Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BOO me!!

I’m so bad about leaving the kitchen messy, the laundry unwashed and the house cluttered. Instead of writing when the baby sleeps, I find myself cleaning and straightening the house. BOO me!!

Someone please tell me, it’s ok to step over the mess on my way to the bestseller list :-)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Snoozing the day away

Ivy, taking a Sunday afternoon nap ...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome home, baby.

Ivy Helene,
born August 03 at 2:09 pm,
7 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches.
Welcome home, baby. We love you!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Happy birthday

Today is my 40th birthday. Oh boy, I think I’m a grown-up now :-) As if a 16-year marriage, two kids, a baby on the way, two paid-off cars, a mortgage, credit card debt, two cats and a hamster didn’t clue me in.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

On being pregnant and not writing …

February was interesting. My super-surprising and somewhat shocking (yes, I admit it) pregnancy was confirmed, which immediately led to a ton of appointments to make sure the little fellow was okay and thriving. Being of mature age (pft) has it advantages, because most expecting mothers don’t get to see their unborn babies all that often. The last of the many ultrasounds even told us with small certainty what to expect come August (I can’t share; the husband asked to be surprise, so I have to make sure no one who might tell him knows anything).

We’re still looking for names. Ivy is in the running. As is Harlan. I love Logan, especially for a girl, but my kids hate it.

I also found out that my friends Rafi and Laurie are expecting. Congratulations, ladies.

I avoided a miscarriage, which my doctor warned was a real threat after having the IUD removed. I credit many hours on the couch with this small miracle. Mostly, I avoided moving as much as possible :-D I think I must have caught up with all the seasons of Dog Whisperer on NatGeo.

I got almost no writing done. I feel immensely guilty about this, but in all honesty, I had more important worries. Still, writing is foremost on my mind these days. I’m sick of the slow or non-existing progress, and I’m sick of feeling like I’m letting people down (Ken and Kristen to mind right away). Unfortunately, merely feeling bad about the situation doesn’t exactly do much to remedy the problem. I’m going to have to make a serious commitment, show up in front of the computer and just get the work done. The deadline is non-negotiable for this one :-)

The Olympics were inspiring. I loved seeing Shaun White on TV. He’s one of my favorite redheads ever. He’s also 23, which incidentally makes him the perfect living representation of my favorite fictional character. I may have pointed that out a few times while watching TV with my kids, because they groaned and complained about it eventually. “We know, Mom,” they’d say. Pft.

You see, my fictional characters are definitely on my mind. The tsunami alert did its thing, too. (Guam didn’t report casualties or damages, which was great.)

March will be good. Nolan turns 7, which according to him is the legal age to start chores. I’ll turn 40. Spring Break will liven things up, too, and if all goes well will find us on the road to Oklahoma to visit some friends. Road trip, yay. I already have to go to the bathroom and we haven’t even left yet :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thinking happy thoughts doesn’t cut it …

Walter Koenig: “My son was depressed.”
Reporter: “About what?”

That question has irked me all week. Andrew Koenig suffered from clinical depression, which is an imbalance of brain chemicals. He didn’t have to have a reason to be depressed. There didn’t have to be something specific in his life that made him depressed. He simply was.

I have struggled with depression during some of the best, happiest and most successful parts of my life. I know I was in a good place, but I couldn’t help feeling depressed. It’s not something you have control over and it doesn’t have to make sense. It’s not something you can wish away or snap out of by looking at the beautiful things in your life or practicing a good attitude. It’s your brain being hijacked.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why I find the Olympics inspiring …

I’m not a sport nut. I love English horseback riding and show jumping, I just haven’t done it in years. The Winter Olympics are most definitely not up my alley – nothing Winter-related is :-) But I find myself inspired.

I’m a struggling writer right now, in a deep, dark hole with nary a plot bunny for comfort. Keeping me frustrated is my perfectionist nature and the idea that everything I produce has to be flawless. Behind that idea lurks the notion that the only achievement worth pursuing is first place.

Then I watch the Olympics and see a large number of athletes who won’t even come within spitting distance of the metal podium. They’re there to post a personal best, to give it their all and shine, because they are good at what they do and they deserve the chance to show the world how good they are. Still, realistically speaking, they don’t stand a chance to win a medal.

It’s okay to know you’re not going to win. But winning isn’t everything; showing up, giving your best and having the time of your life is. And that’s why I’m inspired.

The dedication and perseverance, the sweat and tears and deep, deep credit card debts that a lot of these athletes bring with them should maybe inspire more of us to do well in the world even when there’s no prize to be won.

So, yeah, I’m inspired.

PS. Catching my favorite redhead, Shaun White, on TV is great, too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Here it is, the first baby update.

I wasn’t thinking baby. No one in the family was thinking baby. We’d discussed getting a puppy and decided to wait until the next duty station (summer 2011). That’s as close as we got to the idea of brining new life into the family.

In the beginning of the year I spent countless hours finding the perfect deal on tickets to Germany. I was even getting super excited about going home. I haven’t been back since 2005. Kaelan started warming up to the idea when she mentioned having an interest in Paris and I told her that we could certainly swing a visit. Paris is only about 3-4 hours away from where my parents now live.

Then Pat deployed to Iraq. The next day I bought myself a little desk that I wedged in the corner in the bedroom, because, you know, I have a book that needs to be finished and having my own little desk and private area seemed like a good idea.

All the while I was sick as a dog. Constant nausea. Ick. I couldn’t smell food without getting sick. I was getting really sick of being sick. This had been going on since November. I started to google things like “ulcers.” For the most part though I thought it was just anxiety and/or depression over Pat leaving.

Then, one night in a moment of clarity, it occurred to me that there was more going on than nausea. Oddly enough the symptom that tipped me off was my sleep medication not working quite right anymore. I thought it was weird that there were so many duds in one batch. Either that or I was suddenly metabolizing the stuff differently.

Last Thursday I broke down and bought a home pregnancy test. At that point I was secretly convinced that I was pregnant, but still very skeptical, because I have an IUD, an intrauterine device meant to keep me barren. I peed on the stick and it said positive almost immediately.

Holy cow.

I was SHOCKED. Totally surprised.

I called some friends – all of them super-supportive. I took a photo of the pregnancy test with the little stick and e-mailed it to Pat in Iraq, asking him to call me (he called me the next morning and he seemed far more excited than I was initially; good man). I told the kids who had mixed reactions. Nolan thought it was cool (and he’s really super excited about his mom having a baby.) He asked for a brother, so they could play LEGO Star Wars on the Wii and the little guy would be Darth Vader. I didn’t have to heart to tell him that his new sibling will be more likely to drool all over his LEGOs at first than actually play with them or the Wii.

Kaelan had more realistic concerns. Who would watch the baby while I was at work? She didn’t like the idea that I was going to stop working. Many years ago she was dead set against me returning to work, because it was my job to be her mom and be at home waiting for her. Now she’s not happy about me giving up my job at her elementary school, because she wouldn’t see me on and off during her school hours.

She warmed up to the thought of a sibling when I explained that she would no longer be the only person in our family with a birthday in the second half of the year. She’d now have company. The baby’s due date is August 22.

Well, it’s been two days now. I’ve since seen the little guy on the ultrasound monitor. Cute, very cute. I was very surprised about how big the little guy is already (about an inch and a half; I’m at 11-12 weeks). But the news isn’t all great. The IUD has to be removed. The removal carries a decent risk of miscarriage, but the risk increases the longer the IUD stays in. Some women deliver a healthy baby and the IUD at the same time, but removal is strongly suggested. I don’t know more than that yet.

So all in all, a total shock and super surprise. This baby certainly wasn’t planned or wanted, but we love it already.

Next episode: how to write a book before your due date, plan for baby and not pay a fortune on re-booking fees for your flights to Germany.

Also: “Ivy” or “Harlan”?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010, let the excitement begin

It’s only January 2, 2010, but the new year isn’t treating me all that well yet. Damn nausea. Ugh. Still, there are quite a few things I’m excited about: I’m turning 40 in March and there will be a party/get-together. With friends. And alcohol (Hello Julie, Katie, Stacy, Sonya, and Barbara) and food.

I’m absolutely looking forward to reading the finished STALKER, because I know it will surprise me (so far it’s been a pain to work on, so it owes me; nope, I don’t know yet how it ends). The best possible scenario has me reading the finished product on the plane to Germany, so that would be in June.

There are other authors I’m looking forward to reading in 2010. My friend Laurie is working on an absolutely awesome werewolf script (can’t wait to read that). Jennifer Rardin, Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance and Suzanne Collins are on my pre-ordered list. I’m hoping there will be a new JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood book, too.

I’m excited about going to the movies, too. Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Prince of Persia (though, I hate the “romantic subplot” already). Iron Man 2. Harry Potter. Twilight. The Last Airbender. Oceans. Robin Hood (I don’t particularly like Russell Crowe, but I do love Robin Hood and Crowe does well in these kind of rough and dirty roles). Edge of Darkness. A-Team (Bradley Cooper anyone?)

My big excitement in the middle of the year will undoubtedly be the visit to Germany. I haven’t been to see my (non-traveling) relatives in five years. Also, I can’t wait to eat all the good food. Greek food. Italian food. My grandmother’s potato salad and fishsticks. Yum. I’m gaining ten pounds just thinking about all the culinary goodness.

But really, in all honestly, what I’m most excited about is for 2010 to be over. The end of 2010 means that my beloved will return from Iraq soon. It also means we’re six months closer to leaving Kansas. (Now don’t get me wrong, Kansas isn’t bad, but it’s not great either; I just want to leave).

Yep, 2010 will be an exciting year.