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Showing posts from April, 2011

I Have Never Ever...

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...Trimmed my children's fingernails.

Michael has done it 100% of the time for the last 10+ years. It's true. My husband was an amazing Dad from the minute that pink line showed up on the pregnancy test. He was born for the role of Daddy. He took on every physical task related to taking care of a baby except for feeding, and that's only because he lacked the appendages that Mama was blessed with. In fact, I didn't change my first diaper until my first born child was two weeks old.  Michael left on a business trip to Japan, leaving my own Mama to stay with me as I recovered from a forty hour labor followed by an emergency C-section. Baby Nathan needed changing and I realized that I had no idea how to do it! I had to call my Mom upstairs to show me what to do!

Though I quickly took over all the baby care tasks, one thing remained Michael's (and only Michael's) job. That of trimming Nathan's nails. Michael is very fastidious when it comes to grooming his own na…

Happy Easter!

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Every year on Easter, we take a family snapshot (you can see them here, here, here, and here). This year, for the first time, we're not all together, so no big group shot. But we did take pics of each other via Skype on our respective Easter Sundays (Michael is 15 hours ahead of us).

We're kind of like a tree, blossoming out of Michael's head. Nice!
If you actually clicked on the links to our past Easter photos, you'll see one that includes our "adopted" son, Chris, his wife, and his brother. About a month ago, before there was even a glimmer of Macau on the horizon, we told our "adopted" daughter Michelle that she simply had to go to church with us on Easter so she could be part of our annual Easter photo tradition. Because if you're in the photo, you're family. (We collect extended family like some people collect snowglobes). But now that Easter is here, we realized that our photo was going to be incomplete. But, we took one anyway. Traditio…

Distractions

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Sorry to be absent here... I've got all the Japan Stories just about ready to post so I'll get back on that soon. Funny how I started posting about our time living and working in Japan and then suddenly we're moving out of the country again... Maybe I should have done it a long time ago!

This week I've been focusing on not accomplishing anything other than being 100% present with the boys when they are home, and just being good to myself while they are not. "Being good to myself" involves a lot of reading and laying about being lazy. Which is fine because for the last two weeks I worked around the clock getting Michael ready to go, and for the next eleven weeks I'll be doing the same as I get rid of our possessions and prepare for the family move. I owe it to myself to do nothing for a week without guilt. So far, the boys have been angels. Could it be because I'm lavishing attention on them? I've also heaped a lot more responsibility on both of the…

Welcome!

I'm so glad you're here! Stay awhile?

Safe and Sound

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Michael arrived in Macau about an hour ago, got unpacked, and set up his computer so we could chat on Skype.

Since I went to bed promptly at 8:30 pm last night, getting up to do the 6:30 a.m. morning routine with the boys wasn't a hardship at all. I'll probably pass out this afternoon, but for right now, all is good! Amazing what ten hours of sleep can do for one's outlook on life! Unfortunately, Michael barely slept on the flight, so he's struggling to keep his eyes open (see photo evidence above). It's just after midnight in Macau, so hopefully he will climb into bed and sleep right now! Sweet dreams, Michael!

72 Days Without Michael: Day 1

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The two weeks we had with Michael went by at record speed. Last night we finished packing up the few things he needed, washed the clothes he planned to wear on the plane, and I gave him a quick 2:00 a.m. haircut. Since he'll surely need a haircut within the next eleven weeks, we figured it would be best to start him off with a fresh cut. At the 6:00 a.m. alarm, I went to wake up the boys and found Ben was already sitting up in bed, his cheeks wet from tears. I told him to go snuggle his Dad and then worked on waking Nathan.

We got out the door at 6:30 and made our way over to LAX as a family. A lot of people had offered to take Michael to the airport this morning, but I wanted to do it myself for a couple of reasons. First of all, I didn't want the boys and I to have our last memory of Michael before we see him again in July to be one where he's walking out our front door. So much better, especially for the boys, if we can see him walking away into the airport. Second, I l…

Preparations

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How exactly does one prepare for a move out of the country in one week? Thankfully, whatever Michael forgets can be sent along after him, at least for the next couple of months. I made a list of the things he absolutely has to do to help me out (go through all his clothes and purge what he no longer likes/wears/fits, clean the BBQ that I'm not willing to touch, etc.), and then a second list of things he needs to acquire before he gets on that plane. Today we scratched off the three biggies: steel-toed boots for the job site, athletic shoes for all the commuting he'll be doing via foot, and a lightweight rain coat because it rains 15 out of 30 days during Spring in Macau.

We also took the coin jar from his nightstand that has accumulated 4+ years of daily pocket change and cashed it in at a CoinStar machine. After all, he won't be needing quarters any time soon and it would be silly to store it. We've recently been raiding it for weekly Dairy Queen runs after the boys a…

Moving to Macau, China. Again.

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Three years ago, our family was packed up and ready to move to Macau. My husband was working on developing a brand new show, and we were going to relocate for a few years as it got off the ground. We'd sold off a lot of our household goods, and purchased our favorite hair care products in bulk. The boys were registered for a new school and we had the lease agreement in hand for our beautiful new flat in Macau. After having lived in Japan and Hong Kong for short term relocations, I was so ready to settle into 2+ years of living in a foreign country.

Thirty days before we were scheduled to get on the plane, the whole world went through a major financial crisis. The publicly owned corporation that was funding the show saw their stock go on a free fall from the $200 range to an all time low of less than $4USD per share. It wasn't just our flight reservations that were cancelled that day. Ultimately the entire project was cancelled and everyone, my husband included, lost their jobs…

Broken Record

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One of Ben's favorite things to make is Sugar Cinnamon Toast. Which is simply buttered toast with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. I'm pretty sure that's the only thing I digested while I was pregnant with him (everything else came back up thanks to morning-noon-and-night sickness), so I'm not surprised he loves it. Are there any foods that don't actually get better when you pour sugar on them? Not to a seven year old boy!

The last time Ben made toast, he grabbed the sugar jar and tilted it just a tad too far, resulting in the lid sliding right off. It landed on the tiled kitchen floor, where it broke into four pieces. Horrified, Ben crouched on the floor and instantly started crying, repeating, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."

I started crying right along with him, and that made it worse, because he thought I was angry at him. I wasn't angry, I was just a little shocked and surprised (and I always cry when my kids cry. Involuntary reaction).…