Saturday, June 29, 2013

Extended Hotel Living Update! Plus Tips for Comfort & Wellness

As excited as I am about moving into our new home this coming week, I am also emotional saying aloha to our first home in Hawai'i.

Our hotel came with a kitchenette and washer/dryer which were a huge blessing. Here are some things that helped our six week stay feel more like "home" and some I wish I would've known before we started this adventure. I hope you find them helpful!

Bottled Water  vs. Brita Monterey Pitcher

In California, we had a water machine that was one of the best investment's versus buying bottled water. It saved time (trips to the store) and was cheaper than buying by the case. Undoubtedly, upon moving into the hotel, we knew that another purchase like this had to be made in order to drink our tasty water we are snobbishly used to having. Space is limited in a hotel room. And a machine like the one we had in California takes up too much room. We thought about buying a filter to install over the faucet in the kitchen but even that took up too much bulk in a shallow sink. So we went with this...

I'm a Costco member who thoroughly enjoys the 1% kickback each year which usually equals the amount it cost's to pay for a membership. I found they had the best value for this particular pitcher. It came with two extra filter's (sweet!) and was $29.99. I love this thing.

Aroma Slow Cooker

So glad we decided to buy this the first week! Rice is a staple in Hawai'i and a huge hit as a side dish in our family. I've also become a huge fan of crock pot meals but couldn't pack ours in a suitcase nor would I pay to have it shipped. So when I searched for a rice cooker, the Aroma rice/slow cooker made sense. It is small, and easily stored in a cabinet and out of the way. Though it doesn't usually make it there because we use it almost every day. You can use it to slow cook meats, then cook any rice while steaming vegetables. How handy is that?! I'd love to write a post about all the meals you can make with this and might some day. But, for now you could enjoy the handy recipe book included in the box for planning your first meals. There is a ton of easy recipes inside that are ingredient and utensil friendly enough for a limited kitchen supply.

Foldable wagon

I saw a Mom with this in the elevator and immediately wished I would've thought to buy this earlier in our stay. We might still for as much traveling we do.(Luggage cart's were our means of hauling) This wagon is totally convenient for hauling groceries, kids, misc. item's. Or a parent that never has enough arms to carry it all in one trip. The wagon folds easily into tight spaces (like a hotel closet, or under a bed) and when I saw there was "No assembly required" that equals a win in my book.

Some things I brought from home that help in hotel living:

1. Extra towels/Large beach towels
2. Extension cord for electronics
3. Extra batteries for electronics
4. Favorite kitchen spatula
5. Antibacterial hand soap for kitchen and bathroom
6. Disinfectant cleaning wipes for kitchen and bathroom
7. Flushable (septic friendly) wipes 
8. Ziploc box of sandwich bags
9. Water container's for adults & kids - easy to grab and no need to purchase water bottles.
10. ... one more thing.... don't forget the wine! R. E. L. A. X. this too shall pass. Enjoy your stay!

Our journey still continues as we move onto the next chapter of living in Hawai'i. Starting next week we move out of our beloved hotel room and into the new Casa de Murrieta. We have an air mattress, and the items we packed in our suitcases. This won't exactly be the most comfortable living but it won't be the worse either. Mid July we will fly back to California, pack up our house and ship it all back to Hawai'i. We will still have a few days of air mattress sleep and paper plates until our household item's make it to the island. Hallelujah, the home stretch is in sight and we are almost there! 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Confessions Of A Co-Sleeping Mom

Photo credit: Daddy J on the above photo

For the past four years I have been co-sleeping. That is crazy, right? If you are part of this club, maybe you can relate to these interesting tidbits. Even if you aren't. Please join me in the humor...

#1 Waking up soaked in pee happens.

#2 Your pillow is no longer yours and probably smells like pee, too.

#3 You've slept on a towel covering the pee soaked sheet more than one night consecutively. (ok, maybe that one is just me)

#4 You go to bed when the kid goes to bed. They NEED your body warmth and comfort.

#5 Sneaking away after they fall asleep and feeling like you've won a gold metal. 

#6 A full-night's rest without interruption is something you desire.

#7 S.E.X. you know, with your spouse or partner? Creativity is your friend ;) 

#8 S.E.X. what is that? 

#9 Explaining to others why/how you co-sleep and in the end still not sure why.

#10 Agreeing with one, or all of these has made you feel like your not alone.

Whether you co-sleep or not, we as parent's have one time or another allowed our kids an opportunity to hop in bed with us. Don't lie. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with co-sleeping. When I was pregnant with my first born, I bought a bassinet and placed it right by my bed. I would look at it every night before she was born and could not wait to see her tiny body snuggled up inside. What I didn't anticipate was her need for closeness. That need, ultimately, driving a wedge between my husband and I (literally - in bed between us) and starting a controversy we deal with on a nightly basis. With much persuasion and failed attempts, my girl eventually graduated to her own bed once her little brother was born. Though she still seems to sneak her way in our very crowded slumber zone every now and then. 

Co-sleeping came eerily natural for me. It felt right, so I went with it. There was never any other way I could Mother without sleeping next to my baby. Not to say anyone is wrong for going the other route. I tried. And I'm still trying... 

For the Co-sleeping parent: When did you stop Co-sleeping with your baby/toddler or KID? How did you do it? How do you rise above the challenges it creates with your partner? I HAVE to know. 

High-fives to anyone who pays puts effort into their child's sleeping arrangement. And their own for that matter. Without sleep, we are all a little less fabulous when the sun rises.

I love coffee.  

Aloha Cheers,


Monday, June 10, 2013

Exploring Oahu: Our First Dole Plantation Experience

Since I was a kid, I have always LOVED pineapple's. The look, taste, appearance, way it relates to polynesian culture. All of it. Perhaps that is why I chose to pair Pineapple's with Motherhood and my extraordinary love for photography in this blog?! Anywho... Last week, while Daddy J was in Oklahoma City we had access to his work vehicle. The days can be long when you are trapped in a hotel room.  And I am struggling to find healthy interactive tools to keep my kids tiny minds stimulated without overloading them with technology. They both LOVE trains. They both LOVE an exciting adventure.  Mommy LOVE'S pineapple's. So I researched budget friendly activitia for families on Oahu and low and behold the Dole Plantation was one of the top Ten. First thing in the morning, we were Wahiawa, HI bound... 

As soon as we arrived I was stunned at the landscaping presentation. Pineapple's everywhere! The Dole Plantation presents the warmest feeling pulling into the parking lot -  I couldn't wait to get the kids out of the car and start exploring! We went straight to the ticket booth and bought a train & maze ticket. Jeyes was free so I only paid for myself and Teilani. Booyah! The garden was closed (boo!) Another reason to make a second trip!

Here are some photo's of our trip... Hope you enjoy!

I learned a ton from the Pineapple Express. And you will too!  After the train ride was over we headed over to the fish hatchery to feed them a handful's of pellets. Boy were they hungry! Not sure why, I think everyone that finishes the train ride does the same. They must be the best fed!

Then we ate some world famous Dole Whip! (Pineapple Ice Cream) All I can say is, YUM! Most refreshing treat on a hot day. The maze was last on our trip list. I didn't quite understand why an employee told me I was brave for taking both kids inside until it was too late. One secret cut-out after another had my head spinning every which way. Teilani would run one way and Jeyes the other. Yikes! Needless to say, that experience didn't last long and there were no documented pictures. I scooped them up kicking and screaming and headed back to the car. Phew... Luckily, no one was lost and moods were back to normal after I reminded them how much fun we had and that we will be back soon. 


Last week was a magical experience for me. We made it through a week without Daddy and some exciting adventure's around the island. I love to watch the thrill on your face's when we experience these first's. To top it off, when you remind me about the detail's of our adventure I get a bit teary. When you see a pineapple or a train - I hope it will forever remind you how much I love you. I'll never stop.

Alofa Always, 

Mommy Tasia

Friday, June 7, 2013

For Teilani: June Love Letter

Dear Teilani:

Now it seems more than ever I am losing my patience with you on a daily basis. I am plagued with guilt  and hope you forget some of the awful faces I've made and harsh words I've said. Not cool. Not cool at all. Please forgive me? Maybe in the future you will have to deal with these same problems, if so, understand you are not alone. We are all up in each other's business all day, living our life in cramped quarters. I really wouldn't want it any other way. The time's Daddy relieves me of my mommy duties and I am sent away to regain more of myself, all I do is think about you and Jeyes. Wondering if you are ok and if you might need me. This morning I tried to curl up on the couch and close my eyes while you were playing with your dolls. I felt you pet my head and kiss my cheek, whispering "are you okay, momma?". I love how caring and warm your heart can be. And I love how much you love our Ohana. That is a gift from God and one I hope you never lose as you mature. Daddy and I have seen you throw some pretty wicked temper tantrums lately and I'll admit that you might have witnessed this same behavior from me when you and Jeyes aren't behaving to my liking. That totally sucks. I am not perfect. And I am sorry for being a poor role model. Everyday I wake up and think of how I can be better. One of the ways I dedicate myself to you is by writing you this letter in hopes that the future "you" will gain understanding of who I am - and that I am trying my very best to be better. Today, I am your Mother. Today, I love you. Tomorrow, I love you. Forever, I'll love you. You will always be my princess. 

Love, Mommy Tasia 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Expecting The Unexpected

Last week I was a bundle of nerves. Work was busy for Daddy J and emotions were running high between the two of us. I never want to sugar coat our marriage and fool anyone into believing we are perfect. We have our arguements and are both very stubborn in our beliefs. The anticipation of his interview on Friday had my anxiety sky high. And his, too. Although I can never tell. He is THAT good at faking until we make it. There I was, Friday morning, flipping back and fourth from one social media site to another, playing dolls with Teilani and cars with Jeyes, all at the same time. Yes, I am a multi-tasker and very capable of doing all of these things. Then the call came in from Daddy J and I lost it. We are officially moving to Hawaii! I called my Mom right after to share the news and bawled my eyes out.  She was very confused until I whimpered, "happy tears, I'm crazy and just so relieved". As soon as we got Daddy back to the hotel, I snapped this crappily pixilated photo to share with my beloved readers. Can you see the excitement on our faces? Hard-work, commitment, support and love has carried us to this next chapter in our life. I am so proud of my husband! We continue to celebrate the power of Family. 

With the green light in place, we set our weekend plans to tackling house hunting. We've been through this before so this time (our fourth move with his company) should be a breeze. Or so I am praying. I want our kids to be exposed to as much culture and  unique experiences as possible. No matter where we are located on Oahu, we are certain to make those efforts for our families legacy. The search can be time consuming and stressful. So many pros and cons can be made for each home we visit. Our number one goal is to seek comfort and peace and safety. Oh yea, and meet our budget.

Perhaps the most challenge of all is harnessing the expectation of finding the perfect home. Harnessing my emotions of expecting the unexpected. While I was jumping back and fourth from Facebook and Pinterest, I found this quote and it hit "home" for me. That Shakespeare was quite the guy! I could learn a few things from his writing. I edited the quote over a pic I took from our house hunting break at the beach because it reminds me of the heartache that inevitably brought us to our destiny. And to keep the faith and focus on these two precious babies. 

So think of us while we are riding the waves of this transition from hotel to HOME during the next month. Our kitchen supplies are limited, space is tight, but the love is flourishing. If you have any tips & tricks to achieving the most comfortable stay in a hotel, I would kindly appreciate your love and support.