Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I am so glad that I have two children. Sisters to love each other, play together, even fight with each other.

But there are times when I am torn because I am only one person. Sharing a lap is certainly a good thing. But I am torn about what to do on a day when my oldest will be having a minor surgery and spending a day in the hospital. How do I balance being there for her as much as she needs me and not giving my toddler, who has rarely been away from me at all, a traumatizing day of being left with people she barely knows? How on earth do parents with terminally ill children do it?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I'm always playing catch up to realizing what my children are capable of. I cut up their food long after they can do it themselves. They change so quickly that I don't notice when it happens--suddenly, they're just bigger and can do more.

My oldest was a clingy baby. She wanted no one but Mommy and sometimes Daddy. She was stubborn and would cry for hours if I left her with a babysitter. No giving up and falling asleep for that one. Her dependence and attachment continued long into the toddler years. Gradually I was able to leave her with favorite family members, but I never even considered a traditional sitter. Leaving her in a class for a couple of hours at church was a tremendous undertaking--once that was finally accomplished less than one year ago.

So the idea of preschool worried me. Would she be able to handle it? How long would it take her to adjust? Was it worth it? We signed her up anyway because it's free in Florida. But I told myself that I could always unenroll her if she really wasn't ready. I prepared myself to be cheerful and brief as I dropped her off in case she was uncertain or tearful.

But I completely underestimated her. The night before she claimed not to be nervous about school at all. It never even occurred to her. She marched into her classroom yesterday and sat down to color. I had to ask for a hug goodbye. She barely looked up as I left and was happy as could be the whole time she was there. I shouldn't have worried. And I shouldn't have underestimated her. She's stronger and more capable than I give her credit for.

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of Summer

My oldest starts preschool in one week. One week! This is the first time that a school calendar marked the end of our summer. We didn't get to everything on our summer bucket list, but we did a lot of fun stuff. It was a strange summer in a new place. A place where you actually spend the summer indoors and winter is more appropriate for outdoor activities.

We didn't make it to Downtown Disney or the zoo. But thanks to Grandma and Grandpa visiting us, we went to the Magic Kingdom and Sea World. I think that was a little cooler. We also went to Utah for a wedding, visited friends in Tallahassee, and went to Georgia for the first time (and my first grits and first fried green tomatoes).

We went to the beach a couple of times. We haven't yet made it to the Gulf Coast because it's about twice as far as the beaches on the East Coast for us, but we'll get there eventually. We found a farmer's market to go to (I've been sorely disappointed at how few there are in a place where you can grow stuff year round).

We had a picnic, played at the splash pad, rode bikes, and went to the pool more times this summer than my daughter has the rest of her life combined. We had homemade popsicles, roasted marshmallows over the grill, visited an ice cream shop, and got 7-11 slurpees. We saw our first 'gators--in the safety of the Orlando Science Center.

It's been a good and mostly fun-filled summer despite being a one car family. We are now blessed to be a two car family and I'm going to try to make this week fun with more outings before we're constrained by time and have to rush home to get lunch and get my daughter to school.



Friday, August 2, 2013

To E-Read or Not to E-Read

I used to be an English major--which means I went through a phase of being a snob about books and movies. Then I got over it, stopped being so critical, and started enjoying some books and movies simply for the fact that they're entertaining. When people ask what kind of books I read, I still find I have to say that I go for things that are literary. When I've said that I'll read almost anything, people automatically assume I read romance. And for me that doesn't even hold entertainment value. So...I'm still a bit of a snob.

I also have a master's in book publishing. So I took the classes about book selling and how crappy it is and how almost no one makes any money off it these days. And I sat among the people who would never "sell out" and own an e-reader or even buy a book from a big box store. All indie bookstores all the time for them. (I love independent bookstores. And if I ever have lots of money, I'll do all my book buying at one. The fact is, I spend very little of my money on books anymore. Something to do with having kids to feed and clothe.)

I love the smell of books, old and new. I love owning a pretty book. Reading a book is a more sensory experience than reading off a device. But my favorite part of a book is the words and the story it tells. Which comes through on an e-reader too. I got a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday this year and have been asked if I like it. So though I still read "real" books and will buy nice copies of my favorites, here's why I like my Kindle.

- I chose a Kindle and not a Nook because with Kindle you can download out of copyright classics for free. Whereas with a Nook, they'll sell you the B&N Classics version for a few bucks instead.

- My library has e-book lending. I can check out and return a book without leaving home. I have bought a couple of books on my Kindle. But the majority of my reading on it will be through library books, making it free to read many books after the cost of the device. And yes, I love browsing library shelves. But with two little girls, I don't have that freedom at the library. At the library I get to pick out kids books and chase kids running in different directions and loudly whisper "don't yell!" and "no running in the library!" over and over again. (Check to see if your library has e-book lending. Most bigger library systems do, but the last two places I lived had very small libraries and they didn't have it.)

- I can read at night without a light. My Paperwhite has a background light that I can turn way down if I'm reading in the dark--it doesn't hurt my eyes or wake up anyone else. The light is also made so you can read it in the bright sun at the beach, but my beach trips involve chasing children, not lounging and reading, so I haven't tried it out yet.

- On a trip I can take my Kindle and have lots of books available to read. Not that I often get to read on trips anymore, but it's nice to have the option.

I hesitate to buy e-books because I do like to feel like I actually own a physical book after spending money on it. But with my education background, I understand how much money is spent on developing, editing, and marketing a book, even without the cost of printing. But I'm happy with my Kindle and wish I'd made the plunge earlier.