Archive for August, 2009

Because I promised…

August 31st, 2009

… something happier to balance out the last entry. And this, I must say, is happy. The occasion is back to school, Brandon’s 7th birthday, or just because… take your pick. Whatever you label this session, it is definitely one of my favorites because they are mine and they are together… and they truly love each other this much.

I take so many photos of them individually, but it’s been over a year since I have had a single good image of them together — it was long overdue. School starts on Tuesday, 2nd grade for Brandon and another school year of misery and pain for Bailey… crying as she says goodbye in the morning and missing her brother all day long.

Hopefully the time will pass quickly. Next summer is right around the corner. I have to keep telling myself that as the days, even now in August, are turning chilly and leaves are swirling in the wind as I drive home late at night.

It was his time…

August 31st, 2009


We lost our loyal first dog last night, our MinPin Dante. He’s been protecting me since he was just big enough to fit in the palm of my hand and before his bark was menacing at all. At 14 1/2, he had lived a long and very pampered life. In the end, it was his heart that failed him, biologically at least. His heart for us never failed and he never asked for anything in return.

Wherever you are, Dante, I hope you’re running free… in a world full of wide open doors where fences were never invented and leashes are just something scary they tell the pups to keep them in line. I hope you sleep well tonight… for the first time in a while.

I promise to balance out this entry with one that is far less of a bummer…

When a person agrees to put on a costume that guarantees he will be beaten senseless by 10 extremely hyper children wielding pool noodles of fury… that’s when you know people care. I must thank my awesome brother in law for channeling Jango Fett and giving the kids someone to smack around. I must also mention that even if you ask nicely, he’s probably not available for any other parties. :)

Also, I really need to defend myself on the cake issue. It does look pathetic and sad, doesn’t it? It is two layers and it did take me TWO days just to frost properly, but I do realize it’s severely lacking in decorative finesse.

By the time it was in the state you see below, I was so terrified that I might mess up the only thing Brandon could have (a mix by an awesome company that specializes in dairy, egg, and nut free baked goods), that I abandoned the project. I did have high hopes of using red icing to make a rebel symbol on the face of the cake, but it just sounded far too risky.

Please forgive the cheese factor of these photos, but they are what they are — snapshots of a very happy day for a very happy boy. I know Brandon will love these collages, cheesy as they are!

When I first took these photos, I was so disappointed in them (and myself). The ice cream shop wasn’t just right, the light wasn’t just right, the angle wasn’t quite right. I scrapped them back in the end of July and told myself that sometime soon we’d find the perfect old fashioned ice cream parlor and the pictures would be… perfect! Now a few weeks later, I find myself loving them even for their flaws. This kind of pure joy isn’t something I capture in Bailey very often.

Ice cream parlors are a rare treat since they never have anything that Brandon can have. When we visited grandma without Brandon, Bailey and I took a little trip in pursuit of (supposedly) Chicagoland’s best ice cream. They had a little ice cream parlor table just for her (that she still talks about) and ice cream full of cherries. It’s good to be three.

And just for the record, as much as I would like to say we found THEE place for amazing home made ice cream, it really wasn’t the best ice cream in Chicagoland. Next time, it’s Cold Stone and no charm — the cake batter ice cream with yellow cake chunks really cancels out the need for vintage ice cream parlor tables and checkered floors. Just sayin’

… a day out alone with the kids.

Step 1 — Tense negotiations with almost 7 year old who is willing to forgo his entire day out to avoid standing inside the women’s bathroom just to wait for me.
Step 2 — After leaving said bathroom, slather the kids with enough hand sanitizer to ward off the mere thought of whatever they might have touched while I couldn’t watch them.
Step 3 — Bribe kids to leave obnoxiously loud play area with the promise of what turned out to be $20 worth of overpriced candy, tell them they can each have a few pieces, then eat half most of it myself.
Step 4 — Take kids to Ed Debevic’s and console aforementioned 7 year old when the waitress is not grouchy enough.
Repeat Step 1 & 2. twice.