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Jun 30, 2011

Bat in the House?

Do you know what to do if you get a bat in your house?
Monday afternoon will be a time I don't soon forget. My baby girl was in her swing sleeping, my big boy was playing and watching one of his shows and I was working on a blog post while I had a few moments to myself and our pup was sleeping at the foot of the couch. It came to my attention that I was hearing rustling somewhere around my stairs. "What in the world am I hearing?" Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fall off the side of the one step going to our second floor. "What in the world just fell!" Of course my dog was right over to check things out, but luckily she quickly backed away. I turned around in my chair to see the floor and realized that what I was looking at was a bat.
I have never had to deal with a bat in my house, so I had to idea what to do. I did know that I could throw a towel or something on top of it to try to keep it from flying and try to keep it in one place. I found an old child's towel that I had made into a flat diaper (but didn't end up liking it) and I put that on the bat. He then tried crawling out from under the towel so I had to put shoes and things around the bat to keep him in place. NOTE: bats cannot take off from the floor, they need a place to hang from in order to fly. Getting the bat on the ground makes it easier to get them out of the house.
*So, Bat on floor, check. Towel or some thing to surround the bat and keep it from hiding, check.*
our heater grate
Then I called my in-laws who are about 30 seconds away. Luckily, my father-in-law had just gotten home for lunch and he was able to come right over. He was then able to use the towel to pick up the bat. At this point the bat had gone through the small squares in our heater grate. This helped keep him in one place, but meant lifting the heavy grate to get to him. Thank goodness for the catch-all my Father-in-law made for that heater too!
Then "Bat Manuel" (yes, Hubby named him that, from the Tick) went outside. This is also about the time my Mother-in-law called back thinking that maybe, just in case, we should call the health dept to see if they want to test it to make sure it wasn't rabid. So, I had to go back outside, find the bat who had started to crawl to a nearby tree, and put a bucket over him.
Then, after talking to the guy at the health dept., I learned what you should do when you find a bat in your house and you want it tested. If anyone had any non-protected contact with a bat or is bitten, it should be tested (this includes waking to a bat flying around your room).
*Get the bat into a plastic container and tape it shut* (you can add air vents if you really want to)
*Get the bat chilling (in a fridge or in a cooler with ice around it)*
*Call your local health dept and schedule a pick-up*
Bats can chew out of a box, so use plastic. Also, if the bat should die before they come to pick it up it needs to be chilled or the testing cannot happen. If they start to decay at all (kept too warm), the test cannot be done. If they freeze, the test will come out inconclusive. Fun stuff. So, once I was able to get "Bat Manuel" into a tupperware container and taped shut, it was time to put it in a bag and into a cooler to chill out. That is then where he stayed until my in-laws came over later that night to take it to the state lab that is only about 30 minutes away. This was a little better because otherwise the little guy would have to stay in our cooler until Wednesday morning. This also gave us an excuse to have dinner at the nearby Cracker Barrel. :)
Everything turned out fine, which made my mother-in-law feel so much better.
We still have no idea how the bat came into our house, but we did learn that it only takes a small space for a bat to come in. They are like mice in that they only need a space large enough for their head to fit through in order to get in somewhere. This time of year, that more times than not can mean spaces around a window AC unit. Needless to say that we have since made sure to go over every space around our AC units to check for places bats could get in. They follow cool air currents and once one makes a path more follow the same path.
Side note, we had a second bat the next day too. John found that bat and came over to me telling me he found, "'nother animal. 'nother animal." He is not scared of these little guys, though he does not feel the desire to touch them (thank goodness!).
For those who do not already know this, the human shots for rabies are now a series of 4 shots. It is no longer the 30 shots (1 each day for a month) like it had been.
I hope through my new experience, may I never have it again, you have been able to learn something new today.

Have you had any bats in your house? Do you know how they got in?

Until next time... Happy Learning Something New Each day!

Jun 27, 2011

How long to use a Monitor

Baby Monitors. Almost everyone uses one at some point when they have a baby in the house. We got one when LJ was born. I wanted to be able to hear my baby when I was not in the room with him. Since we did not get one at our baby shower, we picked one up at Walmart. We ended up getting the Safety 1st Glow And Go Two Receiver Monitor and it worked pretty well. We still have it, though from all the drops the receivers have had, they tend to get very quiet at times.
Fisher-Price Sounds 'N Lights Monitor With Dual ReceiversI have loved looking at other/newer monitors in case we decide to or need to replace our baby monitors. I like looking at ones with lights.Ones with lights give me a visual cue as well as the auditory cues when a child makes a noise. I think one of my favorite monitor sets in the same price range as our first monitor is the Fisher-Price Sounds 'N Lights Monitor With Dual Receivers. I like when the bases for the monitors are unobtrusive. I also find two hand sets to be the best fit for us. Sometimes, I would even love more. :)
Now, why am I talking about baby monitors today? Well, We started using a baby monitor when LJ was born. He is now over three years old and I still have the monitor on each night. Hubby thinks it is past time for us to turn it off. Of course, we will end up using it again when BG moves into big brother's room. I am feeling a slight twinge of motherly attachment, I guess you could call it. The thought of not hearing any noise that comes from LJ's room is something I am used to. I like knowing if he starts crying in his sleep or needs mommy for something. More times than not it is LJ whimpering in his sleep, and he needs to be covered up or he lost his blankie in his sleep. I have become so used to it, that giving up that connection starts to tear at the mommy side of me. 
So, my question for you is,
When did you stop using a monitor in your kid's room?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Jun 22, 2011

Camping, Cloth Diapers, And Wraps... Oh My!

This past weekend was our first summer vacation trip of the season. We went on our annual family camping trip with Hubby's side of the family, up to the Pocono Mountains. In all we had 18 people filling 3 camp sites. We always have a ton of fun, but this year I had some added responsibilities. BG is only 4.5 months old and we were going to be staying in a tent. I had to think about what we would do for diapering, and what we would need or want for her to sleep in, and where she could go when someone was not holding her. Luckily I did not have to think about what to do with food for BG as all of her food still comes from me. My oh my does breastfeeding make that so much easier!
For the diapering issue, we decided that instead of switching to cloth for the weekend, I would be sure to take enough of our stash to cover us for the weekend and not have to do laundry. I did take my camp washer just in case, but I didn't want to have to use it or the washer/dryer that was at the campground.
During our one full day at the campground, we (almost the whole gang) hike up the mountain that is located where we are staying. I have not been able to go on the hike for various reasons. I was determined to get up that mountain this year. I wanted LJ and BG to get up there too. That meant being prepared for Hubby and I to wear each child at some point.
BG after waking up, descending the mountain
I have not been lucky enough to get a Moby wrap or many other carriers for that matter. I have two more traditional carriers, but both are terrible for dispersing the weight of baby. After finding out how long wrap carriers are, I went out and bought the material myself and I now have my very own Moby style wrap. This is what I used for BG during the hike. I knew she would probably fall asleep during the hike, as it was around her nap time, so she was facing me so I could tuck in her head when she slept. We borrowed an Ergo from a friend in case Hubby had to wear LJ on his back, but he ended up walking for much of the trail or being carried by his Pop.
We had a lot of fun this past weekend, and the next few weekends are looking to be filled with more fun as we approach the fourth of July weekend. I leave you with a picture of my BG and what she thought of our camping trip. :)

Until next time... Happy Vacations!

Jun 17, 2011

Traveling with Cloth

Well, it is inevitable. At some point you will end up traveling somewhere while a child is in diapers. When you use cloth, many question how they will travel and still use cloth or if disposables should be the diaper of choice.
We are preparing for our own travels as summer leaps upon us. Summer brings vacations and many times, for us, that means camping. Soon BG will have her first time camping, and we plan to stay in a tent (other family members will be in campers).
What will we do for diapering BG while camping? 
Well, I asked Hubby this and his response seemed to be along the lines of "why would we do any different?" We will be using cloth. After the flats challenge, I am even more prepared than I would have been if I had not participated in that challenge. I have plenty of flats and t-shirts, along with covers, to last us the weekend that we will be away. If I did not feel so comfortable using our flats, I don't think I would be so prepared to cloth diaper BG for the whole weekend. I plan to use the pad fold and the origami fold for my flat diapers (I switch between these at home as well). This means that I will just pick up the clean diapers from our pac-n-play and not have to refold anything.
I also of course have our normal diapers with more stay dry inner fabrics and cute bells and whistles. These will probably be our night time diapers. I also am thinking that I will be taking my camp washer, just in case I have to wash covers or anything. It can also be pretty handy for storing dirty diapers too.
While cloth diapers may be a little bulkier when traveling, I think the benefits far outweigh their very slight pitfalls.
How do you diaper when traveling?

Until next time... Happy Travels!

Jun 10, 2011

Book Review: The Medium Next Door

I have now had the chance to do my very first book review. I am happy that this book, Medium Next Door: Adventures of a Real-Life Ghost Whisperer was it.
I have almost always been one that needs to be captured by the book early on or I just can't get through it. If I don't get interested early on, 9 out of 10 times, it won't get finished. This book is not one of those books. I wanted to pick up The Medium Next Door each night and get at least one chapter read before bed. If I had my way, I would have kept reading it, but Hubby and I go to bed together each night and it is shortly after the kids are in bed. Book lights can also keep Hubby awake depending on how bright it is.
Anyway, back to the review...

In The Medium Next Door, Maureen Hancock writes a memoir of sorts about her life as a medium.
"It's basically part memoir about my life as a medium, yet I'm just like your next door neighbor...only I hear and see dead people,”
Hancock explains. “I write about my work with the sick and dying, helping people pass, assisting detectives to help find missing children and adults, and some profound readings that have changed families’ lives.”
Descended from a long line of legendary Irish mystics, she was no stranger to the spiritual realm, but she kept the otherworldly messages to herself throughout her childhood, eventually suppressing them almost completely.
Today, known as the "Medium Mom," Maureen strives to balance her motherhood and mediumship. “Other than my work with the sick and dying, helping parents who’ve lost children is a top priority for me,” Maureen Hancock explained. “I receive at least 10 new requests per week from parents who have recently lost a child. “ She provides free sessions to connect families for closure and peace. “It feels really good to say I never charge for my private medium sessions.”

I really enjoyed reading this book. I have long been intrigued by mediumship. Growing up I felt very sensitive to spirits and I feel it may have been from losing close family members at such a young age. I loved reading letters from some of those who have been helped by Maureen. I will admit that I would be interested in checking out one of her sessions. 
At the end of each chapter Maureen gives reflections, suggestions, and meditations of good ways to cope with loss, meditating, and ways to even help yourself develop your sensitivities to spirits, healing, and knowledge. I did enjoy reading each reflection as it really helped to ground myself. 
One topic that comes out in the book is that she is working with ABC on a reality series of her life. 
Sander and Moses’ reality project, is in development at ABC Media Prods., the ABC Daytime production entity. The half-hour show would feature well-known psychic Maureen Hancock as she goes "coast to coast calling up the past, seeing the future, and contacting spirits.” Hancock travels the country in real-life, doing Postcards From Heaven shows.
Maureen's book, The Medium Next Door, became available in book stores and online at amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble on May 2, 2011. You can also learn more about Maureen, her shows, and the book on her website, http://www.maureenhancock.com/.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced in any way. This post may contain affiliate links. 

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