Friday, August 28, 2009

My Official Toddler

He's all over the place... all the time.

And I think screaming must help his balance because he does that all the time too.

It Pays to be Small

There are a few advantages to having a small baby. I've decided to embrace this part of Jay because it honestly has saved us a ton of money. How you might ask? I'll give you two examples:

#1) Clothing. See these pants...
He wore the same ones when he was three months old! Now they are more like capris or long shorts. I'm glad I bought a lot of cute clothes for that age cuz I'm still using a lot of them!

#2) Toys. Well actually just one.. toy. His swing. Jay started "growing" out of his swing when he was 5 months old.... or so we thought. We put it away and lent it to Rick and Katie but their baby didn't like it. They gave it back to us last night. I was trying to figure out where to store it when I decided that it would be fun to see what Jay thought of it. (Since he hasn't seen the thing in eight months.) Well see for yourself:
They took a nap together.
He's a little long for it but way under the weight limit. I guess you can take the boy out of the swing but you can't take the swing out of the boy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Back

Spent: $1.87
Saved: $43.65

Man it feels good to go coupon shopping again! I took a couple months off for a few reasons: #1) We were saving for Hawaii, so we really didn't buy much of anything other than milk and produce. #2) I didn't need to stock up anymore. I haven't had to buy toilet paper in 4 months and I still have an entire package left. I still have diapers left from the Huggies sale almost six months ago. I have enough tooth paste, shave gel, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, kleenex, razors, deodorant, soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning products and ziploc bags to last me another year! I don't think I ever realized how much of a blessing this would be in my life.

Now for the details... this was all pretty much from the kraft sale at Albertsons. It's pretty easy. You spend $25 and even without any coupons, you get a $20 mail in rebate and $5 off your next purchase. FREE FOOD PEOPLE!! The cereal was another sale. Spend $10 on Post Selects and get $4 off instantly and then $3 off your next purchase. I wasn't thinking though and I got Honey Bunches of Oats. (Which gives you $4 off but not the $3 catalina) I only got a $1 catalina for buying 2 Post Selects. It's complicated but I could have only spent $0.87 if I had bought the different cereal.

(As for my coupon blog... I'll be updating it now whenever I do go coupon shopping. I didn't give up on it. I just took a break.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's About Time...Hawaii!!

Speaking of time... don't start reading this post unless you have plenty of it. But technically this is your fault. Yes, you the reader. That's right... you kept asking for it, forcing me to narrow down 17 days and over 1200 pictures into one very long post. Enjoy.

On July 11th (through the 27th) Joe's family ALL went to Hawaii. We went to three different islands: Oahu, The Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. We spent 5 days on Oahu and 5 on the Big Island. Then we spent an entire week on Kauai, which turned out to be my favorite anyway.

Instead of doing a day by day travel log (which would really bore you) I'm just going to tell you the highlights... which might only kind of bore you:

The Beaches and Beautiful Vistas
(Pounder's Beach, Oahu) (Waimanalo Beach, Oahu) (A secret beach, Kauai) In order to get to the above beach you must first risk your life. You park in a tiny parking lot that will fit maybe 8 cars. Then walk in between two fences until you see this: Doesn't look too scary to you? Well here's a small taste of how steep the climb is: I could barely make it with just my camera case. Joe had Jay on his back and Rick carried a car seat the entire way! Crazy boys!

This is what you see if you look through those two fences on the way to the above beach:
I expected to see Brad Pitt lounging here, but no such luck.

(The end of the road in Kohala, The Big Island)
(Spencer Beach Park, The Big Island) (Overlooking Hanalei, Kauai)
The Food
We ate a lot of yummy food. I mean a lot. I gained like 7 pounds. Anyhow, I was introduced to Malasadas (a bit like an eclair or filled doughnut) YUM. We ate shrimp and pineapple and rice and kalua pig and crab sandwiches and snowcones galore.

Some of the food was not so good though... here's Joe eating squid:

Jay got to experience a few new things. Here he is eating an Okinawan orange:

Cool Plants
(Bird of Paradise)
(really big leaves... that's technical I know)
Check out the roots on this tree...
(no idea... but pretty huh?)
This is actually a flower!
(nicknamed the fox face)
(again... no idea)

The People
First off Joe's relatives are adorable. I fell in love with this one:
His name is Shintoku. He's one of Joe's Grandmother's brothers. You should hear him talk. I wanted to bring him home with me.

The Hawaiian people are pretty amazing too. It seems like they all have some craft that they do. They are everywhere weaving hats or bowls or making leis and they are so nice.

The Waterfalls
There are a ton of waterfalls in Hawaii... especially when it is raining hard. You can look up into the mountains and see a dozen of them.
(Rainbow Falls, The Big Island) (Akaka Falls, The Big Island)

Beautiful Temples
The road to the Laie Temple on Oahu is so gorgeous.
Maybe if we lined Cole Rd. with palm trees it would increase temple attendence.

Our first day in Hawaii we went to the Valley of the Temples on Oahu. It was amazing. It's this valley full of temples (duh) and graveyards. This is a Japanese temple:

The Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu
This was one of my favorite parts of our trip. This place is sooo cool. Basically students from BYU-Hawaii work their way through school by sharing their culture. There are performers from Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Aotearoa, and Samoa. I think I got them all. The best shows are Samoa and Tonga. So funny. I was the most excited to see the tree climbers:
Cute kids!... and brave.

The Dole Pineapple Plantation, Oahu
This was cool to say that we went but there's not a ton to see.
Jay and Ailee being pineapples:
Looking back, I don't know why this was so cool. The Hawaiians must get a kick out of this.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu
I'm very glad we went here. There is a reverence about this place. I loved it. They take you in to watch a short movie about the bombing before taking you on a boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial. They ask you to whisper if you have to talk.

While we were there a group of kids came dressed in navy uniforms. Apparently it's like the scouts there. The coast guard puts it on and they get to wear real uniforms. I don't know if I was supposed to but I snuck inside to get a picture of them reading the names because it was so symbolic.

The Lava Flow, The Big Island

We went to see the lava flow into the ocean but because of how unpredictable the ploom was being, we couldn't get very close. This is what we saw: It was still awesome though. First we had to drive over all this lava rock for a mile or two. (People actually live on top of it by the way! Crazy I say!) Anyhow then you had to park your car in reverse! This was for a smoother evacuation in case of an emergency! Again, crazy. Then you had to hike, following a marked path across more lava rock that had been deemed safe by some authoritative group of people. (?) And then you stood in a roped off section, far from any danger and watched a ploom of steam rise into the air. The greatest part was the rainbow though.
This made the whole trip worth it. I have never seen a complete rainbow before and it was so bright. There was actually even a second rainbow right above it for a while. But the most incredible thing was how the rainbow ended right in the middle of the ocean! And the water reflected it right to the shore!

I learned to snorkel! The first time the water was really cloudy and I was kinda scared and motion sick. Then we went to some clearer places which were more fun. It was still scary though. We even saw eels fighting right in front of us!

Cute Daddy/Jay Times
It was great to see Joe and Jay together so much.
(Spencer Beach Park, The Big Island)
Jay was terrified of the ocean for most of the time we were there.
(Tunnels Beach, Kauai)
(Coconut MarketPlace, Kauai)
This picture makes me laugh because this was the day the boys were supposed to go golfing. It ended up raining so hard that they couldn't go. So instead they went shopping with the girls... don't they look so excited to be watching the kids while we shop? Poor guys.

Queen's Bath, Kauai

This is a neat place where the lava rock has formed into natural pools and inlets that you can swim in or jump in. But it's kinda dangerous: In case you can't read this sign, it says, "Queen's Bath Drownings (with 28 hash marks). Unexpected large waves will knock you off rocks and sweep you out to sea!" Fun huh? And on top of all the "we-could-get-killed adrenaline", we got to see a lot of sea turtles too.
Joe and Rick jumped from some pretty high rocks. I got it on video and I'll probably post it later.

Nice Lodging
We were lucky and got to stay in really nice places the whole time we were there. This was our condo in Kauai:
And this was the view from our balcony:

The best part of the trip was being all together as Brady's. The Kise Reunion (Joe's Grandma's Family) was so fun and they are the cutest Japanese people in the world.
The entire posterity of Joe's Grandparents was there. It might never happen again and it was so special to be part of.

In conclusion, Hawaii was all that I hoped for and more. I would live there forever if it weren't for the many geccos and bugs and if my hair didn't continue to grow from the minute I got out of the shower. (Hence why there are so few pictures of me from this trip.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jay Walked!

So a little over a month ago Jay started standing on his own, without holding on to anything, and he would even attempt moving forward.... which usually ended badly but not so much that he would stop trying... well until this happened in Hawaii...
OUCH!! Poor kid. I still think it's hilarious though which probably makes me a really bad mom. Anyway, after that fall he wouldn't even try! For weeks he refused to even stand or would sit if you tried to make him walk. Then yesterday he took a step again! Yeah! And today he took about 4-5 in a row all by himself. I looked over at him and he was just standing in the middle of the living room for a LONG time. Then he took off. He fell over after that many steps but at least he tried! Good job Jay!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Next Year I'm Pushing For Big Bird!

So we finally had Jay's birthday party yesterday... only a few days late and he'll never know. Saturday night I was all geared up to make the most awesome dairy-free Elmo cake the world has ever seen. I baked the cake and the recipe was actually quite good. (Vegan Margerine. Who knew?) Anyhow the trouble came when it was time to make the red frosting for Elmo's fur. Why didn't someone tell me there was such a thing as frosting dye? I've been using food coloring my whole life! Needless to say a bottle and a half of food coloring later, I had myself a bowl of bright red soup! I tried to thicken it up with corn starch and powdered sugar but to little avail... Elmo was melting right before my eyes. I finally stuck the remaining frosting in the freezer and later frosted over my messy friend with a spatula. It took me until 2:00 a.m to fix him but he turned out okay considering.After a serious nap Sunday afternoon, we met over at Rick and Katie's house for the party. Joe's parents and grandparents came (and Rick and Katie of course) and my parents and Eric and Teresa came. I love when both families are together. Jay got some great presents including some cute clothes, toys, Mariners sippy cups and spoons, money from great-grandparents, videos, and the most annoying kitty cat and phone toys ever! It is a tradition in my family to pass these two toys along to whichever grandkid is turning one. The kids LOVE them but they are soooo obnoxious. As soon as the next grandkid turns one, he/she gets their turn with the toys... much to the relief of the previous owner's parents. The only problem is that the next grandkid to turn one is nine months away! Lucky us.

Here's Jay and Joe opening gifts: After the presents, we went outside for a quick family photo. (I begged. FINALLY!) Then it was time for cake. We had to do the picture before cake because... well... you'll see: Love this one. Bottle break.
All done.
And yes he's still a little pink!

Overall I'd say it was a success. Jay didn't eat a ton of his cake but he sure made a mess. And he's been playing with his new toys all day today.

(Watching his new "Wiggles" video and clutching his new Elmo.) Cute. Love this kid.