Sunday, September 28, 2008

hawaiian sunday

today, was hawaiian sunday again! thankfully we made it through without anyone getting peed on! in the hopes that we would make it through all of church without needing a wardrobe change, i brought my camera and got rachael (my fellow photographer) to take some family pictures of us after church! the lighting was not the best because the sun was so bright and high in the sky, but i think she did a great job with what we had to work with!


so, here is our little hawaiian family:

hawaiian sunday

kawena was playing "limp noodle" and didn't want to cooperate. that's what happens when a two year old has just endured 3 hours of church in the middle of her nap time! so, this was the best we could get from her. at least, she managed to slightly look up at the camera and almost gave us a smile!


this is what she looked like in most of the pictures:

kawena2  kawena1


of course, i had to snap a few shots of the girls:


                         noelani ("nani")- 7 1/2




                                       kale'a ("lala")- 5




                                            kawena- 2



hawaiian sunday bw


i must admit, as much as i fought wearing the mu'u mu'u to church the first time around, i finally embraced it and have actually enjoyed wearing it to church!

"hawaiian sunday", much to the girls delight, has become a new tradition for our family!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

not quite ready for a pet

today when i was picking lala up from her dance class, she found a roly poly in the bark chips outside the dance studio. she was thrilled beyond belief. she first showed miss heidi and then she showed me. after which, she began to shake it violently in between her cupped hands while saying, "look i'm shaking it up!"

miss heidi said, "you're going to give him a headache!"

and i replied, "whoa, be careful! you're going to make him sick and then you'll have roly poly throw up all over your hands!"


that thought made her face cringe, and she quickly stopped that "fun" activity. it was a classic look, oh how i wish i had my camera at that moment trained on her face!


on our way home, ever so cautiously, she carried it in her cupped hands making sure not to squish it. once at home, she caringly got a jar, put some dirt and grass and leaves in it to make it comfortable for her new roly poly "pet".



well, tonight after dinner i mentioned that we would need to let him go tomorrow because we didn't have the right kind of food to feed him and he could die if she kept inside the jar. this did not make her happy! she said, "but i want him for my pet!"

to which i said, "i know you do, but if we keep him he could die."

and it was in this moment, aside from the violent shaking earlier in the day, that i knew she was not yet ready for a pet when she said, "i want him for my pet! i don't care if he dies! "


it's a good thing we started out small!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i'm a winner!

about a month ago i entered a smilebooks photo contest (you can view all winning photos on this link). it was a smiles of summer photo contest. i thought, "heck? why not?" so, i dug through my pictures and came up with this one:

nani and alexis


well, i won third prize (along with some other photos)!! so, now i have $100 to make my own smile book! i am excited to put something together of our 2008 year. i've done a photo book every year since 2006 and have been wanting to do one for this year and now i have the motivation and excuse!


woo hoo for me!!  i might have some talent after all!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

fun with a glow stick and a slow shutter

both nani and lala got a glow stick at nani's skate party. that night when we tucked them in to bed, of course, they had to sleep with their glow sticks. they asked if we could take pictures of them playing with the sticks in the dark. after much maneuvering and manipulating the camera on manual, i finally figured out how to get the effect they were after:

rectangle and star 

nani is doing a star with the blue one, while lala is doing a rectangle with the green.



lines and squiggles

in this one nani is walking back and forth as she walks closer to the camera, while lala does her own little design.


when they were satisfied, i tucked them back into bed and went downstairs. mitch asked what i was doing up there with the camera. i told him. then he said, "i want to do it, too!"


so, i got the camera back out and we both headed back up to the girls room. of course, they were thrilled to be able to get out of bed for a second time after being tucked in. this was what mitch had in mind:

nani lala


who ever knew you could have so much fun with a glow stick and a camera!?

Friday, September 19, 2008

flashback at skate world

nani turned 7 in march of this year and for some reason we never had a party for her. last year we didn't have a party for her either (i know we sound like lame parents!). so, when we found out that we were for sure moving, and the girls would be leaving all of their friends behind, we decided that nani needed to have a birthday party. but what do you do when you are leaving before her next birthday?


well, we celebrate with a half birthday party, of course! i looked it up online and her actual 1/2 birthday is this sunday, september 21st. what perfect timing!


so, tonight we had a little skate party for the half birthday girl! and when i say a skate party, all you have to do is imagine the skate center you used to go to as a child! seriously, we walked into this place and all of the adults were taken back to their youth. the first thing mitch said was, "this looks exactly like the place i skated at as a child back in albuquerque!" from the disco ball, to the carpet, to the paint on the walls, not to mention the 80's music and the smell. i am positive it is all original! yuck, don't even talk to me about how dirty the place must have been! but all that aside, the kids had a blast!!


nani and lala

check out the color of the walls!


uh oh lala

uh-oh lala! it took a little time for her to get her skate legs. look at that carpet! ugh!


unfortunately, it was too dark on the skate rink to get any photos out there. all of what i got was in the bright green and yellow and red painted party room.

nani and friends


stephanie, an amazingly talented cake decorator made nani's cake and it turned out adorable!

skate cake 

nani with cake

nani blow candles


once everyone left and we packed up the car to leave nani said, "this was the best birthday party i've ever had!" music to a parents ears!

nani and kawena

one party down, one to go! (that's kawena "smiling" for the camera!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


well, here we go....

lala before backlala before front


as hard as it was to watch her beautiful, long locks fall to the floor....

lala cut

(can you tell that she was pretty excited about the hair cut?!)


....i must say that i REALLY  like the resulting do!




 ....what do you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"i love vu!"

While you are waiting for me to post pictures of lala's "new do".....


i got it on video! i could watch this over and over!



oh, ...and about the vest...lala dressed the baby this morning!

Monday, September 15, 2008

saying goodbye is so hard to do!

two months ago, lala informed me that she wanted to cut her hair short. being the smart mom that i am, i told her, "okay we'll do it next time i go get my hair cut.", knowing full well that she would change her mind. well, it is today and i am going to get my hair cut and guess who is coming with me? she still wants it short!


so, we must say goodbye to her hair. i know that it is just hair and it will grow back, but she has such pretty hair!

nani and lala1


lala push-up


girls in window


no more crinkly hair...

lala close


lala cowgirl


no more cute braids...

lala spin


however, there are some things that i won't miss...

the screaming when i brush through her tangles... the running away when i want to fix her hair...  the food that always seems to find it's way into her hair. even still, i will miss the beautiful hair cascading down her back!


watch for after shots, coming soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the story of the mu'u mu'u

in our family, we have a tradition that on the first birthday of every child we celebrate with a big luau! with kalua pig, and lomi lomi salmon, and poi, and teriyaki chicken, and haupia, and waioli tea room carrot bread,  and hawaiian mac salad, and chinese chicken salad, and chicken long rice, just to name a few. the luau is also, the ONLY time i would dig back into the recesses of my closet and pull out the hawaiian mu'u mu'u (aka, the tent dress with flowers on it, not very flattering!) and wear it. it seemed the only appropriate place to wear such a thing. that was until earlier this year.


nani, inherited a mu'u mu'u from her cousin a few years back and it has hung in her closet unworn because it was too long for her. last year when we celebrated kawena's first birthday, nani was finally tall enough to wear it. she has been wearing it ever since!


on the last trip my parents took to hawaii, my mom came back with a mu'u mu'u each for lala and kawena, as well as a hawaiian tie for mitch. the girls were thrilled because now everyone had something hawaiian to wear. i was excited for my girls to go to church looking so cute in their hawaiian dresses, little did i know what was really going to happen!


since that visit back in june when my mom came bearing gifts, almost every sunday the girls would beg me to wear my mu'u mu'u and i would respond, "is there going to be a luau at church today?"


they'd say, confusion in their voices, "no, of course not!"


"then, i guess i'm not going to wear it!" ( i know that sounds mean, but what grown woman wears a mu'u mu'u to church.... in oregon?! i haven't seen any in the 8 years that i've lived here!)


they'd get all moppy and whine. if i was a better mother, i guess i would have just worn it, but i wasn't!


then, i had my bout with ohss. i missed church for 5 weeks straight. when i finally returned to church, i had lost some fluid from my abdomen and my belly had gone down from a 5 month pregnant belly to a 3 month pregnant belly. so, i squeezed into my biggest skirt. it is important to know that everyone, but me, was wearing their hawaiian clothes that day to church. by the time sacrament was over i felt sick to my stomach because my skirt was so stinkin' tight. so, mitch had to take me home for the last 2 hours of church.


of course, when the girls and mitch got home that day they laid into me about how "if you had worn the mu'u mu'u then you wouldn't be feeling so bad" blah, blah, blah! granted, they were right, but i was stubborn.


the following sunday, i swolled my pride and came downstairs ready for church AND wearing the mu'u mu'u (and very comfortable, i might add). you would not believe the looks of pure joy and excitement (and disbelief) that i saw on the faces of my children and husband! in that moment i realized how stupid i had been. so what if i'm the only grown woman that wears a mu'u mu'u to church in oregon? so what, when i see the faces of my sweet children light up to see their mother wearing the matching mu'u mu'u with them to church!?


i did tell them that it wasn't going to happen all the time, but that i would occasionally wear it to church with them. they were excited about that!


so, today was "hawaiian sunday". i told the girls last week and they have been anticipating this sunday ever since! as the day drew closer, even i was excited about it! you must admit, it's gotta be pretty darn cute to see a family of all girls walk in to church each wearing pink mu'u mu'u's and the husband/dad wearing a pink hawaiian tie...especially in oregon! i began thinking of the great family photo we could snap after church. i'll bet you can't wait to see it either! i did snap a photo, however, it wasn't quite the photo i had invisioned!




you see, we had a little accident during sacrament meeting, today.


i was sitting with a contented little kawena on my lap, actually being able to listen to the talk being given when i noticed how warm kawena's skin felt against my dress. i thought, "hmmm, that's strange. i wonder if she is getting sick and is fevered?" so, i felt the rest of her and she felt normal. so, i lifted her off my lap and noticed a nice, warm puddle of pee on my lap, slowly soaking into my mu'u mu'u! strangely enough, only MY dress got wet! the little rascal!


so, we will have to wait until the next "hawaiian sunday" to capture the cute little hawaiian family all dressed up for a luau!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

what i remember...

it was a quiet, sunny morning. i was sleeping peacefully in my bed, exhausted as my body was working furiously to grow a baby. i was sleeping in because i didn't have to work until later in the morning, purposely scheduled, by me, for this very reason of sleeping in.


i was jolted awake by the ringing telephone.  blindly, i reached for the phone. then, looking at the caller i.d. i was irritated at my husband for calling me so early in the morning knowing full well that i would be sleeping. i considered not answering, but quickly decided against it.


"hello!" was my short, irritated answer.


"are you listening to the radio? (we have no t.v.)", came the reply.


i was thinking, very annoyed like, 'no! why would i be listening to the radio? i was sleeping!' but all i said was, "no."


"turn on the radio. a plane just crashed into the world trade center!"


still not comprehending or realizing the gravity of the situation, still only caring about getting back to my dreamy sleep, i said, "i was sleeping! i'm tired, i'll turn it on later."


after much persuasion, i said i would turn it on, mostly just to placate my husband so i could get off the phone and get back to sleep. i hung up and rolled back onto my pillow ready for sleep, but for some reason sleep did not come, so i went to the radio.


the rest, was just an unbelievable blur. i couldn't comprehend what was going on or why. why was this happening? once i realized what was really happening, i went from awe struck, to disbelief, to disgusted, to anger, to hatred, to indescribable sadness. disbelief that it happened, disgust for the people who did it, angry at them for doing it, hating them for not caring, and so much sadness for the thousands of innocent lives and families that were directly affected by the events of that day.


though it's been seven years, it is something that i will never forget, as much as i would love to forget it, i will never be able to. that day changed all of our lives. maybe we didn't lose a loved one in the attack, or maybe we did. maybe we have a loved one fighting to preserve our freedoms on the other side of the world, or maybe we don't. but one thing i do know, we all enjoy the freedoms that we have here in the united states. we must never forget how blessed we are and we must do whatever we can to protect and maintain those freedoms.


it is a sad day to remember, but we must never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


can i just tell you how much i absolutely L.O.V.E. this phrase? how much i crave to hear it?


as in, "come here, babe!"



as in, "sing!"  "well, we need to go pick up lala from dance. we can swing later."

"o-tay" said with understanding, but a twinge of disappointment.


as in, "i need you to calm down so i can rock with you..."

"o-tay" said with tears in her eyes and a whimper in her voice.


as in, "pot!" grabbing at her diaper.  "you need to go potty?"  "jes!"  "let's go, hurry, hurry!"

"o-tay!" said with excitement and determination.


as in, "meow, meow!"  "you want me to read hello kitty?"  "jes!" "alright, let's go sit on the couch and i'll read it to you!"

"o-tay!" said with pure joy.


kawena closetbw


as in, "djuce!"  "bring me your cup and i'll get you more juice."

"o-tay!" said with gratitude in her voice.


as in, "daddy's on the phone! you want to talk to him?"

"o-tay!" said with anticipation in her voice.


as in, "it's time for nigh night. grab your blankie."

"o-tay" said with sleep in her voice and pure adoration for her blanket.


as in, "yo-yuck!"  "okay, go get a bowl and spoon and get into your chair.  i'll get you some yogurt."

"o-tay!" said with conviction to accomplish the task at hand.


as in, "da-par."  "go get me a diaper and i'll change you."



i wish you could all hear what a sweet sound it is coming from kawena's little mouth! like i said, i crave it!

*picture by malia. thanks!

Friday, September 05, 2008

it's enough to make a mother's heart melt

i have been feeding, changing diapers, feeding, bathing, changing diapers, playing with, protecting, loving, cuddling, changing diapers, tickling, feeding, reading to, rocking to sleep, teaching, changing diapers, playing peek-a-boo with, washing, feeding, clothing, imagination playing with, changing diapers, holding hands with, carrying, pushing in a stroller, singing to, and cherishing kawena now for almost 2 years. while i have loved just about every minute, there is one single moment in the life of each of our children that i always wait for that makes everything so very worth it.


 kawena at window

that moment came tonight. kawena climbed up the stairs and looking down at me said, "bye bye!" i waved to her and said goodbye back to her and told her that i loved her, and it was in that moment that it happened. as her cute little hand waved at me she said, "i yove you!" and smiled!


and that is when my heart melted! that first "i yove you!" does it to me every time!


 * thanks to malia for capturing this precious picture of kawena while mitch and i were in albuquerque

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

whirlwind visit

as i mentioned before on my blog, my sister and younger brother both came out for a visit in the middle of august. malia for 2 weeks and kawika for 4 days. it was such a blast to have them visit! i made sure that we had plenty of fun activities planned while they both were here.


the first day after kawika (my brother) got here, the breaks on my car went out so we were carless for that day. so, we made the best of it and took a walk to nani's elementary school to play on the toys.

 stroller ridegirls on slide

  kawena slide

kawika kawena swing lala swing

nani kawena slide

 monkeybarslala umbrella

mom lala on slide


the next morning, we woke up very early and, after dropping all the kids off at bridget's house and jumping into the ball's car, we headed to the river for a rafting trip! unfortunately, we didn't have a waterproof camera with us and didn't get any pictures, but it was a great trip. some of us got a bit banged up on the rocks as we went down the natural waterslides that suck you under and spit you out, but even still we kept going back for more!


if you want to see the proofs of the pictures the professional photography companies took of us on the river go here and (scroll thru pictures 155 to 161; oak springs rapid) here and (scroll thru pictures 136 to 143; wapinitia rapid) here (scroll thru pictures 86 to 89; boxcar rapid).


on the way home we stopped off at multnomah falls because kawika and malia had never seen it before.


they were pretty impressed!


photo terrorist

although, they did have a run in with the "photo terrorist", aka andy ball!


thirsty kawikathirsty malia

they got a little thirsty from being on the river all day, so they took a sip!


we were wiped out after that long day, but it didn't stop us from getting up early the next morning to head to another river. this time on dustin's wakeboarding boat.

kawika wakeboardingmahina skurfing

malia skurfing

malia nani surfing

malia lala surfing 

kawika and kawenakawena surf

even this little one got on the skurfboard. she loved it so much that when uncle kawika wanted a turn and kicked her off she was NOT happy!!


kawena mad

she is a little waterbaby! she wasn't phased by the cold temperature of the water! anytime the boat was not moving she would be doing this:

kawena head in waterkawena head drip

and kept asking for more!


lala on board

lala even asked to go wakeboarding, too, but this was about as far as she got.


nani flag

nani took her job as "flag girl" very seriously! and she did an excellent job, i might add. no one from our boat got ran over!


mitch and girls

the love of my life with our three lovely ladies.


nani lala

i don't know about you, but i would venture to say by the looks on their faces that these girls had a great time!


lala pooped 

yep! this is a sure sign of a great time had, wouldn't you agree?


if that wasn't enough to wear everyone out, as soon as we made it home from the river (about 2:30), everyone headed off for some rock climbing (everyone, that is, but me and the baby because it was nap time! whew! good thing, because i was all tuckered out!)

malia climbmitch climb

kawika climbkawika descent

nani climb lala climb

nani and lala even climbed for their first time! nani in her crocs and lala, of course, barefoot (sounds painful to me)!


wow! that sure was a lot to cram into three days, wouldn't you say? but man, it was worth it! i missed out on the rock climbing (bummer) but all that we did together sure was a great way to spend time with my little bro and sis!


kawika left the next day, so before we went to bed that night we HAD to play a few games of this:

ticket to ride

okay, now i am thoroughly worn out! i'm going to bed!

*most pictures are courtesy of my sister malia. she's an awesome photographer!