January 5, 2018

"When you adopt a dog from a shelter do you pick them or do they pick you?" Vivian asked.

"Probably a little of both," I answered.

When I adopted Nola he was one of a litter of pomeranians. He was the first to run over to me and he immediately plopped his puppy body in my lap. A few days later I took him home.

I put him on the passenger's seat, but he decided my lap was where he would reside during this, and all future, car rides. He rested his little head on my knee and didn't budge.

I took him to see my parents that first day. He stayed on my lap the whole visit. I was his.

Every night after work we'd go to a dog park to burn...

December 15, 2017

"I'm the only girl in my Parkour class." Vivian reported. She wasn't upset, she was just stating a fact.

I think Parkour is French for "parents pay money for children to run around and climb on things." I signed the boy child up, because he enjoys running around and also climbing on things.

Vivian went to the class a couple of times and constantly begged me to sign her up too. So I did.

She's a shy girl, and has expressed an overall disinterest in organized sports, much to my dismay. I was a tomboy growing up and I loved what sports provided me in the way of confidence and tribe.

Another added bonus of being athletic wa...

November 11, 2017

People always tell me they want to write a book. They ask me how to do it, how I did it. I give them the answer and most people lose interest when they hear how much work it is. I tell them about book proposals, and research, and agents, and editors, and publishers, and marketing. I tell them that they will not be the next J.K. Rowling. They probably won’t even be the next Dawn Dais.

Recently someone wrote to me asking about the financial aspects of writing books. They wanted to know how much money they can make writing books. I told them about the tiny advance I received for my first book and the very large amount I spent p...

November 2, 2017

The other day I was very tired. I feel like that should be known before reading the rest of this story.

I got some stuff at the store and opened one of the minivan's magic doors to throw the item inside the car. I got in the car and pulled out of the parking spot. I started driving away.

I should also mention I'm very hard of hearing.

I heard voices. I couldn't tell where they were coming from. Was the DVD player on? Was the van talking to me? It's a new van, it has lots of features. Maybe it's talking to me.

The voices got louder. I turned down the DVD player. I'm still driving in the parking lot. I start looking around the...

November 2, 2017

I saw this "The Writing Process" guide hanging in my kid's class the other day. I decided to update it for those of you starting National Novel Writing Month today. Make sure to follow all of the steps for best results.

Did I miss any steps?

#nanowrimo #amwriting #amcussing #amcrying

October 30, 2017

I know we've all felt, as parents and as people, both sides of the War vs. Peace styles of human interaction. And I'm eternally grateful to those who have chosen peace. To those who have provided me a sense of community during what can feel like very isolating parenting years.

October 30, 2017

I'm headed to NYC for some book promo in a week and it turns out you need clothes that aren't of the sweatpants variety for such things. Jodi Holmes has been my best friend since we were 7. I don't think we've ever gone shopping together in that entire time, because, as I mentioned previously, my wardrobe is primarily made up of sweatpants.

But Jodi shops like it's a sport, so I asked for her help getting some camera-ready clothes today. I made it to 1.5 stores before I tapped out. And Jodi aaaalmost made it without buying anything for herself. "I'll just try this on while we are walking, just keep moving, don't let me buy...

August 2, 2017

The second baby never quite gets the same attention the first one got. My second born is 4 years old now but I've noticed lately exactly how half assed we baby-proofed the house for him. There are outlets all over the house that have only one plug covered.

It seems as though we bought like one package of 12 outlet covers and then randomly covered 12 out of the 157 outlets in the house. Because it's important for kids to know that life is not always safe, and mommy can only protect you part of the time.

Also, even though we only had 12 covers I decided the outlet in the photo, which is on the kitchen counter, near the sink, wa...

July 19, 2017

I saw a kid carrying a pillow into the movie theater the other day and it reminded me of when my parents took me along when they saw Out of Africa in the theater. I brought a pillow so I could nap. I looked it up and that movie came out when I was 7.

Maybe that's what we are doing wrong with our kids. We never allow them to be "7 year old sitting through Out of Africa" bored. I think that level of bored is good preparation for real life.

Also, maybe that's how I developed my napping skillz.

I constantly think our kids are going to be so disappointed that life isn't their personal amusement park. Can you imagine how difficult i...

June 27, 2017

With the passing of another school year my social media feed has once again been cluttered with the most annoying, and, I argue, harmful, pictures of children.

What is so annoying about these pictures? They are filled with an abundance of caps and gowns.

Am I anti-education? Anti-celebration? No.

I’m anti-ridiculous.

See, I don’t mind a cap and gown on someone graduating from high school or college. In fact, I applaud those images and the milestones they signify.

You know what isn’t a significant milestone? Passing kindergarten. I’m sorry, it’s just not. So why are we having so many kindergarten graduations? And why are there 5...

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Dawn is a mom, writer, and designer from Sacramento, CA. She is tired.

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