Archive | February, 2013

Introducing Adeline and Louie the Leprechaun

19 Feb

louie kindleToday is a big day for me. My first book is now available for purchase on Amazon. I have dreamed of being a writer my whole life, but chose the “safer” career path of business. I have written privately and on my blog for years, just waiting to come up with the perfect idea for the Great American Novel.

But then last year, my daughter came home with the assignment to build a leprechaun trap. She decided she was going to build a “cozy home” so that the leprechaun would want to stay awhile. When I asked her what she’d do if she caught a leprechaun, she didn’t hesitate in answering, “I’d wish for fairies.”

That is when it hit me. I can still write that Great American Novel one day, but right now, I am immersed in children’s literature every day, and my kids have amazingly fertile imaginations. I realized that my ideas for stories could come from my kids, and that I could use my love for writing to make their ideas come alive in books.

Today, thanks to my friend Aspen Kuhlman, who published her own book last year and inspired me and provided her awesome cover design and publishing skills, my dream of becoming a published author has come true. Sure, it’s not how I imagined it all these years, but it is still a very happy moment for me.

Louie the Leprechaun is available for purchase here.

The second book in this series, Adeline and the Tooth Fairy, should be available for purchase next week.

I’d also like to thank my editor, Tracy Beck, and my BFF, Amber Isselhard, for encouraging me to pursue this dream for the past 20 years.

The State of My Car

15 Feb

Before I had kids, my car was my pride and joy. When I was 25, I was working for General Motors, and saved up my money to buy a Trans Am Ram Air. I custom ordered it, knowing every option that I want on the car. I knew the day it arrived at the dealer, and called the dealer to inform them when I would be picking it up. I LOVED that car.

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Six speed, manual transmission, 320 horsepower, custom exhaust and T-tops. That car was sweet. I would spend time almost every weekend washing, waxing, polishing the wheels, vacuuming, Armor-alling the interior, and conditioning the leather seats. My car was in pristine conditions at all times.

And then I had a kid.

And I soon discovered the car wasn’t horribly amenable to my new Mom lifestyle. So I sold it, and got what I call a Mom Car.

toyota rav

And it is pretty cool for a Mom Car. The problem is I have two little gremlins I drive around a lot, and I have absolutely NO time to clean the car. Every once in a while, it will develop what I call the “Mom Stench”. The Mom Stench is a mystery smell that fouls the inside of my car, and it takes a treasure hunt to discover the source.

“Don’t feed the kids in the car,” my husband says. Sure, easy for him to say. Our weekends are usually spent with me ferrying the kids to fun activities, grocery stores, etc., and when they’re hungry, this schedule comes to a grinding halt. So yes, I feed them in the car. And sometimes a sippy cup rolls under the seat, or a gogurt container gets flung without my knowledge, and stews and ferments until my whole car smells.

Plus, every time I pick up the kids from school, they come with armloads of art and accoutrements. Although I always say, “bring your stuff in” as I am trying to haul in my own stuff, it often gets left. So I am left with spare socks, gravel from shoes, doll clothes, art, and just trash in general. I try to keep up with it, I really do. And if you saw the state of my car before I had kids, you’d know how much this really bothers me, but it just seems like a losing battle.

And it’s like twisting the knife in my heart when my husband says, “your car is a pig sty.”

I sometimes pony up for a mobile detailer to come to my work, and clean up the mess that has now become my car, but it doesn’t seem to last long before the car just gets soiled.

I think my car is a symptom of a busy life. I’m treading water, trying to keep my head up, and sometimes, things like cleaning the car and monitoring what the kids are doing to it in the backseat are things that fall through the cracks.

So please don’t judge me if you get in my car and smell the Mom Stench. Believe me, I smell it, too, and it is the bain of my existence.

A Valentine For My Past Self

14 Feb

I read a great article on the Huffington Post yesterday about a woman writing a letter to her past self regarding Valentine’s Day. I thought it was such a great idea that I’m writing one to myself.

This is the recipient intended for this note:

old school

Dear 16 Year Old Lynnette,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t remember this specific Valentine’s Day for you, but I remember this holiday used to be a BIG DEAL for you. There was always excitement that you’d receive a surprise Valentine, or that the current boy of interest would get romantically inspired for the big day.

It often didn’t work out that way. I remember many Valentine’s Days where you pined away, just dreaming of the time in your life where you will have a Valentine, and imagining those days as romantic, with candlelight dinners, chocolate, flowers, and yes, perhaps some jewelry or poetry.

You will have Valentine’s Days where you get sweet sentiments from guys that are just NOT very exciting for you, and there will be a few Valentine’s Days with unrequited efforts, where you will be utterly depressed.

Do you know who your best Valentine of all times will be? Your Mom. There is a woman that remembered you every year, and gave you quite the care packages even when you lived far from home. There was also your Dad, who brought you one flower every Valentine’s Day, but the fact that you knew you could rely on that one flower each year you lived at home with him is a special memory for you now.

So what are your Valentine’s Days like now that you have that permanent Valentine? Not at all like you imagined. Your Valentine is proud that he isn’t a “sucker for that marketing scam”, and he doesn’t see much of a need for romantic gestures after making that one huge gesture of marrying you. But hey, he’s there, he’s opening a special bottle of wine, and you aren’t going to be lonely.

What is really special about the Valentine’s Days of your future, though, is your kids. Like your daughter, who made you multiple Valentines, and professes her love for you daily. The same girl that dressed in a tutu, heart tights, a heart shirt, and 80s style pink gloves for the occasion. And then there is your son, who isn’t sure he wants to give away his Transformer Valentines, and is covered in the Transformer tattoos and heart stickers that came with the Valentines he picked out at the store.

The Valentine’s Day of your future is busy, but fun, and not nearly as romantic and dreamy as you imagined, but much more sustainable and real.

So keep smiling, and rest assured that you’ll have to spend a lot less time on your hair in the future, and know that the dress you’re wearing in that picture will be the last hand-sewn dress your Mom will make for you because you will complain about it too loudly. You should just bite your tongue and realize what a treasure those handmade dresses really are.

Love,

Future Self

valentines day

You’re Not Coming To My Birthday

8 Feb

The latest threat in our house originates from three and a half year old Little Man.  If he gets mad at you or doesn’t like what you’re doing, he says, “well you’re not coming to my birthday.”

I just love it when he gives me that threat.  The exchanges usually go like this.

Little Man:  I want dessert.

Mean Momma:  No dessert unless you finish your vegetables.

Little Man:  Fine, well you’re not coming to my birthday.

Mean Momma:  You realize that means you’re not having a birthday party if I don’t come, right?

I don’t think the kid realizes that I am the one that plans the birthday party.  I am the one that shops for the presents.  I am the one that bakes the cake.  If I didn’t come to his birthday, I really don’t think he would have a party.

But he doesn’t get that.  We hear the threat of not coming to his birthday numerous times a day.  I often want to say to him, “I MADE you, child.  The only reason you have a birthday is because I grew you and gave birth to you.  Don’t even threaten me with taking away your birthday.”

But of course, that is all lost on a three year old.