Dec 31, 2006
so grateful for little jiri (who penn refers to sometimes as "harry" or . . ."alex" ) who penn adores.
'cause you can tell how excited he is to stay at work with mommy.
and so grateful for daniel and his battery-fetching-make-lunch-more fun-take-my-dog-to the-dog-park awesomeness.
SO AMAZINGLY APPRECIATIVE of lady fellicella who has donated her STUDIO and LIGHT and overall fantasticness to keep these holiday portraits going. i know i've only known her a year, but i seriously wonder all the time what the hell i'd do without her, on several levels.
photography is amazing. editing is time consuming. lately i've been busy scrambling for childcare, shooting all day, picking up the kiddo and making dinner, not doing dishes, denying the pile of dirty clothes in the laundry room, wondering if leap pad time has replaced story time, then, about 10:30 start time, sitting in front of this here computer clicking away through images, but never. fast. enough.
my eyes are blurry. strained from staring through a lens for 8 hours a day. strained from color correcting and surfing through a gazillion files and racking my brain for the name that goes with them. my head sinking lower and lower as the hours tick by and i count on my fingers how much sleep i can get versus how many photos i can get through.
it's a bizzarre emotion, wanting to just stop and take a break, and not being able to stop because it's just SO MUCH FUN!
Dec 29, 2006
i don't know if i've a favorite track yet, although the first track, "9 crimes," is definetly what pulled me to the purchase in the first place. the long wails of "elephant" are one of those musical animals that you can feel climbing up and rolling around inside your chest so you know that something's there, but you can't quite figure out what it is. it doesn't matter that you can't understand all the lyrics the first time around. the whole song just feels . . .powerful. . .
it's hard to describe music and what it does to us. art in general. you either get it, or you don't. you feel it, you talk to it, you breath it and you let it matter and you will it to haunt you, or it's just something else on the wall. something else making noise. it's just a building or a sidewalk or the sunshine or the checker at your corner grocery; everything you've passed without notice.
but if you get it, then you know that everything matters. all the ups and downs and merry-go-rounds of life, the way you see, the way you're seen, the way you really live and the way you really let others live . . . .it's all, well, not worth passing, and it's all part of art. which is, pardon my sermon, a generous portion, if not technically the entirety, of a life we're all trying to be better at enjoying.
"We do what we need to be free
And it leans on me like a rootless tree
What I want from us is empty our minds
We fake the thoughts, and fracture the times
We go blind when we've needed to see
And this leans on me, like a rootless . . ."
---Damien Rice, "Rootless Tree"
Dec 26, 2006
Dec 23, 2006
but somewhere (everywhere!) penn learned about this santa clause guy and MAN is he excited. there's a tree in my house for the first since i moved out of my dad's house. penn seems to know exactly how this is going to work, although he's been trying to convince me that santa's going to need a ride to our house. some days he has to make sure the backseat is clear for santa to sit by him. some days we can only sit on one end of the couch so that if santa pops by he has a place to sit. he often pulls the white socks off of his feet and puts them on his hands (white gloves, i figure) and says with puckered lips and his deepest three year old voice, "what do you want for christmas, boy?" (boy?)
santa is bringing him a green pick up truck, courtesy of papa. also courtesy of papa is a leap pad and several books and the candy canes i'm totally hiding. *wink* from mom, a train set and a ping pong set. we recently had to refurnish the house, so i told him the futon and tv and dishes were kind of a christmas present to both of us. from his dad, i just found out, a playstation 2. goodness. we've yet to decide on wrapping or no wrapping, all from santa or from us. . . .
what does being a mom do for me? makes me a wee bit excited to see penn's face christmas morning. the holidays, i'm guessing will probably be different from here on out.
Dec 19, 2006
been having technical difficulties in posting photos lately, so despite having shot some amazing weddings, fabulous portraits, beautiful events, a load of products and a CATALOG! and despite shooting every! single! day! i can't seem to get the internets to share them with you.
i'm shooting so much i've no time to edit, (or blog or do dishes or laundry or, for goodness sake, change my sheets!) which means my normal super-human photo delivery time is backed up to *sigh* october. the guilt on my head of still working on things i shot in october is he-avy. and my super-woman preTty darn clean house is, at the moment, well, notsomuch. *stares at mop and broom with sincere longing.*
the only solutions right now are to ask clients to bear with me and patiently wait until penn starts school so i can endulge in normal working hours or bribe a grandparent to move down here or hit the lottery or make friends with some child and photo-loving independently wealthy person. or, i suppose, i could finally make the transition to things that happen on billboards.
i'm down with any of the above.
totally down with three year old yoga.
Dec 14, 2006
but at some inevitable point everyone takes a gander back and discovers, according to the ladder we were told to steadily climb, we might not be as high up as we had planned. we discover there might be a lack of the "american dream." "shouldn't i be farther ahead right now? where's my mortgage? where's my salary? where's my dry cleaning?"
while i was making coffee this morning i took a gander: there's my child. there's my dog. there's my house. my yard. my dirty laundry. my work/art/passion. there's my growth and my love, my strengths and weaknesses and my future. and my dry cleaning.
happy birthday to me.
Dec 12, 2006
my previous post was the lengthy letter i faxed to the dallas and houston corporate office of south texas dental. this was there response. i'd bet dr. moynier doesn't like me very much.
Dear Ms Byers,
Thank you for taking the time to inform me of your recent experience at our dental office. I am sorry to hear that it did not go as well as you had hoped. We pride ourselves on taking good care of all our patients, especially the younger ones. We just recently had a well respected specialist in pediatric dentistry, Dr Berman, present a course in behavior mangement of pediatric patients, to all our doctors.
Reading through your letter, I can see that Dr Moynier tried some of Dr Berman's techniques, however, I do realize that there could be a great deal of discrepency between how Dr Berman uses those techniques and how Dr Moynier used the techniques. I will certainly use your experience as a teaching tool to review how we engage our apprehensive younger patients with Dr Moynier and hopefully improve on our communication skills with not only the patients but the parents as well.
Once again, I certainly do appreciate your feedback and we will incorporate your comments to further improve the quality of care all our patients receive.
South Texas Dental
Dec 11, 2006
I took my son who just turned 3 to his first dentist appointment at South Texas Dental at the Abrams location today. We were greeted warmly by the lady who took us to a room to check his blood pressure and weigh him. Because this was my sons first dentist experience and I wanted it to be a very positive one I made sure everyone, including the dentist, knew that this was our first trip.
I expected some crying and apprehension. A dentist office is unfamiliar to most of us. What I did not expect was the dentist to raise his voice to my baby, who’s mouth was open wide and waiting for him to finish.
This is part of the unforgettable and unexcusable conversation that should not have happened:
Dentist: “HEY! HEY! Stop crying! I’m not hurting you. If I hurt you then go ahead and cry.”
Me: “Please do not raise your voice to my son.”
Dentist: “Look, I’m just trying to do my job. I need to count his teeth.”
Me: (to my son) “It’s okay, Penn, you’re doing such a good job!”
Dentist: (to me) “Stop it.”
Dentist: (to my son) “HEY! HEY! I SAID stop CRYING!
Me: “You cannot talk to my son that way.”
Dentist: “Well, this isn’t hurting him . . . .”
Me: “That doesn’t mean you can raise your voice to my baby. I think we need to just finish as quickly as possible.”
My son was crying. He was scared. But his mouth was open and the absolute one and only reason his crying continued was because the dentist raised his voice to him in a manner that no person without any authority over him has ever spoken to him before. And then I was told to not comfort my son. This dentist was not kind. He was not particularly gentle. And amazingly, my baby boy was willing to sit there for him until the dentist told him to be quiet.
Can you imagine what it must feel like to lay your three year old head and brain and thought process in a strange man’s lap who has on different clothing and a big light over you while he holds your tiny mouth open and pokes sharp metal things into it? And then can you imagine how it would feel if that strange man then leaned into your face and said, “HEY! HEY! Stop Crying!” and tried to prevent your own mother from offering words of comfort?
Absolutley inexcusable. As my eyes welled up with emotion over the feeling a mother has when she feels her child has been mistreated, I told one of the ladies at the office that everyone was very nice, but that the dentist was really mean and the above conversation. She spoke with him and came back to tell me the dentist usually wasn’t like that and he said he was just trying to get the baby’s attention.
The baby was attentive, I promise you. How could you not be?
I am writing because we went to a dentist. A man of medicene. I trusted my childs mouth and mentality to him and it was a mistake. Despite whatever education this man has in the field of dentistry he should absolutely be trained and re-trained in the art of dealing with young patients and then consistently monitored by peers who are willing to report unethical behavior like this. Because of his manner I feel even stronger he should not be allowed to see minors.
I am requesting correspondance from your establishment to ensure that this letter has been directed to the proper authorities. I am also requesting information as to how you monitor the behavior of your employees and if this particular dentist has had any previous incidents. I am requesting this information for the betterment of future toddlers first dentist appointments.
***to be honest with the blogging world, i curtly said more than this, but was so angry at the time i can't remember it exact enough to quote to a corporate office. it did end with the announcement to him and his co-workers in front of the waiting patients that we would not be coming back to this office again because of the awful manner of the dentist we saw.
penn is hardly traumatized, though in the moment it felt awful. i'm angry because it could have been traumatizing. what would that dentist have said if i hadn't been there?!
so, no worries. unfortunatley we have to go to a periodontist anyway for a crown. *sigh*
penn says, "at the dentist they gave me a toothbrush and a balloon. but i don't ever want to go back there again.
Dec 7, 2006
because i have "tuff-man" penn (thanks to a new pair of pants whose drawstring reads such and reminds him that he has "big muscles" to take care of the "bad guy" who took mom's radio----yes, he's still focused on that) 24/7, i always fall asleep (read: pass out in .5 seconds) with an alarm ready to wake me bright and early before the "tuff guy" does.
those quiet (!!!) morning hours spent with coffee, email and photoshop are priceless. they don't happen as often as i'd like since i tend to work so late. i'll refrain from divuldging actual times so as to avoid the phone calls from loved ones pleading i get some rest.
sleeping could easily be one of my most successful pasttimes. i'm quite good at it. especially when my alarm is going off and my hand operates sneakily, against my wishes, and stuffs it under my pillow to be discovered in the morning with ringing cell phones and cries for breakfast.
alas. there are literally thousands of images to be edited. there are weddings a month old in my harddrive that i am still sorting and processing and uploading as fast as humanly possible. seriously. fast. as. i. can. and i am being booked further out and on a daily basis. i am trying my best to squeeze in this and squeeze in that. but, WHOOPEE! i couldn't ask for anything better! well. more hours and pre-school, maybe. but other than that. . . .
as much as i am welcoming the transition of portrait photographer and artistic, life-style event photographer to commercial work, the portraits i've done this holiday season have really been a lot of fun for me, and i hope for those being "shot."
i LOVE these portraits. i LOVE the goal of showing off a family's adoration for one another. i LOVE chasing toddlers with cameras. maybe my christmas wish for everyone is that they get to do what they love every day, too.