Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Anything work related about your job from the past week or two... good, bad, venting, a story.
(this blog topic hosted by Julia and Amanda)

The toy company I work for is primarily a plush toy manufacturing base for the Disney parks and stores. We develop the plush toys in Vietnam, work through a licensor approval process and manage the production. Its routine work, creativity is needed in material selection and character interpretation but we are always working on a defined character.

Two years ago our senior designer and boss decided to create our very own special property. We are a small team of designers and everyone has worked incredibly hard to bring the toys and characters to life. It’s been so exciting to work on something where we define the characters look and personality and we are finally at the unveiling stage!

Presenting - My1Story

My1Story successfully reintroduces timeless classics in a colorful and entertaining way. Its broad appeal and cross-generational awareness make it a lovable brand to reach Parents and Grandparents in the Infant and Pre-School categories.

Visit our website to see the stories come to life with animation. At this point only Lil’ Riding Hood is fully animated with voice and music and the other stories will be available later this year.

If you really like our property you can become a fan on our Facebook page!

Our next steps are finding partners to help us grow the property. To date we’ve attended the June Licensing show and been featured in Toy Fare magazine.

I’d love to get your feedback – good and bad - seriously we welcome all comments and take everything into serious consideration.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts


This fun blog hop brought to you by "The Un Mom", head over and check out her super cool graphics.

Hey Tuesday’s back and I’m still pregnant! That’s a good thing and here’s a list of my top random moments.

Braces –

I only have 3 weeks left and last night a wire popped off the back teeth. Going this morning to get it reattached.

Chariosity –

A new word I came up with yesterday. Charity + Generosity. Normally I hate word combos but this one just sorta manifested itself while I was in conversation with boss. He just looked at me like I had two heads.

Potty Training –

Is going well for Bubbles the Powerpuff Girl. Charlotte put her here several days ago and she hasn’t moved. I guess it’s a good thing Charlotte hasn’t learned to use the potty yet!

Mini Vans VS Full size Vans –

We are looking at mini vans and need suggestions!!! What is your opinion of the mini van? Would you ever own one? Do you own one and love it?

Full size mini van – husband wants this b/c he thinks the modern mini van looks like an SUV (which he hates), so he wants a “unique” style. So far he’s shown interest in any VW but they stop selling them in ’04, the Oldsmobile Silhouette when it looked like a dustbuster, Toyota Previa because they look like giant jelly beans. I’ve objected by saying it’s too big and I’d likely crash into things on a regular basis.

If we do get a “normal/modern” mini van he’s threatening to paint it bright orange with racing stripes. Or sky blue because how many do you see these days.

Clearly we have a van crisis – or a mid-life crisis for husband.

Random Trivia –

How did the ladybug get its name?
A. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became known as "Lady Beetles"! The red wings represented the Virgin's cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn't differentiate between males and females.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Two weeks ago when I failed the fetal fibronectin test I was quietly freaking out - it's a test that's supposed to be a 50/50 indicator of going into early labor. I failed it on the day my mom was leaving town. The same day I had to quickly schedule an afternoon consultation with Risky doctor to review options for having a baby between 32-33 weeks and missed taking my mom to the airport. I wanted to ask her to stay but she had something important to return home to do. When I expressed my fear and concerns she told me firmly, "we are going to have faith and we will get through this".

Here I am two weeks later, still pregnant and baby boy has experienced phenomenal growth in this time period. He grew 1lb 12oz in two weeks, the typical max is 1/2 pound per week at this point. He's now estimated to be 6lbs 12oz which puts him at a great weight if born at this point because one of the requirements to check out of NICU is to be 6lbs. Friday's ultrasound showed him practicing breathing which is also a great sign.

I humbly give thanks for my faithful mama and to God for keeping my son safe and growing in these past two weeks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bye Bye Paci

At Charlotte's 2 year doctor visit we learned that we were "supposed" to take it away from 18mo - 24mo. Opps! She's gotten increasingly dependent on it and wanting it all day long even when I tried to keep it only for bedtime.

I received many great suggestions in an earlier post this week and appreciate all the advice! Here is our approach:

Day 1 - take it away after first bottle, Wednesday. Husband stayed home with her and she got increasingly aggressive throughout the day but he stayed steady and never gave in.

Day 2 & 3 - no paci

We are keeping her busy and distracted and for the most part she's fine until bedtime where it was really a comfort and consoling thing. I note that Lindsay from Suburban Turmoil still gives her son a paci around bedtime but for us it's not going to work because then she wants it all day and looks for it throughout the day so we've found it's best to just erase the memory of the paci.

Today is my first day with her post-paci and I'm not going to drive far; it was something that kept her calm in the car and is going to be challenging without.

If there are any art therapist out there I'd love to get feedback on the following artwork:

PRE-PACI ART - calm colors

POST-PACI ART - aggressive colors, pressing very hard with the crayons

note - husband helped add minor details to the last art to make the characters appear around Charlotte's art.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Shower

2 years ago and a few weeks is how long it's been since the girls dream team was in one place. It was a few weeks before I gave birth to Charlotte and we all worked for the same company. The middle of 2008 when the recession was hitting everyone hard and our company had already taken it's lumps in furloughs but the worst came during my maternity leave. Our office mama bear was laid off and the remaining girls including myself took it badly. Over the next 9 months our company staff continued to reduce and 2 more girls left until we were down to 3.

Last night former office mama bear threw a baby shower and dinner party for me. I'm one of those people who hates it when a fuss is made about them. Throw me a party and I'm likely to get embarrassed and say "it's okay, you don't have to do that" but I realized something important - having a "reason" to have a party is only a small part of it. People came from as far as an hour away after work because they hadn't seen each other in over a year, much less as a group!

It should be noted that of the 6 women, each was born in a different country. We represent America in myself, Venezuelan born Chinese, Russian, Colombian, Mexican and Romania at one table. I would never have met this unique mix of women without our shared history and I marvel at the opportunity to spend an evening with such a diverse group of friends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

This fun blog hop brought to you by "The Un Mom", head over and check out her super cool graphics.

1. About once a day, someone will ask me if we are "going for number 3 after this one?" - a word of advice, not something to ask a pregnant women in her 8th month of pregnancy! Family planning is best discussed when one is well rested and not in the midst of searing back and rib pain.

2. My brain is becoming increasingly distracted and I'm praying - super hard, join me if you have a moment - that I will not get into a car accident. The number of times I've rear ended other cars at red lights = 2. Near misses in the past week due to distraction = 2. Husband reading this and reaching frantically for the mobile to lecture me = 1.

3. So far this month I've achieved 3 objectives I wished to get out of the way before baby boy gets here! Success - still pregnant, starting 35th week this Friday.

4. Recently I wrote about the wonders of crayons - they made my child very happy while my mom was visiting, she did many beautiful swirl drawings and we were so proud. Then she advanced to drawing on the tile floors which husband graciously cleaned. Her latest coup was leaving one on the front seat of my car - where it has melted into a disgusting red steam of goo.

5. We had Charlotte's 2 year old check up visit today, apparently we were supposed to take away pacifiers 6 months ago. I'm not sure I want to go through the paci trauma again with the 2nd one. Any one have advice on how to make the transition easier?

6. We got our May electric bill and it's sporting a $58 increase!!! Apparently the heat wave combined with getting super hot in pregnancy and putting the air at 72 is taking it's toll.

Really sorry for all the pregnancy and toddler random thoughts, my brain is almost turned to mush these days. Not much else rattling around in there except that I remain really angry with Jennifer Love Huett for getting upset with the media for calling her fat and then working really hard to lose the weight so she can be adored by the same media 2.5 years later.

Quotes from People December 2007 and here as well:
"I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image."

"Like all women out there should, I love my body,"
"A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful. … To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini – put it on and stay strong."
Oh really????

Quotes from People June 2010:
“Ghost Whisperer” star Jennifer Love Hewitt, 31, shows off her amazing bikini body in exclusive photos, and reveals the (real) skinny on how she went from “fat” to fabulous with her diet and exercise tricks. “I ordered a string bikini for the first time since I was 16,” the newly trim and toned Hewitt tells People, “and I’m rocking it this year!” When asked if she ever contemplated plastic surgery, she admits, “I’ve definitely thought about it. My hips have always been big. I remember thinking at one point, ‘I know: I’ll get my hips lipo-ed off!’ You can’t – it’s bone. It doesn’t work that way. But everybody thinks about it. And anybody who says they don’t is lying.” Regarding how she feels about her body now, she says, “I’m starting to love it. Not in love yet, but I’m falling in love with my body.”
Did she really think we would forget her tirade against the media for calling her fat? And no Jennifer, I can honestly say I've never thought about having my hips lipo-ed off or shaved off!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Multitude Monday

One of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, writes a list of things she's thankful for every Monday.

6. Sidewalk chalk – it’s so much fun to watch toddlers create art
7. Crayons on huge white tablets – again, toddlers making art is so coo
8. Peach ice cream
9. Frozen Yogurt with fresh fruit
10. Unexpected gifts – our Cheesecake Factory brunch was paid for on Father’s Day by my boss and our Toy Story 3 movie was paid for by husband’s mom!!!
11. My father, who loved me more than I’ll ever know and always treated my visits home as if he were welcoming the Queen of England!
12. Stickers – you see we are discovering the world of toddler art and design

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I've heard the story that girls want to marry someone like their father - I did that but not intentionally! I've just noticed over the years all the similarities my husband has to my father and I wish they could have spent more time together doing projects and building furniture. Unfortunately my daddy passed away 6 years ago. He was truly an incredible person full of life and energy and I think the most important thing he taught me was to travel and enjoy every minute of life to the fullest.

Happy Father's day to my husband, who is a brilliant dad to Charlotte and to my daddy in heaven. My life is so rich and full from knowing both of you.

PS. note to self when reading this next year, because I like to drop back a year and see what we did before.

Father's day was fabulous and we didn't follow any of "the plans" for the day to go to a water park which would have made everyone too hot and cranky. Instead we dressed nice, found a half empty restaurant by luck and even though they were understaffed and it took 2 hours to eat brunch, they brought plenty of bread and drinks to keep everyone happy. Awesome part - boss sent random text saying take family out to eat on him!

After brunch we stopped by the Carousel on the way home. Mema got to ride with Charlotte. We dropped them both off at home to take naps and husband and I got an entire afternoon together to watch Toy Story 3 in the theater and got ice cream. What a totally awesome day! Oh and Mema paid for our movie and ice cream. Seriously it can't get much better than this!!! Childcare and a paid for day out!!!