Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Part 1 of THE vacation

The view from the balcony.
The other view from the balcony.
Just... a nice view. ;)

This .. of course, is Shad and Lizzie... some of our oldest and dearest friends out here. This is our third trip to Hawaii with them. We went 5 years ago to Oahu, and 2 years ago to Kauaii. They have a timeshare with Marriott. And we have.... LUCK--- that they still like us and let us enjoy it with them. It was EVEN more fun than it looks in the photos. Really.
Paddle boarding. Not very fun this time... we were the suckers that rented the boards at like 3pm... right before they closed up, and right during the windiest, choppiest part of the day... we watched Shad and Lizzie drift down to the next town (almost) and went out to suffer the same fate. Mostly I laid on my belly and tried desperately to paddle my way back to our starting point. It was like paddling on a treadmill... worked my tail off to stay in one spot. Eventually I stopped paddling and just laid on my belly and watched Ross stand and fall... stand and fall. We got a good laugh. Cross-fit can only do so much I guess. ;)

Ooh... but (below) somehow Lizzie got a shot where I was standing. Sorry Ross.
Too bad I look like I'm sweeping. I'm going to assume that's not correct form.

Day three, we started our "adventure" of the trip. We headed toward the beginning of the road to Hana. We started in this darling little surf-town, Paia.

After Paia... we made the drive to.... Kanae (?) where we stayed in a cottage through the YMCA so we could get an early start, from a much closer point, to our to-and-through-Hana journey, where you essentially explore the GORGEOUS east side of the island. I'll save that for part 2. There are way too many pictures from that.

I just remembered I haven't seen the million photos from Lizzie's camera either. We might have a part 2 to part 1 eventually. Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I'm not gonna lie. It wasn't good for me.

She was a trooper, even though none of her new shoes fit and we had to make do and use some old sunday shoes while we quickly put in a new order at Zappos. Thank goodness for free-return shipping--- I've gone crazy there lately. We are NOT stocked up on closed-toe-shoes around these parts.

I'm glad to see her smiling in this picture, because I kind of want to cry every time I think about her being there right now. I know she can "handle" it. But I want it to be a lot better than that. I didn't get the teacher that I'd hoped for... and while I'm sure this teacher has all sorts of strengths, I worry they're not the right ones for Sophia. From my impression, and from what I've heard, she comes off much more business-like, less warm and fuzzy. I respect that personality in a lot of areas--- but with my sweet and sensitive little not-even-six-year-old---- I want as warm and fuzzy as I can get. I know her. And I KNOW that a tender, kind voice and warm expression go a LONG way with her. She's so obedient and so kind. She lives her life to avoid being scolded... so when she deals with someone that uses too firm a voice or attitude... it breaks her heart. And don't get me wrong--- sadly--- I use a firm voice (sounds much better than "I yell like a madwoman") often in our home... but rarely at her... she just doesn't require it that often. And she doesn't respond to it.

It's strange, because I don't think it's fair to judge someone off of a first impression and some hearsay--- but I guess when it comes to your child, you're not so concerned with what's fair. I just want to know that I've done everything I can to put her in the best possible situation for the year. I worry she's not in it right now.

I seriously feel like I haven't been able to sleep the last two nights... I'm so hopeful and anxious to try and make a switch... but trying to figure out the best way to go about it. And of course trying to feel out Sophia and figure out what will really be best for her.

I just feel like every step forward in parenting is TERRIFYING to me. A first-grader? Are you kidding me? I never feel prepared enough, or aware enough, or old enough. And I'm thinking I never will. I feel like that principal is going to look at me like I'm a silly teen-mom who wants her daughter to get the cool teacher. I know I'm flattering myself. I realize no-one else thinks I look like a teenager still. But inside I do... I'm sure of it.

Would it really be so bad if we just ran around playing strawberry shortcake and building forts all day? I think I miss summer already.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So glad to be home

But that doesn't mean I won't be pouring through Maui photos for days.

Big topics:

-Finn will still nurse. I was terrified.... and all is well.
-Sophia starts first grade tomorrow and I have a nervous sick stomach. 2:45! That is SO much of the day. I still can't figure out how we're supposed to find time after that for homework AND play and family time. And I happen to think the latter two are important... contrary to this book. Have you read it? Very interesting.
- Lizzie started up her blog again-- just in case you were as sad as me when she stopped. Dear friend, lovely blog. And lots of yummy, HEALTHY recipes popping up right now.
- I was ACHING for my kids by the last day or two of Hawaii... especially Finn. :) I am so so happy to be home, but it took all of 30 minutes or so for Mila to start unleashing her fits on us. You think of anything--ANYTHING and Mila can throw a fit about it right now. A cup, a seat, a noise you make, a smell, your mention of a smell. Holy cow. I keep asking her, "did you act like this for Nana"... she'll stop her insane fit to say "no" and then continue on thrashing. She saved it all for me. Sweet thang. Even still, I missed her to death.

I HOPE she saved it all for me. Either way, Nana and Grandpa, you are SAINTS for snuggling our most precious treasures for the week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Did I mention we're in Hawaii?

We head back tomorrow... And almost all I can think about is how badly I want to see my kids...

....but... I'll force myself to soak up one last night. if I must. And maybe enjoy some hula pie...

(first time blogging from iPhone!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I just feel like I need to take a moment and talk about eyelashes

I wish I could do a before and after. But I wasn't exactly taking pictures to try and showcase my eyelashes before. They were just extremely unnoticeable. You know how cartoon animals are made female by their luscious eyelashes? If I were a cartoon animal, people would have totally thought me a boy.

I'll always remember a few years ago, getting ready for a work party and getting my make-up all on, and then my friend, Lizzie got to my house and said, "wait-- don't forget to put on your mascara!" She hates that I won't forget that. But it was eye-opening. (A pun? Almost, but not really.) And maybe these don't seem like much to you. I really don't feel like photo booth was quite doing them justice. But I tell you, I feel like a NEW woman.

My friend Syd manages a nice makeup store, and gave me some Revitalash to try out after I took her and Nate's photos. I was skeptical. As I usually am with... all products in general. I just sort of feel like you can spend so much money on nice "stuff" and look and feel exactly the same. Maybe I'll eat my words again some day when everyone else has smooth skin from using anti-aging creams and I look a hundred from cooking in the desert heat. We'll see.

BUT--- after setting it aside for a month (after I used it once and it made my eyes red and itchy)-- I tried it again. I was more careful to not let it get in my eye and started putting it on consistently at night, after washing off my eye make-up. (I add that part in because I am that girl who never bothered washing off her eye makeup at night. If you saw me during the week, I was most likely in work-out clothes and day old mascara. I know... I know. All up-kept girls are shaking their heads in disgust.) Syd would die when I told her that. 'Well no wonder you're eyelashes won't grow!'

So I went all out. Started using the Costco make up wipes for my eyes (I have always washed my face at night, just not my eyes.) And I'd use the revitalash every night. A few weeks in, I thought I might have noticed a teenie difference. Just maybe. After 3 months, I felt, SERIOUSLY, like a new woman. When I wake up in the morning, I SEE my eyelashes. Even with no make up. They curl up against my lids instead of sticking straight out where you can't see them...and they're so much longer...

They're a little wild, which can be tricky-- they cross over each other a lot more and curl to the side instead of back... but I'll take it. I'll take my wild, cartoon-girl-animal lashes.

SO-- what I felt like I should share, is this. My friend Brooke found a generic version of the product online. Instead of paying like 150 bucks a bottle, these are 30 bucks a bottle, WITH a purchase of 6 bottles. If you buy just one, I think they're 50, and then you have to pay shipping. So find a few friends that each want a couple-- and load up. You'll NEVER go back.

(But do your own research, if we all go blind in ten years, I don't want it on my hands... but it's glaucoma medicine... meant to go in the eye... I'm feeling ok about it. For whatever that's worth. :))

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Wedding

Lot's more over here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

An overnighter with the girls- Palm Springs

When I take pictures of other people, I LIVE for genuine smiles and laughs and varying expressions. I love people who are naturally animated and not afraid of the camera-- people who raise their eyebrows a lot and laugh with their mouth open and don't stop what they're doing when they notice the camera pointed at them. I am not one of those people. I get frozen smile every time the camera's on me and can't remember what I was saying or thinking... I even forget to breath sometimes. Seriously. It kills me to look through pictures I'm in and see the same smile over and over again. I look at these pictures and think... these do NOT do it justice! We had so much fun! We should be laughing and telling stories and generally looking SUPER FUN. Ok so lots of our fun was laying half asleep in the sun or in bed, which might not have photographed well anyway-- such is life for a mom on break... but still.

I was terrified to take this trip originally. We planned it a few months ago--- sadly, Rachelle moved away from us a year ago and this was an excuse to have her come in from Arizona and make a girl's trip out of it. They stayed in town for me, since I'm nursing Finn. We didn't have him taking a bottle when we planned it, so I thought I might just be running back and forth and meeting up for just a couple of activities. But THEN, Lizzie and Shad got the dates for their timeshare in Hawaii and kindly reminded us that the offer for us to come with, was still on the table, if it were possible for us to get away, with such a young baby. Young baby was not invited. :) They don't get away often-- and quite frankly, I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I do NOT love traveling with kids. I'm just not sure it's worth it. So if it was going to happen, I would have to figure out if I could stomach leaving Finn, and he would have to finally agree to take a bottle (I've never succeed in this with my other babes), and some babysitting miracle would have to work out.

The Hawaii trip got me motivated to try harder with the bottle... even though I DESPISE pumping. Why?

- I feel like a cow.

-It hurts a little-- nursing doesn't.

-I feel like a cow.

-It takes up a good 15 minutes for me, nursing takes like 5.

-And then you still have to FEED the baby the bottle... which means it's just an extra chore in my eyes, no matter how you look at it.

-And I feel like a super gross cow.

BUT-- Hawaii was good motivation, and I'd always wanted to get him to take a bottle since a little more freedom could come in handy with two other kids.. etc.

After some persistence-- and working it in the first feeding of the day when he was HUN- gry. It WORKED! I couldn't believe it. I really didn't think it would. I didn't think I'd even have an option. And all of a sudden I did. I pumped every night to build up my supply "just in case" the rest worked out. THEN-- Ross's dad got hired with a new company in--- Palm Springs. Which means, he's living down the street- pretty much. After he got the job he let us know that all we'd need to do is fly out Ross' mom and then they could stay in our house and watch our kids if we wanted to do Hawaii. WHAT?! This was way too perfect.

Hmm... I've seriously digressed. This isn't the Hawaii post, this is PS girls trip. I think my point was that this was a very nice trial run. Since, as you can imagine, I'm still TERRIFIED to leave Finn this early. He'll be just about 8 months old. And luckily, for the two days I was gone, Ross handled it like a champ and said it was no big deal and that Finn was a super-baby. There may be a conflict of interest there since he's sick of me freaking out about it all. And really wants to do Hawaii. But he's generally honest. So I'm gonna go with it.

Anyway-- I left this trip remembering that getaways are fun. SO fun--- even though packing is not and leaving kids is emotional. And girls are special. The older I get, the more I CHERISH my friendships with women and truly think, regardless of our differences, we need each other.

By the way, some of the pictures above are from Norma's, for breakfast at the Parker. Holy cow. I decided to be good and shared an egg white fritatta with shrimp with Lizzie-- which was delicious. But I want to go back and do it right and get the chocolate pound cake waffle. Yes... a waffle, made out of CHOCOLATE pound cake.

sounds like heaveeeeeeennnnnnnnn.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I forgot one

(The kids taking turns telling "scary" stories around the fire.)

The bonfire is always like my favorite part of being at the beach. Growing up in San Diego, bonfires were part of my life. And there was nothing quite like being at the beach all day and watching it transition into night... then enjoying that same beach when you can barely see it. I think the darkness makes your other senses stronger and suddenly the sounds of the ocean crashing and the smell of the salt and the fire are all around you. Good for the soul.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Beach House Continued

-The weather was gorgeous.
-Our fan was loud and powerful enough that I slept without AC (my body seems to be addicted to artificially cool air now), and with all three kids in our room.
-Bagel shack was as good as ever and I've been craving their Acai berry smoothie with bananas and granola on top, ever since.
-The kids were at perfect ages... since Finn still sleeps so much and can't crawl around and eat sand. And the girls can play outside all day.
- I'm SUCH a fan of fun trips with friends. More fun for ALL.

Got back a couple of weeks ago. Had an overnighter last weekend with girlfriends in Palm Springs. And going to HAWAII next week!! More on that later. But I don't think we've ever had such a busy summer. This is nuts. I can't even remember what my routine is. Especially because Finn's keeps changing-- and mine is based on his.

I feel like every time I finally get to the bottom of my laundry baskets, I'm packing for another trip... and coming home with a bunch of dirty clothes to start all over!

But it's worth it. The triple digits have barely phased me this summer. And I'm NOT begging for Fall. But maybe that's because I'm afraid of first-grade homework.

I'm all over the place. And too lazy to re-read. I think it's because Bachelor Pad is on in the background and making me stupider by the second. I'm not sure if I can watch another episode if I have to listen to Casey and Vienna for a fraction of what I've suffered through tonight. They make Jake seem almost.... normal?