Monday, December 20, 2010

Jet Pack Training

What is this child doing? Why, she's jet pack training, of course! I came upon the kids doing this today with our TRX bands (these are non-stretchy exercise bands that hook over a door. We use them for P90X). Conveniently, there are handles for their arms, plus extra loops for their hands. With their feet up on the door, they pretend they are airborne.

But you wouldn't really feel like you're flying without wind, so here's the fan! They take turns holding the fan for each other.

Ethan insists on his jet pack face - he's serious about this flying business. Lest you think he's that red and sweaty from just hanging in the air, that's the result of a recent Nerf gun fight.

I'm guessing the creator of TRX never anticipated this use.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lick Away, My Friends

I'm really glad that my mom never told me I shouldn't eat raw cookie dough because that's really the best part of cookies for me. Lately, though, I've met more people who are really against this idea of eating raw batter because of the whole salmonella thing. I know people who have never eaten raw batter because of this fear, and that to me seems tragic, like they're living less than a full life.

Well, today I found this post that proved to me (not that I really needed it) that it's perfectly acceptable to eat raw dough. Here are the stats:

Your chances of getting salmonella poisoning from raw cookie dough: 1 in 30,000.

Your chances of dying from salmonella poisoning: 1 in 50,000,000

Your chances of drowning: 1 in 1,000

Your chances of dying from slipping: 1 in 6,000

Your chances of dying from choking on food: 1 in 5,000

Your chances of being in a car crash: 1 in 4

So while you're doing all your holiday baking, enjoy yourself. Lick away! Do, however, take care while swimming, walking, eating, and driving.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thank you thank you thank you

I was inspired just now after putting in a few loads of laundry to add to my thankful list.

395. My giant washing machine (ok, not by US standards, but definitely by these standards!). I can't tell you how many hours this has saved me.
396. Our dryer - again, giant, and it actually spins the clothes instead of baking them, like most Chinese dryers.
397. The fact that the only truly cold place in our house is the porch where these appliances are, and since they are so big I don't have to go out there too often.
398. Road trip! I love road trips. (we're going to a furniture place).
399. The possibility of finally getting the last pieces of furniture for our apartment.
400. My husband who graciously included, "Finishing house projects" in his sabbatical plan.
401. Sabbatical! Not for me, but Erik. He so needed it. I love having him around!
402. Jane Eyre for 89c on Kindle. So far I love this book. Don't spoil it for me please.
403. New shared interest with Erik - P90X.
404. Feeling strong and energetic after our first week of P90X.
405. Tao Bao. I will always be thankful for Tao Bao.
406. And Amazon, because now my family has Christmas gifts in route.
407. Relaxing days in a sort of Christmas break (we've still been doing a little school, but very little).
408. Fun times with my kids making sugar cookies and cutting out snowflakes.
409. Making fun Christmas gifts (yes, in addition to Amazon - I was feeling generous this year) for my family that reminded me how much I love them
410. The incredible blessing of being able to coach LEAF last week
411. Having a GREAT coaching team to work with - best ever, never had so much fun doing it.
412. Reflecting on my own LEAF growth and how God has made a seismic shift in my heart that makes me see everything differently now.
413. Getting to spend two hours last night listening to one of my friends who went through LEAF last week talk about how how excited she is about all that she learned
414. The joy of Christmas coming!
415. IKEA - never would have thought I could finish my Christmas shopping for the kids there, but this year I did
416. Friends across China who send me notes via other friends when they can.
417. Thailand is appealing to me again - we'll go there in January for a few weeks. When we traveled there from Singapore, it was just a dirtier version of Singapore. Now it will be a happy relief from the cold!
418. What cold? :) I'm happy to have predicted temps in the mid-40's this week, even if it means we won't have a white Christmas.
419. My brown hat. I heart my brown hat.
420. Kids who are in a really fun stage - so helpful, but getting independent, able to have interesting conversations, always growing and learning.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Search for Stockings

When Megan asked me yesterday if we were going to have stockings this year, it did beg the question, "Where are the stockings?" After a quick check with the Stateside fam and another perusal of the closet, we had to decide they've gone AWOL. Possibly they hopped a boat back to the tropics. If so, good riddance. We can hardly celebrate Christmas with stockings who can't take the cold.

So as we are now accustomed to doing, I am searching Tao Bao for new stockings. In searching, I have discovered a few things. First, a number of the items are displayed on the legs of thin women actually wearing the stockings like socks. I avoid these not only because a) someone has been wearing something I planned to put candy in, but b) if the stockings are small enough for a tiny Chinese woman to wear as socks, they aren't anywhere close to the size we need.

I say this because I now realize the kids in our family grew up with what might be termed oversized stockings. (I prefer to call them "generous" or even, "the RIGHT size"). My brother's stocking was long and thin, something I could easily now pull up to my mid-thigh. I secretly thought mine was better - though shorter, it was significantly wider, allowing for bigger items inside. Our sister's was about the size of mine as well. To us, they were normal.

So how do I find equal size stockings to replace our lost ones? I would feel like Scrooge to give them any less (although I admit our previous stockings were not up to par - another reason I'm not too sad to see them leave). I thought I'd found a winner, but upon closer examination, it is proclaiming, "Let it sonw!" so we're bypassing that.

I've got my eye on a "Pottery Barn" (or so it says) reindeer stocking, but they only have two. Maybe Erik and I will just get those for the kids and use garbage bags instead. Sure, we lose on aesthetics, but you can't get everything you want, even at Christmas.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Warning

I'll be staying in a hotel all of next week and I'm blessed to have a woman named Iris as my roommate. We're excited for the time together to catch up as we don't often see each other. But I realized this morning that being my roommate comes with a warning which I must give her.

I sleep talk.

And not just mumbling like, "Huh, Gina's saying something, I can't quite make it out." No, because I'm a drama geek and that just wouldn't be as riveting. My sleep talking is full on trying to engage you in my reality, which is whatever I've been dreaming about. Add to that the fact that I am actually awake and fully aware of what I'm trying to tell you. Oh yeah, and when you don't understand what I'm telling you (and you won't) I will become frustrated and think, "Idiot!" before falling back asleep.

I started this in high school by wandering into my parent's room at 11 p.m. and insisting to my mom (who was still awake) that "my squad is missing" (referring to my marching band squad of 5). I spent 5 minutes trying to get her riled up about my missing squad but at one point she justifiably asked me, "Gina are you awake?" to which I responded, "YES!" and grumbled out of the room.

Fast forward 20 years and I have subjected many roommates to this behavior. My roommate in college awoke once to me jumping on her, screaming, "Help! Help! Help! Crap! Crap! Crap!" She stopped me before I ran out the door. Erik's born the brunt of it of course, everything from me insisting that he just rolled over the green peppers I was cutting on my pillow to thinking I'd crushed the baby to telling him not to come any closer (because I thought he was a stranger climbing into bed). He knows now that when I speak in a staccato tone, I'm doin' my thing and he should just go along with it til I lose consciousness again.

I wish I could stop doing this, but it's seemingly impossible. Instead I just have to warn people, "I will probably talk to you. I am awake during this times. You don't have to understand. Don't try to converse with me. Eventually I'll go back to sleep. I apologize for the weirdness."

Fashion No No's

Ethan spiked his hair into a mohawk last night after his shower. He's quite pleased that it has stayed that way through the night and plans to keep it until his next shower.

This morning, he and Megan discussed whether or not they should wear their Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts (they like to wear them on the same day) but Ethan said, "I thought about it, but a Thing 1 shirt just doesn't go with a mohawk."

Good to know.