Archive | April 2018

Family Day Out

We had another first today: Little Miss Minion went to the ZOO!

We weren’t sure if she would really care, but she was SO excited. The first animal we saw was a big brown bear. She kept saying “rawr” after we left for the next one. There was also a penguin house. I think that was her favorite. She was beaming and counting them and squealing when they jumped into the water and splashed us. We also saw the bird house, the reptile house, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, zebras, antelope, elephants, a giraffe, and tons of others. While we were in the bird house, we were standing in front of a kookaburra when it made its “laughing” call. It was super loud and LMM didn’t really like it, but it was pretty cool. If you’ve never heard one, go google it and then picture standing about three feet away from one.

She also really liked the snakes, particularly a huge python that was flicking its tongue at the glass in front of her. There were also some huge tortoises that she was super excited to look at.

I pulled out my Fitbit for this and hit my step goal for the day during our two hour visit. I can only imagine how much walking that translates into for LMM. She’s going to sleep good tonight!

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Advocacy Day

As I mentioned before, our Minion family was invited to join other families in a trek to the state capital for the March of Dimes Advocacy Day. It was the first Minion Family Roadtrip!

We drove up the night before Advocacy Day and stayed in a hotel (graciously supplied by the March of Dimes). Little Miss Minion serenaded us for about half of the drive with a mashup of “twinkle twinkle little star” and the alphabet. We had hoped that she would fall asleep, but that only happened in the last thirty minutes of the drive.

We arrived at the hotel and checked in, brought up our luggage, and crashed. Little Miss Minion does not sleep in our bed at home, so she was very excited that Mr Minion and I were joining her. The catch is that she likes to sleep on her back, starfish style. And she’s never used a pillow. So that was an interesting several hours.

We woke up, got cleaned up, and sat down for breakfast (which was surprisingly good), and then made the short trip into the capital. After parking and walking to the building, we found ourselves inside the huge building and wandered until we found the March of Dimes area. There is large open area where different lobby groups can reserve space with tables and chairs for their members to wait between meeting their representatives. It’s kind of like home base. We met up with the group there and read over the materials we had been given. For each meeting we had scheduled, we had a folder with the information about the two bills we were lobbying for, information about how the bills could help people, and our personal stories. Several weeks earlier, we had been given a template to fill out that would share our own story with the NICU. We were also given a folder that contained copies of everything for us, including our schedule.

Our first meeting went well, and our personal story was well received. Having told the story WITH Little Miss Minion present and WITHOUT, it’s much easier for the audience to tell it with her there. People don’t expect good things when you start off with “28 weeks, and weighed 1 pound 14 ounces” and you can’t really blame them.

Our other meetings were good, and we got to sit in on a session of the House. The March of Dimes presented one of the representatives with an award for her work on the house bill. We were provided with a great catered lunch from Panera in between our meetings, and there had been water and soft drinks in a large cooler available as well.

It was so nice to see our primary nurse J again. I see her every once in a while when I run into her in the NICU but she hadn’t seen LMM since her 1st birthday. And Little Miss Minion was so well behaved the whole time. She got a little fussy towards the end of the day, but that was it. She slept most of the way home, and we were all in bed by around 7:30 that night. It was a long day, but a fun and rewarding one. I hope we can do it again next year!