Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My New Workspace

Yes, having a second baby meant I got booted out of my old office. Hubby and I used to have separate work spaces, which was nice because hubby sometimes works on film editing and that can be noisy. However, we no longer have room for separate work spaces, so I have moved downstairs into our combined office.

Hubby used to have a very old Mac at this desk, but it was time to let it move on.  Most of the toys on the shelf are still his, as are the tapes.  It's been kind of fun getting everything reorganized, but it's also been nice that I've been able to do it at a leisurely pace.  The saddest thing is that this isn't going to be very comfortable in the winter since the basement gets really cold.  *sigh*  The things we do for our children.  I'll just have to drink lots of tea.

Maternity leave ends tomorrow!  And this is where the magic will happen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Holy Crap, My Maternity Leave is Almost Over!!!

Yes indeed, Kal'El is nearly three months old, and that is when I decided my maternity leave would end.  It's hard to believe he's been around for that long already--but on the other hand, he's so much a part of our family that it also seems longer.
So now is the moment of truth.  Will I be able to start writing every day again?  I don't rightly know.  I hope so, though I fully expect many of those days will only meet the bare minimum of that requirement.  If I manage to keep it up at all.  But 267 days, plus the 40 or 50 I've managed to add to that during my leave, would be a shame to have to reset.  So hopefully I will succeed in getting back into the daily groove.

I get the most done on the days I can get both boys down for a nap at the same time.  That doesn't always happen though, because Kal'El still doesn't nap at the same time every day and Zaxxon often refuses to sleep--though I still insist on a two-hour "quiet time" period on the days I can't wear him out enough.  It's been a growing struggle to keep him in his room during that time.  I'm thinking of getting this product, which is a clock that glows green when it's okay for a child to get up.  He seems to like it when I set a kitchen timer for him, so I have high hopes that the clock would be a success.  Back to the original subject of this paragraph, on days when I can't get anything done at naptime I suppose I'll just have to nurse Kal'El at the keyboard after Zaxxon is in bed.  It wouldn't be a long writing session, but it would be something (if I can keep myself from checking my email and facebook, that is.)

I'm also hoping to start blogging a little more frequently again.  I've found that I miss it, and the socializing that results.  Kids are time consuming, but they're here for the next 18 years or more, so I'll just need to work better at getting writing into my schedule around them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm a Bad English Major

Hello all, as I make another attempt to swim out of the baby whirlpool.

The good writing news is that hubby and I finished the first draft of our animated screenplay a few weeks ago and I've been busy editing it for grammar and readability.  We need to cut about 15 pages from it, and that will come next, but I want to get it edited first.  And that brings me to why I'm a bad English major (not to mention the "and" at the beginning of this sentence.)

Hubby was the scribe for this project, so I sat next to him giving my input about what should come next while he did all the typing.  I've been correcting the verb tense a lot because he has a tendency to use the wrong one.  And I don't even know the name for the verb tense he's overusing.  Bad English major.  Bad.

(Well, I am a literature major so I avoided taking all the grammar classes.)

He keeps using phrases like "Eileen is writing her blog," "Frank is walking through the town," and "Zaxxon is destroying Mama's peace and quiet," when "Eileen writes her blog," "Frank walks through town," and "Zaxxon destroys Mama's peace and quiet," are more direct.  This isn't technically passive voice:  "Hubby is lectured on grammar by Eileen" is passive where "Eileen lectures Hubby on grammar" is active, but it's still a less active way to write.  I'm trying to remember the proper usage of this tense he uses so much.  I believe an action that continues through the scene would be one time to use it, ("Picard walks up to the cabin where Kirk is chopping wood") but I confess I don't know the actual rule.  Any grammar fiends out there care to correct me?

On another note, here's another cute picture of my kiddos.  Yesterday, Zaxxon wanted to wear his brown overalls and a red shirt and wanted Kal'El to wear the same.  So that's how I dressed them.  :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kiddie Crafts - Preparing for Baby

Well, as you might expect, I haven't really done any crafts with Zaxxon since Kal'El's birth.  But I thought I'd get caught up on blogging the ones we did prior to his birth, because it also involves how we prepared for baby.

We started out introducing the letter B, and as he colored in the pictures he wore his blanket as a cape.

We did a few non-baby crafts, including putting googly eyes and fluffy tummies on a bunny and a bear (one of which then got used for the cover of a birthday card for his Ama (my mom.))

Then we did a "Helping Baby" matching activity.  I found clip art for six different babies crying for different reasons (some were a bit of a stretch, but in those cases I simply told him why I thought the baby was crying) and he had to match a way to help the baby to take care of the various needs (a bottle for the hungry baby, a crib for the tired one, etc.)  He did fairly well, without too much prompting.

Then we got to work on a project that I'm still completing (oops.)  I had Zaxxon paint three picture frames, and I'm currently pasting the words "Big Brother," "Little Brother," and "Brothers" on them.  I plan to put a photo of the two of them in each frame.  The "Big Brother" one will go in Zaxxon's room, the "Little Brother" one in Kal'El's room, and the "Brothers" one somewhere in the living room or hallway.  I wanted Zaxxon to get a feeling that he was helping us prepare for the baby too, and have something special to have in each of their rooms that he created.

Lastly, we laced a banner reading "Welcome Baby," but I did it differently this time.  I read an article in Parents about helping boys achieve in school because the recent trend in early academics favors girls.  One fact (other than the fact that I need to find a play-based preschool for my sons) is that boys have higher levels of dopamine in
their brains, which "helps direct both body motion and the flow of information within the brain."  It said that "movement improves boys' working memory...so fidgeting and wiggling around may actually help boys learn."  Then I remembered how Zaxxon had gotten restless during our last few lacing projects, so instead of putting the letters on the table in front of him, I
mixed them up and set them across the room.  Then I told him to run across and bring me the letters I asked for before lacing them.  I led him to the letters he wasn't familiar with by telling him what color they were.  He seemed to really enjoy the project, and although I haven't done any more structured crafts since this one, I intend to find other ways to incorporate movement into more of his projects.

We also read a LOT of books on getting a new baby and becoming a big brother, and I took Zaxxon to the store and had him pick out a gift to give to the baby.  The baby also gave Zaxxon a gift on the day he came home from the hospital.

I'm happy to report that Zaxxon is doing quite well with adjusting to the new one in our lives.  He reached tantrums a little easier the first few weeks, but he's moved away from that already and is very gentle and helpful with the little one.  Whether this was because of all of our planning or just a result of his personality, I can't say, but I'm quite happy about it.

I'm linking this up at Tot School, and hopefully will get into the swing of things to do this regularly again soon.