I am sitting here

in the same spot, on the same day, at the same time, with the same wrapping paper, even.

This was when my water broke exactly one year ago. I didn't know it was my water breaking at that time. I thought maybe it was, but I also thought I was just a hypochondriac crazy person. Then, later in the night there was a much much larger gush and I knew.

It all started a year ago. A year ago right now.

It's never good to live in the past, but I have to say, thinking back on this past year I think more good things have happened than bad things. I am so fortunate I don't even have the words to express it.

I am staring at Ike-a-saurus' perfect face as he smiles in his sleep and I think about how this time last year I was so scared and so fiercely trying to conjure that image – a healthy baby boy. My doctor never gave up on us. He refused to think negatively. Even when the perinatologist told me to terminate, my doctor called me himself, late that night, to tell me he was praying for me. And he told me to never give up hope. He said he was "cautiously optimistic" that things would be OK. Or kind of OK. And he would tell me that, over and over, up until the day Ike was born, and beyond.

Cautiously optimistic.

We are in a new realm of that now. A realm that most likely has nothing to do with Ike being premature – just a freak luck kind of thing, this trach. Some days it's so hard, but I have to always be "cautiously optimistic."

If this past year has taught me anything, it's that people are inherently good. Bad things can also mean good things. Sheer force of will is shockingly powerful. And I am lucky to have the friends that I have.

So, so lucky.


I slept through part II of Impact tonight! Thank goodness for the TiVo or I would never find out if the moon crashed into the earth.

Sorry about that.

Live blog FAIL.

But at least I got a nap!

Dinner recipe for 107-degree day

1 bottle of pink wine (screw top optional)
1 can of Sprite
1 lemon and/or lime, quartered
1 giant plastic Whataburger cup

Unscrew wine, let it breathe. Slice lemon or lime, or just forget that part because it's too hot to chop things. Put a bunch of ice into your Whataburger cup. Pour wine over ice. Pour Sprite over wine. Hold cold cup to blazing hot face. Drink. Repeat. Note: sometimes the cup is too big and heavy to lift on such a hot day, so an extra long straw is required.

It’s happened again…

Another mama accosted over feeding her baby in public. Unbelievable.

Here's the letter I just sent to the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels, TX, where some friends of mine had a bit of a time yesterday…

To whom it may concern,

You may want to avert your eyes because my boobs are writing this letter.

No matter how much I try to calm them down, they're pretty indignant.
They don't like the way my friend Jodi was treated at your museum
yesterday. They are not fans of boobie timeout rooms. They ARE fans of
feeding babies when babies get hungry, though, no matter when or where
that happens to be.

The boobies writing this letter are wondering – as boobies are wont to
do – why museum staff would want to cater to grouchy looky-loos
instead of babies – their true patrons. The boobies also want to point
out that when a baby is nursing, his or her little melon head (so to
speak) covers up more of the breast that a swimsuit would. Or a summer
dress. Does your museum also have a summer dress timeout room?

In fact, the boobies are wondering if maybe there is a grouch timeout
room? That way, when someone in the museum who has a grouchy face and
a complain-y demeanor decides that a baby can't eat in front of them,
perhaps the baby could suggest that that person go rest up in the
grouch timeout room.

Also, is there a noisy children timeout room? Noisy children can be so
annoying. Especially at a Children's museum. What about a
too-many-questions timeout room? The boobies are very familiar with
how older children will sometimes never stop asking questions. Maybe
they could be sequestered away, too, so that everyone can have an
undisturbed museum experience.

The boobies see a problem here, though, and maybe you do too. Timeout
rooms are not interactive museum rooms, are they? And if everyone who
complains about something can request someone be put in a room off to
the side, soon there will be no one left to enjoy the museum. That
seems to kind of defy the point of having a Children's museum at all,
doesn't it?

I am afraid that yesterday, when Jodi, Amy and Marcella were chastised
and embarrassed for nursing their babies, you guys unleashed a power
upon yourselves that you are not fully aware of. The power of the
Mamas. This power is large, protective, nurturing… hey! Just like a
big ol' breast, huh?

And the big ol' breast is descending upon you right now.

Maybe you should go hide in a timeout room.

Concerned Mother

PS. While you're in the timeout room, maybe you could craft a public
statement announcing that the museum supports breastfeeding women –
and the law. You could also consider consulting with Dave Fendrick,
the General Manager of the Round Rock Express. He weathered an
incident similar to this one with extreme grace under pressure. The
mamas love him now. All 1700+ of us, and all of our 3400 breasts.

It’s out – now what do we do?

peddling my wares
bringing cute kids with me helps
while I stamp my foot

The wee one and I went on a adventure today, driving around town, trying to find Mike Stellar out in the wild. It was supposed to be at all the bookstores. We only found it at our local independent store. This means two things: 1) BookPeople ROCKS and 2) big box bookstores sometimes need some persuasion to rock.

I am finding it very frustrating that I can write a book, get it published by Random House, get it well reviewed before publication, and then find out that the chain bookstores in town have not ordered any copies. Once I chatted with a couple of managers and they saw that there were tons of copies at their warehouses nationwide, and that a local author might bring a sale or two with her, they ordered a few copies for their stores. Well, Borders didn't. I was told that their buying decisions come from the home office. So I will call the home office tomorrow and politely ask them to send a couple of copies to my local store. It seems kind of unfair that my book isn't stocked at the bookstore that is 2 miles from the house.

It's not easy to sell a book if you can't get it stocked. But I'm working on it.

If you go to your bookstore and find out it isn't in stock, would you mind asking them to order a few copies? If a book is stocked at a Barnes &Noble, for example, and a store orders a handful of copies, those copies automatically get reordered after someone buys them. The trick is to get them in the store to begin with. A lot of stores nationally are just waiting for fulfillment from the warehouses, and that's cool. But some of them will never stock it unless we ask.

Book publicity is kind of an ironic beast. Or at least for me it seems to be. The more famous you already are, the more publicity you get. If you're a regular person, you're not going to get much publicity at all – even though you need publicity to become one of the well-known people who get publicity without asking.

So if you don't mind, ask your local store to order a few copies if you can't find any on the shelf. And if you read the book and like it, spread the word – online, to your friends, to anyone who will listen. Word-of-mouth is supreme in this business.

I can't thank you all enough for your support. It's so exciting to see Mike out in the wild. Now, like any kid on a space adventure, he just needs some attention.



Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel is launching tomorrow! Technically less than an hour from now. Yes, yes, it's a midnight launch party of one, but that's OK. Tomorrow I'm going to stalk every bookstore in town. And, yes, I'm going to bring my camera. No, I'm not going to play it cool. I'm going to be a big fat dork. Yay!

It's going to be very embarrassing if it isn't on the shelf yet.

I started writing Mike when the wee one was 7 months old. And now he's seven YEARS! I didn't actually spend seven years writing it – really, probably all of the drafts and writing and editing and rewriting and everything took a total of one year – it was just spread out between writing a first draft, finding an agent, doing some rewrites, finding a publisher, doing some more rewrites, waiting for the publishing process to begin, etc.

I can measure the journey of this book from start to finish, with my kids. Started it when the wee one was a baby, sold it when I was pregnant with the wee-er one, and now it'll be in stores with Ike-a-saurus as a wee babe. My dedication page has had a lot of additions. And Mike is like their brother. Their brother who lives in my head. A HeadBrother.

Well that sounds really creepy.

Not creepy? This:

"Holt’s children’s book debut whizzes by at warp speed—the
suspenseful plot and the precocious yet complex hero combine for a fun
ride with a satisfying resolution."

Thanks Publisher's Weekly! Woo!

And I just checked Amazon… the sales rank is at 94,000. Don't laugh. That's way better than the 500,000 it was a few days ago. And, hey, after you read it, will you write a review? That would so rock my socks.

It's coming out tomorrow!

Tomorrow! I've been waiting for this day since I was a kid. I would always tell people, "Yep, I'm going to write books." And then I got distracted for a while – school, art, boys – but I got back on track. It really is amazing – and it's been a long time coming.

Here's to you ten-year-old self. Thanks for never really growing up.