Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Bowling Adventure!

Took the kids bowling... they did pretty well:

I bowled a ...31... who wants me on their league? Bumper bowling perhaps? Maybe I'll just stick to writing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey Kids: Reading is Fun!

The following is a re-print of a guest post I wrote last week over at the - an awesome resource for parents, students, and educators. Not only do they help match students with tutors, but there are many wonderful articles with tips about homework preparation, gearing up for college, studying help, advice for parents, and more! There is something for students of ages - check them out and I hope everyone has a great school year!


I am not a professional educator, teacher, or tutor. Nor do I work in education administration. So when Eric Clark of Quincy Tutoring asked me to guest blog, I thought, how am I a good fit to his website? Sure, I wrote a childrens book I am trying to promote (more on that later), but this website is geared toward matching students to tutors and other educational subjects. There are articles about homework, preparing for exams, and checklists for parents.
I began by reading the articles to get an idea of what Quincy Tutoring was all about. It took only a few sentences to realize these articles were written for me! A parent of three children aged four through fourteen in all stages of education. A parent, who for the past fourteen years, has indeed been an educator, tutor, and teacher.
When my oldest was a baby, I read to him everyday. To say he loved books would be an understatement. This great love affair continued until he discovered video games. Sadly, the same thing happened with my 2nd child. Getting my two older children to read just twenty minutes a day to fulfill their school reading log requirements was pure torture. They never read one second more than was absolutely necessary. When the summer reading list came out, my son would scan the list for a book he had already read and proudly declare he was done. How could this be? As a child, I loved to read. As an adult, I look forward to curling up with a book. As a parent, it was my responsibility to figure out what I could do to change the situation.
At this point, I must give my husband props. Not only does he love to read, but also he has an incredible collection of books for all ages, which he adds to as often as possible. He also recognized the problem and went to his bookshelf. He pulled out the first in the Harry Potter series. I sat down with my son — I believe he was in third grade at the time. I began reading. He began listening. We took turns reading. We read for more than twenty minutes. We did this every night before bed. When we finished the book, he said the most incredible thing to me: “Reading is like a movie in your head.”
Last year, I decided to create my own ‘movie’ called Nate Rocks the World. Using my three children as my inspiration, I created Nathan Rockledge: a 10-year-old boy who loves to draw cartoons that come to life, starring Nate Rocks as the hero. Nate finds himself in all different kinds of adventures — one day he is a rock star, the next a super hero, the next a government spy. Occasionally he gets in trouble at school or at home, but in the end, he always saves the day. Unlike comic books, Nate Rocks the World does not have any pictures. It is up to the reader to create the adventures in their own minds. Nate Rocks the World teaches children that everyone and anyone can accomplish great things.
Over the years, my children have come to enjoy reading. Oh sure, they complain about some of the books they have to read for school, but when it is a book they have picked out on their own or about a subject of relevance, they read with enthusiasm. Teaching our kids to love reading is one of the best gifts we can give.
To learn more about Nate Rocks the World, please visit:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Uninvited Birthday Guest

So this weekend, we thought we’d be enjoying a double birthday celebration. My son’s 5th birthday party was scheduled for Saturday (his birthday is Tuesday) and my daughter’s 11th birthday party was scheduled for Sunday (her birthday is Monday). Everything was planned, purchased, and ready to go... until an uninvited guest decided to crash the parties... yes I’m talking about Irene.

All week long, we were glued to the weather forecasts – was she coming – when would she be coming – would it be a direct hit – would we still have our parties? Irene was doing all kinds of funky moves: moving east, moving west, curving around, getting strong, getting weak. The bottom line was no one really knew when our unwanted guest would arrive. As the weekend got closer, we knew we had to make a decision. We decided to carry on with my son’s early afternoon party on Saturday and cancel my daughter’s Sunday party. Have you ever told a 10-year-old girl her birthday party was cancelled? It was not a pretty sight – but I must say, she handled it like a trooper and we rescheduled it for two weeks from now.

Luckily our uninvited guest did not show up to our Saturday party, and we pulled it off without a hitch (well except for the fact that I had sixteen sugared up kids running around my house for two hours!) But everyone had fun!

But then... there was a knock at the door. Irene had arrived and she was not happy. She brought with her torrential rains, tornado warnings, and howling winds. She stayed all night, keeping us awake, trying to steal our electricity and trees. But we showed her! We offered her a game of monopoly, a campout with our sleeping bags and flashlights, extra food, and water (not to mention several extra carafes of coffee.) We had our batteries stocked, our gas tanks filled, and our cell phones charged. Irene would not ruin our weekend! Finally in the wee morning hours, Irene got the message and left – leaving only some wind gusts behind. She did not even so much as say Happy Birthday to my children.

There is nothing worse than a rude guest. I hope Irene has learned her lesson!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Friday Five – 8/26/11

Hi all – the last week of August – can you believe it? Next week will be September already. So what have you been up to this week? Let me know in the comments! Here’s what’s been going on with me:

1. Blogiversary. August is always a celebratory month for me. It is my Mom’s birthday, my parent’s anniversary, and two out of three of my children have their birthdays in August (one day...and six years apart) at the end of the month. But now we can add Blogiversary to the list! Last year on Aug 23, I started this little blog. To find out which five blog posts over the year were my favorite, check out Special Friday Five Blogiversary Edition.

2. And the winner is... As part of my blogiversary celebration, I also had my first blog giveaway, with the winner receiving a signed copy of my book, Nate Rocks the World. Thanks to everyone who entered. If you didn’t get a chance, don’t worry, I will be doing a Goodreads giveaway in September. Now – on to the winner! Congratulations.................

***Donalisa Helsley***

3. Social Networking. I said I wasn’t going to do it and yet somehow, I got sucked in. I joined Google+. The jury is still out as to whether or not I like it or find it useful, but for now, I’m giving it a try. If anyone else is on it and you want to add me to your circle, click on the widget on the side to add me to your circle ------> I’ll be happy to add you to mine as well. If anyone wants an invite, let me know. I also joined Triberr this week. For those who do not know, Triberr is sort of an automated Twitter chain. Basically, you belong to tribes. When you post something on your blog, your feed automatically gets tweeted out in everyone’s tweet stream from your tribe, so depending on the size of your tribe and the number of twitter followers they have, you could be reaching into the millions. The tribe I belong to is currently at a reach of approximately 40,000 (hello everyone!) On the flipside, you are also tweeting everyone else’s feeds, so your Twitter feed sort of becomes one big advertisement. I’m not quite sure I like this part of it, but so far most of the posts have been interesting and I have met some very nice people. I’ll probably give it another week or so before I decide if I want to stick around.

4. Book News. This week I had the pleasure of being the guest blogger for is an AWESOME website full of wonderful educational resources for parents and students of all ages. I will also be cross-posting the article here next week. Coming up this Monday, Nate Rocks the World will be the featured book for "Marvelous Middle Grade Monday" on Pam Torres’ blog: So I’m Fifty. Then on Wednesday, I have the pleasure of being interviewed by author TS Welti for Wacky Writer Wednesday. It should be a lot of fun!

5. Mother Nature. Just in case you forgot who was in charge, Mother Nature decided to give us a little reminder. First were the crazy thunderstorms we’ve had over the past two weeks. Then, on Tuesday, she gave us a surprising (and thankfully mostly harmless) east coast earthquake. Talk about unexpected. I had just stopped my car and thought my shocks were going! And now –we are preparing for a hurricane! Irene is heading inland and straight up the coast, supposedly entering the Philadelphia area on Sunday. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to reschedule my daughter’s birthday party that we have planned for that day. I can only imagine what the grocery store is going to be like today! Thanks Irene! I hope everyone in her path stays safe!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. See you next Friday... and hopefully sooner!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blogiversary Giveaway: A Signed Copy of Nate Rocks the World!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me celebrate my blog’s 1st birthday yesterday! We had so much fun – the earth shook!! Now to celebrate you – the readers and friends who I have gotten to know over the past year- it is time to celebrate you with a giveaway (cue cheering, music, confetti...)

The prize: a signed copy of my children’s book:

Nate Rocks: Part Super-Hero, Part All-Star Athlete, Part Rock-Star… Part Fourth-Grader?

Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous - what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan’s life as a fourth-grader appears to be completely doomed.  Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of the fourth grade in style, to emerge heroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.

The rules:

1. Follow me on GFC ... ---------> follow the sidebar down & click "join this site" if you are not already there -AND-
2. Leave me a comment below
3. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads & Google+ to earn extra entries! (1 for each site - must put in the comment below that you do so & what your name is on each site so I can find you!)

The winner will be randomly chosen. The contest will run until Friday morning August 26, 2011 6:00am EST and I will announce the winner in my Friday Five Post on that day.

Good luck and thanks for the great year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Blogiversary – A Special Friday Five Edition!

photo credit: eperales via photo pin cc

I know what you are thinking – it is not Friday. It is not even close. I know...I know... but it is a special day! One year ago today, I logged onto Blogger without a clue about blogging and began typing – before I knew it, my ramblings were on the Internet for all the world to see. Okay, so maybe only ten two people actually read it, but still – it was theoretically out there for the masses.

In celebration of my very first Blogiversary, I thought I would do a Friday Five – picking out my five favorite blog posts from the year. A Tuesday Two seemed sort of pathetic. So here we go:

1. September 6, 2010: Anatomy of a Toddler Appetite

I have the world’s pickiest eater. While many parents around the world hold claim to this notion, I can honestly say, my son wins the prize. I know most picky toddlers turn their nose up to broccoli, spinach and most anything else green and healthy. But how about turning away pizza, cookies, candy, cake and juice? No, I’m not complaining, it’s just I cannot believe sometimes that this child and I carry the same DNA. more

2. September 29, 2010: Too Old to Text

I have a love/hate relationship with texting. Conceptually, I think it is a brilliant idea. What better way is there to let your spouse know you are stuck in traffic or ask a friend a quick question? In those situations, texting is fabulous.

Shortly after my oldest son turned twelve, we got him his first phone with a texting plan. I thought it would be a great way to communicate things with him such as what time he needed to get picked up or to remind him to do his homework when he was home alone.

What I did not realize was that I was going to have to learn an entire new language – all in abbreviations. In scrolling through my son’s texts, I can only make out about one out of every six. I’m positive some teenager came up with this weird language to throw their parents off. Well, it is working. more

3. October 18, 2010: The Real Reason the Phillies Win Games

I live with a die-hard Philadelphia Phillies fan. For those who have seen the movie ‘Fever Pitch’ starring Jimmy Fallon, you know who I mean. Case in point - my youngest son shares the same name as one of the Phillies’ starting pitchers. Now admittedly, I have always liked his name, but I can’t say for sure that my husband would have so readily agreed if say, The Yankees, had someone on their team with the same name. If fact, 3 of our top 4 names for my son happened to be names of starting Phillies…coincidence?

My wedding anniversary was this past weekend. My husband had a ticket to the first game of Phillies play-off series for that night. Had our friend not had an extra ticket, we would have spent the night apart. Would I have been disappointed? Yes. Would I have been surprised? No. My husband has had the same Phillies season ticket package with the same group of people long before I ever came into the picture, and post season games are serious business! The night also happened to be my husband’s birthday (I won’t say how old, but it is a milestone year). So, I did what any good wife would do – I threw on my Phillies sweatshirt and baseball cap and headed off to the ballpark for a romantic evening with 45,000 other people. more

4. November 2, 2010: How to Grow A Spider

I was hoping to have this blog post coincide with Halloween – but you know how spiders can be. In the midst of putting together Halloween costumes, working on novel #2, a sick child & planning a Bar Mitzvah, the number one thing on my mind these days has been spiders..its true!

Now I admit, I am not normally a huge fan of spiders, although I have gotten better. After all, they do keep other bugs from getting into the house. But generally speaking, the thought of spiders does not excite me.

So when I opened the annual Halloween package from my Aunt & Uncle to find three rubber spiders, my first response was “eeeww”. Upon further examination, I learned that these were no ordinary spiders. These were “growing” spiders – double eeeww. more

5. May 17, 2011: Where is that Teen Manual?

The request to my 13 year old was simple: “clean your room.” Let me back up for a moment, as this actually happened last week (and the week before and the week before….)

My son used to keep his room relatively neat. Clothes were generally picked up. True, they did not always make it to a hanger, but half-folded in a drawer was pretty darned close. Books were either at or near where they belonged on the bookshelves; and toys, while completely unorganized, were at least tossed in bins. Miraculously, he even managed to pull the comforter over his bed on most days.

But something happened as my son passed into this great unknown I call “teendom.” more

It’s been a fun year. One thing I wasn’t expecting was to meet so many great new friends. Honestly, I thought my family and a few Facebook friends would be the only ones popping in here. Boy was I wrong! I have met so many awesome new people who I can now call friends. I also truly love reading all the comments people have left me. Not only because it is nice to know I’m not just out here talking to myself, but because most of the time, they lead me to other blogs. I guess I have become a blog-a-holic!

Thanks so much for stopping by and helping me to celebrate! Oh and in case you were wondering, there will be a *real* Friday Five this week – this time on Friday - and keep an eye out for another special Blogiversary surprise this week!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Friday Five - 8/19/11

Hey all – is it Friday already? Vacation weeks always seem to go so fast don’t they? This week my family and I went to Connecticut to visit my parents for five days. A sort of working vacation for me...

1. Vacation – the working part. It seems weird to me to even call this work, because it was so much fun, but for a few hours, I did put on my professional hat for two book signings. It was so nice to meet so many great people. I especially loved meeting the kids and finding out how excited they were about Nate Rocks the World.

2. Vacation – the non-working part. Our first day of vacation was a beautiful sunny day – we all threw on our bathing suits, grabbed the sunscreen and headed over to the pool in my parent’s complex. We stayed for just over an hour – it was our first day and we had five days to enjoy the pool – right? Wrong! The next day it rained, and then again on the next day, and again on the next day and again... well you see where this is going. We did manage one other sunny day, but by then we were sitting on the New Jersey Turnpike, heading back home. So how did we spend our time? My parents taught us a card game they play with their friends called Bonanza. It’s a little bit Yahtzee, a little bit Poker, and involves chips and betting. My ten year old especially was addicted to liked it - don’t judge.

3. Arthritis. Well – with all that rain, comes arthritis! That plus sitting in the car for over four hours on the drive home really did me in. So as I sit with heat wraps strategically placed on my body trying to help the pain, I want to remind everyone that arthritis is a disease that affects millions of adults and children. This week, I received a newsletter from the Arthritis Foundation telling me that federal funding for arthritis research will go away as of November. While many would say, so what – I do not. Learn more and join me in the fight to petition Congress. Let them know how important this issue truly is.

4. Disappointment. I wasn’t going to talk about this, but since it was such an integral and unfortunate part of my week, it belongs in my Friday Five. This week we lost a long-time friend. Not to disease, accident, or death. We lost a friend to lies and deceit. Someone we trusted – someone many - including my husband and myself - opened hearts, home, & wallet to. Someone who took advantage of human kindness and compassion. This person is now in the hands of justice and will have to answer not only to judge and jury, but also to his conscience and what lies ahead of him. I am still trying to sort through my own emotions, however, I am relieved that closure is on the horizon.

5. Book News. Okay – now that I got that off my chest – let’s talk more about Nate Rocks! In addition to the signings (so fun!), I also have two blog appearances I am busy getting ready for: On Monday August 29th, Nate Rocks the World will be the featured book for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday on So I'm Fifty’s blog ... I also heard a little rumor there may be a giveaway! Then on Wednesday, August 31, I will be interviewed by TS Welti for “Wacky Writer Wednesday.” Fitting don’t you think?

Hope everyone has a great weekend. See you next Friday... and hopefully sooner!


Friday, August 12, 2011

The Friday Five - 8/12/11

Hi everyone... it’s Friday again... you know what that means! So – lets get right to it:

1. My Blog. This actually happened last week, but since I did not discover it until this week - it counts.  Pam Torres, blogger extraordinaire and fellow middle grade author, listed my little blog as one of her Thursday Three blogs to check out. Thank you Pam! She is also going to be reviewing and offering a signed copy of Nate Rocks the World to one lucky reader... stay tuned!

2. Yard Sale. We’ve been saying we wanted to do this for the last several years, and this past Saturday, we finally did it. Wow did we have a lot of stuff - - a lot of stuff that a suprisingly lot of people wanted to buy (Yay!) The sale was advertised for 8am-1pm, but people were showing up by 7:00! It was crazy nuts – but it was great to get rid of so much.

3. Book News. This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by David Wisehart who blogs about Kindle authors. Also – I am having my first readings and book signings this coming up week. I am so excited! On Sunday night the 14th I will be at a private residence in Beacon Falls, Connecticut from 7-9pm. It is a free event, but space is limited, so if you are interested, please leave a comment with your email and I will send you the information. The second event is Monday the 15th at the Beacon Falls Public Library from 1-3pm. I’m so excited to meet up finally with some of the kids (and adults) who have loved Nate Rocks the World!

4. Happy Birthday Mom! This past week was my Mom’s birthday – I won’t say how old, but it is wonderful a milestone year. When I was growing up, my mom used to always tell us she was twenty-nine. At some point, I suddenly found myself older than my mom, but still she remained twenty-nine. Not only do my own kids know exactly how old I am, but my 4 year old often feels the need to announce it in public. Perhaps there was something to her telling us she was 29. Mom – Happy 29th – we love you!

5. Arthritis returns. Just when I got to the point where I was starting to feel better –wham – a flare hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday! Luckily my trusty heating pads and wraps came to the rescue. But it was a reminder to me that arthritis is still a controlling force in my life and the lives of millions of other adults and children. It was also a reminder to me that the Jingle Bell Run is fast approaching! What is the Jingle Bell Run? It is a 5k walk/run held throughout the country to help raise money for Arthritis. This year I am thrilled to be the Eastern PA Chapter’s Honoree! Want to learn more about the Jingle Bell Run and how you can help beat Arthritis? Find a run near you, or if you are going to be in eastern PA on Dec 11, join Team Toz! We’d love to have you!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. See you next Friday... and hopefully sooner!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Calendar Chaos... aka... Keeping up with my Kids

photo credit: Moleskine的台历啊,兄弟们!!! via photopin (license)
It’s that time of year again. The time of year I dread. The moment when I keep sliding that one daunting task on my to-do list further and further down – until there is no where else for it to go. The time has come... it is now or never. It is time to ... update my calendar (cue shrieking).

So what’s the big deal? Why all the dramatics?

I keep two calendars – one is hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and the other is my digital Google Calendar that syncs with my phone (sometimes). These two calendars must match at all times or it gets ugly.

Every August, I sit down with other calendars that I have collected during the summer. There is the soccer calendar, the school calendar, the football calendar, the dance calendar, the religious school calendar and the doctor/dentist appointment cards that I have been collecting.

My youngest has soccer every Sunday plus practices. In the spring he will do t-ball. My daughter takes seven dance classes each week (yes – you read that correctly.) She has at least one class everyday except Sunday and all at different times – plus competitions on the weekends in the winter and spring. My oldest plays football. He has practice every afternoon plus games every week. When that ends, he plays basketball (did I mention my 13 year old is 6’3”?) This year he announced he also wants to do lacrosse and golf. He also participates in the school snowboard club, and last year he managed to throw an art class in the mix. On top of that they each have religious school once or twice a week (depending on the child).

photo credit: Sports equipment bucket at school via photopin (license)

I also have to make sure I have all of the school information on the calendar – early dismissals, teacher in-service days, back to school nights, holidays, ... you know the drill.

Adding each item into two calendars takes me hours. Seriously – this is no exaggeration! I am starting to feel anxiety just thinking about it all!

For those who think I may have my kids over-scheduled, I don’t necessarily disagree. But these are activities they have asked for (well maybe not the school/religious school part – but they are non-negotiable) and believe it or not they do still have a lot of down time. The deal I made with them is this: School comes first. If you are having trouble keeping up, the activities go away. In a way, the activities act as a motivator, and I don’t have to worry about what they are up to after school. So far, it's worked and all activities have stayed in place. Which is good, because then I'd have to re-do the calendar.


Friday, August 5, 2011

The Friday Five - 8/5/11

Hey all - Is it really August? I feel like school just ended and here we are getting ready for another year already. Lots of school preparations this week, including a 7:40am dentist appointment for the two older kids (sorry oh well.) Here's what else happened this week:

1. Party! This past weekend, we gathered with so many wonderful friends and family to celebrate the release of Nate Rocks the World as well as to raise money for a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The turnout was amazing, the weather cooperated, and we had a great time. Thanks to all for the overwhelming support!

2. Kids. Now that camp is over, the kids are back home and it is time for ‘Camp Mom’ mwaahahaha. So here are some highlights of our week. Monday we started some back to school clothes shopping. There were many negotiations involved. Tuesday was lazy day – hanging at the house. I think we all needed that! Wednesday we went to the pool and managed to get a few hours in before the rain came. Thursday was school supply shopping, library, and back to the mall to exchange some of the above-mentioned clothing that was too big (told you so!) Today we are getting ready for the yard sale we are having this weekend – see #3

3. Yard Sale. Where did all this stuff come from? Tools, furniture, toys, electronics, oh my! I’m just happy we are getting rid of it – fingers crossed. Ads have been placed, items have been semi-organized, and signs have been made. If you are in the area – stop by tomorrow from 8am-1pm.

4. Toothfairy. Well it happened. After almost 14 yrs of faithfully showing up for my kids, the Tooth Fairy forgot to come this week. My 10 year old came down the stairs on Thursday morning, with a sly grin on her face to alert me of the horrendous oversight. I did what any other mother would do: I sent that fairy a nasty email. Well it must have done the trick – she showed up while my daughter was upstairs getting dressed and personally handed me the loot to give to her. All is forgiven.

5. Book News. Busy, busy, busy on the book front! This week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Independent Author Network. Thank you to the IAN for having me. Also exciting - I had my first print newspaper review! Thank you to Tracy Poff and the Herald-Dispatch for the great article and review! Coming up -  I have my first two book signings soon. They are both in Connecticut. For more information, please visit my author website. I am very excited to personally meet some of the kids who have been enjoying my book. Hey - Did you know I have a Facebook Author Page? We are approaching 400 fans – come join the fun!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. See you next Friday... and hopefully sooner!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teens, Tweens, and Clothing

My oldest son used to be so easy to dress. We had tops, and we had bottoms. It didn’t matter which top went with which bottom. He didn’t care, he didn’t complain. Whichever one his hand touched first when he opened his drawer was just fine. His shoe wardrobe consisted of one pair of sneakers and one pair of dark brown work boots that could double as dressier shoes, if needed.

My daughter was a little pickier, but still relatively easy. She went through her dresses only stage - and then her anything but dresses stage. But other than specifying what type of garment she wanted to wear, she didn’t much care what they looked like.

Shopping was simple. I didn’t need to have the kids in tow. I could go to any store, fill up a bag, bring it home, and they would wear it. But then... without any warning... the rules changed.

photo credit: Myeongdong via photopin (license)
Suddenly they knew words like “American Eagle,” “Abercrombie,” and “Hollister.” They began talking about “Adidas,” “Nike,” “Giorgio Armani,” and even “Prada!” "The Gap" and "Old Navy" became words of shame, and if I dared to even utter the words “Children’s Place” it was as if I had told them the world was going to end tomorrow.

Luckily – I had some new words myself – something along the lines of “no,” “crazy,” and “get a job.”

photo credit: Adidas Spezial Exhibition Manchester via photopin (license)
Then came the shoes. Surprisingly, my daughter was not the one with the demanding shoe wardrobe (although she is only ten – I’m sure it’s coming.) It’s my son. Apparently, once you turn thirteen, shoes become the next best thing to video games. At last count, he had six pairs of sneakers. To be honest, I hadn’t realized just how many shoes he had accumulated until I started unpacking from camp. It seemed as if my 6’3” thirteen year old had finally stopped growing (or at least significantly slowed down, thank goodness). For a while there, his feet were growing so fast, that I was buying new shoes every other month. I guess I sort of became accustomed to that schedule when all of a sudden his shoe size stopped changing. Well – the gig is now up. Sorry kid!

As I help my four year old get dressed every morning, I wonder how many years I have left until he starts complaining about his wardrobe. For now, I’m just relieved he is still happy in his jungle animal pjs.


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