3 Years of Us

We might never know the future...

...but, we have faith. And we are both better people for it.

Thanks, Mr A, for sharing life with me.


Wet Bag Made From Shower Curtain (with tutorial link)

Considering we live 10 minutes from year-round beach and we cloth diaper, I can not believe that it has taken me 2 years to make this! Since we replaced our shower curtain this weekend, I used the old one to whip up a wet bag with the help of Dilley Dally's excellent tutorial.

BTW: a "wet bag" is a zippered or drawstring waterproof bag that you put things like bathing suits and used diapers in so your car/diaper bag/whatever doesn't get soaked, too.

Her zipper turned out a million times neater than mine - I encountered some major puckering issues. I also think that using a vinyl shower curtain instead of PUL might have contributed to my problems. But, we make do with what we have around here.

How about this fabric?! Anything with surfing ninjas and lethal musubi is top shelf in my book!


TLC for Pregnant People Feet

Yesterday, Mr A gave me a much needed and much appreciated pedicure. There is nothing like having your feet attended to after a long day of pregnancy! My husband is somewhat of a handy-man and I think painting toes and painting walls is the same thing in his mind. He even picked out the color at Target - Marine Scene. How classy!

When Ikaika was almost ready to pop out, Mr A painted my toes purple. It's kind of fun to have a color associated with each birth.


Big Bro/Lil Bro Shirts

I love these shirts from Lil Opihiz, but I don't have $32 to drop on kids clothes (make that, any clothes).
I do, however, have lots of basic clothes, time, and craftiness. When you mix them all together - this is what you get.

Big and Little Brother matching shirts! So corny! So cute!

I used a new (to me) kind of interfacing on this project. It was like a double sided tape that you could move the applique around until you set it with an iron. I don't even think it was necessary to zig zag the edges, but I'm not that risky with my business.

Mr A pointed out that the two islands are aligned differently. It's slight, but I wish he hadn't said anything because there's nothing I can do about it now and it's just bugging me.
Also, the "Big" and "Lil" are done in silver, which doesn't show very well on this fabric. I might end up outlining it - but in what color? Red? Would that look too...red?

Ikaika even learned a new word from this whole experience: "Big Island"!

Diaper Clutch, Cabled Hat, and Patch Jacket

The past few weeks, since we got back from vacation, I feel like I've been stuck in a rut. Just working, chores, baby, grad school stuff, etc. I haven't been doing things for me. I've been ignoring my beloved hobbies. So the last few days I've been reading more, sewing more, and even finding time to knit. I feel fabulous and here are the results.

For starters, I've finished not one but TWO novels!
Then I made this diaper clutch for a friend who recently had her first daughter. Can not say enough how much I love this fabric!

Then I busted out a left over skein of cashmerino wool and got to work on this super soft, newborn size, cabled beanie. I remember there was once a time when cables would have been intimidating but I blasted through this project in less than 3 hours! I finished it today while waiting for my glucose test at the lab.

And finally, I put this kajukenbo patch on Ikaika's jacket. Of course, when he grows out of the jacket this patch will likely be moved to another hoodie or his gi. But, I like him having things now that are more personal than whatever JC Penny originally plastered on the chest.


Healthy Delicious KID FRIENDLY Recipes and Links

I made this awesome Oatmeal Blueberry Bread from Super Healthy Kids a few days ago. The loaf didn't make it 24 hours. It was devoured! Breakfast, dessert, snack, whatever it was - it was good.

That started me on a little baking spree. Today I am trying:

Rhubarb Applesauce (also from Super Healthy Kids - I love Amy's blog!!!)
I'm so excited about finding a use for rhubarb that doesn't also involve half a bag of sugar.

Applesauce Cake from Mothering. Mr A is not a fan of cake but I'm curious and have been craving coffee cake lately.

I also made a pizza last night with a 100% whole wheat crust, thanks to my Breadman breadmaker. I think the trick here is to use a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for every 2 cups of wheat flour (I made it without a few months ago and it was a disaster - last night it was a success).
I was bummed that my vegan cheese alternative - the one that says "IT MELTS!!!" directly on the front of the package - didn't melt. The pizza ended up looking like it was covered in shredded carrots! But, in the "cheese's" defense, it certainly tasted like a cheesy pizza.


Chatting With Ikaika

Ikaika has become extremely chatty. Not much of it makes sense, but it's a step in the right direction for functional communication. Today we were trying to get him to stop saying "nana" and start saying "banana". I just had to get it on video, if for no other reason than one day I might want to remember how cute he was when he was learning to talk.


Happy Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's Day today. First we went to the park and the boys golfed. Notice the match-match outfits. ***So precious***

Ikaika has really been jammin' with his plastic golf set. He's able to get loft with that "iron", although I'm not sure how.

Then we went to our favorite hole-in-the-wall, Hawaiian Style Cafe.

So delicious, so cheap, so much food! Mr A dined on the veal cutlet and I got the pineapple sausage with eggs.

I was totally content with the first plate and then these massive pancakes arrived. I knew I was in trouble.

After lunch I dropped the devoted father of my children off at the day spa for a foot scrub, massage, and ice cream dessert. To preserve his masculinity I decided not to photograph him in the pedicure chair.

Happy Father's Day, Mr A. You NO KA OI!

(...but Ikaika still knows who's the boss!)


Framing and Displaying a College Diploma

Mr A wants to frame and display our college diplomas. Bleh.

I'm extremely proud of having earned my Bachelor's and anyone who knows me knows that I am a proud, proud alumnus of Knox College. However, the actual document does nothing but annoy me, which is why I've kept it tucked away in my bookshelf for 6 years.

Notice how it says "RITE" smack in the middle of the paper? What is that?

It is a blatant reminder of my academic inadequacy, that's what it is!!!

That space is typically reserved for Latin honors (cum laude, magna and summa cum laude) but for all the other dummies they just fill in the gap with "rite".
I wanted to receive Latin honors SO BADLY! Freshman year, before I cared about these kinds of things, I slacked off and rationalized it - a sad continuation of my attitude towards high school. I earned not one but two C's (in art history, no less). By the time I got my act together junior year, I was abroad where grades didn't count towards my overall GPA. And senior year it was just too little too late. I graduated .05% below the cum laude benchmark.

Now my diploma is stamped with the word "RITE", which is practically as big as my name! They don't even print our majors on the certificate! And is it just me or is that font super boring?! ARRG!

Maybe displaying this will force me to come to terms with it. This will compel me to focus on my achievement rather than dwell on my short-comings. Hopefully, I'll figure out that this is just a stupid piece of paper and it doesn't lend anything to my college experience that wasn't already there.
...or maybe I'll just wait until we move and then "accidentally lose" them back into the bookshelf!


Staying Home With My Children: Reflections on my Childcare Choices

The best part about our trip to the Northwest, what I now miss the most, was having my parents and grandparents around to watch the baby! It seems awful to say, but it was so nice to get away from him.

One day I went to acupuncture and then, just for the hell of it, I stopped by the mall. I was browsing in the Japanese dollar store for almost 45 minutes, just walking around and poking at things. I even went to the ballet and truly enjoyed it, instead of spending 3 hours obsessing about whether or not my kid was okay.

Mr A and I went to see a movie on my birthday. We walked the streets of downtown hand-in-hand and saw a movie at 5 in the afternoon. Even though I love spending our time together as a family, experiencing the joys of parenthood and what-not, being alone was unexpectedly amazing! It was a time to be focused on each other instead of being mutually focused on Ikaika.

These simple pleasures are almost unknown to my current self. My husband and I made a conscious decision to be with our children. We both agreed that it's the way we grew up and it's what we want for our own family. But, I have to admit, sometimes it gets overwhelming. Sometimes it seems like we will always be on their time. Sometimes I wish like hell that we had some family here with us in Hawaii so we could regularly free ourselves from being "mom and dad".

Sooner than I care to believe our boys will be grown and they won't want to spend all day with us. Or even half the day. Soon enough I will be longing for the days we spent together as a family. I will be yearning for my children and they will be anywhere but here. And this is probably what makes me believe that our neurotic approach to childcare is worth what we are sacrificing for it.

Even so, you can't even begin to imagine how much I am looking forward to my sister visiting in September!


Babies Cussing and Other Cute Things

Some things, although reprehensible from a four year old, when done by a two year old are adorable. Cussing (IMO) is one of these.

The other night we were trying to get the baby to say "ma-fa-seet!" (mother f-ing s**t), a favorite exclamation of Mr A and his friend Downtown MB. Of course, Ikaika was mimicking like a pro until I finally got the camera and then it all turned into hysterical laughing. This was the best video I got - he squeaks out a quick s-word right at the end.

So young...so impressionable...so quick to forget specifics!


King Kamehameha Day - Kohala Coast Festival

June 11th is King Kamehameha Day - a holiday only celebrated here in Hawaii! King Kamehameha I was the person who united all the islands under one ruler and he just happens to be from North Kohala here on the big island.

So every year the statue of him outside the courthouse in Kapa'au (his hometown) is draped in fantastic lei, there is a parade with pa'u riders, and a hula and music festival to honor the Hawaiian monarchy in the park across the street.

We unfortunately missed the parade but we did have a chance to check out some of the entertainment. I personally believe that taking kids to these types of things builds a foundation for their identity, not to mention it's fun! These are the boys from Kohala High School dancing with feathered gourd rattles, one of my favorite hula implements.

And check out this cutie, Makana, who can't be more than 3 years old but apparently spends a whole lot of time at hula practice with his mother...



High School Graduation (now with leis)

We are officially back in Hawaii after a fun, yet frightfully fast trip to the mainland.  The pivotal event was Mr A's daughter's high school graduation.  Like most graduations (including my own) it was long, boring and contrived (you know, exonerating the academic top 5% while basically overlooking the accomplishments of everyone else) but in the end it was more than worth it - especially because I got to make a ton of leis! 

In Hawaii, the amount of leis one receives at graduation basically indicates how popular or well liked you are.  It's not uncommon, in fact it's expected, for graduates to be drowning in garlands.  Mr A, being the QB homecoming king and all, had leis up to the nose (he's in the center of the above photo).  

There was no way I was going to be able to make that kind of swag alone.  Lei giving is not a common practice in Oregon and it would probably be overkill to try.  So I went for a healthy compromise between the two - enough leis to say "I'm Hawaiian and this is how I celebrate" but not so many that it screams "my dad and his wife are weirdos and want me to stand out in a bad way"!

The other problem was that fresh flowers (the kind that make good leis) aren't readily available in Oregon.  But, I lucked out with the mini carnation bouquets on sale at Safeway.  3 bouquets (about $15) was able to make this kick ass round lei and a straight lei.  Carnations are both durable (they won't wilt or fall apart) and they smell great. 

Also, instead of giving the standard card with cash or check, I made a money lei.  To cut costs, I used gold oragami paper cut to the size of dollar bills.  I also dressed up a silk maile lei (did you know it's illegal to ship maile or take it to the mainland?) with coins wrapped in colored cellophane. 

I made a round straw lei and added gold beads but they didn't show up very well :(  If I had known that their gowns were green I would have made a gold lei instead (I mistakenly thought they were going to wear black).  Then I made a net lei with Mauna Loa mac nuts. You know, in case she got hungry later...

There were a couple more - some kukui nuts (representing knowledge), a candy lei, stephanosis ribbon lei, etc. but I didn't take pictures of them all.  Besides, this post is already starting to make me sound slightly nutty.

Congrats to the grad!  I'm happy she's pursuing higher education here in Hawaii because that means I won't be the only crazed lei maker at the next graduation!



While digging through Opa's ebay items we found this pint sized Seahawks helmet.


The results are adorable so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  

Somewhere in Portland, Mr A is fist pumping with pride...

Remember High School?


New Mommy Hair & Belly Update

Got a new haircut today.  I've been wearing my hair in a ponytail with the bangs clipped back for two months now - it was time for a change.  Although this is shorter (and slightly more matronly) than I typically wear it, I think it will grow out nicely.  Granny commented yesterday that my skin looks nice - I'm surprisingly inclined to agree.  Thanks Pregnancy Glow! 

...and here's the belly!  I'm not sure what week we are in now.  I'm still due August 11th so it's the end of the 7th month, beginning of the 8th.  Numerous people have commented that I seem smaller than I was with Ikaika.  Granted, I have gained less weight so far, but I don't feel malnurished.  The constant questioning of my size has been making me unnecessarily nervous about the health of the fetus, which is the same mentality that led to a massive weight gain during my first pregancy.