Saturday, July 31, 2010

Both boys at 6 months

I looked and looked for these pictures of Christopher to post right next to matching ones of Colin last night, but since my pictures are scattered between four different computers, I wasn't successful. I just happened to be on the right computer this afternoon and finally stumbled across them. You always find what you are looking for when you stop looking.

Christopher at 6 months:

Colin at 6 months:

Christopher at 6 months:

Colin at 6 months:

They don't look as much alike as I thought they did. Poor Colin definitely has ears from my side of the family. It's funny, Christopher looks more like his daddy, but he has long limbs like me. And Colin looks more like me, but has his daddy's long torso. That's pretty cool.

There really wasn't any point to this. Just a record for myself. And more pictures of the boys, because you can never have too many of those.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh my heart. The cuteness. It almost hurts me.

Seriously. Have you ever seen anything as cute as this? The six month old huge happy smile is by far my favorite part of babydom.

Those thighs. That perfectly round bald head. The little baby feet pointed outward. The rolls upon rolls of baby fat. The little baby mewbs. Every part of him is gorgeous.

But the huge, open-mouth, about-to-guffaw smile makes me want to smother him with kisses.

Little Colin is six months old now. Hard to believe. In this much time again, he'll be one year old.

I really don't have anything to say. I just needed an excuse to post these pictures of him. I could eat him up. He's so delicious.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bad parenting

Last night, Christopher sat in the tub and played with his toys. His toys were using their angry voices as he splashed them around yelling, "Stop that! Stop it!"

It hurt my heart.

My goals today are to go back to trying to redirect and not yell. Wish me luck. I'm seriously going to need it. Luck, and a lot of Rescue Remedy.*

*Not a sponsored link, I just know my momma is going to wonder what that is.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Functional ingredients in formula

As a follow up to yesterday's post, I'm expanding a little bit on what exactly we want for Congress to consider. I didn't go into very much detail because quite frankly, I didn't think anyone was actually reading it. Funny how bloggers always think that about the very public internet. I am no expert, however, and I am simply passing on some of the research that I have done. I'll include the links I've used so that you can follow up if you like.

Alright. Functional ingredients in food and drink are things like antioxidents, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamin D, and fiber. They are found in certain whole foods, but there is a trend of adding them to any and practically everything in the supermarket. Some examples are not new, like adding vitamin D to milk, but then there are the newer products like Naked's Superfood juice, and of course the wildly unsuccessful Diet Coke Plus.

Some of the claims that products make regarding the health benefits of these added ingredients are regulated by the FDA. However, many times they are not, and you will see located on the package, "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

Instead of going into the misleading claims by formula companies, I'll just focus on the bill at hand.

The beginning of this article on the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities sums up the issue well, without moving into the breastfeeding side of things.

"Several foods offered through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are now sold in higher-priced versions containing “functional ingredients” that manufacturers claim confer health and developmental benefits. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that these ingredients are safe, neither the FDA nor the Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses whether they are beneficial. Moreover, WIC has no mechanism for considering scientific evidence when deciding whether to purchase foods with these ingredients— using taxpayer funds — for millions of low-income women and very young children."

Last year, WIC spent upwards of $91 million on the higher priced formula without having scientific evidence to prove that the functional ingredients actually have an effect on a baby's development and nutrition.

Of course, in a perfect world, WIC would take the $91 million spent on the unproven, higher priced formula and put it towards helping women from low-income families get the home and workplace support they need to be successful at breastfeeding.

A good start though, would be getting Congress to start holding the formula companies accountable, making them prove their claims before they raise their prices and raise parents' hopes of what they are feeding babies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Child Nutrition Act: holding formula companies accountable

There are these posts about birth and breastfeeding that swim around in my head. I find myself really wanting to write about these things, but not wanting to offend anyone. I know. Those of you who have known me for a long time find that hard to believe, but trust me. I've mellowed in motherhood.

I'm thinking maybe I need a disclaimer or something. Maybe a little phrase like, "This post contains my opinions, which are bolstered by what I believe to be facts, but in no way am I writing any of this in judgment. Especially not of you."

Instead, I think I figured out what I am passionate about regarding birth and infant feeding. I'm passionate about women being able to make empowered and informed decisions. It's not necessarily the decisions themselves that I think about, it's how those decisions are made and with what information.

Because, really. Do I believe, as a breastfeeding advocate that mothers who formula feed are lazy and uncaring mothers who want things to be easy? No. Not in the least. And, really. As an advocate for natural, intervention free childbirth, do I believe that medicalized childbirth is the easy way out and carefree? No. Absolutely not.

But I have this fear that when I start talking about things that I passionately believe, that someone might think I am judging them. And. I'm. Not. Because in reality, even though we all know breast is best, it's not like breastfeeding mamas are always making the optimum decisions about what to put in their bodies while nursing (*ahem* Diet Coke addict *ahem*). What I mean is, just because something is the "best," doesn't mean that we are failures if we don't always choose it.

So maybe I'll start talking about it. I post a lot of links on my Facebook page because some people say things so much better than I do. Like this post by Dou-la-la (which is such an awesome name, I might add). To sum up what I brought away from it:

When mothers who choose to formula feed are no longer judged and victimized, they can start to freely admit when it is their choice to formula feed. In removing the stigma, we can then have honest conversations about latch issues, low milk supply, nipple confusion, supplementation, skin to skin, and whatever else we NEED to be talking about with new mamas in order to help them be successful at breastfeeding.

In other words, because mamas feel judged, they feel guilty. And because they feel guilty, we have allowed all of these reasons not to breastfeed to overshadow the possibilities of successful breastfeeding. When, in reality, most women can overcome most issues with the right support and help. Notice, I didn't say ALL BY THEMSELVES, nor did I say ALL women and issues.

Alright, I'll go first. I CHOSE to supplement my first child. I believed that I had low milk supply, and that belief was bolstered by a pediatrician who didn't know his head from a hole in the ground when it came to breastfeeding. I chose to follow his advice over the advice of my doula and other La Leche League women, and voila! I ended up with low milk supply.

I don't fault myself for this. I was stressed, scared, hormonal. I had a traumatic birth experience. Insert whatever reason, and I'll take it. I had my reasons, but it was still my choice. Because in one visit to a new pediatrician who told me, "If you don't want to supplement, then stop," I stopped. Didn't give him another ounce, and we did just fine.

Because I didn't like my choice, I armed myself with better information and more support this time. That worked for me, and I'm happy it did.

There. I have admitted my choice, and I have no guilt for it. I supplemented my child, and he is perfectly fine. Formula is not the devil's saliva. It is necessary in some cases and can be good in some cases. Unless we are going to go back to a normalcy of wet nurses, then we had better learn to accept formula as part of our culture and stop judging mamas for using it.

Here's what I don't like, and it has to do with what the mama's are told, and not what the mamas do.

Formula companies are in general, disgusting. Their marketing practices are in bad taste and disrespectful to the mamas who know that they want to breastfeed. They are like the used car salesmen of the baby industry. You know those CarFax commercials where the salesman just pretends to give the customer what they want, but really never do? That's the formula company.

You want breastfeeding support? Of course you do! Breast is best! Here are some formula samples and a pamphlet on breastfeeding issues. You're welcome! We are just here to help!

Bull. Bull. Bull.

A step in the right direction of correcting this would be for Congress to pass the Child Nutrition Act to INCLUDE the scientific evaluation of the "functional ingredients" in formula. We can request this of them. It's easy to do, and it's a great start in holding the formula companies accountable to their claims.

MomsRising has prepared a letter that you can send to your representatives just by filling in the form on their website. Let Congress know that you want them to use the WIC funding wisely. You want them to know the truth about formula and to include REAL breastfeeding support to mamas who need WIC.

Ahhhh. Now that I've unleashed a little on that, maybe next I'll take on the internet search engines. Because it really pisses me off that when you type in "breastfeeding support" on Google, you get sponsored results from formula companies.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The best day

So there was a break in the shamoopie fest yesterday. You see, part of previous shamoopie fests have resulted in multiple children, and sometimes, they tend to rule my days. That, and I couldn't find the cord to my old Viao anywhere, and it is the only computer I know how to edit video on. Oh, the grammar I have already destroyed in this post. Awesome.

Today is the day. Our anniversary. This time four years ago, we were packing the car and heading to Montreat, North Carolina, to have the perfect wedding. A couple of friends, a cake from Square Rabbit, a couple of pairs of Birkenstocks, and a stream in the world's most beautiful mountains. The only thing it was missing was our families.

This morning, I've gotten up early with the boys. We'll go pick up our mini wedding cake from Square Rabbit, go get our CSA vegetables, and then go to Stella's fourth birthday party. We'll do all of this together as a family. As much as a nice anniversary date with my husband sounds nice in theory, I have to admit - I'm so grateful to have Kevin as the father of my children - that I wouldn't want to spend the day any other way. There will be time for babysitters later. Right now, I'm enjoying our life as husband and wife - as parents.

Thank you for loving me, Kev. Happy Anniversary. Here's a little Buddy Miller diddy that makes me think back to our dating days. Next year, I'm fully anticipating recording something for you NOT on the Flip camera turned sideways on the piano. Heh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

He dreams big and perseveres

My husband is far too hard on himself. This house has been far too hard on him. The addition hasn't gone the way he planned for it to go, and he blames himself. There is someone far more appropriate to blame, but since we aren't actually finished dealing with him, I can't talk about it yet.

When I say that I wish the fence was up so I don't have to see the overgrown bamboo, that is really all I mean. I don't mean, "I wish the fence was up, but my husband is a lazy ass who hasn't gotten around to it." But that's what he hears.

I can understand why. This is his project. His dream for our family. This recording studio will be a place where he and I can work together on music just like we've wanted to do since we got together. When I complain, he takes it personally.

With as much nonsense as I take personally, I can certainly allow him that.

But for the record, I don't think this is his fault. I don't blame him for it not being finished, going over budget, or taking up all of our free time. What I see when I look at this behemoth of an addition is Kevin's ability to dream big and persevere.

I see his desire to provide for his family. His talent with power tools. His ability to envision a finished project. Especially that one, since I can't even envision a new paint color on the walls.

I know that before our fifth anniversary, we will be finished with the house (but probably not the landscaping - sorry, neighbors), and it will be lovely.

So for all the times I've gotten bent out of shape over this, I apologize. I love you, and I'm proud to be married to someone who can build his own dream. You are amazing.

Our song from 2009:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Still the luckiest shamoopie

Saturday will be our fourth anniversary. In four short years, my life has done a complete 180 degree turn around into a life I didn't know I wanted. Only, I didn't know I wanted it because I didn't know the possibilities.

Kevin and I are a lucky couple. We started seeing each other about five years ago. We were both recently separated, and our quick coupling caused quite the commotion. Rumors soared about the length of our relationship and our fidelity in our previous marriages. Rumors.

Sometimes badness leads to goodness though. It wasn't an easy road, but there isn't a night that goes by that I don't reach over, run my fingers through his hair, and thank God that Kevin was brought into my life.

In four short years we have

  • Had five pregnancies and two beautiful baby boys
  • Renovated a house
  • Added on to said house
  • Been laid off from work
  • Found new work
  • Become a SAHM
  • Lost two beloved pets
  • Seen a daughter through middle school
  • Fought
  • Made up
  • Traveled
  • Loved
It's been busy.

I cannot tell you how much I love this man. It was such a surprise too. I didn't expect it.

An ex-friend of mine scoffed when I told her that I had found "the one" so soon after my marriage crumbled. She told me that I might be happy then, but that the honeymoon doesn't last forever.

I guess she was right. Our house is messy, the boys are loud, we both are heavier, and well, there aren't enough hours in the day to get it on like we used to. Hours or energy.

But who wants to live in a honeymoon forever? Isn't the point to make a life together? Isn't the point to be with someone who you love even after they've made the bathroom stink? Someone who loves you even when you haven't shaved your armpits in over a week?

Kevin and I are perfect together. He completes me. He understands me. He supports me. He tolerates me. He loves me.

I don't ever forget, not ever for one split second of the day even when I might be madder than hell at him - I don't ever forget how lucky I am that he blew into my life on what I thought was the worst storm ever.

He is my rainbow.

Here's our song from 2008.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BlogHer Voices of the Year

In a couple of weeks, a few thousand million women will gather in New York City for BlogHer 2010. I won't be one of them this year.

I was lucky enough to go in 2007 and in 2008, but last year I chose not to, in lieu of a vacation with my family It was one or the other, and it's not any shocker which one I chose.

When I survived last year without going, it got harder to justify going back this year. Tickets sold out quickly again, and I didn't even blink at them. Plus, I am in love with the Type A Mom Conference and am definitely going back to it this year. As should you. Yes, you. There might even be a few early-bird tickets left.

I figure a laid back blogger such as myself really doesn't need more than one conference.

Then I found out about the Nestle sponsorship of BlogHer this year, and I was really glad that I wasn't going. I'm not too keen on them, and I was relieved not to be attending something where their presence was not only welcome, but where they would be paying to try and win people over to their brands.


My BFF and person I said I love most who isn't a family member IS going, and dadgummit if she isn't going to rock the whole conference. Especially the part where she raises her voice, reads her words, and wins the hearts of everyone in that room.

She has been chosen from 1000 entries as one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year. Wow.

I am SO proud of you, Susan, and I really wish I was going to be there in person to hear you, support you, and cheer for you. You are probably glad I won't be there though, because I would be the one doing the loud-ugly-sob-cry-of-pride the whole time you were trying to read. So I'll stay here and cheer for you from afar. You're welcome.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mama wings

It is finally sinking in why mamas get baby fever. After Christopher, I didn't have baby fever. I knew that I wanted another baby, but it was more practical than feverish. I really wanted two little ones in the house at the same time. I wanted them to be siblings close in age.

But now, Colin is sitting up. He reaches for me after I unbuckle his carseat straps. He reaches to turn pages in a book. His gums are swollen from the teeth that are considering making an appearance soon.

He is not my little baby anymore, and I don't know where the time went.

When I was a mama for the first time, the days and weeks, hell - the hours - drug on like a Jim Jarmusch film. It took forever for me to get comfortable and confident with going out in public. It took forever for me to feel like I could gracefully nurse my new baby. It took forever for me to settle into life as a dyad, a coupled unit with my firstborn son.

When Christopher turned six months old, it felt like an entire lifetime to me. So much had changed, and I had endured the tempest of the trial by fire education of a first time mama. It was a relief to get to six months.

As a second time mama though, things have been entirely different. Colin's birth serves as a beautiful metaphor for how I feel with him. We were immediately attached. Connected. We never broke that dyad bond after he was born, so we never had to reform it. It was just there.

Realize here, that I'm not comparing my sons. I'm comparing my mothering. That's completely different than comparing my children.

After Colin was born, we were back home in a matter of hours. It was as if he had just magically appeared into our lives - as if he had always been there. Christopher was just at a morning playdate, and when it was time to come home and eat lunch, well shucks - his baby brother was miraculously there.

And it's been that way ever since, leaving the days and weeks - and hours - to simply fly past. It's not that I'm not noticing milestones, it's just that I can't believe they've already come and gone.

First time mama was so frustrated if the baby wasn't asleep at a certain time. Second time mama is just proud that the baby has finally started napping on his own every now and then. He'll sleep when he's ready.

First time mama was ready to feed the baby rice cereal exactly two weeks before his six month appointment. Second time mama is just amused at the way the baby pushes his banana around on the tray and licks it. He'll eat when he's ready.

First time mama was trying to figure out how to get to BlogHer with the baby and still feel connected to her old self. Second time mama is just happy to be at home with her family and still feel connected to her whole self. I'll venture out when both boys are ready.

It's strange. On the one hand, I feel so relaxed; like there is time for everything. On the other hand, I feel like time is slipping away; like my baby is growing up a million times faster than his big brother did. I can blink and get a glimpse of next year, and the next, and the ones not too far away when Mallory is leaving for college, Christopher is starting school, Colin is more than a toddler, and I'm turning 40.

Life is becoming a fly by for me in some ways, and I'm grateful - because it's my children who gave me my wings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The singing wachine machine

I'm sitting on a pile of laundry. Granted, it's clean, but I'm sitting on it. It's just that as soon as I open a page to compose a post, I remember that I have clothes to fold, diapers to assemble, dogs to feed, dishes to wash, or a baby starts to cry.

So, I'm sitting on the laundry. Quite literally.

Sometimes I still get extremely overwhelmed. I can't seem to help it. The house still isn't finished, the washing machine broke, the Jeep needs new tires, the front tire of my stroller burst, and the xBox broke. Every time we turn around, something else needs about $850 thrown at it. It's ridiculous.

The weekend found me stewing about our new washer and dryer. I mean, how stupid is that? My husband buys a fantastic new washer and dryer set, and I'm pissed off about it. Sometimes I'm a moron.

The washer is sick. It will wash 31 bath towels at once. Not that I own 31 bath towels or that I plan to, but whatever. It's very proud of the work it does. When it's done with a load, it plays a tune. A full out song - not a bell tone, but a virtual symphony. "AHHHH! Your clothes are CLEAN!!!" It's the most noise the thing makes ever.

But it doesn't fit in the existing laundry room. They are too deep, and the only solution was to move them out into the new part of the house. Into my office/sewing/crafting room. The room that I had all laid out with my sewing machine, serger, ironing board, storage, filing, and art supplies for the boys. It was going to be our create-space.

And now I'll have to do chores in it.

Oh my stars. I am SUCH a whiner. But I was sad. Granted, I'm over it, but I was sad.

Until tonight, when I happened to discover the musical talents of our new washer. Just when I was cursing having to find shoes to go out to the unfinished floor full of sawdust, wire cuttings, and random nails, that stupid washer began to sing a little song; telling me my clothes were CLEAN! LA LA LA!

And I had to smile. I keep saying, and it's true, "It's all going to be lovely."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bird's first movie: Toy Story 3

I was going to be one of those moms who didn't introduce the TV or movies until after her child was two years old.

*pause here for explosive laughter*

Right. So, that. Didn't really happen.

Christopher loves Cars. He loves Toy Story. He loves Elmo. He loves Jack's Big Music Show. He loves Wonder Pets, Dinosaur Train, the rest of Sesame Street, and he LOVES Super Why almost as much as he ADORES Kipper.

At any given moment of the day, he can be heard flying a Buzz Lightyear toy around the room and yelling, "Super Readers to the RESCUE!" Occasionally he will actually put Buzz's lines with Buzz, but for some reason, he just really likes to yell, "Super Readers to the RESCUE!"

Do I regret having a 2 1/2 year old who loves the TV like he does? A little bit. I admit it. I wish that he didn't, and I'm thinking of canceling our cable so that we don't feel anymore fiscal obligation to sit on our asses in front of it.


Taking the family to see Toy Story 3 in the movie theater yesterday was one of the most fun things we have done yet.

We explained to Christopher that we were going to see a NEW Toy Story movie - one that he hadn't seen before. It would be dark in the theater, and the screen would be really BIG. He wouldn't be allowed to talk or get up and walk around, but there would be popcorn. After we told him that yes, he could take Woody and Buzz with him to the movies, he was completely sold on the whole plan.

While we waited on Kevin to buy the tickets, I followed Christopher around the lobby while he found every movie poster that had Toy Story on it and cried out, "LOOK! MY TOY STORY!" and then he would begin to sing his most favorite song in the whole world while his plastic Woody toy danced along.

"I got a friend in me. I GOT A FRIEND IN ME!"

As you can see, he has appropriately changed the pronouns to match his mother's introverted and socially stunted personality. Awesome.

With the exception of the previews, which were louder than the second coming of our Lord and all the heavens, it all went well. Colin fell asleep on the boobie as planned, and Christopher sat literally on the edge of his seat the whole time, only moving to dance whenever the music took any part of the forefront.

He had the BEST time, and I'm afraid that we will never ever be that family who remains untouched and unscathed by consumer marketing.

Bah. Who cares, really? After all, my son's first favorite song is by Randy Newman. If that's the result of all this media? It's not so bad after all.

*Note the completely sold out to consumerism Toy Story t-shirt that Bird is sporting, but paired with some hipster homemade pants out of some awesome Micheal Miller fabric. Such an oxymoron of an outfit.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

It's gonna have real strings and everything

There is a piece in my puzzle that doesn't quite fit. Somewhere deep within my almost crunchy, granola, tandem nursing, babywearing, sewing, baking, and all things mothering persona lies a GAMER.

I love video games. If you can drive it, shoot it, smack it down, or blow it up, I'm all over it.

Karaoke, dancing, guitar, drums, whatever. I love that too. In fact, the only thing I'm not really a fan of are the games that have the first person vision - you know, when it's like you are looking over the gun? Not a fan.

Also, not really a fan of the Wii.

I know. Blaspha-freaking-mee. I can't help it. There are multiple problems with it. The first being that Mal Mal can whoop me at just about everything there is, and that completely goes against the grain of my competitive nature.

The second is that I'm a total klutz, and being able to do amazing things with my thumbs? That was a good thing for me. I LIKE the thumb controllers. This whole get-up-and-really-do-the-motion thing isn't really good for me and my lack of grace.

Of course, there is an exception, and that would be the Wii Fit. I kind of dig getting to see the little yellow circle on the yoga poses and feel myself getting better aligned. That's nice.

I digress.

For middle school graduation, we bought Mal Mal a copy of Beatles Rock Band for the xBox. I was thinking we already had the guitars, but I was wrong. The guitars I had were for the PS2, which is deader than dead. So, we headed to Game Stop yesterday to trade in all my old PS2 stuff and get some gear for the xBox.

Don't you love how I'm just now getting to the point of this story?

Here I am, mama and stepmama to my three beautiful children. I've got my littlest in a lovely ring sling, looking all peaceful and attached, and what am I doing? Why, I'm dumping out my bag of PS2 games - most of which are ridiculously inappropriate for a house with kiddos. The dude raised his eyebrow at me and almost sounded scolding when he told me that they didn't sell Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in their store. What can I say? I like to shoot things. In games. Just in games.

The funniest thing though was when he tried to convince me to wait and buy Rock Band 3 because, "It's just like learning to play real instruments." His pitch was that the guitars had REAL strings and the keyboard had something like 34 KEYS!


He had no way of knowing that my other oddly shaped puzzle piece is the part of me that performs and records. Sure, I like playing Rock Band, but I don't think I need the REAL fake guitars and the REAL tiny keyboard.

I just found it funny.

Okay, so there actually isn't a point to this story. I'm just trying to get back to the writing. And for the second straight night in a row, Colin has actually gone down by himself, leaving me to type freely.

Of course, I could be playing a game instead . . .

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The return of the purse

Remember when my purse was stolen the week before Colin was born? And the lovely Holly Aiken offered to make me a new one like my favorite old one? And then the Fayetteville police found it in the bushes the next day? But I went to pick it up on Martin Luther King Day, and they said, "Nope. That part of the building is closed today"?

Well, I finally went back down there to pick it up. I just hadn't had the energy or time to pack up the boys and head down I-95 to get my beloved bag. However, a few weeks ago, Papa and I loaded up Christopher and Colin and went to Fayetteville. This time, I called ahead of our trip. I'm smart that way.

It was a good thing I did because they only return property on Tuesday and Friday. We had been planning to go on a Monday.

We rearranged our trip to Friday and headed that way. I called again when we hit the road, just to double check. Again, it was a good thing I did, because even though the woman in the property office, or whatever they call it, knew I was coming that day, she had decided to leave early. I reminded her that she had told me on Monday that she would see me Friday at 1:30 to pick up my purse, and she agreed to stay.

How nice.

Of course, she could have left a lot sooner if we hadn't had to stand in the lobby for 25 minutes waiting on someone to walk up to the window and ask us why we were there and if we needed help. Or, if she had answered her office phone. Not really my issue though.

When she finally came out with the box, she asked me for my ID in order to claim it. Snort.

"It's in my purse. In that box."

When she opened the box, I was woefully reminded that it had been raining the weekend my purse was stolen. The mold that had grown in the box was over powering and made my eyes start to water immediately. Most everything in the purse needed to be tossed, and I was afraid the purse would too, but it survived.

I put it in the washing machine on hot when we got home. I figured I was going to have to toss it anyway - if it couldn't be cleaned like that - so what the heck? It came out perfectly. Looked brand new. I swear - I love Holly's bags. They are so freaking amazing.

The bonus part of the trip, and certainly the most random? There was a Salvador Dali exhibit in Fayetteville while we were there. I talked Papa into stopping and seeing it. It was his illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. Who knew? In Fayetteville of all places. It's an army town, not an art town. But it was a nice exhibit.

So that's the conclusion to the stolen purse. As you can see, now that Colin has decided it's alright to sleep without my boob in his mouth and without being completely on my lap, I have two hands to type and can possibly catch up here a little bit. Yay.