Thursday, March 29, 2012

Major Boo Boo!



My baby boy had a double bad day

When Sam get's tired he likes to nose dive into pillows. I guess it should be no surprise that today his head hit the wooden arm of the couch when pillow moved. The lump on his forehead was horrible, but after icing the swelling went down and he ate a hearty lunch of peanut butter and jelly.


After nap time, we decided to take the kids to Chick Fil A because it was 1:30, I hadn't stopped for lunch and I was just tired of budgeting for the month. We piled into the van and headed over to our favorite spot. Kids played, I ate lunch while dad watched. Once they seemed reasonably settled, all came out for shakes and drinks. I'd say the boy deserves a shake to make up for morning head trauma and you can see how the swelling went down.


While dad is eating his lunch I caught Sam out of the corner of my eye climbing up on a bench. He fell, I heard his roaring cry and husband went in to comfort. A routine fall right? Happens all the time right! Then a girl said, is he okay, he's bleeding! Sure enough, his chin is gushing and husband rushes him out to the van for our first aid kit.

Pick up lunch husband hasn't eaten, gather laptop (yeah I was trying to take my work with me), put shoes on daughter and join them. Husband says, he needs stitches. I call the pediatrician who assures me he probably need stitches. I say, we can't go anywhere until we get gas because van is on empty so we stop for gas while Sam guzzles the last of my cookies and cream shake - whatever takes his mind off the double head traumas from today! But it makes the band-aide sticky and fall off. I suggest, lets go home, clean it again and see if he really needs stitches.

We come home, settle in, pull out all our medical supplies and examine our one year old. Sure enough a one inch long gaping - I mean wide open gaping wound! I'm like, yeah he needs stitches, you take him and I'll stay home with drama queen who's in the background trying to be understanding but desperately wanting attention. She keeps saying, poor Sam and trying to relate it to her own worst injury.

Husband and Sam leave, I stay with Charlotte and entertain her with movies and iPhone while I continue working. They come home $300 poorer from the ER and Sam tears into another PB&J with strawberries. He has a hearty appetite!

We keep the kids separated for the rest of the day so they don't play hard and bust his chin open again. We are exhausted. The only thing that could have made this day worse is my water breaking - which didn't happen! Thank God!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Would you believe...

I haven't been to the beach since Jan. 1st. I can't even explain it, just don't want to be hot right now. It sounds completely uncomfortable dealing with walking on uneven surfaces, chasing kids in sand, getting up, sitting down in sand, etc.

I'm completely uninterested in sweets - in my 9th month of pregnancy. Almost to weird for words. I made an apple pie for 3/14 (pi day) and finished half of it. Husband has stopped eating sugar for Lent so I had to freeze the other half because I just couldn't bring myself to eat it. One glass of lightly sweetened tea with dinner and I don't want dessert. I had a chocolate smoothie from my yoga place today and usually I find it not very sweet, today it tasted too sweet. It's really odd. I should be loving sweets right now. On the plus side, I've only gained 20lbs and only have 2 weeks to go. So yeah for that!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Counting down the days to baby

Job:
I have been frantically following up with people at work, trying to make sure they are ready for my impending departure and it's like they are in a fog with forgetting to do important things and no sense of prioritization. It's puzzling, and making me work harder and longer hours to make sure they are clear on what needs to be done. But they've been given one more week of my time and that's it! I declare maternity leave as of April 1st so I can focus solely on bring baby V into this world.

Other volunteer commitments:
Brain is mush the last few weeks. Body is tired, achy, unable to keep up the pace I used to find so breezy. Can't remember the last time I did something productive other than the business meeting for Women in Toys I managed to drag myself out to, and cleaned up quite well if I don't say so myself!
I look so relaxed and confident at 10am, you'd never know the achy, whiny mess I become by 10pm!

Communication with Friends:
I've read your emails/blogs and likely began crafting a response in my head and then got distracted with 20 billion thoughts like, did I order baby diapers yet? A baby book for foot prints in the hospital - panic, haven't done that, ordered my mom's ticket - check, has husband organized all the book cases like I asked him to, it's all urgent urgent urgent. So apologies, I'll make a concerted effort to answer you all very soon.

Baby Schedule:
I can't help myself, project planner by nature requires that I put in request to doctor to give me an induce date. I did it with Sam and it worked out quite nicely. Sorry mother nature, I need to do this. Date is set for April 5th, my mom arrives the day earlier. Let the final count down begin.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My dear friend and co-worker of 11 years

She lives in Vietnam, but her home is South Korea. She is a wonderful, thoughtful and considerate women who cares for me in the following ways:

Our SKYPE discussion:

[10:31:40 PM] Sunny Kang: I'll give a present from God for you "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him., so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rome 15:13)
[10:31:54 PM] Rachel Molder: that is wonderful, thanks!!!
[10:32:30 PM] Sunny Kang: and one more^^
[10:34:26 PM] Sunny Kang: The Lord bless you and keep you : the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you: the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24~26)
[10:34:52 PM] Sunny Kang: I'm praying for you with those God's word!
[10:35:07 PM] Rachel Molder: thank you very much!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7 read-a-long: Possessions - exasperated with our stuff!


I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):

"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
Chapter 3 - Possessions
I have the same problem as the author, filling my home with needless stuff, only 90% of ours is "found".
  • Coffee Table - found side of road in Pittsburgh 1997
  • Porch Table and chairs - given to us by coffee shop I worked at in 1996 after they remodeled
  • TV Stand - was found next to dumpster last year and remodeled by husband during one of my trips to Asia
  • Dining Table - another dumpster find, also remodeled
  • All kids furniture - gifts
These are GOOD finds, what is not good is the pile of stuff that's taken residence in our garage, closets and pantry. The majority of which we don't use on a regular basis and it just sits around taking up space. Much of it is very old - for example, we've carted blankets from Pittsburgh to Florida, to California, back to Florida that are never used.

This chapter about possessions didn't convict me in terms of buying too much, it was more about hording too much stuff.

We live in a hurricane zone - south Florida coastal living and we can't even get one car into our garage because it's so full. Every year I beg and plead with husband to let go of some of our stuff so we can get the car into the garage and we just can't seem to part with all our stuff. What if we need those art supplies from 1996? We can't throw away perfectly good gardening and fish tank supplies! We have books in boxes that we don't have room for in the main house so they sit, waiting for a bigger house to be displayed. I find myself exasperated with all this stuff.

I may not have gorgeous bags to donate like the author did, but I'm quite sure some of this stuff could go to someone more in need. For example, my husband can fix bikes, maybe he can fix up the bikes he's collected from the trash and donate them to the neighborhood kids? I'm sure we can always find more bikes later when our kids are the right height.

So are on a mission to clean and purge until we reach a reasonable level of stuff.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I may have overdone it a little bit on Saturday

These 2 kids, 1 and 3, have so much energy. By 9am I'm already feeling overwhelmed by their impatience to go out and play. Every Saturday they are climbing the walls. They have a very calm schedule during the week with regular nap times, trips to the store with dad, movies and meals well timed to keep them in perfect harmony but for some reason on Saturday they seem desperate to get out.

We start with Tradewinds park to check out the Educational Farm and petting zoo. I successfully navigate 2 kids from playground to general store to buy tickets, then to the rest room and finally in line with 5 minutes to spare before the tour starts. It's a tricky balance to satisfy small people who are full of energy. I spot 2 organized moms with one child each, they have bags with drinks and snacks draped neatly over the shoulder, I remember being that organized with one. Now I seem to fly on instinct. My kids don't want to slow down to eat a snack so why bother carting one? I carry one drink that I serve to myself and both kids - sorry for you sanitation folks out there, kids are going to share germs regardless of assigned cups so I'm over it.

We see a big 400lb pig who gives Charlotte a kiss, she doesn't even flinch. "It likes me!" she crows. We move onto zebra chicken (Charlotte's description), big cows with horns, sheep and goats. By the time we reach sheet and goats Sam is done cooperating and I have to hold him up on the fence rail to keep him from falling face down in the dirt in protest but at least we manage to pet a few more animals and make our way to the car without too much drama.

They both sleep in the car in the drive home thus ruining any chances of a two hour afternoon nap.

I sit in the driveway until both wake up, then it's a mad rush to make lunch for famished kids.

After lunch they watch Shaun the Sheep for two hours, I feel slightly guilty but need to get some work done on the computer. By the time dad gets home from work at 5, they have shoes on and are ready to go back out to a park - yes a 2nd park of the day!

Insert Story - Friday night was a nightmare, both kids hopping out of bed for 2 hours straight, my determination level to wear them out on Saturday knows no boundaries.

Following 2nd park Charlotte demands Chick Play, sure why not. I limit them to 15 minutes of play because they seriously look ready to drop, we order theirs take out and leave for home.

Home for supper, bath time and mission accomplished, they fall asleep quickly.

However, the next day I'm so exhausted I sleep through church. I come home and rest until 4pm with contractions that are kinda painful making me think baby will make an early debut but she finally settles down and I direct husband into rearranging our master bedroom to accommodate her play pen.

It's hard to find a balance in this last month. So much to do, so little energy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The joy of feeding a 3 year old.

Charlotte, what do you want for a snack?
"Ummmm, bagel with cream cheese."

5 minutes later

Do you still want a bagel with cream cheese?
"Ummmm, no peanut butter sandwich with peach jelly".

5 minutes later
Here's your peanut butter sandwich.
"I don't want it!"




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

7 read-a-long (how I've learned to live with less clothing options)

I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):

"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
This week's prompt is (I kinda picked my own):
Tips on how to live with less clothing options
I cured myself of having 50 billion clothing options in 2006 with a 4 week trip to Asia in January. I was somehow convinced I needed 6 sweaters (bulky, heavy luggage) and of course a giant winter coat and 10 pairs of pants with all sorts of various other stuff to keep self entertained for that long. I.WAS.MISERABLE! Every airport was a struggle to get 3 bags checked in, every hotel stay was not made happier with more clothing options, in fact I found one solid warm sweater and stuck with that every day as outer wear. At the end of this trip, I was given the voluntary option to return to the states through London with a few days stop. I will never forget my first entrance into Heathrow airport with a giant suitcase and 2nd one tethered on top (by this time I had 3rd bag mailed back to the states). Heathrow has astonishingly massive escalators and you walk miles just to reach the train and then miles just to reach cab area all the while dragging massive bags that make you want to cry and kick them down the stairs leaving all that weight behind.

Travel for 5 weeks and you will re-plan your entire thinking towards clothing.

I now travel with a carry on for 2-3 week trips. I am not joking! I literally fit enough clothing options into a carry on that I take onto the plane with me for 2-3 weeks. I consolidate purse and laptop contents into one bag that fits neatly on top of carry on and I have only 2 bags for the entire trip. How often did this come in handy? 3 trips to Asia last year!

Traveling with limited clothing has proven to me that I'm perfectly satisfied with less clothing options. While home, I've found that I gravitate toward top 10 favorites with a few accessories to change it up.

Now buying clothing for my 3 year old daughter? Oh that's a struggle, I love seeing her in cute clothes. I have to constantly remind myself to maintain control!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Random Tuesday


Stacy

Random Links:
  • MIT now offering Pirate Certificates! Click here.Link
  • One of my favorite social media experts, J Campbell, has posted these 6 tips on how to promote your blog. Click here.
Working from home update:
  • Now that I'm working from home, I can simultaneously manage home events and work. I like to think it's fun for everyone involved and that my husband does not get tired of hearing me ask 5 times in one morning, are you leaving yet for the store? I don't have enough food options for lunch and it's getting late.
This made me laugh (thank you Facebook friends):
Have a great Random Tuesday!!!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday Fun - at Aldi? And a lesson in living Poorganic!

Recently my friend blogger Katrina, who writes at The Poorganic Life, wrote her entire grocery list for the month as a post. I know that's a little strange right?? Even she was wondering how this could possible be interesting to her readers. However, a few things stuck with me.
Link
1. Aldi - cheap discount store! I couldn't believe the prices and thought wow she's so lucky to have one nearby, must be a North Carolina thing.

2. I thought maybe I'd start a monthly grocery list and write down all the prices in a nice Excel chart, so I did! $151.34 later I've got all these neat little stats about our food purchases for the last 9 days.

Then I spotted the newly opened Aldi near my home. Just a tiny bit further than our typical grocery store. So when we ran out of bread, milk, juice and there was a sudden demand for carrots I had to check it out! It only took convincing a 3 year old comfortably watching Beauty and the Beast that we had run out of food and absolutely needed to run to the store in order to have dinner - that was the hard part! Once we got out the door it was only a matter of getting two small ones to clamor into the van and off we went to this wonderland of discounts.

Upon entering the store I could not find any baskets or carts? Back outside we went and they were all chained up? Puzzled, 35 weeks pregnant does not help deductive thinking, I asked a man putting his cart away if I could have his. He nicely explained that you need a quarter to check out a cart and you get it back when you return the cart! Then he gave me his cart, good thing because I can't recall carrying change in forever and a day!

Inside we browsed the small neat store with insanely low prices posted in an even row along the wall. I noticed they are a bit naughty about putting all the candy and chips first but that did not deter us, we had 4 items on our list! First the Honey Wheat bread for $1.29 a loaf, then Milk for $2.89 ($1.00 savings from Publix), then Apple Juice for $0.92 ($1.00 savings from Publix) and finally baby carrots for $0.99.

Considering we buy 2 gallons of milk a week X 52 weeks, that's $104 annual savings. Same for apple juice 2 per week is another $104 annual savings!

My Poorganics friend has spent the last 6 months (that I've known her) talking up a life of living frugally and giving away in return to those in need. She's inspired me to give away $100 per month to mission needs this year and I'm just astonished that I've found this savings for the two months that I've already given away! I guess God really does give back to a giving heart!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Moments in my "Working from Home" experiement

Background - doctor put me on modified bed rest last week (I'm up to 34 weeks), the following is a summary of the most interesting moments thus far:

* I try to sit outside for 1/2 hour every day to enjoy the weather, never mind the noisy bulldozers flattening the field next to our condo to make way for new super Walmart. At least I'm outside for a bit and get to glance up and see large white crane scale a bush in search for lizards to eat. He moves so cautiously.

* The kids have been overjoyed to have me home every day and their exuberance breaks through the sound barrier of the closed office/bedroom door. I hear knocking, and sometimes a little voice yells "Mama, I love you" under the door while I'm in a phone conference with COO from work.

* I get to eat lunch and snacks with the kids every day! That's both fun and exasperating because I get pulled into every food drama whereas when I'm in the office I only hear vague reports at the end of the day.

* My 3 year old daughter now asks every day if she can sit with Mama on the big bed and play with her iPhone to watch movies and play games. It's really not any more distracting then the chaos I put up with at work as adults play DVD's in our creative department and talk loudly about their opinions, etc. And it's kinda cute that she looks over to see what I'm working on and see's a picture of baby Ariel and baby Rapunzel - did I mention I work on new toy development? Of course she wants one of everything on the screen!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Applying the phrase "every dollar spent is vital" - 7 read-a-long


I'm currently reading the book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker and I've joined this blog read-a-long by Marla Taviano to discuss each chapter on Tuesday's. Here is a bit of background on the book (from Amazon):
"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”
This week's prompt is:
Tell us what you’re doing to mutiny against excess in the area of food.
My commitment to reduce excess food is to eat up freezer and pantry food. This past week I've relentlessly pulled out all the little things that have been shoved into the back of the fridge:
  • hummus - served Sunday snack
  • potatoes and carrots that were looking a little sad and shriveled - roasted with the tiny garlic pieces that usually get thrown away because they are so small
  • hot pepper cheese wedge - thrown in hubby's work lunch
  • popcorn for snack - it was hidden in a pile in the pantry, kids loved it!
  • oranges loitering in the base of the fridge, served at every meal
  • 7 grapefruits that a recent visitor had left behind and because I hate grapefruit juice I mixed it with apple juice and it was surprisingly good!
We didn't go to the store until produce was cleaned out. I even cleaned up a bag of sprouting onions by cutting off excess sprouts and saving chopped up bits for homemade refried beans.

Once our fridge was down to condiments, I sent husband and kids to the store armed with a grocery list that precisely matched our meal plan for the week. Meal plans are a wonderful way to stick to a budget because you buy only what you need. Check out this link for a beautifully designed template from "The Better Mom". She let's you download it for free!

However, even with this ruthless planning and meticulous eating everything in sight, I still found myself longing for something "more" from Whole Foods as we strolled past on Sunday to reach the office store. The smells coming out the door of "better" food options lingered. I think if Jen had not written so relentlessly about the temptation of having so many options I might have caved but I didn't. I also ignored Chick-fil-A on the way home from today's doctor appointment and guess what - I'm still alive. I didn't die from starvation of not having that chicken burrito.

One quote from Jen's book 7 has stuck with me as I contemplate every purchase - "What if I believed every dollar spent is vital, a potential soldier in the war on equality?" It works in a loop in my head: "every dollar spent is vital"

Having this on repeat makes it easy to walk away from the temptation of "better" food options and to eat the food I've already budgeted for.

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Stacy

Do you ever compare your 3 year old to other kids? Just yesterday I read an article of a 3 year old eats 37 magnets. The article calls the child a toddler. I thought 3 year olds were far beyond the toddler stage AND eating random stupid objects. I look at Charlotte and have a hard time seeing her eat magnets. Well she has a hard time with food in general so we've never had to worry about her.

Sam on the other hand likes to taste rocks and pennies. He's the one we have to watch out for and he's 1. So with this article in mind, I guess we will keep an eye on him until at least 4! At least neither of them have tried to paint the walls with poop!

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You can now get an official certificate from MIT for becoming a Pirate. Yes you read that right. And everyone knows Pirates are way cooler than Ninja's.

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Etymology of Pittsburgh - "Crick/Creek: Only 4 percent of Americans say “crick”—but 27 percent of Pittsburghers do, while another 12 percent of us use “crick” and “creek” interchangeably." That's funny, I grew up with my grandfather saying Crick for Creek.

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That's all I got. Hope you all have a great Random Tuesday!