Friday, January 25, 2013

The Order Of The Day

This morning I packed up my first attempt at a bento style lunch:
Not featured is the cute bear shaped hard boiled egg that I forgot about and had to put in a separate container.  I'm not going to lie... yesterday evening as I mixed up the sushi rice I said to the girls "I can't make fancy lunches and dinner" then I called Mr F and told him to bring home pizza.  It took SEVERAL hours to do this and I know it doesn't look like all that much... but... it is.  Just trust.  I'm experimenting to see how long I can keep the rice shapes in the fridge and have them still be edible.  If they can stay for a day or two then this whole thing is a lot more doable.  Of course the point was to entice Baby to eat more... and... she doesn't like sushi rice (she's nuts).  

(Baby with snowman outside of Tsai Grocery)

FYI, for any local person who is interested in going crazy and spending all night hand crafting their children's lunches, Tsai Grocery has a random and ever changing selection of bento things.  I got my hardboiled egg molds there last year (not there now), the rice molds and little picks I got yesterday.   Their prices are pretty comparable to what you'll find online, and of course you won't have to pay shipping.  They also have bento boxes, but since this is an experiment, I didn't get any of those yet. It is also a good place to pick up sushi rice, nori, sushi seasoning, and cute little panda cookies ;)  

In other news, I put together a pretty nice goodbye card for the Koreans.  I'm hoping and praying I get it delivered before their last day!  (It is going to be CLOSE)  Mr. F had spend every morning at school trying to take a good class photo but there was always someone sick.  Finally, I just took a couple with my phone with what we had.  Thank God, because I had no idea how long shipping and processing was going to take.  I got one of them smiling-ish (see last post) for the cover, one of them waving on the inside with a goodbye message and all of their names, and then a goofy shot for the back of the card with their school, class, and year on it.  I ordered enough to give the kids that are leaving next week, and have the others waiting for when the other two kids go back later in the year.  I think it will be a great momento for the kids to take home with them.  I also ordered little South Korean and US toothpick flags (from and I got those in a couple of days... no expedited shipping... fyi, in case you ever need little flags!  I'm going to bring in rice krispie treats with the flags stuck in them on their last day (or cupcakes.... but the icing will ruin the flags).  I also ordered best friend necklaces for Ruby to give her Korean friends, and hopefully Mr F is taking a picture of her little friend group which we will frame and give them to take home as well.  And, YAY!, we did figure out email and skype with her friend that is leaving next week... and we have a couple of months to figure it out with her other friend.  So that is a load off.  I feel pretty good about it all.  I think we've done everything we can to make this a meaningful goodbye for the Koreans and for Kid.  

 (Kid wearing her rearview spy glasses.... 
proof that sometimes our life isn't overwhelming stress and sadness)

It's hard to tell in this picture (because capturing actual snow fall is not easy) but the snow is really coming down this morning...
(Looks like my snow tires will finally get put to the test!)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Goodbye Card

Picture In Landscape 5x7 folded card
Turn family photos into photo Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's freezing this morning.  In fact it is a good 35 degrees BELOW freezing.  This is the first time I've had to have the girls wear their full on snow pants for driving to school IN THE CAR:
(she's always zesty)

It is so cold out that the snow was squeaky, if you know what I mean.  I'm contemplating shoveling, since it is pure powder and the easiest possible shoveling conditions... but... I'm afraid my heart might stop beating.  The girls sat around the table moaning about how cold they were at breakfast; I had to keep reminding them that it was FACTUALLY the same temperature inside as it always is.  ;)  

This weekend we drove back out to Philly to visit with my Nana.  She turned 100 on January, 9th. 
She is doing extremely well.  She is handling the death of my grandfather in a zen like manner.  She is not in denial, nor is she in mourning.  She is moving forward, quick to share a remembrance, often acknowledging his absence, but not in a sad or depressed way.  Maybe you need to be 100 in order to put everything in perspective so well, to really except the cycle of life.  She is very much determined to keep on living.  And is quite disgruntled that she can no longer dine with their male friends because it would seem improper.  I told her I thought 100 was beyond reproach... but she assured me that under the watchful eye of the retirement village gossip and politics no one was beyond reproach.

My grandmother received these kitchen shears as a wedding gift from her mother.  She has had them for 72 years and they've never been sharpened!  I figured there was no better endorsement than that!

They are Wiss brand 1KS kitchen shears.  They still make them!  They are about $25 now, and clearly worth the money.  They are still made from the finest quality cutlery steel and made in the USA.  

 We stopped in here again (twice).  Check it out next time you are rolling through Clearfield, PA!
 This will be more meaningful to our FB friends... but... suffice it to say this place has proven to be the most quotable travel center in the Universe. And while the bathrooms are very clean, the other occupants... well, they are prone to shout out loud, bizarre, disconcerting statements.  You kind of want to go there just to hear what is going to be said... and.... then again, you kind of don't.  It's exciting!

We got our new fridge right (and I mean minutes) before we left for our trip on Friday.  There were only 3 different models (seriously) that we could chose from that would fit in our built in cabinets.  It was a nightmare and our fridge is even smaller than our old one (!).  I can't wait to start having to wipe off fingerprints again...

How long do you think our old fridge will stay in the middle of the room?  Keep in mind it has all of our food still in it, and is still plugged in? (I'm thinking in terms of weeks).
On the upside, look at how efficient my work triangle is!  

As soon as we got home, guess who's tummy started hurting again?  She was fine the entire time we were away.  It is really sad and disconcerting, she is in tremendous pain and can't eat she feels so sick.

I'm trying to figure out if this is because of school work stress, or her friend leaving.  Her friend has her last day of school next Thursday.  (I've done everything I can think of on that front... we've got her email and mailing addresses, we ordered best friend necklaces, Mr F is going in to school to shoot a class photo we can give her friend to take home, we are bringing in cupcakes with little US and S.Korean flags on them on her last day, etc.)  I just don't think we can live through this level of upset very much longer, to be honest.  She has so much work to do, and she can't do it when she is this sick.  If she isn't better this afternoon, I'm going to take her to her pediatrician just to rule out a physical cause we might be overlooking (doubt it).  If there is no physical cause we are going to try and make it through next Thursday, then see if it gets better after her friend goes back to Korea.  If it doesn't, then we are going to take her out of school for a week and do her assignments from home, and see if that makes it better.  Then we'll know if it is something at school that is stressing her out, or the work itself.  I'd take her out now, but she doesn't want to miss her friend's last few days at school.  I don't know, people, it's hard to verbalize how badly she is doing all of a sudden.  She has had issues before (obviously) but they haven't manifested themselves in such a debilitating physical sickness before.  She really wants to stay in school (not just now but always... and she will cry when she feels like she can't handle it, for whatever reason because all she wants to is to just go to school like a *normal* kid)  So, we need to figure out how to make that doable, if we can.  If we can't figure out what is at the root of this (I really suspect it is the friend, and am hopeful she'll feel better once her friend has moved) we'll have to think about homeschooling again, and maybe trying school again in the Fall.  Maybe this school is just too much pressure.  Although we have gone through this more or less at every school and we have tried every type of school out there!  It is a complicated decision.  She will tell you that she knows she felt better homeschooling, but that she does like school and being at school and being around all the kids.  We have to figure out how we can manage it, and ultimately what is a healthy choice.  I know most people cannot wrap their minds around school being a toxic choice for their child... and most people are very uncomfortable with homeschooling... but if your kid was allergic to peanuts you wouldn't enroll them in a school that had no peanut allergy protocol.  If your child hated carseats... you'd still make them ride in one... because it is dangerous not to.  I live in a weird vortex, where the thing my child wants and likes is a normal part of life but it makes her sick and it is hard to say "You can't go to school because it is not healthy for you."and get anyone to understand.  It's hard. And I don't know what to do.  No ten year old should suffer this much, just to get through the day.  (Yes, we are open to medication... but, you all know, that is a bit of nerve-wrenching decision making process and she is going through puberty and it makes it harder to get doses right and makes me more concerned... plus eliminating the stressor by homeschooling also eliminated the need to medicate her (which kind of seems important to keep in mind)  we will be trying to find a new in-network psychiatrist, since we switched healthcare companies, to work with us, now.)  There is more to it, obviously, then I can get into.  She has self soothing compulsions she will develop and some of them are harmful to her body (picking skin off her finger, etc.)... nothing crazy right now but it does concern me and I don't want it to be something that escalates... AND she didn't do any of them when she homeschooled... but... she has always had some kind of physical soothing compulsion (I'll call it a tick) when she is in school.  Always.  I just think it is too much stress for her.  It's confounding because she does so well academically.

How is that for an uplifting last thought?!  Enjoy!  

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