Thursday, February 26, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday Ed. 1

My crit partner, Kate, began a really cool idea since we're all writers and such called work in progress Wednesday, where I update everyone on the status of my current WIP.  Since I'm so excited about current WIP, I thought I'd play along.  Now, I'm not fancy like Kate and know how to put those cool little wordometers here, but I can tell you, I made progress this week.

First off, I drove the Squirrel Mobile (Hubby's dilapidated Kia Rio) over to Starbucks on Tuesday evening.  I sat in the corner sipping a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, next to the door I might add (in 40 degree weather) typing away at my chapter 9.  I finished it up and started 10 before my enthusiasm waned and I headed home.

It was the most relaxing time I've had since becoming a mother, I tell ya.  I could focus 100% on me, knowing my kids were well taken care of by their father (let's just say it's a good thing he doesn't have hair!) and I was totally into this writing.  My work wasn't as choppy and flowed from my fingertips.  No kids yelling from the living room as I sat on my bed, trying to ignore them after Hubby got home.  Nope, I just wrote with no worries.

Well, I will admit I was a little worried over the lack of good music Starbucks played.  Note to self:  Must bring IPOD with more appropriate mood music.  Frank Sinatra, James Blunt and other bland elevator music doesn't put me in a mood to write a romance novel with tragic elements.  But in their defense, people aren't there to listen to head-banging melodramatic rock, either, so I guess we both compromised.  I'll bring my IPOD and they'll please all the OTHER customers with their music...and I'll still get my frappuccino, a quiet atmosphere and we'll live happily ever after!

I'm almost to the black moment with my WIP.  My characters are getting in deep and everything about to ripped out from under them.  I hate writing the black moment, but it does drive me forward to hurry up and give them their happily ever after.  In approximately 2 more chapters, I'm to the dreaded day where my heroine and hero can't tackle their obstacles...yet.

My goal is to finish up chapter 10 and start 11 before Sunday.  With a gym class tonight, Hubby gone tomorrow and the circus on Saturday, I'm going to be hard pressed but I think I can do it!

Somebody send me some cheerleaders!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2 Years Old

My dearest Chicken on your 2nd birthday:

I know one day you'll be older reading this thinking, "Aww, Mom, do you hafta get all mushy on me like this?"  Well, son, yes.  I do.

The truth is, the second I saw you, I fell in love.  You were God's special gift to us for a totally different reason than Punky was.  With Punky, it took us 3 years to get her.  But God decided to give us to you with no worries, no tears and no struggle.  I bonded with you from the delivery room.  I'll never forget your big newborn eyes looking up at me as you nursed.  It's one of the most special moments as a mother I will always cherish.

Then, you grew into a baby, and a chubby baby at that.  You were so rotund, people couldn't help but smile at you.  You were a mama's boy at first and always had a special smile for me.  I LOVED seeing you smile and eventually hearing your laugh.  You weren't in any hurry to talk, but you made up for it physically.  You walked at 11 months and haven't stopped going strong ever since.  It was like having a little live-in Michelin baby walking around.  

As you grew into a toddler, I was amazed at your love for your eldest sister and now, your baby sister.  I thought you'd be really ticked off being sandwiched between two girls but you've taken it in stride and became an awesome big brother to Cupcake.  Not to mention you and Punky have a bond that I'm so proud of.  You are blessed to have siblings and I hope you always know that.

You also love your Daddy so very much.  Hearing your sweet voice call out, "DADDY!" when he comes home from work as you run to hug his knees fills me with a sense of pride that only you can give me.  And you do the same thing when I come home after being away.  There's nothing I want more in those moments than to hold you close and keep you my little boy just a little longer.

But sure, in the grand scheme of time, two isn't that big, right?  You're still little, but I know it will pass so quickly.  Sometimes I look at you and see the man that you will one day become.  Those baby blues will knock some girl off her feet.  I can tell you right now, Son, you will make me proud.  I see a tender heart in you, affection, and an adventurous side that will provide you with endless possibilities.

This year you learned to talk.  One day you were barely saying ten words and then the next you came up to me and said, "Mommy, Iunt bite too-tee." (I want a bite of cookie).  From that day forward you put more words together and I can tell you're finally getting the hang of it.  I'm learning your language and even though I still have to interpret a lot, you're getting clearer and clearer.  And even a little sly when you throw in a "Peeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssse!" when you don't get your way.

You also learned how to go potty.  You're not completely trained yet, but we're going to get there soon.  I think you learned by watching Punky for the most part so this year, we're going to work on that!

Son, there are many days you get overlooked, or put off because of your other siblings.  I truly know why people talk about the "middle child syndrome".  There will never be enough time in the day for me to tell you how much I love you as often as I want to, or how much you - my special and only son - hold a place in my heart.  I hope you never doubt that or feel inadequate.  I pray our relationship will grow and flower into a unbreakable bond.  I want you to always be able to talk to me, even if it's in your own language.

And I promise you, no matter what you say my heart will understand you.  Because you'll always be my little boy.

I love you,

P.S. To the circus we go on Saturday, in honor of your birthday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

On even ground...and fully clothed

I present to you Captain Chicken Sparrow, evil pirate who kidnaps young maidens.  Don't let the half-smile and baby blues fool you, he uses them to his advantage to lure you in. 

Captain Chicken Sparrow kidnapped Princess Alexa, who is desperately looking for a way out of the large ship she is in.  Captain Chicken Sparrow is proud of his handiwork and continues to torture Princess Alexa via stolen sippy cups, rough treatment of her Barbie's and stabbing her mercilessly with his foam fighting sword.

But somewhere along the way, Princess Alexa and Captain Chicken Sparrow form a truce of sorts and become friends.  They start to share, hold hands and realize there is nothing more fun than to play together....and forming an alliance to overthrow their true captain, Captain Mommy.  But Captain Mommy is on to them...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Or else!

Last night we all sat down at the dinner table for some yummy salmon patties and corn casserole.  Punky sweetly asked me to sit with her, so I sat down next to her.  Hubby and I began a discussion about...well, I forget now.  But as usual, I was getting into the conversation and talking excitedly and being a little boisterous.

Punky very gently put her pudgy hands against my forearm and looked at me very seriously.

"Be nice to each other, Mommy....or I'll rip your face off!"

Ahem, Hubby?  This one is all yours.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's just simply time.

Has anyone ever noticed how opinionated some people can be?  I mean, half my friends - wait, who am I kidding? - all of my friends would categorize me in the opinionated column, but why do people deem it necessary to PUSH it on you?

If there's one thing I do when I offer my opinion on something, I ALWAYS tell someone before hand that it's just that - my opinion.  I never expect them to adhere to it, to take my advice or even listen to me.  I'm just not that kind of person.  I hope my friends know that I'm never meaning to be pushy or arrogant.  I'm sure most of them do know that, but I'm on record here, just so they know now if they didn't before.  Make sense?

There are about to be changes taking part in my life.  BIG changes.  As in, I'm joining a gym.  I'm spending more time away from home after the kids go down for bed at 7 pm.  I'm going to network with other writers.  I'm going to write.  It's a lot to accomplish in some 3 hours every evening before I keel over from exhaustion, but it's just time.  I've complained until I'm blue in the face about what's wrong.  Now it's time to make it right.  I think in the long run, I'll be happier.

I can either sit on my butt and be like my mother - overweight, miserable and depressed my whole life - or I can do something about it.  Yes, I'm going to complain about how tired I am, more than likely.  I might even feel that there's no relaxation time, but you know what?  I don't care anymore.  I've got to get some semblance of a life back.  Make some friends that will actually go out and do something with me, maybe even meet some other writers that dream the same things I dream about.  It would be nice to do that, I think.

However, I'm pretty sure there will be "opinions" about that.  Am I shirking my duties as a wife and mother?  No, because being a wife and mother will always be first in my world, even before me.  Am I prepared for the life being a novelist entails?  Probably not, but I'll never know unless I do it.  Do I really want to lose those 20 pounds I've been harping about for 8 years now?  Oh yessssssss.

Hi.  Nice to meet you.  I'm Stephanie.  This year is MY year.  Keep your opinions to yourself, please.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous in Baltimore, Maryland (and I'm pretty sure I know who you are):  

Why do my kids rarely wear clothes you ask?  

Less laundry.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Was Wednesday really the last time I posted? Yikes!  Time got away with me!  Anyway, because I need a laugh today, here's some pictures that will hopefully put a smile on your face!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feeling bummed...

I don't even know where to begin to be honest.  My days are filled with doctor visit after doctor visit right now and I feel like I have a Munchausen Syndrome only the diagnosis isn't psychosis.  If only it were that simple, I might actually be able to rest and relax in my mind.

The kids and I just got over RSV.  Cupcake tested positive for it and we've all had it.  The kids all had a horrible cough and cold and I had a bad cold.

I mentioned before I've been having UTI type symptoms, but the doctor can't find anything wrong.  So he ordered a catscan thinking maybe I have a kidney stone trapped in a tube.  Nope, but I do have an ovarian cyst.

So off I go to my OB today.  He says it wasn't as big as the urologist office portrayed it to be, did a pelvic, and sent me on my way.  But he did want me to have an overall ultrasound on my ovaries just to make sure everything looked ok.  That'll be Thursday.

But wait...we still haven't solved the UTI problem.  The doctors office, whom I haven't been very happy with FINALLY calls me back today and suggests a "cysto" (what is it with me and cysts?)  She pretended I knew what this was and kept talking but I finally had to ask.  Some sort of procedure they can do I'm guessing in office (since she told me to come in) and they thread a tube up in your bladder and look at your anatomy.  Good thing I had already scheduled another appointment with a different urologist for a second opinion.

The problem with this doctor is they're so busy they even have restaurant pagers to call you back to a room.  I'm nothing but a number.  He acts annoyed if I ask him a question about all this because you know he's got 50 other patients waiting in the lobby.  I'm pretty disgusted with them.  So I asked my OB today for a different referral.  When I called for an appointment, I was excited I got a real person on the phone who was actually nice.  That'll be on Friday.

Did I mention I'm still having bad heartburn since the gallbladder surgery and should probably go see the gastroenterologist again? (Because for crying out loud, I'm only 28, not 78!!!)

I mean seriously, after this, I'm done.  I don't care how bad I feel, how bad it gets, I'm done with the petty visits.  I'm just going to accept that I'm not ever going to feel good.  I'm tired of relying on family members to come watch my kids, because seriously, Mommy just doesn't get sick days the first 10 years on the job.  If things were a little easier, I'm sure it wouldn't be such a big deal.  But it's a pain in the butt (yes, I'm sure that'll get checked out next) to get everything done right now.  Not to mention somedays I want to think about something other than a stupid doctor and what I might have to undergo next.

And least people with Munchausen's ENJOY going to the doctor.  We can safely say I don't have that...although I might be a little psychotic after all is said and done!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Brian Regan

Thanks to my wonderful critique partner, Jennifer Shirk who mentioned going to see Brian Regan for giving me the idea as part of Hubby's Christmas present!  Hubby is a huge fan and I was so excited to see he was coming to town recently.  We have never laughed so hard!  Literally, my sides are still aching!  I'll leave you with a clip of one of his jokes and wish you all a great weekend!

Click here for awesome hilarity!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Take a look!

I guest blogged over at Passionate Critters today, so drop by here and leave a comment!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm such a bad mother...

I don't even want to talk about what kind of day I had today. Wait, yes, I do.

Let's see. Cupcake has a terrible cold and cough, so my day started at 5:45. I finally got her back to sleep at 6:25 and fell back into bed. Chicken woke up at 7:20 ready to start his day.

I get him up and ask him what he'd like for breakfast. Yo yo! (Yogurt). He commences pointing to the table and a regular seat indicating I should put it there. "No, you have to eat it in your high chair, you'll make a mess for Mommy to clean up at the table." I pick him up and start to put him in his high chair. He bucks against me, bends his legs and refuses to sit down. I warn him about the consequences of his behavior but he cries and says, NO! "Do you want yogurt or not?" Yeah. "Then you have to get in your high chair. No! Since he was up an hour and a half early, I take him back to bed. "You have to lay back down, Chicken. You're still tired and until you're ready to obey Mommy, you have to stay in here." (Please note I'm not a believer in time out, I really was trying to get him to go back to sleep)

So he cried for about 20 minutes. Not hard, but enough that I heard him. Strike one for Bad Mommy.

I get him up and ask him if he's ready to eat his yogurt. Yeah! He says and he finally eats it.


Then Cupcake woke up. She wasn't happy. She didn't feel good. She slept maybe 1 hour at her longest stretch all day today. Most of the time she wallowed in her crib, fussing and crying. Strike 2 for Bad Mommy.

Then Chicken decided at lunch he was too tired to eat. Once again we went round and round. He wouldn't eat and pointed to his room, "Nigh nigh!" I'd put him in his bed, "EEEEE!" (Eat). He finally got half a dose of Benedryl because, well, I'm pretty sure I saw some snot in his nose. And he did go to bed hungry. I didn't give in and I refuse to let a toddler rule my house. He WILL obey me one way or another. Strike three for Bad Mommy.

I sent Punky to bed for her nap. I managed about a 30 minute much needed nap of my own before Cupcake woke up for another screaming session. It was then I heard Punky crying softly in her room. I went in there and she looked so pitiful. "What's wrong, Punky?" "Mommy! I peepeed all over my bed!" Yup, she had. All the way to her neck. I assured her it was ok, changed her sheets and tucked her back in. I grabbed a quick shower - quick being the operative word since Cupcake was finally up and screaming now in the bouncy seat in the bathroom with me. When I got out, Punky was peeping her head in my room, clearly NOT sleeping like she was supposed to be.

Cupcake continued to cry.

Chicken wakes up.

Hubby comes home.

I leave for my doctor's appointment.

"Don't call me unless there's blood." This Bad Mommy has struck out.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cupcake is in the clear!

I'm so happy to announce that all of Cupcake's kidney tests came back completely normal!  Thank all of you who thought of her, prayed for her, emailed me out of concern or spoke to me directly.  It's such a relief to know that she doesn't have kidney reflux or any kind of structural abnormality.  The doctor advised us to be careful with the direction in which we wipe her, but other than that, we hope it was just a fluke and won't recur.  There's no guarantees, but I'm just so relieved that she's in the clear for now!

Just as a side note, she totally charmed the radiologist and techs.  She cried while they did the catheterization but after she calmed down, she talked to them, smiled at them growled for them (seriously if you could hear this, you'd die, it's so funny!  Note to self:  MUST get this on video) and flapped her bottom lip to make the blub blub blub sound.  They seemed to be amazed that she was so happy like this all the time.  They said that normally they screamed non-stop from start to finish.  By the time we left, I felt so proud of her for doing so well.  She had barely even slept all morning, either.

What a sweet little girl I have!