Home Family Art Homemade Frugal Living Travel

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to awesome working mom blogger @ Work, Wife, Mom, Life

Just another day in toy world...

Interviews are no fun when the interviewer forgets to give you a phone number and address so you are forced to send an email saying you are a little lost because the information on internet still shows old address. Sorry candidate. At least we only moved in the same complex.

Then interviewer is tired, with frazzled hair, a little sick and just asks wide open questions like - tell me about a typical day at your current job and why do you want to switch to toys? Then stares blankly at you while desperately trying to focus on what you are saying. Sorry candidate; I was paying attention. You really got my attention when you started talking about how you know alot about quality leather and I suddenly became aware of my shoes and very glad I had left the scuffed pair at home - wwwwhew!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 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.

- Random Questions -

Is it acceptable to attend an interview in sweat pants? What if you are the interviewer and they are new black sweat pants and don't really look like sweat pants and the weather is 35 degrees outside and the heater at work sucks?

Is it acceptable to tell the orthodontist you are late because you didn't want to get out of bed?

Is writing this post really a productive use of time when late for ortho appointment? I guess I have to do something while eating pumpkin pancakes.

Stay warm people!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the new pink Barbie dog purse!!!

Santa's little helper?

Merry Christmas friends, here's a few fun photos of my kids I had to share. Hope you all have a wonderful day!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A little break

I don't know what to follow the below post with. There are no words. So I'm taking a little break to enjoy the holidays with my family. I'll be back the first of the new year. Happy holidays friends and thanks for your kind comments.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm so sorry Jill, I failed you

I just heard the news that you died, a year ago, December 14th. I'm sorry I haven't bothered to call, until now. I didn't know. I wondered throughout the year why you hadn't called. Your last words to me in late 2009 were "hey, you know you can call me sometimes". I got busy, found out I was pregnant on December 2nd and then my entire world revolved around that pregnancy. I never once thought to call and let you know. I knew your boyfriend had gone to jail and you were depressed. I should have gone and gotten you, brought you home with me, given you an alternative. Instead you went back to that old boyfriend who did all the drugs and overdosed with him.

I was your only real friend and I treated you so carelessly. I'm so sorry.

We met in 1999 at Smoothie King, you were 16 years old, a high school drop out. We used to have so much fun together singing and laughing while we worked. You had alot of problems with your family. You ran to bad men who treated you carelessly. You made brave attempts to improve your life, moving in with your grandparents, working at a covenant, I wonder if anyone has told them? You came back to Fort Lauderdale a few years ago and I said to myself "yeah, my friend is back, I'll hang out with her". But I was grossed out by your boyfriend, always drunk, in his underwear. You understood but we could have at least met somewhere else, spent time together. I think we saw each other twice in that time. Once while I was pregnant, and once after Charlotte was born. I got so busy being a mother that I forgot to make time for friends, especially friends who genuinely needed me.

I knew you had a drug problem but every time you called you said you were doing better. Once, when you moved mid-west to be with your grandparents, I sent you a book called "Rachel's Holiday" a story of a girl who went to rehab. A half hearted attempt to meet your need.

When you were in the mid-west, I promised to take you on a weekend cruise if you got your GED, you did, I never followed through.

I had careless thoughts about you, like she's 27, when I was that age I was traveling to Asia, had a responsible job, was married, when is she going to get her life together?

I'm making you sound really bad here, drugs, bad men, disaster family but in light of all that you were so sweet and kind. You genuinely loved me, cared about me, would have done anything for me. I made half hearted attempts to help, offering to go get you when things were bad, you always said no don't worry about me. You weren't a moocher, you never asked for money or anything. You were a good decent person.

Maybe I couldn't have done anything to save you, but I could have been a better friend. Words cannot express my sorrow at knowing your gone.

post script:
After writing this I wondered, maybe her boyfriend had lied to me, maybe he was just mad at her and was getting revenge. Maybe she left town. Then I googled her name and her obituary came up, I found her mother's name and found her on Facebook. Her mom suspects foul play. Then I remembered more of my last conversation with Jill. She had gone back to the old boyfriends house and flushed away a very expensive drug. I was shocked that she would do that, worried for her safety but she laughed it off and said he needed to learn to stop using that stuff. Does it make me feel any better to learn more? Not really, but I'm really glad I connected with her mom briefly. I still can't believe she's gone - death is so final.

My Perfect Baby

Words cannot describe how grateful and ecstatic I am with my perfect baby boy. He is so relaxed and calm. In the morning he's patient while we tend to his sister first - or she throws a major fit (but I'm thinking of switching this because she's getting way too demanding and shouldn't expect to be first always). He happily eats and is then complaisant to sit in his bouncer while we buzz around getting breakfast, taking the dog out and getting ready for work. While observing our morning ritual he falls back into dreamland with a nap that takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. He is a dream baby.

His sister was the exact opposite - we couldn't put her down without risk of screaming bloody murder. Maybe 5 minutes at best to grab a quick breakfast, she MIGHT last slightly longer while one scarfed down the food - she was a very time-consuming child to say the least. I wrote to no avail with requests for information as to when it's okay to let a screaming child stay in her crib when there is clearly nothing wrong and all I got was information stating that in their first year they need to learn that mommy and daddy are going to meet their needs and so they shouldn't be left alone to "cry it out" or it would lead to a lifetime of problems. So we walked her and walked her and showed her the world from arms perch. At night she took an ENTIRE HOUR to put to sleep. Rocking, walking, rocking, walking, we'd take turns.

Sam frequently falls asleep in his bouncer or playpen. Even when held he falls asleep very quickly and then only needs held for 15-20 minutes and never ever wakes up screaming the second he hits the crib. He is a dream baby.

Sam plays! He loves to play with toys in his playpen, crib, bouncer or hanging from his car seat. Charlotte didn't play with toys until almost 1.5! I was convinced all baby toys were a complete sham! She just didn't care about anything but being in our arms, up high and seeing the world. She's an adventurous, high spirited little girl and I wouldn't trade her for the world but even so I am so so so glad my son is chill.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is: Your life in pictures (share your work, your home, your Christmas, etc)!!

I develop toys in partnership with an office in Hong Kong and Vietnam so almost every evening I'm in front of the computer checking emails and chatting with co-workers on SKYPE.

Does this flannel make my arms look big? Oh well, it's strangely 35 degrees in South Florida, that's like it getting chilly at the equator. Anyway, here I sit and clarify all the little details that somehow get missed in daily communication. It seems like no matter how much effort I put into art packages, they will always find a question to ask. I chalk it up to different cultures thinking differently.

Some nights I sit here till midnight and then I go into work late the next day. Honestly I'd prefer to sleep at 10 but I get sucked into this web of communication and then while waiting for someone to reply I do things like write this post.

I like my home office, it's has a big mirror to make it seem brighter so I'm not facing a wall; I have Christmas decorations around me and photos the remainder of the year.

Almost done, and I think they are done with me because replies are down to "got it". So once I finish a piece of pie I'm going to bed (written Tuesday night, ending 11pm)!!

Have a nice Wednesday friends.

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.

- Random thoughts about the weather and other stuff -

Well we finally got our first 35 degree night - you may all laugh heartily since I only have one other South Florida reader who will genuinely commiserate with my pain. But seriously I get more concerned about the poor iguana's falling from the trees because when it get's this cold they fall asleep and drop like flies. If it stays cold too long, they die but fortunately it's going up to 57 today so they should be okay.

I just looked up "drop like flies" and can't find the origin of this phrase. No wonder English is so hard to teach.
Random stuff my husband says, "Let's go atom smashing!", and "oh look my jelly went back to normal."

When our daughter was born, husband came home with a stack of little pink towels and proudly called them “hers”. She stopped needing them for reflux a long time ago and now they clean up her messes like purple crayon scribbled all over the big screen plasma TV.

Speaking of my precious daughter, here she is sleeping somewhere other than her bed, with a toy she stole from her brother's crib.

Oh yeah, we are going through the "mine, mine, mine" stage.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Worst shopping trip - EVER!

Dear Associate,

Congratulations on your first baby! Boss gave me permission to buy a few things at Target yesterday, I asked for a budget and was told to use my best judgement so you are getting a nice pile of gifts. I started out reasonably in the bath section, you are getting a lovely California baby bath bubble set that is supposed to sooth cranky babies. Not saying it will happen but if your new darling does get cranky, you will be desperate to try anything on the market that promises to sooth. At this point in the store, I wished I had something to try because my two darlings broke out into matching wails so I may have thrown in a few more things that are totally random. I did make sure to get diapers in the 10+ range because mine outgrew newborn diapers in two weeks.

Next we moved onto the toy section but due to the volume of screaming from the 2 year old I may have thrown in other random things that you will find confusing (a mesh bag that baby can suck food through??), don't worry, as a new parent it's important to try everything once. I finally let her out of the stroller but as I was browsing the pacifiers she disappeared in the shelving unit that holds all the strollers and we played a game of "catch the toddler while 4mo is strapped to your chest". Good times. She went back in the stroller.

We moved onto clothing where I quickly found some nice 3mo outfits to the tune of toddler noise reaching a level unheard of but I'm quite sure I got the right sizes and gender.

Due to the level of insubordination, you got many more gifts than I had planned but I'm sure you will enjoy them all.

Best of luck,


Saturday, December 11, 2010

HELP! My house smells like diapers & stinky dog!

We rarely have guests in our home, it's probably due to a number of factors but suffice to say I hit the panic button when someone new is to arrive.

The photographer who took Sam's photo in the hospital called recently to offer a free in home sitting and a free 5x7 portrait. Free? Why not? So she's coming today between 4:30 - 5:30 and I have all day to clean. Okay I'm kidding I'm not that OCD - I stayed up late last night getting most of the cleaning done. Now the only concerns remaining are stinky dog and cloth diapers rotting in spare bathroom.

What if she needs to use the bathroom? Better get those diapers cleaned this morning. But sadly just the simple walk from bathroom to washer has made my entire house smell like diapers. So the windows are open, all the fans are on, Fabreeze has been sprayed. This will work!

Is there time to wash the dog? Maybe I'll drop him off at Petsmart - oh wait husband took the coupons - nooooooooooooooooooo! They are always too busy for a drop off anyway. Maybe I'll wash him myself - that would be a first.

Then there's the porch - husband forgot to take the trash out so it's sitting on the porch with other boxes. Our porch is so ghetto.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is:
Top Ten things about the Christmas season (that you love, don't love, etc.)

1. Baby's first Christmas! His first stocking, showing him the Christmas Tree. Putting him in cute Christmas outfits. He will be 5 months old right after Christmas. Such a cute age!

2. Photos, photos, photos! I love Christmas holiday photo shoots. Last year was easy, 15mo on the beach in a pretty dress, let her play and run, take candid shots. I knew this year would be different. If I went back to the beach she would play and ignore me and I would not be able to get her and Sam in the same photo. So we put them in a big round papsan chair on the lawn to get afternoon lighting, and we put them in the big red wagon. It worked! Our Christmas card is below.

3. Cookies! I love baking so this year I decided to make cookies as presents. I've made 14 dozen so far. Hope it's enough!

4. Flowers - I love buying a Poinsetta - got this years at Home Depot on black Friday for $1.00!!! I also found a crimson red Amarilis that bloomed for Thanksgiving and is blooming again for Christmas.

5. Operation Christmas Child - it's an organization that distributes shoe boxes full of presents to poor children around the world. This year we filled 3 boxes! It was so much fun to gather all the stuff - school supplies, hygene items, candy and toys!

1. Crowds

2. Fruit cake

3. Egg Nog

4. Long Lines!

5. The fact that Christmas is so full of consumerism.

Tuesday, December 07, 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.

- Random thoughts about Christmas -

1. Is Christmas a Christian holiday? My Jewish co-worker thinks it is, but all my atheists and agnostic friends celebrate Christmas and they wouldn't be caught dead celebrating something Christian. So friends - what does Christmas mean to you?

2. For the past 3 days I've been making Christmas cookies - 14 dozen in total. I had the brilliant idea (if I may say so myself) to use up all the Halloween candy in Christmas cookies. I started with a double batch Chocolate Cookie recipe (minus the chips), cut up/unwrapped all the candies and made the following styles:
  • Kit Kat
  • Hersey's Milk Chocolate
  • 2 squares of a Godiva chocolate bar
  • M&M (not cut up)
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Also made 2 dozen peanut butter and 5 dozen Mocha Sandwich Cookies. I'm giving them away as gifts.

3. Shutterfly was kind enough to send me 50 free Christmas cards for writing a post about them, now I need to find 50 friends! So last night as I was updating my list I had to make a few changes:
  • 1 death
  • 2 moves
  • 1 divorce - two new addresses
  • 1 friend needs a home
  • need to get addresses for 20 more friends
4. South Florida has gotten a cold spell, 40 degrees today. So timely for Christmas! I'm so excited to break out the sweaters today!!

5. Our tree is up, the lights died the next day. No decorations are on the tree - why did we buy so many breakable things before having kids? Why didn't we use that time to compile a nice collection of soft non-breakable pretty objects?

Enjoy Random Tuesday!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Merry Tree Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Finally off the hampster wheel!

The week after Thanksgiving is always a busy time catching up from the small break. This one was compounded with my right hand girl announcing her two week resignation. Thus begins the race to post an ad, find a replacement, reorganize the department a bit and call in an old colleague who's willing to help for the interim.

Every day I worked long hours, came home at my daughter's bedtime almost every day and stayed up till midnight to do household chores - the more I get done the more I can spend time with the kids on the weekend!

Today I got home from work at 2pm - finally off the hamster wheel of work - my daughter grabs my hand and announces "let's dance". What a fun way to begin the weekend. No worries, just dance.

Sam - four months old

15.25 lbs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Linking to Work, Wife,Mom...Life! for Working Mommy Wednesday. For this week the discussion is: Writer's choice - I choose interns

Interns can be both a blessing and a hassle. A good intern will bring fresh ideas and work independently, a bad intern will just sit around and look for excuses to leave early.

I've been working with interns for 10 years and they all come from the school I graduated from so I can quickly spot their strengths and weaknesses. Students must take an internship as a class, it's a requirement for graduation. I fill out paperwork every week on their performance and they are graded based on my comments.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing a GREAT intern and I can't wait for this person to come on board in January. Here are the qualities that make this person GREAT:
  • Persistence in calling - she left two messages before I managed to get back to her. I will return an email faster than a phone call but the latter is more warm and friendly.
  • Genuine excitement for the toy industry and not just babbling about how much fun it is to work with toys, serious focused excitement. She talked about her upcoming trip to New York and her intention to go trend shopping so we gave her several toy locations to scout out and asked her to take photos of any cool toys she might find. I'll be really impressed if she comes back with lots of photos.
  • She talked highly about her teachers which is a sign of respect.
  • A well crafted follow up email thanking me for the interview, conveying her excitement and even saying she had looked forward to our interview for some time. Very serious girl.
My worst intern was apparently bored out of her mind. Every week she would make up excuses to not come in; I think she made the doctor excuse 5 times in an 11 week internship (inititally I thought she might be deathly ill)! After this repeated delinquancy she didn't even show up - no call, no email. I sent an email asking what happened. She said her grandfather had died and she was out of the state for the entire week. Unfortunately for her I had another intern that I trusted very much who was in class WITH her several times that week - total lie. So I fired her. The only time I've fired an unpaid intern.

Two weeks later she left a tea and cookie basket with her internship paperwork inside. A bribe? She wanted me to still fill out her paperwork so she could pass the class! Of course I didn't fill it out.

I've become very selective with internships; it's as serious as applying for a full time job. If the internship goes well, it can lead to part time work for the student while they are in school. If that goes well it leads to a full time job after graduation which works out brilliantly for me because I've had a full year to train them and they come on board well past the learning curve of a new hire.