Monday, March 31, 2008

Women's Her Story Month - Marie Curie

March is women's history month and I thought I might dabble in a biography. I will start with one of the influential women in the sciences that inspired me. She also appears in my new book. However, as I researched I found more information than would fit into a one paragraph biography aimed at the 4-8 year crowd (or at least aimed at their parents to be able to answer some question). To show how differently this information can be exhibited, I will show three versions of the same story:

Marie Curie (1867-1934):

Children's version (excerpt from My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, pictures by Mike Litwin):

Marie Curie was a scientist who first learned how radiation works. She was born in Warsaw, Poland. Her parents were teachers and wanted her to go to school. The Russians were in charge and did not allow the Polish people to learn science. Marie wanted to go to school in France but her family did not have much money. Marie worked as a nanny and used her money to let her older sister go to school. When her sister finished her schooling, it was Marie’s turn. She moved to Paris and went to the Sorbonne. She studied math and physics. She met her husband at school and they worked together doing research. Their work led to the discovery of two new elements. The elements were named radium and polonium. Also from their work, people began to understand radioactivity. Marie said that the radiation energy came from inside the atoms. Marie was the first woman awarded a Nobel Prize and the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne.

Tabloid Version: I am not sure how good my headline writing skills are, but every good headline deserves an exclamation point!

Young girl looses mother to tuberculosis!
Studies Science even though against the law!
Impoverished sisters promise to work to put each other through school!
Young nanny falls in love with employer's son! Love Prohibited!
Girl moves to France to follow love of learning!
No money for coal, no time for food, girl is often sickly!
Girl gets degrees, etc.
Girl marries man 10 years older!
Pair work on breakthrough science experiments in run-down shack!
Pair discover unknown glowing material!
Scientist almost not considered for Nobel prize because she is a woman! Husband intervenes!
Chemical exposure leads to frequent pain and sickness, unknown by scientist pair!
Man killed in freak street accident! Run over by horse and cart!
Leading lady scientist carries on! Offered husband's teaching position. First woman teacher at Sorbonne!
Possible torrid affair with fellow scientist. France outraged - man is married Frenchman!
Paparazzi surround home of famous scientist!
Marie wins second Nobel for discovery of elements.
Leading scientist vanishes from public eye!
Leading scientist suffering from depression, other illnesses!
Leading scientist returns to work.
During war, leading lady scientist and young daughter live in the field to help injured soldiers with new X-Ray technology!
Leading scientist offers Nobel medals to help war cause, France refuses!
Lady scientist builds laboratory in honor of dead husband!
Lady scientist visits White House, hit with Harding!
Leading lady scientist dies of untreatable blood order caused by radiation posioning!
France honors deceased lady scientist and husband by reburying bodies!

History Lesson Version: This is more factual, perhaps a little dry, meant to be informative. Of course it is not the whole story, but some highlights.

Marie Curie was a scientist who pioneered the field of radioactivity. She was born in Warsaw, Poland while it was under the control of Russia. Her birth name was Manya Sklodowski and she was the youngest of five children. Marie's parents were both teachers and stressed the importance of education. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was young. During the five year struggle, she was not physically affectionate with Marie, for fear of spreading the disease. Her death had a great impact on Marie, she turned away from the Roman Catholic faith due to these events. Her father was left as the primary influence on Marie. He had money troubles, due to a bad investment and foreigners taking the higher jobs which displaced the Poles. Still, he focused on education for his children.

The Russians did not allow scientific education of the Polish people, particularly the women. They also did not allow students to speak Polish. Overall it was a restrictive learning environment. Education in another country was the best option, but her family did not have much money.

Marie and her older sister Bronya made a pact to assist each other through university. Marie worked as a nanny to put her sister through school. She worked for a family that owned a beet-sugar factory and was afforded some additional privileges. The father allowed her to teach the peasant children. He even encouraged his eldest daughter to assist, even though this were traitorous activities under the Czar. However, she fell in love with the eldest son when he was home on a break from college. Their wish to marry was discouraged by the family. Even after this rejection, Marie stayed in the job for several years to permit her sister to finish her education. To fill her time, she studied. She even took make-shift chemistry lessons from a chemist at the beet-sugar factory.

Once her sister had completed her education, it was Marie’s turn. She moved to France and studied math and physics at the Sorbonne in Paris. She lived in the Latin Quarter, a poor section near the university populated with artists and students. There are stories of her wearing all her clothes to keep warm and forgetting to eat because she was so engrossed in her lessons.

After receiving her masters (physics and then mathematics), she began looking for lab space to do research toward a doctoral thesis. A mutual friend introduced her to her future husband, Pierre Curie. He was ten years her senior and soon their mutual respect for science led to mutual respect for each other and then to love. Theirs was a practical entanglement, Marie wore a blue suit for the marriage ceremony, which was used in the lab for several years more. Their wedding gift to each other were bicycles, used on their honeymoon and around town. While this sounds somewhat clinical, they were true life companions and passionate about each other and their works. In other words, later when Marie's first daughter Irene was born, Pierre assisted in finding a workable solution so that Marie would not have to give up her research. The solution turned out to be his father, the physician that had delivered Irene, moved in with the family and became the primary babysitter.

Pierre's contribution to physics include: discovery of the piezoelectric effect (pressure applied to certain crystals will generate electrical voltage and that these same crystals will compress when placed in an electric field), studies of the effect of temperature on magnetic properties of materials, and the Curie scale, a highly sensitive balance. When he met Marie, she urged him to write up his research and apply for a thesis. He was awarded his doctorate before their marriage.

Marie and Pierre worked side by side in a little laboratory, a damp storeroom at the Paris Municipal School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry. She focused on the newly discovered Uranium rays that were largely being ignored by the scientific community due to the exciting discovery of X-rays a few years earlier. Marie worked (using a device invented by Pierre) to measure the current in the air after a Uranium ray passed by. This investigation led her to the hypothesis that the radiation energy came from inside of the elemental atoms. Prior to this, the atom was considered the smallest and indivisible component of matter. This was simple and revolutionary.

From here, Marie measured the rays emitted from various materials. She determined that Thorium also emitted rays. She named this property radioactivity, a word she created. By now, Marie's work was so exciting, that Pierre joined forces with her. She determined that two ores of uranium (pitchblende and chalcolite) were much more radioactive than pure uranium. She thought this might be because a yet undiscovered element was more radioactive. Much work was needed to separate out these new elements and the lab was insufficient. They moved to an abandoned shed, previously used for medical dissections in the school. It was not weather tight or properly ventilated, but they persisted. While these conditions were not ideal, there was also a melodramatic side to Marie. The image of a struggling scientist making an insignificant mark on the world is coupled with industrial donations of materials and factory processing on some occasions. Still, this was a great propaganda tool. The work of the Pierres led to the discovery of two new elements, named radium and polonium, and a better understanding of radioactivity.

Pierre learned that he was to be considered for a Nobel prize in 1903 for the work he and Marie had accomplished. He thought this unfair and wrote that they need consider Marie as well. The Curies won this honor, however the required speech was presented by Pierre. After this honor, the Curies were hounded by the newspapers for some time. As the interest waned, a terrible tragedy occurred. In the spring of 1906, Pierre was struck by a horse and cart while crossing the road and died instantly. Marie was offered his teaching position at the Sorbonne. She was the first woman to teach at France's prestigious institution.

While Marie continued her scientific research, a scandal broke. Letters between her and a close scientific colleague were discovered. These letters mostly spoke of his unhappiness with his wife and family situation and her advice to him regarding these matters. However, this was enough to implicate Marie in an affair. France was not pleased with a foreigner trying to break up a happy French family and mobs surrounded her home. She fled with her children to stay with friends, and during this time was awarded a second Nobel prize (this time in Chemistry) for the discovery of the elements Polonium and Radium. After receiving this honor, Marie's was not well. She underwent some surgery for kidney issues and spent some time recovering from this and the recent stress. It was over one year before she returned to her scientific research.

Around this time, World War I broke out in Europe. To assist her adopted country, Marie created a battalion of mobile X-ray units from donated vehicles and equipment. She learned to drive, learned anatomy and how to operate the stations so that she could run the equipment. Along with her daughter, Irene, they trained over 100 women to run similar machines, supervised over 1 million x-rays and lived out in the field in similar conditions to the soldiers.

After the war, Marie returned to her long time goal, to create a radium institute and laboratory in France in the name of Pierre. At this point, she had progressed to a fully built institute, now she was working on obtaining more materials. Even though she had been demonized in the press for the potential affair with Lavengin, she agreed to an interview with Mrs. William Brown Meloney, editor of an American women's magazine. She stated her desire to obtain more materials, and Meloney began a campaign. On an eventual press trip to the United States, Marie was rewarded with numerous honorary titles and degrees, a White House visit, contributions and a gram of radium.

For the later part of her life, Marie oversaw research at the Radium institute. Many important discoveries came from this laboratory, including work by her own daughter Irene (along with Irene's husband, Frederic Joliet) which led to another Nobel prize in the family.

Marie began to have medical problems in the 1920's due to the high levels of radiation she had been exposed to during her work. As Marie's health declined, she was eventually diagnosed with an untreatable blood disorder, most likely leukemia. She died in July of 1934.

More than 60 years after her death, France moved the remains of the Curies to the Pantheon, in honor of their contribution to science and to France.

Summary of achievements:
She was the first woman to receive a doctoral degree in France. She was the first woman awarded a Nobel Prize, and the first person ever to win two of them. She was the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne, and the first woman buried under the Pantheon (France’s monument to its heroes) on her own merit.

That is my take on three versions of the same story. If you are still reading this far down, let me know which one you liked best. For more information in reference to Marie's life, look here and here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Haiku Friday - Poor Pitiful Me

Haiku Friday

Poor Pitiful Me
It's so statistically sad
I have no readers

It will get better
Better Content, More readers
At least I am told

Wish me luck Jen

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blog Philosphy 101

I am not entirely new to blogging. I have another blog that I have been at for almost one year. That one focuses on our life in Costa Rica, why we thought to come here, how things are going, what Costa Rica is like, and our life in general. It was started to document our thought process, to explain to friends and family what we were doing when they couldn't sit still to listen. It is meant to keep in touch with family and friends, to reassure that we are doing alright, and to highlight the similarities (and differences) between this culture and the ones we already know. If nothing else, it reminds those that love us that we are alive. It has been fun to do. I learned a little about blogging, I met some nice friends (both bloggy and IRL), but I really did very little to announce, promote, connect or make money from this blog.

But this blog is a little different. The primary purpose of this blog will be to promote my book, my business, and I guess my blog. That being said, I can't help what I am: a mommy, a sort of stay at home mommy, a sort of work at home mommy, an expat living in Costa Rica Mommy, an ex-science geek mommy, a wife to filipino mommy, and basically, you guessed it - a mommy. It pervades almost every aspect of my current life. Yes there are nice recollections of childhood, college, work/career, and singleness. Yes I enjoy television, movies, books and old music. Yes I still have a brain. But there you have it - Mommy + Blog = Mommy Blog. Can't help it. Better OWN IT. Luckily, the very people that might be most interested in my life would also hopefully be target customers someday. So that should work out nicely.

Also, from the little extra effort I have put into networking for this blog, I am beginning to understand the friendship aspect. I have started telling my husband things I read as if they were events that happened to good friends right down the street (just like Fussy says). I can see the good and the bad in this. For instance, where else can I meet a previously Amish mom and a hip photographer dad from NY. And learn a little about their stories and them without a whole lot of judgement. And be intrigued. There is a flip side to that coin. I can also see the addictive aspect (there seems to be an endless amount of social media to explore) and it is worrisome that this will start overwhelming my life. Others have quit for similar reasons. My feedburner is quite full and always seems more important than writing my own content. Not only important, but often more fun. However, the best content tucked away in a notebook (or on some desolate little corner of the blogosphere) will never find readers. You need friends.

As overwhelming as all that is, I keep bumping into the same crowd. And I want to be popular. There definitely seems to be a cool kid lunch table in this cafeteria. If you are from the Bay Area, you see many of them at Silicon Valley Moms. Then there are the award winning, highly read (and usually hysterically funny) moms. I mean everyone seems to love Dooce and the Redneck Mommy. Bossy is going on a road trip with corporate sponsoring, but more about that later. Getting in with these girls seems to equal more readers (provided you are saying something worth reading), but who does one break into these cool kid circles? That is something that I (with my three readers) have not figured out yet. I will keep working at it and let you know. Or I will snub you all once I get to sit with the cool kids.

I mentioned that Bossy is going on a trip with corporate sponsorship from Saturn. Disney did a wonderful afternoon for the Silicon Valley Moms. And there are a myriad of review and get product opportunities. There are definitely perks to being well read. And the smarter these corporations get, the more opportunities there should be. I mean, I want in on that stuff. So I will continue to work hard to get noticed.

Everything I have read suggests that CONTENT IS KING. This makes sense. If you don't educate, inform or entertain who will be interested? This can be done by words, pictures (photoblog) or video (referred to as a podcast). Or some combination of those elements. But sometimes self-doubt creeps in here. Am I really that interesting? Does the internet need another take on "how to self-publish a children's book? " Or funny takes of my children being adorable? Or my adoration for a new shower head? It seems that the answer is yes. Or at least, yes there is room. As one friend mentioned, you ask that question and you cut to the core of the internet. Endless access to information. Redundant information. Endless information. However, I think one need not look further than the success of America's Funniest Home Videos. A little kid falling off a bike can always be funny, no matter how many times we get to see it.

So I plan to keep plugging. See you around the blogosphere, and there will always be room at my lunch table. As long as you aren't eating tuna.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Command Central

Our workspace The view from my desk Not bad, huh?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How To Self-Publishing a Children's Picture Book - Part One

If you are seriously considering publishing a children's book on your own, you need to become a savvy business person. If you are published by a big house, this may allow you to have that "artsy" personality and not worry about the business of making and selling children's books. Probably not. But if you are doing it yourself, you need to be in charge of everything. I am not an expert. There are wonderful forums and groups with resident experts. I belong to several and they have proven useful. I am simply a person trying it out. I have quit my high-tech job to explore my artistic side and my entrepreneurial side. I am in the middle of the process and will try to share my journey, bit by bit, through this blog (along with lots of other fascinating stuff about my narcissistic self and begrudging family).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Party On Dude!

So I missed most of the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5minutesformom. After getting my post up, my parents came to visit for a few days. I knew that I wasn't going to get a whole bunch of computer time during the visit. By midweek I had checked out about 30 blogs. That is all.

But then on Friday, the day I planned to blog my brains out, we had a little upset. If you read my last post, you know it was definitely a priority. Still, the twins are going to leave the list (just under 1500 - I mean just under) up for a while, so maybe I will drop in unexpected. Sometimes the best friends come late. Right?

However, a few people have been back for more and even commented. Thanks Quirky and Viking Mom. (Okay I know you are Mom to 2 Vikings, but in my mind that qualifies you as a Viking Mom). So I feel happy about that and wanted to send a little link love out to them.

So now, that all of you wait with baited breath, I will announce my winners....

First of all, from the BIG party, the three copies of "My Name is Not Isabella" go to:


And my from my own party, upon random decision (I had 28 comments (2 on the book site were included, the winner is:

Tonya (and I must say that I was not swayed by Buzz Lightyear at all).

I will contact you all individually for information. The books are currently at the printer, but you lucky four will be getting advance copies once I have them. How cool is that, ahead of the bookstores!

Hope you all will enjoy my baby....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Proofs came today

Pretty Exciting. I found one dumb error. One sentence has an extra space before the period like this . Too much of a perfectionist to let it go. Still, they look beautiful and this means we are about 2 months away from books in hand. And 6 months away from sales.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Beautiful Broken Elbow

This is not how a six year old's elbow is supposed to look:

On this past Friday, the last day of school before a weeklong vacation, I took Bell and Googie off to the cinema to see Horton Hears a Who. In Spanish. We met up with another Mom and about 6 of Bell's school friends. We had fun. After the movie, while waiting for other Mom's to collect kids, we decided to go to the play area. Bells took off her shoes and got busy. Older kids were climbing the fence, climbing on top of the treehouse. I walked over and suggested she NOT follow suit. She walked balance beam style away from the tree and jumped off. Unfortunately, another kid ran in front of her mid-jump and she kung-fued him in the head and fell backwards. Other kid (also mine) fine, although emergency doc detected just starting ear infection. Bells, not so fine. Obviously broken arm. Other Mom got us to hospital pronto. Bells screeched the whole way. On the plus side, she was sedated withing 20 minutes of the fall. And on morphine.

Surgery by 9 pm. Casted. Overnight hospital stay. Home the next day.

It is now Monday. It was a long weekend. Went to Doc today. Xray shows healing already. Plus Doc did a beautiful job in lining up the bones. My fears that she will become timid (those that know her know she climbs, jumps, etc. beyond typical - she has always been extremely active and quite fearless) seem unfounded. We are having difficulty getting her to take it easy. Doc says let her go. Life is back to normal.

On the negative side, I think the shoes are gone forever.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just shut your mouth: advice to grown daughters

I have been taking a little mini-vacation. I only started this blog a month ago and I already want a weekend off? That is the perk of this job hobby job. Besides, my parents were in town. But now, back to serious business.

I want to brag a little. My parents are aware that I have been working on this book. They had never seen it. They knew a little bit about it. They had never seen it. They think I am pretty clever. They had never seen it.

Shortly after their arrival, I whip out my low-resolution-but properly sized and printed front and back copy. It had been my hopes that the proofs would arrive with them, but it will be another week. I am not sure what they were thinking, but my Dad is impressed. Okay, I am his daughter, but still. My Mom did what is typical. I think she likes it, but no gushing. She can be hard to read. Not my Dad. As typical, we talked about the book, my plans for the book, other books to come, business ideas, and more for the rest of the weekend. I am 35 years old and still love to get his approval.

Besides that, we talked about: 1)the process of producing the book 2)the cost model of the book 3)marketing plan for the book 4)book selling policies and approaches

He is trying to be helpful, he has owned a successful small business for over 30 years. He definitely provided some more insight from a retail standpoint. But the gotta-impress pops aspect kicked in and I had to show him, just how smart I am. How much I know already. Or maybe I was trying to prove that this could work, that our current life is not so crazy after all, even though it is definitely unorthodox.

Sometimes, it would be better to shut my mouth and listen.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My life: less like Zsa Zsa, more like Roseanne

Oh my goodness, you're here already. We didn't even have time to put up the curtains. I am new in the area and so glad you could stop by. I am sure we will be the best of friends.

This place is my take on the current highlights of my life. Of course there is the family life. I have a Filipino husband. Born and raised. So occasionally we are not on the same page, but show me a husband and wife who are always in sync and I will know you slipped me some pretty good drugs. I also have three beautiful, intelligent, amusing, charming, wild chickens children. Slight mistype there, don't mind me. Besides that full life, we are transplants from California who are trying out Costa Rica for a little while. That has been interesting. In the midst of all that, I thought, hey, what a great time to try and start a business? So I had this children's book I had been working on for a couple of years and viola. Should be out in September. So here I also talk about those processes: writing, self-publishing and entrepreneurship. At least I will talk about them as I learn them. As if that weren't enough, I have decided that I simply must join the blog-world. Hopefully I will get some good advice from folks who have been there/done that. And if not, some new friends to commiserate with. Over time, I hope this blog to be amusing and informative.

But enough about me, tell me about you. I am sure I won't be able to hit all the parties in the area. I heard that there were about 1,000 last year. Pretty incredible. So, if you stop here and think we could be BFF's, leave a comment and if I don't find you through the party, I will stop by later. I would love to exchange blogrolls with similar type bloggers. Especially the clever, witty, funny ones that make me look boring. That's you, right?

If you are interested in the book, there is a link to the right, just click on the cover to find out more. It has consumed my life for the past year or so. Kind of like my fourth baby. (Wait, forgot to count hubby - make that fifth baby). My understanding is that this has been the easy part. But I know when you force baby pictures on people not interested, it can be so distasteful. So, I didn't want to bore you with the details of that, so that's over there. Right there at the top. See it? The thumbnail with the head of a little girl with some floating hats. And it says the title, "My Name is Not Isabella." Bet you can't guess what it's about. You'll just have to click to see.

So what's a party without party favors. I mentioned that the book won't be out until September. In fact, I don't even have it in my hands yet. But, because I like you all so much I will give away one copy when available. All you have to do is leave a comment. I will chose (by random draw) the winner. And if you are interested, I am also offering special pricing for pre-orders during this party. But you gotta click the little girl for that.

I don't want to keep you. There are lots of great parties out there. In fact, I better get pary-hopping myself. Thanks so much for stopping by and see you around the blogoshpere.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Super Nanny Kicked My Butt - Costa Rican Style

Cross-posted from Costa Rica Crazy.

For those of you who don't know, we are currently taking a little sabbatical in Costa Rica. For more details on the evolution of this crazy idea adventure, you can see my other blog.

I just finished lunch. We had a delicious meatball soup, my husband, the maid/nanny, and I. We also had a great conversation. Somehow, we got on the topic of the behavior and habits of our children. She recommended a tv show that shows here. As she described it, guess what, The Super Nanita.

We spoke for about 30 minutes on the topic of dinnertime in the loco house. And ne'er a truer statement could be made. We always have good intentions of family dinners, but after a few tough nights we give in to the easy way, the fast way. We feed them only foods they like and we chase them with dinner. My husband never had regular family dinner (youngest of eight), and doesn't see the importance of it. I am weak and give in to the easy way.

L. told us how important to change now because it is harder/worse later. She also went on about the diapers at night for all the kids (3 and 6 year old included) but we will save that challenge for another day. She went after us pretty good and we have agreed to try it again. The family dinner thing. I think this time my husband and I will be a united front and I hope we can draw strength from each other through the difficult transition. Now this conversation went on in Spanish, so I hope I got it all. But I really want to say - if they ever want to do a Costa Rican version, she's your girl!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Crash the Party

Okay, I am very late with my RSVP to this happening party, but I just gotta go. Mom would be so embarrassed that I sat on the RSVP for this long. But in my defense, it just came. I mean I am new to the area. Maybe I will offer a hostess gift? Do you think that will smooth things over?

Anyway, 5minutesformom (doesn't that sound nice) is hosting a blog party starting on FRIDAY. It will last for a week and the way I understand it, it seems like an open house tour. So I will try and straighten up for all my new neighbors.

And there are door-prizes!

Hope to see you there.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Family Acceptance, or I answer to Hoy!

I recently requested to join up with the Filipina Mom's group. As an honorary member of course, I am as pasty white as they come. But I married into a Filipino family. I didn't just marry a Filipino. But then if you are in the tribe, than you know what I mean. In fact, I find the how filipino are you? tests hysterical. I just retook it and received 135 points, OFT (obvious Filipino tendencies). Since my marriage, my consumption of rice has drastically increased, I fry SPAM and hot dogs for the kids (and husband), and we close the lights. And I answer to Hoy.

What I really want to say, is how happy I am for this acceptance. At first it was quite strange to me. My husbands' family is different than my own, some for good, some not. In the beginning they may not have been pleased for him to marry a non-Filipina, but they have welcomed me. Thanks so much to Mommie for gently immersing me in the finer Filipino foods (tocino, machado, sinigang, lumpia, fried plantains, turon, bibingka and suman). My sisters-in-law, who straddle the Filipino/American ways have been great friends to me, all in different ways - W. is great to commiserate with, L. has been there before (with two older kids), and M. keeps me young. My stateside brother-in-law has always been great with the kids and helpful when an extra guy was needed.

But I didn't know just how "IN" I was until I overheard my mother-in-law one night. We were all out to dinner at a Filipino restaurant in Union City and were joined by old acquaintances of M&D - they had all taught at UP Los Banos together. And Mommie was exchanging information, detailing accomplishments, etc. when I realized that she was bragging about me!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Look what my monkey can do

So the other day I talked about my kids strengths. I mentioned the physical strengths of my oldest daughter. Just wanted to show you what I meant.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Power of the Written Word - Diaper cakes

I have been reading the mommy blogs lately. I have been amused, entertained, educated, touched, scolded, and homesick. That is the power of the written word. It has been an addictive new calling hobby. I have been working to get into the loop, to get registered, listed, and rolled. I have been reaching out and trying to make new friends, people with things in common or simply great writing on serious matters, such as breast feeding and diaper cakes. Thanks to everyone that has been so accepting and interested.

But seriously, someone mentioned diaper cakes.

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Link to this page and get a link back!