A Reason to Wear Swim Diapers

I have learned a valuable lesson today.

There is a reason for swim diapers. After spending three days in a row at the beach, with sandy board shorts rubbing against sensitive boy parts for hours on end, today he experienced some major irritation. Poor baby spent the last two hours at the beach sitting naked in my lap and whimpering, holding his sore boto.

There was no way I could have known this - I grew up with two sisters! Tomorrow we are wearing a swim diaper.

Candy Sushi made from Rice Krispie Treats

CANDY AND FRUIT ROLL UPS... (the pile of bills is unnecessary but adds a certain je ne sais quoi)



I got this idea from Mommy Knows (and here's a link to the tutorial). It's super easy, super delicious, and super cute! Perfect for parties and potlucks.


Little Opihi'z - Cute Island Style Shirts for Kids and Babies

I got a question about the boys shirt in that last post and I love that sweatshirt so much, I decided it needed it's own post on the blog!

It's from Little Opihi'z, which was created by a lady who lives here in Waimea. I saw her stuff at a couple craft fairs and shops around town. The website lists some, but not all, of her adorable designs. Cute "local kine" sayings like "Big Island Boy" or "Kolohe Girl" are just a few of the phrases that are embroidered onto her shirts, sweatshirts, and onesies.

I rarely (and with great pain) spend more than a dollar on clothes for Ikaika, but this was just too darn cute. And it's supporting another local mom's business, so I'm all about paying full price for that. Ikaika's shirt says "Hapa Haole" which indeed does mean "halfie whitey". I bought it when he was a year old and it's size 4T so I'm hoping to get as much wear out of it as possible!

I've been drooling over the little camo-colored shirts that say "Big Braddah" and "Lil Braddah". But I haven't quite worked up the guts to drop that much money again...


Wearing a Hat - and Loving It!

This morning while we were cleaning out his closet, Ikaika found a hat that a friend gave us last summer. At the time it was too big, but it appears to fit now and he's into it! He's been wearing it all morning. In fact, getting him to take it off in order to put a shirt on almost lead to a full-on fit.

Since I haven't posted a video for awhile, here's Ikaika taking his newest accessory for a test drive.

On a different note, it's been difficult lately to get any good pictures of the boy. He's very interested in the camera so whenever I turn it on he runs up to me and attempts to look at the screen on the back. I can sometimes get candid shots, but a majority of the time they end up looking like this:

This may explain why the blog has been lacking great photos of my son.


Mahalo, Tommy Bahamas!

Today was some kind of something at Tommy Bahamas at the Mauna Lani Shops. All I knew is that free food was involved.
When we got there a Hawaiian priest was doing a prayer over the store so I'm assuming that it was an opening of something(?).

There were kids doing hula - so cute! As a side note, I love dances that use implements like the feathered rattle gourd and the split bamboo.

There was also tapa stamping.

Of course, tapa takes way too long to make so we just stamped bookmarks with acrylic paint. This is mine.

Then there was food. Sweet, delicious, FREE food! The whole spread was nothing short of incredible. Kalua pork, sandwiches, sashimi, poke, lomi lomi shrimp, pipi kaula (smoke meat), gumbo, haupia (coconut pudding), pineapple cream cake (I had 3 of these!), and our little friend pictured above. There was also an extensive wine tasting, which we didn't partake in but sure looked fancy.

Ikaika didn't even know where to start! He ate an entire plate (minus the cake, since I ate it) and enjoyed sips of mommy's mango iced tea with passion fruit nectar. Mmmmmm!!!


Just For Today

"Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a whole lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck as it comes and fit myself to it.

...Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me."


How to Make Maternity Pants from Regular Pants

The other day I went to Target in search of some black maternity pants. I only need one pair and I just need it to get me through 5 hours, 3 days a week. Basic black maternity pants are $35.99!

I'm no Frugal Frannie - there are plenty of things I am willing to drop money for - but pants (and especially pants I am only going to wear for 4 months) are NOT one of them.

So here's how I made a pair of maternity pants out of my current basic black pants. I don't know if I would have tried this if I had only one pair of black pants (luckily, I have two) - but I the result is both functional and free, which is what I was going for.

I started by drawing a slightly curved line on the front of the pants - this accommodates belly growth better than just cutting the waist band off straight. Then I cut it out (including the back, which I just cut straight across)
I used the waistband as a guide for cutting out two pieces of material from an old golf shirt (made of stretch knit). I used the shape as a guide by made the panels longer than the original waistband, that way they can be worn either folded down below the belly or up and over it. My preference on this changes from day to day.
I also used the original hem of the shirt, which I use later for the elastic casing - but that was just a shortcut to save time.

Next, I cut one piece of the shirt material straight across and left one curved, so it matches the waist of the pants. This picture does nothing to illustrate that point...
Next I took 3/8" elastic and fed it through just the back panel of material, making sure it was taut but not crazy small.

Right sides together, I basted down the seams, tried it on, and stitched the seams together using a narrow zig zag stitch.

Right sides together again, I pinned the stretch panel to the original waistband of the pants. Baste, try on, and stitch the seam. The back pockets are still functional but you could remove the front pocks and the zipper if you wanted to take bulk off the front of the pants - the openings end up being too small to use.
And voila! Maternity pants and a pregnancy bump update to boot!

About an hour after I finished these my mom called me and let me know that she had just sent me a box with not one, but TWO pairs of black maternity pants. Sigh...

Yogurt Maker Success Story and Recipe

The yogurt maker is a total success! I have made at least 3 batches of delicious, nutritious soy yogurt and they have all been awesome. Ikaika is eating yogurt everyday and I've even been able to sneak some for myself too.

Here's how I did it.

1) Heated a quart of soy milk on the stove until it was steaming and bubbles were forming on the top but it wasn't boiling. (I've learned that there is really no taste difference in the final product between regular and vanilla soy milk)

2) pour the heated milk into a pitcher and let it sit in the fridge until it gets to somewhere between 120 and 90 degrees. I've been using the thermometer that came with the yogurt maker (but I've heard you can guesstimate this by sticking a finger in the milk and if you can leave it there for 10 seconds but the milk is still warm, it's probably right).

3) mix a little of the warm milk with 2 tablespoons of active culture yogurt, either store bought or some leftover from the last batch you made. Mix it up and then pour it back into the pitcher with the rest of the milk.

4) Pour this into the 7 little jars and put the lids on tight. Load em into the yogurt maker, plug it in and let it sit for 5-6 hours.

5) Put the delicious jars of probiotic goodness into the fridge and enjoy at your leisure!

I've been stirring a teaspoon of ground flax seeds into Ikaika's daily cup of yogurt and he seems to love it. I was surprised that, unlike store bought yogurt, this stuff (even plain) isn't sour or tangy. Also, because the soy milk isn't going to be as thick as regular milk, you have to be careful then stirring things in or it might get runny. But, overall, this is an awesome, healthy, dairy free treat and I am still shocked that it's so easy to make!


Merrie Monarch Festival 2010

This weekend we have been kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying the Merrie Monarch Festival broadcast in HD on channel 5!

The Merrie Monarch Festival is "the super bowl of hula" and it's held every year in Hilo. This year, 28 halau, or hula troops, came from all over the place to compete. But, more than just dancing, the festival also includes parades, crafts, exhibits, etc. that perpetuate Hawaiian culture and are just plain interesting. One of these years I am going to brave the traffic/parking and take the family to experience Merrie Monarch live!

I love how on TV they not only show the dances but also explain the costumes, translate the lyrics, and put hula in a modern context so that it's relevant to the people watching at home. Although, it doesn't take an expert eye to appreciate the intricate dances, beautiful hand-crafted flower lei, and the delightful live music.

Heres a link to some great pictures from the festival!


Wild Horned Chameleon

Look what we saw in a tree today on our way to the post office!!!

I remember drooling over these guys in the pet store when I was a kid.


MOPS Annual Tea & Treasure

Some of the ladies of the "water" table.

Today at MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) we had our Annual Tea & Treasure. It's a tea party for grown ups! We dressed up, ate off real flat ware and used coasters under our cups. We heard life testimonies from three of our strong, inspiring (and totally ordinary) sisters. We ate chocolate, discussed God and bonded while men in white linen waited on us and other people watched our children. It was divine!

Here is the feast! The president of the group made these adorable chocolate-and-tea-for-two goody bags you see in the upper left corner. All the food was delicious.

Ikaika has been going to the nursery (0-18m) during MOPS. Today he walked up, looked in the room and started backing up, shaking his head "no!". I took him to the toddler room and he ran right inside, sat down and started playing - no problem. I really appreciated his maturity in letting me know so directly that he was ready to move on to the big(ger) kid room!


Cooperative Grocery Shopping With My Spouse

Easter came and went without much pomp or circumstance in this house. We tried to make it to Mass but the road was closed due to a brush fire - the joys of living on an island!

Mr A and I have been discussing our grocery budget lately and we decided start a competition to determine who has the ultimate right to shop for food. The problem is that it seems like the last week of the month we are always staring at our empty cupboards (and checkbook) and wondering what happened! Last month I was the sole shopper of all things edible and, between coupons and sales, I came in well under budget. Mr A is in charge this month so we will have to wait and see how he does.

It's almost not fair because I shopped so well that we not only had food all month, we had enough food to last us through the first week of this month, too! So, he hasn't actually done any grocery shopping yet and it's already the 5th! I want credit for this!

On top of that, the only things I didn't get (that Mr A wanted) last month were bananas and papayas because they were at their most expensive ($1.29/lb - outrageous! this is hawaii!)

I am extremely nervous about this contest because I am essentially giving up control over my domain. Although Mr A does cook frequently it's not too hard to figure out what he needs to provide a meal (frozen chicken, brown rice, can of mushrooms, garlic, and ginger will usually suffice). My meal preparation, on the other hand, is a bit more intuitive.

I'm worried that he won't shop in a way that allows me to cook anything besides furikake salmon or tofu patties. I need more creative liberty than that! I doubt he even knows what yeast to use in the bread maker! I'm dreading the day later this month where I am whining, "but honey, I NEED wheat germ!" and he shakes his head slowly and goes "oh no no no, that's not in the budget."


Maybe I'm just nervous because of what happened during the tsunami scare...



If one is good...

TWO is even better!!!

WOO HOO! August 11th - watch out Ikaika!