I Don't Mom Like You

Bats! meow… | creating, living, loving – all in a long black skirt

Posts Tagged ‘ravynn’


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July 13th, 2012 Posted 6:37 am

Back on track. Scheduled and everything 🙂


Hot, but pretty.  June 30, 2012. 



Sunday, Jordan and I went over to Edgewood Country Club for their Walking Man/Fourth of July celebration. He was very patient while I took his picture. Love the hair!


Too hot for anything. Really temps nearing 102 with no real rain for days 🙁 Staying inside watching Heroes.


STILL too hot. Sitting in front of a fan, feet up, sipping iced tea, and working on upcoming blog posts. Not so much beating the heat, but functioning in spite of it.


Our friend Tim has a sick little girl who is facing some special challenges today. We lit a candle for her.


Dear Leinenkugel family. I love you.


The girls are home!!  And are very happy about it. Almost as happy as mama.



On Being Alone

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July 9th, 2012 Posted 2:01 pm


I grew up in an extended family: mother, father, me, two sisters, my father’s father, and my mother’s sister.  Grandpa lived with my parents before I was born and that didn’t change after we girls came along.  My mother’s sister had always lived with their mother and, when my grandmother died, my father invited my aunt to live with us.  It wasn’t a big house and it was full to the brim with people: four adults, three kids. 

As I grew up there weren’t many opportunities for me to be alone.  I shared a room with my two sisters until my dad built a second floor when I was 16 and we each got our own rooms.  My mother didn’t work after I was born, so I expected her to be home.  Most of the time she was.  When I was very young, obviously I couldn’t stay alone.  When I became older and was old enough to be at home without my mother, my Grandfather was sick and it wasn’t advisable for me to be home without her.  My Grandfather passed when I was 13 and in the 8th grade and I was suddenly able to be home ‘alone’, but alone is hard to come by when you’re part of a family of seven. Most likely someone will always be at home with you or will be coming home shortly.

In college I most always had a roommate, but if they were out, I could be found in the lobby watching TV or talking to whoever was around.

When Eric and I got married and there were only two of us to fill our home, it was much easier to be alone and I resisted it.  I’d go to the grocery with him.  We worked together, so we kept the same hours.  After the kids started coming and our two grew to three, then four, then five, and finally six, it was difficult to find time alone. I like it that way.

I like it a lot.

Unfortunately as the kids get older, they have more opportunities to try new things.  Well, the opportunities are good, but the time away from home is difficult.  Alek spent three weeks at the Houston Ballet in a summer intensive program.  That was hard for me and I only stopped fussing when he was only three days shy of coming back.  During that time, Eric’s mom invited the girls to come up and spend a week with her.  Now, I never had the opportunity to “spend a week with Grandma.”  She lived right across the street, so that would have been silly.  All of my family [mostly] was in town, so we didn’t run off visiting.  I just don’t get it.  But the kids enjoy it, so we send them. 

One of my friends at work asked me, while I was experiencing life as the mother of one, how I was feeling about my empty nest.  I disliked it.  My boss overheard and reminded me that in two years, I’d have one heading off to college.  You can imagine the look he got.  But even I had to admit I can see the nervous breakdown coming.  I suggest I start hoarding litter boxes now for when I become the crazy cat lady.

But, other than the boys making a quick trip to Grandma’s and maybe Jordan heading to Pittsburgh for a stint in manual labor/babysitting, we’re all home for the rest of the season.  I think I’ll be okay.

It reminds me though, that Goths are supposed to be morose and sad and resist human interaction.  Not this one.


Flat Sapphire – Return from Cali

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July 7th, 2012 Posted 6:05 am

Ravynn reunited with Flat Sapphire

How exciting to return home after a particularly brutal day at work to find a package from California.  Flat Sapphire [Ravynn’s Flat person] had been on a several week trip to Lake Elsinore, California where they spent time with Lauren and Nicholas. She came home with a lot of gifts for the girls, which were incredibly appreciated.  We tried to get photos of them all, but realize we forgot to photograph the CD-R of Sapphire’s Travel Journal.  That was a great addition that we look forward to sharing with you.

Included in the packet with the journal were two really cool tshirts with tarantulas and and animal footprints decorating them, two pair of sunnies [Ravynn is modeling them in the photo with Sapphire], a flash drive, frisbee, and a lot of postcards and travel magazines/books.  The girls are really excited to dive into them.


 We tried to copy some of the pictures from the journal into this post, but I’m not that adept at working with PDF files.  And I don’t want to insert the whole thing as there are pictures of minors who aren’t mine.

Suffice it to say that this Flat Sapphire trip was an overwhelming success 🙂



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June 24th, 2012 Posted 10:02 am

Should have posted this yesterday, but I used that as a catch up day. Very excited to be back on track 🙂


Day 35 was hard 🙁  We took Alek to the airport to send him off for a 3-week dance intensive.  The longest I’ve been away from any of my kids has been an almost 1-week visit with their grandmother.  Needless to say, “mama’s freakin’ out!!”


Fathers Day Dinner.  Seared scallops with wilted Asian slaw. The kids told me they as good as Chef Ramsey’s.  Haha!  As long as no one calls me a stupid donkey, we’re good.


In my world, dragonflies = faeries.  This one landed on me an then was kind enough to pose for a picture.


Pretty girls.  We stopped by the park after dance camp and played in the water.  Does my heart good when sisters are friends.


Yeah!!!  My girls are learning something from Winnie Cooper 🙂  We picked up the ‘middle school’ book for Ravynn. She read it in two days and said that it was a “nice review”.  She’s now moved on to a pre-algebra workbook. 


Girls night! Ravynn did my hair in a fishtail braid that she learned from her new American Girl magazine.


Also from American Girl magazine… a poster the girls are coloring together.





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June 23rd, 2012 Posted 1:45 pm

Yes, we got behind again. Life… you know…


The girls wanted to take a walk around town looking for Walking Men Project statues.  As we hunted around AU for their contribution, the girls took the opportunity to walk the fountain.  Ravynn was a little more sure of her footing than Whisper was.


PIZZA!!!  Homemade 🙂


Nature at Shadyside. 


No matter where you go in Anderson, you WILL be stopped by a train.  When we stopped for our third of the day, we decided to take a picture.


More nature at Shadyside.  I love when ‘in color’ photographs look black and white.


Flat Stanley [from Cali] with the big grafitti eyeball we found in an alley downtown. 


Researching and writing at Panera.  In fact, those are my plans for today as well. 




Where Do You Want to Go?

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June 11th, 2012 Posted 8:30 am

I don’t remember when I first learned of Flat Stanley.  I’ve never read the books and the kids have never done Flat Stanley projects for school.  I suspect a friend mentionned it or it was featured on one of the blogs I follow.  I do know that it’s popped under my radar several times since then and several times I thought about doing a home version.  Neither of the boys were especially interested and the project was too intended for their benefit for me to do all the work.  Ravynn and Whisper, however, are incredibly interested.

So far, they’ve designed Flat Stanleys for themselves and one for each of their brothers.  I have one ready for me and the girls have completed the pair that I was going to do.  We have trips scheduled for a couple of them and are signed on to serve as a host family for someone else. We really look foward to that.

After browsing the website, it seems there aren’t rules so much as suggestions, so it’s up to each participant to decide how they want their Flat experience to go.  I’ve talked with the girls and at this point, this is the plan.

  • Write a bio for each of our Flat People [posted below]
  • Ask hosts to fill out travel logs and sign signature pages [encouraging them to decorate the pages]
  • Allow return of digital picture files
  • Plan visits for 1-2 weeks. 
  • Create a binder to hold the travel logs and signature pages. 
  • Blog their trips!

First, though, let me introduce our Flat People to you.

Flat Sapphire [designed by Ravynn]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Blue
Lucky number: 5

  • Drawing
  • Reading
  • Exploring nature

Where she wants to visit:

  • Japan
  • Caliornia
  • Manhattan

She wants to learn about:

  • Nature
  • Museums
  • Famous people

Flat Spring[designed by Whisper]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Orange
Lucky number: 7

  • Ballet
  • Volleyball

Where she wants to visit:

  • France
  • Africa
  • China
  • Texas

She wants to learn about:

  • Science
  • History
  • Your schools

Flat Stefan[designed by Ravynn]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Orange
Lucky number: 7

  • Dance
  • Acting
  • Flirting with girls

Where he wants to visit:

  • Moscow
  • New York City
  • Virginia

He wants to learn about:

  • The Arts
  • History
  • What teenagers do for fun

Flat Jordan [designed by Whisper]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Blue
Lucky number: 16

  • Tennis
  • Hanging out with his girlfriend
  • Computers

Where he wants to visit:

  • France
  • Canada
  • China

He wants to learn about:

  • Technology
  • History
  • Colleges

Flat Gothlings[designed by Whisper & Ravynn]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Orange & Purple
Lucky number: 7 & 5

  • Dance, volleyball, and tennis
  • Canoing, making people laugh

Where he wants to visit:

  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Texas
  • Europe
  • New York

He wants to learn about:

  • History
  • Food

Flat Ophelia [designed by Sheila]

Birthplace: Anderson, IN
Birthdate: 6/9/2012
Favorite color: Black
Lucky number: 13

  • Gardening
  • Dancing in the moonlight

Where she wants to visit:

  • Salem
  • New Orleans
  • Ireland

She wants to learn about:

  • Urban legends
  • Old cemeteries
  • History
  • Famous people

If you know anyone who would be interested in hosting one of our Flat People, please let us know.



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June 10th, 2012 Posted 10:07 pm

Yes, I plan to post these 365 updates on Saturdays, but I’ll be honest. Yesterday was difficult for me.  It would have been my dad’s 85th birthday.  I really just wanted to sit around and snuggle my kids.

But, we’re back at it and I have some photos from this past week to show you.


Last Saturday, Ravynn decided to start a 3,000 piece puzzle.  She made quick work of most of the border, but then decided she didn’t like sitting on the floor to work on it, so she boxed it back up. After spending a couple of days rubbing her sore back, I thought this was a great idea. 


After feeling really proud of myself for going to bed early, I was slightly annoyed with Eric when he woke me up to see this “really cool thing” in the living room.  I got over that immediately when I saw this incredible dragonfly on the ceiling fan.  I wish the camera had captured how gold it was. 


Sweet snuggle bug waiting patiently for her turn on the computer.  She got a little sun.


Yes… those raspberry bushes that I planted in the fall and keep stressing over [we need more rain!!] finally produced fruit.  Two little berries.  I let the girls have them.  I understand they needed sugar.


Ravynn completed her Flat Person and wanted a photo of the two of them together.  After watching the first two seasons of Vampire Diaries, she was understandably upset when I referred to her creation as a doppelganger. 


Whisper go a foot tattoo to remind her while I was at work that I love her CRAZY BIG.


THIS is what happens when I let Alek make his own lunch… spaghetti salad. I don’t even know what to say about it…




My Path Less Traveled

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June 7th, 2012 Posted 7:55 am

don’t ever change
That advice is easier to give than it is to receive.
Ask any kid – being different is not an awesome experience. 
Ask any enlightented adult – it should be. 
It often takes the distance created by age and maturity to honestly appreciate it.  Every person has at least one distinct feature [physical or otherwise] that makes them different and until they learn to embrase these features, they’re often the things that embarass us.
As a child, I was a shortie.  Who am I kidding?  I’m still a munchkin, barely reaching 4’11”.  Inside my family, this is not odd; out in the world, it is.  I’ve never been athletic – prefering to sit inside and read than to head out on a bike or even playing in the yard. My mother used to have to force me outside. 🙂  I also didn’t blend with my schoolmates.  I went to a small private school [on scholarship, I will note] and we didn’t have the available extra cash for ski trips or the ‘right’ clothes and shoes.  I didn’t have the newest electronics.
Lucky for me, I developed an “I don’t care what anyone else thinks about me;  What I think about me is the important thing” attitude. This did not impress my parents or my teacher or many other adults, really.  If they could see ahead to the current issues with bullying, their tune may have been different.
My own kids, despite Eric’s and my strong encouragement to be their own people and not cater to the boundaries imposed by society [you can’t do that, you’re … a boy… a girl… too young … too old… too short… etc.], have all felt the pressure of being different.  Jordan danced until he was 13.  Alek, at 14, is still in classes and intends to make a career of it.  Both boys, though, felt the sting of unkind comments from other boys in school.  At a couple points it required teacher intervention [and we’re thankful for adults who educate about both the art and the athleticism of dance].  They did make it through.  Ravynn has been picked on for being small and short – but she’s a full year younger than many kids in her class, so of course she’s small and short.  Whisper wore glasses.  Jordan wore glasses.  Ravynn had a medical condition and has a scar on her face…  So many opportunities to be “different.”
I’m pleased with how the kids deal with being their own person.  We’ve tried to help.  Of course, some issues are more difficult than others and we do shelter through the tears.
I encourage you to shelter and guide anyone who resists being different.  Any road is easier to travel with a friend at your side.


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June 4th, 2012 Posted 9:42 pm

Just about caught up with the 365 pictures 🙂  This should do it, then I’ll be back on track to post every Sunday. 


Alek’s final paperwork ready to head off for his summer intensive.  He attended his first real audition in Febrary and was accepted into a relatively high level of class. Unfortunately another dance opportunity kept him from attending the 6-week program. 



While Whisper attended a birthday party at a local park, Ravynn and I took a short walk around the walking trail.  How lovely that we have a little covered bridge in the middle of the park.



You’ll see a theme. I just adore the wildflowers [weeds?] that grow in central Indiana.  They don’t compare to the ones I enjoyed as a child, but some of them are moving our way. I’ll do my best to photograph them as I find them. 


 More weeds.  These tiny little flowers would be welcome all over my property. 



 Cleaning up the art projects the girls brought home from school.  Some are just too big to realistically keep, so we photograph then and keep the pictures. 


 Walking Man party!!  Jordan’s girlfriend created this 10.5′ masterpiece as part of the Waking Man Project.  Because it was near dusk, the Anderson Indian didn’t photograph well.  One of the goals we have for the summer is to find them all.  Watch for photographic evidence.




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June 2nd, 2012 Posted 6:50 pm

Pictures 7-13 of my 365 day project.  I’ll be honest, on a few of these days I was sick sick sick, so the girls helped out with the photo taking.  I do adore my little princesses.


Sunday was our annual dance recital.  Ravynn and Whisper both performed, as did Alek. The picture we chose to represent recital was an impromptu surprise performance that Alek did at the end of one of the younger classes jazz routines.  They were dancing to a song from the Grease soundtrack.  Here he is as Danny Zucco.


While I WANT to be a master gardener, I’m not.  My parents had incredibly green thumbs, but mine are black.  The joke is that if you want to kill a plant, hand it to me; however, last fall one of our neighbors gave us 5 pots of raspberry bushes.  We dug up a row of earth behind our shed and planted 15 raspberry plants.  I understand we shouldn’t expect fruit for several years, but you can see green berries – they’re trying.


One of our neighbors is a great garderer – or at least he hires people who are. I snapped this picture while waiting at the bus stop with the girls.  I don’t know what these flowers are, but I wouldn’t mind having some.


Whisper wasn’t really doing homework waiting for the bus, I promise, but she’s a writer.  She’s started working on a short project and wanted the moment documented.



 Whisper took this picture on day 1 of me not feeling so great.  She saw the roses from across the street at the bus stop and thought they were beautiful.


 Fever of 104.9.  I saw nothing but my feet sticking out from under the covers on the sofa.


 I relied on Ravynn to take this photo for me.  Again at the bus stop.



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