Friday, September 18, 2009
Shelby is officially crawling! She has been scooting around for a while but I didn't consider it to be a true crawl since she wasn't up on her knees, but now she has definitely figured it out. The child is everywhere and in everything! I can't keep track of her anymore...she's here and then she's there in a matter of seconds.
I used to straighten the house and it would stay that way, but now things "mysteriously" get trashed! Shelby has found about 3 things that she pulls out every day and after she goes to bed I clean it all up just so she can have fun pulling it out again the next day.
This is such a fun age! Today she did this (see below pictures) for the first time. She stayed there for a minute or two and then came back down to her knees and crawled off to find something else to do. Where did my cuddly baby go?! She used to let me snuggle and hold her now all she wants to do is be on the go.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
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- It is estimated that the fear of Friday the 13th afflicts between 17-21 million people in the USA alone.
- The state lotteries of France and Italy in particular, never sell tickets with that number printed on it.
- In Scotland, the number 13 is known as the Devil’s dozen.
- The registration of Princess Mary’s birth on that particular day was delayed on purpose so she would not be entered as number 13.
- All around the world, there are a certain major hospitals who will go out of their way not to label any of their operating theatres with the dreaded number 13. This is interesting as the health industry is supposed to be based upon the practicalities of science and not upon religious superstitions.
- You may remember the disaster that befell NASA’s space shuttle, Apollo 13. Did you know that Apollo 13 left our planet on the 13th hour? An explosion in the fuel cells of the service module severely crippled the spacecraft. The number 13 may have brought good luck for the 3 Astronauts who returned safety to earth on Friday 17 April 1970.
- Staying with NASA for the moment – this multimillion dollar corporation was forced to cancel a space launch scheduled to lift off on Friday 13 November 1981, due to a problem with fuel cells.
- Numerologists consider the number 12 as being a complete number, as there are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of both the eastern and western zodiacs, 12 Gods of Olympus, the 12 Labours of Hercules, the 12 Apostles and the 12 Tribes of Israel. To exceed this number by one is to go beyond completeness and perfection.
- Have you ever wondered why at school as young children, we were never allowed to learn our multiplication tables beyond the number 12?
- It is very unlucky to have a dinner table set for 13 people. It is believed that the first person to leave the table will die within a year. Some people believe the death of Jesus proves this.
- In modern day Wicca, thirteen is considered the maximum size of a coven, and in some traditions is the ideal number of members, and there are also 13 goals of a witch. (Now I REALLY don't like the number 13! Too bad for my DH who was born on the 13th.)
- In Judaism, 13 signifies the age of maturity (bar mitzvah) for boys
- The number on a Hell's Angel's patch or tattoo that refers to the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, M, for "marijuana"
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
When he gets home he comes back to the bedroom and gives me this look.
Him: When I brought the food home I didn't think about it fitting in the fridge."
Me: "Fitting in the fridge? What? How much did you bring home?! I've gotta see this!"
Well, when I said bring some home I didn't know he'd bring enough to feed a third world country! Chicken anyone?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
If humans ever formally declare war against germs, Nichole Titley could be a field general. During cold and flu season, the elementary school art teacher from Bethlehem, Connecticut, carries a spray bottle of diluted bleach with her to the grocery store. She'll spray and wipe the outside of a box of cookies before it gets anywhere near her 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. "My pediatrician says I should have worked for the health inspection department," she says.
In the other camp, stay-at-home mother of five Yvonne Mihailoff of Flint, Michigan, lets the germs fall where they may. "I'm pretty laid-back about the whole thing," she says. She's not strict about hand washing and doesn't expect any awards for housekeeping. "My baby crawls around on the floor and chews on what happens to be there."
The truth is that germs are both friend and foe. Many of the microscopic organisms we call "germs" (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi) are either harmless or good for keeping our bodies working smoothly. And a theory called the hygiene hypothesis suggests that some exposure to germs can reduce a child's risk of developing asthma and allergies.
But germs can also bring coldsm flu, and food poisoning, which don't make kids any healthier or their immune system any stronger. In short: the fewer illnesses, the better.
So what might be your best strategy in the fight against germs? Most people develop an approach that's part science, part preference. To help you settle on yours, we asked experts and moms for their answers to five of parents' most pressing germ questions. Here are their battle tactics.
Shopping carts: A risky ride?
These days, grocery stores acknowledge that some people feel squeamish about germs on shopping cart handles — antiseptic wipe dispensers are becoming a fixture at stores. But not all parents take advantage of them. "I never use the wipes," says Carolyn McCarthy, a mother of one from Decatur, Georgia, with another on the way. "We grew up riding around in shopping carts, and we did fine."
For other parents, a mere wipe isn't enough. In addition to her bleach bottle, Connecticut mom Titley brings her own cloth cart cover to keep the handle under wraps.
Shopping cart handles really can be coated in germs, says Elizabeth Scott, a professor of biology at Simmons University in Boston and founder of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community. "Then again, germs are absolutely everywhere." She says moms and dads could give grocery cart handles a quick wipe, but "it wouldn't be a huge concern of mine."
Allison Aiello, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, agrees that shopping cart handles don't pose any special health threat, at least no more than doorknobs, telephones, and the other germ-covered items in our lives.
When shopping for groceries, you should pay attention to your hands, not the handles, Scott says. "If I get a little chicken juice on my hands, I'll ask the clerk for a wipe," she says. Food-borne bacteria lurking on raw meat or fish pose a bigger threat than any other germs you're likely to run across in the store, she says.
Bottom line: Wiping down the shopping cart can only help, but it's a corner you can cut without guilt. The real danger in the store is raw meat and fish — so wash well after touching them.
The five-second rule: Does it really count?
"I'm not upset if my daughter eats something off the floor at home," says Cheryl Lutz, a reading teacher and mother of a 3-year-old on Long Island, New York. "But if something falls at the mall, I don't want it in her mouth." Even germ-conscious Titley says she'll let her daughter eat off the floor at home, "because I know it's clean."
In 2003, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign put the five-second rule to a scientific test by placing gummy bears on cultures of Escherichia coli bacteria. They found that the sticky candies became germ-ridden in fewer than five seconds. The researchers also checked for bacteria on heavily trafficked floors on campus. Surprisingly, the floors turned out to be almost free of germs. The conclusion: If you eat a dropped gummy bear, you probably won't get sick — unless it happened to fall in a Petri dish.
Most floors are too dry to be especially germy, public health expert Aiello says. Still, she doesn't encourage frequent floor grazing: "It's better to err on the side of caution, especially if the floor is moist." If a grape falls into a splatter of raw meat juice, even one second is far too long, she says.
Bottom line: It's all about where it lands — and clean, dry floors are fair game.
Public restrooms: Germ Central Station?
But toilet seats aren't nearly as dangerous as many parents fear, says biology professor Scott. The germs that lurk on the seat probably won't make a kid sick. "What children get on their butts really doesn't matter," says Scott. After all, the bottom is a long way from a child's nose, mouth, or eyes, the favorite entryways of germs.
Hands are the main mode of transport, and therefore are the real concern. "It's very important that children clean their hands when they leave a restroom," Scott says. Make hand washing a post-potty must, and not just at gas stations, malls, and restaurants. Enforce the rule at home, too. A good, thorough scrub with soap and water should take 20 seconds.
Bottom line: A yucky bug isn't a threat when it's on your child's rear. A good hand washing is far more important than avoiding the toilet seat.
Hand sanitizers: Necessity or overkill?
Epidemiologist Aiello says sanitizing gels can be a great defense against germs. "It's really important to clean your hands at all critical points: before eating, after petting an animal, and after using the bathroom." If there's no sink around, she says, hand sanitizers are an excellent alternative.
But you have to do it right: Get a good, healthy pumpful on the hands, and spread the gel around the entire surface, even under the nails. Aiello warns that a gel might not be enough to sanitize hands that are truly dirty, since grimy spots can give germs a place to hide.
It's also important to make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol ("ethanol" or "isopropanol" on the label). That amount or more has been shown to effectively clobber germs, and you don't have to worry about bacteria building up resistance: The gel works just as well the 100th time as the first.
Still, hand sanitizers do have a downside. Frequent use can lead to dry skin, and overuse can cause skin to chap or crack, opening tiny doors to infection.
Bottom line: Alcohol-based gels are a great on-the-go alternative to a sink and soap — when you use a hearty helping of a strong product.
Household cleaners: Which work best?
When it comes to attacking germs at home, choosing the right arsenal of cleansers can be a perplexing task. While plenty of products claim to be antibacterial-this and antiseptic-that, pregnant mom McCarthy is reluctant to use anything harsher than soap and water. "I'm more worried about chemicals and cleaners than bacteria," she says. "You don't have to obliterate every germ out there."
Mother of five Mihailoff usually depends on a wet washcloth to keep her kitchen clean, although she'll occasionally use a tub-and-tile detergent for more serious scrubbing. Titley, mom to a toddler, can sum up her cleaning approach in five words: bleach, and lots of it.
According to biologist Scott, simple soap and water really can be good germ killers — as long as you can take the item to the sink and give it a good scrub. But for countertops and other surfaces, soap and water aren't enough, especially if you're using a rag that's been hanging around in the sink. "If you use a rag on a countertop, you don't remove bacteria, you just spread them around," she says.
Scott recommends using a disinfectant spray for the "critical surfaces" where germs collect, including kitchen counters and the bathroom. You can make your own disinfectant solution by mixing a tablespoon of chlorine bleach with a quart of water. After you spray, wipe it off with a clean rag, sponge, or paper towel, she says. (To give a used sponge a second wind, wet it and stick it in the microwave for two minutes — studies have shown that's enough to blast germs to smithereens.)
A few notes of caution when using chlorine bleach: Never mix it with other cleaners (the combination can create a dangerous gas), store it safely away from the reach of children, and remember that more isn't better — a diluted solution is effective, and straight bleach is overkill.
As for antibacterial soaps, they might give you an added sense of security, but the extra protection is an illusion. Public health expert Aiello and her colleagues published a study in August 2007 showing that antibacterial soaps containing the germ-killing chemical triclosan didn't kill any more germs than regular soaps. To make matters worse, previous studies suggest that triclosan can help bacteria better survive against other germ fighters like antibiotic medications. In other words, antibacterial soaps may actually be doing germs a favor.
Bottom line: Your best bets are a good scrub in the sink with plain soap and hot water, and a disinfectant spray for things you can't haul to the sink.
The BabyCenter 7: Best ways to banish germs
1. Teach your children to wash their hands at these key times: after going to the bathroom, petting an animal, or playing outside, and before eating.
2. Do hand washing right: With soap and water, it takes 20 seconds of scrubbing to kill the germs that need to be killed.
3. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for visits to playgrounds, mall food courts, and other places where there might not be a sink handy. Be sure to cover every part of the hand, including under the nails, if possible.
4. After preparing meat or poultry, wash cutting boards with hot, soapy water and spray counter tops with disinfectant. The bacteria commonly found on raw meats — including campylobacter, salmonella, and E. coli — are more dangerous than any other germs you're likely to have in the house.
5. Wash small cuts and scrapes with soap and water. Apply an antibacterial ointment, put on a bandage, and change the bandage every day until the wound heals.
6. Make sure your children are up to date on their vaccinations, and consider getting them a flu shot every year. A school-age child who's been vaccinated against the flu is less likely to bring home a bug that can infect the entire family.
7. If someone in your house is sick, take a moment to clean doorknobs, television remotes, toys, and other items your children touch throughout the day.
To read or participate in Happy Homemaker Monday head over to Sandra's wonderful blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
One of my simple pleasures: Blogging in the early morning when I can't sleep and the house is quiet.
On my beside table: My phone charger, a stack of Shelby's clothing needing to be put away, chapstick, and The Organic God devotional book by Margaret Feinberg (It is the book for a new study that I am a part of. We meet for the first time tomorrow. Can't Wait!)
On the menu for tonight: Pan seared pork loin, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
On my To Do List: Put away the laundry. (It seems like this is always on my list.) Read over my devotional before we meet tomorrow. Clean the master bathroom.
New recipe I tried last week: Pumpkin Bread - My mom does have an excellent recipe but I didn't have it written down so I just got one of Food Network dot com.
In the craft basket: The same ol' material to make my mom napkins. But they aren't even started yet and I have no plans to start them any time soon. I'm not very crafty. :(
Looking forward to: MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) this year. I hope to make some wonderful mommy friends! I love my blogging mommy friends but sadly you guys just aren't close enough for play dates and girl nights. :(
Due to the shortage of space in my apartment kitchen I decided to hang them. I have found that not only do I really like how they look but they are so much more accessible. Now in the morning I don't have to dig through a crowded cabinet I just snatch one off the hook for my morning coffee. I hung them below the cabinets right over my coffee maker.
Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other): I loved Amanda's newest post about the Montessori philosophy. She just began Montessori Monday's and I can't wait to read what is to come. Her first post of this new blog feature is just a taste of the knowledge she has to offer on this topic. Amanda's blog features some amazing pictures and interesting stories. She is also a self proclaimed wedding crasher but NOT the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn type....SEE HERE! She has a wonderful sense of style which shows when she posts pictures of her beautiful home. So check her blog out - My Nashville Nest.
Favorite photo from last week:
Lessons learned the past few days:To stay on budget Jason and I need to eat more PB&J :)
On my prayer list: Jason's job search.
Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Sunday Stealing: One Long Meme (Part One)
2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yes
3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Talker
4. Do you take compliments well? I think so.
5. Do you play Sudoku? No
6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Not sure
7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Yuppers
8. What was your favorite game as a kid? Chinese Checkers (for a while anyway)
9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he was married, would you? RUN AWAY!!!
10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? No
11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? Be pursued
12. Use three words to describe yourself? EVERY meme asks me to do this. I am sick of describing myself in one word, in two words, in three words, and so on! Therefore, I respectfully decline.
13. Do any songs make you cry? Yes. ~Testify To Love by Wynonna Judd~ Have you ever seen the Touched By An Angel episode when she sings it? I think that's why this song makes me emotional is partly because I think of the premise of the show which is very sad and partly because if the song itself.
14. Are you continuing your education? Yes
15. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Heck Yea!
16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? Uhhhh. Nope.
17. How often do you read books? Sadly, not much. Unless you include Woman's Day articles or college textbooks.
18. Do you think more about the past, present or future? Future
19. What is your favorite children’s book? Ferdinand the Bull. My Dad was excellent at the voices and when it came time for Ferdinand to smell my Dad would stick his nose next to our ear and take a big whiff while he said "Smeeeeelllll the flowers." And my siblings and I would laugh because it tickled!
20.What color are your eyes? Blue
21. How tall are you? 5'1" ish
22. Where is your dream house located? Ireland
23. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? Besides my family?! My computer. It has all my pictures on it!
24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? No Idea
25. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? To church
26. Do you like mustard? Yes
Friday, September 11, 2009
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So it was time to give in and buy one. When I went to Walmart they had three different high chairs. The first was ~$30 and I just wasn't happy with it...too cheap looking and ugly, besides I do want some of the bells and whistles! The next one was ~$60 and then there was one more ~$90. I liked the $60 one but was not prepared to spend that much without looking around. So I tried a few resale shops who had some used ones but they were priced so highly that I might as well buy the new one!
Anyway, so this past weekend on the way to visit my family Jason and I stopped in the Fredericksburg Walmart for a pit stop. While we were there I decided to run back to the baby section and see if they had a different high chair selection than our local Walmart. What did I find you ask? THE $60 HIGH CHAIR ON CLEARANCE FOR $25!!! No Way! I thought it was too good to be true that maybe there were parts missing or that it would collapse on Shelby, you know something tragic. But the box had never been opened and when I asked the checker she told me that typically things are marked down like that when they are getting a shipment in of a new product. What a lucky find!
So after the fiasco of setting the stupid thing up I finally got to try it out and you know what? It works just as well as if I had spend $100. The seat cover is vinyl and easy to wipe down and the tray has a plastic removable tray on top of it that I can pop off and throw in the sink to wash.
Below is a picture and the info about the high chair taken from the Walmart website.
$68.98 Evenflo - Expressions High Chair, Bergen
And here is the $25 high chair. Same thing (Except for the pattern) but a whole lot cheaper.
So my tip is this Friday is to always shop around when making a big purchase. Whether you decide to look in a few Goodwill's, resale shops, Craigslist, or Ebay it's always a good idea. I have found some deals on Craigslist that truly seemed "To Good to Be True".
I'd love to hear about any of your great finds!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
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4. To play the piano