taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
Earlier this evening my son was looking at my author's copies of my published work, and asked why most of the short stories were under my real name, but some stories and both novels were by Aundrea Singer.

I explained about pen names, and how I started using the pen name for the gay romances I wrote because I was worried our conservative, fundamentalist neighbors wouldn't let their children play with him anymore if they knew about them. I used the example of this dickwad to remind him that this is how a hell of a lot of people think where we live.

My kid shuddered at the memory of the bigoted dickwad, then said, "I have a suggestion. We take your books to that guy, and do this...."

I thought he was going to mime giving the books to him, and was about to explain why it was a sweet idea but wouldn't make any difference.

My kid actually mimed using the books to hit the bigot over the head.

I love my kid.

The paper says "I wrote this". He thought it was hilarious.
Mommy wrote it

taste_is_sweet: (Black Mask)
I'm back from this year's FanExpo Canada shindig, and it was of the awesome. I had a wonderful time seeing my sister and her family, geeking out huge with like-minded Canadians, and spending shitloads of money enjoying the dealers' offerings and the Artists' Alley.

One of the highlights was getting a professionally-done photograph of my kid and his cousins with Hayley Atwell.

Left to Right: Mini!Peggy; The Beautiful and Charming Hayley Atwell; Rescue!Bucky and Skinny!Steve
Hayley Atwell and the Nascent Geeks

The boys seriously practiced smiling for the entire time we were waiting in line, and then afterwards Javier (Skinny!Steve) expressed his concern at Carter growing old and infirm. He wanted to know if she ever received the Super Soldier serum. I told him that no, unfortunately she didn't, but that he could fix that with fanfiction if he wanted. He didn't want to, alas, but I loved how he was obviously smitten with Ms. Atwell.

I was also able to take pictures of some of the awesome cosplayers:

The way the guys are posing just killed me. So cute! (And badass. ::coff:: Really.)
Cosplayers of Awesome

That's Captain America (Winter Soldier movie version) with Javier the Dragon Slayer. Next is Felicity and a lovely Genderswapped Arrow, then Harley Quinn and Black Widow--who are friends now after beating the shit out of each other (see the blood on their cheeks?). Last is my personal favorite: Daredevil in his black 'how the hell did I survive this long?' uniform.

I also got some gorgeous art, which I'll have to post at some point. Not to mention frame and put on a wall. Urk.

Oh, hey! I have a Tumblr account now! Please follow me, if any of you lovely FListies have Tumblrs! I have two followers and am horribly pathetic.

taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
---This is hilarious because it makes perfect sense.

---You buy pants and a 'SSR' tee-shirt just so you can dress your kid like this for FanExpo Canada:

(He's trying to 'look weak' as pre-serum Steve Rogers, not actually sulking.)
I wish my mommy was like other parents

Even though the kid is not a MCU fan. (Isn't that why we have kids, though? To dress them up in adorable costumes?)

---You're going to FanExpo Canada, even though you live in Texas.

---You're hoping to get a picture of your kid dressed as Skinny!Steve with Hayley Atwell.

---You spend most of your Sunday making a magnetic shield harness and impulse-buy foam weapons so your kid can also be a 'Dragonslayer' at FanExpo Canada.

That foam shield you can barely see is attached to the re-purposed martial arts belt with magnets. Because I am just that obsessive good.
I did not make the tabbard. Or the necklace. Or the foam weapons. (I did make the child)

As you've probably guessed, I'll be in Canada until September 8, getting my geek on at the FanExpo. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
Sunday evening, my beloved and almost nine-year old child suddenly realized that I'm a separate person.

I know that totally sounds like the response should be, 'no kidding'. And that's kind of true. It's not like he hasn't known for years that we don't always want the same things (with many, many time outs to support that hypothesis), or that we don't hold the same opinions or enjoy the same stuff.

This ability is apparently called Folk Psychology, which isn't quite as condescending as it sounds. It refers to the ability most humans gain by age 3 or 4, of interpreting others' mental states. More importantly, it also refers to the ability of most humans to recognize that others have mental states.

All babies and toddlers are selfish little fucks. They have to be since they can't meet their own needs, let alone anyone else's. Sure, that baby might hand you her semi-masticated goldfish crackers, but that's because she wants you to take them, not because she wants you to have them. Nothing a pre-kindergarten kid does is personal, no matter how infuriating. It can't be, because they literally can't care less.
They also evolved adorableness so we won't feed them to the wolves.
Baby Girl Playing Toy


And then they get older (::cough thank God cough::), and roughly a million time-outs later they understand that, whoa, you're not the same person.

But there's understanding, and then there's understanding, and the latter is what hit my kid like a ton of bricks the other night. He told me it even made his hands shake, that's how big a deal it was to him. He realized, on a level he never had before, that mommy had: "a mind in your own body", to quote the way he said it.

He'd known for years that I wasn't him, but on Sunday he figured out that I'm a separate, unique individual, just as much as he is. A small distinction that's also astonishingly huge at the same time.

The funny thing is, I got hit by the same ton of bricks when he was a baby, when I really got it that this little guy had his own agenda (yes, I used the word 'agenda', like we were superpowers in a spy movie). An agenda that was completely different from mine. He'd grown inside me, but he wasn't me. And sure, I'd known that, but I didn't know it--until I suddenly did. And now nine years later, he's just figured out the same thing.

And yes, I love the irony about having that in common. ;)

The picture is 'Baby Girl Playing Toy' by Tratong at Free Digital Photos.net

taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
One of the many, many things I love about being a parent is all the ways my kid surprises me. I mean, I like to think I know him pretty well by now, but he still amazes me all the time. Especially when he gives me an opportunity to look at something in a way I'd never thought of before.

Monday during dinner, he sat down at the table and gave a big, heartfelt sigh. Naturally my first thought was that he had a problem with the food (not uncommon, alas). But when I asked him it turned out he was thinking about a YouTube video he watched part of before dinner.

Apparently the video--which was about the Minecraft computer game--had a title in English but soundtrack entirely in Russian. Javier had read some of the comments, and he was upset for the vidders because so many people had said rude, hateful things to them over the language.

This is exactly what they look like.
Troll

We discussed the concept of 'Trolls' on the internet. He'd learned about it in the context of 'pranking' from other videos, but not as referring to someone who purposely writes hurtful posts or comments just to upset people.

He didn't get why anyone would want to do that. He also didn't understand how people could watch videos on YouTube and then 'dislike' them with the thumbs-down button. Then he told me that he always clicks on the 'like' button before he watches a video. If he ends up not liking the video he just goes to something else.

And I looked at my amazing, generous sweetheart of an 8 year-old kid and I have to admit I got a little teary. Because he clicks 'like' to acknowledge people's effort, and thank them just for wanting to share. And I swear to God that never, ever, even occurred to me.

Sure, I have my own philosophy that if I read an entire fanfic story I give the author a 'kudo' or comment. And sure, I have to basically dislike a story enough to stop reading it before I won't do that. But to just thank something for writing a fic in the first place? No way.

It's because I'm an author myself, and I know from both fandom and the professional book industry that in real life, no one is going to reward you for something just because you went to the effort of making it. It's all about putting your stuff out there and hoping to hell you'll either get a positive response or hoping to hell you're thick-skinned enough not to care.

I'm never thick-skinned enough not to care, but that's my problem. And the last thing I would ever want is for someone to leave a comment, or kudos, or even pay me money as a 'thanks for coming out' consolation prize.

And yet.

Somewhere along the line, among the millions of pieces of fanficton and art and videos and published stuff, I forgot that someone actually went to the trouble of making it in the first place. Maybe not for me specifically, but for the joy of creating something and sharing it, in the hope that others would enjoy it too.

Just because the ability to create is so easy these days doesn't make the act of creating itself any less meaningful, or any less worthy of acknowledgement. Jav may not always like what his parents make for dinner, but I make sure that he thanks us anyway, because we went to the trouble of doing it. And gratitude is never a bad thing.

It's humbling that my son was the one to remind me of that. I hope I don't forget it again.



The illustration is by Rien Poortvliet

taste_is_sweet: (The Best Part of Disney Land)
My darling, wonderful child (whom I adore), is eight years old (as I've mentioned), and thinks that Minecraft is better than anything not made of chocolate and peanut butter. He's actually gotten really good at building himself houses and armor and such, but what he really, really wants in the whole wide world is some friends to come visit his world (and build a pirate ship with him).

Unfortunately, aside from one kid-friendly server that is currently not being terribly parent-friendly, the dizzying array of multi-player Minecraft servers out there seem to be all adult-oriented, which is fine as long as the adults in question aren't typing too fast in chat and/or mainly interested in murdering their fellow avatars.

So, in an optimistic attempt to not end up having to listen to my darling, wonderful child lament about how he doesn't have any Minecraft friends until the end of time (and/or high school), I turn to you, o, best-beloveds.

Do any of you either a) play Minecraft on a machine that can connect to the interweebs and wouldn't mind helping a kid build a pirate ship? Or, b) do any of you have/know children who would be interested in helping another child build a pirate ship?

Apparently I can make a multi-player server, but I need to have specific people to invite. Otherwise, I'd be happy to send Jav's avatar off to find a buddy if I knew which server they used and what their username was. Minecraft makes me seasick as hell, or I'd try it myself.

If you can and want to come play, or know someone who would, please PM me or feel free to leave a comment and I'd be very happy to PM you instead. :)

I thank you in advance, and so does my sanity.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
For someone unashamedly adverse to danger, I have a fascination with mountain climbing.

(Warning: this deals with dead climbers, so to both set and lighten the mood a little, here is a picture of my son being an adorable zombie for Halloween:)
Cutest. Zombie. Ever.
 photo ZombieJavierHalloween20135.jpg

Ready to read about dead people? Great, let's go: )



This post was inspired by a fantastic Avengers AU fanfic called The Mountain (though the mountain in the title is K2), written by Jay Tryfanstone

taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
Sometime in May, as many of you know, LJ went its usual periodic batshit and lost one of my posts. My particular server (named 'Chicken Tikka', because why the hell not, I suppose, though I would've preferred 'Shawrma') was one of the ones affected, and I lost a post.

Per your kind recommendation, I told the The LJ codemonkies PTB about it. They promised they'd do what they could to get the post back. Then I went on a trip to Florida with my family (my son insists on calling it a 'journey', which is adorable; we went on a journey to Florida). And when I came back, still no post. I fear it shall never show up in my 'recent entries' feed again.

So here it is, so at least it'll be scrollable: I'm turning 41 and a tad freaked out about it.

It's strange how the post is still there, in cyberspace, but I can only get to it by searching for the comments. It's like Schrodinger's Cat, only with less fur and more typing.

...Annnnd I just found out that the link I posted goes nowhere. So never mind.

It seems to be working now. Thank you to the commenters who encouraged me to keep editing the link. It finally seems to have stuck.
taste_is_sweet: (Pills)
Yeah, so, if everyone's saying you need to get the flu shot? Don't wait until January to do it. Because chances are it'll be too late by then. Like it was with me! It turns out that my poor little boy had already caught the flu a few days before we got the vaccine, and my husband and I caught it from him. Which was well-deserved, considering how much we suck as parents for not getting him the vaccine earlier.

Having the flu sucks, by the way. In case any of you were wondering. ::whines::

Don't let this happen to you, kids! Get the flu vaccine!
taste_is_sweet: (Carry This Weight)
Yeah, I was mostly fine the whole weekend after learning about the school shooting on Friday, but today it seems I can't stop seeing things about it and I keep crying. Maybe because Jav's in school. I keep putting myself in the place of all those parents who lost their precious little boy or girl on Friday. And all those kids who were only five and six and who died frightened and wanting their mommies and daddies.

Obviously, I shouldn't do that. It's not doing me any good and it's not like it helps anyone, least of all me. But I can't not. I don't have very strong boundaries at the best of times and things like this tend to throw me. A lot.

I'll probably be fine tomorrow. But maybe I'll get my kid early today.
taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
At Lowe's, in front of the Christmas tree display. Because, where else?

photo2_zpsbf16511e
photo3_zpsa2b2828a
taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Photobucket

Today we had to put Hannah down because she had liver cancer. I'm incredibly sad but Javier is devastated. When he was four he decided that Hannah was 'his' and today he lost his beloved pet.

Of course Hannah was mine long before that. I got her early in 1998 from a local cat rescue group in Toronto. I'd already adopted a cat from them so they had my number (literally and figuratively), so when one of the members was handed a skinny grey cat with five kittens and all of the other members' houses were full I got Shanghaied into looking after her and the babies.

Initially Hannah was scrawny and sickly looking, and so undernourished that one of her shoulders popped out of joint twice in the first year I had her. But she was devoted to her kittens. If either of the other two cats dared go near them, Hannah would chase them away with a wild-eyed ferocity that was more like her vicious great cat ancestors than a domestic long hair.

She was devoted to her kittens, but other than the protectiveness she was actually a terrible mother. I'd have to hold her down to get her to stay put long enough for her kittens to get a full meal, or occasionally stop her licking a kitten so enthusiastically that the poor thing couldn't get to her belly to eat.

When the kittens were weaned I found a home for them, but by then I already knew I'd be keeping their mama. Over the next year Hannah went from a scrawny former alley cat to a fat, sleekly fluffy matriarch who looked constantly pissed off but who was actually the sweetest, most even-tempered and laid back cat I've ever known.

That's why she became Javier's cat. Initially she just was too old and arthritic to run away from him when he began crawling after the cats. But when he got older she began sleeping on his bed with him and coming to him for cuddles. Of course she would still curl up next to Dom on the couch and sleep between us on the bed. Hannah was one of those awesome cats who loved (and put up with) everyone, and was always happy to be hoisted into a lap.

Jav and I loved her so much. Tonight he was crying because he wouldn't have a kitty to sit in his lap anymore. I promised him that we'd get him his very own kitty in a month or so. I'm sure he or she will be lovely, but Hannah was one of a kind.
taste_is_sweet: (Name that poultry)
Today, my son had a dentist appointment to cap two of his teeth. (Unfortuly, as he would say, when he began to brush his teeth without supervision he stopped brushing his side teeth, so he got cavities. Now his daddy has to floss Jav's teeth because I refuse to.) After the dentist put in the bling he told us to feed him a liquid lunch so he wouldn't accidentally gnaw on his numbed chipmunk-cheeks, so we decided just to keep him home for the afternoon. This meant a lot of parent-approved children's television, including Curious George (who is a Chimpanzee, not a monkey, damn it. And don't even get me started on that poacher, the Man in the Yellow Hat). One of the episodes featured doughnuts, so naturally Javier and I got a craving and we decided to make some together.

Cut so my FList doesn't kill me )
taste_is_sweet: (What?)
(Psst! Don't forget to tell me a strange story and win a book!)

To say that the small city I live in is home to a majority of practicing Christians would be kind of like saying if you visit Israel you might find some Jews. This is a city where it's common to see businesses promoting themselves with the fish symbol for Christians follower, or a big sign saying, 'I ♥ Jesus' on the wall in my son's preschool. I've been asked repeatedly if I believe in God during casual conversations. Once I had to explain to a teacher that the Torah doesn't normally include the New Testament.

With this as his daily environment, it's not terribly surprising that Javier has come home from school to solemnly announce that "Jesus is rainbow-coloured," and to make sure I know that Jesus can fly. He drew a picture of a church as a gift for his teacher (the one with the 'I ♥ Jesus' sign), and she gave him a hug and asked him if he went to church too.

Last Wednesday, a very large but completely harmless wolf spider came crawling across the kitchen floor right where Javier was removing his shoes. He did his usual 'I-think-I'm-culturally-required-to-react-like-this' cringe and scream thing then watched until it disappeared under the shoe shelf, doubtless to end up as a snack for one of the cats.

Then Javier said, "Spiders belong to Jesus."

Dom and I looked at each other.

"You mean, Jesus made spiders?" I tried, thinking that either Jav or one of his friends at school had misremembered the creation story from the Bible, and wondering how I could steer the conversation (again) to Mommy and Daddy's atheism while still encouraging Jav's belief in magic and Santa Claus. (Early childhood is all about cognitive dissonance. Don't look at me like that.)

"No," Javier said. "Jesus didn't make spiders. They belong to him. And ants."

"Who told you this?" I asked, now confused as hell.

It turned out it was his teacher, and after several more minutes of circular questions and answers and a very frustrated five-year old, the flummoxed parents were finally told this:

One of my kid's classmates at school had purposely stepped on some ants. The teacher had told him not to, because ants belong to Jesus. I'm afraid I don't remember how Jesus ended up being the patron saint of Arachnids as well; it's possible Jav's teacher said so, or Jav decided it himself since spiders are also freaky and creepy-crawly. It's horrible! It must belong to Jesus!

His teacher didn't say why Jesus has this particular relationship with arthropods however, which is where my brain exploded. I ended up fumbling around a simplified version of why some people might think that Jesus owns the world by proxy until Javier's eyes glazed over and he asked if he could watch TV.

I'm sure that at this point Javier thinks that Jesus was a real man who was killed because he was rainbow-coloured and who lives in the sky but not really and who can't grant wishes because you need rainbows to make a wish, except Jesus is rainbow-coloured so maybe he can, and he doesn't own the world but does own ants and spiders and lived a Long Time Ago but not when the world was a baby world and there were dinosaurs.

I'll just be over here contemplating the psychiatrist bills. And mopping up my brain.
taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
This is, to the best of my memory, a reenactment of a game Javier wanted to play with me Sunday afternoon:

Jav (to Mommy, who is in the kitchen): I'm your baby dinosaur, okay? But you didn't know I hatched 'cause you were in the shower. You found the egg in the forest where the dinosaurs were. So pretend that you're in the shower there, 'kay? (He goes to the love seat, arranges the cushions around himself like a nest, then sits with his knees pulled up to be in an egg. Then he pretends to hatch and starts making generic baby noises.)

Me (gamely): That was a wonderful shower! I wonder if my baby dinosaur has hatched yet? OH MY GOODNESS! IT'S MY BABY DINOSAUR! (Cuddles kid in pretend alarm.) I'm so sorry! I didn't know you were hatching! Here--have some cow.

Jav: (makes vaguely dino-like screeching noises; pretends to eat meat then spits it out): I can't eat it because it's too big. Hey! Pretend you went on a 'venture, and you left me with Daddy dinosaur, but he died.

Me: You mean, I left you here alone? I'd never leave my baby dinosaur alone!

Jav: No! Daddy was here, but he died! In the shower.

Me: He died in the shower? How did he die?

Jav: Dinosaur hunters came and killded him.

Me: Did they eat him?

Jav: No. They came in the shower and they killded him and opened him up like this... (demonstrates by pretending to pull out his rib cage.) And took his bones out.

Me: Wait--you mean, for a museum?

Jav: Yes!

Me: Why didn't they take you?

Jav: 'Cause I was here like this (squishes up), and they went that way and behind like this.

Me: Oh! So they didn't see you! Did you find Daddy's body? (NOTE TO SELF: STOP ENCOURAGING THE MORBIDITY)

Jav (giggling): I ate it. Go on the 'venture, Mommy!

***

I'd love to say he doesn't get this from me, but you just read how I was the one asking him about finding the body. I'M A WRITER! I CAN'T HELP MYSELF! I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!

At least he's stopped wanting to play the game where my children died before I found the baby whatever and took him home, and then making me pretend to tell the baby whatever about my dead children. I never knew whether to laugh or burst into tears with that one.

Sometimes I miss the endless My Little Pony games. Then again, Sherbert the Koala ended up massacring all the ponies in Ponyville with her 'mote-controlled robots more often than not. I would try to flee with the survivors only to watch them be mercilessly hunted down by Tonka trucks across the living room.

The world is a strange and dangerous place, when you're five.
taste_is_sweet: (Imagination Movers!)
This has definitely been The Year of Things Not Quite Turing Out as I Planned.

Case in point: My son's Halloween costume.

::deep sigh:: )
taste_is_sweet: (What?)
This is, almost verbatim, a conversation Dom and I had with our son Javier this afternoon (he'll be five in September). To set the scene, we were driving home from buying groceries today and passed a pickup truck with a livestock trailer holding two young cows. Dom pointed it out to Javier.

Dom: (In French) Look, Javier, Cows!

Javier: Where are they going, Mommy?

Me: They could be going to another farm.

Javier: Or maybe they're going to the place where people will kill them so we can eat them for dinner! Or lunch!

Dom: (In French) They're going to another farm.

Me: Maybe they're going to a petting zoo.

Javier: Or maybe they're going to the place where people will kill them so they can be yummy!

***

Did I mention that I was a vegetarian for thirteen years (and a vegan for two of those) before I met my husband?

From the time Javier was old enough to ask where meat came from I've been very honest and told him we were eating pieces of dead animals, and that the animals were killed just so we could eat them. I didn't want to scare him or horrify him, but I thought it was important that he know what it meant to have that pork chop or salmon fillet for dinner.

I think the 'meat is murder' conversation will have to wait another couple of years. In the meantime I'll try not to feel too guilty that I still find what he said hilarious.
taste_is_sweet: (Default)
A long long time ago (and how much does it age me that I always want to add, I can still remember...) the fine people of Hasbro put out a line of twee cute little PVC ponies called, appropriately enough, My Little Pony.

I'll admit it right now: I kind of wanted one. Unfortunately for my teen self, not only was I technically too old at the time to buy wee little pony dollies without crippling embarrassment (of course nowadays I collect action figures ::cough::), my parents had well indoctrinated me with the notion that strong, capable females never went for cutsey, girly things, especially cutsey, girly things that were big-eyed and decorated in shades of complimentary pastels.

Cut to...a depressing number of years later (okay, I'm 38 as of this June. I can feel 40 breathing on my neck like a greyhound). I'm now the forever-proud and grateful mother of a son who I can say with complete objectivity is the best little boy in the whole wide world. And naturally, because his mommy played with things like Hotwheels cars and Star Wars action figures, my fantastic child has decided that My Little Pony is the coolest toy ever invented.

The upshot is that because the most recent versions of the ponies are kind of terrifying, I've been hanging out on eBay a lot, buying 'vintage' ponies that actually still look generally equine-like, rather than like mutant llamas.

I'll admit here to a vicarious pleasure in being able to buy all the cool Little Ponies that I could never let myself have back in the 80s, but what I hadn't thought about while adding to my son's collection would be that he would expect me to play ponies with him. All the time.

So here I am, a woman who used to dress up her very few Barbies as bounty hunters and turned her Ken-analogue into a computer programmer with cyborg attachments (the dog ate one of his hands and one of his feet--I was forced to be creative), now spending a good chunk of every evening (and every morning, and every bathtime) sitting on the living room floor practicing eight-handed dialogue via such epic adventures as the ponies naming their pets or going to work, going home, getting up and going to work, going home, repeat, repeat, repeat.

This evening Jav changed things up when he had Sundae's pet Koala Sherbert (I have no idea what most of the ponies are called so we just make the names up) ate Pinkie Pie's mane thinking it was eucalyptus leaves, then proceeded to vomit on everything in Ponyville, which degenerated into a very slow game of chase with plastic animals as the ponies tried to catch the koala and take her to the doctor before their town drowned in a sea of vomit. Which, as you might suspect, they never managed to do. It was a tragic saga of bile and endless pony baths.

I love playing with my son, even if his current pony obsession is not my favourite thing ever. I'd just expected it would be dinosaurs, you know? Or Star Wars action figures. Boy stuff. Like what I played with. :D

But now I'm thinking of buying myself a customized Little Pony on eBay, to go with my customized Stargate action figures. One with dragon wings would be cool.
taste_is_sweet: (My Beautiful Boy)
It's been awhile since I wrote something about the continual awesomeness that is my little guy, so I thought it'd be a great time to show another video now that he's four (almost five!).

Here he is showing off his dragon jammies from the movie How to Train Your Dragon. This is a fantastic movie by the way, and done brilliantly in 3D.



:D
taste_is_sweet: (My Beautiful Boy)
As you all might have guessed by the lack of truly cool icons made by myself, my artistic ability doesn't really extend to anything physical. This means that when it comes to Hallowe'en costumes, I need to rely on creativity rather than talent.

Luckily Javier has only been through three Hallowe'ens so far and hasn't wanted anything particularly complicated (I was very happy his urge to go as Eve from Wall-E was short-lived).

Last year when he was three he agreed it'd be cool to go as a monster, so I improvised up one monster suit:

Grrr! )

How I made it )

And this year he wanted a kitty costume )

All-in all I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. I hadn't tried to make anything costume-like in years, and I wasn't sure I could manage it. I also remembered being embarrassed by my own costuming attempts as a child. I (obviously) know nothing about makeup and I can't sew a seam, but Javier ended up looking fine all the same. Mostly, though, I hope he'll remember how happy his mommy was to spend this time and effort for one day of the year. He's certainly worth it, and I want him to always know that.

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