Sep/09
30

I had forgotten, really.

I look at M and D, two of the nicest, cleanest, funniest, kindest, most civilized, most wonderful people in the world and I forget that they were once two year olds. Two year olds who wanted to drink my drink, who didn’t like car seats, who wanted to walk and not get in the stroller, who ordered pizza for lunch and then threw it on the floor, who would scream COOKIE! I WAN COOKIE! PEASE! at hapless bystanders in the grocery store.

Wild two year olds.

I spent ALL DAY, from the moment I opened my eyes until about 15 minutes ago, chasing Baby J.

There are many, many, many moments in the day with him that are like rays of sunshine on my face –precious! — and then there are moments where I literally want to put my head down in my hands and cry. He. Is. So. Two.

Which brings us to the timely receipt of the proofs of The World’s Worst Photo Shoot.

The scene: It was 2001. We had no money. By no money, I mean…NO MONEY. Jeff’s company had just launched the year before, we’d gone seven months with no salary and no medical insurance, we’d burned through our substantial savings, and we don’t use credit cards. This meant, of course, that when there was $2 in our bank account, we had $2. To our names.

Everything was budgeted. We shared a car. No cell phones. No cable. We never ate out. I reused tinfoil and zip lock bags. I made everything we ate from scratch.

Our splurge?

Disposable diapers. Not kidding.

It was tight but I really wanted to be at home with the kids so we managed to squeak by, barely.

Anyway, I didn’t have a camera at the time and I began to kind of freak out over the fact the kids were growing and that we didn’t have any pictures of them.

So I began to save every penny I could with the idea that I would have portraits taken of the children.

I think it took me four months to save $250 to have a sitting with one of Seattle’s best portrait photographers.

I was so excited. I made a special bow for M’s hair and splurged on a nice haircut for D. I decided to put them in denim and white shirts.

We were all set.

Except that he was one and a half and she was three and they were wild.

Wild.

Not in a cute way, either. Just awful wild.

Once we hit the studio, they literally turned into hyperactive animals that could not be controlled. I tried everything..bribery, threats, everything.

I could not get them to calm down and sit still. They were like the bad monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

On the way home, I buckled them into their car seats and I sobbed. I knew we hadn’t gotten a single good picture. I had basically thrown all that money away and it was so fucking hard to save that much.

I just felt sick. I felt sick every time I thought of it, for years.

And then I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to this summer.

On a walk one day I happened to remember the photographer’s name, which reminded me of the Photo Shoot From Hell.

On a whim, I call the photographer, almost ten years later, and I asked if there was some possibility that she might still have the negatives….and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES…she still had them!

And….MIRACLE OF MIRACLES…I actually have the money to buy them, all of them.

And now they are here.

And these “disaster” pictures, these pictures that caused me so much grief?

They are absolutely perfect.

In every way.

Maybe there is hope for Baby J after all….

Yours, getting my parenting second wind,

Annie

Sep/09
30

I keep getting email from people who are worried that they haven’t heard anything about the new company on the blog.

They take this as a bad sign.

It’s not.

The trip was supposed to be a time for us to think through the future and come up with a plan for the next stage of life but, for those of you who followed us, we were kind of busy disinfecting Baby J’s hands and assuming the crash position in the hot air balloon and things like that.

There was no time for reflection, except for this one night in Zanzibar when we tried to take a moonlit walk on the beach except that we were surrounded by a pack of emaciated wild dogs about five minutes down the beach and they were really, really aggressive and growling at us and circling us and I wanted to run but Jeff kept hissing DON’T SHOW ANY FEAR! THEY CAN SENSE FEAR! and I just knew that we were going to be eaten, right there on the beach, because they could SENSE MY FEAR and all they would find in the morning was a small bloody clump of fake blond hair and some of the extra chewy parts of one of my feet so we had to stare straight ahead and walk slowly and fake talk to each other in these sing-song voices and pretend like we weren’t scared when these nasty things stopped in front of us and growled and hunched down like they were going to spring up on us.

It was kind of like middle school, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I only mention The Wild Dogs Of Zanzibar story to illustrate that even when we tried to find time to talk in depth, it would get hijacked by various distractions.

Then, we came home and there was a whole flurry of mom! mom! mom! where are my shoes and mom! mom! mom! I need a posterboard with a picture of myself and a haiku about my summer by tomorrow and I can’t work here unless you keep baby j out of the office and well I can’t honey he’s two years old and he wubs you and so on and so forth.

Jeff needed time to think and even to try on different ideas and think about new directions. I figured it might take a few months until he’d really settled on where he wanted to go.

So…two days ago, Jeff says that he needs me to get a sitter, which I do, and we got out to talk.

I got the Big Reveal of the next project.

You know that I can’t say anything, right?

I can’t! I just can’t!

I can tell you this:

The new company will be in Pioneer Square, in that kick ass new loft.

There’s a name and a domain name.

Logos are in progress.

Jeff and I are in hysterics over the concept.

It’s funny and cool.

It’s a departure from what he’s done in the past (thank god….I’d stab myself in the head if I had to see more flying dragons).

It’s awesome.

See? I said nothing! There’s no secret you can’t trust me with….

I’m just that good.

Annie


Sep/09
29

WTF? With all the Viking fisherman singing deep into the night, crazy drivers allowing baby J to drive a four wheel drive in the desert while his parents are climbing into a pyramid, wild elephants next to the hotel room, tween raves, and new office antics and whatnots, I had almost forgotten to mention that Jeff and I celebrated a big milestone this week.

For some reason, I have tons of cute pictures of me with various combinations of Square children and tons of Jeff with a variety of ilk…but very few of us TOGETHER. These are not the best pictures (mostly a collection of blurry pictures that went into the junk file) but I think it’s kind of funny to watch how I have made Jeff’s hair go grey over the years. Poor guy. He had no idea what he was getting into, did he?

So…to you, my sweet. I couldn’t do this life with anyone else. Happy 15.

(Hey Netters…that’s Brandon D. there, when he was the ring bearer at our wedding!)