Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Truth in Advertising

When it comes to advertising, words do not always mean what you think they do.  Forgive me if I've ranted about this before, but linguistic manipulation is a pet peeve of mine.  What got me upset this time?  Here's the front of a coupon attached to a Babies'R'Us circular:
Note the words here-- ANY (capitalized and bold) one regular-priced baby item.  This sounds great.  Then you look at the back:

Just look at that long list of exclusions.  Foremost?  Excludes ALL (caplitalized and bold) toys.  Did the people who made this coupon misunderstand the meaning of 'all'?  You know, "the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year."  

Their first use of 'all' is clearly not correct.  They don't mean everything, after all, only some of the things.  Can I apply that to the same 'all' they put on the back?  Can I pick what I want to exclude from their exclusion policy?

This happens a lot with 'free', too.  Buy X and get Y free.  Except Y isn't free--didn't I have to buy X to get it?  Free:  "costing nothing; provided without charge: free entertainment."  If I pay you money, it isn't free.  It may be a bonus or an extra but not free.

Maybe I should send advertisers a free* dictionary including ALL** of the English language.

*Requires purchase of one item from my Etsy shop.
**Some words may be excluded at my discretion.  You won't know if they're the ones you need until you are searching through said dictionary.  Sorry.

Help for Teething Babies

Just a quick post to tell my parent friends out there about a great giveaway.  If you have a teething baby, check out this Teething Bling pendant giveaway.  In case you aren't familiar with the company, Teething Bling makes a variety of necklaces designed for babies to chew on.  They are free of chemicals and toxins that might harm your child.  You can find them here on Facebook.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Pieces

There are some tasks that are just too big to be contemplated at once.  Well, at least for me.

I'm the type of person who gets easily overwhelmed.  I still remember when we moved into our current house.  Instead of taking them to the proper room, the movers stacked most of our boxes in a big box mountain in a single room.  We called it Mt. Boxmore.  I hated that pile.  Take one box off, and it still seemed like it hadn't been touched.  It took a long time and a lot of help to get that pile unpacked.  I still hadn't learned how to focus on the little pieces.

Oddly enough, though, I had unconsciously started my writing process in just that way.  I don't know how most writers work, but I start a new file for each chapter.  Only when I am finished do I combine that chapter into one file with all the rest.  I didn't think about why I did this, but it makes so much sense to me now.  If I tried to write everything in one big file, I would get too overwhelmed.  I know I can finish a chapter.  It is a small goal, an accomplishment I can feel good about during the greater process.  It keeps my book from feeling like Mt. Boxmore.

I'm finally started to actively apply that to my life in other ways.  I organized my pantry one shelf at a time.  I set small goals that I know I can complete.  It sounds SO very simple, but it isn't.  When you are a perfectionist, it is a struggle to turn off the part of your brain that says you should be able to do everything at once (and do it well).  But finally, I'm learning to celebrate the small steps.

Thank goodness for little pieces!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Babies, and Travel, and Fevers, Oh My!

What a week!  It started off well.  Monday, I had a babysitter for writing time and got to go take pictures with my friend Sarah.  Tuesday, I left for my mom's house.  My husband had a conference to go to, so the plan was to visit with my family, then meet him at the hotel on Thursday.

Well, Wednesday my daughter developed a high fever.  104.8!  No walk-in clinic would see her, so I had to take her to the ER.  An out of town visit to the ER with a 1 year old?  No fun for anyone.  I think Kira called the nurses "meanymeanymeany" quite a few times, as a matter of fact.  Poor nurses.  And after all the tests, the doctor could only say that she has a virus.  Probably.

Yesterday, she did great.  As long as she had her Motrin, she was playing and happy.  The same this morning.  So, I set out to meet my husband a couple of hours away.  By the time I got to the hotel room, she had a fever again despite the Motrin.  I gave her some Tylenol, and now she is resting in her playpen while I try not to panic.

As far as I can tell, traveling with a baby is a bit like playing roulette.  There's just no telling what will happen.  And we have a road trip coming up in a couple of weeks.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Vacation from Vacation!

We went on our first vacation with Kira a couple of weeks ago.  Whew!  Going on vacation with a one year-old is an experience.  I'd planned to post from the beach, but I spent most of my time trying to keep the baby out of, well, everything.  We stayed with my in-laws, who live near the beach, and Kira was more than happy to explore their house.  It took me a week to recover from my vacation.

I thought I would start out this week with vacation highlights.

 I took this shot at the Gulf Shores Zoo.  Though it is a small zoo, I love the atmosphere.  See that rail at the bottom?  That's how close we were to the tiger.  This is not my long-range lense!  You can see the fence in the next picture, where Kira is looking at the tiger: 
Kira didn't seem too sure of the beach.  As long as her feet didn't touch the sand, she was okay.  She enjoyed watching the waves and playing with her beach toys (so long as they weren't in sand).

We also went to Fort Morgan, a Civil War fort.  I took lots of pictures, but these two were my favorites: