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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square

After a hectic first week in Hong Kong I just want to be by myself for the entire weekend, but I know that too much alone time can lead to boredom and at times even depression because I start missing my family and get tired of being by myself.  Our Hong Kong GM suddenly invited me to a day out and I did not say no.  Even though I woke that morning feeling oddly out of sorts, didn't eat breakfast well, and felt all kinds of ickiness creeping I still went.  I'm so glad I did.  She treated me to a lovely day in a little fishing village.  I would have never been so adventurous on my own and it was a great distraction so that by the time I returned to my hotel at 6pm, I only had a few hours left to kill.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Six Word Saturday

This week is filled with terror,
Bombs in Boston, explosions in Texas
These are hard times to understand
Jesus - bring us comfort, peace, strength

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Travel Tips ~ Food

I struggle with food issues on when living out of a hotel for two weeks - it's the dependency on others to prepare my food that bothers me.  See I'm a big proponent of making homemade food for practically every meal at home so you can see why ordering every meal might be a bother.  So I've become a bit of a food hoarder.

Breakfast comes with the room so I use this to my advantage to order more then what I want to eat and save it in the little hotel fridge.

  • I save the milk pitcher that comes with the tea.  
  • I order extra yogurt to have as a snack later.  
  • I save the sugar container for tea later or whatever
  • This morning a bowl of berries.  
  • Last night, half my lasagna.  

It might sound a little strange, but when you want a snack and find yourself annoyed at picking up the phone, then being dressed modestly to have someone deliver the food well it pays off in the end.  The milk is great for evening tea which I can make myself with the hot pot in the room.

There is a microwave in the office so I'm going to see about heating up my lasagna for lunch.  One trip saved to a restaurant!

As a side note, my boss does pay for all meals and has not asked me to be thrifty, it's more a personal preference of privacy that motivates; sometimes I just get really tired of eating alone in a restaurant.

Random Tuesday ~ Hong Kong Edition

This is what was returned to me from hotel laundry.

They are telling me all the things that are wrong with this shirt by adding little sticky arrows.

It's my favorite shirt from Lucky Brand and yes I've worn it until it's a little frayed and the color might be starting to fade but it still needs cleaned so I guess I'll have to leave them a little note acknowledging the issues with said shirt.

I hearby solemnly swear to only wear clothes with no wear and tear to Hong Kong from this day forward.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Back to Hong Kong, after an 18mo hiatus

Thanks to baby #3 I've had a break from Hong Kong for 18 months but alas they need me so I'm headed back.

Here are the things I've forgotten, in the order of which I remembered them:

1. Retainer - can't go 2 weeks w/o that! Will need husband to drop off to my office to mail on Monday.

2. Toothbrush - replaced in airport.

3. Laptop - left on the security table, lady behind me brought it to me.

4. People Magazine - left on first plane but managed to go back and get it.

5. Left my phone charger in yellow bag that now resides in the overhead compartment about 3 rows forward. Not an insurmountable challenge but a rookie mistake.

6.  Found a corroded battery in my Bose headphones.  I guess I'd forgotten to remove the battery from maybe 2 years ago?  Removed it with tweezers and tried to clean it out with a napkin.  Spares not working.

Sigh! Hope that's all!!

Six Word Saturday

Friday, April 12, 2013

The beach, last day with my family before Hong Kong

I always take one day off before a major trip to pack and spend with the family.  Trips to Hong Kong must start on a Saturday morning because it is almost a 24 hour trip + time difference to arrive by Sunday night HK time!

Friday I was desperate to see the beach one last time before the trip.  Hong Kong is notorious for it's gray skies and I knew this would be my last chance to see sun.  The only tricky part was dropping Charlotte off for school and swearing we would be back to get her on time AND return to the beach for her turn!  I mean, one simply cannot pack a vehicle full of beach gear and drop the oldest off at school without suspicions being raised.

After dropping her off, we suddenly realized that this might be the first moment we've had as a couple with our third baby.  She was thrilled to have her two favorite people so even though it ran right into nap time we took her straight to the beach and catered to her every whim.

Back to school to get Charlotte, we arrive early and the teachers tell me they are all praying for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong.  They are so totally enthralled with what I do, it makes me laugh.  I finally make my way back to get Charlotte and after some negotiating over treasure box items we leave and make a quick stop for lunch.

Part two was HOT, we stayed about an hour to give Charlotte her fair share of beach time and packed up.  This is why we typically only stay for the morning but I'm really happy we had the time to accommodate her, she seemed to really enjoy herself and baby was a good sport about the weather.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Condo Tales ~ Makeover Time!

I stepped outside with the baby on my left hip and surveyed the crowd of girls gathered in front of our condo unit.  There were more then usual and they were all buzzing around a case of sorts.  My oldest ran up to investigate and found a Barbie case with make-up.  Suddenly it was make-over time and the owner of Barbie case was in charge.  First her sister was coated in eye shadow, then it was Charlotte's turn.  I snapped the following photos and marveled that Charlotte is so comfortable with girls of color.  Is that okay to say?

Charlotte Comic ~ Dragon Dreams

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Random Tuesday

Random updates:

From my NPR facebook feed:
When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died Monday, the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead popped up on Twitter. For some, it was the pop star's name that stood out to them, not Thatcher's.

Last night I took my wedding rings off, and left them on the couch!  Who does that?  Furthermore, I didn't discover the missing rings until 11:00am the next day! 

I'm leaving for Asia for 2 weeks on Saturday.  Maybe that's why I'm getting forgetful.  Bah.  I think it's time for orange juice and vitamins, that always perks me up.

That's all I got!  Have a great Tuesday.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Perfect Beach Day with my Girls

When Charlotte began crawling it was long before she became extremely bored of the condo, I found myself dragging her outside every weekend to the beach or some outdoor space.  It would serve to wear her out and she was easier to manage in the afternoon, allowing me the space to go shopping with screaming her head off.  At least that's how I remember it.  Being the third child, Violette has had far less opportunity to go to the beach.  Usually we are so busy on the weekends that we just can't seem to manage a day off to play.  So with Sam in Texas and husband planning a morning at the hardware store, I took both girls to the beach myself.  I can handle two, especially since one is a crawler.

Perfect day with my girls!

Six Word Saturday

Friday, April 05, 2013

How we create independent children

 See that travel tab in the menu bar?  It's not exclusive for mom!  Every family member gets their own travel agenda.  Sam's started when his Texas Mema called a few weeks back asking which grand  kid she could "borrow".  We offered Sam because Charlotte's in pre-school and Violette screams her head off when anyone touches her but mom and dad.  

So we packed his bags including his favorite Woody plush toy and sent him to Texas for two weeks.  Check it out, not a moments hesitation.  Two years old and fully confident.

I've heard rumors that he's living the good life in Texas with Dairy Queen for lunch and trips to Petsmart.  It's good to be the center of attention for two weeks.  He deserves it for putting up with two demanding sisters.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

My youngest is now one year old

My baby is one year old today.  She’s so delicate and tiny that at her six month appointment her doctor wrote “failure to thrive” on her chart.  She defied that doctor by packing on two pounds in the following two months and is currently 15lbs.  She’s a little fighter, going from happy to screaming mad in seconds.  I really do understand that as #3 she needs to fight for our time, but she doesn’t even bother with the wind up.  There is no 0 to 60 seconds; it’s more like 0 to 2 seconds.  Immediate and high intensity screaming and once picked up, all is fine.  It’s a very good thing that she’s so small because she’s turning out to be even more of a dictator then Charlotte was in that we have to hold her so much!

No one believes me because she’s so angelic with her giant doe eyes, tiny bow lips, little fringed bangs but reach for her and she will let you know immediately that only mom and dad have permission to hold her Highness.

I think the one thing that startled me the most about Violette from the beginning is her absolute steady calmness as she first observed her siblings.  I was a bit afraid that they might scare her because they are quite boisterous but she simply gazed at them as if to say, hello, I already know and claim you as my family.  I mean I quite get that she had absorbed their noises while in the womb but the moment when she laid eyes on them was just so poignant for me.   I guess I had prepared myself to quickly move the others in case they tried to poke at her face or eyes but they were completely enthralled with her.   Sibling rivalry completely put aside as they gazed in absolute adoration at her.

Charlotte shows her continued adoration buy waxing on and on about all the lovely things she will hand down to Violette when she gets older.  I’m talking prized possessions being promised away.  I’m really quite curious to see how this turns out in a few years – will there be screaming fits of “she’s taking my things”?  Will this adoration continue?  I hope so.

I must confess a very bad thing, I hoped for another boy the 3rd time around – I really did.  I was feeling a bit traumatized by Charlotte’s first two years and worried I wasn’t up for another high maintenance girl.  But you know what, I absolutely adore my baby Violette.  She has an utter calmness about her that is so reassuring and sweet, I feel like I can take her anywhere and she will just calmly sit on my hip.  I had hoped this calmness might endure but she’s suddenly given way to an intense desire to be put down to explore so even when I want to hold her she wiggles so hard that I have to put her down for fear of dropping her! 

My favorite thing about Violette – well that’s hard to pin down yet since she’s only 1 year old and suddenly reinventing herself.  I guess I could say she’s a girl who knows what she wants, immediately and without any hesitation.  I like that quality in a girl.  Let’s see how this plays out in her life!

Favorite birthday toy

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Random Tuesday - If you make enough noise, they WILL listen!

In recent Florida news, a professor at FAU asked the class to write the name Jesus onto a piece of paper, put it on the floor and stomp on it.  One student refused and the school suspended the student from the class.

Really FAU?  If you had asked them to write Mohammad's name you'd be immediately entered into a hit list and American lives would potentially be lost in a middle east uprising.  If you had mentioned many other religious figures you would be raked across the coals so how DARE you think it's okay to do this to Jesus?  

News stories can be found here, here and here.

After a week of national outcry, FAU reversed their decision to suspend the student and all charges were dropped.

It disturbes me on multiple levels that an outcry had to happen for FAU to reverse their decision but this serves to reinforce my point that if you make enough noise you can effect change.

The second story that caught my attention this week was of a young lady in her Sophomore year of high school who got pregnant and recently had her baby.  She wanted to return to school and asked the nurse for a place to pump.  The nurse refused and said she would have to go 8 hours a day without pumping.  Now as a mom who has had three children and returned to work and had a nice comfy spot to pump I was outraged.  This girl was trying to do her best for her child and return to school.  Lucky for her within a week of this hitting the news waves, the school reversed their decision.  Isn't that awesome!?!

Hope ya'll have a great Tuesday!