Monday, January 31, 2011

Need a Writing Boost? It's Not Too Late

Something you may not know (and likely don't care about, but whatevs) is that I try to do a set amount of old fashioned writing, which is normally what I'm doing when I ignore the blog. I like to write with a specific type of pen and I write in composition notebooks, the kind that are plentiful when stores break out the back to school merchandise in July. My notebooks a part journal, part creative outlet, and occasionally provide material for blog posts or other pieces of writing. If I take something to the point that I'm attempting any kind of editing/revising I move it to the computer.

The rough goal I try to hold myself to is to complete one notebook a month. Since I slowed down a bit in late fall, I'm trying to do some extra writing to ring in 2011.

I love this picture of one full notebook beside one fresh, untouched, notebook:

I've been a little stuck in a rut in my notebooks lately so I jumped at this offer from my good friend Jen Violi (info yanked directly from her business Facebook page, hope that's okay Jen!):

28 for $28: DAILY WRITE-AMIN

Any writers or word-lovers out there need a little boost? I’m offering a 28 for $28 February special—consider it a daily write-amin (you know I just can’t resist the new dorky word combos).

For just $1 a day, each day in the month of February, I’ll send you an email with a different writing prompt/suggested activity as well as a little inspiration and encouragement for your writing day. Whether you need some new stamina for an old project, inspiration to start from scratch, or just want to commit to writing as a daily practice for your own personal reflection or transformation, this writing supplement is for you!

Register by Jan 31st (or contact me up 'til Feb. 4th to start a few days late) at!

For the direct link to sign up click here!

I'm so proud of Jen and all she has accomplished (her young adult novel will be published this year). I really admire the way she has taken her passions and turned them into a business. The best part is that she is opening up and sharing her wonderful self with anyone who wants to take advantage of her wisdom. I'm so pleased to be able to support her in living her dream, even in a small way.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Supervision Fail

Michael was playing in the living room the other morning while I was trying to find some information online, in the next room. There was a lot of noise and I asked if he'd gotten his blocks out - which was the wrong question to ask...

He decided he wanted to watch a Thomas DVD, and apparently had some trouble finding one, as ALL of the kids' "shows" ended up on the floor, many of them out of their cases. Oops.

(Yes, we have a lot of children's videos. What can I say. We didn't have cable when Harper was little. And I was in grad school so I will not pretend that she didn't watch TV, she did. I hope she appreciated the variety.)

It's always nice of the children to give us little reminders when we've got the leash a little long, no?

Monday, January 24, 2011


Does expired tea lose its flavor? Because I made some tonight and what I'm drinking tastes less like chamomile and more like hot water. Maybe I haven't had much tea lately and I've forgotten that it does just taste like hot water.


I ordered a netbook on Friday night and now I am obsessively checking the web to see whether it has shipped already. I want it to be here so I can read/comment on your blogs and respond to three year old emails while I watch mostly mindless television. Evening activities unite!


Speaking of mindless television... Is anyone watching the new season of American Idol? I wasn't sure whether I would or not, but I started too, and I am surprised at how much I enjoy Jennifer Lopez. Also, I am a total sucker for the little human interest bits they do - especially when the contestants can really sing. Apparently in my book hardship + any hint of talent = entertainment.


Both of the kids have strep, although Harper's been on meds long enough that she did go to school today. Michael isn't as far along, big sigh. I hope we all sleep a little better tonight.


Last week I went to pick up Harper from school and my car wouldn't start up again when we tried to leave. I called Ann (mother-in-law) to pick up Harper, got a jump from AAA, got a new battery from our favorite local mechanic, and still managed to retrieve Michael from preschool on time. Despite the dead battery I think the universe was on my side that day.


We have concerns about some sort of prowler in our neighborhood. We got a call last Thursday night that a man had parked his car down the street, approached several houses including ours, and then went back to his car and drove away. Strange. There are footprints in the snow from our neighbor's front porch to our driveway - a path none of us ever walk - and there were similar footprints in the snow a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not exactly afraid someone is going to break into our house. That would be stupid because we don't have much of value, we have a ferocious dog (shhhh, he sounds ferocious), and I have a large metal flashlight for shining light into intruders' eyeballs and hitting them in the face.

I am afraid of looking out one of our many windows into the dark and seeing a face right there looking in at me - that is the stuff of my nightmares, seriously.

Aaaaand now I'll need a sedative to sleep tonight.


Harper would like you to know that she got her hair cut again and it is exciting because it matches Kit's hair!


Harper would also like you to know that she lost her other front tooth (while I was having the car battery changed). It came out while eating a piece of pizza! That makes the number of teeth she's lost four and then number that have needed to be pulled out by adults zero. That is happy math.


Michael would like you to be cool and pretend there is something interesting about his teeth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marry a Good One

This morning, when I went to the car to take the kids to school, there was an envelope taped to the driver's window. It was a note from Matt, saying that he was going to come back for me at 11:15 and take me out to lunch to celebrate. He'd arranged for his mom to pick up and watch the kids. He didn't say what we were going to celebrate, but I already knew.

Ten years ago today I met Matt at a church fish fry. No kidding.

And he, all on his own, remembered that this was the ten-year-anniversary of our meeting. And planned a lunch out, just the two of us.

Matt appeared, as promised, at 11:15 with a dozen roses for me. Going to lunch, on a weekday, without the kids, felt like playing hooky. We enjoyed our little break from reality, some time to celebrate us and the family that we've created.

I'm telling you - date whoever you want. But marry the nice one, the smart one, the sweet one - like I did - and life will be good.

(Oh look, there we are, almost ten years ago!)

Friday, January 14, 2011


Michael just followed me into the bathroom (oh the joy of a two-year-old!) and, as I was taking care of things, picked up two extra rolls of toilet paper and started raising them and chanting, "Go Packers! Go Packers!"

The children have definitely caught the playoff spirit, even down here in Ohio, but I'm not sure how Michael confused toilet paper and pompoms.

Both children are going to be very disappointed tomorrow when the game doesn't even start until after bedtime, especially after being forced to sport their Packer apparel all day.


On another football related note - Harper was yelling at the television during a game a couple of Sundays ago. She turned to me and confessed, "I don't really know what's happening, I'm just practicing for when I'm a grown up."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank You American Girl

My head hurts from trying to explain historical fiction to my six-year-old.

Although, to be fair, it was also occasionally difficult explaining it to junior high students. (The same students who were looking for The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, in the fiction section!)

Fridays are library days for Harper's kindergarten class and last Friday she came home with the book Welcome to Felicity's World, part of the American Girl Doll machine. (I notice that these books must be out of print, which will be distressing to my girl who received Kit for Christmas - surely we'll be on the lookout for Welcome to Kit's World thanks to the back cover adverts on the Felicity book...)

While I have not scrutinized the entire book the layout is friendly/accessible enough for a work meant to introduce children to Colonial America, but a kindergartner is definitely not the target audience for that book. In the first six pages I found myself trying to explain Loyalists vs. Patriots, the colonies, the Boston Tea Party, taxes, tar and feathering, the First Congressional Congress, freedom of religion, and why half of colonial children died before age six and how a doll in a coffin helped their siblings understand those deaths. Uh...

Fortunately I have a PTO meeting tomorrow night and Matt will have to tag in and explain the next several pages!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Welcome 2011

Oh, hi!

How are you?

Yesterday my before-blogging friend Erin called to see if we were still, you know, alive over here. As we were talking the children were screaming/playing in the background. I ignored the noise until it reached that certain pitch that means there might be an actual problem. I had to hang up on poor Erin and found that Michael had tried to take a chunk out of Harper's arm. At first I thought there was blood, but no, just a little bruise for a reminder...


That's kind of how things have been - nothing tragic in the last ten days, mostly happily busy with the occasional bump in the road. We are still unpacking (we were in WI for almost a week) and working on incorporating all of our wonderful Christmas gifts into the household. We have not taken down a single Christmas decoration (this weekend, this weekend...) yet.

Anyway - we're still alive and kicking (and biting) in Ohio.

Here is a question for the new year - do any of you have any experience with netbooks?

I feel like most of my day isn't conducive to being tied to the desktop I normally use, which, among other things, means my back is always to the children. I would love to have a laptop or netbook for email and reading blogs and maybe Facebook. That is literally all I want it for - I'm not interested in loading music or videos or photos on it. I am intrigued by the long battery life, portability, and lower cost of a netbook. I'm NOT looking to replace this desktop... Any thoughts are more than welcome!