Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Someone Likes to Read...

Okay, she can't actually read but she sure likes to look at books and all the pictures in the Marukai Supermarket add.  Here she is trying to find all the great deals for our next grocery run!

Love it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We Got Ke'alohi's Ears Pierced!

Yup, we did it; we got Ke'alohi's ears pierced!  After much discussion and consideration, Lucas and I decided that we did want to pierce Ke'alohi's ears now that she is young and we can take care of them.  This way by the time she knows what earrings are and wants to change them as often as she changes her clothes, we will have less of a chance that they will have problems or get infected.

Since Ke'alohi had done so well when she got her shots, it made me feel better about getting her ears pierced since I thought she would take it just as well.  But, I was wrong and she cried bloody murder for a few minutes before we gave her a bottle and she fell asleep.  I definitely felt guilty for making her cry but I hope that she will thank me one day when she doesn't remember the pain or have to deal with the healing process herself.

Doesn't she look pretty!!!

Six-Month Doctor's Appointment

At this appointment with Dr. Ouchi, Ke'alohi weighed in at 20 pounds, measured 27 inches and her head circumference was 17 inches.  I was just as surprised with Ke'alohi's weight and height increase as last time, but Dr. Ouchi told me that I shouldn't worry because once she starts crawling and walking, her weight should even out.  Ke'alohi is now slightly off the charts for weight and in the 90th percentile for height.

There were so many things that we talked about starting to introduce to Ke'alohi, that I got pretty sad by the end of the appointment.  At six months, Dr. Ouchi said that we can start to introduce solid food, water and sippy cups!  That was just way too much for me to handle since I want Ke'alohi to stay my little baby as long as possible.

As the end of the appointment neared, I knew what was coming; shots.  They gave Ke'alohi four shots in her legs at this appointment!  Thankfully, Lucas was there for support, but to both of our surprise, Ke'alohi did awesome and barely cried at all!  Right before we left, Lucas and I made the decision to get her ears pierced but I'll talk about that in my next post.

We will be going back in two months for her eight-month appointment to check on her progress and get her next set of shots.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Little Thanksgiving Dinner...

After we were married, Lucas and I decided that if we spent the holidays with our families, sometime that same weekend, we would do a little dinner with our little family to celebrate the holiday.  Today we had "Our Little Thanksgiving Dinner."  For Thanksgiving, I always have the dinner after the holiday because everything is on sale!  It might be the Chinese in me, but I love the fact that we can buy a 10 pound turkey for $8 and all the sides for under $20 after Thanksgiving Thursday. 

I was inspired this year by my friend Jenn, who is an amazing cook and mommy, to make everything from scratch.  She somehow balances being a mommy to a six week old baby and makes home-cooked meals for her husband. She taught me how to brine a turkey and roast it with a fresh-herb butter.  Yum!  My biggest accomplishment was the stuffing from scratch, something Lucas and I have never done before.  We also made Aunt Karen's sweet potato casserole and my dad's apple crisp; both of which are staples in our families.  All in all, it was a great meal and I can't wait to learn more recipes and tricks from Jenn in the future!

Visit from Auntie Jill and Auntie Shirley

Out of all of Ke'alohi's aunties, she definitely gets to see Auntie Jill the most.  This time when Auntie Jill visited she brought a special visitor, her mom!  Auntie Shirley was in town to visit Jill and to celebrate Thanksgiving with Andrew's (Jill's boyfriend) family.  The two of them had way too much fun with Ke'alohi in her exersaucer playing with her stuffed animal ladybug.  We all got to talk about the holidays, shopping and Christian Jay (CJ), Jill's nephew.  Auntie Shirley watches her grandson once a week and showed us many photos from the last few weeks.  He is so cute and we can't wait until CJ and Ke'alohi can meet.

We have already decided that CJ and Ke'alohi will be dates at Jill's wedding in the future and I'm sure they'll steal the show with their cuteness.

Visit with Auntie Brandie

We were so excited when we found out that Brandie would be in Los Angeles for a layover.  Since she is a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines and came in on the night flight, she would be in town until the next day's night flight back to Hawaii.  We picked her up and went to lunch at the Grove's Cheesecake Factory.  I love that they now serve lunch portions since I always get full off any of their menu items, even salads!  We had such a great time talking about how exciting her life is now as a flight attendant traveling the world and as the new Miss Hawaii USA.  After lunch, we walked around and looked at the shops before we headed back to our place so that Brandie could get back into her flight attendant uniform.  

While we were hanging out, Brandie mentioned that Trader Joe's had the best brownie mix and that we needed to try it.  Boy, was she right!  Everyone reading this needs to get the Trader Joe's Truffle Brownie Mix right now and get as many boxes as you can, they'd even make great holiday gifts.  Just don't go to the one near LAX because Brandie and I whipped that store out!

Six Months Old!

Six months is half a year!  I cannot wrap my brain around that Ke'alohi has been in our lives for that long already.  It seems like just yesterday we were in the hospital and talking about bringing her home.  This month has just flown by full of many milestones!

Ten Facts about Ke'alohi at Six Months:
  1. Weighs 20 pounds and measures 27 inches.
  2. Rolls over and sits up by herself like a champ!
  3. Screeches at her toys and at Mommy and Daddy like it's her job.
  4. Still loves her exersaucer toy!
  5. Doing a lot better at sleeping through the night in her crib.
  6. Starting to teethe!
  7. Loves sitting in her high chair and eating rice cereal!
  8. Laughs and giggles at the mirror.
  9. Loves Duke and Harley's faces and tries to grab at them now.
  10. Still drinks six ounces of formula at each feeding with us but eats eight ounces at the daycare.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We love it when we can get together with Lucas' family for Thanksgiving, specifically for all the great food that Aunt Karen, Bailey and Peggy make.  This year's food was no different from last year, tasting just as good as I remembered.  Thanksgiving dinner just isn't the same without Aunt Karen's sweet potato casserole, Bailey's mashed potatoes and Peggy's stuffing!  We got down to Solana Beach at about noon and hung out around the house until it was time for the Sayin football game.  Ke'alohi and I had a ball hanging out, taking pictures and cheering on Daddy.  After football was over, I was able to get Ke'alohi down for a nap before all the festivities commenced.

The highlight of the night was feeding Ke'alohi real food for the first time.  We brought down some of the sweet potatoes I had made earlier this week to try.  We waited for Thanksgiving so that the whole family could watch Ke'alohi take this next baby step.  She ate like a champ loving it when Lucas and I got the spoon near her mouth.  We couldn't feed her fast enough!

First Time Sitting Up on Her Own!

We made our way down this morning to spend Thanksgiving with Lucas' family in Solana Beach.  It is kind of a family tradition for their family to play a fun game of football and this year the game took place down at the beach a block away from their home.  Though Ke'alohi and I wanted to get in on the action we watched and cheered on Daddy from afar on our little blanket.  It was a great moment when at halftime, Ke'alohi showed us all that she could sit up on her own without using her hands to balance her!

It was so cute and we all cheered for her newest milestone!

Going to the Chapel...

No, Ke'alohi isn't getting married but her godfather is!  Elijah proposed to his girlfriend Diana today!  Elijah had told Lucas and I when we were in the hospital having Ke'alohi that he was going to propose to Diana over Thanksgiving weekend.  It has been so hard seeing them both because all I wanted to scream was "You're getting married!" Elijah waited for this special weekend because his family from Hawaii was also going to be in New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with Diana's family.  Though we weren't there to see it all happen, we were all very excited to get word that Diana had officially said, "YES!"

We absolutely can't wait to see them (and the ring) so that we can celebrate in person!  We are so unbelievably happy for Elijah and Diana!  We love you guys and are very thankful to have you in our lives!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  First and foremost, Lucas and I are thankful for our beautiful, healthy and happy daughter.  Ke'alohi has brought more happiness to our lives than we ever thought was possible.  We can't imagine our lives without her.  Next, we are thankful for our families (including Duke and Harley) who have been there for us and supported us in this time of learning how to be the best parents to Ke'alohi that we can be.  Lastly, we are thankful for our friends who have really been there for us since Ke'alohi's birth.   From flowers and gifts to visits, they have shown us that though we might not be blood related to them, they are family.

We love you all and thank you for being a part of our lives!  Hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mommy's Little Turkey

I am so excited for the short work week and Thanksgiving on Thursday with Lucas' family.  Mommy's Little Turkey is definitely ready for her first feast (though she will be feasting on formula and maybe a taste of mashed potatoes) and wanted to "break in" and stretch out her shirt for this week.

Hope you all have a great week and Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Juliette Penelope Stinson is Here!

November just couldn't come to a close without the greatly anticipated arrival of Kasey and Connor's daughter: Juliette Penelope Stinson! Our friends welcomed their baby girl into the world today and we are so happy and excited for them. I don't know anyone more ready to be a mom than Kasey, especially after she labored with Juliette for 72 hours! She was born this evening at 7:35 pm, weighing 7 pounds, 1.4 ounces and measuring 21 inches. 

She is such a beautiful little girl and is someone we are all thankful for this Thanksgiving week! I can't wait to raise our little Theta Legacies together!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Miss Hawaii USA

One of my best friends back home won Miss Hawaii USA last night!  I have known Brandie Cazimero since my days at Kamehameha Schools.  She and I were both in the Kamehameha Schools Marching Band and Colorguard, busy being lettersgirls and captains in the colorguard.  There is no one more deserving of the crown and title of Miss Hawaii USA.  She will be representing the state of Hawaii at the Miss USA competition in Las Vegas next June and hopefully we can be in the stands cheering her on.

I'm sure she will blow away the Miss USA competition like she did last night!  We are all so happy and proud of Brandie!  See you in Las Vegas in June 2012!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Time In Her High Chair!

We got back from Iowa late last night and couldn't muster up the energy to assemble the high chair that we picked up the day before we left for Iowa.  We put it together today and gave Ke'alohi some of her first real food that she ate and didn't play with and spit out.  We have been dabbling with trying to give her some bananas and rice cereal for a week or so but she hasn't gotten the hang of it yet.  Today, though, she showed us how much of a big girl she is and ate about 1 tablespoon of rice cereal.

Look at our big little girl!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brrr... It's Cold in Here...

Don't worry, I won't make another "Bring It On" reference again.  This picture was just too cute to not post.  Here is our little snow bunny trying on a beanie in Babies 'R' Us.  Ever since we found out we were having a baby, Babies 'R' Us and the Target Baby section have been a weekly stop for us.  Lucas now has to pull Ke'alohi and I away from all the cute things!

I feel like shopping for Christmas this year will be safer when I can distract Lucas with a Best Buy sale!  Hehehe, don't tell him...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Is This Heaven? No, It's Iowa...

We decided to spend the whole day on Friday showing Lucas and Ke'alohi around Des Moines, the city where our family took many of our vacations to visit my dad's family. Iowa holds a special place in my heart because so many of my childhood family memories took place there. A fun fact about Iowa is that Iowa ranks first in beef, pork, corn, soybean and grain production. In other words, Iowa is a happening place!

We showed Lucas and Ke'alohi the Iowa State Fair grounds, home of the largest state fair in the country. A few years back, my parents donated to the fair grounds and have a brick and bench with our names on it. We drove past A&E Dairy, who make the best milk, ice cream and chip dips! We stopped by Union Park, the park where my dad and grandma would take Kainoa and I to play and ride bikes in the summer. We even brought Ke'alohi out and took some pictures of her on the slide in the snow. She was such a trooper in her snowsuit and loved it when we played with her on the swing. Lastly we showed Lucas my grandma's house, and told Lucas and Ke'alohi stories of how it used to be when we were there growing up.

It was bittersweet seeing everything and knowing that none of our family live in Iowa anymore. I do hope that one day I can bring Lucas and Ke'alohi back to take them to the Iowa State Fair and show them why Iowa means so much to me and my family.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Grandma Pauline

Today was a tough day.  Grandma looked so peaceful at her service and I know that she is in a better place with Grandpa Bill.  The Pastor who presided over her service said something that truly helped me, "If there's a pond in heaven, she is fishing there."  After he said that, I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace.  In my head, I had a picture of Grandma and Grandpa sitting on a bench at the end of a dock happy and fishing.

Another thing that brought me happiness today was Lucas and Ke'alohi getting to meet a large portion of my family.  For Lucas, he hadn't seen many of my family since the wedding or hadn't met them because my cousin Anna was about to give birth to her third child.

After the services, we all met up for a family dinner at Latin Kings.  It was my Grandma's favorite restaurant so we all went there to celebrate her but I'm not going to lie, based on the name, I wasn't sure how good the food was or really how it was an Italian restaurant.   To my surprise, it was by far the best Italian food I have ever had, maybe the best food in general I have ever had. My mouth is literally watering as I write this.

We were lucky enough to get a few pictures of some of the cousins and our children before the night was over.  I really hope we all can see each other again soon, but under better circumstances next time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back in the Midwest...

We made it! After what seemed like days of flying, it was only 7 hours from airport to hotel, we checked in and got settled at the Embassy Suites on the River.  It is a great hotel that even provided us a crib for Ke'alohi to sleep in.  The weather here is crazy cold since they just had their first snow storm of the season last night.  When we landed, we saw white everywhere, a first of Lucas, Ke'alohi and I.

Opa and Puna were beyond excited to see us at the airport.  Wait, let me rephrase that, they were beyond excited to see Ke'alohi and quickly scooped her up from our arms.  Hopefully we get her back!  Tomorrow is when all the services will take place to remember Grandma Pauline.  We are going to miss her!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend with Auntie Nalani

Though this weekend has had it's ups and downs, a major highlight for me is having my best friend Nalani stay with us.  With us living on the mainland, Ke'alohi doesn't get to spend that much time with her Godmother and we have been so blessed that since her birth, Nalani has visiting California twice.  This weekend, Nalani was between a work conference and a work training seminar so we got her Saturday and Sunday!

Yesterday was spent hanging out and playing with Ke'alohi.  Today we decided to venture out and meet our other good friend Billie at Korean BBQ for lunch.  I know what you all must be thinking, we go to Korean BBQ a lot!  Believe me, we know and so do the people that work there.  I would not be surprised if they all knew us by name (The hostess already does!).  We had so much fun eating and talking story that we almost spent an hour and half there.  After lunch, we headed down to Del Amo Mall to shop, talk story more and grab Mrs. Field's cookies.  We ended the day with taking Nalani to Joe's Crab Shack where we shared crab nachos, fish and chips, crab legs, and turtle sundae.

Her visit was way too short and I seriously considered kidnapping (or in our case Godmother-napping) Nalani and keeping her with us.  We will see her soon enough in December for Christmas and Ke'alohi's baptism!

First Time in a Highchair!

Just look at her!  Can you believe that she is already old enough to sit in a high chair on her own?  Today at lunch we decided to test her out and see how she would do in a high chair.  I had been putting it off for a bit now because of two reasons; first, I didn't want to admit she was getting bigger and second, we hadn't bought a shopping cart/high chair cover yet.

Ke'alohi loved being at the head of the table and everyone watching her be a big girl.  More family dinners, here we come!

God Has a New Angel...

As much as 2011 has been an unbelievably great year for us, it has also been one of the hardest for my family.  Today we lost Grandma Pauline, my dad's mom. She lived a full life to 94 years old, times full of love and happiness.  She was my last living grandparent and meant the world to our family.  She lived most of her life in Des Moines, IA in the house my dad grew up in and was moved to St. Paul, MN in 2009 to be closer to my dad's family while she was struggling with Alzheimer's disease.

Grandma Pauline had 6 children, 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.  Every other summer we would visit her in Iowa and made tons of memories with her like the Iowa State Fair, making mud pies in the tomato garden and having Grandma cook our favorite meals.  That woman could cook some of the best food I can remember as a child!

Our way of keeping Grandma's memory alive, especially for Ke'alohi is cooking her pancakes, making pillows (the midwest's malasadas) and her miracle whip chocolate cake.  Though Ke'alohi will never meet any of her great-grandparents, there will be no shortages of stories we will share with her about them.  We are all trying to take comfort in the fact that she is now with Grandpa Bill, the love of her life watching down on all of us.

We love you Grandma!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Visit with Uncle Dan, Cousin Jocelyn and Cousin Julian

Since we were in San Diego, we called up Lucas' family and met up with them at Julian's soccer game in Solana Beach.  Right before we left for the game, Ke'alohi gave us the blow out diaper of the century which needed a hotel sink bath to clean up.  Hope she doesn't kill me when she is a teenager and sees that I posted this picture of her!  Julian was a superstar and running around the field like he owned the place.  Unfortunately, his team lost 3-2, but they won in spirit.  One thing about little boys, they don't relax or sit still.  During the halftime break, where typically you are resting and getting a pep talk from the coach, the boys were actually playing football on the field and running around like chickens with their head cut off.

After the game, Jocelyn came with us to pick up more pants for Ke'alohi at the Carter's outlet store (Who knew California got cold?) before we met Uncle Dan, Julian and some of the kids' friends for pizza.  Ke'alohi had a great time at the pizza bar because Jocelyn and her friend Jessica were playing with her and there were tvs showing football everywhere.  She could hardly focus on one tv before a play on another tv intrigued her.  She is her Father's daughter.

It was so much fun and we can't wait to see the whole family at Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Visit with Uncle Larry

This week my dad's brother, Uncle Larry, was in San Diego getting his CPE training.  For those people that aren't accountants, after you become a CPA, you have to keep up-to-date with training and continuing your education and the AICPA monitors that by requiring CPAs to earn CPE credits.  Lucky for us, Uncle Larry had the night off and invited us down to San Diego for the night to grab dinner!  As if dinner and hanging out with him wasn't incentive enough to go down there, he got us a hotel room so we didn' t have to drive up to Los Angeles at night. 

We had dinner at Anthony's Fish Grotto and spent the night feasting on fish, shrimp and crab and talking about everything happening with the family.  I was horrible though, and forgot to take a picture of Ke'alohi with Uncle Larry and I'm seriously hitting my head as I type this for being so lolo.  It was a great night spending time together and we can't wait to see him again and next time I won't forget to take pictures!