Friday, April 30, 2010

photo friday: just a few

I don't feel like life has slowed down much if at all since we moved a month ago. It's just been go here, do this, fix that, clean everything. The bummer is that our desktop computer where I store most of our photos is buried underneath our mail and some boxes. I thought I had grabbed the right photo card to share updated pictures while the boys nap this morning, but all I got were a couple bath pictures. So here are those as well as some others from the photobooth program on my laptop.

I may do a second post this afternoon if I get the chance.

Malakai was afraid of the bath at our new place for the first couple times. It was hard because he usually LOVES the water. We got a couple pictures of him being mad and I almost posted one but I literally couldn't look at them for long enough to pick one to share, they're just too sad.

Now he loves it again and is enjoying his new ducky tub.




Kai is really enjoying finger foods. Cheerios are fun when he doesn't try to shove 5 at a time in his mouth and swallow them all without chewing...




He also likes to see himself in mirrors and on the computer screen. We don't let him watch tv or look at the computer unless we're doing these pictures (or when mama really needs to pump, and he won't sit still,  then he gets a few minutes of Sesame Street). 



This weekend we are SUPER busy. Tonight Ben has a guy's night with some co-workers and I'm planning on hanging out with a girlfriend of mine. Tomorrow I get my hair cut for the first time in over a year! I still haven't decided what to do. My hair is really long and I'd like to keep the length, but need a trim and some sort of style. Any recommendations for cute long hair styles? After my appointment we're headed out to my parents' place for the day. Sunday Ben plays in the worship band at church and then we're unpacking, cleaning and possibly running some errands. Whew! It's going to be Monday before I know it!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday: real love




Real romantic love looks so much smaller than what is portrayed on your tv or the big screen, but it's so much bigger. It's bigger than candlelight, flowers, jewelry, poetry, music or even public displays and  dynamic gestures.

Authentic love is personal, deep, moving. It's things that look trivial or seem normal to onlookers but often means the world to two people.

Vacations

This morning I grabbed a pink mug from my shelves (yes, plural) of coffee cups and was reminded of a family vacation. The mug is from Disneyland, pink with all the princesses on it. What's funny to me about how cutsie that sounds is that I was 23 when I bought it. It was my first time to Disneyland...

and I went with my family...in an RV.

When I was younger we couldn't afford family vacations to fancy or far off places. We always camped on the Oregon coast which just happens to be a winding 60 minute drive from home. When I was in Middle School we started going to a nearby theme park that had a few rides, mini golf and a water slide. I preferred the gusty beaches.

Once when I was 13 we actually went to Oahu with my grandpa for a family reunion. See, my dad was adopted so while my grandpa was Chinese + Hawaiian we are not. So naturally the reunion was taking place on the island where he grew up. We were only able to afford it because he and his sister were paying for quite a bit of it.

{yes I'm posting a picture of me from 1996}

So nearly ten years later when my family had decided to make the 14 hour drive (that turned into 24 hours) in a rental RV down to Anaheim I was all for it. Even though I had just garnered a ridiculous self-inflicted head injury. Maybe I'll share that story another time.
{March 2005, an RV ride down the 5 will make you crazy}

There was the typical arguments and drama, but all in all it was a good time.

{March 2005, California Adventure}

My next vacation didn't come along until my honeymoon in July of 2007. Ben and I were determined to go somewhere exciting and new. While a lot of our peers were going to the same gusty Oregon beaches after their weddings, we decided to go to Honolulu Hawaii. Ben had never been and I was excited to see some familiar places as well as experience more things with my new husband.


I'm glad I took the time and saved the money to vacation in my early twenties. I haven't been on a vacation since our honeymoon. There hasn't been enough time or money since then. We were invited to Disneyworld with my inlaws last summer but those plans were cancelled when I got pregnant with Malakai. Ben and I are homebodies for sure, but it feels that we are about due for a getaway, one that won't probably happen for at least a few more years. I guess that's what made me reflect on vacations past. It'll be fun to save for future vacations and be creative about where we'd like to go that is kid friendly.

For now I'll enjoy planning for Malakai's 1st birthday and camping at those familiar beaches with our extended family.



What was your favorite vacation? Where do you hope to go on your next one?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

finger foods can be scary

I've been making Malakai's baby food for about 3 months now. We started him on rice cereal at 4 months and moved on to vegetable and fruit purees at 6 months. Now we're on to finger foods.

Malakai's very first puree was sweet potato and it was love at first taste!



When it came to finger foods we tried teething crackers at first, which were a big fail. The arrowroot biscuits made him terribly constipated and the Earth's Best teething biscuits broke off into big hard pieces that he subsequently choked on.

Bananas make a great finger food and are good for helping him learn to chew solids. However, it was difficult for him to pick up pieces of banana since they're so slimy. He really loves cheerios so I crushed some into crumbs and rolled the banana in the crumbs. Works perfectly! He is now able to grip them.

Also, Henry whom I watch a few mornings a week won't touch or eat anything wet or slimy like bananas, baked apple or cantaloupe. I usually have to put them in his oatmeal, but with the cheerio crumbs I'm able to get him to feed himself bananas!








The other finger food I made is sweet potato fries. These quickly became Malakai's new favorite. I just diced up the sweet potatoes in to strips, tossed them in olive oil with a pinch of cinnamon and baked them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I usually end up dicing them into small pinch-able pieces that Malakai can pick up easily. After baking them, I refrigerated them in a ziplock plate and he'll eat them either warm or cold!






Making Malakai's foods has been really fun. I'm learning to be patient with the process and not push him to  to try table foods too quickly. Today he tried to swallow a tiny piece of banana without chewing it. He does this every once in a while with cheerios as well but usually coughs it up. Well he wasn't coughing and I had to sweep my finger across the back of his mouth to try to retrieve it, but couldn't because it was already in his throat. Luckily, he swallowed hard and got it down. It was scary, but I was calm and collected through the whole thing. I'm so glad he's okay and it does me good to know that I can handle such a stressful situation without freaking out and letting my emotions get in the way.

Monday, April 26, 2010

8 hours

Today I have my first 8 hour work day since I left my job 10 months ago. Malakai and I will be hanging out with our friend Henry til 5pm.
Wish me luck with two kiddos for that long! I just hope Malakai naps well being away from home an entire day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

photo friday: enjoying the sunshine

Last Friday Ben and I took a ton more photos of Malakai after his well baby appointment, in this adorable springy outfit my mother-in-law got him. He was having so much fun moving around on our back porch. The lighting was PERFECT, I didn't edit any of these!


I used my father-in-law's Digital Canon Rebel xsi. I'd love to learn more about it's capabilities and take more photos. Back when I took photography in college we were using 35mm cameras and developing on slides!
What is your favorite thing to photograph? What camera do you love?

Happy weekend,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

40 in - 40 out


Today is Malakai's 40th week of life on the outside. He was born 2 days short of 40 weeks so I've officially been a mother longer than I was pregnant. I considered myself a mama while I was pregnant, but we all know there is surely a difference!



It's already getting harder to remember what it was like to be pregnant and have not met him yet. I remember that Ben and I were so eager in those last few weeks. We couldn't wait to see what he looked like and hold him in our arms.




  

Thankful on a Thursday


Every single day and night since we moved into this house almost a month ago has been full of things to cross of the to do list. 

Cleaning, unpacking, repairing, organizing.

 I've talked about it a lot here because it's always at the front of my mind. We do take breaks here and there to keep our sanity. Most of the time my breaks during the day are spent attached to a breastpump. Needless to say I haven't had much time to blog in detail, but I love to sit down each week and reflect on what I'm grateful for. 

This week I'm thankful for:

81. Our house beginning to feel bigger as the number of boxes grows smaller.

82. watching my son grown and grow and grow...

83. my daycare job and the additional income it provides

84. Family who are well versed in appliances and other house stuff who are willing to help us newbies.

85. Newton's Folly draft apple cider, mmmm.

86. kisses + giggles.

87. my inlaws camera that we "borrow" and how it takes such good pictures I haven't felt the need to get professional pictures once since having Malakai.





88. Malakai's favorite blanket that he snuggles when he sleeps, and that we have two of them.

89. reading the Word at night with my husband.

90. a full sized dishwasher (we had a portable one at the rental)

What are you thankful for?


  



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

eaves dropping

Hello all, today's post can also be found as a guest blog over at The Goodson Family Journey. Thanks Mitzi!
{Ben, Shandell, + Malakai}


Recently we were spending some time with my in laws. There were about ten of us gathered in the living room after dinner. My son Malakai was scooting around playing with some new toys and his third cousin, 2-year-old Caleb was listening to a story. The room was all a chatter, but I happened to overhear one particular side conversation that picked up between Malakai's grandma Debbie and Caleb's grandma Dede. I'm fairly certain that were unaware of my listening in. 


Their conversation was sparked Debbie's recent scrap booking fetish. She has been taking all her old photo albums, putting the pictures in chronological order and embellishing them with stickers and captions. The books are super cute and it has been really nice to look through their old photos and pick out my husband Ben at a certain age and compare him to Malakai. They look SO much alike that it's almost like a glimpse into what my son will look like down the road. 


As we were scanning through the photos of Ben, his siblings, and cousins when they were toddlers we kept coming back to how fast childhood goes by. It's the most true of any cliche I've ever heard. 


Dede began to reflect on when her own children were toddlers and how amazed she is that she now has a 2 year old grandson. She lamented about what she wished she would have done differently and I began to listen more intently. 


She said that she would have stopped to watch more. Just let the laundry and  the dishes wait and watch her children as they grew. Chores would always be there, but their childhood will not. 


I smiled to myself at how simple yet valuable her revelation was. A handful of parenting books could have told me this very same thing, but hearing it as a sincere wish from a seasoned parent instead of unsolicited advice really made me take it to heart.  


Starting at that moment I began to watch Malakai more intently. I want to burn his childhood into my memory so I can reflect on each occasion with joy instead of regret. In my life this means putting down the computer whenever Malakai plays independently to just observe him more.  It means not stressing about getting him down for a nap so I can clean, but enjoying this stage while he still lets me rock him to sleep, it means playing with him on the floor before he's running out the door. 


I want to encourage and challenge all you young mom's out there to be sure and take in every moment of your little one's childhood before it's a distant memory. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

giggle sneeze

Over the weekend Malakai sneezed and afterwards he started mimicking his own sneeze. It was adorable. Today I tried to get him to do it again, but it didn't work so well...

video

keeping it clean

This new home has consumed our lives. Every time I turn around there is something new that needs attention. The biggest job has simply been getting it clean. Those who've been following for a while may remember that we were given the keys to our new home only 18 hours before we were scheduled to move in.

I thought I could get the major things cleaned in that amount of time. Scraping the dreadful wallpaper off of the walls in the tiny bathroom took 5 hours, with two people. We accomplished an impressive amount of painting and I was able to spray the oven with cleaner so it could sit overnight (later I noticed that said oven was actually self cleaning-whoops!). We finally left the house that night at midnight to go pick up Malakai who was having trouble sleeping at Grandma's.

On Saturday March 27th I found myself moving into a very dirty house. I never noticed how dirty it was until I got on my hands and knees and adorned those yellow rubber gloves. The previous owner had actually passed away and the home was in the care of her heirs. It made me sad that it looked as though nobody had helped her out with the cleaning as it had to have taken quite a while for the grime to build up the way it had it places that people don't think to clean when selling a house.

My sister helped me get started with the kitchen, which was by far the dirtiest of all. She scrubbed the oven as well as cupboards and drawers while I took on the fridge and freezer. I will spare those of you who may be eating while reading and not describe the filth in detail.

Over the next couple weeks I scrubbed the kitchen and swept the floors during Malakai's naps. My mom came over a couple times to help out as well. The kitchen is now totally moved in, but *GASP* it isn't totally clean yet. We still need to get underneath the fridge and the oven. These jobs I've designated to my wonderful husband as I'm sure they will be quite gross and I did the rest of the kitchen. Thanks in advance Ben!

For cleaning supplies I started to use cheap bleach cleaners from the Dollar Tree and they worked just fine. I wiped everything down with hot water afterward to make sure to not leave any residue that would linger on us and eventually transfer to Malakai. 

I also discovered that white vinegar and baking soda make a great natural cleaner. It took out the musty smell in the dishwasher that had been sitting unused for way too long. I also happened to have a giant container of really cheap vodka left over from a going away party three years ago. Ben and I obviously don't drink a lot of hard alcohol. It works great as a cleaner and really makes things shine without leaving behind any of those strong smells. 

For the floors my in laws purchased a Shark steam mop for their own floors but let us try it out first. All it uses is water. I loved this concept as I am reluctant to use any chemicals on the floors now that Kai is scooting and crawling all over them. It worked fairly well but left water streaks on the wood laminate flooring. I'm not too picky, so I'd probably use it again!

This past weekend I scrubbed down a bunch of the doors and light switches. My favorite tool to use on projects like this is an old toothbrush. I also used a toothbrush to scrub the nooks & crannies of the refrigerator. It's amazing the places that old food will find to hide. 

We are far from being done and keep finding new things to add to our list, but it's nice to finally be in a position where I feel like most of the house is clean and we can move forward with settling in. 








Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo Friday: 9 months

Today is Malakai's 9 month "birthday" as my mother-in-law likes to call it. Just like every other month that has gone by, this one has been a blur. Malakai is doing so many new things and I'm always amazed at how he literally grows up before our eyes. I see God's works in children as they learn and grow so quickly and I'm so thankful for the blessing that is my sweet son.

Today has also been a blur of a day. We went to watch Henry today at 7am and got him just after noon. We did a bit of a photo shoot in the sun for his 9 month photos and will do some more later this afternoon in another outfit that I didn't remember until it was nap time.

These are 12 month clothes! The button up shirt is one my cousin gave me at my baby shower because it looked like something Ben would wear. It truly does. I always envisioned Malakai wearing it on his 1st birthday, but since it fits now I doubt it'll be suitable come July!

Happy little jumpin' bean

we ventured onto the back porch. All he wanted to do was grab the grass.








So we went back in the house and took a few in his new room, which happens to be the most clean and organized in the entire house.









We have his 9 month appointment this afternoon which means in a few minutes we'll be leaving to pick up daddy early from work!

Happy Friday everyone.

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