go, go goldieblox!

If you are the parent of a young girl, this post is for you.

Today I got an email from Fat Brain Toys – love them – informing me that “the hottest toy this spring is in”! Well my goodness. Far be it from me to miss out on the hottest toy this spring! Plus, if Fat Brain thinks it’s good, well it must be good.

Being the true consumer that I am, I clicked right through to find this: GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine. From the picture, it’s hard to immediately figure out exactly what’s going on…some sort of pink dolphin in a tutu…ribbon spinning around a board…huh?
The second thing that caught my attention was the price: 30 smackers! Geez. I still didn’t know what GoldieBlox was, but I was feeling pretty certain it wasn’t worth $30.

Immediately, I’m on Amazon searching for “the hottest toy this spring” to see if there are reviews and, of course, to do a price comparison. (Because while I do love Fat Brain Toys, let’s just say that they aren’t always the cheapest store on the online block.) My Amazon findings: It’s the same price and there are no reviews because the product isn’t even quite available yet – due to be launched on April 28 – but conveniently available for pre-order.

Then, I watch this video where GoldieBlox founder Debbie, who is clearly beautiful and smart, tells me about her new toy company. Immediately, I’m hooked. I don’t know if I’ll buy Debbie’s new product yet because it seems it Elena may still be a little young for it – but I love the idea and I hope that she succeeds. Go Debbie and go GoldieBlox!

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am I smarter than a first grader?…part two

So, I had heard for quite a while that we were getting flamingos at work – which, by the way, is an okay-normal type thing when you work at a zoo. Finally, a couple of months ago, the word that they were on their way…21 lesser flamingos coming from the San Antonio Zoo, which was phasing out their exhibit.

Now, first, before I get to the flamingos, let me say that I have definitely gained a new appreciation for birds since working at the zoo. There are so many really special, gorgeous birds out there. Many of them, in Oregon – not the least of which is the always amazing and majestic bald eagle. What a treat when we were in Klamath Falls last summer to see so many of them there in the wild! Perhaps I digress…

Despite my newfound bird appreciation, I didn’t initially think all that much about the flamingos – except that sitting in the marketing department and all – there was a lot of thinking about flamingos. First came the brainstorm. Then the photos. Then the billboard designs. Then the billboards on the freeways, complete with plastic flamingos on top. Then, this week, the culmination leading up to the new exhibit opening with the surprise #flockupy popping up all over town. Plus, the local news reporting about it. And let’s not forget the cool pink flamingo necklaces my colleague Krista got us all to wear around the office all week long. I mean, this flamingo thing is kind of fun.

On Monday of this week, after I had met a big deadline the day before, I took a sadly, somewhat rare break and walked into the zoo to go visit these new members of the family. They were/are cute. And kind of funny little guys and gals. They all hang out right together. Like, I’m thinking they aren’t really American because they don’t seem all that concerned about personal space. The closer, the merrier, as far as I could tell. And they are definitely into the standing on one leg thing. And amazingly flexible. All in all, super good at yoga, I would guess.

Also, when you get past their devil-red eyes, they are just gorgeous birds. The light pink color is just amazing, and I love the accents of darker pink that highlight the ends of their wings. Really, so pretty, I think.

So, by now perhaps you are wondering what this has to do with first graders? Well, on Tuesday morning I was out with my neighbor/walking partner, talking about how cool the new flamingos are when she says that her daughter, a first grader – but not in Ian’s class – told her that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp! Hee hee, yeah right…sounds a little “fishy” to me!

Then, Wednesday morning I’m volunteering in Ian’s first grade class, getting ready to take a group of kids off for reading group and one of the girls asks about my (totally awesome) flamingo necklace. She says she loves flamingos! Then, “Did you know that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp?” Wha??! Alrighty, now I’m suspicious. Could these first graders know something I don’t know?? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

A couple of hours later I’m back at work at the end of a staff meeting when there’s a call for any last questions/comments before we wrap. I can’t help myself. I must know the truth. My hand goes up…”So, I’ve heard via two first graders that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp! True, or false??” Instead of the chuckles I half expected, I get a (half) collective…”It’s true!”

So I guess the final answer is that no, apparently I am not smarter than one or more first graders. At least when it comes to flamingo trivia.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Except, flamingos will be officially available to greet their adoring public starting tomorrow, March 23 so…

Flock This Way!

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happy birthday to you, happy anniversary to us

Ian's First Days - 15Ian turned 7-years-old yesterday. I’ve learned that I’ll probably say this every year that I get to celebrate his birthday, but it truly does seem like just the other day that I Jeff and I drove around the block (because I was too fat to walk) and I walked into Virginia Hospital Center to check in at reception for my scheduled c-section.

The nurse had barely gotten us into the room when I started bawling. Poor lady was trying to comfort me thinking something was actually wrong – but there I was just trying to explain to her – in-between deep breaths – that I was just a little (actually, A LOT) nervous because this was my first surgery and um, HELLO, I was coming out on the other end as a PARENT!! Like, if the rumors I heard were true, we would be taking home a real actual human being that Jeff and I would be responsible for not only keeping alive, but making sure that he/she actually made some sort of contribution to society. I still just wasn’t sure I was ready for all that. I mean, when was I going to fit the gym and shopping and drinks out with friends in with all that new responsibility??

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harold and the purple crayon

My daughter is obsessed. As in, she seems to love, love, love reading (or hearing, I guess is more like it) Harold and the Purple Crayon. It is a really cute and magical book, I must admit.

If I let her, she’ll choose it as the book she wants me to read at bedtime pretty much every night. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. One night I cut it off at the pass as we were headed into her room after brushing teeth: “Elena, we’re not reading Harold and the Purple Crayon tonight.” Her: I want to read Harold and the Purple Crayon!” Me: “No, we read it every night…let’s read something else.” Her: Sniff, sniff. (As if I’d just banned her from seeing her best friend…) “Okay,” she said grabbing another book reluctantly – which, by the way, is usually My Truck is Stuck. Sigh.

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i’m not fat or pregnant…i have a medical condition

Well, it’s official. My children ruined my body. More specifically, the second child if I’m really pointing fingers. If there was ever any doubt – which, there really wasn’t – but if there ever was, it disappeared last Thursday.

To explain, I must go back for a moment to 2010 after I had Elena, was not working and was as anxious as a lightning bug caught in a jar to rid myself of any sign of two pregnancies. Enter my longtime friend Weight Watchers, and my new(er) best bud, Jillian. As in, Michaels. She and I spent many mornings together…weights, crunches, jumping jacks….more crunches, more jumping jacks… It was somewhere in there that I noticed my stomach looking a little funky. I won’t go into details but figured I clearly still had work to do. Fast forward a few months when I was at the doctor and she pronounces, “You have a hernia!” Me: “A what?” Her: “A hernia. Does it hurt?” Me: “Oh, I’ve been wondering about that…it seemed strange…no, it doesn’t hurt.” Her: “Then don’t worry about it.” So, I didn’t.

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