Thoughts As I Start Blogging Again

The past two years I have been concentrating on raising my daughter and being a wife. Aside from having a child my husband and I moved across the country from the desert to the coast. It was a transition. Plus, I managed to tear two ligaments and stretch another in my knee two weeks before we moved. I am in the beginning stages of physical therapy for a knee that doesn’t want to support my weight let alone run while chasing a toddler around. It is an experience. I can testify to that.

When I started my blog I expected to have an agent and a contract for a book by now. I haven’t even sent out a query in two years. I barely have a chance to edit anything I write. Even when my husband is home I am either trying to figure out how he is not doing his job of watching our daughter, or I’m attempting to do physical therapy exercises. (Usually that involves a toddler deciding she can add her weight as resistance.)

Putting my dreams on hold has been a challenge. I have struggled with the “What Ifs” from time to time. However, I have gotten lots of enjoyment out of chasing my toddler around and watching her grow up. I really wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now that my little girl is big enough to start preschool I think I might start blogging again. It won’t be daily like it used to be, but it will at least be weekly. Hopefully, you will enjoy this new and improved blog enough to stick around and see what happens.

New Life

I haven’t posted in almost two full years.  Life with a baby was a little more exciting than I originally thought it would be.  I’m currently debating restarting the blog, but with the changes in my life it won’t be all about becoming a published writer.  I might even throw some of my new sewing projects onto the blog.  I haven’t decided yet, but I plan to decide in the next couple of weeks.

So if you were just following a wannabe writer, I would unfollow the blog.  I can assure you it won’t be about that anymore.  However, if you were following because of my crazy life, I can assure you it will be all about that again.


Writing Contests? With This Family?

Between being sick (chronic is wonderful), Cheekies and Champ I haven’t had a lot of time to write this month.  The days I feel like I can write have usually been spent chasing a baby or playing fetch with a pup.  Add Lumpy’s promotion ceremony into the mix, and I have no free time.

My plans for writing have gone astray.  Even the software on my phone hasn’t helped.  The idea of writing two short stories this month?  I was suffering from sleep deprivation when I thought of that.

One story.  I’ll be lucky to finish the one story that is close to finished.  The question has become “Do I enter Glimmer Train Press or Writer’s Digest?  If I get the one story edited, of course.

Luckily, I have about ten days to finish the story and decide.  Do you have any suggestions, Dear Readers?

Your Favorite Book at Age Six

It may only be April, but I’m working on my Christmas/Birthday gifts.  A bunch of my nieces have fall birthdays, so there is a lot of money spent after September 1.  Years ago I realized it was smarter to buy everything throughout the year.

Of course, I am the aunt who always buys books.  Because who can have too many books?  This was so easy when they were young.  I just grabbed a book and read it multiple times in the store.  If I could still stand it after the tenth time through, I got the book.  (After all, I might be reading the book a lot.)

Now they are old enough to read by themselves.  I am completely stuck.  It occurs to me that you, my reader, might have an idea about books for kids.

So, what did you love when you were six?  Leave your favorite book’s title in the comments below, along with why you loved the book.

Do You Ever Agree to Do Too Much?

It never fails to amaze me how I take on too much.  Trying to break into writing is hard.  We added a baby and I decided I could watch Cheekies and write without a Mommy’s Assistant.  We lost Ammo, so I got a puppy.  My husband is being promoted and I agree to homemade cheesecakes and ice cream.  Homemade by me, of course.

Because I have nothing better to do with my day than spend the day working in a hot kitchen.  Making a mess when the mixer was at a higher speed than I wanted it because a baby pushed the lever.  (Eggs, sugar and cream cheese went all over the place along with whipped cream!)  Of course there were already Cheerios all over the floor.

I distinctly remember volunteering to make and decorate a sheet cake.  It would have taken less time over multiple days.  And Lumpy could have helped by watching Cheekies Assistant.  But, no, I agree to way more than I probably could handle.

Am I the only one who agrees to almost everything?  There has to be a twelve step program for people who agree to do too much.

Going Without Shoes 2012

Yesterday was the first time in a long time I didn’t leave the house during TOMS One Day Without Shoes.  It was weird.  Cheekies and I did go shoeless in our backyard.  It isn’t the same as going out and about.  The backyard also isn’t a walk in the park.  I came back inside with tons of stickers stuck in my heels.  You can guess how much fun that was.

I did take a few pictures of Cheekies’ feet.  See these feet?  They look perfect.  They are perfect.  Could you imagine these feet broken, cracked, bleeding because I didn’t have the money to get shoes for Cheekies?  I can’t.  TOMS is only one company that gives shoes to kids.  And TOMS works with “giving partners,” or Non-Government Organizations.  These NGOs could always use your donations.  Check out a few so little feet like these don’t ever cause a child pain.  (And so little legs always stay the right size and don’t balloon up because of a disease that they got from a cut in these cute feet.)  May I suggest World Vision?

One Day Without Shoes is Today

Today is TOMS One Day Without Shoes 2012.  Cheekies and I are going barefoot.  Why go barefoot?  To bring attention to the shoeless epidemic.  Is there really a shoeless epidemic?  What is so wrong about going barefoot?  Is this really that serious?

I could write an entire blog post.  Wait, I did last year.  Below you will find a repost of a post I wrote last year that will answer all those questions.  If you need more answers, go to  Tomorrow, I’ll write about Cheekies and my experience without shoes today.

It’s not book related, but I wanted to share one of my favorite activities with you.  Every year the gang at TOMS Shoes holds “One Day Without Shoes.”  I love being involved, but thanks to a doctor who doesn’t think it’s a great idea while pregnant, I won’t be an active participant this year.  I’ll blog about last year’s great experience while on vacation, and I’ll try doing as much as possible without shoes if I’m out on the 5th of April.

Why go without shoes?  To bring to light a huge epidemic in our world.  A lack of shoes.  Yeah, I hear a lot of people questioning why this is an epidemic unless you’re a woman whose best friend is the Dillard’s Shoe Department.  If only it was that simple.

Shoes are the most important things in the world.  Imagine living in a developing country where there is no sanitation.  The ground is covered with feces, soil with diseases, mud, used medical supplies, urine (human and animal), glass, sharp metal and other bits of trash.  Rocks so sharp they can cut your feet are scattered all over the ground.  And you have to walk miles upon miles to find clean water, medical help, food, and if you’re lucky go to school.  (Oh, and you don’t have the money or means to prevent or treat any disease you get from your walk.)

Imagine walking being harmful to your health.  Podoconiosis shows up from being exposed to an irritant soil, usually volcanic soil, day after day.  Your feet and legs swell to the point they look like they belong on an elephant.  Don’t click this link if you are easily offended, but Wikipedia has pictures of people suffering from Podoconiois.  Imagine being a child and living with the disease.

The worst thing is Podoconiosis is 100% preventable!  How can you keep yourself safe and healthy?  Shoes!  I’m not kidding.  All it takes is simply wearing a pair of shoes and you can’t get this horrible disease.  It’s not the only disease one can get due to a lack of shoes, especially in developing countries.

How can you help?  Glad you asked.  First, tell everyone you know about how important shoes are in daily life.  A great way to get the message across is One Day Without Shoes.  Even if you go for just an hour without shoes people will ask you lots of questions.  Check out the website and participate in a community event with other concerned people going without shoes for children around the world.

Get online!  Spread the message to your buddies via Twitter, Facebook, and your blog.  Email your friends and families.  Blog or microblog about your day without shoes.  I’m really thinking of doing some shopping without shoes, even if the doctor is against the idea.  Pregnant women in developing countries and in parts of the US can’t afford shoes to protect them and their fetuses.  Why can’t I do a few minutes in a parking lot without a pair of shoes on my feet?

Get the kit from TOMS!  It’s free, and the graphics are really, really, really cool.  Besides, you really wanted a new graphic for your Facebook account and your Twitter account.  Oh, and there are widgets for your blog, too.

Go a day without shoes!  I thought I knew what life without shoes would be like before I participated last year.  Turns out life isn’t all that great, especially when your grandma’s yard is filled with poky plants, not nice soft grass.  If for some reason you think going without shoes makes you look crazy, go to TOMS and buy a flag.  (It’s $5 off the website.)  Buy a necklace, and TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a kiddo.  (Which means for $28 you get a necklace and that great feeling of giving the gift of a healthy life to a kiddo.)  By a t-shirt, and the gang at TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a kiddo.    Or create your own t-shirt with the stencils online.  I’ll be in my really cool Threadless t-shirt from last year.  (Assuming it still fits, or I’m going with my TOMS shirt from 2 years back.  Get your friends involved and create an event.  Heck, TOMS even created a letter for you to use.  They believe in making it easy.

And when it’s all done, and you really want to slip back into your shoes, don’t let it stop there.  Tell your friends and family and your online community what you did during your day.  Let them know how living without shoes changed your life.  Pass the word on that shoes are one of the easiest ways to stop diseases.

PS: Can you tell this is one cause that’s really close to my heart?

Writing Again

So, the stars aligned on Wednesday.  For two glorious hours the baby slept, the old dog slept and the puppy slept.  Instead of doing housework I took time for me.  I sat in front of my computer and just started writing.  Two thousand words later, the baby’s cry and puppy’s responding bark weren’t that bad.

Now, if I could just get the stars to align every single day.

Sickle Cell, A Baby, A Puppy & In-Laws

The last week has been physically stressful.  I have Sickle Cell Disease.  Yes, last I checked Sickle Cell is a “black problem.”  And I’m pretty sure I’m white.  In reality calling Sickle Cell Disease a “black disease” is wrong.  More and more doctors are realizing that Sickle Cell doesn’t discriminate.  It is pretty equal opportunity.  But because it is considered “below white people” – or that is what I figure the problem is – doctors refused to diagnose me as a child.  I just had “severe” anemia.

Needless to say, now that I know what is killing me I go through life differently.  It amazes me most mornings when the sun comes up.  Having Cheekies?  That’s a miracle that was supposed to kill both of us.  (Actually getting pregnant was a miracle.)

But I admit things get hard.  Champ is a puppy, and when I have a flair up Champ can take a lot out of me.  Champ and Cheekies together can wear me out.  It means I need time to get well.  And there is where the problem comes in.

My wonderful in-laws have one grandkid; Cheekies.  To make it worse we are 700+ miles from the in-laws.  My mother-in-law has spent years hoping for a grandchild.  Which means every time I turn around she’s calling with great news.  “We want to come for a visit.”  Of course, I usually say “Sure, why not.”  After all, Cheekies is their grandchild.  It doesn’t matter how sick I am.  It didn’t matter last weekend that the world spun every single time I stood.  I still let them come.

You can guess what happened.  The in-laws had a great time with Cheekies.  They spent so much time here we didn’t eat lunch.  (Which is a huge problem when your body can’t produce hemoglobin.)  After they left I was ready to collapse, but Lumpy needed a nap.  Being a woman I let Lumpy recharge Sunday.  After all, Lumpy has to work.

And that’s when things went from bad to really bad.  By Tuesday my blood pressure was so law it wasn’t funny.  I couldn’t stand and I’m pretty sure I fainted while letting Champ out at 2:00 in the morning.  At least I think I fainted.  The world went gray and I woke up with my nose on the floor.

Lumpy took yesterday off.  He said something about not trusting me.  A day in bed was extremely useful.  My hemoglobin is still low, but my body had 24 hours of repair time.  Did I get any writing done?  Nope, I could barely put together two syllables to form words.  But I should get some done today while Cheekies nap.

Champ and the Baby

Week Two with Champ is going along pretty well.  Our biggest problem is that Champ really likes Cheekies.  It got to the point we couldn’t set Cheekies on the ground.  The moment we did Champ would come over and try to play.  Obviously, this will be great when Cheekies is older, but it is a bad thing as a baby.
We went out and got a playpen.  It is big enough for a baby and a mommy to play on the floor.  The sides are taller than Champ can easily lift his leg.  (Champ doesn’t jump, so we don’t have that worry.)
I’m pretty sure that I can leave Cheekies alone in the playpen when she gets older.  Maybe I can get laundry done, or put the playpen in the kitchen so I can do dishes.  This should also give me piece of mind so I can write while the baby plays.

We shall see.