Taylor Made

Taylor Made

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thanksgiving and Christmas Festivities!


Thanksgiving was such a fun (and delicious) holiday for us this year! Rob's sister, Monica and her gang, (kids - Cameron, Donovan, Brittany, Ashley, Destiny, Karmen, and granddaughter Cassidy!) as well as Mom Taylor, all piled into a large passenger van and made the long trek from Michigan all the way out to Maryland to visit us. What a commute! We were so happy and flattered that they planned the trip to come out and see us for Thanksgiving, especially since we were only planning on a low key Thanksgiving at home this year. They came in late Tuesday night, prepped on Wednesday and Thursday morning, had Thanksgiving lunch/dinner Thursday (and FRIDAY!...and SATURDAY! Basically for as long as we had leftovers!), then left on Sunday morning. It was so nice getting to spend quality time with them, since when we go to Michigan, we are usually splitting our time between lots of different family members. As they stayed with us in our home, we had a chance to just relax, talk, and have fun! Some on the couch, some on the floor, some on the air mattress, and usually Ashley on the floor in Uriah's room! It was a full house for sure, but we made it work!

Left: working to de-rib the collard greens (me, Destiny, Brittany)
Right: Baking cake on cake on cake! (Rob, Ashley, Monica)

SO MUCH YUMMY FOOD! We had turkey, ham, candied yams, collard greens, fresh cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, potato salad, rolls, mac 'n cheese (two full trays!!), and CAKES! Caramel cake, chocolate cake, and lemon cake! (This is all off the top of my head, so I hope I remembered everything) We were more than happy to eat leftovers until there were no more. 

One thing I really enjoyed seeing was Uriah getting a chance to interact more closely with his cousins. I love how hands on everyone was. Not only was it good for Uriah to get a chance to spend time with family, but it was nice to have all of these willing extra hands to help take care of him! One morning, I woke up, and Uriah was on the couch eating cereal with the gals and watching cartoons! Another morning, they had taken him for a walk to the store. I really love how everyone was so kind and loving towards him!

Cassidy loved reading Uriah his bedtime story and giving him his bottle! She was a great helper!
Karmen playing with Uriah on the couch, and Cameron sharing his food with Uriah.


Christmas was another great holiday for us. It was fun decorating the tree and seeing all of my childhood ornaments and the memories that come with them. As a tradition, my mom would get each of us kids new ornaments every year. I love that she labeled them with the year, too, because then we really can appreciate how far back some of the ornaments go! (totally dating myself here) Not only was it fun to receive new ornaments every year, but my Mom's primary reason in giving us ornaments was so that when we had families of our own, we would have ornaments for our own trees! GREAT IDEA, MOM! I have already kept up with the tradition and bought ornaments for Uriah (and labeled with the year, albeit with much scragglier handwriting). We spent Christmas Eve drinking William Sonoma hot chocolate and watching a Christmas movie. Christmas Day, we all wore our matching Christmas PJs, read the story of Jesus' birth from the bible, and opened our gifts. 



We were invited to the Gary's for Christmas dinner. It was nice to be able to get together with good friends that are like family for Christmas. We had really ono food, and I played piano while the group gathered around to sing carols. It was an awesome Christmas!

I had to add this picture of Uriah, just because it's one of my favorites.
He is so handsome <3


Saturday, December 31, 2016

HOME SWEET HOME!!!!

We were so excited to be able to go home to Hawaii this past summer! Our main reason for going at that specific time (at that specific, crazy expensive time) was Kehau and Loren's wedding! YAY!! SO WORTH IT! Our tickets home cost us just over $2300 for our two tickets. Summer vacation may've contributed to that price, but flying from the East Coast all the way to the opposite side of the nation probably had more to do with it. 

Speaking of flying from the East Coast to Hawaii, if I had to use a word to describe that, I would use TORTUROUS. Granted, we only have one child, but a 16 hour total travel time with a mobile 1 year old is AWFUL. We were hoping that there would be extra seats where we could lay Uriah down next to us, but being that it was summer, all flights were packed, and we spent the majority of the time taking turns holding Uriah in our laps or trying to get him to sleep across our laps (HAHA! In retrospect, we were SOOOO funny in our optimism!). While Uriah was definitely tired, he had a hard time sleeping, or staying asleep on the flights. He was a delirious crazy man! To make matters worse, one of our seat DVD player was broken and not functional on one of our long legs (6 hour flight)! After our hell-raising flight to Hawaii, we decided we were going to change our flight home (another $200 or so, plus hotel room) so that we had an overnight layover. WORTH IT. Breaking up the flights made such a big difference!


Pre-craze.
See how calm I look? Still put together? See that smile? This was probably flight 1.
SCORE: Uriah, 1. Parents, 0.

Once we got to Hawaii, thankfully, our sour flight experience was a thing of the past! We were fortunate enough to be able to stay in my old room in Kahalu'u with Mom and Dad. We had an a/c room, Queen size bed, and our own bathroom/shower, so it was just perfect for our little family! Not only did Mom and Dad put us up, they also let us borrow Dad's nice car! We saved so much money by being able to stay with my parents. Aside from that, it was nice to be able to spend so much time with them! Every morning, Mom would take Uriah out of his room when he woke up (he was in Kehau's room in a pack-n-play) and would let me and Rob sleep in. This was SUCH A THOUGHTFUL and delicious treat for us! By the time we got up, Mom had usually fed Uriah breakfast and sometimes already had something for me and Rob to eat, too! SPOILED, I tell you! Uriah really warmed up to the house quickly, and to Mom and Dad. It was awesome to see.
Mom woke up with Uriah and gave him a bath every day (or Beth helped with baths too if not!)
It was so nice to have a little break, and we know everyone involved enjoyed it!
Dad found the way to Uriah's heart with cars and trucks! It was their special pass time.

Kehau and Loren's wedding was BEAUTIFUL! It was a beautiful day, ceremony, and reception! I was so happy to be able to witness the marriage of two of my most favorite people :) The only downside was that since it was their wedding, we didn't get to spend much time with them (absolutely understandable) what with all the running around beforehand, and the honeymoon cruise afterwards! Luckily, Kehau and Loren plan to come up to Maryland and visit us next year, so we will get all our quality time in then!







GRINDZ!!!! The food was so good.


It was so nice seeing everyone! We spent our days visiting with family and friends, EATING, and going to the beach! We were there for 18 days, but time really flew! We didn't get to see everyone that we would've liked, but that's one of the challenging with growing up on an island and coming from a big family! We hope to see those we missed on our next trip!



our first time meeting Kamuela and Roxy's baby girl, Kamamalu! She was a doll!!

Beth and Michelle met us at Ala Moana beach! Kehau just so HAPPENED to be there
with some friends, which was a fun surprise! :)

Uriah loved the water


eating all the ono food I can't get in MD:
Kimokeo local potluck, malasadas, manapua, and ahi katsu!
Kamuela invited us over for
steak and lobster tail! YUM!

Rob and I did pretty good with working out during our trip!
We worked out for free at the Pearl Harbor gym
 while Mom watched Uriah!
Took Hoku out for birthday lunch! It was YUMMY and fun!


One of our most fun days - just decided to drive, then
stopped at the beach wherever it looked nice! Fun day!

Belated anniversary overnight Koolina stay!
Sushi II for our anniversary dinner! Omakase (trust the chef/he controls the dishes) was excellent!


MASAS!
Fun in Kailua with some of our favorites - the Petersons! <3
Aija loved Uriah - and he loved her right back! BFFs!
Dinner Date with Mom and Dad - Yanagis!




The ride home was much smoother because:
1. We used mom's pro tip to take a King size pillow to help Uriah sleep. Really helped!
2. We broke up our flights and overnighted in Seattle for a few hours to shower,
stretch out our legs, and sleep!

Our trip was so fun, and it was really great to be able to spend so much time with the people we love. Going back wasn't easy, but the silver lining was getting back to our routines. We can't wait for our next trip home!











Saturday, October 29, 2016

I *HEART* NY

Anyone who knows me knows that I love musical theater. 

People who know me well also would know that I love the show Jane the Virgin. 

Now, what if the universe cosmically aligned to provide a Broadway that included my favorite actor from Jane the Virgin?!?! People: this is exactly what happened! Jaime Camil, who plays Rogelio De La Vega on Jane the Virgin, was guest-starring in CHICAGO on Broadway from the beginning of June to the beginning of July. Naturally, I HAD TO SEE THIS. Not going was literally not an option.

ALL THE YES.


I petitioned Jenn (Peru Gary) and Jess (Peru Buggs) and basically begged them to consider going so my life could be complete. (I'm nothing if not passionate!) Thankfully, they were both onboard with going! YAY! Jen took the reigns for planning, and organized everything as far as viable dates for all, purchasing our seats together, getting our Mega Bus tickets, AND getting us a BEAUTIFUL hotel within walking distance of our theater! (She also treated us to the hotel room which was very expensive since it was in such a prime location) JENN is OBVIOUSLY my hero!!  It was a quick overnight trip for us - just perfect for a "girls break!" We took the early bus down to New York (a near 4 hour drive) and arrived just in time for lunch. HELLO, Bubba Gumps!

Just a couple of Hawaiian Pochos in the big city!

This was just too funny not to include. We saw bread pudding on the menu, but Jenn doesn't like raisins.
She specifically asked if there were raisins, and the girl said no. She might've said there were currants
 (raisins right?) and not a lot.
Well. Not only were they straight up raisins, but there were TONS of them. Like, as soon as you put your spoon into
the dessert, it was gushing out raisins by the dozen. LOL! Jenn ate around the raisins obviously - or attempted to!

It happened to be pride week in NYC, so NYC was even more bustling than it usually is! We didnt really have too much time to sightsee. We ate lunch,  and went back to the hotel for a nap (HEY. we were working off of 3 hours sleep. Also, no kids so we COULD!!!) before the show! 



I've seen Chicago on Broadway before, so I knew the storyline, but the show was just as amazing as ever! It truly is one of my favorites!

Looking and feeling fabulous, if we do say so ourselves!

I was elated that Jenn and Jess both loved Chicago as much as I did! Jessica is also a "Rogelio" fan, so when we first saw him onstage we both did a little squeal and were starstruck pretty much every time he was on stage! SO FUN! 

I follow Jaime Camil on instagram, and saw that he had posted on occasion photos with fans after his show. There were a line of people waiting to meet him and take a picture with him, so we joined the ranks! One of the theater ushers confirmed that all of the stars exit from that doorway, so even if they didn't stop for a picture, we'd be able to see them. Well, he DID come out, and was very gracious and started taking photos and signing autographs!



I was discouraged because there were so many people (many were obviously Jane the Virgin fans because they were calling him by "ROGELIO!!! ROGELIO!!!" even though his name is Jaime!) Jenn, being her assertive self, bulldozed us to the friend and asked him, "Can we take a picture with you?" He said "OF COURSE! Let me just say hello to these people first then I'll be with you." SO NICE! there were a bunch of latina grandmas that he stopped to speak spanish with and give hugs to. Then it was our turn!

My life is now complete!

It was really refreshing to see how gracious and patient he was with all of his adoring fans. Even after doing the show (and shows throughout the week), he stopped to give photos and autographs to everyone in the line. It just made us like him even more! ALSO - he reposted my photo that I posted on Instagram! I was shrieking and crazy, and still honestly get excited about that if I think about it!

Okay, NOW my life is complete.

We capped of our amazing night with some late-night sushi. It was definitely New York pricing, but it was really fun just to be out and experiencing something new with some great friends. 

We slept in, checked out a local diner that one of the hotel bellman recommended to us (It did NOT disappoint!), then hurried over to our bus. We did not take into account the crazy traffic, so even though we were only 10 minutes away from our bus stop, the traffic was so bad we ended up missing our bus. Thankfully, Jenn was able to list us on the next bus home (which was an hour later) and we literally reserved the last three seats. It was a busy, fun-filled trip, and we were so grateful that we were able to bond for some sisterhood time! Also, kudos to our families for allowing us to venture and hold down the fort. 



To top off this amazing trip, when I came home, Rob had gotten a gift for me! It was a BEAUTIFUL lavender mixed potpourri complete with fancy ceramic vase. He seriously is the most thoughtful, sweet man. I love my husband!


 











Friday, October 28, 2016

A little bit of this and a little bit of that


Been WAY too long since I did a blog entry. I think the main reason is that I know I am behind on quite a few entries I've been meaning to post, so I keep putting it off....and then have MORE entries! SO! Today's blog is going to be relatively short and sweet! 

In July, Mom Taylor and Jace made the long drive down from Michigan to come see us! They were with us for two weeks since it was summer break. We had a great time doing a lot of nothing, really! It was too hot out for adventure (upper 90s and even into the 100s based on the heat index) on most days, so we kept close to our house most of the time and just were able to enjoy one another's company. Rob and Jace went to D.C. one day, while Mom and I stayed back to relax. We went out to eat a few times, and I was happy to be able to share some yummy healthy recipes with them, too. It was great that every swap we made, Jace and Mom Taylor really liked! (ground turkey for hamburger, zucchini "zoodles" instead of pasta noodles, egg whites, turkey sausage, etc!) It was good for Uriah to be able to spend some quality time with Grandma Taylor and Jace, too! As Uriah always is, he was a bit timid with them in the beginning, but by day 3 he was all good! This was also a good opportunity for me to get to know Jace one-on one. A lot of the times that I've been around Rob's family, there are so many people to meet and greet, that I don't get to spend a lot of one-on-one time getting to know people! When Destiny, and now Jace came to visit, it gave me the opportunity to really get to know them. We had a lot of fun watching silly movies, working out at the gym, and just relaxing! We look forward to the next visit!

Post gym, hangout time, and feedings!


Zoodles with Marinara, and me and Mom get a pedicure for her birthday!
Bottom pictures are in-process and FINAL product of best homemade cinnamon rolls ever!


We had such a nice visit, and look forward to many more visits and visitors while we are here! <3







Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Uriah turns 1!...and then Uriah turns 14 months! (oops!)

I can't believe that Uriah is over 1 year old! And from the time I meant to do this blog, MORE time has passed and now Uriah is 14 months! I need to finish this entry already or the next thing I know, he'll be 18!




For Uriah's birthday, we kept it very low-key. Rob and I went to check out an Amish market (sidenote: it's AMAZING!!), and Uriah got a taste of some fresh churned ice cream! After that, we took Uriah to our condo's pool. He absolutely LOVES the water and is a total water baby.






















We wanted to do a photo shoot for Uriah's 1st birthday, and decided to do a "cake smash." My friend Des (from high school, who happens to live literally 5 minutes down the road from us here!) is a photographer, and did Uriah's cake smash photos for us. He was very tentative with the cake, but the photos came out SO awesome! I'll post more once we get the retouched photos back!








 

At Uriah's 1 year appointment, here were his stats:

-Weight 19.14 oz.
-Height 30 3/4 in.

As per usual, he is on the lean side of the scale, but we are OK with that! He's a really good eater, and still continuing to grow at each appointment. 

He now has 7 teeth INCLUDING a set of molars on the bottom! Honestly, he may have even more at this point but it's hard to really get a look in there! We tried to take him to the dentist recently after he turned 1. I thought it would be good for us to have a dentist take a look and make sure that his teeth look good. Since he loves brushing his teeth, I thought Uriah would do well. 
I thought wrong.
He HATED it! It all started when they seated him next to this huge ceramic (and apparently menacing) bear, and he started crying. I knew then that it was going to be bad. The dentist ended up not doing much (I think they put fluoride on Uriah's teeth) since he was not happy. Rob and I decided we won't take Uriah back to the dentist for awhile so that we don't scar him for life!

Uriah's typical breakfast consists of TWO eggs scrambled in olive oil and a handful of spinach. He loves this breakfast! I'm glad that he loves spinach, too! He has gotten a lot better about eating most fruit (sliced grapes, apples, bananas, melons), and prefers fresh vegetables (cooked) to canned! He eats brown rice, and loves cheese as well as cottage cheese. The only thing he still regularly rejects is meat. We've only tried to give him ground turkey/hamburger and chicken so far, and it's really hit or miss as to whether he will be receptive or not. Mostly, it's not. I'm sure just like other foods, the texture and flavor of meat will take some getting used to! 




Uriah started walking at 12 months! That was such a cool, huge landmark to witness! AAAAAAAND then we got over it. LOL! Now that he's walking, he is loving his newfound height and expanded vantage points, and has since decided no toy will ever compare to the myriad fun that lies await in my kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, drawers, etc! Some of his ABSOLUTE favorite daily "toys" are my musubi maker, ladle, whisk, measuring cups, and potato masher. These MUST be played with at least 3 times every day. 

The following conversation is the conversation I reasonably expect is going on in Uriah's head, every time he heads to the kitchen drawers.

Uriah: Can the ladle fit in the musubi maker?! Lemme see!!!!  
Hmmm. No.
I'm surprised. 
I could've sworn it was going to fit. Oh well! Lemme just chomp on this potato masher real quick to make sure it's sturdy. Yup! My purpose here has been served. 
*discards now useless kitchen utensils*

--2 hours later--

Uriah: You know what? What about NOW?! I bet the ladle will fit in the musubi maker NOW! 
Hmmm...still no, huh? 
OK, maybe I'll just stick this measuring cup in here instead. 
JUST as fun.

--1 hour later--

Uriah: OK there is no way this ladle is not fitting in this musubi maker; obviously I was doing it wrong before.
See, now if I DO IT THIS WAY....are you kidding me?!
geez this thing is complicated. 
Forget it. I guess I'll just go unload the tupperware drawer now.

Which brings me to my next point: HE LOVES my tupperware drawer! Not so interested in banging pots and pans, but he LOVES my tupperware! Favorite pastimes include pulling out all of the tupperware, biting the tupperware, and trying to put lids on the tupperware. I HAVE noticed that (to my amazement) his brain understands differences in size, and while he still hasn't quite mastered the right lids for certain containers, he will usually grab a lid that is more or less the correct size (example: a very small lid for a very small container). I'm fascinating at seeing his problem solving skills at work!

Other skills/landmarks:
-waves bye
-says yeah, go, stop, set (ready set go), ok (otay), dada. and "oooooohhhhh." 
-sings along to some of his favorite songs: 
1 little finger
wheels on the bus
twinkle twinkle

One of the biggest recent transitions we've made is Uriah has finally moved into his own room! Hooray! We've been so busy with company, and trips that we've only been able to move him out this week (14 months), but it's been a smooth transition! It's definitely better for us, and he seems to be sleeping better in the other room, too (fingers crossed I didn't just jinx myself)

I know I've mentioned before how paradoxical time can be; on one hand, it seems like time has flown by, yet on the other, my non-Mom days literally feel like a lifetime ago. And I guess it was, really.

So much of my life has changed since becoming a Mom. I feel like I have "grown-up" a lot, both physically (as manifested by some new wrinkles, droopier and softer body parts, and this new trendy filter called "tired" I've been sporting daily) as well as mentally. I have learned greater patience, love, and a deeper level of joy and happiness than I have never previously known. Being a mother has also made me acutely aware of my own glaring faults (at least Uriah's still too young to point them out for me :P), but it has also made me determined to tackle these faults and hopefully turn them into strengths at a later point down the road.  I love my family and am so glad that we are all in this crazy life together <3