So I've ignored the pictures as of late. We take a lot of pictures but I want to hold true to what Mrs. Austin's wishes are and not just spew photos out across the internet. It would be the same as her scanning all my crappy sketch book pages and emailing them to all my friends. Some of my stuff is private, and more often then not, sucks ass, so I don't want just anyone to see it.

With that in mind however, I do have a responsibility, mainly to family, to show some of what goes on down here, so I've chosen a few photos that aren't anything special, but they amuse me and if they can amuse you then so be it.

We'll start with the Yippiekiyay Mother F***er look that I've recently been sporting. I didn't realize that it was almost a requirement to own a cowboy hat if you live in Texas. I suppose it's similar to owning a pair of skiis if you live in Colorado or a Hawaiian Shirt with Black Socks in Florida. I didn't want the traditional 10 gallon variety, as I'm not a "native" but I'd always liked the way the straw version looked. I could fit in while attempting to retain the urban look. Beck would wear this hat, right? Mrs. Austin just thinks it's horribly sexy and I for one like wearing it so who's to judge. By contrast, a friend wrote me asking why it took so long. She was in Dallas for 2 hours before buying one for herself. Whether she wears it now that she's in the Bronx is another matter.

Lil Miss Austin is just getting so cute. Biases aside, that face is just money. This was our first (and last) attempt at giving her hair some curl, an act that really forced me to admit that she was a girl. No amount of hockey or comic book influence can take away one night with a set of sponges in your hair. This coupled with some toe and fingernail polish completed the ensemble and she was ready to go. The actual result was a bit odd, the back was nice and curled, but the front shot up in this bizzaro Weed Whacker look that I hadn't seen since my days in high school when the Shouting Bangs look was all the rage.

Don't let this picture fool you, this kid doesn't sleep. She fights naps at school and wakes up every 90 mins during the night. It's apparently a 2 year old thing. She's starting to be afraid of the dark, bugs and loud noises. She also may have reached a certain point where her brain is evolving and can't just turn off. Consequently she's up all night while her brain is going over its To Do list. Last night wasn't the worst, but any time you go to open your child's door, but it's being blocked by the child who's fallen asleep on the floor, CPS and a shot on Ricky Lake can't be far behind. Yes this makes me feel like a bad parent, but getting 6 hours of sleep sure doesn't.

And this is LMA doing her Aurther impression. I don't know how Mrs. Austin got this picture, but I'm sure there was some kind of liquid involved. Humans just don't make that face unless they are hammered or can't breath. I have to figure out how to enter this picture into some kind of contest because I'm sure it would win.

No picture to go with this, but something I was mulling over. LMA spends about 50 hours a week at her school. That's a lot, I don't even work that much. We did some rough calculations and if you take sleep time out of an average week, her school sees her 6 hours more than we do. That really hurt me as a parent, that all the worrying and struggle and sleepless nights and I only get her half the time she's awake. So I thought, it's not that bad, her teachers have 5-10 other kids to worry about at any given time, so it's not like they focus on her, or that she really knows them like she knows us. That thought was quashed as we pulled up to her school what morning and one of her teachers was getting out of her car. She shouted the teacher's name in nearly the same volume and tone as she shouts "Daddy!" when I pick her up every day. She actually sounded like she missed her and it almost broke my heart. I hope that in a few years I can retire early, or work less or from home and be with her more often because I don't feel I'm doing anything to shape her nubile mind outside of scolding her for not staying in bed or upsetting her by telling her there's no milk or Wiggles in the car on the way home.

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