Monday, November 25, 2013

Clean your backyard first!

So many things I have been wanting to blog about, but once I get the time I am just too tired in the evenings.  It is 333 in the afternoon and Audrey still has not gone down for a nap.  So I figured I would try to blog as she is entertaining herself.  Yes, this blog could very well take me hours this way but maybe it will at least get done.  Now which subject to blog about....

Let's talk about cleaning up your house before you clean up others.  I am in no way trying to tell anyone how to live their life, as my life is not perfect, heck its barely tidy, and its pretty crazy, but it's my kind of crazy so it works for me.  This is just a personal thing I have to get off my chest and maybe advice to help others before they get too far in over thier heads.

I once had a friend who couldn't control her dog.  It was awful.  Her dog always ran away, always tore stuff up, having accidents in the house and always pulled on the leash during walks.  As we were talking I found myself telling her how we trained our dogs to let us know when they wanted to go out... funny side note really, we hung a bell by the door and every time we were ready to take them out we rang the bell.  We did this every time for a while and then one day we were upstairs in the office and we heard a bell ringing, not thinking about the door we continued on what is was we were doing.  Suddenly we both jumped at the same time and said, "The dogs!"  Sure enough Bear was at the door wagging his tail and jumping at the bell by the door.  It worked.... it really worked and it was all Collin's idea...... anyway I explained this to my friend along with how we crate trained.  Yes, Collin and I believe in crate training.  I know some people don't and they think it is cruel but we believe in it and we believe it works.  One day after I got home from work I walked into my house and found that the dogs had busted out of their crates... well 2 out of 3 of them, not only did they bust out but they destroyed the side of our couch and there was suddenly a dent in our stairway wall that wasn't there before.  As I continued to crate them and head off to work I also hired a puppy sitter who came by to play with them and let them out.  I got a phone call one day saying that the dogs put a hole in my wall.  Sighing I let her know that yes I know and I am finding someone to fix it soon.  Once getting home I was shocked!  The dent was now an actual hole.  A hole so big that I could put both arms through it.  After video taping I learned that Rebel was getting out of his crate first and then getting Bear out of his and only about 25% of the time Shelby would join. Shelby was the good lab, my chocolate lab,  Oh I loved my Shelby.  I knew she was not the root of the problem but was convinced the only reason she ever broke out was to scold the other two before they caused anymore damage.  Yes, Shelby was the Princess lab!
The vet believed the pups (Bear and Rebel) were let go too soon from their mother and could have several issues including separation anxiety.  I tried it all pills, sprays, smells, nothing seemed to work they even tore up chicken wire to get to where they wanted to go.  Longer story short I knew all this was going on in my house but yet wanted to take on helping my friend solving her problems.  It doesn't work that way.

If you are struggling to pay your bills but got approved for a new car would you add that extra monthly payment to your income? What if a friend really needed to borrow some money but you didn't even have enough to pay your own bills, why would you lend money you don't have?  A friend of mine told a story or rather a quick scenario about writing checks.... If you look in your bank account and don't have any money and you look in your savings and don't have the money to transfer but man those shoes in the window are killer and you just have to have them, and payday is Monday and if you go late enough on Friday they can't possible cash that check prior to Monday so.... why not go for it?!  What if that check goes through Prior to your pay check clearing?  Oppps more of a mess then you were already in!
Clean up your current mess before you make more of one.

If you can't keep your house clean for more than a day do you really think you should offer to help clean someones else's house?  Trust me with a 1 year old I can't keep my house organized or overly clean so I am NOT going to help you figure out how to keep your house clean or organized!

I once was a manager, or as I was technically considered a Site Senior Supervisor, who was in charge of the entire staff, scheduling, disciplining, and all the management stuff that came with the job.  There were plenty of times I was in over my head.  I always seemed short staffed but I wasn't in charge of the hiring, my upper management did that.  So I was struggling with being down officers and yet trying not to have overtime.  Anyone in a position to make out schedules with a large turnover rate and short staffed knows how hard it is to avoid OT.  One particular occasion I was being told by my company boss that I had to figure out how to stop the OT from happening and I was struggling with the schedule.  The client for the Site that I managed my team came to me and told me we needed to provide extra duties.  I loved this Client and who I considered my main boss, and I loved that we had a great working relationship so I told him "No problem, I would get it covered immediately!"
What was I thinking?!  I was already struggling in my small house, but yet agreed to provide work in the bigger house.  I was now 80 hours short and maxed out on hours!  (yes I accomplished the task, with overtime but minimal OT and both sides of the house were happy!  I went from 80 hours to about 20!)
Anyway I tell you this because it only created more headache for me and more problems when I didn't take care of my own backyard and dove into the front yard as well!
It's just like a retail store.  If your short a lead cashier.... don't train your current cashiers to stock the shelves until you have trained one of them to be the lead cashier.

I was recently asked if I could bake some cookies..... I don't bake for my household, I burnt a pie that was already made and just frozen (it could be the difference between American oven settings and Korea's).  It was awful so I am not going to try and bake for others.  I did offer to buy some though :)

Take what you want from this but I am just trying to stress my worry for those who don't feel the need to take care of their house before taking care of others.  I certainly won't give you advise on much... but that is probably because I have a lot to take care of before I can try to take care of you.  I will tell you to talk to a financial specialist, not me.  Call Molly Maids, not me.  Call a dog trainer cause I failed with mine.  I do feel confident to give you the above advise as I have learned from my mistake of not cleaning up my own mess first in the past and I won't make that mistake again!  (at least I am going to try my best)!

For those of you who stuck through this lengthy personal rant I want you to know that the challenge is going well and I will be doing measurements and weigh in, in 3 days.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Festival!

I love mommy hood but sometimes it is exhausting.  I think we are teething because there has been a lot of ear pulling, fussiness, being very clingy and just down right exhausting.  Daddy comes home and helps as much as he can but he has school so he keeps very busy in the evenings with studying and homework.  However, she is holding her free stand for probably about 15 seconds now and is trying to mimic just about everything we say and do now :)  If you count she is a pro at saying 8 it's really cute! 

It is getting pretty cold here.  Most days are in the mid to low 30's so it makes for going for walks challenging.  Walking on post the wind is usually at our backs but coming home gets pretty bad.  Monday, Audrey took the blanket and actually covered half of her face.  I wanted to go to the PX today but I just can't justify bundling her up and walking over there if it is not a must have.  Monday after we got home it started to snow.  Nothing stuck though so it was just that annoying snow.  Audrey was sleeping so missed out but I saw it flying around the living room balcony. 

This past weekend was a lot of fun.  Saturday we had a Bazaar to go to on post to help support the high school.  It was nice to not be working at an event but part of me misses it.  I think I actually want to get in on the coordinating side of it a little more.  I don't know what is more important for me.  Coordinating it and learning that side of things or trying to become a vendor at one of these things.  Anyway, we went shopping for something specific at the PX, I say specific because I really can't remember what it was after walking out of there with a ton of clearance baby clothes :) I got like 65.00 of stuff for 30.00  Can't pass that up.  So after shopping we fed Audrey and then headed to the Bazaar.  She fell asleep on the way and unfortunately missed Santa all together.  Hoping to find another one soon.  Then that evening we went to the Lantern Festival which was pretty cool!  It was cold out so Audrey was bundled up pretty good and slept through half of it but it is really amazing the things they put together.  It was also the last weekend for it and was crazy crazy busy!  I felt like cattle being herded down a long narrow path at times.  Collin bought me some light up roses and we bought some other lantern goodies, which one exploded on me after we got home.  See it was 220 plugs and they gave you an attachment so you could use 110 as well.  All our 110 were being used at the time so I just figured I would use the 220.  HA WRONG!  I don't know what happened but when I plugged it in, it exploded.  Light bulb and the little thing the light bulb sits in shot up and out of the flower.  The ends of the flower are even burnt :(  I am so bummed I broke it.......... needless to say I am never using 220 again.  I even have Collin plug in the converters now cause I am too paranoid.

Sunday after church we went to see where Collin goes to school.  It was beautiful.  Freezing cold but beautiful!  And nice to get out and go somewhere we have never been. 

Last night we finally did Audrey's birthday cupcake.... things have been crazy.  She enjoyed it.  Made a bigger mess of that then she did from her cake.  A friend from the church gave Audrey a really nice gift card for one of the department stores here too.  I am itching to go buy her something nice! 

Well I guess I will go for now.  Everyone is in bed and I am exhausted just have a few things I wanted to get done before I head off to bed as well.  If Audrey is anything like she was today, tomorrow I am going to need every ounce of sleep I can get! 

Audrey covering her face on the walk.

Walking through Collins University

The Lantern Festival


Thursday, November 14, 2013

New steps New Journey!

Today I am very excited about a new journey in my life.  I have promised myself many times since I have been here that I would lose weight.  Well that hasn't happened yet.  However, today I got my Body by Vi kit.  So why should this be different from anything else?  I have tried diets, and the gym, I even tried a worm infested shake with essential oils (don't even get me started on that one).  Well a couple of reasons this one is going to work.  The big reason is because it's a 90 day Challenge.  Right there is what I need.... Challenge.  It makes it more demanding, makes me feel like it's something I have to complete.  Isn't it funny what a single word can do to you?  Plus it challenges you too make your commitment public and now that I have done that on FB then how can I possible  not stick with it.  I even measured and weighed myself and ugh scary!
Another reason is that I want to have another baby someday and I really really want to be healthier the next pregnancy, not to mention I just want to be healthy for my children and to be able to keep up with them. 
However there is a huge huge reason why I will make this work.  See Collin also is participating in the challenge.  I get to wear the band, and have the website but tomorrow morning both of us will begin our journey.  I WILL kick his butt in these next 90 days!

Today marks another special day!  Toddler life begins!  Audrey is a whole year old today.  I won't bore you with the details but it was the craziest 3 hours and 25 minutes of my life!  Ok so maybe a few details.  Monday night November 12th the Steelers were playing a Monday night game and I fell asleep before it was over (they lost).  This piece of information  is not important except for the fact that the Steelers were playing a Monday night game and that is always important to me.  Ok so anyway... Tuesday morning my water broke at 0550.  I didn't start having real contractions until about 0700 and up until that point I was determined to go to work.  The hospital was maybe 10 minutes from my job and I had paperwork to finish off and make sure all was in order and being my first child I had plenty of time. The hospital was 40 minutes from my home.  Collin was on 24 staff duty and wouldn't even get home until 0900 and he would need to try to get some sleep.  When I returned home after choosing not to go to work I found Collin was in bed trying to sleep.  Someone at work heard the news and went in to relieve him early.  Knowing he needed some sleep I paced outside and then down in the basement while making a few phone calls.  My mother was my biggest phone call :)  She talked to me as I was having contractions, and after Collin just couldn't sleep she talked as I tried to pack my bag and the babies bag, she talked to me as my contractions were getting to be 5-7 minutes apart and oddly enough I don't remember anything we talked about except for when I sat down and had to breath through a contraction and heard my mom say something to the effect of get off this phone and get Collin.  These contractions are coming way to quick.  I alerted Collin and he said, "I am taking a shower" and off he went.  See we went through the bradly classes and Collin was at one time an instructor.  Between the class and his knowledge we knew there was no way Audrey was coming that soon.  After a 5 minute shower I was bent over the counter in pain and told him how sorry I was but there was no way I was going to be able to do this drug free.  He took me down stairs and after some screaming in pain we were in the car.  A little over half way there I knew I had to push.  I told him she wasn't going to wait but he assured me we were almost there and at that point I could see the hospital.  After the most insane roller coaster from checking in at the ER to wheeling up to Labor and Delivery triage to getting rolled down on a bed to L&D and then getting placed on another bed.  Then being told I couldn't have drugs and to push and 2 1/2 pushes later hearing my baby it was finally over!  That day I did what I didn't think was possible I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, all natural, and she was  healthy!

Happy Birthday Audrey Ruth you make mommy and daddy so proud!

 Right after the delivery,  they wanted to rush her away but Collin convinced them to let us have a moment!
 He was amazing right there with her every 3 hours for 5.5 days until we were released!  I saw so much pride in him that day!

 The best thing I have ever done!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Don't spit out the window

One of the things I like so much about Korea is the crime rate.  Sure there is crime, its everywhere, but here I don't here about people breaking into homes, or kids shooting up a school, or rape or stabbings or kidnappings or any of the above.  I am sure it happens.  I am not saying that there is no crime here I am just saying that you don't hear about it even a quarter of what you hear in the states.  The worst thing that I have been told that happens here is suicide.  Ok so that is awful I am not trying to down play it but I have not even heard of one in the month and a half I have been here and yet it is so common in the states.  Part of this I assume is the fact that guns are not allowed in Korea.  Now I am not trying to get into a political debate because I will say that because of the Country America is we should be allowed to have guns!  We at the time of living in the states did not always have a gun in the home but believe me, with all the break ins and there were plenty of times that I mention to Collin that I wish I had one.  On one of the streets I lived on back in Colorado there were at least 3 break ins just on my street and I praise God that it was never our home.  It is because we  have always been able to have guns that we feel with the society we live in we need and want our weapons.  However now looking at a Country that doesn't allow them I can see a side of innocence. 

Audrey and I went on a walk about a week ago.  Collin was working late and we wanted to get some fresh air.  As we were walking I saw a very young girl around age 7.  She was walking with another girl, probably about the same age, coming home from school.  They were walking together alone.  The one girl turned off to head into the same apartments I live in and the other kept walking.  She was about 50 steps ahead of me and at the end of the road she started walking up the steps to go a cross the bridge.  WOW she was at least another 5 minutes from home from where we went separate ways. (I only know this because I know about how long it takes to walk up the stairs, over the bridge, and back down to the nearest apartments.  The slow pace that the girl was going would put her at the nearest apartments in about 5 minutes. It is also not out of the ordinary to see young school kids get on the subway alone either.  I share this story only because the lack of crime here amazes me and makes me very happy.

Now Don't spit out the window!  Yes our biggest crimes lol!  Every once in awhile something comes up and the apartment complex makes a building wide announcement over the loud speak.  If it is not important then they only announce it in Korean but if it is something that needs to be heard and is really really important they will announce in Korean and then in English.  Well for the past 2 days we have had an announcement after 5pm (generally after most people are off work)  The announcement has been something like this....

We strive to keep our building nice and clean
and it takes a lot of money to have cleaning done
to the outside of the building.  A lot of money for 
window cleaning, so don't spit out your window.

Now just like any warning or announcement or print on the drive through cup you know someone did it and that's why they have to say don't do it!  Be careful contains hot liquid, Don't place in or near water (hair dryers) Keep out of Children's reach (plastic bags)...... and so on.  Just a shame.  I am waiting for the announcement of follow house rules because the Americans that live below you don't appreciate you stomping around and moving furniture at 2am, or This is a none smoking facility and the Americans above you with the small child doesn't appreciate your smoke coming from your balcony to theirs. 

Anyway if there is one thing I have learned while I have been here is Don't spit out a window cause it cost too much money to clean them.