Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear Babysitter

Thank you for coming to my house to watch my Wee One.  She is a toddler now, so I thought I would leave you with a few ... thoughts.

1.  I have tried to pick up all the dried up cheese pieces and gobs of oatmeal from around the house, but you may come across some I have missed.  We don't really save them around here (even though it looks like we do) so you can throw them away.  Or eat them, whichever.  I know I'm not paying you well, so that will suffice as your snack if you'd like.

2,  She is allowed to watch Baby Einstein if she asks you, which she will.  Yes, I know she is only 16 months old, but when your eardrums get pierced because of the screeching, you'll know what I am talking about.  If you push the play button twice, it rewinds and replays at the end of the tape, but by then she will be wandering around getting into something she's not supposed to, so it doesn't buy you any more free time.

3.  You will need the shorts that are over her diaper, especially if you replace it with a clean diaper that closes with velcro.  Thinking "oh, I'll just leave them off this once" as she squirms away from you will cost you.  If you spot her naked hind end across the room, don't waste time looking for the shed diaper, just put a new one on her.  You don't want to have a floor mess to clean up too.

4.  She probably won't eat any of the food that you try to feed her, so just accept that fact and move on.  She will, however, try to consume (a) any alcoholic beverage you may be drinking, (b) anything with caffiene that you may be drinking, (c) anything she wants to feed to the dog that you may be eating.  She does seem to be able to subsist on crackers and juice alone, so just give her one every time she makes the sign, and about half of them won't get left for the dog.

5.  She will need a nap at some point.  You will recognize this point due to the dark circles under her eyes, and she will rub her face.  Pull the curtains, turn off the light (and the Baby Einstein), and close the door.  You will marvel at how intensely she can scream bloody murder.  I assure you, she will go to sleep.

6.  Next time, get a good nights sleep the night before coming over.  Chasing her around the house is like running an ultramarathon, only noone is there to hand you cups of water and cheer you on.  Except for me.  I'll cheer, because I want you to come back another time and do it all over again.


Not Pumping

This time last year I was on the verge of starting my new job, which was my return from almost 4 months of maternity leave.  I had an infant that was nursing every 3-4 hours and refused to take a bottle.  And when I say refused ... there was not a woman in the tristate area that could get that child to take milk from a nipple that wasn't her mommie's.  Believe me, they tried.

I had pumped a freezer full of extra milk for my mom, who was going to take on the saintly duty of comforting the nursing addict for the 6 or 7 hours that mommie would be away.  I would be pumping at work, also,so many days she had fresh milk available also.

Every day I packed my work bag, and my pump bag.  Early on I forgot some important parts, so I quickly developed a routine that would help me to remember.  I carried my Pump-In-Style Advanced Backpack like a camel's hump day in and day out from August to May.  Except for the day I forgot it and had to meet a friend on a street corner in downtown Louisville during lunchtime for her to drop it off to me.

I have written about my decision to continue to nurse my daughter past her first birthday, often referred to as extended breastfeeding.  One of my very favorite bloggers in the whole world dedicated a post to answering some of my questions about extended nursing.  I decided that I would continue to nurse her, and let her lead the way on weaning, with the target being the 18 months to 2 years mark.  I had read many mothers' accounts of extended breastfeeding who said that "they will let you know" when they are ready to wean, and often they will just stop on their own.  I read some things written by one mama who said that she thought her son was weaned because he hadn't nursed in weeks, whenever he asked for nursing she gave him a cup and that did the trick at the time so they kept going with that.

Yea, good luck with that around here.  My girl is addicted to the b00b, and it doesn't seem like much will get her off of it.

We are only nursing on average twice a day.  Once in the morning when she wakes up, and once in the late afternoon.  On Thursday we were running late for daycare, so I managed to get out of the morning obligation, but when I picked her up she made the sign that she wanted to nurse (we use the sign for "milk" to mean "nurse") so repeatedly that I sat in the rocker in the infant room to nurse her rather than listen to her scream all the way home in the car.

My milk supply is adjusted well.  I don't wake up with fullness in the morning, which I did the first couple of days when we dropped the evening/bedtime nursing.  The only time I'm ever uncomfortable is when I forget which side I nursed on last and go almost 24 hours without nursing on that side.

What all this means is ... I will not be pumping when I start back to work on Monday.

Really, there isn't any need to.  I can nurse her in the morning before I drop her off to daycare (three days a week) or my mom (two days a week).  My guess is that when we get back into the daily routine of drop offs, that we will begin to drop the morning nursing.  I can nurse her when I pick her up from daycare/mom's in the late afternoon.  After being gone all day she really loves to nurse when I come home.  I imagine it will take a while to drop that nursing time.

I won't need to pump to keep my supply up.  (If I do start having supply issues that might help encourage her to wean anyway.)  I won't need to pump to give her milk during the day, since she has regular (cow's) milk in her cup during the day at daycare.  I haven't pumped all summer (I have one lone bottle of milk in the freezer right now that is just about to expire but I can't bring myself to throw it out.)  It makes complete logical sense that I don't need to pump at work anymore.

Part of me is elated.  My pump bag sits in the corner of the kitchen with parts strewing out of it, unused since the end of May.  I don't need to wash parts, I don't need to pack everything up, I don't need to start a scavenger hunt through my kitchen for the caps to the bottles.  And I don't need to worry about dropping it all on the way out the door in the morning.

But while I am celebrating one less heavy bag to schlepp around daily, making sure I have all the necessary supplies, and not having to watch the clock to make sure I remember to leave enough time to pump before my class ...

... still, I'm really quite sad and feeling a little disoriented that I won't be pumping at work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When I Grow Up ...

When I was little, I took home extra old books and papers that teachers didn't want anymore.  I would play for hours in my bedroom, walking around the bed "handing out" the papers, then pointing my finger and telling my stuffed animals and dolls the instructions for how the pages should be colored or what the vocabulary words meant.

I thought maybe that meant that I wanted to be a teacher.  Actually, I think it meant that I wanted to tell people what to do.  Now, I do both.

When I left for college my dad gave me some of the best advice anyone has ever given me.  (It's only a little strange that we were both sitting in a hot tub at the time.)  He told me that his highest wish for me was that I would find something that so captured my imagination that I would want to spend the rest of my life learning about it.  Because that is what a career is about.

I found it.  And looking back, the roots were there early on.

I loved rocks.  One of the first books I remember loving was The Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals.  (Second was Harriet the Spy but that doesn't have much to do with me ending up being a Biology Professor.)  There was a gravel path near my house and I would comb the rocks there, wondering if I might find one of the igneous rocks they showed that came from volcanoes.

In Indiana.

So my dad got his wish.  In college, I found that I loved Biology.  I kept taking classes.  What do you do with a Biology degree?  You go to medical school, or you go to graduate school.  At the time I thought I'd be getting married and starting a family, so I opted for graduate school.  More classes.  A dissertation.  (I gloss over the complete hell that it was.  You people don't need to be scarred with the details.)

But I didn't want to be a researcher.

Suddenly, I was highly trained to do something that I didn't want to do.  How did this happen?  How did I get here?

After some (ok, alot of) soul searching, I came to realize ... I Love Science.  I love reading about it and learning about it.  I love talking to other people about it, and hearing them talk about it too.  I just don't love doing it.

So I became a Biology Professor.  I get to read about it and learn about it - science is an ever changing field and I try to keep up on major publications.  I get to talk to other people about it - um, every day in my classes - and I get to hear others talk about it too in seminars and meetings, and even in the hallway.  I can leave the "doing it" to the people who are passionate about making new discoveries, and I can then translate that into a teachable moment.

It's not too far from passing out papers to teddy bears arranged on my bed and explaining the daily assignment.  And it's almost just as fun (on good days.  Again, I am leaving out the scarring details.)

This was a post for Working Mommy Wednesday.  Go see what the other Working Mommys wrote!

And since we always need a photo of the Wee One ... here she is in a wrap during a lecture last fall semester, taken with a student's cell phone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Things

Our first trip to the local children's hospital came this evening.  Bad straining for a poo followed by an "it hurts" cry and blood in the diaper.  I didn't freak, but was worried.  The intern (who truly did look like he was 12, so of course I called him Doogie behind his back) was great.  The resident, not so much.  He let her fall over and hit her head on the wall and then acted like she had cooties when he picked her up to say "are you ok?" and then hand her back to me.  He thinks it was just the vegetable soup she had for lunch today.  I think it was a little more than that, but unless it happens again, I won't worry (fingers crossed).

Along with that, we have a horrible case of the diaper rash.  A miscommunication between me and mom, and she stayed in a diaper a little too long today.  (Don't worry, I didn't yell.  I actually thought it was kinda funny.)  So she's in a sposie tonight, slathered with white cream.  And I remember that I was going to do a CD 101 post about options for using diaper cream and cloth diapers without making them repel.

Speaking of repelling ...  (honeys, my mind is going in 50 gazillion directions at once this week, so this is my normal thought-leading-to-thought process right now.  Just go along for the ride.)  Anyway ... I think all my diapers are repelling.  Well, not all, just ... alot of them .  I think there are several that are, and it's worse in the Knickernappies, since they don't have the leg gussets.  So those are repelling and leaking.  The culprit, I believe, is the wipes solution with Tea Tree Oil that I have been using.  I put the wipes and the dirty diapers in the wet bag together, and they all get washed together.  After I use the wipe solution on her, I put on a new diaper.  So the wipes solution is definitely getting all over the diapers.  I'm guessing that's what's affecting our absorbency.  So there is a load of diapers in the washer right now where I put Dawn on all the fleece insides of the pockets, and a big scoop of Tide.  They will need to be rinsed to high heaven in order to not give her a rash (besides the one she already has).  I'll finish dealing with it tomorrow.

Is it possible to get post-partum emotional disturbances 16 months after you deliver?  I have felt more anxious and irritable and ... anxious this week than I have in a really long time.  We're actually sleeping really well these days, so it's not lack of sleep.  I know I go back to work next week, she goes back to her regular daycare schedule, and I just moved my office and am finishing up my online classes (and the hate mail I keep getting from students) so I know that's all part of it.  But normally I can cope decently well.  This week?  I feel like shutting down and all I can do is drink caffeine-free Coke classic like a demented addict.

But tomorrow I get to go see our Miss Lori and view the proofs from her 15-month session as well as the Bare Feet and Blue Jeans session, and see a whole lot more of ones like these ....

And if that can't cure it, nothing can!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Christmas in July

Christmas Eve 2009 was a special night for me.  It was my daughter's first Christmas. It was my first house, so my first Christmas as a homeowner. 

As I sat looking at the Christmas tree after she had gone to bed and all the last minute preparations were done, I wished again that I had started a blog when I was pregnant.  I wanted to write a post that would be a letter to her about her first Christmas.  I wanted to tell everyone what cool presents I had gotten for my mom and dad.  I wanted to show the photos of the table that I had decorated.

I did finally start a blog.  So ... a memory post.

A live Christmas tree (that my dad went 3 different places with me to help find.  We ended up going back to the first place we'd looked to get it.  My daddy loves me!)

Christmas cards and our countdown board.

And now for the surprises ... Wee One and I had a secret photo session with our favorite photographer.  We had a beautiful 8x10 made and put into a frame for Nan and Grandpa, along with two smaller ones for desks.  While playing in PhotoShop, the photographer thought it would be fun to put Wee One "in" a stocking, and she made me a print.  I hung it on the fridge and waited to see who would notice.

One of Grandpa's gifts was a coffee mug with his girl's photo on both sides.  I just served him his coffee in the cup - he noticed right away!!!

The table was set and decorated with colors of Winter, blue and white and silver.

With crystal ready for juice in the morning ...

And a casserole in the crockpot simmering for breakfast.

Santa Claus came and brought toys (and a Colts sleeper)...

That were a huge hit (ok, she did smile at some point) the next morning.

The Aftermath:

Oh, I can't wait for Christmas this year!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To all my bloggy friends ...

I'm sorry I've been so quiet.  Not on here, of course.  I had some ideas for some posts, so one night I stayed up and late and wrote, and added pictures, and then scheduled them all.  So I've had the post-a-day thing still going, even though I haven't personally been on the internet since last Thursday.

I heart Blogger.

What I haven't been doing is visiting all my bloggy friends' blogs and commenting.  Or replying to witty Twitter updates.  Or in general doing all the things a good bloggy friend does in the interworld.

I still heart you.  Honest.  I'm still hoping Hopeful finds her way with her TTC questions.  Moving before you C is definitely the best idea.  How is FruitFish anyway?  I hope that Funky Mama Bird had a great vacation with her little one.  I know she has a post up about it.  I've got to get by to see how it went.  I'm probably having lunch with Serifm tomorrow so we can be friends IRL too.  I'm hoping that Billy is doing well with her new babe, and that Lara's boys are doing well (you know she has a new site, right?).  I wonder what's up with Mama Time Bomb and Drew.

Oh, great. I know I just forgot someone.  I knew I shouldn't do a post like this.

I've just been ... busy.  I had a whole list of honey-dos for the summer.  Only no honey, so it all gets left to me.  Suddenly, I have a week left of my summer vacation, and a thousand things too do.  I got a little overwhelmed.  So I tried to prioritize and get a few things done. 

I have a new vanity cabinet in my master bathroom.  One thing off the (mighty long) list.

I have one week left.  To get my work clothes back out and washed and hung in the closet so I look somewhat professional.  To get the house somewhat cleaned for the stress of the first week back.  To make sure that the Wee One has enough clothes washed for her first week back at daycare.  To try to limp through two more weeks of the refrigerator from he-- until the floor can be done.  To try to finish my online class stuff - and write the final - so I can get ready to write syllabi and lab policies for my fall classes that will start two weeks later.

Aaack.  That's not helping.

So I'll just say that I still love all of you, and I'll get back around soon to all your sites to comment and read and catch up.

And I'll leave you with a cute photo of my little girl ...


Friday, July 23, 2010

Which Potty?

Everyone who hears that we use cloth diapers (after the initial shock and/or raised eyebrows) says "well, they potty train alot earlier in cloth diapers." I hope to be so lucky. I'm hoping to get her into the preschool at the college where I work when she's 2 1/2 and I don't know yet if she has to be potty learned.

I'm buying tons of stuff for the Wee One, I might as well go ahead and buy the potty too.  Yes, she is only 15 months old (almost 16 months!).  If I don't do it now, it might be this time next year before I remember/have the time to shop/etc, and then it might be too late.  She might go to college still in diapers, and that would be wretched.

My mom said that she potty trained me by just putting me on the potty whenever she went to the bathroom, and she started gradually that way.  So I like the idea of going ahead and having a potty, even if we won't really be "training" (I prefer the new progressive "potty learning" term - makes her sound less like a dog.) for a while.

I got my One Step Ahead catalog this morning.  Jellybean Mama likes them too, she recommends stuff from there all the time.  Somehow they telepathically knew when I had a baby and I started getting this catalog of awesome baby gadgets.    To die for!!!  They have a potty called the PottyPod (BRU also sells it in colors, like PINK).  44 bucks for a potty?  But it's "cushy" ... 

I like the Baby Bjorn Smart Potty in Pink.  And it's much cheaper.

This one is cushy ... but read the reviews.  That cushy foam seat soaks up urine that you can't get dry, apparently, and there are some angry mamas venting there.

Or we could go really cheap and buy a 10 dollar potty and be done with it.

I'm not too big a fan of the potty-that-becomes-a-step-stool.  After all, it really is a potty and always will be, even if you can step on it and try to pretend it's not.

So, anyone have a potty that they want to recommend????

'Cuz this is gonna need a seat soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last weekend our favorite photographer did one of her special events - Blue Jeans and Bare Feet in the park.  Here was one of the shots she put in her facebook album as a sneak peek.

I can't wait to see the rest!!  Thank you Miss Lori!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Office

I am getting a new office.  Yay.

It is smaller than my old office.  But check out the view.

So now I have to pack up and move all of this crap:

Not her.  Just all the other schtuff.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And Third Place Goes To ...

My little Rockstar!

You may have seen my tweet last weekend that my girl won third place in the county 4-H fair baby contest.  We had been talking about the contest since we entered in late June.  I had told the Wee One that it was just for fun,  that Mommie already knows that she is the most precious baby in the world, so it didn't matter what the judges said.  I then gave my mother a lecture about how we shouldn't get really caught up in this, just have a good time, and not take it too seriously.

The registration form listed required dress as a onesie.  I had decided we would use her Rockstar onesie with the sewn-on tutu.  We were told that they actually meant "plain white onesie", but since they didn't specify that, other mommies were planning to have their little ones in ... "embellished" onesies.  (We took a plain white one with us - didn't want to risk being DQ'd.  From a baby contest, yo.)

We got there, and there was every kind of "embellishment" known to man.  One of the 6-month olds had a tutu on bigger than she was.  A little girl in our category had on a custom-made onesie with her initial on the front and more ribbon than my christmas presents the last three years.  (Ok, on second thought, that might not be saying much!)  Then there was the baby with the cowboy boots.  How do you compete with that?

It was hotter than you-know-what inside the arena where the contest was going on.  Wee One got a bit of stage fright and wasn't able to say "dog" or tell you what a cow says or any of her normal tricks.  Her Nan's antics in the audience finally resulted in a few blown kisses, which I think is what got our Show result.

On the way home in the car, my mom started to suggest that we get a fake microphone for her to "practice" so she would do better "next time".  Then we realized that we sounded like pageant moms, and we had a good laugh.

And hey, it's good fodder for the blog!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Make It Stop

Wee One has begun screeching. 

It is a wild, high-pitched sound that she repeats over and over to indicate her need or want for something.  Often it is accompanied by her hand held out in the direction of that-which-she-desires, but sometimes she just looks in a direction and forces Mommie to guess.

In the past few days, it has become more frequent, more shrill, and louder.  It is about to push me clear over the edge.

I have tried everything.  I read in The Happiest Toddler On The Block that you're supposed to talk to them in Toddler-ease (short, emphatic sentences that mirror their feelings back to them so they can feel 'heard') and then ignore the screeching.  Yea, good luck with that.

Since she seems to be using it to try to communicate, I have been trying to figure out what each screech means (the pointing and looking are clues sometimes).  Then I try to use words to show her how to ask for it.  Example: she points to something on the couch she wants that is out of reach and screeches.  I say "you can say 'mommy get that' or 'mommy help me' if you want that toy." as I hand it to her.  I try not to be too wordy, and I realize she won't be able to communicate in this way for a while, but this is one tactic I have tried.

Mom and I have both tried teaching her to say "momma" when she wants my attention instead of screeching.  No go.

In a restaurant Sunday night she screeched at least 50 times.  I thought I was going to go batty by the end of dinner.  She had screeched so much that even an hour after she went to bed, the sound was still rattling around in my head.

Does ignoring really work?  If I'm in the room with her and she wants a toy she can't reach, will ignoring it really make her stop screeching?  And god help the poor people in the restaurant this weekend if I had tried to ignore her. 

Had anyone else successfully made it through the screeching stage and lived to tell about it?  Please tell me how to make it stop.  I'm begging.

She is pretty cute, otherwise!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Big Kid Now - Part Deux (aka Mommie Doesn't Do Change Well)

Wee One has been going to daycare one day a week this summer.  It has helped her stay in the routine of daycare, and it has helped me stay somewhat caught up on the online classes I am supposed to be teaching.

At her daycare, there is an infant room and a toddler room, and normally they are transitioned around 12 months old.  However, they had a large number of infants this year - most were young infants, but around the time she started there (January) they had a group of older infants (7-10 months), so they started a "creeper" room for the group of older infants who would soon be transitioning to a toddler room.

While that arrangement came as a bit of a surprise to me when I found out (days before she started), it has actually worked well.  Instead of being in the infant room for 3 months and then transitioning to the toddler room, she started in this Creeper Room with children around her same age and developmental ability.  She has had the same teachers, been in the same room, and has gotten to know the other children in the room.

However, the time has come ...

They alerted me a couple of weeks ago that they would be transitioning the Creepers to the room next door, and they would then be Toddlers.  They would keep the same teachers (BONUS!!!!!) and they would start following the Toddler schedule (set meal times for the whole group, one nap a day, etc).  They gave me plenty of warning on all of this, they told me it would be coming up, and I was totally (well, not totally, but ok) on board with the transition to the Toddler room.  She is, after all, 15 months old now.

So last Thursday, when I walked in, and her name was gone off the crib and the cubby, and then they told me she would be in the room next door, and I had to find where to put her diapers, and realized she would have to nap on a cot ... I had a mild Mommie panic attack.  Silently, of course.

I should be able to cope with this.  Seriously, she's been moved to the room next door.  What's the big deal?  She keeps her same teachers, eats the same food, plays with the same kids.  And normally this would have happened at 12 months old anyway.

One minor adjustment: I'm used to her getting full-size care reports on her day, detailing what she ate and when, what she drank and when, and who her caregivers were.

That has been replaced with this:
A half-size sheet of paper that just says she ate most of her food.

And did you pay attention to this little gem?

She napped for 15 minutes.  There are no cribs in the new toddler room.  They pull out cots when it is time to take a nap.  Obviously my Wee One is going to need some help with that part.

Other than that, she seemed to take it in stride.  Mommie, on the other hand ....

Breathe, Mommie, breathe.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm A Big Kid Now

So this week, my mom and I taught Vacation Bible School at the church where I grew up.  We taught the youngest class, Nursery 1 - children entering the 3-year-old class in preschool this fall.  The Wee One went with us, and did her level best to keep up with children two years older than her.

She wanted to sit at the table with them while they had their snack.  She wanted to play with them during free play.  Mom was putting down carpet squares for the 3's to sit on for story time, and Wee One just crawled right over and plopped down on one.  She followed them wherever she could.

The theme was Camp Faith - learning to care for God's creation.  Monday was the first part of the creation story.  The snack was "dirt cake" - and she loved it.

We made a mural that shows God's creation:

It takes alot of energy to keep up with the big kids - as soon as we got in the car she fell asleep and napped well all week!

She thinks she's a big kid now!

A Giveaway!

At times in my life I have dabbled in crystals and stones.  When I was little I loved rocks, and that has stayed with me as an adult.  I also think I like the simplistic view that if something is wrong with your life, you can carry a stone in your pocket, or wear a certain gemstone in your jewelry, and that will help you better communicate, be more confident, protect you from others bad feelings, or help you to focus.  I have a friend who thinks that wearing an amethyst helps you to not be hungover when you drink too much.  It's a nice idea.

So when I wanted to get pregnant, I sought the help of crystals and stones.  I made myself an amulet bracelet with carnelian beads (to activate the navel chakra and the reproductive organs), moonstone and bloodstone beads (to help regulate the menstrual cycle), garnet (my birthstone and a grounding gemstone) and some silver charms that were various fertility symbols.  I wore it quite a bit, even once to a meeting at work where I was asked what the charms were by my boss (embarrassing).

In researching what stones and crystals would help increase fertility, I came across several mentions of the shiva lingam stone.  This stone comes from a certain river bed in India.  They are supposed to be very powerful inducers of fertility.  So I ordered 3.  (I was serious about this!)

Something must have worked, because I now have a Wee One!  So I thought I would pass along my fertility stones to some other mama-to-be who might be Trying.

They are really beauiful stones.  They are not very large.  I believe I ordered them from the site linked above (but that was a while ago, so no guarantees).  They are polished smooth (so they work great as a worry rock in your pocket.)  There are three stones and a small brown velvety pouch to carry them in.

To enter the giveaway ... leave a comment and tell us a little about yourself, and your story of Trying if you'd like to share.  Make sure you leave an email or website or some way for me to contact you.

For extra entries ...
Follow this blog publicly (then leave a separate comment)
Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this blog or post (then leave a separate comment) (one comment per day if you retweet).  Please tell me your Twitter name!
Follow me on Twitter (MommieV1) (then leave a separate comment) Please tell me your Twitter name!
A blog entry linking this blog or post will get you two entries! (leave two separate comments)

Winner will be chosen by random drawing by a one-year-old (guess who) next Friday sometime after 5:00 PM.  I'll post the winner and contact them by email.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Use Your Power to Help

I haven't commented on the gulf oil spill, because I haven't really had the words.  Like many others, I have felt utterly sickened by the devastation.  So I did what I always do ... went into denial and stopped watching the news.

This week I have been helping to teach Bible School at the church where I grew up.  Our theme was to teach the creation story, and to care for and appreciate God's creation.  Our monetary offering this week is going to help the cleanup efforts, and the older children in the Science workshop talked about ways to help.

Posted on a bulletin board near the entrance was a newspaper article outlining ways to help.  Specifically, a section on using social media to help caught my eye.  I don't consider myself a "blogger" (I think you have to have more than 10 people read your blog to get that title), but I do use social media to communicate with others who use social media - and have more than 10 readers!

Go here to get the button, and sample tweets/statuses to post.  You can donate your twitter or facebook status, or just post about it yourself.  I have been utterly surprised to NOT see celebratory statuses and updates since the cap seems to be holding today.  There is much to be done to clean up.

Also, see this post on the Knickernappies blog for an idea of another way to donate to help - send them your used microfiber diaper inserts, old prefold diapers, burp cloths, etc.  (They are also hoping the oil spill will make more cloth diaper converts!)

Best. Invention. Evah.

Ok, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration.  But it does help me to cram tons of little girlie clothes into a tiny 5-foot-wide closet!

This closet organizer, made by Rubbermaid, is a flexible closet organizing system.  You hang tracks vertically on the wall, and then you can move around the components to fit your needs (and moods) as your kid grows (or you buy more shoes, whichever).  Right now, her clothes are small enough that I can hang three rods and get more clothes in there.  God helps us when she's bigger and we have to go to two rods on the left side.  By then she will likely have a dresser for the folded clothes on the right, so we can switch out those shelves for more rods and more hanging space.

The good thing about her still being small?  She'll still be able to wear some of her clothes from last winter.  The bad part?  I think I'm going to need more clothes hangers!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grandpa Took Us To The Zoo

Grandpa took off work the Friday before 4th of July. He had heard on the radio that the Zoo had opened up their seal and sea lion exhibit that had been under construction, so he wanted to take us to the Zoo.

It was a beautiful day!

Wee One sported her sunglasses: 

She waited very patiently for the sea lion show to start:

We watched the sea lion do fun tricks like wave his flippers and walk on his front flippers.  The folks in the front got a little splashed!

Then we walked down to the bottom part of the exhibit where you can watch them swim underwater:

During the show they mentioned that one of the sea lions, named Lioness, had been staying at another zoo during the renovation, and was on her way back.  In fact, at that very moment, she was on a truck headed home.  We saw a big truck pull around to the back of the zoo while we were waiting for the tram, and sure enough ... we got to watch them off-load a 300+ pound sea lion and bring her into the back of the exhibit area.

We were very impressed by how carefully they moved her in her crate.  It was neat to watch them bring her home.

Then we had lunch at a wonderful Mediterranean restaurant, and then came home to nap!  Thanks Grandpa for a fun time at the zoo!!!