Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lost and found...

Last night, while digging around a bit, I happened upon some old writing. There in the deepest, darkest recesses of my hard drive...well, actually in a folder entitled "Cacey's Book", I found it. My first book. Actually it's technically my second, since I wrote one, also unfinished, my senior year of high school. Anyway, there it was. In all it's unfinished, out of order, choppy glory. Hesitantly I clicked on the document labeled "Chapter 1" and began to read.

And you know what? It didn't exactly suck, per se. But I did cringe quite a bit while reading it. In fact I pretty much had to stop after just a few pages. I clicked open a few other documents and read a little more. While it did leave me feeling quite nostalgic, I certainly don't miss it at all. I can't remember exactly when I started writing that particular book. So dramatically entitled "Shadow of a Memory", but it was a while ago. Certainly back in our Georgia days, possibly as far back as 2007.

At the same time I can't help but feel even more satisfied with the work that I've been doing lately. Not only am I writing faster. I'm way more organized, deliberate, and just plain better. I started writing my recent book literally the first weekend in January. And I'm so close to be finished now, it's crazy. But before now I've just written endlessly and pointlessly for years.

I'm not sure how to explain my sudden surge in writing. Or my sudden talent. Seriously, my old stuff sucked. New stuff=awesome. The only thing I can think of is that I've just managed to find my little niche in the writing world. It's pretty funny because what I'm writing is certainly not what I ever imagined myself writing, but somehow it just works. In fact, before when people would ask what I was writing and what my book was about I wouldn't know how to answer. And my only reaction to people reading my work was embarrassment. Now I'm perfectly happy to own up to writing "Young adult action/adventure YAY!". And if someone wants to read it, I'm totally down for it, though I'm supposed to be keeping it under wraps for the most part. I want everyone to read it someday, I really do. I suppose that's where publishing comes in, huh?

Anyway. Here's to no more sucky writing in the future. And knowing what you're supposed to be doing and doing it. At least in the fictional sense.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I spoke too soon...

You know how I was kinda-sorta-not really-okay maybe just a little- complaining yesterday? Well, I shouldn't have been. Because it got worse. Not a ton worse, but enough.

After lunch (where my post left off yesterday) we had a bit of school to finish up. Greek diphthongs anyone? Yes? No? Also, why does my kid have to be so much like his Daddy? He wants to learn Greek. Seriously? He's FIVE! Oy....anyway. So we're going over our Greek alphabet. I have the door to the kitchen closed because the washing machine was running and it's LOUD. Suddenly I hear this sound, the sound that I've heard far too many times and makes my blood run cold. Okay that might be a teeny bit dramatic. It's the sound of running, rushing water hitting the floor. I scramble out to the kitchen to have my fears confirmed. The washing machine is overflowing every-freaking-where. By the time I reach it and throw open the lid it's already too late. There is standing water in half my kitchen. Seriously? Yes I know I say that a lot, but SERIOUSLY!!! We were very fortunate when hurricane/tropical storm Irene came through we had no flooding. Well, I guess it was payback time then.

About ten minutes later I had the mess cleaned up. I called it quits on our school day. We had pretty much finished everything up at that point anyway. (Oh and my sister-in-law wanted to know why my washing machine is constantly overflowing. To put it mildly, my house is old and the plumbing SUCKS!) Anyway, around that point Sophia was taking her afternoon nap (can you believe she still takes two a day? Totally rocks my world.) Elijah was going to lay down and read for his quiet time. I finally had some peace and quiet. I decided to get in a workout. Lately I've been barely managing 30 minutes a day, but I want to go up to at least 45. Why? Because winter is coming (what?) and my beloved skinny jeans are a little...snug. So there.

Yeah, I guess it wasn't that bad. But I realized with a pang of sorrow (sooo dramatic) that today is Matthew's last day of summer. He goes back to class tomorrow which means I'm losing all the extra help he's been giving me. No more giving the kids baths for me in the evenings, no more occasionally getting up with Sophia when she wakes up early. Those times will all be taken up by homework. So boo! Also he's taking three courses this fall and working part-time. It's going to be cray-cray y'all.

And that's all.

On the upside, it's Tuesday, not Monday. And things are already going minutely better than yesterday. By that I mean Elijah subtracted his subtraction problems and I so far have not managed to flood my kitchen. Yay me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

These kids...

I think we can all agree being a mom is hard, really hard. I know for a fact that being a working mom is really freaking hard, I'm not denying that at all. But let's just say being a stay-at-home mom and being with your kids 24/7 is a special kind of hard. Like an I'm going insane a lot of days hard. Some days are a little harder, and a little more insane than others.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Witching hour"? As in the hour of the day when things get especially crazy? For a lot of parents it's the hour before bedtime. Well, Mondays are a "witching day" for lack of better term. Pure craziness, from start to finish. As a general rule I never make any plans for Mondays, besides the usual routine of school, housework and the like. Today was no different. Though we had no plans, things seemed to be a little crazier than usual. Here are a few crazy/funny things that have happened.

One: Sophia woke up extra early. Like, 6ish. That is wicked early for this lazy mommy! For lack of better ideas I brought her to bed with Matthew and I thinking she might snuggle for at least five seconds. (Also it was cold this morning, I did not want to get out of bed!). Well, I was wrong. Not only did she not want to snuggle, she really only wanted to remove Matthew's beard from his face and get up and go have breakfast. Seriously, she was very persistent. Finally I got up and got her some breakfast. A few minutes later Elijah appeared, very groggy, but equally as hungry. That was the start of our day. (I'm leaving out the part where Sophia had to have a second breakfast because she threw a fit when she saw Elijah eating without her, even though she had already eaten!)

Two: We got off to a rocky start with school. I gave Elijah a sheet of math problem to tackle, and went to start the laundry. About fifteen minutes later he comes into the kitchen where I am and hands me his math worksheet. They are mostly all wrong. He subtracted the first few, like he was supposed to, and added the rest. They were all subtraction. I send him back to re-do them all. This takes him, no lie, around 45 minutes. (It was only like, 15 problems!)I'm going insane... We're on lunch break now, but we've got plenty left to keep us busy...until around midnight.

Three: A conversation between Elijah and I at lunch today.

Elijah, "Mommy, since you love football so much you should become a cheerleader."
Me, "Yeah, well I'm a little too old for that."
Elijah, "Maybe when you're 26, then."
Me, "I am 26 already."
Elijah, "Oh, well maybe when you're 25."
Me, "I'm not going to get any younger, only older." (Thanks for reminding me, kid!)
Elijah, "Oh." thinks hard for a minute, "I guess you already have two jobs anyway."
Me, "Two jobs?"
Elijah, "Yeah, you're our mommy and a writer."

At least someone around here gets it!!

Four: So, probably as a direct result from our crazy day so far, I'm craving something really bad for lunch. Specifically a baked potato loaded with butter, cheese and sour cream. Yes, I will be working out ALL afternoon now. The kids already had their lunch but were watching me attentively as I reached into the oven to pull out my potato. And then I dropped it on the went splat, all over the place....And they laughed, and laughed and laughed. I didn't laugh.


Also, we did the hokey pokey and it made Sophia cry. What's up with that?

Oh and another thing. After lunch Sophia tossed her plate and cup. Not a big deal right? Well, she threw it across the room, I think at about 90 miles an hour. At least we now know she has a definite career ahead of her as a fast-pitch softball player. She broke the plate! And it was plastic!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

There was a hurricane, and I slept through it...

So by now everyone on the planet has heard of Hurricane Irene. I first became aware of it when I was talking on the phone with my mom right after we felt the earthquake (very little) here. Earthquakes? Hurricanes? Seriously. I live in Connecticut!!!

Admittedly I wasn't panicking until Thursday night when I saw the projected path of the storm would be heading right for us. All day Friday I remained absolutely glued to the Weather Channel. I mean who wouldn't panic if they saw that ginormous storm headed straight toward you. And I mean straight toward you! Every projected path had the eye going right between us and NYC. I felt a little better when I realized that my fellow New Haveners were not panicking at all. Then I realized it was because none of them lived on the Coast! We, however, live literally four blocks, 500 yards from the shoreline. Over and over we were being told that the shoreline would evacuate. On Friday I spoke with our landlord who assured us that in the past 28 years they have never evacuated our street.

Saturday came, we went to Elijah's first football game. We had already stocked up on groceries, so we came straight home to obsessively watch the Weather channel some more. That afternoon we found out they were evacuating part of our area. The evacuations stopped just one street from our house. Our upstairs neighbors came down to tell us they were leaving to stay with family. At this point, I have to admit, I might have started to worry just a little bit. But my gut reaction was to simply stay put. We were well supplied, had all our storm windows in, and the main concern for our area was flooding. I could have really care less if my basement flooded. I had already spent Friday afternoon putting everything up higher so nothing would be ruined.

Saturday night it was raining lightly, with hardly any wind. We went to bed not knowing what to expect from the night. At that point Irene was still a Cat 1 and still heading toward CT and NYC. I think we woke up at 3:30 because something crashed down. I'm pretty sure it was a branch falling in the neighbors yard. We looked out the windows and it really didn't look that bad, so we went back to sleep. Around 8:14 my phone buzzed and woke me up. It was my dad asking, "Are you guys doing okay?" My first reaction was, "What why wouldn't we be?". It was then I realized that there was a hurricane outside. Actually at that point it was a tropical storm. The kids still sleeping Matthew and I got up and turned on the TV. To be honest, it really wasn't bad at all. I then got on Facebook to update everyone. We still had power. And hours later, we still had power. The storm came and went. That was pretty much it.

I can't help but feel disappointed. And relieved of course!

Looking up more information online I found out that West Haven did sustain a lot of damage. A restaurant down by the water, not too far from here, apparently was completely wiped out!

Later this afternoon when the weather had cleared out and the sun was shining we walked down to the beach. You could easily see just how far the water had come up. It had receded a lot but the waves were still insane!

August 001
Our neighbor's backyard got pretty trashed.

August 003
A restaurant across the street from the ocean, you can see how high the water came up.

August 004
The water here is Long Island Sound, so it's usually really calm, hardly any waves at all. This is what it looked like around 2 pm today.

We had to take a picture here. Right behind us is our "spot" where the kids and I have spent many a summer afternoon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This should be fun...

*said with a tone of sarcasm of course*

So by now every one's heard of the earthquake we had the other day. What was it Tuesday? I can't even remember. We felt it here, all the way in Southern CT. And guess what? Apparently now we have a hurricane barreling our way! Well, our way and everyone elses. This is fun. Really it is. My parents live in Florida so they're giving me tons of advice and I can't help but think frantically "this isn't supposed to be happening!"

It wasn't bothering us for a little while, but then Irene got closer and closer. And yes, I started to panic. What person with half a brain (who lives three blocks from the coast) wouldn't? Well, I did. Errr and am continuing to panic. While friends and family are taking turns trying to assuage my fears and at the same time make sure we are all prepared.

So yes, we're ready. Flashlights, bottled water, a full tank of gas. Thankfully we have a gas stove so we will be able to cook a little, should we lose power. Surprisingly, though we've had many snow storms, we've never lost power at this house. So I don't know what to expect.

As far as evacuations, we do live close to the water so it's entirely possible that we might have a mandatory evacuation around tomorrow afternoon. We'll just have to wait and see. Of course I don't want to have to evacuate, I'm not entirely sure where we would even go!

The funny thing is, Matthew and I were talking about the possibility of evacuating the other night and talking about which things we wouldn't want to leave behind. It was a surprisingly short list. All our pictures, the external hard drive, his laptop, some of my writing, some of his books that would be hard to replace, my great grandma's quilts, my jewelry box my grandpa made me. And that's about it. I kind of wondered to myself if this was a bad thing, that we had so few valuable possessions. But then I reconsidered. It's actually a good feeling to know you aren't tied down to stuff.

I couldn't help but be reminded of some Bible verses I memorized when I was a kid.

"Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be."

(Matthew 6: 19 and 21)

So please keep everyone (including us!) in the path of this hurricane in your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I once heard a quote that went something like this, "A writer is someone who writes every day." If that's true, then I'm definitely a writer. Especially these days. Not only am I editing like crazy, I'm getting a lot done on my rough draft. I spent yesterday afternoon while the kids were napping doing research. Research is usually my least favorite part of writing, make that next to editing. But I have to get the details right. This time I'm doing a lot of location research since my next book is supposed to take place in South America. Sadly I can't actually go to South America to do my research so I'm stuck with Google maps and Wikipedia. Bummer.

I was so excited last night when the kids finally went to bed to settle down and get some writing done. My favorite part of writing is working on a rough draft. Basically, it's writing from scratch, coming up with things on the fly. I love watching a story come to life on the page. I like to close my eyes and imagine a scene, hear the voices in my head and then be able to put what I'm seeing into words. It's really awesome. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's never written before. Earlier in the day yesterday I wrote about four pages, longhand. Last night over the course of two hours I wrote a dozen pages, also longhand. When I was finished my arm was really tired and I had ink smeared all over my hand, but it was so worth it. My brain was fried, but in a good way.

I think I also finally worked out the entire "big picture" of the three novels. Which is kind of huge, right? Trilogy here we come!

Ah, delusions of granduer...

Monday, August 22, 2011


For once in my life I couldn't sleep last night. This is completely uncharacteristic of me, since I can usually sleep no matter what. Even if I'm not tired. No, seriously, I can literally sleep anywhere at any time, just try me!

Except last night. Not surprisingly I think it was due to too much caffeine. I had a cup of coffee at right around eight thirty. Matthew and I were just starting a movie and I didn't want to doze off during the final fifteen minutes like I usually do. There are so many movies I still don't know how they ended.

Anyway, right before I got in bed and tried to sleep I had pulled out several of my many notebooks containing my writing. Specifically the ones with my second book's rough draft. I haven't made it very far, just a basic outline and the first three chapters. Well, I got them out because I needed to write a few sentences before I forgot them. Literally like three sentences, but they were really good sentences. Because I couldn't sleep, I spent a lot of time last night thinking about my second book. Like I said, I have a little bit of it already written. But even though I have an outline already finished, it's a very skeleton plot line. I'm relying a lot on my own ability to come up with the little details on the fly. Which shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Somehow, in the middle of the night, halfway between sleep and awake I came up with the entire storyline. Not just the basics, but details. Important details. Lines of dialogue. Action sequences, oh and the culmination of the story and the grand finale. Let's not forget, the big kissing scene! Ha ha.

Part of me wanted to get up and write it all down before I forgot. But I think it's pretty well cemented in my brain and I should be able to recall it all when necessary. Now I'm sort of really amped up to get to work. But, and there's always a but, I still need to finish the first. Since they are part of a series, you can't have two without one.

More than ever I'm determined to finish. And who knows what will happen after that. I've decided (not that this was ever really a question) that I will someday try really hard to get published. No matter what it might take. I want it really bad. Not to be rich or famous. But to share what I've written with everyone. That is my dream. And what's the point in dreaming if you're not going to aim high?

When I do get the chance to sit down and write my rough draft for book two it should go pretty quickly. I mean, I wrote the rough draft for book two in just eight weeks. Oh and I definitely have ideas for book three cooking already. It's going to be awesome!

Yes, book one has a name, as does book two. Wanna know what they are??

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So if you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, can you ever just be whelmed?

I can't remember what that's from, but it always makes me laugh. That's basically how I feel right about now, just whelmed. Better than overwhelmed, which is what I was feeling earlier today. Not to continue to beat a proverbial dead horse, but this homeschooling stuff is hard work! (Yeah, duh, I know!)

Anyway, it doesn't help that I'm the type of person to purposely overwhelm myself. For some reason I like to feel like I've accomplished a million things in my day. So to feel that way I actually have to accomplish a million things in my day. Get it? No? Okay, moving on. This morning was one of those days. In fact I started feeling so overwhelmed with everything I needed to do I sat down and made a list, which didn't make me feel any better! Great, right?

Well, it did help, I guess. Because I got most of it done. I'm just getting really good at multi-multi-tasking. For example I went ahead and did lesson plans while Elijah was read out-loud to me. And then I made my menu and grocery list while he was doing math problems. All of this was only made possible because Sophia has (knock on wood) started taking TWO naps again. HALLELUJAH!

Seriously though, if she goes back down to one I don't know what I'm going to do. I need that extra time with just one kid.

So that's about the long and short of it. Still left on my to-do list, edit chapters 7 and 8 of my book. Um, yeah I'll get right on that...

Monday, August 15, 2011

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

I've been meaning to sit down and summarize our first week of school for some time now, but understandably haven't had the time. Basically the title my post sums up our week quite succinctly. It was good. It was bad. And it was sometimes ugly. I don't think you can expect much more from a first week of school.

Let's start with the good. We learned a lot. We had a lot of fun. Things ran smoothly and according to plan. We finished all our work in our lesson plans for every day. Sometimes we even finished a bit early. It was great. For me, I managed to get all my housework done every day in a timely manner. One of my biggest fears was that I would end up doing laundry after bedtime or something crazy, or be vacuuming at midnight. But so far that hasn't happened.

And now onto the bad. I have to admit (for reasons far beyond my control) I wasn't in the best mood all last week. Because of that I was errr, how should I put it? Crabby. There, I said it. I was crabby. Because of that I had very little patience for a certain student of mine who doesn't like to sit still, doesn't always follow directions and basically drives me crazy. So yeah, we had some bad moments. But I don't think it was anything more than I expected. I expect for us to butt heads sometimes, that's the nature of homeschooling your own child. You know them too well, so you have higher expectations of them.

Oh yeah, and the ugly. Well, that would be Sophia. No, I'm not calling her ugly. Let's just say she's the proverbial "wild card" around here. You just never know what to expect. Not only in the last week is she trying to readjust her nap schedule, she's also cutting four molars very slowly. It's been insanity. We all get up at 7-7:30 and start school an hour later. Now in the old days she would take a nap exactly two hours after she woke up. Which means I used to only have to put up with her for the first hour of school and then she'd be down for her morning nap. She'd wake up around lunchtime, which would also be the time we'd be done with school. It was a perfect schedule. Well, lately I never know when she's going to want to nap. Mostly she's only been taking one after lunch. Which means she's there for a good part of school. I find myself getting Elijah settled with some busywork, running to switch out my laundry and then back to the living room to read books or play with Sophia. It's crazy...and sometimes ugly.

But we're managing, and we survived (the most important part!). It's definitely a learning experience for everything, but fortunately I'm a fast learner. And I'm quickly catching on to the things that work for us and the things that don't. It's been a little more hectic than I would have preferred and my main downfall has been finding any free time for myself. Though I'm not surprised by this, I'd like to change it. I'm having to choose every afternoon during my 1-2 hours of free time to either talk on the phone with a family member, work out, shower, write, or just relax and do nothing.


So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly and the exhausted... can you guess which one I am?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Trifecta...

...of insanity.

1.) Sophia is teething, feverish and beyond cranky. So far the only thing that makes her happy is sitting in my lap chewing on my pencil. No I'm not letting her, but she keeps trying!

2.) I have a headache. Make that, "the headache". Y'all know what I'm talking about.

3.) Elijah is being uncharacteristically difficult in school today. Not to mention slow. (This is why I'm blogging during school, waiting for him to do his math!) We'll be doing school until midnight.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Gearing up...

For the insanity that is about to go down next week. That's right, it's back-to-school. Technically we were never really out of school, since we did summer school most of the summer. But everything is about to change around here. For one thing, this will be our first year doing school full-time, after lunch and everything. My biggest worry is not how well Elijah will do with this transition, it's how this will all work out with Sophia. Oh that and probably losing my already minuscule free time. It's all about sacrifice when you're a parent what can I say? (Cue dramatic sighing.)

Anyway, yesterday I received in the mail our first shipment of school books. We're still waiting on quite a few more, but it was a good start. I got all my lesson planning stuff together. (Okay seriously I found a really cool website with all these homeschool printables and spent the afternoon burning through the ink on Matthew's printer, oops!). So yeah, then I sat down and did my first round of lesson planning. The rest will have to wait until the other books arrive. Hopefully today or tomorrow, otherwise...ummm?

I know, I know, it sounds like I didn't think this through, huh? I really did. I had actually planned to start the week after next, but all the books were coming I saw no reason to go ahead and get started. So there.

What else? Well. I'm sort of equal parts scared and nervous for next week. For one thing, we wanted to go ahead and start doing a language with Elijah. (Guess whose idea, no really GUESS!) We found a really neat language program for kids his age. They had Latin and Greek, so we let him pick. And OF COURSE he picked Greek. I wanted Latin, but oh well, maybe in third grade. Okay and yeah we can just get this out of the way, my kid is learning Greek and we need to get over ourselves, I know. Trust me, I realize how this might look to other people. But what can you do. Homeschoolers are weirdos, I know, I am one! And the kid seriously wants to learn Greek.

Moving on... the only area in which I'm really unqualified to teach is art. I'm the least artistic person on the planet. My skills, like my mother before me, are limited to smiley faces and stick figures. Also, I'm really not a big fan of anything that makes a mess. Elijah, however, loves to paint and draw (of course he does, right?). I'm always looking for things we might include Sophia in, and this is one of them. I'm really hoping someday she'll realize that crayons are for coloring, not eating. Still waiting... And then I have these insane thoughts like FINGER PAINTING! And PAPER MACHE!!! GLITTER... and then I step away from the coffee pot and forget it

Finger painting...just typing that makes me cringe...

So, anyway, wish us luck, I'm going to need it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Top five...

I don't think I'm going to ruin your opinion of me at all if I admit to you that I'm not completely thrilled with all aspects of parenting. No one's perfect, right? We only pretend to be...

Anyway, I had kind of a long day yesterday. Sophia is working on her one-year molars still, and Elijah, well, he's just Elijah. We're starting school next week so I thought it would be nice to have kind of a lazy week. Of course that was a terrible idea, since none of us do well without a schedule. Oh well. Next week will be better, or worse, I'm not sure yet. I've never taught first grade with a crazy, teething monster running around the house.

For you reading enjoyment, and for my own sanity, I've compiled a list of my top five least favorite things about being a parent....

Number Five: The questions. Oh lawdy the questions. For those of you who still have children who don't talk I say to you, cherish these moments! You don't want them to talk. Especially if you child turns out to be extremely loquacious* like mine. Just this morning, before I'd even started on my coffee Elijah was asking me how TVs worked, then he asked me what whiskey was. WHAAAT?? (He said he read it in his Tin Tin book, which I believe!)

Number Four: Wiping other people's butts and changing diapers, enough said!

Number Three: Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER being allowed a moments peace! Sophia has gotten into the habit of following me into the bathroom lately. Apparently I have a bad habit of not shutting the door all the way, and once I know she's following me in there I just can't slam the door in her face. Well, I guess I could. So she just marches in behind me and shuts the door, like we're going to have a talk or something. And if she's not around, inevitably, Elijah will decide he really needs to talk to me, from outside the bathroom door. Hey, at least he knows to stay out.

Number Two: You can never get enough sleep. I guess I can't complain, considering that I'm not pregnant and don't have a newborn in the house, I get a relatively good amount of sleep these days. Both my kids sleep almost twelve hours a night, and Sophia is napping for 3-4 during the day. My problem is, that no matter how much sleep I get, it's just never enough. I'm always dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I can't remember the last time I felt well-rested in the morning, but I'm going to guess maybe around my honeymoon?

Number One: Being one-hundred percent responsible for two human beings. Getting their meals, getting them dressed, making sure they have something fun to do, teaching them everything they ever needed to know, making sure they are happy, happy, happy, making sure they feel safe, reading to them, brushing their teeth, washing hands, taking them outside to play, teaching them good manners, breaking up fights between siblings, cleaning up after them, playing with them, being a good mommy... no wonder I'm so tired.**

* Yeah, I just used the word "loquacious" pretentious much, Cacey?

** Yes this last one was sort of a joke. We all know how much work kids are, and we all know we love the little buggers to death anyway!