nursery progress

Good morning kittens! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I sure did. In addition to spending some much needed time with my hubs, I got to spend time with two of my favorite people.

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Okay, okay. Crosby is not a person and I do spend 90% of my time with him but I couldn’t resist posting his cute little face. Truth is, my sister Molli came up to visit and help me set up the nursery. Until recently, I had pretty much been using that room as a universal catch all. It was embarrassing and, quite frankly, starting to freak. me. out. I am now 33 weeks into my pregnancy and even though I had purchased mostly all of the nursery furniture, nothing was put together. It was time people. I just couldn’t stare at it any longer. Nesting has officially kicked in.

I should add that my husband is an amazing help. If I need help with anything, he is there. But last week, he started a huge project at his company which basically requires him to work from 7 am until midnight, with a 45 minutes commute each way thrown in. Finding the time to put together all of the furniture was not happening. And because I am in “this must get done NOW” mode, I needed someone else to help right away.

Enter Molli. She happily volunteered to help put together all the furniture and help me organize all of the gifts from the baby shower. Love this girl. I am not sure about you, but most people I know do not jump up and down about putting together Ikea furniture. Not that I that am surprised though. I am incredibly lucky because that is the type of relationship I have with my sisters. They are my best friends. If one of us needs anything, we are there as soon as we can to help. That sort of mentality is central to the way my parents raised us (and probably why all three of us had an obsessive attraction to Little Women as children). I hope that my children share a similar bond.

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So after spending the first day playing and eating some delicious food, we started the furniture building process. Yes, she is wearing a dress. That is just how she rolls. After a couple hours and, shockingly, no arguments we had a dresser, a bookcase/changing table, and a crib. I am going to wait to post pictures of the whole room until it is is done but here is a little preview…



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So far I am loving this room. Next up…coloring up these walls a bit without painting since we rent. Any ideas (other than decals)?

xo

P.S. Thank you Molls for being such a great help!



let’s talk diapers

Good afternoon! I am really excited about today because 1. I have my maternity shoot tonight and 2. this post talks about something I am far too enthusiastic over—cloth diapers! I never really thought I would get this excited talking about something that is essentially a vehicle for pee and poop but ever since I found out I was pregnant I was determined to find out every thing I could about cloth diapering. Now I am not about to get all activitst on you. Yes, I love mama earth and the thought of more diapers piling up in landfills and not decomposing hurts my heart but that is not the only reason why I am so obsessed. I am frugal! And very stubborn. Also if you haven’t heard, babies are really freaking expensive.

Now, my mother attempted cloth diapering me when I was a baby but was quickly fed up with the messy folding, giant pins, and covers. She cautiously warned me that I would have enough on my plate when the baby is born so maybe that was not the best idea. My mother-in-law laughed at the thought saying I would last about a day. Then again, she told me I had cankles last weekend. Isn’t that sweet? My husband looked at me like I was crazy. My sister told me she would not be changing any diapers if I went that route. Determined to prove them wrong, I decided to research cloth diapering like no other and find a way to make it work for my family.

Here is what I have found:

On average, using disposable diapers costs a family about $1,900.00. On the high end, using a more eco-friendly disposable, you are looking at spending around $3,000.00 until the little one is potty trained. Of course that price all depends on how many times you change diapers and when the child is potty trained. But you get the idea! Then, if you have another child, you have to spend that money all over again. Yikes!

With cloth diapers, you can get all of the diapers you need for around $400.00, including washing costs. It should be noted that there are several types of cloth diapers out there with lots of different price points. For example, some cloth diapers can get as pricey as $1,600.00, including washing costs. However, you can use them for any other babies you may have in the future or you can even sell them when you are finished.


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The cheapest route for cloth diapering is using prefolds with covers. Prefolds are what I like to call the OG of cloth diapers. They are usually a large piece of fabric folded (thus the clever name) into thirds, wrapped around your baby’s bum, secured with a clip, and then wrapped in a diaper cover. You could also layer the fabric itself into the cover and not use a clip (as seen above). You will need several different size waterproof diaper covers as your child grows but you certainly do not need as many covers as you do inserts.


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Now, I was ready to go with the prefold option until I found out about the lovely world of one size all-in-one diapers by Bum Genius. These award winning clothing diapers are essentially the insert and cover all-in-one. The absolute best part about this particular style is that they grow with your baby so you do not need to buy a bunch of different sizes. Seeing as convincing my family to use cloth diapers was already a challenge, the fact that the simplicity of these sold them instantly says something. The prefolds…not so much. With the all-in-ones you basically wipe them clean of waste and toss them in your diaper pail, wash, and dry. No stuffing, no layering. Keep in mind these are a large cost upfront at about $17.00 a diaper but again, they will work for any other babies we may have. I added this style to our baby registry and we received about a dozen as gifts, which is a great start to our collection and may even be sufficient once he grows into them.



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You see, the only downside to my beloved Bum Genius diapers is that they will most likely not fit my baby when he is a newborn. They usually work best for babies that are about 2 months old (unless you have a big baby). Luckily, Jill from Baby Rabies, my cloth diapering guru, has a great suggestion for newborn cloth diapers—rentals. For around $200.00 you can rent 24 Kissaluvs (highly rated) fitted newborn-sized diapers. Once you are done, you send them back and you receive your choice of a $100.00 cash credit or $110.00 store credit. Pretty cool, right? The Kissaluvs do require a diaper cover but since I decided on renting these months ago I added them to my registry and someone kindly purchased them for us as gifts.

Overall, I am going into this whole cloth diapering adventure really excited and hopeful but not naive. There are many other cloth diapering options and I picked the ones that I see working best for our family. I do have some disposables on hand that I received as gifts just in case. Plus, when we travel and are without access to a washer and dryer I will probably rely on disposables. But I feel pretty confident about my ability to cloth diaper my bambino. Am I freaking out about all the added laundry? Not really. I took care of enough babies to realize that when you have kids, you do a lot of laundry anyway.


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As far as other diapering needs, I have a standard garbage pail I bought from Target lined with a Planet Wise washable liner for used diapers. I can even throw the liner in the washer with the diapers. Eventually, I plan on using cloth wipes but I am going to start slow. Until then, I am open to suggestions or helpful hints with cloth diapering.

xo

P.S. Totally off topic but there is the gorgeous giveaway going on over at E Tells Tales. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. She is easily one of my favorite bloggers!

work it out

Before I was pregnant, I worked out pretty intensely. My husband has always been very active so working out was also something we did to spend time together. Whether I was taking a spin class, hot power yoga, or just lifting weights at the gym, I was always finding a way to sweat once a day. I love the way working out makes me feel!

Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I would not give up on working out altogether (unless my doctor recommended that I do) but I would have to scale back significantly on the intensity. I had to say goodbye to my beloved hot yoga, for instance. I was fortunate and my doctors really encouraged me to continue working out while keeping my heart rate in check (around 140 BPM). My understanding is that doctors will typically tell you to keep your heart rate under 140 BPM but I find that I can keep mine a bit higher and baby and I feel great.

At almost 32 weeks, I am excited about the fact that I have continued my workout routine pretty steadily. In fact, I find that when I am feeling a bit tired and “off,” a quick trip to the gym will immediately help me feel better. Other times, I recognize that I need to take it easy. It is amazing how in tune with your body you become when you are pregnant. I truly know the difference between craving a workout and craving a nap. I have to laugh, though, because when I am in my community gym, people often give me weird looks when I hop on the elliptical with my round belly–similar to the looks you receive when you wear a bikini in your third trimester. Good times!

So here is my typical workout schedule:

*Keep in mind this is what works for me and has been discussed with my doctor in detail.

4-5 days a week I use the elliptical machine– 30 minutes (alternating levels 5-8) with a 5 minute cool down (level 1).

Every other day I extend the workout a bit more. Some days I lift light weights (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions) all while sitting on a big yoga ball. Other days, I love Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD . The instructor has a soothing voice and the workout itself is a nice challenge. Plus, there are several options if you are short on time.

And my favorite part of my routine–lots of stretching!

I hope that I will be able to settle into some kind of exercise routine once my little guy arrives but I am going to take it slow and enjoy every magical moment.


xo

dream baby shower

This past weekend, my family hosted the most incredible baby shower. While the shower itself was not a surprise, the details of the day were all a huge shock. My mother and aunt really took the time to think of Reggie and I as a couple and translated those likes and dislikes into a fun, whimsical day.

Not only was the event design beautiful but the people that attended the party truly made the event. I was reunited with family from the east coast and friends I had not seen in months. Both my girl and guy friends came to celebrate and even sat through the ridiculously long gift opening process. I am so incredibly lucky to have such amazing people in my life and I know they are going to love and support this baby so much.

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blue velvet cake!
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All pictures taken by my beautiful cousin Sarah.


xo

babymoon adventures pt III

Even though I am a creature of habit, I had to try out some new restaurants on our trip to Hawai’i. Luckily, Chef Morimoto opened an absolutely stunning restaurant in Waikiki last fall inside the new Waikiki Edition hotel so that made our decision easy.


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The actual restaurant was everything you imagine it to be. Understated, clean, but gorgeous. Think white everything with splashes of purple and light green.  If you are stylish and not almost 8 months pregnant, this is definitely the place to have drinks and hang out on a Friday night. I had water. And lots of really good food.


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Did you know Morimoto brews his own beer? I had no idea! Obviously I can’t drink alcohol so you will have to take my husband’s word for it but he absolutely loved this particular brew.


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To start, we ordered the pork gyoza which sat on a fresh tomato sauce and was enclosed in a bacon foam. The doughy gyoza was complimented nicely by the bright flavor of the tomato sauce. The bacon foam added the perfect hint of smokiness.


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For my meal, I ordered the lamb rack with a yuzu glaze, ratatouille, and spam onigiri–which was a fun take on spam musubi. The lamb was cooked to perfection and not the least bit gamey. The ratatouille was quite light in texture but the bold flavors stood up to the rich meat and complimented the dish perfectly.

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Reg “pulled a Jenna” and read the menu ahead of time and already knew what he wanted to order. I was so proud. He picked the loco moto which is Morimoto’s take on the local classic loco moco. Chef certainly elevated this dish by using Wagyu beef and the result was absolutely delicious and certainly honored the inspiration.


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For dessert, we ordered something new and off menu–a sea salt chocolate, caramel tart. This was served with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate crumbles (their words, not mine), and crushed vanilla meringues. This was incredibly rich but that did not stop us from cleaning our plate. I loved the salty and sweet combination.

This was our last night in Hawai’i and I am so glad we ended our trip with such a great meal. I will never forget this trip. It was truly like a second honeymoon. I know this will sound cliche but I love my husband more today than the day I married him. He is such an incredible partner and I know he is going to be the best father.



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xo

babymoon adventures pt II

I could not come back from a vacation and not talk about the food. Truthfully, I plan out not only all of the restaurants I am going to visit but also what I am going to order (but keep an open mind if there are specials). Everyone does this right? 😉

So when we made this last trip we only had about 5 days and we wanted to make sure we visited some of our favorite spots and tried out a couple new spots as well.

Old Favorites

Our absolute favorite place to get breakfast in Waikiki has to be Eggs ‘N Things. The wait can be extremely long—even at 8 am so the earlier you get there, the better. We were on California time so I needed breakfast around the time they opened so we were just fine. No long waits. No pregnancy hunger meltdowns. Good times.


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Can you find me?

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Homemade Guava Juice

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Spinach Bacon & Cheese Omelette with a side of their homemade salsa <——so good!

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And a side of their Macadamia Nut Pancakes. Folks, these are the stuff dreams are made of. Seriously, I dreamt about these babies after having them the first time and that is why I ordered them again. So fluffy with just a little crunch from the macadamia nuts. And you must top them with the homemade coconut syrup. You must. I happily shared these with Reg.

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Speaking of Reg, he ordered his favorite breakfast of all time: Eggs, Portuguese Sausage, and Rice. Before I met him I would never have thought of eating rice for breakfast but now I love it! The sausage was crispy and flavorful without being overly greasy.


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Another old favorite is also a local favorite: Rainbow’s Drive Inn. My husband grew up going to Rainbow’s every time he was on the Islands so it was the first place he took me years ago on our first trip. Rumor has it that President Obama loves Rainbow’s as well.

Most of the food served at Rainbow’s is considered plate lunch. The exact history behind plate lunch is often disputed. However, the general consensus is that plate lunch began in the 1880’s when plantation workers were in high demand for sugar and fruit companies in Hawai’i. Laborers came from all over the world including China, Japan, Portugal, and the Phillipines and would share various proteins (think canned meat, teriyaki, cold meat) and rice for lunch. So the plate lunches themselves are a mix of food from different cultures. Eventually, the macaroni salad and gravy was added into the mix.

I am a total creature of habit and I usually order hamburger steak (thin hamburger patties smothered in gravy) or loco moco (same as hamburger steak topped with two eggs) plate lunch every time I go. This time I decided to try something new.

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Boneless chicken with (the best) gravy! Served with macaroni salad and two scoops of rice.

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Reg is like me when it comes to Rainbow’s and usually orders the same thing. Instead, he branched out a bit and ordered the Rainbow Royale burger. The special sauce that comes on the burger is very similar to deviled egg filling but thinned out. Delicious!

We both enjoyed trying something new but we missed our “usual” order and made sure we ordered it on our last day when we visited Rainbow’s again. If you are ever on Oahu, this place is a must try!

Next up: some new finds, including Morimoto’s new Waikiki restaurant!

xo

babymoon adventures

Reg and I both love to travel. Since we wouldn’t be traveling for a while–you know, given that we will have a newborn in around two months, we wanted to take one final big vacation before our son arrives. And since I have gained over 20 lbs (so far), all I wanted to do was float in the ocean on a beach in Hawai’i.

You see, Hawai’i has a special place in both our hearts. My husband is Native Hawaiian and despite the fact that his dad was in the Army and that moved his family around a lot, he still managed to make it home to the islands as often as could. After meeting his family and learning more about the culture, I became enthralled with Hawai’i as well. In fact, most of my research in graduate school covered the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement. So Hawai’i seemed like the perfect place to take one last vacation before our life changes. Plus, we both loved the thought of him going to our beloved islands before he is even born.

This time around we decided to stay in Waikiki. Usually when we visit Oahu, we stay on the North Shore because there are far less tourists and that part of the island is usually more quiet. Waikiki made a bit more sense for us this trip because we didn’t want to rent a car and preferred to walk everywhere, which is something you really can’t do on the North Shore. We really lucked out too. For Waikiki in April, the crowds were not bad at all and the whole trip felt really peaceful and relaxing. Staying at this beautiful place didn’t hurt either…


Sheraton Moana Surfrider


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Built in 1901 and full of charm

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Loved sitting in those rocking chairs during the evening, feeling the cool breeze.
Plus people watching was ah-mazing.


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Gorgeous Banyan tree
This tree was originally planted in 1904 when it was only 7 feet tall.
Now it over 75 feet tall and spans the 150 ft. courtyard.


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Private beach with crystal clear water.
Fun fact about me: I was so scared of swimming as a kid that I would scream if you came next to me in the pool. I didn’t swim in the ocean until I was 16. Now, at almost 27, you can’t get me out of the ocean. Seriously, I could swim all day. I didn’t even freak out when a baby sea turtle swam up next to me.


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Clear view of Diamond Head


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With delicious fruity (non-alcoholic) beverages


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And a handsome husband


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Followed by the face most people made when they realized I was pregnant…in a bikini. The reaction made me laugh but I owned it.

Part II coming up tomorrow…

xo