Monday, January 31, 2011

pink eye alert!

so last week i told you that lily had pink eye on my birthday.
well, today i got a call from hobey's mom saying he just got pink eye.
since pink eye is pretty much only contagious for 24-48 hours, he did not get it from lily. when he went to the pediatrician today, his doctor said that he was about the sixth kid he had seen today with the gross infection.

so my post today is short and sweet- BEWARE! conjunctivitis is out there, it is rampant, and it has your (eye's) name on it! disinfect those shopping carts, wash your hands like it's going out of style, and maybe we should all start wearing goggles.

this is my adorable nephew Corban. protective eyewear is not just for flying wood chips. pink eye is out there. and it wants your eye.

here's lily wearing goggles while eating apples, cause no one wants apple juice or conjunctivitis, in their eyes

Sunday, January 30, 2011

please end already january!

tomorrow is the last day of january, and it cannot come soon enough! there isn't anything pressing about february, i just need january to be over and done with so that i can get some more cash for my little wallets!

the top two wallets were gifts to my kids from my lovely friend, michelle, in toronto. the big bear is my 'stores' wallet. it has about $5 left in it. the wallet beside it (what animal is that???) is our 'eating out' wallet. it is empty. like very empty. not even a single penny left in it. the giant wallet that isn't shaped like an animal is my actual wallet. it holds my sacred debit card that is to be used only when buying gas. the lovely owl wallet is holding my precious birthday money. thank you little owl.

so january was our first month back on cash and boy was it not the funnest thing in the world! but, it really curbed my psychotic spending habit, so it wasn't all for naught. i wrote down almost all of my purchases in a little notebook, which is something my crazy sister jeehon has done forever, and now i am turning into a crazy fiscally responsible person just like her. dang.

we did this 'pay with cash only' thing a few years ago when we were going through dave ramsey's 'financial peace university'. that lasted for a few months, but then we stopped. cause it's just so much easier to use our debit card! but in one of the lessons from FPU, ramsey explained that studies have been done to determine the physical effects of paying for an item – how your body reacts to paying for something. they used 3 forms of payment – cash, debit card, and credit card. when people paid for an item with a credit card, the ‘pain’ receptors in their brains didn’t activate. apparently, over the past 50 years, the American public has developed an internal physical mechanism that tells them that when they use a credit card, they’re not really ‘paying for’ an item.

but when people use cash to pay for an item, the ‘pain’ receptors in the brain light up like a Christmas tree. it can physically HURT to part ways with cash for an item. this mechanism, which dave uses in his lessons to encourage you to spend only cash, keeps you from spending cash on unnecessary items, and encourages you to shop around for good deals. in all honesty, at the beginning of the month, i was at a grocery store paying for my items with cash, and the total came up to about $60 and i literally started to sweat. not because i didn't have enough money, cause i had plenty- it was the beginning of the month afterall! but i had just blown about 1/5 of my store budget in one grocery trip. time to plan things out! i was not a big fan of grocery shopping before, but now i really truly dread it.

the rest of the month went better, but like i said, i have about $5 left to my name. but i have to say i am really happy-ish with the way things went this month, and am hoping february is even better, especially since it is 3 days shorter than this month.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the new (lil) man in my life

i have a new man in my life who loves to stare at me with wonderment in his eyes. his name is zane and i love him. he is 6 months old.

this is zane with his mama, julie. julie and i have been in a small group together for the last two years. maybe two and a half. over this time we have developed a very special friendship and i am so blessed to have her in my life!

over the last 6 months, zane has been hanging out with his grandma and dad, who has had the liberty of working from home quite a bit. so special! eric is a fantastic dad and quite the protective 'mother hen'. but he just got a new job which has forced them to find outside help. and that's where i come in.

today was our first day together, and it could not have gone more incredibly well! and to be completely honest, i haven't seen zane in about two months cause julie and eric don't bring him to small group anymore! so, in zane's baby memory, he probably feels like he has NEVER seen me before, and when he got dropped off, he was napping, so we didn't even have a formal introduction. but he did really great with the fact that he was in a stranger's house. i think it helped that there were three other kids running around like crazy. he was too distracted to be scared.

my kids did great. lily loves babies. topher was ok. and hobey just kept staring at the baby and saying: "baby!" it was funny seeing 'my' 'baby' hobey morph into a big boy in the presence of this actual baby. topher was surprisingly very gentle with zane, but he looked at me and said: "mom! no more babies! just two. hobey and zane. no more." i love that kid. he knows what he can handle and what he can't.

i really never thought i would ever be 1. a mom. 2. a childcare provider for other peoples' kids. but look at me! i'm doing it all and i am actually loving it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

happy birthday to me

today is my birthday. though according to my sweet mother, it was yesterday. cause she called me excitedly yesterday and said: "happy birthday!" poor old lady. i love her. even though she is crazy.

so wednesday i started feeling like i was coming down with something. nausea, body aches, etc. it was wretched. i don't normally party hardy for my birthday, but this one is the big 3-0 and chris made plans for us. so i went to small group with my high school girls, was in bed by 9:30, and woke up on thursday feeling so much better, and i was excited for my birthday on friday. but as the sick gods would have it, someone had to be sick on my birthday!

the lot fell on my poor, unsuspecting lily. well, not so much on lily, more on her left eye. conjunctivitis. poor thing. i'm going to blame it on pre-school, but who really knows. so plans were cancelled, or postponed (i hope! unless conjunctivitis rears it's ugly head again!) and the day continued with many many moments of wonderfulness.

my beautiful husband took the day off to hang out with me. he showered me with gifts of a Tassimo, one of those wonderful machines that makes a plethora of hot drinks (i love me some hot drinks!!!) and a Cricut machine, so i can grow in craftiness!!!! the kids sang happy birthday to me a few times and presented me with an incredible homemade card. we ate some free food (thank you Joe!) and had an impromptu laying-out-in-the-sun-on-blankets-reading-books-looking-at-airplanes session.
i love love love love love my family.

today was so indicative of my life- not at all how i planned it, but so so so much better than i could have imagined. so here goes nothing, i didn't think i would ever look forward to 30, but maybe it'll be my best decade yet- and i have to say my 20s were pretty incredible!

(ps. just in case you were wondering, i don't actually believe in 'sick gods'.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Running Fools

Chris and his brother Robert ran in the PF Chang Rock n Roll half-marathon this Sunday. Chris ran the PF Chang half-marathon last year, ran a full marathon in June, and then completed the year with this half-marathon. you would think he would get better with every passing event, but this wasn't actually his best half-marathon time.

to my husband's credit he started coming down with something on Friday. then Saturday he wasn't feeling a whole lot better, but the man paid for this thing, and he had run a good handful of times to train for it, so there was pretty much no way Chris was not going to run in this thing.

so, Sunday morning, Chris and Robert left their homes before the sun got up, and Lindsay, Shannon and I, left our homes many hours later, to go watch these exercising fools in action. my wonderful friend Lainey was nice enough to watch the crazy Watson 4 and Toy Story 3 (twice!) while we were gone. thanks Lainey!!! and thanks Shannon for coming out to support our crazy husbands. we also met up with Barb and Jerry in Tempe to cheer the boys on.

we had a wonderful Sunday filled with family funtimes. then Sunday night came, and along with the night came the pukies. lots and lots of pukies. Chris was officially sick. and as miserable as Chris may have been, i think he was also very relieved to know that his 'slow' time (of 2 hours and 7 min!) was not due to his age, or anything like that.

my favorite picture is of the boys running. Chris looks like he is cheering Lindsay, Shannon, and I on. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

lindsay's sprinkle!

this weekend we celebrated my beautiful sister-in-law, Lindsay, and the arrival of the much anticipated baby-girl-watson-Emma. i love Lindsay. she is so sassy! she is a girly-girl in the best sense of the word, but she's had some oppression in the girly-girl field these last three years as she has had one son after the other. Lily, has been VERY blessed by her aunt's love for all things girly though. and i too have been blessed because Lindsay gave Lily her first tutu a year ago, and her first Barbie this year, gifts i didn't think to give my own daughter.

our lovely friend Shannon was VERY excited when she found out Lindsay was having a girl and insisted on throwing her a 'sprinkle' (a smaller version of a baby shower) so that Emma could have some pretty things. the sprinkle was lovely and Shannon did a great job. my only task was to provide some desserts, and i was so happy to be able to decorate some confections at long last! in this nomadic period of my life, i don't think i have decorated a single sugary treat...

so, i decided to make/decorate some brownies and petit fours, because they sound fancy and pretty and perfect for a sprinkle. i found this incredible blogger that i have been shamelessly stalking since i found her easy christmas no-bake petit fours. this woman is AMAZING! check out her blog here:

i bought a bunch of oreo cakesters and got to work! i made my own marshmallow fondant (i think i got the recipe from there's tons out there. google it. i will try to do a seperate post later of how i made it. if i remember!) the theme of the sprinkle was basically Emma's nursery which is pink and green (though we didn't really use green in our decor) with pink, pruple and yellow flowers, and branches. her room is much prettier than i am making it sound. anyhoo, so for one of my deserts i did brownies with taosted coconut and fondant decorations. and then i made monochromatic petit fours. it was easier than i thought, and five short hours later, desserts were done!

the oreo cakesters waiting patiently for their fondant layer

getting dolled up for the big dance

all the shapes and letter for the petit fours were cut using fondant cutters. some people thought i actually cut every shape out individually. those people are crazy.

stacked up and ready to be eaten!

the brownies with coconut and fondant. the middle says 'Emma Faith' in rolled free-handed fondant.

Friday, January 14, 2011

lil swimmers

a few months ago we purchased a Groupon for one session of swim lessons at AquaTots. i believe we paid about $35 for 4 lessons, whereas regular lessons are $68. so we got a pretty good deal. the best part of the deal was that lily and topher were able to be in the same class, which means we were there for a half hour once a week. and the bestest bestest part of the deal is that the kids swam a lot this summer so they are very comfortable in water so i did NOT have to go in the pool with them. big thumbs up for having the kids one year apart, and for having kids who have a minimal amount of fear in their heads. this can be a good and a bad thing (concept of fear) but this time around, it was a good thing.

AquaTots was a great place to have our lessons. especially since we had them in the midst of the holiday season. we started in November and just finished our fourth lesson last week. if you need to cancel your lesson, you can, up to an hour before hand. and then you can reschedule. very easy. very nice. and the set-up is cute, cause they have a play area for kids who are waiting, and the whole wall is glass so that parents can have an unobstructed view of their kids. i was afraid for the first lesson that maybe the kids would be distracted with me sitting there staring at them, or that they would cry cause i wasn't with them. nope. they could care less about me. in this case- not a bad thing at all!

the kids just got more comfortable being in the pool, and practiced being on their backs, putting their faces in the water, and getting in and out of the pool safely. they even retrieved rings at the bottom of the pool, assisted by their teacher. it was so great to see them do new things! in only got to go to 3 of their 4 lessons, but each lesson was a half hour full of laughter and smiles- from me mostly. wes, kim, and breanne (chris' sister) took them to their lesson when we were in Cancun, and they loved it. then we took barb and jerry to another lesson, and they also found it so amusing. chris was so sad to have missed 3 lessons, but was so happy to see them at their last one. fortunately more swimming lessons are on the horizon. i don't know when, but definitely living in Arizona, we want our kids to be good, safe swimmers.

here are some pics of the kids, curtesy of barb:

lily swimming with her teacher.

topher doing some can-can kicks on his back.

the kids holding their rings. well, lily dropped hers... topher is holding on tight.

topher getting his ring from the bottom of the pool!

lily and topher listening to their swim teacher. topher is listening while he spalshes around. but lily is listening and her teaher told us that she would hear the instructions then repeat them back to her teacher. funny kid.

learning to climb out of the pool safely

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the phoenix zoo

every year since lily's first birthday, we have gotten a zoo pass. i think we pay about $75 for it which includes me getting in, plus one other adult guest (99% of the time it's chris) and the kids are free til they turn 3. so we had to pay $10 for lily for the year, but it's $8 for a 3 year old to get in once, so that was well worth it. and for an adult, admission is $18, so when chris and i go together more than once, the membership has already paid for itself. and chris really loves the zoo, so we go about once a month, if not more. (oh yeah, the kids are fond of the place as well.)

apparently the phoenix zoo has been voted one of the top 5 zoos in the nation. that's pretty impressive! the winter is great cause the big animals like the lions and tigers and elephants always seem to be out. in the summer it's hard to see those guys cause they are smarter than me and know better than to be strutting around in the arizona sun. we have really enjoyed seeing the feline family these last few weeks after living at wes and kim's cause they have cats, so we have explained that the lions and tigers are in the same family as grandma and grandpa's cats. and we also saw 'the lion king' a couple times while living over there, so the lions have disney names. also, when we told the kids that the boy lions have a lot of hair, and the girl lions don't, lily said: "just like grandpa!" and if you know wes, you know he has a pretty impressive mane.

the phoenix zoo also has a petting zoo, and that's probably one of topher's favorites. i put some random pictures at the bottom of this post and i have no idea what order they are in. but my favorite pictures are of topher with the goats, and hobey who just got brave enough to touch them (and he is applauding himself in the picture). so precious. lily doesn't have any cute pictures with the goats cause she does not care for them. she goes in to look at em, and even picks up a brush to brush them, but then when we get close enough she hands the brush over to me and tells me to brush them.

there are also different areas where you can spend more money to do more stuff. we pretty much always go on the carousel, which is great cause it's only $1. and then this last week chris took the kids to feed the giraffes. i think topher was free (yeah for still being two!) and lily was $3. feeding the giraffes is not something that the kids can just do anywhere, so it wasn't a big deal to drop 3 bucks on that experience. but it's also not something we have to do every time we go.

another great feature of the zoo is that they have a train that goes through a portion of it. so you still get to see a bunch of animals without getting any excercise! it's awesome. especially when my mom came to the zoo with us and paid for our train tickets ($3 per person i think). the best part though, is that you have a very knowledgeable guide and he tells you a bunch of facts about teh animals. my favorite factoid last time was about the ostriches. male ostriches are black and the female ones are brown. the females sit on their eggs during the day, and the males sit on them at night, so God in His infinite wisdom color-coded these animals according to their tasks. the zoo guide didn't mention God in his tour, i just added that part in myself.

so, the phoenix zoo didn't pay me to write this post, but we are there a ton, and it's one of the funnest things to do in this random place called phoenix, arizona.

Friday, January 7, 2011

hobey time

lots of people ask me what i do all day. a whole lot of nothing, with a whole lot of kids. ok. just three kids, and that's only three days a week. there's lots of snacking, playing, some napping, cleaning, cooking, more snacking, and more playing that happens in our home. oh yeah, and lots of laughing. mostly me laughing at the kids, but the kids have their fair share of chuckles too.

hobey continues to bring me immense joy when we hang out. he is walking (praise Jesus!) but he still weighs over 30 lbs and i do still pick him up quite a bit. it all works out cause i don't go to the gym very often anymore, so hobey is my workout three times a week. one of my major highlights of the holidays was when we went over to hobey's house for dinner one night after i hadn't seen him for about three weeks. when he saw me he got the biggest smile on his face and i just about died. he's so precious.

so, here's a video of the kids playing outside this week. lily is a champion tricyclist. topher is still just getting the hang of it. i don't have a bike for hobey to ride at the house right now, so i gave him a balloon to keep him occucpied. this actually ended up being a great work out for him. he looks like he is scalling Mt. Everest, but really, he is just overcoming a 3 inch drop from the concrete patio to the grass. i've watched this video a few times and just laughed cause these kids are so funny. and seriously, hobey just kills me. he's so chubby. so sweet. so hilarious. so careful. hope you enjoy this as much as i do:

ps. who noticed that i didn't capitalize in this post? dang it. i noticed at 'Mt. Everest' but by then it was too late to go back. oh well. i tried.

Monday, January 3, 2011

lamenting myself in 2010 (and beyond...)

I realized I have a serious defect in my brain and spirit recently. I pray for things and envision the way God is going to answer that prayer.

Chris and I have been seriously praying for God to help us/take control of our finances since we did 'Financial Peace University' two years ago. Basically I envision money falling from the sky and Chris and I generously tithing said rain-money, and eating out more (what? I don't like cooking THAT much), and me buying as many $2 sale items as I can find, whether I need or even want said sale items or not.

So far, no money has fallen from the sky. Instead, Chris gets bouts of overtime, (which is a miracle since 'overtime' has become a very taboo word for municipal workers during this recession) and I have two jobs (working as a bookkeeper and watching Hobey). And I happen to have these two jobs while being able to work from home, hang out with my kids all the live long day, and still occassionally go to the office while being able to leave the kids with Chris. That's a huge blessing! But I am just barely thankful for these blessings. Why can't I just stay home with the kids and do nothing? Contribute nothing. Help no one but myself. And why doesn't Chris just get paid more? He works really hard. He should get paid more. I hate it when he gets overtime, cause that's more time he is away from the kids and I. I guess I really like the idea of sitting around with my family, having money fall down all around us, we just enjoy one another's company, and we do NOTHING else. That sounds great, right?

Me and my idiotic and lazy heart.

I occassionally blog about Jesus, and my faith, and my prayer requests and all that, but what I have come to realize, very ashamedly, in the last few weeks, is that I am one disgusting lazy Christian! I talk about how my faith is so important, and that if I had Jesus I would have nothing, but my words and actions are so very different.

Here are some disgusting things I have done/realized recently that show what a terrible Christian I am-

- When I sit down to do some quiet time and I have forgotten something like a pen, or even my Bible, I will say something stupid like: "Oh, I'm so tired. I will jsut have my quiet time without my pen (therefore no journalling) or my Bible (therefore no reading the Word!)" However, if I am in the middle of a random project, or I get a Sudoku game in front of me, I will immediately get up and search high and low for a pen. The hypocrisy of it all.

- While living with all of my in-laws over the last three months, I had at least 2 giant panic-stress attacks. One per household. I didn't know what Chris and I were doing. I didn't know what God was doing. We contemplated moving back into an apartment (the redundancy!) but knew that would cost a pretty penny, what with all the extra security deposits and what not. Instead of being super-thankful for our rent-less existence, we scrambled in our minds to figure out a way to dig ourselves out of 'the hole of unknowing' that we found ourselves in. It was so stressful and anti-productive. I am so glad we never actually acted on our craziness, cause we were SO BLESSED living with my in-laws for 3 months! not only did my relationship with all of my parents-in-law become more substantial, but we also saved some money in the midst of our genius idea to do Cancun and Christmas in the same month. I originally would have rathered God put us in a house right away and teach us patience and perseverance and all that in some other way, all while it was raining dollar bills outside but then I would have missed out on the relationships, and the building of my patience and perseverance.

- When I am watching a movie with the kids and I recognize the voice of a character but am not sure who it is, or if someone poses some random trivia question and I know not the answer- I am all up on Google looking to quench my need-to-know. Then the other day ago, Chris and I were reading Luke chapter 3, where Luke has Jesus' genealogy, and I felt compelled to compare it to the genealogy that is found in Matthew- and they are different! Wow! How many times have I read through Luke and not ever noticed that?!?!?! So Chris and I sat in bed pondering what the meaning of all this was. I said I would call Grandma Watson in the morning to figure it out, and so Chris and I called it a day. Why didn't I look that up on Google? Why was there no burning need-to-know in this situation?? Do you know when I figured out the answer? Like three days later. On Google.

Oh I loathe myself! I am truly a despicable despicable lukewarm hypocritical fleck of dust! Don't look at me Lord, I am hideous.

And yet- He loves me still. It's kind of insane.

I had a pretty great 2010- my niece Sunha was born, I saw my parents a few times, our family is healthy, Chris and I have jobs, and we have a plethora of people surrounding us who love us and support us in all that we do (they even let us live with them for weeks on end!!!), but I have to admit I did not learn very much from the Bible- because I hardly ever read it to learn more about God and further my relationship with Him.

I know it's only the fifth day of the new year, but I am doing so much better already! It does sound ridiculous to just change because of a new year, when really God gives us the opportunity to change every day.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lam 3:22-23)

Here's another gem from the same chapter:
"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." (Lam 3:40)

So! I have examined my ways- and they suck! So here's to a much more meaningful and spiritual and blessed 2011(me blessing the Lord and others around me I hope)
and beyond!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

sae hae bok mani bahduhsaeyo

That's Korean for "many blessings in the new year!"

One of my "official" new years resolutions for 2011 is to really expose my kids to the slightly-less apparent part of who they are- Korean Canadians! And the most obvious way I am planning on doing this (a resolution with a plan! surely i will succceed at this resolution, right?!?) is to celebrate Korean as well as Canadian holidays in addition to the American ones that we naturally celebrate living here in the United States of America.

Today happens to be New Years day in the US, as well as in Canada and Korea. So that was pretty easy to celebrate. But in Korea, kids get dressed up in their 'han boks' (traditional korean clothes) and then they do 'sae bae', which means they bow down in front of their elders and receive cash-o-la! They are supposed to receive nice crisp new bills, but we didn't have any, so the kids got a few coins, which is just as well cause they love loose change.

Here are the kids dressed up in their han boks, that they happened to get for Christmas from their Aunt Jeehon, and it came in the mail 2 days ago. Perfect timing!

And here are the kids doing a not-great-job of bowing in front of Chris and I. Lily's form is a bit better than Topher's, but not much. Fortunately the Lunar New Year is another chance for them to don their pretty clothes and do this all over again:

One last part of the new year celebration is to eat 'dduk gook' which is just rice cake soup, but that is something that i don't know how to make, which is the main reason we didn't eat it today. But my lovely friend Grace makes a mean 'dduk gook' so I will learn how to make that in the near-ish future.

I sincerely hope that 2011 is full of many blessings for you and yours- sae hae bok mani bahduhsaeyo.

(Another resolution for 2011- properly capitalize while blogging. We'll see how long this lasts... but for now I hope you enjoy it Grandma and Grandpa Watson ;)