Friday, April 30, 2010

Getting back to my roots: Anti-Zombie Gear

Hello my lovelies,

First of all, I must apologize. I've been doing quite a bit of blogging about things that have NOTHING to do with the living dead, and I think that's an oversight on my part. After all, I love the living dead. They were the inspiration for my first published series, and there's always the very real danger of zombie infestation lingering on the horizon. In the event of such a thing, I want you, my blog readers, to be prepared.

In the name of preparedness, I give you, the zombie night table:



One part slathering-mouth-blocking shield, one part skull-smashing bat, you'll never wake up terrified that zombies are staggering from your closet and you're unprepared ever again. (Just make sure your water glass is plastic so that when it crashes to the ground as your snatch your shield it won't shatter. You don't want to fight off the hungry undead only to cut your foot on a sliver of glass. Remember, if there are other zombies nearby, they're going to smell that stuff and come running.)
Buy your own here.

Next up, something a lot more intense: a chain saw rifle hybrid thing that actually scares me more than the zombies I'd be killing with it.



I'm sure I'd learn to love it if I was really facing down a slathering horde, but theoretically, I'm more of a purist when it comes to zombie killing. A nice, sharp axe or a sturdy shovel would be my weapon of choice.

But if you're a proud, card-carrying member of the NRA, check this out here.

Now, something all the ladies can really get behind: The Anti-Zombie Bra:


If you've ever watched a horror movie, you know that the Undead always attack while you're asleep in your lacy underthings. But imagine that zombie's surprise when instead of shrieking and running half-naked through the house and up the stairs where you will conveniently trap yourself in a dark corner and scream while he shuffles inexorably closer, you simply sit up, launch a projectile on his ass and curl up and go back to sleep, comforted by the fact that your bra has both a built in moan-detecting feature and is made of sturdy bite-resistant fibers?

That, ladies, is what we call being made of awesome. Victoria's Secret should take a memo. (Learn more at the Of Cabbages and Kings Blog.)

A safe, happy, zombie-free weekend to you all,

Stacey Jay

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tattoooooooo!!!!

I did it, I got my wrist tattoo!

My hubs got a bigger, matching tattoo on his shoulder, and I have to confess that I find it VERY hot. Hmmm...yummy hubs with sexy heart tattoo. (S & M stands for Stacey and My Old Man, so get your minds out of the gutter!)



It looks a little crooked when I twist it around for the camera, but such is the nature of wrists. In any event, I just love it! It makes me want more! More, I tell you!

I'm seriously considering a zombie sparrow on my other wrist if I get to write the third Megan Berry book. (Which I hope to have news about soon, keep your fingers crossed!)

Ooooo....cool zombie sparrow!



(Zombie Sparrow by mrshmllw, you can check out more of his work at Deviant art.)

Or maybe I'll just get all of these:



And a few extra anchors because I like to pretend that I've served in the navy. (Not really. I think anyone who knows me ten minutes knows I wouldn't last long on a ship. I spend most of my time on boats either yarfing, or trying not to yarf, or moaning about how I want to die.)

And that's all I've got today. I've got SO MUCH WORK to get done this week. It might be a little quiet around here, but know that I'm sending you all happy thoughts. Hope you have a wonderful last of April!

Stacey Jay

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pass round ye old crack rock

Drugs.

A lot of us are on them. A lot of us. Maybe not the crack rock mentioned in the post title or even pot or alcohol, but drugs prescribed to us by our doctors, chemicals we are directed to introduce into our bodies every single day, sometimes intended for consistent use for the rest of our lives.

Am I alone in thinking that's...a little crazy? Because it gives me pause...major pause...

My pause started with my stepdaughter four years ago. She was seven, but wearing a size 4T dress. She was severely growth delayed and so thin it hurt me just to look at her. When I became her stepmom, I insisted she get off her ADHD meds. I was her primary caregiver--spending more time with her than her mother and father combined--so I felt justified in making that call. From my experience, it didn't seem that she was hyperactive, and it seemed her learning problems were caused by something other than the inability to pay attention. (I thought she had hearing problems, but we would later learn her ears are fine, it's simply her ability to process things that she hears that isn't functioning as it should. She has auditory processing disorder, quite a beastly case of it.)

In the next three and a half years, my husband and I took her to a number of specialists, all of whom affirmed that she did not have ADHD or ADD and recommended various drug assisted and drug free ways to help deal with whatever was not quite right in her brain. It was obvious that her learning disabilities made it hard for her to function up to her potential in school and in life. But we thought we were helping her cope with therapy and low dose blood pressure meds that enhanced her ability to concentrate and work through the auditory and visual disabilities that had prevented her from keeping up with her peers.

Then, about nine months ago, she went to live with her mother. (She'd always missed living with her mom and her mom was now in a position to care for her and so Stepdaughter went. ) And now she's on ADD medicine. This is what her mother believes is best for her--and the doctors went along with the request for meds despite the fact that my SD's records indicate that doctors from that same practice have insisted that she does not have ADHD or ADD.

But here's the thing...she's doing great in school now, for the first time in years! But she's also getting special needs services that weren't available at our charter school--which is another kettle of fish that I'd like to deep fry and feed to a pack of rabid dogs. So...the question lingers...is it the meds or the services? I honestly don't know.

All I know is that it troubles me to think that my stepdaughter--who I love--is going to be on medication for the rest of her life. A part of me insists that the meds are a miracle of modern science that allow her to function at a higher level than would have been possible in the past. Another part of me insists that this is INSANE. That it is ridiculous for our society to prescribe medications when we should be looking into the origins of the disease. Or alternative therapies.

What about the auditory processing specialist? Why should she be dumped in favor of a pill that will "solve it all?" What about her diet? Could increasing the healthfulness of her diet put her on a path to increased concentration? What about limiting Internet time and Ninentdo DS exposure? I know I find it harder to pay attention after a day playing games and watching television. Why can't our doctors recommend more walks and less sugar before they write a script for a drug with serious side effects?

In the past two years, I've come down with several weird conditions--because I am Gimpy like that--that seemed to stump doctors. Not to overshare, but for a year, I had pain every time I went to the bathroom and felt like I "had to go" all the time. It was miserable and ridiculous and every doctor I saw told me only "women over 50" had my problem. So they prescribed drugs. Drugs that MESSED with my brain and made me have visual hallucinations--thank god my husband was with me that night or I would have been snatched by the fairies living in my ceiling fan. For certain.

The doctors didn't stop to inspect my diet, or recommend holistic therapies. They went straight to the heavy duty drugs with their mind melting side effects. In the end, it turned out that I had developed an allergy to peppers--especially those of the jalapeno variety. Peppers are in LOADS of foods. If I hadn't figured the problem out for myself and started self medicating with cranberry pills when my doctor's meds not only didn't work, but made me nuts, I don't know where I'd be right now. Sometimes the pain was horrible and the constant urge "to go" enough to drive me to the brink of drastic action.

This is just one example of how our "drugs are the answer!" medical community is failing the people it is trying to heal. But it is an example that makes me wonder what else could be done for my stepdaughter, what other methods might help her function without losing weight and having periods of mania. What secrets of our natural world have been lost because we refuse to value anything that isn't produced in a lab?

I'm sickened that I take pills every night to sleep. I'm sad that my stepdaughter may be urged to take pills she might not even need for the rest of her life (3 out of 4 tests show she doesn't have ADD, yet still...those pills are jumping into her mouth every morning). But what can we do? How can we fight back and reclaim our health in this new world? This place where we are separated from the environment that can provide the natural healing we need and alienated from a lifestyle that would keep us in tune with the earth and ourselves?

I don't know. So I guess I'll have to say pass round ye old crack rock. Or, in my case, the 6.25 mg of Ambien. Controlled release. Because I am in control. Or...someone is.

Stacey Jay

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sophomore Blog Tour: Rhonda Stapleton Book 2!

Hey!

I'm back with another installment of the 2010 Sophomore Blog Tour, once again with the lovely Rhonda. This lady is funny and so are her books, so check them out!

Peace,

Stacey Jay



Book Summary:

Felicity is a total romantic. That's why she follows her heart—not the rules—in her job as a cupid. But when Felicity turns her matchmaking magic on her best friend, Andy, it's Andy who breaks their golden rule: friends always come first. Andy is so wrapped up in her new guy that she's ditching everyone else. How can Felicity stop her BFF from letting a BF come between them?

Meanwhile, Felicity decides to get over her crush on Derek by setting him up with someone else—but in her impulsive haste, she accidentally matches him with the whole school, and now everyone is in love with him. The entire student body is headed toward heartbreak, just weeks before prom. Does Felicity have what it takes to make everyone's heart happy?including her own?

Author Bio:

Rhonda Stapleton started writing a few years ago to appease the voices in her head. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. In the twelve minutes of free time she has each day, Rhonda enjoys reading, photography, writing poetry, singing in the shower (and in the car, at work, or basically anywhere that provides oxygen), drinking chai tea, and playing on the Internet (AKA, connecting to the "mother ship").

Rhonda lives in northeast Ohio with her two kids, her manpanion, and their lazy dog.

Additional Details:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thwarted-ness, and 5 Things That Annoy on a Thursday

Good Thursday.

Or...not so good Thursday...

In urgent news, please note that the April 17th book signing at the West Little Rock Barnes and Noble has been postponed at the request of the bookseller for reasons I can understand though not share here. I will be rescheduling, however, and also showing up to promote MY SO CALLED DEATH at the May 8th Middle School book fair. So yeay.

In less urgent news, no, I did NOT get my tattoo last night because my husband acted like he was chickening out (it would have been his first tattoo) and then asked for the hockey game to be turned on while I was in the bathroom at the place where we were having dinner. We NEVER get out and the fact that he wanted the game on during one of our few date nights just hacked me the heck off. So I may never get his name on my wrist. NEVER! I'm thinking maybe something more hardcore like a skull. That's on fire. And filled with really sharp knives. And an eagle with a snake in its mouth. Or something.

In not at all urgent news, I thought I'd list a few things that are sticking in my craw this morning.

1. Traveling with a baby. Ugh! You need as much crap for two days as you do for ten. My van looks like I'm moving in with Julie Linker for a month, not the weekend. (Yes! I'm going to see Julie! Of Zombie and Tiaras! It's very exciting, even if the reason for the visit is an eye doctor pre-surgery appopintment for 5. Maybe I'll get her name tattooed on my wrist while I'm up there....or a zombie...or a tiara...)

2. I hate ironing my stupid hair. It takes forever and I could be ACCOMPLISHING something with my life. (But no, My Old Man has to have this stupid long flowing hair crap. He'd better watch it with the hockey at restaurants or I'm going to get a buzz cut. In addition to the skull tattoo.)

Also, I look like the lost member of the 1980's version of Def Leppard without the flatiron so...yeah. There went 30 minutes of my morning. (See pic below if you are too young to remember Def Leppard. Now smack yourself in the face for being so young and uneducated about 80's hair bands. Go ahead, do it. I'll wait....)



3. Make-up is also annoying. But if I don't put it on, my under eye circles are so dark people ask me if I'm sick or upset all day, so I'm going to go put it on. But I'm not happy about it. I am annoyed about it. That's why it made the annoyed list.

4. "Women's" morning news programs (which I had on for noise while I flatironed the stupid hair). Shoot me. Please. No, better yet, shoot all of the people on The View, including the studio audience for cheering for that hot mess of dumb. Dumb! Please, ladies, please try not to be so dumb. It's very frustrating for the rest of us who are a little less dumb.

5. My downstairs neighbor, who I swear stands on a chair in his laundry room and chain smokes just so the second hand puke scent will float up through my laundry room and into my apartment. You suck, dude. Go buy some Nicorette or something. Or drink your carcinogens like the rest of we caring people.

And now. I go. To finish doing the things that annoy me and get ready for a trip and start a synopsis (which I find less annoying than hair...if that tells you anything).

Have a great weekend!

Stacey Jay

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm back, bitches



First off, let me explain that I call you "bitches" in the best sense of the world. In the "you are my dear friends and readers who I treasure so much that I must call you names to distance myself from you a bit so that I don't love too much."

Can you feel me with that? I mean, I call my husband names all the time. Usually after we've had a wonderful date night that's left us feeling all romantic and smooshy. The next morning, I'll call him up at work and ask him "how's the day going, jerk?" or something of that nature. And it always makes him laugh. Because he knows that means I'm feeling especially lovey.

Second off, I'm happy to share with you that I think I've finally left the malaise of early 2010 behind. As I was driving through the Mississippi delta this weekend, I had several little mini epiphanies. I guess it had just been so long since I'd had any prolonged exposure to myself (without work or kids distracting me) that my Self had a few things to share with me. Here's what she laid down for me, in a nutshell:

1. Time to quit trying to be that "perfect" mommy and stepmommy. That archetype isn't user-friendly for most women and really isn't working for you. Just love the kids. If you happen to drop a cuss word here and there or play inappropriate music or let 5 eat pizza every night or the girls go a few days without washing their hair...so what? Love is the most important thing, unselfish love, the kind where you don't care if you "win" the mommy olympics, or even if they love you back. Stick with that and you'll be a happier, better mom/stepmom.

2. Give up on book signings. Stay home with your family, write the best books you can write, answer reader email, and make time to blow bubbles and fly kites. Take people up on school visits and book club visits and other opportunities to hang out with the readers and let the "trying to draw a crowd" stuff go for now. It's not worth the anxiety.

3. Stop feeling guilty about everything. Guilt is a waste and it sucks and makes you unfun. Go forth and do what you have to do and don't carry the guilt.

4. Get a tattoo of your husband's name on your left wrist because it's time. He's just adorable and a life-saver. And haven't you noticed that something's missing on that patch of skin? Husband's name. Pronto.

And that's what I've got right now. As well as a BUNCH of blog fodder for the next few months. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying your Tuesday. I'll be back on Thursday with a picture of the tattoo ;). (Hopefully, assuming there's not too much of a line at the shop on Wednesday night. Me and the hubs only have a couple of hours for date night.)

Best,

Stacey Jay

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Please. Friday at 7. Square Books Jr. I beg now.

Please watch the following...if you want to.

It's my first vlog and in it I bare my anguish and beg like a pathetic begging-type person and bribe like a bribing-type person and shoot long segments of my own elbow gesticulating wildly. (The camera on the computer isn't working in the hotel room for some reason so I shot the video with my phone and a mirror. When I realized I'd shot my elbow, I tried to reshoot, but it came off forced and even dorkier than it is already so I am posting this elbow-heavy vlog instead because I believe in the magic of first takes and unicorns and wishes and crap. Yes, crap can be magical don't you think? Anyway...)

Oh, and please, please do come to Square Books Jr. tomorrow night. I would appreciate it. And a big thank you to Lemuria books in Jackson and the delightful Emily, the book buyer. As I told Emily, I claim this as my own personal failure of word-getting-out-ness, not any fault of the wonderful people here in Jackson. You should go see them there at Lemuria. The store is gorgeous and has a wonderful, piled-up feeling that made my inner cat want to curl up somewhere with a good book and purr. (And they also have a bunch of signed stock of all three books, so you can still snag one if you want.)



All best.

Stacey Jay

ETA: Update, morning, Friday the 9th at 11:51 a.m. My Collierville Library event has been CANCELED. I called this morning to check to see if that had an Apple AV adapter or if I needed to go buy one and discovered that I'd apparently received an email March 3rd canceling the event. Except that I never received that email. Did not. Receive. Did not know it was canceled!

And so I prepared a presentation, and had planned on showing up there at 10:30 tomorrow, driving over an hour out of my way to do so. Lesson I've just learned--make sure to call before you show up somewhere and make sure you're still expected. Also, maybe I should give up on promoting my books and just hand that over to you, dear readers, and pray that word of mouth will do that job for me. Also, that most people have no clue that little authors like me pay for all this stuff ourselves. My publishers did not pay any of my gas or hotel or promotional costs. So, booksellers, librarians, and friends, please think of that when you write an email to cancel an event and make SURE the author knows you've cancelled. Or you might be costing a person not only time, but hotel and gas money, as well.

Oh, and also, in case you hadn't guessed yet, this is not my lucky long weekend. Apparently. I want to go home now and snuggle my husband and babies and forget books and their wretched promotion exist for a day or two.

Stacey

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Events on Thursday, Friday, Saturday! Come see me!!!

The scoop, here it is:

THURSDAY APRIL 8TH (YES THAT'S TOMORROW!!!)

I'll be at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi. Signing all three books at 5 and reading at 5:30! Please come see me. I dread being alone at these things. At least come buy someone else's book so that the booksellers will have a good sales night and therefore like me and invite me back.

Find out more about Lemuria--like how to get there and stuff--on their website:

http://www.lemuriabooks.com/index.php


FRIDAY APRIL 9TH (Yes. This Friday. Fewer caps...not quite as scary.)

I'll be at Square Books Jr. at 7:00 to sign and read and maybe stand on my head and do the chicken dance if we get a decent showing. Once again, please come. There are lots of big things going on in Oxford that night and I deeply fear being alone. Nothing scarier than reading your book out loud than reading it out loud to an empty room.

Learn more here (but ignore the part about My So Called Death being the sequel to the Megan Berry books, because it's not, but that's okay, book people are busy people and even brilliant people are occasionally confused):
http://www.squarebooks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=61&Itemid=180

SATURDAY APRIL 10TH (Ditto. This Saturday)

11:00 a.m. presentation at the Collierville Public Library, Collierville, Tennessee.

Learn more here (they've got a beautiful facility! Can't wait to see some of you there!)

http://www.collierville.com/library-home

And that's it, I'm out. Gotta change a dirty diaper, rock out a bottle, and then throw some clothes in a bag.

Hope to see some of you soon,

Stacey Jay

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why aren't there more musicals about cannibals? Or zombies!

Dudes...

I didn't make it through the entire movie--it was a pretty low budget flick and kind of slow moving and predictable and we all know I have the attention span of a gnat--but still...I will never ever ever forget my weekend with "Cannibal! The Musical!" (the brain child of Trey Parker of South Park fame.)

I was literally screaming with laughter and disgust for the entire first three minutes of the movie. Screaming. Laughing. Wondering if I was going to throw up. Then laughing some more. I have NEVER had such a visceral response to a move. Now you're curious, right?



To held sate your curiosity, the description from the Official "Cannibal! The Musical!" website:

"Cannibal! The Musical is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America - Alferd Packer. The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs!"

And there was toe tapping...and tongue ripping. How can you not love a movie with both? For the first few minutes it was almost like a zombie musical--it was that graphic and just...ew.



Of course, this made me wonder why no one has written a zombie musical. It would be awesome! And hysterical! Blood, guts, gore, shambling and dancing and singing and groaning! I vowed to begin this master work immediately!

But then...I googled, and found:

Zombie: A New Musical:
http://zombiemusicalsf.com/

Half Alive: The Zombie Musical
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1352714/

And like four or five others. It's been done, my friends. A part of me is sad, but the part that has no idea how to compose music and is laboring under three different deadlines is a little relieved. I mean, I'm busy...I have things to do...I don't really have time to write Fleshrot: A Heavy Metal Zombie Love Story in Three Acts. (But how awesome would that have been? Heavy metal? Zombies? Love? Three acts?)

Sigh...going to go seek comfort in a cherry/almond muffin and a few thousand words. Have a wonderful Monday, be back tomorrow with all the details about my mini-tour. Hope to see some Jackson and Oxford peeps this Thursday and Friday!

Stacey Jay

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Website!



Good Friday all!

Hope you're looking forward to a long, lazy weekend filled with holiday magic and family togetherness, no matter what the religion of your choice. Things are already hopping like an Easter Bunny on a sugar high around here, but I wanted to dash in really quickly and point you toward the new website. If you haven't seen it yet, it is REALLY pretty! Elana over at Cone 6 Media did an amazing job!

So check it out here: http://staceyjay.com

And let me know what you think! The new "contact page" is apparently very user friendly because I've already gotten some email from lovely readers wondering when Book 3 in the Megan Berry series is coming out. (Hope to have word on that in the next month or so! Keep your fingers crossed!)

All best and Happy Weekend!

Stacey Jay

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Empathy, Clowns, and Baby Boo

1984:

The summer before I started kindergarten, my parents ran me and my little sister ragged. They knew I would be starting school and the days of freewheeling family fun, of getting up and going wherever we pleased, whenever we pleased, were nearly at an end. (My parents managed rental property for a living, and had the unique luxury of spending almost every day with each other and me and my sister during the summer.) So they drug us all over Missouri, hitting every park and national monument and crawl-worthy cave. We picked flowers and took hikes, we frolicked on playgrounds and headed south to Arkansas to visit my dad's family and hunt crawdaddies in the streams. We fished and played and splashed and swam and ate way too much ice cream.

Really. We had an ice cream problem. Looking back, I see that my parents were probably ice cream addicts, wild-eyed users always on the lookout for their next frozen dairy fix. That's how we ended up at that semi-sleazy truck stop somewhere in the middle of the Ozarks, desperate for soft serve, and I came to the attention of the saddest trucker the world has ever known.

Even though I was only five, I still remember his face. (I have a diabolic memory that will not allow me to forget anything. Even when I really, really, really wish I could. I still remember peeing my pants at Six Flags when I was two and a half. So yeah...I'm just saying...it's not always fun.)

Anyway, I'd just finished ordering my ice cream and had backed away from the counter, doing a little victory dance because I had convinced my dad to get me the large hot fudge sundae instead of the small, and I looked over and this huge man with a beard was staring at me...and crying. Tears filled his eyes, and spilled down his sad, sad cheeks, scaring the hell out of me.

I immediately stopped my dance and hid behind my dad's leg, embarassed--both for getting caught being weird and for being witness to a grown up's tears--and followed my family to the booth with our ice cream, making sure not to look at the man again. I ate my hot fudge, and had nearly forgotten about the incident when the man showed up at our booth with a huge, scary clown doll he'd bought from the lady behind the counter. (Who made clown dolls in her spare time when she wasn't ringing up gas or serving ice cream, and was probably also a deeply troubled person--who else would make stuffed clowns as a hobby?.)

My dad immediately got gruff and scowly, but the man was very sweet. He told my family that I reminded him of his daughter who he only got to see twice a year. He said he missed her so much that seeing me had made him cry and he was afraid he'd scared me so he'd bought me a doll. To apologize. The doll also scared the shit out of me. But I took it. And told him thank you so much. And that I hoped he got to see his little girl soon.

My family left soon after and I had to admit I felt relieved that I'd never see that man again. I didn't like how watching him cry made me feel inside, so much sadder than anything else ever had.

When we got home, my mother--for some reason known only to god and the 1980's--hung that clown on my wall. Apparently it was full of sharp pins and meant as a decoration not a cuddly toy. That scary, yellow and orange, freaky-eyed clown, was intended to hang on the wall of a child's room. Clearly a decorating statement sent from Satan.


(Not picture of actual clown-doll, picture taken by someone else, of their own, scary-assed clown decorating statement.)

But it wasn't the clown itself that disturbed me night after night; it was the story behind it. Every time I looked at that doll, I'd think about the man who'd given it to me and the daughter he never got to see. And I'd cry, and cry, and cry. Probably two or three times a week, for months, until finally I asked my mom to take it down because it made me too sad.

I remember she seemed surprised that I even remembered the story, but she took it down right away, hugged me, and told me to try not to think so much.

2010:

Tonight Five and I watched Monsters Inc. together while The Old Man was at hockey practice with the older girls. We started off watching it with Baby Lo, but he got whiny and sleepy, so I put him to bed and came out to snuggle with Five. The movie had been a favorite of ours when he was a toddler, and it made me a little misty-eyed to hug this boy who was so big he stretched across the couch, whose feet are as big as my hands, and body is full of sharp angles and no more baby softness.

So, when it came time for the end, when Sully gets to go back and see the little girl he loves, the one he thought he'd never see again, I wasn't surprised that my mist turned into a few full-fledged tears. I'm a sap. I admit it. And it just made me think...of that little three year old I'll never hold again, and of how fast Five's grown. I'm so proud of who he is now and I love him for all his fun, crazy, questioning Five-ness and I'd never turn back time and keep him a baby even if I could. But oh...how I miss that baby. How I wish I could hold him just one last time, see his gummy smile in person, just for a second.

But I kept my tears under wraps. I'm not afraid to cry in front of my kids, but I figure there's no need to freak them out if I'm not genuinely upset. It was just a movie, and Five had always loved the ending. It made him so happy to see "Baby Boo" get to see "Kitty." And then the credit music would play and he'd dance around the room, so excited and pleased with the way things had turned out.

That was then. Now is apparently now....and when I looked down at Five's face, he was crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I don't know, Mama. It just makes me sad. It just makes me sad." I hugged him tight, and softly asked him why it made him sad, secretly stressing that this was about him missing his biological father who he'd just visited in California, feeling as helpless as I always do when confronted with the consequences of my very right, but very painful decision to divorce his dad.

"I'm sad because they won't always be together," he said. "Boo is going to grow up and she won't have a monster in her closet anymore. It won't be forever."



It wasn't easy to hold it together after that, but I managed to put on a decent show of adult-ness and assure him that Boo could always see Sully for as long as she wanted to see him and that people who love each other can love each other forever and always be together. That seemed to satisfy him and he stopped crying and we read some book about a duck with quacking problems and he laughed and went to bed happy.

And then I came in here and cried a little. I'm so proud of my sweet, deep feeling, empathetic boy, but I know the road he's going to walk isn't easy. It isn't easy to feel so much, think so much, worry so much. I hope I can help him find a way to manage his feelings, to figure out when to stress and when to smile, when to cry and get it out and when to say "I've cried about that, and it's over now, nothing to be gained by crying over it again."

Hopefully, I'll do a decent job. Because I sure love that kid, and I want him to keep thinking, just...maybe not quite so much, so soon.

Happy Weekend to all,

Stacey Jay