Friday, September 30, 2011

Jet Lag + Pregnancy = MAJOR UGG

Well I might as well announce it, since it's on my mind and has everything to do with why I'm feeling so uggg lately. I'm pregnant with my 3rd baby; found out the week before I left for Europe in August so I've now completed 2 international trips in the first trimester. Hardly a goal I was ever hoping to achieve. At least I can finally settle down and not travel for at least a month. There's a rumor of a potential trip to London in late November but I'd make it 2 days max. I have Relevant conference at the end of October but I don't consider domestic travel to be challenging.

So back to the jet lag part! Well it's rough! Second day home and husband's already back to work. My day with the kids went very well and I just kept telling myself when they get shrill that they are just happy to see me. Somehow managed to get both in bed by 8:20 so I'm sitting in the dark on the computer to hopefully keep small ones from wandering back out. Our condo is kinda small. Speaking of, not sure how we will fit 3 children into a 2 bedroom condo but I guess it will be okay while they are still small. It does make the clock tick louder on the desire to sell this place!

I find myself eating Granola for dinner because cooked food just doesn't sound good at the moment. Can't seem to eat any dairy which with my usual diet is extremely limiting. Hmmm, maybe I'll add an apple to my dinner.

Okay enough rambling for tonight, I'm off to watch Fringe, very quietly.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

1st day post Asia Trip - surviving on random naps but at least back to eating familiar food!!!

Well, first full day back! I noticed husband was a little battle weary from dealing with kids for 10 days straight and our 3 cats had trashed the garage in a small rebellion of unknown reasons. So I offered to load the kids into the van and off to Costco for an hour or so while husband took mental break from kids and dealt with the cat dilemma.

Of course first we had 2 rounds of breakfast, starting at 8am and 2nd by 10:30am (for some reason the kids appetite came back when they saw me) and I had to cut all finger/toe nails because I'm really good at it and long nails horrify me. By 11:30 we were off to the warehouse.

Clearly a Costco warehouse is not the most exciting thing in the world to return to, I was thinking water park but getting my jet lagged brain around the idea of sun tan lotion on 2 kids + gear ready just killed it. I thought, shopping is needed and easier, Ill do that! And it was fine! The kids got little cups of granola to snack on, this should really be mandatory for kids, it makes shopping so much easier and I did buy the featured snack that wasn't on my list.

I found the cost of Milk and Eggs has gone up, ah inflation, when are you ever going to slow down!

I found Pure Vanilla Extract 16oz for the same price I pay for 2oz at Publix - steal!

I bought Charlotte a fairy Halloween costume because I have bad habit (3 years straight) of waiting till the last minute and having nothing left in the stores. She thought it was pretty, done deal. Still don't know what to do for Sam, maybe we'll just make him a pirate (we still have gear left over from Talk Like a Pirate day - that's always a fail safe!).

Home by 1:30, lunch and then in bed from 2-5pm for me. Nap desperately needed since I had woken at 4am. And now I've managed to keep myself occupied till 11pm, hoping I've dragged it out long enough to where I'll actually manage to sleep 6-7 hours!

Tomorrow husband returns to work so I'm really hoping for a miracle in jet lag recovery because I'll be home alone with the children, possibly lying on some pillows on the floor as they bounce on my head, trying to sleep or possibly in a coma.

Thankful

I haven’t been very good about writing stuff down this week so I’ll try to go from memory!
  • 143 – I’m thankful that I won a book today!  Thanks Eryn!
  • 144 – My friend was able to buy a house in Savannah with the help of her parents.  Our prayer is she will be able to regain custody of her children with this residence.
  • 145 – 12 peaches for $3.00, bought on sale because they were over ripe, turned into a peach pie.
  • 146 – baby’s giant smile as he realizes he’s woken in parents bed, delighted to find both parents surrounding him as he celebrates 13mo old.
  • 147 – that hurricane Irene was downgraded to a category 1 before it hit land, a true answer to prayer.  I’ve lived through a cat. 3 direct hit, it’s much harder to get through the damage.
  • 148 – for sermons that pierce the heart and show us exactly how to change for the better.
  • 149 – for Sunday school teachers who cheerfully accept my daughter and remember her name.
  • 150 – for parking attendants who faithfully direct traffic at the church we attend, rain or shine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday

Welcome to another week of Working Mommy Wednesday! This week's prompts are:
  1. Who is an inspiration to you in the workforce?
  2. What’s it like reconnecting with your children on the weekends? Do you find yourself swamped with chores, how do you find balance?
Since starting my career in toys, I've looked for women leaders in toys for inspiration. I started by reading "Toy Wars", a story about Mattel's bid to buyout Hasbro. Jill Barad was highlighted as CEO of Mattel but by the time I had read about her she had resigned in 2000 after three years - which had followed a 15 year career at Mattel. Wow, must be hard to sit at the top as a women, I thought.

Jill is responsible for rebranding Barbie in the 90's and in 1995 created the tagline "We Girls Can Do Anything" which meant Barbie could be a dentist, lawyer, doctor, etc. Sells exploded as Barbie became a symbol of achievement rather than just a sexy doll. That year Barbie represented $1.4 billion in sales or 35 percent of Mattel's gross revenue.

In 2000 she made a bad decision in acquiring The Learning Company, lost 50 million and was pushed out of the company.

I've googled her name over the years thinking she'd have moved onto another toy company but she disappeared. I found one article saying she moved her attention to nonprofit organizations. Recently, at a Women In Toys event, I heard they had wanted to give her the top award for her work at Mattel but she never responded.

I moved onto other business women who wrote books about their career success but have noticed their struggle after leaving the corporate world.
  • Carly Fiorina writes about her career before and after becoming CEO of Hewlett-Packard. After being dismissed by HP's board, she has dabbled in politics, first as an adviser to McCain in 2008 and in 2009 a failed political run in California.
  • Carolyn Kepcher writes about her career in the Trump Organization and The Apprentice. Following her departure from both, she's attempted to create two websites for women, both seem to have failed because the links go to a dead zone. I've followed both websites with excitement, anxious to see what wisdom and advice she may have but since both have disappeared without notice I have to conclude she's been unable to make them work.
In summary, I've learned to look closer at the women who directly surround me in the work force, including those of you who join WMW. I see awesome examples of how to balance work and kids from all of you who respond every week and this has become my inspiration. I'm always thrilled for all who respond. Thanks for being an inspiration to me!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Stacy

Here's a few random bits I've picked up in Asia:

Every September 23rd in Hangzhou China is public transportation day. No one is allowed to drive a private car or you will be ticketed. Therefore it's really hard to get a cab unless you pay the driver to follow you around all day like we did.

Ruth Steakhouse in Hong Kong does not provide plastic ware, no surprise, it's probably below them. So on the way back to my room, I stopped by the buffet to request a set of silverware thinking it would be faster than going to my room and waiting for room service to deliver a set. I was wrong. They flatly refused to give me a set saying all buffet silverware needed to stay at the buffet and they would send room service to my room with a set. Silverware is compartmentalized!

My hotel room at the Royal Garden had a TV inset into the wall so I could watch TV while taking a bath! Unbelievable right???

Here is a 1000 year old turtle:
(okay he's probably not that old but all historic things over here seem to be referred to as 1000 years old)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thankful

I continue to travel in China, currently in Shenzhen.  I’m familiar with this area, such bustling busy streets.  At night people are outside in droves.  Families with their one child, friends gathered at a TV on the street corner watching a show, friends playing pool at outdoor pool tables, a group of tables sitting along a street corner without a restaurant in sight, people eating together.  Life is very social here.
As a westerner I long for the comforts of home, more options then KFC and Pizza Hut.  We have Japanese for dinner the first night and Thai the second night, my travel companions knowing I’m not a fan of local cuisine, trying to accommodate a tricky pregnant women in her first trimester.  They feed me Soy Joy bars for snack and offer an assortment of breads, cookies and crackers throughout the day.  They tell me to not drink cold fruit juices and to avoid mango and pineapple.  Sometimes it’s just the sweet effort people go through to make you comfortable that makes one want to come back.  They know this trip has been uncomfortable for me but they try so hard to make me happy.  I don’t want to forget this when I return to the states to a job where I direct their daily efforts in toy development.
Today I’m thankful for the following:
  • 169 – Kind co-workers who put forth so much effort to make my life comfortable.
  • 170 – That America does not restrict families to a one child policy.  Freedom to have as many babies as I want.
  • 171 – Safety and health on my travels.
  • 172 – Cars with seat belts!  The taxi’s in this area are notorious for not having seat belts.  They have these metal grates behind the drivers window and sometimes shards of metal are peeling back, just waiting to impale an unlucky face.  Fortunately we’ve used the factory car which has seat belts (the prior knowledge is from prior trips).
  • 173 – Social media that has helped me stay in touch with family and friends.  I’ve spent hours chatting on Facebook with dear ones.  I don’t do this at home!  Never have the time!
  • 174 – Blessed sweet time, to reflect on my life and areas I want to improve upon.  This trip has given me so much time to read new blogs and enjoy people in a way that I just don’t seem to find time for at home.
  • 175 – Husband, who was willing to watch the kids with no help for 10 days straight while I did this trip.  I can’t wait to come home!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting nervous about the Relevant conference

I’ll be honest, I’m worried about spending a ton of money on Relevant.  I’ve already bought my ticket, I can use airline miles for the plane ride so all that’s left is the hotel.  I keep checking the conference site for more information on hotels and it appears to be $112 per night but I need to stay through Sunday night to get my miles ticket on Monday – that’s Thursday – Sunday at $448!  Is this “with” an assigned roommate?  Or do I need to seek out a roommate? If I could just split part of this cost I’d be so relieved.  I promise to not hog the bathroom and I’m very neat.  Also, I won’t take any of the toiletries if my “roommate” wants them and I’ll bring snacks.
I thought I’d just put this in a post and see if anyone drops by to visit from the Relevant site that is hosting link-ups.  If anyone has any information PLEASE SHARE!

How I'm surviving 3rd trip to Asia THIS YEAR!

Wow usually I write every day when I'm over here. This will be my first post about the actual trip. I guess it's just become so routine that the days don't stand out as significant. I did manage to visit a new place, Hangzhou, but my camera died so I can't post photos until I get back so it's no fun to write about a place without photos.

In summary, this trip is my shortest of the year, 10 days. I arrived last Monday night and basically needed 3 days to adjust to the time difference. Normally I just take a sleep med but I have a medical condition that will not allow me to take the meds so adjustment has really been a challenge! Fortunately my co-workers over here are so patient in giving me opportunities to take naps when needed.

I'm currently in Shenzhen, China (about an hour from Hong Kong). No Facebook or Twitter works over here so I feel out of the loop - like that tether that keeps me connected to friends and family is gone! No one writes email anymore.

Social media is a wonderful thing during travel; I've had many long conversations with dear friends and family on Facebook over the last few days in Hong Kong and a bit of banter on Twitter. Really has made my stay less lonely and more enjoyable. I've been on SKYPE every day with my kids, sometimes morning and night. Charlotte tells me all about how she slept, foods eaten and all her "bad" deeds. And then sometimes I get to hear her fighting with Sam in the background because he snatched her juice box. Good times!

Only 3 days left until I leave! For the next two days I'll be lecturing the factory on plush development and all the things they can do for improvement. It's fun!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Prayer

I found myself on a plane watching my 3 year old have a meltdown of epic proportions.  She kicked the seat in front of her, kicked me while I was holding my son who’s one, scratched at my arm repeatedly until I put my sweater on so she couldn’t reach my arm.  Over and over I pushed her back and ordered her to stop kicking.  Finally I blurted out “God, please rebuke what ever demons who are tormenting my child”.  It worked.  She slowly calmed down.  Still naughty but not manic.  Prayer really does work and I really do believe in spiritual warfare.

Another answer to prayer!


Three weeks ago our stove broke on a Saturday.  I was baking a frozen pizza when the timer started beeping excessively.  Open the yellow pages, find a repair man.  Oh you can come today!  Wonderful.  For $49.50 he opened the back, swept my floor under the stove, picked up the magnets and toys that had fallen and placed them on the counter.  He asked where the nearest Walgreens was to buy a battery for his tool and I laughed and said don’t worry, I probably have that in the garage.  Sure enough, we did.  He said we needed a new part for the computer that runs the clock and would call on Monday with the price.
Monday came, and he says, I’m sorry but it will cost $450 for the part, you are better off getting a new stove.
Heavy sigh, we are already over budget for the month.  Can’t afford a new stove.  Look into used stoves, can’t afford those either.  Hate to take out of savings.  Cry to God for help with budget and stove.
The next day husband turns it on, it works.
We humbly thank our father in heaven who watches out for us and hears our needs.

The Practice of Forgiveness

The Practice of Forgiveness
About seven years ago, my aunt stole half the inheritance from my family.  She did it during the week after my dad died, while my grandfather lay dying from cancer.  She came on a Sunday to got the paperwork that would allow her rights to his bank accounts and emptied them in our week of grief so that when he died there was less for the lawyers to divide up.
We were shocked and deeply hurt by the betrayal and could not figure out how to get past it to begin talking again as families should.  My saving grace was that the year before dad passed, my pastor had preached a message instructing the church to not enter into lawsuits with family.  I remembered that and counseled my brothers against it.  They listened.  We were not in need for the money, my mom’s church helped her generously to get back on her feet, my brothers and I were doing okay financially.  God was meeting our needs.  But the shock and hurt of what she had done lingered on.
In 2008 I had my first baby, a girl.  In 2009 my great aunt (sister to grandfather who passed away) asked my mom to take her to the family reunion, it would be her last since she was in her 90′s and getting very frail.  I knew mom would have to face my aunt and told her I’d come home to support.  Sometimes a baby can change things and she did.
We were able to face her with hugs and smiles.  She too seemed puzzled as to get past this rift and glad for a chance to reunite.  She loved my little girl and we had an enjoyable day together.
In the following 3 years I’ve found forgiveness to be a continued effort.  When I go home do I let her know I’ll be there?  She always wants to come visit.  Every time I have to steel myself for the visit but when she’s there we fall back into our old pattern of greetings.  I think even when I feel over it the devil can still bring back the memory of hurt and disappointment.  I think that’s why I relate to this post as “The Practice of Forgiveness”.  I really does take continual effort to forget the past and move forward.  Maybe it becomes easier over time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful

136 – parks, just flew by a park in France, on the train.  Wish I could stop and take a walk.  I love parks – August 8th
137 – shoes do not have holes so I stay dry in the rain – August 8th
138 – safety in travels – August 8th
139 – money to buy presents for my kids – August 8th
140 – luggage that makes it through airport travels
141 – my brother who makes homemade peach pies & home made peach ice cream in peach season (weekend of mom’s wedding)
142 – tomato plants on a porch with first red rounds (home from wedding)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday

Welcome to my 3rd week of hosting WMW! I'm broadcasting live from Hong Kong. Okay that sounded a little cheesy, sorry lonely over here. Today's prompts are:
  1. What is the dress code like in your job?
  2. School just got back in session, does this have any affect on your job VS kids out of school for the summer?
  3. Water cooler talk, is there a place for gossip in the work force?
Today I'm writing about dress code. My job is extremely casual, not quite to the point of wearing shorts to the office, but sandals, jeans, tank tops - well industry term is Shell, slacks with shell and sandals, open toed shoes every single day of the week - you get the idea!

It's wonderful - except when I'm scheduled for a client meeting. I panic every time, out of pratice wearing heels and closed toe shoes! When one is out of the habit of keeping "nice" clothes available, one tends to forget to do the dry cleaning. Or just doesn't really bother keeping much of a "nice" wardrobe up to date. A single day client visit is okay, but the week of Europe meetings I did in August - major panic!

In summary, I'd kinda prefer to dress nicer for the office so I'm in a better habit when these meetings come up, then again wearing sandals every day is just so quick and comfortable! I'm in a rut!

Fortunately while I'm in Asia the dress code for my industry (toys) seems just as casual as the US. So I'm still wearing sandals and t-shirt dresses. Yeah!

Looking forward to your stories. Of course I'm going random province in China at 6:30am on Wednesday so I'll catch up with all of you later this week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Stacy

Random Tuesday coming at you from Hong Kong!

1. I don't like eating in restaurants alone. I've compromised in the past by sitting in the window bar of Ruth Steakhouse but tonight it was freezing so I ordered to-go. AND I didn't get steak. Just a Spinach salad and appitizer shrimp, oh and let's not forget the apple crump tart for dessert!

2. I'm having a tricky time with the jet lag. Usually I just take a sleeping pill but for a medical issue I cannot on this trip and I'm not sure how to cope! I woke up at 3:30am, wide awake and never went back to sleep. Went to the office for 2 hours from 8:45 - 10:45 then came back to the hotel to sleep for 2 hours.

3. I had to move hotel rooms because I wasn't originally booked here for another nights. So after nap I packed stuff and was told to leave it in the room and they (hotel staff) would move it.

4. I had lunch in the 12th floor lounge while mystery room was being prepared. I turned off the air conditioner to the entire section I was sitting because I was freezing and by 2pm there was no one there. Had them turn up the TV volume because what is the point of having a TV on silent? They told me to turn it back down upon leaving. Um okay.

5. By quarter to 3 they brought out these lovely little desserts with raspberries and strawberries on a little tart. Wonderful little dessert, I'll have to remember to dash back up there around 3 for more.

6. Had SKYPE chat with my little family at 5am (5pm their time) and convinced husband to take the crew outside for Pirate photos (see post below). I really think he has new appreciation for the effort I put into taking photos of running children!

That's it for now. Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 10: In Hong Kong

The Ugly:  Threw up on each flight during landing.  Something about the vibration makes my tummy want to lose contents.

The Tired:  Slept alot on 15 hour plane ride, thought that because I'm pregnant I'll just sleep more when I get to the hotel.  It will be nice I told myself, I can just sleep and sleep with no kids to wake me up.  Wrong, up at 4am.

The Food:  Sticking with chocolate croissants, juice and fruit.  Still not sure I can handle anything like eggs.  Throwing up has a tendency to take a few days to reset my ability to eat many whole foods.

Note on previous post, hubby made up for it.  Hope he keeps his game station while I'm away, he might enjoy the break of not having needy wife at night and have a nice mental break after getting kids to bed :)

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Welcome to our 3rd International Talk Like A Pirate Day! A day where our family joins an international group of crazy pirate lovers to dress up and shout ARRRR all day long!



Love how Charlotte is clutching a cheesy tortilla in her left hand! Apparently this is the only available photo of Sam facing forward since the rest are of his backside running down the path to test new walking abilities.

You can see the growth in our children by visiting last year's post here, and the prior year here! It's so much fun to mark our kids growth through annual holiday's - okay this may not be an off work type holiday but it should be!

Sadly mum is off in Hong Kong but got to witness family's fun through the magic of SKYPE and received the above photos from husband after much coercion to just go outside and take the photos so I can update my blog!!! I'm quite demanding that way from 3000 miles away. I have to admit I'm much better about coordinating their outfits but alas, dad is all alone and dealing with two children who miss their mummy very much.

And lest you think it's a little known holiday, Disney's twitter feed has been going crazy all day with their pirate updates. Definitely not one to miss a golden opportunity to promote a brand.

Thankful

As I get ready for this 3rd and final business trip to Asia of 2011, I’ve had feelings of dread, that alternated when I read Gitz and realized I need to choose to enjoy every moment as I live in it. The last post she wrote is about living in the now and not wasting time fantasizing in the unknown. I do this frequently. When I’m uncomfortable in my job, when I’m uncomfortable in my cramped condo, when my kids are behaving outrageously, I fantasize about future unknowns.
It’s not easy enjoying the things that trouble me now, like this last trip to Asia.  I’m pregnant, and tired, I don’t want to leave my kids and husband but then I read Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I realize I need to fill this trip with thanksgiving and prayer. So I will do this on my trusty iPhone, list all the things I’m thankful for and when I get an internet connection I’ll post them here, starting with the below:
  • 161 – I’m thankful for spontaneous back rubs from husband
  • 162 – A husband who fills my car with gas in the evening
  • 163 – A husband who makes eggs and bacon for breakfast!
  • 164 – Stories my daughter whispers in my ear at bedtime.
  • 165 – 3 yr old who prays her own prayers, our faithfulness is showing fruit
  • 166 – letters from my compassion children
  • 167 – God who has given me a good nights sleep before this trip to Asia.  I notoriously sleep badly before trips but last night my dreams were filled with random entertaining things.  No stress, no worries.  Thank you God for this gift of a good nights sleep.
  • 168 – for Gitz, a gifted writer who has blessed my life with every word I read.  I’m sad at the thought of her passing because I selfishly want more words of wisdom and I’m sad for her family and friends but so profoundly thankful to have been graced by her kind words for this past year.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fun: Bills!



Today I read my AT&T bill and found they had slapped a $9.99 ATT Navigator with promo deal that we didn't sign up for. It's been there for 3 months. They immediately reimbursed it when I called them. Also found they had suddenly started charging husband for picture text messages. I've had to call about this one before. They offered me $50.00 credit after talking to a manager. Hmmmm, makes you wonder.

In a possibly vain effort to get credit card companies to stop sending applications every month, I've written in large green sharpie "please take me off your mailing list" on the application and returned 3 today.

Paying bills with kids awake is no fun. But I have to leave for Asia for two weeks on Sunday, running out of time to do it after bedtime hours.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday



Welcome to my 2nd week of hosting WMW. Today's topics are:

1. Meals for the week, do you cook every night? If so HOW do you working mommies do it???
2. What is the best complement you’ve ever received at work?



I will write about meals because it's a subject I really enjoy. Growing up, my mom managed to put food on the table every day by 6pm, a full meal! She was a full-time teacher at the private school myself and two brothers attended and we were home every day by 4pm. I guess that gave her adequate time to finish a complete meal.

I find myself working until 5 or 6pm and coming home to entertain kids for an hour while husband prepares our meals. Of course I love to cook but since he's a stay at home dad and I miss seeing the kids all day, they are ready to pile all over me when I walk in the door so we try to give him an hour to make dinner.

On the weekends I follow my mom's rule. I make a meal list for the entire week and buy groceries accordingly no later than Sunday. This way husband has the food and menu in hand and makes the evening meal a little faster.

Other shortcuts we've developed are to have a few core dishes on rotation, make in bulk and freeze several meals in our deep freezer. This way if one of us is running late, we have a faster meal to prepare.

It all sounds great right? But I can assure you we still have evenings when we eat way later than we'd like to. We are still struggling to find a balance but we have two rules we stick to every day:

1. The entire family eats at the table regardless of who's having a bad day/hating the menu/or just general crankiness.

2. We are not short order cooks. We serve a balanced meal and nothing more. This is a recent rule after putting up with recent tantrums from 1 year old and dolling out crackers to bring peace. We'd really rather him get used to eating what we've prepared, even if it means hating the Chinese food! We may not be so quick to put that back on the menu for awhile but the point was to eat what was prepared that day.

I can't wait to read your stories. Looking forward to your link ups!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Random Tuesday

Stacy

Yeah Random Tuesday is back! It's more exciting than Monday because frankly, I have nothing to say on Monday. I'm usually just glad to have survived the first day back to work.

1. Check out this adorable picture found on Neatorama:













Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen????

2. Conversations with a 3 year old:
"Mama, Charlotte wants cinnamon toast for breakfast so I can get sugars on my mouth and sugars on my hands"
3. Now that Sam is walking, this is the sight I see running down the sidewalk.














4. Sunday I leave for Asia for 11 days, slightly less than 2 weeks. Next week's RT will be coming from Hong Kong. Third trip this year, um yeah for me.

5. And here's a rare recent photo of Charlotte that does not involve her screaming at the camera "no picture"!


Have a great Random Tuesday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thankful

This Monday I’m incredibly thankful for two answers to prayer:
1.  My favorite cat of 11 years ran away on Sept. 3rd and was gone for an entire week!  She’s a pampered house cat who has never been outside.  I didn’t write about it or tell anyone but I struggled and prayed for God to help her find her way home.  My husband found her on the outside of our neighbors window on Sept. 9th!  I was so happy to have my pretty cat home.  Thank you God for answering a prayer about a cat.
2.  I needed a roommate to split the cost for Relevant and on Saturday, Nataliefound me!  We had an interesting chat on Twitter (a first for both of us) and have confirmed our roommate status.  I’m so excited to get to know her and thankful to God for answering this important prayer.
My growing list of thankful items:
  • 151.  Brothers arrived safely to the airport when running late for plane.
  • 152.  Two answers to prayer, returned cat and roommate for Relevant.
  • 153.  Funds to buy helmet for 3yr old so she can ride bicycle we’ve been hiding in the garage.
  • 154.  Finished TV Stand with working DVD player so we no longer have to route movies through our computer.
  • 155.  Husband who cleaned under heavy washer to remove mildew lint smell.
  • 156.  Safety on the 10th anniversary of 9/11
  • 157.  Affordable co-pay for today’s biopsy
  • 158.  Time with family before next trip to Asia
  • 159.  Phone calls from my mom every Sunday
  • 160.  Fresh raspberries in my yogurt

Friday, September 09, 2011

Morning Sickness

I’ve been sick for almost a month straight with morning sickness.   It’s just this constant nausea and exhaustion.  I’m fortunate that I work a half day on Friday’s, husband and I split the working day, he works the latter half.  I look forward to this day all week, makes “Thank God it’s Friday” have even more meaning!  Today I was even more fortunate to take a one hour nap while 1yr old napped.  3 year old watched the entire movie of UP and didn’t wake me up until it was done!  Now that is an awesome Friday!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Relevant 2011

I almost gave away my ticket, every day for the last month.  It would be good for someone else I told myself.  Maybe someone else needs it more than I.  Then I realized I was just fretting because I loath asking people for help and to get to this conference I feel convicted to ask for help.
1.  Ask my mother in law to fly in for the weekend so that husband can work and she can take care of our kids.  Since the first week I approached her, Papa, her dad went to the hospital with a serious condition so I didn’t dare bother her with such a menial request.  But he’s home since the weekend and on the mend so I tried again today and she was more than happy to help out.
2.  Ask repeatedly on Twitter for a total stranger to share a hotel room with me to split cost.  How embarrassing!  I don’t want to do this but I’ve posted 4-5 times with no response.  It gets more awkward with each attempt.   Why God?  I can afford the hotel room. Why do you keep convicting me to save money?
Is saving money the lesson?  Or is it reaching out to other women and making new friends the lesson?  I have to admit I’ve become a hermit in the past 10 years.  I work a full time job, travel extensively (2 full months in total away this year) and in the time left I want to spend it with my kids and husband.  A dear friend came back to FL for the summer and I think we spent 5 days together?  Honestly, it was a pitiful effort.  So I’ve made a stand, my airline ticket is bought with miles.  The next stage is finding a roommate!  God will provide!

Wordless Wednesday: Fresh Tomatoes, from my Garden!

Working Mommy Wednesday



Welcome to my first hosting of WMW. I'm so excited to pick this up from Julia. So often we working mommies find ourselves in need of a place to share our stories and know other mom's are working just as hard to keep family time precious and work hours logged in to pay the bills. I'm proud to keep the tradition going.



Top 5 things I'd like to accomplish this Fall

1. Cooking - make homemade donuts. Growing up, my brothers and I were huge fans of homemade donuts. We had an assembly line going of one rolling and cutting, one deep frying (and getting all the burns) and one doing all the toppings. I'm just itching to make a big mess and make some donuts!

2. Pumpkin Patch! I love going to pumpkin patches with my kids and this year I promise to not follow Charlotte (3 yr old) with a camera because she's become camera shy. Besides, I have a new muse that grins wildly every time I point a camera in his direction!

3. Magic Kingdom for Halloween in family costumes! No idea on what costumes yet.

4. Drink hot mulled cider - even though it will doubtfully get cold enough in South Florida to warrant it but we can turn the AC down!

5. Harvest photos - I mean upload them, order them and put them in books. Maybe even order some for family!

I can't wait to read your stories! Looking forward to your links and I'll stop by to check everyone's postings out. If not today then sometime this week!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Random Tuesday


Stacy


Well Labor Day is over. I guess this officially brings us into all the wonderful things of fall. For me I just hope it brings a break from 90 degree weather. We did our best to spend Labor Day outside but I ended up so exhausted from the heat I needed to nap for 1.5 hours! Fortunately the kids agreed and napped as well. Too hot down here!!!

I'm going back to Hong Kong for my 3rd and final trip this year in two weeks. This morning I remembered to contact my Hong Kong office to send me money for the taxi. I didn't used to be so good with travel details. I recall a trip in 2006 when I arrived to the Hong Kong airport, got in a taxi, gave hotel name and he said which side of Hong Kong? I froze. There's two??? The nice driver actually called both hotels to see which one had my reservation! Have you ever heard of a taxi driver being so helpful???

And the most exciting news of all! SAM IS WALKING!!! Would you believe the parent who works full time (myself) actually got to see it for the first time! It happened Friday night while husband was working. I'm over the moon with joy.

My 2 brothers are in town for the week so my computer time has been severely limited. That's all I got for now. Hope y'all have a great Tuesday and shortened work week!!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day 2011

Holiday's in South Florida are an easy excuse for the beach, only this time it just seemed unreasonably hot and windy. Original plan was to visit a beach that provided canoeing for my visiting brothers and husband to canoe while I sat at the beach with kids. In 5 minutes I decided there was no way husband was abandoning me. Kids were acting clingy, wind was blowing a fine dust over all of us and everything so that applying sun tan lotion was a hopeless feat.

Brothers left for canoeing. Husband stayed to help with the kids. After an hour of playing in the sun we returned to our umbrella sanctuary for water, peace and break. Kids seemed thoroughly annoyed, not by leaving the beach but from heat, covered in sand, big jelly fish lurking in ocean so couldn't really go in far, just yuck. Windy, not a good day. After one hour we packed up and left. Of course it takes almost a 1/2 hour just to wash 2 kids and self at showers (husband wisely didn't get in ocean) then drop stop at car. Then we waited at the outdoor cafe for a 1/2 hour for brothers to return. Finally in despair at rising temperatures and lack of adequate shade we returned to the van for air conditioning.

By the time we got home, I was so tired I slept for 1.5 hours. Got up with a burst of energy, went grocery shopping and made lasagna for family. Went to bed by 9. At least I got my favorite food in! Oh and here's a few cute photos to remember the good times:







Saturday, September 03, 2011

Patience and Unpredictable Children

Woke at 5:45 as husband got up at unnatural time for work.
6:00 dozed off to sleep, planning to get up at 7 to get shower before kids normal 7:30 wake up.
6:20 dog yipped at door and woke both Sam & I. Sam proceeded to play on and around my bed until 7 when Charlotte finally woke up and said she was going to sleep on the couch and needed all lights off. So much for breakfast! Sam & I returned to my bedroom to fold clothes, well at least one of us folded. Finally decided to grab quick shower at 7:30, plugged Sam into high chair with plenty of food when Charlotte comes in to take over shower. Now it may be hard to imagine how a 3 year old could takeover but she does this by getting mad everytime I step into the water. So it's cold for me, duck in to rince hair, step back to wash, repeat. Afterwards she stays in for another 1/2 hour so I fold laundry. Finally done! She comes out and refuses to wear clothes so I put her in bed with towel until she's ready to get dressed. She observes me putting away clothes for 20 minutes before cheerfully announcing she would like to finger paint and wear all purple! Okay. So it's now like 8:30 and I haven't had breakfast due to prima donnas shenanigans. While making breakfast Sam realizes he can still walk, how exciting he just took first steps yesterday! And he proceeded to throw arms up in cheer and walk, fall down and walk while I take a quick video to show dad later. Finally by 9 we eat but now Sam's tired from getting up so early! So by 9:30 I'm rocking him to sleep only he wakes as soon as I put him down, twice, meaning a rocking cuddle nap is required.

So that's my unpredictable morning!