World domination and the work in progress

So the little people seem to be on the mend. Regular blogging should commence. The mystery man did throw up tonight when we gave him his medicine. He seemed really wounded, as though we made him throw up. And I'm not crazy, because when my 3 year old threw up after taking medicine 2 weeks ago, she kept saying "Why mama make me thwow up?!" Ah well, you do what you have to.

Betty Boop, by the way, has a new battle cry. The other day I heard a yell coming from the back of the Durango.

There was a crescendo involved... "My strength!" Her little fingers went up in the air, "My intentions!!" Louder still, and the fingers rise... "My ABILITIES!" The fingers are now above her head and she is in full scream.

This repeated, oh, at least 5 times. What. In. The. World? In fact, that could be it... world domination. I think it's her ultimate goal. She's starting with her sister.

In other news, I've been dragging my feet on my WIP. My CP is probably ready to disown me. Of course, I have more time to read. ;) But, I think I'm turning things around. I'm on chapter 8 right now, and I'm joining Melissa's February Just Write challenge.

I'm hoping that helps me get going. I realize that patience is something I need to work on, but I'm really, REALLY ready to be finished with this one. I've got so many other projects vying for brain space!

Speaking of which, I'm off to work on chapter 8... and 9!

They really were sick

It's snowing again. I'm just saying... wow. The kids are gonna be thrilled in the morning.

Speaking of the little darlings, we went to the doctor today. We had wheezind and ear infections and I'm loaded up with inhalers, spacers, steroids, antibiotics and really, really irritated children. Walking pneumonia is the diagnosis at this point. No wonder it's been a tough week.

I've got some great books to talk about in my next post when I'm more lucid. So, that's optimistic that I'll be lucid by the next time I post, but let's think positively, shall we?

Right now, I'll just plug my new favorite book in the picture book category: The Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems. I also love, love, love all the pigeon books by him, and Knuffle bunny. As parents we need to read books over and over and over, and this is why I ban all books housed in those wire spinners. Too many words! No rhythm! ACK! His are great.

And now, I'm off to watch Lost, finally!

The Flu, starring Seth Rogan

I wrote like 353 words today. Pathetic, but something. Flu has been here all week, tormenting myself and my children. I now personify flu, like Joe Black, but not as cute as Brad Pitt. I think Flu looks more like Seth Rogan.

Despite my weight loss goals, I thought that I might not make it through the evening without chocolate cake. Why, I do not know. I think my body realized it hadn't had refined sugar in days and panicked. Oh wait, I stole some cinammon toast from my kids this morning - well, for whatever reason, it was dire, so my DH ventured forth and returned with chocolate cake slain just for me.

In his honor, I present this snippet. Note - he does not read my blog. *evil grin*

We were all headed home from the park, and saw a guy standing on the corner with a sign. Not a panhandler, this crazy direct marketing thing people are doing where they put some dope on the corner with a sign for mattresses on sale or something. Like that's an impulse purchase, or my personal favorite, two dudes dressed as the Statue of Liberty. No sign. My mom and I thought maybe they were for Taco Time and they were just bad cactus costumes,but a few days later I noticed the Liberty Income Tax place squished into the side of the autobody building. They could have used a sign, like this guy. He had this big arrow placard - probably 5 feet long and two feet high and he was spinning it like he was on drill team - up in the air, behind his back, twirling, twirling, twirling. So, I pointed it out to my DH, who said...

"Wow, that's impressive, but you know what would be really impressive? Is if he pulled his pants down and caught it in his butt. Then I'd totally go see whatever that sign is pointing to."

I just looked at him. With the look. You know what I mean, ladies. He looked appropriatly chagrined, then my daughter said,

"How would he do that? Would he just squeeze his butt cheeks together really hard?"

"Um," my DH started, "Why don't we just pretend that Daddy is a better daddy than he really is and he never said that."


Now I have cake.

I always pray with my eyes open

At dinner anyway, with the kids, for obvious reasons.

Last night, I asked, "Who wants to pray!" Two little hands shot up.

"OK, you pray first" I pointed at the oldest, "And you next." We're trying to teach our little Betty Boop that she doesn't get to be first at everything just because she's three and has big, persuasive eyes.

So, the oldest bows her head and begins, "Dear Jesus, please let us, everyone in this house, not be sick for at least... oh..."

Boops eyes open

"At least a week. And please help me to not cough so much... and please..."

"Hey!" Says Boop, "She doesn't have to say EVERYTHING."

"And please help Grandpa to get home safe. And please make everyone healthy."

"Hey!" Says Boop, "She doesn't have to pway so LONG!"

"And please bless this food to our bodies. In your precious and most glorious and most holiest name, Amen."

So I say, "OK, now it's your turn." And before I can get the words out, her head is bowed her hands are folded and she says,

"Deaw God, tank you for this food. Amen." Grin.

And Daddy says, "My kind of prayer - let's eat!"

And your current weight is... plus, thoughts on puppies.

Yes, I love the Biggest Loser and yes, I'm also doing weekly weighins on Tuesdays. (is weighin a word?) I've lost four pounds this week, me and my wii fit! YAY! Not exactly ranch worthy numbers, but hey, I don't have Jillian here.

And of course we watched the inaugeration of Barack Obama today. I made my kids watch with me and a certain someone was pretty upset that I turned off Max and Ruby, but I felt it was my duty as a parent. I was surprised to realize that all three kids were born pretty much under one president. My oldest was born 6 weeks before his inaugureration. I found myself thinking of Michelle Obama through most of it - how many times did she take her girls to the bathroom before the event? Did she pack snacks? Were either of them asking really inappropriate questions that she hoped weren't getting picked up on by a hidden mic? She's gonna have to raise those 2 girls in front of the entire nation - do they get a private tutor? I think not, actually, but then school as the first lady sounds like a hard thing.

Already, he's promised them a puppy and now all over the dog shows (yes, I watch lots of dog shows, shows about dogs, since I don't get to have a dog right now) there are tons of suggestions and opinions about what dog they should get. If he gets a purebred, he's a snob (apparently) and he should get a pound puppy, but isn't this a reward for having to be raised at the white house so what if the kids have their hearts set on a poodle that they dye pink and put in funny dresses. I think they should get their poodle.

Of course, being president, he can probably get a low level CIA operative to place a purebred poodle in a shelter overnight if it comes to that - and wouldn't that be a funny scandal if it ever broke.

I for one, suggest a Lowchen. Ring up the CIA.

Laundromats and Grandpas

So, whatever happened to that glass half full post I promised you? Well, after the night of vomiting, the washer broke. I spent today at the laundromat, which I discovered, I kind of liked. No one's in a hurry. The attendant was very helpful. It smelled all clean and warm. I mean, let's not get too carried away, it was a pain in the neck and I did my grocery shopping at the same time with my little Betty Boop.

Speaking of which - we were approached in the store by a very elderly man who asked if he could talk to her. I'm pretty cautious, but I was standing right there, so I said ok, and he asked her how old she was (I answered, or she'd have said 12) and said she was very pretty and it was ok, because he was a Grandpa. It was either sweet, or creepy, I'm not sure which, but she was muttering under her breath the whole time and as he left she called out, "And you don't look a THING like my gwandpa!" I guess her vote was for creepy.

They are all tucked into bed right now, listening to some bedtime stories on my ipod to make up for no more tv time at night. A new family shift. We're trying to make bedtime very calm and keep the little darlings there all night. And the three year old's bedtime prayers went like this, "Deaw Jesus, if I stay in my bed all night pwease let me have ice cream. Amen." With a pointed look at her mama. I might need one more trip to the store tomorrow...

Quick window into Robin's World

The Mystery Man is throwing up.

My Little Betty Boop is coming downstairs every ten minutes because she might throw up. Or maybe her sister will, or her brother, or her pink poodle.

My new trade paperback is covered in baby vomit.

I just took the Wii Fit body test and it made my mii fat.

I am going to bed and will hopefully bring you a glass half full post tomorrow.

Searching for images of "fat miis" on Google is not a good idea.

Where's the Lysol?

My little Betty Boop has been sick. She's had an awful cold and stomach flu. Last night when I sat down to write, even the cat had to throw up. But, I keep making steady progress. Chapter six is done. Only 14 or so more to go. ;)

I remember last year around this time we were all sick for months, it seemed - and I had a labor thrown in there to boot. I'm wondering if I can apply Lysol directly to the children. Is that frowned upon?

Also, Benadryl seems to have the opposite affect on my little Boop. She gets wired. I don't even want to think about the implications for that down the line.

And then this morning... her brother was heading for the bathroom and I told her to quickly shut the door before he did something unthinkable with toilet paper, so she quickly does and says,

There, now he can't get in. It's locked.

Me: Wait, how will we get in.
Her: It's ok, you can open it from the other side.
Me: But we're on this side...
Her: Toily can help us.
Me: Ok... could you please ask Toily to unlock the door?
Her: Mo-om. Toily is the Spanish word for TOILET! (in the tone that all three year olds seem to learn through osmosis - that "mom's an idiot" tone - and clearly I missed some vocab in Spanish class)
Me: OK, so, could you ask the toilet to unlock the door.
Her: Mom, toilets can't unlock doors.
Me: Right, so how will we get back in.
Her: Um, let's get my daddy.

Good idea. He comes down and says, Oh no problem - we just need to sacrifice a hanger.

He starts bending a hanger.

Me: How do you know how to do that.
Him: Let's not go there...

In the end, we got in, only to discover hours later that the door knobs came with little keys to unlock them from the opposite side and the key was right above the door.



So, just for Landon, an update on the house that cleans itself. Yes, I have it and I'm on page 93. The basic idea is to map out your house in a noteboook and go through zone by zone purging, cleaning, and setting up systems so that it cleans itself. It assumes that if you could change your behavior by now you would have, so it works around your weaknesses.

For example, if you always leave soda cans in the living room, instead of just trying to change, put a recycle bin in there. Or if you always drop your coat by the side door, put a coat hook there. That kind of thing. I have yet to apply it, but I think it's a great system. I have my notebook and am ready to go! I just want to finish the whole book first.

Also, I love the part where you're playing detective and looking at photos of your messes to see what the real problems are. You might think it's that everyone drops their shoes by the door, and never notice the wet umbrella in the corner that makes the wall icky - that sort of thing. So, yes, I wholeheartedly endorse the book!! And the author, Mindy Starns Clark, also writes mysteries. Perfect!

Oh the horror

My 8 year old looked despairingly at her plate.

Me: What's the matter?
Her: Nothing. It's just, well, I guess the food doesn't look so good.
Me: (Trying to remember my resolution to stay patient, stay calm, hey, it only took me an hour to make, and it was healthy, and yummy, and.... remember my resolution!) What doesn't look good.
Her: Well, the pork looks ok, but I don't like vegetables that have been cooked and I prefer white rice to brown.
Me: (aha! A teaching moment!) Honey, do you know what white rice is?
She shakes her head.
Me: It's really brown rice, but they take off the nutritious outter part that's so good for you and just leave the white part. (This is going to be so good! It'll be the start of years of healthy eating!)

But... her face recoils in disgust and she says: You mean I'm eating rice with a shell?!

Me: sigh

And because I'm so excited about it, here is a bonus Old English Sheepdog puppy!

dogs and stepstools

A friend, cousin, and blogreader recently commented that she can tell when someone is sick because there aren't any posts. She's right. I got a call yesterday that my daughter had thrown up at school, so she was promptly picked up and deposited in bed. Where she was fine, but antsy, all day long. Today she's back at school.

In the last day or so I have:

1) Written 1009 words on my WIP. Yay me!

Discovered that the Mystery Man can now employ chairs, stepstools, and other items to climb. He has been discovered at the top of the stairs, on counters, on tables. It's frightening. And he can open doors. They have levers which poses no problem for him. Nothing is off limits. I'm wondering how hard it is to add on a padded room.

3) Decided I want an Old English Sheepdog. Since I can't get one yet, I'm posting pictures of them frequently. Some of you long time readers may remember my Boxer of the Day feature. Enjoy!

Wherin Robin's Internet Connection is Restored

Whew! I'm back online. The connection went down two nights ago and I've just now reconnected. I was certain the data farm was underwater or maybe Comcast got blown up, but, um, I only had to restart the wireless router. I swear I restarted everything else, but it was the wired computer that was down, so who would think you have to restart the router. I guess you do. Consider this a public service announcement. So, here I am like a fish thrown back into the ocean taking big gulps of water up through her gills. Not to be overly dramatic.

So, here are some things we've both missed.

1) FLOODING!!! The snow has given way to great floods throughout the Northwest. I live on highlands, so it's just rainy, but many, many areas are underwater. And... my Dear Husband was in Portland on business and has been stuck there since I5 is closed, due to being underwater. A good reason to close it, if you ask me, and the passes have been closed due to avalanches and mudslides, so he couldn't go around.

He's attepting the trek this morning, so let's all say a prayer he makes it home. He's in the Volvo, not the Durango, and it's my old car that really doesn't like to get her feet wet, or cold. She's a pro at commuting to nice office complexes and driving through Starbucks, however. I'm sure my Durango is chomping at the bit to be in her shoes right now.

2) Fire - Travis Erwin, one of my favorite blogging buddies woke to smoke coming out of his computer room on January 4th. Praise God, his boys were spending the night at their grandparents, as their room is right next door. He's lost basically everything, including all the boys Christmas presents. You can read about how to help here, if you would like to. He's a very generous person and his son's are struggling with the loss of their turtle and their hot wheels and books and there's lots of little things we can do to help.

OK, I'm off to check on the little one who has been far too quiet - even if she is watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. I have lots of fun posts to come later on today. :)

I'm sore, and a wee bit grumpy

I just thought you all might like to know that it's snowing again. If I lived in Michigan, or Alaska, or Maine, ok, but I live in Seattle. I love the snow and I went for a walk at 8pm because my all time favorite thing is being out in a snowfall. I just have this to say...


Oops, did I say that out loud? Let's just say that I've had 3 kids, with the flu, and an extra long extended Christmas break, and the holidays and a birthday to boot going on. Those were my last three weeks. January 5th needs to bring something new. I could pick up a few kids and a teacher or two in my Durango. I wouldn't mind a bit!

The little girl prayed tonight that school would be open (she goes to preschool with her beloved Aunt Renee - "Nay School") for her and her sister tomorrow. Amen, said mama. Which was a lot better than her prayer over dinner last night, "Deaw God, pwease help Daddy not have any more prickles and have mama cook less. Amen." Hmm... so, the five o clock shadow and home cooked meals are not her idea of an ideal family experience.

But she's got the right attitude about snow. As it melted, a week and a half after it first started, she came downstairs and said "Thank goodness the snow is melting! I mean, snow is fun, but it's nice to have a bweak!" Amen sister. I go stir crazy by 11am if I haven't left the house on a weekday and I can't even count the number of days I was homebound. If I haven't mentioned it before, the pioneer days would've killed me. I'd have stayed in the tenements back on the East Coast for sure.

All that to say, let's just hope the snow is purely decorative and the roads are open.

Also, I'm sore. Two long walks and a few exercises, some Wii Tennis, and I can't move. That's pathetic. I've started this new thing where I do calf raises all day. The Mystery Man likes to open the microwave - it's really the highlight of his day - and whenever we heat up a bottle he wants to open it RIGHT AWAY! So, I started counting down the seconds with him and it occured to me I could do calf raises at the same time, while holding his 22 pound self. They heat for 45 seconds. Several times a day. And now it's our thing. And rising to a standing position is nearly impossible. I'm thinking that kid drinks wayyyy too many bottles now.

OK, morning comes quickly, maybe I'll be less sore tomorrow. HA!

PS Yes, that is a windup toy working out. You can get one here if you really want one!

Icy Sidewalks and London Fog

I've been walking - yay! Long walks with strollers over slushy, icy sidewalks - in some places I had to walk backwards, pulling the stroller through the sandy snow because it was too deep to push it... BUT I made it to Starbucks and back unscathed. So, mission accomplished. And I burned calories and got fresh air. The Mystery Man slept through it all. We've gone twice now.

I'm thinking I might get Wii Fit for rainy days. Anyone out there try it? I don't mind running in the rain but I don't like taking the babes with me, and I know the Mystery Man won't go for a gym daycare yet. We'll see.

Also, I'm happy to report that Starbucks is now advertising their London Fog. I blogged about it a while back when it was sort of a secret, mystery drink. So, I'll just mention again that it's yummmmmy, and you might want to try it with a shot of vanilla, or with Awake instead of Earl Grey if, like me, you like Bergamot in your shower gel but not your drink. And while I'm at it - Casi Cielo is back and it's one of my all time favorite coffee blends. If you're out of Thanksgiving Blend (the hands down best blend of the year) pick up a bag of Casi Cielo!

Is the Christmas spirit of grace completely gone?

DH: I'm gonna go take my Wii Fit Test
Me: Have fun

moments later, he reappears...

DH: Nice.
Me: What?
DH: The moustache? My Mii?
Me: *laughing* I didn't do it. Seriously, I didn't do it. That would be your daughter.
DH: Hmm.. sorry... I might have made your mii fat...

It's 2009, baby!

Yes! It's that time again... resolution time! And what better way to hold myself accountable than by posting my resolutions in the blogosphere. Feel free to e me any time and say "Hey, how's #4 going?!" I welcome accountability. :)

Without further delay, and in no particular order other than the order they occur to me in...

Get in shape! I've still got some weight hanging around from the Mystery Man. I'm channeling Jillian Michaels. I will be strong!

2) Eat better. This has less to do with number one and more to do with feeling good and having more energy. I used to be really good at this and my discipline has, shall we say, waned. You wouldn't know I was turning over a new leaf by my breakfast of coffee and Hostess chocolate frosted donettes, but still, I'm getting busy. Quinoa will feature prominantly. I may post favorite recipes.

3) Write more, specifically, I want to finish my current project by the end of March.I have no crazy goals for writing every day - that's just crazy with little ones, but I do want to be consistent, so I'm going for 4 writing days per week. My daughter's working on her novel right now. She puts me to shame.

4) Systems, systems, and more systems. 2009 is the year of the systems! I feel on the verge of coming up with a system to keeping the house and doing food that will keep me in charge instead of at the end of a whip. I'm thhhhhiiiissss close. And, I just ordered this book - The House That Cleans Itself - from Amazon on the advice of Josephine Damien. She has a great blog on writing and book reviews, maybe she knows a thing or two about trying to clean house when your mind keeps flitting around turning points or falling down plot holes.

5) Have little angels sleeping through the night in their own beds. Mama is going a wee bit crazy since flu season. Sleep is disturbed. Es no bueno. Seriously, I'm going crazy.

6) Have more patience with the kids. This is less quantifiable than the others, and is probably closely tied to number 5.

7) Mornings - need revamping. Also tied in with number 5. I do better when I have time in the morning to reach up, look outside of my little sphere of craziness. I pray, read, get ready for the day. I haven't done this in ages and I think it's part of why I fray around the edges sometimes. I have a new book I'm using for this, by my new favorite religious author, D.A. Carson, and I'm really excited about it.

8) Blog at least 5 times a week. Gotta take care of my public. And no, I don't agree that blogging keeps me from writing. Blogging helps keep my head in the game. And it makes me happy - a win win. (graphic is from a website that sells shirts with these hilarious cartoons on them)

And that's all. I could drill down and get more specific, but then the list gets too long to keep in my head.

We'll see how I do!! Keep me honest, folks!