Bring Your Own Hygiene Products

First of all, a bit of background about that title…

My older daughter, Thing 3, is turning 18 in July. She designed her own birthday invites and unfortunately added that title in the “What to bring” section of her invite. I about died laughing. I mean, really? What 17- or 18-year-old girl isn’t going to bring along her own hygiene products? Oh, gawd.

Thankfully her younger sister, Thing 4, saved the day by redesigning her invites. You see, Thing 4 is a whiz when it comes to all things Photoshop and design. By the way, Thing 4 is a photographer and artist, is the owner and CEO of her own photography company, and she’s only 15. She is one talented little stinker.


Words of Life By Thing 4

The other day me and Thing 4 were at the store because she was having a candy attack. She had a limited amount of money to spend and perused the candy aisle. After a bit, she became discouraged because, let’s face it, high-quality candy and chocolate is expensive. She threw her hands in the air in exasperation and said, “Why is candy so expensive? You’re basically paying to get cavities!”

How right you are, Thing 4. How right you are.

And The Birthday Shenanigans Begin…

Thing 2’s birthday is coming up on Wednesday.  She turns 17…not sure where the time went.  Yesterday her and I went out to the mall, and I ended up letting her get a tattoo.

I can hear it already. Oh my gawd! What parent lets their minor child get a tattoo?

Hold on to your underpants. It’s not permanent. Even though she’s begged me to let her get an actual tattoo, I’ve told her repeatedly she’s simply going to have to wait until she’s 18. This way, when she’s older and possibly decides she doesn’t like it, she only has herself to blame for it. Not that I have anything against tattoos. Heck, I’ve got one myself. But, seeing as how a tattoo is a lifelong commitment…well… she needs to be old enough to make that commitment on her own.

So, here she is, getting a henna tattoo.

Bri getting henna tattoo

And the finished product:

Bri's tattoo

Tuesday her boyfriend is taking her out to dinner.  I believe Wednesday she’ll be with her dad. Thursday I’ll take her out, and then Friday I’m taking her, Thing 3, and my niece to Chicago for the day. Then on Saturday, I believe her grandmother is taking her shopping.

Whew! Let’s hear it for week-long birthday celebrations!

Stop Squeaking!


Apparently this little mouse toy was madly squeaking and wouldn’t stop. Thing 3 determined it must be possessed, so she stuck it in a salt ring.   As soon as she put it in the ring of salt, the squeaking stopped. Coincidence? Or do I have a demon-possessed cat toy?

Uh…No. You Can’t Publish An Unfinished Book.

Thing 2 has been trying her hand at writing. She had been working on a book for about six months then decided, before finishing, she was going to restart it.

She restarted the book, then once she got to Chapter 4, got an idea for another book and started on that one.

Then, a few days ago, got an idea for yet another book and started on that one too.

She’s asked me about publishing to which I explained she needs to first finish a book. She laughed and said she has so many ideas in her head that once she gets another idea, she has to start on that one. I tried telling her to write her ideas down but then go back to the original book, but alas, she’s working on her current idea now.

She told me she’s a multitasker and can work on two at the same time…this coming from a girl with ADD who normally has a hard time listening to two instructions at the same time.

Yeah,  okay.

I guess we’ll see how that’s working out for her, won’t we?

Holy Shit. A Full Freakin’ Year?!

I realized my last post was in August of last year! I went over a year since my last post! Damn.

I have no excuse.

Okay, now I’m going to list all of my excuses. -snerk-

Most of it has to do with Thing 3’s health issues. They haven’t gotten better but worse. In fact, I’m now working full-time from home because I was having to take her to the doctor so much, the hospital decided to let me work from home. They gave me a laptop and the rest is history.

Last July she was diagnosed with pain amplification syndrome and hyperflexibility and told to do intense physical therapy. She started the physical therapy and…got worse. In fact, exercising seemed to bring on a fever, more body aches, sore throat…and then, she actually passed out during one of her sessions. Since then, she’s been going to the Chicago Children’s Hospital’s pain clinic, which they no longer think she has the pain amplification syndrome but autonomic dysfunction, Ehlers- Danlos syndrome, and POTS disease. Next month she goes to more specialists to see if she has those conditions, and if so, then it’s on to Mayo Clinic for a few weeks to figure out exactly what type of autonomic dysfunction, what kind of exercises she can do, and what foods she can eat. Her condition has worsened quite a bit since a year ago, and now simply standing for 20 minutes to bake a cake is almost too much for her to do. Her body seems to be set on a setting of pain, so she’s in constant pain–it never lets up. A good day for her is a pain rating of 6. A bad day for her is to be in such excruciating pain that simply touching her makes her scream. The last time that happened she had been swimming for an hour and apparently it sent her body into such a mess that she was pretty much comatose for five days.

In the meantime, I’ve been working odd hours, taking her to school when she can go, and trying to keep up with housework, yard work, and writing. Last year she tried going to school for 4 hours a day, but that got to be too much so that she ended up missing six weeks straight. For second semester, she went three days a week for an hour each time with one-on-one sessions with a teacher.

This year the school started up a new blended learning which is a combined online/onsite schooling. Some kids do all of their schooling online, others might only do a class or two online and do the rest of their schooling in the classroom. She goes in when she can, but she does most of her schooling at home online. It’s great because she gets to be around other kids who are doing the same program, and when she needs extra help, she can go in and a teacher is there to help her. The classroom is pretty cool too. There are lounge chairs with tables, a high table with barstools, and a worktable with chairs and desktops. There are laptops for the kids to use and a fridge for drinks, lunches and snacks, or the kids have the option to eat lunch with their grade.

Other than that, I’m working on revising my query letter. Mine is pretty good, but I’m sure I can make it better. I feel like I’ve been working on this book for forever and I just want it done!


It’s been awfully quiet here for a long time, and for that I apologize. I was going to keep up with the Chicago Writer’s Conference posts but they sort of fell by the wayside. Thing 3 has a lot of health issues and the last few months have been a whirlwind. In May alone she had seven doc appointments and two MRIs. On top of that, I was trying to finish up my WIP to get it sent out to agents, finally started querying and have had a few responses so far. This is just the first wave of queries, so we shall see how things go.

School starts next Wednesday, but for me things will simply get busier. Thing 3 will only be in school half days and I’ll be working from home part of the time. I’ll be starting work at home at 5 a.m., work until 9, get myself ready for the office and Thing 3 ready for school, leave at 10 to drop her off at school, head in to the office, work until 2:40, pick up Thing 3 at school, and then head home. Once she starts physical therapy, then we’ll have to add that in after school plus visits to the pain specialist.

Hopefully I can find time in there to write.

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