mommy life

Our first week apart

My daughter Sabrina is having a great time before she settles into her school in London. After dropping off her stuff at storage, she finally had a chance to explore her new surroundings and her new school. She sent me some pictures of King’s College in London. It looks so majestic and regal! Watching her snaps on Snapchat of her adventures in London and on her trip is so exciting. What a cool vibe it is over there! Afterwards, she was on her way out to go on a mini vacay. She visited Dublin and had a great time. Her next stop was Prague with a slight layover in Amsterdam. I love Amsterdam!

Amsterdam. Photo cred to Sabrina

I still remember walking the streets of Amsterdam late at night with Sabrina in a stroller when we stayed in Amsterdam for a couple of days. She was only 18 months old. I bundled her up in her thick pink winter jacket and an extra blanket so that we can walk and explore Amsterdam (at night). It was a fun adventure. I remember it so vividly because it is one of my favorite memories. I would love to go back to Amsterdam with Sabrina!

After Amsterdam, Sabrina went to Munich. Her main reason for going to Munich was to attend Oktoberfest, a beer festival. I know that she was really looking forward to it and it seems that she had a great time.

How exciting for Sabrina to experience (and re-experience since she is an avid traveler) so many different cultures.

As for Josh, the first week for him was very hard. He missed his sister so very much. Sabrina made a picture frame with a couple of pictures of them together in it. When Josh misses her, he looks at that picture. He also placed it on the table near his bed so that he can look at it before he goes to sleep. Unfortunately, it makes him miss her even more.

He also looks into her room (so do I).

Where’s Sabrina…

When he misses her, he opens the envelopes that she left for him. So far, he has opened the “open when… you are sad” and “open when… you miss me”. It makes him feel a lot better. He also goes into the box that Sabrina made for me with all the little papers with sayings on it and picks one to read. He realizes that he keeps picking the same one which says “Have a great day”. It makes him smile.

Everyday, Sabrina and Josh and I text with each other. We also had a chance to video chat a few times. Josh looks forward to her texts. He loves texting with his sister and updating her on his life.

A few things that he texted to her:

He went to Red Lobster to eat his favorite, snow crab. While there, he took a picture of a lobster and sent it to her. I took a picture of his food (because that’s what foodies do). He loves the process of eating a crab. It’s so messy but fun.

and he ate every bite!

He tried out for flag football, picked out his jersey size, had his first practice and bought some really cool football gear. His favorite are the sticky football gloves. He can’t wait to wear his cleats.

oh, you fancy

He also went to a new dentist. This dental office is geared specifically for children. He liked going there because the hygienists are so gentle and so nice. He also liked watching a movie while he was having his teeth worked on. He watched Finding Nemo. Later the hygienist let him pick a movie and he picked Ice Age. We were there for almost 2 hours! But the good news is that he has no cavities. He especially enjoyed taking the panoramic x-ray of his teeth. He is excited that he might need braces. At the end, he got a toy! Wow.

Yes, that’s a smiley face on your lap

The first week was hard but Josh is doing much better now. Sabrina was so worried, but that’s what loving big sisters do.

Today I am grateful for loving big sisters, little brothers who love their big sisters, London, Amsterdam, adventures, different cultures, fond memories, snow crabs, sticky football gloves and smiley faces.

Goodbye Presents: She’s leaving on a London plane

My daughter Sabrina is leaving today for London. She is working on her Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management at King’s College. She will be gone for a year.

We have been spending some good quality time together before she leaves. At the end of one of our days of fun, she gave me a goodbye present. It was a box that she decoupaged herself and filled with little pieces of paper with little sayings that she wrote and a cute little book called “Why You’re So Awesome”.

It was my turn to give her my goodbye present. I wrote quotes, advice, encouragement and praises on cards and pasted photos on the back. She loved them!

We love giving homemade gifts to each other!

She gave her brother a great goodbye gift too. They were envelopes filled with notes that he can “open when…” One is “open when you are happy”. Another one is “open when I leave”. She instructed me to make sure that he opens it when we get back from dropping her off to the airport.

Open when….

She is leaving today. We are leaving in an hour and a half to drop her off at the airport. We are very sad and will miss her terribly but we are so proud of her for following her dreams.

Dream big, Sabrina. Reach for the stars.

Finally Hawaii!

When my daughter, Sabrina, was 18 months old, she went on a vacation to the island of Oahu, Hawaii with her dad and me. Since Sabrina was a little girl, she has been asking me to take her back to Hawaii. I told her that I would take her once she graduated from college. Well, she finally graduated from college in December 2016. She graduated early, taking only 3 and a half years to finish. On top of that, she graduated Cum Laude. We were very proud of her! What an accomplishment. We planned her college graduation celebration trip to Hawaii for April and she had her graduation ceremony in May. What a perfect Spring! So for my gratitude list for Spring, I am grateful for:

*My daughter’s college education.

She did it!

*Our Hawaii trip! Finally, Hawaii!

Project Paradise

Here is a list of a few of my favorite Hawaiian things:

yes, I do…

-Pina coladas- there’s nothing like having a pina colada in Hawaii. They actually taste better in Hawaii. It was the first thing I ordered on day one of project paradise.

Ok, let’s just get the food posts out of the way. Seriously, they were part of my favorite Hawaiian things, so I have to add them to my list!

Now, that’s a coconut!

-Fresh coconut- Of course, when visiting Hawaii you must have a fresh coconut. We visited a small mom and pop mini farmer’s market store in Hawaii that was similar to a little Whole Foods market. In there you can order a fresh coconut. They cut a hole in it for you and put a straw in it. When you are done, they cut it half so that you can scoop out the coconut meat. So so fresh…

Shoyu chicken, you sho is good…

-Shoyu chicken and macaroni salad- These are must eat foods while in Hawaii. Macaroni salad is a common side dish in Hawaii. Shoyu chicken is chicken marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. They are very delicious and as I found out later, very easy to make. I made both of these dishes when I got back home.  The chicken turned out great and the macaroni salad was okay. But really, I think they just taste better when eaten in Hawaii.

Don’t worry about a thing…cuz every little thing is gonna be alright…

-Acai Bowls- We love acai bowls so of course, we had to have one while in Hawaii. Josh and I shared a “Bob Marley bowl”. It had pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, and hemp seeds on top of the acai. It was mmmm-mmmm good.

So majestic

-Hawaiian flowers- Another one of my favorite things in Hawaii are the flowers. They are so colorful, majestic and fragrant. Every time I saw a flower, I had to stop and take a picture of it. Of course, the pictures don’t do justice to their beauty.

-My morning view- This is one of my favorite Hawaiian memories. I really enjoyed waking up to the view of the ocean and watching the sunrise. Every morning, I would sit on the balcony, sip my morning coffee and enjoy the view. I loved hearing the sounds of the crashing waves.

-The beaches in Hawaii- I love the beaches in Hawaii. They are the best! One of my favorite Hawaiian memories is watching Josh run on the beach. Without fail, as soon as we arrived at the beach, he would kick off his flip flops and start running. He loved the beach, the feel of the sand and water on his feet and the sounds of the crashing waves. He would laugh and scream with joy as he ran. He was so happy. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile.

Josh enjoying the water, while watching the sunset.

-Hawaiian sunsets- We enjoyed watching the sunset in Hawaii. It was so beautiful. This was our view while we waited in line to enter a Luau.  Can’t get any better than that.

Fire!

-While in Hawaii, we went to a Luau. We enjoyed the traditional Hawaiian music and hula dancing. We tried new foods such as poi which is a Polynesian staple food made from the taro plant and is a traditional part of the Hawaiian cuisine.

-Road to Hana- We went on the Road to Hana. We didn’t drive it ourselves. We took a tour bus. Our tour bus driver was great and provided us with lots of stories, legends and history of the Hawaiian culture. There were plenty of waterfalls to admire and we also stopped at a black sand beach.

I enjoyed every minute of this trip. Hawaii is my happy place.

I am grateful for our trip to Hawaii and these wonderful Hawaiian memories with my kids.