Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Baby Girl #2 Arriving Soon

It has been a few months since I have written in my blog, and there is big news that I did not share here. If you are a close friend, family member, or follow me on social media, you probably already know... we are expecting baby number 2!

It's been 8 years since we have had another child in this house, so essentially it feels like we are starting over, but we are so excited for our new arrival. Baby girl, who still has no name, is expected to arrive in a little over a week.  It's definitely been a long road - 4 miscarriages and lots of morning (ALL DAY) sickness this time around - but I know that the challenges we faced make this pregnancy/baby that much more precious. Jacob is extremely excited to have a baby sister, and he even says he will change diapers! ("As long as it is #1 and not #2.") 

It has been such a long time since I have consistently blogged, but I feel like this is the push I needed to start blogging again. With this pregnancy, I found myself saying, "I think I felt that when I was pregnant with Jacob, but I just can't remember." I should have kept a diary or journal, but I didn't, so being able to look back on this blog will be the next best thing. I know I always say this, but my goals are to continue posting and to re-vamp this page. *Cross fingers* Jacob looks so young in the pictures on this page. It's time for a re-do!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Social Media Perceptions

I started using social media in the 7th grade. My dad is technologically-savvy; so when he bought a shiny new computer for us, many of my friends didn't even know what dial-up internet was. (Many younger children probably do not know what dial-up is. Ha. Scary. I am positive that Jacob doesn't.) AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, AsianAvenue, and Xanga were all common platforms I used to use. I am on the cusp of being a millennial, and probably identify more with them than those of Generation X.

Facebook started when I was in college, way back when you needed a university email address to even use it. Now, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat have become a part of our normal existence and conversation. Without knowing it, we have all created our own social media persona, by posting pictures and articles based on how we want to be perceived. We neglect to post about our failures, unless we want to be perceived as "real". We neglect to post about our illnesses, unless we want to be perceived as "a fighter" or we need help raising money on our GoFundMe accounts. We post a ton of pictures of our kid(s), because we want to be seen as a great mother, but not too many or it gets annoying. 

 A friend of mine told me the other day, "Tracy. Jacob is such a great kid. He is so calm and well-behaved."  I gave her the biggest eye-roll of my life. Well-behaved? Calm? Do you know my kid? Oh. You must be looking at my social media posts, and not the actual tantrums he has when he is tired or grouchy.

Social Media perceptions. It's real.

Still, regardless of how I am perceived online, I just cannot turn off my phone. So what can I do? What can we all do? Some of my friends have disconnected from social media, and perhaps that is also a form of social media perception. Or perhaps a form of self-preservation. I just cannot do that. I have tried.

The only thing I can continue to do is to continue using social media as a positive space and remember why I started using it to begin with.  It is a place where I can get away from the stresses of real life, share my experiences, and learn from others. A place to share the love I have for Jacob, and a chance to re-connect with old friends and make new ones. With that being said, time to log off for now. Motherhood calls. Until next time....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Career Path and Summer Activities

My last year of college, I didn't know what career path to take. Although I double majored in International Business and Marketing, and minored in Japanese, I knew I wanted to come home to Maui, and there were not very many marketing positions available. As fate would have it, I ran into a former teacher who asked me if I wanted to teach business and that was that. I moved home and taught business at my alma mater for seven years. To make a long story short, after seven years of working long hours, I decided to utilize my major and find a job in the business industry. I was lucky enough to be hired as a human resources coordinator, and I loved it... especially at Hale Makua Health Services, a local long term care facility. Working in the private sector, learning about policies and procedures, having wonderful coworkers, and actually speaking to adults daily... it was a nice change and at that point in my life, a much needed break because teaching is not easy.

Where am I going with this?

If you remember from a previous post, I hinted that I now have a new job. Well... call me a masochist, but I decided to go back into teaching. *Pause for dramatic effect.*  When I left teaching, Jacob was three and still going to the babysitter. Now, he is in public education and has many extracurricular activities. When I was in HR, I realized that I was missing many of his practices, games, and school activities because I could not take off of work. My current role at the school allows me to combine my HR experience with teaching experience, and still provides me the opportunity to go to his activities. Plus, we get all of the same vacations and holidays, and I no longer have to worry about where he will go for the summer or whether we could afford it.

And now, it is summer vacation for the both of us. My first summer with Jacob since he was two years old. Needless to say, we are both excited. We have planned out our entire summer. Here's a sample calendar that we created:
Artwork by Jacob

We welcome suggestions and are willing to swap activities if you would like to suggest them in the comments section.

People always say things happen for a reason and as my life is unfolding, I truly believe this to be true. Whomever is holding my career cards is dealing them to me in a methodical and beneficial way.  Thank you. I love summer!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baseball Begins

The other day, Jacob had a baseball game. He's had many games before, but this was the first one of the (more serious) coach pitch pony league. It was the bottom of the first inning, and he got placed in the pitcher position, even if he had been practicing outfield the entire time being on this team. He seemed pretty nervous. In that first inning, he had a few errors that caused the other team to score some runs. Runs. They keep score now in this league. Scoring matters. Up until now, in baseball, he's either been in t-ball or in a coach-pitch league where they didn't keep track of who won. It was a different feeling to be watching your son make an error, when scoring mattered. More than anything, I was mad at myself. Furious. Why? I was watching him play, and I felt bad for him that he made an error or two. I was angry that this game would cause me to feel bad. It is supposed to be fun watching your son play, but with the added pressure of winning, it wasn't fun for me. I mean, I'll admit, it got better in the later innings when Jacob picked up two ground balls in outfield and threw it right to the base. But there was still a feeling of pressure.

We went home that day not feeling the greatest.

Then, I realized something.

He's 7. Seriously. When I was 7, I was riding my bike/roller blades, watching tv, or hanging out with my parents. Organized, pressured sports didn't come until the 9th grade, when I could probably handle it better.

He's 7.

My husband and I changed our mindsets that day. I made a personal decision to not care whether they win or lose. With organized sports, he should be learning respect, self-discipline, and teamwork. Not how to win. Of course, if we have time, we will still go to the park and practice throwing or hitting. However, I won't allow me or my son to feel how we did that day. If he continues to feel this way, he won't enjoy baseball, and he should. He's 7.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I'm Back!

Phew. It's been over two years since I last blogged. A major reason I didn't write was because I was contemplating my son's privacy and weighing that with the selfishness of wanting to document his growth. After some (minor) soul searching, I realize now that I enjoy blogging. I am also stuck in a closet-sized office all day, so I need an outlet or might go nuts.  (I have a new job, tell you about it in a future post). In all seriousness, I don't know if anyone reads this anyway. (Aside from my husband and dad - Hi husband and dad!)

Social media has changed since I've been gone, and while I have not been on the writing end, I have still been an active user of Facebook, Instagram, and now Snapchat. Blogging has turned into writing a post, sharing it on Facebook, and hoping it goes viral.  My goal for this blog is not to become famous. My hope is that I will continue to write, share my thoughts, and archive my family's experiences. If you'd like to join me on my journey and check in from time to time, I would love to hear from you! Otherwise, it's okay if I write to myself - I talk to myself all day at work anyway. Ha.

Here's Jacob, who is 7 years old now:

He looks pretty different from all of the photos on this site. I'll be trying to change the layout in the next coming weeks. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just How Much Is Too Much?

Jacob's turning 5 in a couple of weeks, and something's been on my mind about social media. Just how much is too much?  At 18 years old, will his friends find baby pictures and tease him about them?  Or will he enjoy reading about his childhood when he's 28 and having a child of his own?

I started this blog because I wanted to document my thoughts as I raised a child... and for the most part, I'm glad I did.  While I remember many of the major milestones with Jacob, it's difficult to remember everything... so I am thankful I have the blog.  It's hard now to select the topics because he has his own thoughts and opinions. Maybe I should have just kept a written diary. Lol.

Last month, I was showing him a picture I took of him, and he asked me not to post it on Instagram. It shocked me.  This was when I realized I should ask him for permission before posting pictures.  I was accustomed to being a parent of a toddler - but now, I'm parent of a kid. A kid that has his own opinions and feelings.  

When I was a high school teacher, my students would post pictures that they regretted later or even caused "drama".  They would post pictures of fights, alcoholic drinks, and parties.  I would try to preach to them tell them that once a picture is on the internet, it's there forever. You can't take it away. Perhaps I should take my own advice?

This is why my posts have been limited. I'm at a crossroads in my blogging, and I don't know where to go from here. I'd like to continue blogging because I enjoy the friends I've made and I enjoy sharing what I've learned. I also have a hidden addiction of reading other mommy blogs to see that I'm not alone in what I'm going through.  However, I don't want to embarrass Jacob or later regret writing things.

Are any of you out there mommy bloggers of older children? What do your older kids think about blogging?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

In the mean time, here's a picture that Jacob approved. Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Guest Post on Vacatia

I'm excited to announce that I was a guest blogger for Vacatia.  The purpose of the post was to write about a day at the beach with Jacob, so I revealed a secret spot that we enjoy going to.  Not a lot of tourists know about the beach because it's hard to see from the road. It's the perfect spot for babies and small children who aren't strong swimmers, since the reef protects the shore from being hit with large waves.

Check out my guest post here:  Click Me.

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.)
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Here's to A Better 2014!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are doing well.  I don't even know who reads this anymore, and I feel terrible about not updating. It's been a rough 2013... maybe 13 really is a bad luck number! I'm going to hope that 2014 brings us happiness, financial stability, and comfort.

My New Year's Resolution post will be up in a day or two, but I thought I would summarize 2013, since I didn't blog as much. (Sorry!) As I said, it's been a tough year, but that's no excuse. Anyway, Josh, Jacob and I still had a lot of fun in 2013, and I should count my blessings.

Just as a mini update:

  • Jacob took swim lessons at the YMCA thanks to Josh's parents.  I wouldn't say he can swim, quite yet, but he's really good at floating and kicking with a kickboard now.  One more session and I think he will be able to swim.
  • Our neighborhood has what looks like a block party during Halloween, and Jacob had fun as the Red Power Ranger.  
  • We lost baby #3 as a miscarriage in December and named him Jaime.  (To my family and friends who are just finding out from this blog - sorry if this is how you are finding out, but no one really knew that I was 14 weeks pregnant.) - Don't worry, we are all okay.
  • We got a new addition to the family... a puppy named Lilo! Jacob named her. At first he wanted her name to be Stephanie, but we explained that we have an Aunty Stephanie so that wouldn't work.  Then, he wanted to name her Stitch, but he realized Stitch was a boy, so he finally decided on Lilo.  She's a tiny puppy that we got from the Humane Society, and we love her.  In case you are wondering and have been keeping up with our family situation, Jacob is no longer allergic to puppy saliva. Phew!
  • Jacob has a new cousin, which brings the grandkid count in our family to 3! Baby K is still tiny, and it'll definitely be fun to watch him grow.

Here's a picture-summary of the later half of 2013. I look forward to blogging way more often in 2014 and re-connecting with you all.

Jacob took swim lessons and can now float on his own.
He was a Power Ranger for Halloween.
A very rare family photo.

Happy Holidays 2013.

We got a puppy for Christmas!

Jacob has a little cousin - Baby K!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Jacob Playing the Harmonica (With Daddy on Guitar)

We found an activity that isn't so loud as the drum set upstairs... and he sounds on key most of the time. Haha!  This is Jacob's debut at playing the harmonica :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

No Apologies

Phew... It's been a while since I've updated, and if any of you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that normally, this is the section where I would apologize. Haha. This time around, however, I have decided I am not going to apologize for not updating. Here's why:
  1. I started a new career and I am no longer a teacher. I miss my students, but I LOVE my new job. At my new job, I sit in front of a computer ALL DAY.  When I come home, I don't feel like sitting in front of a computer, so it's been tough trying to get motivated to sit and type. Eeek. (I have to start telling myself that this is for Jacob.) Seriously, though, bad excuse.
  2. My job schedule is now Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.  This allows me to have a routine when I come home. With teaching, I never knew what time I was coming home or if I had to grade papers at night.  However, with this job, I come home by 5, cook dinner, then spend the rest of my evening hanging out with my family. (Did I say how much I love this new job?)  
I guess my point is that I would much rather hang out with Hubby and Jacob at night than type... Okay I realized as I re-read that I'm lying a little here... I also enjoy vegging out in front of the TV. Hahaha.

So now that I've settled into my new job and evening routine, I have made a goal to continue my blog, only this time, I am not going to put pressure on myself if I don't write for a while, because that just means I'm hanging out with my family more. I hope I can say I'll be updating more often, but that just adds to the pressure!  Here's to no pressure!! :-)

So here are some pictures from the past few months...

Three Year Old Doctor Check Up
Easter 2013

He's potty trained!! Wahoo!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Congrats! - ProgressOH! Winner

I can't believe I forgot to mention the winner of the ProgressOH! Giveaway. The winner was selected through Rafflecopter. Congratulations Deb!

Deb won 2 cans of yummy Progresso Soup, a makeup bag, and compact mirror/brush.

More giveaways coming soon!

Chores for a Two Year Old?

When is it too early to teach your child about chores and helping others? I say, never.

As you may or may not know, I am a high school teacher, and I enjoy having conversations with my students during recess and lunch. We'll talk about a variety of things, from family life to school life, or even about their relationship issues.  It's nice to be able to connect with them outside of the class lessons.

One common thing I notice in some of my students is that they do not take the time to learn household chores from their parents. (I won't say all students are like this, because there are many who help at home.)  I always lecture suggest that they should take the time to learn some home-cooked meals and recipes from their parents before it's too late. I know I wish I learned more recipes from my parents before I moved out.  Of course, all I have to do is call them to ask how to make something, but it's definitely not the same.

Jacob's always been good about helping Hubby and I around the house. We haven't decided on a chore system yet, because I think he's still too young for that, but he does have certain things he's "in charge" of.

Jacob's responsible for putting the soap into the dishwasher:

And he helps with other things too:

I think a part of it, too, is that Jacob feels important when he's helping. He's proud of himself when he feels as though he has accomplished a task or is helping his parents. 

Okay I can't figure out a way to end this post, because my goal isn't to lecture on proper parenting, so I'll just post another picture of Jacob, haha.

A Mommy's Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese Lion Dance / Keopuolani Park

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

Between my two jobs, I normally work 6 days a week, so Saturdays are our "Family Days" when we are free from all obligations.  [Yep... today's post is about a Saturday, and today's Monday. Sue me. Ha] This Saturday was an action packed day, and by the end of the night, I was exhausted.

First, we went to the Maui Mall for their Annual Chinese New Year Celebration.  I'm going to be honest and say that the food could have been a little better. The hallway was lined with 6 or 7 different food booths that served Chinese and Vietnamese food, and most were oily and/or deep fried.  I wasn't impressed.  In fact, Hubby, Jacob, and I had to do a mini-detour to Whole Foods to get some breakfast.  I'm normally not picky when it comes to food, and I hate to be negative, but the food wasn't the best. In any case, we didn't let it spoil our day!  

After we finished eating, the Chinese Lion came dancing by. 

 I'm not sure if it's Hawaii tradition or Chinese tradition, and maybe some of you can help me on being accurate here, but it's believed the lion will bring you good luck if you give him a red envelope filled with money.  As soon as we spotted the lion, I grabbed Jacob, tossed the camera to Hubby, and ran towards the lion so Jacob could give him some money. Literally. Ran. LOL. Good thing I ran because I beat the crowd. Muahaha.

 I was pretty surprised that Jacob wasn't scared at all. In fact, he gave the lion money twice. I'm wondering who had more fun:  Jacob or his mommy. lol... Oh yah, and I should probably note that I made it sound like we gave the lion a bunch of money, but the red envelopes had a dollar in each. He can't tell who gave what, right?

So, anyway, after we celebrated the Chinese New Year, Jacob said he wanted to go to the park, so we made a short trip to Keopuolani Park in Kahului, Maui.  If you are living on Maui and haven't taken your kiddies to Keopuolani Park, I highly recommend it!

There are two different playground sets, one for toddlers and one for older kiddies, and they are both quite large. Jacob plays on both of them, but he prefers the one for older kids. I like it better when he plays on the toddler jungle gym because you don't have to stand close by and watch him on that one, but Jacob doesn't care what mommy wants, right? Haha. He wants to be with the big kids. :-)


Phew. Long day. There's more.  So after we went to Keopuolani Park, Hubby and Jacob went home while I  went to a two-hour Zumba class with my mom, MIL, and SIL.  I've never been to TWO HOURS of Zumba before, and all I'll say is I SURVIVED!  I was sore, but I survived.

What a fun-filled day.  I love my family!