Friday, July 18, 2014

In a Funk

Now that Ben's schedule is lighter (beautiful ambulatory rotations!) and my sister is living with us so we can play and chat to our heart's content, life seems full---without any social online fulfillment at all. What should I do when hobby loses it's savor?

I need to do some tweaking to figure myself out of my blogging indecision funk. Maybe sorting through the layers of issues will help me decide what to do...

1. Learning from Cecily: 
Cecily is my good friend's sister. Her husband just died suddenly due to a heart problem. Now she's alone...with 8 kids. I've thought a lot about their circumstances. If that happened to me, what would I value?

I decided I'd want to read and reread the details of our life together. I would hope to have kept a vast record. Right now, I don't exactly have that.

As deeply as I feel about literacy, the importance of writing book reviews has begun to pale in comparison to keeping a detailed family record and real life relationships vibrant.

2. Worst ever juggler:
Women have a reputation for multi-tasking right? Well, this innately feminine quality has not yet to descend upon me. I can hardly boil pasta and stir a marinara sauce at the same time. The idea of keeping my personal journal, my boy's personal journals (which I have strong feelings about being handwritten), family photo album, a detailed family blog plus a reading blog afloat makes me consider sitting down with a stiff drink. (And I don't drink.) Maybe I haven't revealed the fact that writing takes me a bit of time. To give you an idea, I revise, edit and reedit text messages. Not exactly efficient.

3. Authenticity:
Before this reading platform I kept a personal blog I adored. I wrote about what speaks to me-- everything from favorite smells to newspaper articles. It wasn't private, but it wasn't something I told people about at all. It was for me. And it was so fulfilling.

I've felt that this domain is a little more calculated, a little less authentic. Or at least I'm leaving a lot of my real thinking to try to stay true to books, "Photo Fridays" and a few "interesting" other thoughts that might seem interesting to readers.

4. Computer and phone full?!:
Our MacBook has kilobytes, kilobytes, of memory left. It's practically a miracle this machine works at all. We've put years of photos on our external hard drive and we still somehow don't have space. I think the blog book I started through blurb was the straw that broke the camel's back. To boot, my phone is also full. So taking pictures has not been on my radar for, well, way too long. Not convenient.

5. "Quiet" Time:
Seth has finally, at the age of 4+, given up his nap for good. He did quiet time beautifully in our old house, so no losses for me. But now that he and Noah share a room, places for him to have "quiet time" have at least tripled. And I haven't figured out the right rules to regulate a good quiet time in these circumstances. So that's all to say, my quiet time has decreased substantially. But my knack for playing firefighters, astronauts, pirates, World Cup and "two-year-old Sethy goes to the airport" has grown substantially.

And the clincher: 
Instead of writing through it, *right decision*,
I've clammed up all together. *wrong decision*
::slapping wrists::

So that's my conundrum.

My options:
   - Give up entirely. Don't feel super great about that.
   - Keep this blog going, but do a lot less book reviews and a lot more family, personal stuff...the problem: it's called
   - Go back to old family blog only.
   - Go back to old personal blog only.
   - Start fresh with a new family/personal blog that I can work out my own thinking with, be a tinch more authentic, feel less limited.
   - Never decide. (refer to first "Options" bullet point)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Travel Bug: Part 2

Out at sea in Avon of the Outer Banks

 Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC

Noah overcame ocean anxiety at the Outer Banks 

The best part for me, being with dear friends Kira and Lisa again, all the way from upstate New York
We stayed in quite the beach house: 5 levels, 6 decks, and, most notably, 2 hammocks

All smiles 

A full house of fun, crazy kids (though the picture is missing two)

Fantastically magical splash park in Charlottesville, VA

5 Peterson cousins under 5 in Charlottesville: Luke, Seth, Lily, Renae and Noah. (If only we had little 2-month-old baby Rex in there for 6!) 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Travel Bug: Part 1

I do not consider myself much of a traveler. For one, the only time I've been out of the country is a weekend in British Columbia. (And that was before you had to have a passport.) For two, I have a history of almost hyperventilating with the idea of throwing off our normal, beautiful, low-stress schedule. I really love routines and traveling simply isn't routine. 

However, I think I've begun to embrace the adventure of travel. Even with two small kids. Either that or I caught a travel bug that inadvertently changed my deep-seeded cyclical needs. Or perhaps I'm getting more laid back as a parent, able to roll with the punches, willing to deal with some short-lived unpleasantries for the sake of finding some new good.

So in the past 8 weeks we've visited:
Salt Lake City, UT
St. George, UT
Portland, OR
Cannon Beach, OR
Outer Banks, NC
Charlottesville, VA

A smattering of visuals from the first half of the travels:

Salt Lake Temple steps in Salt Lake City

  Snow Canyon red sand dunes in Saint George with Grandma Nan

 Seth snuggling up to uncles and aunts back in in Salt Lake

 Enjoying landmark Multnomah Falls on a typical drizzly day in Portland

 The boys meeting cousin baby Abby (up from California) for the first time in Portland

 Our family favorite Ecola Point on the Oregon Coast, just north of popular Cannon Beach

Snapshot of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

And that's not all folks!, in the next 8 weeks or so we're planning to visit:
Washington DC area
Myrtle Beach, SC
Salt Lake City, UT (for brother-in-law Jacob's wedding!!)
and Rochester, NY for a little reunion, if we can possibly squeeze it in

Any other east coast travel recommendations. Deal me in! I think I'm getting the hang of this. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Science: "Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?"

Before we visited Oregon, my mom picked out some books for the boys to read. The cutest ever little community library in Fairview provided her with great choices. Whoever chooses new books to purchase for the library must work overtime. 

The choice that rose above the fray and was requested every night while we were there was Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? I happily complied, reading and rereading this one. Brilliant little book. (I'd say these boys always have great taste, but I've gritted my teeth through my fair share of brainless children's books to claim that.)

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
Do you know which ones will grow? Think, then answer Yes or No...A duckling grows and becomes a duck, so can a car grow into a truck?
This read invites young readers to consider living versus nonliving in a fun interactive way. A slew of questions paired with clever rhyming text and lift-the-flaps revealing cupcakes growing into cakes and cars growing into trucks makes this an instant winner to teach young kids the beginnings of biology.

A big, fat free downloadable activity booklet extension for preschoolers combining science, literacy and art is available from the fine people at Farmington, Michigan's community library. I love the great science experiments they suggest!

Also can get as this as an app here.
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