Military Spouse Life

It’s A…….

With all the crappy news this week, we have something exciting to announce…

We had our 20 week ultrasound this morning and….

It’s a…..

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Tiny little….

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Baby…

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BOY! Because what mama doesn’t want to introduce their baby by showing off his junk to the world!!!!!!

We are naming him Liam Amos. Then his last name is a hyphenated mix of mine and Bill’s last name. Liam is short for William…or Bill, and the Amos is for the Amos family. Bill spent most of his childhood as a foster kid. He finally ended up with the Amos family when he was in his teens. Though he was never legally adopted, that is family! You can’t ever repay someone for opening their home up the way they did, or for treating us like blood, so this is a small way of showing appreciation for everything the whole family does!

The rest of the day I’m working on sending queries to agents for the proposal for Literary Crazy. Cross your fingers for me!

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Military Spouse Life

The PitMad Popcorn Kernel

If you saw my post yesterday, you know I was excited for today and the great #PitMad on Twitter.

I am excited to report I had not one, but two literary agents give me the “Favorite” and request material from me! As PitMad was ending, I excitedly started to prepare myself for an evening at my desk while Talia played. It’s our routine while daddy is at school at night. Tonight was already going to be cut short because Bill was coming home early to watch the Stanley Cup. I was simply going to send out the proposals and do a few little things….then the popcorn came out.

Here is how it started….

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Last night, as I was preparing for PitMad, Talia enjoyed a bag of popcorn, which you can see from the background of the photo, went everywhere. When the dogs came in, they cleaned most of it up, so no big deal….

Then today, Talia found kernels the dogs left behind…and put them up her nose. I though I got them all cleaned up and out of her nose, until I went to change her. As I was swapping out diapers, I noticed something shiny and yellow in her nose. She got one past me.

Trying not to overreact, I tried removing it myself.

Nothing.

I called Bill at school and told him to come home. In the mean time I called my mother, who thought it was funny, but serious enough to go to the ER.

When I hung up with her, I called my friend Selena. She said to bring her over, she would try and suck the kernel out with some contraption. Bill met me at her house and Selena went to work.

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I have to hand it to Selena. She really tried! When it didn’t work and we were worried about swelling, we went to the pediatrician. Not our normal one, but one open until 9. We get there only to find out they will “try” but cannot guarantee they will get it out.

That didn’t sit well with me.

Off to the ER.

On our way there, my dad calls and tells me to go get a type of saline wash he uses and promises it will get it out. Bill was hesitant, but we tried it anyway. On the second squirt, out came the kernel…and it was HUGE!

All of this and we made it home before the end of the first period of the hockey game! The important thing is I still managed to get my proposals out the same day as PitMad. Now the wait begins!

Writing & Publishing

No Reverse Camera Here

In the past year, we purchased a new car for me to drive. It’s perfect for delivering cakes and is top rated for safety for Talia. Bill picked out the vehicle, I literally just showed up to trade in my old truck. The car also has a back up camera. I’m not sure how it happened, but the car now has a smashed tail light from where I backed up into a truck. A large truck. A large box truck. It’s not pretty, and I really need to fix it! (Just the cover is busted, not the actual light itself.)

Anyway. Why do I bring this up? Because today my not-so-biological-sister, Beka and I were at Panera Bread working on a book we are writing together. As I transition back into the writing world, and set baking aside (for now), I felt compelled to tell her my progress. After announcing I had this blog back up and running, Beka quickly informed me she not only knew this, but had gone back and re-read the entire blog.

Panic set in. I had NO idea what I had written here! So I went back. I re-read most of what I had written. I wanted to reverse and delete it all, but quickly decided against it. What I wrote was important at one time, and it also reminded me of some goals I had set (and have not met) but need to bring back to life.

In no particular order, I’m working on the following:

  • Literary Crazy – Finish sample chapter and send to potential agents.
  • Pie Blog – I’m going to start another blog completely dedicated to my love of pie. I’m hoping it will help me pitch and sell my bake book.
  • Outline and complete a bake book proposal.
  • Having 1 assignment a month for an article in a glossy magazine.
  • Harper – Beka and I are writing a book about her son, Harper. Sadly, Harper was not with us very long. It’s a “based on a true story” book.
  • Read at least 2 books a month. I am horrible at this one!
  • Revamp my author website.
  • Keep this blog going and growing!
  • Pick up my other fiction book, Seeking Sita, as soon as I’m done writing with Beka.
  • Be a good mom while reviving my writing career. I know these are in no particular order, but I owe it to Talia (and the new baby) to make this number one!

I hope setting these goals here helps me continue moving forward and not in reverse.

What are some of your goals? I find as someone with ADHD and depression, goals help keep me on task! How many goals do you keep at once? Do you set time limits? Tell us!

Ciao for now!

Life

What A Life!

It’s been a crazy few weeks (hence my lack of posting) but today I decided to ditch school and tie up some loose ends…including needing a blog post.

I went back to work about two weeks ago. I’ve been baking all along, but when I first became pregnant, we wanted to put some money aside for Talia, so  I got a job waiting tables. Owning your own business usually means no steady paycheck for awhile. The bakery was really doing well, but not enough where I could count on a steady paycheck. Waiting tables is easy enough, and it can be a good source of money.

When I returned to work, they were already short handed. Then in the past two weeks several other people left. I’m now also working in the kitchen! I love it, but I’m on day 8 with no day off, and I don’t think I’ll have a day off until the 11th when we are in Asheville, NC seeing my dad. It’s okay though, because we are trying hard to save money for the move and buying a house and restarting the bakery. I’m a bit tired, but Bill is amazing, and really pulls his weight with Talia and the house!

This said, I’ve also been up at 4 each morning to get to work, open the kitchen and then sometimes I then go out at wait tables if I’m not in the kitchen the whole time. It’s a lot of hours, so when I was faced with going to school, for a class I’m only taking because it’s required, I decided to take some time for myself.

I really wanted a shower. I get one every day. I know there are people in this world without clean, running water, but I really wanted a shower. So I skipped school, got in the shower, felt guilty for a moment, then enjoyed just standing there. I probably would have done better taking a nap, but who has that kind of time??? Besides, I need to get Talia soon anyway!

Speaking of Talia…WHAT A LIFE!!!!!!

At five weeks old she had her first kiss. It was from Scott Ford of the SC Stingray’s hockey team. Bill let is slide because he’s a professional hockey player! 🙂

At six weeks, Talia received a letter from a former president…

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I know the tradition is to send the birth announcement to the White House, but Bill and I opted to not send it to the current administration, but the former. He wrote back, albeit a form letter, but a letter from the former POTUS non-the-less!

We then FINALLY took her to her first bookstore. We went to Mr. K’s Used Books.

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She wasn’t too impressed, but we did get her a ton of books!!

At seven weeks, Talia will be going on her first undercover animal rescue assignment tonight. My friend Michelle, who is responsible for saving Buddy and Tremor (along with 43 other dogs) involved in the biggest animal abuse case in SC is now working on checking out the circus and being sure those animals are taken care of properly. Tonight we are going to visit the circus and on Talia’s baby carrier, we are using the GoPro to get footage of animal treatment. It’s nothing illegal…don’t worry. My baby is not in any danger! We are just using the baby carrier as a support device for the recording mechanism.

Any way you look at it, Talia is an important part of tonight’s mission! Maybe this will be the thing that stops the evil circus. Probably not, but you never know!!!

I’m pretty sure most babies don’t have anything this exciting going on at seven weeks old. What on earth will we do next week at eight weeks??!!!

Off to get ready! Ciao for now.

Military Spouse Life

How Carrie Underwood and I are Twinsies

Okay, the title might be a bit misleading (it was meant to be funny). While we both love country music, Jesus, and ice hockey, our only other connection (that I know of) is our new-found motherhood. While Talia and I were up at 3 am this morning for feeding, I happened to look at Twitter and see she was also up feeding her little boy.

Besides the fact our babies are only a few weeks apart (are arranged marriages allowed in the US????) we are both working our way through new motherhood. Personally, I’m sure the 3 am feedings will get old soon, but for now I don’t mind. This time with my little one is magical, and I’m enjoying it. Talia is exactly a month old today, so it’s still new!

We went for her one month checkup today, and while she’s still small (5th percentile) she is doing well!

We then headed over to school so I could apply for graduation. I filled out the paperwork and ordered my cap and gown. I’m still waiting for my graduation audit to come back saying I met the requirements for my Professional Writing Certificate, but I’m confident I have everything complete. Bill met us at school and held Little One while I took care of all the paperwork (picture below) for graduation. Having missed my high school graduation, I’m overly excited about this, even though it’s just the certificate for now!

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After getting home around noon, I’ve bounced back and forth between taking care of peanut (Talia) and writing. Today I’m working on some article ideas to pitch to magazines, and of course, finishing up the sample chapter for my book “Literary Crazy.” My goal is to have everything done this week for the book proposal and sample chapter so I can send it to my English professor for review before trying to find an agent. Talia is such a good baby, I’m able to get a lot done while at home….though the pediatrician said today to get ready for the crying for no reason starting at week six. Um, I don’t remember signing up for that! I’m hoping he’s wrong!!

Back to writing.

Ciao for now!

Writing & Publishing

It’s a Hockey Life Thing

I’m not a sports person.

I don’t play sports. I don’t run, I don’t work out, I dread football season because I don’t want to hear about it.

I don’t watch sports….EXCEPT Ice Hockey.

I LOVE ICE HOCKEY!!!! (I AM a New Englander, after all!)

Bill also loves Ice Hockey….

So naturally, we couldn’t wait to bring Talia to her first game. The best part? The Stingrays made history the night we brought her (Friday)…they also haven’t lost a game since she was born! I think that makes her a good luck charm…also, if we weren’t moving over the summer, I would say they need to give us season tickets to keep the momentum next year. They won their 14th straight game that night! Since then they’ve won two more!

We bought special ear protection for her, but tough girl wanted nothing to do with it. She didn’t seem upset at any of the noise though, even when they scored and the crowd would go nuts. She slept through most of it actually.

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I just love this picture of Bill holding her. He’s just such a great daddy!

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Of course I needed one with her, too.

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I always look so silly trying to do “selfies.” Ugh!

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Yes, I freaked out a bit when Bill handed her over to the mascot (who willingly took her).

I also started baking again last week. I had to make 45 Mudd Pies. Let me tell you, it’s great to be back where I belong….IN THE KITCHEN!!!

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This is our signature pie. It’s a chocolate crust with a soft, baked chocolate bottom, topped with pudding and whipped cream. We boxed them up for bridal shower favors. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to get back to baking full time.

In the meantime, the first half of the semester is now over. Since they split the semesters in half, I’m actually done with 3 classes this semester already. I pulled 2 A’s and 1 C. The C was for a class I HATED because of the content and format, so I’m not too upset. Also, I did manage 2 A’s, so I’ll focus on the positive. I also had a baby this semester. I think I get extra points there.

Tomorrow we have an appointment at the pediatrician for Talia and then I head over to school to submit my application for graduation. I’m not getting a degree, but a Professional Writing Certificate. Who knows when I will get around to taking the math and lab science (both require I go on campus) so I’ll take my certificate! I still get to walk in graduation and it’s something I’ve really worked for, so I’m excited! I also missed my high school graduation, so I’m due for getting a cap and gown!!!

With the rest of this spring break I’m working on my sample chapter for my book “Literary Crazy” about mental illness and our most beloved writers. It should be done before we go back to school on Thursday. Talia is a DREAM baby, so I’m getting a lot done!

Ciao for now!

Military Spouse Life

Settling In

Mommyhood, Day 13:

Talia will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and I’m trying to figure out how to slow down time. Everyone keeps telling us to enjoy this time because they grow up too fast. I can see that. I wish I could change it.

Since I can’t, I’ll do my best to enjoy it all. Talia sleeps A LOT right now, so I am anxious for her to be a little older so we can all do stuff together. In the meantime, I’m reading more than I have in the past, and getting more writing done!

I did start reading The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius. The book so far is talking about creativity and how to measure creativity. It’s absolutely fascinating! I was hoping the book would help me with my research for my own book, but instead it has me asking more questions and wanting to know more about how the brain works and what defines creativity and what defines genius. The most interesting part of the book (so far) is where the author has first hand accounts of known genius’ (i.e. Mozart) talking about their creative process. To hear how he thought in his own words was fascinating!

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This is what the book looks like, if you’re interested. I was able to start the book on Saturday while my good photographer friend started doing Talia’s newborn photo’s.

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It took about four hours, and I’m glad Selena and I are friends, because Talia urinated and defecated on her, the props, the blankets, and basically everything she touched. She did NOT want to go to sleep at all. Several times, daddy had to step in and sooth her. She is absolutely my (Sicilian) daughter!

In the end, she did get some great shots, and I can’t wait for all the pictures to come back!

I then was able to continue reading while Bill got his hair cut. This is not normally something I’d share, but as I sat there with Talia waiting for him, I knew as a writer, I had to share. The place where he gets his hair cut is a goldmine for writers.

It’s called “Ed’s Barber Shop” and it sits in a semi abandoned strip mall. The owners are trying to bring it back to life, but the only worthwhile place in there is the Barnes and Noble. Most of the stores are empty, even though it is at a busy intersection with a great anchor store. Apparently, Ed’s has been there longer than Bill and I have been alive. Directly next door is a Supercuts, though this doesn’t seem to be a problem for Ed’s. As I sat there reading, I noticed a steady stream of customers flowing in and out of the door. Customers came in and sat in one of the old plastic chairs which seemed to be from a left over school auction. They were greeted by the staff and promptly sat down, waiting for their turn in the old metal chairs with the original leather. They must be from the early 60’s.

The rest of the fixtures appear to be the originals as well. Old wooden cabinets with mirrors starting to cloud. On one wall sits several taxidermy heads protruding over the cash register. There are no hair products for sale, no up to date fashion magazines, and the hair dryers were clearly left over from the 80’s. It doesn’t matter though, Bill enjoys going there. Sure there are no plush comfy chairs to sit in, no head rinse stations for a quick hair wash, and you can’t buy overpriced shampoo made to smell like botanical gardens, but who cares? Ed must be doing something right, because the chairs are always full, and the customers are clearly repeats.

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It’s one of those places I really hopes survives. I would much rather see a small business owner succeed, than the giant next door with the corporate logo and shiny new floors.

Anyway…

Because our school has decided to split semesters into 7 week courses (you take either two or three and then two or three more instead of four to six over 16 weeks) we are about to end the first set of classes for this second half of the year. I’ve managed to hold a 100% in my Creative Writing class so far, but I have one more assignment to hand in today, so I best get on it.

Ciao for now!