Wednesday, February 24, 2010

click and donate for Rett Syndrome

Post "borrowed" from Maren and Ryan. Their little ball of energy, Leah, has Rett Syndrome. Head over to the MSNBC website below and clik on the advertisement for Rett Syndrome on the right side. Every dollar you donate today will be matched! See below for details:

In an effort to raise awareness for Rett Syndrome, the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) has partnered with MSNBC.com in a new marketing campaign.

Today only (February 24th, 2010), the IRSF was given, pro bono, the two premium advertising slots on the MSNBC.com homepage. Go on over and take a look. Each little click will make a difference...and if you have the means and the desire...please donate! The first is a box on the lower right-hand side of the screen as you first log onto the page. The second is a banner when you scroll down just a bit.

Even if you can't donate, click on it to learn a little more about Rett Syndrome.

Thanks to everyone who helped secure the generous donation for the ad slot. Leah and her parents are very grateful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

herbs for amy

This is Amy.

We're totally BFFs, too.

She's my sister, too.

Our babies are totally BFFs, too, but they just don't know it yet.

She lives little bit farther away, both of us work, and neither of us really likes to drive, so we don't see each other as much as we'd like.

So any time I get together with Ashley, I feel a little bit guilty that Amy isn't there.

Yesterday I crashed Ashley's seed-planting party. I was inspired by Madika's inspiring post showing the most beautiful herb table in the most beautifully open and sunny kitchen. Ahhh, to dream. So I planted myself lots of herbs to go in my not-so-beautiful-and-already-cluttered living room.

And I just couldn't help it--I planted herbs for Amy, too. Does she want or have room for an indoor herb garden? Who knows, but I'm planning to grow the little buggers into plants and give them to her anyway.

sleep training

{I feel like I could write about work meetings given the title of this post.}

Graham's sleeping skills seem to be going downhill. He's still the most wonderful baby in the world, but last night (after a late bedtime of 8:30--we were out late), he woke at 10:30, 11:40, 2:30, 4:40, 5:20, 5:30, and 8:30. It's getting to be quite common. That's just not okay.

SO, ladies and gents (Do any gents read my blog?), I'm taking a poll. What kind of sleep training did you do with your babies? Gradual cry-it-out? 'Extinction' cry-it-out? Other methods? Nothing? How early did you start? What would you recommend?

Yes, blog stalkers, I'm even talking to you. What did you do?

Helpful information that I totally left off the first time I posted this:

The babe is 4 months old (today!).

Sleeps in his own room.

Here's what we have been doing: He goes to sleep no problem at night. We bounce him a bit and then put him down in his crib. Sometimes he fusses and we have to do it again, but most of the time he goes down like a champ.

In terms of waking up during the night, if it has been about 3 hours, I feed him. I have a feeling he is often waking hungry, because if I only feed him on one side and put him back down, he wakes up a half hour later. If I feed him on both sides and really fill up his belly, he normally sleeps for another 2 1/2 hours.

If he wakes up and it hasn't been 3 hours, we try to sooth him back to sleep. First, we put the pacifier back in and shhhhush or talk quietly to him while rubbing his belly. If that doesn't work, we pick him up and bounce him until he falls asleep again. Doesn't seem to matter if I do it or Christian does. He seems to respond the same to both of us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

speaking of the family finances...

I keep track of our finances. A few weeks ago I noticed that it looked like Christian hadn't deposited a check in January. That couldn't be right, could it? So I asked him to check with his work to see if he hadn't picked up one of his checks.

A couple weeks went by. I reminded him once or twice. He was pretty sure he had all his checks. I was pretty sure he didn't.

So today he remembered to ask his boss. They meandered over to the safe to check it out.

Lo and behold, his boss did a little digging around and pulled out not one, but TWO checks!!

What the what??

His managers proceeded to tease him that he must not really need the job if he didn't even care if he got his checks, and that it's a good thing his wife keeps track of things...

Darn right it is.

Friday, February 19, 2010

having sufficient

My post below reminded me of my friends' blog. Yesterday, Ashley and I talked a lot about money troubles. We talked about managing our resources wisely, mistakes we make, and how we need to be better at it. We talked about looking for jobs and we talked about education. And about how sometimes it sucks having to be an adult.

Our friends Julianne and Jeremy write a blog called "Having Sufficient." I love it. They write about practical things: budgeting, looking for jobs, networking, being thrifty, yummy and practical recipes, education, unemployment, tips for writing resumes. It is real advice written by real people. (How do I know they're real people? I see them all the time.)

They are humble about their blog and don't really advertise that they have it. I think it's great, so I am advertising for them. Go check it out.

Their most recent post is "Who is Responsible for the Family Budget?" Does it get more practical than that?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

weeky bitch 'n' run

This is Ashley.

We're totally BFFs.

And we're sisters.

We like to get together and run. We are slow. I like it.

When we run, we vent. We complain. We get things out. That's what sisters are for, right?

Today Ashley called it our weekly "bitch 'n' run." Love it.

Can't wait until next week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

um, adorable

This just in. Super cute little boy hangs out with my super cute husband while I bring home the bacon. Mmmmm. Bacon.



Thanks for sending me the picture, love!

{That was an adult-size beanie from Banana Republic. Turns out some guy bought it, washed it, shrank it, returned it, and Christian bought it for Graham for like $7. So cute.}

valentine's weekend

It was good.

Graham and Christian did a little bit of sewing.


Ran 8 miles. Felt good. Have to thank my poor friends for enduring my ridiculous infatuation with hilly runs. I apologize to their hips, knees, and lungs. Thanks for running with me, ladies!


Skipped town to visit Ian and Kitty. Now that Christian works weekends, we have been sticking around home more. It was nice to get away.

Discovered that Graham no longer sleeps well away from home. Bleh. Looks like sticking around home is not such a bad option.


Made peanut-butter hearts with the nieces. Mmmmm. Chocolate.




Hung out with Graham and Sutton for a day. We napped. We watched TV. We read books. It was heavenly.


Christian joined the crew for a fun day of snowboarding.

I came home to find the cutest valentine ever in the mail! Thank you, Karen! You are the BEST!

And, perhaps the most exciting thing, Graham got his first card from Grandma and Panda! My mom sends the grandkids the cutest cards in the mail that always have balloons and stickers in them. Graham got balloons and stickers. He was pretty excited about it. (Okay, he was asleep. I was ecstatic.) Thank you, mom!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

i got a valentine!


Oh my goodness! I came back to my desk and what did I find? An valentine from a coworker! I had to put the puzzle pieces together: U R 'sew' cool. 'Eye' hope your day is 'soup'er! Hap'pea' 'heart'day!

Gosh, I don't think I've gotten a valentine in years. I think we need to start this tradition for adults. A week before Valentine's Day, we should have a work meeting to we make construction paper heart envelopes. Then we should hang them outside our cubicles/offices. Then on V-day we all walk around filling up each others' envelopes with valentines and candy! Why didn't I think of this last week????

random friday thoughts

1. We have new neighbors. I can hear the man snoring through our wall. Wow. That must really suck for his wife... Gotta love thin walls.

2. Graham is finally sleeping in his own room. He was getting too big for his cradle, so it was time. I kind of wanted him to sleep next to me forever, but I gave in. Knock on wood, but he has actually been sleeping better in his own room. Hurray!

3. Yesterday Graham and I took a 3-hour nap on the couch. It was heavenly. Now that I am back at work, I don't want to do anything whatsoever on the days I'm home. It's bad, but I'm grateful that Christian and I are both experiencing home life with child and work life with child so that we have complete understanding of the demands of both.

4. I think I inherited my phone-losing skills from my dad. I hear his lost phone is sending out ghost texts. Mine never does that. It just gets lost.

5. Still can't think of a way to creatively frame my mirror. It's driving me crazy.

6. I ran a 10k in the hills of Woodside last Saturday--in the rain and mud. It was gorgeous. I even heard a tree in the forest ccccrrrraaaack and fall. Awe inspiring and a little scary at the same time.

7. My friend, Jayme, had her baby yesterday--8 weeks early! Baby Olivia has to stay at the hospital for a few weeks, but I hear she's doing well. Can't wait to meet the little cutie! I have to admit--I'm an itty bit jealous Jayme gets to skip the torturous last month of pregnancy (stretch marks, waking up every hour, ridiculously uncomfortable...).

8. Google Buzz was fun for about 2 minutes (the two minutes I had fun calling it Facetwiggle and Twigglebook). Then it went the way of Facebook and Twitter--boring. Just not my thing.

9. I am knitting a complicated (by my non-knitting standards) cable scarf. I hope to finish it by next winter. If not, I'll aim for 2012.

10. I can't think of anything else. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

everything will be okay

The word "okay" came up twice this past weekend. I often keep these kinds of thoughts to myself because they seem so personal, but today it seemed selfish, so I thought I'd share.

At a church conference meeting on Sunday (where leaders of our church speak to a gathering of the local congregations), the speaker made a very simple statement: that if you stay close to the spirit everything will be okay in your life.

I'm an optimist, but I'm also a realist. I know that things aren't always okay. Before this weekend I may have scrunched my nose a bit in reaction to that statement and thought that no matter how close you are to the spirit, it doesn't mean that everything in your life will be okay. Things go wrong. That's just how life is. You deal with it, you move on, you resolve to make the best of it. But that doesn't mean that things are going to always go well for you.

The problem is that I was misinterpreting the word "okay." My initial interpretation of his statement was that all would be great in your life. But then my mind wandered back to hearing the word "okay" the day before.

At a very special memorial service on Saturday, our friend stood at the pulpit of one of our church buildings and explained to us that a week earlier he had received a very strong feeling in his heart that told him two things: 1) that he was about to go through an absolutely heartbreaking experience and 2) that it would be okay.

That it would be okay.

Staying close to the spirit doesn't mean that your life will be perfect or that everything you want in life will come true. It means that things will be okay. That you will feel the peace and comfort you need to get through hard times. That you will be able to lean on our Heavenly Father for strength. That no matter what happens, it will be okay. You will be okay. And that's a very powerful message.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

lazy

Dear Christian,

Your wife was very lazy today. You let her sleep in, for which she is incredibly grateful. Then she went running, but she really didn't want to. You told her she should so she went. She was tired and ran quite slowly. Then she hung out at April's house and did nothing. Then she came home and showered (thank goodness, because she didn't want to). And she was so tired that she took a nap on the couch. Then she realized she was really REALLY hungry and ate anything and everything she could find in the kitchen (cereal, cupcake, apple, enchiladas, ice cream...). Then she went and hung out with Ashley, Charlie, Max, and her mom. Then she went and taught her ESL class. Then she came home and played with her baby. Sure, it might sound like she did a lot, BUT...

She didn't do any laundry. She didn't clean up the baby's room. She didn't hang up any of the clothes strewn all over the floor. She didn't put away the sewing machine. She didn't make dinner. She didn't make bread. She didn't go to Costco to get more baby wipes. And she didn't do any dishes.

She feels a little guilty that it was her day "at home" and she didn't do anything productive.

So she's making a public apology.

BUT she did put beans in a pot to soak so that you could make your super yummy chili tomorrow.

By the way, can you make your super yummy chili tomorrow?

Monday, February 8, 2010

pictures of graham

I guess I'm not too great at posting pictures of Graham, am I? Maybe this will make up for it. Here are a few shots I took on my phone.

Playing in his favorite place (Ian and Kitty's old play mat) with his favorite toy (some old ducky from Ian and Kitty's house):


As a pirate at his first little kid birthday party!


Afternoon tummy time on the couch resulted in a perfectly timed nap in the setting sun:


You wish you were as cool as Graham:


You can't hide the TV from Graham. He will find it:

Friday, February 5, 2010

molten chocolate lava cake

I am craving this.

{Photos swiped without permission from this site. Please don't hate me fellow blogger.}

I think I will make some this weekend. Or perhaps next weekend for Valentine's Day. I did a quick search online and decided to try this recipe. Mainly because they use pretty pictures. That usually wins me over. But that means I need some of those adorable ramekins (note: I had no idea these were called ramekins as of 5 minutes ago).


Looks like I will be perusing TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Ross this weekend in search of some on sale.

Yum.

Yummy.

Mmmmmmmmm.

Back to work. Back to work...

graham takes a tour at stanford

There are some very nice new buildings going up here at the medical school at Stanford. Cost a pretty penny, I'm sure. Quartz from South Africa for a conference room tabletop? Sheesh.

This was actually Graham's second tour of the new LKSC building, but the first time we toured it he was in my belly. He wasn't fully formed yet and neither was the building. Both are much more mature now. In fact, Graham fully enjoyed the tour. Looking at the lights, smiling at me, smelling saw dust and fresh paint, staring at the monkey printed on his sleeve. It was quite the event.

The building manager told me Graham was the youngest guest to tour the building. I doubt anyone on the construction crew is younger than him, so I'm going to say he is the youngest person to step foot (or stroller) in the building, period. Guest or not.

He feels special.

Check out the view. Lucky medical students. I could handle that view. Instead I stare at painting of the Irish countryside on the wall outside my cubicle. I guess that's good enough.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

i loves me some ESL

I'm teaching again. Love it. Love my class. They come consistently. They fill the classroom. They laugh. They make jokes. They pay attention (okay, mostly). They ask questions. They put forth effort. They make my day.

{My students doing group work. Or just talking and laughing.}



Every day I ask them for phrases they have heard since the last class that they may not understand or know how to say correctly. Sometimes it's amusing for all of us to try to figure out what someone heard. For example. Today we had "rai-way" and we figured out it was "Right away." And "aiothiso" ended up being "I don't think so." It might take us a while, but we always figure out the phrases.

Then we ended up talking about clothes v. close v. closed v. closet. Poor guys. Learning English must seriously suck.

Remind me not to ask students what their favorite food is. One new shy student answered "Mole" (pronounced mo-ley). Of course the class all laughed, because they think my name is pronounced "Mole." He was pretty embarrassed.

Two of my students are pregnant. I'm so excited for them. They threw me a class baby shower, so I'll be throwing one for them, too.

One of my students has been playing the guitar for 20 years. He doesn't have one, but he plays his friend's. Today he pulled out a piece of paper to show me the lyrics he wrote down for the song he's learning. "And I Love Her" by the Beatles. I told him I'd bring in my guitar so he could play for the class. That poor guitar needs some action.

Sometimes I just want to stay home at night and not teach. By the end of class, I'm always glad I went.

Monday, February 1, 2010

mirror mirror on the wall

Three years ago I saw a Craigslist post for a free mirror. A free 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 foot mirror. Gigantasaurus Rex. So I thought, "Why not?"

I had grand plans of making an frame for it. Leaning it up against a wall in our living room. Pure awesomeness.

And somehow it ended up behind my brother's shed. He was going to help me make a frame since he had all the wood-cutting tools.

And then three years went by. Hmmmmm. Talk about an unfinished project.

The time came for them to move out of their little duplex, which meant the mirror needed to come out from behind the shed.

How do you move a mirror that big when you don't want to pay for a moving truck? Why, you strap it to the top of a Durango and drive really, really slowly. That's how.


And then you play with it in the living room for a while.






And then you lean it up against the only free wall space you can find.


And then you realize it now has a big scratch in the back.

And then you realize you don't want to make an expensive frame for a scratched mirror.

So one of these days you'll come up with an idea for a cool cheap frame idea that everyone is going to see and say, "That is so cool! Why didn't I think of that? You are so creative, Molly!"

You'll see.

Until then, here is some mirror art for you.


We call this one "Time To Clean Our Room."