I love being married :)


Built By You! summer shirt reconstruction

My friend over on Fletchers Farm posted a challenge this week (or at least I took it as a challenge) to make something using Simplicity 3835.  I just happen to have that exact pattern in my crazy collection, so you can only imagine the excitement. 
I also have Sew You, the sewing book from the same designer, and I love these clothes.  They are simple, modern, and always fit just right.  Not to mention the patterns aren't fussy at all, any dip with a sewing machine can finish them (case in point: this shirt).

I was also excited to use this dress for a recon!  My good friend (with great style) gave this to me and I loved the fabric, but the dress never fit me right.  It would always slide down at just the wrong time, etc.  I eventually stashed it away in a trunk and when I was hunting for fabric yesterday, it called out to me, "I am a summer top!"

Not only are both the color and the pattern adorable, the fabric is so worn and soft.  I even was able to incorporate the lining of the original dress!  Easy pattern + favorite fabric = the perfect recon 


2011 Kona Marathon 5K

 "Yo, wife, nevermind the camera!  Race is starting in 5min!!!"

This morning we woke up at 430am and, thanks to some careful preparation and planning ahead, were able to be on the road at 5:01am.  We headed down to Keauhou (Kona) for our 2nd family 5K race - the 2011 Kona Marathon!  What a blast!!!

Our official time was 31:03 but I clocked it on my watch at 30:42 (there was a hold up at the finish line and, frankly, navigating the double stroller through the gate was no small feat) either way, it's an improvement from our last race.  I finished 114 out of 401 overall and was 13th in my age division. 

I see a lot of young kids (5 year olds!) running with their parents.  I hope someday our kids will be running road races with us, too.  And not only because pushing them slows me down ;)  It's fun to be active and be able to all compete together. It's a great family activity that we all enjoy and now we can't wait for the next 5K...I wonder which one it will be???


The All American Pasttime

Today we played baseball out in the yard because Waimea weather finally decided to be agreeable (the summer solstice was yesterday - its about damn time).  My sister's husband, a baseball addict (I can say it on the blog, right?) and captain of the Beloit College baseball team, hand selected this glove for Ikaika because no nephew of his was going to have some loser "kid glove" - it needed to be the real deal.  Thanks Uncle Ethan, we are trying our best to encourage the habit over here.  

Please excuse how he looks like a character from Dragonball Z.  That hair just has a life of it's own.

Mr A was showing him the other day how to pitch.  Clearly, Ikaika is still working out the fine mechanics, but he was very insistent when it was my turn (I just stood there and tossed the ball at him) - "no mommy, lift your foot up!"



Why is it that every time I settle in to finish something on the computer (I'm talking about a time-sensitive project or email), I look down and see this?  Not cooperative! 
I don't know how anyone honestly works from home unless their kids sleep all day, are at school, or they have a live-in nanny.  Hats off to all the WAHMs out there.


ABC Flashcards

Ikaika has been practicing his ABCs and can do some flashcards now.  He's usually down to go 20 for 26 average, which I would consider "not bad" for an almost 3 year old.


Happy Father's Day Date Night

Last night I saw my first comedy show: Tommy Davidson at the Waikoloa Hilton Grand Ballroom (the room of terrible sound).  It was fun - I laughed.  Mr Davidson did not do an encore, despite the fact that we practically begged, howling of "HANA HOU!" ("one more time!") and we even stood up and cheered during his show!  I was vastly disappointed and thought that was just bad manners. 

The best part was after the show.  After 3 years of living here, we finally went to Sansei's (the karaoke bar) and were there just long enough to have one drink, some food, and sing a roaring rendition of "Unbreak My Heart"...in that order.  Then we headed home to our children who had taken mercy on the babysitter and gone to sleep before 8pm.  Bliss.

All the dads, grandpas, uncles and sons at our table, enjoying the show :)  Happy Dad Day!


Moscow Mules with Homemade Ginger Ale

Alcohol is frowned upon in the anti-candida diet.  But if you (like us) do indulge, vodka is the way to go because it's distilled and has less sugar/yeast/gluten than wine or beer or other spirits.  That being said, what can you mix with vodka that isn't a veritable sugar-bomb?!  And, FYI, I'm not about to drink disinfectant on the rocks.

So I made a homemade ACD friendly ginger ale and made us some sort-of healthier Moscow Mules. 
  • 3/4 cup ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 Tbs lemon extract
  • 3/4 tsp stevia powder
  • Sparkling mineral water (unflavored)
Put the ginger in the water and boil on high for 10-20 minutes until the liquid reduced to half or less.  Strain and put liquid in a jar.  Let cool in the fridge.  Add vanilla, lemon and stevia powder.  Mix with sparkling water until you get the right taste.  Store concentrate in the fridge.

To make the Moscow Mule:
  • one large jigger of vodka
  • 2 ice cubes
  • juice from half a lime
  • ginger ale
  • lime rind
Put the first three in a heavy bottomed glass and top it off with ginger ale.  Garnish with lime rind.  Stir and enjoy.


What is Love?

what is love?  when did you first experience love?  who shaped your views of love?  what role does love play in your life today?

just some thoughts for a rainy Thursday afternoon.


Healthy Eating Choices - Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

Things have been trucking right along with my transition into the candida-free diet.  I still have about four bags of dried fruit in my house, but I'm well on my way - eating at least 2 acceptable meals each day.  Ikaika and I even made ACD (anti-candida diet) pumpkin cookies the other night...and ate them all for breakfast the next day :)

So the other night I was looking to clear out my cupboards when I noticed a box of Made By Nature "Crazy Bugs" macaroni & cheese dinner on the shelf.  I whipped it up with some turkey dogs and we sat down for our feast.  I had 2 dogs and a plate of steamed veggies - Ikaika had corn, dogs and Crazy Bugs.

Then he looks at me and says "mommy, where are your crazy bugs?"

Well, part of the answer is that I'm trying not to combine starches with proteins in hopes that it will aid my digestion.  The other part of the answer (the real part) is that this dinner was not only made from strange cheese powder, it also was made with enriched wheat flour.  Meaning wheat that has been stripped of everything that is good about it and then enriched with a paltry sprinkling of nutrients.

My basic philosophy about diet is "avoid refined wheat, refined sugar and dairy" (that is my standard theory - the anti-candida things is temporary).  So why am I giving my kid something that I won't even eat myself because I know it's bad for me???

I do this a lot and I know I'm not the only one.  I think it's because we tend to think about what kids like to eat rather than what they should or will eat.  So we give them things that are loaded with sugar, colors, flavoring, refined grains, etc. thinking we have to because that's what our kids like to eat.  As if their preference mattered - I'm not going to let Koa play in the toilet and he loves doing that.

If I'm going to make myself some quinoa and chicken breasts for lunch because I know it's nutritious, shouldn't I be serving the same thing to my child (who probably needs the nutrition more than I do anyway)?  I couldn't thrive on graham crackers and applesauce, so why am I thinking that my 2 year old can?

And, back to the Crazy Bugs, it's hard to blame my kid for eating it when I'm the one who bought it! Of course he's going to eat it.  My kid eats plain, sour yogurt like it's going out of style simply because I've never given him any other yogurt option.  Sure, he likes the flavored yogurt with it's 20+ grams of sugar per serving, but I don't offer it to him and he seems to be doing just fine with the plain stuff.  So why am I giving him refined pasta that I won't even eat myself?!

On a scale of 1-10 I would say I'm about a 6 when it comes to being neurotic about feeding my kids.  I prefer to feed them healthy, I will starve them if necessary, and it's mandatory to try at least one bite of everything before getting anything else.  I don't normally take requests, I hide/throw out "gifted" candy, and I administer at least 4 supplements a day.

But, I'm not at the point where I am going to make my son watch his friends eat corn dogs and drink milk while I sit there and tell him how he will thank me later.  If someone (uncles are the worst) gives him a bag of chips, I'm not going to rip it from his hands and give him a carrot stick.  I've given him fast food (reluctantly) and occasionally buy things that I don't really want him to eat simply because I think they look "fun" (ex. crazy bugs).

Feeding my children the way I want to be fed.  It's a lofty goal, but I admitting it is the first step.


Pua Mau Place Botanical Garden, Kohala Coast

Yesterday I was seriously hurting for ambition.  I spent a lot of time online and read several great blogs (including Greening Sam and Avery by my friend Abbie).  This inspired me to take the boys on an adventure today.  We packed a picnic lunch and heading to Pua Mau Place on the beautiful Kohala Coast.

I told Ikaika that we were going "hiking".  We got there at 930 (hours of operation: 9am-4pm) because it gets scorching hot over there so it's best to head out early.  The garden is about a mile or two, uphill and down, there is a visitor center, art gallery and admission is $13 for adults.  Children 6 and under are free.  There are plenty of things kids would find interesting, including these large bells and mallets.

This side of the island is very barren and desert-like.  The woman at the gallery told me that they use brackish water (a variation of ocean water) to keep the plants alive.  There is a lot of plumeria and bougainvillea.  All the plants are clearly labeled and there are benches everywhere  The view is spectacular!

Throughout the garden there are large metal sculptures - many of them creepy insects or arachnids.  I never wanted to see a 3ft high scorpion but my son thought this might be the coolest place on earth.

The park has live animals, including tortoises and a large aviary with peacocks, chickens and some other bird I couldn't identify (a really fat pheasant?  a really small turkey?).   

For a quarter, you can feed the peacocks and they will peck that stuff right out of the palm of your hand.  Ikaika was not interested in doing that.  But he did want to turn the crank to get the feed out.  I wish the lady had told us we would need quarters when she gave us the map because we ended up having to hike it back to the entrance to get change :(

The peacocks were hanging out in the trees and they gave Ikaika the full show, hollering, flapping around, etc.  No one fanned their tail feathers but when we left the woman at the gallery gave him a tail feather to take home.  We left a little before noon and it was already 91 degrees.  Now we smell like insect repellent and desperately need a shower.


Children and Empathy

My two-and-a-half year old is a very sweet child and he appears to be aware of his emotions.  I read somewhere that young children are not developmentally capable of empathy, but this does not appear to be the case with Ikaika. 

The other day we were down in Kona and I took the boys to Target.  Ikaika was walking next to the cart and I saw him playing with my wallet (which had been laying in the basket) and, stupid me, I didn't think to take it away from him.  When the time came to approach the checkout line I noticed that my wallet was not in the cart.  Or my purse.  Or Ikaika's hands!  ARRG!!!!

We ended up walking back though the entire store looking for this wallet (which I bought from Target so I was super worried about it getting restocked on accident - I think the tag is still on it, too)  Eventually, I discovered that it had been turned into a customer service and I got it back - with all my stuff in it, no less.  God bless the Land of Aloha!

I had been upset with Ikaika and had scolded him, telling him how angry I was and afraid that my wallet was missing.  We can't leave without it, I can't drive or pay for anything without, etc.  He watched quietly and said the perfunctory, "sorry, mommy" a few times.  When we were back in the car, after the whole ordeal was over, he was being quiet and finally said to me in a small voice, "mommy, I upset."
"Why are you upset, sweetheart?"
"Because I lose mommy wallet"
"Oh, honey, that's alright.  We found it and I shouldn't have let you play with it in the first place.  Next time we are in the store I'm going to keep it in my purse so you don't forget it."
"Mommy, I sorry."
"I forgive you, honey."

There were about two hours left in our day and he brought up the wallet story and apologized at least four more times.  I think the best part of that entire interaction, for me, was the fact that he was able to identify his emotions (i'm upset) and say why he felt that way.  I feel like one of the biggest sources of conflict, esp between Mr A and myself, is not being able to honestly talk about the way you feel and why.  So instead of saying "I'm hurt, I'm afraid, etc" and then talking about that, we just get angry with ourselves or others.  I want to teach my children to recognize and talk about the way they feel, that way they aren't redirecting those emotions in weird unhealthy ways.

Ikaika has a range of emotions that he recognizes (angry, hurt, sad, upset, frustrated, etc) and can express.  Usually if he's freaking out and crying, asking him what's the matter and why will calm him down somewhat.  He's also able to pick up on the emotions of others (for example, me being upset in Target) and respond to that (apologizing, talking to me about it, etc.)  I wouldn't describe him as a deep thinker or an emotionally complex child, but I would say that he's at least aware of his feelings and, on occasion, the feelings of others.


Good Morning 29!

Another birthday!  I woke up (at 9:30 - best present ever!) to this beautiful display at the kitchen table.  Actually, I woke up to a pig pile of boys in my bed, but I was more technically awake when I got this.

 Mr A made this lei and then told me the entire story behind the flowers (another great present - my husband understands my thirst for nerdlore).  These are flowers that if you wear them, people know you are from Kamuela.  The ali'i used to use these flowers for lei by stringing them in the round (they are strung straight here).  In that moment, I was excited Mr A chose the profession he did, the Hawaiian Studies teacher at WMS is so interesting!


Last Day as 28

It's the day before my birthday.  Still no formal plans.  There are two kid's birthday parties this weekend, which I may attend and then just pretend they are for me (certainly it's not a far cry to think I would have a bounce house if I were to throw my own soiree).

I spent the morning tie-dyeing with Mr A.  He claimed to have never done it before, but I find that hard to believe since he grew up in the 70s.  I created a "new" pair of socks for myself as a b-day present.  I had bought a white T-shirt on clearance at Target with the intention of turning it into a boat-load of psychedelic fun, but it turns out that I need a plain white T-shirt (I have very few "staples" in my wardrobe) so I ended up saving the party for my feet.

Now that I am a year older and half of 2011 is already behind me, I was reevaluating my "resolutions".  It's time to set some goals in order to make sure that I end 2011 with a bang and get a head start so my last year as an official "20-something" will be as productive as possible.  Here goes:

  1. My reading goal for the year got sidetracked (ok, totally derailed, but I did finish The Kite Runner) so my new goal is to read Pride & Prejudice.  It's one of my trusted friends favorite books, and she is now a Master of all things written in English, so I'm enticed.  I've never read any Jane Austen.  
  2. I'm working on finally writing that book I've been talking about writing for years and years.  And I would like to finish it before I turn 30.  For the next 6 months I want to focus on doing something that will contribute to its completion (<30min) everyday...ok...6 days out of the week.
  3. 2 more road races before the end of the year.  Got the Kona Marathon coming up at the end of this month.  Maybe I'll run the one in Volcano in August or the Turkey Trot in Hilo?  Luckily, there's plenty to choose from.
  4. I'm starting a new "dietary lifestyle change" (NOT A DIET) and I really want to stick with it for a few (4?) months.  I think/know that it would go a long way to clearing up some of the more annoying health issues I have (irregularity, acne, TMI)  The only problem is that it's an anti-candida diet and that means - no yeast, no gluten, no sugar, no fruit, no sweetener of any sort, no beer, etc.  Just looking at it sucks all the fun right out of eating.  I'm trying to let it challenge my culinary creativity but so far it's just made me feel cranky and/or guilty because I haven't been able to actually do it for 24 full hours.  You may see many more blog posts in the future about this. 
  5. I want to actually use my reusable shopping bags with serious consistency.  And I want to incorporate reusable bags for my bulk items. 
  6. Finish the blanket I began knitting for my mom last year.  

If I can do all or even some of these things before I ring in the new year, I think i will be stoked.  If the world ends in 2012 then I'm going to be super pissed I didn't put more on this list.