Wonder Woman

Monday, June 27, 2011

wonderwoman

I know she's dressed like her favorite Amazonian superhero. Yes, I know she asks to watch vintage episodes of Wonder Woman EVERYDAY on You Tube. And yes! She talks about fighting bad guys and using karate and kicks and her lasso of truth.

But is it wrong that I just want to pull a Rapunzel and keep her in a tower until she's, like, 30? I'll let her watch all the You Tube she wants until then.

Little Disco

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Have you been to the Little Disco?

If you're in Memphis and are in with the 7 and under scene, you really should go.

I was thrilled to learn of its existence after Stacey's and my failed efforts to get Baby Loves Disco to set up a franchise here. (Too dang expensive). I might argue that Little Disco may be too pricey for it's own good, (RockNRomp only charges $5 per adult and kids are FREE) but I get why they ask for $10 per person (that goes for each kid) There is the dancing, naturally, but the kids also get their faces painted and have a meticulous balloon artist on hand. A portable library was set up in the corner for those less inclined to booty-shake. There's chair massages for adults. Hand paraffin massages. Free snacks.

And maybe 30 people, total, showed up.

It's a great setup. I just worry that the pricey cover may ultimately scare away a family of four looking for something fun and affordable to do. I think doing away with some vendors to lower the cover charge would be worth it, my 2 cents.

But it WAS fun. I really want it to catch on as Harlow and my 2 nieces had a blast.

Balloons

It was kind of thrilling to see Harlow shout out I LOVE THIS SONG! when Footloose played, watch her sprint around the dance floor, alternately doing her weird Twyla Tharp/Solid Gold gyrations and breakdance (I blame this video)

About halfway through our visit, Harlow went over to the library and I joined her at the table. We flipped through a cool popup book when she sighed.

Mommy?
Yes?
The boys are SO ferrrusstraaating.
(Um, I know!) Why are they frustrating?
Because they just run and run and don't do what I want them to do.
(You're learning young, grasshopper) Ok.

She jumped up from the table.

Where are you going?
To go frustrate the boys.

(Oh dear) Oh dear.

Heaven

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spin

What do we do on our last night? she asked me as I readied her for bed. The sun was still out, the longest day of the year in fact, so her bedroom, painted to resemble a candy cane, was even pinker than normal.

What do you mean? I asked, Like, last night?

No, she snapped back. She has little patience with those who can't keep up with her. On your last...night. You know, before you settle down.

Into deadness.

She punctuated this by crossing her arms over her chest, a mini sarcophagus.

Uh...

I didn't know how to respond. She's spent a lot of time lately drawing angels, asking how she can go to heaven to see one. There is also the ever evolving list of those she plans on granting eternal life - currently her, a handful of Montessori friends, and me. (I was alternately crushed and smug that daddy didn't make the list.) It's clear; Death is on her mind. She tells me often how MUCH she misses her great grandmother who died earlier this year, a woman she met once in a nursing home two years ago. It's fascinating, watching her try on this etiquette, the pretend-mourning that elicts a hug and a pat on the head everytime she mentions it.

I tried to be casual. Deadness? I asked. Yes, like my great-grandmother. I miss her SO MUCH, she sighed, collapsing into her pink chaise.

I couldn't form the words to ask what she would do on her last day. The mere thought whips up so much parental dread it hurts to type this.

I'd spend it with you, I told her, pulling her into my lap. I was afraid my playing along was confirming her suspicions that yes, dead means just that. Dead. We don't come back. We make plans for our last night.

She sighed again.

I just hope she goes somewhere wonderful, she said. Huh? Oh. Your great-grandmother? I asked, trying, as always, to keep up.

Yes. Like Malibu, she decided. Malibu would be lovely.

Indeed. Sign me up for this heaven.

Sara + Kenny are married

Monday, June 20, 2011

Caleb's gorgeous stepsister Sara married handsome Kenny on a perfect, cloudy June day in Illinois. I was honored to capture the day (and grateful to family for baby wrangling while I worked!)

Congratulations!

flowers

dress

cell

hello

gaze

together

grooms

red

walking

aisle prep

aisle

camera

twirl

clovers

window

World's Tiniest Letter

How was your day, daddies?

While my dad was off in Paris, celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with my mom, we didn't even try to compete here at Casa Sweazy.

Caleb elected to do yard work and buy house plants, and that seemed to suit him just fine.

Plus, we had already told him how much he meant to us, courtesy of the world's tiniest letter.

tiny letter

You send them the text, and they send you an adorable, tiny package, including the magnifying glass that makes reading the letter possible.

He also is the proud recipient of a subscription to Citizen Bean, a service that sends him small batches of indie, sustainably harvested, hippie voodoo feel good downright delicious coffee. That one is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Papa

Sunday, June 19, 2011

papa

Happy Father's Day, Papa. We love you so much.

(We're also more than a little jealous you are in Paris right now. But we'll let it slide because you are celebrating your 40th wedding anniversary)

St. Louis

Saturday, June 18, 2011

St. Louis

I just crossed the river after an impromptu trip to St. Louis, and I'm mad.

I'm mad at Memphis.

I had humble expectations for our trip, excited to visit the City Museum about which I'd heard amazing things and just as excited to score another chocolate chip cookie from Crepes, Etc., a cute bakery next door to the hotel where I'd shot a wedding. But mere hours after our arrival, after eating some (dare I say) great Tex-Mex at Rosalita, rolling around at the foot of the arch and soaking in the lovely variety of architecture, I started to feel an unpleasant twitch.

rooster

The twitch got stronger after a leisurely walk downtown, eating a yummy breakfast at Rooster (furthering my belief that most meals need to be in the form of a crepe) and then having my head explode at truly the coolest museum I've ever experienced.

city museum

Look closely. Do you see the kid climbing in the wire cage from the suspended airplane? I KNOW!

city museum

Part steampunk, part giant welding experiment, and a rooftop ferris wheel and circus thrown in for good measure, the City Museum is 10 stories of letterpress type and terracotta building facades and preserved bug specimen and children climbing in cages and abandoned bank vaults and glee. It's like somebody designed a museum based on Jean-Pierre Jeunet's dreams and it actually exists. You know how I know it's 10 stories? Because my 4 year old rode a slide from the top of the building all the way to the bottom.

All 10 stories.

BY HERSELF.

I'm in awe just typing that sentence fragment.

After several breathless hours of exploring, we ventured onto the Magic House, a clever children's museum with a decibel level hovering somewhere around an indoor DC-10. We left slightly deaf and hungry and fell on a pizza so delicious that it makes me want to weep. Our waitress at Good Pie explained that the owners fly in the dough from Italy because why mess with perfection? Just two blocks away we treated ourselves to chocolate malts at The Fountain on Locust. and I couldn't decide what was making me more sad - that the pizza I just ate blew Trolley Stop out of the water or that this chocolate malt was leagues beyond anything Wiles Drugs or the Silver Caboose could produce? On our drive back to the hotel, I noticed a wild Moolah temple that is now home to a bowling alley and movie theater. Everyone seemed dressed up on their way to somewhere exciting.

Caleb and I exchanged guilty looks. "I'm mad crushing on St. Louis," he confessed as made our way back to the hotel.

I was, too.

Saturday morning was the lovely discovery of Rue Lafayette, a Parisian bakery in the heart of Lafayette Square, one of the oldest and loveliest neighborhoods in the city. Give me some macarons and Victorian rowhouses and I'm a goner. We spent the next hour driving around the neighborhood, gasping over the architecture and renovations in progress, stopping to look at For Sale signs and grabbing flyers from open house signs in yards.

Rue Lafayette

macarons

The itch was a full blown flame.

We hopped back on I-55 and made our way home, my mood darkening as we sped closer to our River City. I suppose the timing is in keeping with my usual moods. Now that our house is for the most part finished, it means it's time to settle, which is my cue to get out the map and start throwing darts to reveal the next destination.

But it's deeper than that. Now that the baby is here and we're looking at the rest of our lives, trying to make sense of our jobs and our dreams and desires, we've been asking ourselves what we want.

I want to live in a city that hums with energy, that offers walkable neighborhoods with blocks and blocks of shops and restaurants that reflect the creativity of its residents.

I want to live in a city that doesn't feel like it's constantly struggling to keep up.

Honestly, I want to live in a city where I don't have to "be the change." Yes, it's lazy. But I have so many dreams for this city that just don't square with its bank account, its small size, and its racial, social strife.

I want my children to experience big city living as a way of life.

I want to live in a big city as I am a big city girl at heart.

But I can eat all the imported dough from Italy pizza and gorge on hipster boutiques and gasp over swoonworthy architecture in my fantasy big city, and it'll be an awfully lonely enterprise.

I never expected to meet so many wonderful people in Memphis, and the only thing that makes me sadder than feeling like I'm living the wrong city is the thought of having to be without so many great friends in the right one.

Damn y'all are for being so awesome.

Sara and Kenny got lucky

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A lucky little sneak from Sara and Kenny's vineyard wedding. Looking forward to sharing more!

Sara got lucky this weekend

Week 8

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today, I hit the wall, and the wall hit back.

Last night was good. Last night found me in a sparkly miniskirt and heels, my hair teased and my dopamine levels coursing high as I joined a bunch of ladyfriends for an 80s themed birthday party at Andrew Michael. There was wine, a crystal-studded microphone, and a baby eating pumped milk from a bottle several miles away.

So I suppose it was only fair that there was today.

I'm not sure what was worse - sitting at my computer in my nursing bra and underwear, screaming baby slung over my shoulder as I tried to finish up photoshop work for a client, one handed, already 10 minutes late meeting my mom who had graciously kept Harlow, or later that afternoon, still sans makeup, last night's teased hair now a frizzy ponytail, a crying baby again riding my shoulder as I tugged Harlow behind me a cart across Target, two ladies muttering a low OH GURRRL as our freakshow ambled by. All I know is that I got back in that 10,000 degree car, prayed that the baby wouldn't cook before we got home, and tried not to cry at the sad, wrinkled, exhausted face that stared back at me in the rear view mirror.

Caleb met me at the driveway and collected groceries, politely waiting until we had had a few moments to cool off from the heat before he asked me when, exactly, had I turned into a housewife from the 70s. Was it the canned pineapple? The bag full of frozen vegetables? The lemon in a bottle? I now recall conversations with my mom where I derided her for microwaving and depending so heavily on canned foods when fresh was such a better alternative and I want to take a time machine, go back to 2003, and punch me in the mouth. I love my mom for not doing so when she had the chance.

I know it's going to get better. That's my hard won wisdom from the first time around. But right now I am hobbled with the rookie's fear that better is a long, long time coming.

Project Motion

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Any of you catch Project Motion's latest production? I was thrilled to shoot their dress rehearsal as my first job back post-baby. The show combined filmed images and choreography inspired by motion pictures. The results were pretty fabulous. Here's one of my faves from the show.

Project Motion

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another fave

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