Friday, October 31, 2008

On the Brink of...

a great adventure! At least that's what I keep telling myself. You see, I decided it was time to keep a promise I made to myself a very long time ago. I promised that one day I would write a novel. Well, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I made that promise because I'm pretty sure it's impossible to write an entire novel in a day. So I'm fudging a little and instead I'm going to write a novel in a month. A whole novel. In one month.

I'm sure it sounds a bit nutty to some of you. Or a bit amazing to others. I liken it to running a marathon, except not so hard on the knees. It's the stuff we dream of or talk about or joke about, as in "yeah, maybe someday I'll write a novel". Thing is, someday doesn't ever seem to be today. So Chris Baty and the folks at NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated) offer up the opportunity to make the thirty days of November into that "someday". And this year I'm joining them.

If I can somehow get technology to cooperate, I hope to have a word-counter statistics graph posted here so you can keep track of my progress. The goal is 50,000 words by November 30th. If you do the math that's 1,667 words per day, or about one and a half hours of solid writing daily.

I'll be living large in the world of my characters during November. Chasing a dream. Hopefully I'll be one of those who makes it across the finish line. If not, I plan to have fun trying.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Playdate Problems

Yesterday Timid Daughter had a wonderful first playdate with her "best friend". They have long hung out on the playground at school and TD has spoken glowingly of this friend. But an attempt last year at an extracurricular playdate failed.

This school year, despite them not being in the same class, their friendship has flourished even more. So we decided to make another attempt at a playdate. TD phoned the friend and set up a playdate for this past Sunday. On Friday at school we bid the friend goodbye with excited words about the upcoming playdate being exchanged.

On Sunday we arrived home from church to a phone message wondering when the friend should come. I returned the call (merely 15 minutes after it had been left) and got an answering machine myself. I left a message about the time we'd planned originally. That time came and went. I phoned and left another message. Still the friend did not come. TD phoned also and left a message. No friend.

Suddenly memories from several years ago of a playdate gone bad for LMH raced through my mind. She had been asking for weeks to have this friend over. So I phoned and made arrangements. The day of the playdate came and the friend did not come. I phoned the house and left a message. Still no friend. Finally, in desperation to save the day for my daughter we called another friend - her best friend - to see if she could play instead. LMH's best friend could not play because the little girl that was supposed to be at our house was instead at hers. I immediately explained to the mom what had happened on our end. And she shared that they had just called the girl that afternoon and she agreed to come over (even though she'd told my daughter that very day that she'd be coming to our house). Needless to say, both that mom and I decided the little girl who had stood my daughter up for a better offer was no longer welcome in our homes for playdates.

Last Sunday my stomach was in knots over the thought that this could be happening again. After dinner the phone finally rang with a call from the girl's sister. They had gone out for the day, could she come another time? Despite the shakey circumstances, I jumped at the chance to salvage things. And salvage I did. The two girls had the best time yesterday and I hope that they continue to be friends and play together outside of school for years to come. Because I don't think I could handle it any other way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Any Maids Looking for Work?

Combine one five-day weekend, including a trip out of town, with one laptop in need of a tiny repair that the repair folks turn into a much bigger deal. Result? AMusing Mom is all out of internet sorts.

I function very well with routine. Disrupt that routine and I'm honestly lost. I need to have my Monday through Friday "work week" with it's attendant flow of events. I need to have my laptop environment, complete with flexibility to work at the kitchen table while the Uber-Princess plays in the next room. I need my Simpleology to do list and my inbox folders for sorting email. Otherwise my ability to navigate the complex world of cyberspace and even the simple world of my little home just fizzles.

Enough about my virtual absence. Here's a quick story for you to show that my youngest child still deserves the title "Uber-Princess":

Last night, after a round of torturous room cleaning, which precluded having any dessert, she climbed into bed with a bit of grumbling.

Then she turned her round eyes up to me and said, "I wish I had a maid".

"Why?" I asked.

"If I had a maid, then I could just leave my things on the floor and she could put them away".

Who can argue with that? That's my Uber-Princess... And I think I'd like to be the Uber-Queen.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nobody's Mom is in 4th Grade

I love that the second grade teachers at my children's school bring out the book Nobody's Mother is in Second Grade during the first few weeks of the school year. It really communicates the idea of personal responsibility quite clearly. And it's a handy tool for me to refer back to when my children want to blame me for something they should have remembered.

Like today, when I reminded my fourth grader that it was her job to remember her flute on Tuesdays for band. Even though I brought it to her last week, I explained that doing so was an act of grace. It wouldn't happen again because...nobody's mother is in fourth grade. She nodded and agreed that it was her responsibility. And I smiled to see the flute grasped firmly in one of her hands as we headed off to school.

Then I stopped to chat with another band mom on the playground. Yes, remembering to bring her flute was an issue with her daughter also. We both commented that: isn't it great that we can pull out the whole "nobody's mother..." line, instead of allowing our kids to blame us. Oh yes, we are both very hopeful that our children are being taught well about responsibility and taking care of the things that fall to them. The load on our fourth graders seems to be getting tougher, but we are so proud of them and confident they'll continue to shoulder more and more responsibility. Definitely, things are going well this school year. Yes, they are!

And this musing mom (who isn't in fourth grade) walked blithely back to her home, glad for the strides her young ones are taking. Glad, that is, until she saw the blinking light on the answering machine.

"Mom, I forgot my lunch. Can you bring it over before 11:30?", came the fourth grade voice.

Now I don't know who Nobody is, but since their mom is in second grade, maybe she could take this lunch to school with her to pass along to my daughter... just so long as she doesn't point out the pudding and fruit snacks that seem to somehow have mysteriously disappeared from it.

Sigh... What grade aren't you in?

Friday, October 03, 2008

I have my music

It took me months of saving my allowance and paper route money to get my first Sony Walkman. It was a cutting edge piece of electronics at the time. Not only did it play tapes, but it also had an FM cassette device for listening to the radio. I had that walkman for years, and in typical teenager fashion, used it a lot.

In recent years, however, the concept of personal music had all but disappeared for me. My "current" walkman sat untouched at the bottom of a drawer, the headphones long missing. Keeping an ear out for babies and toddlers made them unworkable. In fact, even my house radio often stayed silent during the day because so often my children's conversational voices were too soft to hear above the music. I found myself turning it off every time I wanted to talk to them. Then in the evenings my husband would dominate the radio dial. Even if I liked what I was hearing, it wasn't very often that it was my music playing.

But I had no idea what I was missing until this week. I now have an iPod. I don't have much music loaded on it yet, but no matter. You see, I have also discovered Pandora. Oh the joys of creating your own "stations" and listening to music that you had forgotten you liked! It was pure bliss to put in my ear buds the other night and snuggle under the covers with the sounds of Gordon Lightfoot serenading me. I like my iPod and I love being able to listen to my music on occasion. Tonight I'll join my husband in listening to Mountain Stage on the house stereo. But maybe tomorrow I'll plug back in and rock out to Outfield or chill to George Winston.

How about you? What are you listening to these days?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ta Daaa!

Okay, so I kind of feel like I do when I get a really cute new haircut. There's that whole feeling of "will anyone notice" and "will they like it", combined with the "I don't care, because I LOVE it" attitude. And then there's the surreptitious looking in the mirror, trying to steal glances at different angles, marveling that it's really still me under that glorious 'do.

Yes, it's still me, A Musing Mom, just sporting a new look. The new design was a birthday gift from LMH & Timid Daughter, which I asked for partly for fun and partly because it fits my clutter-free/less clutter gift desires (which totally do not apply to clothes because they hardly take up space at all, right Mom?).

Don't you think George & Ashley of Tekeme Studios did an awesome job? If you need a new 'do - I mean blog or website design, check them out.

Me? I'm going back to stealing glances in the mirror at my blog page.