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Friday, September 30, 2011

"Fun"draising

Apparently, fundraising for school activities begins before your child is 1 these days. Yes, this week, we received a catelogue for Tupperware in order to sell to our family and friends.

Luckily, they have said (numerous times) that we are by no means obligated to do any fundraising, but it has still given us a glimpse into our future: where we will not only obligated, but required to fundraise, volunteer our time, or have to cut a cheque to cover the difference between some pre-defined minimum amount and what we actually can sell.

In elementary school, I remember being sent home with catelogues for various fundraising opportunities. There were book sales, Christmas decorations/wrapping paper, and bake sales. In high school, it got slightly more serious with Entertainment books (very large coupon books that were $40 each), and having to staff Bingo's.

My parents didn't buy into the idea where they had to hit up their family, friends, and co-workers to raise money for a program or school. They would typically buy a couple of items, and that was that (DH's family was the same). I sure the heck didn't have the personality to do it either. I didn't mind the Bingo model though, since we were merely working as staff for a service that was already being offered. We weren't putting people out by doing it. I think DH and I will have a similar mentality toward these types of things.

As for the Tupperware fundraiser: apparently the daycare only receives 10-40% of the sale, depending on the items. So, we're just going to make a straight-up donation. They get 100% of the cash and we don't have solicit our family and friends. I figure it's a win-win.

What kind of fundraising did you do in school? What did your parents do about it?

If you're a parent, how often does this happen, anyway? What do you do?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Downsized

When I started my new job in June, our Centre was given an office that I would share with the other new staff member. Though it is an interior office, it is still rather nice. It's on an inside corner, so we have windows on two sides. It's rather large, and can easily fit our two desks and all the outreach supplies.

But, when we moved in, we were told it was only temporary - like most other space allocations at the university. Space is a premium around here. Especially good space.

So, last Friday afternoon we were told that we will be moving (okay, it was more like "get the hell out of that office ASAP!!") to a new office the following Monday. The office is about half the size of our previous office, and is in the basement. Not only are we being downsized, but we're being downgraded.

It kind of sucks, but that's the way it goes at our university (I assume this is a regular occurrence at most universities though). Plus, we're only allowed to stay in this office for six months. So, more than likely, we'll be moving again soon.

The Dean has promised to have a permanent space set up for us before that happens, so hopefully that's the case and we can finally get settled (and put our office number on our brochures, business cards, and website).

What are the issues with space at your place of work?



WW Photo



Monday, September 26, 2011

Style Update - Five Months Later

Back in April, I revamped my professional style with the help of a wardrobe consultant, Sue. So, how are things going?

I love most of the clothes I bought (there were two pieces that I was having issues with, but I'm slowly incorporating them more often), and feel good every morning when I get dressed for work. The outfits we came up with in the initial wardrobing session took me easily through the summer months. I added a couple pieces (such as those awesome shoes I was drooling over in my shoe post), but generally kept to the outfits we came up with.

Fig. 1: Shoes I was drooling over are now mine! All mine!!

Sue and I met again recently, and "shopped my closet" to come up with a few ready-for-fall looks without having to buy anything new. It's amazing how adding a cardigan or a scarf can change the look and feel of an outfit.

Of course, now that fall is here and...ugh, I hate to say it...winter is on its way, I'm working on buying a few pieces to flush out my wardrobe for the colder months. I bought a gorgeous pair of black riding boots, three new scarves (I love scarves - I have 11 of them now), a black long-sleeve t-shirt for layering, opaque tights (black and brown), a purple cascading cardigan, a purple and black dress, and some new gold jewelery. There are a few more things I need, and Sue and I will be shopping for them in October.

Fig. 2: Black riding boots from Town Shoes.

At work, I have had mostly positive comments about the way I look. I often get compliments on my jewelry and my snakeskin pumps. I have had a couple people say things like "why are you so dressed up?" or "Ugh, I can't stand to wear dressy clothes", but those type of comments actually make me feel like I'm dressing right (for me), if that makes sense (because so many people dress so far down). I also notice people who dress well and make mental notes of pieces that catch my eye.

I am still so thrilled I started this whole process! I'm feeling more confident in coming up with my own outfits and being able to pick pieces out that will work with my wardrobe and convey what I want them to, but it's so nice having Sue to bounce ideas off of or just get some guidance with choices or help finding things (like black pants - why is it so hard??).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Daycare Policy

Note: This posts contains talk of baby bodily functions. Proceed with caution.

Evan has been cycling through having a cold and having a stomach bug for the past three weeks. With the stomach bug comes vomiting (V) and diarrhea (Big D). I kind of have a phobia when it comes to V in that I refuse to do it at all costs, and I freak out a bit when I see/hear someone doing it. So, dealing with that has not been fun...but I'm actually getting used to it already. The Big D is not as bad to deal with, unless it's of the explosive variety and we have to change his clothes (or clean the carpet :P).

When Evan has the stomach bug, even though he's having the rare V and some Big D, he's generally fine otherwise. He plays, crawls around, talks, and is his usual happy self. Apparently, though, this does not matter when it comes to daycare.

You see, Evan's daycare has a policy of 2x V or Big D in a day and you have to go home. I find this a bit ridiculous, especially for 2x Big D. I could see sending him home if he has V, Big D, and a fever, and just all-round sick. But, to have to go home because of two bouts of only Big D (which has happened at least twice in the past two weeks)? On top of that, he's not allowed to go back to daycare until 24 hours after his last bout of Big D. I've read that it could take weeks for a baby to get over a stomach bug, and will have Big D throughout this time. WEEKS.

It's a bit frustrating to have to stay home because he has a couple bouts of Big D in one day and is otherwise totally fine, especially when I'm sure there will be a lot of other times he will be truly sick and need to be home.

Is this kind of policy normal? Any tips on how to...ummm...."bind" Evan up (he refuses Pedialyte)?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not There Anymore

So, apparently I'm not 22 anymore. I'm not sure when this happened but, according to the calendar, it was about 10 years ago.

Last week, I had a photo taken for a staff/faculty event that is being held today. They put up photos of all the new people, as a way to introduce them. The photographer sent me the photo and, although it's nice, I couldn't help thinking that I looked old. Or at least older than I feel.

It's funny, I still feel like I look the same as I did 10 years ago. But, comparing this new photo to others over the years, there is definitely a difference. I have wrinkles around my eyes and mouth, and my skin is not nearly as "glowing" as it used to be.

You hear about this aging thing, but you just assume it won't happen to you.



Submitted to the 3rd quarter Scientiae, hosted by Patchi at My Middle Years.

Monday, September 19, 2011

11 Months

Only one more month until Evan is a year? NUTS!

- He now always crawls on his hands and knees and is super fast.

- He loves climbing the stairs. One day, without ever climbing a single stair before, he went almost all the way up the staircase.

- Currently, he has three teeth coming in: the two top front teeth, and a lower front one. They're all through the gums now, which I assume is the most painful part. I'm guessing he'll find eating a lot easier now!

- This has been a bad month for him being sick. First, he had a cold, which turned into croup. Then he had a stomach bug. Now he has a runny nose and cough again. I haven't fared much better, catching the cold, getting a brutal soar throat, and getting a double ear infection.

- All of the babies he was with at daycare during the summer moved up to the next room. We were wondering if it would bother him, but apparently not. It's nice that he's with other babies of the same mobility ability (crawling, not walking), and it sounds like he has a new girlfriend already!

- He is such a quiet observer when we're out and about or with people he's not familiar with. Only when he's comfortable with someone, his true personality comes out: He can be such a ham, giving smiles, talking, and flirting.

- He had his first haircut!

- He got to meet his cousin and aunt this month! It was so cute watching the two babies together.


Happy 11 months, little man!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Open Letter

Dear "VIPs",

Using condescending language toward staff, or out-right ignoring them will not gain you respect or friends that could be useful down the road.

That is all.

Sincerely,
Lowly Staff Member

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sick...again

Please tell me that this won't last forever. Every time Evan gets sick, I do too. So, I end up missing work or working from home when he's sick and then again when I'm sick three days later.

Evan isn't sick right now*, but he is not feeling well due to at least three teeth coming in. He has, shall we say, loose stools. If he has two in one day at daycare, we have to pick him up. He can't go back until he's had a normal movement (I'm trying my best not to use gross words!).

It's kind of frustrating and there's a part of me that resents having to put my life on hold to have to be at home. There's a part of me that feels guilty for feeling that way, and another part that feels guilty for having to stay home YET AGAIN.

Parents: how did you deal with these feelings of resentment/guilt (if you had/have them)?



WW Photo

Fig. 1: Evan gets his first haircut!

*Scratch that - it seems he has a stomach bug. Fun.

Monday, September 12, 2011

News Flash: Catholics Learn Science!

Today I have a meeting with a few teachers from the local Catholic school board to chat about doing some workshops with their students on impact cratering. In the past two weeks, when I've told people about this meeting, I've been surprised by some of the responses:

"That should be interesting" with a bit of a scoff.

"What are you even going to teach them?"

"How is that going to work?"

"Oh, good luck with that."

Each time I heard a comment like this, I was taken aback. Really? Is it that weird to think that science is being taught in our Catholic schools? Do people really have such an issue with religion and science being taught in the same building, that someone who believes in one can't learn about the other?

It boggles my mind that many people cannot fathom believing in both religion and science. I, myself, am not particularly religious (though I do believe there is some sort of higher being out there); however, I know many scientists that are very religious. In fact, a good friend of mine (who is Mormon) said she loves to study astronomy because she feels that's where science and religion intersect. I also know many people who attended Catholic school and/or teach in a Catholic school. And guess what? They also - gasp! - learn and teach science.

There is always a lot of complaining in the science world about religious "fanatics" having little to no understanding of the creation and evolution of our universe, or of evolution, or climate change, but the intolerance is a two-way street: The number of times I've heard someone assume that someone who is religious could not be a scientist is too many to count. These belief systems are not mutually exclusive, and there are many people who have the ability to meld the two.

I'm very excited to work with the Catholic school board, and I know they're excited about our programs. If we can help break this stereotype along the way, it's another bonus of the work I get to do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall Bucket List

At the beginning of the summer, I wrote down a bucket list of things I wanted us to do. How did we do?

- Go to a London Major's game as a family
- Go to Storybook Gardens
- Go to Pioneer Village
- Visit the community pool at least a couple of times
- Head to the beach in Port Stanley at least once
- Go to the Toronto Zoo
- Go strawberry picking
- Take in a Bluejays game
- Go to the Fanshawe Lake Conservation Area
- Visit Sarnia for lunch
- Celebrate Canada Day in Toronto
- Go hiking
- Go to the summer festivals
- See a London FC game
- Have the ILs visit
- Fly kites
- Picnics in the park
- set up the kiddie pool in the backyard
- Have lots of BBQs

Hmmm...we didn't do as well as I had hoped. Some of the things we realized just weren't suitable for Evan (Jay's game would have been way too much, he's not old enough for Storybook Gardens). Some things I'm not particularly sad about (strawberry picking, hiking). Somethings were totally doable, and I wish we had done them (fly kites, go to the community pool -- I'm really bummed about not doing that one).

Of course, we ended up doing lots of other stuff that wasn't on this list. So, overall, I think we had a good summer and enjoyed ourselves.

Now that Fall is upon us, how about a new bucket list?

- Get family photos taken
- Cook an awesome Thanksgiving dinner
- Celebrate Evan's first birthday (with at least a cake!)
- Dress up Evan for Halloween and go to some sort of an event
- Go to a pumpkin patch
- Go to parks/playgrounds
- Play in the leaves
- Take numerous walks in our lovely neighborhood
- Bake an apple pie
- Take a day or two off with DH
- Knit a sweater for Evan

Any must-dos for your Fall?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things Change Quickly

As I mentioned in my last post, Evan had croup last week. It was pretty rough for him, and he was pretty lethargic and downright pathetic at some points. But, he rallied back and was in tip-top shape to meet his Aunt and cousin on the weekend.

We all had a good visit (despite my being brutally sick, and DH starting to come down with it too). During the weekend, though, I noticed something in Evan had changed. He had always had a lot of energy, but it seemed like he was making up for lost time when he was sick. He was all over the place, constantly getting into everything. We have about 100 photos, and he's on the move in all of them.

Not only that, but he's playing different too - there's a lot more banging, throwing, and crashing things. It was like that before, but not like this.

Then, this evening, I hear DH say "Oh my God - have you seen where he is?". I thought he was just playing in the front entrance area. Nope. He had climbed half way up the stairs. He hasn't ever climbed a single stair before today. Now he's climbed several. In a row. In a very short period of time.

Definitely time to get another baby gate (right now, we only have one for the top of the stairs to the basement) - the last thing I need is him climbing up and then tumbling all the way back down!

I'm starting to come to another conclusion: Evan is definitely moving toward little boy-dom!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bullets

- Evan had/has croup, and has been pretty miserable all week. It's been tough for him to sleep because he gets all congested when he lies down, and the hacking cough keeps him up as well. Needless to say, Mom and Dad haven't been sleeping well either.

- Yesterday, I started feeling really sick too. Now I have a brutally sore throat. Can adults get croup? Or is it just a bad cough/sore throat for us?

- Evan is FINALLY crawling on his hands and knees consistently. I guess he's figured out that it's more efficient than the army/spiderman crawl.

- My job is FINALLY official!! I had been working as a post-doc since June, waiting for HR to post the job, go through the interview process, and get an offer. The contract was signed yesterday, so HORRAY!

- DH's sister and her daughter (who is 1.5 months younger than Evan) are coming to visit for the weekend! We are very excited to meet our little niece, and I'm sure we'll be taking 100s of photos of the babies together.

Happy long weekend, everyone!