A Day at the Punahou Carnival

dsc059651.jpgPunahou Carnival!  Earlier this month, our family had a fun day spending all of our money at the Punahou Carnival.  I enjoy going to the carnival every year and I was especially excited this year because Connor was finally old enough to play the kid’s games.  We wanted to beat some of the crowds and had planned to get to the school as soon as the carnival opened at 11am.DSC05962Despite our best intentions, we got off to a slow start because Connor was in one of his disagreeable moods.  He was having a rough morning and was refusing to put on his sunscreen.  After taking some time to collect himself, Connor was able to pull himself together.  We got to the Carnival at around 11:30am.  So, overall, it was still not bad time for the family.DSC05969When we got to the carnival the first thing we did was purchase our scripts and ride card for the EK Fernandez rides.  I asked Connor what he wanted to do first – rides or games and he chose to play the games first.  We headed across the campus to the kiddie game area.  On the way, I picked up my taco salad ($3.50) that I get for lunch every year.  🙂DSC05966For about $10 worth of scripts, Connor had the best time playing all of the kids’ games.  He played all of the games at least once.  Most of the games were easy enough for Connor to play.  Connor enjoyed playing the duck pool, spin the wheel, fishing game, and bean bag toss games.
DSC05975Connor’s favorite game was the treasure hunt game, in which you had to search for buried jewels in a  sandbox.  The smaller the jewel, the more tickets you could win.
DSC05971Each game cost one script (50 cents) and depending on the game, there was an opportunity to win between one to five tickets, which could then be traded in for various prizes.After Connor spent all his money, he had 19 tickets, which he traded in for a bouncy ball, finger puppet toy, a can of putty, a sticky hand and a Chinese yo-yo.
DSC05985After the games, we walked around the farmer’s market and book tents.  I picked up about a 15 books for $6.  Score!  After that, we had lunch and then Connor was ready to go on the carnival rides. He rode on the Airplane, Dizzy Dinosaur and Speedway rides.
DSC05994After the rides we called it a day.  It was already around 2 pm and Connor was ready to take his nap.  He pretty much passed out as soon as head hit his pillow.  DSC06012Overall, a great day.  Goodbye Punahou Carnival! Until next year!


5 Months

DSC05798Grayson turned 5 months old earlier this month. Although he was over 3 weeks early and small for his age at birth, Grayson has pretty much caught up on his weight and height. I’m a little sad that he is no longer my tiny baby.DSC05808Overall, Grayson is starting to take on his own personality. He is my happy-go-lucky boy. It is so much easier to get him to smile for pictures. If you smile at him, he will usually smile back. He also loves cooing and making whale noises. I love having “conversations” with him – he coos, then I coo, and he coos back.IMG_20180106_151252I am glad that Grayson’s hair is finally starting to grow in. When he was born, he looked like an old balding man – no hair on top and small patches of hair on the sides. Now, his head resembles a fuzzy q-tip.IMG_20180106_110033Grayson has also gained much more control over his hands. He can generally grab things dangling in front of him. He has also taken a liking to sucking his left thumb. I’m happy that he likes sucking his thumb because he did not like pacifiers.DSC05825The biggest challenge right now is that he hates sleeping in his crib and loves sleeping in my bed. I don’t really blame him though. Crib beds are so hard any my bed is so soft and comfy. Stupid SIDS. Nights are still a bit of a struggle. On a good night he gets up once at around 4am, on bad nights he gets up 3 times, usually between 12 and 1 am, between 3-4am and between 5am and 6am.DSC05833I look forward to the day that Grayson sleeps through the night and I can actually get a full-night’s worth of sleep. But at least for now, this smile makes it all worth it.

Yakitori Hachibei

IMG_20171025_174624In October, Ev’s parents took the family out to a belated birthday Dinner for Ev.  After much debating, Ev decided on Yakitori Hachibei, which opened in Chinatown earlier this year.IMG_20171025_175753When we first arrived, it was still happy hour (from 5pm – 6pm) so we ordered a few of the appetizers off the happy hour menu.  Our favorite items were the Teba Karraage (fried chicken wings) with Hachibei’s special citrus dressing ($5) and the Goma Kampachi ($5), shown below.IMG_20171025_175516I was impressed with the happy hour menu, which had eight appetizers, 16 oz Kirin draft beers, and a selection of shochu highballs for $5 each.  I wouldn’t mind coming back for happy hour again.
IMG_20171025_184024The family ordered many items off the regular menu, but one of the more notable dishes that we ordered was the Cream Cheese Tofu and Miso Zuke Cheese ($8.60), which we spread on a fresh baguette slices.
IMG_20171025_184453I was also very impressed with the Hachibei Kashiwa Meshi Yaki Onigiri ($5.80 for 2), which was a grilled musubi made with Hakata rice cooked in chicken broth.  They also had a Shiso Yaki Onigri version ($5.80 for 2) that was also very tasty.
IMG_20171025_184903I also enjoyed the various chicken items, which were sourced locally from the J. Ludovico farm in Wailua.  My favorite chicken item was the Hachibei Foie Gras ($3.80), shown above. IMG_20171025_190833And, my favorite dish of the night was the Tsukiyaki Tokusen Kushi (specialty skewer, which was well worth the $6.80 price tag. Of all the skewers I tried that night, I would definitely recommend trying this one.

IMG_20171025_191946We ended the night with a large bowl (3 scoops) of pumpkin cream cheese ice cream, which was a dessert special that night.  I really like pumpkin (my favorite pie is pumpkin pie), but even I thought it had a strange taste.  Even though we would not recommend ordering it again, Connor still enjoyed it.

A Sneak Peak at Our Christmas Photos

Last weekend we finally took our family photos for our Christmas cards.  We normally take them in November so we were a little late this year.  There were so many good photos this year, I was a little sad that I couldn’t use them all.  Thanks so much to my friend Jolene for being so patient with my family.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the pictures that didn’t make the Christmas Card cut.  Ev  looked at the Christmas cards I just ordered and said that I chose the wrong pictures this year.  Looks like someone just volunteered himself to order our Christmas cards next year.  Ha!




2 Months

Grayson is definitely the second child.  For Connor, I created this blog so that I could journal about all his milestones and I took a zillion pictures.  For Grayson, Iʻm a month and a half late with this post and he has a total of a dozen pictures for the month.  Part of me feels really bad, and the other parts of me just feel tired…

Here are some pictures of Graysonʻs second month of life.

One Month

They say time flies when you’re having fun. The saying also aptly applies when you have a newborn and you’re exhausted.  Grayson turned a month old last week and I have no idea where the time went.  He and I recently emerged from our self-imposed house arrest and it’s wonderful to finally get out.  Unfortunately, the one month mark also meant that Ev had to return to work.img_20170906_081031.jpgOverall, Grayson is doing well and he has taken it easy on me for the most part.  He is a very good eater and had a good latch from the beginning.   In the past month, he gained a little more than 2 and a half pounds and grew 2 inches.  It’s amazing how fast babies grow.  Grayson also sleeps for longer stretches of time than Connor did at this age so I am gratful. However, he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of day and night yet.  He often wants to stays up from about 3 am to 6 am and then sleeps from 6 am to 2 pm, waking up just long enough to feed every few hours or so.  Now that Ev is back to work, most of the night duties fall on me and I feel like a walking zombie for most of the morning.  I am glad that Connor started preschool in July.  I can’t imagine having to take care of both kids at the same time.  I truly don’t know how these stay at home moms do it.  I’m hoping that Grayson soon learns that night time is for sleeping.  But, for now, it’s ok.  I’m trying to cherish every moment I have with Grayson because this may be the last time I hold such a tiny baby in a very, very long time.  I am so blessed to have a happy, healthy baby.  Hopefully, he figures it out before I return to work.  If not, I’m going to be a very tired mommy.

Madre Chocolate Company – Make Your Own Chocolate Bar

Last weekend my friend Margot got married and as part of the wedding weekend festivities, a few of us attended a Make Your Own Chocolate Bar class conducted by the Madre Chocolate Company, a bean-to-bar chocolate company on Oahu, Hawaii.  The 90 minute class is held every Friday at the Madre Chocolate Company’s Chinatown location and we paid $25 for the class.
IMG_20170901_154907Walking into the shop, we were immediately hit in the nose with the delicious smell of chocolate.  The class began with a classroom style introduction of the origins of chocolate and a brief description of how the company makes it chocolate from bean to bar.  We got to sample the product at each stage of the process, first with the ripe bean, then the fermented dry bean, next the roasted bean, and finally five of the company’s most popular processed chocolate flavors.
IMG_20170901_150401My favorite chocolate was the company’s triple cacao dark chocolate bar, which is the only chocolate bar to include pieces of raw cacao fruit in it.  I also thought the Café Con Leche bar, which was a white chocolate bar flavored with Hawaiian coffee beans, was very unique.  It also contained 5 espresso shots worth of caffeine in a single bar!
IMG_20170901_160532The make your own chocolate bar portion of the class started with placing a plastic mold onto a scale and zeroing out the weight of the mold.   IMG_20170901_154426Then we poured melted chocolate onto the plastic mold until the scale until the scale read 40 grams and placed the mold onto a vibrating machine which leveled the chocolate and took the air bubbles out.IMG_20170901_154215Next, we added various spices and other flavorings to the chocolate such as sea salt, cacao nibs, pink peppercorns, ground coffee, chipotle powder, ginger, hibiscus powder, coconut, etc.
IMG_20170901_154154I decided to make my chocolate bar with puffed rice, sea salt, hibiscus powder and chipotle powder. After the chocolate bars cooled, we wrapped our bar in foil and attached a paper wrapper around the bar.
Overall, I thought the class was a fun activity for our girls day out. The class was educational and it was cool that we got to taste the different stages of the chocolate making process. The $25 cost of the class was a little expensive, but it was nice to support a local business and we got to take home our own chocolate bar. I was also pleasantly surprised that the class was so well-attended. There was about a dozen people in the class and it looked like everyone enjoyed themselves. I would highly recommend buying tickets in advance.
IMG_20170901_162852Madre Chocolate Company
8 N. Pauahi Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

50th State Fair

The Ohtas had an incredibly busy (but fun) June.  Our weekends are just packed with “activities we want to do before the baby arrives.”  The month started with fishing at Heeia fishpond and ended with Connor’s 3rd birthday.
On Father’s day we went to the 50th State Fair with my family.  The fair had a special that day and admission and most rides were $2.00.  We went at noon, when the fair first opened. We made the right decision because the fair was pleasantly empty and not too crowded. Here are a few pictures from our visit to the 50th State Fair.
DSC04162Connor really wanted to go on the Spring Ride, which is one of those rides that repeatedly lifts you up to about 30 feet in the air and drops you at random times.   I’m surprised they let him on the ride.  He looked so tiny.
DSC04167I was worried that this ride would be too scary for him and that he’d be traumatized for the rest of his life (Even I don’t like going on this ride!), but Connor was a good sport.  Ev said that near the end, he started yelling, “I’m all done!” However, he didn’t cry and after he got off the ride, he promptly ran unfazed to the Dizzy Dragon ride.DSC04186
DSC04192Connor also played one of those “play until you win” games and won a blow up emoji-man.  There was a variety of different faces, and Connor wanted the one with heart shaped eyes.
DSC04199This year’s new ride was called KMG Speed, which was a 150 ride that whirls riders around like a giant fan.  I couldn’t ride on any of the rides because I’m pregnant but Kimi, my brother’s girlfriend was willing to go with Ev.DSC04212

DSC04233The 50th State Fair also had a pretty decent petting zoo run by Colton Farms, the same farm that ran the petting zoo at the pumpkin patch at the Waimanalo Country Farms. They had a nice variety of animals and admission was only $3.00 a person.DSC04241