Thursday, January 31, 2013

{Sky Turns Three}: Captain America Themed Birthday

     We've spent the last few days celebrating our Sky Boy's third birthday. This year, we kept it simple, with no formal birthday party, just lots of time with his family, simple decorations to make him feel special and lots and lots of Captain America. Brian had a few days off, so we spent his actual birthday at home stress-free bouncing around balloons with his brothers and playing make believe. The next day, we decided to take a little staycation into Waikiki. We drove into town in the evening, grabbed some dinner and stayed in a hotel. The next morning, we were ready to grab breakfast and spend the rest of the day at the Honolulu Zoo before we headed back home to the North Shore.
 It was just perfect.
     A few months back, we were browsing through Captain America things on YouTube and came across THIS VIDEO. Sky made it quite clear that this cake was the only thing he wanted for his birthday. Over the course of 2 days, I made my own marshmallow based fondant (for the first time ever) and seemed to accomplish a somewhat successful Captain America shield cake. If you've ever attempted the marshmallow fondant yourself and experienced the sheer claustrophobic sticky mess, you'll understand the feat I accomplished... all while holding a 20 pound chunky baby in one arm. 
It was well worth it.
    The little Cap' also got himself some shield pancakes. 
Waiting for his big brother to wake up. (Sky slept in until 10am)
Thanks for taking a peek into a few of the moments from our Sky's birthday celebration. 
My best,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{Breastfeeding in Style}: Nursing Clothes for Stylish Moms

Breastfeeding in Style: Spring 2013

NURSING BRA: Belabumbum
NECKLACE: Stella & Dot

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Well hello there,

    So this is me on a good day when I've been able to get dressed, spruce up my mug and actually look decent. The days are long over here, but the time is going by far too fast. I wanted to get all up close and personal, and thank you, my readers, for sticking through the bits of postings here and there. I know I shouldn't feel badly about it, but there are so many of you who have reached out through emails and comments and I have not been able to respond to them yet. It burdens my mind to leave these responses unrequited and I hope I can change this very soon.

 My very best,
It looks like it's re-set time, so if you're up for giving a vote on the Top Baby Blogs, I thank you for that as well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

{Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries}: Expression

My Dear Ocean Boy,
     It recently became painfully clear that you and I are living a somewhat hermit-like life. Yes, we live out in the Hawaiian "country", so as much as our days are filled with the hustle and bustle of our little family, you really do not see many people on a daily basis. You and I usually stay home getting things done around the house, go on short walks to the mail box and beach while your daddy takes your big brothers to do the errands around town. In the comfort of familiar faces, you are radiant and express so much love and curiosity for the people that surround you. You are smiley and giggly and busy and vocal. But lately, my sweet boy, every unfamiliar face and voice seems to clam you up. Any time we run into a friend out on our little stroll, as we are sitting there chatting, you suddenly turn on that furrowed brow... that leads to a baby frown and lastly to an all-out cry. I am starting to feel bad for not only you, but the lovely friends that are trying to make you feel comfortable by giving you coos and smiles. 
    Now I know this is likely just another stage. Many children go through times like these where they are more clingy and may have separation anxiety. But this is a little different than that. It feels more like you are simply uncomfortable and fearful around people you don't know. I worry that this behavior is not your true nature, more that it is a byproduct of the environment I've created for you. Writing this and pondering on it shows me that it's a necessity for me to give you more opportunities to interact with others, so that you can feel comfortable to be the true you. For us, this means that we need to pop you in your car seat (regardless of your protests) and GET OUT MORE. I need to hand you off to be held by others. I need to give you the chance to socialize and feel safe in other's arms. I want you to be relaxed in this diverse world we live in so that you are able to fully express your tender and jovial nature whenever and wherever it may take you. 
So here's to getting out more, my baby boy! 
Forever Your's,

This post is part of the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. {I am wearing the Pixie Baby Sling in Key Lime.}
previous entries :

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tobi Review

     So I have to share my new online shopping obsession. It's Tobi. Have you signed up for it yet? Well if not, it's a members only shopping boutique with the latest fashions and a pretty rad discount. As soon as you sign up, you can do that here, you just have to connect your facebook and you're in. As soon as you're in, you automatically get 50% off your entire order (with free shipping, even internationally. *restrictions apply). On top of that, all the new arrivals for the week are 30% off. This concept of new things on sale is genius. Every other retailer waits a period of time to put items on sale. Most often, you forget to check back or lose interest. This way, you get the new stuff for the discount that you want to pay. 
     Here are two of the things I got and LOVE. The Jacket, $82 has a sherpa vest that can be removed and so can the faux fur on the hood. This Sweater, $68 is super comfy and incredibly easy to breastfeed in. Remember, all the prices will be half the cost after you join.
     {Some other pieces I'm digging}

Tobi Love 2
H A P P Y   S H O P P I N G
With love,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{In the Kitchen Sink}

W A T E R- it seems to be the cure-all in this casa.
If I find myself with a fussy (usually bored)/ messy (he started baby led weaning) baby, I put aside any dirty dishes, do a little scrub down and get him in the sink. On a normal day, Ocean will be in there about five times.
If one of the other boys is hanging around, he will jump in too.
On this occasion, I got all of my three boys in our massive sink.
Ocean was over the moon and 
then my heart bursted at the seams.

Long live the country-style sink!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{Sponsor Highlight}: The Bradley's Breastfeeding Story

Today we get to hear from one of our Blog Sponsors, Elizabeth from The Bradleys! Elizabeth and her adorable family live the simple but full life in Scotland (so cool). 
Today, she wants to share how she and her 4 year old daughter ended up on their path of Child Led Weaning...

     Although I have always adored kids and was excited for my husband and I to have some one day, I was utterly terrified when I became pregnant. I was living in Los Angeles-the capital of beauty obsession- and both Billy and I had worked a little in TV. My priorities were totally lost, and thank goodness, I regained them once I gave birth. Up until that point however, I struggled with the changes my body and life were undergoing.
     When I finally gave birth, it was a total love affair. I couldn't think of anything but my daughter and her wellbeing. I was determined to nurse her and made that clear to all the nurses and staff. I also wasn't afraid to nurse her in public and did so discretely, whereever we went. I noticed right away how unpopular breastfeeding is in society, especially 'extended breastfeeding', which genetically speaking is what humans used to do. After researching the topic, I discovered how breastfeeding after age 2 and beyond had so many perks to it, both for bonding as well as for immune purposes.
     I was also very startled at the fact that where I spent a huge portion of my life, France, had the lowest rate of breastfeeding in Europe. I read a friend's blog where her pediatrician actually would mock her for doing it! And yet the WHO clearly states that breastfeeding is beneficial til two and beyond. Yet here we are in the West, with a culture that says ABSOLUTELY NOT, that it is obscene and even sexual. And sadly most MDs go along with this strange notion.
     Dr. Sears, an American pediatrician, has been outspoken regarding the research on long term breastfeeding:
I have read many medical journals with articles proving the long-term health benefits of breastfeeding. The incidence of many illnesses, both childhood and adult, are lowered by breastfeeding  -- diabetes, heart disease, and central nervous system degenerative disorders (such as multiple sclerosis) to name a few. The most fascinating studies show that the longer and more frequently a mom nurses her baby, the smarter her child is likely to become. The brain grows more during the first two years of life than any other time, nearly tripling in size from birth to two years of age. It's clearly a crucial time for brain development, and the intellectual advantage breastfed babies enjoy is attributed to the "smart fats" unique to mom's breast milk (namely, omega-3 fatty acid, also known as DHA).
     Our family falls into the category of what Sears and others call 'Attachment Parenting'. We co-sleep, practice child lead weaning and such. I love our lifestyle and feel it is right for us, but ultimately it's obvious that every family is different and that some folks may find it not right for them. I actually avoid many forums where pro attachmenting peeps basically insult non APing moms/Dads and vice versa. Why are people so defensive about parenting? I think that we APing families  have been under attack in the West ( it's not like this in indigenous cultures around the world, where it's the norm) for so long that we feel we need to defend our stance. We're a minority now. It's not culturally acceptable, and that's all that any of us want: respect for our decision and not a lecture. Time magazine's somewhat obnoxious cover that attempted to divide families with differing ideas on extended nursing worked to do just that.
From my personal observation regarding our daughter ( now nearly 5!) her immune system has earned her the title 'The Tank' by family. She rarely gets ill. This for us reaffirmed that what we were doing worked. Also, she views nursing as far more than just being a food source: to her it is the ultimate comfort. It has never failed to stop a tantrum. It helps her fall asleep. 
     I think no matter what age one chooses to nurse their child to, the benefits far outway the negative stigma that Western society preaches. I've spent time interviewing nurses, doctors, and lactivists of all varieties and everyone is on the same page regarding the immune benefits of nursing. All we can do now is get the word out about it, show how it's affecting our lives, and hope that more Moms ask us questions about our lifestyles so that we can share our journey with them. Just like I'm doing now :) 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dear Ocean:

This is when you were 
3  M O N T H S  O L D.
You are two months older as I type this. 
Your brothers are still sleeping in and I just got you back down for your morning cat nap. 
Did you know that you fall asleep to Cat Power's- I Found a Reason?
Well you do, and we put it on repeat really REALLY loudly when you scream in your car seat. 
That's about the only place you do not like to be. 
If we time it right, we get your brothers in their seats in the back row, strap you in your seat, turn on your Cat Power and your brothers sing to you until you doze off. 
It's a sweet moment for me and my heart does the cha-cha.
Well, you just popped your head up from your snooze 
and you are looking at me with the
 biggest grin in the
I love you forever,
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