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‘I hope you don’t die tonight’

This is one of the nicest things my youngest son has told me in awhile. Isn’t that crazy? Have I told you this story? About my up and down life with him? I dedicated my latest book to him and he was both amazed and skeptical that I did. haha  He started out so, so cuddly. Well actually he came from the womb a very angry looking child. I had to change the name we picked for him because it was too sweet. He appeared a bit rough around the edges. But boy was he a snuggler. So much in fact that when he was about two years old, he questioned why my husband shared our bed and tried kicking him out. Throughout his younger days, he maintained this bizarre story that he was raised by aliens and brought here on a ship. Like I couldn’t make this stuff up. We actually got worried. Grandparents worried. They would ask if I was told the same recollection about his days before earth. yeah.

Anyway, time passes and he turns five and decides he doesn’t like me. As if I’d grown twelve horns that only he could see. Eventually his heart grew cold toward me. He wouldn’t let me sit near him, look at him…it was awful. He was the last, so it wasn’t as if he were jealous that someone else was taking his place. He just didn’t like me anymore. I would go back and forth from leaving him alone, hurt from his actions, and to keeping resolve that this would pass and I would remain his constant…always there when he was ready. Some days were harder than others. He actually mumbled hateful things to me. FOR NO GOOD REASON.

Fast forward to tonight. It has taken quite awhile to remain a constant, but as he was saying goodnight, he remarked that it was possibleI could die while he slept. Okay. I rolled my eyes and said, ‘I guess I could’. Then he looked at me with those light brown eyes with five freckles marking the bridge of his nose and said, ‘I hope you don’t die tonight’. Be still my heart. My little boy cares if I live or die. Improvement. Finally. 🙂

I’ve been writing….

Okay, that’s weird. But I’m keeping it. Anyway, I’m writing, and it feels so good. I’m in the head of this woman, Lucy. ‘Woman’ sounds so much older than what she is. She’s early thirties. I really like her. She doesn’t appear to be messed up, but as her writer would have it…she is. It’s headed into a series, I believe. One book cannot begin and end her. I’m so excited about it. I have to be careful because so much of my time can be consumed by a new project. I try my best to keep structure to my writing times. I can make no promises of not thinking about it every second of washing dishes, driving my kids to school, and staring ahead at the dinner table. 🙂 I’ll post an unedited scene in my next post. This lady is going to be fun!! And messy…did I mention messy?

Until next post!

 

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And that just happened

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Don’t let the picture fool ya!

So I’m sitting outside my daughter’s school, waiting for play practice to get out, and my car begins freaking out. The locks begin clicking…the lights come on and go out, dim, and become brighter. I’m like ‘what’s going on?’ Within seconds, all goes black. “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Before the parking lot is abandoned, I go to a nearby car and kindly ask the woman if she has jumper cables. I know what you’re thinking…that girl has mad jumper cable skills. Ooh quite the contrary. Girl has no clue when it comes to the transfer of battery power via red and black cables.  So surprisingly she has this nifty emergency bag (she’s not once had a need for probably) and inside is a set of tiny little cables. Bingo. “Now I’ll just call a boy”, I said. “Better yet”, she replied…”I’ll try to go and find a boy”.

Short version of lesson is…why don’t they have a class, given in school, before anyone is allowed to graduate and demonstrate the fine art of “emergency situations and how to adapt”. Changing a tire knowledge would be nice…building a porch would stand out as a great category. Or, how about repairing a leaking faucet. I don’t know about you, but it would be a great change to not have to depend on someone else for things I could know myself, given the proper education. I mean once I’m out in the big bad world, finding a person with a set of unusable cables is about the best I can do. 😩

On to the hair situation. I left you last time with the cliffhanger of my short hair…will it grow, is it growing, am I wearing wigs? Well, I’ve been shampooing with biotin enhanced stuff, eating biotin gummies, massaging my scalp every chance I get, and yanking on the ends at least five time a day. Results…nada, nothing, not an inch. I will say though, it is a bit liberating. Sort of like a boy. Never does it fall into my eyes, blow in the wind, or get tangled after washing. I’m going to miss this little hot mess one day…oh, let it be tomorrow!

In other news of my oldest child…he’s the one in college. Fresh from the feathered nest of home. Where I cooked for, cleaned for, and washed for. Not to mention, sometimes thought for. Not all the time. He is eighteen, after all. But I was shocked to hear news today of him taking on a job without even the slightest text, tweet, or message to me to ask my opinion. I mean it was only last week he wanted me to look at a screen shot of his throat to give advice on seeing a doctor. His FIRST job? Say what? Who cares…he took it. Still no call..*crickets*

Moving on to a health note: My throat is extremely sore. Maybe I got whatever he sent me over in the picture. 🙂 No, seriously…it’s been hurting since the weekend. I powered up and took gads of vitamins. Which I think only trapped the junk in pockets of the throat lining. I’m not unable to breathe, but something just ain’t right. I couldn’t even sing to my power hour of happy songs playlist, on the way to work today. bummer.

One last thing to mention…smallest child came home without a coat. Okay, so it’s in the 40’s here–32 degrees in the mornings. He’s been out sick with a fever for the past 3 days. 3 days! And all because he went out to recess last week and stepped in the saturated playground, thus getting his socks, shoes, and pants drenched in muddy water. Yes! He was able to squish all the day long in water, thus not grabbing the attention of his award winning teacher. How does this happen? So today, after 3 days out for a virus/asthma induced sickness (by way of soaked shoes), his coat came up M.I.A. When asked if he wore it for recess, of course the answer was no. He couldn’t find it. So where is it? And why didn’t someone…oh, I don’t know…like a teacher ask this important question and not let anyone leave the class until it was found. Inquiring minds will never know. I’m off to find a makeshift coat for tomorrow.

Until next time. 🙂

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I am that parent!

boredom598x5681-881x499Do you remember being younger, when all that was offered on television was about 4 channels. And you had to turn the dial on the antennae to pick them up? Am I showing my age? Or were we the only poor family who didn’t have cable? Was cable even offered? Oh, Lordy! Well yes, it happened. We’d set the dial and listen to the rotation of the big thing on top the house. So here’s what was offered most of the day…soap operas from lunch until after 3. Then the horrid news began at 5 and took you through to dinner. First the local news, then the national news. I can still remember the way it felt when my eyes rolled to the back of my head. News again??? What could my dad possibly get out of this one person going on and on and on about things that are so boring it was putting me to sleep. And all my siblings. And there was a moment when I’d catch even my dad dropping off. So why not turn the channel? Why watch the national news and prolong the agony? Didn’t we get tortured enough knowing what happened in our own neck of the woods? What could we do about what was happening nationally? Ahhhh….

Fast forward a few years. Yeah, that’s right. That’s me watching some crappy national news. Am I the remote controller? Not exactly. I’ve married a news watcher. But yeah, that’s me watching it. Understanding it. And it’s not entirely all that bad. As “not bad” as news can be. It’s just amazing how when I was younger, I felt as though my ears would bleed out hearing news anchors go on and on about nonsense. It felt like a most painful white noise. Now it’s coherent. And so I wonder…what do my kids hear when it’s on? At least they can flee to their own television room and watch a vast amount of whatever. Seriously, whatever. Cartoons are on like 5 networks, 24 hours a day. They even have gameshow networks, mystery networks, sports networks….I only got cartoons on Saturday mornings for a few hours. Wow…time has changed. And so have I! 🙂

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Sleep Anyone?

sleepI was particularly grumpy today. I’ve been that way for the last week or so. Why is it that most parents I talk to, all agree that after their kids go to sleep, they feel the need to stay up late and enjoy the alone time? It’s like I’m one-eyed until midnight…barely hanging on, but continuing the fight of sleep, just so I can be by myself. Doing nothing really. The mere idea of being alone keeps me awake. “Hey, I can eat ice cream and read magazines while watching movies until the light of day if I want! And no one can stop me. No one will ask for a spoonful, to change the channel, or why I’m not in the kitchen stirring up a meal. Nope, it’s just me. Me, me, me!!!”

It doesn’t help that I have a promotional month with all the movie channels. I flip and watch, flip and watch…until I’m comatose. Then morning comes and I’m a bear. A real, live bear. My boyfriend is the total opposite. If he doesn’t sleep, he can still function. He can put a new roof on a house, dig a ditch, and paint the barn. Whatever. Now deny him food and it’s a new story. Bear claws will be seen. It’s a good thing we aren’t alike in this manner. Food is a “whatever” for me. I can starve, eat a ritz cracker, and be fine to carry on.

Why do I continue to do it? I know morning is coming. It comes the same time (about) each day. I’m staring at the clock, watching the minutes tick by, and still I make a conscious decision to stay awake. I know! Maybe I’ll set all the clocks back a bit. Like anyone will know they’re getting a head start to slumber. I just might try it. Then I have a fighting chance to get in bed before midnight. And people around me the next day are a little more at ease. 🙂

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My Wish

wishEver wish your kids had some of the things you did while they’re growing up? Every wish you had some of the things they have now?

I’d say I wish more for the first question. I wish my children had more of the freedom I had. And by freedom, I mean less shackles of an internet…of technology. I know I’ve ranted about this before, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been run off the road from a driver who is looking at their phone…more younger drivers than older ones. I already have a son who drives, and four more to go. I would be heartbroken if one were in an accident because either they or another driver couldn’t possibly wait to check something on Facebook. Let’s face it, the internet robs children of outside air. How many kids are inside versus how many are surfing the web, or playing online games?

I also wish that all the little bully sites would go away. I never thought I’d see the day that girls and boys would go online to target and hurt other people. As if to their face wasn’t bad enough. What is this about? (It’s bully week at the elementary school, so I digress). What happened to all the Coke commercials of people holding hands around the world, singing about being one? Is it that we don’t foster enough attitudes about acceptance? We don’t have to agree, but we should accept. So what if the beautiful Asian girl wears camouflage to school? Did that give the prissy girls a right to Facebook what a poser she was? To say her ethnicity shouldn’t wear a certain color of clothing? And ultimately drive the poor girl to kill herself? I hope these girls are appropriately charged with murder, because their unkind, needling words drove her to the brink, I feel. No, they didn’t pull the trigger, but they gave her the gun and showed her how to use it.

Can’t we just all get along? What hurts people, anyway? That’s right…sticks and stones. Maybe we should keep that in mind. And keep more of our words in our heads and not on our tongues.

 

 

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Never Ceasing to Surprise Me

shockedI used to begin my days by logging into Yahoo news and reading all the horrific tales of people. I stopped. I had to. I found that for the next couple hours, while the images were still fresh in my head, I couldn’t focus. Or was it that all I did was focus on the bad…the ugly… and the wrong that people did to one another. But just like everything that’s bad, there’s also good. I was reaffirmed with this knowledge this very morning.

Okay, so it snared me. That stupid news blinked up on my screen while I was waiting to check something on the internet. The caption read something like ‘Slender Man Girl’ confesses to insanity. Really? Slender Man. Who could pass up reading this. And the picture of the adolescent was striking my attention too. She looked like three-fourths of the girls I see trailing out of the school when I wait to pick up my daughter from drama practice. She wore glasses, a tee shirt, and had a typical teenage look. Although something was troubling in her eyes. So I clicked to read it. Why oh why would I do that? Now the story will haunt me. Along with another one that snared me yesterday about a slain boy and two coaches. I thought all day about what happened there. The investigation continues on that one. I’ll try not to check up on it. No promises.

Anyway, the girl along with her friend, both 12 years old, invited another little girl to a birthday party then took her to the park the next morning and stabbed her 19 times. And my daughter wonders why I won’t let her go on sleepovers at other parents houses! Ha, read the stories, baby girl. Or don’t. They will scar you for life. Are you for real? I think I was still playing with Barbies at 12. But whatever. I’m pretty sure Barbies are online or something by now. The reason they killed her, the article read, is because they were pledging themselves as proxies for a ficticious character online, called Slender Man. The dude doesn’t even exist! What are people thinking? What is in their warped minds? And how is it that no one else sees the danger before something goes insanely wrong? The little girl lived, by the way. And now the two teens are being charged as adults because their crime was premeditated and violet. Lives, time, and innocence lost.

While my head is still reeling from imagining the poor little 12 year old pulling herself through the park with 19 stab wounds, I come across an amazing story of another tween. This one is on stage, getting ready to perform for the first time in front of hundreds of people–Simon included. She’s on that show the X-Factor, or something or other. Anyway, she says her name is Grace and she’s written a song. Then she continues by strumming her little ukulele and singing about childhood. She sings about being lost. And it was quite innocent. Nothing like some kids sing about on the radio about things I know they know nothing about–like broken hearts and desire. What could they know? They’re fifteen and sixteen? But this little girl was refreshing. She was shy, yet confident. She said she believed in miracles and it would be one if she made it to the next level. I’m happy to report she did!

So there you have it. Three 12 year old children. Two searching for sacrificial kills to please an imaginary internet character, and one rising star, believing in miracles. People will never cease to surprise me. Even young ones.

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To Keep, or Not to Keep

hoarde.1Today is a lazy Sunday. You would think I would take this time to write. I did stay in bed an extra hour, plotting about Amy. But no. I did not write. Perhaps I’ll blog about that issue at a later time.

Today I began sorting through some things. Pictures, clothing, and toys to name a few. Toys that are keepsakes include Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jesse. And don’t get me started on doll babies. My daughter never took to them, or as she calls them, “creepy things that their eyes follow you around the room.” That’s okay; I can keep them. And so comes the question of hoarding memories. Perfectly cute dolls will not get tossed out. Case closed on that one. Someone could play with them. It could happen.

As for the mounds of picture frames. Yeah, I remember every time my baby turned a different month, off to the photographer I’d go. And home with 20 pictures to frame, I came. Oh, did I mention every time someone close in the family gave me picture, I’d buy an 8 x 10 frame and up that would go, too? Ahh…I have so many enormous frames, it’s ridiculous. Of course, after the third child, you kind of stopped going to the photographer. I was lucky if I took out my own camera more than three times a year. My fifth child just goes through the pictures only hoping to see himself in one of them. Poor guy. So I solved the picture hoarding with stripping the frames and putting the pictures in an album. Or at least I will when I get some at the store. Note to self: pick up at least ten albums. Large ones.

Now for the clothing. I know what you’re thinking: clothing? Don’t you remember precious little outfits you’d dress your child in and want to keep it forever? So I was putting my memory pile together and it began getting really large. As in, “Honey, we need another 3 x-large totes at the store when you pick up the ten albums.”

No, I know they’ll never wear these items again. But I can remember when they did. And do I want another child bustling about in these archives? Granted, some are out of style, but some are classic. Like my little boy’s (okay, so he’s 18 years old) jacket from the “Cars” movie. He wore that everywhere. And a little red robe that my other boy wore (all right, so he’s 16). You never caught him without that thing on. It was like he was a little Hugh Hefner in that thing. Always. Had. It. On.

Where do I stop keeping things? I feel ashamed for tying these items of clothing up for no one else to ever wear. But really… I just need to know they’re there…in the stacked totes should I ever want to recall the memories. Should they ever get married, settle down, and ask where that little pink dress with the daisy on the front is. Am I a hoarder? Does anyone else do this? Feel free to chime in. No, really…. 🙂

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Technology Today

divorce-kid-phoneI was driving down the road today and saw the funniest and sad thing. Weird, right? It was a little girl standing at the end of her driveway, waiting for the school bus. She had a little pink coat with a fur trimmed hat, and her backpack looked like it weighed more than she did. But what was funny…and sad, was that she was holding a cellphone and talking on it. I mean, really? She looked all of ten years old. Elsa, from “Frozen” was probably printed on her coat. A cellphone?

I suppose it’s no different than all the toddlers I see in the grocery store carts holding on to a IPAD, watching movies. Is this the new binky? I’ve actually seen some of them cry when their mom took it to change the app!

I know, I know…this is today. Of course I didn’t have this when I had my babies, but would I have used them to babysit my children? It sure would’ve been convenient, but how beneficial is it for the child’s future? I always took mine out to acclimate them to the public, and teach them how to act when there. Don’t shout for things wanted, don’t run around, and don’t touch everything in sight. Now, I’m not even sure if children even know where they’re at! The tiny screen is all they see.

I have an issue with my seven and nine year old, always wanting to play their 3DS. They’ve become so good at walking and playing, they could jump through fire hoops and not miss a level on their game! My soon-to-be 13 year old daughter keeps shouting how happy she’s going to be next month when she gets her phone. I do a side glance, wondering where it’s written that this is going to happen? Who does she have to call? And why isn’t the house phone acceptable for this type of communication? She has an IPOD that takes care of music and Facebook. A phone? Although, I suppose the ten year old I saw today, chatting it up while waiting for the bus to her elementary school might have something different to tell me! 🙂

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So much to do…

busyI can’t remember the last time I was this busy! It’s fun in a way, but overwhelming in another. I’ve had to make up a notebook to store all the things I have to do. (That was the best part! I added stickers to it; I’m such a sticker lover).

A recap if I may: Last year I spent my time writing books and editing them. I also began this blog, got a Twitter account, and an Author Facebook page. Little, baby things to prepare for when everything got released into the big world of readers!

I knew this year was coming…my debut release, my second book in the wings. But, I never knew it would come at warp speed. I have a feeling this year is going to fly by for me. Let’s not forget that I have a son graduating from high school. I’m trying to soak up the normality of life as I’ve known it for the last eighteen years. Everyone at home, everyone in the same car, at the same dinner table. Pretty soon it will all change. *wipes a tear from her eye.

This month is all about change. I’ve recently decided to fly solo on my first book release. I’m delving into the unknown–marking myself as an Indie. I’ve been inundated with information. How to promote, where to promote, who to talk to about this and who not to use for that! I’m realizing how different the business side of being an author is from the writing side. I can see how distracting it can be. I just hope I do it right. Well, at least the majority of it, correctly. We can’t learn unless we make a few mistakes, right?

Currently, I’m in the beginning of it all. Getting the final proof read, sending it off for format/print, finding reviewers, seeking promotion, finding where my child’s socks are. Oh yeah, I’ve got to do laundry, too. And that job I have as a bookkeeper? Sure, I’ll get there tomorrow some time in the morning. Can’t let people wonder where their tax forms have gone. Dinner? No problem, at all. We’ll eat tacos again. That way we get protein, vegetables, fruit (didn’t you know about tomatoes), and some dairy; I love sour cream on mine. For dessert: Twinkie a la mode. Then I’ll make certain to sign all the report cards and make sure the freezer packs are returned to the freezer. Eventually, I will get to bed. Sleeping is another story. I’ll probably lay in bed and remember everything else I forgot to do!

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To Tattle or Not to Tattle

tattletailBeing the youngest child, I prided myself in being the family’s tattler. It didn’t make me popular with my siblings by any means, but it got me praised by my parents. “Good job, Julie. Now, tell me if they do it again.”

Of course, when you get into school and pull that stunt, you lose friends pretty quickly. My siblings still had to play with me, by order of my mother, but friends dropped you like yesterday’s cafeteria lunch. And, it was a roll of the dice if the teacher was going to be so appreciative to know that little Katie eats things from her nostrils.

Now that I have children, I’m not sure what message to send. Snitches are bad. The very word makes you think they need to be chastised. But, let’s face it, it’s how we, as parents, gather information. Although, it can be daunting, sometimes, to be told every five minutes a play by play of what the other child is doing mischievously, but it has to be known.

The question is always, how do you stay in the middle of the road? To teach a child not to be too tattle-tale like and not to be too dismissive. We need to know when little Peter is striking a match underneath the blankets at night, but we don’t need to know when Carol is bending the spine of the book funny.

I’m finding that you just let them tattle all they want until it’s age appropriate to apprise them of the difference in narking about drug use and tattling about wall booger wiping. For now, I’m in both stages. My smallest is in the second grade and my oldest is a senior in high school. And, it’s surprising what a big help the older siblings are in letting the smaller ones know the deal. Hey, I guess it was fortunate to have so many children!  🙂

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