Saturday, June 29, 2013

Melina's World

In case you missed us (a vacation in Northern Michigan without internet means no posting), here's a few more things that fill up Melina's world: Madagascarve (the movie) and Eksimo kisses.

She turns 5 in a few weeks. These tidbits will soon be nothing but memories (and past posts).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Author Bio

I've been really into reading author bios lately. Maybe it's my way to vicariously live through the people that have already been lucky enough to publish a book. Maybe it's wishful thinking for me to see my own bio at the back of a novel. Maybe it's simply because I want to know more about the authors that write wonderful (and not so wonderful) books.

I get stumped by the ones that don't say much, like XX is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School. Where's the fun in that? Is that all you can come up with? All you want your readership to know? All that you can be proud of? I love the bios that are snarky, witty, and full of fun (I can't print one here, as I don't want to bother asking for permission), because those lead me to believe that the authors, too, might be snarky, witty, and full of fun.

So I've been thinking. What would I include in an author bio? Do I need to tell everyone that sometimes, vanilla ice cream tastes super on a fork? And that I've learned more from my kids than I ever thought possible? Should I mention that I'd probably have more kids if I had started earlier, and that my sisters would think me absolutely nuts if I had any more? Depending on the book, I might admit to loving fruit and running, writing, and sunsets, and that I miss my family and wish they'd all move close to me. But does anyone really care where I went to school or what degrees I have? I certainly don't.

I think if I said anything, this is what it would be: Christina has loved to write since she was a little girl, but she was delightfully sidetracked along the way, and ended up doing many other diverse things in her life, all of which might end up in a book some day. She enjoys friends, family, animals, kids, and running, all of which inspire her writing. She hopes that even if you don't enjoy this book, that you can appreciate all of the hard work that went into writing it. Because if you work hard, and try to make good choices, good things can happen. And in the words of one of her favorite people, Erma Bombeck: "It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."

Thursday, June 20, 2013


It is never too late to be what you might have been. 
~ George Eliot

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Definitions by Melina

Being home 24/7 with the kids has its advantages. Like, I'm able to listen intently to what they say and run to the computer when they say something funny. Which in the case of Melina, is quite often.

Today's tidbit? A new word that Melina calls propular.
Me: And what does propular mean, Melina?
Melina: Oh, its the words that big people say, not kids.
Me: Okay.
Melina: The words you use are propular, Mom.
Melina ran away at that point, in 3 inch dress-up heels mind you (I can't even walk in those heels, much less run). Then she ran back to me.
Melina: Soon, I'll say propular words, too.
Me: Hmmm.
Propular. Can you use it in a sentence?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Big Day

Yesterday was my big day. After thoroughly combing through my story for the last time, I printed 8 copies of the entire manuscript, slid them into binders, and handed out most of them to my writing group. As I gave each person the copy, an ache in the bottom of my stomach began to swell and questions swirled in my mind. Am I ready for this? Will they like it? And what will they say? Will I have to completely overhaul the piece before the group thinks it is worthy of anything? How many revised drafts will there be at the end? The list of questions can go on and on. So while I think of yesterday as a big accomplishment, I also view it as a big worry. 

I think I'll go have a peanut butter cookie and some coffee. And then work on the next manuscript.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Inside Out

I awoke this morning with the thought of a run in my head. It's Monday. I try to run on Mondays. Last Monday we were in Chicago, so I took the day off. I should get my body out there today, I thought, as I heaved my body from the warmth of the bed.

I tiptoed down the stairs, and headed to the kitchen, running clothes in hand. I made it to the bathroom, and threw on the light. I don't like artificial morning light, but somehow, I'm just old enough not to be able to successfully navigate dressing myself in the dark. Crap, I have trouble with the light on. Today was no exception from that.

I pulled on my running shorts, no problem. And then, I removed my glasses, reached for my bra, and put my arms through the holes, pulling down the padded part in the process. I stopped half way, because there, in the mirror, it was obvious that I had put my running bra on inside out. I'll admit, I hesitated, as I was still tired. Could I run with my bra on inside out? Would the support be compromised since it was facing outward? Could I be that lazy and not change things around? I've worn plenty of things inside out before: sweaters, t-shirts, underwear, yoga pants. Wearing clothes inside out is never a problem. Except when it is.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

BBQ Fare

I'm not one to take a medical condition or disease lightly. But this is what happened at dinner tonight. We're jumping to the meat of the matter:
Me: Asperger's.
Melina: What are ass burgers?
Let me say that the entire crew laughed until they cried.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Real Life

The kids and I took a quick trip to Chicago last week, which means we were gone for 4 nights and 5 days. Tim was left alone, with only the dog and cat for company. And some veggies in the refrigerator. And a half gallon of milk.

We arrived back on a Tuesday afternoon, after having made incredible time. What more could I ask for? How about a mowed lawn? Pulled weeds? A vacuumed house? Clean laundry? Yes, that is what Tim would have encountered had he taken the kids for that period of time. I'd have even gone to the grocery store, stocked up on fresh fruits, veggies, and snacks, and had dinner waiting for them. Alas, that's not what happened.

Below, I give you snippets from a real life conversation. Please, whatever you do, don't laugh.
Me: You know the lawn needs mowing. I thought you were going to do it.
Tim: Yeah, but it started to rain, and then I didn't do it.
Me: That part was obvious. [And you were here for 4 nights, 5 days by yourself. It couldn't possibly have rained the whole time.]
Tim: Yeah, well...
Me: And the weeds? I asked you to pull up the weeds just in front of the house. It would have taken 15 minutes.
Tim: ...
I went into the kitchen and start putting things away from our snack bag. I open the refrigerator and see the milk, which will now have spoiled, and the veggies that are long past their prime.
Me: You know, we need to get milk. I asked you to make sure there was milk in the fridge when we got back.
Tim: ...
Me: And fresh food. So that I don't have to go tomorrow.
Tim: I can go tonight.
Me: Don't you understand that since you didn't do things things while we were gone, you are making it harder for me tomorrow?
Tim: ...
I have to say, I didn't give him much of a chance to explain. Why? Because there was no explanation that could even come close to making me understand the whole situation. Four nights, 5 days, by himself. A little bit of milk and food, mowing and weeding. That's it. I didn't ask for a whole house deep clean, or a basement floor renovation (he did that once when we were gone, and I'm sure I cut him some slack on everything else that time).

Am I wrong to be annoyed? I don't think so. And am I wrong to put it out here? I don't think so with that, either. I know if I'd have written things down, most items would have gotten done. But that irritates me because it places blame on me, and not him, and I try to make sure that everyone in this house is accountable for their actions. This way, the whole of cyberspace can keep Tim in check! (I love you, honey.)

But after all is said and done, I can admit that after the frustration of coming home to what I'd consider Tim's inconsiderate behavior, he's a good guy at heart. I'm learning from the situation, every time I think back on it. Next time, I'll write things down, as simple as they might be. Next time, he'll probably remember to at least look at the list. Next time, I'm sending him out with the kids for 4 nights and 5 days.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Gem

Melina: Mom!
Me: Yes.
Melina: There's a really, really, really, really big...
Me: ...
Melina: There's a really, really, really, really poisonous...
Me: ...
Melina: ...ant on the trampoline.
Me: [Laughing until I convulse] Oh.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Teaching Kids

While I was getting dressed today...
Me: I'm going to have to cut off these jeans.
Melina: Why?
Me: Because they have holes. And the holes are getting too big.
Melina: Oh.
Me: Now, I have holey jeans.
Melina: Holey jeans?
Me: Yes, holey jeans.
Melina: You mean like holey pickles?
Me: Pickles are holey?
Melina: No, I mean like Robin. How he says Holy everything. Like, Holy Jeans!
We've taught her well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More reasons...

31. Cousins who get along, for the most part, very well.
32. Sharing the parenting duties with a sister (we make it look pretty easy).
33. Making good time on a trip to Chicago.
34. Only making one potty stop on said trip back from Chicago.
35. Seeing old friends and realizing that they are pretty much the person you knew and fell in like with in the first place (yes, that's you, Tasha!).
36. Grilled asparagus.
37. Green leafy vegetables.
38. The clicking sound of the keys of a keyboard.
39. The laughter of a one year old.
40. Coming home.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Language Confusion

From the mouth of Melina: Mommy, if we go to Indiana, will we be able to understand the Indiana language?

Recent Questions

As a teacher and a mother, I truly do subscribe to the notion that there's no silly question except the one not asked. I might not give the person the answer; I might ask (especially in terms of the kids) him or her to think through the problem and at least attempt to figure out the answer. But I encourage the questioning process.

There is no better time for questions to arise than when I am home with the kids almost 24/7.
  • Why aren't Golden Retrievers allowed in stores?
  • When I was little, did I always take a nap?
  • What does the word abdicate mean?
  • Can I read this book?
  • Have you seen my sunglasses?
  • Where is Daddy and why haven't we seen him for almost two days?
  • Do I have to?
  • What's for dinner?
  • Do you only need sugar, salt, and water to make a cake?
  • Can I have some lemonade?
  • Is the quark the smallest particle out there?
And the granddaddy of them all:
  • What is gay sex?
Wonder if they figured that one out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Wrenching open the ancient refrigerator,
I reach into the cool interior,
and graze my fingertips against the shelves,
sticky with watermelon guts and soy sauce,
on my way to the half-filled pitcher.
I grab the handle and hold on tight.
With as much strength as I might use
to cling to the leg of one of my children,
if they were hanging from the rung of a ladder,
suspended over the edge of a 500 foot tall mountain.
I tip the vessel over, and  the liquid sloshes into the waiting glass,
a mini waterfall of sorts, tumbling into the bottom.
My mouth salivates, imagining the tart crispness,
the bitterness of the alcohol-soaked fruit against my tongue
as I wash away the trials of the day.
And then, disappointment.
I'm on full duty tonight as Tim has baseball.
This isn't the drink I need, only cool ice water.
No matter.
I drink it like it's my last one on earth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Animal Confusion

Melina: We're animals, Momma.
Me: Yes, we are.
Melina: Why are we animals?
Me: That's just the way we are.
Melina: Am I a poodle?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Can I Just Say...

That I've had a quote at the bottom of my signature line for a VERY long time. I don't want to reveal what it is, but those of you who know me personally have seen the line. It is something I try very hard to adhere to each day.

Well, today, a local author posted that line on FB. And then ANOTHER local author referenced that author's use of the line.

I had it first.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Shower Stalls

There's not a whole lot of privacy in this house. Yes, we've had this conversation before. The four kids, the animals, the lack of boundaries. I see you nodding your head. Well, let me say this: I can take it when someone walks in on me when I'm in the bathroom, but I really do prefer to have the shower to myself.  I don't ask for much: let me have, to myself, the four minutes it takes for me to shower. That's it. Once I have the towel wrapped around me, I can deal with you.

So here's what happened.

This lovely late spring morning, I turn on the water and get into the shower. The warmth of the water droplets soothes my slight crankiness (Aaron woke me up to go downstairs) and I'm humming away while lathering up the shampoo. And then, Tim peeks his head through the curtain.
Tim: Hi Chrispea.
Me: Hi.
Tim: Oooooh. [He's ogling, if you can't tell.]
Me: Can I please have some privacy?
Tim: But I like you.
Me: [At this point in our marriage, I don't even worry about feelings and making sure he knows I like him, too.] But I like privacy.
Tim: I know.
Me: Well then, can I please have some peace and quiet? Can I just take my shower by myself? [I'm tempted to swat his hand, the one that has grabbed my bum cheek, but I don't even bother to waste the time.]
Tim: Go ahead. [He's still leering.]
Me: Without you staring at me?
Tim: I don't know. [Thanks for being honest.]
Me: I just want 10 seconds without anyone in here!
Tim: Okay.
I go back to whatever part of me hasn't been washed. And then, Tim pops his head in the other side of the shower.
Tim: You said 10 seconds. I gave you 10 seconds.
I guess we not only lack privacy around here, but maturity as well.