Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting Work Done (Or Not...)

Long ago, my kids decided life is BORING without Mommy devoting 99.9% of her day to their non-stop amusement. In addition to the usual daily domestic activities (ie, the super lame stuff, like cleaning and grocery shopping and endless laundry) I used to be able to get my creative work done with the girls underfoot. This was when I was an artist and my days consisted of sitting at the table with colored pencils all around and my diapered kiddos sitting next to me, scribbling in sketchbooks of their own.

Then I stopped drawing and started focusing more on writing and my kids decided I didn't need to get anything accomplished ever again.

Nap-times ended after age 1 when both girls decided sleeping is overrated and they wouldn't have anything to do with it.

Quiet-times ended after age 1.5 upon discovering they were being used for tea parties with fresh cups of pee, instead of for resting quietly. (And when the girls weren't doing that, they were ripping their sheets, cutting their hair and eyelashes with purloined kiddie scissors, or pushing toddler mattresses up against the window of their room so they could climb and then pull the curtain rods straight out of our apartment walls. Yep)

Let me just say, using my brain to write intelligible things is impossible when said brain is exploding from children shouting in my ear, 30 thousand times a day, "LOOKIT ME, Mom! I have a CUP ON MY HEAD! (and such)"

If I don't get this dang book finished and begin querying agents soon (very soon!) this girl's gotta put the kids in daycare and get a proper job to help support the family. So... when do I get my creative work done? When do I find the time to write when every free minute sounds like this -

ME: Okay, Annelie. We've played 600 games and read 600 stories and you've had 600 minutes of computer time and now it's MOMMY'S turn for a little bit of work time, okay?


ME [types]: ....

ANNELIE [stares at me]: Wouldn't it be really funny if I had glasses and I opened the dishwasher when it was still going and it fogged up my glasses and then my hair turned yellow?

ME: Yes. Now go play and let me get some work done, okay?


ME [types]: ....

ANNELIE [stares at me VERY INTENSELY]: I'm doing my laser eyes on you. Do you want me to do my hot laser eyes on you or my cold laser eyes?

ME: How about instead of doing any kind of laser eyes, you go and play outside? Or play in your room? Or watch a movie? Or draw?


ME [types]: ....

ANNELIE [stares at me]:....

[time lapse 7 seconds]

I wrote you a song, and here is how it goes.

I love my mommy
she is the best
and her cupcakes are yummy
and I love my mommy
then you would be the best for me and you
and the day will be as white as meeeeeee.

ME: That was lovely. Now go PLAY.

ANNELIE: Okay. But first I have to play my new song on the guitar for you, okay? [whips out guitar]


(this video is from last year... but it's pretty much exactly how I'm entertained on a minutely basis even now)(and when I say now, I literally mean THIS VERY SECOND)

Well, I'll tell ya when I get my creative work done ... Lately, I've resorted to printing out my pages and editing them whilst sitting on the bathroom floor until "MOM, I'M GOING TO WET MY PANTS IF YOU DON'T LET ME IN!" is shouted from the hall.

Creative work-at-home peeps out there, enlighten me, please - how in the world do you manage your household, spend time with your kids and significant others, cook, clean, AND get creative stuff done!?* Because as much as I love laser eyes and serenades from 4-year-olds for 14 hours a day... I also need to finish this book!

*besides taking it away from TV time - that time pretty much ended for me years ago.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pinkie-Pie-A-Licious Candy Sprinkle Flower Candy: A Snack for Writers (the 4-year-old kind)

Pinkie-Pie-A-Licious Candy Sprinkle Flower Candy:
A recipe created for you, by Annelie Hopkins
(age 4)

Annelie: They are really yummy. You should taste them. You should also make them. And be sure to wash your hands after they are gone.

  • a whole bunch of Honey Nut Cheerios.
  • some pink. (ie natural pink food dye - colored with beets, not Red #40)
  • candy. (ie white melting chocolate)
  • sprinkles.
  1. Melt the candy.
  2. Add pink coloring.
  3. Stir.
  4. Add Cheerios.
  5. Stir.
  6. Spoon onto wax paper-lined tray.
  7. Add sprinkles.
  8. Put in fridge to cool.

You can lick your fingers but don't let Mom see

And that is all!

(In case you're wondering, these taste just as toxic as they look. Blech. But Annelie loves them)

A bonus:
Free fiction for all of you to enjoy - A story called THE FAIRIES

Happy Thursday, folks!


Monday, August 22, 2011

It's That Time Again!

Yup, it is indeed that time again. You know, the time when I kid myself that I'll actually accomplish stuff when it comes to my book while one kid is out of the house all day and the other kid is... well, sitting behind me while I try to work. On the same chair. Giving me a massage.

(And by massage, I mean poking me in the neck with one paint brush and two foam brushes while telling me that she's already bored and wants her hair in a million braids)

In other words, Gracie's back to school! First grade, this time!

(she's quite excited)

(also, 1st graders have strong muscles)

(and vampire fangs)

Which leaves me, once again, with my littlest duckling. One who misses her sister immensely, but feels better when her hair is in a million braids.

Happy 1st day of school to all you folks out there going back to school, teaching school, or shoving your kids in school!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Outta the Mouths of Babes.6

ANNELIE [laughing hysterically]: Check me out. I look like Justin Bieber.


My kids. They make me snort into my coffee on a regular basis. Here are a handful of clips from around Chez Hopkins.


ANNELIE [passes me a popsicle stick and a ribbon]: Can you tie a bow on the stick?

ME: Sure.

[ties bow, passes stick back to her]

ANNELIE [takes stick, passes it back to me]: Here, Mom, I made you a stick!


ME [in a coughing fit]: Ugh. I feel terrible.

GRACIE: And you look old, too!


ME: Today we're going someplace special!


ME: Um... no.


ME: Um. No. It's the swimming pool.


(yeah, not as cool... sorry, kid)


ANNELIE: This is a game. Guess who I am. I have two eyes, I have one nose, and I look like a hooker.

ME: Uh... what's your definition of hooker?

ANNELIE: Someone who lives on a pirate ship and has a hook.


ANNELIE: Mom! You have to see my really awesome penny! It's the best penny in my whole collection. It's a GIANT [pauses for dramatic effect] SILVER [pauses for dramatic effect] PENNY! Isn't it the best?

ME: That's a quarter.


ANNELIE: For Christmas, I'm going to be Daphne from Scooby-Doo!

ME: People don't usually dress in costume for Christmas.

ANNELIE: Oh.... you mean I have to dress PLAIN?!


ANNELIE: Mom, you always make the best food.

ME: Thanks!

ANNELIE: ...except some of it. Some of it is really gross.


ME [to Annelie]: Sometimes you make me very tired.

ANNELIE [cheerfully]: And sometimes you make ME want to listen to Chuck Berry.


ME: Bedtime, kids. Brush your teeth.

GRACIE: But how can it be bedtime? Nobody gave us dinner!

ME: Um.... Daddy didn't give you anything?

GRACIE: He gave us pancakes (crepes) with lemon and sugar.

ANNELIE: And you gave us ice cream and pie.

ME: O_o Oh. Okay. I'll make dinner.


I'm sure my pal Alyssa is rolling her eyes at the last one. But honestly, who needs dinner when you can have two desserts??


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Being a Magical Fairy

I've pretty much decided that being the Tooth Fairy is the #1 coolest part of being a parent so far. I'm sure more coolness is to come, but seriously. When I was a tiny grade schooler with a mouth full of wiggly teeth, nothing, I repeat, nothing was as cool as the Tooth Fairy. (well, besides Santa)(and the Easter Bunny)


1.) is a MAGICAL FAIRY. Probably in a pink sparkly dress, with sparkly shoes, and beautiful long curly hair.

2.) is able to FLY. With wings that most likely sparkle. (This was all I wanted when I was a kid. I used to have fantastic dreams of flying and the Tooth Fairy... she can do it.)

3.) gives out ICE CREAM MONEY for something as simple as sticking a tooth under a pillow and falling asleep.

Are you kidding me? I still love her.

And now I get to BE her.

Last night, after much tooth-wiggling, Gracie lost her other top tooth (world's cutest smile) and placed it in the designated Tooth Fairy box. There was excitement, there was cheering, there was jumping up and down. And, as it was well past bedtime, I had to calm her and wait, with ears pricked, for her to fall fast asleep.


Once again, my job description became extra awesome. (minus the scrounging for change part - why does my kiddo always lose teeth when my wallet has nothing less than a five dollar bill?) Out came a square of purple sparkly paper for a note signed by the Tooth Fairy herself. I called her Twinkle Bell last time, right? Yeah, that sounds like something I'd name the Tooth Fairy. Twinkle Bell it is...

And then I went into super stealth mode for the tooth/money switch out.

I had to be sneakier than I've been since the days I used to come in waaaay past curfew with hopes of my mom being asleep (she never was). Then maneuver around ten billion Barbie dolls, plastic dress-up shoes and board games.

In pure silence.

In the dark.

Must. Not. Wake. Sleeping. Child. And. Destroy. All. Childhood. Magic.

Do you know how hard it is to maneuver around ten billion Barbie dolls, plastic dress-up shoes, and board games in pure silence, in the dark? I'm sure this is exactly how Harry, Ron, and Hermione felt sneaking around Fluffy, the three-headed dog. Thrilling.

I'm just going to go ahead and toot my own horn here for a moment - I totally rocked at being a stealthy magical fairy. And yeah, okay, I was in sweats and a t-shirt instead of a sparkly dress with sparkly shoes. And my hair was in one of those lazy half pony tails and more frizzy than curly and beautiful. But this morning, Gracie was pretty darned excited to show me her money and little note from everyone's favorite money-bringing fairy, Twinkle Bell.

Except she said:

"This must be from the Tooth Fairy's sister. Because last time, the Tooth Fairy was called Lola."

Whoops. Sometimes, I have a terrible memory. Hey, it's a hard job being a mom AND moonlighting as a super stealthy Tooth Fairy.

Happy Wednesday, folks!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Senior Moments and Drama Queens

Gracie, our resident drama queen, is quick to roll her eyes and look as horrified as humanly possible whenever Will and I do just about anything. She began channeling her inner teenager at about 10 months old and has had the OMG, Mom and Dad you are ruining my LIFE look perfected for years.

Mostly this is annoying, as I'm not particularly a fan of 6-year-olds with attitudes. But sometimes... Well, sometimes I can't blame the poor girl.


Setting: Kitchen. After overhearing advertisement for the movie Rio.

ME: That movie wasn't too bad.

WILL: What movie?

ME: Rio. The one with the blue parrots.

GRACIE: Yeah, that was funny. And the baby parrot was so cute!

WILL: I don't remember a movie with blue parrots.

ME: We just saw it. Seriously, like a couple weeks ago.

GRACIE [rolling eyes]: Uh, yeah.

WILL: Do you mean the one with the funny brother and the dad from the movie where he's the art teacher?

ME: No, that's Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We saw Rio sometime after. But not that long ago, seriously. Like, we just saw it.

WILL: ... No, I don't know.

GRACIE [disbelieving]: You really don't remember?

ME: Come on, you have to remember. We saw it in 3D. I'm not sure why. [stopping to think] We were there for something...

GRACIE [horrified]: Um. Yeaaaaaah, we were.

ME [still thinking]: Hmmmm... why did we go to the movies that day?

GRACIE: WHAT? You don't remember? [with OMG, Mom and Dad you are ruining my LIFE look on face]: That was my birthday.

ME: Uh...

WILL: ... Uh.... And what a special day it was!

GRACIE [raises brows, shakes head]: Yeah.


Whoops. Poor girl.

And poor us - shouldn't ages 27 and 30 be too young for senior moments?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guess what I do for adventure? I hang glide on a Dorito.

I have some pretty awesome friends who share pretty awesome videos with me - and this one is pretty much my new fave (thanks, Molly!)

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.



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