Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Rhyming schemes and other things

Sometimes Bryce and I are weird. The should come as no surprise to anyone who knows us well enough, but as one example of many, we often accidentally get into rhyming conversations and then run with it (making it less of a "run with it" and more of a runaway train situation). Tonight we somehow got into a conversation about a head and continued far longer than we should until this little beauty popped into the conversation. 
Bryce: “We should’ve busted out a sled.”
Me: “But then we may have bled.”
Bryce: “Red…red…red.” 
There wasn't much more to add after that. 

Also... on a side note, Christmas is over. I have mixed feelings about this. But on the upside... we rearranged our entire house and instead of feeling like a storage shed, it feels like a mansion (Barbie's play mansion, but that is still a significant improvement). 

Christmas Joy and Joyness

Merry Christmas! Seriously! I love this season so so much. There really aren't words. Christmas has always been a favorite time of year, but this year it seems to be a hundred times what it has been in past years. I don't know if it is the excitement of sharing it with Little, or starting new family traditions, or just that it is a much needed break from all the craziness of life, but this Christmas feels different. I've been looking forward to it for longer than I care to admit and now that it is in full swing I can't even contain myself sometimes. Christmas lights everywhere, bursting out into song constantly, an entirely unhealthy diet of eggnog and chocolate covered macadamia nuts... I even broke out my Christmas socks early this year.  I'm not sure that this is even healthy, but man alive! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

Since this is probably as close as we're going to get to a Christmas card this year I suppose I should do a bit of a recap. Looking back, we've had quite an eventful year this year. We had a baby, moved across the country, Bryce started law school, we were driven from our home by squirrels, learned that Wahoos and Hokies are not a Dr. Suess story... all sorts of new adventures. All-in-all it's been a good year; challenging and crazy at times, but exciting nonetheless. We are finally settled in here and getting the hang of this school thing. Bryce survived his first set of finals with his brain mostly intact, so I guess we're looking good. I've set all sorts of goals and done well with some, but have a lot to work on still. I haven't gotten much writing done in all the hullabaloo, but hopefully when the new year comes around I'll be able to focus on that more as well. 
We've decided to start a family tradition this year wherein each Christmas we take a little box and at the beginning of the Christmas season write down one "gift" that we can give to the Savior throughout the coming year so that we can place it in the box and make that the focus of our Christmas season as well as life in general for the next year. It has been fun to really start combining family traditions as well as start our own traditions this year. It's amazing how much having a little one adds to Christmas, and holidays in general. 
This winter has been a blast so far. Little got to play in the snow for the first time, and by "play" I really mean be completely unimpressed and a little bothered that he had to be wearing a big marshmallow suit. From the moment we put him in his snow suit to the moment we took him out he stayed in pretty much the same position: splayed on the ground with a look of complete indifference.
Bryce even made a little snow angel around him and he didn't move a muscle. We eventually got him to crawl around a bit, but he found the whole experience more of an ordeal to wait out than an adventure to be enjoyed. 
In honor of Bryce finishing finals and the dread of grades to come, we threw a pity party--literally. We wrote our own epitaphs (the best of which being: Here lies Bryce - who left the world he only saw the left of). And we of course wrote some angsty poetry (with titles like: Snow in the Black Black Cold Cruel Unfeeling Treacherous World). And drank our sorrows away (with sparkling cider of course). I made shark attack cupcakes (because really, what worse thing could happen?) and I intended to make a pinata to beat after the festivities were over, but that got a bit too complicated. Maybe next time. Either way... we pitied ourselves away and came out feeling surprisingly refreshed. Little even got in on some of the action (not the drinking of course, but he did write some very nice poetry).
We just recently discovered that though we may be lacking crows that curse our apartment and squirrels that invade it, we have other avian visitors that frequent our new place. We have two cardinals, a few bluejays and mocking jays, a hawk, and uncountable other little birds who sing and play all day long. Who knew winter would bring them all out? We're definitely asking Santa for a bird feeder and a new bird book for Christmas.
In conclusion, life is good, we're excited to have Bryce back from the jaws of law school for a month, and we are very blessed and grateful for this season and the chance to celebrate all the Savior has done for us. Merry Christmas all!


While we were standing in line at the store yesterday, there was a pile of those "Snuggie" things that are everywhere these days and Bryce says, "I don't understand why those sell. Why don't people just put their bathrobe on backwards." Note that Bryce is probably the world's warmest human and thus doesn't fully understand the appeal of being wrapped in any blanket, much less one that wraps so wonderfully around you, but he has a very valid point none the less.

Nothing Worse

Raising a baby seems to have more “nothing worses” than I ever thought it could. The current nothing worse? Giving your baby the flu…on purpose. I mean, I am extremely grateful for modern medicine and that my child will no longer die of smallpox, or the bubonic plague, or any number of bizarre sounding infectious diseases, but that doesn’t make me loathe Little’s immunizations any less, or make me feel like any less of a traitor when he looks at me like, “Mom! How could you?!” despite the fact that I am indeed not the one stabbing a needle into his poor little leg. And why is it that the nurse always makes you hold him down? That is almost the cruelest part of the process. I prefer to be the one to save him after the assault is done. Not that I would want to avoid being there for him, but I just don’t want to restrain him.
However, even worse than the actual shot, is the ride home when he sits in the back whimpering almost inaudibly while I can’t reach him to comfort him. Then we get home and he tries to sleep it off for at least 3 days (if not more), but wakes up crying because his leg hurts, or his nose is clogged, or he has to cough, all while he is dealing with a raging fever.
And the worst of the worse? We walk into the doctor’s office willingly every two months with the complete knowledge of what will happen when we walk out.
There is nothing worse than immunizations. 

'Twas the Night Before Finals...

Welcome to finals week! Where there is insanity and adventure for all!
Little has been teething (read: a grumpy, grumpy-but still cute-monster) and we've all been pretty sick, not to mention Bryce has finals for the next two weeks, thus we've been lacking sleep and have unfortunately dissolved into sheer lunacy. The result? Last night's exploits:
I have the usual dreams of little green men and missing socks.
Little man wakes up periodically either screaming because his poor teeth hurt and he has way too much gala-gala in his throat/nose, or laughing to himself because he's discovered yet another way to make a binky disappear.
After snoring to wake the dead, Bryce stops breathing several times and has to choke to get himself going again (welcome, sleep apnea). 
He grinds his teeth until I start sleeping with a hand to his cheek because that seems to be the only thing that will save his molars from being nubs in the morning. 
He leans over me and starts saying something that sounds like Russian meets Chinese-which come to find out may or may not have been a result of a dream about Harry Potter-until he comes to enough to announce, "What I just said makes no sense." and rolls over to go back to sleep while I laugh out loud.
And last, but not least, he jumps out of bed not one, but four times during the night, throwing the sheets aside, violently ripping the ear plugs, and rushing to get ready for the day until I literally pull him back into bed. Once, when actually conscious, he got up and went to the bathroom and I didn't notice until he hopped back into bed. I instinctively grabbed his arm and pulled, commanding him to get back in bed. He of course defended himself and I of course didn't believe him (thinking he was still asleep) until he could prove that he was in fact in possession of all his faculties. He doesn't remember most of this, but this morning he feels like he didn't sleep at all. 
All together an eventful night. 
Welcome, finals! Please be over soon. 

Good Times

We've been in the new apartment for a month or so and we are loving it. Although there are no squirrels residing in the walls or ravens cursing us, there are still quite a few characters around. Namely: Adolf Von Fanschmier (the resident evil fan which makes hideous growling noises when turned off), Brutus (the spider who lives in the laundry room downstairs), Radar Bear (Bryce's old glue encrusted teddy bear which for some reason Everett has decided is the best thing to happen to humanity), Lenny (the squirrel who lives in the tree outside our window and apparently has some species confusion because he tweets like a bird), the list could go on... And yes, we do have a serious disorder involving nicknames. Anyway, the point is that we are a big fan of the new apartment, and ward, and all of the above.
The focus of late in our house has been dental hygiene. Mostly because Little has a new found love for brushing the four and a half teeth that he has. I used to just do a quick scrub before bed and he would open his mouth for maybe a split second (and even then I have a sneaking suspicion that it was only to get a taste of the fruity toothpaste) but I discovered that if I brush my teeth with him it is much easier. Instead of losing interest in a millisecond, he will brush as long as I do—providing that he has full control of the toothbrush of course. He actually does a surprisingly good job for someone who has just recently learned to use his motor skills and although it is usually a two handed operation, he definitely gets the job done. The only problem comes when he starts trying to lend a hand by brushing my teeth as well. That complicates things significantly.
He's growing up so fast I can hardly believe it. He pulls himself up on everything and I thought he had semi-stalled out as far a progress in that direction went, but after a fun Thanksgiving weekend with the my sister and watching their kids run around, he has decided that it is time to start learning to get around for real apparently because he spends all day testing his limits, attempting to stand without holding on to anything, and pushing from one object to another. Oddly enough, he still can't quite figure out how to sit back down after his escapades so he usually just stands there and cries until I come help him or crashes and then cries, but hopefully that will come with time. Either way, he's getting bigger, and stronger, and more opinionated by the second. Good thing he's also getting cuter and sweeter by the second. 

Merry Stinking Christmas

Our conversation this morning...
Bryce: "Hey, will you look in the CD case and see if you can find the Christmas CD that you made me? The one that says 'Merry Stinking Christmas'* and has a steaming pile of poop drawn on it?"
Me: "What? When did I even make you a CD with a steaming pile of poop on it?"
Bryce: "You know, the one you made me last Christmas?"
Me (finding it in the CD case): "That is NOT a steaming pile of poop! That is supposed to be a drawing of Santa Claus!
Apparently this says something about my artistic abilities.

*I named it "Merry Stinking Christmas" because Bryce's nickname at times is "Stinky"
**For those who were with us last year, this post kept making me think of our Schmidtty Christmas of years past. Please to refer to (http://toughroom.blogspot.com/)

This just in:

We are going Mediterranean. I hereby decree.
This decision came about because Bryce and I have made a goal (mostly to help me lose weight and be healthier, but he’s kind enough to add himself to the goal as it helps me to have a challenge). We have designed incentives on a weekly, monthly, and longer basis and set collective as well as competitive objectives. I’ve decided to make this a two-fold mission. One of my aforementioned goals (in one of my previous post about how I’m going to change the world and myself one enormous aspiration at a time) is to learn how to cook. Really cook. Not just throw things into a pot and call it good. So, I’m using our diet as an excuse to learn to cook like a regular Iron Chef. I read somewhere that keeping to a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways to diet without dieting, so that is serving as my inspiration. Fish and feta cheese here we come! You can start referring to me as “Mama Focaccia”—name for my cooking alter ego courtesy of Bryce.

What's in a name?

One of the things I find hardest about writing: names. Character names, names of places, etc. I always have the hardest time with the names. I want them to be perfect, but it seems like they never are. I have only found one name that I really liked for a character in the history of the whole history and that story I'm not even ready to start really writing yet. No good. 

“You know what I’m thinkin’? …CHICKEN!”

We have discovered something that Little hates more than green beans. Chicken. Not only does he make faces and growl, he has added to the repertoire; he waits until he gets both cheeks full (I mistook this for actual consumption the first couple of times) and then proceeds to pull it out and drop it on the floor. All with the same look of utter disgust.  
If I didn’t get half of it splattered on me I would think it was the most comical thing that he’s ever done. As it is I end up cleaning most of it off of the floor rather than getting it into his system, so I think chicken might be out for a little while.  
And as a side note to this, I will add that the other day Bryce was letting my little monster drink from his cup and this particular cup just happens to have an attached straw (I wish I could say that I own it for Little, but I can't). He got a little too excited, which resulted in a minor run in with the straw. He immediately pulled back and gave it a little growl of warning before continuing to drink. There are few times Bryce and I have laughed that hard. 

Bryce and I about died laughing at this. Apparently we violated some parking rules.


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... just me.

We survived. It is official. We haven’t moved everything in yet, but that isn’t on a deadline so I’m not as stressed about that. The whole week of frenzied moving extravaganza went something like this:
    DAY 1: Find out that we’re moving
Get to work finding boxes, moving supplies, and figure out how to do it all
Look at all my stuff
Start taping and boxing like a mad woman (throwing out anything that isn’t absolutely essential to life and/or sentimental and never to be replaced)
    DAY 2: Discover Little can now pull himself up to the standing position all on his own. Hooray!
Start where we left off yesterday, blinking back tears and irritation from what I think are just allergies at first, but turn out to be an eye infection
Emergency call Bryce for medicine to hold it at bay until I can go to see a doctor
Pack, pack, pack
Look at the clock—2:00AM.
PANIC! And then go to sleep (without Bryce who didn’t make it to bed until 3:30AM)
    DAY 3: Wake up with the death (and not just the tired death…the sniffly, sneezy, eek death)
Curse the universe for a minute for combining against me
Pull myself out of bed, pump myself full of whatever medicine I can find (and no, I am not usually so desperate nor so quick in my drug consumption, but extreme measures…), and get to work avoiding my bedroom like the plague because there sits an extremely comfortable bed which is calling to me like a siren attempting to lure me away from the never ending list of what has to be done
Box up stuff
Deal with a few disasters (which are only disasters because I am involved)
Bryce comes home and says without being bidden, “Whoa Honey! You’ve gotten so much done!”
Panic a little less and realize this might just be doable
    DAY 4, 5, and 6 went something like this:
Some seeming disaster or another
Box… You get the idea…
    DAY 7 and 8: Finish boxing, Hallelujah!
Sit back and realize that all my panicking was for naught and be more grateful than I even thought possible that they are not requiring us to clean the apartment due to the fact that they are renovating it anyway.
…NOTE that even though I didn’t add those parts in, I was really taking care of Little amidst all the chaos. Promise!...

By the end of all the madness we decided to have a celebratory “House cooling party” in our box covered abode because everyone always has house warming parties when they get into a new place, but never a house cooling party when they leave. So we said farewell to the squirrels in style (sparkling cider, crappy Chinese takeout, plastic dishware…doesn’t get much better than that).
Thus, we now are officially out of our old place and into the new and are living on Seymour Rd (We may or may not be planning to purchase a carnivorous plant so that we can say, “FEED ME, SEYMOUR!” all the time).
My conclusion to all of this? I am secretly super woman (sans the leotard suit). The End. 


I've heard about this NaNoWriMo that comes around every November for a while (for the record their motto is: "Thirty days and nights of literary abandon" which makes them awesome from the get go). They have been doing it since 1999 and essentially it is a challenge in the month of November to write 50,000 words of a novel from scratch. The point is not to write an amazing novel, or even a good one for that matter, the point is to get a bunch of crazy novel aspiring/writing people together, and through the thrill of the challenge, force them to crank out a novel that they might end up throwing away entirely, but forcing the creative juices to get flowing either way. As they put it, "The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly." I love them for this, but I haven't yet worked up the courage to do it. Every year I have the great debate and every year I find one or more marvelous (albeit occasionally far fetched) excuses that prevent me from participating. And of course this year is no different; even though I'm coming a little late the party this year, I haven't made up my mind whether I'm actually going to give it a go or not. I keep running into the fact that, a: I barely have any time as is, and b: I am a big fat chicken. I don't know if I'm ready to pull 50,000 words out of my head at the risk of simply throwing them all away. 
I'll let you know by the end of the month if I took the challenge this year or succumbed to my many excuses, but I wanted to share it all the same just in case anyone I know who is a closet writer like me would like to take them up on it. 


I quoted before that “War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell in reference to our squirrel quandary.
The outcome: We lose. In a matter of days, we will leave Boris and Natasha to work out their marital problems alone. Sadly this means that we will also be leaving Poe and the ward (not to mention the first calling I was legitimately excited about), but the plot thickened when Little’s room started smelling like squirrel droppings and the roof started falling in. The complex released us from our contract and we were able to find new housing fairly quickly, so all’s well that ends well and in a week we are leaving the squirrels to tear apart our apartment in peace. And you know, as much as I would’ve loved to write “Victory is ours!” I am more than happy to clear out and let them have the place. We will be graceful in defeat.
Packing the house up in a week is a semi-terrifying experience even without Bryce unavailable to help and Little having recently learned to crawl with an uncanny ability to find the exact thing he shouldn’t. In short: I’m panicking.
The upside is that we are living in one big miracle. One thing after another has fallen into place; from being released from our contract and having something open up in student housing almost simultaneously, to someone listing on Craigslist.org about a hundred moving boxes that they are giving away for free, to Little miraculously taking regular naps, and even things as small as packing tape being on sale at the grocery store… Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for us.
We have also found something that Little loves and will be incredibly helpful in doing house work later on. We made him a little playpen of boxes and put toys inside so that he can happily play all day long. Lovely.
My goal is to see how many times in two years I can manage to pack my house up. So far we are at four with another one potentially coming in April. Ah, the joys of a temporary existence. 

The "Supposed to be Dead"

As a side note to the previous post—not that it technically has anything to do with it, but I was reminded of it and feel that it deserves mention—once while my sister and I were talking she brought up her confusion at the title “Undead” for vampires and the like. Begging the question: “Shouldn’t they be the ‘Supposed to be dead’?” as we are all technically “undead.” I think about that every time someone mentions anything having to do with the undead—which unfortunately is way too often lately. Thank you Stephanie Meyer.

Life as We Know It

Unbeing dead isn't being alive.—E.E. Cummings

I promise I'm not attempting the whole I-have-a-hipster-deep-blog-where-I-can-write-thought-provoking-hipsty-things,* but I stumbled across this quote and thought it was worth sharing. I think there are a lot of things I could be doing to live better and often times I get caught up in the routine of life and forget to really appreciate and live it. 

*Not that there is anything wrong with those, but I am definitely not the one to be whipping out insights into humanity when it takes all my brain power just to put together an intelligent sentence these days

In Which Things Get a Bit More Mobile (Read: Exhausting)

We are officially crawling. He started “crawling” a little bit ago and by that I really mean and sort of army/zombie crawl where he employed one arm and one leg, did a scoot, and then repeated the process with the other arm and leg until he got where he wanted to go. We are now legitimate though. He is a crawler, using his knees and all. The days of leaving him to play peacefully on the floor are over. Part of me is so happy to see him discovering things and growing up, but I’m also dreading this stage. Child proofing… here we come.
(I’ll put a video up as soon as I get a good one)
This also begs the question: Why do we bother to buy him toys? Since he has learned that he can relocate to find a better plaything, he has targeted every plug, shoe, and forbidden object that he possibly can. His favorite thing at the moment is a shoe box. He pulls it over his head and proceeds to flail every possible limb frantically while squealing as if there could be nothing better in the world. 

Advice on Advice

I am attempting to do a little research for one of my works in progress and I need a little help. I’m wondering two things:
   1. What is the best relationship advice book you have ever read?
   2. What is the best relationship advice you have ever been given/have to give?
Feel free to answer either/both/none of the questions, but any comments would be much much much appreciated. 


One of my goals since we’ve been here has been to excel at something. Several things if I can swing it. I realized that there are too many things that I am marginal at best with, things that I have picked up here or there and dabbled in, but never taken the time to be legitimately good at. So, I decided that I am going to take up a few hobbies and make them talents. This is proving to be a slightly problematic process as I tend to tackle significantly more than I should at one time (when you have 45 things to start excelling at it is a bit chaotic and overloaded), but for the time being I am an aspiring cake decorator. And by aspiring I really mean that I aspire to make a cake look like it might be edible.

Pumpkins are the latest attempt. It’s amazing how proud you can be of something so silly looking.

One problem with cake decorating as a hobby is that someone has to then consume the cake you decorated. Alas. 

My goal is to be good enough by March 6th, 2011 that I can make Little an amazing treasure map cake with additional mini treasure chest cake for him to consume all on his own on his first birthday. (And yes, I am already planning a pirate birthday party for him 5 months in advance.)

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell

Apparently every animal that has taken to dwelling at our house feels as though they need to get a girlfriend. Not only does Poe officially have a girlfriend (we’ve named her Elmira in honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s actual fiancĂ© while he was at the University of Virginia), but now Boris—our resident terrorist squirrel—has a girlfriend as well. She will hence forth be name Natasha. Natasha and Boris are apparently building their own rodent condo in our walls because quite frankly, the racket they make is astonishing. Things dropping down the vents and into the closet, jumping and scampering all day long, banging on the walls… once Boris even stuck his tail down the vent as if taunting me.

This is officially war. Don't get me wrong, I love squirrels. I do. Really. But I want them outside, not living in the walls/vents/closets of my house. There are some very beautiful and wonderfully vacant trees directly outside of our house. Therefore, I repeat: This is war. Silly little squirrel... I'm bigger, and smarter, and have opposable thumbs. Victory will be mine! And by “victory will be mine” I really mean that the exterminator is supposed to make an appearance again today, so hopefully we’ll be rid of our little house guests soon. 

This Bites

My stories run up and bite me on the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off—Ray Bradbury

I respectfully request that these ideas leave off for a bit so that I can be productive and focus on the one that I needs me. I am trying to finish a book in my spare time which is little enough time as it is without adding the fact that I keep getting distracted by the other maybe-someday-will-be-books. I need to just buckle down and finish the darn thing already.

After Apple Picking

By Robert Frost The Lowders

...There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall...

At a local orchard around here, once a year they have an Apple Harvest Festival where essentially they have all sorts of fun little things for the kids to do (and the adults too, lets not lie). They have hay rides, a pumpkin patch, craft/food stands, and the highlight of all: you pick your own apples!

To get us started on the right foot on the way up we read Robert Frost's "After Apple Picking." I guess technically we should have read it after apple picking, but all the same...We had a blast and it is definitely going to be a tradition while we are here. 

 Little loved the pumpkins. He was unimpressed by a lot of things during the day, but the pumpkins were definitely a hit
 Bryce being awesome with the nifty apple picking contraption they provided us with. And Little enjoying the ride.
 It was a gorgeous area and it would've been worth visiting just to see the beautiful views that surround the orchard.
 Me and my mad apple picking skills. It helped that I didn't have a baby strapped to my belly, but I still maintain that I got better apples than Bryce.
 Little did his part to help pick the apples. If we're being strictly accurate, I think his favorite part was not the apples themselves, but the leaves. Every time Bryce would go for an apple, Little would add a few leaves to his handful.
...For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired...

King of the Not So Wild Frontier

Note to self: Aspiring to be Davie Crockett can be a dangerous thing these days

Coming Out of the Closet

Also… not only do we have Poe our cursed raven, we have now been joined by Boris, a squirrel living in our heater closet. I wish I were lying about that. I’m not. There is literally a squirrel preparing to hibernate for the winter in our heater closet.
We hear him running back and forth on the ceiling (I say ceiling because he goes in between the floors of our house) all day dropping what I assume are nuts and then scampering into the heating closet until we jiggle the doors or something and he runs away. We have had a few sightings thus far, but I think he must know that if I see him I am liable to strangle him because he hasn't been seen for more than a second. Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for sharing the wealth when it is appropriate. Birds nesting on the porch, mice underneath the front steps, woodland creatures playing in the yard and all that, but I draw the line at the heater closet.
And lest you think, “Ah! Poor innocent squirrel!” let me add that he is a repeat offender. The exterminators tried to get rid of him already—granted their version of “getting rid of him” was to put out traps with salted peanuts in them. I ask you: what squirrel in their right mind is going to go for a bunch of salted peanuts when there is a giant oak tree right outside? Anyway, the point is that he is back and this time apparently with a vengeance as he is at least twice as active.
After I balked at his decision that it must be killed, Angus McDaddyen (Bryce’s nickname when he is doing the manly things like killing spiders and chasing squirrels and what not) came up with a grandiose plan to—as he calls it—“form an alliance with the enemy” by feeding it and “taming” it in an effort to lull it into a false sense of security. This plan has been irrevocably vetoed. 

Getting Ready for School

I turned around this morning to find Bryce doing this: 

(Please note the mischievous smile on Bryce's face)
Lest you be doubting your eyes, that is indeed Bryce stuffing Little into a backpack. Why was he doing this? you ask. Heaven only knows. 
Either way, Little didn't seem to mind. As long as he could keep chewing the strap he was perfectly content. 

Until he was ready to get out and couldn't quite crawl away. Even then, he doesn't seem terribly perturbed does he?

Courts the Raven

Poe (the name we've chosen for our resident cursed raven) may or may not have a girlfriend. So now we have two ravens that frequent our apartment. Ah! Budding love. Who knows? Maybe someday soon we'll have our very own brood of cursed raven babies. It isn't my first choice as far as birds I could have nesting outside of my apartment, but it'll do.
(Hopefully I'll be able to capture a picture of the happy couple soon)

YA Fiction

I love this post and I completely agree so I thought I would share:
Some YA romances are not ok. My sister and I were just barely talking about this problem the other day agreeing that the abusive or ridiculous relationships in most teen fiction these days is one of the reasons we want to get our books out there--in the hopes that someday soon the trend will change and someone will see that you don’t need to have an abusive/lusty/completely surface relationship to make a YA book sell. We’re female. We love a little romance. And romance in teen books can be great, but since when did I-fell-in-deep-and-abiding-love-at-the-age-of-15 or you-are-essentially-an-evil-stalker-so-you-are-my-soulmate become the norm? Not ok.

Secondhand Habits

If you ever want to know all the strange quirky things that you do, have a child. It turns out that it starts as soon as three months. They start making faces and as a result, you start recognizing the bizarre things you do because you have the most effective little mirror image in the world with you all day long. You spend your day thinking to yourself, “Why is he doing… oh dear! I do that all the time, don’t I?”

The latest example:
            #1: Sniffing. Sniffing has always been my form of fake emotion. If I’m mock sad, or angry, or even happy, Bryce usually gets a sniff. Now Little has started sniffing. I, being the oblivious person that I am, had no idea where he could’ve picked that up until Bryce pointed out my little fake sniffing habit. Of course Little’s sniffing has turned into an entirely different habit now and he just sits there and sniffs away for fun, but still… it probably came originally from me.

            #2: Fake Laughing. Now, I’m not sure if this is directly from me or not, but all the same, Little has started fake laughing. When he thinks you are not paying attention to him or he wants something, he starts doing this little machine gun chuckle. Originally it was a cough, but now it has morphed into the fake laugh. The best part is that he knows it makes me laugh so he does it and I laugh, so he does it louder, so I laugh harder, and the cycle continues. (Hopefully someday I’ll be able to get this on film)

Most of them up to this point have been pretty funny, but it gives me new goals to work on constantly because now when I do things I think, “Would I want Little to pick this up?” And it’s not as though I have an excess of unspeakable habits to rid myself of, but there are so many things that I could do better.

Quoth the Raven

I think someone has laid a curse on our apartment. We have what looks to be an enchanted wood in the back of our apartment complex so that is helpful. However, the main factor is that there is a raven that has taken up residence at our little section of the complex, and I don’t just mean hanging out in the trees or on the fences. I mean perched on the railings of my front steps or pacing the wall two feet from the door. When someone comes in or out he relocates to looking ominously from the roof top, but most of the time he is nearby which of course leads to one conclusion: our little section of the complex has been cursed.
Incidentally, Bryce just informed me that Edgar Allen Poe attended the University of Virginia for a brief stint. We’ve decided it’s his raven. 

The Great Bonk of 2010

We survived our first little bonk. And by “little bonk” I mean “Oh my LANDS! I let my child get a black eye.” I submit that there are few things to make you feel like a worse mom than to have your Little’s eye swollen and every hue of purple and know it was because you weren’t quick enough on the draw. All told it barely even counts as a black eye and Little’s being a trooper about it. He barely even notices it is there unless he sneezes or rubs his tired eyes. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to cry every time I look at it though. I’m sure this will be the first bonk of many as he learns how to get around a bit better and I’m sure I’m in for much worse bonks, but I’m already not a big fan of bonks.  

It's Not Lazy... It's Energy Efficient

Things that make me chuckle: people using the handicapped button when they don't have to. More accurately, the lengths people will go to use it. I watched a woman (nothing in her hands) take 4 steps out of her way, 4 steps back, wait 5 seconds to watch the door open, just so she didn't have to raise her arm and pull. When you get to the point where it takes more effort to make the door open automatically than it would manually, doesn’t it sort of defeat the purpose? It seems now-a-days that we might put more effort into our laziness than we do to just do it the “hard way.”

Green Beans and Other Horrid Things

Maybe this makes me a bad mother, but I love to watch Little eat green beans. Why does this make me a bad mother? you ask. Because he hates them. Absolutely loathes them and I find that there is nothing funnier than watching him consume every last bite. This probably sets my little man apart from other babies, but when he doesn’t like a food he doesn’t just refuse to eat it. No, no. I can pretty much get him to eat anything, anytime, anywhere. The way that I can tell the extent of his feelings for the dreaded green bean is because while eating them my sweet tempered little man turns into a monster. Angry faces, growling, gnashing of teeth (well, the two of them that he has anyway), the works. From the moment the first mush of green beans hits his tongue his face contorts (eyebrows knit, eyes narrow, mouth sets) and he begins growling. Now this isn’t terribly unusual as he growls at everything these days whether he is happy or sad, but this growl is an entirely different monster. He barely opens his mouth and lets this tiny growl start in the back of his throat and keeps it ever so quietly going all the way through the green bean atrocities. No matter how much I laugh or how many faces I make to try to break his concentration, the growl never stops and the face is firmly in place until the very last bite has left his mouth. When the torture finally ends (either he has finished all the beans or I give in and let him have something different), he immediately relaxes his face and goes back to being my smiling happy Little. And usually there is a laugh that accompanies it; I translate it as a sort of triumphant guffaw.
So maybe this makes me a bad mom, but I just want to feed him green beans for every meal. What did I do for entertainment before I had him?
This is the relief after being rescued from the green beans. 

This Just In...

I can't spell. Seriously. It turns out that having a baby plants a little "erase all" bug in your head and makes it impossible to spell, add 2+2, hold an intelligent conversation, or remember your name half of the time. I have put my wonderful husband on brain duty as a vouchsafe for my stupidity and yet again he saved me. I made a rather mortifying error in my first post (mortifying only because any English major should know better and if you don't know what it was, I'm not saying a word) and being the fabulous person that he is, he told me as soon as he got home. 
Though I am already starting to regret sharing this, I feel that I have to mention the worst of the spelling mishaps to relate the severity of the situation. For our family night activity last week we decided to play my favorite game: Scrabble. I love it! Mostly because I am the champion of champions and I always kick trash. However, having not played since I had Everett, I was in for a shock. Scrabble doesn't go well when you can't spell. Who knew? Not only did Bryce win by 99 points, but I tried to spell the word "socks" with an x. I wish I could say that I was trying to pass it off as a proper noun, but I wasn't. Painful. At least we had a good laugh at it when I realized what I was doing; however, it has given me a new goal. I have to do three intellectually taxing things a day until I can at least function on half mast instead of maybe 1/33 mast. 
Oh brain, where have you gone? 

Welcome, Welcome

I’ve started a blog. It’s official. I finally gave in because… Frankly, it just seemed like it was time. I can’t make any promises, but will endeavor to keep up with it the best I can and use it to share our escapades whenever possible.
In addition to that… I have an announcement, a confession really: I’m writing a book. More like five of them if we are being accurate. They seem to keep spawning. It started with one idea, and then that idea begat another, and then that idea decided that it was actually two ideas, and so on and so on. No good. Or good I guess, but better if these little ideas would stop getting ideas of their own and allow me to finish one idea before creating twelve more.
Either way, I have always been a closet writer, never quite brave enough to own up to the fact that yes, I would indeed love to publish one of these ideas. Not that I have delusions of going straight to publishing all my works and becoming world famous and beloved by generations to come or anything, but it’s time to admit it: Like every other housewife in America… I want to write a book. I don’t know if I’ll get to the point where I really want to be an author, per se, but for now owning up to my ambition will have to suffice.
The point of this is, I decided to start a blog in an effort to 
a: see if these spawning ideas are anything worth, 
b: write what we do that is of worth, and 
c: get some blabbing out of my system.
That said, welcome to the blog. 

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