Sunday, June 28, 2009

A perfect summer day...

This past Friday, June 26th, I met up with some members of my family to go on a fabulous summer outing! I had asked my brother a few weeks ago if he would take us to Blake Island on his boat to spend the day and cook foil dinners to eat for supper. He graciously agreed and we picked one of the few Fridays that we were all available. After many cloudy, cold, and rainy days in a row, we woke up to an incredible, sunny day on the 26th! How lucky were we?! However, in addition to it being a beautiful day, it also had one of the lowest tides on record for the season. So, after my mom, sis-in-law Rebs and her two kids, Chris and his four children, and Lia and I met up at the boat launch in Manchester, we discovered that we couldn't launch the boat because the tide was soooo low! Whoopsies. So, we ended up spending THREE HOURS at the beach by the launch before hopping in the boat and heading over. But, amazingly enough, it went really quickly for all of us. The children were absolutely fascinated by all of the sea life that were exposed due the low tide and enjoyed beach combing for hours. On the other hand, Lia, discovered a new past time of playing in the sand. We situated her between two logs on the beach and she busied herself for seriously two entire hours while pouring sand in and taking it out of a pail with a little shovel. It was unreal....especially considering the fact that she never tried to eat any of it once! What a little angel she is! At about 5 pm, the water line was finally high enough, so we launched the boat and headed over to Blake Island. We then spent three wonderful hours over there. The Puget Sound was glass, the sun was sparkling off the water, the temperature was perfect, and the beach was barely populated with campers. It was simply one of those days that I never wanted to end. After playing on the beach and eating our foil dinners and banana boats made over the fire, we sadly packed up and headed back in order to catch the 8:30 pm ferry back to West Seattle. Thank you, Tip, for a perfect summer day!

A view of the Seattle skyline and Blake Island from the boat launch.

This photo shows how low the tide was when I first arrived at the boat launch. By the time we got back at 8 pm, the water was probably 15-20 feet deep at the end of the pier.

My brother (the once-aspiring-marine-biologist-turned-dentist) combing the unusually low waters off of the dock. He found many large rock and spider crabs that drew in a local crowd and helped to pass the time.

Lia sitting in her "log chair" working on her multi-hour sand project! Very important business.

The above photos display the funniest thing that happened all day! My 2-year old nephew, Riley, found a cozy place to settle into during low tide: the muck at the edge of the water. Seeing as though it was two hours past his nap time, he laid down there and splashed in the stream that was flowing under him for quite some time before actually FALLING ASLEEP! I kid you not! The poor, little thing. However, things really got funny when the water line slowly started approaching him as the tide was rising. He actually managed to sleep through the salt water coming and going under his face for several minutes before my brother picked him up and moved him to higher and drier ground. Oh, to have the sleeping abilities of a two-year old again!

Lia, me, and the wind on the boat ride over to Blake Island.

Lia and her older cousin, Brynn, playing in the sand at Blake Island. What a beautiful day!

Some cousin fun on the left and mommy and daughter on the right before heading back home.

Monday, June 22, 2009

16-Month Stats...

Well, the big 1-6 rolled around the corner today. Li Li is 16-months old. Why does this keep on happening? I just can't control this aging thing. Anyways, in keeping with tradition, here is what she has been up to the past month of her life. Note: for those who like the brief, shortened version of things, this post is not for you.

1. Lia has been very busy in the land of language acquisition this past month. She has added a whole new slew of words to her word bag. Here they are in no particular order: car, ball, duck, juice (used to refer to juice or milk), grape, eat, flower, night night, and she can roar like a lion and scream like a monkey. I'm most proud of the last two.
2. She is absolutely in LOVE with her dolls. We bought her two little ones at the grocery store the other week and she immediately took to them while still in the shopping cart. She started calling them "baby" and holding and cuddling them right away. How did she automatically know to do that? I tell ya, those motherly instincts. Anyways, since that day, she can't stop saying "baby" and can't get enough of those two dolls. They are currently the center of her universe and go with her everywhere (including the high chair they are now covered with strawberry stains and smell like the cider vinegar water that her cucumber chunks soak in....lovely).
3. The shoe fascination continues. I'd say that they are a close runner-up to the dolls. She also says "shoe" all of the time and insists on wearing a pair (and sometimes carrying another pair) all the time. Putting shoes on is the first item of business in the morning after getting out of her crib. And, yes, she still sleeps with a pair from time to time. The worst aspect of this obsession is the fact that Lia has now made our shoes part of it. If we have a pair lying around the house, she will sniff them out and bring them to us to put on. Even if we are already wearing another pair, she sometimes insists that we change pairs with the one she is currently holding.'s all getting a little too complicated for me....especially since this is a house where shoes are not allowed!
4. She has now gotten comfortable enough with walking that running has started to come into play. Lia is not super proficient with it yet, so taking big spills occur on a regular basis. She also loves how her walking and running sounds while wearing shoes on hard floors. As a result, she has invented this cute, little dance that she does back and forth on her feet while wearing them.
5. Since the weather has been nice and sunny most of June, the deck has become her place of choice. It is like a big, over sized play pen for her and she loves to be out there doing this, that, and the other thing!
6. Also with the arrival of the warm weather has come the daily chore of watering. Lia is my watering assistant and follows me all over the yard. She is fascinated with it and insists that I water her hand between every other plant or flower. It definately slows down the process and makes for a very wet girl by the end, but it sure is cute!
7. Food update: Good news....Lia's aversion to dinner foods and vegetables have taken a bit of a vacation this past month. She has started eating some of our dinner dishes again and even surprised us by popping a few veggies in her mouth including broccoli, olives, corn, and roasted tomatoes. Hooray! I won't hold my breath, though, as she has also become an expert in gobbling up one type of food one day and then refusing the exact same thing the very next day! Ugh. However, I must add that Ron has just discovered the ultimate weapon to combat this pickiness....feeding "baby" first. Since Lia's bigger doll is almost always on the food tray during meal time, it is quite convenient to "feed" her first before feeding Lia the same spoonful. And, it actually works. Our daughter is a big fan of this and so are we!
8. She popped her first three molars this past month without us even noticing. It wasn't til quite some time later that I saw all three while she was doing that open-mouth-crying thing. Good girl for not making a peep!
9. This is a favorite of mine--she has started walking up to me and hugging my back whenever I am on the floor doing something. She thinks it is the funniest thing and makes this cute noise while hugging me.
10. This is not a favorite of mine--Lia has also started wining and pointing when she wants something. But, here's the kicker, half the time the something that she wants is on the floor a foot a way from her! So, I find myself saying the phrase, "Well, get it!", all the time now.
11. This one is adorable as it demonstrates her dainty, careful side. Now when she is holding something, but wants something else, she will carefully set down the item on the floor before picking up the newly desired one. I especially love this when she is discarding her sippy cup for something a result, the contents of the sippy cup don't end up all over my floor.
12. Lia is giving the dog whisperer a run for his money. Watch out Cesar! She is still fascinated with dogs this month and can hear one barking from miles away (well, slight exaggeration....but, you get my point!). She will start barking back or say "dog" before I have even realized that one was barking way off in the distance. It's quite remarkable. The problem with these super-sonar-radar ears of hers is that she sometimes mistakes things like cawing crows or sneezing neighbors for dogs.
13. She makes this cute, "Ahhhhhhh," noise whenever she discovers something new or something she has seen a million times but suddenly likes a lot!
14. Since removing the safety gate that is found at the bottom of our stairs last week, Lia has found a perfect chair for her height in the bottom step. She will quietly disappear at certain times throughout the day to just take a break and sit on it. She especially likes to do this while sipping her "juice." If it has been silent for a minute or two and I can't find her anywhere in the kitchen or family room, I now know where to look.
15. And, last but not least (we're almost done here), Lia has taken to doing funny things with her face and head. She has started making this funny face where she lifts up her chin and scrunches her eyes and mouth. And, lastly, she now will shake her head up and down and side to side whenever she is first placed in the crib and the paci is inserted in her mouth. Where does she come up with this stuff?

Here are a few pics from the last week or two....

Lia throwing one of her 3-second tantrums on the porch. It ended the second I snapped the picture.

The queen and her kingdom (please note the doll and ball in her hands).

A funny close-up I took while trying to get a different picture of her. Look at them baby blues!

Live proof of Lia and her "new chair" located at the bottom of our stairs. Sometimes this new chair doubles as a Lazy Boy recliner as demonstrated by the photo on the right. Please also note the random items that Lia discovers around the house and likes to wear around her neck: her father's ID badge from work and the tacky, knitted lei we received on our honeymoon in Hawaii.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day, RWH!

Since the big day to honor and celebrate fatherhood is tomorrow, this entry is dedicated to the man in my life and the father of my child! So, in no particular order, here are twenty reasons why I love my husband:

1. He will eat the leftovers that I no longer want (but refuse to throw away).
2. He does the weekly grocery shopping for the family when I can't/don't want to (this is blessing to me as I HATE shopping).
3. He loves, loves, loves our daughter.
4. He is the wittiest guy west of the Mississippi.
5. He loves to eat with the small spoons from our everyday set (leaving the large, soup spoons behind for me and my big mouth).
6. He works extremely hard at his job and excels at it!
7. His sexy tattoos (my good friend, Emily, once described them as "dirty hot"...has something to do with the same look Captain Jack Sparrow sports).
8. He loves garage saling and saving money.
9. He mows the lawn.
10. 99% of the time we are bugged by the same things people do.
11. He makes me laugh.
12. He can figure out how to fix things and make things with little to no prior training. How does he do that?!
13. Thanks to Vince Vaughn and a dozen lemons, his motto in life concerning me is, "What my baby wants, my baby gets." Thank you very much!
14. He actually understands and gets along with my father. Enough said.
15. His patience. He can give Job a run for his money.
16. He shares two of my greatest passions: eating and sleeping.
17. He completely changed his life at age 35 and joined the LDS church. What a guy.
18. He lets me be completely in charge of two things in our household that I am a bit obsessive about: the calendar and the finances.
19. He lets me be me.
20. He holds my hand in church.

Happy Father's Day, RWH! I love your guts!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What would I do.....

if I didn't have my daughter to mow the deck?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberry Math






Two batches down, only TEN more to go!

***Thanks, mom, for taking me to your favorite berry farm to pick yesterday and for spending the day with me. You truly are the best!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Cause for Celebration!

Well, there is cause for a little celebration in the Hartland today. Why you may ask? Today was my last day of work kicking off three whole months that my little one and I get to be together! Although nothing compares to the doozie of the school year I had last year, both my housewife-envy and I are ready for a break! This working mom thing is for the birds!

Although substitute teaching has had its pros and cons this year, I am grateful for the flexibility that comes with this job and the opportunity it gave me to do my part in helping to make ends meet. Just some quick facts for the record: I subbed in two districts this year covering classrooms that ranged in age from preschool to 12th grade. I worked a total of 89 days at exactly FORTY different schools (no wonder I had a hard time remembering where I was half way through the school day by June). Memorable moments (that could be viewed as highlights or lowlights) include dissecting minks in anatomy class, swimming in the PHS pool with a special ed class, being picked up on by various HS boys, and providing an impromptu seminar during lunch to a pregnant 16-year old on "What to Expect During Labor and Delivery" after learning that she didn't know a single thing about it! Ahhhh! I would have to say that the most enjoyable moment I had all year was during the lunch break that I spent on a gorgeous day in May walking down memory lane through the hallways of my beloved alma mater before it gets torn down (please see "IHS Updates" in my list of blogs for an explanation). Fifteen years later, memories still brought back some nostalgic feelings and a few smiles to my face.

But, now it's on to summer! We're off to eat Greek to celebrate!

P.S. In case you are wondering why my husband's name is absent from any summer celebrating, it is due to the fact that he starts his second masters program at UW the very day after his "work school" gets out. The poor guy. He will be going to school full-time this summer. No fun for him or us!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Introduction...

Today while Lia and I were outside attending to our daily chore of watering the flower pots and garden boxes, we accidentally stumbled across a sneak peak of things to come....

We discovered that a few succulent orbs of delightsomeness have already made their way onto the mother vines. So, please allow me to introduce you to my new friends:

The sassy strawberries.

Mr. Zucchini.

The Yellow Squash Family.

Tom & Terry Tomato.

My stomach and I can't wait to get to know these friends over the weeks and months to come. My mouth is already watering....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Girl and her Shoes...

It's probably due to the fact that I once saw her through a set of ornate, red glass doors in a Chinese restaurant years ago while on vacation with my family in Honolulu, that I have never forgotten about Imelda Marcos and her 2,000 pairs of shoes. Now, I think that I might be currently raising my own little Imelda (I guess it's appropriate seeing that Lia is a quarter Filipino). This girl loves her shoes. She just can't get enough of them. They are her toy of choice. When not on her feet, she must have them in her hands....whether it's simply carrying them from point A to point B or playing with them as if they are a doll. She even insisted on bringing them to bed with her the other night. So, this morning, I decided to create a little slice of shoe heaven for Lia and dumped her entire collection of size 4-6 hand-me-down shoes all around her and let her go at it. She was so thrilled, she didn't even know where to begin......

***Author's note: Just so you don't think that I grew up hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, I wanted to throw in this one little disclaimer. I was raised in the ultimate Motel 6 family and we always travelled on a shoestring. So, you may be wondering why I was dining at the same restaurant as the former 1st Lady of the Philippines.....well, it was only due to the fact that my father's friend (whose name is Nephi Lehi Ohai--how cool is that?!) treated my family that evening at a restaurant of his choice. I will never forget the $100 Peking duck he ordered!