Lipstick and top hats

Well, I finished outlining through chapter 10 which is hopefully a bit more than halfway. And yes, tonight I'm writing about steampunk top hats. :) And just *wait* till you meat my airship captain!

In other news - I took Boop and Red to Sephora today - which meant 45 minutes of "Boop, put that back. Hey wait, what's in your basket? Don't knock over the display! Oh, it was Red? Well, I'm sure she was just helping you..." and culminated with me washing lipstick off her ankle when we got home. To say that Boop in Sephora is like a kid in a candy store is both cliche and doesn't convey nearly the frenzy or bliss that come over her when surrounded by rows and rows of lipstick. It's almost chemical.

In her defense, it's hard to sign letters with a kiss if she doesn't have her own lipstick.

The flu, zombies, and clockwork horses

I just came out of a twelve day fog of stomach flu/bronchitis fun. Here's a bit of inside information - if you stay sick long enough, you can be ill while one kid throws up, gets better, then starts throwing up all over again - not to mention the other two. But, I've finally risen from my stupor on the sofa and am back in the land of the living.

Which reminds me, I just finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. When I mentioned something about my zombie apocalypse book to my husband he looked so happy. He loves a good zombie. This book got a lot of buzz and is a great story - more somber than kick a$$, in the world of dystopia, and kinda creepy. But as Boop said today, "Being scared is part of life." (after Mystery Man got his hand caught in the refrigerator door.) Full of sympathy, that one.

Gonna try to get to the halfway point in my outline tonight. I'm anxious to get back to writing -so for now, I'll leave you with this taste of the chapter I'm working on:

(oh yes, that's a steampunk horse)

Throwing Mama a bone...

Just before bedtime prayers, DH asks the kids if they have any requests.

Boop's hand shoots up, "I want to pray that I grow up just a leeeetle bit faster."

"Oh, no why would you want to do that?"

"So I can get married sooner!"

"Well," I say, "Mama really likes you being just this age and I'd be so sad if you got bigger any sooner than you did."

"Ok, time for prayers," DH says.

"Can I pray when you're done?" Boop asks - because of course this is her way of making sure she gets to pray that she gets bigger and gets married next week.

"Sure," DH says.

So, when he's done, she says, "Dear Jesus, I pray that I grow up just the right amount because I want to get bigger, but Mama would be so sad if I got big all at once. Amen."

Thanks, Boop. :)

More on the Vampire Trend

My kids were playing out in the backyard while my dad was pruning things. Then, Red comes running in.

Red: Grandpa's bleeding!
Me: Does he want a Band aid?
Red: No, he's gonna get one when he comes in.
DH: Ok, did you drink his blood?
Red: EWW! No!!
DH: Because it's perfectly OK to drink a relative's blood.
Red: I am NOT drinking his blood!
DH: Here, do you want some of mine? Red: DAD! No!!!
ME: Hey - you're gonna traumatize the kids
DH: They'll grow up traumatized anyway, it might as well be over something funny.

Boop, oblivious to the tableau she's interrupted streaks through the house: I'm not going back outside till Grandpa stops bleeding!!

Cloudy with a chance of...

Red comes in while I'm cooking dinner to say, "It smells good, even though it's meatballs."

"Why don't you try it? Maybe you'll like meatballs tonight?"

"Nope. I don't like sculpted meat."

She had soup.

Steampunk ID

I have no idea what this is. But I love it!

Anyone want to play name that steampunk gadget?? Send me your ideas!

Glad we're paying for that education...

An excerpt from shopping for dresses the other day:

Me: Let's all hope I can find something that fits
Red: "Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words and never stops at all."
Me: Thanks. That's very helpful.

Holly's Day

Please go read about my friend Holly's day.

But first, set down any beverages, especially coffee. Or you'll be replacing your keyboard.

The Winter Ball

The day started with me frantically realizing I needed to de-Mom my car because we were supposed to bring a friend with us to the ball. I carried in bags of stuff that the kids seem to have enough hands to take out to the car and never enough hands to take in. Then, I took the girls to the gas station to throw out any old Starbucks cups that may have been missed (it happens) and vacuum it thoroughly.

I left Mystery Man at home. He's afraid of car vacs. The girls hid in the back. Did I mention I'm dieting - my fabulously researched yogurt and hummus diet - I'm not kidding. So my blood sugar may have been a tad low. And Boop saw the quarters for the vacuum and her eyes did that thing in the cartoons where they spring out of the head and then back in.

It only takes one quarter to buy a bouncy ball at Old Navy. One quarter and all of my sanity because of course the floor of Old Navy is cement and the clothes racks have just enough space for one bouncy ball to get trapped under.

But I digress.

We vacuumed. We went to Old Navy. We got bouncy balls. I tried on everything in the store, realizing that while I'd made sure the kids had lovely outfits, I had nothing. It's the stay at home mom version of Cinderella.

Sadly, Old Navy had nothing for me. I went across the street to Nordstrom's Rack. I tried on 9 dresses in a dressing room with both girls who begged me to get a long tank dress that looked like smudged lipstick, but it also made me look like a baked potato, so I declined.

I headed back home to find Mystery Man waiting on the front steps with DH for me. My heart breaks a little every time he does that.

We got in, I made two dinners - one for the dieters - one for the kids who don't seem to care for yogurt and hummus. Then we dressed for the ball.

The girls put on their fancy Christmas dresses, I managed to cobble something together that involved my high heeled leather boots - note, this is not a good strategy for dances taking place in gyms - and Mystery Man put on his jeans, cowboy boots, and plaid flannel. Because if you watch enough hours of Gilmore Girls your little boy will come into the world wearing a backwards baseball cap and plaid flannel.

We found out our friend couldn't come with us and much crying ensued as the girls begged me to bring her. But, try as I might, I couldn't turn the cat into their friend any more than I could turn a pumpkin into a clean car.

We manage to get the girls buckled in and stop the tears by the time we arrive at the school. I meet up with a friend in the parking lot while DH got the kids out and the girls sprint ahead for the gym which is when DH leans in and says,

"Did you see Boop's shoes?"

Huh? What do you... oh no.

My friend doubles over laughing. Boop's in her black velvet and gray sparkly Christmas dress with... blue fuzzy crocs.

DH said, "I heard her say something about wearing different shoes than you picked out, but I didn't know what that meant."

"At least she's comfy!" My friend says. Mmm hmm... I should have worn the crocs because my feet are already killing me at this point and I'm trying to figure out how Boop's gonna do the Virgina Reel in hers.

Inside the gym, things start to settle down. We all five do the first dance with Mystery Man trailing along behind, threading the needle like a pro. Then we break for cookies. DH is about to ask Red to dance the next dance with him, when a sweet little 9 year old boy walks up to her, holds out his hand and says,

"Would you like to dance with me?"

"Sure!" She said, and he escorted her to the floor. DH's eyes got really big and I might have melted into a puddle. His mom winked at me.

We rushed off to the chairs in the corner for a better view. They danced adorably, then at the end, he took her by the hand and escorted her back to the other corner of the gym where he'd asked her to dance. DH sprinted over there to receive her. More of me melting into a puddle.

Then the girls wanted water. I offered to walk them into the lobby for water. When I got back, DH asked where Mystery Man was.

Uh oh.

We had just enough time to panic before we heard a loud wail from the other end of the gym and saw a lovely Senior carrying him to us. Mystery Man does not like to be carried about by strange girls. Even lovely 18 year olds. (Good Mystery Man!) He likes his mama. Which is what he told the rest of the gym LOUDLY for the next 20 minutes. I tried walking him outside. I tried walking over to our friends. But MM would only be comforted by chewing on his shirt. Flannel's nice like that. He's been a comfort chewer since I took the binky's away a few weeks ago. Suddenly, he realizes his shirt is wet and disgusting and with a loud grunt he rips it open, Incredible Hulk style. Fortunately, this was the shirt with snaps.

Now he's wailing, half naked, and I'm holding a soggy shirt. It's time to go. I collect our things and see the two girls are still dancing, so I take me keys and hobble to the car in my high heeled boots with MM over one shoulder screaming and his wet shirt in my other hand. I buckle him in without a shirt and he's still screaming something new.

Finally I realize it's "Back." He wanted to sit in the back. Guess who's not even remotely considering moving his car seat to the back row.

Then the girl's jump in - Boop saying "That was the most confusingest dance ever!" And Red looking down at the ground and muttering when I ask her how her dance was.

But the kids slept like rocks that night and I got to be the hovering mama instead of the nervous girl at the ball. It's not quite fairy dust, but it's close.

You're all invited

A conversation with Boop early this morning:

Boop: I was playing with a dolly and Red called it a ZOMBIE dolly!
Me: Why?
Red (shouting from the other room): Because it was missing it's head and a hand!
Boop: So I made up this song...

Boop gets out her purple sparkly guitar, and starts to strum while singing (in a robot voice):

It is a zombie party
One and all
But leave -- your brains -- at home

From Lamplight to Steam

Lamplight's still being queried. My querying adventures so far read something like a chick lit novel. I know they say finding an agent is like dating - didn't know it would be the Bridget Jones version. I'm happy to share these stories once I've signed with an agent or moved on.

For now, I'm moving on to Steam - my WIP. I'm about 1300 words in and thought I'd share some fun research - welcome to the very first motorcycle. A steam powered bike from 1896. The creator actually died of a heart attack while riding it, so, there's a little room for improvement. Don't try this at home, folks.