Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blooming Magnolias


Hello new love of my life. For my birthday, Andrew bought me a serger. I am a big Janome (pronounced jah-no-me) fan and am so glad I have a matching serger to go with my Janome sewing machine. This is a four thread serger so it can't do hems, but I am estatic about everything else it can do. I have started three sewing projects since I got the machine (last Friday). I will post pictures once I have finished them.

Of course I started with a girl's dress pattern, but I am now working on some short overalls for Blake. I feel like there isn't enough time in the day to finish all the projects I want to work on. Yesterday, I purchased a 24-Hour Fitness membership from Costco (you can save $320 off a membership by buying it at Costco) so my time is going to be even more limited for sewing projects. One of the reasons I signed up for the gym is to get my mind off of the fact I had my third miscarriage since having Blake. We have an appointment with our OB in July to try and pin point what the issue may be. My miscarriages have been super early so I never get too attached to each pregnancy. I am learning a huge lesson about living in the moment instead of trying so hard to follow the dreams and hopes I make for myself. Everyone who knows me knows how much I dislike doctors so I am dreaming that he will tell me to exercise, relax, and wait to try again until I wean Blake completely. More likely he will request blood work (I call it bloodletting) and discuss hormone imbalances. I was so excited to do everything naturally so we will see how it goes. It is weird how I crave physical activity when I am trying for a baby. Remember how I had to work 20 hours a week at a horse barn before I had Blake. I reminded myself of the lesson I learned that 20 hours of intense barn labor actually fatigued me and once I quit the job I finally got pregnant. Life is one big vicious cycle right?

Behind on Blogging

Two weekends ago, we drove to Andrew's parent's house in Oakhurst to hang out with the family. Andrew's grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer so we all rallied around him to cheer his body and soul on with hopes that he will overcome this battle. Of course there was delicious food and tons of laughter. Andrew's family has taught me so much about large family dynamics. It is so nice to show up at their house, leaving my own personal baggage behind, to enjoy seeing everyone and hearing what fun adventures they are up to.

Here is the clan:
(Back row)-Aunt Karen, cousin Erin, Aunt Shirley, Aunt Gloria w/ Boris, Jessica, Sandy, Me, Angie (Allen's girlfriend), and Ellen
(Front row)-Paul, Nick, cousin Cliff, Uncle Glen, Andrew + Blake, David, Grandpa Walter, cousin Garrett, cousin Allen, and Uncle Michael (Gloria's husband)


Cousins having a great time together. Mia set up her princess tent and boy did Blake think that was all for him:


Mia showing Blake the ropes on how to have fun with cousins:


Chillin':


Family on the long, long couch:


Erin and Angie are such great helpers in the kitchen:


Blake feeding Andrew peas from the garden:


Cliff and Erin are expecting their first baby (due December 13th) so they wanted to take a "pea in the pod" picture:


Shirley getting in some motherly/grandmotherly support:


Sandy just can't help but weed whenever she gets near the garden:


Tons of swimming went down:


Blake loved not having to worry about neighbors seeing him skinny dip:


There were tons of videos I wanted to share, but they aren't uploading properly. I will add them at a later date. Ellen, Walter, Shirley, Glen, and Karen are all heading up to Alaska on a cruise ship so they can visit Megan. Megan is working in Alaska giving bike tours this summer. They leave next Monday and I can't wait to hear about their wonderful travels.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lullabye

This is exactly what it is like when we put Blake to bed:



Okay, so that comic strip we made is more representative of the evening routine, but one can dream right?

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Not My Fault

My mother gave me another book to read (Show Me The Way by Jennifer Lauk) and one paragraph made me feel much better. She wrote how her son turned three and she was so happy she didn't have to worry that he would die if he were to walk three feet away from her. I thought three feet was a liberal distance considering Blake can put himself in danger only inches away from my feet. Anyways, the passage made me feel less like a freaked out mother and more like I am just going through one of the stages of raising a child.

So with that in mind, I was clicking around craigslist and found someone selling a device to latch your baby to your seatbelt while on a plane. It peaked my interest due to our recent flight. Once the video started (which is below so you can all go through what I had to endure), I knew I had to call Andrew over to watch. And I wonder why I worry about Blake day in and day out? This is what I am up against as a new parent? There is no hope. Now at least when someone calls me overbearing I will direct them to this website.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Say Yes To The Dress

Does everyone remember my friend Skyla's sister Cammie from Blake's first birthday party? Well, she was on the show "Say Yes To The Dress" on TLC.

Here is the link to the video:
http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/say-yes-to-the-dress-the-dress-ties-that-bind-full-ep.html

I hope Cammie's wedding goes exactly how she wants it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blake Auditions for the Ballet

Blake played with Jocelyn today and loved dressing up in her tutu and ballet slipper (just one of course). Here is footage:





Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do You Bing?

Andrew made me try out Microsoft's new search engine, Bing.com, and to my surprise I liked it. We were looking at our old house in Discovery Bay on zillow.com and I got excited when I saw the labyrinth we built in the backyard. Microsoft's map allows you to see the house all the way around and not just from the street. I miss the labyrinth (not the hard clay soil) and now I can remember it always. All of the brick was recycled brick off of craigslist and Andrew and I spent hours chipping away mortar on 60% of them. Our house is the one below the house with the swimming pool (hi Stan and Sherry, we miss you). You can't really tell, but you can see the magnolia tree I planted in the front yard and the Sophora Japonica I planted in the backyard.



P.S. Andrew reminded me that I didn't like the search engine, just the map feature. I stand corrected.

Another Baby

On May 12, my grandparent's neighbor gave birth to her second son. Blake has played with their older son a few times so I thought it would be fun to make her something special for her new baby boy. They named him Riley so I wanted to make something that was his own since he will be inheriting a lot from his brother.

First, I found this book. It is quite quirky and makes the statement that mice have short, but happy lives because they cherish the simple things in life.


The cover of the book was my inspiration for the color pattern:


Since I want the human Riley to live a lot longer than the mouse, I stamped "The long and incredibly happy life of Riley" on the quilt.


It was simple and fun to make. I have found that making simple quilts is much more enjoyable then fussing with complicated patterns. This way they can use it as a park quilt and not worry about getting it dirty.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

On the Mainland (sniff, sniff)

We are home from Maui. The trip was great and I am going through an "off the island depression" right now. Blake flew home like a champ and has adjusted well to mainland life. We drove to Sac to pick up our doggies and presented Snickers with a dog treat lei.

video

Aloha and I will be dreaming of the ocean all night long.

Last Maui Photos

Some last photos of Maui.

Andrew and Blake hanging out while I shopped at the local shopping center:


Blake kept "oohing" at these shoes. I like the fact that they are on sale:


The red, HHR we drove around in:


Hang loose man:


I loved walking by all the plumeria trees and picking up blooms off the ground to stick in my hair:


For our last family date night we walked through that shopping center and then walked around the hotel property right after the sun went down:


I will miss the tropical breeze terribly:


Here is Blake riding on the airport shuttle towards long term parking:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Last Full Day in Maui



It is our last full day in Maui. I went to bed last night thinking of all the things I could do to stay on this island. The only thing I thought of was handcuffing myself to the railing, but eventually they would cut me free. How am I going to live without my warm ocean swims?

We got in the car yesterday and drove on the road towards Hana (hah-na). It is the lush side of the island (northeast side) where rain falls predictably. We followed our guidebook and stopped on the side of the road to view some waterfalls. The one we saw was small, but we did see some bigger ones from the road.

Right now we are full from breakfast and want to take a nap. Blake woke us up at 5:50am so maybe we will try for an early nap so we can hit the beach and rent a paddleboard. Pictures will follow I am sure.

Here is the link to the gallery where some waterfall pictures are:
http://picasaweb.google.com/hurstdog/Maui2009Online#

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Date Night Plus More

Yay for island babysitters. Last night we left Blake in the hotel room with a wonderful nanny (who hails from Santa Cruz) so we could enjoy some baby-free time. We walked to a neighboring hotel and ate at their great restaurant in the middle of a lagoon, in front of the ocean.

Here I am with some tikis:


I love macaroons:


If I ever get to re-tile anything this will be the pattern:


There is a mini chapel in the middle of another koi pond at the other hotel. I am holding a plumeria flower as a bouquet so Andrew and I could "renew" our vows. Too bad we didn't have any witnesses. There were a few cockroaches though:


Back at our hotel we took an evening dip in the "adults only" serenity pool. The view of the ocean is great, but unfortunately you can't see it because it was dark:


Andrew hanging out under one of the fun pagoda areas in the pool:


Kind of hard to see, but other pagodas:


Blake showing how he feels about the hotel room. It is definitely hump day for the little guy. He doesn't like being confined in the hotel room. It is hard to find places that are 100% safe for him to play in on the hotel grounds. There are just too many "no no" things like fountains and koi ponds that we are constantly redirecting him from. We try to let him run around free a couple times a day, but he seems to be adopting new families and constantly tries to climb up on chairs next to them or hang out right next to their legs. He kept touching other people at the aquarium so now we have to tell him to give people their own space. It is fun to watch him melt people as they walk by. He is always hitting his baby brakes and whipping around to suddenly wave like a crazy man at chosen targets.


When Blake wakes up from his nap we are headed to Ka'anapali for some exploration. Andrew gets to chose from snorkeling or surfing while Blake and I check out some shopping. It gets so tiring for me to hang out on the beach with Blake. He constantly runs directly into the ocean without any fear. Even when some water bowls him over he still gets up for more. I figure we will meet back up with Andrew so he can help me with the little fish (I do blame his genes for this behavior). The main reason I want to go here is because they have a Black Rock (Pu'u Keka'a) which Hawaiians believe was the jumping off point for their spirits or souls leaving this world. Each island is said to have such a point. "When Hawaiians died, it was here that their souls would leave this life and join their ancestors forever. If there were no family spirits to receive them, they would wander around the area, attaching themselves to rocks and generally causing mischief. That's why it's considered unwise to take any rocks from this area. You may bring back a spirit itching to get back home." - cited from Maui Revealed by Andrew Doughty.

This may just be the place someone will have to scatter my ashes at when I die. I wonder if they allow non-local, shahkbait (sharkbait, meaning pale untanned people) to be scattered here?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Still Relaxing

Our home base has been established and routines are in place so we decided to hop in our bright, red HHR (every other tourist is riding around in one) to check out some local towns. First, we visited Lahaina and walked around the little shops. I had been searching for cocograms (coconuts you can mail back home) and found a tiny mail stop where they were selling them. The man behind the counter explained to us that since 9/11 the government now requires each coconut to be inspected by Hawaii's Agricultural Department before mailing. So if we wanted to purchase one he would have to shut down the shop and charge us $15/hr. to go get the certification. Here is the breakdown for mailing a coconut:

Price of the coconut: $4-$10
Labor to get the certification: $15
Mailing the coconut: $10-$20
= $45.00 at the most

We forewent the coconuts, but just know we are sending many coconut thoughts to all of you.

Yesterday, we drove northwest to Lahaina. The tourbook said it was worth spending an afternoon there. We shopped a little and ate our first shave ices. I got pina coloda and Andrew got some concoction with ice cream at the bottom (ew, gross). Blake didn't really like the shave ice. Downtown has a great banyan tree that has put down roots in many places. Totally weird, but fun to look at. You can check our picasa gallery for more pics:

http://picasaweb.google.com/hurstdog/Maui2009Online#

Andrew and Blake before eating Mexican food:


Blake at the Maui Aquarium:


My favorite fish (besides the seahorses):


P.S. Our internet connection is horrible, although they charge us an arm and a leg, so we can't upload some of the best videos because they are too big. I will be taking shorter videos so we can post them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We Made It Over the Pond

We made it to Maui and life is great. The hotel is wonderful and the ocean is even better. We spend our days: eating, walking the grounds, bobbing up and down in the pleasantly calm ocean, hopping in and out of the many pools and spas around, waving at Blake's new friends (anyone walking by the little guy), and relaxing in our room. We went into town for some light shopping and ate at a great restaurant.

Blake has already adjusted to Hawaii time and wakes once at night like at home. He is up by 6am, just in time for the continental breakfast. I love how we run into other couples with small children at the crack of dawn. It is fun to ask them why they didn't sleep in.

Off to schedule our excursions.

Check out our photos in this gallery:
http://picasaweb.google.com/hurstdog/Maui2009Online#


Andrew going down one of the twisty slides:
video

We tried to upload a few more videos, but the internet cut us off. More to come soon.