No Throw Review & Giveaway!

If you have babies, then you know how much they love to throw things!  Especially their cups and pacifiers!  I can’t count how many times I have watched sippy cups or bottles or even pacifers get thrown from a stroller or shopping cart.  And there have been plenty of times these items have been thrown without me noticing, leaving us without a drink or a binky for the now crabby baby.

How about dinner time?  Do your babies love to throw their cup down as soon as you place it on their tray?  In my house, the kids are constantly helping to find the cups or binkies after they have been flung by a giggling baby who loves to play fetch with the older siblings.  It may be fun for the kids, but Mama doesn’t like to play fetch.  Not to mention think about the cooties that are on the cup or binky after landing on the floor or in the dog’s water dish.  Que asco!

Here is where No Throw comes in to save the day!

Don’t you just love the name?  I mean, how appropriate!  And what an awesome product!  Basically, these are tethers for pacifiers and bottles/cups.  They attach securely, and make it impossible for your little star pitcher to get their cup or pacifier to the ground.  Or the dog bowl.  Brilliant!

No Throw was invented by Karla and Karen, twin sisters who, through traveling to see each other, experienced one too many thrown sippy cups.  Wanting to avoid the embarrassment any more, No Throw was born.

“Oh look! A drink for me to throw!”

“Be a dear and fetch my cup for me, won’t you?”

Amazingly, once she realized she couldn’t get any distance on her pitches, she held the cup for the remainder of her meal!

I especially love that the pacifier tether is not hook and loop!  It has a very sturdy metal clip, and it attaches to the pacifier with a loop.  Believe me when I say I have gone through many a pacifier tether, and none of them have been as well made or sturdy!  Hook and loop can be pulled apart by the baby, and it wears out just from general wear and tear.

No losing of the binky during playtime!

This time of year is especially perfect for No Throw, because it seems like every weekend there are fun things to go out and do, and therefore lots of opportunities to lose cups and pacifiers.

“Hey! I tried to throw my cup across the room, what gives?”

Notice it doesn’t even touch the ground when it’s dropped! No more cooties or 5 second rule!

You know what?  No Throw is good for things besides pacifiers and cups as well.

How about attaching it to your purse or diaper bag with your keys? I’m always hunting for my keys in the deep abyss of my purse or the cavernous diaper bag. This keeps them securely in place and easy to find! Love!

Attach it to toys! Teethers, rattles, anything really! This keeps them secure to the car seat or stroller when your baby feels like throwing things out, which is all the time with my kiddos.

Wondering where you can get your very own No Throw tethers?  Well, besides their website, which you can find HERE, you can also find them at your local Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS.com.

How would you like to win a set of No Throw tethers for yourself?   These would also make an amazing gift to a new mommy!  No Throw has very generously offered to send two winners two tethers each, either for pacifiers or bottles, and in a boy or girl pattern.  Interested?

Go “Like” No Throw’s Facebook Page HERE.

Follow No Throw on Twitter HERE.

Once you have “Liked” and “followed” them, leave a comment here on this post.  Just say “hi”, share a funny story about things your kids have thrown, or heck, tell us a hilarious joke.  Your comment will count as an entry in the giveaway.  The winners will be drawn and announced next Friday, July 6th.

How easy is that?

Read the Official Giveaway Rules HERE.

The awesome folks at No Throw provided me with their products for free so that I could review them and share their awesomeness with you.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do think they have an amazing, useful product!

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Heating Up

Very Hot Weather Warning

So, here in the lovely Midwest, we are expecting to reach 107 degrees for our high temperature today.  Umm, last time I checked, we weren’t living on the sun, so what gives?

The hot days were exciting as a kid when we were in school because we would get sent home if it got up to 100 degrees.  Now all the schools have air conditioning, so they just skip the outdoor recess on the blistering hot days like today.

Have you ever tried frying an egg outside on the asphalt in the hot weather?  I always wanted to, but I could hear my abuelo in the back of my head, shaming me for wasting food on such a silly thing.  He has a point.  Plus, eww.

Icky hot days like today also make dinner planning a pain.  Who wants to slave over the stove or turn the oven on when it’s a billion degrees outside?  Even using the crock pot sounds too hot, because who wants to eat hot food when it’s already balmy as it is?

I guess being hot makes me crabby, since this entire post is one gripe after another, huh?

Wherever you are, I hope you are keeping cool.  I think today calls for lots of freeze pops.  Or margaritas.  You know, to keep cool.

 

Marley and Me

I am a coffee girl.  I love coffee.  It makes me happy.  Somewhere, somehow, several months ago, I requested a sample of Marley Coffee.  It arrived, and mayhem ensued.   I’m not sure what happened that morning, but I thought it was funny, so I shared that story with all of you awesome people that happen to read my awesome blog.

What I did not expect, was to hear from the good folks at Marley Coffee.  You see, they saw my post and immediately offered to replace my sample. That’s cool.  As I said, I love coffee, and I was bummed that my sample, for whatever reason, did not get along with Mr Coffee.

Another thing that I did not expect, was the extremely generous box of coffee that arrived at my doorstep just last week.

Four, half pound bags of coffee!  To replace my tiny little sample pouch!  Que bueno!

I didn’t even let Mr Coffee see the Marley Coffee crew.  No, I introduced them to my Keurig instead, and let me tell you, they get along quite nicely! (Especially when I remember to put a mug on the machine!)

Here is a very nice quote from Marley Coffee’s website:

“My father came from the farmland in Nine Mile. There, he learned a deep respect for nature and humanity that helped guide his life. His dream was to return one day. Our coffee was founded to honor my father. In your hand, you are holding a piece of our dream. One Love” – Rohan Marley, founder of Marley Coffee
Bob Marley always said he would return to farming one day. With Marley Coffee, Bob’s son Rohan fulfills the dream. Rohan remembers his grandmother drying their wild coffee berries in the sun, then hulling and roasting them for her own cup of coffee each morning. Marley Coffee is determined to deliver that same intoxicating aroma and rich smooth flavor into every cup.

And Marley Coffee is 100% Arabica coffee that is sustainably grown, ethically farmed, and artisan roasted.  Certified organic, and donating partial proceeds to Kicks For Cause, a youth soccer program.

The coffee is good.  It is smooth, it is rich, it is really great for those of you that enjoy your café black because you are really able to appreciate the different flavors.

Why do I feel the need to jam to some island music now?

A special thank you to Marley Coffee, and most especially to Mike from Blue Wolf Communications that went above and beyond to keep me as a happy, Marley Coffee drinker.  As if I needed a reason to keep drinking good coffee…  🙂

 

Feliz Cumpleanos, Saraphina!

The day is here, my baby is one year old today.  (And yes, she is still drinking bottles, carry on now.)  She doesn’t look any older than she did yesterday.  I dare say, she doesn’t look a day over 11 months old.  But alas, it has been one whole year since her eventful birth.

This is where I am going to recount my birth story, it’s a mommy thing.  You don’t have to read it.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Last year, I went into the hospital on the 25th to be induced.  Four babies, and all of them had to be served eviction papers to vacate the womb.  I hate the induction process because you are tied down to the bed while they poke you and prod you and run iv’s, etc.  It is terribly uncomfortable, and then they expect you to sleep all night to “rest up”.  Yeah, that never happens.  If not because of the discomfort, then because of the excitement!  Abe, on the other hand, has no problem snoring up the whole maternity floor.  Good for him.

So, of course I didn’t get any sleep, and the next morning they decided to start the pitocin.  That is the medication that causes the ungodly contractions.  I was tolerating it pretty well, so they decided to up the dose which had me doubled over in pain and ready for the epidural.  The back pain was what was hurting the most.

Here’s where it gets fun.

I got the epidural, and my back pain went away.  Hallelu-yerr!  But……I still felt every single sensation below the belly button.  I told my nurse, but she seemed to believe I was mistaken.  She checked me, as I was wincing in pain, and still was unconvinced that my epidural was not working properly.  She told me to push the epidural button as much as I felt I needed, that it would give me a little extra relief.

We cranked that baby like crazy.  My back pain, as I said, was completely gone.  But the contractions, the pressure, everything else was 110% natural and unmedicated.

During one check, when they wanted to break my water, they noticed that Sara had her hand on top of her head.  They decided not to break the water because they thought the hand may come out first and complicate the birth.

That’s what I wanted to hear.  Complications.

Things moved really quickly after that.  At my next cervical check, my water broke.  They said I was at about a 6, but with the water breaking, I felt the heavy pressure building up fast.  Abe told the nurse that I tend to dilate pretty quickly and that she should call the doctor.  She hesitated, but called my doctor so she could come soon.

It was less than twenty minutes after my last check, when I measured only 6cm dilated, that I told Abe I felt like I needed to push.  The nurse, who was perfectly lovely and very sweet, seemed to doubt my Spidey senses.  She offered to check me again, and then seemed astounded when I was fully dilated and the baby’s head was near crowning.

Funny how a mama who has had three previous babies tends to know when “It’s time”.

Now, mind you, my epidural was failing me.  It took away the back pain, yes.  But it was not my back giving birth.  We were quickly told that I may have a “window” in my epidural.  “CLOSE THE WINDOW!!!!”  But there was no closing of that window.  I was oh so privileged to experience a completely unmedicated birth.   Well, unmedicated where it counts.  Unmedicated where you don’t want it to be unmedicated.

It burned.  I won’t go into any more detail, but I could have puked or passed out from the pain.

When Sara was finally born, she didn’t cry.  She didn’t make any noise.  She was quickly whisked away and the on call pediatrician was called in “stat”.  I was so light headed, the room was spinning and the voices sounded distant.  I heard one of the nurses ask Abe to stop filming the baby.  I knew that wasn’t good.

I felt myself ask if she was okay, it all felt like a foggy dream.

After what felt like an hour, I heard baby noises.  Abe told me she was fine, but I sensed doubt in his voice.  Do you see her left arm in that picture?  How it’s held straight down and not pulled up or moving?  They suspected a broken clavicle.  I thought back to when they were going to break my water and her hand was on her head, wondering if that is what caused the problem.  X-rays were ordered, and finally, I was handed my precious little girl.

It is unfair to judge a mama’s hair and makeup after over 24 hours of labor and a particularly painful and stressful delivery, by the way.

She was born weighing exactly 9lbs.  To my shock and delight, she was also born with dark hair.  The trend in my babies seemed to be getting lighter and lighter, so we were all surprised at the little chicana baby!

The x-rays showed no fractures, so the pediatrician diagnosed her with having a “stinger injury”, something common in football players.  Her arm slowly began moving and gaining mobility.  What a relief!

We came home two days later, to a house full of siblings that already loved her to pieces.  What’s not to love?

It is so hard to believe that this was one whole year ago!  Now she is standing up and cruising around the house, giggling at her Noey and chasing the kitties.  Babies grow up in the blink of an eye!

Happy Birthday, Saraphina!  You are going to change the world, you have already made mine a better place.

One Girl, Many Cups

My baby girl will be one year old tomorrow.  Holytimewarp, Batman!  It seems like only yesterday I was enjoying all the lovely perks of pregnancy, the nausea, swelling, heartburn, joint pain, symphysis pubic dysfunction, you know, all the fun stuff.  And now, right before my eyes, my tiny little baby has grown into a beautiful, albeit very strongly opinionated, little girl.

Any mama worth her weight in fruit snacks can tell you that babies are supposed to be drinking from a sippy cup exclusively by the age of one.  That’s what all the experts say in all of those overpriced parenting books.  And on some babies, that works.  Matt and Bella took sippy cups by age one without looking back.  Noah never drank from a bottle.  In fact, he was offended if you offered him one.  He was a booby baby, but he was able to transition to a sippy cup between feedings without any problem.

And then there was Sara.

Yes, we introduced the cup at around six months, as is advised.  We offer it to her often.  We have tried every sippy cup style we can find, this girl just likes her bottles.  We went through a particularly rough nursing strike several months ago and never recovered fully from it.  Most all of her Mommy Moo is the expressed variety in her favorite Playtex Nurser.  Sippy cups are fun to play with, but when she really wants a drink, you better give her that bottle, or risk the worst baby tantrum ever.

Is that terrible?

I mean, will she be ruined for life if she is still drinking from a bottle when she magically turns one year old tomorrow?  Probably not.  Won’t it be more stressful forcing her to drink from a sippy cup, listening to her scream and cry, with those sad, tear filled little eyes?  Is it really that terrible?

Nah.  I’m not worried about it.  You are talking to a mama who doesn’t wean her babies from the binky until their third birthday.  Yes, Noah still uses a pacifier.  At nap time and at bed time.  No, I don’t feel bad.  Yes, I know you are horrified.  Go ahead and ask me if I care.  (Pssst…..I don’t.)

Every baby is different.  There are guidelines, sure.  Some babies will fall happily within those guidelines, while others march to their own funky little beat.

Sara’s funky beat says, ” No sippy cups!”

Mama says, “Whatevs.”

Monkey Balm!

This is my little monkey, Noah.  (That’s his little monkey sitting next to him there.)

Of all four of my little monkeys, Noah is definitely by far the fairest in complexion, and in turn has the most sensitive skin.  (He looks really Mexican in this photo, doesn’t he?  I’m telling you, I have no idea how this Latina mama has all these fair, blonde babies!)

At his two year check up several months ago, he was diagnosed with Keratosis Pilaris.  To simplify, he has what we lovingly call “gator skin”.  He gets these rough, dry patches on his arms, legs and his cheeks.  Sometimes, he even gets it on his little tummy.  It feels like very dry skin, almost sand paper like, and has raised little flesh colored bumps.  Nothing visible, but you can certainly feel the roughness.

Our pediatrician wasn’t concerned at all.  She said we could try lotions, but that they probably wouldn’t work.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  We have tried lotions, every kind under the sun, but have not found any one that works particularly well.

While doing some online research, I happened to stumble across Monkey Balm.

100% all natural relief for dry skin and eczema.  Their site claims that their product can improve eczema and extreme dry skin in just three days.  There was no specific mention of Keratosis Pilaris, but I definitely wanted to see if this product could offer some relief to my little Noey Bean.

Monkey Balm comes in these huge, lip balm like containers.  It is made with organic Sea Buckthorn oils, the very first ingredient in their magic sticks that is clinically proven to improve the symptoms of eczema, extreme dryness, burns and wounds.  It is all natural, glides on very smoothly and has a very mild, pleasant organic scent to it.

This has become a highly anticipated ritual for Noah!  He loves the monkey on the container, and the balm is very smooth and completely non irritating.  But does it work?

YES!  In less than three days, his cheeks have completely cleared up!  As a mama, feeling the roughness on my baby’s cheeks was the worst of all.  While Noah never acted as though the condition bothered him, I felt sad that his little face was affected.  There is currently not a single trace of bumps or roughness on his face.

His legs and arms are very greatly improved as well.  The roughness has greatly lessened, and while he still has the small raised bumps, his skin is absolutely in much better condition after just the few short days that we have been using this awesome product.

On the balm, it also mentions that it can improve rosacea, a fun little condition I developed during pregnancy that never really went away.  I have been using it on my trouble spots and am noticing much softer, soothed skin.  That is exciting!

And while we are experimenting, Abe has even been putting the balm on his dry, cracked feet.  Oh, his feet are terrible!  I call them “mummy feet”, they are so scary looking!  But he has been using the balm and the dry, painful itching has disappeared.

It looks like our family is now officially a Monkey Balm family!  I was completely sold when my Noah’s face cleared up, but all the extra little benefits, well, it has definitely earned a well loved permanent spot in our family medicine cabinet.  And diaper bag.  And purse.  And nursery.  You get the idea.

Please read more about Monkey Balm HERE.    You can learn more about Organic Sea Buckthorn, its many health benefits, how this product is made and more.

Go “like” the Monkey Balm Facebook page HERE.  This is an awesome way to keep up to date with the company and even to learn up to date deals they are having on their amazing Monkey Balm!  Right now, they are offering free shipping when you buy two sticks!  Give them a try, I think you are going to love them!

Follow Monkey Balm on Twitter HERE.

The awesome people at Balmers very generously gave me Monkey Balm for free so that I could review their product and share it with all of you.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really am in love with this amazing, organic and natural product that has vastly improved my son’s Keratosis Pilaris.  We are a Monkey Balm family for life!

DIY Ballerina Tutu!

Since we have both an existing ballerina and a ballerina in training in our house, you can bet that tutu’s are in high demand!  Heck, they’re even fun just for dress up or grocery shopping!  What, you wouldn’t let your kid wear a tutu to the grocery store?  Come on now!  They’re only little for such a short time!  And also, there’s the whole picking and choosing your battles thing, soooo….

What if I told you that you could make your very own tutu for less than $3?  Sound crazy?  How about if I told you that it could be made out of these:

Yes.  Those are stretchy head bands and shower scrubbies.  Impossible you say?  Well then prepare to be amazed!

Start by taking apart the scrubbie.  It’s easy, I promise.  Once you have it apart, cut it into 18 inch lengths.  Here is where it gets super complicated and tricky.  Are you ready?

Tie the 18 inch lengths to a headband.  And that is it, folks.  You just made a tutu for your precious little ballerina for less than $3 and in less than 20 minutes.  Wanna do it again?

I color coordinated the head bands to the scrubbies, but you can live on the wild side if you like.  It will pretty much be covered up.  I used two scrubbies per tutu and they turned out plenty fluffy.

Two tutus!  Super easy, and super popular in the fancy ballerina circles.

Doesn’t she look ready for some grocery shopping?  Or dance class, whatever.  Seriously though, these are super easy, super cheap, and you will look like Supermom (or SuperDad) when you whip one up for your little one.

June Citrus Lane Box!

Well, it’s that magical time of the month again!  No, not that magical time….  It’s time for another Citrus Lane Box!  Yay!

Sara hears noise coming from her box this month, so she is trying to rip that package open asap!

The June theme is “Little Artist”.

Look at all those goodies!  Well, let’s dive right in and see what we got!

Every box starts with a little piece of paper, giving you a little overview of what to expect for this month and then going over each product individually, telling you where to find more and often offering exclusive discounts and coupon codes just for subscribers.

Next we see our Putumayo 2012 Playground Sampler CD, valued at $5.00.

This CD offers up some new music with styles from all over the world for you and you kiddos to boogie and sing along with.  Bonus, it’s not Barney or Wiggles!  Now, come on, sure, we all love Barney and the Wiggles are great, but it is so nice to have something new to listen to for a change!  And this sampler also tells you exactly which albums and artists these tracks are from, so you can easily pick up more non Barney/Wiggles music to listen to from time to time.  My kids love to dance, even little Saraphina, so music is a big win in our casa!

Babyganics Toy & Table Cleaner $3.99

This is going straight into my diaper bag!  This is a safe, nontoxic cleaner, no parabens, sulfates, and no phthalates, that you can use for quick, easy clean ups.  I am planning on using it for out and about, you know like at a restaurant where the table or high chair is iffy, or even a quick spray to the shopping cart handle.  Having four babies, I know that if there is any way at all that the kid can get his or her mouth on something, it’s going to happen.  And with this awesome spray, at least I know that they will be chewing and drooling on a clean surface.  That is awesome in my book.

It looks like Sara found something delicious…

Wee Can Too Veggie Art Kit $19.99

Well, it is made from veggies, and Sara is a girl that loves her veggies…  This art kit is eco-friendly, organic, and completely edible.  Which is good, because Sara already got a head start…  Made from real veggies, these crayons and finger paints are a safe way for baby to have her very first go at a little masterpiece.  Since I have a whole gaggle of babies here, I think this would be an awesome project for all of them to partake in.  Outside.  Where they can get hosed down afterwards.  But seriously, getting messy is fun, and I can not wait to try these out!

Minted $35 credit.

Wow!  So, included in our box this month is an offer for a $35 credit to Minted.  This is a site where you can find invitations, birth announcements, stationary, art prints and more.  Their stuff is just gorgeous!  Pricey, but gorgeous!  Here is a thrifty tip for those wondering what to score at a good deal with their gift credit.  They have beautiful journals for $16.  Now, my head races with all sorts of awesome ideas to do with those journals!  First of all, journal in them!  Not your thing?  Have your kids journal!  They can write about their day, write stores, draw pictures.  Use it as a thankful journal as a family.  Write down five things that you are thankful for each and every day.  Gift them!  I think they would make beautiful, thoughtful gifts for teachers or tweens or teens, or anyone really.  When your mind is open, the possibilities are endless!

Another thing you can do, is click HERE, and use this referral credit for $25 added to your account.  Stack those two together and now you’re cooking!

Pop & Lolli Decal

I’m not sure how to value this one, except I can say that when I saw this adorable owl decal, I squealed with joy!  These decals are made from fabric, they are beautiful, reusable, and even recyclable!  Though, how you could part with any, I’ll never know!  Want to know something else completely awesome about this company?  With every set purchased, Pop & Lolli will provide educational materials and resources to a South African child in need.  Ummm……win-win, am I right?  Love it!

Hohner Kids Musical Instruments $7-$10

Last but not least, this month’s box contained a little baby tambourine so Sara can get her little groove on while she dances to her new cd.  This is what was making noise in her box that made her especially excited to rip it open!  This musical instrument collection is completely BPA and phthalate free, and I have to say, their packaging was minimal and very easy to get the toy out of.  Thank you for that, Hohner Kids!  So, on the one hand, Sara has this awesome, very well made, great quality musical instrument to play with and really spark her creativity with, thank you Citrus Lane!  On the other hand, Sara has a tambourine.  Thank you Citrus Lane?  This is a sometimes toy.  Mostly because of Sara’s siblings that like to shake it as loud and as hard as possible to see which kid gets ringing in the ears first.  Fun times!

So have you been tallying up the value of this box?  I come to roughly $70.  Holyawesomedeal Batman!  The regular price for this awesome subscription service is $25 including shipping, and as you can see by the value of this box, the contents far exceed that $25!  But I can help you save even more!

Try out your very own subscription to Citrus Lane by clicking HERE.  Once you follow that link, enter coupon code 20TODAY.  This will save you $15 on a 3 month subscription, $25 on a 6 month subscription, or $50 on a 12 month subscription.  When you subscribe for a full year, they also give you two months free.

We love Citrus Lane in our home.  As I have said before, the value of the products each month for the small price paid is just fabulous.  And much cheaper than a “quick” trip to Target for me.  I love being introduced to new brands and companies, and we have loved everything we have gotten so far, four months into our subscription.

Read April’s Citrus Lane Review by clicking HERE.

Read May’s Citrus Lane Review by clicking HERE.

En el Jardín!

Each year we are expanding our garden a little more.  We don’t put much in the actual ground, but have been using containers or DIY earth boxes with pretty awesome success.  (Our soil here suuuuucks.  All clay and rock, just crappy.  And we plan on moving soon, so I don’t care to even attempt to fix what we currently have.) 

This year, for the first time, we decided to start a lot of our seeds off inside.  The jury is still out on that, but I will say, the plants started inside seem a wee bit too wussy for outdoor life.  They are fragile and weak, and lose their will to live either during the hardening process, or soon after transplanting outside.  Annoying.

Now, the seeds we just throw on the ground and throw some dirt on?

Well, they are thriving.  Go figure.  That is one of our pumpkin mounds right there.  I had started quite a few inside, but they just didn’t have what it took for the tough suburban lifestyle.  Pffffft!  

This is an earth box with what was two teeny tiny little cucumber plants.  That was about two weeks ago, before they decided to hulk out in their new home.  I haven’t seen any flowers yet, but they are very quickly growing up the trellis and stretching their leaves claiming every little bit of sun that they can.

The tomatoes have exploded!  And as you can see here, they are very quickly ripening!  I found my first ripe cherry tomato the other day, but I very quickly devoured that little guy.  Hey, I had to taste test for quality assurance reasons!  It was delicious, in case you were wondering.  Nothing tastes as good as home grown!

This big guy is my first ripe poblano pepper!  Chili rellanos anyone?  I am freezing it so that I can cook up a nice big batch once the rest of them have ripened.

Which, as you can see, won’t be too terribly long.

At the beginning of the season, we went nuts buying seeds of all sorts of goodies that we wanted to grow ourselves.  Here’s a tip.  If you decide to grow your own fruits and veggies from seed, read the package first.  We have a large handful of awesome things we won’t be able to grow until next year because we got them too late in the season.  Snow peas, for example, need to be started in the winter.  Literally, they are snow peas.  Who knew?  Well, we all know now, don’t we?  And really, I have had so much more luck with growing things straight in the ground or in the pots outside.  The plants get too spoiled inside and just don’t do well.  Yes, I am hardening them.  Yes, I protect them from the wind and sun.  I have studied everything I can possibly find on hardening plants.  Seems they prefer the tough love, which incidentally is a whole heck of a lot easier!

So there is my garden update.  I’m sure the pumpkins will soon be taking over our entire yard.  The neighbors love that.  Well, they don’t mind so much at the end of the season when we chop it all down and give them home made pumpkin bread.  Who can be mad with a delicious home made treat?

Saint Louis Zoo

This weekend we visited one of the most popular, and free, attractions in the St Louis area.  The Saint Louis Zoo.   The most exciting part, for me anyway, was seeing the new baby lion cubs!  What is it with women loving babies?  I don’t know, but prepare to fall in love!

There’s Mama with one of her babies!  All together now, Awwwww!

Napping, because being this darn cute is hard work!

Oh my goodness, what a precious baby!  This looks like a Lion King in real life pic if I ever saw one!  Where are Timon and Pumba?  Okay, Disney dream killer, let’s not dwell on the fact that the lions would eat them for lunch.  No, let’s pretend they are all good friends that enjoy breaking into song to make even the tough times more enjoyable.  Thank you.

Did you know that every zebra’s stripes are completely unique, just like a finger print?  It’s true.  The striping kind of looks like a finger print, doesn’t it?  Also, this zebra is rocking a killer goatee!

A fat, happy jaguar, sleeping in the grass on a hot, sunny day.  Even the big cats are lazy.  It’s a cat thing.

I am obsessed with owls, so of course I’m always happy to see one in real life.  This one is a Burrowing Owl.  Probably.  I think.  Abe and I are arguing over the owl pictures, trying to decide what they are and Google is not being as helpful as I would like.  *le sigh*

This pretty little guy is a Blue-Crowned Motmot, from Central and South America.  “Mot-mot” is an American-Spanish word that was coined as an imitation of the sound this bird makes.  Mot-mot, little dude.  Mot-mot.

Okay, I love this guy.  He is fuzzy and adorable, and his expression, oh, I just love him.  I have no idea what he is though.  We think he is an owl, but can not figure out what kind!  I don’t know if he is still young, and that’s why he is kinda fuzzy, or if that’s just how he rolls.  If I figure out what he is, I will definitely update this post.  If you know what he is, please share!  Inquiring minds and such!  *UPDATE!*  It is a Tawny Frogmouth, an Australian bird, and it is not an owl.  But, I still love him.

Okay, this was adorable.  This is one of the older male chimpanzees.  He came up to the glass, right next to Noah and was chewing on a piece of banana.  Once he had it good and chewed, he stuck out his tongue, offering it to Noah.

When Noah didn’t take it, he chewed it up some more and then offered it again.  (So that’s where Alicia Silverstone learned how to feed her baby!) Believe me, if Noah could have taken the chewed up nanner, he most definitely would have!  He is the banana killer in our house.

Rawr!  You know what I would love to see at the Saint Louis Zoo?  An expanded bear exhibit.  A large, natural environment for them to explore and be happy in.  I can’t help but feel sad when we see what bears they have left pacing around and looking sad in their tiny little dwelling.  This needs to be a priority on their To Do list!  This is a Grizzly Bear, by the way, and he was pacing and looking sad in my humble little opinion.

Beautiful mariposa!

The Black Rhino!  I know all the animals have names, but I don’t know this guys name.  He looks like a Gus to me.  Gus is native to Africa and weighs more than one ton!  He also has a habit of charging at objects, as do all rhinos.  They have poor vision.  Perhaps if they had fashionable eyewear with corrective lenses, they wouldn’t be so quick to charge.  Right, Gus?  I’m certain he agrees with me.

O hai!  Hippos scare me.  One too many Discovery Channel shows talking about what vicious killers they are, I suppose.   Did you know, even though they can top the scale at 6,000 pounds, they can run up to 30 miles per hour?!  And their massively sharp canine teeth can be as long as 20 inches?!  Also, their bellow can be louder than a heavy metal band playing 15 feet away.  Yup, still scared.  Not that I plan on running into any, but you never know…

It was a sweltering hot day, so the elephants were all headed to la aqua!

When I see a mama and baby elephant, I always think of Dumbo.  Uh oh…..I feel a song coming on…

Baby Mine

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine
Little one when you play
Don’t you mind what you say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine
If they knew sweet little you
They’d end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they’d give just for
The right to hold you
From your head to your toes
You’re not much, goodness knows
But you’re so precious to me
Cute as can be, baby of mine

*sniff*  So sweet.  Why do you have to make me cry, Disney?

Oh, baby animals are just the best!

So that was our Saint Louis Zoo trip in a nutshell.  And that was not even the tip of the iceberg as far as attractions and animals available at the zoo. They have a large Children’s Zoo area and an area where you can pet sting rays and even feed sharks in the summer.  This day was hot though, and the babies were melting in the sun, so we didn’t get to do much more than what was represented in the photos here.

Abe did take some disgusting spider photos.  Funny, since he is a self proclaimed aracnaphobe.  I “accidentally” erased them though.  Taking an extreme close up photo of a native spider is one thing, but the horrific monstrosity that he captured on camera….*shudder*  Well, let’s just say I saved all of us from the horrendous nightmares that would have surely followed after viewing said monsters.  I was only thinking of you.  You’re welcome.