The Great Outdoors

I am happy to report that I had the best day ever. Alexis slept until 7:00 this morning (yay, Alexis!), I got to go to my favorite garden store and pick out my (belated) Mother's Day gift, then Daddy and Alexis hung out in the house while I worked in the yard for three whole hours. It's amazing how much better the garden looks after just a little bit of attention. I was able to move a bunch of plants, hang a basket, weed, put down peat moss, get out some of my fairy statues, clean the pond, do a little pruning, etc., etc. It was absolutely the best Mother's Day gift I could have gotten even if it was late--thanks Alexis and Daddy!

Somewhere in there, Daddy brought out Alexis' swing for outside and hung it from the bottom of the deck. The Littlest Daredevil was thrilled. She was swinging so high she nearly smacked her head on the bottom of the deck about a dozen times. By the end she had both hands up in the air (who needs to hold on?) and was squealing "Weeeee!"

Here are a few of the pictures from yesterday at the zoo. Like I said, it's the fish that matter.


The Lion Says "Roooooaaaaaaarrrr"

We made our first of, most likely, several trips to the zoo today. We bought season passes since we'll probably end up going five or six times in the next year. We'll go even more if Daddy gets his way.

Alexis showed off just how many animal signs Rachel on Signing Time has taught her. She knew some that I had long ago forgotten like giraffe, gorilla, rhinocerous, and zebra. It still neaver ceases to amaze me that she can tell us some of these words that she knows. It amazes me even more that she knows the words in the first place. I just didn't expect that a 15-month old would be able to recognize a zebra. Just as crazy--somewhere along the line she has learned that lions roar. She started signing lion and roaring like a crazy woman the moment she them. I'm thinking Daddy must be behind that one.

I have pictures to show, but they are taking forever to upload, so I'm saving them for tomorrow. Sorry!



Let's just start with a story from my day for no other reason that the fact that it amuses me . . . so, I work for this huge hospital system (12th largest in the nation). I train end users on PeopleSoft. We have major upgrade coming soon, so I've been going to all the hospitals doing some auditorium style sessions (there's no way I can get 3400 people through real computer training with their own PC in two weeks, so they get what they get). I have literally been to 14 hospitals in 10 days. To set up these sessions, I sent one email to all locations. In that email, I requested a projector and internet access. It worked fabulously everywhere except where I went today.

Today's destination was the middle-of-nowhere PA about two hours north of our house. The two hospitals I visited are literally the size of the Emergency Room at some of the Pittsburgh hospitals. We're talking way country, way small time. Honestly, the places could pass as nursing homes. Anway, I walk into the room and am reminded that people are perhaps a bit behind the times in the "country." Instead of a LCD projector that you hook up to a computer, both hospitals had the ol' transparency projectors. You know, the ones that use the magic of lights and mirrors to shine an image from a clear sheet of paper onto the wall. I hadn't seen one of those in probably ten years. I didn't even know they still made them.

To make matters even more entertaining, my second training of the day was held in a conference room that is in a building next to the hospital. They call it the "barn" because it's used for storing things like portable toilets, wheelchairs, etc. Oh yeah, it's also called that because IT USED TO BE A BARN. I have never heard of putting a conference room in a barn and I grew up in North Dakota. Simply amazing.

As for Alexis, she and I went to the playground after school so she could play on the slides. She got brave today and figured she'd go head first. It worked well the first few times because she used her hands to go slow and I was able to meet her at the bottom. The third time she forgot to slow herself down and I didn't make it around fast enough to catch her. She landed fast first in the dirt. I scooped mulch and dirt out of her mouth for at least ten minutes then she used two baby wipes to clean it out some more. After the nasty taste was out of her mouth, she went right back to the slide and did it again. Maybe the thrill was worth the splat.