The Friday Five!

1. Okay, so as I’m writing this, it’s 8am. I’m sitting in my kitchen, with only my dogs, GMA on the TV. My daughter is at school and will be there until 2:20. This, my friends, is the new reality, and I am STILL adjusting to it. She’s gone by 7:25! If I don’t take her (we take turns) then I can watch a full hour and a half of GMA uninterrupted. I could even watch from a SEATED position on the ¬†COUCH, but I have not yet worked up the nerve yet. Because I am just used to watching it while in motion, to be honest. Back when, I was chasing a toddler and changing diapers. Last couple of years, pouring Cheerios and corralling my dogs while stepping over Princess stuff. We’re still doing the morning sprint, though, with packing lunchboxes and backpacks and finding shoes. But it’s done by 7:30. WHOA. I still don’t know what to do with myself. I had lunch with a friend with three kids yesterday who was like, “Hello! We can have lunch again! It’s a whole new world!” But with any new thing, there is an adjustment period, which I guess is what I am in right now?

2. My kid—despite my anxiety, stress and almost ulcer—is really liking school. Not that I have been able to get much information, as when I prod her for details I only get, “I don’t remember!” But later in the night, unasked, she finally gives me a few updates, like they had art class or did a Humpty Dumpty experiment with an egg on a wall. I am pretty used to knowing everything that she does, though, so this beginning of her Own Secret Life is sort of disarming for me. I will admit to wanting to peek in windows at the school, but have restrained myself. So far, anyway. I don’t want to be THAT mom. I don’t think. Or do I? Okay, I don’t.

3. Now that my kid is gone for much of the day, I’m spending more time with my dogs. And in doing so, I’m realizing how much of a handful my puppy Goose really is. He’s almost one, but still SO wild. Just this morning, before 8am, he 1) ate half my daughter’s breakfast when she left it unattended 2) spilled her water 3) barked nonstop at our neighbors for daring to be out in their own yard. This is when he is not driving our older dog nuts, chewing on my daughter’s trampoline or destroying anything American Girl related. (Poor Caroline’s bonnet, we hardly knew ye.) He’s the second boxer we’ve had, so we knew what we were getting into. They are basically puppies for YEARS. One good thing, though, is that the other afternoon he and my kid played alone, together, for a good twenty minutes. Dare I hope that they might both be at the right age to actually entertain each other? I’d love to think so, but I don’t have time now because he’s eating the couch. Sigh.

4. I just spent ten minutes trying to upload a picture to this blog post. (Maybe WordPress has had enough dog pics for one day? Is there a limit, worldwide?) My entire site has been sort of hinky lately, with the worst timing. First I got messages that it was using up too much of the server, or something, RIGHT before THE MOON AND MORE came out. We made a bunch of adjustments, upgraded to a different plan, and it seemed to be working, but then we got the error message AGAIN just the other day. I can never tell with computer stuff, though, if it’s something actually ON the internet that’s the problem or my super slow country DSL. I mean, seriously: I don’t mind not being able to order a pizza because we’re too far out. And I like DirecTV, so no cable is fine. But I would seriously do just about anything (within reason) for a cable modem. Everytime I am in town using someone else’s it is just LIGHTNING fast compared to the spinning circle I am always staring at. I even went to the Time Warner webpage to basically beg them to consider our neighborhood, but there wasn’t even a help topic on the issue. On the flip side, I don’t NEED to be on the internet as much as I am. Certainly don’t need it to write. But watching YouTube videos load…….slowly can be frustrating. Maybe I’ll go chew the couch while I wait.

5. In book/work news, I’m starting to get REALLY excited about the Austin Teen Book Festival, coming up in just three weeks! I still can’t believe I’m going to be on a stage actually TALKING with YA author Rob Thomas, who is also the creator of Veronica Mars, one of my favorite shows of ALL TIME. This puts just ONE person between me and Kristen Bell in that degrees of separation thing, not to MENTION Logan Echolls. Everytime I think about it, I get that excited/totally nervous thing, which is sort of the same but a bit different from the my kid is at school all day/six years old nervous thing. Whatever, I’m always nervous. But I’m really excited to read Rob’s RATS SAW GOD, which I just picked up at my local indie bookstore yesterday, as well as see a BUNCH of great YA writers in one of my favorite cities. After that, I’m at the Southern Festival of Books in October, and NCTE in November….and, um, somehow writing another novel. It’s all a bit overwhelming, to be honest, but in a good way. This past weekend, we rented a bouncy castle for my daughter’s birthday. It was HUGE, much bigger than expected, and they brought it early, so of course she wanted to get in and try it out. So I watched her jump, and laugh, and then she said, “Mama, YOU come in!” I was like, um, no. I am an Adult. I do not BOUNCE. But she really wanted me to, so I went in, despite my trepidation. And it was the wildest feeling, bouncing inside something, with her leaping up beside me. Also, exhausting: like a workout, even. But despite being hesitant about that, and SO much else this last week, I am glad I am following Diana Nyad’s mantra and trying to “find a way.” Even if it’s vertical, and makes my stomach hurt. Find a way. Okay, then.

Have a great weekend, everyone!