Wednesday, April 29, 2009

  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Never Mind

    Mother Nature is teasing me. It was PARTLY sunny yesterday, but mostly DANG COLD. 40 degrees.


    My flowers and shrubs are confused. Warm. Freezing. Hot. Freezing. There's no happy medium to the weather lately. It's either warm, or BUTT COLD.

    I'm not bitter or anything.

    That's all I have to blog about, because I have about 9264525 things to do.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Glasses No More!

    Thing One, who will be twelve this year (gulp!) has been in glasses since she was two. Just after her second birthday, we had some friends over for dinner, and my girlfriend and I were chatting, and I smiled at Thing One in her high chair. She smiled back at me, and her right eye TURNED INWARD, all on it's own. I looked at my friend, and she looked at me. We'd both seen the same thing.

    I took her to a pediatric opthamologist. The diagnosis? Accommodative Esotropia. Lazy Eye, due to extreme farsightedness. She basically couldn't see anything three feet in. Her food, her color books, ME, etc. I should have recognized the signs. She had been grumpy and frustrated a lot lately. She had lost interest in a lot of things--being read to, eating, coloring, playing with playdough, etc. She COULDN'T SEE!

    I cried and cried. My perfect first child, who was still very much a baby, was getting GLASSES. Not only glasses, but bifocals. And we would need to put a patch on the bad eye every day for a few hours, to try and correct it. And she might need surgery, eventually. Needless to say, I was devastated.

    Until the day we got her glasses. I remember vividly, she was sitting in her stroller, and they put the glasses on her. She looked and loooooked around, like she was seeing everything for the first time. She saw my face, and broke into this huge grin. How long had it been since she'd seen my face close up? I started crying tears of joy for her newfound sight, and after that, everything was fine. Patching? No big deal. Glasses? No biggie. My baby could see, and she was happy again. That was all that mattered to me.

    Fast forward to yesterday, when the Dr. proclaimed that she could remove her glasses. For now. Frankly, I was thinking it was a miracle. But the truth is, the Nearsighted gene we have in our family has slowly been cancelling out her farsightedness, and now, she has perfect vision. A few years down the road she will probably need glasses again, for nearsightedness, as it worsens.

    But for now, NO GLASSES! She's free! I haven't seen her more excited in ages. Her glasses have never been a source of teasing or embarrassment, but you know Tween girls--they are picky. Last year she wanted contacts, and the Dr. said not yet. Now I know why. She doesn't need them!

    We are happy for her. She is a beautiful girl (I'm biased, of course) with long blond hair and big bluish-gray eyes, and the LONGEST eyelashes ever. I am highly jealous. She got those from her dad. But today she is excited to show her friends the new HER. After nine long years.

    I'm so happy for her!

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Taking The Plunge

    I did it. Yesterday I printed up a query letter and the first ten pages of my manuscript, and this morning, I ran to the post office and MAILED them, to Dream Agent #1. She, for some reason only accepts snail mail queries, and takes about 6-8 weeks to reply, so I figure I'm safe in submitting to her now. My first ten pages are what they are, at this point.

    So, I have 6-8 weeks to finish my edits, IN CASE (and this is a big if) she asks to see more material. I'm taking the plunge.

    And if she rejects me, I will move on to querying Dream Agents 2, 3 and 4. At this point I have about twelve I think would be a good fit. But I have to wait until my edits are finished, because agents 2-4 accept email queries, and two of them literally got back to me within a few days (one within a few HOURS) with requests for fulls the last time I queried. So I can't query them until the ms is READY.

    Had a nice weekend, but it rained and rained and rained and rained. In fact, everything got cancelled and Saturday night we all woke up at 2am with lightning blasting right over our house like a cannon. The kids handled it pretty well. I ran upstairs to check on the baby, and he was sitting up in his crib and he looked at me and said "Mom, wah was that? It went BOOM."


    Today I am doing the typical running around, and will try and squeeze in some editing time. Thing Two gets his Bear award tomorrow night at Cub Scouts and I am very proud of him. He's worked hard (ahem, as have I) and he's finally getting ready to move on to Webelos. Which will be next time, because his birthday is in two weeks. *SIGH* now I need to get Thing Three finishing up his Wolf Badge. A mother's work never ends...

    Happy Monday!

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Another Boring Post from the Trenches...

    Hubby got home early last night--he was supposed to get in at 5, but he got in at 3. I was picking up Thing Two from study hall (looking all GORGEOUS in my unshowered glory I might add) and my plan was to get home, shower, and feel like an actual PERSON when Hubby got home.

    As we neared the house in the car, I see Thing One outside on her bike, and a man in a suit is pushing the baby on his tricycle around the driveway. Ooops. Yep, he came home early, and I looked like I had just rolled out of bed and put my hair in a pony tail and thrown on the first pair of capris and shirt I could find...which was TRUE.

    He seemed glad to see me anyway, so all is well. ;-)

    I made chicken roll-ups for dinner, and the trainer came and kicked our butts (we have her come only once a week, Thursday nights) and we settled down to watch two of our about FOURTEEN DVR shows we need to watch. The kids watched "Goonies" downstairs while we worked out.

    So, everything is back to normal. It's supposed to be EIGHTY degrees today, and I'm a bit excited. My tulips are poking out of the ground, and the service is coming to do Spring cleanup on the yard, and soon we'll be mowing again. (URGH.) Spring is here!

    My friend and I are both frustrated with the slowness of our editing process, but I've realized a novel is not something that can be edited overnight. It is a big, complex thing, with many mechanisms, and every cog and wheel and spring needs to be fine tuned individually so it functions as a smooth running unit at the end. It takes TIME. And sometimes, you need a break. I gave myself yesterday. Today, I am going to get some DONE.

    Soccer games tomorrow! Thing One thinks I'm mean because I told her no sleepovers when she has early games. I think that's completely rational. She, of course, only sees that I'm thwarting her fun. She'll thank me tomorrow, I'm sure of it.

    I think...

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Dinosaur Toast!!

    Thing Four, who will be two next month, is OBSESSED with dinosaurs, as are most typical toddlers.
    So, imagine my surprise and delight when I was at Walmart the other day and saw this: A dinosaur-shaped sandwich cutter!
    It's simple. You make a sandwich (or toast) and press down on the bread and voila, you have two dinosaurs!Thing Four loves them! He'll play with them for about .02 seconds before gobbling them up. It makes lunchtime (or breakfast, as we did this morning with toast and fruit) kinda fun!
    They also have cutters that do two dolphins, and two hearts. What a fun idea. I'm sure moms have been using cookie cutters on their bread for years, but I hadn't thought about it.

    Got some editing done last night, but I have to admit, I'm getting sick of the story. I've been editing it for four months straight, now, and I kind of want to just leave it for a while. But I know I need to soldier on. *Sigh*

    Hubby comes home tonight. I think I'm going to squeeze in some homemade chili and cornbread before it starts to get too warm. Nothing like homemade chili!

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Short post today because I'm grumpy. I've been staying up way too late and getting up way too early. Although last night was worth it.
    I've been DVR'ing Little Dorrit on Masterpiece Classics and I watched the first episode (two hours) last night. *sigh* I loved it. Gritty, poignant, cryptic, mysterious, romantic, everything I love. I'm surprised I've never actually read it. I don't care for the Murderous Frenchman storyline (sorry Andy Serkis) but I'm enjoying everything else.

    Kids are off to school and I have to play with a baby. And clean bathrooms. And do laundry. And get my car's oil changed, and run some errands.

    I must be AWAKE for all these things...

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    I Ate a Roach and I Liked I-it...

    Okay, well, no, I'm lying. I guess I have that Katy Perry song in my head this morning.

    Let me just say, BEWARE OF CAMPBELL'S MUSHROOM SOUP. I certainly shall, from this point forward.

    It happened before vacation, and I didn't really have time to blog about it properly. If you're squeamish, turn away! Read no further!

    Anyhow, I was getting ready for vacation and hardly had time to stop, so I thought I'd have a quick mushroom soup for lunch. Yeah, really nutritious, I know. So I got out a Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, and heated it up. Sipped away. Got to the bottom. I noticed there was an unusually large amount of mushrooms in the bottom, and I thought I'd hit the jackpot. (The mushrooms are the best part, you know!) So I chugged them. Yes I did. And I started chewing them up. And swallowed. And chewed again...

    They tasted funny. The first clue was that they crunched. Mushrooms don't usually crunch. And they tasted smoky and bitter, and know what mushrooms taste like, and it's neither of those things.

    So, instinct kicked in, and I spit whatever I was chewing on into my hand. GUESS what I saw???

    (drumroll, please)

    A head, with two long antennae poking out in a v-shape. Yes, I ate a roach.

    Have you ever had something so completely disgusting happen to you, you shudder uncontrollably and lose consciousness? No? Well, that was me. I think I screamed. I think I did an adrenaline dance. I managed to make it over to the sink and dump the head down the disposal, and rinse the bug parts out my mouth. About 093654836 times. I emailed my friends about it. Some of them asked me if I'd kept the roach head for evidence.

    Well, no, unfortunately, at the time, I was NOT thinking "Oh -I'd better keep this thing so I can complain to Campbell's." It was more along the lines of HOLY SH** HOLY SH** I JUST ATE A ROACH!!!!! AAUUUUUGHHHHH! GET IT OUT OF MY MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yeah. I wasn't exactly "rational" when I spit it down the disposal and ran the water.

    AND I got to spend the whole afternoon queasy because I knew I had roach bits in my stomach. NOT a fun thought.

    And it doesn't help that I have a SERIOUS phobia with roaches. *sigh* I will never eat cream of mushroom soup again. At least...not for a while.

    Happy Tuesday, all!

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Be Still My Heart...

    Yes, I am a Russell Crowe fan. A trustworthy souce tells me he's actually a GREAT guy, despite the tabloid hype. And I like the way he LOOKS.

    It all started with GLADIATOR. Now, seemingly, he's come full circle.

    Here's the first peek of LE RUSS as Robin Hood, and is it me, or does he look like Maximus stepped into Robin Hood Gear? You gotta love it. And Cate Blanchett is Maid Marian. I am SO all over this movie...

    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Yes, I'm Alive...

    Here's Thing Four chowing down on a hamburger at Five Guys this weekend. MMmmmm...
    I'm mad at myself--usually I like to keep up the blog even if I'm on vacation, but honestly, I was pretty busy.

    Today is my 13th Anniversary! Of course Hubby is in NYC right now on a business trip, and I'm home sick with a miserable head cold (I know, AGAIN????) but all is well. Thing One took care of Thing Four after church so I could get a nap, and it was nice.

    I've got a quiet, typical week ahead of me. I need to unpack six suitcases, but at least the house was clean when we got home! Granted, when I'm sick I don't clean, so my kids are going to HATE me when I get them helping out with the housework. I just need to kick this.

    Our first soccer game got rescheduled, so that was nice. Saturday was 75 and beautiful. We got to get the bikes out and let the kids ride around, and we got a tricycle and helmet for Thing Four (who will be two next month, YIKES!). He was so excited to sit on his own "bike" like the other kids. Of course the whole "pedaling" thing is beyond him still, but at least he knows to grab both handlebars and put his feet on the pedals while Mom or Dad pushes. :-)

    Time to make Sunday dinner. I am strongly tempted to make French Toast. Yep. For Dinner.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    I Made It!

    We're here! I will be blogging sporadically as I am now officially on "Spring Break." Computer time will be scarce.

    Pre-vacation prep was surprisingly easy. No arguments or staying up until 3am frantically packing. I got it all done and we had a perfect ride and perfect flight and now that I'm here I could SLEEP FOR TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

    But hey, we made it!

    Have a happy weekend, all! And to those who celebrate, HAPPY EASTER!

    Thursday, April 09, 2009


    The Marathon is on. I have from this moment until exactly 6:30 am tomorrow, when the car service comes to take us to the airport. I need to pack six people and tidy the house.

    You think I'll make it?

    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    SPRING Break???

    It's cold here. DANG cold. And we're going to stay with family for Spring Break, in a place that's just as cold. We're not packing any shorts, or capris, or short sleeved shirts.

    But hey, we'll be with family! We have ZERO family here, and every once in a while we feel it pretty keenly. We're trying to see if we can do a visit to both sets of parents this summer, but it's still up in the air. Thing Four will be two, and we'll be paying for SIX tickets now. Ugh. Flying is expensive, the more kids you have!

    Speaking of flying, Thing Four has the sniffles. I figure playing outside in the cold wind might have had a hand in it. And we'll be on a plane day after tomorrow. I hope he just has sniffles!

    I broke down and got a "few" easter basket things to pack. I'm sure when we get there everything will be sold out, so I'm not taking chances. Two things the baskets HAVE to have: Cadbury Mini Eggs and Cadbury Creme Eggs. They're almost...tradition. :-) And those cadbury mini eggs sell out VERY quickly. They are already sold out at the local walmart. And Wallgreens. And Pic-n-Save. Yikes!

    I didn't run around yesterday, I washed and folded (with help from the kids) twelve loads of laundry, and I swear I matched up 5378 pairs of socks! Now everything is where it should be, and I'm dragging out the suitcases to pack us up. THEN I get to run around. No rest for the weary.

    I feel strange, since I haven't visited my characters for 24 hours. Withdrawals? Possibly. I keep thinking about them. I like their world. Lots of thoughts percolating for Book 2, so I'll have to keep a notebook in my handbag to jot stuff down.

    Today is Hubby's birthday! He has NO idea what I've planned for him, and that's the way I intend to keep it. The kids and I are going to "kidnap" him and take him to dinner, and I've bought a cake and presents. And the kids sent him a bunch of balloons at work.

    I hope they're REALLY embarrassing!

    Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    My Kid is a Stubborn Stinker.

    You know, I had PLANNED out this morning. I was going to leave at 7:30, run to the cleaners and turn in clothes, run to Target for something I needed, run to Sports Authority and return soccer shoes that were the wrong size, run to Boston Store to get that one thing I needed, and THEN run across town to a church visit at the local McDonald's playplace at 10:30 because that's where this particular church sister likes to meet.

    BLEAH. That's too much running around in three hours. So, I've decided to chuck it all and do the running around tomorrow, when I can, and I don't have to be across town. Besides, we're leaving early Friday morning for the airport, and my house is chaos and my luggage is empty. Better get on that. Yeah. So, today, it will just be the playplace. (Gads I hate those places--breeding grounds for GERMS!!!)

    I finished my edits late last night! I implemented the feedback and changed the typos, and FINALLY finished. Now it can percolate while we're out of town on Spring Break. When I get back, I can take one more pass at it with fresh eyes, and it's off to the races.

    I guess when you write a novel in 30 days, the EDITING part takes a lot longer! ;-) So THANK YOU to all my readers (and my dear friend who struggled through it because it's not her "cup of tea") I am eternally grateful!

    I still need to write a synopsis. Ugh.

    Okay, my 11-year old (going on seventeen) daughter is a stubborn mule. She doesn't like to do things just because *I* told her to, and frankly, I like to gloat when I'm right, so who can blame her? I'm usually right.

    Take soccer practice last night. It was COLD. She got her pants on, and her fleece, and I told her "wear your gloves, your hands will freeze!" She said "Mom, that's dumb. They won't freeze!" And I said "Oh yes they will, wear your gloves!"

    Guess who didn't wear her gloves?

    She called me at the end of the hour and a half practice, sobbing, because she couldn't feel her hands, and thought she might have frostbite.
    I picked her up, and she was a grumpy little toerag because her hands were freezing (and you know how much they hurt when they start to thaw) and frankly, I got really upset with her. Along the vein of "I told you so!"

    Kids. Why can't they just listen to us? I lovingly explained that I'd "been around the block" a little more than her, and when I told her to do something, it was for her protection, not so I could merely tell her what to do.

    Of course, I am Supreme Mom Commander and they have to do what I tell them anyway, but that's another can of worms... :-)

    She wouldn't admit I was right. She just wanted to get home and dive into a bathtub. Little stinker.

    Time to run around!

    Monday, April 06, 2009

    Busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy

    I bet you can guess, from the title of this post, I have a lot to do this week. We're leaving on vacation Friday morning, and I have about 937295078 things to do before we leave, not to mention the fact Hubby has to leave for New York the DAY after we get back, so HE has about 385439584875 things to do as well.

    But I have to blog. Blogging keeps me sane!

    I'm debating whether or not to buy stuff for Easter baskets now and pack it, because, frankly, I have a feeling when we get there on Friday all the good stuff will be gone, and all that will be left over will be pink and blue marshmallow peeps, which my kids HATE.

    Yeah, I'll pack the "good stuff" and see what I can scrounge up when we get there. :-)

    I got some editing done last night. I'm on page 217 of 265. Then I get to take one more pass at it, and it will be ready (I hope) for submission to agents. EEEKS!

    I'm just sad I won't get to work on it for a week while I'm on vacation. GRRR.

    Hope everyone has a happy Monday! Time to run!

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Big Happy Hair! (snicker)

    So, yesterday was an EDITING day. I stayed offline (mostly) so I'd actually get something done. An old writing buddy of mine used to write in her CLOSET, so she' wouldn't be tempted to surf the net. ;-)

    Granted, I'm not THAT addicted, but I like to *ahem* check my email regularly.

    I'm about 100 pages away from being finished, and then I get to give it a break and take one more pass. And then I'll be ready.

    Blah blah blah blah blah, I know, but hey, it's a big part of my life!

    We were supposed to get snow last night, but Fate smiled on us and we got rain instead. I'm okay with rain. But now there's ice on everything this morning. Niiice.

    So, I saw this ridiculous commerical last night for a hair thingy called a "Bump it." I laughed and laughed. Then I chuckled. Then I got thoughtful. Then I realized, I NEED a Bump it. I mean, I "tease" my hair in the back to make it stand up (but not CRAZY like some women do) and the "Bump it" is a little comb-like thing you put back there, and comb your hair over and it gives you lift without teasing and ratting. Hmmm. Am I crazy that I think I want to try it? You can CLICK HERE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. Be warned, there's some massive "bump" action going on in some of the hairdos, and I am NOT like that. I just like a "little lift."

    Yeah, you'll get a good laugh. But when you have fine hair like me (and I don't mean awesome, I mean BABY FINE) I need all the help I can get.

    Okay, time to round up the baby and head out! I hope everyone has a happy weekend!

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Officially Boring Post.

    My grumpy toddler doesn't have a sense of humor in the mornings. At least, when I was tickling him this morning, he was whining and I started mimicking him. He pointed his finger at me, and said in his very clear, not-yet-two-year-old voice: "Mommy, it's NOT funny! Stop it!"
    And he was VERY serious. It wasn't funny at all. And I was to stop it.

    Great. I know which parent HE takes after...


    I was immersed in Editland yesterday--and part of me wanted to stay up late and finish more. But I needed my sleep, so I got in bed at 11pm and LAY THERE FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR, thinking about the story. Ugh. I hate it when you can't turn your brain off at night!

    I am crossing fingers the weather is going to stay "springy" from now on. I have driveway stakes to pull up, bushes to cut down, and old leaves to rake up out of our driveway culvert. Hubby wants to do it together this Saturday, but if we get some sun I'll go out there and do it myself. I love being outside.

    My SCBWI packet came in the mail yesterday, and I am very excited! It was a thick envelope with catalogs and booklets, all with tips about the Children's Book industry. And there was a booklet with local chapters for every state so I can find other writers, if I want to. I tend to be a "hermit writer" and I probably need to snap out of that if I want to get anywhere in this biz. It just feels good to be a part of something that will help me. My last agent always recommended I join, and I was reluctant. Not any more!

    Time to run around so I can get edits done!

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009


    So, we got a bit of a surprise yesterday. We certainly hadn't planned to do things this way, but sometimes I guess things just "happen" a certain way, and all you can do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Right?

    I guess we'll know what the end result about NINE months!

    Getting ready for Thing FIVE!! WOO! Scary, fun, and a little "ok, we've done this a few times" would describe the atmosphere right now. At least they have cute maternity clothes out there in the stores...

    I'm starting to edit my story now, and it is going to take FOREVER. But I'm getting rid of the dreaded adverbs, and sorting things out.

    Not much else to report today, other than HA HA ITS APRIL FOOLS AND I'M TOTALLY JOKING ABOUT BEING PREGNANT! HA HA HA!!!

    Hope nobody gets infected with any (computer) viruses and your kids/family/coworkers keep the pranks to a minimum.

    And I really do need to work on edits today! That was no joke.

    Happy Wednesday and April 1st, everyone!