About this Blog

Here you will find information and writings by Carrie Dalby, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the ups and downs of life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do You Love a Banned Book?

It's banned books week!


Some of my favorite authors have banned books and books that have attempted to be banned from schools and libraries. Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and Laurie Halse Anderson are three that come to mind.

Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia is my favorite novel of all-time. Some parents have concerns about it because the main character has a crush on his young female music teacher (what kid hasn't had a crush on a teacher?) and also because a death in the book. No spoiler beyond that- just READ it. It won the Newbery Award for a reason!

Madeleine L'Engle ranks in the top five Christian fiction writers of the last century- I'm talking with the likes of Tolkien and Lewis, may they all rest in peace. Some people are scared of the book A Wrinkle in Time because it doesn't meet their ideal of religion- that it's too “new age”. If you want correct doctrine don't go looking for it in a novel... but you can find universal truths in the symbolism therein.

The most recent attempts at banning were blogged about by by Laurie Halse Anderson at her site last week. http://halseanderson.livejournal.com/264680.html
Twisted, one of her novels on the chopping block, is possibly the most eye-opening novel I've read. As a parent it made me fear for my boys upcoming teen years. Heavy, yes. Uncomfortable at times, yes. Worth it for the learning experience, yes! It's a novel I'll allow my children to read once they reach a level of maturity in which the topics can be digested properly. A wonderful talking point to encourage conversation between parents and children.

Parents need to read what their children are reading. Literature can be a gateway in which scary, tough, and heavy topics can be approached in a safe, third person way. Books are tools, learn how to use them appropriately.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Little Princess turned one on Friday. She slept through most of her dinner party- thank you, Nana, for preparing the turkey feast- but was in good spirits when she woke up from her late nap. I allowed her to eat an ice cream cone cupcake without eating dinner. (She enjoyed the left-overs Saturday for lunch.)

She did keep her tiara on long enough for me to get several great photos of her wearing it. I had to get a doll stroller for her present- girls are fun to buy for! Thankfully Fisher-Price makes a sturdy stroller for toddlers. Of course big brothers have enjoyed playing with it, too. Whether it's because large, pink toys are a novelty or because it allows them to push something while running and crashing remains an enigma.

The most memorable moment... well, at least the funniest... was when she opened (with help) some clothes and actually held them up to admire them and exclaimed “oooh!” Such a girlie moment! When opening clothing gifts my boys always throw them behind their backs and grab for the next gift. Classic!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


First, I'd like to shout out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister-in-law! You're the bomb! My oldest was due on this day, one year ago, but she was over-cooked... like both my other turkeys.

It's been a week of knitting. (I know I should have spent more time writing- I'm loosing the momentum I had last month with the WFMAD challenge- but cognitive therapy has taught me not to “should on myself” so I won't regret my time spent with yarn.)

I actually completed one knitting project I've been working at for a a few weeks then started and finished a second AND third piece, and now I've began a fourth. They are all hats, children's hats- including one preemie, so they're small projects. But just the right size for a busy mom. After I finish this hat for my little princess I'll start on projects for my friends' children. E-mail your requests- I'd even do big people hats for my friends, too.

Almost two years ago I started knitting a blanket... a baby blanket, but the largest knitted project to date. I worked on that thing over a year- it took longer to create than my baby girl. It felt great to complete it but the dragging on without an end was an emotional beating. It's satisfying to complete a hat in a few days. Heart-warming to see my girl toddle around while trying to pull her hat off and on and watch my preschooler shake his head around to giggle the jingle bell on his hat. (I'm not ignoring the oldest- he wants to keep his two hats that still fit him.)

So, more knitted projects around the bend. And hopefully more writing, too!

(Pictured is the hat I made last winter for my baby girl- too small now!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Have You Written Your Senator?

I subscribe to the “Ask Dr. Sears” e-newsletter. In the newsletter last week the following link was listed in the vaccine information section.


Vaccines are a hot button topic for me. I'm not anti-vaccine, but I'm anti-mandatory vaccines. I believe parents and the children's personal doctors know what's best for each child. I don't think there should be a one-size-fits-all schedule for shots. And the thought of my children being taken away from me (for not following guidelines by people who have never seen my children's medical records) is about the scariest thing imaginable.

Following Dr. Sears' advice, I've sent my senators the following letter and urge you all to do the same.

I am writing in behalf of my children about my concerns that the soon to be available H1N1 vaccine will be made mandatory. My family has a history of autoimmune diseases and I have to space my children's vaccines further apart than the standard recommendation in order to prevent an immune system overload (which has the potential to trigger neurological disorders.)

I have no issues administering the older, established vaccines on an adjusted schedule for my young children but I believe it is in my family's best interest to pass on a vaccine that is so new, without a track record of long term side effects.

Freedom of choice has made our country great. I hope that you will speak out against mandatory vaccinations which have the possibility to tear local families apart in the general interest of safe guarding the country at large for a flu that is inherently no more dangerous than any other flu that sweeps the nation each season. Please keep our freedom of choice open and never allow vaccines to be mandatory.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Weaned (No, not the baby)

This is a follow-up to my August 4 Blog post, the one about my oldest son and our Autism journey. Missed that one? Might be good to back and read it before continuing.

The medication weaning is complete! There is now only one prescription (which our local doctor is willing to prescribe) and three over-the-counter supplements/medicine to deal with. But twice a day is much better than five times a day (yes, one of his medications had to be given five times a day!) He has not regressed in any areas and even started back to school without issues. He's still happy and sleeping well.

One major gain has been his willingness to try new foods. He's eleven and hasn't eaten anything green (not counting the occasional grass/weed eating over the years) since he was two years old and would have the biggest melt-down if I tried placing anything green on his plate.

This past month he's eaten the leafy tops of broccoli stems several times, wedges of green bell peppers twice, and once allowed me to place three peas on his plate- though he asked for them to be taken away a few minutes later. Plus, he actually ate pork chops that were cooked in a crock pot! This is a kid who only ate chicken/fish/shrimp that's breaded and crispy.

I wondering if either of the medicines we'd dropped gave him a bad taste in his mouth. Things that make you go hmm.... But he did self-limit his diet well before starting medication because part of the eating problems are sensory issues.

No luck on the piano lessons yet. Have not heard back from the two teachers I've contacted. On to the next plan: more networking!

(The picture is his Play-Doh art featuring the interior of Count's Castle from Sesame Street.)