Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This and that..

Wow! Its been over a month since I last blogged. Things are moving right along.

I just got back from a visit to KC, just me and the kids. Joe stayed in Hawaii to work.

We surprised my parents, which was very cool. They had no idea we were coming!

My Aunt, Grandma Gentry and 2 nieces were hanging out at my Mom's house when we arrived. They were sitting out on the back porch, and as we walked up the side of the house towards the back, I just set Hallie down and let her walk around the corner.

My Mom's jaw dropped, she kept saying "Hallie, Hallie Rose"??. Then Jalen and I came around the corner and said "surprise"! She jumped up and hugged us all.

Kayla(6) and Arlie(4) (my nieces) did not know we were coming either, so they were shocked to see us as well. They get to talk to us on the phone, and Skype from time to time, but to see us in person caught them off guard. It was amazing!

My Dad was still at work, so my Mom called him and said to come home when he was done with his last patient.

When he arrived home, finally, we were hiding in the back bedroom. Hallie and I hid behind the door, and Jalen just sat on his bed. When my Dad opened the door, all he saw was Jalen sitting there smiling.

He immediately dropped his head into his hands and started crying. He grabbed Jalen and hugged him for a very long time. He then hugged Hallie and I. They were both pleasantly surprised.

We ended up staying at their house the whole time, sleeping on an air mattress in the living room. It worked out great!

Hallie woke up in the mornings, and would go into my Moms room. She would climb up on her bed, eat Cheerios, watch TV, play with the dogs, and hide under the covers. By the end of the week she was getting pretty comfortable there.

I got to hang out with my awesome sister-in-laws, see my 4 nieces, my brothers and other family members.

We missed Joe a lot, but it sure felt good to see some familiar faces.

Since being back from KC, life is as usual. Jalen is doing well in school. He has a goal of straight A's. I told him if he reaches that goal, I will send him to KS to visit this summer, by himself! He is all about it.

Joe is busy working away at Century 21 All Islands. He is doing lots of open houses, sending out postcards, and other stuff to try and market himself. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished.

Hallie and I are staying busy going to playmates, the park, outdoor play, art, etc....She is an absolute JOY and I fall more in love with her everyday. Her little skinny butt is growing up so fast! I can't believe she is going to be two in a few months. Might be time to start thinking about adding another bundle of joy to our family..(wink, wink)

We just got back from a weekend getaway at the Hyatt hotel on the South side of Kauai. It was my gift to Joe for our 4 year wedding anniversary coming up in a few days.

We ate way to much food, got way to little sleep, and had a ton of fun! When we arrived home on Sunday afternoon, we all took a 3 hour nap.

We are all still loving Kauai and plan on staying here for a while. Not sure on an exact number, but long enough to let Joe have his hand at real estate and until we all are not liking it anymore, or I miss my family to much:)

Which, who knows, may be in a few months, may be in a few years, may never happen. We will see....

I just found out today that I am going to be an aunt for the 5th time!

My brother, Casey, and his wife Rachel are going to have yet another Baker cutie! I'm so excited!

Rachel is the most cutest pregnant girl ever, she does home birth, extended breast feeding, I could go on forever...shes awesome! Finley and Scarlet are going to be big sisters!!!!!

Well, I guess that's all for now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

End of an era

Its the end of an era.

Change isn't always easy, but its inevitable and so we must choose..

Do we want to resist change, dwell on it and wish it wasn't happening?...

Or do we "go with the flow", so to speak. Embrace change and move on?

Its not always easy to embrace change, but I'm learning its a must.

Yesterday was the last bottle of "mommy milk", Hallie will get from me.

Its been 20 awesome months of being able to breast feed her for almost 3 months, gather and give her donor milk, and then to pump my own milk for her, daily.

It is time.

My pump is malfunctioning, I have a little cut on my boob which hurts when I pump, and being that she is 20 months old tomorrow, we feel the time has come.

I think if I was breast feeding, not pumping, I would not stop at this point in time.

However, the pump is much less convenient, loud, and like I said, its being a piece of crap!

I feel like the signs are telling me, its OK to stop now.

I am sad to stop producing "mommy milk" for Hallie Rose.

I think one of the hardest parts is that she is now at an age where she knows the difference between her "mommy milk", and her coconut milk.

She gets SO excited when she sees me start to pump.

She runs over and grabs her bottle as fast as she can, and brings it to me wanting my milk.

She then proceeds to dance around, happily, until I fill up enough to give her a few ounces.

The sounds "mmmmm, mmmmm", are heard coming from her as she drinks it in 2.5 seconds!

She then signs for "more", with the word "mommy" being said after it.

As to ask for "mommy milk".

Point being, she LOVES my milk, as she should.

Its the most natural, sweet, yumminess she could or should want at this age.

So, its a bitter sweet ending to my long journey of induced lactation.

I'm happy to be done with that freaking pump, but I wish I could continue giving Hallie something she loves so much.

I feel very blessed and grateful that God instilled in me, or I manifested, or both.....

the *determination and knowledge*, to give my child such a wonderful gift.

Hallie Rose, Mommy loves you and I would do anything for you!..my sweet baby girl.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Our awesome Valentine's Day! (and a little bit of potty talk)

Our very first Valentine's Day on Kauai was a great one!

The night before, when Joe, Jalen and Hallie were sleeping, I set up all their gifts I got them on the kitchen table. 

I made it look all pretty, and Valentine's dayish. 

They each got a bar of homemade soap, and then each got another small gift from me. 

I got Joe these really cool letters made out of horseshoe's..they read J (heart) C.

Jalen got a new hat from a local surf shop, and some Fruity Pepples cereal. He has been wanting it for a long time, and since we do not typically buy sugary cereal, I figured I would treat him. 

He finished the box in less than a week, so I think he was loving it!

And Hallie Rose got an electric toothbrush that has Barbie on it. She loves to play with mine, so I thought I would encourage teeth brushing by getting her one of her own. 

The next morning, when Hallie and I woke up, Joe had decorated the kitchen counter top with pink and red roses(my favorite), red tulips for Hallie, and my phone was sitting there with a post it that read "press play".

When I opened up my phone and pressed play, "Love Song" by Adele played. 

Hallie and I danced to the beautiful tune, while basking in the love surrounding us.

We then went about our day as planned, which consisted of toddler class at the library, playing at the park, and tending to my other domestic duties. 

I dressed her in a cute t-shirt with hearts on it, and let her pick out her diaper that day. 

She chose red. 

She also insisted on wearing her pink Ugg boots, so she looked very cute to say the least.

Later that day, we picked Jalen up from the bus stop, and waited for Dad to come home from work. 

He came home early, and was prepared to cook us all a yummy Valentine's meal. 

Fish from Hanalei Dolphin, brown rice, and salad. 

I also made an ice cream cake, which we enjoyed after our dinner.

It was a great day, filled with love. 

A few days after V-day, Hallie started something new....

She is going potty in the toilet!

We still put a diaper on her, but she can pretty much go pee "on command". 

She thinks its pretty cool to sit up on the toilet, so we have been having her go often. 

We cheer and praise her each time she goes. 

She runs around naked alot, so I think that has helped in her realizing whats going on "down there". 

I cant believe my little baby is going potty in the toilet already!

Everyone says "they grow up so fast", which is SO true!

I also can't believe my first baby is going to be 13 in a couple of weeks. 

We got him something really cool, but I wont say yet what it is. 

He is flying to Ohau with the Island School Olympaids team on March 3rd(his b-day) to compete against other schools in the state of Hawaii.

I am such a proud Mommy and wife. 

I am blessed beyond belief, and feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful little family unit. 

I love them more than anyone or anything in the entire world. 

They are my life, my love, my heart, and happiness. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 2012

Poor little Hallie Rosebud:(

She is not feeling herself the past few days.

Her last big molar is getting ready to pop through, and so I'm thinking this is what has caused the runny nose and slight cough.

She is sleeping more than normal during the day, but not near as well at night.

We finally got her off the night bottles, which has helped us all get more sleep.

It only took a night or two of her waking up, wanting it, fussing and falling back to sleep.

She now sleeps from about 9 or 10pm until around 6 am. It is so nice.

She has been saying more words lately.

She likes to pretend like she is talking on the phone, and will just jibber jabber. It is the cutest thing ever!

She can say "mama, mommy, daddy, bye, up", and tries to repeat things we tell her to.

She can point to every body part we ask of her, including her chin, elbow, knees, back(tries), eyebrows, and cheeks.

Her favorite food right now is quinoa, blueberries, and shredded non-dairy cheese.

She also is loving nuts (almonds, macademia, and walnuts). I crush them up and she gobbles them right up.

She loves the green Naked(brand) juice sold in stores.

We go on a morning walk almost every morning, and she likes to see the horses.

Joe started his job this week at Century 21 Real Estate, and is loving it!

He is already getting to go look at houses, and even got to be a part of a contract write up on his first day.

I am so happy for him, and I just know he is going to do great things in his line of work.

Jalen is doing good also. He still likes school a lot, and is striving to get all A's this trimester.

We told him if he succeeded in doing so, his reward would be that he gets to miss school for a day and go do anything he wants, within reason.

He recently competed in the Science Olympiads for his school. They came in 2nd place, and will go to Ohau for the state competition on his 13th birthday, March 3rd.

We are still loving life here, and have pretty much decided we do not want to leave.

It is my goal to be here part of the year, and be back in Kansas for part of the year.

We will probably continue to rent out our house on Slater, and keep the 80th street house for us.

My awesome brother Zach, who lives there now, will continue to live there while in Chiropractic school, and that way we have a place to call home when we return to Kansas.

I will be going back to Kansas more often than Joe, since he will be working.

I would like to spend at least a couple weeks, if not a month at a time there.

It is very important to Joe and I that our little family of 4 is happy where we are living, and enjoying life to the fullest. We feel we have that here in Hawaii.

There is so much to see and do and are a lot of "like minded" people here, which is a bonus and feels great!

It is also just as important to us that we keep in close contact with our family back in Kansas, and that our kids are raised around their Grandparents and cousins.

So, in an ideal world, we will be able to have both.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1st stroller ride, but still gonna wear this little girl

Babywearing is a term used when a caregiver, Mom or Dad or whomever, carries a baby or child in a sling/backpack/carrier of some sort which is attached to the caretakers body.

This practice is used by many who believe that their child is happier, cries less and it actually makes things easier for the caretaker to get things done with the child strapped in.

From day 1 of meeting little Sugar Bear, I put her on my chest.

We then wrapped her in a sling to carry her throughout the house, on outings, to help her fall asleep or whenever she needed to feel love and secure.

Babywearing has worked wonders for us! It really does keep you connected to your child in a way like no other.

The research shows that babies who are held often:

cry less
are more calm and content
sleep more peacefully
nurse better, gain weight better
enjoy better digestion(from being upright)
develop better(from the stimulation of human touch)

Weather it is to go on a walk, or doing household chores, the sling is the best place for my baby girl.

Up until now.....Its time to try the stroller......

The reason we finally decided to invest in a stroller was, I wanted to be able to exercise in the mornings when Joe is not home to watch her.

We felt like Hallie was old enough to understand the concept of us pushing her around, and also felt her brain was developed enough for the ride, so we purchased a jogging stroller from a garage sale for only $25!

The first time we put her in it, her Daddy took her for a ride around the yard.

He showed her the beautiful flowers, trees, and fruits on our property.

After their ride, he got Hallie out, and she kept signing "more"..

She loved it!

We now go on walks just about everyday.

She lasts about 30 minutes, until she starts pulling on the straps and wanting out.

Sometimes we take the Ergo baby carrier with us on our walks, and when she gets sick of the stroller, I put her in the sling and push an empty stroller.

I'm sure the cars driving by think I'm crazy, but that's totally fine by me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas 2011!!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

My family and I enjoyed our low key, laid back, Hawaiian Christmas.

I am so proud of Jalen for his performance as the narrator in the Christmas program at church.

He spoke so well, and got many compliments afterwards.

Santa was there to greet the kiddos, which Hallie was not a fan of.

She gave one look up at him, and started crying.

The outfit she has on was extra special. It was picked out by her Daddy, and was mine when I was a little girl.

Christmas Eve morning, we went and had a great brunch at the St Regis Hotel here in Princeville.

It was fun to feel like we were out of town.

We got to sit outside, with a beautiful view of the mountains and the blue ocean.

Little birdies were chirping all around us, and the service was phenomenal.

About half way into our breakfast, Jalen noticed 2 famous guys sitting right next to us.

It was 2 of the Jonas Brothers, a pop band.

I snapped a pic, and they were off...

We enjoyed the buffet, which was filled with fresh Hawaiian fruits, breads, muffins, rice, potatoes, an omelet station, pancake/waffle station, bacon, sausage, and much more!

After the wonderful brunch, we went home and put little Sugar Bear down for a nap.

While she slept, I had to go run and pick up the big present I got for Jalen and Joe.

I headed into the town of Hanalei, where we do most of our shopping and hanging out.

I couldn't believe how busy it was!

There were people everywhere, laughing, conversing, dancing, and just having a good ol' time!

After I picked up the rather large gift, I called Jalen to see if he wanted me to come pick him up so he could come down to Hanalei to hang out.

He did, so I went and got him.

We sat outside, and listened to the Hawaiian band playing, and did a little shopping.

Joe text when Hallie woke up, and they headed down to meet up with us.

Later that evening, we enjoyed a spread of appetizers, and chocolate fondue for dessert.

We let Jalen open 1 gift, as that is a tradition, and he NEVER forgets..

He opened the gift from Kelly, Jamie, Kayla, and Arlie.

It was a dog tag necklace, he liked it a lot.

After setting out milk and cookies for Santa, and water for the reindeer (hehe--Jalens idea), we sent Jalen to bed, and put Hallie Rose down as well.

Joe and I hung out for a while, then we were off to bed.

The next morning, we got a text from Jalen, asking if we were up, and if he could come out of his room.

He, of course, was anxious to see what "Santa" had brought him, and wanted to open the rest of his presents.

He got a surf board, ukulele, 3 prong spear fishing pole, new knife, and more..

Hallie wasn't so into it this year.

She wanted to just play around as we all opened gifts.

She got her very first baby doll, a stuffed doggie purse which we named "Rosie", and a few other little items.

Joe had the kids make me a jewelry box, which I absolutely LOVE!

Jalen made it all himself, glued, sanded and painted it.

Then he had both the kids put their hand prints on the inside.

To go along with the jewelry box, he got me a beautiful pair of earrings. They have a little plumeria flower hanging from them, and are white gold.

I got him and Jalen a mini motorcycle, which is a fixer upper, so it will be a project for them to work on together, as well as have fun riding it up and down our street.

I also got Joe a Go Pro camera, and a pair of reef flip-flops.

I would say we all did pretty well this year:)

After the gift opening, I made cinnamon rolls.

We ate them up, and played around the house.

The Christmas music was on, the sun was shining, and we were thoroughly enjoying our first Christmas in Hawaii, as a family of 4..

Later that evening, we were supposed to have a fish dinner with mashed potatoes and cheesy corn bake.

We decided we were too full, and wanted to wait until the next night to do our dinner.

We headed down to Hanalei Bay beach to hang out and make a fire.

There were a lot of people at the beach, all happy and cheerful.

We wrapped up our night around 8, and headed home to relax and go to bed.

We all feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be living in Hawaii, spend Christmas here as a family, and bond like never before.

We pinch ourselves everyday, and thank God for all the wonderful blessings he has given to our family.