Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Glow Run 5K

Leilani's napping once again and I'm drifting off too but I wanted to write some things down before it's too late. 

This last Saturday evening, my friends Emily and Jenny joined me in participating in the Glow Run 5K in Washington D.C. by the RFK Stadium. I've known these ladies since we met in the Alexandria First Ward nearly five years ago and they are so much fun and just all around wonderful people.
I can't remember when I last did a 5K and this one was really a blast! Probably my favorite yet, since it was at night, the glow sticks were a good time and it just had a huge party atmosphere to it. (A good break for we three mamas.) I need to start doing more fun runs like this! I loved it!

Before the race!
I didn't take the best photos but here's one before the race.
We went through a few of these funny creations. One had strobe lights and fog inside. It was like entering a dance party in the middle of a race. Soooo fun!
These photos are from the internet but I just wanted to show how awesome it was to be around hundreds of people all decked out in glow sticks. There were some really impressive costumes in our race.
As you can see, this wasn't a competitive race, but it was such a blast to experience a glow run! I would totally do it again! My conversations with Emily and Jenny were awesome too and we really enjoyed our girl's night out! Thanks so much for joining me ladies!
What a memorable night!

Leilani's 14 Month Letter

My Dear Little Leilei,

You are growing up so quickly! I'm pretty sure that you have grown at least two inches this last month. It's bittersweet to watch your adorable baby rolls disappear, however, your fun personality is absolutely bursting through the seams and your Daddy and I really enjoy watching you express yourself! You have the BIGGEST personality ever and I love it!

Your language is rapidly increasing! New words include bubbles, what's that, no, and cat. Of course, you would say cat. They are by far your favorite animal! You get so excited when you see felines, whether in books, on TV, in person, etc. You start to squeal and it's really really cute!

You now have nine teeth! Those molars will be coming in soon! (Hello Tylenol!) This last tooth has given you grief for months and we all partied when it finally poked through. You have often been saying "owww". Poor baby.

I'm not sure if it's my imagination but I think that it's fair to say that you are now sleeping better through the night and usually only wake up 1-3 times on a good night. That's a big improvement! I still have hope that you will start sleeping more as you age.

You are incredibly sweet and love to kiss your mama, dada and Grandma Janette. Also, your best friend, Isabelle, received a loving peck at church. We were all laughing! You definitely know how to lay on the charm. It's interesting how you prefer some babies too. You are really a lover and enjoy cuddling your mama when you're tired or need some reassurance. I just eat it all up. You are so affectionate!

Also, lately you have started wagging your index finger at Daddy or I and babbling in very strict tones. I'm pretty sure that you are mimicking Mike or I when we lecture each other. Uhhh ohhhh. It's so funny right now...

You are my little water baby and are very passionate about swimming in the pool and visiting splash pads. When you last saw our pool you exclaimed, "wow, wow, wow". You love all things water and it makes our everyday adventures so fun. However, you don't really care for water tables or kiddie pools. You always want to go fast in the pool. Maybe we'll put you in swim lessons soon. We are definitely trying to take advantage of this last month of summer.

All babies love the cell phone and you really enjoy holding it to your ear and chatting excitedly. We're pretty good at facetiming now. You love to play pretend and are getting more into legos and stacking.

You are definitely an extrovert like your mama and love being outside. You will cry at the door and one of your parents will take you out to explore or walk around. I don't blame you at all. Saying "hi" and "bye" to friends and strangers is your favorite hobby. Everywhere we go you are waving and exclaiming "hi" to everyone that walks by. You are such a friendly and happy girl.

You love to sing and it's really really cute to see you sing in church or along with your daddy. You love all of the Frozen songs and "Bless the Rains Down in Africa" by Toto. You always start singing when we play that song. You love to dance around the room when we play Frozen.

Your Daddy and I love you with all of our hearts and souls. You really are so much fun and I love having you by my side. I'm such a lucky lady!

With All My Heart,
Mama

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Class Baby

After our wonderful month long trip in Oregon, it was finally time to say good-bye on July 28th. I didn't want to come back to D.C. Reality and endless house work really bites! I really could have happily stayed in Oregon forever.

Everyone was so sad to see us off. My Mom and Bob threw a potluck the day before for people to meet Kendra and Aunt Michele, Nicole and her family came. It was really fun to visit with them. 

On Monday morning, we were up at 3 am to leave for the airport. Luckily, Leilani and I were already awake since she wanted a bottle and wakes up every few hours anyways. Motherhood has definitely made me tougher and I can now accomplish many things on very little sleep. I say that it's akin to being a Navy Seal.

This was our first time flying alone so I was pretty nervous but my Mom and Bob helped us drop our things off which I was really grateful for. Also, my Dad upgraded us to first class which was very kind and generous of him. I was cracking up because it was us and a bunch of older men in first class. Leilani almost knocked a man's orange juice on his lap but luckily he caught it and didn't say anything rude to us. Phew!

Our flight left at 6 am so luckily Leilani slept for the first three hours of the flight. I was so relieved even though I was afraid to move for fear of waking her.
The last two hours of the flight were stressful since Leilani wanted to run around the aisle but the flight attendant kept telling me that she couldn't because of the turbulence. (I still did when she wasn't looking.) Lei kept screaming, throwing a fit and biting me because I wouldn't let her run down the aisle, since she kept falling and touching people, and I was literally counting every minute until we landed. Ohhh sweet ground! I've never been so happy to get off a plane! 

However, we made it and I'm eternally grateful that it's over! Ok, relatives. You people need to start visiting us! 

On the way to baggage claim we were stuck in a crowded train and Leilani accidentally kicked a lady standing next to us. Instead of being rude she turned to her and started complimenting her on her gold shoes and saying sweet things. I was so grateful. Several people also complimented her saying how good and beautiful she is.

However, on the other hand, we also encountered rude people who made me feel pretty crummy about humanity in general. Of course, they are everywhere but they especially like to roam around airports. For instance, when we were in line for first class to board the plane three people cut in front of us. I was so shocked and appalled! I'm not trying to be rude but let me just say that these people were NOT in our zone and shouldn't have been in our line in the first place. I mean who takes advantage of a lady with a baby? It's just so ghetto.

Also, after we landed I was standing next to our baggage claim looking for my suitcases when a sports team of people from a different country rushed up to me and a lady started literally pushing and elbowing me. Not gently either. Now let me just say that I was pretty much the only one standing next to the baggage claim. There was TONS of room for this team to collect their bags but for some odd reason they felt that they had to come up and push the lady with the baby. It was so weird! 

In addition, I've used public transportation in India and Mozambique so I know that in different nations people will push you on buses, trains, etc. in order to get a spot. You just don't take it personally because that's how other nations work. So I didn't necessarily think that this sports team was just plain rude but I felt that it was a cultural custom, thus I tried to push the lady away from me so she wouldn't hurt Leilani or I and then walked away because it's just not worth it. However, I'm blogging about it because I just can't believe that people would do that to a lady with a baby. I've never seen anything like that happen in the USA. I think that if it happened again I should have yelled at the people to get away from me and then maybe someone would have come to help me. 

To say the least, I was incredibly happy to finally see Mike and get away from the airport. Our house looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a month and there were moldy bottles in the fridge so I have spent the past week cleaning. Poor Leilani has been so bored. I still have SO MUCH housework to do but I'm trying to take it bit by bit so I don't lose my sanity. 

It has been really hard to come home and to be by myself with Lei all day again. I miss the companionship of my sister and other family members during the day. However, this is life and reality and I'm a strong woman who can adjust to these new challenges. Leilani's cutting her 9th tooth (a molar) so wants to be held constantly and I may or may not have started crying on Saturday morning after begging Mike to watch her so I could sleep.  I've also had many friends offer their love, friendship and babysitting services which has really meant the world to me. It's really challenging to raise a family basically by yourself but we're taking it one day at a time. I've been a bit depressed and homesick these past few weeks but I'm slowly coming out of my shell and enjoying Virginia once again.

Splash Pad in Hillsboro

One Friday afternoon, my Mom, Madeline, Leilani, and I had a yummy lunch at a local Hawaiian restaurant. The owners are acutally from Samoa! Samoans in Oregon? Crazy! Afterwards, we took Lei to the local fountain and she was in heaven. Splash pads are one of her favorite activities! 
Sadly, my cell phone was later stolen but we still had such a fun time watching this baby go wild! 

The Portland Zoo

Leilani had such a blast visiting in Oregon with my family. She had near constant attention, tons of people who were fighting to play and hold her, cats and dogs to chase, new toys, etc.

One weekend we went to visit the Portland Zoo and had a really enjoyable time together. The last time we went Leilani was too small to really see anything but this time she was interested in everything. I loved it! 
The lucky girl loved petting the goats in the petting zoo.
Her cute smile says it all.