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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Friday, October 29, 2010

Playing Dress-Up

Happy Most Uncomfortable Holiday! I try every year to get excited about Halloween and I just can't muster up the enthusiasm. For one thing, what and who looks good in orange and black? Don't say that you do because I assure you, you don't. Your friends just don't feel like they can be honest with you like I can.

Then there's the candy. My children would prefer to hook themselves up to a pumpkin-shaped I.V. and just ABSORB candy all day long, so Halloween is a built-in battle of wills. My favorite approach is to let them wallow in it for the two days after tricks and treats and then peel them off the ceiling at the expiration of 48 hours. Also, I steal their candy and eat it when they're in bed. (I learned this technique from my mother, who sometimes still pilfers my candy out of the drawer where it's hidden. She has a bit of a sweet tooth.)

There is a bright spot, however, for the Halloween scrouge. The costumes can be lovely. I shake my head distastefully at anything involving ketchup-blood or webs or vampire teeth. Also, boys wearing white and black make-up or girls using trick-or-treat to be code for "skank-o-skank." You can call me a traditionalist. But some people really don their Clever Hats when it comes to costuming. Take this man, who was inspired by a Chia Pet:

Or this man, who was later arrested for trying to cook his child:

Now, here's an option for those of you think all those cute duckie and sweet pea costumes are so 2009:

My favorite costume, though, was worn by a friend of Marc's during grad school. The guy was a bit of a class clown, sported a healthy Midwestern belly, and sure did show up to the Halloween party wearing a lot of tin foil and a big sandwich board sign that said "Mammogram Machine: Place Breast Here." Not one female at the event took him up on it, but bless you, B.K., wherever you are.

Happy Halloween, friends. Try to be cheerful.

p.s. Am I allowed to be a Christian writer and use the word "breasts" in a blog post? Christians still have breasts, right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slow Start

I've had a rocky start to the school year. I realize I am not actually IN school, but two of my children are and I think that counts. Plus, I'm the one making sack lunches, so I deserve the love and pity.

Mostly pity. For example, the first day of school, Mitch looked like this:

This is also what he looked like the second day of school because he wore the exact same clothes. AND HIS MOTHER DIDN'T NOTICE until she picked him up at the end of preschool. He looked at me like I smoked dangerous chemicals when I expressed my concern about wearing a shirt that had yogurt artfully spilled around the collar.

"Mom," he said, "I look awesome."

And then there was the Calendar Confusion Incident a few weeks ago. It was a Monday and I kept Ana home because she had the day off from school. Probably teacher planning or something, I wasn't sure. Mid morning, still all in our pajamas and considering a trip to the science center or maybe a movie and I noticed a fleet-footed thought take a jog through Ye Olde Maternal Head. I wondered why I hadn't heard any other moms talking about their plans for the day off from school. Why? Hmm. Well, turns out there was a simple answer to that question. Other moms didn't have day-off plans because school was in session. People who read calendars with a savvy and literate eye know things like this but people who send their children to school in yogurt-crusty shirts do not.

So I'm warning you now: Do not trust me with important information or the hygienic care of children. You can trust me with pretend stories and fake people that don't exist. Fiction is safe! Anything else, though, and we're all taking our chances.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Paging Kimberly Stuart

Well, I did not perish. I should get that out first. Everything's still ticking and I'm still experiencing the glories and travails of life with three young children and their spectacularly handsome father.

But, good gravy, has it really been five months since I checked in with you people? What have I been doing, you might ask, that might warrant such a hiatus? We did move to our home and I love it, love it, love it. I can't say this often around Ana, who has been brainwashed by some well-intentioned mother to say things like, "Things aren't important. People are important." (Someone should tell that mother to STOP being so preachy.) But secretly I love it and I love our new neighborhood, our trees, our dear neighbors who brought us cookies and plants and little buckets of toys and Teddy Grahams for the kids. Mayberry, people! I am living the Andy Griffith Show!

So we moved. I'm slowly starting to brush off the gears in my brain because Operation Bonnet is set to release this February, which might seem like a long time away to you but we all know how productive I've been the LAST four months.

Here's a glimpse of the fantastic cover.

The Amish never looked so sassy. (Actually, the girl on the front is an aspiring P.I. who wants to infiltrate the Amish. More on that later.)

I'll tell you one thing, though. There are a lot of things I HAVEN'T been doing the last few months. I have not been organizing my cosmetics.

In fact, I realized yesterday I own one dried-up tube of mascara and an eye shadow that bears the tracks of Thea's fingernails in a nifty criss-cross pattern. (*Please note, the above photo is courtesy of a Google search and not my own. I'm entirely unsure of what most of the items in this photo are.)

I also have not been learning another language, though my new neighbor speaks German and didn't seem all that impressed with my "Du bist vie eine blume" (You are like a flower) from my undergraduate smart aleck days (I'm entirely over that phase).

(*Please note: The man in the lederhosen is not my new neighbor.)

And finally, I have not been doing this:

Having myself photographed in the nude, holding a large designer handbag and petting lion cubs. I saw this ad in the paper yesterday and asked Marc why no one had asked for me to take a photo like this. He looked up briefly from his Grape Nuts and shuddered. I'm not taking that personally. Instead, I'm getting back to blogging. If my husband can't banter with me about lion cubs and Julianne Moore, I know where to find like- minded souls.

I've missed you. :)