An ode to my smoking neighbors

An ode to my smoking neighbors

When you feel an urge for a smoke
and the weather is hot,
if our attic fan is churning,
I beg you please do not
go out of your door
and like up your ciggy
for it makes our home
smell some sort of wiggy.
We gag and we choke
as our lungs fill with smoke.
I tell you we’d rather
you not make us croak.
For we have no A/C
to help keep us cool
so our windows stay open.
Do you hear me, you fool?
Go back in your house
and give smoking a whirl
just please don’t do it
downwind from my lil girl.

World Breastfeeding Week comes to a close

I was feeling a bit down on myself yesterday for not doing anything to support World Breastfeeding Week. Our local LLL chapters held a walk and picnic yesterday morning but I just didn’t feel motivated to go.

After having such a crazy weekend a week ago (with Ava being in the hospital), I didn’t feel much like going to any organized events. I just wanted to spend time chilling with my family (which I realize I could’ve done at the walk/picnic, but blah, I just didn’t feel like going).

Instead the fam and I decided to go to the last day of our county fair. We went to the pancake breakfast* supporting the local Optimist chapter and then watched some dog sheep-herding trials. After that we walked around and looked at the animals and exhibits and went in a little petting zoo. Ava enjoyed petting the goats, sheep, cow, horse and pigs for a little while and then was perfectly content to pick up pieces of hay and hand them to mama while the animals hustled around her flocking to the kids who’s parents purchased baggies of feed. :) Sigh. She’s such a sweet girl.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. My big concern was not going to the walk and then I didn’t even nurse in public at the fair. What kind of lactivist am I anyway? (I would have nursed her if she would’ve asked [she signs “milk please” really well now – super cute], but she was too busy with the animals – pardon me – the hay, to care.)

Then I remembered that a mama on MotheringDotCommune recently asked for pictures of mamas nursing their babes for a WBW display she was assembling and I had sent her two pictures of me and Ava. She posted the finished product the other day and it turned out really nice! I believe it was supposed to be on display at a health fair at her mall, but then she was turned down because her display was about breastfeeding. (WHAT??!) So then she took the display to Walmart instead where she handed out a bunch of literature from LLL regarding breastfeeding and also received some local media coverage.
I drew the arrows on the display to the pictures of me and Ava. :) We’re famous. ;)

I’m glad I got to be a part of her breastfeeding display and feel like I helped spread the word in some small way.

I also realized that just because last week was World Breastfeeding Week doesn’t mean that was my only chance to do something to promote breastfeeding. We all need to continue to raise awareness on a daily basis and I can do my part little by little. :)

*I’ve apparently been typing the word “breast” far too often lately. ;) (Wait, is that possible?? hehe.) Every time I try to type another word that begins with “brea” like “breakfast” or “bread” (before this I was writing an email asking some friends if they had any good zucchini bread recipes), it comes out as “breast.” LOL :) Mmmmm, pancake breastfast and zucchini breast.

Stretching my wings

I’ve been playing with my camera the past couple days, trying to really get a feel for it’s capabilities. Just in time for me to go out and buy a new, much more expensive (that I certainly cannot afford) one.

Ya see, I’m thinking of doing some part-time photography work and can’t begin to think of charging anywhere near professional photographer prices with my 4.0 Mega pixel Kodak EasyShare camera. ;oP Maybe I can write it off as a business expense if I truly go ahead with this (which I want to do, but I’m afraid of self-sabotaging myself – something I’ve done in the past – gulp).

Anyway, here are a few shots of what I took today during a walk around the neighborhood with Ava.
There’s a bee on the first flower. It looks really cool full-sized, you can see it’s wings and everything.
And the bottom one is my favorite. It was a tiny flower, but I’m really happy with how it came out. :)

The need for speed

My loving husband has a need for speed. I know this because in the time we’ve been together (7 years), he’s received around 7 speeding tickets (give or take a few).

Seven tickets might not seem like a lot to some people, but it’s seven more than I’ve had, EVER. I know, I know he drives a lot more than I do, so he’s at an increased risk of getting one (provided that he speeds, which he does). But that’s roughly one ticket per year (and I’m sure I’m being lenient on the number he’s actually received).

The latest ticket came last night for going 73 in a 55 mph zone. The fee schedule is like this:
Penalty is, $60 for No convictions on a point traffic offense
within the prior 36 months, from date of current offense. The
Points shall be reduced by two (2).
Penalty is, $80 for One conviction on a point traffic offense within
the prior 36 months, from date of current offense. The points shall
be reduced by one (1).
Penalty is, $100 for Two convictions on point traffic offenses within
the prior 36 months, from date of current offense. The points shall
Remain as originally charged.

I don’t think he’s had any point traffic offenses in the last 36 months, but I don’t really remember. (They tend to come in waves.) I know he’s recently had a couple of those speeding tickets where they take your picture and – surprise! – the ticket arrives in the mail a week or two later (no points with those). So it will likely be either $60 or $80 and 2 or 3 points. Ugh. It’s the points that really get me because I know it’s going to drive our insurance rates up.

He is frustrated with the whole thing because the speed limit was 55 mph on this straight five-lane highway where he received the ticket. While on another highway he frequently travels, which is two lanes, hilly and windy, the speed limit is 60 mph. How does that make any sense? So he believes the five-laner was made to be a speed trap. (And noted that there were four cop cars driving up and down patrolling it last night.)

So if you know it’s a speed trap, why speed? I understand he wasn’t trying to speed (I don’t think most people are). But it just “didn’t feel right going 55.” “Felt too slow,” he said.

I know my pissing and moaning isn’t going to make the ticket go away. But I figure if I get out my frustrations here, I’ll be less likely to brood all day and take them out on Jody when he comes home tonight. Believe me, he already knows I’m pissed, and harping on him further won’t help matters either.

So here goes, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-
There, I feel better already.

Thanks for letting me vent. ;)

1 year olds and plaster don’t mix

Have you ever tried to get a plaster handprint of a 13 month old? If not, let me tell you it’s damn near impossible. If you did, you have my deepest sympathies.

When Ava was born, my friend’s mom sent us a box from Pottery Barn Kids containing plaster and five plastic molds and tins of varying sizes to make handprints of your child from age 1 to 5.

I thought – what great keepsakes! How cute they will look hanging in her bedroom! What a wonderful idea! Oh, how very wrong I was.

Great keepsake? Maybe (if you can ever get a handprint in it). Cute hanging on the walls? If you like messy, globby-looking artwork that resembles nothing. Wonderful idea?? NO! NO! NO!

Actually in theory it’s an excellent idea, but I challenge you to find a 1 year old who will allow you to put her hand in plaster without squishing it between her little fingers.

I’ve tried doing her handprint four times now. Twice while it was obviously too wet and squishy. Once after I’d waited too long and it was nearly set up so I could barely press her hand into it (which in retrospect is the one I should’ve kept!). And once after I broke apart the mold, ground it back down into a powder (for the most part), rewetted and mixed it and tried all over again. At which time it was, once again, too wet and she grabbed a handful of plaster. Turns out that when they say, “PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. DO NOT DEVIATE” they really mean it. Apparently plaster cannot be reworked once it’s started to dry. ;oP

By this time the girl had had enough and was ready for a nap. As if to illustrate the point, before I could grab the wash cloth to wipe her off, she reached up and rubbed her eyes with her plaster-coated hand. Oy vey!

(Who invented this blasted kit??!)

Leaving the kitchen and dining room covered in spatters of plaster, I took the sleepy girl upstairs for her nap.

After I got over my initial frustration at the whole ordeal, the wheels began to spin in my little noggin. Perhaps I could get a decent handprint while she slept! At that point I was nearly resigned to letting the mold dry as it was (without a handprint, that is if it would even dry after all my reworking it, etc.), and tracing her hand on it with a Sharpie! The Pottery Barn people would surely tut tut disapprovingly at the very idea.

So my last ditch effort was to try to make the impression while she slept. It certainly couldn’t be any worse than what I already did. Right? Right?? ;)

I went back to the Pottery Barn Kids box to retrieve tin #2 – “My handprint when I was 2…” for it’s plaster contents. (Shhhh, don’t tell.) I prepared the plaster and then, considering myself an expert by this point, waited until it had set up enough so that it wouldn’t stick to her, but not too much that it wouldn’t be pliable. The timing had to be perfect if this was going to work (and not leave a plastery mess all over the bed).

And so I sat and waited, watching plaster dry, which is, I believe, more interesting than watching paint dry.

The time had come. Off to the bedroom I crept, plastic mold of plaster in hand.

Foiled again! The pesky plaster was still too wet. (Can you say pain in the ass??) Thankfully, Ava only stirred ever so slightly before going back to sleep.

I decided to give it one more try and then call it quits no matter what. I pressed her hand into the plaster and she woke up, unhappy to have been disturbed.

After all of that I guess you could say that I got a handprint. It sort of resembles one anyway (or a dinosaur footprint). :oP
I just might have to go buy my own bag of plaster and play with it. Then maybe with enough practice and determination, by the time she’s 5 years old we’ll have something that actually looks like a hand!