366 in 52 [2016] ~ Week Thirty-Seven

I was so hopeful that Anna’s new placement (and that two of her old teachers coming to help the new teacher for Friday and Monday) would help her make this transition bearable. I was wrong. We celebrated my mom’s 67th birthday this weekend, Daddy traveled all week again, and we all got sick. Cheery, eh? I know, I know. I’m sorry. But this is real life.

Day 253 ~ Strike a Pose

I was so drained from having Anna home last Monday for Labor Day, then Wednesday and Thursday for her “headache” (code for letting her stay home because the school was making placement changes), that when Friday hit and she went back to school, I didn’t have much energy to do anything. I think God knew that because this beautiful large praying mantis showed up on my back patio. I asked him permission to take his picture which I do with every creature I photograph. I know they understand. This little guy actually did strike a pose for me. Look at his wavy antennae! The detail on his mandible and legs just amazes me.

So Anna’s first day back with her new teacher wasn’t very good. Mrs. Lowry was there to help and even with all that support, she still lost four hours of academic time, cried a lot, and they had to rescue her glasses three times. Why is she so miserable???

New Braunfels nature macro praying mantis insect photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/6.3 | 1/320 | ISO 240

Day 254 ~ End of Summer Sunset

Curtis took the kids out for a while on Saturday to give me a break. When they got back, Dominic worked on a birthday project for nana, we had dinner, then we decided to go out for a family dessert to DQ. On our way out of the neighborhood, the sun was setting and hitting all the nut grass lighting up the tops with the most beautiful golden sunlight. I told everyone that I had to get a shot but by the time I got to the other section of the neighborhood and pulled off, the light was already gone. The sunset was still beautiful though so I took a shot anyway.

New Braunfels landscape nature hill country sunset photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/8 | 1/160 | ISO 50

Day 255 ~ Nana’s Spa Day

Sunday was my mom’s birthday. Dominic had been working all day the day before making homemade bath bombs for my mom. Since she doesn’t take baths anymore, he treated her to a foot bath with said bath bombs (by the way, if your kids ever want to make these, beware! they explode… on the countertop while making them and in the freezer while setting and they get all over everything… but the good news is that my counter and freezer are very clean now). She chose vanilla-scented for one foot and lavender-scented for the other. She said they really fizzed a lot and tickled her toes. After her soak, Dominic gave her a foot massage with the lotion he bought her, then painted her toenails with the nail polish he bought her. Isn’t he the best grandson in the whole world?

New Braunfels lifestyle child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.2 | 1/200 | ISO 900

Day 255 ~ Happy 67th!

Mom wanted a white cake with vanilla frosting with Häagen-Dazs chocolate chocolate chip ice cream on the side for her birthday treat. I googled vanilla icing recipes and narrowed it down the one I thought would be the most delicious… and oh my, it was sooooo good. That was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had! Happy 67th, mom!!! Gosh, I don’t like how that sounds. 67. Weird. She’s supposed to stay in her 50s forever, right?

New Braunfels lifestyle family birthday photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.2 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 255 ~ Birthday Kisses

Anna handled nana’s birthday with lots of kisses and hugs. Sunday was a very good day for Anna. She was independent, quiet, and didn’t get stuck on anything too badly. She gave nana a candle that she picked out all by herself and it smells so good! Sunday evening she was anxious about going back to school but I was encouraging. Fingers crossed that Monday would be better.

New Braunfels family child special needs photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.2 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 256 ~ Tiny Mum Blossoms

Time for macro therapy! I drove Dominic to tutorials so he could get caught up in science and hopefully math too. When I got back, I went out with my macro lens. Mom planted some new tiny mums in my photo garden. They are exquisite. Each blossom is maybe 1.5″ across and so rich with color.

New Braunfels nature macro flowers mum photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/4.5 | 1/320 | ISO 400

Day 256 ~ Opening to the Sun

This tiny bud seemed to open just for the morning sunshine! I get lost in time when I’m shooting like this.

New Braunfels nature macro flowers mum photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/4.5 | 1/320 | ISO 640

Day 256 ~ The Feather and the Zinnia

There are some pretty orange zinnias planted in the middle of my photo garden and one caught my eye because it had caught a feather! I wonder what bird lost this pretty white fluff and how it came to rest right there.

Monday was not a good day for Anna. Even through Mrs. Haynes was there for the day, she lost three hours of academic time and they rescued her glasses three times. I feel so sad for my sweet Booski. I really don’t understand what is going on. I feel guilty for continuing to send her to school. Then Dominic gets home from school with an equally bad report. He only got science caught up and still had math to do. So tutorials again on Tuesday.

New Braunfels nature macro flowers zinnia photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/4.5 | 1/320 | ISO 640

Day 257 ~ OMG is Right

So I promised my mom I would take her to OMGelato as soon as they re-opened which happened to be Tuesday. I ordered a sea salt caramel gelato with black Americano coffee. OMG is right! This is amazing gelato… so rich and creamy and flavorful without being overly sugary sweet.

While I was there, I got a text from Anna’s teacher that she was having a rough morning with 2.5 hours of noncompliance and task refusal. Then an alert from txConnect that Dominic was missing two more science worksheets. I felt so defeated, I hardly tasted anything else. After I left mom at the shop, I went to pick up Dominic to take him to therapy in San Antonio. I stayed in the session the whole time and Elva said she could feel my anxiety. She told Dominic two very important things, 1) pause guitar lessons for the short term (practice has been a bear and has made him very grumpy and want to quit) and 2) he needs to ask for help then be rewarded when he does. I’m not good at asking for help, so I really paid attention. She said that it’s a STRENGTH to ask for help, that it’s a mature personality trait to know when you need extra support. So when Dominic asks for help, he gets extra quality time with me or Curtis. I need to email his teachers now and let them know. The counselor is contacting the psychiatrists there at Clarity for me to see which has availability the soonest to see Dominic. She is a gem.

New Braunfels food street photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.8 | 1/250 | ISO 640

Day 257 ~ My New Fave

The owner of OMGelato is named Michelle and she is a sweetheart. She came over to the table after we were seated for a while to make sure our coffee was good and hot enough and strong enough. They have been open almost a year and I can’t believe I hadn’t found them until recently. They make all of their gelato homemade and sell it until it’s gone, then rotate new flavors in. Since I can’t drive to Round Rock once a week to visit Front Porch Frozen Desserts, I’m happy to have found a new favorite.

Anna came home from school with a sore throat and congestion. Uh-oh. She gets so sick when she gets a cold. It usually turns into a sinus infection and lasts about three weeks with a terrible cough and very little sleep. About 1/3 of the time, it also turns into pneumonia. I decided to keep her home the rest of the week then emailed and texted to let her teachers and the bus driver know.

New Braunfels food street photographerNikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.8 | 1/250 | ISO 640

Day 258 ~ Sick Girl

Wednesday… drove Dominic to tutorials again so he could take an English test that he missed when he went to therapy Tuesday. Anna stayed home sick. I’m so glad I kept her home. My mom is the most wonderful nurse when any of us are sick, but she’s especially the best nana in the world when Anna is sick. She made a nest for Anna in her bedroom and got her all tucked in. By mid-morning, Anna was napping already. Dominic had a bit of a better day but didn’t get his English test finished because his teacher never showed up. Sigh. One more drive into town will be necessary.

New Braunfels girl child special needs photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/1.8 | 1/160 | ISO 2000

Day 259 ~ Tutorials Traffic

Fourth time’s the charm?! We left a little earlier today and got to the school with all the other parents dropping off their kids for tutorials. (Mom was watching Anna for me.) Since we were stuck in line, I snuck a quick shot of my boy. 12 years old, 7th grade, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s trying so hard and everything seems so overwhelming to him. He did finally get caught up on everything… nothing is missing anymore and he brought several of his failing grades up to Bs. I think he only has one C at the moment. One piece of good news for him is that the Duke University TIP program sent him an invitation based on his STARR test results. That was pretty cool! He needs to feel good about himself for something.

New Braunfels child boy photographerNikon D750 | 35mm | f/3.2 | 1/200 | ISO 400

Day 259 ~ At the Doctor’s Office AGAIN

Guess what’s back? Let’s see… this will be trip number three to the doctor in 10 days! Wow. Bladder infection. No surprise since the macrobid made her have a wicked headache and we stopped it early. Today Anna brought baby Zachary with her which one of the ladies up front had not met him yet. Everyone loves holding Zachary, he is the most realistic of Anna’s reborn baby dolls. Another antibiotic prescribed and hopefully she will be well enough to go back to school on Monday. So far I think she’s missed more than she’s attended. It’s been a rough start, that’s for sure.

New Braunfels child lifestyle girl special needs photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.2 | 1/200 | ISO 3200

Tomorrow we are all heading to Killeen (pulling Dominic out of school early) to see my son-in-law, Chris, graduate from paramedic college. I hope that next week is a more positive blog and that my children stay healthy and don’t implode at school. Any positive thoughts, prayers, or vibes would be most welcome. <3

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