Baby fix

It’s no secret that I want another baby. Everything in my circumstance says having a child now (even though hubs promised me two) isn’t optimal. My heart, however , says ‘what’s one more?’Anyway, I also really love baby portraits .  Capturing fleeting moments of these new angels is a difficult, beautiful endeavor that I absolutely enjoy.  And I have no shortage of portrait enhancements (yep, I was obsessed with accessories).

My cousin Nadia is three solid months into motherhood. And when I asked for permission to borrow her little for photos and my own selfish baby fix,  she didn’t hesitate to say ‘anytime.’  I’m honored by her trust and thankful for her patience.

Dyani, affectionately known as Cocoa, eyed me inquisitively as soon as I arrived. She’s one of those sweet littles with a personality all her own.  She’s particular, but not particularly fussy. She’s alert and observant of her world. And she has distinctive preference for style that she will not compromise on.

This tiny little gem flitted between wide awake giggles and snuggle-down sleep.  She kept keen eyes and ears trained on her mommy, while relaxing into my arms.  Swoon. 

My assistants, Ya and Chi, helped arrange lights, backdrops, and our purposely minimal props.  They both also took a turn at shooting, selecting their angles with care.

We took a little longer than anticipated, pausing for Mommy cuddles and lunch. But I think we captured this age pretty well.

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to freeze time for another family. And as a bonus, cradling a tiny baby in my arms one more time.


I shouldn’t be awake. I went to bed at a decent time after a very emotionally draining day.  And I suppose the brain isn’t done thinking about what went down.

I’m being targeted at work. It’s blatantly obvious.  I follow protocol . I filed absences on the required system ,  made the extra text notification to the appropriate people, and even dropped off medical documentation of my leave before necessary to my supervising administrator.  And yet I return to my paper absence verification  (back ups for audit, despite the paperless online system) with “denied approval, see me” scrawled across the bottom of each paper.  

I did what I was supposed to do. I left thorough sub plans, graded through my sickness ,  and returned two days early to input grades. I even spoke to my substitute twice to affirm assignments and check progress.  Despite this, admin was in my grade book checking up on my records today – which are accurate and up to date even though the remote system did not work on my computer.  I’ve been legitimately absent on medical leave since the quarter started, and my grade book is the one being checked? 

Not once did any member of administration check on my condition, though paperwork made it clear I had been in the hospital. As usual, there will be no kudos for at home e-mail to the CLT about required data collection. There will be no “thank you” for fielding questions and concerns from colleagues.

I know my place. I know I am not valued. I get it. There’s no such thing as Blue Blood Family where mine is concerned. 

Healing time

I haven’t been able to sleep through the night lately.  Health issues have once again hindered my efforts to be a normal functioning adult.  I wake several times a night and fight to return to sleep; or, I struggle to find rest and will myself to pass out from exhaustion. Of course, I usually crash in the middle of one of the few shows I enjoy watching out of the hundred mindless broadcasts on TV.

I forced myself to follow the ER doctor’s orders, taking a week off from work to heal from a nasty reaction to yet another simple medication supposed to cure an equally simple ailment.  CIPRO attacked every joint in my body, stiffening my limbs and making mobility difficult . The anti nausea headache pills meant to quell the dibilitating migraine behind my right ear left words on my screen swimming. My vision was so skewed at one point, that I scrapped up my car’s hood when I misjudged the turn to our gated community’s card scanner — it bounced and scratched a deep line on my last new car. No, I wasn’t supposed to drive, but Ri’s school had a gas leak and I had to pick her up within minutes of her dad’s drop off. 

It’s hard to stay home.  There’s a guilt that plagues me when I’m not in charge of my classroom.  I struggle with relinquishing control.  But I’m getting older, and I’m coming to realize that the job doesn’t care about me or the long term issues I might face.  

One colleague reached out daily and I craved her “how are you?” texts .  It sucks to hope someone cares that you’re missing from the building.

 I mean, I replied to an email from work the other day agreeing to use of my class during planning and the colleague was flippant and terse when she said her need was met already.  There was not even a “by the way, hope you’re  ok” aside.  No one should ever wonder why I choose to isolate myself during lunch and free time again. I prefer to be in the company of someone who is genuine. 

I’ve been working at home.  Slowly, I’m reading through essays and stories. I’m commenting extensively on each paper.  the majority will scan for a grade and trash the paper, but some might read suggestions and improve. I hope.  

A parent stopped me in the hall on Thursday as I made my way to the Boundary Committee meeting — she said her daughter was growing concerned and that they were praying.  It was exactly what I needed to hear. 

I’m returning to work for this next short week, mostly to plug in grades . I feel better. The dehydration continues,  but the headaches are minimal.  I am not relying on medication — watching the clock for when I can get my next dose as pain creeps up stronger. This is what progress looks like.

Milking it

Dear Ri,


You upset your dad today.  He told you you had to use the restroom before he poured you a cup of juice.  You agreed and waited.  Then, when he was sufficiently occupied with work preparation,  you helped yourself to the milk.  Thank you for using a straw.  Even though dad’s a little mad, you technically did not disobey.  You did not drink the juice. I wouldn’t recommend,  however, that you display your intelligence like this again.  He won’t take it well.


​I can feel it like the remnants of a spider’s web; Tickling the base of my head. 

But unlike the web, it’s pure electricity building a charge and preparing to immobilize- seconds, sometimes minutes of attack. 

I wince at the aftershocks, thankful they are the lesser evil.

 Involuntarily, my head nods – hello? Okay, I surrender.

 I stare out at nothing in particular,  closing my eye as the tickle begins again. 

No point in crying out, they don’t hear me anymore. 

And I’m already aware of the agony.

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