Sunday, February 28, 2010
You have NOOOOO idea how relieved I am that I'm actually able to write this post in the comfort of my own home.
It still feels SOOOO surreal to me that there was an actual tsunami warning here in Hawaii and that there was a very real possibility of us getting a tsunami.
I just remember waking up to a phone call from a friend of mine around 5:50 am telling me that I need to wake up, get gas, food and water because there's a tsunami scheduled to hit at 11 am. My eyes were still closed but as soon as I heard tsunami they popped open, my heart started to beat SUPER fast. I calmly got out of the bed so I wouldn't make any noise to wake up the baby or the dog. I turned on the news and saw that this was in fact real.
I remember I kept saying, "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God." I got off the phone and started calling a few of my other friends to make sure they knew. I then jumped in the shower to get ready to get some gas. Luckily I had just purchased a ton of non perishable foods the day before so I didn't need to worry about juggling all 3 kids in a grocery store all by myself. Oh yea did I mention I'm still ALL BY MYSELF?!? Hubby's in Cali on training AND my entire house in currently sick with a cold so I was trying to get myself together while blowing my nose quietly and trying to smother my coughs.
Finally, I got dressed, grabbed the boys and headed to the gas station. The line was SUPER LONG. Luckily the gas station is only about a mile away from my house and since it was on base, I was pretty sure it would move quickly since military folks know how to move fast in an emergency. I was happy I was right. After grabbing gas I headed home, fed the kids breakfast and started packing up food, water and clothes to go to my friend's house who happens to live on higher ground and who was happy to take me and my tribe in. :)
Before leaving, I had to make sure I bathed the dog, fill the bath tubs and sinks with water since they planned on turning off the water supply and I had to shut the power to the house down so I wouldn't get electrocuted if I had to come back to a flooded house. Whew! I'm getting tired just having to write all this, imagine having to actually do all of it. Did I mention I was sick? I mean aching body, runny nose, headache, cough and sniffles sick? UGH!!!
So I got to my friend's house and got the kids squared away and began to watch the news waiting and waiting and waiting. During this whole "disaster waiting to happen" calls to and from my cell phone was virtually impossible. Luckily texting was working just fine. My family and friends were freaking out more than I was but I was still scared as heck.
So the moment of truth comes and we're waiting and waiting and waiting and NOTHING. I AM SOOOOO RELIEVED!!!! OMG I was SOOOOO happy that nothing happened.
One of my biggest fears in life is to die via drowning and even though we were on high ground I really didn't want to have to deal with seeing ANY type of destruction or knowing that ANYONE got hurt or lost their lives. I kept thinking of all the homeless people (unfortunately there are A LOT) here in Hawaii who actually reside on the beaches. I wondered what was going to happen to them. I kept thinking about the older people and how they were being helped. I honestly didn't want to have to think about the possible devastation this tsunami would've caused. Late last year Samoa experienced a deadly tsunami and people here in Hawaii were devastated because they had a lot of family members there so this would've been truly devastating to deal with.
I definitely learned that adrenaline is a BEAST because I have no idea how I did ALL of what I did and didn't pass out at the end of it. I'm extremely proud of my children for stepping up and helping out during the packing up and unpacking stages and also remaining extremely calm despite knowing what almost was. My boys are so very brave and sweet. I'm a proud mama. :)
I'm also VERY proud of the way Hawaii react to this whole drama. I'm so thankful for the news reports and the way everyone pulled together as a whole community to help each other out. Despite having to deal with the long lines at the gas stations and grocery stores, everyone was calm and respectful and very helpful and sweet to each other.
I'm writing this post not only to express my relief but to also express my gratitude to everyone who prayed vigilantly, sent me a text, email or tried calling to check up on us. Your prayers and well wishes worked [Big time] and for that I am eternally grateful. Even though I don't know you guys personally, I felt the love and concern from all of you and I truly thank you all for that.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Review for "Danny the Dragon meets Jimmy"
Written By: Tina Turbin
Nothing in this world is more important to me than my children. I’m always striving to set them up for as bright a future as possible. With that comes the responsibility of making sure they receive top notch education because after all, a proper education will define their future.
In our household reading is extremely fundamental because it was like that in my household growing up and I loved that. I’m an avid reader. I just love being able to get lost in a good story no matter the genre. So as soon as my kids were born I bought tons of books to get them used to story time. As soon as they could read, I made sure to provide them with enough books to keep their imaginations flowing.
When asked to review Tina Turbin’s newest children’s book and CD named “Danny the Dragon meets Jimmy,” of course I jumped at the chance. This book was not only great, it was interesting, cleverly written and provided wholesome, well mannered characters which definitely helps drive home another point I strive to make in my household. The CD version is absolutely brilliant. First of all, it's rare to see a children's book that comes with a great CD [notice I said great;)] so Tina gets extra points for providing a disc which of course comes in handy if you have a child that's visually impaired.
Tina provides you with the entire story in an audio version followed by some amazing, serene, classical music that gets you in the mood to read for hours on end or gets your imagination going. When my children first listened to it, they started jumping around as if they were in medieval times with armors and swords on [Not to say that the music triggers war behavior or anything like that]. I just think it's awesome that they enjoyed the disc so much that it got their creative juices flowing to make something up on the spot, plus they're boys so I guess it was to be expected.
Tina’s writing style is unique and refreshing in the sense that you can truly get lost in the story. The journey she takes you on from the first time Jimmy meets Danny while on a family outing to the time the family accepts Danny as family is exciting and tremendously thought provoking. I especially LOVE the fact Danny is so well mannered and extremely helpful and friendly. I know a great story when I read it and this is most definitely a great story.
I sometimes feel that authors who write children’s story don’t truly go into extreme detail with the story line, character development and overall content but this is not the case with Tina. She tells the story in such a way that it leaves you wanting more. After reading this book and listening to the CD, my children and I wanted to know what’s next for Danny and Jimmy. My children are already excited about reading it again. It's one of those stories that you can read over and over and will never get tired of. I'm not just saying all of this to be nice, reading is just that important to me and of course I give kudos to anyone who can trigger my children's imagination in a positive way. The good thing about it all is that there will be more "Danny the Dragon" books [awesome!!]. Tina's bringing Danny to life in a series of "Danny the Dragon" books which will include a set of cook books. Yay!! I'll definitely be looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Tina Turbin (http://TinaTurbin.com) is a widely-acclaimed, award-winning children's published author, writer, researcher, humanitarian and mother. Working for many years with children in the Entertainment Business, Tina has always been an advocate for families, women’s issues, and celiac and gluten issues as a way to improve the quality of lives of others (http://GlutenFreeHelp.info). As a member and contributing writer for such distinguished organizations as the National Association of Baby Boomer Women (NABBW), National Association of Divorced Women and Children (NADWC), Baby Boomer Knowledge Center, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Awareness Magazine and numerous other publications, her indispensable advice on the topics of family, children's literacy, gluten, celiac disease and issues affecting women and children has proven invaluable to many. Tina is proud to work closely with the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center in raising funds and awareness for celiac research, and she is also a tireless supporter and friend to the community through her readings of her delightful Danny the Dragon children’s series (http://DannyTheDragon.com) at libraries, schools and hospitals. Proud member of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), the Southern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME).
Make sure you log on to www.dannythedragon.com to purchase your copy of "Danny the Dragon meets Jimmy". While you're there, check out the cool kids contest Tina's having and other fun little things you can purchase or read up on including everything you need to know about a Gluten free diet. It really is a great buy and a story your kids will truly enjoy and appreciate for years to come. :)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I'm always down for playing along. If you wanna play along too, click on the Circus tent below to link up!
I think this pic is hilarious. Chip is SUPER scared of Chace for some reason. Maybe it's Chace's size or his cries, I dunno what it is but he's just not a big fan of Chace. All I know is whenever I try to get Chip to greet Chace, he runs away.
For this pic I kept running (really it was more like walking a little fast) around the house trying to get him to greet Chace. He finally realized that I wasn't gonna give up so he just sat down with this "Ok, ok, I give up, fine!" look on his face. LOL
Once he sat down I took the opportunity to put Chace on his back and munchkin # 1 thought it'll be funny to catch the moment.
I thought it was SOO cute. Chace was enjoying the brisk walk around the house and being on top of Chip.
[P.S. No animals or children were hurt in the snapping of this picture. :)]
Monday, February 22, 2010
"Even a mosquito doesn't get a slap on the back until it starts to work."
Work hard so God can say to you "Well done." Be a good work man, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work... - 2 Timothy 2:15 (TLB)
Simple enough to read and comprehend but oddly enough it can be pretty hard to actually apply this quote to our everyday lives. So I challenge everyone who reads this to apply it to your work week and everyday lives.
Have a blessed and prosperous week everyone.
-Quotes & Scriptures provided by "God's Little Devotional for Graduates" - Honor Books
Monday, February 15, 2010
This week I wanted to start of the week truly inspired. I'm a HUGE fan of quotes. Funny ones, silly ones, corny ones but most importantly quotes that touch my soul.
So today I'm choosing to start off my week with one of my all time favorite quotes:
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."
I know it's sappy and a little cheesy. :) Oh well, I love it!
I read this quote during my Sophomore year in college and it's stuck with me ever since. I wake up everyday with the thought that I'm going to do my very best to change the life of others as well as myself for the better, somehow. Even if it's just smiling or saying hi to a stranger or treating my children or hubby to ice cream out of the blue. Of course I'd like my foot print in this world to have significant meaning so I make sure to strive for that.
I want to make sure that I appreciate everyone around me no matter who it is. Doing so has caused a few problems [being naive and trusting the wrong people] throughout the years but I refuse to let negative situations define my future. I can just take the hurt and obstacles and turn them into lessons or motivational stepping stones to push harder and go further in the future.
With that said here's to more "Sappy Mondays." :)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Good news again this week. Jaden seems to be adjusting well at home. Nevertheless he still needs our prayers and continued support to completely fight this cancer.
There's a ton of other people who needs prayers to kick this disease in the butt BIG time!
Head on over to Supah's place and read up about em.
Pray, Pray, Pray non stop people!!
Thanks again for all the support loves!!
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!! :-)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Click on the poodle or name above to participate!
Now sit back and enjoy my love letter to my sweet, special hubby :)
My Funny Valentine
Oh funny Valentine. Isn’t it funny that we’ve made it this far? Gone are the days when we could go anywhere at any time without logging around strollers and car seats and double checking to make sure everyone was on board. Gone are the days when we could cuddle up and watch a movie as loud as we wanted whenever we wanted without pausing it whenever we heard footsteps.
Oh funny Valentine, where has the time gone? It’s seems like it was just yesterday when every weekend was an adventure waiting to happen. When we had serious and deep romantic conversations and would spend hours in a restaurant lost in each others’ gaze. I remember the times when our phone conversations would last forever and only consisted of lovey dovey stuff.
Oh funny Valentine, I miss those days. Nevertheless we’ve traded in those days for diaper bags and training wheels on bikes. For phone conversations that consist of reminders to pick up something. For sick days and baking cookies, for birthday parties with tons of goodies. I’ve traded in my sanity to be your nurse, wife, maid, alarm clock, personal assistant, executive assistant, “sexutary”, personal shopper and the list goes on. Nonetheless I wouldn’t trade back in my sanity for anything else.
Oh funny Valentine, I love these days. We’ve made it through plenty and oddly enough I’m not empty. We keep refueling our love for each other and the life we’ve created. I’m grateful to have you in my life and I’m thankful that you made me your wife. I look forward to growing old and gray with you. Here’s to sitting on a porch on a rocking chair while watching our grand children play in the yard. To making lemonade and telling our children stories of our amazing love.
P.S. I tried my best to make it rhyme and got away with a few lines. Please don’t judge me ;)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This is by FAR one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. First let me say that I don't really watch the news here in Hawaii. I know, that's bad. I never really cared for watching the news no matter where I lived because I always get depressed during or right after watching it especially if a story hits home a little too closely.
The other day I was watching Oprah and immediately following her show, the news comes on. At the time I was feeding my newborn Chace and he'd fallen asleep on my chest. I was searching for the remote to change the channel and realized that it was at the opposite end of the couch. I was SOOOO tired that day so I decided to just watch the news for about 10 minutes while I muster up the strength to get up and put Chace down and grab the remote.
All of a sudden the news anchor says "Coming up on channel 5 news at 5, Matthew Higa's court hearing details in the brutal 2008 murder of 2 yr old Cyrus Belt." My eyes immediately popped open because I couldn't believe that someone would actually murder an innocent child who at 2 years old was definitely not able to defend himself. I kept thinking that it had to be neglect or an accident. I waited patiently for the commercials to pass and when the story came back on about how baby Cyrus died, I got chills up and down my spine, tears filled my eyes instantly, my mouth dropped open, I started shaking to the point where I held on tight to Chace.
The SOB who murdered Cyrus Belt took this precious little baby (who was described as an extremely friendly and talkative little boy) and threw him over an EXTREMELY busy overpass onto oncoming traffic, killing him instantly!!!
I'm tearing up just having to write this post. It truly is heartbreaking what happened to this little boy.
There are some seriously sick people in this world but this has got to be one of the most heinous crimes I've ever heard of. Apparently Cyrus's mom as well as his murderer frequently used Crystal Meth and was believed to be on Meth the morning Cyrus died. Are you friggin kidding me?!?!
I watched the rest of the news in absolute shock and disgust as I looked at the man who did this and wished a brutal beating and harsh sentencing for him for doing such a despicable thing. I know that sounds harsh and I'm being judgmental but you just don't hurt an innocent child no matter what!!
I decided that I'd research the details surrounding why this happened to poor baby Cyrus and reading up on it is even more tragic than I expected. This poor, poor baby didn't deserve this. He had a mom who had drug problems and problems taking care of her 2 older children who were taken away from her before Cyrus was born. According to family members, she tried to turn her life around after having Cyrus but apparently the drugs got the best of her because she slipped right back into her old ways which inevitably caused this man to get close enough to her to have access to her child.
Something like this rocks a person to the core. The man who committed this crime is pure evil and evil on another level. I cannot imagine as a mom how I'd recover from this if I found out that someone did this to my baby. I guess it's different if you're a drug addict but how can she possibly live with herself knowing that she somehow contributed to her baby's death by not getting help and befriending such a sick individual?
I'm usually a pretty perky person who likes to keep things light and find laughter and good out of any situation but this is a situation that not even I can spin. The only good thing I can think of about all this is that Cyrus is definitely at peace and by God's side. His mother did not deserve to have him and just as the bible says "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away."
I felt that it was my duty not just as a mom but as a human being to share this story. It's my hope that it gets around the internet enough to get people talking about how drugs can really devastate your life.
Ever since I've moved here I've noticed that Hawaii has placed major emphasis on stopping the use of Crystal Meth. Apparently its a huge problem here and this is one of the major reasons why stopping the use of Meth or any other drug for that matter is SOOOO very important.
Please, please, please read the details of Cyrus Belt's death here and here. Also watch the youtube feed to get a better idea of where this horrendous crime took place and how truly shocking it is that someone did this.
If nothing else, this story has made me that much more patient and appreciative of the gifts God has blessed me with. I'm so grateful that he trusted me so much to bless me with my 3 beautiful boys.
I'm also thankful that I'm strong enough to get through each day with his grace and love and that I'm not dependent on any drugs to survive.
Monday, February 8, 2010
So I've decided to put together a list of top 10 things a new mom "must" have these days.
These are things I wish I had when I gave birth to my first two boys and maybe they were available to me but I just didn't look hard enough. Some of them I did get a chance to get so I figured I'd share the knowledge. :-)
1 - Boppy.
These things are life savers, literally and figuratively since they're shaped like life savers. lol. You can find this at Target or Babies R Us or Walmart. I got mine from Target and it came with a really cute plush design. I didn't have this with my first two kids. This time around it's helped me tremendously with my back pain from breastfeeding since I'm so used to putting myself in weird positions to breast feed (my own fault). It's also very useful to prop the baby in while you get to do stuff around the house or if you just want to have both hands free while the baby just lays next to you.
2 - Johnson & Johnson Breast pads.
These are the best!! I tried every other brand that made breast pads just to make sure I was using the best ones since I get a lot of milk. For some reason the other brands didn't get the memo that my boobs weren't flat. Hello!!! Anyway, I'm glad someone clued in the manufacturers at Johnson and Johnson because not only are the pads round which made for a better fit, they were also pretty comfortable in my bra and they held in place with a small sticky part that was sticky enough to keep it in place but not too much that it was hard to remove. If I had to wear a breast pad these would be the best option hands down. These can be found at Target, Babies R Us, Walmart and some local supermarkets.
3 - Lansinoh Breast cream.
HEAVEN sent!!! I say this because all 3 of my boys were hard suckers.
With my first born, the first 2 weeks of breast feeding was torture for me because he was such a hard sucker. I literally had to prep myself each time I had to breast feed him because it was so bad. It was like prepping to jump into a game of double dutch. I had to count to 3, hold my breathe and let him have it all while I was cringing and curling my toes up from the pain.
This is not to discourage anyone from wanting to breast feed their baby which is the best option for baby (in my opinion). I swear, I'm getting to the good part, lol. My mom told me about Lansinoh (I guess the hospital I gave birth in forgot to tell me about this, hmm...) and as soon as I started using it, the pain eased up. Mekhi was still a hard sucker but using this cream prepped my breasts and made it softer and more moisturized which helped get rid of the soreness of having to breast feed so much.
With my 2nd son, it helped heal me pretty quickly after he chomped down on my boobs with his 1st set of teeth (OUCH!!!!) Anywhoo, I highly recommend this cream. I found this at Walmart, Target and Babies R Us. I couldn't find it in my local supermarkets but then again, it could be available in other places.
4 - Aveeno Products.
Nothing against the other baby products (which I love by the way) but Aveeno baby products as well as mommy/baby gift sets were really great for me especially since all 3 of my sons suffered from eczema. Aveeno was the only fragrant type product that seemed to work as far as keeping them moisturized and helping to get rid of any rashes or dry skin they had. The Stress Free Relief lotion and body wash they have for moms is great as well. It smells great and really puts you in a relaxing mood. This can be found practically anywhere they sell baby products.
5 - Cetaphil Products.
Magical!!!! I LOVE Cetaphil products. These products have about 2 lines worth of ingredients in them compared to the usual 4 to 5 lines worth of stuff I can't even pronounce. Even in baby products I see that they have a lot of different chemicals in them. With Cetaphil, I can bathe my baby and it leaves his skin nice and smooth and moisturized so if I don't feel like adding lotion to his skin after bathing him, he wouldn't be ashy or dry at all. I currently use the "gentle cleanser" on my newborn's face because he developed baby acne around 2 weeks old. After using it I saw a major difference and his skin cleared up within a couple of days. I don't use any lotions on his face whatsoever and it's NEVER ashy or dry. I do use Aveeno soap and lotion on his body since he didn't have a problem with acne/rashes anywhere else but his face.
My mom was the one who introduced me to this product after her dermatologist recommended she use this on her face to prevent acne and scaring. Her doctor explained that Cetaphil was the most effective and gentle way to clean her skin without worrying about any harsh chemicals possibly burning or drying out her skin which was one of the problems she was having with her face. She also suffers from eczema so of course once she knew that my little ones had it as well, she told me to use it on them. I've been hooked on their products ever since.
6 - Johnson & Johnson Safety Swabs.
I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal since a q-tip is just a q-tip but these safety swabs were a pretty smart and convenient invention. Since everything on a baby is so tiny and fragile this q-tip is manufactured in such a way that there's no way you could push the q-tip too far up baby's ears or nose while cleaning them out. My husband and I are obsessed with having clean ears (hubby is a fanatic) so of course we make sure our kids have clean ears. They're not the biggest fans of getting their ears cleaned so they move around a lot. These Q-tips help make sure we don't go too far down in their ears (I accidentally did that once with munchkin # 2, he's all good but it was a bit of a pain for him to experience). So this q-tip comes in handy not just for babies but as for little kids as well.
7 - A & D Ointment.
This one is a given to me. Back in the day Desitin was the hit for my mom so anytime we had rashes or any type of sores, scars, cuts, etc, she'd paste on the Desitin which was white in color and took FOREVER to get off. Well to me A & D ointment does the same thing Desitin does except it's clear and much easier to wipe off. It works wonders and provides very quick results so this is definitely up there on my list. There are a bunch of other diaper rash or skin irritant creams out there but after trying out the rest, I'd have to say that my top 2 creams would be Desitin and A & D but I'd go with A & D strictly because it's much better all around as far as convenience and results are concerned.
8 - Burts Bees Products.
I'm in love with all of their products. I like to experiment with organic products and decided that I'd give this company a try when I realized that my first 2 boys had a huge problem with staying moisturized throughout the day. I ended up buying tons of different products for them and some lotions worked but they were so oily and thick and I was worried about pasting all those ingredients in their skin and clogging up their poor little pores so I was relieved when I stumbled upon Burts Bees products. This company uses all natural ingredients to make their products and that was important to me. I currently use their Baby Bee Buttermilk lotion which miraculously keeps my boys nice and moisturized the entire day despite the fact that the consistency of the lotion is thin. It also smells divine and the scent stays on you the entire day as well. I've also tried their foot care, hair care, and face care products and I've loved each and every one of their products.
9 - Nuk Bottles & Pacifiers by Gerber
These are by far the closest nipples to a woman's actual nipples. There are a couple of other brands out there that I've tried and they've come pretty close but Nuk comes the closest. My newborn HATES drinking from a bottle. He wants his breast milk straight from the source. (typical boy I guess, lol) However, when I need to run errands and I leave him hubby with a bottle, he's more likely to "attempt" to drink out of a Nuk bottle than any other brand and we currently have 3 different brands of bottles in the house. So I'm sticking with these bottles. Plus they have some really cute designs.
10 - Munchkin Microwave Sterilizer
Heaven Sent!!! With my 1st 2 boys we had the stove top sterilizer which worked great except for the fact that it often left a while film inside the bottles as well as the actual sterilizer and I'd sometimes over boil the bottles/nipples. This wasn't a big deal to me and it wasn't like it took long for me to clean it off. However, with this new microwave sterilizer I have no problems with it whatsoever. I just set up the bottles & nipples, fill up the set water amount, pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and tada, its done. No white residue on the bottles, nipples or sterilizer and I don't have to worry about whether I've over boiled the bottles or not. This is extremely convenient and I'm glad someone thought to make it because it definitely wasn't around 6 yrs ago. Unless it was in hiding. lol.
Munchkin also has a bunch of other cute and very handy baby products that I own as well. So you can't go wrong with any of their things.
So that's my list. There's tons more stuff I'd like to share but I thought this list was pretty on point as far as what would be needed and actually put to use on a daily basis for new mommies (in my opinion).
Hope it was informative enough and comes in handy. Any questions, hit me up @ email@example.com/