Living With a 2.25 Year Old Ladybug

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I've come to the realization over the past few months that living with a two year old is nothing less than adventure.  We have our good days, our bad days, our very bad days, and our awesome days.  Unless she's teething or has a cold, we vary between good and awesome.  Then, well its the other way around.  Thankfully we have one out of four of her two-year molars, so teething should be a thing of the past soon.

Since she has turned two, she has become a fan of movies.  We watched a lot more tv than I'm proud of over the long, awful winter.  Her favorite movies are Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and Despicable Me 1 and 2.  I know I seem to have been eating my words when it comes to Disney Princesses.  Well, you do that a lot as a parent.  That said, we're still not raising Ladybug to be a princess, nor are they allowed to be her soul focus in life.

She is a picky eater.  That said, she does eat.  Our biggest problem is that she doesn't like to eat when she's nervous.  When she goes to her grandparents' house she's been known to go on full hunger-strike.  That in itself, is one of the main reasons we have decided put off our week-long vacation alone to Canada until she is older.  We're okay with this too.  Sometimes you have to do what is best for you and your kids rather than do the more selfish thing.  No one would have fun then, so we're waiting.

She still loves music.  She loves to sing and has started making up her own songs.  They often go something along the line of "My baby!  My baby!"  She especially loves power ballads and songs from her movies.  When she's singing "Let It Go" or "A Part of Your World," she has to act out the songs just like Elsa and Ariel.  Actually, she likes to act out the entire movies while she watches them.  It's fun to watch with her, because she can do this word for word and action for action.

 She can be a very handy, helpful little person. She loves to help. Just yesterday I needed to find my keys. I looked all over the house and couldn't find them. I asked Ladybug to find them. It took her fifteen seconds. I'm not kidding. She's very helpful in brining phones and remotes.

Yeah, she has the best memory imaginable.  She gets it from me.  No, seriously.  All my childhood, my parents would ask me when important things happened for taxed and other things like that.  I had once dubbed myself "The Remember Girl."  Ladybug has usurped my title.  Okay, maybe she inherited it.  It's not like she killed me to get it.  As to her memory, if you go to Sonic, you better be prepared to give her a peppermint.  She won't forget.

She can be a very handy, helpful little person.  She loves to help.  Just yesterday I needed to find my keys.  I looked all over the house and couldn't find them.  I asked Ladybug to find them.  It took her fifteen seconds.  I'm not kidding.  She's very helpful in bringing phones and remotes.  She recognizes words, and sometimes I'm fairly certain she can read some words.

She has recently started the "Why" phase.  Actually. it's the "What's that?" phase also.  She's always asking one or the other.  If she doesn't like my answer to "what's that?" she'll correct me.  I'm trying not to discourage this, because I always want her to ask me questions, and I always want to answer to the best of my abilities as honestly as possible.

The best part of this age has to be the funny things that she says.  First of all, she has a habit of transposing consonants in words.  Like cupcakes are "puccakes."  Crayons are "cayrons."  She says her name, but leaves off the "L."  One of my favorite things that she says is "Lookie that!"  It's not "lookie there" or "look at that!"  She still says fork without much of an "r" in it, but most of the time she calls them "dinglehoppers" after watching The Little Mermaid.  I'll take "dinglehopper" over the alternative.

There are some days I want to pull out my hair.  Most of them, I'm just impressed with the awesome little girl God has blessed us with.

Adrienne's Thoughts On Fan Fiction

Friday, May 9, 2014

Have you missed me lately?  All is well in Adrienne-land.  I've been rather preoccupied of late writing fiction rather than blog posts.  It's been a nice change of pace.  I love blogging, but sometimes it's nice to escape to somewhere else, you know?  I mean really, how many blog posts can we all post about being better anything all the time?  How many times can I read how to do this or that better in in blogging, mothering, being a wife, or being a person in general without it all becoming monotonous and somewhat tedious.

I've thought about stopping blogging all together lately, but have chosen not to.  I have stepped back a great deal, as have I stepped away from a lot of social media.  It's been a nice break to focus on some other things that I haven't done in a long while.

I am still recharging my writing batteries, so to speak, but I am loving getting lost in a story of my own creation, getting lost in the characters, and having other people waiting to see how everything unfolds.  Personally, I'm enjoying seeing how everything unfolds, because every writer knows that a good story often starts writing itself, taking it to places you never initially dreamed.

So, what have I been writing?  Fan fiction.  Truthfully Frozen fan fiction.  You can only watch the movie a few thousand times before you want to start peeling away at the onion that is Elsa's personality.  I used to be somewhat ashamed that I wrote fan fiction, but not anymore.  I love it, well a great deal of it.  You have to find the diamonds in all the coal though, to really enjoy it.  The thing is, if you've ever loved a book, a movie, or a television series so much that you didm't want it to end, fan fiction is a way to go beyond.

In my opinion, the best written fan fictions are those based on books.  That is because you have to actually know how to read and possibly form sentences in order know your stories and characters.  I met two of my favorite people in the world, Cathy and Louise, through our shared loved of fan fiction based on the Anne of Green Gables series.  Seriously, these ladies know their stuff.  You should read it.  I've linked to their writings on their names.  I'll even link to my writings based on the world of Anne.

Anyway, as said, the best ones are based on books.  You'll know immediately if someone hasn't read the books of something and instead has based a fiction on the movie version.  You'll immediately get angry if you know your fandom.  The worst ones are song fics, the ones based on a song.  For heaven's sake, those are just awful.   Also remarkably horrible are those that are not aligned properly. There are very good fan fictions out there though.  Several have gone on to be published and become popular in their own right.  Masterpiece is going to air Death Comes To Pemberley, and that is fan fiction.  Actually so is Bridget Jones' Diary, Clueless, and a slew of other books and movies.  Heck, Once Upon a Time on ABC is basically crossover fan fiction of every Disney cartoon we've ever loved.  By the way, I'm a fan of that too.

Fan fiction is a wonderful, creative outlet.  The things you love provide inspiration for the things you write.  You get better at creating OC's (original characters), researching time periods and history, and setting up stories in general.  They're wonderful practice for writing your own original works.  It's also a place where you learn how little many people don't know these days.  Last night someone PM'd me asking what consumption was and if it was a real thing.  I wanted to put my head in an oven.

Maybe, by the time Ladybug is in school, I'll have honed my skills enough to finally pound out the stories of some characters that have been with me since high school.  They're very interesting people and have grown with me through the years.  I want to do them justice and have the time to write about them properly though.  I've learned that's not possible right now, and hasn't been for a while.   I'm what I like to refer to as a "Method Writer."  I have to crawl into the skin of my characters, feel what they're feeling, say what they need to say to properly write.  I have to do that when I'm alone, because it wouldn't do to let everybody see the crazy.

To 17-Year-Old Me

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I had a wonderful, insightful piece originally written, but it was quickly destroyed within seconds by an accidental cut and paste and Blogger's often handy but sometimes harmful autosave features.  Nonetheless I hope to bring back at least part of the spirit of the original.

Today I am thirty-four years old.  For a while I thought that I was going to be thirty-five, because around November I usually start considering myself the age I am going to be rather than the age that I am.  That gets very confusing when my actual birthday rolls around.  Once I realized that I am actually still just thirty-four it occurred to me that I am now twice the age I was that I once considered the happiest time of my life.

I loved being seventeen.  It's one of those ages you either love or hate, and I will always be thankful for that wonderful time in the latter years of my high school career.  A great deal of who I am was forged then and refined in the fires of early adulthood.  Still, I often wonder what life would have been like if the me of today could write a letter to the me of then.  It would go something like this:

Dear Adrienne,
So, you are seventeen years old.  You have the world ahead of you, and you know it.  You have a lot of the answers to life, but you're going to be amazed at what you don't know.  In fact, one of the most important lessons you'll learn in college is just how much you don't know.  That's okay though.  You're not supposed to know everything.  There are things that can only be learned through experience, and usually those are the most important lessons in life. There's only so much one can learn where you are now. Here's a list of some of those things:

  • Enjoy this time.  There will never be another like it.  You have so much freedom now that you'll never again know.  Appreciate the days when the biggest thing on your mind is what you're going to do next with your friends.  Soon enough the worries of the world will start to weigh on your shoulders.  Appreciate the freedom of just being able to get in your purple car and enjoy being young with your friends.
  • Love your friends.  You have an amazing group of friends.  Right now you can't imagine life without them, but it won't be long before you're all scattered about, living your own lives.  You'll keep in touch, but those weekends of endless girls' nights, summer nights at the drive-in, or just hanging out have an expiration date.
  • Scavenger hunts that require you to find deer poop at the deer pens aren't a good idea.
  • Know right here and now that the guy you just know is the one, isn't.  You two never get together.  You remain friends, but that is all.  Both of you end up in very happy marriages.  You will get married and have a family.  None of it will come easily.  You'll meet your husband in the most unexpected place, and quite honestly it won't happen until you've spent a great deal of time learning exactly what it is to be lonely.
  • Hug your Granny as often as possible.  Your going to spend most of your adulthood missing her and also the special times with your family at her house.
  • Don't let Melissa fix you up with a guy from college.  You two aren't a great fit.  It doesn't matter if you're both funny.  You'll find him annoying, full of himself, and in the end he's going to end up being a Democratic politician.  That's just about the worst thing imaginable.  Also, it's just not cool to be taken to Burger King for your first date, then end up having to pay.  You can and will do better, Adrienne!
  • Enjoy waiting on the trains to get from one side of town to the next.  It's just preparation for waiting in honest to goodness traffic.  You'll actually miss is some day.
  • Keep reading books and keep writing.  It's a part of you.  It doesn't matter what you're reading, or what you're writing, just never let that part of you die.
  • Enjoy your remaining time in that little town you call home.  You may visit it occasionally, but you'll never really be able to go back there again.  Things will both change and remain achingly the same when all the rest of the world has changed.  Even the Rooster Tree will eventually disappear.
  • Give your Junior Prom date a huge hug.  He won't see the age of thirty.
  • Don't listen to idle gossip, and especially don't repeat it.  The only thing it accomplishes is to leave a path of hurt in its wake.  Seriously, just because someone says something doesn't make it true or right for you to repeat it.
  • Remember that comparison is the thief of joy.  If you spend your time comparing your life to others, you'll never be happy.  Appreciate the blessing God has given you.
  • Remember that you are surrounded by so many good, godly women.  They will continue to be an influence in your life long after they're no longer a regular part of your life and even after some are gone.
  • Behind every smile is another person's hurt, pain, and whatever battles they are going through.  Think of that before you pass judgement.
  • There is being witty, and there is being mean and hurtful.  Be one and not the other.
  • Don't let Stephanie talk you into returning her homecoming dress to Dillard's for her.  It's just not a good idea at all.
  • This is going to sound horrible, but trust me.  Don't listen to your mother... just don't.  
  • Don't let anyone diminish who you are in order to make themselves feel better.  Don't let them tell you hurtful things in order to get their way with guilt.  People who love you shouldn't do that.
  • Life isn't going to go exactly the way you planned.  The thing is, the journey is amazing and a blessing.  Even during the most difficult of times, God has plans for your life and is right there with you.  He's teaching you with every step forward and every mistake.  Know that.  Know that it's all about the journey, and appreciate each and every day for the blessing that it is.

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