Watching Like a Writer

When I first started to try to buckle down to make writing a Real Thing I Do, I bought a bunch of books about writing. Some of them were good, some were kind of silly. Many of them recommended that I read books in my genre with an analytical eye, and even try to break them down for myself into the standard parts of a plot, so I could see how others did it. This was a recommendation that invariably annoyed me, because I was a reader long before I was a writer (elementary school book-writing efforts notwithstanding), and as a reader, I can’t do anything but lose myself in a book. Like, really lose myself. I can’t read when my children are around, because they could set themselves on fire and I might not notice. I’m a deep reader, is what I’m saying. So I’ve always found it impossible to draw back from the consumption of the book as a reader to try to analyze it as a writer, which has made my attempt to learn how to write better occasionally frustrating.

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A Day In The Life: 2 Years

It’s been a while since I wrote up one of these, and we’re settled into a schedule that we’ll be keeping until probably September or so, at least, so it seems like a good time. The twins are now almost two (at the end of the month), so I’m calling this our two-year schedule. Since the last time I wrote one of these, we’ve committed to being more active; PB’s diagnosed social delays have all but vanished now that we’re regularly going to meetups, playdates, and other social exercises where he can interact with other kids. It seems his issue was mostly lack of experience combined with a bit of innate introvertedness (the poor boy is overshadowed by the rest of us violent extroverts around here). So he can sometimes get a little overwhelmed by crowds, but he self-manages really well and (so far) hasn’t ever really melted down. He just finds a quiet corner to decompress for a few minutes and then throws himself back into the fray. (Previously, he spent most of the time at any gathering playing by himself in a corner and didn’t interact with other children. Now he loves other kids, especially big kids.)

So. Here’s how we spend our day. And yes, we still have a firm schedule! Another twin parent recently said to us, “You don’t mess with the twin schedule. People just don’t understand.” I laughed, because it’s true. (To be fair, it’s not JUST twins – but every twin parent I know has learned to love the schedule!) This is primarily our weekday schedule – weekends can be a little different depending on what we have planned, but we still generally hit all the same benchmarks.

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A Day In The Life: 18 Months

I, um, skipped a Day In The Life post. Sorry. I kept meaning to post the 16-month one, and then time just kept passing. It’s just as well; things as they were at 16 months did not stay that way for very long, as we were right in the middle of a big transition. Another one, I should say.

Two huge differences between now and my last DITL post: the twins are fully weaned, and now take only one nap a day. It feels like an entirely different world.

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Things About Moving I Am Looking Forward To

We’re officially on the hunt for a new house. A bigger one, in a better school district. We’ve given ourselves lots of time (those of you who have followed me here from Ancestral Pile may remember that it took us two years to agree on dining room chairs, so agreeing on an entire house needs some major lead time), but we’re definitely in the market and looking. As the prospect of moving looms closer with every open house or agent showing we go to, I’ve been getting excited about the thought of living somewhere else.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’m really looking forward to about moving.

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A Day In The Life: 14 Months

I’m late in posting this, and bad at blogging in general. I’ll try to be better.

A lot changed very quickly between 12 and 14 months for us. Weaning has begun to happen with a vengeance, and nap time is a question mark every day. Plus, the weather abruptly warmed up, so we are out of the house a lot now. I am beginning to get the impression that these Day in the Life posts, for however long I continue to do them, will get less and less structured. Here’s roughly how our days go, though.

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A Day In The Life: Twelve Months

The thing about having a schedule is that it gives you the confidence to ignore it. new schedule

What I mean is, knowing that tucked securely in your back pocket is a firm, decided-upon schedule can give you the ability to break away; you know that should everything go wrong, you have a plan. You know what the schedule will be and thus you know what to do to get back on it.

All this is to say that now, at one year old, we are doing a lot of straying from our schedule. It has taken a long time to build up the confidence I am talking about; but we have proven that we can make, keep, and evolve our schedule successfully, so I am much more willing now to go off of it if I need to.

That confidence has come just in time, because we are growing ever closer to both weaning and dropping from two naps down to just one. Yikes! I think both of those milestones will hit sometime over the summer, but we are trying to ease gently into in over the next few months.

Here’s our nominal schedule, with notes on how we depart from it frequently.

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How To Make A Construction Cake

My husband’s first kid birthday cake was, I have to say, an unqualified success. Not only was it delicious – vanilla cheesecake mousse filling! – and decorated to the nines with tiny excavation equipment in a very realistic scene, but it had a major surprise inside.

cake2

The inside of the round part of the cake was diagonally striped in yellow and black, just like construction caution tape! It was a huge hit. I thought I’d do a quick writeup on how we did it.

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