picnic in the park

One of the best things about having an unemployed husband is that the kiddo gets to spend as much time with him as she does me, so while everyone else kisses their old man goodbye, my daughter is just beginning another day with daddy dearest.

Today was the first blue-sky day in many, MANY days and we just had to take advantage of it.

We took a walk downtown to the little Apple store we have here to see when they’re planning on getting the new iPad in (which we will be buying *squeal*)

I bought a couple pairs of pants for Noweo at this little consignment store we found ($2.79 each!). Believe it or not, it gets pretty cold here at night. Somehow I don’t feel guilty shopping if it’s for my daughter.

Shopping tends to make us hungry, so we headed off to Short n Sweet (a yummy, yummy panini shop with desserts TO DIE FOR) and I picked me up a roasted chicken pesto focaccia panini. I don’t know what it’s actually called, but my made up name sums all the best parts.

Keola grabbed a poke bowl (poh-kay) that he’s been drooling over from Sack-n-Save (grocery store chain). Poke is raw fish in case you were wondering.

Then we headed off to my favorite park, Lili’uokalani (say that 3 times fast…or just once for that matter!) It’s a GORGEOUS Japanese garden named for the last Queen of Hawaii. You can see all of bay front, there are ponds that open up to the ocean, lots of tall, shady trees, luscious green grass and everybody and their dog (literally) hangs out there.

We laid out a blanket, and the food and let Noweo come and go as she pleased. So she’d grab some food and walk around while she munched, chasing birds and enjoying the fresh air. It was so fun to let Noweo run wild instead of grabbing her and moving her away from the cabinet doors, or the exercise machine, or the computer (like I’m trying to do right now…). There are so many rules and boundaries in a house that isn’t baby-proof (which is another reason I want to move out). There was nobody near us so she had free reign of our little pond of grass. Such a beautiful way to spend an afternoon!



birthday party! ack!

I’ve been avoiding Noweo’s birthday party for a long time…mostly because I simply didn’t know where to start. I know how locals do it here. They throw a GIANT luau. Mmmm….not for me. I’d like something a little smaller and intimate. When I started calling around to book a pavillion at a beach, I must’ve sounded like an idiot because THOSE pavillions are booked a year in advance! Silly me! I shouldn’t’ve called my parents when Noweo was born. I should’ve called the county Parks and Recreaction. Well now I know. Anywho, I finally started looking around online for some inspiration and scribbled some color schemes with my trusty felt-tipped markers. Keola picked out the one he liked the best, which I then re-created in colourlovers. 
I also plan to make these pennant streamers and paper flowers:
and then I was planning to print out black and whites of  Noweo through the months and clothespin them (with those cute little clothespins) to the streamers.
Now to look around for cute centerpiece ideas…

back to waimea

Last Friday (I know it takes me FOREVER to upload pics) we took a drive down to Waimea, where Nōweo was born. We talked and reminisced about our many drives up and down the coast to visit the midwives, each appointment bringing us closer to our new baby girl.
We stopped off at our favorite food court and picked up some enchilladas while Nōweo ate and made funny faces:
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And we went to the wooden park and tried not to get run over by all the big kids:
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And I remembered walking lap after lap after lap around that park on my due date trying to get into labor. Noweo wasn’t born for another 6 days. It’s proven true that she does things on HER time and no one else’s. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since all of that. I LOVE Waimea. I never thought this little ranching town would be so special to us. It’s usually the bathroom break between Hilo and Kona, but now it’ll always be the birthplace of our family.

the art of distraction

When your baby is as young as mine is, you can’t simply say “stop that” and expect them to stop digging through your underwear drawer (or in my case, underwear canvas box).
You can’t say “stop rolling over” when you’re trying to wipe their naked butts in-between diapers.
You can’t say “spit that out” when they decide to use an inked rubber stamp as a chew toy.
You can’t tell them to stop crying after they eat it on the kitchen floor.
They’re not that good at English yet.

But you CAN distract.
You can hand her a fake wallet (or real one) to dig through while you re-fold your unmentionables for the 15th time.
You can give her the tube of Desitin to munch on (make sure it’s CLOSED) while you throw on a clean diaper and snap on those 34 blasted snaps.
You can replace the stamp with a banana, or a sippy cup, or a teething ring or a cell phone because at least none of those things will turn her mouth blue.
You can begin an impromptu game of hide and seek to take her mind off her throbbing head.
Indeed, distraction is the greatest tool in a parent’s arsenal. Is it manipulative? You bet. Is it vile? Not in the slightest. It is simply a matter of directing attention.
Keola demonstrated this PERFECTLY yesterday when he came up with a solution to baby-proof those plastic drawers I bought. I had tried to come up with some nifty, creative way of keeping her out…
Like making velcro latches.

It worked for a little while…

Until she ripped the velcro off the drawers!

I tried tying ribbon around the frame and in front of the drawer.

That’s not really practical. Who wants to tie and untie a ribbon EVERY time you open a drawer?

Then in a stroke of genius that sometimes comes to Keola, he said “Why don’t we just throw a blanket over it? She won’t be interested in what she can’t see.”

Duh.

So I hopped in the shower and when I came back, this is what I saw:

It ain’t pretty, but IT WORKED! Since then, Noweo has not even attempted to lift the blanket up! It’s like the drawers never existed in the first place!

I’d like to work on a more permanent, eye-catching way to disguise those drawers, but for now, this’ll do.

It’s all about distraction folks. All about distraction.

in my arms – plumb

I had heard this song a million times, but today as I sat in the grocery store parking lot while Keola ran in to grab some things for dinner I actually listened…listened, teary-eyed because it says so beautifully what I desperately hope Nōweo understands.

“in my arms”

by plumb
Your baby blues So full of wonder Your Curly Que’s Your contagious smile And as I watch You start to grow up All I can do is hold you tight Knowing
Clouds will rage in Storms will race in But you will be safe in my arms Rains will pour down Waves will crash all around But you will be safe in my arms
Story books Are full of fairy-tales Of kings and queens And the bluest skies My heart is torn just in knowing You’ll someday see The truth for lies
Clouds will rage in Storms will race in But you will be safe in my arms Rains will pour down Waves will crash all around But you will be safe in my arms
Castles they might crumble Dreams may not come true Cause you are never all alone Cause I will always Always love you
Clouds will rage in Storms will race in But you will be safe in my arms Rains will pour down Waves will crash all around But you will be safe in my arms
In my arms In my arms

outgrown

Wednesday is laundry day in this house, so this morning I thought I’d take the opportunity to clean through our closet and take out all the clothes that Nōweo no longer fits. I do this periodically, but over the last few weeks I’ve been lazily taking mental note of which outfits she couldn’t wear anymore and skipping over them when I’m trying to figure out what to put her in, vowing that “tomorrow” I would sort through her shrinking wardrobe. Aaaaand in typical mommy fashion, I’m getting sentimental looking at the pile of clothes sitting on the floor that Nōweo’s outgrown and will never use EVER again in her whole life.

Back in January I broke out the first onesies anyone’s ever given to us. They were 12 month onesies and they seemed SO BIG and I remember clutching them to my chest and thinking to myself “I don’t want her to get big enough to fit these!”

And now she is. It happened so suddenly, yet so subtly. Like the morning when it’s just barely beginning to light, and it gradually gets brighter and brighter, and then all of a sudden you realize that your room is filled with sun. She fills me.

But now, I officially forbid her to get any bigger than THAT. Hhhmmmm…not likely.

What’s just as marvelous to me is the way I’ve grown with her. I am not the same mother I was when she was born. I used to cry when I couldn’t console her. Now I chuckle to myself and revel in the sound. Like a tinkling bell…okay…more like a chinese gong these days, but still. It is a sound I will miss one day.

Sometimes I miss how small she used to be, but there’s nothing like that big “Mommy look what I can do” smile I get when she toddles over to me. She’s becoming more and more sure-footed with each passing day. I love how proud she is over herself. I love celebrating her.

So with each passing week she sheds a thin layer of baby-hood, and like the pile of too-small clothes sitting on the floor, she grows out of old mannerisms, masters her body in new and exciting ways and introduces me to a new version of her.

I’m just holding on.