He's Here!!

The little Mystery Man himself has joined the world!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me and all my whiney pregnancy posts. :) It's all worth it and he's beautiful, of course. He has light red hair (fulfilling my belief that he'll look like Roy Hobbes from The Natural) - and he's my tinyest baby yet - just 7lbs 9 ounces!

We're all recovering well after a crazy, harried night. I'll spare you the details except to say that the second time we were sent home by triage, DH said "um, no" and checked us into the Holiday Inn 5 minutes away. I had another brief thought about "what if there's no room!" and my empathy for Mary continued. Fortunately there was room, and a hot bath, and not a sheep in sight, but I'll tell you that with each child my respect increases for women who have done this alone. It's scary, scary thing - and of course, the most rewarding thing imaginable!

Here's to babies everywhere!

Merry Christmas to all!

"Give thanks for all you've been blessed with

And hold your loved ones tight

For you know the Lord's been good to you

On a snowy, Christmas night."*

Yes, we had a white Christmas here in Seattle! The paper called for rain, but around 1 it started snowing and snowed most of the day. So beautiful!!!

I hope everyone celebrating had a wonderful Christmas day. We kept things to a much smaller scale this year, but it was every bit as magical with all of our family around and the kids singing carols around the tree and trying to out-recite each other!

We were kind of hoping for a baby Christmas night, but it was not to be. Soon though - very, very soon.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

*I don't know who wrote it, but that is the chorus of a song from one of my very favorite Elvis Presely Christmas tapes - back when I was young enough to own cassette tapes. ;)
And the picture is of Woodland Park Zoo all dusted in snow.

D-13, random bits, and a funny story

Just one more day till Christmas Eve. WOO!!!! That means one more day to get through till I can start wishing in earnest that the baby arrives. And of course, I just need to wish really hard -right?!

I'm pausing to reflect right now that the above paragraph sounds really happy and enthusiastic, at great contast with my actual, physical mopey self.

Isn't the internet great. :)

All I have left to do is to wrap two presents that I can't find (2 year old alert) and rewrap two presents that I previously wrapped (2 year olds are so much fun.)

I'm still on Christmas break from writing, but am jotting down notes and adding agents to my agent spreadsheet. Just curious - does anyone here use Litmatch.net or Querytracker.com? I'm wondering if it's easier than my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet.

Also, I'll leave you with a humerous conversation I had with my 7 year old, who is still trying to face her fear of zombies. All credit for the "zombie defeating device" idea goes to my wonderful blog buddy, Anissa.

To set the scene - it's midnight. I'm in bed but not asleep, as usual these days. The door opens... in comes a little red head, with a miners light strapped to her head, glowing red - it's what she reads by. The whole room lights up.

Red head: I'm afraid of zombies.

Me: Oh really.

Red head: I know, I know they're not real, but I just can't stop my imagination!

I see a cardboard tube that formerly held wrapping paper propped up by the side of the bed. Great! I don't have to move! I grab the tube and hand it to her.

Me: Here, take this - it's a zombie defeating device.

Red head: It's a cardboard tube.

Me: It changes the undead to real living creatures. They can't turn you into zombies if they're living. We'll just calmly escort them from the house after you hit them on the head with the tube.

Red head: MOM!!!! It's a tube!

Me: Are zombies real?

Red head: No

Me: Then the tube is as real as the zombies.

She leaves in disgust, closing the door behind her. Thirty seconds later the door opens again - hand reaches through the open door

Red head: I'll take the tube.

D-14 and other musings

Thank you for the anniversary congratulations! It was a fun night. :)

It's now 2:43 am and I'm blogging. That's never a good sign. Welcome to the final two weeks of pregnancy, self. I actually don't mind the quiet house in the middle of the night. It's an added perk to not being able to sleep. That and unfettered access to the chocolate covered cherries without the cries of "Mommy, what are you eating?!" ... "oh, nothing..."

The only trouble spot, is that the little ones don't accomodate my nocturnal wanderings. They have the nerve of waking up on time!

At this point, I'm hoping and praying to NOT have the baby till after presents are opened Christmas morning. If I had him now, I'd miss all the fun and excitement. If I can just hang on a couple more days, I'm good! I'd even be fine with a baby born late Christmas day. I never know what to do after all the presents are opened, anyway. ;) Another birthday celebration would be tons of fun!

I will say, that rather than gripe about "missing" out on the fun of Christmas shopping (I can't walk that far - it's hazardous at this point!) and baking (can't stand up that long) and generally being in good spirits replete with Christmas joy (I'm missing that, for sure!), I'm thinking that the story of Christmas was about a young girl, pregnant, and probably miserable, riding on a donkey far from home and without the benefit of prenatal care and epidurals.

I'm sure that her back was killing her, too, and that her feet were swollen from hanging over the edge of that donkey, and Joseph was probably driving her out of her mind. And yet, she kept going. She made it to that stable and she bravely had that little boy, virtually by herself.

I'm sure she felt all alone, anyway. She didn't know she'd be setting the stage for beautiful carved creches for centuries to come. She just knew she was in a dirty, cold, stable with animals, and pain, and a baby she couldn't possibly understand. And I'm grateful - for that little extra bit of understanding that I have this year.

Next year - I'll happily enjoy my ability to walk and sleep and bake and laugh again, but I hope I remember this glimpse into Mary and this, albeit distant and small, feeling of kinship.

Happy Anniversary to Me!

OK, I'm a day late - but I was out celebrating last night. ;) November and December are really busy for us around here! We had lots of fun out at a new Indian restaraunt (I love going out for Indian food, 'cause I can't cook it!) and really just did a lot of deep breathing and catching our breath. It's been a hectic time!

But, I've got all but three presents wrapped - two because I can't find them (oops) and one because the intrepid two year old unwrapped it and handed it to me proudly - little scamp that she is!

Now, if I just get my Christmas cards out tomorrow, and buy that one last present, I'm all good. I can just sit back, drink my eggnog, and wish the baby would show up! It's really a daily battle between me and all manners of self-inducing. Just say no. Just say no. SO HARD!

Also, I got a particularly painful rejection yesterday - more painful because it said a lot that was encouraging, so I can't just say she doesn't know what she's talking about! HA! Also, I have a lot of respect for this agent. But, no matter, I've still got other lines in the water and I'll pick up the querying in earnest again after the new year. I'll also start working hard on Lamplight (working title) with a goal of finishing the first draft by Easter.

That all might be a bit ambitious with a newborn and more importantly with a two year old scamp, but I may as well aim high and then see what happens!

Off to bed blog buds - it's D-16 for anyone counting!

D - 18

Yep, just 18 days to go. A veritable eternity unto itself when taken moment by moment. But I tell myself it's like jogging around the track -- that mile marker seems a long way off till you look behind you and realize how far you've come. Eighteen days *ago* doesn't seem like that long.

So. Theoretically, I'll make it. Dh has ordered me to surrender all castor oil or castor oil like substances till after Christmas. We'll see...

In the meantime, I distract myself. If you all aren't reading Meg Cabot's blog, go check out her latest post. She's posting while on Percocet, and while she's normally funny, she's really hilarious now. I'll just say she's referring to her one remaining ovary as Lefty. It's funny enough to make me overlook the fact that she's dissing my tv boyfriend Steve Carell and my new favorite movie Dan in Real Life. I mean, sure, they do aerobics as a family in the movie and have crossword wars and when I came home from the film and suggested both of those activities I was met with blank stares of horror - still, it works in the film - and it's hilarious. And it's Steve Carell. Need I say more.

OK, just one little picture.
So, that's probably enough for one post. Check in tomorrow to see if I made it through day 17. ;)

Querying, pregnancy, and whatnot

I'm really having fun with querying. Once I got over the initial sting of rejections, the requests are so much fun!! I've got a few out there now, and the anticipation is so fun!! It's kind of crazy that it's coupled with the anticipation of a new little baby and Christmas, all rolled into one rollicking month!

I'm officially taking a Christmas break, now, from sending out queries or working too hard on the next book. I can't put it down entirely, but there will be no daily word count goals from here till Christmas. I need a little bit of a mental break to focus on getting Christmas done (any other mom's out there know what I'm talking about) and just surviving till the baby arrives.

BTW - I highly recommend keeping track of actual numbers/stats while querying. My mind definately amplified the rejections and downplayed the requests. Hard numbers help!

Those same hard numbers tell me I have just three weeks till the baby arrives. Everyone around me seems to concur that I can't actually be pregnant forever, but it never fails that right around this time, I'm pretty sure I will be. I mean, honestly, in my heart, I'm pretty sure this could actually last forever if I don't do something about it. Someone should do a study on that particular breed of insanity. ;) I volunteer!

And on it goes...

Thank you all for the encouragement in this home stretch of the pregnancy. Yes, these next few weeks are going to c-r-a-w-l by. Each day is its own little eternity. But things are getting more fun in query land, so that's distracting me from counting new stretch marks. ;)

I'm editing away, polishing up my manuscript till I can see my reflection in it. And you know what, it's painful. It's like that scene in Harry Potter where Dumbledore pulls the memories out of Harry's head - I feel like I'm pulling the words out one by one. But it's also really satisfying because I see it getting so much better! I just hope the agents agree with me!

We've had a little more snow here in Seattle - this has been a really weird weather week. First we had the dumping of snow last weekend, then the flooding, and now more snow. The kids are loving it!! We've got a lovely little flocked tree up now, too, so the winter wonderland has moved inside.

OK, enough procrastinating, back to shining things up...


Yes, the baby countdown has begun in earnest. Just one more month to go! Unless, of course, I completely freak out and it's really d-15 till I scramble some eggs in castor oil...

Yay for the home stretch!

Rain, rain, go away!

It's not really unusual to get rain in Seattle, but it IS unusual for it to come down like this. That pictures is pretty darn close to where I live. The water was spewing out of manhole covers like geysers - and I can only assume that's not terribly clean water...
Today the rain has stopped, but the wind is blowing something crazy! What's next? Locusts?!

Happy, Happy Birthday!

A big happy birthday to my seven year old today. :) She had the best birthday present ever - it snowed! All yesterday and this morning it was a winter wonderland. She got to play outside with her little sister, have a cake made to her specifications, and then get showered with presents. AND her grandparents and aunt were visiting from out of town - so there were late nights of chatter and laughter and rummy. What more could a little seven year old ask for. ;)

This birthday stood out for me, because I remember well the day I had her (what mother doesn't). I was in labor so long that there was more than one shift change - and as my doctor left, she apologized saying she needed to get to her son's 7th birthday party. I couldn't even imagine having a child that old. ;) Funny how life just keeps marching forward!

So, happy birthday my little red head!

It's snowing!

Lots of little tiny flakes all swirling around - I'm living in a snowglobe. So, so fun!!!