Taylor Made

Taylor Made

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Come at me, BRO!

So, I generally like to keep my blog light and happy, but I DID also say that this was going to be part journal for myself...and whats a journal if I don't keep it real every once in awhile?! Well then it becomes a "book," and I want posterity to know that their great-great-great-EXTRA-SUPER-GREAT-grandma was not only awesome and gorgeous but also candid with her life experiences. That being said...CUE THE REALNESS!

Today is a big, fat NOPE and it's only 10:30am! Though it is Thursday, it feels like a Monday. And not just any Monday: the Monday after you come back from a two week vacation somewhere beautiful, then have to go back to work, after you've sat in traffic for an hour. Am I painting a picture here? Well maybe this will help:

Is this me? It very well could be. Wait.
This woman is wearing makeup. I am not even on THIS level!!
Perhaps my disdain is due in part to the fact that I have a cold, and a baby, who also has a cold. All I want to do is sleep, lay around watching TV, and drink some hot tea. OH, and take a ton of cold meds (yeah, nursing means basically no medicine. At least none worthwhile, anyway). INSTEAD! I wake up with the KRAKEN --
(throwback to 1981 Clash of the Titans because 1) that's the only one I've seen and 2) there is no need to see any others because it is THE Clash of the Titans to end all Clash of the Titans!)

Uriah? Is that you? 

I am convinced these characters are one and the same.
And as for you crib shamers, we are lowering the crib (again) when Rob gets home today.
Where were we? Ah yes, onto my list of grievances.

1. Kraken baby is also teething, as documented in previous blog entry. Gone is my sweet, patient, happy baby. Who IS this tyrant demon child that has replaced him? "I decree no naps, ever! Blocks of sleep? hahaha! That's cute! Oh, you're hungry? That's funny because SO AM I! I have DEMANDS, and they will be heard!...BY THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD IF NECESSARY!" *sigh* His increased mobility, while impressive, is also exasperating at times since he wants to get into everything BUT his many toys strewn about in futile hope of enticing him. 

2. In matters of productivity, today I have gotten Uriah to nap (good 'ol Cry it Out!), and successfully ate breakfast (at 12:30pm). I previously tried Cry It Out and thought I could never do it because it was so hard for me to hear him cry. Don't get me wrong - I  still don't enjoy hearing him cry, but when you have done everything to make your baby comfortable and you know they are tired and just won't sleep, you reevaluate options. Thankfully, his crying was short-lived and I got a good 40 minutes to myself. And it's a good thing I had 40 minutes to myself, because it meant I could contact XFINITY about our connectivity issues! YAY for "personal time"! (eye-roll) Which brings me to my next grievance -

3. Our WIFI has been all day off-and-on for the past 2 weeks, despite all of the "reboots" we were told would fix it. (I know, first world problems, but when you rely on technology for "Elmo Celebrity Songs" to keep your  baby entertained while doing the dishes or folding laundry, WIFI becomes very detrimental to survival. Also, FB while nursing) This just adds to an overall disappointment with Xfinity's service since we obtained them in November, to include, but not limited to: several prior phone calls about the same connectivity issues, multiple technician visits, and a new cable box put in about a month after our other new cable box. You get the idea.

4. The diaper from hell. Self-explanatory.

5. The DIAPER GENIE, which acts as a tomb for any and all diapers from hell, malfunctioned today. The foot pedal wasn't working, and when I tried to push the diaper from hell through the top slot, it wasn't working, even though the chamber was basically empty. Figured out how to get hell diaper down the chute, BUUUUT then the lid wouldn't shut. So the toxic fumes that are normally safely enshrouded in the diaper genie were wafting through our home. This was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, so I slammed the lid down (not unlike an MMA fighter slams their palm into the face of a poor unfortunate opponent), and it broke off. HOWEVER! The hinges didn't break, and the lid now can lie flush with the genie. So the lid isn't officially fixed, but at least we don't have death fumes permeating our home, and I feel A WHOLE LOT BETTER having taken my aggression out on something inanimate. (Sorry, Rob. Hopefully you can fix the genie when you get home) OH, and while this was happening, I saw my baby was chewing on the iPhone charger. and I let him continue while I "fixed" the genie.


HAVING SAID ALL THIS (and I know I've said a lot), I feel a lot better now that Uriah has napped and I got a chance to vent my frustrations. Being a Mom is not easy, and while it is only one facet of who I am, it has really altered everything  I do, and my perception of what is important in my life. Today is just a hiccup in a journey that I am 99.9% of the time thrilled to be a part of. I know the tough times do not last forever, though alternate tough times still lie ahead in different forms. Bring it on! (Feigned bravery is still bravery, right? Fake it till you make it, as they say!)

*6. Whoever you are that rang the obnoxious buzzer and woke up my almost asleep baby just now, then were not there when I answered the buzzer: I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. What I do have are a particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. (edit) I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Crawling, and Eating, and Teething - Oh MY! 8 month Update on Uriah L. Taylor ("ULTRA")

Let's just get this party started with a shameless plug for how cute my baby is.
Seriously! Look at him! Ugh, it's painful how cute he is!

Well, well, well, here we are again, TWO MONTHS later, having flashed by, really, with Uriah now at 8 months! EEK! (also in related news: this body of mine had a baby 8 months ago and excuses are no longer valid!) It is amazing how so much of my day to day is repetitive, much like the movie Groundhog's Day, yet so many huge changes are taking place  with Uriah underfoot (literally)!

Some big landmarks for Uriah since last post:

-Uriah, who previously did not particularly enjoy eating, starts showing his Kimokeo roots and now LOVES and looks forward to eating food! A lot of times after he takes a bite he will say, "MMMMMM!" His favorite food by far is sweet potato, with sweet peas coming in a close second. Surprisingly, he does not care for fruit yet! I wanted to make sure I got him accustomed to eating vegetables before introducing fruit since fruits are so sweet and yummy, I would assume that kids would naturally prefer the sweet over veggies. At this point, he does not need breastmilk or formula added to the veggies and can get them straight with the exception of green beans. Honestly, I get it. Green beans without butter, salt or pepper? Sure go ahead and add some milk to that! We tried first with applesauce, and next with bananas, and on both, he makes some pretty funny faces! Like anything, I'm sure it will take a few tries to get used to new flavors.

My homemade baby food - it's crazy how much brighter the colors are!
Sweet potato, green beans, and sweet peas.

-SPEAKING of loving food, when Uriah sees food coming, he will wave his hands excitedly! So anything that he finds exciting elicits the waving hands. It is super cute and makes me chuckle every time I see it, even though I see it all the time. He also does a chewbacca type gurgle when he is excited, which I don't find quite as cute, but it still makes me laugh, just the same. The chewbacca gurgle as we have nicknamed it usually manifests itself during mealtime or bouts of extreme laughter. Rob gets the most chewbacca gurgles when he is tickling Uriah.

-CRAWLING! At my last update, Uriah was mysteriously moving backward, but with no visible sign of "crawling." Well, Uriah is now doing a modified crawl! It is more of a drag, really, but he can move - and BOY DOES HE. It is quite exasperating because he is curious, and naturally wants to see everything, and nothing looks quite as exciting as our laptops, playstation controllers, cords, and cable box! We will literally have toys playing music, with lights flashing, and he B-lines to our same electronics. *sigh*!!! Maybe this is how I will start to lose some of my last few pregnancy pounds! I spend a good amount of my day saying "NO no!" and removing him from the same areas, over and over. 

All day mischief. Lucky he's so cute!

Oh sure, it's all fun and games until you get stuck!! HAHA!

aaaah, yes, another favorite "toy"

-HAIR! You may notice that all of a sudden, Uriah's formerly patchy hair is getting curlier, fuller, and fluffier. I could not be more THRILLED with this! I love love love curly hair, and Uriah's hair is not disappointing! It is cute that when he is tired and starting to fall asleep, sometimes he rubs his own head or gently caresses his own hair. LOL.  

Fluffy :)


Seriously, lady, how many sleeping pictures do you need?

-While we're on the subject of sleeping, I NEED to record one of the sweetest, most endearing things that I love about Uriah when it comes to sleep: He always needs to be cuddling up with someone's hands or arms for comfort. Hopefully he grows out of it later, but for now, I am enjoying that sweet and tender moment! I jokingly call him my little koala bear because he reminds me of those little koala pencil decorations from elementary school, where they had bendy arms that wrapped around your pencil. 

Needing to be touching BOTH of us.
It should be noted that while every picture shows the same outfit for Uriah, rest assured, they were all taken on different days! (see: subtle differences in hair).

-Noticing extremities. Uriah is noticing that his hands, fingers, and feet are attached to him! A lot of the time he will be playing then all of a sudden stop to stare at his hands with a very serious and concentrated face! To this end, he also loves taking this newly discovered fingers and gouging them into our eyes, mouths, nostrils, etc. 

-Communication developments. Uriah shakes his head "no" when he doesn't want anymore food, and when he cries, he says, "mama, mama, mama." Not sure if he links Mama to me quite yet but he says both mama and dada.

-Uriah still loves books and reading. He now recognizes the titles to some of his favorite stories, and even where they are on the dresser. If he is fussing, for example, I will say, "Should we read 'A Sweet Smelling Garden?' " And he will stop and look to the dresser where I keep the story. What a smart boy he is!

---And now, for one of the biggest, updates to date---

-Uriah is TEETHING! I started thinking he was going to be the toothless wonder forever, but all of a sudden, he had two teeth erupting on the bottom! It does mean he is fussier, and more drooly, and less sleepy, but we are doing what we can to make him comfortable! He is still nursing and luckily, those new additions have not equated to me getting bitten yet.


and lastly, we know that Uriah will take great care of his teeth, because 
-he LOVES helping us brush our teeth! I think the fact that the sonicare buzzes is intriguing to him, but as soon as he hears the whirring of the toothbrush, he is reaching for it!

Uriah continues to delight us, exasperate us, and keep us on our toes! We are so blessed to be his parents and just love our little family!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Oh HIIIIIIIIIIIII, OHIO! So nice of us to join you!

Two weeks ago (oh man - I can't believe it was still so recent!) we packed up our car and took our little family to Ohio! Why, oh why, oh why-oh? Why did we ever go Ohio?? (I know for sure Hoku will get this song reference. The only reason I know it is from Mr. Bright's plays! But I digress...) 

Kamuela had informed us a few months ago that he would be in Ohio in January with Uncle Jerry for a concert, and that we should meet up with him. Um, yes please! So pretty much from that time, we had been eagerly looking forward to this reunion. For myself, obviously it was the chance to get to spend time with my brother (and the first member of my family since we moved to Maryland) and for Rob, the same, in addition to getting to go with Kamuela to a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game! (Kamuela had them include tickets to the game in his music contract - hows that guy? SCORE!) The commute was about 6 hours, so after Michigan's 12-13, it felt like a breeze! Even though we got in super late (it was after midnight!), Kamuela came out to meet us. It was so exciting getting to see him! 
Look how excited we look despite our long travel times!!

The lu'au that Kamuela and Uncle Jerry played for was really nice. The program had all of Mapuana deSilva's Ms. Aloha Hula dancers, including one who was a winner a few years ago! They were beautiful dancers, and as always, the music was really nice. The FOOD was a different story! I know I can't expect real hawaiian food in the mainland, but I told Kamuela if I could get kalua pig, some white rice, and pineapple, I'd be happy. MAAAAYBE chicken long rice or lomi tomato. There wasn't even any of those simple things!! There was fried rice, sautéed vegetables, "hulihuli chicken" (it was just grilled chicken breast), sesame cabbage salad (what? eew!) and the REAL kicker - "kalua pig." The kalua pig was crockpot BBQ sauce kalua pig!! lol. Don't get me wrong, the food was still pretty good, but just not lu`au. Luckily, the show was so awesome it made up for the $55 per ticket price (and let's face it - I wasn't there for the food...though that would've been a nice bonus!) Several audience members commented how well-behaved Uriah was during the show, and it's true! Thankfully, he loves music so he did really well through the concert up until about 10pm (I think it went til 11:30?!)   

Though we were only there for 3 full days, we maximized our time! Rob and I drove around to check ou the city before the lu'au since we had some time. We were blown away with one section of housing developments that had 3 story homes going for under $300k! They were beautiful, and it's such a stark reminder of the sacrifices Hawaii locals make for "living in paradise." $300k would realistically be a condo in Hawaii! Also found this along the way..

one potagee at portage Co. LOL

Rob and I were able to go to Cracker Barrel, which is a popular southern/home-cooking diner known for their biscuits and gravy. The food was OK, but the best part was that the front of the restaurant had a store with all kinds of candies and specialty goodies! They had a lot of classic/old-school candies, and TONS of chocolate marshmallow candies (my favorites!) It was great having Kamuela there because I could send home goodies for the family without having to pay for shipping. This was also a benefit because Kamuela brought me a care package from Mom as well as some goodies he and Roxy got for me (highlights - sushi rice mix, kimchee sauce, and diamond soda crackers!!) 

On Sunday, we went down to Cleveland and got to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was such a cool experience! It was really interesting to see some hand-scribbled lyrics from different artists, read the history of various genres, and see actual costumes worn onstage by 
some of the greats! Uncle Jerry treated us all, so that was a very generous and nice surprise.

The Beatles drumset!!
Green Day song lyrics
Rob checking out his home state's Motown history
ZZ Top guitars w/chain straps. Check da drums! Fraggle rock! 
Of COURSE I had to get my Beyonce in! SO TINY by the way... 
I thought this was a ladies outfit. Nooope. Little Richard's! 
Took me a sec to get it. haha Rolling Stones dresser.

Lady Gaga's meat dress from the VMAs. Now dehydrated, so..beef jerky dress?
Also check my photo bomber!!
There was a get together at the Taylor home (who were in charge of the function) for all the musicians and dancers that night, and we were graciously invited! Their home was SO beautiful (both are dentists! Ka-ching!), and they were both such nice people. The most remarkable memory of that night was Sam's (Mr. Taylor's) basement "man cave." It was the most elaborate, decked out man cave I have ever seen, and more ornate then I could've ever imagined! Even as someone who doesn't really follow sports, I could appreciate the hard work and value that was put into the basement, as well as how priceless some of the memorabilia was! Even more exciting, Sam is from Michigan and is a DIE HARD fan of all things Michigan (including Rob's rival MSU - but we forgive him!). He had signed baseballs, footballs, various figurines, photos with players, collector cards (basketball, baseball, football - including some very hard to come by rookie cards!)! It was set up like a sports museum. There were a few items in his collection that seriously could have been in a museum, that's how rare and/or unique the items were. His collector cards were in a huge closet, all organized in binders by year, first with his Detroit players, then in order of how each team in the league ranked that year! Talk about organization! It was SO impressive! Rob took some pictures and sent to his brother, who obviously would also be able to appreciate the room. I think Sam was particularly excited to show the room to us because he knew that Rob is also a die hard fan, and out of all of us, would be able to really grasp the grandeur of the memorabilia! After the tour, we all went upstairs and had a low-key kaikapila session. It was so fun just being able to sit around and share and enjoy one another's talents!

The following day, Uncle Jerry flew home, and Kamuela really wanted to check out the Kirtland temple visitor center. The visitor center was actually closed for the temple side (it is owned by a non LDS religious sect, and the owner's were out of town), but we were able to go to the schoolhouse and the store/home of Newel K. Whitney! It was snowing pretty hard when we got there, but they confirmed they were still open! It was a very cool experience getting to walk through and witness such significant sites in church history!

Ready for our cold day out!

Beautiful snowflake patterns on the windowsills

Someone is not a fan of the snow!
Hearth, with cooking kettles

Bedroom Joseph Smith and family stayed in for awhile
We ran across the street to take some quick pics

In front of the (closed) Kirkland Temple
Such a fun, snowy day!

That night, Kamuela and Rob got to go to the game. They were both so excited to be able to go, and it was a great rivalry - it was Golden State vs. the Cavs, who were both in the NBA finals last year. Though the Cavs lost, it was still a memorable night for them. We had such a great time on the trip, and were sad to see the time go! Luckily, I have family coming to visit in March, April, and then we are going home to Hawaii in the summer, so it won't be too long before I get my next dose of Kimokeo :)