Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pictures!

Christian said I'd get more comments if I posted more pictures, so here goes...
Hannah styled her own hair.. and insisted on wearing it like this to school!The kids styled their hair, using dishwater and the baby bottle brush.

Aren't my guys cute?
Rachel's "I need to go to the bathroom" pose.

Good buddies!
She was so mad I made her go to bed! I found her here at 10:30 at night, after spending hours trying to get her to go to sleep. So stubborn!
Hannah loves to give me cheesy smiles when I try to take her pictures. Check out her curly pigtails!
What can I say? I have an adorable baby!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

So this situation was probably in response to two things: Robyn's concern that I'm vacationing while she takes care of the kids, and my smug comments on nice hotels while visiting suppliers. The last time I stayed in India, I was at a 5 star hotel where even the bathrooms had attendants. During the visit I made some off-hand comments to my host about how much the bottled water costs, and he remarked that he only stays there if he is with Americans. He usually stays at a local hotel chain called Lemon Tree Hotels. He said they're more like a Marriott Courtyard or something like that.
This time he booked us into the Lemon Tree Hotel. I checked it out online, and it actually looked quite nice. When I checked in, the employees were very nice and the lobby and restaurant looked very neat. However, when I got to my room, it seemed like I was back in my college days in a dorm room. Not only is the room quite small, but it is almost unbearably hot. The weather here is above 100 and my room has no AC, just a fan.


Just a quick look at what I'm doing during most of my trip: my major purpose is to observe how suppliers are inspecting and controlling critical features. I then provide feedback and, if necessary, ask them to implement some corrective actions.

She got away!

I joined the local YMCA so that I could exercise a few times a week and, honestly, so I could do it without the kids staring at me. The kids like it occasionally. Rachel really wants to jump in the pool, so we have a debate every day just getting into the place. And then, she likes to escape the "Tot Spot." The very first time I took the kids, I left them in the child care center, slipped out to the bathroom, and as I left the bathroom, I met Rachel in the hallway. No one in the Tot Spot seemed to know she had left. Before leaving her, I should make a point that I had discussed her situation with the leaders and made sure they were okay with having a deaf kid to watch. I took her back, making sure they knew what had happened, and about 20 min. later they came to get me, saying that she was throwing a fit. After that, we had a few uneventful days. Today, she escaped again. This time, the people at the front desk saw her and brought her back to the Tot Spot before anyone there even knew she was missing. After that, she was fairly upset and only then did they come get me. Hmmm... wonder if this is working?

A look at Taiwan



I really enjoyed Taiwan. The weather was warm (mid to high 80s), but nice. The people were very friendly, and the city was clean and orderly. I was impressed that we never got stuck in traffic even though we stayed "downtown" in a 1.5 million people city. Part of the reason for this is the number of scooters they use. Scooters have their own lanes, and we saw more scooters than cars. Also, the city was very green - many trees, shrubs and flowers and they appeared to be well kept. Kaohsiung is a great city. You'll notice from the group photo that Taiwanese are rather small.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sugar on my keyboard

I'm afraid to type on my keyboard because Hannah an a friend ate polpsicles while they played computer gamesd ands dribbled sdugar syrup all over so the keys stick (ands add lettersd where I dson't want them!). I'll try to clean it up (my sdpelling, at least) before I post this.
So, I'm surviving Christian's "vacation" (what else can I call it? Did you see his hotel? and all the stamps in his passport! I don't even have a passport!). The kids have mostly behaved and all in all, its gone fairly smoothly. However, its only been two days, and tonight I have to take them to my Young Women's meeting. So fun!
Speaking of YW, I am determined to get my medallion again. They've changed the necklace since I was a girl, and its so much easier to get it as a leader. Maybe I can collect the pendants and make a charm necklace out of them! So I'm working on a 10-hr value project for Knowledge-- and I'm making two twin-size quilts for my girls--way more than 10-hrs worth of work! I designed the pattern and have cut the fabric. Now I'm working on sewing the blocks together. It will be fairly simple, but I'm not much of a sewer. When I was in Provo, which is the last time I attempted something like this, I had Christian's mother to help me. She bought me my sewing machine. Now its just me and my machine, and I don't really know how to trouble-shoot the machine. So far, so good, though. The quilts probably won't match my original vision, but they'll be cute. Christian and I picked out the fabric on a date night a few weeks ago. He likes things that are bright and fun, like the "I love Daddy, I love Mommy" fabric that I refused to put on the front but agreed to use as the backing. I picked softer fabrics and florals, and we agreed on a shiny purple, satiny sequined fabric. So, there are lots of fabrics, lots of patterns, and we'll see how it turns out. I just wanted to post about my project so I'm being accountable to someone. I'm also working on a Individual Worth project on health and fitness (I'm joined the YMCA and will research good weight loss fitness technique and diet), and a Choice & Accountability project on financial management. The big projects are more fun than the little ones.
With Christian gone, I don't fix computer problems as quickly. I'm having some problems downloading pictures, but as soon as I figure it out, I'll post some cute kid photos.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Asian Tour - Flight to Kaohsiung (Taiwan)

So, if any of you aren't aware, I'm off visiting suppliers (I'm a Supplier Quality Engineer) on an extended visit to Taiwan, India, South Korea, and China. I've decided to blog every day or two - at least to share some pictures.

The Flight -

My flight left Kalamazoo at 11:40 am on Sunday morning. At first I thought the timing would work out alright with at least part of church - we have 9:00 am Sacrament Meeting - but it ended up that Stake conference was last weekend. So instead of going to Stake Conference, Robyn and the kids dropped me off at the airport. For only the second time this year, all my flights left on-time and arrived early. I flew from Kalamazoo to Chicago, Chicago to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Kaohsiung (Taiwan). It's a good thing work goes for business class on these trips because they're long.

Here's a view from my window as we flew into Tokyo:

I pictured Japan being this sprawling megalopolis - urban everywhere kind of place, but the countryside we flew over looked beautiful. I got into Kaohsiung at 9:00 pm Monday night and it turned out the hotel had forgotten to send someone to pick us up. Hector (a fellow SQE from Mexico - he's with me for the Taiwan segment) and I got a cab instead and ended up saving money anyway. The cool thing about visiting suppliers instead of company locations is that suppliers always want to impress you and recommend nice hotels. We're staying at the Grand Hi-La Hotel in downtown Kaohsiung and, although I'm not staying in anywhere near the nicest room, my room is quite nice.

I'm on the 39th floor overlooking the harbor - the sixth busiest in the world.





The city seems rather large.

One other thing - we got a smaller webcam for my laptop so I could talk with Rachel during this 4 week trip. I tried it out last night (morning?) and it was slow, but worked. We were able to talk. We're going to set up daily video chats from now on.

Toodles for now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sweet Nothing

There's a movie on CBS tonight abouty a family making the decision to get (or not get) a Cochlear Implant. Here's the link to an article about it: http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/18/apontv.sweetnothing.ap/index.html

I haven't seen it and am not saying it'll be good, and I'm not saying you should watch it on Sunday, but there are some interesting discussions about the issue. I tend to be pro-implant because of my experience with Rachel, but every time I move and meet with new specialists, I remember that there are people on the other side of the issue with equally strong opinions. I probably need to take some time to be more understanding of the other arguments.
Here's the trailer for the movie:
http://www.hallmark.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/article1000110051/HallmarkSite/HallmarkHallOfFame/HHOF_TOP?landingPage=hallmarkhalloffame&hostName=www.hallmarkhalloffame.com

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just a quickie


A week ago we celebrated the first new episode of "The Office" with a little party--balloons, our favorite diet soda, and one cookie each. Tonight its on again!
Aaron is sleeping through the night, and so am I. So much easier than I expected! He is also weaning himself off breast milk. He's only 7 months, so I have mixed feelings, but he was absolutely no interest in nursing.
Christian leaves this Sunday for 4 weeks, and I'm starting to panic. What am I going to do on my own for that long!!!!!???? Many thanks to my sister, Dana, who is going to skip part of her 8th grade standardized testing to help me out for a few days...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I got tagged...

I usually don't do e-mail forwards or tagging, but my niece tagged me, and when it comes from a cute 8-yr-old, I just have to do it. So here are the rules. Natalie tagged me. She's #1, DeAnn is #2, and I'm #3... Copy and paste to your own post. You have to answer the question but you can't repeat anyone else's answer. Make sure you copy and paste the previous answers. At the end of the questions, tag 3 people.

Name something you use in the shower.
1. Conditioner
2. Shampoo
3. Water
Name something people hate to find on their windshield.
1. Bird Poop
2. A crack
3. A ticket
Name something a man might buy before a date.
1. Flowers
2. a DVD
3. breathmints
Name something you'd cook in the microwave.
1. Ramen Noodles
2. Popcorn
3. frozen veggies
Name a piece of furniture people need help moving.
1. Piano
2. Washing machine
3. couch
Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner.
1. Gets into the garbage
2. Sniffing visitors
3. shed hair?
Name a kind of test you cannot study for.
1. Pop Quiz
2. Drug screen
3. vision test
Name something a boy scout gets a badge for.
1. Making fire
2. Knot tying
3. learning to swim
Name a phrase with the word "home" in it.
1. Love at Home
2. Home is where the heart is.
3. Start at Home (HGTV!)
Name a sport where players lose teeth.
1. Football
2. Boxing
3. Hockey
Name something a teacher can do to ruin a student's day.
1. Put them in detention
2. Be absent
3. Give homework over vacation
Name a bird you wouldn't want to eat.
1. Crow
2. Hummingbird
3. Robin
Name something that gets folded.
1. Towel
2. Laundry
3. A bad hand in a card game
Name something a person wears even if it has a hole in it.
1. Underwear
2. Jeans
3. t-shirt (always has 4 holes)
Name something that gets smaller the more you use it.
1. Thread
2. Eraser
3. stick of butter

I tag whoever likes to be tagged. Annelise? Jennie? Who reads my blog?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Again!

Aaron didn't wake up once last night...and neither did I!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I finally did it!

Last night I decided to let Aaron "cry it out." When he first woke up at 10:00, I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child for support (it says that after about four months of age, baby's nighttime wakings are not related to hunger). It actually only took 20 minutes or so, and one attempt to replace his pacifier, to calm him down. I'm very fortunate that Nathan is such a good sleeper (the boys share a room ) because he woke up again later and cried longer, but the bottom line is that it worked, and Aaron still smiled when he saw me in the morning. I'll do it again tonight. I'm trying to get him sleeping through the night before Christian leaves on this next big trip so I don't go crazy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rachel's party




I'm really interested in helping Rachel develop friendships with hearing and deaf kids--anything social would help her. So this year we threw her a birthday party for the first time. We invited a few girls from church and from her school class and had a total of four girls come. Small is good, especially when you add my four kids...
We started with a simple craft. I purchased wooden cut-outs of the first letter of the kids' names, then we painted them and added ribbon and small decorations. I think they turned out pretty cute! And it was simple enough that the kids could handle it and it didn't cause a headache. Then we headed downstairs for games. Christian designed a bean bag toss-game-- he drew a frog on cardboard and the kids threw bean bags through its mouth. I made a pin-the-bee -on-the-flower game. The kids weren't as interested in the games, but I think they were pretty cute. Afterwards, we headed back upstairs for a flower cake, then gifts, and then shuffled the kids outside to play. The whole thing only took an hour, was very simple, and I think they had fun. Success!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Daddy is watching the kids?

Dads have their own special way of taking care of kids. Here are a few of my favorite picts of Christian and his brother Jonathan (mostly from Easter weekend) being in charge of the kids.



I'm blessed

I just feel really blessed. Today was practically perfect in every way--gorgeous, warm and sunny, busy, and fun. We spent the morning doing a crash-cleaning job to get ready for Rachel's party, which went really well (pictures to come). I really love Conference weekend, even if I can't give it my full attention. It was just a good day. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful family, and for all my faults, I'm feeling pretty good (at least for today--check back tomorrow!). Just thought I'd share.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Media

I just thought I'd share a few of my latest favorite time-killers.
Last weekend Christian and I watched Dan in Real Life--the funniest, most enjoyable movie I've seen in a long time. I definitely recommend it! Its fun to see Steve Carrell in a more serious role (its sort of a dramedy). I kept thinking about Christian, 10 or so years from now, trying to deal with our girls. Also, our favorite movie before that one is Stardust--with a great cast. It was a very original, enjoyable movie, and I'm reading the book now so I'll let you know if its any good.
I've found a few great websites for kids. In addition to the Nick Jr and Disney sites, check out Starfall.com, DisneyFairies.com, and AGKidZone.com. Hannah also likes the Polly Pocket website, but I'm not sure what it is. The Kid Zone site has good coloring pages and paper dolls.
And of course, I'm hooked on American Idol. Brooke White is my favorite, but I can see why everyone loves David Archuleta. I also think Sayesha Mercado and Michael Johns are pretty good. My favorite new song, however, is Michael Buble's Everything. Check it out on YouTube--I want to dance whenever I hear it!
My biggest time-killer is blog-browsing-- I check people's blogs, even if they don't tend to update them very often. So update them!
And of course, I'm so excited for the return of The Office next week.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our little pixie is 4?



It's hard to believe that four years have gone by since I got called out of my Senior Co-op final presentation to go with Robyn to the hospital in Payson. I think that even though it was Robyn's first VBAC, DeAnn's dad still slipped her a little Pitosin to help things along. Rachel was born, failed her newborn hearing screenings, and after a year with an incompetent audiologist, we learned she was profoundly deaf. It's been an interesting ride so far - Hannah and Nathan have been great in adapting to her disability. Even Jonathan and DeAnn's children, Natalie and Megan, have started to accomodate Rachel as they play together.

For Rachel's birthday, Robyn and I put together a "Bear" birthday cake in honor of Rachel's favorite stuffed animal. We put training underpants on Bear when Rachel started potty training to encourage her to want to wear underpants.

For Rachel's birthday, she got a bouncy ball (intended for outdoor use) and two dolls. We were looking for a good doll bed to go with her dolls, and found that pet beds are much cheaper. We haven't told the kids it's really a pet bed because we don't want Hannah to try to claim it for her stuffed brown doggy.