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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

It’s official

Two of D3’s five missing adult teeth are in the process of coming in (or out, really, if you think about). The dentist says it rare but sometimes there are two sets of adult teeth and it most cases it’s not a good thing.

But this time it is! It is her front two adult even. I’m stoked. She’s still missing a back tooth and two in the front but she has a very small mouth and doesn’t have room for them anyway so that saves the orthodontist from having to pull out teeth.

Yes, I said orthodontist. She has an over-bite on one side and an under-bite on the other. It can be fixed now while she’s young but if I wait too long it means surgery.  She also has one baby tooth fused to the  bone (with no adult tooth under) and another molar growing at a 45 degree angle and if you’re keeping score, one cavity.

She was a trooper, always is though.  Next week is D4’s second appointment. It won’t be quite as traumatic for me but I imagine it’s going to  be a bit harder to put her in that chair.

Now I just have to figure out how to pay for all this. 🙂

I think it’s ironic that less than a day after I wrote that I had no patience for how slow it seems I’m progressing on this manuscript, I would have two days in a row where I can’t write. Today, I have cold and the what-did-I-come-in-here-for? fugue. Medicine helps the symptoms but makes me even more of a space case. I couldn’t find my head if it was attached to my shoulders today. (One of my grandma’s sayings.) So I’m not going to write. I did sit down with today’s chapter in front of me and soon realized that even if I did get through it, I wouldn’t trust my edits. So I (wisely) put it away and lay down on the couch to watch cartoons with D4.  Yup, soup for dinner.

Tomorrow I have to go to award ceremonies at the school. One at 10:45 and one at 1:15. It’s a good thing the school is five minutes away… walking. And tomorrow night is Family night. So I might be able to get some writing in between 1:45 and 2:45 (when the kids get home) but I doubt it.

I think I’m getting a lesson in patience. 

I’ve been writing this blog for a little over three months and I’ve been wondering today exactly what it should be about. Is it a writing blog? A family blog? Well, I’ve come to a conclusion. It is what the title says: just another day in my life. Some days are more interesting than others, but that’s life. Here, I’ll write about what consumes my time–namely writing, my family and my garden. I really do hope something of what I say makes you smile, lets you know you’re not alone, motivates, or touches you in some way.

If so then I will consider it a success.

Ah man, I’m getting sentimental, must be the cold.

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Book Reviews

I confess. Three out of five of my kids don’t like to read. Well, one is iffy, but I am constantly looking for books to tempt OB. With that thought in mind, I picked up THE TIME WARP TRIO by Jon Scieszka. I loved it. It’s Joe’s birthday and he’s hanging out with his two best friends when one of them finds a present Joe forgot to open. It’s from Joe’s uncle, the magician. It’s only a book but a strange book. One of the boys opens it to a page displaying a picture of a knight on horseback and when another says he’d like to see one of those in person; all three of them find themselves face to face with the very irritated knight in the picture. It has just the right amount of preteen boy humor (meaning flatulence and snot) but not so much that mom was grossed out, although quite frankly it takes a lot to gross me out any more. It’s only 54 pages so it’s not big enough to elicit the groan a large book inspires. Really, if you have a boy, or know someone who does, give this book a try.

I also just finished reading two Robin McKinley books. First off, I love Robin McKinley. Her book, SUNSHINE, is in my opinion the best vampire book out there. In fact, I recently borrowed it from the library so SO could read it. He has never read any fantasy but mine. Can you believe it? I still have a hard time getting my head around it. But he finally agreed to let me introduce him and I thought SUNSHINE would be a good start. He read half of it and started critiquing her technique. (She handles first person with a panache and style that I could only dream about.) I next handed him STARDUST by Gaiman but I haven’t asked if he even cracked it. Back to the review.

DRAGONHAVEN, like SUNSHINE, is written in first person but I think she uses the technique less effectively. I wanted to love it, I tried to love it. I only just managed to finish it. The pace is somewhat erratic, speeding up to a good clip then slowing down until I turned the page at random and read a future chapter. There’s a manic feel to it. Granted, the narrator is supposed to be remembering things that are difficult to remember and a certain amount of agitation is expected but I think it was overdone. Like most McKinley books, the plot is excellent. I’ll call it an alternate reality urban fantasy (I don’t know what she  calls it) where dragons have lived among us since the  beginning of time but have  been for the most part hidden. But now they are facing extinction and a group of scientists in a little reserve in America are fighting to save them. The son of the director, and the narrator, finds a badly wounded mother dragon who has just given birth and a dead poacher. As he gets ready to leave, he sees that one of the baby dragons is still alive. He sticks the little thing under his shirt to keep it warm and heads home. Of course this opens a huge can of worms but you’ll have to read the book.

As I said, the plot is engaging, but for me, it fell just short of the high expectation that I have for one of McKinley’s books. 

The second book is also Robin McKinley and its one of her earlier ones: THE SPINDLES END. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, but I like her version better. She spins (No pun intended) such a detailed world that as a writer, sometimes I stop reading and just give her a moment of stunned respect. That said, the novel is dense. Too dense to read for an extended period of time and so it took me longer to finish than it normally would. Her characterization should be studied in writing schools across the land.

Next on deck, besides the many ‘how to write/publish/edit a synopsis/query/novel books, is MAGIC BITES by Ilona Andrews. It came highly recommended. I’ll let you know what I think.

 

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An update

A pot of fresh chamomile tea and a day in my comfiest sweats and I feel a bit more level, well a bit more like myself anyway.

Today I caught up on all my favorite blogs. Some I check daily, but with most it’s hit or miss. Many of these are blogs written by other writers, some published, some not. And it seems to me that angst is just a part of any writer’s life. You see, as I was reading said blogs, (One of them about angst, by the way) I happened upon a comment I made a few days back. The author of the blog had responded to it, as she often does, in a friendly manner but I was horrified because of a huge grammatical error in my comment. Instant angst. What is she going to think?!?

If you read this blog at all, or if I’ve commented on yours, I’m sure you’ve noticed I don’t spend a lot of time on punctuation or grammar. It was a conscious decision made because I didn’t want to edit my stream of consciousness babble. But that huge grammatical error got me thinking. I am trying to break into the world of writing and all anyone sees of it, of me, is this. My blog, my comments. They represent me. And so the angst. You see, I’m fully aware of the incomplete sentences preceding this one. They were used because that is the way my mind works, and whether, or not, they are used effectively, I will leave up to you. Of course this is a very small source of the general angst with which a writer must deal. (How’s that for not ending a sentence in a preposition?) But right now, I can handle the little angst, it’s the big ones that will keep me up at night and I won’t go there.

 

I thought it might be a good time to drift from the writing world into some of the funny things that happen around here. Funny to me anyway, I’ll let you decide.

1.      Today as I rounded the curve from the kitchen into the living room where D4 was playing, she looked up and said, “Oh, it’s you.” I asked her who she thought it was (we were alone) She looked thoughtful said, “Well, it could be a monster or a pig or you.” …  I’d love to know how a 3 year old’s brain works.

2.      OB hates changing clothes in the winter and getting him to take a bath, well, I have to stand at the door to make sure he gets in the water. The other morning, he shows up for breakfast in the shirt I knew he’d worn the day before and slept in (yes, he put it  back on after his bath) Without saying a word, I went into his closet, grabbed and new undershirt, a long sleeved shirt and handed them to him saying, “Put them on.” Well, he comes out of his room 15 minutes later, just as he has to leave for school. I note that he does indeed have the new shirt and undershirt on, and then when he reaches up to let me kiss him on the top of the head, I notice he’s put the two new shirts on over the two dirty shirts. Yup, 4 shirts. I probably sounded like porky pig. But I let him go to school that way. I don’t know how an 11 year old boy’s mind works either

3.      Today my sister came over to watch D4 so I could work for a bit (and to do her laundry) A half hour into it she walked into my room and sat down on my bed and said. “I know, I’m sorry.” (standard reply to the evil look I was giving her about disrupting my muse) She continued, “I was playing with (D4) and she was naming her animals. She named the first one Dora, the second one Arthur and the third one Dirt.” My sister started giggling and said, “I asked her, “Dirt as in dirty?” And D4 said, “Yeah, but just Dirt.”

 

Dirt the cat… go figure.

 

Did I ever tell you our cat’s name is Meow? But that’s another story for another time.

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Question of the Day 2

I did think about this a lot. But today I have what feels like ten thousand bees buzzing in my head. No, not a cold, some damn difficult scenes and a plot point I need to advance in hte new manuscript and don’t know how. Top it off with four hyper kids who know this is the last day before school starts and want to get in as much ‘fun’ as they can which seems to involve a lot of  ‘mom! so and so is doing so and so’. So its been a bit hard to concentrate. Nothing a good walk wouldn’t sort out, the exercize seems to jog lose my creative process when it stalls.

 I don’t think I ever could do what Tammy did and just walk away from technology but I’d be lying if I didn’t sometimes feel a little jealous. Why? The simplicity. Technology makes our lives complicated. It really does. Sometimes those complications are a good thing, but sometimes they aren’t. 

I was running through my favorite inventions and imagining life without them and I could see a trend. For example: I love my washing machine. It’s difficult imagine life with  five kids without one. But would my children (or I) own so many clothes that they won’t fit in our closets if we had to wash them by hand? And wouldn’t we take better care of them? IE: picture a teenage girl’s room. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped playing with my kids or helping them with their homework or just talking to them so I could go answer the phone. I spend a lot of time answering the phone. The moment I stopped doing something that was important to do something that might be, but probably isn’t, my quality of life went down, not up. Technology went from being a help to an intrusion.

It can happen with anything. I love my computer. I need my computer. I can’t imagine writing a manuscript without cut and paste and formatting and all the gadgets that I use. Not to mention my SO lives half way around the world so email is my friend. But there are times that I’m surfing the net because I’m in between scenes or playing solitaire to unwind and I could be with my kids and where are they? On their various games probably. I have sent D2 a message on myspace when I could have walked into the other room and told her myself.  We all exist in this house but at times we don’t all exist together, you know? Sure I put checks and balances on it– ‘no son, you can’t take the DS in the bathtub with you’ — No. Seriously. But it’s there and in quantity and its fighting for their attention and guess what? It’s more interesting than me, school work or chores or pretty much most things. In a world where first graders have cell phones, there are 10 billion channels, DVD players, Wii’s and PS2s, how do you teach children to ‘play’. Simple I guess, turn it off. Only that’s not always so simple. Try it. I just imagined the look in my niece’s or cousin’s eye if I told them they couldn’t have their cell for two hours. No high speed internet! What?!? They’d go ballistic. I don’t think they’re alone in that. But what does a 17 or 14 year old girl need a cell phone for? 

And it’s not just electronics. Technology has changed the family dynamic. We no longer need to work together to survive. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, personally, I like having a thermostat and running water, but it is one reason why my children have chores. I want them to know they are necessary to the running of this house. They belong, they’re needed. I want them to know we, as a family, are a team. I’m hoping they will feel valued.

Do they? No, now I’m the not so cool mom who won’t let them on the computer until they make their bed and I have heard D2 say, ‘no I have to do chores.’ on the phone talking to her un chored friends with a tone of whiny resignation. Will they? I don’t know.

To sum it up? Technology is a good thing, a very good thing for a lot of reasons, but like most good things, too much of it tints it to bad. I think it comes down to whether you own the technology or it owns you.

So yeah, if you call and I don’t answer, I’m probably playing with my kids.

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All in all, not bad.

For the last few days, I’ve been managing 1000-1500 words per day. I know, not much but considering I was at 0-500 not too long ago, I’ll take it. And there is something there, but then you’ve heard that before. I can feel the wheel picking up momentum and it’s a damn nice feeling.

Went on a wild goose chase for K’nex motorized madness ball machine. Thought OB would like it, and he would, only I missed the sale and 29.99 was now 59.99 and well, it just wasn’t worth 60$ OB will not be without presents.

Steaks are marinating, the house is loud, slightly askew and busy. In other words: normal for a Sunday with the kids. Oh yes and my 49ers WON! woo hoo. Now maybe I have time for a game of solitaire before I have to be responsible again.

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