Sunday, August 9, 2009

Left My Heart in San Diego

Wow, last time I wrote on my beloved blog was in May, life comes at you fast that's for sure, so much has happened so fast, all for the good. I will have to start where I left off. First off we started this summer really well, we fell into some good mulah ($$$), from Marriott where I used to work, for some back pay (sweet!) put that money to good use in buying a new laptop. My husband Daniel, being the computer geek that he is kept begging me for a new computer, we "only" had one and constantly had to share it so having two has it's perks. We were able to pay off our credit cards (how come it can't stay that way? LOL.)

We started out with my wonderful 3 week-long vacation to the mainland, as I would say vacation from high prices! Eva and I spent 2 wonderful weeks with my sister Maria in San Diego from June 11 to 28, and June 28 to July 5 Daniel met up with us from Hawaii to Utah for the big 3 year Colton reunion. Ahhh I love the mainland so cheap, even San Diego which is relatively high priced was cheap compared to Hawaii and Utah was dirt cheap! Wish we could make it more longer than a vacation, but then as soon as I come back to Hawaii I'm just messed up in the head again cause you gotta be crazy to leave this place! LOL!

Anyway here's some picture of our little adventures in San Diego, 2 graduations, 1 wedding, get-togethers with family and very fond friends. In our short time in San Diego we managed to visit Santa Barbara, Disneyland, Seaport Village and hit up my favorite restaurants(Thai food, pho, mexican food, etc) yes I'm a self-professed foodie. I love San Diego it feels like an extention of my life in Hawaii except all so much cooler, there are so many awesome beaches there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day a Year Ago

Mother's Day at my in-laws, the Colton's in Laie

A Mother's Kiss

It was so special to have my sister Theresa there living so close to us in Hawaii. She was a natural with babies.

My brother also lived in Hawaii, I was so lucky they got to make a stop here and do a short stint in Hawaii!

Time with Grandpa Colton

A cute picture with Grandma.

Eva looking so heavenly, doesn't she looks so different now a year later! I love this girl!

I didn't realize it but I had my first Mother's Day a year ago, a couple of weeks after Eva was born. Here are some wonderful pictures of those special moments a year ago.

I am so grateful to be a mom. Today at Church was by far one of my best Sundays, I loved being showered with so much love and affection. A sister kindly gave me a beautiful orchid lei, there is something about having flowers wrapped around you that just make you feel so beautiful...thanks for this special day. I love Mom's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cleaning, Cupcakes and the Park

Yummy Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Aloha! It's almost the weekend, haha. Well today did some house cleaning, and Eva was so cute she wanted to help out, there's some pictures of her cleaning up a storm (so happy I had a girl first). We also baked some delicious red velvet cupcakes for my friend Mira and since it was still so hot in our apartment we decided to go across the street to the park, Sheridan Park. It's pretty fun to see Eva enjoy the park anew now cause she has shoes and can run everywhere and even managed to go down the slide herself. She's conquering a lot of fears and I'm proud of her.

Here she managed to clean her play corner

She's trying to be a witch and ride the broom, LOL!

She's posing as Super Cleaning Baby, she's such a big helper.

Walking across the bridge with the help of Papa Daniel

Getting off the slide

Hah, that was so much fun

Help me, Eva says, I'm being suffocated by my mommy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Weaning Success

So I've been having such a hard time weaning her last week that I was resigned to allowing her breastfeed til she was 2 and she realized that drinking milk from mommy was no more fun. Well this week she's been recovering from her sickness so I've been sneeking her sippy cup with milk, casually sipping it myself and she would grab it from me. Hahaha! We parents are smarter than our kids after all. Well she was whole heartily drinking it and downing it, proudly tipping it up to drink it! I was shocked! Last week she would do anything to stay away from white stuff in the sippy cup and to now she's was welcoming it and embracing it. I was so glad.

We went to Ala Moana Beach Park where they have this place called "Magic Island" it was packed full of locals today, Monday with cyclist, paddlers, swimmers, and exercise enthusiasts.

Here's the view inside the magic island. A great place for BBQ, get-togethers and the beach is kid friendly, it's literally about 2 feet in the mouth of the bay for 100 yards or so, like a wading pool.

Today Eva, Daniel and I went to Ala Moana beach park, not just because we needed to enjoy the beautiful scenery but also because we were invited to a friend's farewell, the VanTresses at the park. It was just another excuse for me to get our family out there. We had a wonderful potluck and this post is to update you on Eva's new behaviors.

At the park today she was displaying some behavior I haven't seen in her so it caught me off guard that she was asserting herself and her desires rather than being a pushover when it came to playing with other babies her age. She was sitting on a beach mat and a little boy came trying to pull Eva off the mat and she straight up grabbed the end of the mat from him twice and gave him a mean look, wow was I surprised. In the past Eva's been so scared of other kids cause she couldn't make out what they wanted, her experience with other kids has been that they want to play with her and she ends up getting hurt, she didn't understand it and was frustrated, so she's always sought the safety and companionship of adults. Well today again at the park a friend she sees often in church had an Elmo doll and she immediately pulled it from her, and later Eva was actually slapping her head. It's amazing to see her cause she seemed like she had all this anger and now she had grasped her power to express herself. Lately Eva's also been asserting herself with me.

Another thing that's caught me off guard about Eva is that she has been mouthing words that I say at the end of the sentence. Words like play, work, etc. she's been imitating. They say at 14 months they start spitting out words like myna birds.

This is how Eva usually progresses in her socialization with other children. This is her at the Tew's Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

As you can see she approaches children tentatively

She makes eye contact, still cautious and wary of other little people.

Okay she gets closer and closer.

The kids welcome her with open arms, Eva's thinking to herself "okay"

Eva asks, "When do we eat?"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Favorite Recipes by Request

These were asked by demand so here's the recipe for Orange Chicken, Broccoli Fried Rice and Cassava Cake. These were generic pictures from the web but I will post actual pictures when I get the time, so for now these were the closest ones to my recipes.

I've been making orange chicken alot and like I said it's been really fun to make. I made this for my friend's baby shower and everyone loved it.

Orange Chicken
Just double up the recipe if you're cooking with 2lbs of chicken, etc.

(1.) Chicken
1 lb chicken, diced and cubed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper,
For a kick add 1 teaspoon of tabasco sauce.

Massage these ingredients into the cubed chicken. I use boneless, skinless chicken breast, it's easiest to cook with.

(2.) Batter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 water
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoon of corn starch (this is what prevents the batter from breaking and getting messy when it's fried).

Mix ingredients and combine chicken with batter.
Next just drop spoonfuls of chicken batter into hot frying pan, watch as they plump up and get that random shape from orange chicken. They should be nice golden brown/orange. Lay them down on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

(3.) Sauce
1/2 cup each of bell peppers & onions diced
2 tablespoons garlic
Quickly stir fry in some oil.

Add to that 4-6 tablespoons of frozen orange concentrate

4-6 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 cup of water

For a kicker put in 1/4 cup Mae Ploy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients well before cooking in pan with the stir-fry of onions at low/medium heat until desired consistency (should be a little runny, and not too thick).

(4.) Pour sauce over orange chicken, garnish with green onion, ENJOY!

This recipe is totally flexible, you can make it less spicy, you don't need to add bell peppers, I do it just to add color.

Broccoli Fried Rice
Your normal rice recipe (jasmine rice is best, the grains aren't as sticky so you use a lot less oil)

4-6 cups of cooked rice

2-4 eggs, scrambled, and fried in pan, don't cook it all the way.

2 cups of broccoli, microwave to cook, diced finely (I just buy the frozen)

1/2 of red onion, diced

2 tablespoons of oil for pan to prevent sticking
Salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste

Just mix all ingredients in a wok or pan, cook and give it a quick stir for 2-5 min and enjoy, it's light, healthy, and super yummy!
The secret ingredient is the red onion, you don't want to overcook it just keep it fresh as it packs a ton of flavor. For more flavor you can dice up spam and it's perfect as a meal!

Cassave Cake
1lb Cassava (Grated or Frozen)
1 can of coconut milk

1 can of condensed milk

3 eggs

3-4 Tablespoons bread flour (this is the secret to make it less wet)

Mix all ingredients and put in 350 degree oven in a 9x13 pan or 2 round 9 inch pans for 40-50 min. til done
To make it to die for at the end when it's cooked through sprinkle cheddar cheese and broil it in the oven til it's nice and bubbly. ENJOY!

To add a surprise you can put coconut flakes in the mix (I didn't)

Cassava cake is made from the cassava root, popular in the Philippines because of it's ability to grow in even the harshest or least arable land. Cassava roots is considered a staple. Cassava cake is almost like a custard and is a lot like mochi but instead of rice flour we use cassava for the base of the dessert.

I made two round pans of this and it was devoured by my in-laws and at my friend Janette's house. So yeah, I am now obligated to make large batches of this next week when I go to Laie again for mother's day! So if you want some let me know, I'll most likely leave a large batch at Janette's house where all the Filipinos usually gather.

Wonderful Weekend

This has been by far the best weekend I've had in a long time, that says a lot. The reason being was that Eva was well behaved, sociable, and not afraid to meet people. Before she used to cry and run away from other little kids, now she welcomes their interaction.

This weekend was packed full of fun and lots of time for me to have mommy therapy, something every woman needs. This week I've been looking for to Saturday because it is one of my best friend's baby shower. Ahhh, I got to be there for her wedding reception and now this momentous occasion to herald the incoming birth of her baby girl. This was an important occasion to show your support and love plus who doesn't love shopping for baby girl clothes? (They come up with the cutest outfits!) We got her Winnie the Pooh towel and books and other matching pink outfit and a pink blanket (I know I'm pretty stuck on pink for girls, I think red is too bold of a color). It was nice. I also got to make one of my favorite dishes, orange chicken. It's really weird because lately I've been fixated in making this dish, probably because I finally mastered it and wanted to show off my cooking skills. Anyways it was compliments to the chef when everyone asked who made it, and people wanted to take it home and asked for the recipe. Well the baby shower was a huge success, we got to do fun things like pretend we were all pregnant by stuffing our shirts with balloons, we all looked so funny! It reminded me more a bridal shower for some reason.

Eva at the end of the Baby Shower She's so pooped

Tons of yummy food! I made the fried rice and orange chicken to die for! Here's the recipe.

My friend Ckaz holding Eva, I love it when others can relieve me of being mom even if its for a little while.

I was so happy Eva's appetite for food came back after she had been sick.

This is a silly picture of us helping the real pregnant woman not feel so bad!

A group picture, tons of fun!

After the Bridal Shower Daniel picked me and Eva up at my in-laws and we headed to our good friend's house, the Cameron's. This couple is amazing. They have a wonderful deck overlooking the Kakela Beach, they're house is closest to Pounder's Beach, ahhh so wonderful. Anyways everytime we visit for the weekend we seem to always get together and have such wonderful BBQ's, we are so spoiled here in Hawaii! This time there place was packed and there was so much ono'licious food. Yeah there goes my diet! I love this cake especially called the Queen Emma cake from Foodland, it's funny cause it's well understood in our group of friends that this cake is our favorite cake. It was great seeing Eva just play and thoroughly enjoy feeling like she is a part of the group of babies there. She would just walk towards and smile so widely with her eyes and mouth that you couldn't help but lover her everytime she twinkled. I love this girl so much and it warms my heart when others love her too. We have so much in common with our group of friends like our babies, our age group, that we enjoy Hawaii and are so blessed to still have jobs to support our families. Life is good!

When we got home at my in-laws we stayed up late, I got to watch one of my favorite reality tv shows, Hell's Kitchen. I know, I know I shouldn't be watching a show like this because there's so much cussing, sorry but I'm addicted! I love this show because it is like a competition to me, you have to think well on your feet, improvise when making new dishes, and also be able to survive Chef Ramsey's wrath and aweful degradation, that's why they call it Hell's Kitchen. It's funny cause Chef Ramsey is so mean and down right sad in how he put the contestants down in the kitchen, but when he's off the kitchen it's like he turns that devil switch off...yeah if I ever get the chance I will definitely go and get some type of censoring device on the laptop.

Sunday was great because I got to make another home run hit of a dish, cassava cake! Yummy, delicious, with only five ingredients I was sold on making it.

I made two round pans of this and it was devoured by my in-laws and at my friend Janette's house. So yeah, I am now obligated to make large batches of this next week when I go to Laie again for mother's day! So if you want some let me know, I'll most likely leave a large batch at Janette's house where all the Filipinos usually gather.

I was so grateful to visit with so many friends from my old ward today, there were four baby blessings and outside the chapel doors there was a parking lot full of baby strollers! Everyone was either expecting or had a baby they were holding in their arms. I can't believe it's only been a year since I left but it feels like eons ago that I was in the same student ward...memories. Today I got to put Eva in the nursery for the first time (I snook her in 'cause we were considered visitors). I got to see the Lau family there, what a pleasant surprise. As we made our way back to Janette's house we were bombarded by offers of food left and right, we went home with a plateful of delicious teriyaki chicken, we were gifted with homemade cream puffs and cookies. Gosh life is so good in Laie, especially in TVA (Temple View Apartments, married housing for BYUH students and their families), it is like a Zion place to live where people share so abundantly of what they have.

Well got back to my in-laws and decided to act on the lesson today, of making the most of sacrament meeting and the sabbath in general, so I decided to go to the Laie Temple Visitor's Center, and take Eva along with me. It was so wonderful because it was extremely peaceful and serene, it was like the grounds were consecrated for the sole purpose of reflection and wonder and awe of the appreciation of God's creation. Needless to say it's been a long time since I went to the visitor's center so I welcomed the chance to see of the changes. They have an exhibit there of Christ's life called "Reflections of Christ" I thought it was neat that they change it up in there to keep people coming and seeing what's new. I just loved this spiritual aspect of the day and relished sharing it with my baby Eva.