Archive for November, 2010

The pumpkins are ahead:

My NaNoWriMo wordcount? 18,516 — exactly what it has been for a whole week now.  Sometimes life (or rather a relapse of the flu and an antsy 3 year old) gets in the way of novel-ing.  Perhaps there will be more, the month isn’t over yet. (to be on “target” I would have 30,000 words as of today).

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Bog Baby Soup

and Panda Soup and Horse Soup too.

I’m still struggling back onto my feet after a bout of the flu so playtime challenges abound.  LP is clearly ready for her fun improvamama to come back and replace her ready-to-lie-down-a-mama.  ImprovDad has a heavy teaching schedule which includes most evenings and it seems like the hours between quiet time and bedtime are going incredibly slooooowly.

Which makes it all the more fun when we find that wonderful, spontaneous moment that LP can explore.

It all started with a pepper experiment which I thought LP would be fascinated by; however her interest was in adding the pepper to the water and she asked for more spices.  Fortunately for LP, we have way too many containers of long expired spices so as her sous chef, I guided her to those choices (ones I could say “yes!” to) and we were off! Some containers had shakers that she could use and others I poured some into her hands so she also had the tactile experience of the different textures. Cardamon, basil, thyme, dillweed, curry, paprika, pepper soup, anyone?

She called her first batch “Bog Baby Soup” complete with tea leaf bog babies floating around. (“The Bog Baby” by Jeanne Willis is a current favorite around here)  She asked for bowls and ladled out enough for all the bog babies and then was ready to start on the next batch.

She poured fresh water into the bowl and set to work making “Horse Soup” — with additions of spice rub, soy sauce and the outside paper from garlic, in addition to repeats of many of the other spices.  My favorite moment was when she looked up from stirring and said, “Here come the horses!”  She spooned up bowls for her favorite horses and then, of course the pandas needed to be fed.

She was so engrossed in making Panda Soup that she didn’t even want to help knead the pizza dough and make the pizza (except to ask for some dough to put in the soup).

Like many fun activities at our house, it involved more mess than originally planned for…next time we’ll be cooking for the bog babies, horses and pandas outside AND I’ll set her up with more autonomy over the spices and condiments that are available.

I’m participating in the WeePlay link up over at Childhood 101…lots of fun play ideas to check out there so click on over!

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November Challenges Update

Pumpkins after 8 days in the garden decomposing.


My word count after 8 days of obsessive novel writing for NaNoWriMo:


(34,959 words to go!)

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November Challenges

1) National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Last year I thought there was no way I could possibly write 50,000 words in a month.  Signing up (and being public about it) was the best and loudest YES to doing the impossible I could think of.  It was a great and crazy ride and I made it…finished the month with 50,050 and have slowly been working on editing and revising over the year.

It was truly amazing. On November 1st last year, I had no idea I had a novel in me and now it is what I’m doing…writing novels!  Of course I have dreams of being published but in the short term the project of writing a big story feels hugely ambitious, hard and wonderful.

Since I’m not done with that process on my first novel, it seems a bit much to start in on writing the second one (which is a sequel). AND the energy and fun of the process has got me hooked…so I’m in. I’m doing it. Actually I’m 1/10th of the way there as I type this entry with 5, 522 words written.  I’m finding it much easier this year, at least the first few days because I feel much less serious about trying to get it the writing right the first time…a little more able to leap around in the story in my head and just write.

2) Can I be patient enough to allow our jack-o-lanterns to fully decompose in our little yard? I’m really not sure. We have so little space and giving even a square foot over to these three is not an easy choice (nor am I sure I’m willing to put up with all the flies, etc)…AND I think there will be some interesting learning for LP and truth is, I’ve never watched one decompose beyond the early stages. We’ll see…

Here are our jack-o-lanterns on Halloween:

And here they are today in their new location:

What will happen first? 50,000 new words or decomposed pumpkins?

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Tearing it up!

Sometimes Improvamama gets lucky.

It has been a rough couple of weeks around here as I’ve gone from having one nasty cold to another one to the flu (and LP and I traveled to visit her Grandma in the middle of that time).  I have become the queen of the boring mamas.  All I can think is “what can I get LP involved in so I can lie down?”

And as I learn again and again, what works is following her offers because given the opportunity to explore, she will go for it.

One day last week as I was half-heartedly sorting political flyers into piles for 1) recycle immediately and 2) look at later, LP started taking them and asked me to tear them into strips.  Pretty soon she took over tearing them up (mostly with her teeth) and laying them out in a path across the house.  Actually a pretty good use for them I think.

By the time the Sunday paper arrived the flyers were long gone and she was ready for new material  to tear and rip and shred.  And now (Wednesday), she’s still enjoying the fruits of her labors and working on tearing the larger pieces up even more.

So glad we haven’t given up on the newspaper yet!

This post is part of the FINAL Moms 30-Minute Blog Challenge over at Steady Mom. Such a big THANK YOU to Jamie for hosting the challenge. It has been great for getting me to put my ideas into words at least once a week. AND Jamie is starting a great new blog SteadyHomeDeals which is a wonderful resource for all of us who want to make conscientious choices about how we spend our money.

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