Friday, April 30, 2010

An Alternate Universe???

Every single morning this week, Emma has woken up trying desperately to convince me she's too sick to go to school.  Yesterday was the most dramatic because she claimed she threw up.  There was no evidence.  At.  All.

Sorry, kid.  You're busted.

I sent her to school anyway.

This morning I was drinking a cup of coffee, mentally preparing myself for the Battle of Emma during the next hour.

When she came downstairs...



Not sick!

Not whining!

She made her own breakfast, rinsed her dishes, brought her school planner to be signed, practiced her violin and got it ready for her lesson this afternoon.  She got dressed on her own and actually went upstairs to brush her teeth when I told her to!

Write it in the baby book, folks!  This is a big day!

And a fantastic start to my day as well.  Hope you all find such unexpected pleasure in your Friday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blog Blocked

Hello Delicious Readers!

I'm so sorry for the lack of recent posts.  I've been blog blocked this week.

For one thing, I've overwhelmed myself.  Remember how I posted a couple weeks ago that when I do something, I tend to jump into the deep end with both feet?  Well, that would be true with my new, full-time writing career. I've joined two different critique groups and am taking a class on how to use social media to promote my book.

I'm loving it all.  I really am.  But I'm un-deliciously lost.  I didn't submit a new chapter to my lunch group because I needed to update some typos, but I can't find the packet the changes are on.

I didn't submit anything to my Thursday evening group because they had so many comments on what I'd previously given them, that I was nervous as all get out to give them anything else.

And then... the class.  It's a fantastic class and I'm learning so much.  But I also don't know what I'm doing.  I'm supposed to sign up for Twitter and link my blog to Twitter and Facebook.  But actually doing that has proved to be incredibly difficult.  I don't know what an RSS feed is.  I don't know how to set up a professional website for my writing.

I'm so confused.

And on top of all that, some pretty icky and intense stuff is going on in our family life.  It's occupying all my brain space and refusing to share with you know, writing thoughts.  And blog posts.  And completely basic things like why did I go into the living room? You all know what I'm talking about.

So send some hugs and some prayers my way.  I have a feeling we're going to need a lot of them in the next few weeks/months.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I have an article published in this week's edition of!

"Top 10 Hints to a Stress-Free Move"

My moving book and I are on our way!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

He's home! He's home!

What a joy to hear his footsteps stomping around upstairs!

Scott's been on a business trip to Southern Florida for the past two weeks and he finally, finally, finally got home late last night.

This is the longest we've been apart since I studied in Scotland 17 years ago.

And it was no fun at all.

In the grand scheme of things, two weeks is not that bad. Our family is unusually tight-knit, though, so it felt like an eternity. This type of travel is only going to increase. I guess we all better get used to it.

He's planning to leave again shortly. Way to shortly, if you ask me. He mentioned flying out on May 9th, but I said, "You do know that's Mother's Day, right?" He quickly changed his mind. (heehee)

My parents will be visiting just then, too, and I think it will make for a very sad day to have all of them leave at the same time. Their schedule's flexible, so we'll make it work. And if they all have to leave on the same day? I'll comfort myself with a very large batch of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Plans for today to enjoy our family together again? No idea. He's pretty tired from his flight, so he'll probably just want to rest today.

Okay by me. As long as he's here where I can walk through the living room and roll my eyes at the bad sci fi show he's watching. Where I can "suggest" he fold some laundry. Where I can feed him home-cooked food for the first time in fourteen days. Where I can pull him over to the couch and curl up in his arms.

It's good to have him home.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Robbery 201: Earth-friendly bank robbing

Robbery 201: Earth-friendly bank robbing

Read on about robbers who apparently aced the class...

April 22, 2010: No get away car for this guy! After robbing a bank just a mile from my house, he hopped onto a city bus conveniently pulling up just outside the bank. Rode it for a few minutes, before getting off at the transfer station (about half a mile from my house). He was later spotted walking not a quarter mile from my house, but has apparently disappeared and is still at large.

April 6, 2007: Robber values exercise almost more than money! He must have had his Schwinn recently tuned up because he robbed a bank (again, not half a mile from our house when we were living in Michigan), then hopped on his bike for his Great Escape. Didn't work out so well since he fell off his bike and lost the money. He did have the presence of mind to get back on his bike and ride away. Police couldn't track him down.

April 7, 2007: This same exercise-loving and persistent robber rode his bike back to the same bank and robbed it again! Practice apparently makes perfect because he, his red Schwinn and the money all vanished. Presumably to join the Tour de France.

These dudes might not be the brightest bulbs in the pack, but at least they're fluorescent!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Contest! Contest! Delicious prize is a Starbucks gift card!

I'm getting ready to put together my professional blog. 'Cause, you know, editors and agents don't really care about my personal life. They want to know about my "professional" following.
Oh, brother!
So... I need a blog name. And I need help coming up with it.
It needs to have something to do with writing and hopefully, moving. Not the moving of muscles, but the moving of homes.
My first book is a hybrid how-to book and organizer for moving. I need to create a blog that generates interest in my moving book. Thus, it would be helpful to have something in the title about moving.
But since the blog will be about all my writing, I need it to be somewhat neutral, whimsical, fun and memorable.
Delicious Readers, name that blog!
The winner of my favorite suggestion will receive a $10 gift card to Starbucks! (That's, like, two coffees! LOL)
Don your thinking caps, eat some pie, ponder your last move...
I can't wait to see what you come up with! (And yes, you can definitely offer more than one title!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Make a Difference Monday!

For all my Delicious new followers, here is the link to my very first Make a Difference Monday post: It'll give ya the background.

Your Monday Mission is eeee-zeeee. If you remember to do it, that is. 'Cause this is one of those things we always tend to forget...
Coupons. We love 'em because they save us money. We hate 'em because we can never find them when we need them.
So here's what you need to do. Cut out a bunch of coupons for products you don't use, then the next time you go to the store, leave those coupons on top of that particular product. Someone's going to come along to buy that item and smile because... "Hey! Check it out! There's a coupon for $1.00 of this bottle of ketchup/detergent/hoisin sauce/what have you. Sweet!"
Whether that saved dollar makes a difference in that person's life, we'll never know. But you made them smile and gave them something positive to mention over the dinner table that night.
That's worth a blog-five. (That's a blogger high-five.) *ch!* (And that's the sound it makes. LOL!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hooha! The Volunteer Extraordinaire is back again!

Last year, I had to cut way, way back on my volunteering time. And I felt like human scum.
I desperately love volunteering and would do it all the time if I could, but going back to work full time put a nix on the helping out hours pretty quickly.
Now that I'm a full time writer and set my own hours, I can get back out there!
And if you know me, you know I don't just test the waters in anything I do. I jump.
Into the deep end.
Trust me, there's plenty of floundering that goes on, but secretly, I love every minute of it.
If you were sitting next to me right now, I'd make you guess the very first thing I've volunteered for. But you're not, so I'll tell you.
I am the Director of Vacation Bible School 2010!!!
Told ya I jump into the deep end.
I was co-director two years ago. It was an insane amount of work and I said over and over and up and down that I would never do it again. But honestly? I'm really excited!
My church sponsors a free VBS for 150 kids. How could anyone not feel passionately about it?
Today was our church's annual Day of Service. Congregants went all over town volunteering and doing good deeds. I stayed right in the church and helped a team of 20 people clean out and organize the Sunday School supply room.
And as VBS Director, I was given the special job of sorting through 10 years worth of VBS curriculum and supplies.
After recycling and tossing about 85% of it, I know exactly what we have to use this year. Money in the bank!
Now in celebration of my return to Volunteer Extraordinaire, let's hear from good ol' Gene Autry... o/ I'm back in the saddle again.... \o. Now switch over to Flashdance... o/ What a feelin'! \o

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mom's aren't supposed to take 4 hour naps

I just woke up from a 4 hour nap. I cannot even believe it. 4 hours? Seriously. I didn't even think I was that tired. Just closed my eyes for a few minutes...

Oh brother. I'm all for naps, but come on. 4 hours is a little lengthy. I just slept away more than half of my child-free hours.

Today was the day I was going to write 1000 words in my novel. I've been aimlessly wandering the house most of the week, so today was the day to concentrate.

Guess I'll have to write really fast now. LOL

After I eat lunch. (I never did get around to breakfast.) And a shower.

And I promise I won't check my blog for comments every 20 minutes or surf some UBP blogs. I'll write, really I will!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Make a Difference Monday (Five Days Late)

Seriously! Can weeks go by any faster? I blink on Monday morning and all of a sudden, it's Thursday evening and I have to get the trash bins out to the street again. I'm beginning to think Thursday evenings come around at least twice a week.

It's now late and I'm exhausted and somewhat stressed out. Today's Make a Difference post will therefore be brief.

Your mission for this week is to make someone outside your family dinner. Choose a friend that's crazy busy and take her dinner. It doesn't have to be fancy -- corn dog casserole is always delicious. Don't tell her your bringing it, but just drive it over there and surprise her.

Her smile will be able to light up Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc. reference, there). I know it's a random joke that quite possibly doesn't make sense, but I'm tired! So there it is! (Your other Make a Difference mission is to ignore any bad jokes and/or typos in this post! LOL)

And great job to all of you who posted last week about your successful missions! I'm so proud of you! Whoot toot!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ahhh... Life can start over now...

Scott and I make a nice income and thank God for our many blessings every single day. As challenging as things are sometimes, his job is solid and I'm now able to stay home and write.
Let's do a quick flashback for all my wonderful new readers... *waving hi!*
Three years ago we were living happily in our dream home outside Detroit, MI. We'd been there less than a year when Scott started seeing the clues that his job was not (surprise, surprise) particularly stable.
God blessed him by helping him immediately find his dream job as a Chief Technology Officer. Only thing was... the job was/is in Washington State.
We put our house on the market, packed up and moved west. Minus some time we had renters in the house, it was on the market for two and a half years. Yup. You read that right.
A sale was just finalized a few weeks ago. There was dancing in our house that day!!
No more long distance money pit. (No one was even living there and I had to pay $650 in heating bills in February.) Our checking account can now recover!
And then I did the taxes.
Usually we get a deliciously substantial refund, but this year, it was a completely un-delicious surprise to find that we owed. A lot.
And a lot.
And a lot.
I have just written the check, though, and will put it in the mail this afternoon so this chapter, too, will close.
Now life can start over.
We can put (keep) some of our hard earned money in the bank and towards 401Ks and toward college funds. We can pay off our one credit card and our car loans.
And best of all, we can breathe again without the boa-like constriction of our lungs.
I love fresh starts!

Monday, April 12, 2010

She called you a what???

That's exactly what I said to Emma (who's 9) when she told me what another little girl called her at school today:
A dumb blond.
Can you even believe that? I am absolutely livid. I mean, I can handle all sorts of ridiculous name calling, but that one? It's just going way, way past the line of appropriateness, don't you agree? It's not only mean, but it's downright offensive.
I am so going to be on the phone to the school tomorrow as soon as Emma gets on the bus. As a parent respectful of teachers and administrators, I try to stay calm and look at all sides of a situation before I react. I've prevented many an embarrassing moment that way.
But I'm not waiting this time. I have had enough. Emma has had problems with the little girl all year long. I understand friendship issues they're trying to work through, but I also know that Emma does not call anyone but her sister names. (I'm trying to see the humor in this. Heehee.) She's a very conscientious student and always tries to use the "Kelso Wheel".
The Kelso Wheel is the district's way of helping the kids sort through problems... tell the other kid to stop; walk away; get help from a playground supervisor; etc. etc.
Emma has done all of this over and over and over again. And I am sick and tired of this other kid being a total brat and getting away with horrible behavior.
Oh, I am so going to demand punishment for that kid. (I better calm down a little here. My keyboard doesn't deserve to get hurt by my fast and furious typing!)
You wanna know the ironic thing in this whole "dumb blond" comment?
This girl is blond, too!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Ultimate Blog Party!!

Woohoo! Who's ready to party? Well, seeing that all of us are most likely married and have kids, who's up to partying in their pajamas, stealing the kids' popcorn, making some new blog friends and falling asleep by 9pm?

I know what you're thinking... "9pm?? Are you kidding me?? 8:30 is more like it these days."

Whatever time your eyes close and your husband tries to oh-so-carefully remove your laptop from your Gorilla Glue grip (you can't let go -- you might wake up and want to keep reading!), it's okay.

'Cause the raucous (in our own heads) party goes on for days! (Hhmmm... sounds like some frat parties I went to.)

Click the Ultimate Blog Party badge on the right side bar to find out how much fun is waiting out in cyber space for you!

Update 4/11/10: Had a chance today to peruse through the hundreds of prizes in the UBP. Holy moly! We're supposed to choose our favorites, just in case our name is drawn. With all those great treasures, it's nearly impossible!

But here's the list I finally came down to:

Of course, the laptop. That's a no-brainer!

1. US-40 2 day/3 night stay at the Holiday Inn East near DisneyWorld
2. US-39 2 day/3 night stay at any Hilton Garden Inn
3. US-75 $100 gift card for Summit Camping
4. US-24 Dahlia photo (see it here dahlia)
5. USC-17 $200 Apple gift card

And should my name be drawn and none of those are available, I would be thrilled with any gift card or cash prize.

(My daughters are 12 and 9 so the fun baby and toddler stuff is a no-go for me.) Thanks,!

Gardening is gross. Simply gross.

I want to like it. Really, I do.

As the crocuses and daffodils stretch their little leaves up through our rain-drenched soil, I get excited. Not just for Spring, but because I'm going to buy flowers and plant them and love them and care for them.

I wait semi-anxiously for the last frost (I adore winter, so I can't get too excited about the warm weather) so I can head out to buy the prettiest flowers I can find.

And here's what happens every single year: I wander up and down the nursery aisles having absolutely no clue what to buy. It's all gorgeous. I want it all. But I'm not so green that I don't know that all plants have needs. That I can't possibly help with. After half an hour of wrenching indecision, I leave. Frustrated.

And flowerless.

This year, dang it, the gardening catalogs caught up with me. How could I resist the summer flower garden that arrives on my doorstep already a year old and transplant-ready? Delphiniums, columbine, hens and chicks... And something labeled Medium Pink. Huh?

There was nothing in the planting directions about Medium Pink. So I just guessed and put it back by the tall delphiniums. If it turns out to be ground cover? Well, it'll be very pretty, completely obscured ground cover.

Here's the bee-yoo-tiful picture that convinced me to pull out the trusty Amex card...

It took me 10 days to plant the little dried out root things sent via large envelope. (Silly me, I thought I was getting flowers that already looked like flowers!) I hated leaving them in their little plastic bags, but 13 straight days of rain and hail made it difficult to get outside (willingly).

Today I did it, though. I tried really hard to psyche myself up. Yay, flowers! Yay, a good reason to stay outside! Yay, gardening is so fun!

It didn't work. Gardening is no fun. No fun at all. It's just gross with mud and worms and grubs and ugly, dead-looking, moldy root things... Fun was definitely not being had.

Did I mention it was insanely windy outside? Not ideal conditions for planting a garden in any case. It wasn't raining, though, and here in the NW, if it's not raining, we go outside. No matter what.

Of course, in my great enthusiasm two months ago, I ordered two of the flower garden sets. 20 plants in each. And ranunculus. And ginormous strawberries. (I don't even like strawberries.)

Hours. It took hours. In my mind, it took all day. But that's not really true. And it didn't even take that many hours.

But it felt like it!

Now I just have to keep these things alive. Good luck, Kate. And, Kate? Throw out the catalog when it comes next year.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writing is the chocolate in my day.

Yes, writing makes me as happy as chocolate does. Even when I'm struggling with a sentence or a query letter or a chapter on relocating pets, writing gives me this feeling of completion. It makes me feel whole and contented and successful. And completely at home, like I'm right where I should be.

How cool is that? And how cool is it to actually get to do what you love every day?

I spent most of the day writing. Not researching. Or querying. Or writing character sketches. But actually writing.

First I finished an article for Hybrid Mom, editing and proofing as I ate my leftover burrito for lunch. Then I worked on my novel, adding to a scene that was fantastic, but a not entirely accurate time-wise.

At the risk of sounding conceited (which you know I am anything but), I just have to say this particular thing:

I love my novel!

The 50,163 words I typed during NaNoWriMo last November melted together to form a beautiful and thought-provoking story. Even as a first draft, which are notoriously bad, it's the kind of thing you want to wrap your arms around for comfort.

I sincerely hope all my writing friends out there feel the same about their work. And that all my non-writing friends have something to make them feel equally contented.

'Cause it's just the coolest feeling in the world.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't drink *anything* when you follow this link!

This has to be the funniest website I have seen and read EVER!

I'm not kidding you. If you take a drink, you will end up laughing out through your nose.

It is that funny.

I quote from the website itself... " it's like a bag of potato chips, once you start reading..."

Let me whet your appetite... a chicken prepped for dinner (you know what I mean) remains alive for 18 months.

Mrs. Winchester, wife of gun magnate Mr. Winchester, had a home built for herself specifically to confuse ghosts.

A 5 foot penguin (well, half penguin half chicken to be precise) enjoys annual strolls through the cosmopolitan streets of New York City.

Here's that link again 'cause I know you can't stop yourself from heading over there right now! And, sadly, no, I'm not getting any monetary compensation for sending you over there. Just the satisfaction of knowing that I gave you your giggles for the day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I adore my husband.

I'm having a bit of a rough night, so he stayed home from Men's Group to be with me.

Except for right now.

He's gone to get a mocha and a brownie for me from Brewed Awakenings.

He's so wonderful. :)

At my critique group last week, I got a funny comment about the lead male character in my novel. The comment was "When this gets published, make sure you tell everyone that this character is *not* your husband! Because all the ladies will think this guy is based on your husband and they'll want to knock you off so they can have a chance with him." Hahahahahahahaha!

'Cause guess what? That particular character is totally based on my husband. You're supposed to write what you know, right? (Just don't knock me off for confessing that to you, okay?)

Attention all Moms of school-aged kids!

You must, must, must go check out this site...

I'm not going to tell you anything about it -- you have to check it out for yourselves -- but these shirts are awesome!

I'll definitely be ordering at least one. Well, I will as soon as we get a paycheck. And reimbursed for those travel expenses. And have paid off Uncle Sam. So, in other words, hopefully soon!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wow! Holiday photos actually posted *before* the next holiday?

Yes, it's true. I uploaded, transferred, uploaded again, adjusted, cropped, resized and PhotoShopped a whole Easter basket worth of photos. So now you don't have to wait till the Fourth of July to see my family of Easter rabbits.

(Sorry they're all out of order. Blogger and I are having a little tiff over moving them.)

The Official Crazy Rabbit

Life is so good when the Bunny brings you books!

What'd he bring us? What'd he bring us?


36 eggs to color!

Aren't they purdy?

I like this photo.

The traditional Pillsbury Orange Rolls. Oh sweet mother, these things are good.

This girl is so beautiful. I'm in serious trouble when she starts thinking about the B word (Boys).

Eggs! Where are the eggs?

A calm version of the Rabbit -- so gorgeous.

It's Make a Difference Monday again!!!

Woo woo! Y'all ready to get out there and make that difference?

I am!

Here's your assignment for the week: compliment a stranger.

Maybe you see a lady in the grocery store and you love her capris. Or maybe you notice that your server has a fantastic smile. Could be that a customer service rep you're on the phone is friendly and helpful.

I guarantee you (although I have no idea how I'd actually do that) that you will make the person's day! That person will smile and feel all tingly inside because someone took the time to say a kind word.

You never know what kind of day that person might be having. You, just by displaying a bit of grace, could be making a very bad day better.

So go forth, my Delicious Readers! And please, please, please leave a comment about the reactions you see!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'm beginning to feel like a real writer!

My writing critique group has read the first four chapters of my novel. Hayley, Emma and now Scott are all reading my book as well. It's slightly nerve wracking, but I know it's awesome (if I do say so!) so I'm trying not to jump every time Scott picks up a pencil and writes something down.

Over all, I'm getting rave reviews about it. It's certainly not perfect or anything; it still needs a lot of work and yeah, writing the second half of it would probably be a good idea. Hahaha!

But more than that, I'm thinking about all the things that go into being a full-time writer. It's not just writing. In fact, it's not nearly as much writing as I'd anticipated.

There's research. Which I love. *big smile*

There's blogging to keep up my web presence. Which I also love. *another big smile*

There's reading other blogs, commenting on other posts, getting my blog name out there in order to grow Delicious as Pie.

It's writing articles, features, essays and whatnot and getting them published. (I can't wait to start on this part!!)

There's organization -- keeping track of who I've sent queries to and whose replied back (and whose unfortunately, at this point, rejected me).

There's writing those horrific query letters.

And there is a great deal of time staring out the window, thinking thinking thinking. The owner of the company Scott works for decided that he needed a soothing view to look at while working in his office. So he had a waterfall, koi pond, gardens and gazebo built in his front yard. Which in itself is very, very large. And the whole thing is gorgeous.

The view out my window? Some rosebushes slowly coming back to life, grass that needs cutting and a fence. (It might not be worthy of a Home & Garden centerfold, but at least I'm not looking at a flashing neon bar sign or anything!)

At any rate... Monday the girls go back to school and my day will be my own. I think tomorrow night, I'll make a daily plan for myself. You know, how long to work on blog stuff, how long to query, how long to do the laundry. LOL Just kidding on that one!

Before long, though, you'll all be able to say that "you knew me when".

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Cruel Mother Diaries: Spring Break The Final Day

Thank the good Lord today is the last day of my children's Amish week.

I don't think I could stand another day. I really don't.

Emma's constant whining is wearing me down. How I'd love to just tell her to go play on Webkinz, for goodness' sake, and just let me sleep? (Yes, she's come into my room all but one day this week to whine that she wants to watch tv. So much for sleeping in during Spring Break.)

Scott took today off (mostly), so he is home. Yay! But he's super stressed out about work, so he's bummy and sad and mopey.

We're all bored, but don't know what to do. Naturally, we're not getting paid today like we should so we don't want to spend any money. But we desperately need to get out of the house. Otherwise we're likely to come out next via body bag. And that wouldn't be good.

This was an insane idea of mine, this taking away all screen time for five entire days. What was I thinking? All it accomplished was more whining, children who *never* stop talking and my first week of being a full time writer wasted.

Figurative self-flagellation.

Spring Break is almost over. I can do this.

And not come out in a body bag.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Cruel Mother Diaries: Spring Break Day 4

Ah... I they're getting the hang of it. The hang of not turning to the tv or the computer every time they're bored or restless. There was not a single mention of any type of screen until Emma got really tired after dinner and just wanted to "relax and watch one show, Mom!"

We spent almost the entire day cleaning out Emma's room. And let me tell you, it was downright alarming. Just the contents of her closet covered her entire room, bed included. The girl is a total pack rat and finds value in everything!

Here are some of the more random things I discovered:
  • a masking tape ball the size of a tennis ball
  • Valentine candy from last Valentine's Day
  • my small jelly roll pan that's been missing for months
  • various pieces of dress-up clothing she's had since she was a toddler
  • a fuzzy, hairy, sticky, absolutely disgusting gummy eyeball from last Halloween
Yeah, I know. You're wondering why I don't clean out her closet more often. I do! I clean it out every three months or so.

Well, I guess technically I clean it up, not out. That's why the chaos. They beauty of all the cleaning, though, lies in the fact that she was willing to get rid of things! I made her go through each and every little container of "treasures" and really decide if she cares enough about it to keep it. We filled a large laundry basket, a book box and a kitchen trash bag with rubbish.


Her room *almost* looks amazing. We're not quite done. She still has to put a bunch of books on her bookshelves and clean off the top of her desk. When she's done, I'll take a photo and post it.

I didn't make her clean the whole day. I'm cruel enough to ban all screen time, but I'm not that cruel! We played Monopoly while eating lunch, then I gave the girls some money and sent them to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. (It had finally stopped raining.)

Today they're going to work with Daddy. I have to go to my writer's critique group and well... no child should have to sit through 2+ hours of grown-up chatter, no matter what the topic.

Off topic, but this is really funny and worth sharing... I went to Target last night and when I came home, Emma was laying on the couch reading the first chapter of the book I'm working on. I think I had heart palpitations. There's a certain scene in there that she very definitely should not read!

Fortunately, she hadn't gotten that far. I tore the pages out and gave her the chapter back. At first she was frustrated that there was something she was too young to read, but once I explained it was ooey-gooey kissing stuff, she made a face and said, "Good! I don't want to that stuff. Gross!"