Friday, June 28, 2013

Introducing Baby Neuffer

Jack Isaac
Born 12:08 p.m. 
7 lbs. 1.9 oz
19.5 inches

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fake Maternity Pics 2

Here are a few more pictures from last night: 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fake Maternity Pictures

I didn't want to spend the money on actual maternity pictures this go around but I did want to document this pregnancy somehow.  Tonight Jon and I drove up to the area we used to live and took some pictures.  I am officially hitting 39 weeks tomorrow and could have this baby any day now so it seemed like the perfect time to take some pictures.  Thankfully the weather cooperated.

I will post more later but the one I wanted to post tonight is the one I am most excited about and one of the main reasons I wanted to go out and take pictures, as cheesy as it is.  A while ago my mom let me have a shirt she had found.  It was a shirt she had received while delivering one of her children, though she was unsure of which one.  I decided that I didn't care who it was, I WANTED THAT SHIRT!!!  Technically she could have received it when she had my brother near the end of '84 but I am forever claiming that she definitely got it when she had me, since I was born in '85.  Makes the most sense anyways, right?  Well I have been waiting to wear it ever since, and while it is kind of a girly shirt with all the pink, I decided I just had to get a prego belly picture in it.  In fact, I want to get a picture in it with every kid I have.  And maybe by the last pregnancy, I will actually fit in it properly.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fireworks at Waikiki

We trekked down to Waikiki beach Tuesday night for a fantastic fireworks display put on by some random cosmetics company that has their annual convention down there every year.  This was my first time down in the Waikiki area and it sure is the happening place.  If you like to shop and eat and hit the beach at the same time, this is the area for you.

Here are some pictures of the fireworks:

And here are a few from earlier in the evening at a park in Honolulu (which just happens to be right across from a huge mall):

Friday, June 7, 2013

North Shore Beach Visit

I don't know the name of this particular beach we visited one afternoon but it is certainly popular among the tourists.  The water was hilarious because it would be pretty shallow and then when the waves hit, it would suddenly get super super deep and pull you back.  It was fun but I didn't last long in it because I found it to be a bit freaky.  The hubby sure enjoyed it though.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Making Hard Tasks Easy

Do you tend to up off the hard tasks on your to do list for the easy ones?  I put off the hard and the ones I just plain don't want to do, and then those tasks get put off for much too long.  Is it worth putting them off?  I enjoyed the fresh perspective in this article:  How To Make Hard Things Easy by David Cain.  Makes me rethink how I approach said tasks.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Renting in Hawaii

I thought I would do a post about our rentals here in Hawaii, including how we found our current rental, to give you a bit of an idea about the rental situation here.

Sorry for the long and boring post.  Thought it might be a bit informative for anybody who cared.

When we first were coming to Hawaii, our belongings were going to arrive much later than we were.  This left us with three choices: get a furnished rental; get an unfurnished rental and get a few basic belongings; or stay in a hotel.  Staying in a hotel for at least a month was way out of the budget and would have cost us thousands of dollars a week.  We didn't want to live on the bare minimum for more than a month so we went ahead and started looking for a furnished rental.  While many places come furnished, it is difficult to find a temporary furnished rental that isn't a vacation rental and again, out of budget.  This was super stressful for us but the hubby thankfully found a very nice condo with an owner who was willing to negotiate a couple hundred dollar higher rent for a shorter rental period so we thankfully managed to find a place to stay before arriving in Hawaii.

We arrived super late after a very long flight and at first sight were very unsure of what we had gotten ourselves into to.  The place was hard to find.  The garage was very hard, if not impossible, to park the car in.  The place didn't seem that clean.  Everything just seemed so foreign and off.  But we went to bed and with a good nights rest and fresh perspective the next morning, our rental didn't seem so bad and we actually fell in love with it.

We liked the condo, and its location, enough to continue to rent it but we really wanted our stuff and with it being furnished, there was no place for our belongings and the small amount of furniture we owned.  In fact, when moving to Hawaii, many people just put their stuff in storage on the mainland or sell all of their belongings because furnished rentals here are so easy to find and not really any more expensive than an unfurnished rental.  I don't believe in owning things, unless they are heirlooms, just to keep them in storage.   So I either wanted to sell or bring our stuff, with me leaning on the bringing end because I personally like most of my things (minus most of our living room furniture).

Anyways, we began to look about a month out from when we were to leave our temporary rental and about 2 months out from when the baby was scheduled too arrive.  Everybody mentioned Craigslist as the place to go, so between that website and a few government and military websites, we would find adds, call, hope to get a showing, visit the place, and make a decision whether we wanted it.  It was hard because we wanted to make the right decision but rentals can go so quickly here.  You don't always see the add in time to get a showing nor is it ever easy to get in touch with the right person, and there are so many people seeing the same place the same day you are, you have to act interested and get the application in ASAP.  Not only that but they usually want you to move in soon there after, so if you can't move right away, that makes it hard as well.  Overall, a super stressful and trying experience.

Here is a rough rundown of what we did and didn't like about our condo, the places we saw, and the place we ultimately chose:

Wailua Condo We Stayed In:
Pros- Good deal for the price; right across from the beach; two large bedrooms with good size closets; lots of storage in bathroom; updated kitchen; nice washer and dryer; a one car garage with plenty of storage space; bathroom on each floor; 2 floors
Cons- Got super hot during the day; no air condition in living room; kitchen would heat up like crazy (no fun while pregnant); cockroaches; crazy barking dogs right nearby; some parts of the house never seemed to look clean because of the materials they used to build; lots of steep stairs and stone floors (not kid friendly); far away from the main shopping areas so not many grocery store choices unless you drive for a half hour

First Mililani Rental We Saw:
Pros - three bedrooms so the potential for a room for an office for the hubby; big guest bathroom; okay size living/dining area; nice community; two bathrooms; washer and dryer; not far from a variety of stores
Cons - far from beach; small bedrooms; small kitchen; microwave so low I wasn't sure I could use a huge pasta pot on the stove; no closet doors

Second Mililani Rental:
Pros: three bedrooms so the potential for a room for an office for the hubby; two and a half bathrooms; 2 floors; huge garage; washer and dryer; a yard that we didn't have to take care of; nice area; not far from a variety of stores
Cons: far from beach; small bedrooms; old appliances; sort of small living room/dining area; the price and the fact that a large part of the price was because of the garage (which is fine sometimes but might not be worth it when the budget is already being stretched)

Rental Down Road From Condo:
Pros - location; big bedrooms; price; washer and dryer
Cons - smells like a hotel; small kitchen; could barely open the dishwasher because of the location of the washer and dryer; only one bathroom; small living/dining area; potentially no room for the hubbies desk

Rental Near Library and Farmers Market in Wialua:
Pros - location; big bedrooms; price
Cons - felt like I was at girls camp; way nasty outdated shower; horrible not carpet and not matching wood floors; needed major painting;  super old and small stove and fridge;  tons of junk in yard;  didn't feel kid friendly;  potentially no room for the hubby's desk; no washer and dryer though there were hookups outside

Mililani Location Near Ross: 
Pros - price; two floors; washer and dryer; bathroom on each floor; updated kitchen; good size bedrooms; tons of storage; a loft that hubby could use as a recording studio/office; lovely master bedroom; owners had plans to update closets; across from Ross (girls dream come true) and grocery store
Cons - run down area of Mililani; small living room/dining room; small kitchen; no guest bathroom; balcony area looked really old and dirty; not near beach

Current Rental: 
Pros - Two good size bedrooms; two full bathrooms; not a teeny tiny kitchen like some of the above rentals; big, open and airy; much cooler temperature wise than our temporary rental; ability to have air conditioning in all the main rooms; nice tub in master bedroom; good amount of storage (though still not enough for us); carpeted which the hubby likes; much closer to a variety of stores (and the hospital); has pool across street;  nice walking paths by community; lots of storage in the kitchen; washer and dryer; huge covered balcony so we can eat outside everyday
Cons - The price; not near the beach; ants; didn't have time to paint it before we moved in (This will hopefully be taken care of though next time we are on vacation. It really needs it.); old carpets though we did agree to that because having a baby on brand new carpets sounds stressful; old appliances; hard to efficiently use the space because of the location of all the doors and other misc. things you don't want to block; no way to really have a dining area (though that was a common thing with all the rentals we saw); a dog below us; the traffic noise seems loud which we blame on the fact that we live in a valley;  not a big open kitchen so it's hard having multiple people in it; family above us; having the "office" in the living room

Overall, our rental isn't perfect.  But when I first saw this place, it excited me and I do think we could really come to like it, especially if and when improvements are made.

A few random notes:

If you want your own furniture, bring it with you.  Furniture shopping isn't fun here on the island.  Limited choices, price ranges, and styles.

Don't come with your typical American expectations for lots of living space, huge bedrooms, multiple baths, and updated kitchens.  These things come with a huge price tag here.  Space is money because its so limited, just like in the city.

Everybody has their biases about which area is the best to live in.  Listen to their reasons but visit each place and decide on your own.  And then also be open to living somewhere else.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Life In Letters

Dear Baby,

You are full term now so technically you could come any day now.  I beg of you though, please stay in for at least another week or two.  I would really really appreciate it.  Moving so many times these past months has made it really hard to feel prepared for you and I have so many things I would still like to get done before you come.

At the same time, we can't wait to meet you.  I am dying to know how much you weigh.  No one believes I am due soon because apparently I am too small, but according to the doctors, you are not small at all.  It will be a big surprise either way and your mommy sure does love surprises!  Usually that is!

Love you so much already,


Your Very Unprepared and Inexperienced Mommy

Dear Trader Joe's,

How can you not be in Hawaii?  Do you not realize how badly this island wants and needs you?  How much I miss you?

I might have to become a Whole Foods shopaholic in your absence but my hubby and wallet probably will not appreciate that.  So please, I beg of you, come!  If Whole Foods can do it and have such delicious varieties of food, so can you.  Then my family and friends won't be forced to bring me your items every time they come visit.

It's a win win for everyone!


Your Not So Happy Ex Customer

Dear Olive Garden, 

Your moving here in 2015 better not be a lie.  End of story!


Starving For Olive Garden

Dear Chick-fil-A, 

I have no hope of you moving here.  I really do understand your concerns, but if you ever change you mind,  I will love you that much more.


Needing Your Chicken Tenders

P.S. You are missed here so much, people actually bring you back from the mainland.  For some reason I find this hilarious, until I realize how much I want you.  Then I only wish I were so brave.  But chicken sitting on a plane for 6+ hours.  I just don't know....

Dear Chipotle,

Any chance of you moving here?  Any, at all?


Hopefully For a Burrito Bowl

Dear Ikea, 

I could really use you right now.  Furniture shopping here really stinks big time.


Feeling Not So Inspired Right Now

Dear Greek Yogurt, 

Breakfast was really good.  You and I might be able to form a relationship after all.  I know, I know, you never thought you would see the day.


Not Typically a Yogurt Fan

Dear Dryer, 

When I said I was going to wish for all my appliances to break so we could get updated ones, I didn't mean the week I moved in.  Apparently, you were extra exuberant in fulfilling my wishes.  Because you listened to me so well, I can almost forgive you for burning some of my clothes.  Almost!  But not quite!  I think an apology might be in order from you.


So Glad I Accidentally Ended Up With Two Air Drying Racks