Thursday, April 30, 2009

ABOUT THE WRITING (and some whining about the sick)

As for what I'm writing...everything and anything. Medical stuff, business stuff, how to do stuff. I just completed a piece on the culture of a common food (can't say much due to a non-disclosure agreement) which had me delving into archeology, anthropology, history, and art. That one was a lot of work and I think I lost money with all the time I devoted to research.

I like the medical writing the best. I love anatomy and physiology and science. Plus, it appears I have that drug side effect narrator from the drug commercials in my head. The medical jargon just pours out of me effortlessly, like a native language.

I do both up front pay and ad revenue sharing gigs. The ad revenue is a slow build, but I am pleased to report 80% of my articles have earned money, which I think is fantastic given that I've only been writing for ad revenue for a week. I don't know how much I'll end up making overall, but I think I have potential to at least make $50 a month with ad revenue writing (although I'm aiming for and dream of being one of the writers who makes hundreds a month). Time will tell.

As for the sick... ugh. I think I need to go back to the doctor. Cue litany of swear words and mental picture of Yosemite Sam stomping on his hat and pounding his chest. I am annoyed beyond all words.

The babeola is talking up a storm. Yesterday she said duck, potty, what's that, and I would like some. Despite my slovenly ways, she exhibits a strong tendency toward order and cleanliness. She'll put toys away, throw out garbage, and try to organize the chaos we call a house. She's watching too much TV because I've been too sick to keep her busy. The weather is finally nice and I'm so bummed that we aren't able to take advantage of it because of this stupid sick.

And that's it. Cheers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Hey remember when I lost my mojo to the flu and it never quite came back and I kind of wondered if something was festering? Well please give a warm welcome to my brand new Sinus Infection.

Good Lord what have I done to deserve this? I have been getting sick, being sick, or festering for a month. A month!!!!! Geez Louise. When will it end?

As for the crib, I found a rental business except they haven't responded to my email so we'll see. For the overnight, we'll get by with our recalled pack-n-play which is safe enough for a toddler even though the bar collapses. I wouldn't use it for an infant, but it's okay for a toddler if the collapsed side is against the wall.

For the week long trip we'll disassemble a crib and take it with us if we have to. We have to have something to corral her because we don't take naps and her bedtime is way earlier than we want to go to bed. Plus, I have a feeling the novelty of it all will rev her up.

I was made to sleep in really crappy places as a kid. On a linoleum floor, love seats that were too short, and a 3/4 bed (which I don't even get why they make those things, for 3/4 people?). I hated it as a child so I try not to do the same thing to my kid. Not to mention, the better she sleeps, the happier I am.

Which, by the way, hello 5am wake-up call after being up all night with sinus pain. Good thing Daddy's home to help out otherwise I would be a major momma bear today.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I am swamped with freelance writing. Even had a nightmare about typos. And no I never really planned to make $$$ freelance writing, it just kind of happened. On the good side, I am making money right off the bat, on the down side I am working my ass off without having done any pre-planning or conscious organization of this brand new career. Seat of the pants is apparently my middle name.

The babeola has hit the 18 month sleep regression. Or rather, it has hit me like a brick wall. Currently, I am doing my damndest to ignore the 6 am wake up call that came shrieking out of the babeola this morning. I tossed her a bottle and some books and prayed for more sleep. Not happening, so here I am on blogger still trying to gather my strength so I can wake up already and face the fact that I am going to have to function on less than five hours of sleep. Again.

Anyway, until I figure out a work-life balance with the freelance writing, expect me to be scarce. I'm in the thick of the learning curve and it's taking all my concentration. I'll try to do short updates as I can.

OH! And MAJOR QUESTION....Would you invest in a full size travel crib. We are going to be travelling and staying in people's homes--homes without children--and need a place for the babeola to sleep. If you think we should pass on the full size travel crib (remember she's TALL hence the full size) how do you propose we handle sleeping? Pinning her to the bed like a WWF wrestler until she surrenders???

Here is some babeola cute for you...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So I still haven't pulled myself up off the floor of the ring after this last round of sick. I just have zero energy and I don't know why. In theory, I am no longer sick although my energy slump has me wondering if something might be festering in my lungs and it just hasn't hit me yet? I don't know.

Anyway, I thought I would do a blog post to let y'all know I'm alive.

My other writing buddy sold two books to Juno that will come out in 2010. I'll post more details when I have them, but Way To Go!!! I started our little writing group 5?6? years ago when  we all met at a convention. Since then we have been diligently supporting each other and now look, two members with multibook deals. That is awesome!

Now if I could just get my writing back on track maybe I could sell a book or three as well. Urgh. Need more time.

The freelance writing gig is going okay. I had hoped for steady income, but I think they are going to pull the old 'revenue sharing' switcheroo on me where upfront payment is replaced by .0000000001% of ad revenue. Which sucks.

Tutoring is not going well. Another student was let go for chronic no shows but has not been replaced so I'm out that money. One student is brilliant but hasn't grasped the difference between being smart and actual ly knowing something. This student argues with me constantly and everything they do wrong is my fault. At least I'm getting some experience with unruly teenagers.

And that's it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I am still sick. Now I have a fever and chills. Tomorrow back to the doctor, unless the fever breaks and by some miracle I feel perfect. What are the odds of another kidney infection? In the same kidney? And if that really happens, why do I always win those odds and not the lottery?

However, I wanted to talk about discipline for a moment just to help flesh out some of my ideas about the topic. I am not a fan of making children eat soap or hot sauce or vinegar. Or spanking. Or locking children in their rooms. I feel these are coercive techniques that address transient behavior at the expense of permanent character development.

I was spanked as a child, up until I became smarter and faster than my parents.Sure spanking formed my character, but not in ways that incentivized me to behave. Instead I became sneaky. My parents finally put up the yardstick when I was 6 after I gave my mother a merry chase and then successfully hid until she couldn't find me. Kudos to them for abandoning something that was obviously not working and not continuing the power struggle.

As for children who don't extrapolate corporeal discipline into sneakiness, they tend to become compliant because they fear the pain. Yet I would argue that the job of a parent is not to create adults who follow the rules because they worry about getting caught, simply because it sets up a corollary where, if they are pretty sure they won't get caught, they do what they want.

If mom isn't there to force hot sauce onto their children's tongues, do kids behave? I would say, probably not.

The goal is to instill character in my children, not coerce compliance through domination and I personally (as well as many parenting experts) don't think corporeal punishment yields the results I'm looking for. I want them to behave even when I'm not looking, and that can only be done with fostering strong independent character.

I didn't give much thought to discipline before becoming a parent. It took me so long to get pregnant and that journey was so precarious, I didn't ever think much beyond pregnancy. I assumed I would use time outs and then I began reading books like Unconditional Parenting, which is an evidence based approach to what helps and what hurts. It's everything you've never heard about parenting.

An example from my own parenting: First a set up...There is an extreme form of operant conditioning propogated by a fundamentalist Christian couple name the Pearls.  According to this philosophy, at five months you can start smacking your baby when they do something you don't like. This inhibits undesirable behavior via a pavolovian aversion to pain. You aren't supposed to ever act in anger, but their methodology has resulted in many allegations of abuse.

While most people don't subscribe to this type of discipline, it is similar in effect to things like hot sauce in that domination and pain are used to control behavior.  When the babeola started grabbing at my jewelery and glasses around five months of age, per the Pearls, I should've smacked her. Instead, I took my hand and modeled gentle on her face, doing and saying the word. It was frustrating and annoying and required almost endless repetition, but, by 9 or 10 months, the babeola demonstrated understanding of and compliance with the word gentle.

This illustrates why I am not a fan of things like washing mouths out with soap. It teaches a very superficial lesson that, depending on the child, can be expressed many different ways. A few examples...

--I have no control/power
--I have to fight for control/power
--The adults in my life overpower me, I don't matter.

But emphasizing the concept gentle begins the process of teaching the babeola how to treat people without diminishing her own power in the world.

Now with all that being said, I bet you dollars to donuts, the babeola will have a time out at some point. There has already been one day where she 'took a break' in her crib because momma was about to lose it! I am sure I will fail all the time and make enormous mistakes. We are all just doing the best we can so I do not mean to pass judgement in any way, but I think this is the kind of stuff worth learning more about.

You can read a large swath of the UP book here, the link takes you to the time out section which I thought was a revelation.

Monday, April 6, 2009


"Babeola took an epic dump today," my husband announced upon my return from an outing.

"Hmmm. She's wearing the same outfit. That's not epic."

"Well it was horrible."

"No, horrible requires an outfit change."

Big sigh of aggravation. "Who died and made you the queen of poop?"

"Poop: It's my job."

For the record:

Epic poop:  Clothing change, washing of bed linens, and bath. Oh, and parent is slimed with poo at some point.

Horrible poop: Clothing change.

Terrible poop: Smelly but contained.

My husband was complaining about a terrible poop. He has No Idea.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The babeola is sick. Poor bambina. She's always miserable at the start of a cold.

I haven't slept in 2 days and ended up in the ER last night. I am the grand prize winner of a urinary tract infection (UTI). I'm glad I went in, despite feeling very silly about it, as I didn't think I had an infection, but something else.  Except I didn't have the something else.

When I was 20 I had a 'super infection', a UTI that was resistant to antibiotics and migrated to my kidney where it so perfectly mimicked appendicitis, I had surgery. It was only after they saw my appendix was fine that they figured out it was my kidney. I spent about 3 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics (and promptly got mono, but that's another story).

And last night I started to have some kidney pain reminiscent of that infection. It was even the same kidney.

So it's probably a good thing I didn't wait until Monday, but I hate going to the ER*.  I've probably had 15-20 ER visits so far in my life, mostly for asthma, and I've had some bad experiences so I work really hard to avoid going in. And I've read all the med bloggers and know there is nothing they hate more than a 'look at my nether regions' patient. Especially when that patient is nowhere near as hot as Anne Hathaway or Paris Hilton. Hey, I'm not exactly thrilled either. Flashing my nether regions to strangers is not my idea of a good time. And news flash, a lot of the docs do not look like Hugh Jackman (whom I adore and have met and would totally strip for).

Anyway, I'm tired and reduced to whining on my blog about my bladder, which is not how I wanted to spend my weekend. I bet you didn't want to read about it either in which case I redirect you to the fact that I met the super hot stud Hugh Jackman. I even have his autograph somewhere. Here's a pic to help scrub your brain of any unfortunate residue related to this post.

*I suppose I should clarify for anyone who might fume about me wasting emergency resources that I was actually at Urgent Care...which was in the ER. Making it a defacto ER visit. I tried to avoid the ER I really did.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Daddy is back! A day early! AND they gave him a comp day today so we get a three day weekend! YAY! (Currently, both daddy and the babeola are napping so I decided to take advantage of the free time to post.)

I thought the babola would freak when he came home, but she was pretty mellow and didn't seem to notice she'd been abandoned. She was a bit standoffish at first, but quickly warmed up to her favorite playmate. I guess she saves the tears for when Mommy dares to leave the house without her. Whenever I come home it's full blown hysterics.

Or maybe she is hoping I won't come back?!?

The husband missed a few firsts this week as follows;

1.The babeola now turns in circles when she dances.

2.She 'dusts' just like momma does.

3.She said 'birdie' a few times, context appropriate.

4.She learned how to do 'ring around the rosy' with the neighbor girls.

5.She started signing 'I love you'.

6.She started drinking from a cup--just a little bit. I use kefir which is a yogurt drink that is thick and slow moving.

7.She took an epic dump that went from her dupa up to her hair line. I had to cut crusted poop out of her hair. Not exactly what I had planned on for a first haircut. Daddy is happy he missed that diaper.

Yesterday, she sat in my lap and banged away on her xylophone, pausing every once in a while to turn and give me a smooch.  I know it's not a first, but it was so freaking adorable I'm pretty sure I'm writing this post from heaven.

I did okay as a single mom. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be either. I didn't have much help. The neighbor girls came by three afternoons, which isn't really a break for me as they need my help so it's more of something to do. 

The worst part was the dogs really acted up. I don't know if they felt like they had to guard the house since the 'pack leader' wasn't home or what, but they were barking and being really obnoxious at night. They actually kept me up several nights and I had to finally separate them and shut them away at night since free roam of the house led to barking and growling and whining in the wee hours.  They were perfect last night, now that the pack leader is back.

It is good to have Daddy home!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I want to homeschool. I really do. Judging from people's reactions to homeschooling though, you would think I've signed up to join a suicide cult.

The biggest refrain I hear is 'what about socialization?'

You mean the paragon of socialization is the ability to sit at a desk all day, stand in a line, be quiet and not piss off the teacher or be bullied by your peers? Or did I miss something in school? I mean, yes, we learn about friendship in school, but you don't have to be in school to make friends.

I don't know. These kids I tutor, I see how the school system is failing them. And I now realize how the school system failed me-- a gifted kid with learning disabilities who took junior level college classes at 16 (I tested out of the lower levels), but who also limped through algebra with Ds due to dyscalculia. I don't want that extreme dichotomy for my daughter. If she is anything like me (inquisitive to the nth degree and bad at math) she will thrive with homeschooling.

If she doesn't like it, I'll send her to school, but I think I can teach her better. I'm sold on individual attention. You can't hide from learning when it's one-on-one, but in a group you can. The same way I read under my desk at the expense of learning how to subtract in the second grade.

I guess becoming a parent has really amped up my non-conformist streak. If you had asked me two years ago to consider homeschooling, I would have thought you were crazy and now look at me.