Archive for the ‘the ones with questions’ Category

I love this picture. It captures so much of our summer so far: life at the lake; the game that has consumed my family; Ava with her cousins; children imitating their parents. I love that the bean bag is mid-flight between Ava’s hand and the board. Both girl’s stand tranfixed by it’s flight. Will it go in the hole? Will Ava be able to pump her arms in the air and holler like her uncles? Or will it bounce unmercifully off the board and land in the grass?

The only trouble with this picture is that with my current track record, it will never see life past a screen.

Back when I was a working girl, I was also a 35mm girl. My office was one skyway away from a film processing center. As soon as a roll was in the can, I would drop off the film on my way to work and then hurry down at lunch time to see the pictures. I was generally so eager to see how the prints had turned out that I would leaf through the entire stack before I had finished paying. Capture to print to album was a seamless and nearly effortless process.

Then the fall before Ava was born, I was given my long wished-for “chh-chh-chh” camera, a digital SLR that took loads of brilliant and vivid pictures. I could snap away until I captured the picture that I wanted. While I gained the instant gratification of seeing my pictures immediately, I lost the urgency to print them.

Plus submitting digital files to print is not as simple as dropping off a roll of film. There is cropping and editing and enhancing involved. And of course, there is no longer a processing center between my bedroom and my lunchroom. In the past five years, I have yet to find a printing system that works. Therefore nearly all of our photos are hanging mid-flight between capture and album.

I want to change. I want to actually print pictures and put them in albums. I need your help.

How do you do it? What is your process? Do you use online printing services? Which ones? Do you like their print quality? Do you bring them into a service center? Do you make prints and put them in albums or do you make print them as pre-made albums?

What is your process?

Or are you like me, albums of beautiful pictures that you need a screen to view?

Send your advice. Help me pick these pictures off the grass and toss them to the printers.

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“This weather is for the birds,” my friend e-mailed me this week.

-50˚ with the wind chill, I couldn’t agree more. Except that birds have the sense to fly south!

And we, well we are left with this.

Which brings us to the battle ranging at the forefront of our preoccupation.

How do you pack this


into this


There has been many times is the past three and half years, that I have wondered if I gave birth to the reincarnated Princess and the Pea. Like tactile children of many generations, Ava is plagued by unseen hairs, sand, dust, and tags, otherwise known as the Itchy Fairies that make her squirm and fuss and cause me to pull my own hair.

Getting Ava into the previously pictured safety device in the summer is as breezy as the sundresses she wears. She hops in, buckles herself, and away we go. However, add the layers necessary to protect her from the biting cold (and by biting I mean walking through a wall of flying locust that are gnawing off your nose), and you find yourself under fire on the western front: arms flailing, legs kicking, and squeals less merciful than rockets.

I am not trained to withstand this kind of onslaught especially given the added weather conditions. No one, I mean no one wants to stand bent into an open car trying to restrain a three-year-old in full-fledge meltdown, while sub-zero temperatures are howling up their coat and snatching every ounce of warmth.

I have tried rewards and punishments. I have explained the difference between “it hurts!” and it’s uncomfortable. I have been calm and I have been not so calm (have I mentioned that it’s COLD). I have actually heard myself say, “deal with it.”

So I turn to you, how do you peacefully strap in a child with this many layers?

Ideally, I would like to move her into a seat where she is not so smooshed. To her credit, she is very smooshed. But the laws require her to be forty pounds to switch seats. And she is nine pounds shy of that mark. How are we to endure nine more pounds of growth? And how are we going to get them into that carseat?

Please, advise, please.

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including DNA week at badgersontheloose.

I was going to close this week of all things genetic with another trait that was most certainly past down, but that would be following through on something I started. Instead I’m going to do the opposite and disclose a characteristic that Ava most certainly did not receive in her genetic package. It has become quite a pressing issue that must be addressed and for which I need your help, oh wise readers.

Ava bites her nails!

Gasp, I know. As far as I can tell this is a trait that was neither observed nor inherited.

But that’s not stopping her. She bites them like she was created to bite them. Her nails are nubs. Her finger tips are pink and puffy. And she has recently developed little sores around her cuticles. All the traits of a most ardent and efficient nail biter.

At first I thought it would just go away, that if I was careful to keep her nails short she would never think to bite them. I was naive and in the interim, she has become more and more addicted to snacking on her fingertips.

Now if a person starts a regular, and by regular I mean nearly every moment, habit of biting her nails at age three, how will she ever be able to quit such an ingrained habit?

I come from a long line of strong, sturdy, and sometimes dirty fingernails. What can I say, we ate jello, played outside everyday, and there was never a biter among us. We had to be taught to clip and clean, not cease to bite.

And while my teeth did mangle a good many pens, pencils, and crayons in my day, I never had the patience to file my nails down with my teeth. And I’ve always been partial to the snap-snap of a silver trimmer. So I feel completely unequipped to rescue my daughter’s nails from her mouth.

That is why I’m turning to you, my faithful readers. You are wise in the ways of many things and hopefully one of those things is how-to-make-a-three-year-old-girl-stop-biting-her-nails-as-though-it-was-her-sole-source-of-protein.

If you could help bring her nail-biting to an end, I will… I will let her paint her nails red.

Oh, oh, maybe that is the answer. Oh, that is a prohibited prize that just might work. Again, I am naive to the ways of nail-biters, so I entreat you again to share your wisdom.

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And the winner is


Have a great weekend. We are spending the weekend at the Lake with my family, where Emily sees phantom fish jump by the dock.

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