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25 December 2010

Mele Kalikimaka

Merry Christmas from Hawaii!

Our next few days will be fairly chaotic as we are leaving Maui and heading to Oahu today and then flying to LAX on Sunday and driving home during the wee hours of Monday.  We hope to connect with our dear friends and family in the coming week.  
Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases!

22 December 2010

Enjoying My Blogger Vacation

I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to post a couple pictures from our trip so far.  To be quite honest with you, I haven't taken as many photos as I would have liked, but juggling Olivia {and all of our accoutrements} AND the camera just isn't as easy as I would like.  So, I'm relying on stealing the ones that my brother has been taking {and those have yet to be uploaded here}.

We are really having a fabulous time.  The week on the cruise seemed to fly by.  Just about the time I got used to the motion of the ocean, it was time to get off the boat!  We had some beautiful sights from our room and were able to enjoy some excursions off the boat as well.

After doing the first cruise-organized excursion, which consisted of a 5 hour bus ride and about an hours worth of activities, we realized renting a car would be a much better {and cheaper} use of our time.  We drove up to Waimea Canyon, but the car ride was just a bit much for sweet Olivia and the rest of our drive was filled with the not-so-sweet smell of, well, you know.

Olivia's favorite activities BY FAR are going to the beach and swimming in the pools.  She LOVES the water and just can't seem to get enough of it.  Even the biggest waves don't phase her.

This is a picture of my two favorite people with our cruise ship in the background.  See that little orange boat to the right of the picture?  That's the boat that took us to shore since our ship was docked in the middle of the Pacific.  {Well, not quite the middle.}  

David and I have even been able to do a couple things out on our own {sans baby and diaper bags loaded with snacks and entertainment} thanks to our on board babysitters.  My parents have happily watched Olivia on a number of occasions allowing us to go explore or even just have a couple of drinks at the bar.

While in Honolulu, we visited the 'Iolani Palace and this statue {across the street} of King Kamehameha and also hit up Waikiki Beach and saw the statue of Duke Kahanamoku.

Before heading to Maui the next day, we went to a luau at Paradise Cove.  I had never been to a luau before, but still sort of knew what to expect.  This luau absolutely blew us away.  There were so many activities to do before the food and dancing started - we went for a boat ride, made headbands out of coconut leaves {David has some serious skills there} and even allowed Olivia to get her first {temporary} tattoo.  

Last night, Ryan, David & I went to see a musical/play called 'Ulalena and tonight we are all going to see Cirque Polynesia.  Mom and Dad are going to watch Olivia on Thursday night so the three of us can go to one of the most raved about magic shows on the island, Warren and Annabelle's.  

As for now, my daughter is BEGGING me to help her get her swimsuit on so we can hit up the beach and the pool.  How do I say no to that?

We are missing you all greatly during this holiday season, but are enjoying ourselves immensely.

Happy Wednesday from Kaanapali Beach!

08 December 2010

Biting My Nails...and a Spoiler Alert

It has been a busy week over here and I am only slightly freaking out that it is already Wednesday and we are leaving Friday for LA to (fingers crossed) meet up with our friends from Indiana who just welcomed the most adorable little girl into their family.

Internet friends, meet Baby June.

And then we leave for Christmas in Hawaii 2010 on Saturday.  I have so much left to do before we leave. And of course I have taken on extra things to do before we leave - like hand-making a toy for Olivia to play with on the plane(which I swear I am doing once this quick post is up), making little gifts for Olivia's friends, attending a craft night at our friend Katie's store (tomorrow night), and going to a pitch-in pot-luck on Friday for our baby class.  Not to mention the things that need to be done before we leave - packing, laundry, sending cards and gifts out.  And, did I mention our dog-sitter arrived a day early?  Tired yet?  I am.

This morning, knowing I had a few errands to run in SLO, we hit up our favorite Wednesday morning hot spot, Boo Boo Records.

Sucking up to the teacher, Heidi.

Macy is our resident "interpretive dancer."

Well, as I headed to the coffee shop before Boo Boo, I realized that I had left my wallet at home.  So much for those errands.  We came home and packaged up some gifts to be sent out and Olivia decided she wasn't so much a believer in the old motto "Tis better to give than receive."  

She cried and cried because she wanted to open one of the gifts we were putting in the box to send.

I managed to get a few things done during Olivia's nap time and then headed back up to SLO once she was up.  I swear I jinxed it because just a couple of days ago I bragged about how much easier it was shopping with her.  Let's just say by the 3rd shop, she was over being in the stroller.

She sure looked cute at the start of it though!

We've still been opening a book a night and she is really enjoying the opening part.  I'm so glad we have done this (even if she does think every present belongs to her) and I am really looking forward to the years to come where she will also be captivated by the fun stories.

Monday night...

Tuesday little LoveBug


I wanted to share a couple of the things that I made for Olivia's friends and my new mom friends.  I am so fortunate to have such a great group of ladies to hang out with.  I never realized the importance of having other moms as a support system - I was perfectly happy spending my days with just Olivia - but it has been such a blessing for both of us.  

That being said, a couple of these things are also things that a few of my favorite readers are also going to be receiving in their Christmas packages.  I apologize in advance for spoiling the surprise.  (If you think you are one of them, skip ahead a few paragraphs!)

(She's not lying when she says to PACK IT IN)

Honestly, I think I made the most perfect mix for the babies and for the parents.  Olivia and I have listened to each of them today in the car.  One of the songs is Zooey Deschenel's cover of "Baby, It's Cold" from the Elf soundtrack.  While we were at the store I started singing the song, but not really knowing all the lyrics I basically kept singing dah dah dah dah to the tune.  Olivia chimed right in with me and sang the same thing.  But, of course she was coming in a few seconds after me, which is EXACTLY like the song.  We were doing our own little duet.  I'm not kidding, I thought someone was going to come up to us and compliment us on how great we sounded - it was that incredible.  

I stole a couple pictures from the SLO parade off of my friend Sarah's facebook.  She captured a little Olivia and Jacob smooch session from that night and I just had to pass them along to you.  What a moment to capture on film!

Puckered up...

...and pulling him in for the kiss.
(What a time for the flash to decide not to work, but at least she got it!)

Now, I'm off to start on Olivia's play toy and make a list of the gazillion things I have left to do.  

Happy Wednesday from the Central Coast!

06 December 2010

Thoroughly Convinced Sleeping Erases My Short-Term Memory

This afternoon while at the car dealership getting our oil changed, the service associate asked me how my weekend was and it took me at least two solid minutes to remember what all we had done.  And, it's only Monday.  As I looked through the pictures on my camera, a few of the highlights started coming back.  Thank goodness for modern technology.

Our fun-filled weekend went a little something like this:
  • Hit up the Downtown SLO Holiday Parade and hung out with Sarah, Brian & Jacob and Sarah, Doug & Kendall.  Forgot to take my camera and captured some not-so-stellar parade pictures on my phone.  Watched Olivia kiss Jacob AGAIN about 3 or 4 times and never got a decent picture of it happening.  (Can I just say that my daughter is aggressive!  Jacob kept smiling at her as she went in for the kiss and so she grabbed him by the jacket and pulled him in for a big ol' pucker.)

  • Let Olivia open up her Christmas book, even though it was past 9:30 by the time we got home. Notice she's in the same penguin pjs?  She LOVES them so much that she never wants to take them off.  She wore them to the parade and everything.
  • Headed up to Morro Bay on Saturday morning to celebrate this sweet little 4 year old's birthday.

  • Made our first gingerbread house with Olivia and thoroughly enjoyed eating it after it fell apart!

  • Returned to the car to find an explosion from Magnum.  Let's just say that wasn't the first explosion we would experience from our children this weekend.
  • Took advantage of the rainy day and a napping baby to take a little nap ourselves.
  • Crossed Thrift Store shopping off of our bucket list Saturday night when we went in search of some Ugly Christmas Sweaters for our friend's shop.

  • Let Olivia open up another one of her advent gifts.  She was still way more interested in the wrapping paper than the book.

  • Geared up our productivity and on Sunday cleaned the house, gathered laundry and did a little bit of Christmas shopping.
  • Had our weekly Dexter party with Ken and Katie and feasted on our favorite Lava Bombs for dinner.  {Holy smokes!  One more episode of the season.}
  • Experienced another explosion, this time from our second child.  Note to self - NEVER let Olivia run around without a diaper on.  It may be cute at the time....but no.
  • Cleaned up baby, cleaned up carpet (!!!) and opened up new advent book.
  • And, after cleaning said explosion, decorated our Joe-Joe's Candy Cane Oreo Cookie Pops.
If you like chocolate+mint, you need to make these.

{David's attempt at making a snowman.}

Ken recreated a scene from earlier that evening....and then ate it.

And, that's my wrap-up!
Happy Monday from the Central Coast!

02 December 2010

Decorating, errr, Disclaimers 101

*I feel like I need to put a disclaimer up about the following photos.  I am clearly not a professional photographer...I feel like I can get by with less-than-perfect pictures of my oh-so-perfect baby because, well, she makes up for it.  But, here I go posting not-so-great pictures of my not-so-perfect crafts...just don't think I'm all patting myself on the back or anything.

*I took these pictures tonight after the sun had pretty much gone down.  I do know that it's better to take them with natural sunlight.

*Still...I take a better picture than my mother.

*Oh, and the other disclaimer, since we are leaving for Hawaii in nine days, my holiday decorating is pretty minimal.

*And, last but not least, this little 2 foot tree is still way better than last year's crazy, crooked, shedding tree.

Now, on to the blog post!  Remember when I made those pinwheel garlands for part of our Halloween decorations?  Well, I kind of got hooked on the scrapbook paper.  My mind was racing with how I could use it to help decorate for Christmas.  I love, love, LOVED the pinwheels, but seeing as how much space they take up to store them {we're talking an entire 100 quart tub}, I didn't want to do that again.  So, I decided to make a stocking garland instead.

Originally, I was going to have them all facing the same direction and then after talking it over with my husband decorating consultant, I decided to have them going two different directions.  We hung them up last night according to what I thought were the directions of my assistant.  And, then today, I kept staring at them wishing that each side was facing the opposite direction.  When I told husband, err, assistant this, he said, "Yeah, that's what I said we should do last night."  So, we're switching them.  But, I love that the paper is two-sided and I can see it when I'm sitting inside the family room snuggled up in front of the fireplace.  I picked up the swag in the middle today at Trader Joe's for a mere $6.99.  It's nice to have the smell of fresh pine/spruce in the house, even if it is just a little bit.

Oh, and see that wreath back there?  {Focus on that instead of the orange pumpkin above the tv that I forgot to remove.}  I'm thinking it needs a little something...and I know just the thing.

So, since I was taking pictures of the garland, I figured I might as well take some pictures some other holiday decor for prosperity's sake.

Our mantle

Our stockings

Our formal dining room table

My favorite Christmas decoration

The Christmas tree above our fireplace is really an advent calendar from Pottery Barn Kids.  I ordered it last year and we put it in the little nook by our entry way.  I was the only one who ate the chocolates, and believe me, I enjoyed it every day.  But, Livi is too young to be eating chocolate on a daily basis and I wanted to do something for her to count down each day.  Somewhere in the blogosphere I saw an idea of wrapping up a holiday book for each day of the month.  This was perfect for us since 1.) I have several holiday books from my days teaching and 2.) I was really going to miss seeing Olivia open up a gazillion gifts this year.

So last night, I spent about 15 minutes wrapping up some books for her to open for the next nine days.  But, I love this idea and want to do it every year for her.  I'm looking forward to adding some new books each year.  Here are the books I chose:

All wrapped up in her room.

And here are a few pictures of Olivia opening tonight's double feature.

Happy Thursday from the Central Coast!