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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Multitude Monday

76. I’m thankful for simple meals and a family that appreciates them
77. Clean house!
78. New deep freezer that was $31 off on black Friday! We’ve wanted one for so long!! I can’t wait to fill it 79. with home cooked meals and little bags of pumped milk for my son.
80. A new crock pot! Now I just need to find some good recipes
81. For lessons learned on Thanksgiving to really be thankful for sustaining food.
82. Silence after a long noisy day.
83. A new stocking for our newest member of the family.
84. Sugar plum candies!  Mmmmm good!
85. The anticipation of dinner with an old friend from college.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

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

Interesting Fact of the Week: Liberace paid for plastic surgery so his boyfriend Scott Thorson could look more like himself.

I wear skirts almost every day because it's really hot down here. I'm wishing so badly for some cold weather that I was planning to wear new jeans today, but Sam threw up all over them - yuck. Back to wearing my boring wardrobe.

Sam turned 4 months old yesterday! He smiles every day and is a really sweet baby. Here is my latest favorite photo:

Charlotte's favorite word is puppy. She tells everyone about her puppy and has long conversations with the dog that no one understands and the dog just keeps hoping she's getting around to giving him treats so he acts like he's paying attention.

Charlotte's favorite game is to act like she's sleeping all over the place. Oh yeah and she's become obsessed with blankets.

That's all I got, have a great Tuesday ya'll!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I got really hungry on Thanksgiving day.  Dinner ran extremely late due to a long, fun day that started with pumpkin pancakes and the beach; by 5pm I realized dinner wouldn't be done until 8 or 9.  I started to get really hungry, aggravated and possibly a little bit post pardom depressed considering I remember feeling "devastated" that we couldn't stuff the turkey because it was only a breast and didn't have a bottom so the stuffing would get soaked. 

When I say devastated, I mean really truly depressed which is ridiculous because it's just a turkey.  But depression doesn't have a rational side.

My son is 4 months old and it's been a complicated and busy time.  I went back to work 3 weeks after he was born and I've been super careful to not "catch" post pardom depression by taking really good care of myself.  I believe that if I pray, eat meals regularly, drink 48+ ounces of water a day, sleep 8 hours a day and fit in exercise that I will be exempt.  I broke all the rules on Thanksgiving day and almost ended up crying in my room, hiding from my family.  It took something outside of myself, husband getting upset about a random issue, that caused me to snap out of it and just focus on getting something to eat.  I realized my extreme stress was causing everyone to get upset.

I know the hunger I felt was nothing like the 925 million people who go hungry every day. I was just too busy to slow down and EAT.  I was too busy ALL WEEK staying up to mid-night every night to make FOOD to get enough sleep.  I was too busy to drink the free, clean water in my house.  I am so thankful for this lesson learned on Thanksgiving day to appreciate FOOD. 

Thank you Lord, for showing me this lesson in a very real and physical way.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Silence

I am enjoying almost total silence (with the exception of typing fingers and air conditioner). After a long day of shopping with two year old babbling about puppy this and puppy that, four month old's noisy demands for cuddles, TV blaring Spongebob or the latest cool toy (really tired of Moxie Girls), meltdowns from both children, thankfully separately - I just prefer silence.

So what did we buy on Black Friday? I'm glad you asked:
  • Costco - diapers, we ran out this morning. Found a Crock Pot for $19.99; been meaning to get one for ages. We got there when they opened, found no lines, no crazy shoppers.
  • Home Depot - deep freezer and poinsettia. Only encountered one crazy person who forced me to flatten myself against a wall as he turned abruptly to run for the $1.00 Poinsettia's. That was my only brush with a crazy shopper. 
  • Kohl's - to buy the kids Christmas outfits; I even used a gift card from last year so it cost me nothing. No maniac shoppers.
I sit here bruised, tired and finally not hungry. I forgot a snack for myself and Charlotte and somehow believed a trip to Kohl's at 4:30 wouldn't take long so by the time we got home at seven we were both a bit manic.

So here I sit in silence, I might add sitting in the dark as well (with the exception of computer screen and hurricane lamp). It seems to be keeping Sam asleep longer and I can't put him to bed yet since he needs to eat once more.

Sitting in the dark in silence may become my perfect evening. Oh wait, let's add some triple chocolate pumpkin pie and green tea. Be right back.....

Ahhh, much better. Good night all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This post is for my husband who actually took the time to look up past Thanksgiving posts to see how we had celebrated and only found 2009 even though this blog has been around since 2006.

It means alot to me that he took the time to look and it's one of the main reasons I write our stories because we forget so easily. So dear husband, here's a short recap of our past four Thanksgivings:

2006 - we were in Texas and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for your entire family

2007 - I had just found out I was pregnant with Charlotte and I completely lost my appetite. I don't remember anything.

2008 - Charlotte was 5mo old and we didn't eat until after 8pm.

2009 - posted here, Charlotte's 17mo photo

2010 Thanksgiving
Our day started at 9am - astonishing with two small children who are usually up at 7am. We don't know what miracle caused them or us to sleep so late but we do know the two year old is responsible for turning down the volume on the baby monitor which thus insured we didn't hear anything.

While my husband prepared pumpkin pancakes Charlotte covered her face in Vaseline which required a quick bath and reheating of the pancakes.

Breakfast was at 11am, or I should say brunch since it was so late in the morning. Afterward we packed up the kids and headed to the beach.
Her freshly cleaned hair curled beautifully in the wind.

And here is our handsome four month old son.

Unfortunately we had to leave early because Sam got sand in his eyes and took it badly. Poor baby. I don't remember this happening with Charlotte but I'm sure it did.

We got home by 1:30, got Charlotte to bed for her nap immediately and then two hours disappeared with various chores and Sam didn't want to be put down. Dinner was started at 3:30 or 4 and the turkey went in at 5:18. I suddenly realized we had skipped lunch and that it would take 3-4 hours for the turkey to be done which meant eating at 8 0r 9. Fortunately I had planned ahead to make Fettuccine Alfredo.

The dish went badly, Parmesan refused to melt into the heavy cream and stayed the consistency of gravel. I've made this dish over 100 times, how could if fail me now? I finally settled for rice and spicy shrimp as a snack/early dinner.

When we finally got the food served at 9pm, it was definitely worth waiting for:
  • Turkey with Gravy
  • Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
  • Pineapple, Orange Cranberry sauce
  • Corn
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rolls
Simple but very delicious and for dessert, Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is: What are you thankful for?

Today I am most thankful for Water. The following quotes taken from http://water.org/
  • Nearly one billion lack access to safe water.
  • In remote areas of Africa women travel miles each day to collect water for their families. It's dangerous and debilitating.
  • Haiti cholera outbreak highlights clean water crisis, more than 1,000 have died
I’m thankful I was able to use water for the following things this week:

  • I drank 48oz of water per day
  • I used water to take a shower every day
  • I used water to make tea and coffee
  • I used water to give my children bathes
  • I used water to flush the toilet several times a day
  • My husband used water to cook a very delicious steam pot
  • I used water to boost
  • I gave my daughter water to drink
  • I used water to brush my teeth
  • I used water countless times to wash my hands after using the toilet, changing a diaper, cooking dinner, etc.
  • I washed produce
  • I washed dishes
  • I gave water to my pets
  • My fish swim in clean water
  • I watered plants
  • I've cleaned counters and floors
How did my family and I get blessed with so much available clean water? Why don’t I thank God every day for this gift? I really want to be more thankful for such an amazing and life sustaining gift.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

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

1. Publix had a buy one get one free special on celery. I only needed 3 stems but I can't pass up anything free. Now I need suggestions on what to do with all this celery. Help!
  • pls note I only like it completely dissolved in a soup or stew where I can't taste because it's stringy and gross but somehow always called for in stuff.
  • oh yeah and I'll use it in stuffing later this week but that still leaves an entire stalk!
  • And does anyone know how long celery will last in the fridge? If it gets limp is it still okay to eat?
2. Disney has changed the name of it's next princess movie from "Rapunzel" to "Twisted" to appeal to a broader audience. Anyone really fooled into thinking this is more than a Disney Princess raise your hand. Oh yeah and they have decided to stop making Princess movies. Booooo I finally had a daughter!

3. Random things I've said to my daughter this past week:
  • Things I find myself saying:
  • HEY! No throw rocks at the puppy!
  • Let the puppy pee in peace!
  • No no! Don't pull the puppy's tail!!
  • Stop pulling the puppy's ears!!!!!
  • Don't throw rocks on the picnic bench
  • Stop poking my belly button!
4. My hair is falling out. I've heard this happens after a pregnancy. It's very annoying; all the drains are clogged.

5. For Monday dinner I had crackers, 1/2 an avocado, one slice of apple that tasted like dish liquid so I didn't finish the rest and a pumpkin muffin. That's what I get for staying at work late. Really looking forward to having Thursday & Friday off!!

That's all I got! Have a great Tuesday ya'll!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Multitude Monday

See Ann's blog here, I can't seem to get her link to work for the header.

66.  I'm thankful that I have books to read to my daughter.  Tonight I read 4 books to her.  They are all from my mom, who is a 1st grade teacher of 40+ years.

67.  I'm thankful that my husband and kids walk me to my car almost every day.  And it's such a nice walk going around the corner, past the pond, past the neighbor's home who puts silly things in his garden like a gorilla and a spider attached to a long string that he pulls from the porch to scare the kids.  And when I turn around I see this:

68.  I have to go back a little in time for this one - when I went back to work 3 weeks after having Sam, I'm really thankful my husband was so helpful throughout the nights.  I know it was hard on him considering he was home with the kids all day but he made sure I got 8 hours of sleep every night.  I couldn't have done it without him.

69.  avocado on crackers (a new favorite snack)

70.  Comfortable sandals

71.  That my job gives me two days off for Thanksgiving

72.  That my mom taught me how to cook

73.  Pumpkins!  They make fall so enjoyable with their bright orange color and wonderful taste.

74.  That my children are healthy.

75.   That I learned how to type in high school!  Never realized how useful it would be!!

What have I read?

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. …
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (the whole 5-book trilogy!)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 8
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (own it)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (own it)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I've read 18 books on this list so I beat BBC's record!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shutterfly Product Review

As soon as my daughter was born I started taking hundreds of photos. I needed a good website to host the photos plush provide a print service and Shutterfly is the site I landed on.
Shutterfly has played host to our most memorable family moments. Our first product was the calendar. Charlotte was 6 months old and we made a photo calendar for my mom that had our favorite photos for her to enjoy over the following year.
Once you create an account with Shutterfly they send awesome discounts and usually twice a year they offer a free photo book. I love making these! They even have this fantastic tool which automatically populates the the book with photos and when you are dealing with over 100 photos this is really helpful. They must have some secret for doing this because more often than not, their arrangement only needs minor tweaking.
Last year I took Charlotte to the beach to take Christmas photos which I then put into Shutterfly's Christmas templates. I am so pleased with the results. They have awesome Christmas templates that made our little girl look even better. I also did a giant print college of various beach photos for her grandparents and it was a major hit.
My husband and I have a tradition of adding one new ornament to the tree every year. I think this year we are going to order one of Shutterfly's photo ornaments. They are made of pewter and hopefully less breakable than most ornaments. With a two year old we can't be too careful!
I am so excited about taking photos for our 2010 Christmas card. This year I have two children and we are taking both to the beach the day after Thanksgiving! The photo card is going to be spectacular!
Disclosure: Shutterfly has given me 50 Christmas cards free of charge so that I could write this review. As always, my opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Are weekends for children or getting chores/work done?

I ponder this question every weekend and I never know what is the correct answer.  I work Monday - Thursday from 10am - 7 or 8pm getting home just in time to put daughter to bed, 3 month old son stays up till 10 so at least he gets cuddle time.  Work has ramped up so I've struggled to leave by 6 to spend quality time with them.  Friday's I work half a day and the trade child care shift with husband as he goes off to work.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day.  There were problems at work from a co-worker being sick and not answering a critical email so as her boss everyone was calling me.  Anyone with a 2 year old and infant knows being on the phone is a nightmare.  They all want your attention and you are trying to keep them calm while solving massive problems on the phone in a clear and focused manner.  I spent 20 minutes that seemed like an eternity rocking Sam furiously back and forth in the rocker while talking to boss and Director of Ops about a production issue.  Several hours later our Hong Kong office called me three times about the same issue.  Finally sick co-ed called - all together 7 calls!  In that time I managed to get Charlotte ready for bed but Sam was being difficult so I couldn't put him down long enough to get her in bed with a proper goodnight.  She stayed up till 9 listening to me on the phone and watching me juggle Sam up an down.

This morning Sam slept all morning, from 9-12!  Unprecedented!!  So I used that time to get all the bills done that were due and I hadn't been able to do from working late all week.  I spent all morning shushing her while she squealed to get my attention.  She made elaborate attempts to get my attention doing everything she is not supposed to do.  I got more and more aggravated. 

Finally I noticed the dog hadn't even been walked, I had been so focused on doing the bills, so I rounded up the kids and dog to walk at 1pm.  It was hot, we only went half way and returned.  Charlotte's nap is at 2pm and I could tell she was tired from how slow she walked.  When we returned she asked for gummies but didn't like the ones I offered.  I asked if she wanted her Chocolate shake and she screamed no chocky shake!  So I warmed some milk and she continued screaming face down on the floor while I held Sam and gritted my teeth.  I put him down and begged him to be calm for a bit so I could get her to bed for the nap.  Grabbed her off the floor, went to her room and initiated nap sequence (lights off, fan on, door shut) while she ran behind the crib and screamed in utter agony.

I suddenly realized I had been pushing her away the previous evening and all morning so while she wailed I prayed to God to bring peace to our home.  She continued for about 5 minutes and finally came to me for the warm milk and I was able to rock her to sleep.

Sam also fell asleep, thus my ability to write this post.

I'm very thankful that God stepped in and brought about this peace but for the other matter of time management I still need help.  I just can't seem to balance everything on my plate these days.  I'm so exhausted.

I do know when she wakes up I'm done with all chores and distractions for the rest of the day.  My little girl needs my full attention and some day will not want or need it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writer’s Workshop: 10 reasons to love or hate coffee

My first job out of high school was at Bucks County Coffee in our local grocery store. It was Hagerstown first coffee shop with arabica beans. Prior to this experience coffee meant something instant in a can and I didn't drink it. This little shop opened a life long love for coffee. I learned about fresh roasted beans served within one month of roasting (throw or given away when over a month old) and the wonderful world of espresso drinks.

I went to college the following year in Pittsburgh and worked at coffee shops for three years. Here are a few reasons why I love and also hate coffee:

10 Reasons I LOVE coffee:
  1. I love the taste so regardless of the time of day I am happy to get coffee!
  2. There is so much variety! Every country in the world seems to have a different version.
  3. Cuban coffee is great in Miami; Coladas & Kolaches, full of sugar and strong espresso, delicious!!
  4. Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, wonderful tasty chicory coffee! I went there in 1999 and fell in love with the beautiful outdoor cafe with this amazing coffee and beignets. It's even sold at Whole Foods so I can still enjoy it today.
  5. Bucks County Coffee - still has the best coffee in the world due to their dedication of providing only fresh roasted beans.
  6. Venti lattes on a cold New York morning - I still remember my trip in December back in 2004 when it was so frigid cold the only thing that could keep me warm was a giant steaming hot latte from Starbucks.
  7. Ice cold lattes on a hot summer day!
  8. Lattes at Cheesecake Factory come in a glass mug with a swizzle sugar stick, elegant and tasty!
  9. Tanzanian Peaberry - my favorite regular coffee from Bucks. A Peaberry is a freak of nature in that it's a single pod bean where beans are typically double sided.
  10. Finally, it wakes me up!

10 things I HATE about coffee
  1. Expensive restaurants make the WORST coffee! Why they want to end the meal on a bittersweet moment is beyond me!!!
  2. Coffee flavored ice-cream. Bleach!
  3. Starbucks decaf lattes, gross!
  4. Starbucks regular coffee, over roasted to the point of being burnt!
  5. Diner coffee sucks.
  6. Flavored coffee, puke! No offense to anyone who loves this, particularly my parents! When I worked at Bucks I was allowed to take it home and got them both addicted for life to this stuff! Glad it worked for them though!
  7. McDonalds frappucinos - because they are a cruel joke by only containing a minor amount of coffee.
  8. I hate the fact that it's addictive. The fact that when you don't drink it and get headaches sucks.
  9. I hate the fact that it's not locally grown in the continental United States therefore it has to be shipped causing it to be less environmentally friendly.
  10. I hate the fact that coffee is really nothing more than water and beans and it cost so much! $4 - 5 bucks of coffee is insane! That's why I mostly make mine at home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is: #1. Top Ten "non-negotiables" in life. (e.g., cussing in front of your kids, cheating, stealing from work, etc.)

Well this seems like a prompt asking for top ten laws of the household or morals so here goes a list that is not necessarily in order of importance:

1. Divorce - not negotiable, we believe in marriage until death do we part.

2. No witches, no sorcery, no Ouija boards.
3. No swearing, and no taking the name of the Lord in vain.

4. Preparation for natural disasters has become an important part of our lives considering we live in a hurricane zone. Even though we haven't had a serious one for 5 years, 2005 had enough craziness to make a lifelong commitment to being prepared.

5. Commitment to recycling and living a sustainable life meaning cloth diapers, as little packaging as possible meaning we don't put our produce in plastic bags, we try to take our own bags for groceries and some day we hope to own a green home! That would be awesome.

6. Don't buy any more furniture. We either find it, restore it or make the furniture so that it's solid wood, high quality and to the design we want. I don't include couches in the category because I have no idea how to make the upholstery portion.

7. Charity - we are committed to giving more of our time and monitary support to Compassion and 4-Kids of South Florida.

8. Food - we are committed to not throwing away food. I've had a bad habit over the years of buying too much food, not eating it in time and throwing away old bananas, ground meat that has gone solid gray, etc. I find myself embarrassed to throw away food when so many people in the world are hungry.

9. No more buying new cars! We've bought 2 new cars so far and driven both long past the factory warranty but the price paid for "new" is too much. Buying used 2-3 years old is just fine with us.

10. Church is non-negotiable. We are committed to not being lukewarm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: It's my birthday!

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

Today is my birthday! Queue kazoo noise.

I'm 35

So what?

Going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.

Double Yeah!

Then going to work.

Boooooo!!!! And not Halloween scary ghost boo, sad depressed going to work Boooo.

But maybe the work carrot cake and Mexican lunch will make up for it. Yeah!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Sunday's message was about Eschatology - study of the end times.  Calvary Chapel is a pre-tribulationist church.
  • Pretribulationists believe that all Christians then alive will be taken bodily up to Heaven (called the Rapture) before the Tribulation begins. Those who become Christians after the rapture will live through (or perish during) the Tribulation. After the Tribulation, Christ will return.
Throughout this message our pastor explained the tribulations in detail that could terrify a non-believer into signing up for this thing we call Christianity.  We listened (my husband and I) in the comfort of knowing we are already Christians so we won't be here for the tribulations then the pastor got to the part about being lukewarm.  He spoke about the 7th church being lukewarm and having to go through the tribulations. 

Revelation 3:16 (Whole Chapter)
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

We got chills - what sins might we be doing that would make us lukewarm?  What things are we not doing that we should be doing?  Who have we witnessed to lately?  Who have we ministered to?  Who have we given charity to?  What Rated R movies to we watch for entertainment while the people in the movies do sins that God abhors? 

Who have I criticized and mocked by which doing would keep me lukewarm?

It's a wake up call to break free from the chains of monotony and be on fire for Christ.

Today my list of gratitude grows:
61.  I'm thankful for a pastor who preaches truth, even when it's scary.
62.  For the first view of my baby's boys legs waving in the air as I approach his crib in the morning.
62.  For the sound of my daughter's voice through the baby monitor in the morning.
63.  For my husband who tries so hard to have dinner made when I come home from work.
64.  For plentiful food in my pantries.
65.  For never knowing hunger.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday - walk the dog

Walking the dog is a morning requirement so after husband goes to work I pull out the stroller intending to put Sam in but Charlotte climbs in. Okay no problem, I go get the sling for Sam but forget how to wear it. No idea where I put the chart that shows how to wear it so I take off with Sam on my hip, dog leash attached to stroller and pushing with one hand.

Half way around the pond, just as my arm is about to break off, Charlotte jumps out of the stroller with intentions to push it. So I put Sam in the stroller and she takes off with him while I'm picking up dog poo.

She doesn't get far as the stroller immediately gets stuck in the grass, good thing she's not strong enough to push him down the hill into the pond!

Soon she gets bored and makes me push the stroller AND hold the dogs leash.

Then she messes up her perfect ponytail (seriously the best I've done in a long time!) by wrapping a blanket around herself.

Finally Sam starts to cry so I take him out of the stroller, Charlotte climbs in and we finish the walk. It takes about a half hour to walk around the pond with two kids and a dog; I do it in 5 minutes alone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

The two weeks of pain following birth is the worst I’ve experienced. Drugs are important and must stay on a timed schedule. I’d set my iPhone every 4 hours to remember to take the meds on time! Otherwise utter agony set in.

I’ve had two relatively easy, short births so I can’t say that part was painful. Doing yoga definitely helped me stay focused.

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

8 hours are absolutely necessary

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?

Never did. My parents church stayed focused on Jesus and his birth. All presents were from family. My brothers and I only found out about Santa when we were much older.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

“Life as we know it” with my BFF Gina two weeks ago.

5. What do you wear to bed?

Target striped pajamas

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Writer's Workshop - Something I wish I hadn’t put off till the last minute

Two weeks ago I lost my retainer; I’ve only had braces off for 3 months but I figured my teeth couldn’t move very fast, it took 9 months for them to get straight.
The Thursday morning I lost it I woke up groggy to feed Sam, wanted some water, hate the taste in my mouth after wearing the retainer all night, put it on my bed stand and promptly forgot about it. Later that night I couldn’t find it anywhere. The usual suspect, our two year old, had not been seen holding it at all. Usually when she finds a new object she will stare at it reverently and run up to us to discuss the new found “toy”. She will carry it for hours and put it in and out of other objects; perhaps even trying to put it in her mouth as she’s seen me do. Husband (stay at home dad) saw none of these activities or he would have promptly confiscated it.
I’ve been busy. My friend came into town for a weekend two weeks ago; I’ve yet to write about it to cement it into history. In fact I’m still editing the photos because my face was much too red in the sun. I need to send friend a CD of our weekend photos but not till I’m done editing. Then there’s work; the job I go to every day and develop toys. Suddenly it’s ramped up so I’m staying later and later and later. I come home bleary eyed thinking I’ll look for retainer the next day. Two weekends have zoomed by without finding retainer.
This past weekend I went into panic mode when I suddenly realized my teeth had moved. I tried calling the Orthodontist on Saturday thinking I would actually take two kids in there just to get a new retainer – they were closed.
Monday they said the soonest they could see me is Tuesday so I finally went in and timidly told the Orthodontist I thought my teeth had moved. He looked quietly into my mouth with a flashlight and grimly told me that yes they had moved. A new retainer with wires and springs would be required and I need to wear it all day, every day, for 2-3 months!!!
I had been wearing my simple clear retainer only at nights and now I’m doomed into wearing it every day! What a disappointment. If I had only called sooner, it would have cost less to replace and been less trauma on my teeth. This sucks.

Cloth diapers - as cheap as possible

We've been using cloth diapers with Sam for two months now and I've learned a few tricks to keep it really cheap.

When I first researched cloth diapers I was shocked at the cost! It seemed every popular website wanted to charge $400 for a decent supply of diapers. While I'm all for saving the environment my main goal is to save money. $480 is what we paid per year for diapers at Costco. There was almost no savings.

We finally settled for the following:

Gerber 6-Pack Premium 6-Ply Cloth Diaper - Prefold $11.99
We bought 3 packs and they last about 4 days so buy according to how often you want to do laundry. I'm about to buy one more pack which will bring our total to $47.96 (24 diapers)

Kushies Tafetta Waterproof Infant Diaper Wrap - Boy $7.49
We bought 4 to start but I'm about to get 2 more so we don't have to do laundry quite as often which brings our total to $44.94

The infant covers will last until he's 22lbs or until his legs get too big for the holes. Then we will probably switch to a cover that has snaps because the only thing bugging me about this whole set up is the Velcro. It sticks to everything in the wash and over time it will lose it's grip.

In addition, a friend gave us 4 hand made pocket diapers (which can run $10 per piece so this was a nice gift!) along with a big pile of flannel wipes which also work as inserts for greater absorbency.

Our grand total is $99.40 with tax. Now we are saving money!

I will admit I'm still tempted with the other options on the market. There are beautiful colors, cover/insert combos that make it impossible to get your hands dirty, adorable patterns, etc. Every time I get tempted to buy pretty diapers my husband talks me out of it, sometimes by just saying "honey, you're in charge since you're obviously really passionate about it" which results in me rethinking if we really need more diaper options!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anxiety Attacks

I've had 3 since Sam was born 3 months ago.  Today's wasn't the worst but what concerns me is how frequently they are happening.  The previous one was last Tuesday.  All brought on by an overwhelming amount of responsibility.  Most days I shoulder everything quite well but I've been getting extremely tired lately.  I sit at work yawning all day long.  I never feel rested in the morning even when I get 8 hours of sleep.  I'm sure being tired is contributing to inability to handle things as well.

My mom used to tell us we were going to give her a nervous breakdown.  I now know how she felt.  My heart races, my focus dims, I feel like running away.  Last Tuesday I couldn't even go to work so I went to Target and did a function of my job that involves checking out what the competition is putting out for Christmas.  Today I did the same, only at Walmart but my panic worsened when I realized my lunch was sitting in the car so I couldn't stay very long.  Then I had forgotten something very important so it didn't even matter that I was at Walmart because I couldn't finish what I needed to do.

I wanted to come home and cry at 5 but my husband was freaking out about the kids so I had to suck it up and take over while he went to work.

I wanted to go to church but Sam was freaking out so I had to get him calmed down.  Then Charlotte misbehaved all evening until Sam went to sleep and I could finally focus on her.

I still need to do work which means calling Asia around 10pm but all I want to do is sleep.  And Sam should eat again because he last ate at 6:30 but I'm going to let him sleep and I'm going to go get a few hours of sleep before I call Asia.  I'm so tired.

Wordless Wednesday - Sam 14 weeks

14 weeks old

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is: Eat out or brown bag it with co-workers? Lunch room or desk? What's your work lunch experience?

Ever since my boss spent 30k on renovating the office a rule was instated that no one could eat at their desks so if we were having lunch in the office it must be in the kitchen. In all fairness to boss it is a beautiful lunch room, or in the words of my friend who recently visited "WOW is this where you eat????"

We have a wide screen TV to watch DirecTV, fridge stocked with a range of coke, red bull, frappuccinos, an espresso machine with coffee and milk along with a giant bowl of leftover Halloween candy. Apparently boss wants us to remain caffeinated and sugar happy high all day long!

When my daughter was born in mid 2008 our budget had to get stricter to afford all her stuff so I stopped eating lunch out with my co-workers. It wasn't too hard because there were always 2-3 people who ate in.

My lunches generally consist of leftovers. Husband and I try to make dinners last at least two meals. Today we had no leftovers so I took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, applesauce and banana.

My favorite lunch partner for the past 2 years was our Russian accounts manager. Sadly she recently left the company. I was always impressed with how she could make lunch out of the simplest items. Sometimes just a baked potato, cheese, avocado and fruit - she would always offer to share the fruit. Such a sweet girl, I miss her tremendously.

Now that she's gone I'm left with boss who occasionally likes to talk business while we eat and Director of Ops who likes to watch cop shows during lunch. Sometimes the creative team will order pizza and eat with us; we all watch E News together and gripe about the latest stupid things celebrities are up to.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

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

Queen Elizabeth II has joined Facebook! Now that's random! If you decide to LIKE her page, you will get updates with videos, photos and news items covering her and the family!! I think I'll like this just for the sheer randomness of it.


Texas Republicans are considering opting out of Medicaid to balance their budget shortfall. Seriously Texas? Medicaid covers millions of poor people including disabled and children. How about we change your state slogan from "don't mess with Texas" to "survival of the fittest". Here's an idea - ya'll could consider a pay cut or furloughs to help reduce the budget. Oh yeah, the rest of the country learned about work furloughs and paid it's due.


Speaking of cutting government salaries, check out this link for a list of what all the governor's make in this country. Okay so it's a little old; let's hope it hasn't gone up too much in the last 10 years because you know we are paying for it! Highlights from 2001:
  • New York Gov. George Pataki is the highest paid governor in the nation with a salary of $179,000
  • The lowest-paid governor in the country is Mike Johanns of Nebraska, whose salary is $65,000
  • The governors of 46 states are entitled to reside in an official residence. The only states which do not have governor's mansions are Arizona, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • 42 of the governors have access to a state airplane. The eight states which do not offer that official perk are Arkansas, Alaska, Connecticut, California, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont.
Oh look, Sarah Palin didn't have access to a state airplane! And I don't think Arnold Schwarzenegger needs a state airplane, he has enough money to own his own fleet! Oh and there's a budget saving for Texas, cut the state airplane and mansion!!!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Multitude Monday

One of my favorite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, writes a list of things she's thankful for every Monday.
Today I am most thankful for Water.  The following quotes taken from http://water.org/
  • Nearly one billion lack access to safe water.
  • In remote areas of Africa women travel miles each day to collect water for their families. It's dangerous and debilitating.
  • Haiti cholera outbreak highlights clean water crisis
 I’m thankful I was able to use water for the following things today and yesterday:

  • I drank 48oz of water per day
  • I used water to take a shower
  • I used water to make tea
  • I used water to give my children bathes
  • I used water to flush the toilet
  • I used water to boil sweet potatoes
  • I used water to cook frozen corn
  • I gave my daughter water to drink
 How did my family and I get blessed with so much free clean water?  Why don’t I thank God every day for this gift?  I really want to be more thankful for such an amazing and life sustaining gift.

Here is my growing list:
54.  Water
55.  Pumpkin cream cheese muffins in the fall
56.  60 degree weather in South Florida
57.  Health insurance coverage for my entire family
58.  Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
59.  A budget to make wonderful homemade desserts
60.  A church that constantly reminds me to give of my time and talents

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Walk with Him Wednesday: Compassion

I did it!  I finally balanced our budget so we could afford another Compassion child!  I selected a girl from Guatamala.  Why did I choose this country?  Because last week Ann Voskamp left a Twitter message saying there were 23 children who needed sponsors from this country.  There were 20 Saturday morning, 19 after I selected a girl.  I wish I could sponsor all of them but I'll keep crunching the numbers and maybe we can get a 3rd child some day.

How I did I crunch our budget?  Here's one way:

I have a huge fondness for Starbucks latte's and pumpkin muffins.  I think the price is around $5.00 for both.  If I get these once every weekend it's $20 per month.  Saturday I made 30 homemade pumpkin muffins!  That should last awhile!!  I also made a latte at home and we saved gas by staying home to make the muffins and my floors even got mopped!  I went outside to enjoy our balmy 60 degrees day and took cute photos of my kids.  Altogether a successful day for saving money and having fun with the kids!!

Still holding onto a dream

After I graduated from high school, I had no idea what to do with my life. I had no specific career goal in mind but I loved doing art so I decided to take a few random classes at the local junior college for a year to test a few things out. I took 3D & 2D art, 2 photography classes and 2 pottery classes. Both photography and pottery became lifetime passions. Photography is something I still practice today - with my children. Pottery is something that requires equipment, a place to build pots and amazing sculptures and cover them with beautiful glazes, a place to get really really dirty, and a kiln to bake the pots in.

My passion for pottery awakened an ability to create things in three dimensions, I never knew I could sculpt before these classes. It took a very creative teacher to asked us to sculpt a life size bust of ourselves, showed me how to make a mask, showed me how to throw pots and then use them to create bigger sculptures.

My dad was a huge fan of everything I made. I don't remember him making over the things I did in high school, although I'm sure he did, but with my pottery he was so complimentary and proprietary over everything I made. His favorite was of an old man sculpted into a crescent moon shape.

I had an amazing year and the energy propelled me into the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. My parents were nervous about seeing me move three hours away but I was so motivated to make ART that there was no stopping me.

This beginning in pottery lead me to a degree in Industrial Design - which is a broad industry term for anything three dimensional and included special effects for movies, product design, more pottery, arts & crafts, special effects make-up and toy design. I specialized in toy design since it was the most "fun" out of the group and am still working as a toy designer today. But I miss pottery. I dream about having a small studio some day where I can make more beautiful things. Fortunately my husband shares my dream and has promised to build a kiln for me some day, when we get to our dream home!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is:

Do you accept your co-workers as friends on facebook? (or twitter or other social media)

When I started Facebook 2 years ago, I thought it was just for close friends. I quickly received friend requests from everyone I grew up with, went to college with, worked with, etc. I tried creating rules like no current co-workers, no one I don't remember and no one I don't know. Before the first year was up I was friended by a co-worker so I could connect with someone on his friend list. Then more co-workers contacted me and I thought why not. By now my barriers are so broken down my list includes the following:

- family

- everyone from the church I grew with that has a facebook account

- high school friends

- classmates from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

- coffee house co-worker in Pittsburgh

- classmates from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

- people I worked with in California from 2002 - '03

- people I've worked with in Florida from 2004 - now

- blogger friends

- and finally almost everyone I'm currently work with barring the exception of my boss, but since the Director of Ops friended me there is not much that won't potentially filter to the top.

This list includes a wide range of beliefs and political views. It's common to read opposite views on abortion, politics and religion on a daily basis on my wall. I find it fascinating that I know such a wide range of people and I think it's a reflection of myself as an accepting individual.

Initially I wanted privacy in my Facebook page to post things I'd want close friends to read but after collecting this wide range of friends I keep comments general and family related. I firmly believe that nothing should be written in digital form that one would regret the entire world reading.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

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

Interns - I think every company should have them; they make what would be an ordinary day completely noteworthy. For example, we have a Chinese intern who's love of American culture includes wearing brand name labels like white Gucci shoes and belt, rap music and BMW's. Yesterday he wanted to join us for lunch so we made him drive - the entire way were treated to a bevy of hip hop music as he sang along. I now have "fly like a G6" memorized and stuck in my head.


Did you know floppy disks are now retired? Along with Walkman's? I really wish I had saved some of these relics. Bet they will be worth something some day!


That's all I got! Off to vote now. Hope ya'll have a great Tuesday!

Multitude Monday

44 friendships that last forever!
45 friends who remember details from high school that I've already forgotten
46 friends who love my kids and tell me how adorable they are
47 long days at the beach with or without my children
48 weekend with a friend I haven't seen in 4 years
49 giggling over cosmetics with a good friend
50 nice neighbors who celebrate Halloween
51 husband who's happy to watch the kids and give me a day off from the kids!
52 having a job that I enjoy
53 my beautiful boy Sam who's smiles make my entire day