Broked a Bone!

July 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Hiram is frustrated by a number of things related to having a broken arm. It’s harder to write, it’s almost impossible to crack open a pistachio and going down steps with the railing on the left side causes consternation. But man, put a “splinter” on his arm and this kid knows he’s where it’s at.

  • He’s not as shy with strangers anymore and has been proudly proclaiming “I broked a bone!” to anyone who will listen.
  • He asks for special treats and then acts completely indignant when we say no. The other morning he asked for French Toast on a school morning. I told him we didn’t have time and suggested regular toast or cereal. “But I broked a bone!” he cried.
  • He oscillates between being able to do anything (and more!) and nothing. Ride his bike? Run headlong into wall? Act crazy? No problem. Help carry dishes to the table or brush his teeth? “I broked a bone!”

I’m clearly his mom, because even though I can see how these characteristics could be annoying, I ‘m just happy he’s going to be OK and that he’s not letting his summer cast get him down. I seriously considered making him french toast on a Tuesday. But I didn’t.

Hang in there buddy, just three weeks left.


Write a Novel: July Update

July 26, 2013 § 3 Comments

Look at that pretty blue circle of completion! I’ve officially finished my novel-writing goals for the first 6 months.

July Update

Last weekend was the second of two classes I took at the Loft this year, this time about character development.

The class was good, but I left feeling a little discouraged. One of the main goals in character development is authenticity and while I feel like I have been on the (far) outskirts of a lifestyle similar to that of my main character, I definitely haven’t internalized her life to the point of making her authentic yet.

My first character is influenced largely by some kind of new age religion.  I’m pretty religious, but unfortunately (well, actually, fortunately), I am not familiar with the kind of cult-like influences she experiences in her life. I knew this was a gap before I took the class, but the class made me take this problem seriously. I have a lot of work to do.

I’ve been wrestling with myself because it’s time to make my next set of 6 month goals. I guess my secret goal was to start a little bit of writing, or at least move on to the development of another character. Now it seems like I need to stop working on my first character until I can nail down the religion. Since the religion I pick will influence not only my main character but many of the other characters in my story, this is clearly the right next step.

But OH I am getting impatient with this process already. The good news is I love researching things. I just need to give myself permission to take the time I need. Stay tuned next month for my second semester tracking chart.

Summer Break

July 23, 2013 § 3 Comments


I guess.

It’s not summer until somebody breaks an arm.

Yesterday, Hiram fell at the playground and now he’s the proud owner of a brand new “splinter.” Luckily it’s just a hairline break and will heal perfectly.

My sweet boy was so brave. It was clearly tender yesterday but Hiram, who as a baby would regularly endure his shots without shedding a single tear, insisted it didn’t hurt that much. “I’m still strong, mom,” he told me.

It was only this morning, when he said, “I need help pulling my pants up because my wrist is a little bit sore,” did we know we needed to bring him in.

Hiram is doing fine! He loved getting the x-ray, which they did “from the side and the front” and will dutifully repeat all the doctors orders which include 1) keeping it on unless he’s taking a bath or going swimming and 2) wearing it for four years (a.k.a. weeks).

Sigh. This mama needs to practice being less upset than the person with the actual injury.

Intro to Business Writing

July 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hadley Barrows

Mark you calendars! I will be teaching a Business Communications class for Minneapolis Community Education this fall!

Here’s the description:

Learn tricks to improve your email correspondence, effective ways to sell an idea, practical customer service/presentation skills and non-awkward ways to network in business. The class format includes lecture, discussion and practice time and will focus on both writing and presentation skills. We will address a variety of vehicles including standard and social business communications methods. 

This will be my teaching debut so I’d love to see your happy faces.

More information here.

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Like a Switch

July 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Eldyn has been having outbursts that don’t seem like they’re related to anything. Usually, they’re in the morning and happen when we’re all trying to get ready and out the door. They’re accompanied by needy-ness, whining and incessant (incessant!) crying. And they start out of nowhere. Needless to say, these episodes are frustrating and we’ve been doing what seems like *everything we can think of* to get them to stop.

Some people are quick to classify certain behaviors as “a phase.” I don’t like to do this. Not for some ideological, soap box reason. More, because a phase implies that there’s nothing you can really do but wait.

I don’t wait.

As irrational as it may be, I would rather spend an entire “phase” trying to solve whatever symptom is presenting itself.

So, when I tell you that I had very nearly decided that Eldyn was in a “phase” shows just how far into the depths of despair I was. I had tried coddling, ignoring, playing, dancing, singing, reading and more. I had given up. I even had this line drafted in a post that will now never see the light of day:

“Apparently Eldyn’s decided 19 months is close enough. He’s rounding up to the terrible twos!”

But wait! Just a few days later and I think we are on the road to outburst recovery. The answer is obvious. And simple. And a little bit sad. And very sweet.

Last weekend, Hiram and I got into what I thought was a small disagreement about swim goggles. As can sometimes happen, this disagreement escalated to the point of (Hiram’s) tears. Then, Eldyn started crying, too.

Even after Hiram stopped crying, Eldyn continued. He was inconsolably sad and nothing I could do would distract him or cheer him up.

“Ni-night” he sobbed between hysterical inhales as he started up the stairs. Hiram and I followed close behind expecting him to look for his blanket in its usual spot. Nope. He was looking for Hiram’s blanket. Once Eldyn got that blanket into his big brother’s hands, he stopped crying. Like a switch.


Eldyn doesn’t like it when Hiram is sad.

Which explains why Eldyn doesn’t like mornings.

Because Hiram hates mornings. He hates his clothes. He hates going potty. He even hates it when my hair is wet. Mornings are an exasperating time for Hiram which is not good news for Eldyn.

So there you go. Want to cheer Eldyn up in the morning? Make Hiram happier.

We’ve been testing this theory by taking steps to cheer Hiram up. Primarily, this means making an outfit plan the night before and mustering up extra patience despite being tired — things we should have started doing long ago anyway. So far, Eldyn’s outbursts have subsided. Like a switch.

While You Were Sleeping

July 18, 2013 § 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, I started staging little “surprises” for Hiram while he was asleep. I think it started because he was worried he was going see a monster. I told him I’d come into his room to check for monsters after he was asleep and I promised to leave him a surprise so he knew I had been there.

  • The first night, I put his bear on his chair on his dresser.
  • The second night, I put a hat on his bear on his chair on his dresser.
  • The third night, I put sunglasses on his frog on his chair

I started to worry I was creating an unsustainable tradition and so after the third night, I stopped. But then Hiram noticed and asked me why. I should have put a firm foot down and said it’s just a “sometimes thing.” But when he’s asleep he’s just so darn cute. I can’t resist leaving him another surprise. I love it when he wakes up giggling in the morning because of whatever I did the night before. And so:

  • The fifth night, I made his stuffed moose do a handstand
  • The sixth night I put a shirt on his bear
  • The seventh night I ran out of ideas and I was tired so I put cookie monster on his dog

The next morning when I went into his room, Hiram said, “I didn’t like the surprise last night. It was boring.” And so:

  • Last night, I put sandals on his cabbage patch doll

I am creating a monster and it is myself and it is in Hiram’s room while he’s sleeping.

A Good Tri

July 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Brad and I did the Lifetime Triathlon last weekend! It included a .25 mile swim, a 15 mile bike, a 3 mile run and a little flash flooding. Aside from the two-hour start delay and setting up in the POURING rain, we weren’t otherwise impacted too much. A pretty fun date day!

Enjoy the photos! This was very likely my last triathlon. At least until I forget (again) what it’s like to drink lake water with 8,000 other shipwreck victims in choppy waves on an otherwise perfectly nice day.

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