Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We are Blessed

While my Mom and I were in Florida my Dad was on the other side of the world drilling for water.  He, along with seven other men from our church, spent a little over two weeks in Burkina Faso with the hopes of bringing water to the people of this poor country.  They were working with Friends in Action  on their Water of Life Well Drilling project.  None of the men from our church were engineers however, they were willing to work hard slugging equipment and digging.  They worked with two trained engineers who live there full time and direct the missions group.  Not all of the teams they work with our successful in finding water but our team drilled two successful wells.

Burkina Faso is located in West Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world.   Drought, poor soil, lack of adequate communications and other infrastructure, a low literacy rate, and an economy vulnerable to external shocks are all longstanding problems. Many families send the wives or children over four miles round trip to collect water.  Friends in Action works to bring water to the communities and help eliminate the long walk to get water.  Water provides an opportunity to connect with the people of these communities.

The children come from all over to sit and watch the teams dig for water.  They have to draw a line that the kids must stay behind, for their own safety, because they are so excited and interested on what is happening.  Little kids come barefoot without any supervision and watch for hours.  This really took the team, especially my Dad, by surprise.  With three small grandchildren, my Dad was shocked at how little some of the children were running around unsupervised without shoes on.  There is no way I would let the Boss out of my sight at such a young age.

The team was successful in bringing water to two separate communities.  The people go wild when the water comes flooding out of the well.   They spray kids down before they begin filling containers for the people.  Word of mouth travels faster than Twitter and Facebook here.  Minutes after the water starts flowing there are people ready to fill their jugs to take home.  The team was shocked at how fast word spread.

Few of the people have formal education. Schooling is free and compulsory until the age of 16, yet only about 80% of primary school-age children are enrolled in primary school.  In one of the communities they were drilling in there was a one room school house where kids could go to learn the basic skills needed to attend the public schools.

These children have so little.  One of the highlights of the day was when the men were cleaning up for they would take their garbage out to the kids for them to play with.  When my Dad told me this I was horrified...can you imagine what one of our kids would do if a group of men handed them garbage to play with?  It seemed so pretentious in some ways for the men to hand these poor children their garbage but at the same time they wanted it so badly, it would have been worse to not give it to them.   We often take for granted how blessed we are.

 The children fighting over the men's garbage.  They would swarm whoever had the bucket. I love this tiny little girl to the right in her pink shorts.  I just want to take her home.

 Making the kids line up for the garbage and take turns selecting what they would like.  This was very foreign to them.  They come from a culture of survival of the fittest.  The biggest kid normally gets the best piece.

This little girl is so precious.  They let her pick what she wanted and she choose a coke can.  This seemed to be the first choice of many of the kids.   They had a game they played with these cans.

It's experiences like this and the devastation in Japan that makes us realize just how blessed we are.  I can't imagine living in conditions like this and celebrating water and garbage the way these kids do.  This makes me very grateful for everything we have.  It's a constant reminder to be grateful for the the little things in life.  I am so proud of my Dad for what he did and so grateful for this opportunity for him.

Look how cute my Dad is...we were disappointed that he shaved his Papa Smurf beard before we saw him.

If you are interested in supporting this project feel free to contact Friends in Action here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lessons Learned in Florida

This was my first trip to Florida without my Hubby!  I was travelling with my Mom, but since Mr. D and I travel often I definitely missed our perfectly choreographed trek through the airport.  We are like a well oiled machine keeping track of passports, boarding passes, navigating the metal detectors with a diaper bag and stroller, on the run diaper changes and feeding the Girl on the plane.  However, we did make it and I was proud of us.

We had a wonderful time and I could not have asked for better weather if I had have ordered it for myself!  Here are a few lessons learned.

1. You look like a total tourist when you land in high 80 degree temperatures in jeans and sweaters.
2. Your Baby also deserves some relaxation.  The Boss loved soaking in her "marble" tubs.
3. Bring your own sheets for the crib...the ones provided by the hotel don't look like the brand new perfect set your baby is used to.
 4. Cribs on wheels ROCK...the Boss LOVED watching us get ready for the day in her moveable "cage".
5. Use your time wisely, feed Baby while waiting for the shows to start.  You have to be at the shows 30 min. ahead of time to ensure you get a seat, so keep Baby entertained and re-vitalized for the next activity.
6. Save your money and take your baby to the SPCA rather than Sea World.  She loved the "Pet's Ahoy" show featuring cats and dogs...she had no idea who Shamu is.
7. You can never have too many changes of clothing for your Baby at a theme park.
 8. Playing with a baby in the water inevitably leads to getting soaked.
9.  My days of sunbathing by the pool edge are long gone.  Someone wants to play, and that means Mommy has to go swimming. (Do you love my new bathing suit I picked up at Target? Yes, this is one of the ones I blogged about here, only with white bottoms)
10. American shopping is the BEST!!!
11. Save valuable shopping time by letting Baby self-sooth and fall asleep in her stroller....I think the beautiful breeze helped, and she loved having bare feet.
12. Even Baby's hair suffers in the humidity.
13. Missing naps, late bedtimes and an awkward feeding schedule ultimately leads to a major meltdown even from the very best Babies.
14. Getting off a plane from Orlando and being greeted by snow and freezing temperatures SUCKS. (I know you don't feel bad for me, at least I got a week in the sun.)
15. I would do it all again in a second!  We had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Pack a Baby for Vacation

I love going away but I absolutely detest packing.  Since we tend to travel a lot with my in-laws in Florida and close friends in Virginia where we met I have tried to create a system to ensure we have everything we need.  Since I started packing like this the only thing we have forgotten is our toothpaste and that was because somebody used it before we headed out the door and forgot to throw it in...*cough* Mr. D *cough*.  Luckily this was an easy fix.

Here are my tips for making packing as efficient and easy as possible.
I divide my laundry into piles while folding it.  This makes it easy when delivery it to it's home.  TAKE, obviously goes in the suitcase and DON'T TAKE,  can go back into it's home until we get back. Note the crib sheet.  I have never put the Boss in a crib at a hotel and I am super apprehensive about it.  I am bringing my own sheets and plan to wipe down the crib best I can.

Since the weather is pretty unpredictable in Florida this time of year, I packed outfits for warm weather with sweaters that can go over top if it's chilly.
Packing in piles ensures you have all the pieces for each outfit and appropriate clothing for each activity.
Make sure it all fits!!!!  Since we visit Florida multiple times a year I've left some toiletries at my in-laws.  We also normally pack only enough diapers to get us there and for a few days and then buy a package when your there.  This leaves extra room for clothing!
Next, you need to think about your diaper bag.  This is everything you will need from the time you drop your luggage off until you reach your destination.  I have labelled all the necessities but one thing to keep in mind if your flying is to pack comfort items for your baby but also toys that won't make the honeymooners behind you want to throw you off the plane.  I always avoid toys that make noise.  Another life saver is the passy wipes.  Even though I keep her passy on a clip  it sometime touches the plane seat...eeew!
Again, I'm planning on buying most of the stuff we would need from our kitchen once we get there.  I normally make all the Boss' food but TSA rules make this near impossible.  I have packed two jars in the diaper bag and will purchase the rest once we arrive at our destination.
Washed and ready to go!  We're done.  Now time to go pack Mommy!  I pack pretty much the same for myself.  The key is to take it one step at a time.  Review your daily routines to ensure you have everything you need.

And on that note...we're off.  I'll be back in a week.  In the meantime, have a great week and we will chat soon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Show me the Beach

With my trip to Florida just a few days away and bathing suit season quickly approaching I think it's time to find this year's bathing suit.  Here are some hot choices to get you beach ready.


Urban Outfitters
*My Fav*
J Crew

Victoria Secret

Or...if you're like me and your body just might not be bathing suit ready, these options will let you cover-up a little without compromising sexy.

This one looks like what some girls wore to my prom...
J Crew

Victoria Secret


Let's not forget FLOPS!!!!  I am loving these.

Old Navy


The Boss and I went for haircuts together today. These are the moments I live for with a little girl.  Our hair was equally in need of a little clean up so we headed out for a girls day!

Trying to get her to look...
Trying to make her smile...
I think we got one!

I know there isn't a huge difference but I had a lot of anxiety cutting our hair.  Her's was just tidied so it would grow out nicely and mine just needed a little TLC!

Ps.  How much do I need a new camera...uh! Maybe one day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who wouldn't love La Posh Style

I follow a number of different blogs and from time to time these blogs have great giveaways.  Normally I check out a giveaway and decide if I need the item or not.  I never, ever put my name in unless I just have to have whatever it is the giveaway is offering.  After all, I would never want to steal something for myself that I think someone else would better appreciate.  When I saw this giveaway on Little Miss Momma (who's blog I LOVE btw) I new I had to share it over here.  La Posh Style...where have you been all my life?

La Posh Style was founded in 2010 by a photographer who knows how important it is to look awesome, especially for a photo shoot.  These pieces include ruffles, texture and embroidery making them unique and fabulous.

With at least one wedding scheduled for this summer, and a small speaking engagement on Mother's Day I hear a few of these dresses calling my name!  Here are two of my favourites.

So, if you love these looks as much as I do, and want a chance to win a $25 credit toward your purchase, head-over to Little Miss Momma and find out how you can be entered in this great giveaway.  And remember, if you don't love it...don't steal it from the rest of us. ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby Bows

Last week the Boss and I spent a fun afternoon with one of my college roomies and her sweet baby girl. The girls had lots of fun playing together, followed by lunch, and short (and I mean short) naps.  While they were napping (and taking turns in the jumperoo)  the Mommies made hair bows for our sweet girls.  We were so happy with how they turned out.  How cute are they?

Tutorial to follow soon!