Portland So Far

Our flight was pretty uneventful, which is the best outcome when traveling alone with a toddler and an infant.IMG_9252.JPGI surprised Stella with a mermaid to help entertain her on the flight and gave it to her at the airport. It was a huge hit and she made sure to show her “little mermaid” everything.IMG_9248.JPGWe went to Starbucks twice to make sure we had enough snacks for the trip. I promised her she could have pumpkin bread and even though she had forgotten about it and picked popcorn I wasn’t about to test my luck on a six-hour flight.IMG_9251.JPGDon’t worry, she’s making sure the mermaid also gets something to eat before the flight
IMG_9250.JPGI tried to keep her busy with movies, coloring, and stickers but at a certain point we were all over the scrunched seating and tired from lack of sleep. Selfies to the rescue!IMG_9265.JPGWe finally touched down in Portland and made it to my brother’s house for a late dinner and then to bed. Unfortunately, we had a rough night of sleep caused by a lack of sleep all day. James woke up at 2am and 4am and when I tried to sneak out of our shared room at 5am, Stella woke up crying. By 6am she declared, “Stella’s all done sleeping.” I asked my parents to come over early to help entertain all of us.IMG_9266.JPGStella goes exploring with uncle Porter. She didn’t see the door the night before because it was so dark, so he took her on a total tour of house, including the basement which she decided wasn’t worth it after spying a stuffed (fake) ferret.IMG_9268.JPGJames got in some snuggle time with grandpa while Stella and I showered and got ready for the day. IMG_9271.JPGWe had to make a stop to get my rings sized and then checked out my parents new home on wheels. Tiny, but has all the necessities, including squirrels for Stella to watch.in our way to lunch it was finally sunny enough got sunglasses.IMG_9274.JPGAt this point I realized I needed an actual infant car seat for James so that he could sleep comfortably in the car and we could carry him around without waking him up. Luckily our friends had an extra one just a few minutes from where we were so we picked up and James slept through lunch and everyone was happy. IMG_9278.JPGWe had to stop at Target for night diapers and I went a little crazy in that cheap front section, which Hawaii does not have. Stella loved her new glasses and art supplies so it was with the six bucks I spent.IMG_9279.JPGLast night we had a much better night of sleep. Granted, I did have at least one kid in my bed from 4am on. But we didn’t actually wake up until 8am and today I feel fantastic. We managed to get some art time in before leaving the house.IMG_9282.JPGWe made it back home in time for Stella to have an actual nap and so far she’s nearly three hours into that nap and we’ve gotten to relax before dinner. And, of course, snuggle this kid.IMG_9290.JPGIMG_9286.JPGHopefully tonight we sleep just as well. Tomorrow Wes will fly in and Monday we move over to his sister’s house. We’re cold but happy to spend some time with family.

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In The Kitchen With Stella: Pumpkin Scones

Last year I made my first batch of pumpkin scones to help us get through our quarantine, which set off a pumpkin flavored obsession with Stella. She loved those things and when I introduced her to the pumpkin bread from Starbucks, they quickly became a favorite. She requested pumpkin bread a few days ago but I decided to make scones with her instead as our afternoon activity. Some days I have to come up with fun afternoon activities as a way for her to actually nap. As a bribe, scones aren’t the worst thing. She started out in her elephant apron, but then got distracted by other things. I got her attention when I brought out the pumpkin. I let her taste it and instead of spitting it out like I thought she would, she kept dipping the teaspoon in for more and saying, “That’s really yummy, Mama!” She kept busy for a little while spooning the remaining bit of pumpkin into a container, her mouth, and a little for Tsunami. We baked them up and then made an even bigger mess with the crumbs, which Tsunami was pretty happy about. I’m loving this new phase where she can mostly help me with things in the kitchen. I had to stop her a few times from eating all the spices because I guess she thought flour would taste better with a little baking powder and cinnamon.

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Halloween 2014

When it comes to Halloween, I’m not creative. I maybe could be if I put more thought into it but it seems like every year it creeps up on me until it’s too late to make any fancy costume. This year was no exception because having a two-year old and a 4-month old obviously doesn’t leave a lot of room for crafting. We picked out a Merida (from Brave, though this costume I’m almost positive is something Merida would never have worn but whatever) costume at Costco a few weeks before Halloween. I had intentions of making the rest of the family her bear brothers, but I got lazy and driving to a dozen different stores to find bear outfits for us was never going to happen. I also had plans to make a bow & arrow for Stella to carry around but, again, that didn’t happen. I’m actually okay with that, though, because Halloween morning I asked if she wanted to wear her costume to swim lessons. I thought it might get her more in the spirit of Halloween and a little excited about trick-or-treating. She seemed excited at first but when she realized that I she had to take off her Brave nightgown she refused. Instead she spent the day in her pajamas.


We decided to not carve pumpkins this year because they rot so quickly here. Instead I took out a few colors of paint and let Stella paint them. It turned into painting herself as well. I just let her have at it and got her bathed before we left for trick-or-treating.


Water delivery was Friday and these were still out while Stella was painting. She kept trying to ride on them. It took her a few times to get herself seated on them but then thought it was hilarious to be riding water. “Stella’s riding,” she’d say with a laugh. DSC_7534

Once she realized I was taking pictures,of her, she climbed off and ran over to look at them. “Again,” she would say as she ran back for another ride. This went on for quite a while, until I had been bitten by all the mosquitoes and decided to go inside.



After Wes got home, we headed to our friends’ neighborhood so the kids could trick-or-treat together. Stella was more interested in all of Jack’s toys and once again refused to wear her costume. Luckily, Jack found her gloves and handed them to her and once she put them on it was fairly easy to put the rest of the costume on. James wore a skeleton outfit that I found at the last minute in his 6-month clothing box. I think it was passed down from our friends in Puerto Rico and am grateful that James was able to dress up for his first Halloween even though I had nothing planned for him!


People have lately been saying that James looks like Wes but even though he doesn’t favor my side of the family as obviously as Stella does, I haven’t seen it. Until I looked back at this photo. DSCN3032

We had been working on saying “Trick or treat!” all day, and it worked. Stella and Jack were both able to knock on the doors and request their candy. After the first house, though, Stella just wanted to sit down and eat the candy. It was an uphill battle getting her to keep going when she already had candy in her bucket.

We managed a few more houses before both kids hit their bedtime wall. Fortunately, Wes had packed up the car before we left so we were able to make a quick getaway. James cried the entire way home and at one point Stella cried for me to “fix your baby” and after refusing a few times because I had no idea what could be wrong with her doll, I finally took it from her to find that she had turned the baby’s head around on her body and it was scaring her. A perfect way to end Halloween! DSCN3039

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Four Months: James


It’s fairly amazing how painfully slow the last weeks of pregnancy are compared to how quickly the first year goes by. This kid is four months old already. At this time last year I had just found out I was pregnant and was puking regularly. This year I get to snuggle the biggest four-month old ever. He is 16 pounds and 26 3/4″ long. For his half birthday we’re going to have to celebrate by getting him a bigger car seat. DSCN3052

But those chubby little thighs and cheeks are pretty adorable. The only problem with him being such a large infant (compared to Stella, anyway), is that I have to remind myself that he’s still only four months old. Every time I hold him and he flops, or he cries uncontrollably and I think, Dude, get it together I have to stop and mentally slap myself for thinking that a four-month old should be acting like a 10-month old. DSCN3056

He’s a mostly happy baby. Smiling and laughing and generally just being chill. Except for bedtime. When he has had enough of the day he will let you know in no uncertain terms that he is ready for bed and mama is the only one who can handle bedtime, apparently. Sometime Wes will try to rock him while I get a shower, but usually that only results in more crying and so James’ bedtime has been a little rough on both of us, for different reasons. I know he’ll get around to sleeping easier but for now I do what I can to get him down and thank my lucky stars that he sleeps through the night. We still have a few nights where he wakes up once but for the most part we get a solid night out of this kid. Yes, I know how incredibly lucky I am. I have to remind myself of that every night.


We are smack dab in the drooly stage and he should be wearing bibs wherever we go, but I keep forgetting. Even though we’re only a few years removed from this stage with Stella, it’s so hard to remember all the small details of what life was like with an infant. On particularly long days I just look to Stella and remind myself that this phase will be over before we can even get used to it. DSCN3060

James loves to stand and he’s got the body strength to support it. Any time I try to put him in a reclined position, including his car seat, he stretches his legs long and it takes some moving around to get him in there.DSCN3064

Stella clearly loves James but is also impatient for him to be able to play with her. There aren’t as many requests for me to set James down now, but she’s tried to pick him up on her own to play with him, an act that left them both screaming and scared after she managed to lift him a bit off the ground before losing her grip. DSCN3065

He is “talking” a lot now and I love to watch his facial expressions as he does. He’s found his feet and loves to suck on them, particularly the right one. I’ve gone in to get him out of bed and his little foot will be soaking wet. He’s also trying to suck on his fingers but can’t figure out which ones to use. I know it’s a pain to stop the finger sucking, but I love how it’s been able to soothe and comfort Stella and hope that it will be the same way for James.

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Weekend Edition: Pumpkins and Backpacks

We visited the pumpkin patch last weekend. Wes’ company sponsored a family day when the farm was holding a 5k fun run. Of course the night before Wes had to go into work and when he got home around 3am James woke up. We scrambled out of bed just in time to grab coffee and muffins at Starbucks before getting to the farm.


Oh, what is that fancy thing? Just something my husband helped build.


This is about half way through the run and, yes, James is in the stroller but apparently didn’t fit in the frame.


After the run (ha. we actually walked), we picked out some pumpkins. Unfortunately, we won’t be carving them because they rot in about 30 minutes here in Hawaii.


I sat James on a pumpkin and then asked Stella to sit down, so naturally she picked the pumpkin right in front of him.

Of course we had to get Stella in the tractor wheel. It was ridiculously hot so we didn’t stay long because Wes and I were both pretty exhausted and being out in the sun with a baby who can’t yet wear sunscreen is pretty miserable.

Sunday morning Wes suggested an easy hike at Makapu’u Lighthouse. Now that James has pretty good head control he can ride in the backpack so I agreed. We started getting everything ready and Stella and Tsunami were both so excited. Stella kept trying to climb into her backpack. I had to keep explaining that we had to drive to the hike. “Okay. Sounds good,” she would say before attempting to climb in and breaking down in tears when we would put her in it. IMG_8844 DSCN3001 DSCN3004

Poor Tsnizz was so hot out there. We bought her a vest that is supposed to keep her cool but that’s a relative term here in Hawaii.


Of course Stella wanted to walk once we got going. But just moments after getting out of the backpack she begged to get back in. “Foot hurts. Foot hurts.”


By the time we got to the top, James was passed out. There was a nice breeze up there, though, so Tsunami stood at the lookout trying to cool down. We finally had to pull her back so that other people could enjoy the view. DSCN3018 DSCN3019

Stella decided to walk again but this time she wanted to hold Tsunami’s leash. Downhill probably wasn’t the best place to allow this, but we did. Tsunami pulled her down and it was back in the backpack for Stella. DSCN3022 IMG_8847

We finished the hike with minimal crying and enjoyed a fairly relaxing day at home despite the fact that Stella did not nap. It’s our own fault for waking her up to eat lunch and then realizing that the restaurant we wanted to go to changed their dog policy. Perhaps no nap explains why she decided to crawl around with the bumbo on her butt like a snail. DSC_7493 DSC_7494

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Keeping the Doctor Away

I brought my DSLR camera out last week and Stella has been asking for pictures with it pretty much non-stop. I gave her an apple to eat and told her I would help her take pictures but once I started snapping her eating the apple, she kept asking for more. She’d take a bite, I’d snap the photo, she’d look at it and request “Nother one” as she took her spot next to the couch. I didn’t mind one bit.DSC_7418 DSC_7419 DSC_7420 DSC_7421 DSC_7422 DSC_7423 DSC_7424 DSC_7425 DSC_7426 DSC_7427 DSC_7428 DSC_7429 DSC_7430 DSC_7431

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Good Night

Now that we have two kids, we’ve had to split up bed time duties. James is ready for bath and bed at six and will not let Wes hold him or rock him to sleep. So I give James his bath and then Stella’s ready for hers. Wes doesn’t get a lot of time with her during the week, so this bedtime process is good for both of them. And, yes, for me because as I’m rocking James I get to listen to their conversations. Some of them make me laugh and some of them are so sweet that I want to cry.

Here’s a few snippets I get to hear:
“No singing, Daddy.”
“Get Daddy’s hair wet.”
She has a hooded towel that a dear friend. Add for her and I get to see her run from the bathroom to her bedroom with her towel flying behind her like a cape.
“Have some floss.”
“Read this book right now.” Lately her favorite bedtime book is Because Your Daddy Loves You. She knows it by heart and will fill in some of the spots if Wes stops reading.
“Let me stretch.” She likes to jump off the bed into Wes’ arms after story time and needs to stretch “like Gymboreenastics” before jumping.
And, my favorite, “I love you, too.” She says this with her fingers already in her mouth as he’s turning off the light so it’s muffled and it’s one of the highlights of my day.

I want to sneak in and take pictures but I know it’ll ruin the moment so I have to settle for writing them down so that I remember this stage. Like all the ones that came before, I know this one will pass too quickly.

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