Saturday, February 28, 2009

More updates on Mr. Tim

Turns out all six of Tim's new vocal groups got into the regional competitions for the Harmony Sweepstakes this year. There was some concern and a couple of calls with the organizer of the contest as people tried to make sure it was allowed for one man to run that many groups and have them all compete. Fortunately, all six groups are distinct from one another, so they were given the green light. Tim did have to explain to one regional why it would not be okay for two of his groups to compete and another one to judge the same competition. So now we are running rounds of rehearsals (Tim is; I'm running around the rehearsals trying not to interrupt) intermixed with rounds of arranging songs for the groups, recording stuff for a project he is doing for NBC/Universal, brainstorming sessions about costuming and staging, reviewing videos of rehearsals, answering emails, shipping merchandise (all over the world, lately!) and watching the odd episode of "Psych", "Chuck", or various other shows Tim follows when things just get too complex and we need a breath. Even Tim, with his seemingly boundless energy, can't work more than 16 hours a day without some down time.

I count myself lucky that Tim actually put a rocking chair in his office and welcomes me to sit in there while he's working (except during rehearsals and recording, when the kids coming in would be a problem). He even lets me speak my mind about his projects, which is fun for me. I love reviewing his business card mock-ups and making suggestions, or commenting on the latest rehearsal video or draft of a recording or song ("why doesn't that song mention Specter?" and "Peter makes you look short on stage" or "I love the emotional contrast between Tainted Love and Fred Jones in that set" or "I really liked the blue cards first, but the black and white have grown on me. Why don't you shrink this picture and put it here, and use this picture on the back?" or "Do you ever think that the original group to write and record a song isn't really the best performers of it? Like that one Beattles song...."). He really lets me get involved, and I deeply value that connection we have with each other and the time we get to spend together now, while he's working from home. (I remember feeling a lot the same way when my Dad started working from home when I was a kid. It's not that I went in there a lot; it's just that I liked knowing I could and he would be there.)

I can't remember which groups are going to which regional competitions, despite the fact that Tim has told me multiple times. But this is what to watch for, especially if you live where one of these shows will be taking place.

In Denver, LA, Olympia (WA), or San Francisco, watch for:

The King 4--a four-man group that sings a cappella arrangements of Elvis songs. They'll be in LA (I remember this one).

Throat--an all-vocal rock band that sings all original music. They'll be in LA, too.

Wonder Voice--a mixed quintet a cappella cover band. I think they might be competing in Denver.

Essence of Larynx--a mixed a cappella comedy group. More sophisticated than moosebutter. Think "Capitol Steps" but not only about political stuff. I think they're going to San Francisco.

Mouthbeats--a vocal percussion ensemble. I think they're competing in Denver.

Plumbers of Rome--a 'deconstructionist unaccompanied male trio'. They take familiar songs and do altogether new interpretations of them that make you see the songs in a new light (for example, in their mouths, that old shallow '80s club tune, "Tainted Love," becomes an emotional exploration of the nature of young love and the maturing process people go through that changes how they approach love). It's pretty cool. I think they're going Olympia way. They've won Audience Favorite and Best Stage Presentation in Denver in the past 3 years, so I'm interested to see what happens in a different state.

You notice moosebutter isn't on the list? We thought moosebutter had retired....

I'm actually really excited about the competitions. They are a great way for groups to get out there and test the waters, see how crowds react, and get to know other musicians. I hope they all win some kind of awards. I wish I could go see them all, but, once again, I'll be waiting for a 1:00 am phone call with the results (which I usually get while Tim is between the competition venue and the after party, so I've heard the sounds of freeway in the middle of the night in the background from several states now).

Anyway, the other news is that one of Tim's songs, "Old Turkey," was nominated for a CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award) for 2009 for Best Comedy Song. It beat out others of Tim's songs, "Decepticon Woman" and "Cupcakes" which I think, personally, are superior songs. It's not the first CARA he's been nominated for. moosebutter's first album won Best Comedy Song and Best comedy Album in years past, and they've been nominated at least once more (I can't remember if they won that time or not).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Goodbye bad decision

Years ago my impression of Mormon books was that they are all heavy on the heartstrings (read: emotionally manipulative but generally spiritually weak) and light on the quality (read: poorly written, poorly edited, and poorly produced). I realize cognitively that the mormon publishing industry has been aware of these problems and working to fix them for the past 10 or 15 years, but the initial impression stuck with me.

I decided back then that I was NOT interested in publishing in the Mormon Market. Ever. Period.

Besides, I wasn't interested in writing books with the Mormon experience being the focal point of the plot. Or in writing inspirational books. And I still am not.

More recently, I have seen that more 'stuff' is being published--not only inspirational lit. More precisely, the Mormon Market has expanded to include romance, historical fiction, and fantasy, but my impression of it was still that it is stuff that couldn't be published for 'real' markets, so the authors went a step down to the 'mormon market', which isn't as discerning (look at all the "mormon" films that have come out for evidence to support this...."Sons of Provo" anyone?)

Nevertheless, I still was following (but not reading) the "LDS Publisher" blog, ever since she acknowledged that many lds books are poorly edited. At least she was aware of the limitations, you know?

Then she posted that there were some holes in LDS Literature--namely, books for 10-18 year olds that aren't fantasy (for boys) or romance (for girls). And that's what I write. (Come to think of it, I haven't seen a lot of stuff outside those categories for adults, either--where are the mormon thrillers and mysteries? Sure there are some, but not tons.)

Anyway, my first thought was, "That's what I write!"

Two days of not being able to forget about it later, I looked up Deseret Book (why not go with the biggie in the first place, right?) and rediscovered Shadow Mountain, their imprint that focuses on mass market fiction with LDS sensibilities (That's what I write!). I also discovered a key phrase on their website that wasn't there 10 years ago, when I last looked them up. That phrase, which I seem to think replaced "not accepting submissions", was "expanding our list." In other words, they're still actively signing new authors.

So I swallowed my pride and sent them a query and 3 chapters.

Then I started thinking: Deseret Book isn't going to be having the same financial troubles as other publishing houses. Why? They don't have the same massive problems with returns because a big part of their sales come from their own bookstores, and they have a built-in audience already identified, and they know those people are culturally inclined to be readers (more so than the regular public) because the prophets have long said "read". So they are probably a good press to publish with right now.

And then I started thinking more: I wouldn't have to worry about putting my (and my characters) Mormon culture into the books. Nobody would say "avoid religion at all costs" like the agent who worked for a Christian agency did. I could write my ex-cia mormon housewife who uses mommy skills as well as cia skills to solve problems without worrying about the fact that the main reason she quit her job at the cia was conflicts between her job and her beliefs that I couldn't explain but that Mormons would understand--and that form a central part of the emotion part of the plot (versus the action part of the plot).

And then I thought some more: I have always identified my audience as mass market with mormon sensibilities. So why shouldn't I try to sell my book to a publisher who specializes in that? And an agent would never go there because the market wouldn't be financially viable for them, so an agent would likely ask me to change the sensibilities of the book to be more 'mass market' so they could sell it.

I am glad I spent years pursuing mass market publication, really, because I have learned TONS about writing and about publishing. But now, all of a sudden overnight, I've come to the conclusion that maybe I belong in the Mormon market, although I still need to be convinced that that's not an insult to my abilities as a writer or to the intelligence of the readers I think would enjoy my books.

The idea of writing to intelligent Mormon women who don't want to read inspirational or romantic fiction (but still love to read) is actually quite liberating for me, now that I've accepted the possibility of it. I KNOW that audience. There's no guessing involved. I can have fun with books and know when I'm crossing lines, or what jokes they'll get, etc. It's like asking me to teach junior high instead of 3rd grade. I know that audience, and I can almost guarantee a slam-dunk.

Star Wars still and again

It's back.

Apparently the lawyers in California determined that the Corey/Moosebutter Star Wars video was legal under the fair use act. In other words, it's a parody. No kidding. I could have told you that.

In fact, I did.

But Warner Lost the Fight, for once.

So you can once again enjoy "Kiss a wookie" from Corey Vidal.

Also, a men's chorus in Washington with a famous conductor recently performed the song.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Completing the Circle

23 days ago, we left Las Vegas and drove north on I-15 to Lehi, Utah. Then, a week later, we continued north to Salt Lake City and turned West on I-80 to get to Reno, NV.
Now, 2 weeks later, we loaded Melody Yellowvan and Trailer and headed south on highway 95, coming back full circle to Las Vegas.

Nathanael woke me at 10:00 for his usual feeding, and I was so excited to get home that I didn't go back to sleep, despite the fact that I was up a lot of the night worrying about the baby (he has RSV and, at 6 weeks old, really doesn't cough effectively, and sometimes vomits instead and once coughed while he was vomiting so that milk came out his nose and I'm pretty sure he aspirated some of it--so I was worried about him).

We left Reno Regency Apartment #1020 (Their name for it. I'd call it a tiny hotel room) by 12:30 and were on our way. I had never traveled that road before, so I was excited to take the long drive. I love wandering the highways and byways with Tim, and this was a great drive.

US 95 is not a freeway. It is a highway that goes through half a dozen small towns and a whole lot of desert.

Still, it was a fun drive. Not too far into it, we drove into a small valley and noticed immediately that a fighter jet was doing tricks in the sky right ahead of us, turning on its side, diving until it almost hit the ground and then pulling up, and zooming over the road close enough that the sound waves from the jet engines shook the van. I have never seen anything so cool before. We passed a couple of other cars that had stopped to watch. It was that neat.

Then we found a lovely lake called Walker Lake, with some pretty dramatic mountains around it. That was neat. It was a pretty enough area, despite the desert, that when we had to stop for construction, I didn't mind.

Just after Walker Lake, we found a sign that said, "US Naval Airbase." Right there in the middle of the desert, with no ocean nearby, which struck us both as funny. I guess it's pretty well hidden, for the navy!

Anyway, just past that, we noticed what looked like bunkers, but there wasn't any military place on the map. Then we started seeing "Danger. DO not enter" and "Property US Army" signs all over the place. Then we drove into Hawthorne, which has signs like, "Trucks carrying live munitions not allowed in town" and is decorated with pieces of bombs. I kid you not. Turns out there is an army munitions plant there. The entire valley is filled with heaps of dirt bounded by cement walls. Doors lead into hillsides. Train tracks run through the valley, stopping beside buildings surrounded by heaps of earth with doors in them. The whole place reminded me somehow of an explosive beehive on a grand scale, and I couldn't help but wonder if all those heaps of earth and concrete walls were connected underground. The place just begged for stories to be told about it.

My personal favorite part of the absolutely deserty town of Hawthorne was the big sign that read, "US Naval undersea research facility". Right there in the middle of the desert, hundreds of miles from the sea. I would have stopped for a picture, but I kind of thought the pair of guards on the road checking the cars coming near the sign wouldn't take kindly to that.

The rest of the drive was more desert (including huge spaces that were sandy desert--like sand dunes laid flat. I'd never seen real desert like that before!), really impressive rocky desert mountains, and awesome half-ghosted mining towns, complete with log cabins that were still standing and impressive but empty hotels that were clearly built at the turn of the last century. And mines, of course. One town, Tonopah, looked like it had an observatory on the hill as we approached, and when we got into town, Tim discovered it claims it's been voted the best stargazing city in the nation (or something like that). That far from anything, up on a hill surrounded by empty desert valleys and clear skies, I could see how that could be true. We decided it would be fun to return there sometime and go on the mine tours and sleep out and watch the stars. I seriously wanted to explore the half-ghosted towns, and wander a few spots in the desert I saw that had the telltale copses of cottonwoods that usually surround old homesites and line old roads.

It was a fun drive. My favorite part is talking to Tim. We do lots of talking on long drives, and nobody seems to mind that we never have a working radio or cd player in any of our cars.

And, for the first time maybe ever, we arrived at our destination early enough in the evening to have some time at home before going to bed!

The baby did really well on the drive, but has been fussing in his sleep since then. Dan wandered the house when we got home, making sure his bed was still there, etc. All the kids were delighted to find the masses of toys available to them, and Benji has been gorging himself on kid videos.

And boy am I glad to be home!

Hammer Magazine.

According to, Metal Hammer magazine is "a monthly heavy metal magazine in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in Germany, Italy, Austria, Finland, Spain, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Serbia, Australia and Montenegro by a different publisher. Featuring mainstream and more unusual bands from the wide spectrum of metal music. It is the second-largest selling rock magazine in the UK behind Kerrang! and was often viewed as the more underground magazine, but in recent times has moved towards the mainstream metal market which it originally shunned. In Germany, Metal Hammer has been the market leader since it was launched in 1984."

They recently 'reviewed' and plugged the Enter KazooMan video Tim made. You can read it here:


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day

So, for the first time maybe ever, we got a babysitter for Valentines' day and went to a show.

We parted at the box office, and both enjoyed the show.

As usual, Tim was on the stage and I was in the audience.

Holidays are different for us than other people. Everyone else gets the day off work to spend with their families. And what do they do? Go out. To see shows and to eat dinner and to go to festivals.

That puts us on the other side of the fence--it's a work day.

Not that I'm complaining. Tim loves performing, the audiences love it. He gets a chance to make their holidays worthwhile, they pay our bills.

It just took some getting used to. We do have 'dead times' when there are no big holidays that we get Tim home. And Easter is always free--nobody goes to concerts for easter. Yet. Thanksgiving and Christmas morning are free, too. Sometimes we get Presidents' day off.

Have you ever noticed that the Church doesn't do so many church-sponsored shows and activities on Mondays? It's not because you can't have fantastically great experiences going to shows for Family Home Evening. I personally believe it's because they realize that someone has to put those shows on, and someone has to sell tickets, and someone has to run sound, and someone has to clean up after. And, unless those someones keep their kids up as late as we do, all those someones are missing Family Home Evening to give one to you.

Again, I'm not opposed to Tim performing on holidays. It pays our bills, and he enjoys it, and he takes special pains to spend as much of the holiday with us as he can, and then extra time on other days. It's just part of our life that most people never think about.

We did have a very nice Valentine's day. We were even in the same building this year!


It's a good thing we drove out to the WalMart, or I would honestly think very very little of Reno. But Tim drove me around, and there are some nice neighborhoods, and a Temple, and a nice looking University that reminds me a lot of CU Boulder. And the neighborhoods around the University remind me of Edgemont, where I grew up.

But where we are?


I won't go out to get something from the car after dark.

We're in an 'apartment building' that really is a refurbished hotel, as far as I can see. Our 'studio apartment' is exactly like many a hotel I've stayed in--actually smaller than most (This one is about 12 x 25 ', including the kitchenette and bathroom). The front door to the lobby downstairs is locked--you have to have a key to get into the building at all. And, in this neighborhood, I'm glad. I realize people can get in anyway (just like they can to any gated community in the world), but when the people are outside yelling in the middle of the night (and they are every night), it's better than nothing.

Outside our window, we can see the flashing lights of Circus Circus, which give our room a red glow at night. Since we're on the tenth floor, we can see the whole neighborhood. Across from us and Circus Circus is a giant 'ball building' that is supposed to have laser light shows inside it. We went to see--very disappointing. There was a laser. A few light effects that were timed to music that conflicted with the casino music that was pounding from just below.

The coolest thing we've seen is the Circus shows that are free at Circus circus. The acrobats were cool, the juggling was neat (and the girl jumped rope while standing on the guy's hands while he had them extended up above his head!). And the dog show had better tricks than the Popovich dog show in Vegas. So that was fun.

Toxic Audio is selling well, and I finally saw the show last night. It was great. Different from Vegas, but good. I'd re-do the costumes, but the rest was great. Very funny, musically strong, fun show. Audience was pleased, too.

It took us a week to adjust to being here, but we're doing pretty good now that I'm starting to figure out how to feed people with a half a fridge and a half a kitchen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hiccups and Bickers are Inevitable

When you cram 7 people, 5 of them under the age of 8, into a 12x25 foot box, some things are unavoidable.




Stepping on each others' toes.

Sharing sicknesses (and I'm pretty sure one kid has RSV; just waiting for the others to show symptoms!).

Grouchy grownups.


Too much screen time.

You get the idea.

Oddly, we still can never find all the socks and shoes we need to go out! And we still don't get school done. Go figure.

Still, we're doing remarkably well. The neighbor even commented on how quiet the kids were. That's good. It makes me feel better when I hear one of the neighbors mixing techno music through the walls at midnight. At the very least, we aren't bothering HIM.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The next stop...

Tim flew in to get us and bring us back to Reno with him. He got to Mom's house on Monday around noon, and we woke up and loaded the trailer the rest of the way (I was stopped the night before by the presence of a skunk in the yard). We left for an 8 hour drive at 3:30.

I had not in my memory seen Saltair, so that was cool. It looks like a big warehouse with roof decorations from an Eastern Orthodox Church.

There was a cool tree sculpture by the road.

I had never seen the salt flats before, and I thought they were really cool. I wondered how the pioneers felt when they saw that West of their great city. And what the Easterners thought as they came across on the trains. I felt sorry for the guys who had to build those tracks. It was honestly the emptiest wilderness I've ever seen. Parts looked like they concreted the desert. It was really amazing.

Then we reached Wendover and it started snowing.

3 hours later or so, we were only in Elko, having survived driving conditions that were awful. At times we couldn't see the road at all. It was blowing snow so hard that we could only see the taillights of the car in front of us, not even the car the lights belonged to. It was a white knuckle drive, dangerous to fingernails everywhere. Luckily, the baby and both toddlers fell asleep not too far into it.

By Elko, both Tim and I were too tired to drive the rest of the way, and we realized that, if we had no more storm at all, we'd get in at 4:00 am--and if the storm stretched across the state, we wouldn't get in until morning, if we made it at all. The big 'snow tires or chains required with checkpoint' signs dissuaded us from even trying it.

So we found a room in the Motel 6 for $50, and bought dinner at the Albertsons across the street.

Today, the weather and roads were totally clear, so we left at around 11:30 and got back in time for Tim to hurriedly unload before he dashed off to his show.

So our one day drive took 2, and since I hadn't had a shower, change of clothes, or (most importantly) my vitamins, I was feeling pretty lousy the whole drive. (I get both depression and anxiety with intrusive thoughts when I don't take my vitamins).

Now we're staying on the 10th floor of the Reno Regency looking out on Circus Circus, this giant spherical building, and the rest of Virginia Street, Reno's 'strip'. Great view, right? The room is quite small, with only a half-sized fridge despite advertising indicating the room would have a full-sized fridge. But Tim is here, and the kids seem happy enough, so I'm content.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Teaser

While grateful for the immense amount I learned about writing from agents and their feedback and friends and their feedback, I finally got to a point where constantly re-writing my book to other people's specifications wasn't fun anymore. In fact, while it did make my book better, somewhere along the lines I lost the joy and the freedom that writing for myself brought me.

It was supposed to be fun. When I started out, with absolutely no knowledge of 'how to write', I found it deliciously joyful to be able to put in anything I wanted, and take the characters wherever I pleased, without restraint and without worry.

I needed that back. I needed the freedom and joy from writing--it was my therapy and my drug of choice, the thing that made being a mommy easier enough that I could do it happily. I needed to be able to write the way some people read 'junk' books (which is exactly what I aspire to write--good old fashioned escape fiction)--with abandon, and without getting all tied up in the themes and character development, beautiful word choice, or literariness of it all. I don't want to worry about if it's good, or even good enough, or marketable, or who the audience is.

The audience is me. The writing is good enough for me, so it's good.

Writing is supposed to be fun, you know?

So I've taken it back. I am, for now, going back to being a recreational writer.

And what am I going to do about that? Something that seems to run counter to my intention to make writing an entirely selfish activity. I'm going to 'publish' here the first chapter of my current work in progress, a retelling of a 16th century Irish Arthurian Legend as a contemporary mystery. Why am I sharing this?


Imagine you have just baked the most excellent cake ever. What do you do?

Do you call the food critics? Or send it to the author of the cook book? Or ask people to give you detailed feedback on the frosting technique you should have used (or did use) or the amount of vanilla or if a different filling would have been better or ask for a detailed analysis of the crumb of the cake?

You could do all those things, and you'd learn a lot, but it would be an educational experience, like taking a cakemaking class. But you're not in a class. You are just someone who enjoys baking, and this cake pleased you.

So what do you do?

If you are anything like me, the first thing you do is you make your husband taste it, even if he's sworn off sugar. And you dish it out to the kids, or take it to share with the family home evening group, or call your sister and get her over for cake and ice cream "because it's Thursday" (as Winnie the Pooh said). Or you put your recipe on your blog.

I'm a recreational baker. Taste my cake?

Chapter 1

Melora rushed over to the fallen man. He looked like an old-fashioned gumshoe, complete with khaki trench coat and black fedora, which was still pulled down over one eye despite the fact that he was lying on his back in a mud puddle. Both hands were tucked into his coat.

“Are you okay?” she said as she dropped to her knees beside him in the alley.

“Rosebud,” the man said.

“My name is Melora,” she replied.

“No, ROSEBUD,” the man said, looking her in the eye. He reached one bloody hand out of his coat and grabbed her new white T-shirt.

“Stained!” Despite all the years she’d been on her own, she could still hear her mother’s voice on all matters housekeeping-related. “Don’t even tell me how you got a bloody hand print on your new shirt!” the phantom mother scolded.

“Rosebud,” the man said again, laying his head back onto the ground.

“What is this, The Maltese Falcon or something?” Melora said, leaning over and looking into the man’s rugged face. He looked like every high-school football coach she’d ever seen.

“No,” the man gasped. He spit blood onto the ground beside her.

Great, she thought. There go my new jeans, too.

“No,” the man said again. He struggled to get his other hand out of his coat. “This is the Maltese Falcon.” He pushed the bird into her hands.

Melora took the black bird. It was about the size of a football and heavy.

“Hurry,” the man said, coughing again. “Take it and get out of here before Asia catches up to me.”

Suddenly afraid, Melora clutched the bird to her chest with one hand and, dialing 911 on her cell with the other, she ran across the street into the library.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Adventures of Melody Yellowvan

I started this blog to chronicle our adventures as the touring family of a musician--and named it after the car we bought to tour in right before our first tour (we are still driving that car, and just passed 200,000 miles on it. I figure we've put on 60,000 miles since June 2006, when we bought it).

I have drifted through the rest of my life in the process of chronicling being the family of a touring musician. I've wandered through the realms of parenting, writing, public events, my own thoughts.

I thought it might be prudent to get back to the roots of the blog, just to catch you all up on us.

We're touring again.

Actually, Tim never stopped. I figure, except for his 6 months with Toxic Audio (which was still a professional musician gig), Tim has been gone for 2-3 days every two weeks for years now. Ever since we left Utah in January of 2004, I think.

And now Melody Yellowvan, with her trusty sidekick, Trailer, is parked in Utah, where I am hiding out with the 5 kids while Tim does a month-long gig in Reno, NV. Why Utah? I ran away to my mom's house, not wanting to live in a hotel room with a new baby and 4 other kids under 8 years old for a month. We will stay here a week, then join Tim in Reno for either one or two weeks, depending on how bad the hotel room is and our schedule is and how hard it is.

This after a pretty hairy month already: We were nominated for a People's Choice Award (and lost by just a couple hundred out of millions of votes!), had a baby--number 5 no less. And, on the side, Tim put together 6 vocal groups, complete with pictures and demos, 5 of them from scratch. He arranged and composed music for them, did the recordings, and got them all applied for vocal competitions (so far 3 are in, one didn't make the cut). He started doing his solo show and made some friends in the Industry doing that. Oh, and he did a 2-day gig in Reno already, followed almost immediately by attending receptions/concerts of out-of-town friends who are looking for a permanent gig for their group in Vegas, and followed literally immediately by a trip to LA where he taught workshops and did little solo performances to demonstrate solo vocal live looping. He was home less than 24 hours before we loaded the car and drove to Utah, where he stopped less than 48 hours before catching his flight to Reno. Oh, and he got a contract with NBC signed and is now composing, performing, and recording some things for them. And did I mention that he's also been trading off with me changing diapers and staying up literally all night with a sleepless baby?

This is why we're camping at Grandma's house. All of that was in 3 or 4 weeks and on top of his usual work, and, having just had a baby 3 weeks ago, I couldn't keep up and then stop in Reno in a hotel room with 5 small children I have to entertain, feed, clothe, etc. Especially since one of the kids nurses a lot, one throws up a lot, and one is a little tornado all by himself. The other two are big enough to take care of themselves somewhat--but not entirely.

Some women recover quickly from having a baby. Not me. It takes me 8-12 weeks of being really careful with myself in order to physically get over childbirth without getting caught in depression. I suppose that's partially the fibromyalgia, but I also like to think that every woman ought to treat herself gently and be free of outside obligations until her baby is at least 3 months old. If all women had free meals brought to them for a whole month after having a baby, I think there'd be fewer cases of depression. Seriously.

Anyway, that's where we're at. It's been a trick convincing people that I really don't want to go anywhere (even to the grocery store) while we're here. We are not brave and on vacation. We are desperate and returning home instead of being alone and being grouchy and crying every night (since it's been taking literally 5 hours or more from the words 'bed time' until I get to drop off to sleep, what with nursing, nights and mornings mixed up, throw up, hyperactive toddlers, night terrors, and the usual hungry- thirsty-need one more kiss--potty time--too hot--too cold--forgot to brush my teeth--where's my special animal I can't sleep without her bedtime rituals of children, plus our usual insomnia, messed up schedule, and difficulty getting people to bed when I'm too tired).

What can I say? The adventure continues.

Now if I can just get the kids back to doing school....