EVO '10

I'm at a super cool conference, Evo '10, in Utah at the gorgeous Canyons Resort (this place is awesome!!!) this weekend. It is terribly beautiful here. The mountains are as green as can be and the air is fresh and cool. I am meeting so many interesting people (even someone from my tiny hometown...what are the odds?!) and am learning so much. The focus of this conference is "the evolution of women in social media." While I am having a blast (and SO glad that Lea and my mom came with me), I have to point out two observations from today...

1) Why would someone pay money to come to an awesome conference such as this, attend an educational workshop for three hours, but then shop on-line the entire time? Seriously, this gal beside me is shopping for dresses during our workshop. Does she not want to learn anything? And, if not... why is she here?

2) I understand how popular social media is and I totally get how important it is in my work life, but I do not understand that while I am listening to a keynote speaker talk about seriously personal and touching topics, about 90% of people around me are on their iPhones doing who-knows what? Seriously? Maybe I am just old-fashioned (and, yes, I am pretty old-fashioned), but I just think that is terribly RUDE!

I just wanted to get that off my chest. Now I will get off this laptop so I can continue listening to the blogging workshop I am currently attending (don't worry... we were on a break while I typed this!). I'll update more after this trip as the entire thing is a whirlwind! :)


Dropper Stopper Review

Who doesn't get tired of picking up sippy cups or toys that get accidentally dropped (or thrown) on the dirty floor? When we're out with Lea, I don't like giving her things to play with because I know it will end up on the nasty, public floor in no time. But poor Lea gets bored and needs something to help occupy her... what is a mom to do? Enter 'Dropper Stopper'! I was sent one of these fabulous inventions and our lives have never been the same. Sister-in-laws Nicole Williams and Meredith LaMirande were tired of this problem, too so they joined forces and created the Dropper Stopper to help moms and caregivers across the world.

The Dropper Stopper can connect to toys or bottles on either end. It attaches with snaps and can be adjusted to several sizes. One end even has some non-slip grip stuff so your bottle or sippy cup stays in very securely. It has also undergone and surpassed product safety testing and is proven to be effective in keeping thrown or dropped baby items from hitting the floor.

We have used our Dropper Stopper on high chairs, strollers and even on our diaper bag. It's been such an asset to our lives! Here's Lea chillin' during the Relay for Life walk with her 'Aqua Dot' Dropper Stopper keeping her sippy cup close by...

Dropper Stopper has some cool new prints, like Purple Blossom and Sky Dot. At only $13 each, every parent needs one (or two)... they'd make a fabulous gift, as well. Visit http://www.dropperstopper.com/ to see their other patterns. You can also find them on facebook!


Giraffe Tongue

Here's a super cute video of Lea watching the giraffe at the Albuquerque Zoo...


Where is the joy?

So I am taking this cool, on-line photography 'class' called finding the joy. I say 'class' because it's more about the artistic side of photography and less about the technical stuff. We're to focus on 'finding the joy' of photographing our kids. I love the inspiration and ideas it gives me for taking cool pics of Lea.

It's a lot of fun, however I am so intimidated because the other people in the class have AMAZING photos. I feel like I really have an eye for the composition and subject of my images but I have NO knowledge about the technical stuff... stuff like aperture, f-stop and ISO. I have to learn a little bit because I am getting more and more frustrated with myself. I get so frustrated, in fact, that joy is not what I am finding! I would have so many awesome pics if they were just focused correctly or had the right lighting. I ordered a book that several people have recommended (Understanding Exposure) so hopefully that will help me some.

In the meantime, here are some (potentially) cool pics that I have taken recently...


Vacation, Food and Family

Obviously I have been MIA for awhile but I have an excellent excuse... we were on vacation! Yup, we went on our first family vacation. And it wasn't just an car ride away... we actually took Lea on her first plane ride to visit her Uncle Dave & Aunt Sarah in New Mexico. It was a great trip. Lea did fabulous on the plane (except for the very last flight; she cried quite a bit. I think her ears were bothering her).

Once in Albuquerque, Lea transitioned very well to the new surroundings, new people (and dog) and dry air. We spent a day shopping in Santa Fe with Aunt Sarah, a day at the Albuquerque Aquarium and Rio Grande Botanic Gardens with Uncle Dave, a (couple) days hanging out in Old Town, a day at the Rio Grande Zoo, a day driving up to Sandia Crest and then on the Turquoise Trail to Madrid...

We also ate lots of yummy food. Mexican food in New Mexico is SO much better than Mexican food here. Every time you order something, they ask "Red or Green?", meaning, red chille or green chille. I'm not a fan of really hot food, so I always opt for the green, which is usually less hot than the red, and I always ask for it on the side (even though the locals snicker at me). One of my favorite things to have are the sopaipillas... good ones are pipping hot, just out of the fryer and super fluffy with a nice big pocket of air in the middle so you can load it up with lots of honey! YUM!!

When we weren't spending time out around Albuquerque, we hung out at home with Dave & Sarah. It was so good to see them and Lea had a blast playing with them. She just lit up every evening when Dave got home from work. I can't wait for them to move back closer to us... hopefully by Thanksgiving this year. :)

Now were home and getting back into the daily grind. I just have to say that it was so nice to sleep in every day until Lea woke up... now were back to getting up before her every morning. Yuck!

Lea is a 8 1/2 months old and has so many new "tricks" these days. She has perfected cruising around the furniture and has even stood on her own, not holding a thing, for a second (a couple of times). She will be walking any day now! She talks a lot; "blah, blah, blah" and "buh, buh, buh" is what she says the most. The past week she has discovered that she can squeal... loud... and when she gets started, she squeals a lot. She's super ticklish; on her feet, under her arms, on her belly, in her neck. She loves balls and is learning to play catch... sort of. She has gotten very good at waving to people and waves to everyone. It's adorable because she flaps her entire arm when she waves! When she's excited, she breathes quickly through her mouth... almost like panting. She's still teething, chewing on anything she gets her hands on, but NO teeth, yet.

Her 9 month well check is next Friday so we'll get to find out what she weighs and how tall she is now. I am guessing she weighs quite a bit now as she really likes to eat these days. She loves steamed peas, sweet potatoes, peaches, apple sauce, avocado, banana, carrots, watermelon, pureed prunes and pears. I am still making all of her food (except when we were in NM... I bought Ella's Kitchen and Sprout organic baby food). Tonight she had steamed, shredded chicken for the first time and loved it. I used the Beaba Seasoning Ball to add some flavor: Rosemary, Thyme and Basil. Another thing she loves, which we just recently found, are Baby Mum Mum's. They're like rice cakes for babies.

My Grandmother (Lea's Great Grandma) is visiting. It's the first time she has been up since Lea was born. I love that we have four generations together in one place! It means a lot to me to have lots of family around for Lea. When I grew up, all of my family lived far away, but I have to say that my parents did make a great effort to get us together as often as possible.
Finally, here's a couple cute pictures from tonight. Another knew thing Lea has learned is "Give me a kiss". If you ask her to give you a kiss, she leans in with her mouth slightly open and lays one on ya! So cute!!!