Friday, July 29, 2011

Counting Down

We have ants in the kitchen. They're not looking for food. Not forming lines or swarming. I think they're just trying to get out of the heat.

My vacation starts in two weeks. I'm excited beyond all belief. But you knew that already. What's leading up to that?

More for Penny than for me, really. She was told that she could have a sleepover at Braz and Adin's new place this weekend, so I expect that'll happen. We have haircut appointments at 8:30 Saturday morning, though, so either she'll need to be ready to go by 8, or that'll have to be Saturday night.

Next week, I'll be talking to my boss about moving me to a part time schedule. Because I'd rather just take the pay cut than continually hemorrhage vacation time, and because if a day off every two weeks is built into my schedule, then I won't feel as guilty about using it to write.

And I have book club. For a book I haven't read yet. Oops. Guess I should look into that today...

Next Saturday, Penny will go to a friend's birthday party in the morning, then spend the afternoon having her own birthday celebration. (The current plan is for her and Adin and I to go get pedicures and then meet up with everyone else for a movie. None of that is solid yet, though.) Whatever the actual events, I expect she'll have a great day.

Nothing much is planned for the week after that, but I've told her she can choose whether she wants to go to daycare/summer camp on her birthday, or stay home with me. She's still pondering.

Two weeks...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Packing Panic

Still more than two weeks to go until my vacation starts, and I'm already starting in with the packing panic.

Okay, "panic" may be overstating things a bit, but I do get a little tense when I'm packing for a trip. I soothe my jitters by making lists, and lists of lists. It's what I do.

So I currently have a two-page-long list of things to pack for Cancun. It's organized by container -- things to go in my suitcase, things to go in Penny's suitcase, things to go in carryon, etc. And each item is categorized by its importance, where importance is determined by how big a hassle it would be if the item were forgotten or lost. For example, a comb is a 4 -- it is very easily and cheaply replaced by a quick trip to the resort's grocery store. As items go up in either expense/hassle to replace or necessity, they go up the scale from there, but most items got capped at a level 2. Even clothes (there's a freaking WalMart in downtown Cancun; replacing several days' worth of clothes would be slightly spendy, but perfectly do-able) and my camera. Category 1 is reserved for the stuff that we really can not afford to lose, for one reason or another: our passports, Penny's diabetes supplies, my credit card.

So I was feeling pretty cool about this whole packing thing (you know -- for me) until this morning, when I thought I'd plug the kids' phone into the solar recharger in the car so it could juice up a little on my drive to work. And I couldn't find the cable.

There's the car charger cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter. There's the cable that runs from the tapedeck to the iPhone so I can play music through the car's speakers. There's another cable that I don't even know WHAT it does... but not the cable that plugs into the solar recharger. Which is a proprietary cable and I can't just pick one up at Target. Which I don't think I've ever taken out of the car, so where the hell is it?

Boom. Panic.

Over a freaking cable? That if I can't find it just means I'll have to be a little more careful about device recharging while we're gone, and otherwise means I've wasted most of the $40 I spent on the recharger?

It's possible that I need to. You know. Get a grip. Just a bit.

Deep breath... In... Out...

Okay. I feel better now.

But I'm going to go look under the car seats just one more time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing Wednesday

I'm trying to make an effort to stay on top of my (new) writing blog, so I'm going to try, for a while, to post to that blog every Wednesday, at a minimum. It cuts into my writing time over here, though -- there are only so many blog entries I can write in a day, after all -- so with apologies, I'll just link you over. Feel free to friend it or follow it or add it to your feeds or bookmark it or whatever is the current Thing To Do, since (I'm hoping) it will become a more active site!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Less than three weeks until the Cancun trip. It's kind of dominating my brain. You're going to hear about it a lot. Sorry about that.


Penny woke up with a blood sugar over 300. So much for that excellent run she had over the weekend.


Alex and Penny have both been all about the iPhone games lately. Alex is playing Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. Penny is playing Angry Birds.

I am spending a lot of time keeping various devices charged.


Scatterbrained? Me? ...Well, maybe just a bit.

Monday, July 25, 2011


We spent a goodly chunk of the weekend helping Braz and Adin move into their new place. Or more precisely, Matt helped them move stuff, and I kept an eye on all the kids so they wouldn't be underfoot. The house is fantastic; I totally have house envy, now. Penny and Alex agree; Penny spent the weekend raving about how awesome the house is, and every time Alex turned around, he was demanding to know when we were going to go visit "the new house".

It was a bad weekend for moving, though. The weather has been not just hot lately, but stupidhot, with highs in the upper 90s and heat indexes well over 105.


I didn't get a single lick of writing done, but I did manage to do some administrative/publicity stuff done. And one of my favorite authors mentioned on the mailing list that she'd read Safe Harbor and loved it and (teasingly) demanded to know when there would be sequels. Which made me squeal like a little girl with excitement. And also to start trying to think more seriously about the few sequel ideas I'd had!


There was a huge storm last night that passed right over top of us; the thunder crashed so hard that it kept setting off Penny's little bedroom doorbell from the vibrations in the walls. And then, hours after it had finally passed and we were asleep, the power went out. I know because at about 1:30, the smoke detectors started chirping at me about their low batteries. I stumbled downstairs and found my cell phone and used it as a flashlight to find the power bill and call the customer service number so I could report the outage. That done, I went back to bed and tried to sleep, but my brain wouldn't shut up. I finally dozed off and woke back up around 3, when the power came back on. I'm a little groggy this morning.


Lest there be any doubt whatsoever about Penny's feeling for our Cancun trip -- I offered last night to show her a few pictures from my previous trip, because I'd been trying to describe the resort and the beach to her, and words just weren't cutting it. Now, I know looking at someone else's vacation pictures can be pretty danged tedious, so I really planned to just show her a handful of pictures so she could have a mental image to work from -- but I'll be damned if she wasn't completely fascinated. She sat with me while I scrolled through each of something like 300 photos, asking questions and exclaiming with excitement.

Eighteen days and counting.


Her blood sugar leveled off over the weekend, too. After running high for most of the last month and us having to fight tooth and nail to get her back down into range any time we ate out -- we ate out three times this weekend, and she only had one high blood sugar, which was probably the result of my underestimating the carbs. It was fantastic, and her mood was noticeably improved, too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Warm Break

In the category of things that are both heart-warming and heart-breaking, Penny and I had this conversation a couple of days ago:

"Mom? Remember when I got diabetes?"

"Yes, I remember. What about it?"

"When that happened, I thought I was the only one! I didn't know any other kids who had it!"

"That's true."

"And camp was so awesome because all the kids had it!"

She's talking about the weekend family camp we went to at the very end of April, more than two and a half months ago. And it was completely out of the blue. We hadn't been talking about camp before that, or even about diabetes, that I recall.

It's hard, sometimes, to really keep in mind that she's not quite eight years old. It's hard to remember what it was like, being eight, but if I really stop and think about it, think hard, I can remember pondering and processing and considering things for months and months like this. I can remember having blinding realizations weeks and months and even years after the events that prompted them. Penny still doesn't grok what diabetes means for her, down the road -- Matt and I are deliberately withholding some of the more gruesome possibilities, because she's not old enough to deal with that kind of fear. But we don't always comprehend that she's still working on processing what she does know. It took her a couple of weeks to get from the camp's "give yourself a shot" class to actually being ready to give herself shots. How much more processing would it take, then, to encompass something so much bigger as sharing this disease with other kids -- and not just a few kids, but a lot of them? It's huge, and it's beautiful, and I'm profoundly grateful once again that she had that experience and that she continues to remember it as something wondrous and wonderful.

On the flip side, I can remember, all too easily, feeling left out at school because there was something that set me apart from the other kids. I didn't even know what it was, because no one talked about "introversion" in the '70s. Penny has several good friends at school and seems generally well-accepted by most of her classmates. She has a few good friends at daycare. She's much less introverted than I was, much more socially stable, so it's hard for us to remember that being "different" is a terrible social burden for kids, and that even the ones who seem popular and well-adjusted may be feeling stressed about the inability to conform. These little conversations, random as they seem, reveal a little bit of that stress in her. I don't think it's a terrible pressure yet, but it is absolutely something I need to try to keep in mind, because it's going to inform a lot of the next decade or so. We may even need to try to make some extra allowances on the "fitting in" front, in order to make up for what diabetes takes away. And we'll keep going to camp, too, because it's going to be very important that once in a while, even if only for a few days a year, she be can be with people who really understand what she lives with, in a way that Matt and I never will. Somewhere she can check her blood sugar and give herself shots without feeling judged or self-conscious.

That she had a fantastic, positive experience at that camp -- that she had a fun time and made friends and still remembers it as a blur of giggling and silliness and excitement -- fills me with joy and makes it worth every little frustration and lost hour of sleep I suffered.

That she needed that experience, that something in her subconscious had apparently been desperately craving the company of true peers... can only make me ache.

Day Off

I took another "no work to do" day off yesterday. (I've been taking at least one of those every two weeks for the last several months, and sometimes more, and if I have to be honest, a lot of the time that I did work could probably have been compressed. I'm beginning to wonder if I should try to negotiate going part-time. I'd be okay taking a 10% pay cut if I could plan on having a day off every two weeks and still keep my benefits. It's keeping the benefits that makes this a bit of a sticky wicket, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if I shouldn't at least ask. The worst they could do is tell me it's not allowed.)

Anyway, I'd been planning on taking the afternoon off anyway, to go see the last Harry Potter movie with Matt. So really, the only unexpected time off was in the morning. I'd been assuming I'd spend it loafing around the house until a friend at work suggested I go to a coffee house and write.

I started to laugh at the cliche, but it was a lightbulb moment, to be honest: if I got out of the house to write, then I was less likely to fall prey to all the distractions that make writing at home a problem for me. I didn't go to an actual coffeehouse, but I did wind up in one of the comfy chairs at Panera. I bought a scone and a cup of coffee (the kind where you can refill it for free) and loaded up Pages on my iPad. I'd made sure the story I'm working on was loaded before I left the house. (I swear, Pages would be so much awesomer if it didn't make saving a document back down to your hard drive when you sync a complete headache -- seriously, I've given up trying to really sync and just email myself the document and copy/paste the changes into the master document in my Dropbox folder.)

I sat in that chair from about 8:30 until probably 11:30 or so, and I wrote. I got up a few times to refill my coffee, and once for a bathroom break. I stopped writing for maybe twenty minutes to talk to a lady at a table near mine who had a copy of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book amongst a pile of library books. It was the sort of amazing and spontaneous conversation that I see in movies and wish was real, and it made me wish I could do that every day.

I wrote about 2000 words -- four or five pages -- and at around 11:30, I suddenly thought to check my email (on my iPhone, because I hadn't turned on the iPad's WiFi, in order to minimize distractions) and Matt had sent me the list of times for the movie. We'd agreed to meet at the Barnes and Noble that's across from the movie theater, so I went over there and wrote maybe another hundred words or so while I was waiting for him.

And then we decided that we weren't all that hungry yet, so we went to the earlier showing of Harry Potter and loved it. (When did Neville turn into a badass?! I loved it! LOVED. And all the nods to characters we haven't seen for ages, and -- I could do a whole blog post on the movie, seriously, but it would sum up to: LOVE.) When it was done, it was after three and my stomach was growling, so we went over to the Corner Pocket for a heavy snack/late lunch (I may always and forever order their "grit cakes" which is basically baked grits with butter and cheese and was perfect). And then I went home (strolling slowly through the Barnes and Noble on my way and almost buying a bunch of stuff).

And then after the kids were in bed, I took the iPad upstairs and wrote another 1000 or 1200 words -- which is a good evening's work for me by any measure. Even though I have to two-finger type on the iPad, which is slower. But the distractions are gone. No kitchen to troll for snacks I shouldn't be eating anyway. No little blue twitterbird in the menu bar telling me that someone has said something. No email icon. Not even the temporary distraction of having the online thesaurus to consult when I can't think of the word I want. I just use a word that's close enough and promise to fix it in the edits. And I just. Keep. Writing.

It was a fantastic day. And even though I adored the movie -- I cried at least three separate times and there was only one bit that I thought was possibly just the littlest bit cheesy and over the top -- I think the day still would've been almost as wonderful (or maybe even just as wonderful) if I'd gone back to writing (either at the Panera or in one of the B&N's comfy chairs) once Matt and I had met for lunch.

This is why you hear about writers going to coffee shops, I guess. This is why Lynn does her best writing at the freaking laundromat. Because you do whatever you have to do, whatever works, to force yourself to put away the distractions and Just. Keep. Writing. Because there's nothing like writer's high.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Planning Ahead

In which I very carefully click on the correct blog-posting link, so that I don't post my morning babble to my authorial website that hasn't been announced because it's still kind of in development. You know, like I did yesterday, after which I sort of rolled my eyes at a friend who asked if I was going to post anything today, because I'd just posted. You know. To the wrong blog. That she didn't know about. *bonks self on head*

I ordered birthday presents for Penny yesterday, so we're pretty much good to go there. I'd been considering buying her an inexpensive digital camera to take along to Cancun, but the problem I kept running into while shopping was... well, in a nutshell: you get what you pay for. Every camera I looked at had some combination of problems in their reviews -- short battery life, no swappable memory cards, shoddy construction, crappy flash...

I finally decided that, since I'm going to be taking the old iPhone along so she can watch movies and play games anyway, she can use the camera on that. Granted, the iPhone has some of the same problems (no swappable memory and no flash, namely) -- but we already own that. And I'll be bringing the recharge cable for it anyway, and the resort has free wifi now, so if she fills it up, I can just mail pictures home and then delete them. And that's one less gadget to tote along, so that's a bonus, too.

(We might, however, splurge on a single-use underwater camera and take silly pictures of ourselves in the pool and/or ocean.)

I really should start planning our packing. What to take, how much gear to pack, what goes in the checked bag and what goes in carryon, diabetes supplies...

(Any of my D readers done a big vacation before? How many extra strips/syringes should I bring, given that we'll be partying it up and probably eating significantly less healthily than usual? I'm guessing at least 1-2 extra shots a day to keep up with the food, and 2-3 extra BG checks a day to stay ahead of lows caused by more activity than usual. Most of it will go in carryon, of course, but I want at least 3 days' supplies in carryon in case our luggage gets lost. We've flown domestically with her supplies before, but never left the country -- anyone ever have trouble with that?)

Penny and I worked it out in the car this morning: 23 days remaining until her birthday, and 24 until we head for Cancun. Let the countdown begin!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Nutshell

Missed posting yesterday -- it was one of those mornings.

But the weekend wasn't so thrilling I was on edge to talk about it, really. Took Ripley for a few hours Friday night so Braz and Adin could take Henry to the Urgent Care for an injury. We had Jenn and Brian over Saturday for what was supposed to be grilled chicken, but the grill didn't cooperate, so we eventually gave up and ordered Chinese. Had a great time sitting around talking with them until probably way too late. And then Sunday we met my family at the Samurai (hibachi restaurant) for Sam's birthday dinner.

Add in Alex getting out of bed and Penny being alternately surly and wonderful (those teen years are looking more awesome by the day!) and that pretty much sums up the weekend.

So right now, dealing with weird work situations (stupidly busy, but not enough charge numbers) and home situations (Matt's car and mine have been recalled, so we're sort of taking turns not having a car this week) and life and stuff. Braz and Adin are moving into their new house this weekend, then we have two weekends with nothing much happening, and then it'll be Penny's birthday and the trip to Cancun! Whoo, less than four weeks!

And that's pretty much my life right now. That and trying to get my writing brain kickstarted.


Also, I realized 12 hours after posting this initially that I posted it to the wrong damn blog. No wonder my friend K. was sending me emails pouting about there being no blog entry. That's what I get, I guess, for clicking the "New Post" button before I've got my coffee in hand, and not checking which blog it is...

Friday, July 15, 2011

That Kind of Morning

Alex woke up at 4:45 and wandered into Penny's room. Matt heard him before I did, this time, so he was the one who got up and put Alex back to bed.

Which did not prevent Alex from trying to sneak out of his room at 6:05 -- I was just sitting up and caught him at it. "Hey, Alex. Whatcha doin'?"

Pause... "I was just sitting on my stool." Kid's trying to learn how to lie. Isn't that adorable?

While I was doing my exercises, Penny came down dressed in her beautiful Easter dress and carrying her little patent leather purse. I should explain: there's a girl her age at the daycare who apparently told Penny that she had nicer clothes than Penny did. This upset Penny, and now Penny wants to prove to this girl that she has nice clothes, too.

Now, Penny's had this particular dress for two years, and I actually am okay with her wearing it to daycare... but they're going on a field trip to a park today. So I told her she could wear her fancy dress on Monday, but today, she needed to wear run-and-play clothes. She asked if she could just wear her t-shirt and shorts under her fancy dress and change for the park. No, I said, go change.

There was some back and forth. I'm sure you can fill it in. I ended up yelling at her to go upstairs and change, already, and quit arguing with me about it.

Then as we were getting ready to leave, Alex handed me an attitude about not wanting to put his cup of milk away, and I had to whip out the numbers. (Nothing is more terrifying to a three-year-old than a parent slowly and sternly counting to three. I have no idea why, but it works about 90% of the time. It's important to have follow-through if you do actually get to three, though.)

And in the home stretch approaching daycare, Penny and Alex got into a fight over a toy. I ended up taking it away from both of them.

So it was that kind of morning, and I'm really, really hoping it doesn't turn into that kind of day. Or that kind of weekend. We've got fun things planned for this weekend... if I can get the kids to act like people instead of sleep-deprived monsters.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Early Morning Sunrise

So Alex has realized a fundamental truth about his new bed: he can get out of it.

Every night, I put him to bed. Every night, he pops up less than ten minutes later to "go to the bathroom". To be fair, he does go to the bathroom, and he does usually go right back to bed. I tried taking him to the bathroom before I put him down one night -- that night, he got up three times in half an hour. To "go to the bathroom."

But that part's minor, really. Hell, Penny still does that, two nights out of three. It's one of those things where we point him back to bed if he tries to stop and talk to us, but the whole time we're trying not to let him see us smiling about it.

The part that's killing me is that he's also realized that he can get out of bed in the morning. For whatever definition of "morning" you care to name.

For instance, he woke up this morning, apparently, around 4:30. The good news is that he did not come into our room, which is what Penny used to do. No, Alex either recognizes that we would just send him back to bed or else would rather play with his sister. So he went into her room and woke her up. And apparently they managed to play quietly enough that Matt and I slept through it until somewhere around 5:30, when they started playing some game involving Alex sliding down Penny's legs, and the giggling woke me up.

I made Alex go back to his room, but neither of them were happy about it. But I don't care much, because I wasn't happy about it, either -- because the act of my getting out of bed cued the cat that it was time for breakfast, and he immediately became a whiny pest.

He became so whiny, in fact, that at some point Alex decided that he was going to get out of bed and go feed him. The only reason the whole kitchen wasn't strewn with cat food was that Alex was not strong enough to open the tupperware container that we keep the cat's food in. So instead, he decided to have himself a little snack -- a piece of chocolate from of his candy bag.

I didn't discover all this until I gave up and got out of bed at six, and was met with Penny in the hall: "Where's Alex?" When I found Alex in the kitchen, he was sitting on the floor, huddled in the corner like a lost waif, little pieces of foil wrapper scattered at his feet.

Sigh. In fifteen years, when he's going off to college and the house wakes me up early in the morning with its emptiness and silence, I'm going to look back on this fondly, even longingly.

But right now? Right now, I want everyone in the house, even just occasionally, to sleep past six.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Froggy Four

In one month exactly, it will be Penny's eighth birthday. She'll be allowed to ride in a car without using a booster seat. So when we leave for Cancun the next morning, she'll be sitting a few inches lower than usual.

The timing works out pretty well -- we'll take her booster seats out of our cars and put them on a shelf for a few months until Alex turns four and is big enough to ride on a booster instead of in a toddler's seat.

And then shortly before Alex, in turn, is big enough and old enough to give up the booster, Penny will turn twelve and will be allowed to ride in the front seat of the car.

And when Alex finally earns that privilege, Penny will have just turned sixteen and will be learning to drive. (Is there anything in the universe that fills me with more terror than the idea of Penny and Alex driving around town on their own? Probably, but I can't think of anything just now.)

It's like a game of leapfrog in four-year increments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


One more quick plug for my novella that was released this past weekend. It's on the sidebar, or you can check it out (and read the steamy excerpt, wink-wink-nudge-nudge) right here. And if you like it (or even if you don't!) pretty pretty please go rate it and/or review it at or Goodreads or somewhere! Please. 'Cause you like me.

And also because you like Stuff. I'm holding a contest, all this week, on my writing blog -- go check it out and enter to win!


That's it. I promise, no more book shilling here. At least, not until I get another one sold, heh.

But speaking of purchases (see what I did there?!), Matt and I finally got around to buying one of John's paintings yesterday. We've been meaning to buy it since last year, but first John wanted to keep it long enough to get a decent picture of it for making prints, and then both of us kept forgetting, and then the dang thing was too big to fit in our cars if we had the kids along...

So yesterday, we finally met up with them for lunch and John brought the painting and I brought the checkbook. Huzzah! And then when I got home from work, I hung it in Penny's room. Which was not as easy as it sounds, because it's a pretty danged big painting, set in a heavy wooden frame, and John had put the hanger wire on pretty tight so not much stuck out from the frame and I couldn't keep my arm behind the painting to hold the wire in place and blah blah blah.

I did get it up before everyone got home, but not before I'd dropped the dang thing right on my foot. I thought I'd broken something for a minute or so -- I had one of those things where my eyes filled up with white light and it hurt so much I couldn't even curse. But the toe still wiggled and I could still walk, so it's just a really nice, bone-deep bruise. Right at the base of my toe, where most of my shoes press. I'm going to be wearing my 5" heeled sandals and my da-glo orange flipflops for the rest of the week, apparently.

But it was worth it. When Penny went up to her room to change clothes for bed last night, she finally saw the painting and just about lost her mind with excitement.

(Now John needs to paint something we like for Alex's room. Go on, John. No pressure.)

Monday, July 11, 2011


7:30AM - Phone rings. It's the delivery people, calling to let us know they have one delivery ahead of us, and then they'll be at our house to deliver our new beds. I wake Matt up and tell him if he wants a shower, now is the time. I move the rocking chair out of Alex's room and into ours while Matt stumbles out of bed, sets a speed record for showering, and starts to disassemble Alex's crib.

8:30AM - Delivery folks show up. I keep the kids downstairs and out of the way while Matt tries to stay ahead of them in clearing space before they'll need it. By 9:30, both beds are completely assembled.

9:30AM - I take Alex shopping for sheets for his new big-boy bed. He picks out one generic design with cars and trucks on it, and one "Toy Story" themed set. Then, because I'd been disgusted by the look of our natty boxspring on top of our shiny leather-covered bedframe, I go shopping for a bedskirt, and end up also buying all new sheets and a comforter cover. I'm a dork like that.

11:00AM - Matt and I rearrange Alex's room (including the very heavy bed's placement) so that we can actually open all the assorted drawers and doors on the bed and the dresser and have room to walk.

12:00noon - Alex takes his first nap in his big-boy bed. He goes right to sleep, and wakes up two hours later. Success!

1:00PM - My dad arrives with his pickup truck. We load it with the crib and old bed parts, and an assortment of other things we're getting rid of. I follow my dad to the dump (farewell, crib: you served us well for eight long years) and we heave everything out. Then I follow him back to my folks' house and chat with them about plans for going to Cancun next month.

8:00PM - Alex goes to bed in his big-boy bed. I peek in on him an hour or so later, and he's out cold, sleeping peacefully, his head on the pillow as if he'd always slept that way (instead of upside-down or all over in his crib).

11:30PM - I go to bed.

11:45PM - Just as I'm drifting into a drowse, Matt flings himself up the stairs and into Alex's room. As he opens the door, I hear Alex crying. He'd fallen out of bed. I don't get up just yet -- Alex is probably just bruised and scared, and would not actually benefit from having both parents hovering around. I stay in bed and just listen until I hear his screaming getting more frantic instead of calming, and Matt says, "Liz, he's bleeding!"

As near as we can determine, he fell out of bed and smashed his face into his little stepstool on his way down. It split his lip, scraped up his upper gums, and might possibly have chipped a tooth. It takes a good hour for us to stop the bleeding and get Alex calm enough to get back into bed. (I suggest getting out the inflatable mattress and letting him sleep on the floor for the rest of the night. Alex is adamantly against this idea; he wants his big-boy bed.)

1:00AM - I'm in Alex's bed with him. Matt goes back to bed, but we leave the door open so Matt can hear us if we call for him. Alex has stopped sobbing, but every time I mention that I'm going back to bed, he gets teary and pouty and asks me to stay.

1:30AM - Alex is still awake. He tells me I'm taking up too much space in the bed. I offer to go back to bed, and he gets teary and pouty and asks me to stay in his room, just not in the bed. Grudgingly, I sit on the floor beside the bed. After half an hour, I get a blanket from the linen closet and lay down. Alex talks to me a couple of times, I think just to reassure himself that I'm there. Eventually, I drift off to sleep.

3:30AM - I wake up. My back is killing me. Alex is sound asleep, so I leave the blanket on the floor (and make sure the stepstool is at the foot of the bed so we can't have a repeat) and stumble off to my own bed.

5:30AM - "MOM!" I sit bolt upright and pretty much teleport into Alex's room. He's fine. Still in bed. Just woke up and spoke to me and I didn't answer, so he'd panicked. I sigh, resigned, and settle back down on his floor with my blanket. He, of course, has no interest in going back to sleep. He starts talking to me at 5:45, and doesn't stop. I manage to keep him in the bed until 6:15, but then give up and let him up. So I got, what, three and a half, four hours of sleep? The good news is, he says his injuries don't hurt anymore. I expect that will change as soon as he's trying to eat, but I'm relieved he's not in pain just from talking and smiling.

(Braz and Adin picked up some bed rails for us while they were at K-Mart, and I put them on the bed after Alex woke up from his nap. No more rolling off.)

But the good news is: the new beds are lovely, I'm pleased with the new sheets I bought, and Alex is very excited about his whole new bed setup. He told pretty much everyone we encountered all about how now he could get up and go potty and go back to bed all by himself. Also, the kid is tough, both mentally and physically -- he had no qualms about sleeping in his bed again after his spill, even before we'd put the rails on it, and aside from a little trouble biting into hard or crunchy things (toast, apples) with his front teeth, he doesn't seem to be in any real pain from his injuries.

Oh, and also! My book was released! And this time, they didn't release it just on the publisher's site, but also for distribution, so it's available at Amazon.Com and AllRomanceEbooks, and possibly other distributors as well (those are the big two, for Torquere). I'm freakishly excited, and I'm holding a contest on my writing blog -- go, enter to win!

Friday, July 8, 2011


My new book from Torquere Press is being released tomorrow!

Yeah, I know. I try to keep this blog mostly day-to-day ramblings about family and friends. I try to avoid obsessing about my diet (though just lately I'm loving SparkPeople despite the too-busy interface) and I try not to ramble on forever about the writing or peddle the smut...

But I do make exceptions for milestones. And a new book (well, novella) being released is definitely a milestone.

Here's the blurb:
Rafe's first dozen years were brutal, defined by privation, abuse, and terror in the slums of the free city Haven. When Maestro Servio, Haven's finest shipwright, offers the boy a position as an apprentice, Rafe finds himself bewildered and confused by a world he'd never hoped to enter, and suffering nightmares that are memories of the past he only wants to leave behind. In order to survive, he relies desperately on his fellow apprentice, Tyver.

As they enter adulthood together, Rafe realizes that his friendship with Tyver has grown into something deeper. He dreams of making Tyver his lover, but before that dream can come true, Rafe must set aside lessons of pain and fear that he's learned all too well, and instead learn to trust not only Tyver, but himself.
 Check it out tomorrow at Torquere Press!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Got Nothin'

Mouth still hurts. Though I'm thinking the spots under my tongue aren't actually blisters, but canker sores taking advantage of less-than-usually-healthy tissue. I arrived at that conclusion when a new one appeared on the underside of my tongue last night. I think I'll stop at the store on my way home and pick up some Chloraseptic to help with the pain, because even talking was sort of painful last night.

I finally put together a hook for a submissions call that I want to write a story for, and wrote about 800 words on it. It's a short story call (maximum 3000 words) so hopefully that one won't take too long to knock out, now that I have my hook in place.

Matt and I watched Everything Is Illuminated after the kids went to bed. We'd tried to watch it the night before, but the DVD turned out to be damaged. Last night, Matt found it on Netflix streaming, so we went ahead and finished it. But I've already forgotten the very funny line I was going to remember to use instead of "go to hell". Dangit. On the other hand, Matt and I may spend a week or so randomly saying "Sammy Davis Junior Junior" to each other in a thick Russian accent.

For a week where we're delivering some twenty-odd documents, things have been very slow for me. What that means is that this afternoon and tomorrow are going to completely suck.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Saturday morning, I had a hard-boiled egg.

I like my hard-boiled eggs to be warm, so I put it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Yes, I know that was dumb, but I poked it with a fork to let the steam out.

Apparently, I didn't poke the fork far enough into the egg, though, because when I bit into it, the egg exploded inside my mouth, releasing scalding steam into the area at the bottom of my mouth under my tongue. (I curl my tongue up when I bite into things; it's a reflex formed back when I was a kid and I used to get canker sores by the dozen and if I didn't get my tongue out of the way of my teeth, I would bite it and make the damn sores hurt even more than they already did.)

My tongue itself is more or less back to normal (it still feels a little weird, but no longer actually hurts). The area under my tongue, however... not so much. It is, in fact, even more painful today than it was the day it happened. I took a look last night and noted that the whole area is bright red, dotted with little bits of white. I actually blistered the inside of my mouth with that stupid egg.

And, naturally, I planned a lot of tomatoes in this week's meals. Tomatoes are highly acidic. In case you're wondering: Acid on a blister? Not such a pleasant feeling.

Sigh. Guess I'm halving my heated eggs from now on.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Three Day

Hooray for three-day weekends!

We hung out with Braz and Adin Friday night, and Penny was invited to spend the night with Ripley and Sarah, so she did that. Saturday morning, we all met up for breakfast, and then we all went down to the Haynes Furniture in Newport News -- us, to find Alex a new, "big-boy" bed, and Braz/Adin to get some furniture for their new place that they're moving into in a couple of weeks.

Matt and I not only found Alex a bed (it's a nice one, too, with shelving and cubbies built into the headboard and underneath, and "grown up" looking so it'll  be a completely appropriate bed for him until he grows up and leaves home) but we also found one for ourselves -- the headboard looks like two leather chairs set side-by-side, which Matt thought might be nice for me when I'm writing (since I tend to do that in bed).

The whole kit and caboodle will be delivered this coming weekend (and assembled -- I know my dad would happily save us the delivery fee by loaning us his truck, but the delivery fee also includes assembly, and I'm willing to pay that fee to not have to struggle with putting Alex's complicated new bed together!) -- which means we have a fair amount of work to do in the meantime. To fit Alex's bed in his room, the rocking chair will have to move into our bedroom, which means we need to clean out all the accumulated junk we've been shoving in there and ignoring for mumbletenyearsmumble. We made a pretty good start on it this weekend -- threw out a lot of stuff, and took a couple of boxes of books to the storage unit. Matt's going to offer up some stuff on Freecycle, and I've got a few boxes to take to the thrift store to donate. Alex's crib will go to Freecycle as well, I think, as soon as we've got the bed.

Adin and Braz bought a sofa and table and stuff, all of which looks really nice, and I can't wait to see it in their new place!

After Alex's nap, we took the kids to the library to turn in their weekly reading charts for the summer reading program, and then Matt went to his D&D game. I took the kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner so they could play on the playground instead of driving me nuts at home.

Sunday afternoon, Braz and Adin came over to do their laundry (I know they're looking forward to the new place and having a washer and dryer and not having to save it all up and lug it to our house on Sundays) and stayed for dinner, and Penny asked Sarah if she could stay the night, and the assorted parents agreed.

Matt got up with all the kids on Monday and made blueberry pancakes in celebration of the Fourth. I got up and got dressed and made potato salad with the red, white, and blue potatoes we'd gotten in our CSA box, and then I helped Penny and Sarah make gummy candy in patriotic colors. ("Helped" means I measured the ingredients and set timers. The girls did all the stirring and spooning. As was evidenced by the thin layer of gelatin on everything when they were done.)

We met up with Braz and Adin for lunch, and then we all went to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt. (Mmm, frozen yogurt...)

After Alex's nap, we trooped down to my parents' to have BLTs and potato salad. Yum. I'd picked up some silly headgear from the Target $1 bins...

Our state doesn't allow even sparklers (not sure when that changed -- we had them when I was a kid) but I picked up some pullstring poppers for the kids to enjoy a little bang.

They had so much fun, I think next year I'll buy some more. It's a good thing I got them, too, because while we were eating, it rained hard and all the local fireworks got canceled. Alas for Penny and Matt!

But it was still a pretty good long weekend! Now, I just have to survive this week...