

Where would you go? Wherever it is, check out British Airways to get you there. But better hurry, the fare sale ends November 19th! And if you need some help planning your trip, click here for a destination guide that will help you plan a great holiday experience.

Click Here


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boymom Has a "Girly" Day

It was like a mystical, magical girl kingdom where no boys were allowed. There was girl food (like Brie, which I got for free as a product tester!) and chocolate covered strawberries (which I also got for free by becoming a fan of Edible Arrangements on Facebook!)and there were crafty things like fun paper and paper punches and embellishments(all of this was also free, courtesy of and Martha Stewart Crafts). And there was glitter. EVERYWHERE! And we loved it. It was one of the best days I have had in a long, long time. And it was the first time in a long, long time that I got to feel like a girl again. I am still sparkly from the party. Twinkly on the outside from all the glitter that continues to adhere itself to anything and everything in the house. Shiny and happy on the inside cause I got to spend the day with some of my favorite women. Doing fru-fru stuff that I never do.

Why? Because I Am Boymom. Boymom's are busy super gluing broken laser guns and pulling rocks out of pants pockets. This boymom gave up on trying to do anything "girly" awhile ago. Girly just didn't seem to fit into the boymom equation. Plus, you know...I've never been really crafty anyway, so the whole boymom excuse works for me. Until this last Saturday. When my friends and family showed up and the glitter came out. The little girl in me leapt out of my heart and into my life again and she was alive and ready to play! Wanna see what we did?

Looks like fun, yes? IT WAS! I felt like Buddy the Elf! It was so fun and happy and Christmas - y I could barely contain my glee! I sounds preposterous that something as trivial as a craft party could transform my attitude. I seriously think Martha Stewart put something magical in the glitter. I might have to rub it on my arms and face everyday now to maintain the positive attitude.

I guess I just had no idea how much I needed to let go of life's grind and let down for a few hours with some really cool chicks.

One of those cool chicks is one of my best blogger friends EVAH! She drove from the far end of China to get here , which was a HUGE sacrifice of her time and gas and she brought her wicked awesome son, who spent a few hours keeping my boy crew entertained. Sports Mama is an hilarious boymom who either keeps me in stitches or tears with her blog posts. It was so wonderful finally getting to meet her. We seem to have so much in common, she's definitely a kindred spirit. You can read her thoughts about our girl party here.

I've spent so long being in "Boy" mode that I had kind of forgotten how much girls need to be around other girls sometimes. My craft party was a great reminder to me that I need to let "Geri" come out once in awhile to play. Because although I like playing army man and watching Star Wars for the 109th time as much as the next gal? Sometimes I just need to be glittery and feel pretty and loved.

I want to thank my wonderful friends and neighbors and sister for showing up to help me reconnect and feel human again. Having you as my guests was the best start I could think of to what could be one of my most memorable holiday seasons ever.

Recap of October

October was a weird, busy month. So much so that I forgot to take pictures on Halloween. Mostly because for 7 days before Halloween I was dealing with this lovely gift from some unknown bacteria or virus:

Yes, that is Little Man, covered in some kind of Jungle Fungus that he picked up gosh knows where, probably because he touched some dead thing laying on the side of the road. We honestly don't know where it came from and 3 weeks later it has finally disappeared. Even the doctor didn't know what caused it, but somehow she knew it wasn't an allergic reaction and that it wasn't contageous? Not sure how that works, but I guess that's why I'm not a doctor, right?

Prior to the Voodoo Body Rot setting in, we were busy with Scout stuff. Big Brother was excited to get some awards for his scouting efforts, as was his friend. Friend rides with us to Scouts a lot. Friend is a carbon copy of Big Brother, personality wise. They sit in the back and just rattle on and on about how much they each know about whatever the subject for the night is and are completely happy to be in each other's company. Friend is a cool kid.

It was also Build-a-Rocket thing night at Pack Meeting and Big Brother had a killer rocket. He got smart this year and used decals instead of trying to hand paint his rig. Of course I have no picture right now, because I was busy winding the rubber band that spins the propeller that makes the rocket travel really fast down the string. 100 winds for every run he made. Trying not to lose count when someone started talking to me. Which was about every two minutes. Apparently everyone had a lot to say that night.'s a pic of someone else's rocket that I managed to take before I got busy winding:

When I find my camera again I will take a pic of our rocket, with the cool flame decals. Really what I am doing here? Is avoiding giving you the outcome of the night. Because it didn't end well. And it was my fault. Which is why Big Brother's dad should have gone. Because then we either wouldn't have had the bad ending or it could have been his fault, which I would have gladly written about and in fact, would have mentioned at the very beginning of the post. As it stands, though, Mom messed up the night. Because they were having parents hold the rockets at the starting line instead of the kids, to avoid potential conflicts with kids trying to inch forward, etc. So here's where our wonderful Scout night all went horribly wrong. Big Brother made it to the final heat. It was down to him and his competitor and whoever won that heat would race the leader for the title. Big Brother has NEVER won a Scouting racing event. Not with cars or boats, and now not with rockets. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had been watching all of the dads there as they were releasing the rockets and noticed that the way they were holding the rockets to keep the rubber bands from unwinding too soon hindered their abilitiy to release the rocket quickly. So when it was time for our finals, I got up to the string, hung BB's rocket and gently held each side of the propeller with my forefingers and thumbs, instead of holding the entire rocket with one hand and the propeller with the other. Are you foloowing me? I know, this is really technical stuff.

Anyway, many of the dads noted my new holding position and were impressed. So I'm waiting for the competitor to get lined up and gladly, he had NOT noticed my technique. I'm thinking we got this one. But the dude took FOREVER to get ready. By the time he was ready, I heard the countdown, but had been falsely lulled into a relaxed state of mind waiting for this Yahoo! When the starter said go, I hesitated. I missed the release. I KNOW! He set me up! My kid was devastated. I was stunned.

Big Brother looked at me like I was the most evil creature on the planet, gently took his rocket and then stomped out of the gym. On my way out I noticed the final round was getting ready to go...the winner? Used my technique. See? I knew it was good.

So mom lost the night. It was a bummer. They gave out the ribbons, Big Brother was trying to get over his hate toward me when they announced root beer floats. Thank Freaking Gosh for Root Beer Floats! Big Brother let his frustration go and got happier with every mouthful of creamy carbonation and I was temporarily forgiven.

Lesson learned? Scout Dads are competitive and sneaky and will do whatever it takes to win so you always have to be on high alert when you are around them so you are not lulled into a sense of apathy. KIDDING! Scout parents are awesome, it was a fun night. Real lesson learned? My son still struggles with losing and a great technique only works if you PAY ATTENTION! Oh yeah...and ice cream fixes almost anything.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Retake Day. Same as Last Year. I swear every year that I am not going to buy school pictures? I DO take that oath, each and every year, and yet I still submit myself to the torture that is school photography. Today is retake day. I sent notes with my boys to give to the photographer with explicit instructions regarding smiling or not smiling.

Because without fail, every single year, I get a picture that looks like this:

Now, I'm no genius, but does that look like a natural smile to you? I'm just sayin that common sense would tell a picture taker that Mom probably isn't going to want to pay the obscene amount of money she just paid for a fish face, forced smile. And I know the job is hard, I WAS a school photographer for about 6 months. I went around doing high school pics, which is even harder than grade school, because they actually CARE how they look, which makes the process very time consuming! I've watched girls reapply their entire face with a compact mirror while everyone in line waited because one eyelash was pointing the wrong way! "ALRIGHT ALREADY! It's just a shcool picture! To top it off? I got assigned to some of the alternative schools. The school where the "bad kids" went. It was like taking mug shots at a prison. I'd ask them to smile and they'd stare at me like I just said the last words I would ever say again. It was a little scary.

I figured if I was gonna die taking future death row inmate pics, I might as well have some fun, so I decided to mess with them a little. Might as well go down swingin', yes? So an inmate student would sit down, and I'd do the "Say Cheese" or "Smile!" thing and Barrio Brotha would stare back at me in all his coolness. So then I'd say something like "What's your mom gonna say when you show up with this picture lookin' all serious like that?" Some of them would grin and SNAP! I'd get the pic. Some of them would just get angrier. Then it dawned on me that maybe some of these kids had "issues" with their moms. Like war memories. I suddenly pictured Norman Bates from Psycho and I decided maybe I didn't want to die that day after all, so I tried some new tactics. Anyway, you get where I was going, right? Ya gotta be creative!

My best experience? Was at one of the "bad kid" schools. There was this kid who looked like he came right out of East LA. He was all attitude. He tried to go all gansta on me the minute he sat down.

Him: "Yo. Ima put my hood up for this pic."
Me: "Sorry dude, school rules. No hats, no hoods, gotta keep the face uncovered."
Him: "Man, that's whack. This place sucks. Whatevah."
Me: "Dude, yer a nice lookin' kid. Why you wanna cover your head up anyway?"
Him: "I ain't no kid."
Me: "You're like 10 years younger than're all kids. It's just a phrase, guy. Relax."
Him: "My name's not Guy."
Me: "Also just a ready?
Him: "Yeah...let's do dis." (Poses like a gangsta.)
Me: "Really? This is what yer gonna take home to mom?"
Him: "She don't care. It's cool. Just take the picture."
Me: "Dude, I would, but you have a little booger hanging on your nose...right there."
Him: "Oh sh*t! For reals?" (Starts wiping his nose)
Me: "No man, just kiddin' with ya." (He looks up and grins...SNAP! Got the picture!)
Him: "D*mn! I can't believe you just did dat! That's cold! (he's totally laughing now)
How you gonna do somethin' like that to me? How's my picture? Can I see?"

Homeboy ended up being my assistant for the day. We had some really great pics that afternoon. He was actually this really hilarious person. Some of the guys were hard core and wouldn't give up a smile for love nor money. But we got the majority of them. My assistant was awesome. He sent a letter to the photography company saying his mom cried when she saw the portrait. She said that was the happy son she had missed so much. Right on.

Why am I sharing this story? Well, originally I was just griping about crappy school pictures. Then it kind of morphed into this whole "if I can do it, anyone can" thing, which morphed into "you never know how your efforts might affect someone else." So...take whatever message you need to from this post and pray that our retake day will be successful. Otherwise, I SWEAR! I will never buy school pictures again. Until next year.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday's To-Do List

I've filled out so many applications and sent in so many resumes today. Laundry is starting to look a lot more fun right now.