Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Coolest Balcony on the Block

I like to think we have the best balcony on the block and that's why the green lizards like to come hang out there.  Or the green lizard.  They all look alike.  It could be the same lizard and our balcony just happens to be his territory.

Anyone want to name him?  And yes I have already decided it's a male....because for some reason my brain registers all animals as males so we are going to stick with that.  Unless you are awesome and can tell me, based just on this picture, what gender the lizard is.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sometimes Life Doesn't Go Our Way

and we need to get over it.  But it's okay to complain first right?


The internet went out while the hubby was at work which meant no internet until he got home and fixed it.  I would have panicked a little less if I hadn't just spend hours putting together a purchase of much needed baby items, a purchase I didn't want lost.  We haven't really had any trouble with the current internet and I may have also been slightly concerned my computer was just having major issues.  Apparently though when the hubby called the provider, they said it was out all over Oahu and another one of the islands.  Weird!

I forgot to turn the stove down and majorly burnt the bacon.   Majorly as in the smoke alarm went off, which never happens to me, and there wasn't much left of the bacon.

Because of the bacon smell smoking out of our place, flies began to congregate around our apartment.  I closed all the windows when I noticed but somehow they still managed to get in.  The window in our bathroom isn't your typical window so if there is a hole in the screen the glass part is useless, or so I figured out tonight.  I opened the door and there were a handful of flies swarming in there.  Ugh!  At least I have finally figured out how the flies got in last time.

I was cooking bacon for BLT sandwiches, forgetting I needed lettuce and had already used the last of it.

The price was marked down on something I've been eyeing on Amazon so I decided to go for it.  Some people like to up the shipping when they see the word Hawaii, even though USPS doesn't charge anything extra.  This shipper happened to be one of those people and needless to say I wasn't about to let myself be taken advantage of.  So now I need to find another way to get this item.

I've been hot all day.  Whoever said Hawaii is the perfect climate to be pregnant in doesn't know what they are talking about.   In my opinion, Antarctica sounds nice right about now.  And this is coming from a girl who usually has a really low internal body temperature.

K.  Really, life is okay.  I just needed to get my day out of my system.  I guess I can be happy I didn't burn myself, a muchhhh too common occurrence these days.   I haven't broken a glass yet, another common occurrence as of late.  I didn't make a major mess while cooking and didn't spill anything.  My internet is now working.  The purchase was made.  The sandwich wasn't a lost cause without the lettuce.  I haven't died from the heat.  And my hubby still loves me.

But I did tell my hubby I was spending most of my night in bed just on the off chance I was destined for more bad luck.  If I don't move, nothing too bad can happen, right?  Speaking of which, does pregnancy typically cause one to become a klutz?  Or have I just forgotten how clumsy I can get?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Camera Issues

We have a pretty good camera.  It's better than a point and shoot but not as good as one where you can switch lenses and what not.  It is great for people who know a little about cameras but aren't seriously into photography.  Problem is we just use ours on auto and unless its scenery, we often end up with mediocre pictures.  This year, 3 years after we bought this camera, I am determined to learn how to use it on its other settings.  Maybe the fact that I am about to have a baby is why I am now motivated, or maybe it's the price we paid for this little gadget.  If we continue to stick to auto, why didn't we just save ourselves some money and buy a cheaper point and shoot?

Anyways, we went to check out another beach last night and took some time to practice.  We got lots of blurry shots but also some that I like.

 The Good

But certainly not perfect!

The Bad & The Ugly

We sometimes get these white dots that appear in our pictures.  No one can figure out what they are.  One professional camera guy said he could take the camera apart and clean it to see if that would help but didn't seem confident it would.  I didn't want to spend tons of money for that not to work.  It's a bit hard to see in this picture, but there is a large white dot by Jon's face.  Boo!

I totally got white washed out here.  Not sure what setting the camera was on at that moment but it certainly didn't do anything for me.

Our camera is known for being better with scenery than people, but it certainly shouldn't have this hard of a time stabilizing motion.  I think we have the biggest problem with this on our manual setting.  I need to figure out why.

The hills look awesome but again with the blurry husband.  I believe this was on the manual setting as well.

There are so many things wrong with this picture including the white dots that are all over the picture.  Sigh!

I obviously have a lot of work ahead of me.  Maybe by the time our camera dies or we have a billion kids (which ever comes first), our pictures will be a bit better than they are now.  Maybe!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What I Have Been Up To Lately

-Being sick/being pregnant.  Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which.

-Watching Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix.  I was a bit unsure about this show at first but was really in the mood for a good mystery movie or series.  I have since fallen in love with it and need to find a way to watch season 4 and beyond.   Why is every random Canadian series I watch so good?

-Apartment/condo hunting.  So not fun anywhere, but especially not fun in Hawaii.  We can't afford to rent a modest size house here, so we have to spend a lot of money to rent a pretty darn small space, just as if we lived in a huge city.  Saturday was the first day we had any real success.  But then the next step is getting approved to rent.  Rentals go super fast here and every place has a billion potential renters that want it.  So we can't sit on our bum if we even half like a place.  This game is so not for me.  Luckily we still have a month until we are homeless.

-We did fit in some much needed beach time on Saturday.  In fact, we hit the beach up twice in one day.  Major score for us.  Fresh air is so beneficial but anything outdoors seems like too much work right now so it was really nice to enjoy the outdoors but still be able to relax.  Here are a few pictures to prove we went:

Oh! So last week we went one weekday evening just to relax on the beach.  I really needed fresh air after being cooped up sick all week but didn't think I was up for a walk.  I was quite uncomfortable and almost regretted the decision until we were majorly blessed with a very unexpected event- seeing a whale for the first time.  Not sure why the whale was so close to land that evening but we will take what we can get.  It really was the coolest experience ever.  The hubby might be slightly obsessed now.  I think a whale watching tour is going to have to happen next year.

-We have been enjoying the following two recipes:

The Pioneer Woman  Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes :  Joy of Cooking is my go to book for basic breakfast food but it has been in storage (can't wait to get it back soon) so I have had to resort to finding recipes online.  This is the first pancake recipe I have actually liked.  It just makes a basic tasting pancake but something about it is so perfect.  We use wheat flour instead of white, and this last time I may have used both sour cream and yogurt to get the required 1 cup, but they were still uber delicious.

Honey, What's Cooking?  Black Bean Enchilada Pasta :  This recipe saved our dinner the other night.  My dinner planning majorly failed this week in every way,  I hadn't thawed any meat, and I was at a complete loss over what I could cook for dinner.  I clicked on this link that evening just to see what it was and why I had noted it.  And it just so happened I had all of the important ingredients and it seemed like a pretty adaptable recipe.  I didn't expect much but knew Jon would probably enjoy it, at least more so than the dinner I attempted the night before.  We both ended up loving it, even as leftovers, and it was pretty darn easy to make.  Changes I made: penne pasta instead of the shells; didn't have  fresh jalapenos or cilantro; didn't follow the ingredient brands.  We have tried other enchilada pastas and this is by far the best one yet.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Few Unimportant Pictures

Nothing frustrates me more than the cockroaches I keep finding in the cabinet where the plates and bowls are stored.  Makes for a lot of yelling and a  lot of dishes that need to be washed. 

These don't look that great but the dark color comes from the chocolate coconut peanut butter I used in them.  They are chocolate coconut peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chunks in them.  I actually chopped up Dove chocolate for these cookies because I was having a hard time finding good chocolate chips.  Come to find out, the place with the best selection is the local drugstore.  Weird!  I need to make a trip to Whole Foods soon I think and see what they have.  If I am going to have to spend a small fortune on chocolate chips while in Hawaii I might as well find the best the island has to offer. 

Finally got to use my popcorn maker that a friend gifted me back in December.  Love it!  I hate store bought popcorn so it's nice to be able to make my own.  Just used popcorn kernels, coconut oil, and some sea salt. Yum!  Thanks Jocelyn for the fun gift. 

I may have butchered my hand peeling potatoes for dinner on Sunday.  Ouch!  But the potatoes got peeled and that's what counts...I think.  Jon kept offering to take over because he was afraid I was going to loose a finger.  I was a bit afraid too but refused to give in to the darn potato peeler.   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Semi Repost - Gifts for Jocelyn

Back in October I posted about my best friend Jocelyn, her fight against breast cancer, and the need for funds to be raised to cover her medical expenses.  By the end of the year things were looking up and there didn't seem to be too much need for massive fundraising to be done anymore as some of the treatments were probably going to be stopped.  The good news only lasted so long until the cancer decided to come back with a vengeance.  She has had a long and hard fight, and will continue to for the foreseeable future.  She has very little, if any funds left, and any help she can receive would be greatly appreciated.  

If you can, please consider donating to Jocelyn.  There is a tax-deductible donation page set up at Setting Them Free for her.  After you click on Donate Now, type Jocelyn Rodearmel in the "This donation is in 'honor of'" field.  This will ensure that your donation benefits Jocelyn directly.  You can donate money at www.giveforward.com/giftsforjocelyn.  There is also a Paypal account that has been set up for her - giftsforjocelyn@gmail.com.

If you can give, even just a dollar, it would be amazing.   If you can't, please consider helping to spread the word.  At the very least, please keep her and her family in your prayers.  Thanks! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oahu Food Review - Opal Thai

This is kind of a long review for a restaurant but it was such a random experience that I had to document everything.  

The hubby and I have seriously cut down on our eating out so that we don't spend too much of our decreased budget on food.  But Saturday afternoon I realized that I hadn't taken the chicken I needed out of the freezer and I wasn't feeling that great anyways so the hubby mentioned that maybe we should just go out to eat finally.  After much consideration, I said we could go and try to find someplace to eat but if we didn't find anything we were excited about we would go back home.  I didn't want to spend our meager eating out budget just because I didn't know off the top of my head what to cook.

Rewind back about a week when we went to a local drugstore and I spotted a really crowded Thai restaurant named Opal Thai Food.  I made note and told the hubby that it seemed like something we must try sometime.  And then when trying to find restaurant reviews online on Saturday, I ran into it on Yelp and the restaurant just happened to have amazing reviews.  So when driving into Haleiwa, the closest town to us with places to eat, I mentioned the restaurant and the hubby decided that's where we could go.  I am going to note here that he did that just for me.  Asian food is never a priority of his.  Usually it takes advanced planning for him to even agree.  Love him!

When we sat down we decided we would just order a couple of dishes and split them.  I had read that the owner likes to order for everyone but I hadn't seen him nearby and I figured if we knew what we wanted he wouldn't feel the need to intervene.  I quickly decided that we would get Pad Thai and spicy basil fried rice (I usually do the ordering for both of us at Asian restaurants).  Then owner then appeared to take our order and I asked him how spicy the fried rice typically is.  I had a previous experience with some fried rice at a Thai restaurant in Virginia where the rice was delicious but so hot I about burned my face off eating it and didn't want a repeat of that, especially while pregnant.  Instead of answering the question, the owner proceeded to grab the menus out of our hands and ask us some questions to gauge what we typically like.  Questions such as:
What are the 5 dishes you might typically order at a Thai restaurant?
Do you like lime?
How spicy do you like your food?
Do you like cilantro?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you like pork?  Chicken?  Shrimp?  Tofu?
He then wrote a few things down and told us that he had us covered and walked away.

I was amused but a bit concerned about whether the hubby would like what we got and how much we would end up spending as we had little control over what was being ordered for us.  It ended up being a wonderful experience though and our bill was only a little bit over what I think we would have spent if left to our own devices.

We had delicious, but a bit too spicy, lettuce wraps.  I think the hubby acted too over enthused when asked how spicy we like our food.  Oh well!  I would order it again in a heart beat.  We then received curry with a side of rice.  Not sure exactly what curry we received as we hadn't really paid attention to the curries on the menu, but it was so good and it was the first time I have seen the hubby act the least bit excited over curry.  I would go back just for that dish.  We also received delicious shrimp Pad Thai which made me happy because I am a huge Pad Thai lover.

I think I might end up craving this place every week.  Dang it!  All of my Thai food loving friends need to come visit so I can have an excuse to go again, and again, and again. 

Other favorite things about the restaurant: 

The tin cups that kept the water really cold.  I want some of these cups for my own kitchen.

The owner's son who may or may not have been trying to learn how to pick locks.

The owner himself.  He is the type of owner that remembers his repeat customers and loves interacting with everyone.  Very hands on.

Tips and misc. notes:

Just give in and let the owner order.  You really don't have much of a choice anyways.

Make reservations.  It's a small place and is crowded with locals and visitors alike.

Serving sizes might not be what you typically get at Thai restaurants on the mainland but I think the quality of the food well makes up for that.

If you go for lunch you could hit up the shops down the road for shaved ice afterwards.  The shops typically close too early to go after dinner unless you eat around five.

The restaurant has a BYOB policy which didn't apply to us but for some reason it was amusing to see everyone walk over from the drugstore with a brown paper bag containing their drink of choice.  There is certainly nothing high class about this area of Hawaii but I think that's part of its charm.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Relationship Related - "Watch and Learn"

Elder Clayton's talk on marriage was one of my absolute favorites from this conference and one of my favorite marriage related talks ever.  His talk is essentially a guidebook on how to have a happy and fulfilling marriage.  I plan to print this out, mark it up, and read it often.  If you missed conference, watch it!  If you didn't watch it because you aren't LDS but you are married and love learning about how to improve your marriage, watch it!

On a non marriage related note, but still sticking to the conference subject, holy moly Elder Holland's talk!  It was another life changer for me.  Another one I plan to review often.  Again, if you missed it, watch it!  If you aren't LDS but are interested in the subject of faith, watch it!

Random notes about conference:
  • I have never been more grateful for cable and the ability to record.  I can't even imagine getting up at 6:00 a.m. to watch conference.  I would fall right back to sleep during it.  Speaking of which, they broadcast Music and the Spoken Word to one of the buildings here.  I am interested in knowing how many people show up at 6:00 a.m. to watch it and what poor soul has the awesome calling of having to set the projector up for it.  I obviously value my sleep, maybe a bit too much, but right now I have a good excuse. 
  • I have decided I can't be on my computer while watching conference anymore.  I miss too much.  Darn distracting internet.  I listened a lot better when I decided to just have a notebook available.  But this realization has come much too late.  Next conference I will have something I can't just replace with a notebook - a child.   
  • I thought the funniest story was the one about shaking hands.  If you watched it, you will know which one I am talking about. 
  • I haven't quite figured  out the deal with the random videos shown during random talks.  Are they more for the kids? 
  • How did I never catch on that the Relief Society broadcast is only once a year? 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ergobaby Fakes

Since we are quickly coming up to June, I decided last week that it was finally time to get serious about buying things for my baby.  I had done plenty of research and put together a registry but hadn't really made any final decisions on serious items like car seats.  To be quite frank, there are too many choices, too much information, and too many long lists telling me what my baby supposedly will need.  I struggle between feeling like he needs everything and the minimalist approach I would rather take with my kids.  Anyways, the other night I thought about going ahead and buying an Ergo baby carrier.  I already knew it was the baby carrier I wanted to buy (seems great for the hubby, older kids, and outdoors) so it was an easy task to accomplish.  All I had to do was research which type and color.  That, in and of itself, ended up taking up a couple hours of my evening but I eventually made the decision, and it was a much easier one than the much dreaded car seat decision.

I was also trying to decide that night which vendor I wanted to purchase the carrier from.  I had Target, Amazon, and Ergobaby all open to see who had the best prices.  I decided against Amazon, despite the fact that their prices weren't bad, because I had heard of counterfeit Ergos being sold on Amazon and elsewhere and figured if I was going to spend the money, I might as well spend a few extra dollars and safely avoid the counterfeits.  It was down to Target vs Ergobaby.  When I finally decided the exact one I wanted (organic in navy), it happened to be cheaper on Ergobaby because they were having a "sale" so I nixed Target.  I didn't feel completely comfortable with the purchase but thought that I was being rather silly and didn't want to miss the "sale", so I went ahead with the checkout process, creating the dreaded account, putting in the shipping address, etc.  I then stopped for a second to see if by some awesome but unexpected chance I could find a coupon code to make it even cheaper.  And thank goodness I did that!

The website I had originally pulled up was www.ergobabycarriersusa.com.  It wasn't the greatest looking website but I didn't give it much thought (and really, why would I if I thought I pulled up a legitimate site?) and was just happy they were running sales that day.  Well, when I pulled up Ergobaby on Retailmenot.com they directed me to a much nicer looking website at store.ergobaby.com selling the carriers at the typical retail price.  I was very confused (and to make it even more confusing, the retailer also just recently got a new website) so I googled www.ergobabycarrierusa.com and quickly pulled up confirmation that the website is indeed a BIG FAT SCAM.  After all my efforts to avoid buying a fake, I still almost bought a fake (or worse).  Buyers beware!

To be honest, I am not sure how I pulled up a website that wasn't legitimate.  That has never happened to me before with a major brand.  But because it did happen, it has made me even more aware of the prevalence of online scams and I thought I should share the experience to make you more aware as well.

I ended up putting off the purchase of the carrier.  By the end of the night I knew exactly which one I wanted and that I could buy it from Ergobaby or Target, but either way I wasn't missing a good sale if I didn't buy it right away.  And seeing that I probably wont actually need it until August or September, I decided I don't really need to purchase it right away after all,  just so long as I know what I want when the time comes.  After all, I would rather spend my time with my newborn (or sleeping) than spend my hours researching what the next best thing for him would be.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Gestational Diabetes Test

I was so relieved when I found out I didn't have to fast for the glucose test.  Even more relieved when the drink only tasted like over sugared orange soda.  Not so relieved when I failed it and had to take the extended glucose test.  The one where you have to fast for 8+ hours and get your blood drawn 4 times over the span of 3 hours (during which you just chill at the doctors office).  Even less relieved when I started drinking the drink and it wasn't over sugared orange soda.  It was just a cup with a sickening amount of orange colored sugar in it.  But I am once again relieved because I passed my test which means (hopefully it's right) no gestational diabetes for me.

Things I learned:
  • Even when you think your going to die, you won't.  Dying during that test is much harder than it seems. 
  • Don't try and do anything productive while taking the test.  All the reading I planned to do went out the door.  A magazine was about as much as I could handle for those three hours. 
  • You will abhor the idea of sugar for about a day, at most a day and a half.  Too bad.  After the dreaded drink, I couldn't even imagine ever wanting sugar again.  Then Easter came. 
  • A vegi based snack after was a very good idea.  VERY GOOD IDEA!!
  • Don't plan a large shopping trip after.  All you will want is a nap.  A very long nap. 
  • I never liked the idea of being stuck with needles.  But the idea of being stuck with a needle in my hand is apparently a bit (or a lot) more panic inducing.  Just another thing I will have to get over one day.
  • The baby will move and move and move during this test.  Usually mornings are pretty calm.  (And the whole time I just sat there wondering if anybody else could see my belly moving.  As if anybody else cares!)
  • Walking around is a good idea.  Even if there is only so much room for you to do so.  

Things I am proud of:
    • I took 5 needles in the arms without much thought, just eyes closed (my left arm wasn't very giving with the blood, hence the 5 pokes, not 4). 
    • I didn't go lay on the cold bathroom floor despite how much I wanted to.  The term "public" kept me sensible about the whole thing. 
    • I made it through a magazine.  I did at least one semi productive thing during those three hours. 
    • I drank the drink without too much mental complaining.  I used to be very particular with liquids.  Not so much anymore thank goodness or I don't know how I would have made it through that drink. 
    • I took the "army grade" medical tape off by myself.  It was much less painful when the nurses did it though.  (I won't deny I was tempted to leave it on until my next apt. so they would take it off for me.  It was strong stuff.  I am used to bandages that fall off within mins.)

Misc. thoughts:
    • They should really provide a bed for anybody going through that test.  
    • No matter what, don't give up.  The very idea that I would have to restart the test if I complained about how I felt, kept me going.  Cling to the fact that the crappy feeling won't last too long.  The tiredness, maybe. 
    • You might look like a pregnant druggy after the test so maybe skip the short sleeves that day. 
    • Sitting around for the one hours test was almost harder then sitting around for the 3 hours test though that makes no sense. 

And now pictures, just because:
    All bandaged! 

    Post bandages.  Those red marks were there for a long while.  My skin did not appreciate that tape. Oh and apparently I might bruise easily but that's nothing new.  Just makes getting multiple shots a lot harder.  I think the nurse could tell the idea of getting my hand poked with the needle scared the crap out of me so she very kindly did her best to find a spot on the arm that wasn't already bruised that would  be generous with the blood.  I almost want to write her a thank you card. 

    A self portrait post test, prenap.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I shouldn't even be dedicating a post to Easter because we didn't do very much.  Besides church, the only thing that we did to celebrate was eat these:

They come highly recommended by us (and the friends that introduced us to them).  Super addicting.  

As I have referenced to before, our kitchen in our rental is not well suited for elaborate meals like baking a ham.  So I nixed the idea of a legitimate to me Easter dinner.  Then I had to use the beef in the fridge up so we ended up just eating hamburgers.  In fact, our meal tonight was ten times better than our Easter dinner.  Hopefully next year we can make up for it and actually have a real celebration. 

This is a bit late but I would like to state that I know our Savior lives and loves us very much.  One of my favorite hymns is a perfect reminder of what Easter is all about:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Relationship Related - Opposites Do Attract

 The hubby's portion of asparagus.  2 more than he would have liked. 

My portion of asparagus.  Less than I would have liked.