Sunday, December 24, 2006

Is Santa Coming to YOUR Home? Ask NORAD!

So what do you do when you need something to do on a 24/7 rotation during the holiday season with nobody else around and the nation's most expensive equipment at your disposal? Track Santa, of course! Apparently the North American Air Defense Command, or NORAD, has been doing so for at least 50 years now. There's actually a phone number you can call, and there's actually a live person that will tell you the current location of Santa, and the ETA of Santa to your location! I guess usually it's kids that call the number; Bev and I called it, thinking it was an automated message like the phone number you're supposed to give people when they hit on you in a bar (I don't remember the number for the insult line...anyone?). But somebody at NORAD actually picks up and gives you the exact location. Excellent! Well, since Santa's ETA for the NCR is anywhere between 10-12 tonight, I'd better go to bed, or else you know who ain't comin'! Merry Christmas everyone! 1-877-HI-NORAD

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Brian-cam Pics

Here are some pics that Brian took of our trip to Taiwan.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Seattle for Thanksgiving

*Warning: this is a long one, cause its been a few weeks in the making. :)

Well, actually I'm glad to be home for a while. You can only live out of a suitcase for so long. From Ottawa, Canada, to Taipei, Taiwan, to Seattle, Washington, all in a little over a month. I was home for a total of 7 days. Enough time to find subs for my CTR 8 class and do laundry. Mark and I spent Sat cleaning the house. It was in shambles. Everything was out of place cause we didn't have time to put it back where it belonged. I still need to vacuum, cause with Fall, so do the leaves, and there are bits of leaves all over the place. How does that happen when we take our shoes off at the door?

We're slowing adjusting back into a regular sleeping schedule. But I think I'm the one with it bad. I'm up late and can't get motivated in the day. Mark seems fine. Evan sleeps late, but he'll sleep 12 hours.

Speaking of sleep... We've lowered Evan's crib and took one side of the crib bars off to transition him to a 'big boy' bed. His crib is up against the foot of twin bed also in his room, so he really only had about 1.5 ft of a gap to get off his crib. So, I figure he's got a 10% chance of falling out of bed during the night.

The other day Mark checked on him before he left for work, and woke me up to see what had happened to Evan. Evan had either fallen out of his bed or crawled down from his bed and was sound asleep on the floor in the middle of the room! I figured he's obviously tired enough to sleep on the floor, I'll just let him sleep, leave the door open so when he wakes he can just walk out to find me. Well, hours goes by and he's still on the floor asleep. So at about 1pm I decide that this was getting ridiculous, and went to wake him up by taking pictures of him. No wakey wakey.
Lucy came bounding in his room and licked him. Still asleep! So, I talk to him to wake him. I should have videotaped this, cause he opens his eyes and just starts yakking to me like we were in the middle of a conversation! Then he gets up, still talking, walks over to his bed, and pointing to it, jabbers on, probably telling me about how he fell out of bed and found the floor to be much more comfortable than his bed and that I should have just let him sleep on the floor from the beginning!

I haven't found him asleep on the floor since, but it's nice that he can climb out of bed himself, open his door, walk down the hall, open my door, and come wake me.

Thanksgiving was good. I'm working on putting together a family history book for a family reunion later this year. And I was glad to get a lot of scanning of old photos done and collecting personal histories.

Mark and I even got a lot of our Christmas gifts out to family early, so that's a big check off my list of To-do's.

It's always too short of time when we're home, and never get to do everything we wanted or spend enough time with everyone. Oh well. While everyone was in town, my family got together to take a family portrait. I tried to get Evan to nap before, but he had other plans. He was in a good mood when we got to the studio, but they were swamped with other photo sessions that we had to wait almost an hour. That put Evan at his limit. And then the photographer lady scared Evan with a giant black foam block to sit on, it was all down hill after that. Evan didn't want anything to do with the lady or sitting. We managed to take 3 pictures. Figures that as soon as we leave, Evan's smiling, walking around and not tired. sheesh. I haven't seen the proofs, so I hope there was one good one. Maybe I'll have to photoshop a smile in
for Evan and myself.

I got my haircut and colored out there. I went to the same place I got my hair cut last time, but found out they'd switched owners. I should have asked first why the lady the cut my hair last time wasn't there cause my haircut and color isn't what I expected. There was a bit of misunderstanding too. The Vietnamese lady thought I wanted to dye my whole head when I just wanted highlights, so that tee'd her off. But I didn't care, it's my hair, lets get this straight! So I showed them what color highlights I was thinking, brown slightly red, and I don't think they were really listening to me or maybe they didn't care to match it closely, cause they came out with this bowl of bright red paste. I thought maybe it's just the dye, cause it was the case when I dyed it brown before.
Anyway, so almost 2 hours later, I've got short hair with red highlights... argh... I would have been ok with the cut if the lady didn't trim it even more at the end. The brightness has died down a bit since, but something about the cut just makes styling it really frustrating. I can't put my finger on it. Like my hair has gone limp and no matter what I do it just doesn't sit right. I bet its the dye. It has stripped my hair of something that gave it some volume before. Mark assures me its just the weather. hmmm... I'm gonna have to find someone new to cut my hair. Anyone have recommendations? I should have got my haircut when I was in Taiwan... and the massage was included too!
OK enough obsessing over my hair.

The rest of our trip was good. Until the last day we were there, when we were on the road in the middle of rush hour when we got caught in a heavy snow. It had rained and snowed on and off the night before so when it snowed heavily on top of the slush, it turned to ice. It took us an hour to get out of Mark's hometown! And it's not a big town! It's very hilly and rural so cars were sliding into ditches all around us. We were glad to be driving the Tahoe cause of its weight and all wheel drive, but it gave me a bit of a scare when we stopped on a hill and had a moment of vertigo when all the cars around us started moving to the right, when really we were the ones sliding to the left into the other lane.

We got close to getting on the freeway, and noticed that no cars were moving. So we exited quickly and took back roads to my parent's home. Those back roads don't get plowed, are rural and hilly, and were packed with people also avoiding the freeway. We kept driving down one road and turning around again and again after finding traffic of sliding cars, abandoned cars left and right, and closed off roads. I felt bad for people around us that got caught traveling home on the ice; when they left in the morning the sun was shining and looked like nice day. People panic and are driving poorly and there are accidents everywhere. I was so nervous that some car was going to slide into us or we'd go sliding off the road and be stranded. Mark probably thought I was cold but really I was shivering from seeing so many wrecks and
close calls. I was so sore the next day from being so tense.

Well, what usually takes us 20 mins to get from Mark's mom's house to my parent's house, took us 4 hours. 4 white-knuckled-hours!! 4 hours to go 20 miles. Mark says that we averaged 5 miles an hour, that's about walking speed, so, we could have walked to my parent's house in that time! Wow.

But that wasn't all. We decided to make going to the airport safer the next day, we would drive back to Mark's mom's house to return the Tahoe, pick up our luggage, and my dad would drive us back to his house to spend the night. hmmm... it sounds like we were crazy to go through all that again... well I think it was, but there wasn't another option. The roads were icy in Mark's hometown, and it wasn't in mine.

So, it was another scary drive. We took another route this time, but this time in a small car without all wheel drive. It was later at night and less crazy drivers on the road, but still I was so nervous in the back seat feeling our car slide and the tires spin. I'm so glad to get through that night safely.

I can't tell you how relieved I was to come home to DC and feel beautiful 60 degree weather and see the only snowflakes were on my Christmas tree. It does get icy here in DC too, but we have less hills to worry about.

So, no more traveling till the end of this month. And it's to sunny LA. After traveling so much the last months, I think I now really appreciate the comforts of our own home, no matter how small and simple it is. Maybe this Christmas will actually feel like our own Christmas in our own home. And not like a small version of Christmas of our own and then fly off to really celebrate it with family later like in years past. But my thoughts on Christmas since being married is another blog entry...

*Note: I have to point out and give credit to Mark for changing the blog template. I had no part in it. It may look like something I would do, but it isn't. But I can promise you that I will tweak with this one to make it an original. "When?" is the real question. Good job, Mark. You picked a winner. Quite appropriate for winter time, I think.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

why didn't I think of that?!
I randomly found a link to this site from a google ad, and was curious see what a milk band was. I laughed when I found out that it was created by a mom in Utah.
It's ingenious! Its a bracelet that helps breastfeeding mothers keep track of which side they fed from last by flipping the bracelet.
There are also removeable pegs that keep track of how long baby has fed in a day. Or how many diapers changed, or what time last fed, or when to feed again... or whatever you need it to keep track of.
Breastfeeding moms know, that try as you may, you're SO tired that you can't even remember the last time you showered. I had my own system to remember which side to feed from next, but knowing number of feedings or length of time was a guess.
I'm way passed needing it for breastfeeding, but it would have been nice to have to keep track of naps a day back when I worried about how much sleep Evan was getting.
Well, maybe I'll get one for the next time around... whenever that is...