Mahna Mahna

August 29th, 2011

Welcome to Laugh Out Loud Monday (aka LOL Monday): because, like my favorite fat cat, I hate Mondays, I thought, “What better way to start the week than with a laugh?”

Tiny Tot helped pick today’s video out. We spent an hour and a half watching Muppet videos, first on my phone, then on my laptop when my phone demanded recharging. This one was her favorite and I have to agree.

So who hasn’t wanted to be just a little disruptive and crazy when we’re supposed to be productive?

When have you wanted to be the Mahna Mahna guy? When have you been that crazy, disruptive influence?

Beating the Clock With Time Management

August 20th, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

Use a timer to make time to write.

One of the biggest obstacles I have to overcome on a daily basis is time management.  There are times I wish I could magically create time a to write where Tiny Tot didn’t need my attention for a couple of hours and I could work in peace and quiet.  As of this moment, however, that magic ability has yet to appear. The best I can manage on a daily basis is to wait until she goes to bed and hope I’m still alert enough to create comprehensible sentences.

Thankfully Grandma likes to play with Tiny Tot, so I also have about four hours every Friday and every other Monday to write like a madwoman. Even so, that’s not a lot of solid writing time.

Reaching for the dream…

Because Tiny Tot is one of my reasons for pushing on, I know finding the time to write is essential. You see, it’s my dream to stay at home with her, so I absolutely must write (and publish) to make enough money to attain my goal.  That can feel impossible at times, especially when just starting my career.

I have no doubt there are a lot of writers like me, searching for ways to make more time for their craft.  While I don’t have the answer to how to do this, I know of a few resources to help us.

2 ways to make time…

Perhaps the best resource is Flylady.  Marla Cilley (aka Flylady) advocates a system of 15 minutes at a time.  This system is designed to work in all aspects of home life and can be adapted for writing also.  The best part is that children can begin to understand that Mommy or Daddy will be able to play with them as soon as the timer goes off.  (Flylady’s way of keeping things moving is to use a timer.)

Another writer once said her husband  helped her fix a way for her to sit on top of the fridge to work while her son played safely on the floor below her.  Being creative is what writers do.  Putting that creativity to work finding a way to snatch a few minutes to write is a logical step.  I’ve personally discovered I can work on a project during lulls at my day job.  It may not be as satisfying as sitting at my computer for a couple of hours, but it keeps me going in the right (write? 🙂 ) direction.

Trial and error…

I am positive there are other resources available that actually help (and many that don’t) with time management.  My suggestion is to try several.  Keep doing those that work for you and discard those that don’t.

Time is a commodity everyone must decide how best to use and writers are no different.  However, when you use your creative impulses, you may discover some unique ways to create time to write.

What works for you? What tips and tricks do you use to make time to write?

Life Lessons From Potty Training

August 17th, 2011

Welcome to Spirit Wednesday where we take a look at all things spiritual from meditation to prayer to cleaning the house. Yes, even house work can be a spiritual experience… if you choose to see it that way.

potty chair photoTiny Tot began potty training today. To say it’s been a challenge would be an understatement. I’m not sure who wanted to give up more, her or me. Still we persevered. Or, rather, I pushed her to keep training and forced myself to stay calm and think of ways to help her succeed.

As with any new skill we find ourselves faced at least once with wanting to quit. We can choose to shelve it all or to keep trying.

If we quit…

We may never know if we had it in us to become great. Regrets can follow us around, whispering in our minds that we’ll never amount to anything because we never finish what we start.

In short, our dreams end and our reality becomes an endless stream of diapers.

If we persevere…

We face pain. We face frustration and confusion. We face sweet success when we finally understand, when we finally get it.

Our dreams flourish and we stand taller in our big girl/boy panties.

To quit or not to quit…

Quitting a dream is something we can do ourselves. We need no help.

Persevering, however, sometimes means asking for suggestions, guidance, whatever we need to make it happen. If not for one of my co-workers’ recommendations I wouldn’t have thought to keep treats and books on hand to help Tiny Tot make the transition. Thanks to that, by bedtime she was having more successes and fewer accidents.

Regardless, no one else can make that decision for us. The choice is always ours.

When have you faced the decision to quit or persevere? What did you do? What would you do differently?

Photo by jessicafm

Of Mice And Toddlers

August 15th, 2011

Welcome to Laugh Out Loud Monday (aka LOL Monday): because, like my favorite fat cat, I hate Mondays, I thought, “What better way to start the week than with a laugh?”

Matt Rouse, the toy rat (or is it a mouse?)

Like all toddlers, my little one (whom we affectionately call Tiny Tot) loves playing with toys. A favorite of hers is a stuffed, plastic rat like the kind you can buy during Halloween. We’ve fondly dubbed this little critter Matt Rouse because, while the rest of the family agrees its a rat, Grandma insists its a mouse.

Last Wednesday there was a little incident with Matt.

After dinner Tiny Tot picked Matt up by its tail and flung it around like a yo-yo. I didn’t think too much of it until she accidentally hit me with it a couple times. I told her to go somewhere else to fling her rat, then turned back to the conversation I was having with her grandma, promptly forgetting the whirring rodent yo-yo.

Suddenly I heard a whimper and “Ow! Ow!” behind me. I turned around to see why my daughter was fussing.

I looked down at her hands. Nothing there.

I checked the bug bites on her legs, but they didn’t seem to be the cause.

I couldn’t see anything wrong anywhere. She continued to fuss, but, unlike she usually does, she didn’t point to anything.

“Oh dear!” exclaimed Grandma, “It’s in her hair!”

“Huh? What’s in her hair?” I thought.

Just then Tiny Tot turned her head away from me. There, tangled from butt to tail tip, was Matt. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing as I watched the plastic rat swing from my daughter’s blonde hair.

It took both Grandma and me to free poor Matt Rouse, but we managed. Gives new meaning to the phrase “a rat in my hair,” don’t you think?

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve had to untangle from hair — yours or a child’s?