Thursday, October 9, 2014

Maui Fair 2014

Last Thursday, our family spent the day at the Maui Fair. The Maui Fair is similar to many state fairs throughout the country, but the food, activities, and ambiance are unique to Maui. Jacob loves the Maui Fair so much that whenever we drive past the field where it's held, he asks how long he has until the fair is here again.  "Hey! That's where they have the fair. I went there. Remember? When can I go there?" This is the normal sequence of questions that arise when we drive past the field.

My favorite things to eat at the fair are the Chow Fun, Fried Ice Cream, Smoked Meat, and Pizza. This year, I tried the Saimin Burger and it was AMAZING! Most of the time, you can only find the fair food at the fair, but I am so thankful that they sell the Saimin Burger at L&L.

Jacob's favorite activity at the fair is probably the rides. He's hit the height minimum for most of the rides now. The only negative is that it's quite pricey to purchase the tickets. If you go on Sunday, the cost to ride is much cheaper, but we like to go on Thursdays because the crowd is small. It's a toss up. In the end, though, the expenses are worth it to see the joy on Jacob's face.

Here's a short clip of Jacob, his uncle, cousin, and I riding the Giant Slide.

Until next year, Maui Fair. Can't wait to see you again!

What's your favorite fair activity?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

UP Themed Party Part 2: Three Bones Broken

Josh is going to tease me for publicly stating this, but I have to admit, he's an important part of my life. (Josh, you better not bring this up in the middle of an argument.)  We have been together for 11 years now, so I think I was guilty of taking my husband for granted, and not appreciating him as much as I should have... until one fateful May evening when a friend threw an UP themed birthday party. (Read about Part 1, here.)

The party was coming to an end, and Josh, Jacob, and I had made our way to the upper parking lot with a bunch of Josh's coworkers. I had been in the middle of a conversation, when all of a sudden I saw Josh dash behind me towards the lower parking lot.  Little did I know that dash would be the beginning of four months of craziness and learning experiences for our family. Even as I reflect on that moment now, everything still flashes back in slow motion.
  1. I felt a gush of air as Josh dashed behind me towards the lower parking lot. (Later, I found out that a friend's baby had let go of his balloon, and he ran to catch it.)
  2. There was a 3 foot drop between the two parking lots, and I watched him jump for the balloon, and land on the lower parking lot.
  3. Then, I watched him disappear from view.
  4. Turning to a friend, I said, "Haha. Josh fell."
  5. Josh didn't get up.
  6. I turned to the same friend, and I said, "Uh oh. Josh FELL!"
  7. The hair on my neck rose, as I yelled out, "JOSH! Are you okay?"
  8. After the longest pause of my life, he calmly stated, "Nooo."
===This was when I ran down towards him.===

I wish I could say that the rest of the story was a blur, but I remember everything from that night so vividly, that it would end up being a 20 page short story. To summarize, there were emergency vehicles, a long night spent at the ER, 3 broken  ankle bones, surgery, and 4 months of recovery. 

This is the non-gross version of what his ankle looked like. I'm sparing you from the gross picture.

Yes, you read it right. Josh broke three bones in his ankle. I knew something was wrong when I reached Josh, because he lifted his leg and his foot was dangling upside down. It was gross, and I am so lucky Jacob was in the car watching a Netflix movie and not paying attention to the chaos around him.  I must say that the Lahaina Fire Department, EMTs, ER staff, and Josh's co-workers were incredibly supportive, and I am so glad I did not have to go through it alone.

Josh was bedridden for close to a month, and he's still using his crutches and boot today. He has had to endure so much pain and frustration in being immobile, and I admire his strength in persevering through this challenging time. Since Josh broke his ankle, he couldn't drive and do little things to help around the house. Even the little things like taking out the trash can or mowing the lawn were impossible for him. After this incident, I grew a new sense of gratitude for him... I didn't realize how much he helps around the house and with caring for Jacob. Jacob, too, has been incredibly helpful and helps his daddy with chores. It's been a challenge for our entire family, but we now see the light at the end of the tunnel. He took his first step without his crutches the other day and is almost out of his boot! The last step is driving again, and we will be all back to normal. We can't wait!

Oh... and he caught the balloon....

Saturday, August 9, 2014

UP Themed Party Part 1: Watching Jacob on Stage

On May 3, my family and I were at a friend's baby party, and Jacob was loving Disney's "UP" balloon theme. It was such a fun and creative party filled with tons of balloon themed decorations.  At one point, there was a magician, and Jacob sat in front with all of the other kids.  The magician asked for volunteers, and I was shocked to see Jacob excitedly raise his hand to go up on stage. He ran up to the front, and participated in a muscle flexing contest - keep in mind, he's 4! The winner was chosen by an applause-meter, and since we didn't know many people there, he didn't get a lot  of cheers.  I had mixed emotions of pride (that he went up all by himself) and distress (since he didn't get a lot of applause).  Luckily, when he ran up to me after the contest, he didn't seem to notice the silent audience.  Rather, he was extremely excited that he danced and flexed his muscles on stage. Ah, a child's innocence.

It's one thing to feel nervous for something I am doing, but I did not like the feeling of watching my child participate because I had absolutely no control of the outcome. It is going to be extremely difficult to be  in the audience, watching Jacob participate in sports, contests, and performances. Ugh. It's a hard feeling to describe - it feels like there are 50 balls of foil scrunched up and bouncing around in my heart creating small nicks and scratches. Anxiety. Not fun. 

Since a few months have passed, I have had the opportunity to reflect on that part of the night.  I realized my main goal as a mom after that night: I hope to celebrate with Jacob when he's happy and cheer him up when he's sad, and even though I won't be there for everything, I will do my best to be there for him when I can so that he will have positive memories of his childhood.

Love you, Jacob.

To Be Continued: The Up Themed Party Part 2:  Josh's Ankle... 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Swimming at the Wailuku Pool

We currently live in central Maui, but I grew up in Lahaina. When I was little, the pool of choice for my mom was the Lahaina Aquatic Center because it was the only free pool in the area. It's all I knew as a child.  Since moving to Kahului, I have discovered some great free pools, but I think I found my favorite.

The other day, my sis-in-law, Jaz, and I decided to take Jacob to the Wailuku Pool. Oh my gosh, Jacob and I fell in love with this pool!  Heading towards the entrance, I was upset at myself for forgetting to take Jacob's arm floaties. When we entered the pool, Jaz and I were ecstatic to discover that Jacob could stand in the water. One side of the pool was 3 feet deep and since he could stand, he didn't need his floaties and gained confidence in himself. He swam! 

I was a happy momma. :-) 

The other great thing about this pool:  it's heated!  Now, you may be wondering why-the-heck does a pool in Hawaii need to be heated.  Quite frankly, it doesn't... but it feels great. Try it out. You'll know what I'm talking about.

Also, those of you who don't live near a beach must be thinking how crazy I am to take my son to the pool instead of the beach... I know I should be taking advantage of the great Maui beaches, but at the pool, you don't get sand in your _____.  The pool is definitely a cleaner experience.

Aunty Jaz watching Jacob while he pretends he's a shark.
After going to the pool, Jacob says he wants to join a swim club. He definitely loved it, and it was an amazing day. Thank you, Aunty Jaz, for coming with us!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Theory on Childhood Passions: What's Jacob's Passion?

I have a theory... Okay, I'm going to claim that it's my theory, but Dr. Shownativnotich from some smarty pants country probably already came up with this theory and patented it. Anyway, my theory is that most people have the same personality/passion from when they were a small child.... and whatever career that person has chosen is a reflection of their interests as a child.

  •  For example, if as a child, someone loved to draw, it is likely that they would have a career related to drawing.  The initial hypothesis would be that they would become an artist. However, they could quite possibly be terrible at drawing, but use their passions to design greeting cards or promote products with a marketing firm.  
  • Maybe someone wanted to be a sanitation worker (aka garbageman) as a small child. It's possible that as an adult, they would become a sanitation worker... or an environmental engineer.
I suppose you get the point. So where am I going with this?

The reason why I wanted to share with you my amazing (lol) theory is that I have been using this theory to guide Jacob into finding things he would enjoy. For example, Jacob could kick the ball since he could walk, so we signed him up for a youth soccer club as soon as he was eligible. (more on this club in another post)  

We've also discovered Jacob loves to sing and dance... 

I guess my point in all of this is to document Jacob's passions as a four year old, and excitedly observe what career path he will choose. In the end, as his mother, I can help steer him in the right direction, but he will determine his own future through the choices he makes. I'm curious to see what his future holds, and if his passions will contain similarities. We'll see. :-)

Love you, Jacob.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

GNO Night/A Fresh Express Review

Every Thursday, there are six of us who get together for a fun, relaxing night. We share stories, laughs, and food.  It's an enjoyable Girl's Night Out (GNO). We take turns at each other's houses, and whoever hosts the event for the evening is responsible for cooking.  It's funny because when we first started doing this, we didn't all know each other well... and now I'd say we're pretty close friends. A special shout out to Jen and Jenavi for getting us all together. :-)

A few weeks ago, it was my turn, and I decided to have a local-Hawaii themed food night.

I made Teriyaki beef, chow fun, and asian salad for dinner that night.  

The best part was that I had the opportunity to review Fresh Express Salad and used the chance on our GNO night.  

Fresh Express Salad is holding a 30 Day Salad Swap challenge, where you try to swap out salad for a less-healthy meal item for 30 days. I had the opportunity to review the salad and share the opportunity with the girls.  

My favorite part of Fresh Express salad is that it's thoroughly washed.... It's convenient, healthy, and yummy. Who can complain?

Overall, I'd say Hawaii Food GNO was a great success!

GNO Girls: Shayna, Kari, Jenavi, and Jen. *Missing Katrina

(I received no compensation for trying the Fresh Express Salad, other than the Fresh Express product.)
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jacob's Birthday

A couple of days ago, March 9 to be exact, was Jacob's 4th Birthday!

This coming weekend, we will be staying at a local hotel to officially celebrate, but we wanted to do something special on Jacob's birthday.  When we asked him what he wanted to do, he had two simple requests: Genki Sushi and Fun Factory.

I feel like such a dummy for not taking more pictures, but we were too busy enjoying him to take them. We first started celebrating his birthday at GG and Baachan's house the night before, where my mom made breaded shrimp, yakisoba, and deviled eggs for dinner.

My parents also got us him an amazing cake:

The hand is Jacob's... he's succeeded in licking the cake before candles.

The next day, Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunty Jaz came over with breakfast. We also went shopping for a bunk bed that Grandma and Grandpa got for him (more on that in a future post.)

Then, we went to Genki Sushi for lunch. Genki Sushi, if you're not familiar with it, is a restaurant where the sushi and other dishes go around on a revolving conveyor belt.  There are two on Maui, and we went to the one at Maui Mall.  I would just like to document what he ate because I seriously think he ate more than I did: He ate 3 tuna rolls, 1 hot dog roll, and some spam.  I know he's growing but 5 plates at Genki Sushi? Yikes. He's only 4 years old.

After that, we crossed the sidewalk and went to Fun Factory, which is an arcade/game center. It's the closest thing to legal gambling you can find on Maui but it's mostly for kids. Jacob got a bunch of tickets and cashed them in for some fun prizes, including a Despicable Me coloring book & markers.

Although it doesn't seem like much typed out, I think Jacob had a great time. As I mentioned earlier, this weekend we will be staying at a local hotel with really fun water slides. He'll definitely have fun there, so more on that soon.... Ugh, but it better not rain this weekend!!

Happy 4th Birthday, Jacob. Don't grow too fast. Mommy and Daddy love you very much.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Birthday Present from Jacob

Last Sunday, March 2, was my birthday.

First, let me start by saying that I turned the BIG 3-0. It's crazy to think that I'm now in my 30's. I thought I would be more depressed, but it wasn't too bad. In fact, it didn't bother me at all. I remember wanting to hide under my blanket when I turned 29, but it wasn't like that this time. Maybe I came to terms with the fact that I would hit my 30's... I mean, you can't stop time, right?

So here I am in my 30's, and I'm actually okay with it.

It helps that I got the best present ever. You see, Jacob's weakness in school is his writing and use of scissors. (I blame the stubbornness he inherited from his Daddy... he doesn't like to sit around and do drills.  We decided drilling him wasn't the best way to teach him. Anyway...) He's still working on the whole cutting thing, but he's getting a lot better at writing.

This is officially the best present I have ever received:

He spelled MOM! Oh Jacob, I love you. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What I Don't Like About Me - Procrastination

Today, I had an epiphany.  I realized something about myself and I am determined to fix it. My entire life, my mom has said that I am this way, but I brushed it off and didn't believe her. Sorry, mom.  You were right.

I am a procrastinator... but not just any 'ol procrastinator.  What happens with me is I get focused on one thing to the 100th degree.  I immerse myself so deeply in this "thing" for a few weeks and spend all my time doing it.  Then, my ambitions get too high with a certain part of the project and I start to put it on the backburner. First, for a day. Then, for 3 days.  In the end, it's on the side for months because I don't want to do it anymore since it's been so long since I touched it. Does this sound familiar to any of you?

In regards to my personal interests, yup this describes me completely.

For example, I was so gung-ho about my thank you cards for Christmas.  I printed them out, wrote them all, and then I had to address them. I didn't want to do that. So...... there it sat, in my car. Last week, I pulled them out to finally send them and they were all stuck together!!! Needless to say I was so mad at myself. UGH. Now I have to find away to get them un-stuck and send them off before it's June! Can you imagine? Thank you cards for Christmas being sent in June... It's bad enough it's March 1 today. Eep.

In January, I tried to learn to sew. I made 2 wallets and a drawstring bag and I was so proud of myself.  Then, I doomed myself by deciding that I was going to sew a t-shirt blanket for Jacob.  The first step in sewing this blanket is that I have to select about 16 of Jacob's old t-shirts -- but they're in his closet. So there went sewing.

Finally, this happened with my blog. At the beginning of the year I was so set to type, type, type.  Then, I had the "bright idea" to write recipes so I can pin them on pinterest. I let Jacob try the recipe, took a bunch of pictures, and started writing the post. Then I realized how difficult writing recipes are, and bam, I hit the wall. I got stuck. Every time I thought about my blog, I had icky feelings because I didn't want to write the recipe post, so I just put it on the side all together.


I've been meaning to get back into blogging, and I realized what I could do to get back into gear as far as blogging goes. Throw out the recipe idea! Duh.

So here I am. Throwing out the recipe idea.

This blog is all about Jacob, and that's how it should be. Not about recipes.

Love you, Jacob!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Resolutions - 2014

Every time I think about my blog, I have a slight tinge of guilt. At the beginning of every year, I have every good intention of continuing to write in my blog, and then life gets to me.  2013 was especially difficult, as the first part of the year I think I may have had postpartum depression from Jedi... and the 2nd half I was tired from pregnancy #3.  I'm going to try to be a lot better this year, really I am. Lol. I feel like 2014 is the year to start fresh and be a better wife, mommy, and person.  I feel like I just want to be a better person for myself, and it feels great.

I realized when trying to determine my goals for this year that I need to be more specific than last year.... it needs to be measurable. Out of the 3 resolutions from 2013, I did a lot better at 1 of them - I was a lot better with the house chores.  Other than that - fail.  Haha. Oh well, at least I'm not beating myself up over it.

Okay, time to reveal my 2014 New Year Resolutions!

1. Try to Write a Blog Post At Least Once a Week

Notice the word "Try"?  I'm going to try.  If I don't make it, I won't hate myself for it - I'll just keep trying.  That's all I can ask of myself. Blogging is therapeutic so I really should continue writing.

2.  Finish My Cranes from December 2012

A thousand cranes is hard work!  I was thinking about it the other day, and if you make 5 cranes every day, it will take you 200 days to finish... which is roughly 6-7 months! Holy cow, no I wonder I gave up the first time around, LOL.  Well one of my resolutions is to finish it this year - because I'm superstitious that way. Maybe it'll bring our family some much needed good luck.

3.  Go Walking at Least 3 Times a Week

I started this resolution towards the end of December, and I must admit it's quite refreshing to go for a brisk walk.  We have a really nice neighborhood for walking, and even though I have a gym membership that I don't use, I'm going to start slowly and go walking.  Josh says it's quite healthy to go walking anyway, so I'm gonna give it a shot.  My friend Jen and I are going to start walking next week, and I'm pretty excited because maybe a friend-motivator will help me continue to walk throughout the year. *Cross fingers*

4.  Eat Out Only Once a Week (At the Most)

2014 is going to be a money saving year for our family, and I think what was hurting us the most was eating out.  Josh and I are now on the same page about saving money, and I think this resolution will help.  Not only will we be saving money by eating at home, but maybe this will help us eat a little healthier too.  This is probably going to be the hardest resolution, but I'm determined to at least try.  On a future blog post, I'll talk about how I plan our weekly meals.

Okay,that's it for my 2014 resolutions. Wish me luck.  Happy New Year everyone!