Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Days

You will not believe what I (finally) managed to capture...

We are so spoiled - getting to see and enjoy her everyday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Workin' It

My mom and I did a three-month photo shoot of Aolani the other day. Not bad for the price tag: free ;)

Here's some (some meaning 10!) of our favorites:

Our neighbor is going to paint this one of her for us as a gift!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Camera Shy

It is so hard to get a picture of her smiling! Every time I whip the camera out, she just stares at it with a straight face. And if we try to hide it, direct her attention elsewhere and make her smile, it is near impossible to capture the exact moment. We've tried numerous times, and the flash is either a nanosecond too early or late. So, the smile is either creeping up or fading away. Ahhh! Anyway, this profile shot of her smiling was actually taken at a distance of her playing with Grandma Oliver. But, the smile is there! We zoomed, cropped and voila! My next goal is to get one head-on...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Up Close & Personal

These pictures tell no story and have no purpose, except to reveal her beauty...


  • Fun[ny] news: Aolani giggled for the first last Sunday night. She has laughed only a few more times since then. I can't wait to record and post it :)

  • Also last weekend, she "found" her hands and has been totally enthralled with them ever since! She is constantly clasping them and doing an in-depth study on this new discovery.

  • My new brace arrived this week. I think it works, even though it hurts (pressure) to wear it too long. I think my foot is slowly starting to heal itself, as it now only turns out toward 11 o'clock.

  • I thought she might be dairy sensitive, so I cut out dairy products from my diet. I think she's improved, but maybe it's because she is getting older. However, she is having baby diarrhea once a day still. It might be eggs, so I am going to try that...

  • She is constantly getting comments on how long and luxurious her lashes are for a baby. I tried to get a good picture while she was napping in the sling on me, but the camera would not focus properly. Sorry; here's the shot anyhow.

  • Storytime: The other afternoon I just had to go to the kitchen and grab a snack. So, I set her in the crib (wide-awake) for a few minutes. I was eating in the kitchen with the monitor turned on voice-activation (eliminates constant noises or small movements) in case she needed me. Out of nowhere, she had several massive eruptions out of her butt that awoke the monitor (so I could hear them all)! And, she didn't even make a peep. I went back in to find a happy, still-awake baby wiggling on top of a poopy crib sheet. "Let's just cover that up with a blanket until help gets home..."

  • She has rubbed a bald spot on the back of her head (repeatedly looking to and fro trying to see and learn everything around her). I know this is common, but I still think it is funny and funny-looking!

  • I am reading a book to her while she lies on the changing table called Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper. The entire book is in pdf for free online (click on the title). She really likes it, as do I ;)

  • We put her crib toy (Sunny) up last weekend, and she really enjoys the colorful lights. She acts like she could care less about the classical music it plays.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nursing Gear

Just thought I'd compile a little list of some things that have been essential to breastfeeding for me (to help any moms expecting her first baby):
  • The Boppy has been a life-saver; while you're at it get a couple extra slipcovers...
  • Burp cloths, and LOTS of 'em!
  • Nursing sports' bras for lounging around the house
  • Zipper jackets, for ease of use (also housewear) OR shirts that unbutton halfway
  • Medela Pump (it's worth the $)
  • Night light that attaches to the headboard of your bed (unless you plan on getting out of bed to nurse)
  • Digital/Sportswatch for timing the length of the feeding (important during the first couple months)
  • I use the best ointment that's organic and works wonders (cures diaper rash and soothes nipples): Recovery Salve

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


  • My new wheelchair is still not here. We started this process in December, and I don't even know if it has been ordered yet!

  • Ricky and my dad teamed up to cook my mom and I a spaghetti dinner for our Mother's Day treat. And it was delicious.

  • Okay, so ever since I posted about her sleeping through the night, she wakes in the middle of the night. Guess I spoke too soon...

  • I still read Philippians 4 to her everyday, but I have added chapter 3 since she's been born. Hopefully, I'll have the whole book memorized soon enough :)

  • I know babies cry (and sometimes a lot) but still... the other day we were in our chiropractor's parking lot and Ricky had the van doors wide open. He was sitting outside in my wheelchair taking off my "bad" leg braces while I sat in the van. And Aolani was being, well, vocal. She was hungry and I was going to feed her as soon as I could, but my feet hurt and I wanted the braces off first. Well, a lady was in the parking lot listening to her wail when she finally got out of her car, walked over, stuck her arms out as if to hold a baby and offered to help by taking her. I was a little embarrassed.

  • Last year I discovered the Cosmetic Database, looked up the ingredients in the products we used and was shocked. I didn't want those things penetrating my skin, getting into my bloodstream and affecting our developing baby (even a little). So, we discontinued some items and started making a few of our own things (like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, wet wipes, sprays...). If anyone ever wants some easy recipes, just ask :)

  • A few weeks ago, Aolani started to drool but now her drooling issue drenches her shirts. I guess it's bibs from here on out... I'm telling you, you turn away for a minute, glance back and this is what you see:

The adorable saliva ring :)

  • I am now (mostly) caught up on blog posts. Phew! And Ricky returns to work tomorrow. Timing is everything.

Postpartum, Post-due

The good thing about writing this a long time later is that a lot of the postpartum woes are gone with the wind -- like the pain and burning when you sit (wait... I always sit!) or pee or MOVE. That lasted for two weeks (should have been 1 wk but exacerbated by sitting in a wheelchair all day), but was somewhat alleviated by warm, salt baths. I had big, nasty bruises from the hep-lock that hurt. The baby blues hit me harder than I expected, which brought many tears and the desire to not see or talk to any human being. Hormones. And let's not forget that learning to nurse is tough and a lot of work but way worth it!

I had my 4-week postpartum check-up that pronounced me healthy. The doctor's office gave Aolani the "Prettiest Baby of the Month" award. We think that's being modest ;) Noteworthy news: the doctors at this practice are going to write a case study (medical article that will be published in a medical journal). We are so excited about this and the chance for there to be more information on childbirth for women with Friedreich's Ataxia. I must admit that it is relieving to know that all that work in keeping a pregnancy journal is not wasted.

Alright, the main thing. Ever since I gave birth, my left foot turns outward and points to 10 o'clock. We've been to eight doctors. Exhausting and unprofitable. Lots of opinions and no real diagnosis, except that it is obviously some kind of nerve damage, most likely originating in my spine. My favorite comment, "Huh. I've never seen that." For the first month, my foot tremored. The twitching lessened as my foot started to permanently angle outward. However, we can grab the ankle and foot and turn it straight. So, we think it will heal itself over time. Unfortunately, I cannot put weight on it or my other foot -- that's because I pulled the heel cord muscle in that foot by putting all my weight on it when I transferred. So, transfers are just that: unfortunate. Also, my foot hurts all the time and hinders my sleep (some nights are really rough). We've been trying to get a leg brace for it to hold my ankle and foot straight, but we're still waiting. We have a night splint, removable cast and a bad brace. They don't work. We're hoping that a correct brace will help with the pain, maintain the range of motion for that muscle and encourage those nerves to remember what they are suppose to do. I kept postponing this post because I kept hoping this foot issue would get resolved before I wrote about it. Please pray for my foot. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Bottom line: Postpartum for me has been a little tough, but HIS GRACE IS ENOUGH FOR ME (2 Cor. 12:9)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Sleepy Monster

No, I'm not referring to Aolani -- although I may have thought that before...

but this girl fights sleep! Whenever she gets tired, she screams and cries like she is being tortured by the sleepy monster. She does not nap during the day, which would be fine if she was awake and pleasant. But, she is awake and everyone knows it. She needs people to help her embrace sleep as she is having a hard time learning to self-soothe. We've researched ideas; any suggestions? The "let her cry it out" method doesn't really work for her, as she'll cry for two hours through her nap time until it's time to feed again.

We started a bedtime routine at night (snuggle time while reading the Bible, diaper and outfit change, nursing, singing, massaging...). It's going well. She started sleeping through the night on her 2-month anniversary, and WE ARE SO THANKFUL!

Bottom line: she sleeps but only at night. The upside is that we are learning a lot about the character of God (and the love of our own parents) through this. There are countless spiritual analogies with children ;)

p.s. After a few late nights (with her in bed already!) of hard work, the puzzle is complete. Here's a picture of Aolani working diligently.

Happy Mother's Day!

from Aolani

Don't worry -- we usually put the bouncer's harness on her now when she's in it. If not, she'll kick so hard that she'll slide off!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sittin' Pretty

Daddy, you're so nose-y!

Aolani's first wike ride

Let's move it... NOW!

Monday, May 3, 2010


In case anyone is wondering, I (Aidan) am planning to take care of Aolani when Ricky is away at work. We had a friend (Greg Stier) modify a crib and changing table so it is wheelchair-friendly. I travel with her via a sling (Hugamonkey). Ricky and I have spent some time practicing and even had a trial run-through day where I took care of Aolani on my own. Let's just say we're alive... JUST KIDDING! We did just fine, and Aolani received her mommy's tender love and care :)
The changing table was cut down and the width was widened so I could roll under it. We bought this new and just chopped it.

The crib was raised up so I could roll under it. Two doors were put on the front of it (and open outwards) so I can reach her in case she rolls to the other side of the crib. The door locks are magnetic (Tot loks). This crib was actually my old crib!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand...

... and I sit, aka plop, on His Word!

Quiet time with my earthly and heavenly Fathers in the morn ;)

This is my absolute favorite picture! We pray that she will become an avid reader and lover of God's Word (and may we raise her as such)!


When we have random notes or news we'll call it "mosaic," because it's fun, colorful pieces (just like people's lives)... and, what can I say, mosaic is a pretty word :)
  • While I was on disability leave before Aolani was born, my job was terminated.

  • Ricky returns to work May 13 (for real).

  • Aolani slept in the car for the first 4-6 weeks, but she now stays wide awake in the car. So much for relying on the car to get her to sleep!

  • Breastfeeding is my favorite thing -- my love for her (desire to provide and protect) is so strong, and she is SO cute and dependent then ;)

  • Ricky is such a great father!!

  • We went on a date last Saturday (Aolani partied with Grandma O). Aolani took her first bottle then (she did alright with it but prefers the skin-on-skin). Ricky and I went to a coffee shop to play chess and find Waldo (Where's Waldo makes for a great, cheap date; we are only halfway through a book we got for $6.95 a year ago!) before dining at my favorite Japanese steakhouse.

  • We were out and an older lady (late 70's) saw the car seat and wanted to see the baby in it. She asked her name, pronounced it beautifully, and proceeded to tell us about how she taught a little Hawai'ian girl by that name a long time ago. Talk about unexpected!

  • Ricky's parents came for a visit a couple weekends ago and took us out to eat. We were at the restaurant so long, Aolani eventually wanted to eat too. So, Ricky and I headed to the women's restroom (the handicap stall) for this little ordeal. Well, we were getting along fine until a college-aged girl pranced into the bathroom and, literally, ripped the stall-door open (even with it locked). Just to find Ricky leaning over me holding Aolani up while she feeds. But wait, my back was to the door, and this girl couldn't see the baby. Shocked, flabbergasted, embarrassed -- she quickly left and the door kept swinging open because the lock was broken! Who knows what she thought with a man leaning over a girl in a wheelchair hidden away in a bathroom stall... Alas, we finally left and Aolani, belly full, was none-the-wiser.

  • We've been working on this 2,000-piece puzzle of an ancient world map. We thought that we would have plenty of time to finish this during postpartum. Yeah, 9 weeks later and it looks like we just started yesterday! Babies keep you busy...

  • We used disposable diapers the first 4-6 weeks while she grew big enough to wear cloth diapers. We use bumgenius and they are great! Highly recommended and no diaper rash! Washing them is really a breeze. Cloth diapers have drastically changed over the years (so we're told).

  • Ricky received a Seahawks jersey for his birthday (from his parents) and was so glad at this surprise gift, he wanted to show it off.

April Showers

Some random photos of her this past month (in no particular order)...

Pea in a Pod

I didn't do it

Ready for the movie

Our chubby bundle of joy

We already need to censure her wardrobe before going out!

Cousin Kylie

It takes all our might to NOT squeeze her to death or eat her up.

Daddy = Prince Charming