Friday, December 20, 2013

Alex's Christmas concert

And here's Alex's performance.  What a beautiful job!  Too bad you can't hear it over the cries of my baby who was done by this time in the performance.  :)

Connor's Christmas concert

My handsome little Connor singing "Canadian Jingle Bells"... cut a little short because I forgot to turn the camera on.  Oops!

Kirstin's Christmas Concert

My little girl singing "Mary Had a Baby"  --- she's a little under the weather, so that's probably why she's not smiling!  Pretty adorable, though! :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My review of Windows 8

We replaced our hard drive when it fried,
The programs froze, the tower died,
Prolong its life, we really tried.
A dinosaur, or so they say,
Windows XP will no longer play,
Programs that are designed today.
I remember when DOS gave up the ghost,
Leaving a collection most,
of Cd Roms, completely toast.
We thought this one would last somehow,
Outlook Express, where are you now?
Send emails? I no longer know how.
My folders vanished to the abyss,
Sorting by groups, oh how I miss.
Try Windows Live Mail, it takes the piss!
Now it's apps, and apps, and apps galore,
Need a program? Try the store!
Want the start menu? Ha! It's no more.
At least, I can't find it anywhere,
I've looked.  I think.  It isn't fair.
It makes me want to pull out my hair.
Try Windows 8, said the salesclerk,
A pimpled lad of part-time work,
It's sleek, its quick, it has more perks.
We took it home, we plugged it in,
Updated it so we could begin,
To enjoy the world of applications.
Now, six months in, and I still don't know,
Why Windows 8 makes me feel so slow.
Windows 8 you really blow.
You make no sense, you're hard to use,
It's not fair, we didn't choose,
We just didn't know what we would lose.
I miss you already, dear Windows XP,
Your start menu was good enough for me!
Your newer son will never be,
As good as you, nay, I'll say it, great,
You're defunct and replaced by Windows 8,
An interface I fucking hate!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013



 Just sayin'...

Aah, November... my favourite month of the year.  But also a month when I'd rather be getting ready for Christmas and doing my Christmas cards... because now I'm down to 25 days until the big day and I'm just starting to think about it. So, really, this challenge should occur in January or February when spring still seems so far away and we've grown tired of the shriveled apples that pass as produce in the stores and I have nothing better to do with my post-bedtime quiet hours.

Regardless, this is the fifth time I've attempted write a novel in 30 days and the fifth time I've successfully crossed the 50,000 yard line (without actually finishing the story)!

This one was hard for me to write.  I think because I went back to work and my life is a bit chaotic now.  But the story has been percolating in my head all fall, so I plunged in without an outline or a plan. It's about a couple of kids who get kidnapped.  That's all I'll say. I skipped ahead a bit in the story last night so that I could I could write the conclusion, which I finished this morning while I neglected my children and let the television baby-sit (now if only the television could cook and do laundry), so the novel does have a distinct beginning, a middle, and an end. This one definitely has some gems in it; the stuff I wrote this morning to get to 50K is gold.  I'm very pleased and I typed out almost 4,000 words in no time!  But it also has a lot of crudworthy prose that I'm going to have to sift through as well, as there was more than one night where I fell asleep on the couch, laptop in hand, mid-type.  So, going back through for the re-read should be an adventure.

Maybe after I retire I'll get around to actually publishing something! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Insert clever caption here...

I think the photo speaks for itself...

Crazy Hair Day

An annual tradition at my children's school is "Crazy Hair Day."  This year was actually pretty fun because Kirstin has long hair, so we had something to work with.  She decided she wanted four pony tails and a braid.  She also insisted that I NOT brush her hair that morning.  
 Connor chose to wear a wig that his brother gave him last year.  I made him swear up and down that he wouldn't let any of his classmates try it on.  He promised he wouldn't.  So... let's hope no nasty critters come home on his head in the next few days.

Yesterday, coincidentally, we got the dreaded "One of the student's in your child's class has head lice..." - my deepest public school related fear.  Not necessarily that my kids will catch lice, but that they'll catch it and pass it on to me.  I can pick their scalps if I have to, but how the heck can I do my own... if you've met me you'll know that I have been cursed with insanely thick hair.

So, yeah, I was all like "You can take the wig to school, but don't you dare let anyone touch it..."



And then there is poor Alex.  We wet his hair down, applied liberal amounts of goopy gel, tousled it, scrunched it, shaped it... finished off with mousse... and in the end, he had a lovely bunch of curls.  Just exactly like he does right after coming out of the swimming pool or the rain.  He looked like... well, like Alex!  So I bobby pinned a card to his forehead, at the last minute.  It was lame, but he seemed pleased. 
 Brooklynn didn't want to be left out of the action, she posed for me, too.  Here's baby bed-head.  That's pretty much always what her hair looks like... but don't tell her! :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

My little people

I took this photo last week, on Kirstin's first day of Kindergarten.  Alex is in Grade 4 and Connor is in Grade 1.  I go back to work in three weeks. Time is flying --- it's cliche, but it's so true!

 I have been very blessed to be able to take a year off to spend with Brooklynn.  I'm ready to return to work, but I'm going to miss being with her 24/7.  I'm pretty sure she's going to miss me, too.  The first few weeks are the hardest on both of us and I'm dreading the transition.

Anyway, I don't have anything clever to say about this photo, I just love it so much I wanted to share.  My last few posts have been pretty "baby-heavy" so I wanted to remind myself that I do have 3 other children that also are achieving milestones.  I am very proud of all of them and everything that they can do, even if I don't catch it all on film!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dancing Queens! :)

My two beautiful daughters playing together tonight.  I love how babies (at least all mine, anyway) just instinctively dance when they hear music. I don't do that, just drop everything and dance, and you probably don't either! We should.  Maybe it would keep us young!

We caught my parents dancing in my kitchen last week because a good song came on the stereo.  They do that a lot.  It's charming!  (And how cool that my kitchen is so spacious I have a dance floor!)  They haven't lost that instinct, which is probably why they're still together after all these years.  Maybe I still have it too, buried somewhere deep down, lying self-conscious under all those negative voices that keep saying, "You can't dance, so don't try".  I'll have to test that theory... take a break, crank the tunes, grab someone's sticky little hand and see where it takes us!  Before my kids stop dancing, too.

Anyway, enjoy!  If you want more, there are 3 more videos just like this!  Just ask, and I'd gladly bore you with more!  :)

Dance party at our house...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baby Yoga



The Cobra


Swimmer's Pose


Plank


Downward Facing Cat

Monday, June 3, 2013

Under the Sea


Kirstin's Dance Recital - Part 2!

"We get to keep theses wands, Mama!!!"



 Kirstin's Dance Recital, May 30th, 2013 - Part 1

Sunday, June 2, 2013

From sawmills to incest...

When you tune out the radio and tune in to your children, the drive to an out-of-town soccer tournament can actually be quite interesting...  

You know those puzzles that say "change one letter at a time to go from shrimp to pooper in five moves" --- I dare you to solve that, by the way, it just came from the top of my head. 
,.
Well, here's our version"

Go from sawmill to incest in five minutes.

Give up?  It's really quite easy.

Alex - Mama, what's that building?

Me  (shutting of the music so I can hear) - Oh, that's Plateau, a sawmill.

Alex - Like where Grandpa worked?

Me - Yes, exactly.  My Dad worked at a sawmill.

Kirstin - Where did Daddy's Dad work?

Me -  He was a teacher.  (And anticipating the next two questions...).  Daddy's Mom was a teacher, too.  My Mom used to be a teacher but she quit to stay home and take care of her children.

Kirstin - Were you the only one she took care of?

Me - No, I have two brothers, remember?

Kirstin - Oh yeah, Uncle Eric and Uncle Vince.

Me - No, Uncle Eric and Uncle Nathan.  Uncle Vince is actually my brother in law.

Kirstin - What's a brother in law?

Me - Well, that means that he is Uncle Eric's boyfriend.  They live together.  Like Aunty Janis is our sister in law because she married Uncle Matt.

Kirstin - Oh.  Are Uncle Eric and Uncle Vince married.

Me - No, but they want to spend the rest of their lives together. It's like they're married. 

Kirstin - Mostly girls have boyfriends, right?

Me - Most of the time, but sometimes boys can have boyfriends.

Alex - And girls can have girlfriends, right?

Me - Yup!

Kirstin - Can I marry my brothers?

Me - No.  No, you cannot marry your brothers.

Kirstin - Why not?

Me - Umm... well, you just can't.

Alex - Is it illegal?

Me - Yes, it's definitely illegal.  People in the same family cannot marry each other.

Kirstin - Why not?

Me - Umm, well, I guess it's because if you have children they'd have birth defects.

Alex - Because the mom and the dad are the same?  (Smart kid)

Me - Yes.

Kirstin - What's a birth defect?

Me - They'd be unhealthy, I suppose.

Kirstin - Oh... why?

Me - I have no idea! Besides, you don't know how to play banjo.

Kirstin - Oh, okay.

And that's how we ended up talking about incest on our way to soccer.  I have learned that sometimes, it's okay to say "I don't know" to your children.  Other times it's okay to run with it and see where it leads.

I love my inquisitive kids.  They're going to go places, I tell you... as long as I don't have to walk more than one of them down the aisle at the same time...


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another gem worth documenting....

Yep... someday I've got to write that book about my kids and their quirks!  Because they are a constant source of amusement for me.  And long after they've moved on, I want to remember the funny little things they said, once upon a time when they were my babies!

This evening I'm trying to settle Brooklynn down to nurse and then to sleep.  But everyone is still buzzing with post-dinner energy bursts, so I tell my older three to run off and play somewhere else until I've put Brooklynn to bed.  They continue to hover noisily.  Suddenly Alex covers his eyes and starts counting loudly to ten. Kirstin and Connor bolt in different directions, in search of the perfect hiding spots.  The house is quiet.

"Thank you, Alex," I say, smiling.

"What?" He says with mock innonence.  "I'm not playing!" And he settles himself on the couch beside me.

A Modest Proposal...

Connor and Alex went on a field trip to the local RCMP station last week. Connor got arrested (voluntarily) and was locked in a cell for a couple of minutes, which he thought was just great!  Which inspired some interesting dinner conversation. For instance, I did not know that our cells here in town don't have bars, but sliding plexiglass doors.  They also have "only a toilet!!!"  And apparently the prisoners eat turkey dinner once a week.

Really? Not too sure about the validity of that one...

But, as the boys were relaying their adventurous school day to myself and their younger sisters, my daughter said that funniest thing.  Well, maybe not the funniest... but the funniest that day, for sure.

       Kirstin: Why do they put bad guys in jail?

       Me:  Well, they have to put them somewhere.  Where else would you put them?

       Kirstin (with a completely serious, thoughtful look on her face):  How about in volcanoes?

Oh my, I think that my daughter just might have the answer to our failing economy.  Close the prisons and throw all the criminals into volcanoes.  That's going to save us tax payers a bundle!!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Big Families...



I don't know... I never really considered us a "big family."  Extended-wise, yes.  Nuclear... not so much.  I have four children.  Thirty years ago, that was pretty normal.  Now... people think we're nuts!  The perfect family, in this day and age, seems to be one boy, one girl.  If you are lucky enough to get both on the first two tries, then anything additional is just masochistic.  Or so it seems.

Anyway, because I love sharing photos... here are my four babies this month.  And yes, I do have a husband.  He doesn't often factor in my photos. But he will.  It's coming.  We're getting a family photo done this year, whether Cory wants to or not!  My Christmas card will have my husband in it, too... promise!  :)  

But I digress...




True story:

My boys stay up too late.

Way too late!

They go to bed around 8:30, a socially acceptable bedtime for children who have school the next day.  But I'll admit, even that's pretty loose... sometimes I don't even get dinner on the table until then.  And then I spend the next two hours going back and forth from the living room to their bedroom telling them to stop talking and go to sleep - because for some reason, when the lights go out, suddenly the boys become the best of buds!  Meaning that our mornings are epic grumpfests.  Yet, they keep on talking and talking into the wee hours of the night.  Making it very difficult for Cory and I to have any kind of adult time together...  you know, to watch HBO without being overheard!

Last night, around 10pm - way too late for other people's normal children with normal bedtimes, I went in to the boys' bedroom to tell them to stop talking and GO TO SLEEP.  In the dark, lit only by the hallway light, Connor was up on the top bunk lying next to Alex, reading to Alex from a Garfield comic book.  Alex was helping him sound out the hard words.  You could see how proud Connor was of his ability to read and how happy he was that Alex was "teaching" him how, and how excited Alex was that his brother was actually reading to him.

My heart overflowing with mushy, maternal pride, I turned the lights on and  and them stay up for another 15 minutes.

How could I not?

And that, dear readers, is why when people ask me, "Four kids, you do know how that happens, don't you?" I say, "Yes, we do, we have the perfect family, two brothers, two sisters.  Couldn't have planned it better if we tried!"

I'm very happy that our children have siblings!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Giggling at her Big Sister

A Bouncing Baby Girl

For our relatives that are abroad...  your baby fix!  Enjoy!  Kirstin is the one beside me who always manages to get Brooklynn giggling.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seventy-five and counting...

A few weeks ago, twelve to be exact, Cory and I started a weight loss challenge through HealthyWage.com.  
We were excited by the fact that the grand prize in the team event was 10,000 dollars!  Our share of the grand prize would go a long way to helping us realize our dream of seeing Newfoundland next summer. I shamelessly plugged it on Facebook, begging for votes.  Well, it was kind of a bust.  We didn't win any of the mini-challenges and by now, at the tail end of it, Cory and I are the only ones still left updating our weight loss weekly.  But, that's okay, because 7-eleven paid the cost of our registration, so we aren't out of pocket any cash.



Anyway, long story short... we won't be winning any prizes in this contest because our team average isn't all that impressive.  We just don't have the numbers to pull it off.  The top team, right now, is reporting a loss of 214 pounds... which if you do the math is 42.8 pounds per person.  Whoah...

But, we don't suck too badly, either. Our team is currently ranking 53 of 219 teams.  Once all the teams are verified, we'll know for sure.  But... yeah... I can safely say, we didn't win.

Still, Cory and I feel like winners, regardless of whether or not we actually won.  See, even before the flyer announcing the contest went up at Cory's work, we had already started working on losing the weight that we have acquired in our almost 15 years of marriage.  On January 2nd, we started following Weight Watchers (the day after Connor's birthday, who starts a diet on a cake day, anyway?)   I'm pretty impressed and want to shoutout that he has lost a total of 50 pounds already.  I have lost 25 pounds. So, in four short months we've lost the equivalent of our middle children, Connor and Kirstin!

This "diet" is working for us and we're pretty committed to our point counting obsession.  Probably because it isn't a diet.  At least, not in the sense that we're starving all the time because we're living on lettuce and grapefruit.  It's a lifestyle.  We still eat food we like, we just control how much of it we eat.  And we fill up on free foods. Fruits and vegetables in unlimited abundance. Turns out, I actually love spinach! I've had it three days in a row! :)

We still have a long way to go.  I have 27 more pounds before the snotty little Wii Fit scale tells me I'm at a "Healthy Weight" --- but I have to say, it's looking quite manageable at this point.  In fact, 8 pounds from now I will be at my wedding dress weight... so I might just have to pull it out and try it on for our 15th anniversary in July.  Cory still has significantly more to lose, but that's okay, because he's doing it!

Just thought I'd take the time to brag a little.

I'm proud of you, Cory... keep it up!




Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April is done... and so am I!

April has come to a close... with a new layer of snow on the ground again.  Sigh. 

If you've been following me this month, which I'm sure you have because you're reading this right now, then you'll know that I signed on to write a poem a day for the entire month.  And today's poem, poem number 30 (actually 32 because I threw in two bonus poems) is for you!  Enjoy!

But I also signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo - a scaled down version of my beloved November National Novel Writing Month.  It was a set your own goal kind of a challenge, so I kept my sights small.  I set a goal of 500 words a day.  And I met that challenge, too!  I added almost 20K to my novel.

Which leads me to my biggest brag.... I started the novel in 2007 when I was on maternity leave with Connor.  I added bits here and there over the past five years, sometimes in spurts, sometimes in dribbles.  (Hmm... spurts and dribbles is a good way to describe this stage in my life, with four children life is anything but dry... but I digress).  Anyway, when April challenged me to sign up for this Camp NaNoWriMo, I decided that my goal would be to revise and finish my novel.  And guess what?  Last night I typed "The End".

I finished it!  I finished my novel!  Holy crap!  I never finish anything, I just flit from one hobby to the next until I get restless and start something new (I think I might have written a poem about that).   But this one, despite having taken me five years, I actually saw through to "The End!" And I don't think it sucks!  It took me all month but I revised, tweaked, and completed chapters and filled in most of the missing plot holes.  It's big... over 100,000 words and over 400 pages long.

Next step, share with a few people, get feedback on plot holes, dropped plot lines, confusing bits.... and then revise.  Phew, I'm tired just thinking about it!  :)

Anyway, I'm blathering on.  Here's the poem.  Enjoy!  I'm shutting off the computer for the rest of the day and taking a break from writing.

Time to dust off my scrapbook table and switch modes for a while! :)

Laura 




# 30 – To My Handful of Blog Followers


The challenge to write thirty poems,
Seemed like an arbitrary one,
But I learned a lot of new techniques,
In this poetry 101!

I tried my hand at sonnets,
Free-verse, tankas, and pantoums,
I threw in a couple ballads,
But skipped those pesky short haikus.


Turns out I like my poems to rhyme,
I like consistent metre too,
Some took me quite a bit of time,
Others, I whipped off in a few,


Minutes, that is. While my baby naps,
Or after she's in bed at night,
Or while I'm feeding her; turns out
There's lots of stolen time to write.


Some poems were silly, some were sweet,
Some just bad, I'm sure that you agree,
But I hope that I amused you,
While I blogged my poetry,


National Poetry Writing Month,
A challenge to write creatively,
No prize except the awakening,
Of a long dormant part of me!


If you liked reading all my poems,
Then please check in again back here,
I might post a few more, once in a while,
And I'm signing up again next year!


  • Laura Freeman -
    April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

#29 - April Showers Bring May Flowers (A Pantoun)


April, as a month, is dreary,
The earth is dank and spoiled,
The sky opaque, the air is bleary,
The snow, too slow, recoiled.

The earth is dank and spoiled,
Green growth yet to appear,
The snow, too slow, recoiled,
An undecided time of year.

Green growth yet to appear,
Trees still proudly bare,
An undecided time of year,
A chill pervades the air.

Trees still proudly bear
Leaves, grow lush and bright,
A warmth pervades the air,
The sun shares its precious light.

Leaves grow lush and bright,
Grass sprouts green and nourishes,
The sun shares its welcome light,
Life abounds and flourishes.

May as a month is sweet.
 
- Laura Freeman -
April 29th, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

#28 - Happy Birthday!

Okay, I'm running out of ideas and I have a cold, so forgive this sap.  The technique I employed to today is called "enjambment."

"The word Enjambment comes from the French word for "to straddle". Enjambment
is the continuation of a sentence from one line or couplet into the next. "


It's the twenty-eighth of April and I know

that on this day, thirty-seven years ago,

a couple had cause to celebrate

the birth of someone great.

First the babe became a daughter then

she next became a sister when,

Tegan was born. Through the years, a Guide,

a scholar, a friend, and a bride.

She's a mother of two. And the list

goes on; Shes's an environmentalist,

a writer, a teacher, a gamer, a leader,

even a backyard chicken breeder.

I hope that on this birthday, my old friend

knows what she means to all she's met. In the end,

what matters most is that one always gains,

by having known the likes of April Raines.



  • Laura Freeman -
    April 28th, 2013


Saturday, April 27, 2013

#27 - An Abecedarian Mess

Ample toys my children own,
Because we're idiots,
Cluttering up every surface,
Damn, what rhymes with idiots?

Everything is all about,
Fu...dge, there's dishes in the sink!
Garbage needs to be taken out,
Heaping piles are starting to stink!

In crevices or under beds,
Just get it out of sight,
Keep it or throw it out,
Let's start the weekly fight.

Messy messes, everywhere
Nary a tidy spot, I'm reeling...
Oh wait, that's not entirely true
Please stop to admire the ceiling!

Quickly pick up all this crap,
Really need to wash the floor,
Shove the laundry in the hall,
Toss the rest behind the door.

Unless we go on one of those home makeover shows,
Verily, this is how every Saturday goes.

We're raising little hoarders,
X'actly like us, hanging on to shit,
Yes, we can't keep our house in order...
Zoos would even have a fit!
 
            - Laura Freeman -
               April 27, 2013
 
**Yesterday's poem, by the way, was an Erasure of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven"**
 

Friday, April 26, 2013

#26 - Erased

Enough cutesy rhyming... here's my WTF poem.  You know how some people write these free verse poems that sound all depressing and you think, WTF, anyone could write that.  A thesaurus could puke that up!  Well... here's mine.  Strangely, it has taken just as long to write as the ones I take care to plan, so I guess it's not as easy as it looks.  And no, I'm not feeling suicidal.  This is a poem taken from a very famous poem.

See if you can figure out what poem it is. The explanation of the prompt style of poetry is below the poem. 

Once I, weary, and curious
nodded
as I muttered nothing.

Distinctly I remember
Dying upon the morrow
vainly;
lost, rare, and radiant.
The angels nameless,
sad,
uncertain.

Filled with terrors
before the beating of my heart
entreating late
entreating nothing.

Presently my soul no longer,
said truly forgive
the fact I gently
And so faintly
scarce heard.
Darkness.
Deep into that darkness
fearing,
doubting,
mortal before.

The silence broken,
darkness whispered;
Whispered an echo,
nothing.

My soul burning,
louder than before,
then nothing.

Here in saintly obeisance
above nothing more.

Then sad smiling,
grave and stern countenance,
Ghastly, grim and ancient.

Tell me much,
I marvelled plainly,
its answer meaning little.
Living was blessed.
Lonely soul,
nothing further uttered
scarce.
Leave me my hopes then!
Stillness broken,
caught from some unmerciful disaster;
One burden,
melancholy burden,
my sad soul cushioned
then sinking.
Ominous.
Grim.
Ghastly.
Ominous.
No expressing the fiery burn in my core.

Divining ease that gloated,
gloating.

Unseen by God,
these angels sent memories;
Forget evil,
or devil sent desolate horror;
Haunt this soul with sorrow.
 
Rare, parting,
a black soul.
 
Loneliness broken,
pallid dreaming.
 
My soul floating
Shall be lifted !
- Laura Freeman-
April 26, 2013

From today's NaPoWriMo prompt:

"Back in 1977, the poet Ronald Johnson first published RADI OS, an “erasure” of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Basically, Johnson took a copy of Milton’s long poem, and systematically erased whole words and even lines, while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words. You can see a brief excerpt here.
Today, I challenge you to perform an erasure of your own. You don’t need to start with a poem as long as Paradise Lost, of course, but a tolerably long poem is usually needed to furnish enough material so that the final product isn’t just a few words long (though erasure haiku might be a fun new subgenre). A few long poems that might respond well to erasure could be Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, or Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott. Go ahead and copy and paste the text into a document, and then start whiting-out words. Or make a photocopy of a long poem you like, and mark over words on the copy. You can form a whole new poem just by taking words away! Once you’re done, you can leave the spaces as they are (I rather like the “ghosted” look of all that empty space), or take the left-over words and keep playing with them, reforming new poems from them. Happy writing!"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

#25 - The Morning Routine

"And now, our (optional) prompt. I already asked you to write a sea chanty. Today, let’s try another musical form — the ballad. Traditionally, ballads were rhymed poems that told a story of some kind, and were often set to music. They were sometimes set in four-line verses, with an ABAB rhyme pattern, employing alternating 8 and 6 syllable, iambic lines. This 8/6 iambic pattern is sometimes referred to as ballad meter. The use of this type of pattern was not universal, however, and old ballads often involve different syllable counts, as well as refrains that break up the verses. "

She gets up at the crack of dawn,
At least it feels that way,
Nurses the voracious one,
Begging sleep come her way.

Nay, babe's up, and ready to play,
It's time to start the day!

She slips out of bed, babe in arms,
No one else woken up,
Change a diaper, enjoy babe's charms,
Belch! She's covered with spit up.

Aye, she's dripping in milky spray,
It's time to start the day!

The six year old pads out, blinking,
Can I play before school?”
Maybe. It's early, she's thinking,
So she breaks their usual rule.
 
 
Aye, computer on, she let's him play,
It's time to start the day!
 
She smells like barf, a quick shower,
She hands the babe to Dad,
In and out, shined and scoured,
But her son's day has just turned bad.

Nay, computer froze, it won't play,
It's time to start the day!

He bursts in to deafening wails,
You said my turn to take!”
His bonus computer time fails,
Now everyone's awake!

Aye, thanks to Connor's obnoxious bray,
It's time start our day.
 
Don't comb through my hair!” Screeches one,
I hate jeans,” says another,
Where's my socks?” Look for them,
What am I, your mother?

Everyone's finally dressed, Oy Vey!
Time to start the day.

The babe is crying “pick me up!”
As toast goes on the plate,
Put toys down Connor, do eat up!
We're going to be late!
 
 
Aargh, we're not going to make it today,
Time to start the day!

Babe on hip, needing love from someone,
She struggles with one hand,
To quickly get school lunches done,
If you made them at night, it'd be grand (dumbass!)

Well, I guess we'll go with PB and J...
It's time to start the day.

Your nose is bleeding, go wipe it now,
No, no, not with your shirt!
You still need to wipe it, do you not know how?
Here, I'll do it. “Ow, that hurts!

Ugh... filthy, slimey little vertebrae...
Time to start the day.

Hurry up and finish eating,
We're running low on time,
Put the toys away, she's pleading,
As baby screams in her ear  
(I know, that doesn't rhyme!)
  
(Insert a lapse into free-verse here)
  
Connor, time to go and brush your teeth,
Where's my toothbrush? 
On the counter.
Where on the counter.
Right in front of your nose. You know, the one that's still bleeding.
Put that toy down, brush your teeth...
BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
If you don't brush your teeth I'm going to brush them for you!
Okay!

 
And here comes tantrum number four,
She's made everyone's day. Great!
The eight year old falls to the floor,
Mad that he's going to be late.
 
 
Oh c'mon, why are you crying now?
Time to start the freakin' day!


Okay, boots and jackets.
Connor, put your coat on.
Where's my coat.
Where did you leave it last night?
The closet.
Check the closet.
I don't see it. Where's my coat.
In the closet.
Where.
RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR NOSE!
 
 
(The one that is still bleeding!)
 
 
Oh. There it is.
 
 
They arrive at school, the bell has rung,
They're just a wee bit late,
You'll still be on time if you run!
So Connor walks at a snail's gait.

 
Now everyone's crabby  and grey,
Way to start their day!
 
 
Today was not atypical,
Although this morning sucked,
Can't get to school before the bell,
When I go back to work I'm....
... in big trouble!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#24 - A Bug Sonnet

Today I sat and watched some children play,
Wood chips became rafts, sailing run-off streams,
Dammed up to divert water's preferred way,
They conquered nature with their playful schemes.
I see a lone bug and it fascinates,
It floats in the stream, aware of its plight,
And catches their eye; Their game terminates,
Now they wager on its survival fight.
The dam looming up so perilously,
The bug flutters helplessly upside down,
Ripples spread as he flaps vigorously,
Swirling ever nearer the makeshift ground.
The children watch and wait with baited breath,
He hits the dam, he rights, and conquers death.

- Laura Freeman -
April 24th, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Novel Update

One of the skills that I have really managed to hone, is my ability to procrastinate.  I'm a pro!  That's probably why I've been so good at posting these poems every day.  I set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, "Undesirable" by the end of April.  Then I gleefully took on NaPoWriMo, too.  So... I thought it would be prudent of me to update you on the progress of the other half of my April creative writing challenge.

Undesirable (the working title, I'm not in love with it yet) sits at 424 pages long without removing all the stuff I intend to once I realize my word count goal.  I am in the 3rd of 4 sections and have been revising diligently every night this month except for last night (one of my children needed me so I was forced to shut the computer off well before my usual midnight deadline).  I have added 12,000 new words so far (my Nanowrimo goal is 15K) and I have slashed at least that amount. 

All that's left now is to fill in the scenes that I glossed over in November.  And boy are they doozies!  Having finished all the backstory, setting, character development, etc... what I have let to write is the conflict.  Which, it turns out, I'm not very good at writing.  I cannot envision scenes of torture or death or mayhem... so I'm struggling with describing them.

So... in an effort to better my writing (and avoid the inevitable), I think I'm going to have to watch an episode of Game of Thrones tonight! ;)

Enjoy today's poem, I'm pretty pleased with it.

#23 - The Ballad of the Unfinished Novelist
 
 
It started so small, just five years ago,
And idea that spread like a weed,
Or like a young seedling,
It started to grow,
Writing filled in her, some unanswered need.
 
 
She wrote it in spurts, over the years,
Mid-life crisis, perhaps? Perhaps not?
In spare moments,
With blood, sweat and tears,
All that's left, one tiny bit of the plot...
 
 
How does one kill off a character,
Who's a fine make-believe friend?
How does one kill off a character,
The only thing in the way of “The End.”
 
 
It's finally done, at least the majority,
Long in planning and longer to pen,
Babies were birthed,
Her job a priority,
The book completely ignored, months on end.
 
 
The problem now is she's become attached,
To every flawed character,
And she's avoiding the plan,
The one she once hatched,
That would wrap up the story for her.
 
 
How does one kill off a character,
Who's a fine make-believe friend?
How does one kill off a character,
The only thing in the way of “The End.”
 
 
She likes to write scenes that are fluff,
The happy, the funny, romantic,
But she also avoids,
Puts off everything tough,
Conflict, apparently, not her best schtick,
 
 
JK Rowling can kill, she killed off a Weasley,
And that other “Martin” author can, too,
Old Yeller, Charlotte,
They make it look easy,
For other writers, the death tolls accrue.
 
How does one kill off a character,
Who's a fine make-believe friend?
How does one kill off a character,
The only thing in the way of “The End.”
 
No one wants to read claptrap anymore,
Where the prince, at the last moment, rides in,
And swoops in to save,
From certain horror,
Unless you're a fan of the ol' Harlequin.
 
So sometime this week, she'll just have to do it,
Bite the proverbial bullet and then,
Sit down and flesh out,
All the conflict unwrit,
And finally tie up all the loose ends.
 
How does one kill off a character,
Who's a fine make-believe friend?
Just do it, you sap, it'll suck of you don't,
It's the only thing left 'fore “The End.”
 
- Laura Freeman -
April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

#22 On Earth Day


Nature, in all her glorious beauty,
Innocent, believes her faith to be true,
She chooses them to take on the duty,
To care for her world as she needs them to.
A work of art, of pristine wilderness,
Rich with life, and her bounty resplendent,
They receive the gift of her blank canvas,
Then consume her stores, over dependent.

 They grow stronger with Nature's nourishment,
Taking power, which turns to resource greed,
Spreading out; A plague of development,
Turn their backs from her in her time of need.

Death and decay in technology's wake,
Hungry, they consume every living space,
Nature, too late, comprehends her mistake,
In trusting her care to the human race.

Laura Freeman
April 22, 2013