How do they know me so well?

Today was one of those days... and I didn't even drop a latte on my head.

One of my many battles today was over food. Miss Boop wanted grapes before lunch, and corn chips, and I warned her that she needed to eat her sandwich (peanut butter and honey is the only kind she'll eat, so I do at least serve it on multigrain bread with soy protein, which could, as I reflect, be part of the problem).

Miss Boop did not eat her sandwich.

I conveyed my displeasure and insisted on no snacks till dinner. Somehow, she outwitted me and got her hands on a protein bar. So dinner rolls around. She drinks her juice and announces that she is full.

Oh no, little missy.

"But I am full from the very top of my head all the way down to my toes!"

"Alright," I said, "but I am leaving your plate on the table till bedtime, and if you get hungry between now and then, you are eating *this* - got it!"

Oh yes, she got it.

She did not get hungry. She went to bed with her sister at 8. Then, about half an hour later, she tiptoed down the stairs carrying a piece of yellow construction paper.

She said, "My sister told me to tell you that my position is that I am hungwy, and I will eat anything that is not dinner."

I made sure I was hearing this correctly, "Your position?"

"Yes, my position is that I am vewy hungwy."

Then she handed me her paper and I saw written in crayon, in her sisters hand, the words: Hungry. Please feed.

I hung my head in defeat... and got her a chocolate chip granola bar (with soy protein).

The good, the bad, and the ugly

It's just been one of those days. The sky was delightfully overcast today - I really love cloudy, windy days, and the kids were bouncing off the walls, stealing my cloudy day joy, so I piled them into the double stroller and the 4 of us set off on a walk. We even ran into my mom in her minivan on the walk, and all carried on to my Grandma's house. I love serendipitous meetings like that. My aunt even popped over from next door to join the party.

Later that day, the kids were STILL bouncing off the walls, so I piled them into the Durango to go look for school shoes. This always follows a predictable pattern. Red, for whom I'm shopping, gets grouchy and sardonic and hates every pair. Betty Boop cries because she *wants* every pair, and Mystery Man wanders around the store carrying boxes of shoes to Red. And I get a headache.

So, just when both girls suddenly had to go to the bathroom, we left, with no shoes. I headed to Starbucks to cure my headache, but Red was sure she couldn't make it. I suggested she think about crickets, but surprisingly, that didn't help. So we pulled into our driveway, she ran in to use the bathroom, then ran out. Ok, the excursion is getting long, and I really need a latte! We get to Starbucks. Whew. I tell them we'll go home and they can play out in the newly arrived sunshine, while I sip my latte and browse shoes online like a sane person.

They agree to this plan.

Then... we get out of the car. I set my latte on the roof while I unbuckle Mystery Man. Boop frees herself and flees, "Shut the door!" I yell after her. Mystery Man, now on my hip, as I'm bent over to pick up his blanket, obeys and shuts his door with my head still in it, causing the car to jiggle and the full, steaming hot latte to fall on my head and over my back.

There's a split second where I think I can get to it before the lid pops off, but no. No, I can't. I just stare, hoping, praying for a different outcome to materialize out of the ether, but nothing. So, I sigh, and walk in, and as I do, Boop says,

"Well, that's one way to finish a latte fast."

I go in, and am bummed. The kids are out playing and I can't get over it. I'm so, so sad.

So sad that I whine to my mother, who calls my father, who... brings me a latte. :)

Do I have the best parents in the world, or what?

Better parents than I have a DH who thought the image of me with a latte on my head was hilarious. Husband Demerits were awarded.

And, in other, non-coffee related news, I'm at 75% completion of Lamplight. WOO!! On pace to finish by mid-September still!!

Wherein Mommy Scores a Victory

A conversation on the way home from the library today:

Betty Boop: Mom, do you know Joe?
Me: No
BB: Dad says that Joe is a giant butterfly that eats Bettys. Then he said he eats cats and we should save up all of Norah's hairballs and feed them to him. That's just gwoss.
Me: Yes, it is very gross.
BB: You know, I'm beginning to think Joe doesn't even exist.
Me: I don't think he exists either.
BB: Mommies are smarter than Daddies.
Me: Yes they are.
BB: You are smarter than Daddy.
Me: Yes, I am!
BB: I mean, Daddy can't even tell twue fwom false.

Public Service Announcement: #askindies

For those of you who twitter - and I *barely* twitter but I've got to keep up with my favorite dancers *somehow* - there's a great new way to get book recommendations.

Just include #askindies in your question, then search on that hashtag, and you'll get a quick answer. I asked for steampunk books that aren't too creepy and was referred to The Difference Engine, which I'll check out. I saw lots of other great recommendations to others, also. I love book recommendations.

Made word count today. Looking for maps of London in 1885 that I can transform into my steampunk map. Look at me, laying down groundwork!

G'night, all!

Betty Boop and the Missing R

Last Sunday I asked Miss Boop what she learned in Sunday School, before getting a chance to talk to my older, possibly more sensible, certainly more logical, daughter.

She said, "We learned that there is a guy who always tells us the wrong thing to do and we shouldn't listen to him. And we learned we have to follow the rules or the gods will get angry!"

Um... I since we don't go to Greek Myth Church I pressed her further, and she got exasperated and said,

"You know there are gods! You see them sitting in front of the door when you drop me off!"

Oh. Guards. The Security Team. Because of course we live in a day and age when you have to get a pager when you drop your kid off so only you can pick said kid up and no one without a pager gets past security.

But she didn't mean the pantheon of gods. Gotta work on that r.

Then I asked Red about the guy who always tells us the wrong thing to do.

"Oh," she said, "we were learning about the Roman emperor when he wouldn't let people pray."

Got it.

Seventy percent, baby!

Yes! I'm at 70% of my word count. WOO!!! I feel like I made the halfway point just not so long ago. I'm thrilled with this whole manageable daily goal thing.

Plotting continues on Steampunk and Golden Door and bits are added to Voice of the City every day. Once I'm in editing mode for this I'll commit whole heartedly to the next project. So I've got a few weeks left to decide. ;)

Betty Boop was Appalled

Upon finding a dime sized spot on her car seat this afternoon...

BB: Oh no! A snack was mangled on my car seat!
Me: Ok...
BB:I am going to need a new car seat, this one is ruined!
Me: I'm sure I can clean it up for you.
BB: I am serious! I am not joking about this. I think a cracker melted on it!

Later, on the same drive home...

BB: My car seat kind of reminds me of a toilet, except it doesn't have a lid or a flusher.
ME: I TOLD YOU I WOULD CLEAN IT! It's not that bad!


Activities so far this morning:

1) get up way too early after being up several times in the night with children who couldn't stay in their beds (and weird dreams of epic battles - just finished Harry Potter 7)

2) Cleaned kitchen, including sweeping up cereal three times as a certain mystery man kept tipping a bowl over.

3) Made 3 year old cry by asking her to stay out of the kitchen while I swept and mopped. Nicely. Was this so unreasonable?

4) Created rules around where and when paper airplanes may be thrown. Hint - anywhere near mama's head is out!

5) Asked 8 year old to please be human, not dog, etc. This is a commonly repeated request.

6) Asked 8 year old to stop throwing checkers all around the room in attempts to juggle.

7) Promised crying 3 year old I would sew Wall-E's head back on as soon as I can. Let's hope I can figure this out.

8) Shopped for a jack in the box at Amazon for Boop's birthday. Delighted to find Humpty Dumpty Jack in the box. Not so delighted to find shipping was $10. This violates my cost of item vs cost of shipping ratio. Also found Obama and Ken Griffey Jr. jack in the box. This disturbed me.

8) Found that gluten free instant oatmeal is only marginally edible.

It's only 9:12 and I haven't had a full cup of coffee yet. I can't imagine what the rest of the day holds...

Working the word count

Just wanted to let inquiring minds know that I made my word count today, and the last two days, too. I was just finishing late and too tired to post.

It's quiet here at the house of mystery. Not much to tell, except that my almost 4 year old has decided what her future husband should look like. I suppose that's noteworthy. She actually asked us first, "do you know what that boy who is waiting for me to marry him looks like?"

When we said no, she said, "I think he has short eyelashes (as opposed to hers that look like they were drawn on with a big black Sharpie), and short brown hair and kind of dark brownish black skin." She was very thoughtful, and sounded very sure. So I'll be on the lookout for that boy.

Mystery Man, on the other hand, is in love with Taylor Swift. Oh my.

Wednesday Musings

1) Word Count Goal - complete. YAY! This novel may just get finished after all. I feel like I've been writing it my entire life.

2) Steampunk - I feel like I should write a steampunk novel. I know, I know, don't time the trends, but everybody wants steampunk right now and I LOVE steampunk. I loved it before I even knew what it was. Now that it has a subgenre, well, could be a match made in heaven. Also, Lamplight is a noirish YA suspense, how perfect to follow it up (assuming it gets published and I have a fan base wanting something similar) with a steampunk - both dark and suspenseful and very YA. Hmmm....

3) This is the first Wednesday since So You Think You Can Dance named a winner (if it were anyone but Jeanine the winner would only be known as NotEvan to me) and I'm having withdrawls. I *would* be saying - hey, it's on in a month, no biggie - but I'm still reeling from spoiler news. No, I'm not over it. Once it's common knowledge, expect a rant! Or two! I take my reality TV very seriously. And for some reason, the dancers more than anyone else. Why is there a special spot in my heart for dancers? I don't know.

4)Betty Boop is willing to sell the cat to get her pink poodle. I worry about steadfastness for that one.

And that is all.

500 words

Is a fabulous goal for me. I nearly didn't tackle it tonight - tired as I as, and for sure if I'd said 1000 words I'd have blown it off, but I did it. Goal complete! Lamplight progresses! Whew! And I wrote a couple hundred on VotC. Yay. :)

I am sorry I'm too tired to have fun kid quotes or stories. I'm going on maybe 5 hours of sleep and hoping tonight holds more for me. The kids are so much cuter and funnier the next day when I'm well rested. I wonder why that is. ;)

Robin's on a roll!

Word count goal for Lamplight - check! I also wrote 400 words on another project. I have 2 projects besides Lamplight competing for headspace right now. One is historical fiction set in 1920 called The Voice of the City and the other is women's fiction/mainstream called Beside the Golden Door. Working titles, anyway.

When I get stuck, I write a little on one of those and it helps unstick me. I still haven't committed to which I'll give full energy too once Lamplight is in editing land, but it's nice to have options for now. I'm sure it depends on how much research I'll have done. Each require a lot of research, just of different kinds.

In other news...

I took three monkeys, or shall I call them fish today, to the pool at the YMCA. They had a blast and wore their mama out. Mystery Man is not really friends with the water, yet, but he did have fun trying to splash his sister.

Red Head was thrilled to show me that she can swim the entire length of the pool and back. And she can. It's just that there were little ropes across the pool every 10 feet or so, to let you know it was getting deeper. And she doesn't like to get her face wet. So every time she'd come to a rope - she'd hop out onto the side, walk to the other side of the rope, and hop back in. So... she wasn't breaking any time records, but she did swim the length of the pool! Sort of. ;)

** that's a picture of a robot fish. How cool is a robotic fish??

Keeping up the word count!

Word count goal - check! I'm acing this 500 word goal. Should have done this a loooong time ago!

Favorite thing that happened today: watching the Mystery Man very carefully and with great care and focus drop every one of the cardboard letter tiles from Betty Boops' board game down his shirt. He had a plan. He executed. He completed. I have no idea why - but it was important to him.

Also, after putting the kids to bed I heard a plaintive cry for help from Red. I trudged up the stairs to see what was the matter, and there she was reading with a book light while Boop giggled. I asked what was wrong.

Red: She's bothering me! She keeps asking question after question after question - it's driving me nuts!
Boop: *Maniacal giggle*
Me: Boop, stop bugging your sister, it's not funny.
Boop: *giggle* but it's funny to me!

Light off. Boop asleep. All is well - except that Red Head just came down to tell me that Boop is lying diagonally across her bed. Off to remedy that! A mother's work is never done. ;)

Spoiler Alert - SYTYCD

Do not read further if you don't want to hear SYTYCD Spoilers.

You've Been Warned!!

Spoilers commencing....


Ryan. Is. Cut.

I don't have any words yet.

Once I've moved from shock to anger, I'm sure I'll have quite a lot to say.

Nothing even on his twitter yet. He probably can't talk about it.


Saturday recap

Favorite kid quote of the day:
Boop to Red Head: Wemember when you sang that song to me last night? It made tears come down from my eyes, it was so beautiful.

Apparently my eldest sang my youngest girl to sleep last night - they share a room. Awwww... one wonders why they declared war on each other today, but ah well. Take the warm fuzzies when you can get them.

Other highlights: Red Head lip syncing to Paul F. Tompkin's Ghost Stromboli routine. With much drama. It was hilarious. I can't really convey how hilarious it was on this blog, but I've never actually seen comedy lip synched before and it's fabulous. Just pull up a routine on you tube, then imagine a pint sized girl with tons of red curls and a melodramatic flair delivering it.

Oh, and how could I forget. After DH let me sleep till 10 am today (yay, DH!) I came down with my back all tweaked from sharing my bed with two tiny usurpers who crowded me, so I asked him to pick me up and crack it. Well, something cracked, but it wasn't *my* back. Oops. He's been in pain all day. He pretty much got in his car 10 minutes later to go see his chiropractor. Then came back an hour later, still hurting. Which is when he announced that he would be lending *emotional* support all day, but would be sitting on the sofa with his books and ipod, unable to lift any small humans.

And there went my dreams of Starbucks - down the drain.

I said as much, and as if angel wings had sprouted from his spinal mishap, he said that while he couldn't watch the children while I went, he could drive, and he left and came back with a vanilla latte. Awwwww!!! Another warm fuzzy! Taking 'em where I can get 'em, because then he pretty much did sit on the sofa all day.

And 500 words... 568! YAY! Warm fuzzy number 3!

Lamplight progress

I just passed the two thirds mark. YAY!!! I've got about 23K words left to go for the first draft - and my goal is a humble 500 words per day (which is about all I can manage with the rest of my life right now). So I should wrap this puppy up *pulling up the laptop's calculator* in a month and a half. Let's say by the end of September, which allows for all my kids to get the flu and give it to me, Mystery Man to miss his nap and stay up till midnight, and me to start Season Six of So You Think You Can Dance (Go Ryan!) and still make my deadline.

Then, the goal is to edit over the fall and be ready to submit in January. I love, love, love editing, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Just wanted to give you an update and let you know I'm still plugging away, slow though it goes. My mind is being bombarded with new novel ideas that I can't shake. It's like my imagination is ready to move on, so I'm very motivated to finish and see if I can flesh out some of these new story ideas.

Hold me accountable, blog buddies!! No slacking for me!


I'll give it up for Jeanine. She did a great job, and totally earned it.

And third is a completely respectable placement for my dear Evan.

Things heard at the House of Mystery while finale was on:

Betty Boop: I'm coming down for the first time tonight (after being put to bed) to say maybe it's a clear night and maybe not tonight, but maybe tomorrow, or maybe tonight, we can set up the telescope and look at stars? Maybe tomorrow?

Betty Boop: I am coming down again because I need my sleeping bag.

Betty Boop: I CAN'T walk all the way back up the stairs! I used all my energy coming down!

Red Head: I am sleeping on the floor because BB wants me to cuddle with her in her sleeping bag and now she's trying to stand on my face. Do something.

DH: I think I could choreograph. Put that in my file.

Potential jobs already file: hair stylist, kids birthday party entertainer, alternate Wiggle (they so should have tapped him when Greg stepped down), tv chef

DH, after finding out I was writing a congralatory blog: Would you tell Jeanine, in case she's listening, that I knew she should win? She had Kayla and Brandon and even, I'm sorry, Evan, totally beat! (traitor) Do you think she's listening?

Dancers pack their bags for Vegas week tomorrow! Go Ryan!!


Are you all a bundle of nerves in anticipation of the crowning of America's Favorite Dancer tonight?

I think we all know who I'm hoping wins. I voted like mad last night. But, I won't cry if Jeanine makes it either. She's my number two, and that tango ballet solo and matrix doble last night were phenomenal.

As was the country jive. I love country Evan!!

Laudry bots and nice looking boys


Betty Boop: Is there a little boy somewhere, waiting for me to grow up so I can marry him?
Me: Yes, I do believe there is.


Betty Boop: Someday I will find a nice looking boy to marry and then I can have two kids to ride in the back of my beetle bug car.

We've been working on the concept of marriage with her. She didn't understand for a long time why she couldn't marry as many people as she wanted, and why if she did marry, she couldn't keep dating nice looking boys. Hopefully we've got some of that straightened out, now. Her future husband thanks us, I'm sure.

Also, the kids had a turn at laundry today. Which means I haul the laundry downstairs, sort it, wash it, dry it, pull it out, fold it, then they run it upstairs. All while I have the flu. They aren't exactly poster children for Amnesty International.

And yet, we had this conversation:
Red Head: (with a smirk) When I grow up, I'm inventing a robot that does laundry for you.
Me: Someone already did, it's called a washing machine
RH to Betty Boop: Mom gets a little sarcastic when she's sick.

Final Four

I would like to thank America for voting for Evan lo these many weeks. I haven't had to bear that horrible good bye moment for him. Just one week left to cast a vote for style, grace, and old Hollywood magic. That is, until Season 6 starts. Brother Ryan leaves for Vegas week this Friday.

I'd say he's a shoe in, but I'd have said the same about Natalie for Season 5. It all depends on how much of a control freak Nigel Lythgoe really is. He clearly tried to sing Evan's swan song week after week, but America didn't cooperate. Will he trade control for ticket sales this fall? We'll see. I'll be heartbroken, for the record, if Ryan doesn't make it. I'm almost too nervous to watch, almost...

One Week Later

It's cooled off sufficiently for me to blog again. Sorry for the delay, folks, but when the temperature indoors reaches a certain point, all non-essential brain activity shuts off.

What you missed:

Red Head: Oh no, it's the evil laugh.

I've heard that quite a few times recently. I get it from my grandmother.

Red Head: I don't think you would have wanted to live during the middle ages, mom. I hate to tell you, but they didn't have gluten free stuff back then. And it was all cow dairy, too.
Me: And there's that little matter of indoor plumbing.
Red Head: Yeah, I mean, they didn't even have a crapper.
DH: incoherent laughter
RH: What, that's what it was called.

Thanks Fun Aunt for the very educational Underground Seattle tour where Red Head saw an original Crapper. She hasn't forgotten.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCMENT: Do NOT do a Google Image search for a crapper. Just don't.

I had lots more fun quotes. I know Boop had a few. But the short term memory section of my brain may have fried like a desktop computer with a broken fan. So sad.