A Girl and Her Boy

It's been a good day for mother-son bonding.

Not too long after getting up and dressed, Neeps "did yoga" with me (this consists of him stretching up in his best approximation of mountain pose, and then spending a lot of time lying underneath me and giggling as I go through the other poses).  Then, after breakfast, he helped me with the dishes (by closing the dishwasher for me) and the laundry (by tossing one shirt into the washer, shutting the door, pushing the detergent tray shut, and giving me a solid assist on holding down the "start" button).  After all of that, we got bundled up and went down to the waterfront for a little walk.

I knew we only had about an hour until the rain hit, so to start things off I strapped him into the stroller and we did a very brisk ten minutes over the land bridge and back.  Of course, during this very brisk ten minutes the rain was like "Ha hah have a little preview of what's to come!"  But it was okay because Neeps was wrapped in his Very Specific Waterproof Stroller Blanket, and I was wearing my newly-upgraded rain jacket.  Anyway, we got back to the car and I released him, stashed the stroller, and (since the rain had ended its helpful preview) let him lead for a while.

He did really great- walked a lot further and faster than I'd have expected, which warms my heart because one of these days he's going to be such an awesome hiking companion.  As it was he only had a few wipe outs, and only one bad enough that it needed Mommy-snuggles to get going again.  We looked at dead leaves and the river and rocks, and pointed out all sorts of people (who were all quite happy to wave and say hello) until I decided it was time to get him warmed up and fed.  So back to the car we went, and on the drive home we decided it would be nice to bring Daddy (who was stuck working) a specialty-coffee-beverage, so we swung by our favorite coffee stand and chatted with the nice baristas.

Once home we played, and then did a video chat with the grandparents, followed by a nutritious lunch that made me feel like a good mom, for a change (nary a Cheerio in sight).  And then?  Story-and-nap time.  And to show my solidarity, I took a nap, too.


Jerk Brain VS The Unicorn Blessing

I've been having some issues lately with Jerk Brain.  Which is to say, Jerk Brain has been saying stupid things like,

-I am fat
-I am slovenly
-I am lazy
-I am greedy
-Everything is terrible
-Let's just not leave bed ever okay?

So the past few days have been a long slog of actively ignoring Jerk Brain, and forcing myself to do Normal Things, like get up and do yoga and go to work and, oh, I don't know, eat.  But I've been managing, and yesterday I sent out a plea to various loved ones to send me pictures of unicorns to cheer me up.  I specified that stick-figure squiggles were 100% acceptable.

It worked ridiculously well.  And now I'm going to share those unicorns with you, in case you also need cheering up.

The first one I got back was, appropriately enough, from my husband.  I married him for his drawing skills, so obviously I have a high bar for his sketches, and he definitely came through with some technical greatness.  Not to mention spousal greatness for actually responding so quickly.  Plus look at how that unicorn is tossing it's head, as though it's slicing open the belly of Depression.
Pink Power
The second one back was this gem, which I thought was deliciously 90s, and also pretty fierce.  This pinky-purple unicorn is glowing with the ability to trample Jerk Brain into the ground.
This one is actually my favorite- I loved that my friend was sitting, waiting for his appointment, but he heard my cry for attention and grabbed the nearest thing at hand to satisfy it.  Also, as a fan of words + pictures, this gets bonus points for utilizing both.  That uniorn beast and that magician are going to magic Depression back to the dark ages.
The artist of this fine specimen informed me that he is "fertilizing the world with happiness!" which seemed like exactly what I needed.  Not to mention I can just see this unicorn crapping happiness all over Depression until it drowns in it.  Because Depression can't swim, which is why it can't follow me into the ocean.
The final unicorn came in the evening, lighting up my after-work-hours with a neon rainbow and a certain Psychotic Glee in her blue eyes that will surely be the last thing stupid Depression sees as her multi-color horn pierces its skull.

My little blessing of unicorns was just freaking miraculous.  It made me so happy that my friends cared enough to indulge me in my random demands for comfort, especially since most of my friends don't consider themselves artists.  They did something they're not comfortable doing, just to help me out.  Now that's freaking magical.


Personal Plan 2017

I just finished up my rewrites on The Oathbreaker, which strikes me as an excellent time to make good on my vague promise to share part of my so-called Personal Plan for 2017 (as opposed to the Business Plan I wrote for the office- it's not business, it's pleasure!  Hah!).  After all, I've already achieved one of my strategies for a major objective!  Woo!

Vision Statement:  I will be a happy, healthy person who feels good about her accomplishments in life.

Objective:  Have a happy and healthy family unit
    -Strategy:  Make it a point to have a date with Nathan at least once a month
    -Strategy:  Do at least one family-hike per month
    -Strategy:  Get out camping at least three times this spring/summer/autumn

Objective:  Feel good physically
    -Strategy:  Do yoga at least 3x a week starting 1/1, upping it to at least 4x a week by 3/1
    -Strategy:  Ride my bike to work more often- at least 3x week during nice weather
    -Strategy:  Create clean meal plans with Nathan

Objective: Become a published fiction writer
    -Strategy:  Finish re-writing "The Oathbreaker" by 01/31
    -Strategy:  Submit a collection of short-stories to at least one literary agent by my birthday
    -Strategy:  Write at least one new novella-length (or longer) story by 06/30

That isn't all of it, but it is the most pertinent parts.  I've already made a good start to it, what with doing yoga four times this week (eight I guess if you count morning and night) and riding my bike to work four times (in spite of the face-flaying cold- sheesh).  And Nathan and I had a lunch-date yesterday, which totally counts.  We may not have refrained from talking about Neeps the entire time, but we did keep our phones put away, which is pretty huge.

And now?  Now I start rewrites on my original Princess and the Pea retelling, because I think it will pair nicely with Oathbreaker in a short-story collection.


On a Random Wednesday in January, I Miss You Terribly

I'm walking down the street, in the bitter bitter cold, and I'm talking to my mom on the phone, and she's probably having a hard time understanding me, because my voice is breaking as I'm speaking and I'm trying so hard to keep from crying and failing utterly and I don't know how coherent I'm being, anyway.

"I'm so pissed that I'm so... so pathetically desperate for stories of my father that I'm willing to ignore that part of my brain trying to warn me that something might not be right in this situation.  And part of the pain and frustration comes from... it's just... I do deeply appreciate my friends who want to be there for me, when I'm missing him, but what I really want, what's really contributing to this sadness, is my craving for people who knew him.  It's just- I only have so many memories of him, and I don't get to make any more.  So sometimes... sometimes I just want to supplement with other people's memories."

(Never stop telling stories of people you once knew.  In the end, that's all we have.)