Royal Blue

Thoughts of a writer, wife, mother, PhD, sister, crafty chick, program coordinator, homeowner, culture vulture, bibliophile, and blogger.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Thoughts on Authoring

Last night my aunt told me that she was in a local independent bookstore and saw "my" book on display on a shelf in the gender studies section. It was one of the books that they display on a book holder, giving it a little extra attention on the shelf! Woo hoo! Isn't that cool? I need to stop by and take a look and thank them.

Ok, it isn't "my" book as if I am the sole author. I'm one of several "young, progressive feminists" (according to who appear in this anthology that was published last year.

According to the editor, Lisa Johnson, the book is in its second printing and I've seen the wonderful reviews, so it feels great to be a part of that project.

When I updated my resume last week, I realized how much stuff I have published in the past year, both online and in print, and it got me motivated to do some more publishing in 2003.

The key is to take on writing assignments for stuff that I like to do. My old boss asked me to research and write an article for the quarterly newsletter I used to edit in grad school and I said yes b/c it is great money and easy.
But, I'm really not motivated to write it--it's not "fun" writing like the other stuff I published last year.

So, I'm learning to pick and choose my assingments as a freelancer according to what sounds fun and interesting to me, but also stretches me a bit as a writer/thinker/scholar or whatever.

Ok, that's my goal for 2003: to publish at least as much as I did in 2002, if not more!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Our New Schedule, Part II

Ed is home with Molly all day today (Mondays and Wednesdays each week). Sometimes I wish it was me who was home part-time, but other times I'm glad it's not me, since I love going to work every day (I know, that seems weird).

I encourage him to take her to story time at the library and other stuff like that. Cooped up in a small house with a toddler in the middle of winter can be really hard on him--and not easy for her, either.

This summer I"ll be home with the new baby and with Molly part-time and it will be interesting to test that lifestyle out. I'm looking forward to it, even though I know it will be crazy, too. One of us will work part time in the fall and the other full time. So, whatever happens, all will be well.

I'm very lucky since my boss says I can work full or part-time next fall, depending on Ed's job situation.

And, to complicate matters, I've recently applied for a better job in nearby city that would be full-time in the fall and Ed's applying for full-time teaching work in this city, so I guess we'll just see how things shake out.

It's kind of exciting and uncertain-a year of transition, as Ed pointed out this week. That's ok, as long as every year isn't a "year of transition!" 2002 was a year of happiness, quiet, domestic tranquility. What will 2003 be? I guess we'll find out...


Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Our New Schedule

Last night Ed started our new schedule--he is now teaching M-Th evenings, sometimes 6-8pm and sometimes 8-10pm. It kind of sucks since it limits our activities on the weeknights (no preg. yoga for me!), but the 8-10pm isn't so bad since Molly is in bed by 8pm and so I'll have a few delightful hours of quiet to myself on those nights.

Last night was a 6-8pm night. I got home about 5:15 just as Ed was rushing off to teach (his commute is about 30 minutes), so we didn't have much time to chat. Then Molly and I had some mother-daughter time and I decided to start making dinner at 6:15pm. This can be a challenge unless I pop a video in and let her watch quietly while I cook without interruption. I was trying a new recipe out of sheer boredom with everything else I cook. It was Spinach Fettucine with Wild Mushrooms, which turned out to be great.

But Molly wanted me to play with her and I wouldn't since I had pasta boiling and mushrooms grilling and was busy and so she had a short meltdown and then, when she realized I couldn't deal with her needs right then, she quietly sat in a chair and watched me while I finished dinner and let her taste parsley. Then she wolfed down some plain spinach fettucine (of the mushrooms she said, "don't like it.") while I ate my dinner with her at the table. It was nice.

I have to learn to trust sometimes that when I tell her "Molly, just wait. I can't deal with you right now. I'm sorry," she will adjust most of the time and learn to calm down on her own. With a new baby coming, this is a valuable lesson for both of us. Usually, with Ed and I both there one of us does Molly duty while the other cooks or whatever, so it was good to see that it's "workable" for me and Molly to be ok together and I can get something (like cooking) done and even involve her in it.

The other issue is letting her watch videos. She loves videos--Barney, Teletubbies, Blues Clues, etc. I really feel strongly about limiting her time watching videos and I "use" video watching to distract her only when I really need to do so. I've talked to other moms who agree putting a kid in front of a video for 30 minutes or an hour can be a sanity saver. Longer than that and it doesn't feel good to me. Molly is capable of entertaining herself with stickers, books and other assorted toys and so I help her get interested in other activities when all she asks to do is watch videos. Sometimes after playing with her for 30 minutes, I'll say to her "Now, can you please play by yourself for awhile?" and sometimes she actually does. It's also important that I tune into her for at least 30-60 minutes after I've been at work all day and so we can have one-on-one time. It relaxes us both so nicely.

Our bathtime ritual has been great for that--the bath, the storybooks, etc. before bed that either Ed or I do with her. It's a special time of day and she is often at her most playful and happy during that time and goes to bed quite easily. We still play "chase the naked baby" every night before bath and it's so much for for all 3 of us. I'll pretend I can't catch her and yell "Ed, get her!" as she heads toward his part of the house and he'll nab her as she runs by a doorway and she screams and laughs with delight. It's a great way to end the day with her. I think those kinds of rituals will be even more meaningful after her brother gets here!!

Well, that was the first night. We'll see how the rest of the semester goes! Ed teaches until May sometime.

Monday, January 27, 2003
Movie Reviews

"The Hours" was a great flick for lots of reasons. One of the main reasons is that it doesn't spoon-feed you the emotional or intellectual ideas behind the narrative. It leaves you pondering, wondering, reflecting (and crying). It's really a "chick flick" in the sense that I think women will strongly identify with the moods and dilemmas of the 3 leads without feeling insulted and manipulated.

The acting is incredible. Just amazing.

Nicole Kidman blew me away by being so far from herself that you forgot it was "Nicole Kidman." If she doesn't win the Oscar for this role, there is no justice in Hollywood. Julianne Moore (who I'm proud to say that I vaguely knew back when she was doing regional theatre and I was working in theatre) and Meryl Streep are also marvelous. This review from is well written and I tend to agree with most of its points.

Ed rented the latest "Austin Powers" movie on Saturday night, which was like rehashing the first two with lamer jokes. Of course I fell asleep for the middle third of the movie, so maybe I missed the best parts. I enjoyed the first 'Austin Powers" movie and I love Mike Myers for the most part, so it was a disappointment. At least we hadn't paid full price at the movie theatre last summer to see it!

Speaking of going to the movies, Ed and I went two weekends ago to see "Adaptation" and I loved it! Of course, it's one of those movies that you either love or hate. My taste in movies is pretty far from the mainstream, generally, so something so wacked out and wonderful as this movie was really refreshing. Also, Nicholas Cage totally redeemed himself in this flick after some recent bad choices. We rented "Windtalkers" several weeks ago (Ed's choice of course) and Nicholas Cage was a walking cliche in that movie. We hooted at the racial stereotypes and wooden dialogue throughout that movie. Blech!

Next weekend we're probably going to see the new Lord of the Rings movie. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but Ed is. He read all the entire Tolkien series when he was growing up. I do enjoy that kind of movie on some levels (visually, for example), but the story just doesn't engage me--the "good vs. evil" is a little too cut and dried for my tastes.

Can you believe all these movies we are seeing lately? It's like our pre-parenting lives almost!

I'd really like to see 'The Pianist" but I know it will be heart-wrenching, so I'm trying to gear myself up for it.


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