Category Archives: Oh, Baby!

Eleanor Morgan and the Case of the Noisy Chimney Koalas

I slept poorly last night. I was restless and plagued with weird dreams. We currently have a family of birds who’ve built a nest in our chimney and the babies are newly hatched and loud AF.

Because the bird noise is near constant right now, it’s invaded my subconscious, and last night I dreamed opened up the fireplace and found: two dozen hummingbirds, some rabbits, a hawk of some kind, baby owls, opossums, raccoons, stray cats, and a koala.

Hopefully, I’ll get more sleep tonight and the baby birds can adequately learn to fly in our chimney so they can get the hell out and we can make a chimney hat or whatever to keep future critters out.

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I spent a lot of time with The Ruby Blade over the weekend. Saturday was definitely my most productive day, with Friday coming in second. Yesterday was not so great. I finally managed to get things moving in late afternoon when my friend RJ started bribing me. Every 500 words, I got another page from her current WIP. It was very effective!

I’m hoping that one more week of focused, intense work, and I’ll be able to wrap this draft up and send it to my beta readers only a week late.

This weekend’s writing supervisor is checking my work.

 

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I feel like I haven’t had much time with my kiddo lately. He’s been at his dad’s since last Wednesday (the 26th), and the previous weekend, he was at the coast with his grandma. The Beer Guy and I got out there for one night, but it feels like it’s been too long since I’ve gotten an adequate amount of Alvie Bean snuggles. I can’t wait to pick him up tonight and I’m even more excited to spend the weekend with him. (Please remind me of this at 3:30 pm on Saturday when I’m updating my Etsy listing because he never. stops. talking.)

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I actually had a wonderfully productive weekend, even beyond the writing. I did menu-planning and got groceries for the week (although I know we’ll have to restock the bananas midweek), went to pick up my new glasses, got my car washed and the oil changed, got a massage, and brought some of my books to a local book store where they are currently on sale. In addition, I’ll be doing a book reading and signing there on August 10 at 7 pm. If you come, you can ask me anything, buy paperbacks of my books, and get them signed. I’ll also try to convince you to come have a beer with me after (my treat).

Motivation Monday

Today is a very high-anxiety day. Chest-crushing anxiety. (I don’t know why. That happens a lot.)

Thanks to last week, in which I hit 85% of my exercise goals, I know the proper ways to start treating this anxiety.

I have my swim stuff in my bag (and, unlike last week, I packed a comb, flip flops, am charging my swim watch, and brought my goggles instead of the Bean’s). Tomorrow, I will run. Wednesday, I will yoga. Thursday, I will run. Friday, I will swim. And Saturday, I will run.

If I hit 5 of those, I’ll be happy. Even if I don’t get to my time/distance goals on each one, I’ll still be happy to get out there. (Friday, I didn’t hit my swimming goal, and was extremely frustrated until I remembered that it was my first time in the pool in a year and swimming 500 yards was better than all the swims I haven’t done. Some is better than none. I should probably get that tattooed on the backs of my hands and my forehead or something.)

Other things I am doing in the way of self-care include:

  1. Eating healthy and regular meals
  2. Getting back into the habit of meditating
  3. Reframing my life into positive “I am” statements.  (“I am a runner” NOT “I used to run more.” “I am an author” NOT “I write but still have to have a day job.”

Since I have trips planned to Mexico (October) and Spain (March), I also need to really dig into my Spanish refreshers again. I minored in Spanish in college, but haven’t kept up the practice. I could probably skate by with my limited skills and the fact that people everywhere speak English, but I’d rather make the effort – and since Bean didn’t get into the dual-language school, I want to start doing more Spanish at home so he at least has a shot at a foreign language while his brains are still malleable.

(Speaking of brains, I was texting with my PSM this morning and we decided that it was monumentally unfair that one person could have both a defective brain and a defective reproductive system. You should really only have to be stuck with one of those. Although, I guess since she and I are both graced with both breath-taking beauty and dazzling intelligence [well at least one of us is…], maybe this is the trade-off?)

I’ll leave you with a picture of my adorable Bean who’s been at the coast with grandma since Thursday. 

Three Things Thursday: Randomness Edition

  1. I ran Saturday and Tuesday and I have plans to run today with a coworker.
  2. The Beer Guy is out of town this weekend and it’s just me and the Bean. It’ll be the first time it’s been just the two of us for longer than a few hours since last October, I think.
  3. My author copies of my books arrived yesterday! One of each will go in my summer author book giveaway basket (!!!), a few of them are going to a local bookstore (!!!!!) and the rest are waiting for my book signing (!!!!!!!) coming up next month.

Three Things Thursday: Late Breaking edition

  1. Today is my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, mother. I hope you’re having  lovely day.
  2. Yesterday, I got to spend the morning at home due to an under-the-weather kiddo. He’s back in school today and feeling much better, and his sick yesterday meant he slept really, really late and I got a decent amount of writing done on The Ruby Blade. I’m going to need each and every one of you to buy a few hundred copies of my book (each) so that I can make a living from writing. Please?
  3. I am looking forward to reaching a point in my life where I’m not constantly exhausted and can get myself out of bed when my alarm goes off. My plan for tomorrow? 5:45 wakeup call and up & out the door for a run by 6ish. I have my intervals loaded on my phone and will lay out my exercising clothes when I get home. The main challenge is going to be forcing myself to be in bed and asleep by 11.

Happy almost Friday! Woo!

Time to retire this old thing…

Book Review: Chapter Book with the Bean

Over the weekend, Alvie Bean declared that he was a big boy and wanted to have his fancy bed flipped over so he could sleep on the top bunk. One of the things we did after flipping the bed is move all the books from the shelf above his bed and fill the shelf with his books. (For the time being, he doesn’t need access to the manga and beer books that had previously filled those shelves.)

I swear the book next to “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” is “The Art of the Cocktail.”

After we filled the shelves with Bean’s books – both the ones we read regularly and the ones that have been waiting for him to be old enough/responsible enough, etc. – he started asking questions about some of the books he’d not seen before.

And that’s how, when Sunday night bedtime story came around, we ended up reading “The Little House in the Big Woods.”

I have such fond memories of this series. I devoured it in 2nd & 3rd grade. I was pretty sure that our reading of this book (“It’s a chapter book, Mothah.” [He has taken to calling me “Mother” with a wildly affected accent…]) would be over almost before I got anywhere. There’s a lot of words and not very many pictures.

(I was also a little worried about what I was going to have to censor while reading. I don’t mind reading about butchering and killing bears and using a pig’s bladder as a balloon, but there are some distinctly racist things in The Little House on the Prairie, and I don’t remember if there’s anything like that in LHitBW.)

We read half of Chapter 1 Sunday evening – until it was past Mr. Bean’s bedtime. We finished the chapter last night – because that’s what he decided on again. We’ll see what happens (after tonight, he’s at his dad’s for six nights, so he might forget by then), but he’s into it.

We do a lot of segues to explain hunting, and butchering, and what a bear trap is and why people don’t really use them anymore, and he’s enjoying the story and asking really good questions.

 

We talked about headcheese and pate and how sausage was made, and he’s expressed a desire to have some headcheese at the next available opportunity. I was thrilled (he’s already a connoisseur of paté and fancy cheeses…), especially since I just had headcheese for the first time a couple weeks ago! (His diet is still more limited than I’d like, but so much better than it was a year ago. He’ll eat pasta now, and mashed potatoes, and will usually try just about any vegetable, declare he loves it, and then not eat any more of it.)

Ever since he was born, I’ve looked forward to the day that I could start sharing my favorite books with him. For as much as I don’t want him to grow up too quickly, I also can’t wait for him to experience The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. And to be there when he reads A Wrinkle in Time or The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Prydain or…

I’m not sure yet if this book will stand up to the test of time (other than the forthcoming racist bits that I’ve not yet decided how to handle), but I do know that this is an amazing experience.

Every parent thinks their kid is something special. And of course, all children are something special. It’s weird, though, looking at someone that I created (with an assist, obviously) and listening to his questions. His vocabulary astounds me sometimes, and he always wants to learn more, more, more. His “whys” are no longer purposeless (I’m sure that toddler whys have purpose…I’m equally sure that purpose is to annoy the fuck out of their parents), but instead looking for actual answers.

If I succeed at one thing while parenting, I hope that one thing is instilling my love of reading in Alvie Bean.