Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kickin' it in Kamas

Thanks to our AWESOME bro and sis, Aaron and Niesha, we had the amazing opportunity to have an incredibly fun and relaxing weekend these past few days! Niesha's family has an incredible cabin up in the mountains and we got to spend time as a family with A & N, our sweet niece Aspyn and some friends. We snowmobiled (the highlight of the trip!), ate good food, played games, watched movies, played in the snow, and just lounged around, enjoying good conversation and one another's company. It was a MUCH-needed break from the "busy-ness" of the holidays before Jon returns to school in a few days. We LOVED it. Our sentiments were echoed by Makea when she asked "Can we please stay here and live here?!!" We had such a great time we decided we will definitely be getting ourselves a cabin - and snowmobiles - in the future! (Perhaps not the immediate future....)

BTW - This was a first time snowmobiling for all of us! The kids were a bit apprehensive at first (as, I must admit, was I) but we all warmed up quickly - in fact Makea actually drove one BY HERSELF, a phenomenal expression of courage on her part! Unfortunately our camera was not working while we were up there so I don't have any pics of us snowmobiling but here are some of our cuties in the snow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Gift of Music

I have always been passionate about music. To me, music is the voice of the soul. It can invoke peace and serenity more quickly than words alone ever could. It can lift the unbearable burden, calm the sailor in the eye of the storm and mend the heart which was considered beyond repair.

Music has played a significant part in my own life for as long as I can remember. My mother's soothing voice often lulled me to sleep in song. Through orchestra and choir, I met some of my dearest friends with whom I share fond memories, and who still hold special places within my heart. And it is through choir and a love of music that I met my love and eternal companion, Jon.

Fortunately we share this passion for music so it has been a high priority to make music a part of our daily lives and our family. I was so excited to get an IPOD this year for Christmas (thank you, Love!) For the past several days I have had a very difficult time putting it down and, as a result, have been enjoying my own music SO much (over the past 3 years, I've mostly been listening to Primary Songs, Nursery Rhyme Songs and Raffi...) While I LOVE jammin' with my kids, it has been so refreshing to hear some of MY favorites for a change! Maybe you all are better at it than I, but I would highly encourage all you moms to take the opportunity to listen to at least one MOMMY song each day. It is amazing what it can do for you!

Some thoughts to ponder:

"Let us sing a new song, not with our lips, but with our lives." ~St. Augustine
"We are the music makers. We are the dreamers of the dreams." ~Arthur O'Shaughnessy
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be mad by those who
could not hear the music." ~Friedrich Nietzsche
"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent." ~Luciano Pavarotti

Some of my latest favorites:
Click here, here and here. What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oh, give me a HOME where my kiddos can roam

There are certain things about apartment dwelling that I LOVE. The fact that I only have about 900 square feet to keep clean is probably at the top. Having 4 washers and dryers to use simultaneously is certainly up there too. Of course, not having to foot the bill for any repairs is huge as well, especially for the finances of a medical student family! But, may I also share some of my not-so-favorite aspects of apartments? 1)No room 2)Noisy upstairs neighbors 3)NO room 4)No yard 5)NO ROOM!!!!! I believe I have mentioned before that messy house= unhappy mommy, but sometimes it is next to impossible not to have a messy house when there is nowhere to put things. They say the key to keeping a tidy house is "A place for everything and everything in its place"...well, what if you don't HAVE a place for everyhing? Literally?! Our apartment seemed more than sufficient when it was just Jon and I - we don't have THAT much stuff! But 2 adults + 1 growing, active boy + 1 active, growing girl = CLUTTER! Children add a whole new dimension to the accumulation of THINGS: there is the ever-changing wardrobe (I just bought Kai those pants last week, how can they already be above his ankles!?)...the ever-changing interest in toys (just lie there and look at the mobile, it's fun, I promise.)...and the ever-present need to have TWO of certain constantly fought-over toys (Kids! Share! Take turns!) Furthermore, there is the "PACKRAT" in my genes which forces me to hang onto baby clothes, toys and other necessities "in case we need them again" (which will most likely be the case in the not-too-distant (but not-too-near!) future. With nothing more than a 4'x4' room for storage, we have really had to get creative with our storage system!

So, knowing that this apartment will be our "Home" for the next 2 1/2 years and trying to make the best of it, I am now in "De-clutter" mode. Today we got rid of a queen bed, toddler bed, a computer desk, a sofa and a love-seat, not to mention bags of books, toys and clothes. When the Christmas tree finally comes down (Jon likes to leave it up till New Years, much to my chagrin!), we will have all KINDS of room, where the kids can actually run and play (and I can keep the clutter under control - at least, in theory!) I couldn't be more excited!

Any tips for LIVING IN CONFINED SPACES? I would LOVE to hear them! :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cleaning Up, Moving On

Ahhh. Now that Christmas is over, I am anxious to take down the Christmas tree and decorations, find new places on the shelves for the christmas presents which have 'joined' our household, and de-clutter!!! I love the holiday season - don't get me wrong. I love the warm, cozy ambiance of our house at Christmas - the aroma of Christmas candles wafting through the air, the glow of the yule log candles and lights on the tree, the nativity scene on the hearth (or piano, as the case may be...), etc. etc. But, for some reason, once the holiday is over, the decorations no longer seem 'cozy' but just become 'clutter' to me and I simply cannot rest until they are packed away and out of sight! Christmas always seems to bring such clutter - decorations, treats, new toys and things...argh! Fortunately though, de-cluttering, organizing and cleaning are honestly 3 of my FAVORITE things to do. Seriously. It is just SO refreshing. And so, ladies and gentlemen, let the fun begin!!!!

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

(oops - forgot to publish this yesterday - so it's a day late. but still worth reading.)

"Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It reaches out beyond our power to comprehend. It is magnificent and beautiful. It is peace. It is the peace which comforts, which sustains, which blesses all who accept it. It is faith. It is faith in His wondrous ways and message...Our joy in this season is because He came to the world." ~President Gordon B. Hinckley

May you and yours find love, peace, faith and joy this holiday season!

Love, the Buchanans

Friday, December 21, 2007

Home at Last!

Today was my last day of work before the holidays! I can finally sit home with my kids, drink hot cocoa, eat bon bons and watch Christmas specials on TV. OK, maybe it will go something more like: shoveling the walks, the fast and furious wrapping of the Christmas presents while the kids are playing or in bed, cleaning the house which always seems to get away from me when I am working, shoveling the walks, making our last neighbor treats, caroling and delivering said treats, trying to fit in Lights at Temple Square, family Christmas party, Ronald McDonald House over the weekend, singing at church, and did I mention shoveling the walks? (Can you tell I LOVE shoveling? At least it's exercise AND it's productive - I love killing two birds with one stone, so that is something!) Whew! At least I have the Christmas shopping done - but I do still need to wrap, wrap and wrap! Who needs sleep at Christmas time anyway?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John!*

(*For those of you unfamiliar with this "classic" yet unconventional Christmas Carol, please click here for a sample. One of my favorites!)

Tonight began our family YULE LOG tradition. For lack of time (and because it may bore some of my readers) I won't get into the history behind the Yule Log tradition, but you can learn more about it here if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say, it is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, implemented during my childhood by my sweet mother, and one Jon and I have carried on in our own little family these past 6 years.

Here's a little rundown on how it goes in our house:

Evening 1 (tonight)-Jon's Special Night: We begin with Jon's favorite Christmas Song (for the record, he chose "Silent Night"). He then gets to light his candle on the yule log. Next we go around the room and each tell something we love about Jon. (Makea's was "because he lit the candle" - talk about short-term memory :) Kai's was "pa-pa!") Then Jon gives each of us a gift he has personally made or selected for us individually (ie - he gave Makea a book about a Daddy and daughter's conversation about how much they love one another). The evening finishes with Jon opening a gift - an ornament representing a highlight of the year (this year he got a runner, symbolizing his first marathon). We close by singing another Christmas hymn, family prayer, and blowing out the candle.

This is repeated each night thereafter - Sarah on Friday, Makea on Saturday and Kainoa on Sunday. Then, Christmas Eve, we light a candle for Jesus, paying tribute to Him for His birth, His life and His sacrifice for us. We then take a few moments to ponder on a gift we can offer to Him - some way in which we can better ourselves and, by doing so, please and honor Him. We then open one last present (Christmas pajamas), drink hot cocoa, eat our Yule Log Cake, and sing Christmas hymns by the light of the candles.

Other traditions we still hope to get to this year (better hurry - time is running out!): caroling party, Zoo lights, Lights on Temple Square, acting out the Nativity.

What are some of your favorite Holiday Traditions?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Don't Spoil the Surprise!

Realizing there are just 2 days before my courier transports all of our Stout family's Christmas presents to Oregon, I decided (with just a smidge of panic) that we ought to get wrapping! (Until now I have left things unwrapped, as I have two very avid unwrappers at my house and thought it best to save myself from frustration and my children from punishment, not to mention sparing the lives of several trees in the process...). I asked Makea if she would like to help me wrap while her brother napped. She was, of course, delighted to assist, but quickly realized there were no presents for HER in the mix. "Are there any presents for ME for Christmas?" she asked, with not a small amount of worry. "Of course," I replied, "but I will have to wrap those later, when you aren't with me, so I won't spoil the surprise!" A hint of understanding crossed her furrowed brow and I thought we had resolved the issue. I then tried to explain that GIVING is even better than RECEIVING, because of how much joy we experience with giving. Moments later, I left the room to get supplies, and returned seconds later to find her missing (if you can actually FIND someone that grammatically correct?) I called out to her and heard a tiny voice coming from behind the armoire..."I'm right here, Mom. Just hiding." was her reply. "From what?" I asked. "From the surprise." I was still confused until she explained, "I'm hiding so you can wrap my Christmas presents."

Apparently, the "giving is better than receiving" bit has yet to sink in!

Christmas with the Mo-Tab and King's Singers

Jon and I had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square and the King's Singers this past weekend at their Annual Christmas Concert. And let me tell you, we were NOT disappointed!

The set up was spectacular - a little Christmas village - and the lighting was amazing. The music was INCREDIBLE (of course!!! The MoTab, Orchestra and Bells never disappoint!) And perhaps the main highlight of the evening was, quite naturally, the King's Singers!
Previously, Jon and I had only ever heard recordings of them, so to experience them live was a special treat! They are AMAZING! I must say that, if Jon were not my one and only love, I would have been swooning over the youngest King's Singer, Chris (pictured second from the right...can you believe he joined them at the ripe old age of 26?! Incredible!) But since I do love Jon, and mostly because he was sitting next to me, I was careful to keep my swooning to a minimum! But we both enjoyed their incredible music, and they complemented the MoTab and orchestra well! Another highlight I simply loved was the University of Utah dance team - they danced to a few numbers, but my favorite was the Twelve Days of Christmas - they had one dancer dressed as a partridge who came out as they were singing the first day, two depicting turtle doves that came out second, and so on. It was simply spectacular, something I have never seen before, and I loved it!

All in all, it was a WONDERFUL evening! Special thanks to our sister-in-law, Amy, a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square, for providing the tickets for us, and to my brother Daniel who entertained our children - and then put them to bed - both difficult feats! - while we were gone! We love you guys!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

TV, or NoTV....That is the Question

One of my biggest battles as a mother is an inner one - that of television utilization. For some reason, lately I have felt as though I am drowning in housework - laundry piling up, dirty dishes in the sink, the floor needs vacuuming/sweeping/mopping 2 minutes after I do it, etc, etc, etc. While my home is never 100% immaculate, I usually feel as though I can stay on top of it, for the most part anyway. But lately, whether it's been my heavier work schedule, my tending another toddler in addition to my own 2, or simply the added activities/responsibilities/excitement of the holidays, it seems my house hasn't been clean (for longer than an hour) for over a week! And everyone knows that, in our house, dirty house = unhappy mommy.

As I've struggled to get on top of things this past week, I have been SO tempted, on more than one occasion, to plop my kids in front of the television. After all, there are so many educational shows which teach children the alphabet, social skills, creativity, and even Spanish, I rationalize in my head. Then my mind recalls the statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children under the age of 2 should NEVER watch television, and guilt, shame and doubt about my ability to raise my children fill my mind. Still, what is a woman to do when faced with 8 loads of laundry waiting to be folded, a sink full of dishes needing to be washed, a floor desperately in need of cleaning, and only an hour before dinner is to be served...all while trying to divert the attention of three toddlers from herself into their own self-directed play (and keep them from killing one another)???

I am reminded of the poem "Handprints on the Wall":

One day as I was picking
the toys up off the floor
I noticed a small hand print
on the wall beside the floor.

I knew that it was something
that I'd seen most every day
but this time when I saw it there
I wanted it to stay.

Then tears welled up inside my eyes,
I knew it wouldn't last
for every grandma knows,
her grandchildren grow up way too fast.

Just then I put my chores aside
and held my grandchildren tight.
I sang to them sweet lullabies
and rocked into the night.

Sometimes we take for granted
all those things that seem so small.
Like one of God's great treasures.....
a small handprint on the wall."

When this thought crosses my mind, I want nothing more than to sit with my children and read them story after story, build castles and towers, play dress-up and make-believe, and spend every waking moment with them. But then I return to reality and remember that dinner will not magically appear on the table and that, if I let my house get too bad, the state of Utah will come remove my children from me.

So, to my previous question...TV or No TV? This past week, I must admit, I have caved. I let Kai and Kea watch 30 minutes of Barney Monday, 30 minutes of Superwhy Wednesday, and 30 minutes of Little Einsteins today. Will this ruin them? I can't say. But I do know that the laundry is folded, the dishes are done, and the floors are clean (at least for know). And, as my kids will tell you, CLEAN HOUSE = HAPPY MOMMY.

I'd love to hear your opinions/ideas/what has worked for you...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Silent Night, Oh-Lee Night

Along the theme of my last post comes another "Say What?" moment. I apologize for the redundancy of the theme but find I must record little laughs like this lest I forget them later.

This evening at dinner, as is our family tradition, we sang a song together before our blessing on the food. Makea requested "Silent Night." We have sung this many times as a family, but only in the pre-dinner quiet could I fully appreciate her own little version of this classic Christmas song. Here is what I heard, in a sweet and dainty voice, from across the dinner table:

"Silent Night, Oh-lee night. All is cold, all is right. Round yawn verge in mother and child. Holy instrument so tender and mild. Sleep in Heavenly Pee, Sleep in Heavenly Pee."

She looked up at me so sweetly and with such innocence while finishing this song that I had to muster every ounce of self control in my being to hold back the laughter and instead, take her in my arms and tell her how beautifully she sings. This is truly how she believes the song goes, and perhaps tomorrow we will discuss the word "PEACE" and what it means....but for tonight, I can only imagine her thoughts of the sweet baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, wearing a wet diaper. She does, after all, know babies, and this must make perfect sense in her sweet little 2-year-old mind.

Ah, the innocence of children.

On a similar topic (and Krista, I hope you don't mind me posting this - if so, email me and I'll remove it...) please click here and scroll down to the post "Santa, Urine for a Surprise." You will NOT be disappointed!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Say What?

Lately, Makea is constantly asking me to repeat myself several times. When I say something she will almost invariably ask "What?" sometimes as many as four or five times! I noticed my patience shortening and my level of irritation rising at this as it happened more frequently, but I did not want to discourage her curiosity, so I began asking her "What do YOU think I just said?" Prior to me turning the question back around to her, I had assumed she was simply 'tuning me out' which is why she demanded repetition....but upon hearing her responses I've come to realize that she is truly TRYING to listen, but can't always make sense of what she hears. Here are just a few examples of recent conversations:

~ Makea wanted to bring her nutcracker doll to the dinner table. Given our rule of 'no toys at the table' we couldn't allow it, but Jon said "Why don't you sit him over there and he can watch us eat?" "What?" (Jon repeats himself) "What?!" (Jon asks what she thinks he said) "You want him to sit there so he can watch DISNEY???"

~ A Christmas CD of ours has a song with the lyrics "...He was the baby Jesus, O My Lord..." I was singing along the other day when Makea asked "What?" I told her I was singing the song and asked her to sing along. She belted out, in perfect pitch and meter, "He was the baby Jesus, on my nose, He was the baby Jesus, on my nose." I couldn't stop laughing and realized why she had been confused!

The song incident reminded me of similar elements of confusion in my own childhood, (although none quite so comical), mostly relating to songs. For instance:

I was confused at what being a Child of God had to do with having gray knees, and wondered what I had done wrong that my knees looked normal. (Translation: "I am a Child of God, and so my needs are great...")

I wondered where Joseph got a lemon sack in which to carry things, and what exactly a lemon sack was for that matter. (Translation: "...[Joseph] carried bread and goat cheese in a little linen sack.")

Of course, if you don't think any of these are funny, you may appreciate Kevin James on the King of Queens when he tells his wife about a Neil Diamond song about a "Hip Reverend". When she asks him what he's talking about, he sings "...Reverend blue jeans, babe..." (Translation: Forever in Blue Jeans).

Anyone out there have any of their own "Say What?" experiences? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy St. Nikolaus Day!

Today being St. Nikolaus Day, I thought it appropriate I share some specifics of our recent visits to see Santa Clause and Father Christmas this past week.

Prior to our visit with Santa at Trolley Square, I spoke with Makea about how kind and generous S.C. is - how he bestows gifts on everyone, and how he especially loves children. In previous years we have not been able to get her near him because of her fear of strangers, but this year she said "He is my friend. I'd like to sit on his lap and talk to him!" When we first saw him, she was slightly apprehensive and clung to my leg for a minute or two. But as soon as he beckoned for her to come, she walked (with me) up to see him and actually sat on his lap! (much to my surprise!) He asked the age old question, "And what would you like for Christmas this year?" to which she quickly replied, "FOOD!" I could have died! Santa looked quite puzzled and said, "Well, yes, everyone needs that - but is there anything else?" I was mortified, envisioning Santa picturing me as some sort of twisted vagabond woman, taking my children around to beg for food to support my drug habit or something of that I quickly explained that, while we were Christmas shopping, she saw a set of wooden play food that can be cut, and she fell in love and wanted it then and there....I told her that perhaps she could ask for it for Christmas. But, for a brief moment, I felt like a beggar mother. Ah, the humiliation children can bring.

I told so many people about the incident and had some great which Makea was obviously attentive. For in our visit with Father Christmas a few nights later, when questioned as to what she would like, she explicitly told him of the food she'd seen (in nearly my exact words) so as to leave no confusion this time that she is actually asking for a TOY and not the bare necessities of life!

Following our visit with Father Christmas, she questioned me about whether there are actually TWO Santas. I replied that there was only one and asked her why. "That Santa we just saw was a bit different than the one at the mall, Mommy. They were not the same man!" Was the response. I quickly gave the "Santa's Helpers all around the world" lecture which seemed to satisfy her, but I came to the realization then and there that we will not be able to pull the wool over her eyes for long! Santa, at our house, is going to have to be well thought out and perfectly executed if we are to maintain the 'magic' of Christmas, at least in the gift-giving sense! If there is anyone out there with secrets or tips on this, let me know! This is really the first year I've had to worry about this, so I am certainly an amateur at this point!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Magic, the Meaning, the Miracle of Christmas

As much as I enjoyed our little Holiday Excursion at Trolley Square this past weekend (see previous post), last night takes the cake for our Christmas Tradition, at least so far this year, and it's going to be tough to beat!

I had the privilege of taking Kea and Kai to the Candlelight Christmas at This Is The Place Heritage Park. It truly was spectacular! We began with a delicious dinner at the Old Deseret Hospital (my kids downed the sweet and sour meatballs like I've never seen before. And, despite the large assortment of desserts available, Kai would only touch the chocolate truffles...simply turned his nose up at the tarts, cheesecakes, brownies and cookies! I had no idea he had such exquisite taste!) Following dinner, we took a train ride around the park. First stop - Hunstman Hotel, featuring a live band playing folk music. Makea and I danced our hearts out and the look on her face was priceless, she was simply filled with delight! Next stop, Father Christmas. This man was the "Real Deal" if I do say so myself...very kind, soft-spoken, gentle, and patient with the children. Treated all of us mothers as his children too which was very endearing. He played his part beautifully and the kids, of course, loved him. Next we stopped by the Old Brigham Young home for some hot cider, stories from Brigham, and live harp music.

Our last train stop was the highlight of our trip by far, and brings tears to my eyes even as I type this. We walked down a candle lit path to a lowly stable. Makea was simply mystified at where we were going and couldn't wait to see what it was! We first saw the donkey (Konkey, Konkey! yelled Kai as we approached) and I saw a hint of understanding creep into her eyes at what this was all about. Next we saw sheep and goats (to which Kai shouted ah-ah-ah-ah-ah - his own little version of a sheep baaa). We finally came to the live nativity, where Joseph watched as Mary lulled a sweet baby Jesus to sleep. The look on Makea's face was undeniable - awe, reverence and complete adoration for the Savior all wrapped into one. She actually knelt down in front of them, completely unprompted, and seemed to be mesmerized by the sight of Him. She spoke not a word but gazed up at them for several minutes, wrapped up in the moment, drinking it all in. I sat there with tears in my eyes as I witnessed my beautiful daughter experiencing the true meaning of Christmas. It was truly miraculous; a moment written on my heart forever.

If you are going to be in Utah this season, I highly recommend a trip to the This is the Place Heritage Park. You will be so glad you did!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Trolley Square Christmas

This past weekend (December 1st to be exact) I had the pleasure of taking my 2 little sweethearts to the historic Trolley Square Mall to start the 'holiday tradition' ball rolling, so to speak. The holiday spirit was in the air - literally - even before we awakened that morning.... when we arose we were delighted to find a beautiful blanket of freshly fallen snow on the ground (and more coming throughout the day.) The kids enjoyed the morning frolicking in the snow while I volunteered at the Festival of Trees. Then, after lunch and naps, the REAL festivities kicked off with a visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause (more on that later), followed by milk and donuts (yum!). As we were walking through the mall Makea spotted Pottery Barn Kids so of course we had to stop for an hour to play (after all, what would Christmas be without a visit to the toystore?!). Then we headed outside for wassail and roasted chestnuts, and finished the evening off with a horse-drawn carriage ride. It was the perfect way to start this wonderful holiday season! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! I love this time of year!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Love of a Child

After I had Makea, I honestly didn't really feel a desire to have any more children. I felt as though I could never love anyone as much as I loved her, and felt that my heart was so full that I didn't have any more room to love another. When I discovered I was pregnant again, I was surprised and, initially, worried. I didn't want Makea to miss out on any of my love or attention. As Kai has grown, however, I have been so grateful he has come to our family! I watch the two of them interact with one another and am amazed at the adoration and love they are developing for each other! I realize that even more important than giving Makea ALL of my love and attention, is giving her a sibling; someone who will always be there for her, no matter what. A ready playmate. A confidant. Someone for her to love unconditionally. Someone who will love her back, unconditionally. Someone to be her best friend throughout the years. Someone with a shoulder to cry on. Someone to hold her hand. This is more than I ever could have given her on my own. I'm so glad Kai joined our family!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


At least three times a day, my sweet little Makea is says something that has me in stitches!

Case in point.
This morning, she was (as she is often prone to do) pestering her little brother. She LOVES to playfully taunt and tease him. (Being an older sister myself, I must admit, I do somewhat understand her point of view. :) ) As he became increasingly perplexed, however, I called to her, "Makea, what are you doing to Kai-Kai?" To which, in her sweetest, loveliest voice she replied, "I'm driving him crazy!"

Second came later this afternoon as we were playing in her bedroom. But first, a bit of background. Several times a day Makea will ask, "Mommy, how do you say _______ (insert just about any word you can think of, from "Noah's ark" to "spoon" to "hilarious") in Spanish and in Sign Language?" Apparently our bright little inquisitor is set on being tri-lingual. So, with that in mind....this afternoon, out of the blue, she said (insert "Eureka" and a light bulb) "I know how to say Kainoa in Spanish!" "Really?" I mused, "How?". Her reply: "Kai-kee-koo-koo-noa!" This had me rolling for about 10 minutes.

Finally, this evening, we were driving by Modern Display, a store which specializes in decorations of the holiday variety. Last week they added a gigantic christmas tree with a larger-than-life Santa which illuminates at night. This evening as we drove past, Makea suddently, bursting with excitement, shouted "Mommy and Papi! Santa is LIGHTING UP!!!" I saw tears streaming down Jon's face, he could not withhold his laughter!

Ah, I love my children! I can only imagine what Kai will come up with when his English becomes more audible/discernible!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aren't They Adorable?

I know that, as their mother, I am slightly biased. Still, I can't help but look at these two and want to just eat them up!

This particular shot is one of my favorites because it's one of the only pictures in which I've been able to capture both of them with natural - and happy - expressions. During a typical 'kodak moment' when both kids are looking especially adorable (or doing something despicable that I simply have to catch on tape...) I will run to grab my camera, only to return and snap shots of one or both of them crying, pulling their sibling's hair, or scrunching up their face in a smile that looks more like a cringe. So, in this moment, when they were bathing in the kitchen sink after Makea had persistently begged to do so for over a week, I actually caught them both "in the moment" so as to capture the expressions of theirs I so love. (By the way, you can click on the picture to enlarge it so you can more fully appreciate their expressions.) It doesn't happen very often, but despite that, they always manage to look cute whatever their facial expression or frame of mind. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


You'll notice that, interestingly, my blogging stopped with the birth of my second child. This is no coincidence. My children are the light of my life, the apples of my eye, my pride and my joy. Because of this, I want to spend every waking moment with them (every moment THEY are awake, that is!). When I just had Makea, her naptimes and bedtimes were my "me time" - an opportunity for me to read, study, meditate, clean....and blog (or at least, get online - I must admit I've never really been an avid blogger.) Since the birth of my sweet Kai, however, I have experienced very few moments when both of my children were sleeping - take today, for example: Kai went down for his nap at noon so I read Makea a couple of books, gave her a little snuggle, and left the room, hoping she would nap. After nearly two hours of begging, pleading, demanding, bribing, etc, she ended up screaming, thereby awakening her little brother from his peaceful slumber. Approximately 3 minutes later she fell asleep for her nap and I was left with a happy, well-rested, nonetheless energetic Kai who was of course vying for my attention. Not a chance he was going to let me sit down at the computer...never mind clean, shower, prepare dinner or what have you. Such has been my life since becoming the mother of two 15 short months ago. Not that I am complaining, mind you....just explaining the predicament, and thereby rationalizing my blogging hiatus for those of you who have questioned 'where I went.' So, at least for now, I'm back.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Welcome Kainoa!! (August 9th)

We are DELIGHTED to announce the arrival of our beautiful son (and baby brother) Kainoa Micah Kaikaikamamuliokeakahi (one whose strength lies in meekness). Here come endless sleepless nights, diaper changes, load of laundry....and we couldn't be happier!

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