Category Archives: Motherhood

hostess gift

L is traveling to France in 8 or 9 days. She will be staying about 10 days with a host family. What should give her to bring as a gift? They seem extremely nice, and I’d like to thank them somehow. She is not allowed to gift them money or alcohol. It also must be small as she’s responsible for moving around her own suitcase.


another ski day

I took L and B skiing today, and as usual, it was a bit of an existential struggle.  Well, perhaps just tiring . . . but oh so tiring!  But also as usual, I’m glad we went.

B has the green pants, and L has the bright orange/pink pants and blue coat.

Usually when we go to Crystal, I put the girls in lessons, as they have a wonderful lesson program, in contrast to the other local resort we go to.  However, it’s expensive, and they’ve definitely reached a point where we can ski together.   It was about 30 degrees at the base, maybe 25 degrees at mid mountain.  Lift lines were longer than usual, probably due to MLK weekend, so we mostly skied the bottom half of the mountain where they were shorter, but we sadly didn’t get to ski as much on the powder on the top half.  25-30 degrees seems quite warm for skiing but perhaps because it was snowing steadily the whole time, the girls and I were very chilled by the time we left and might have stayed longer otherwise.  For my part, the girls were skiing much more slowly than I usually do, and as a result, I wasn’t getting as much exercise or getting my heart rate up as much as usual, and I think that contributed to being cold.

We stuck to the green runs as I didn’t want to have to try and rescue them if they had a bad fall on a blue run.  It was actually really fun to ski runs all day that I could ski confidently and without any stress at all.

Life has been stressful and will continue to be so for a while yet.  So many decisions, so much uncertainty, so many logistics to be attended to, and trips coming up.  Oh the logistics!  We’re in the thick of things.  My parents are at the other end.  I’m grateful for my relative youth and all that is in my life, even if it’s beyond exhausting at times.  One day at a time.

Tracfone and phones for kids

I think Tracfone has a reputation of being an inferior phone service, but I believe this is quite wrong.  In fact, I’ll call it an official Great Thing.  In general, Tracfone offers all the things that the major carriers do, but for less money.

What I use:

  • $200 annually, $223 including tax – works out to $18.40 / month
    • Unlimited talk and text
    • 24 GB of data total
    • Once data runs out, it must be purchased at $10 / GB.  I typically use less than 2 GB per month, so this works for me. (Note that the phone will simply stop providing data; there is no auto-purchase option.)
    • No hot spot capability – never needed or wanted this

What J is going to switch to:

  • $35 / month, $40 / month including tax
    • Unlimited talk and text
    • 8 GB of data total
    • Once data runs out, it must be purchased at $10 / GB.  (Note that the phone will simply stop providing data; there is no auto-purchase option.)
    • Hot spot capability included – important to J

The only major drawback I’ve noticed with Tracfone is that international calling is a plan.  While on Har.bour Island in the Baha.mas, I was unable to get international calling working on my Tracfone.  I do think it might be easier for other countries, but proceed with caution if you need to make international calls regularly.

Has anyone else bought a phone for their kids?  We bought a flip-phone for L.  I’ve posted on here about communications difficulties with her gymnastics coaches, and I basically was very concerned we’d leave her at practice and she’d get left on her own at some point.  The building where the gym is (a Salv.ation Army) also serves as a soup kitchen for the local homeless population, and I just felt it would be safest if she had a phone.  She is on a Tracfone plan as well.  For $100, we got a year’s worth of service plus 400 “minutes” which can be used for talk, text or web, which is Trafone’s cheapest option.