So You Think You Can Dance

June 2nd, 2011

Our daughter has a problem staying in her own bed at night.  About 3 minutes after we turn off the lights and head to our room to sleep, she’s at the door trying to snuggle her way between us on the bed.

We’ve tried taking her back to bed, yelling, promising rewards, leaving the lights blazing throughout the house. Frankly, we’re tired.

So now she has to dance.

That’s right. She has to dance. Her visits have become less frequent as she gets older, but now she has to pay for the right to stick her big toe up my nose as she squirms around our bed at night.

So we make her dance.

If she comes into the room and asks to sleep with us, she has to dance.

And there’s nothing quite as much fun as the zombie twist she has now perfected. It almost makes sleeping on the four inches of bed she leaves us when she turns sideways worth it.

I’m Done!!!

November 28th, 2009

28 days.  Tears. Swearing. More than my fair share of Halloween candy.

But it’s done.  My very first novel - finished!

51114 words have never felt so sweet.

Jeez, I’m tired!

Off and writing…

November 8th, 2009

So National Novel Writing Month is in full swing.  I’ve been appropriately excited, freaked out, sad, and scared already … and that’s just about my computer starting up (bah da bump! Tracy, that’s for you!).

Anyway, I’m currently 18,461 words in on my journey to 55,000 words by November 30.  And I love it!  Pages and pages of scene development, and almost zero character development.  Then pages and pages of character development, but close to no plot. This is awesomeness at its core.

I’ve fully embraced the “quantity, not quality” aspect of this exercise. But I’ve also found myself falling in love with my characters, watching them (and, hooray!, a plot) develop and unwind. I forgot how much fun this writing stuff can be. I find myself daydreaming about how they are going to react to the challenges I throw in their way.  Hmm, maybe I should be writing that instead of daydreaming about it…

Oh, and I highly recommend leftover Halloween candy as a helping hand for making it through those difficult passages!

Want to watch my progress?  The widgets are now working!

2,605 down. 47,395 to go!

November 1st, 2009

I’ve taken the plunge and have begun National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo (for not-so-short).

You can join me!  You’ve got thirty days to spit out a 50,000 word novel, or in my case, probably 45,000 words of crap and a decent 5,000 short story thrown in.

The point is to just do it - no revisions, no unnecessary hand-wringing over plot holes (aliens! in dresses! at prom! talking SEO! and eating Oreos!), just do it.  Plenty of us talk about it, but who sits down and actually writes.

Well, at least this month, I do.  But I don’t think this blog post counts towards my word count, so I’m outta here!

Check back and cheer me on - I’ll have a widget showing my word count up as soon as it is available from the NaNo site.

Wii Have a Problem

April 8th, 2009

So we got a Wii for the family during Christmas. This fantastic gaming system has become the epicenter for family fun - and also knock down, drag out temper tantrums of the variety I only imagined happened on television.

We’ve noticed that our son’s competitive spirit is sparked by almost everything Wii. From wanting to win every hole of miniature golf to screaming at the tv when he gets a gutter ball bowling (”the Wii is cheating, Mom, it is cheating!), I’m starting to get a feeling for how much everything, well, feels to him.

So when I received an invitation via Mommy Track’d (you know how much I love that site and newsletter) to join up with Pepperidge Farm’s “Fishful Thinking” Brand Ambassador program, I jumped at the chance. Ok, I really just opened a new browser and spent a few minutes signing up (but I did do it during work, if that tells you how excited I was).

Brand Ambassadors - like me - help spread the word about the site, and share their creative ideas about how to instill optimism in our kids.

And it turns our the Fishful Thinking site has all sorts of resources for me and my little “Tiger Woods/Walter Sobchak” to help us cope together with growing up. I’m still exploring everything, but I did take the Resiliance Test the other day, and I think we’re going to make it. Kai has flashes of anger, but he also has a nice mix of compassion and a certain sense of self-soothing that lets him bounce back most days.

But the next time he throws down his Wii-mote after his sister gets a hole-in-one on the crazy lava tube hole, I’m taking five minutes to read the How to Be a Happier Mom article.

Buying into the Bailout?

December 28th, 2008

As you may or may not know, I currently work for one of Florida’s largest credit unions. My life has been consumed lately with promoting the difference between credit unions and banks, focusing on the current economic turmoil, and everything bailout. To say the least, it isn’t exactly the most humor-filled job at the moment.

But that’s before I remembered to catch up on my Google Reader and one of my favorite voices in the credit union industry, Denise Wymore. There is some humor floating out there about the economy, this time at the expense of the American Auto Industry. Click on the image for the full-size version - it’s worth it!

Catholic Mom Fail

December 22nd, 2008

So we’re out walking around on Saturday in Satellite Beach looking at Christmas light displays. The kids are loving it, calling out “Snowmen” and “da Gurinch” (the Grinch in Daphne speak) as they see all of the decorations, when we come across an outdoor inflatable nativity set like this:

I turned to my 4-year-old and asked, “Do you know who the baby is?” To which I received this prompt reply:

“That’s baby Santa!”

Oops! Guess those many, many years of Catholic school, Catholic mass, and Catholic guilt haven’t really rubbed off on him yet. Time to pull out some world religion story books.

And have no fear, my Catholic guilt is kicking in overtime on this one.

While I earn my right to own a rosary back, here’s a photo of the kids enjoying the lights.

O Weihnachtsbaum, O Weihnachtsbaum!

December 18th, 2008

Being from Wisconsin, just the thought of purchasing a fake Christmas tree can amount to sacrilege. But, I confess, this year we’ve done just that.

O Fake Weihnachtsbaum, O Fake Weihnachtsbaum! How I adore thee.
O Fake
Weihnachtsbaum, O Fake Weihnachtsbaum! No more needles dropping from the tree!

Truly, I love real Christmas trees. The smell, the texture, all of it. But with 3 barfing cats, one dog who tears apart everything she encounters, and two kids who would probably climb it, this year a fake one just seemed like a better idea. And a fake one that fit on top of our table seemed like the best idea.

But, one tradition we haven’t changed is our yearly trek to a Hallmark store for each family member to purchase an ornament of their own choosing.

I think my husband found a winner: the leg lamp from A Christmas Story:

But my choice isn’t too bad, either. Anyone remember the mooing barn toy from Fischer-Price? I now have a tree-sized version:

No matter what your tradition or holiday, here’s wishing you and yours the best!

Visions of Sugarplum Fairies

December 6th, 2008

Christmas, I’m told, is right around the corner. What? When did it become December?

Anyway, we hopped on the Holiday Train today by hanging out at my work’s family holiday party. Decorate your own cookie. Face painting. Crafts. Not too shabby. Here’s a pic of my kids getting their sprinkles on:

A Single Drop of Water - Join Together to Eliminate Poverty

October 15th, 2008

On any given day, I’m a wife, mom, co-worker, pun maker, volunteer, microwaver (of the cooking variety, not the scientific researcher of how the contraption heats my food), and friend.

Today I’m also an activist.

Actually, I’d like to think that I’m an activist everyday. But today, I get to share some of my favorite ways we can all make a difference in honor of Blog Action Day 2008. Today thousands of bloggers unite to discuss a single issue - poverty. And today, you can join me and your fellow moms, friends, and tv dinner makers in making a difference in our world.

Moms Rising - working moms balance responsibilities like no one else. A full quarter of U.S. families with children less than six years old live in poverty, which makes this organization’s mission to advance workplace policies that support families even more important. As they say, two full-time working parents should be able to earn enough to adequately care for their family. We can work together to make sure that comes true.

Kiva - Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. As the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, you can have a direct hand in helping families improve their lives. The entrepeneur you choose to lend to repays their loan over time, and you can choose to reinvest in another entrepeneur or put your money back into your own bank at that time. From farmers to seamstresses, you can provide as little as a $25 loan and be repaid in more than just money.

Heifer International - I was just recently turned on to this charity by my mom. Heifer’s tagline is “Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth” and they do that by giving children and families around the world training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. Heifer International purchases and transports food and income-producing animals, and also provides intensive training in animal husbandry; environmentally sound, sustainable farming; community development and global education.

Every dollar can make a difference in someone’s life. And, together, each of our single drops of water can turn into a flood that turns the tide for someone facing a life of poverty.

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