Health, Huffington Post, Hashtags, and a Happy Winner

Today is brought you by the letter H.

Health

I spent most of yesterday in an urgent care facility. I had a little bit of a scare, but long story short, all is well. It’s amazing where your mind can go when the small possibility of something horrible is put in front of you. Thankfully, I only had to go there in my mind and not in real life, but I did learn my lesson about taking it a bit easier on myself…which I have not been doing for a few months now. Ya’ll can break out your tiny violins.

So after getting home, instead of sitting down to my computer to hash out a new and entertaining post for this blog, I climbed into my bed, watched my DVR’ed episode of The Walking Dead, and was asleep by 9:30. It was glorious, on all fronts. I am feeling much better now, which is more than I can say for Grimes & Gang in Zombieville.

However, I do have a few Housekeeping things to mention, the most important of which makes good on a promise from last week. Continue reading “Health, Huffington Post, Hashtags, and a Happy Winner”

The Kids Have Spoken: #ilovemymayhem

Since the beginning of January, I have been touring elementary schools, reading Absolute Mayhem to the students. Guys, if I thought I loved being a children’s author before, these visits have made me 100% certain this is exactly the path I should be traveling. Interacting with the kids, listening to them laugh at all the right places, answering their hilarious and intelligent questions, and hearing what they love about the book is about as delicious as it gets. At one of the visits, a little girl raised her hand and said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” I can’t even. I mean, that phrase is usually said to, like, astronauts…and people who save puppies dressed in butterfly costumes from raging fires. She may not have said that if she knew behind my author/illustrator facade is just a mom who never buys the latest trends for her kids and is capable of taking away trick-or-treating on Halloween as a punishment.

Aside from getting a huge ego boost from these kids, I am genuinely moved when they display their approval for Absolute Mayhem. Parents say their children ask to read it over and over again, and some even “play” Lulu and Milo, acting out their adventures (I smell Queen Comma and Count Milo of Fractionville Halloween costumes). Continue reading “The Kids Have Spoken: #ilovemymayhem”

Hallmark, Schmallmark. I Got Your REAL Valentines Right Here.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is a little something I wrote last year for the holiday of love:

I just spent a mind-numbing half hour helping my son sign eighteen valentine cards for his classmates. Even he was getting bored, evident by his increasingly lax standards of how to make the letters in his name: “This is a different way to make a ‘C,’ Mom.” Looks good to me, buddy. No one is going to pay much attention to your valentine anyway since mom here went the cheap-o route this year and got the ones that don’t come with any Continue reading “Hallmark, Schmallmark. I Got Your REAL Valentines Right Here.”

Hallmark, Shmallmark. I Got Your Real Valentines Right Here

I just spent a mind-numbing half hour helping my son sign eighteen valentine cards for his classmates. Even he was getting bored, evident by his increasingly lax standards of how to make the letters in his name: “This is a different way to make a ‘C,’ Mom.” Looks good to me, buddy. No one is going to pay much attention to your valentine anyway since mom here went the cheap-o route this year and got the ones that don’t come with any candy.

kids valentine cards
The slow deterioration of good penmanship

who is the fifth guy in nsyncI don’t care much about Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I dislike it; I am just completely apathetic toward it. Valentine’s Day is like the fifth guy from *NSync in the world of holidays…you know, the one that’s not Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, or JC Chavez. You don’t mind that it’s there, but you also wouldn’t really notice if it wasn’t. (And since I spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding which holidays the other guys would be, please indulge this small tangent: Timberlake is totally the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s triplet threat. Fatone is Halloween; goofy, fun, and you know he has some mad skills for trading bad jokes for candy. Bass, he’s a firework who lets his colors burst like the Fourth of July. And just like the Easter Bunny tries to be as cool as Santa, Chavez ain’t no Timberlake. Now back to the point.)

I am not the only one in my house who feels this way about Valentine’s day. My husband has made a declaration that I never have to buy him a card as long as we live. He thinks they are a racket. In fact, he doesn’t want me to get him anything for Valentine’s day…well, anything that costs money. Wink, wink. (*eye roll*) But we always feel the need to help the kids put something together for one another. I have to be honest. Despite the fact that we know we all love each other, these little tokens of Cupid feel a little forced and trite. For example, my daughter informed me today that she was going to write a poem for everyone in our family: “Roses are red, Violets are blue, Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.” (Members of our family, I am so sorry to ruin the surprise.) Forced. Trite.

What my kids don’t know is that they give me little valentines all year long. And this is what they look like in my head:

real valentines
AHA! They DO really love each other!
kids valentines
I adore the little notes Grace leaves for me all the time
kids valentines
True stories.
kids valentines
I die from cuteness.
kids valentines
I will mold her into my tiny clone. *maniacal laugh*
kids valentines
He also realized we don’t live in a barn and actually closed the door.
kids valentines
No words necessary

That means the pressure is off for Valentine’s Day. I already have everything I need; and I am pretty sure the rest of my family does, too. So we can instead enjoy the fun of Mardi Gras today and properly stuff our faces for Fat Tuesday. And then tomorrow on Ash Wednesday we can realize that all the crap we ate today might lead to that whole “to dust you shall return” thing happening just a wee bit sooner than later. But at least we won’t have to worry about last-minute Valentine gifts.

However,  maybe someone should send something to that fifth guy from *NSync. This is his holiday after all.