Crowd Sourcing for Parenting Advice

Look at this face. LOOK AT IT!


Does this look like the face of evil to you?

Well it is!

I am so tired, y’all. SO TIRED.

Small devil child will not sleep. He will not fall asleep and he will not stay asleep. Bedtime has devolved into a 45 minute- 1 hour period of hysteria and excuses (“I have to go potty,” “I don’t feel well,” “I need water,” “There’s something scawy”) and crying (“I cwying right now, Mommy. Look at my tears!”) until I give in and let Alvie fall asleep lying next to me on the couch (or alternatively the architect gives in and lies down next to him in his [the Bean’s] room).

That’s bad enough. Nothing makes you feel awesome like running up the stairs at periodically longer intervals to reassure your hysterical child that the smoke detector is not looking at you, and NO it didn’t beep last night, that was a couple of months ago and oh my god why don’t you, the almost three-year-old, have a better sense of the passage of time‽‽‽‽

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yes, bed time. We have a routine. We do not vary the routine. Everyone knows the routine. It is good.

We’ve tried stopping his Zyrtec at night, moving bedtime earlier, moving it later, and chloroform (j/k! we haven’t tried that. Yet.)

He is calm and happy until the minute we leave his room. We’ve tried soothing, rocking, singing, crying for 15 minute intervals before we go to soothe, rock, sing.

Nothing. NOTHING. Except for having the baby-sitter put him to bed. That worked like magic.

Finally, he falls asleep, sometime after 9, usually (i.e. a full 90+ minutes after we initiate bedtime).

And then? He wakes up a minimum of three times/night. He is not easily soothed back to sleep. He is not having unwaking night terrors. Generally the first two times we can get him to fall back asleep in his own bed, but the third time (between 3:30-4 am usually) nothing will convince him that it’s sleep time and he begs (“Mommy, there’s something scawy. Mommy I need you. Mommy, pwease let me sleep in the big bed with you and daddy. I need you.”) until I give in to come to our bed. Where he thrashes a bit and then falls asleep.

the sweetest face

This is obviously not good for him. He’s not getting enough sleep. He’s terrified of going to sleep.

We’ve changed the smoke detector batteries with him, covered the blinking lights with tape (those lights are “scawy”) and talked about how smoke detectors are good and helpers and the house is not on fire, and neither is your school and we’re not going to burn up, seriously!

Do you know who else this isn’t good for?


I also need sleep. I love sleep. Sleep is my second best friend (next to books; and sometimes it is hard to be friends with both at the same time).

Also, Bean seems to have an impeccable instinct for freaking out when I am in the deepest sleep possible.

I’m sure this is also not good for the architect, but as he is (a) not here right now to ask about it and (b) not the blogger who runs this page, we’ll just pretend he likes it. JUST KIDDING! This is terrible for everyone.


So, oh wise internets, tell me how to fix this? Should I just ship him off to military preschool? Sell him to the carnival? (Give him to circus folk?)

I just want everyone to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

I feel like this today

I missed my morning run, which means I have to run at lunch and miss yoga. My right eyelid has been twitching for about 72 hours.

Someone tell me how to fix it, short of removing the smoke detector from his room, which…no.

Also, send coffee.


The Good Sore

That is how I feel today.

I am IN TRAINING. (For life, motherfuckers! Ha!)

Umm, I mean I’m in triathlon training. Now. Due to February illnesses (mine, the Bean’s, and the architect’s), February was kind of a lazy month. Until 2/25.

I worked out more hours between 2/25-3/1 than in the previous twenty days combined.

And, fortunately for you (ha ha ha), I documented this.

2/27 - first Master swim EVER. 1650 yards.

2/27 – first Master swim EVER. 1650 yards.\

2/28 - four mile run, Leif Erickson trail, 11:30 avg pace.

2/28 – four mile run, Leif Erickson trail, 11:30 avg pace.

3/1 - my nemesis, the bike. 8.5 miles in 46 minutes. It was windy, but this is where I have the most work.

3/1 – my nemesis, the bike. 8.5 miles in 46 minutes. It was windy, but this is where I have the most work.


I am ROCKING today’s plans. (It’s rest day.)

I will climb a minimum of 20 flights of stairs today, though. That is a thing at work.

My coach has me biking three times/week now, running twice, and swimming once as I work on my fitness base. I’m not worried about the running or swimming. It’s the bike (the damn bike) that scares me.

The other goal this week is to stop procrastinating and finish the damn book. I sat in front of Scrivener for hours all weekend and wrote zero words. ZERO.

Oh, and to keep up my average of a book a day for my research project with Cat “Savage Thunder” the Magnificent.

At some point, I need to work harder on my Swedish lessons, too.

I should probably try to keep my family fed and watered and played with. I need to find a system where I can make a week’s worth of dinner (prep at the least) on the weekends. A system that involves lots of hidden vegetables and foods that my kid will eat.

I need to stop typing and start doing.

(I also need Alvie to start sleeping through the night IN HIS OWN BED, NO THE SMOKE DETECTOR IS NOT LOOKING AT YOU! again.)

I may need more coffee.



Cover Reveal: Elizabeth Hunter’s THE SECRET

You may or may not know that I love fantasy books. LOVE. I have for as long as I can remember. I love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I think that 65% of the beginnings of my PSM-relationship with Cat were due to our mutual love for this genre.

We have been keeping a rough score on who has done the best job of introducing high quality, awesomesauce fantasy to the other. We’re currently tied, even though the last two amazing authors she’s introduced me to have caused me to go on a reading binge.

One of those authors is Elizabeth Hunter. I have read just about everything she’s written that’s available for public consumption. I started with the Irin Chronicles and after getting through the first two in record time was aghast to find that the third hadn’t been released yet.

(What I’m saying is, you have time to catch up if you’re not there yet.)

The wait is almost over, though! ALMOST! I’m thrilled to be able to take part in the cover reveal for the third book in the Irin Chronicles, The Secret. (I’ll be even more thrilled to read it.)


Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.

For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.

But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.

Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.

The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.

Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.

THE SECRET is the third book in the contemporary fantasy series, the Irin Chronicles, and the conclusion of Ava and Malachi’s journey. (Wait, the conclusion? CONCLUSION? NOOOOOO!) (The cover is a link. CLICK ON IT.)



The release date is March 31. Five weeks from yesterday.


“What are you thinking?” she asked.
He was thinking about Volund’s unexpected ability to invade his unconscious, but he didn’t want to bring it up. Luckily, his mind could turn to pleasant things very quickly when he was with her.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.”
It was true. Ava wasn’t a woman who felt the need to fill the air with chatter. He wondered if years of traveling alone had trained it out of her, or if the constant voices that had once plagued her were company enough.
“I am thinking… you’re very beautiful.”
He loved the slight flush she gave him when he complimented her. It made the offer of his praise all the more satisfying.
“You’re the only one who’s ever said that,” she said.
He was surprised, but not overly. Humans could be very superficial, and Ava’s physical features were not the most astonishing thing about her. Pretty, but not uncommonly so. Clear skin. Dark hair. Her eyes were the most arresting part of her face, but only other Irin would recognize the unusual shade of gold as anything more than light brown or amber.
No, it wasn’t her physical features that were remarkable. And Malachi loved that only he saw the secret of his mate.
Her beauty lay in her mind and her heart. Quiet strength and resilient humor were not things valued enough by the world.
She gave him a quiet smile.
“You always did that,” she said. “Before. ‘Hmm.’ You’d be thinking something you didn’t want to say, but I knew it was about me when you would say, ‘Hmm.’”
“I often think about you.”
“That’s probably a good thing.”
They were sitting across from each other in the compartment. He put his foot on the edge of the bench beside her, enclosing them. Doing his best to block out the world. Ava set down her camera and slid a hand up his pant leg, her fingers playing along his skin.
“I think about you, too,” she said. “Some would say I’m obsessed.”
“And you take pictures of me when I sleep. I hear the clicking in my dreams. It’s borderline stalker behavior, really.”
“It’s settled then. We’re both certifiable.”


So – are you excited? You should be!  You should also join Elizabeth Hunter’s New Release Mailing List. And if you’re really feeling lucky and/or motivated, you can head over to her website or her Facebook page to participate in the ARC giveaway.

So Brave…

That’s what people say about me. I’m assuming. Today I was a chaperone for Alvie’s field trip. There were six two year olds and eight preschoolers. (Also four teachers and two preschool parents.) We rode the bus. Transferred to the MAX light rail, and then! We! Went! Into! A! Tunnel! Surprisingly, there was more to the trip than that, although I think a good 33% of the kids might have been satisfied with that (at least if riding the elevator – or alligator as Alvie says – was also part of the trip).

But wait! There’s More! We went to the Children’s Museum. Do you know what they have at the children’s museum?

CHILDREN! But not in handy display cases like I’d expected. No! They were free-range, like visiting a petting zoo. So many kids. Everywhere.

How I felt by the end of our time at the Museum.

How I felt by the end of our time at the Museum.

Also unexpected? We had to bring them back! That’s right, thirteen children and six adults had to go back on the elevator, on the MAX train, out of the tunnel, and then on a bus. (90% success in getting back as many as we started with isn’t too bad, right?)

It actually wasn’t too bad. For the most part, the two-year-old class was pretty well behaved. Or at least as well behaved (if not slightly better) than you’d expect a group of two year olds to be in a place that is like a giant playground of small-person-sized stuff for them to play with.

Alvie had a great time. Not only did we get to ride a MAX train into a TUNNEL, we also walked by a steam train AND there were trains to play with in the museum.

He went straight to this. Like he doesn't have five million trains at home.

He went straight to this. Like he doesn’t have five million trains at home.

We did manage to tear him away from this room (something for which he may someday forgive me) and found a few other fun places to play.

Yes, that is my child climbing out of a kennel in the "Pet Hospital" play area.

Yes, that is my child climbing out of a kennel in the “Pet Hospital” play area.

The last stop before lunch was almost as awesome as trains, because it was so messy!

That smock was completely useless. I do not even know how he ended up so wet, but he has a special gift.

That smock was completely useless. I do not even know how he ended up so wet, but he has a special gift.

My big boy. As much as I really, really dislike things like this (hordes of small children) I love watching him learn and explore and say, “Mommy, let me show you how it works.”

Gah. One of the cats must be slicing onions. Upstairs in my office. With their complete lack of opposable thumbs. There is no other explanation for this mysterious moistening of my eyeballs. Damn cats.

Follow me. I know what I'm doing.

Follow me. I know what I’m doing.


Three (3!) Things Thursday – Pants on Fire Edition

1. Remember when I said on *checks calendar* that I was going to do a book review on Wednesday and one on Friday? Did you enjoy yesterday’s review? You did not? Because it wasn’t there? Yeah. About that…so I have pneumonia. Which is not the bronchitis I was afraid I had at this point last week. It’s been making it difficult to wake up in the morning because my body thinks sleep is more important than waking early to write. (It also thinks not coughing is more important than exercising, something I am supporting.)

This is how I feel now.

This is how I feel now.

2. Speaking of writing, I had promised to finish the draft of the novel I’m working on by the end of the month. I have written approximately 1300 words in the last week (damn you, pneumonia! and double damn to Alvie’s ear infection). That is not enough to finish this. I’m going to have to push hard over the next 9 days to make my goal.

Day 004

The writing cave

3. The five point action plan I mentioned last week? The one with breakfast and lunch and no wine for dinner? That’s been going quite well! Go me! The activity levels need to be bumped up, but as soon as I can hit a brisk walk without coughing up a lunch, I feel that I’ll be doing well. I have a 5K April 4, my first outdoor triathlon (sprint!) on 5/9, and an Olympic tri on June 7. I also need to run a 10K at some point in April. The one thing that all of these races have in common? Every single one has a medal for all finishers.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.