quarter life crisis

Last night I watched Eat, Pray, Love, and as much as I hate to admit it, it could TOTALLY relate. At one point, Julia Roberts said she “felt dead inside.” I am not above admitting that I feel the same way too sometimes. It’s ironic that I can feel dead next to such a beautiful, ALIVE little baby, full of curiosity and exploration, but….I do. She gets to do exactly what she wants to do, and I do what I must. I’m not blaming her. It’s not her fault I feel this way.
I remember in college, I had a TINY hole in the wall to call home, no computer, not even a cell phone for a while, no car, no tv, none of the things that today I wouldn’t be able to live without, and still I managed to love every minute of my life. Keola and I tried to pinpoint what was so great about that time of our lives.
  1. lack of responsibility
  2. no debt
  3. spontaneity
  4. lots of options
  5. a complete disregard for what other people thought of us
  6. good friends
  7. being outside
  8. general contentment
In contrast, 6 short years later, I have:
  1. quite a bit more responsibility
  2. lots of debt
  3. not much time or energy or leeway for spontaneity,
  4. a perception that I don’t have very many options as to what I can do with my life while toting a baby around
  5. probably too much regard for what people think of me
  6. good friends that I barely keep in touch with because I traded friends in for a husband (who is my BEST friend but sometimes I JUST WANT TO TALK TO A GIRL thank you very much.)
  7. a vitamin D deficiency.
  8. a brain that’s constantly thinking of what I want instead of what I have already been blessed with, even though I have waaaay more now than I ever did in college.
How did I get here? Simple. I left Neverland. I grew up. I’m not a child anymore.
But does growing up and not being a child anymore mean that you have to give up the things we used to enjoy? (Look at me I sound like I’m 60 or something…not twenty freaking five). While I admit my tastes have changed since I was 19, I feel like I lost my joie de vivre and by golly I WANT IT BACK!
So here’s my “Take Back My Joie de Vivre” List:
  1. Move back to Hawaii (check!)
  2. Ask for help more often
  3. get out of debt
  4. Go out with friends
  5. Take more naps
  6. Go on dates
  7. Re-teach myself the guitar (which I used to play a lot but have since forgotten)
  8. Play my flute
  9. SING. I love to sing. And I don’t anymore…not really.
  10. Go on picnics
  11. Learn to say “no”.
  12. read books (not just blogs)
  13. Plant a garden
  14. Look at something beautiful every day.
  15. Take walks
  16. Learn how to cook. I mean REALLY cook.
  17. Exercise
  18. Excuse myself from perfection. It ain’t happening.
Life doesn’t have to end after kids. In fact, I’m discovering that a woman’s zest for life becomes more important when she becomes a mother because really? what’s the point of raising other people when you’re empty and a shadow of your former self? What will you have to give them? We gave them life. Now we must help them LIVE it. Step 1: Live yours.

dish soap and blockbuster

In case you didn’t read the tweet… Friday afternoon, we were window shopping at Target. Really. We were. WINDOW SHOPPING. I didn’t spend a penny in that store.

In reality I should’ve spent the $1.60 on a bottle of dish soap while we were there but I was too lazy to walk my butt all the way to the cleaning supplies aisle and pick one up since we were already at the front of the store.

“No worries. I’ll get some later,” says my sensitive, sweet, considerate, thoughtful husband. This means that he was going to drop us off at home and go get some later on.

We get in the car. I quickly realize that I didn’t get to enjoy my usual post-stuffing-my-face-on-Turkey-Day coma. My eye lids feel like someone super-glued the inside and I barely hear Keola saying “We’ll just stop at Walmart on the way home.”

“Whaaaaat??????” say my eyes.

“Ok nevermind. I know that look. We’ll go home.”

Later, Keola announces that he’s going out for the dish soap. I breathe a sigh of relief because the dishes are beginning to pile up and that makes me anxious. He slips out into the cold and I think I have the awesomest husband ever.

Forty five minutes later…

Keola walks in the door and has taken (what I think) is way too long, but I was expecting that since Safeway and Blockbuster are right next to each other and Blockbuster’s gravitational pull is just too strong for my movie-junkie husband..even though the movies that are there today are the EXACT SAME MOVIES THAT WERE THERE YESTERDAY. “I don’t understand why you need to look at them ALL OVER AGAIN.”

We sit down to eat dinner, and are having a nice evening…doing what? I don’t remember. I just assume it was nice since that’s how most evenings are around here…

Dinner done, it’s time to tackle the dishes. I ask Keola where the dish soap is. He looks up at me like a little boy who just threw a baseball through the kitchen window and says “I forgot it.”

“What???” That’s the WHOLE reason you went out. WHERE did you go?”

“Walmart. I was looking at the movies.” Walmart is waaaaay far away compared to Safeway.

“Well how did you end up at Blockbuster?”

“I had to turn in a rental so I decided to rent another one.”

“Soooo you went to Walmart, looked at movies, left, went to Blockbuster, (which is right next to Safeway so even if you screwed up at Walmart, you STILL could’ve gotten the dish soap), rented a movie and came home? WHEN did you realize you didn’t have dish soap?”

“When I got home.”

“And you didn’t tell me THEN?”

“No…sooooorrrrryyyyy….” Droopy face. Kisses. Hugs. Laughs. Dirty dishes. Movie night. Love. What else can you do?

Moral of the story: When you’re at the front of the store and realize that you need dish soap, get some exercise, walk your lazy self over to aisle seven and pick some up. Geez.

writer’s workshop: what’s in a name?

Today I decided to begin participating in the Writer’s Workshop over at Bloggy Moms. It’s a nice way to not have to wrack my brain trying to come up with material for a new blog post, and to see how other blogger view the same topic. Writer’s Workshop takes place every Tuesday with a new topic and you have the whole week to explore it. I found today’s topic right up my alley because it’s about BLOG NAMES: How did I come up with it, and what does it represent? Now for the five of you who’ve followed me for a while you know that I am soooo finicky when it comes to settling down with my blog. I am constantly changing it and am never quite happy with it. In fact I think about half my posts are about my blog itself. I guess this is another one 😉

My first blog was a family blog that no one ever read besides a few friends and family. Now that I look back at that, I kind of miss my old blog – Full Hash Hawaiians. It’s an inside joke between my husband and I back when we were friends but not dating. We called our group of friends the Full Hash Hawaiians because we were always staying up late and not getting enough sleep so we looked “hash”. Hash is what you look like right when you get out of bed. It was cute and it was us.

When I got into vlogging on Youtube, I was introduced to this whole world of moms on the internet, and I thought it’d be fun to create a blog just on motherhood. Thus A Budding Mom was born. I wanted a separate “Mom” blog because I wanted to keep some more personal sides of me on Full Hash Hawaiians that I didn’t want perfect strangers reading on my “Mom” blog. I almost immediately hated it. I wanted something funkier and more unique that spoke more to my Hawaiian side, AND I soon learned that 1) I didn’t like having to maintain 2 blogs and 2) I didn’t really care anymore what material was on what blog.

*POOF* sopupuka (Poo-poo-kuh baby)burst on the scene. At first I wanted it to be a brand name for a baby-centric business I’m currently mulling over in my brain, but it has since evolved. I have a page on my blog explaining what “pupuka” means. “Pupuka” has a dual meaning. Depending on the way you say it, it can mean cute or ugly. When Hawaiians talk about babies, they call them “ugly” even though they mean to say the baby’s cute. They do this because if you actually called a baby cute, the parents might believe you wanted the baby for yourself, or was jealous and wanted to harm the baby. Other say it’s used to keep the baby from becoming snotty-nosed kids who think they’re all that and a bag of chips. Saying “pupuka” is the polite thing to do.

Thinking about motherhood, and my new family life, it’s been roses and thorns, laughter and tears, and I think the duality of the word “pupuka” captures that sentiment perfectly.

I feel like I change and evolve weekly, sometimes daily. Will sopupuka always fit me? I don’t know. Will I use it for business later on? I hope so. But for now, it’s just my little blog.

NO MOMMY! I WANNA DO IT MYSELF!

Ok so obviously Noweo didn’t SAY that, but she might as well have. It’s a little known secret that I am not that perfect mom that has pureed 20 ice cube trays of organic fruits and veggies for my baby, although I like to pretend that I am that perfect mom.

The truth? The truth is that I’m fizzled out about the whole thing because it is SO HARD to hold her attention when I’m trying to feed her.

Six months ago I was so excited to watch her little jaw move up and down, puffing her fat cheeks in and out as she munched on the mush I expected her to gobble up but would never touch myself. For weeks I’d try to put a spoon in her mouth chock full of “real food” and for weeks she’s basically rejected it – reluctantly taking a bite every 5 minutes and completely ignoring my ridiculous attempts to turn the spoon into an airplane (“That’s not an airplane mom. Geez even I know that.”)

Why do we think airplanes will make our kids feel like eating? Maybe it’s just me.

AAAAANYWAAAAAY I fail. I fail at treating her like a person who may have a more sophisticated abilities than I’m giving her credit for. When we’re eating and she’s not, she does everything in her power to get to our food and shove it in her mouth, so I know she wants FOOD – real food, not stuff that looks like it used to be food before we ate it. Why am I giving my daughter boring gook that (like I mentioned above) would never touch myself?

The answer (for me anyway) is fear: fear that she’ll choke. That’s what it boils down to, but all the signs point to the fact that she’s ready and perfectly capable to make her own food choices and feed herself and MY job is to trust her and set safe guidelines. It’s not like I’m giving her a chunk of rare steak or rock candy or anything.

From pregnancy to breastfeeding, I have been quite comfortable trusting my body to do what it needed to do to make a baby. When I had her, I nursed her on demand, and I’m sure she got exactly what she needed when she needed it. Now at nearly 7.5 months, why does that mentality need to stop?

Enter baby-led weaning.

I had heard the term but didn’t really understand what it was. Basically, it’s exactly what Noweo was trying to teach me about this whole time. “Mommy, let me do it. I can do it.” That’s all it is. It’s about giving your kid different options of REAL FOOD in manageable portions for them to explore and try.

So yesterday, I sat her in a bumbo, attached the tray, and gave her a slice of boiled sweet potato, a chunk of banana, and a slice of apple. I have never seen her so happy and attentive during a solid food meal. It’s like I opened the gates to Disneyland and gave her free reign of the place. She devoured the banana and the sweet potato, and gnawed on the apple – delighted.

Choking? None. In fact, when I was spoon-feeding her mush, she choked and gagged at least once almost every time I fed her. I noticed that when she was eating the apple, she only managed to gnaw off teeny tiny little chunks. After a while, I didn’t worry so much about her choking, though I still watched her like a hawk.

Did she make a mess? Most definitely, but cleanup made up for the fact that I didn’t have to puree anything.

This morning she and I shared our breakfast together on the kitchen floor (not OFF the kitchen floor): a roll, an apple slice and sweet potato. She joyfully ripped the roll in half, one for the right hand, one for the left, and took turns taking a bite from each half (most of which fell out when she opened her mouth to bite again). It felt like another level of bonding, similar to our nursing relationship. I love being able to share with her some of the foods I love, watching her explore the texture, the taste, using her thumbs and little fingers. I could just see those little wheels turning in her head, with little fireworks of excitement in being just a little bit more like Mommy and Daddy.

I’ve been sad lately about the beginning of the end of our nursing relationship, but now I’m reminded that so many happy memories happen around a dining table, or a picnic basket, or between car seats during a road trip, or at a favorite restaurant.

Now because of baby-led weaning, I feel like those happy memories are just beginning.

an attitude of gratitude

Since Thanksgiving is only a few hours away, I thought this would be nice to contemplate over the next could days: “Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

– Thomas S. Monson

What a breath of fresh air! There is A LOT of good going on in the world but unfortunately, good samaritans don’t generate headlines. Thus our task to discover the right and the good becomes a little more difficult, but not impossible. To prove it, here are five good things that are going on in the world today:

1) A lady has been taking something over (dinner, dessert, flowers, etc.) to a neighbor with terminal cancer every week since she found out about his condition.

2) Another woman took in a 13 year old girl (basically off the streets) who was a rape victim when she was eight and is helping her learn to forgive him. This woman barely has any money, but she just can’t allow this girl to go uncared for.

3) I saw a guy give money to a homeless man yesterday.

4) South Korea did NOT jump up and bomb the heck out of North Korea.

5) There are cool websites like this: http://www.thegooddeedsorganisation.com/Default.aspx

What sort of good is going on around you?

an attitude of gratitude

Since Thanksgiving is only a few hours away, I thought this would be nice to contemplate over the next could days: “Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

– Thomas S. Monson

What a breath of fresh air! There is A LOT of good going on in the world but unfortunately, good samaritans don’t generate headlines. Thus our task to discover the right and the good becomes a little more difficult, but not impossible. To prove it, here are five good things that are going on in the world today:

1) A lady has been taking something over (dinner, dessert, flowers, etc.) to a neighbor with terminal cancer every week since she found out about his condition.

2) Another woman took in a 13 year old girl (basically off the streets) who was a rape victim when she was eight and is helping her learn to forgive him. This woman barely has any money, but she just can’t allow this girl to go uncared for.

3) I saw a guy give money to a homeless man yesterday.

4) South Korea did NOT jump up and bomb the heck out of North Korea.

5) There are cool websites like this: http://www.thegooddeedsorganisation.com/Default.aspx

What sort of good is going on around you?

what’s new noweo?: little chompers, big squeals

It’s official. Noweo is well on her way to being able to expand her diet from mushy to chunky. 2 teeth have begun to make their appearance and are S-L-O-W-L-Y emerging through her gum line. Of course, when most people have bone emerging through their skin, they usually agree that it’s an unpleasant experience, and Noweo is no different. She’s clingy, fussy, and sometimes has a hard time sleeping, BUT, on the flip side, it seems that her sense of humor has really begun emerging – possibly as a defense mechanism? She laughs A LOT and there’s nothing better than hearing those happy (albeit ear-shattering) squeals and giggles. She’s also taken to randomly screaming….for fun. Despite our new high decibel entertainment,  so far, our teething journey doesn’t seem to be completely turning our world upside down. Let’s hope it stays that way!

baby daddy

The minute I learned I was pregnant, I began researching EVERYTHING I thought I needed to know about becoming a parent, and I learned A LOT. My husband? Less so. But he was a busy student, and me? Less so. I was constantly on the computer, reading books, watching youtube videos (and making some of my own) and let me tell you, I learned a WHOLE NEW LANGUAGE: the language of 21st century mommyhood. I learned pregnancy terms, birthing terms, parenting terms, the names of ALL the products I could possibly need for my baby, and THEN SOME.

my husband? Less so. But he could rattle off the stats of his fantasy basketball team for you in 30 seconds flat 🙂

Here are a few of his less-than-stellar but quite amusing baby vocabulary words and their meanings that he doesn’t know I’m sharing with you so don’t tease him about it:

stroller – pushy thingy

car seat – car chair

wrap – baby carrier (which it is, but wrap is so much faster to say)

spitting up – leaking

jumper – jumpy thing

I know there’s more, but I have to wait until he says it to remember. Maybe as I remember more I’ll add it to the list.

Soooo he’s not as “well-read” as I am when it comes to all this baby stuff, but when it comes to our baby, he’s the best. He and Noweo got off to a little bit of a rocky start when she pooped a perfectly round ball of meconium the FIRST time he changed her diaper… I mean, it was like she was blowing a bubble out of her butt – just this ever-growing ball of black tar-y poop that we actually POPPED. But once we cleaned her butt and covered it up again, he was smitten, and if there ever was a little girl who was loved by her Daddy, that little girl is mine

jumping

Ok….so we’re moving back to Hawaii in
less
than
a
month.
We DON’T have a job (but LOTS of prospects)
We don’t have a home (camping out at M and D’s for a little while)
We have NOTHING.
And while sometimes I feel like screaming
because I felt like I was just in this situation a few months ago,
I FEEL different.
I FEEL like being home is where we’re supposed to be.
I FEEL  like it’s the best thing for our family.
and I’m NOT worried (well…as worried as I was this summer…hehehe) about the future.
Does that make sense?
Am I crazy? Or do more people than I think actually pull a stunt like this?
Have you ever taken a risk? Just closed your eyes and jumped?
and hoped on our way down it’d be a soft landing?
or that your parachute would open up?
or that someone would catch you?
Well, that’s where we are right now.
Jumping.
I just keep telling myself that all birds jump before they fly.

miracles

Funny thing about miracles…we expect them to be impossible feats, inexplicable, unbelievable, wonderous, and wonderful. Maybe we’re not looking hard enough. My friend Megan passed away two nights ago. I donʻt know if she was in any pain, or if she was aware of anything at all, but one thingʻs for certain: the miracle we were all hoping for didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean that this whole experience didn’t produce miracles.

On her mother’s profile page, Megan is quoted as saying after her grim diagnosis “There’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen to me. I’m no better than anyone else.” For someone to be so gracious in accepting her trial when most of us would’ve asked “why me?’ …well that’s nothing short of miraculous in my opinion.

The fact that she fought for FOUR LONG MONTHS, was able to hold her baby girl and savor those precious few moments with her husband and family, giving them a little time to prepare for life without her….well that was merciful AND miraculous.

The opportunity she gave us to share words and thoughts of love, comfort, and support rather than judgement or gossip in a society where we’re so accustomed to hearing of slander, insult and betrayal, that’s divine.

The fact that I hold onto my little one a little longer every night, smell her hair and stroke her soft cheeks and bite my tongue when I’m critical of my husband, and keep him from leaving for work on time to spend a few more minutes with us….that’s precious

That we’re reminded that family is the MOST important thing, and that it DOES NOT end in death, that our relationships are FOREVER, that is exultant.

So you see? Miracles happen. They may not be the miracles we want, when we want them, but I am convinced that God knew the tremendous good that would come of Megan’s temporary state of suffering, did not abandon her but encircled her in a cocoon of love from the thousands of people who followed her story, and finally welcomed her home with open arms, a Father, beaming with pride at the grace and humility and patience His daughter demonstrated in the final days of her mortal life.

The miracle is not that Megan is alive, but that she LIVED, and we had the honor of being touched by her in some way.