Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Writer on Five Nuts in a Nutshell

Please check out the guest post that I wrote for my friend's blog. It's called Reusable and Sustainable Baby and Mommy Products and it's something that I'm hoping will get people thinking a little "greener" and a little smarter about the products they buy for themselves.

Please read it and post any other ideas you have. Let's be less wasteful and more environmentally conscience!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fridge

So I noted in my Easter Post that my fridge was acting a little funny. Well... it kept turning off all Easter Sunday. I texted my landlord about it and he had someone come check it out. He managed to get the fridge to stop turning off and some people would come check it out the next day. I was so afraid that night that my fridge would be off when I went downstairs for breakfast.

Well, my fridge wasn't off, but the refrigerator wasn't working. The freezer was working fine, but the fridge was at like 16°C (60°F). That is NOT cool (literally). So the whole day I was stuck at home hoping the guys could fix my fridge. Our fridge connects to a voltage stabilizer that looked like it was from 1970 and so the guy replaced that. The fridge stopped turning off, but then the whole thing stopped cooling. The freezer was at about 3°C (37°F) and the fridge was at about 20°C (68°F). They worked the whole day on it and didn't get it working.

Basically my food had already spend a day and a half warming up. I called my neighbor to see if she could help me out. Luckily she is super sweet and had a basically empty fridge/freezer. I was able to take all my freezer stuff over to her house and she's keeping it for me. There's still a lot of food that I had to throw away though. I hate that. This is the second time I've had a fridge crap out on me. The first time was in our house in FW and we bought a new one.

Supposedly today the guys will come over and replace the refrigeration box in the fridge. I hope they can get it working. I HATE not having a fridge. I'm basically stuck here at home again though until it's fixed. That's lame and I don't know when they are supposed to show up either.

Hopefully by tomorrow everything will be back to normal. Sean came home last night and I felt bad that he couldn't have his milk and cereal this morning and that he had to come home to this fridge mess. Oh well. He made pancakes instead. I'm glad he's home.

Easter 2011

Sean was supposed to have been back for Easter, but due to Tom's passing I convinced him to stay for the funeral. That means while we were doing our Easter thing, Sean was on an airplane. So the night before Easter, I got hardly any sleep at all. I woke up so exhausted and in one of the worst moods ever. I decided that Terryn and I would stay home from church because I literally did not have the energy to get us ready, scramble to find a taxi, deal with a rambunctious 2 year old for 3 hours and then fight with him to take a nap when we got home.

So we stayed home and I managed to get a few things ready for dinner ahead of time. Then when Terryn went down for his nap, I slept a little too. He was a little angel going to sleep too. He basically fell asleep right away (Thank goodness!).

I woke up from our nap wondering why in the world it was so hot in the room. I had turn the A/C on, but to my dismay realized that our power had gone out. Grrrr! Seriously... couldn't they at least warn us ahead of time? I went down and turned on the generator and turned off all the A/C in the house except the one upstairs keeping the chocolate in the hidden Easter eggs cool.

The Wagner gang showed up at our house around 3:30 and we did the egg hunt first. I was anxious to get the A/C in the kitchen before it got WAY too hot down there. The kids had a blast looking for eggs.
Chelsey and I hid them on Friday on our 3rd floor. It's a pretty small area and I thought for sure they'd have all the eggs found in seconds.
I was surprised that we had to help them with a few.
The kids were all really good too. I don't think there was any fighting or anything.
They all got a good amount of eggs too.

Then I started getting dinner ready. I had two roasts in the crockpot that had been cooking since early that morning. I whipped up the mashed potatoes, boiled the corn and made some gravy. It was a little haphazard getting it all on the table simultaneously, but I think I managed it finally. I kept getting up to get stuff I'd forgotten and then I made more gravy. Chelsey told me I was making her tired from watching me get up all the time. Hahahahaha...

Despite the power being off and Sean being gone, I think the dinner turned out pretty good. One SUPER annoying thing that kept happening though was that my fridge kept turning off. I should have realized it was a foreboding sign of things to come. Eventually though, the power DID come back on and I could turn off the generator and we could use more A/C.

We had SO much food. I had a veggie tray out and some cupcakes. Chelsey brought a carrot cake, a fruit platter, deviled eggs, bird's nests (like chocolaty-peanut buttery rice krispy treats) and candy. We seriously had SO much food. It was great though.

I had to laugh at the boys. After dinner they all made for the fruit platter.
Terryn kept chowing down on the apples and watermelon and the twins were scarfing down the grapes.
I think it's cute how they get along so well. I was really glad that they came over for Easter. I think I would have felt really lonely being here all by myself. I did feel a little bad for Travis though. It was a shame Sean wasn't there to keep him company. He had to put up with me and Chelsey's chatter the whole night. Hahahahaha... I think the kids had a really good time though. Happy Easter everyone!

Andrea's Birthday Party

On Saturday Terryn and I were invited to Andrea's Birthday Party. It was out in District 9 in the Lakeview Villas. There was lots of food laid out on the tables and Terryn honed right into the plate full of cookies. I honestly don't know how many of them he ate but it was at least 6. He kept coming back to the plate and taking more. He also liked taking the round centers off the flower decorations and eating them (naughty boy).
I caught a few pictures of him stuffing his face full of cookie.
Most of the party I spent chasing after Terryn. The party was in the clubhouse, but it's right next to the pool and so I had to be careful that he didn't make a break for the water and jump in. I was exhausted. I may not be showing a whole lot for being 6 months pregnant, but I sure feel it! I was tired! Plus it was hot. Not a good combo when you're running after your two year old who has suddenly become faster than you.
Juan had made a Dora piñata for Andrea's party. Everyone got a whack at it. Juan made it a little too sturdy and everyone was having trouble making a serious dent in it. Terryn's attention span lasts about 2 seconds and so he wasn't interested in waiting in line to hit the piñata. After he saw everyone else do it, he started wanting to have a turn to Ezra let him go in front of him.
Terryn mostly poked it with the stick, but he did manage to finally take a few good whacks at it.
I think it made him happy that he actually got a turn.
After Terryn went, Ezra got his turn, but they made him go blindfolded. It was pretty funny to watch.
Juan kept hitting him with the piñata and then when Ezra would take a swing at it, it was already out of reach. The kids all got about 2 turns because the thing would not break. I think he finally had the bigger guys hit it without blindfold and it finally came down.
Terryn didn't really understand that you were supposed to pick up the candy that fell out. We had to encourage him a little at first, but then he got the hang of it.
Even the Parks were at the party. Little Jackson is so cute. He was crawling around inside for awhile. I can't believe how big he is now!
Sibylle could see how tired I was getting and so she offered the services of her kids to take Terryn swimming. That was a FABULOUS idea. Everybody at the party was starting to turn their attention to the pool anyway. I had planned on us swimming so I had his stuff with me. Terryn had fun playing with Emilio in the pool.
I was grateful for the break and could rest for a bit. Seriously, Terryn literally RAN around for the first part of the party. It was great to be able to take Terryn home worn out. He slept well that night despite how much sugar he ate and I think he had fun.

Easter Cupcakes

So I decided to make some Easter cupcakes. With Sean being gone I've been baking a lot. I saw cupcakes like this on Cookies and Cups and decided I'd have a go at something similar. Unfortunately Sean was supposed to be back from his trip by Easter and he was bringing some of the candy I needed for decoration. Since he extended his trip by two days... I had to improvise.I originally wanted to use Twizzler's Twists to do the basket handles because the colors are more springy. I think they would have looked better and held up better. The Red Vines I used didn't like to be bent. They end up breaking in half in about 5 minutes. But you can imagine what it would have looked like if the handles were cute springy colors. I still think they turned out cute.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trying to Tire-out My Little Guy

With Sean still being gone on his business trip, I've been trying to find ways to tucker out Terryn. He has so much energy and I just... well... don't.

This morning I took him swimming. They also have a sandy play area, a trampoline and another play area with slides, a merry-go-round and springy animals you can sit on. Terryn did a little bit of everything. It was also pretty hot this morning with is another thing that makes him tired. By the time we left Terryn was all sweaty and had mellowed out somewhat.
video
Terryn really enjoyed the trampoline and I managed to catch him on video showcasing his awesome jumping skills.

On the ride home I could tell Terryn was minutes away from falling asleep. I kept annoying him by patting his legs, talking to him, tickling him and giving him kisses so he wouldn't fall asleep. I knew if he did fall asleep in the car there was no way I'd be able to get him to fall asleep at home for his nap.

Once at home I laid him down without much of a fight and he was asleep within minutes. Yes!!!! Hopefully he'll sleep for at least two hours giving me time to get some things done.

When he wakes up we will have lunch and then I will take him to Joymax, my new favorite place for him. We'll probably stay there... honestly for about 4 hours. We'll have dinner there and then leave around 6:00. That will give us basically an hour to take a bath, calm down and get ready for bed. Then hopefully Terryn will be tired enough to fall asleep quickly.

That's my plan anyway. I figure I gotta do what I gotta do keep myself sane and Terryn happy until Sean comes back. I don't like spending too much time at home unless I feel like I really need to push the potty training. I want Terryn to have as many opportunities to play and be with other kids. He's a lot happier that way.... and I am too actually.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Broken Hearted

I'm sitting here alone and I can't stand it anymore. I just broke down into tears. I found out today that a friend of mine and Sean's passed away today. It is so tragic and horrible. He was only 31, had a wonderful young wife, boundless potential and such a huge loving heart.

His passing was inevitable because he had a rare and very aggressive form of blood cancer. I can't even begin to express how sorry I am for his widow. Cancer has got to be one of the worst ways to die. Reading her blog entry of Tom's passing was so heart wrenching. I can't even imagine having to make the call of pulling life-support from my husband so he wouldn't suffer anymore.
I wrote her an email telling her to let us know if she needed anything, especially money because I don't know how they've been affording medical treatment or the expenses for the funeral. She responded and told me to make sure that Sean and I have plans for if one of us passes away. She wishes that she and Tom had talked about it.

Luckily Sean and I already have plans in place. I made sure we had a will drawn up before we moved to Vietnam. Having kids makes you really want to be prepared for stuff like that.

I just want to say that my heart goes out to Jana and Tom's family. God only knows how much they are and have been suffering as they watched the cancer slowly and painfully ravage Tom's body and then finally take his life. I guess the only comfort comes from knowing that Tom is at peace now and that the world has been left a little better because of him. He had such a light about him that couldn't help but touch those around him. He had such a genuine heart, sweet spirit and quirky sense of humor and we all loved him for it.

I didn't know Tom as well as my husband, but the first time I met him I was 12. We shared some classes together in 7th grade. I just remember thinking he was just a really nice guy. He was super polite, smart, cute and yes... quirky is the best word I can find to describe him.

Again my heart aches for the cruelty of such a indiscriminate and angry disease that chose to take out one so young and extraordinary. We love you Tom and will miss you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Being a Single Mom and Potty Training

I do not know how single parents (or parents where one spouse is gone most of the time) raise a child. Seriously. Sean is gone for 3 1/2 weeks on his business trip and we've made it through two weeks so far. It has been brutal. Everyday at one time or another I feel like I am losing my mind or losing my patience. Maybe it's the fact that I'm pregnant and haven't been sleeping that are the contributing factors, but having to be the sole parent is HARD.

The last few days we've been cracking down on potty training again. That could be part of it too. I've decided it's time to force the issue. Terryn wears underwear all day now. I take him to the potty every hour and basically force him to pee. I'm following a friend's advice on pouring warm water over his "boy-town" and that makes him pee. I do have diapers on him for naps and bedtime, but other than that... he's wearing underwear. He's at least come to the realization that he doesn't like to be wet in them. He basically pees in his underwear and then rushes to the bathroom to take them off. I want to have him sit in the wet underwear as punishment for when he does that, but he's usually too quick for me and I'm not going to put wet undies back on him.

I'm hoping that if I just suffer through this for a few weeks then he'll be potty trained, but until then we're pretty much house-bound until he figures it out. I really don't want to be potty training him while I have a newborn and I don't want to do it at my Mom's house. At least here the floors are tile and I have some help around the house for messes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Joymax

First off, I have to warn everyone that these pictures are TERRIBLE. I took them with the camera on my phone and it has like a 2 second delay and if everything isn't perfectly still, then the picture is blurry. So most of the shots are of a blurry Terryn. Just use your imagination that the pictures actually look half-way decent.I finally found an indoor play area in District 2 near where we live! Lately I've been taking Terryn to a play area in District 1, but it's a pain to get there because we have to take a taxi and it's a little far away. It's also in a busy shopping mall and Terryn gets distracted.
This newer place is 5 stories of playground mayhem. Terryn LOVED it! It's cleaner than the other place we usually go too. The other thing I like about it is that it's all located in one room so I don't have to go follow him everywhere. The other place has four separate rooms and so I have to go running after Terryn everywhere.
Being pregnant, it's nice to be able to pick a spot and sit and watch him play without having to lug yourself around on playground equipment that's not really made for someone your size.
This place had all sorts of fun things to do. It had tons of slides, tunnels, tubes, a ball pit and lots of toys.
There were a few times when I had to go rescue Terryn though.
Like in the picture above Terryn climbed up the tube, but then realized he couldn't climb back down. He was afraid to go down because he couldn't get his feet to touch the next step lower. He kept calling for me to help.
One of Terryn's favorite things to do was spin this propeller around and around. If I couldn't figure out where he was and that thing was spinning... it was him doing it. So funny. The above picture shows him spinning the propeller.
And of course the ultimate fun time was the ball pit. He was scared of it at first, but he got over that real quick. When I went to see how he liked the pit, I couldn't find him. He was hiding underneath the balls. He liked to just lay there with himself all covered up. I had to keep taking balls off him to take the picture so you could see him.

Terryn had a great time. I think we were there for about 3 hours. The other great thing is that is has a cafe right there too. So we ended up eating dinner there. About every hour Terryn would come eat more of his dinner and drink water and then he'd go play some more. I was fine with that. I sat at the table eating my dinner and watched him play. It's a great place that I'm sure we'll be frequently weekly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

General Conference

I don’t know if I’ve ever appreciated General Conference as much as I did this particular time. I have been so starved for the Spirit it seems that I just devoured the words of the Prophet, Apostles and General Authorities.

Going to church here in Vietnam is not without its spiritual moments, but for me it is difficult to feel the Spirit most of the time. I have a high energy two-year old that won’t sit still and whines during Sacrament meeting and then I teach a bi-lingual nursery during second and third hour. This means that the kids mostly play because I can’t speak Vietnamese so they don’t understand anything I say to them. Church has become, for me, more of a chore than a spiritual experience and I would be lying if I said this hasn't been a big trial for me.

Even after listening to just the first sessions of General Conference, I felt the cleansing and purifying power of the Holy Ghost. It’s like it lifted out the fuss and haze of my starving soul. I read the scriptures and pray, so I do seek for the Spirit outside of Church, but nothing is quite like the bearing of pure testimony and doctrine that we receive from General Conference.

I just want to share how much I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love my Saviour Jesus Christ. I know that he truly sacrificed himself to give his eternal atonement so that we could be happy and free. I’m so grateful to know the truth and even though times can be trying and difficult, I know where I can turn for peace and strength.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Caramel Coconutty Chocolate Chunks of Deliciousness

So I've been a little bored with Sean gone... so that means I've been cooking a lot more. Today I tried a new recipe for caramel, coconut, chocolate popcorn. It's called Samoa Popcorn (you know... like the Girl Scout Cookie).It turned out pretty fabulous and I can't claim credit for the recipe. I've found a really awesome blog that talks about sweet creations like cookies, cakes and cupcakes. It's called Cookies and Cups and I have to say I love finding new recipes and decorating ideas from there.

I let Terryn sample some popcorn when he got home from school. He kept climbing up on the counter to get more... so I think he liked it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If You Give a Kid a Cookie

So out of boredom a few days ago I made a batch of cookies. They turned out alright, despite the fact that my oven is terrible.

Yesterday I told Terryn that if he finished all of his lunch he could have a cookie. He got pretty excited and yes, he did eat all of the pizza that was his lunch. I gave him a cookie and he was pretty happy. He ate it contentedly while making, "Mmmmm Mmmmm" sounds.
For dinner I gave him some soup which he started eating alright, but then I he started spitting out the corn that was in it. I asked him if he wanted some bread. "Yea!" he said excitedly, so I gave him some bread and showed him how to dip it in his soup. He loves to dip things. He looked at me and said, "Cookie?" I told him if he finished all of his bread he could have a cookie because I figured he wouldn't eat the rest of the soup anyway.
He took another swallow or two of the bread and then he stared taking bites of the entire piece and spitting them out on the table. When he made an orderly line of the bitten-off bread and had managed to do it to the entire piece, he looked up at me with those pleading, big blue eyes and said, "Cookie?"
Hahahahaha. I laughed for a little bit because I already knew what he was doing. Silly kid... that's not exactly what I meant when I said eat your dinner.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baby's First Photos

So today was my 3D ultrasound. It was a little interesting. They just do them here as part of your normal check-ups.
They did the normal ultrasound stuff and took measurements, but then they did a few 3D pictures too.
They gave me a DVD with the pictures and "movies" on it. It's like 20 minutes long, but only about 3 minutes of stuff I actually care to see. Oh well.
The pictures I posted were some of the better shots we got. None of them are mind-blowing, but you can tell it's a baby. If I can figure out how to crop that movie so can post it I will try to post the 30 seconds of the 3D part where the baby opens his mouth. It's pretty cute.