Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby Blueberry Turns Two

            Navigating Life Or Did I Ever Tell You About My Mad Map Skills

I Can Do It Myself
        Why is it the thing we want them to do so badly is the thing that breaks our heart? I want my children to be independent. Strong. Kind.

(Although I did not see that yesterday in Bean's and Abu's behavior with each other. Which lead me to ignoring them for an entire afternoon, which was followed by them trying to make dinner, watching the Baby so I could have a break(which translates into a sulk while I contemplated why I had kids), and wait for it...being super nice to each other.)

        But back to my sappy blog about how I'll miss them when they're independent, even while I'm super mad at them for being mean to each other. Only in parenthood can we feel a dozen different emotions about our children -SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Mmm, that's not right. Relationships. It's in relationships that we can feel more than one emotion at a time. So preschool really screws a person up. Because the teachers holds up a card that depicts SAD, MAD, HAPPY, or CONFUSED and tells the child that when they have that face on, that is the emotion they are experiencing.

The teachers don't pull out the cards where it shows you can experience sad and happy at the same time. Or mad and love. Or confused and every other emotion with it. No one explains that you can experience happy for someone with envy. Or intense love for your spouse at the same time you're volcanically mad over some situation. (Usually involving one of three things: money, parenting styles, or stealing the covers. I'm starting to think people should give HIS/HER comforters as wedding presents.)

So parenthood involves having your heart experience sweeping waves of being proud of your kid for doing normal everyday things such as eating with a fork or walking - at the same time you're sure they will grow up, move out and never come to visit.

Which BTW- we had to tell the teenager, Bean, good job with eating with a fork the other night. She couldn't understand why we were praising the Baby for EATING. She wrinkled her nose at us and laughed. Point taken and she joined in telling Baby Blueberry what a big girl she was for using a fork and not throwing all her food on the floor.

But anyway, we want our children  ready to navigate the world and follow their dreams. Even though we start to miss them with every little step they take towards that goal.
  And it starts so young. Before they start to walk but you can really see it when they finally figure out the sweet success of putting one foot in front of the other. A task we take for granted, but one that took each and every one of us many times of falling down and trying again.

    Baby Blueberry took quite a while to walk. Crawling was her mode of transportation. She was speedy too. She could crawl faster than most other babies could walk. And so she didn't learn to walk until after her first birthday.
   Why? It was slow and torturous. Falling down. Bumping. It took forever to wobble over to the object she wanted, whereas with crawling she could reach her destination in no time at all.
   Why change the status quo? She was perfectly happy without walking.

   And then, one day, it finally occurred to her. Heck yes, walking was faster.

  She hasn't slowed down since.  So even though every baby moment I knew we would have, I tried to savor because I knew from past experience it would move oh, so fast, -it still flew by and now my Baby is a toddler.

   My oldest is a teenager and my Abu is starting to show signs of being a teenager. (hint: drama, mood swings, and demanding more independence)

  One time, long ago, Hero Hottie and I drove down to Texas. I was navigating, thinking that my map reading skills were so awesome. I managed some of the other smaller states pretty well, until I told Hero Hottie we had about three hours in Texas to reach our stop for the night.

  Three hours later and we still have a whole lotta of Texas to drive through. Hero Hottie pulls over, an impatient Baby Bean in the back, and studies the map.
   He starts laughing.
   At me.
   I had misread the scale to measure miles, which had changed since Texas is so much bigger than the other states. My inch of Texas included so many more miles than my inch of the other states.

   He pats my knees, trying to be encouraging and avoid a fight.
   I haven't lived it down but my map reading skills have gotten better since that trip.

   But sometimes I think life is like that. I'm always using the wrong scale to determine the length of my journey.

    So somewhere this blog entry is about the confusion that is life. How super excited I am that it is Baby Blueberry's 2nd birthday tomorrow and how melancholy it is making me feel.

   But mostly this blog entry is about how fast life moves, especially after they learn to walk. Because then it's all about chasing them until they move out.
   And teaching them map reading skills.

   Oh, and that Texas is a huge state.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Barking Toddlers, Part Time Public School, and Being the Weird Parent

Otherwise the Busy Life I'm Leading While Trying to Market The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird and Having No Idea What I'm Doing

Gibson and Blueberry have a quiet moment together

My life lately, has turned into a boat ride- on a cargo ship, chugging through the cold bitter waters of the Atlantic Ocean, being whipped back and forth from wave to foamy wave. The salt water splashes over the crews' head, filling their mouths and eyes with the salty and gut turning seawater---

and I'm desperately holding onto the side rail, my stomach churning and losing my lunch over the side.

That's where I'm at lately. Mentally. Not physically.

Physically- I'm a landlocked lass, dreading the impeding doom of yet another winter -(has anyone ever asked Mother Nature why we can't change the seasons a bit- perhaps only have winter every other year? That would be great. Currently I'm on a campaign to convince Hero Hottie that we should move to New Zealand. Anyone ever been?)

Mentally- I feel tossed around like a salad- look at me being pun-ny. I think it's the contradictions I'm living right now. I'm grateful to pay for braces for Abu, but staying up at night stressing about paying the heating bill this winter because I used my saved heating money to have a torture device installed in her mouth.

Which BTW- an expander needs turning by a little 'key'- sounds innocent enough until you're in the middle of turning this key and you realize you're stretching and tearing apart the flesh of your child. Then I start to feel a bit sick to the stomach.  But we are on the last day of turning that damn key- yay Abu- and it has definitely started to reshape her jaw. Which had to be done- not just for looks, but she couldn't eat before we started the orthodontic work.

I have released my first fiction work, The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird, but now I'm stressing because I don't know how to sell it. So far I have heard good reviews and that warms my heart. No writer likes to release a piece of work and have people hate it.

Baby Blueberry will be a toddler next week. How did she turn two already? And she's busy barking at people. Everywhere. In the store. Down the street. Out the front window. And it's a good bark too, sounds just like a puppy. Many people have been startled by her barking, because they weren't expecting a curly head, blue-eyed toddler to be the source. It's just one more thing Gibson has taught her. The art of communication. 

Abu and Bean are going to public school part-time. For fun classes. Electives. At home we're focusing on math and writing. I will say right now, I'm not fond of the current methods of teaching math. Not at all. And in the future I will write about it in my blog.

We are also covering science, which have consisted mostly of field trips so far and it's only the second week.
Last year I stressed over how to home school Bean. I borrowed books from the school district, which we stopped using after the third week. I bought workbooks, which we finished but yawn. And finally towards the end of last year, because Bean was bored- I pulled out my college science books and had some success.
This year it's all college books or books from the library. I'm skipping textbooks, workbooks, and the stress of having to do something a certain way because there's an expectation of the ways things should be done.
So far, second week in, math is done -old school- science has been enjoyed and topics have been discussed for writing.  I feel more success already than the entire six months last school year combined.

I know the crazy ways I look at running my life don't make money. Trust me, you have a money question ask my brother or sister-in-law, not me. And my main goal right now is to make money- I suddenly had this overwhelming fear occur that I didn't want to be the old lady eating cat food forty or fifty years from now, so I thought I better shift gears now, while I have time to make money.
   But writing my own script has worked for me. So we're writing our own script for their education too.
   Abu wants to be an engineer. We're going to focus on math, and taking apart garage sale appliances, building things, and art.
   Bean wants to do something that isn't in an office. Which I have known since she was seven and couldn't sit still. I want her to learn determination.
   Blueberry wants to be a musician. I know, she's only almost two. But you should see her with music. It is what makes her soul sing.

  And hence, why I'm the weird parent. At least according to Bean's friends, after I made them pick their supper from the garden when they came over for a sleep-over. And it was one of the best salads they had ever ate.

   I may just have to accept that my life is messy right now. And it's okay. Because it's not a total disaster.
   But if it does get messier, than I'll just dream about New Zealand.
  Or start barking at people. Works for Blueberry. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Starting a new Adventure

Porch Dog Press. The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird. A new adventure in publishing.


To my blog readers: I'm excited to announce the release of my first fictional book.

The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird also featuring, The Sheriff's Passionate Princess

I started my own publishing company, Porch Dog Press, to publish my writing. After years of going the traditional path to becoming an author and never quite reaching it, I decided to strike out on my own. We live in a digital age, with the ability to offer our stories directly to the readers.

It took a lot of thought on my part to decide to go this route. I didn't want people to think I was self-publishing because I wasn't good enough. I didn't want to offer stories that screamed self-published.

I decided if I was going to publish myself then I was treating it like a business. Because that's what publishing is- a business.

I found a company, The Editorial Department that would edit without holding anything back.
And they weren't afraid to tell me exactly what they thought.

But a long story, short: After a lot of hard work, perhaps some tears I'm not admitting to, and realizing that owning a publishing company is a huge learning curve-

Oh, and marketing. What the heck? I wrote and published a book. Shouldn't people somehow magically find it on their own? -

I have accomplished the biggest hurdle. Publishing the first title of a new company. 

I love the story. It's fun and serious and humorous and sad. It has a strong and independent female and a sexy hero.

It has adventure because I don't like romance novels that are just a big, long mooning session. And it has a touch of paranormal, because I love superheroes. And so it was fun to create a female character, who has a special ability to solve the problem. To help the hero. To not be the total damsel in distress.

The first title is in the past, mixing historical with paranormal- and I created a fictional town, Rocky View, Colorado and a fictional ranch, The Rusty Halton Ranch, for my setting.

The second title will be coming out this fall or early winter.

I'm so excited about this adventure and I hope you join me in Rocky View. I have included the link to Amazon.

Also, you can like Porch Dog Press on Facebook.

And if- no, when you like it, please write some awesome reviews at Amazon or Goodreads.

Because now, apparently it's all about marketing.