Monthly Archives: July 2009

Oh, and Shea

Shea Driving Cuda

I can’t believe I managed to write a whole post without mentioning Shea! He’s 19 months now (will post his latest studio picture when I get them back next week). I never thought I’d take my kid to a JC Penny portrait studio to get his picture taken, but you know what? $50 for 13 sheets of photos and the sitting fee combined. The pro photog I used for my pregnancy photo cost something like $400 + prints, and her prints were EXPENSIVE. The semi-pro photos we had done of Shea were much cheaper (about $160 including prints), but it was against the same black backdrop that JC Penny uses and the photos weren’t really any better. I think when Baby Girl is 7 or 8 months, we’ll do a professional outdoor session with both of them, but for now, I’m all about the JC Penny portrait studio!

In other Shea news, he’s in this Helen Keller mode where he wants to know the name of everything. (Remember when Annie Sullivan started signing into her hand and she ran around touching everything so Annie would tell her the names? That’s Shea right now.) He’s been combining two words, like “chat sleep” or “woo woo wet,” but no complete sentences yet. I feel like half the things he says only we can understand because he combines so many languages and sounds. He calls Crayons, “ABCs” and pens “Mama ABCs.” My favorite is a phrase he learned from me, which he says ALL THE TIME. Whenever something doesn’t go his way, like his ball rolls under the dresser or he misses when he tries to hit it with his bat, he says, “Oh, man” but pronounces it more like, “Oh, meeeeen.” It cracks me up! His obsession is still balls and bats and balloons, and he LOVES water (the river, a pool, the bath, etc.) Whenever he sees me washing my hands he wants to wash his, too. And yesterday I had him put all the vegetables from the grocery bag into the refrigerator drawer and then put all the clean Tupperware into the cupboard and both times he finished and then looked up and said, “Plus?” (“More?”) That’s my boy! Picking up the house before he’s two. Let’s hope that lasts beyond three.

He doesn’t seem to have any concept that he’s going to have a little sister soon (I need to buy him one of those, “You’re going to be a big brother” books). If you point to his stomach and ask him what it is, he’ll lift up his shirt and say, “Baby.”

And that’s all the Shea news for now.

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Winding Down

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This is a photo of Shea in Martin’s 1968 Barracuda that he resurrected from the garage. It was the first time I ever saw the Barracuda outside of the garage!

Not much new either than that we’re busy busy busy as usual. I’m way behind on uploading photos to SmugMug, organizing them and sending them out. Last weekend we spent at the Russian River, Sunday at the beach kayaking and taking Shea out in a $20 blow-up boat that we bought. The river has been high, which means dirty, but our beach wasn’t contaminated enough to close (several beaches have been), so we all swam and boated around and it was a lot of fun. Martin and I watched two movies up there – Rachel Getting Married and Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I really liked Rachel Getting Married. I’m in the mood to watch as many movies as I can before life stops again in Sept (Really, I watched more movies than ever in the weeks after Shea was born because I was up half the night every night feeding him.)

Two of the three agents I sent my query to requested my book, so it’s with them now and I just have to wait. So other than my book review, which I turned in last Friday, I haven’t been doing any writing.

What I am doing is tutoring, editing and trying to get photos and baby books organized before September. For as much time as I spent on Shea’s baby book, there are still tons of blank pages. And I’m determined to finally do our wedding album! I’ve selected a lot of the photos and ordered an album. What a lot of work, though. And I want to finally do Shea’s first year album – seven months late. Speaking of seven months late, I had holidays cards with Shea’s picture on them made last December and never sent them out. Maybe he can send them himself when he’s 25 and they’ll be funny then. It won’t make sense for me to send them this year unless we glue a picture of Baby Girl next to him. Anyway, just busy busy busy with a million random things. Going camping on Lake Tahoe this weekend for three nights after the Berkeley Kite Festival Saturday, both of which will be exhausting but a lot of fun.

I have a new blog, although I haven’t posted to it yet. It’s at meghanward.com/blog. The whole website is waiting a redesign, though (I like the design, but the content is outdated). The new blog will focus on writing and publishing. I have so much to do!

The pregnancy is fine. Other than daily heartburn and fatigue, I feel fine. (Nothing that a nap and a Tagamet can’t cure!) Baby Girl is getting BIG. She should be five pounds right now, and I can tell she’s running out of room in there because my stomach visibly moves when she kicks or moves around. While I was trying to write my review, she was kicking me so hard in both directions (I could feel it in my stomach AND in my butt) that I couldn’t concentrate at all. Six more weeks!

That’s all for now. My next posts will be on my other blog, but I’ll post them here, too. My “goal” is to drive traffic to that site for marketing purposes, but I have a lot to learn about keywords and blog marketing, etc. I’ll be working on that over the next few weeks.

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Busy Summer

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I haven’t been blogging much because we’ve been so crazy busy this past month and a half. I was really stressed out (and not sleeping well) in June thinking about all that we had to do, but now many of our trips and projects are done, and the quiet of August will soon be upon us. Summer plans and projects:

1. Finish book – check
2. Weekend at RR with Martin’s family – check
3. Write query letter – check
4. Camping trip to Butano – check
5. Court case – check
6. Moms’ group Fourth of July camping trip – check
7. Send query letter to three agents – check
8. Convert office to baby room – check
9. Book review – almost done
10. Get Martin’s Barracuda out of the garage and running – check
11. Start conversion of garage to office – working on it
12. Gardening – not going to happen
13. Get Shea’s 18-month photo taken – check
14. Finally print Shea’s one-year photos – check
15. Make Shea’s first year and our wedding photo albums – working on them
16. Redesign website – working on it
17. Start new blog – almost ready
18. Camping trip to Tahoe – coming up at the end of the month
19. Start next book – not ready for that yet

I finally erased most of my To-Do list and put everything on little project cards because it was making me crazy to constantly look at this never-ending list. Now I can just go pick a card when I finish one project and am ready to start another (although, really I’m working on several at once.) I’m totally exhausted and have caught two colds in the past three weeks – the first all year – but I’m also really happy to get this stuff done before the baby is born. And in August I plan to take a few days to rest before the sleepless nights begin.

The pregnancy has been fine. We hiked a bunch over the Fourth, and I felt fine. I need naps many days, but otherwise all is going as planned. Today I’m 33 weeks, so just seven left! (More likely eight since Shea was 10 days late, but who knows.)

The agent search is a bit nerve wracking. I’ve had people in my writers’ group send me critiques on my query letter after I already sent it out – marking it up full of red ink – so now I’m doubting whether it was ready to go, but I do have one agent who wants to read it and to whom I’m mailing a copy today. If I don’t hear from the others within a few weeks, I’ll probably revise my query before sending it out again.

I’ve begun working on my “author platform,” and what a lot of work! I am setting up my new blog, set up a new Twitter account, joining websites, etc. More on all that in time.

All I want to do is sleep today, but I have a book review due Friday and today is my last work day, so I need to get it in gear. Hope everyone is having a more relaxing summer than I am!

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Up at 4 a.m. with Sick Baby

He’s not really sick, but he had vaccines yesterday, and they gave him a fever, so he’s hot and crying, and now I’m awake and hungry while he’s drinking his second bottle of milk. My own doctor told me to cut out juice and whole milk and other fattening things so Baby Two won’t be too big, but she also told me I’m on track to gain about what I did last time and Shea wasn’t too big, so she’s not worried about it (although Shea wasn’t small either.) I don’t normally drink glasses of milk, but with gallons of it in the house (since Shea turned one) and me eating peanut butter all the time to satiate late-night hunger, I’ve been guzzling glasses of it—all whole milk because that’s what we have to buy for Shea. So today I went out and bought myself some nonfat milk, something I should have done six months ago. And no more OJ (I LOVE OJ), but I still can’t resist eating cookies and Skinny Cows now and then. After all, what’s the fun of being pregnant if you can’t eat ice cream?

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