Happy 2nd Birthday Connor!

My baby turned 2 last week, and we celebrated with a crab boil at my mom’s house.  The party’s theme was a no-brainer this year.  We chose Connor’s favorite television show – Bubble Guppies.
DSC01440Fortunately, there was a good selection of Bubble Guppies themed party supplies at Party City (cups, plates, bowls, buckets, napkins, tablecloths, wall decorations, balloons, etc.).  My Aunty Ann also designed Bubble Guppies themed place mats for the tables.
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I went really overboard and bought an insane amount of seafood for the crab boil. We had 30 people at the party, and I bought 52 pounds of seafood (king crab, snow crab, lobster, shrimp, and clams). Haha.
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If you ever wanted to know, this is what 20 pounds of snow and 20 pounds of king crab looks like.  It was the most crab I’ve ever seen in one place in my life.  It was amazing.DSC01453I originally wanted to pour the seafood directly on the table, but my mom put the kibosh on that idea because of the mess.  So we compromised and placed the seafood in pans and placed them directly on the tables.  DSC01454
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DSC01468Connor is finally old enough to enjoy opening gifts.  He loved tearing off the gift wrap.DSC01483My brother Darren and his girlfriend Kimi won for the most noisy birthday gift ever.  They got Connor an instrument set complete with a drum, two maracas, a trumpet and tambourine.  Needless to say, Connor loves it. DSC01489

DSC01499We promised Connor an ice cream cake for his birthday.  For days after we ordered the cake from Baskin-Robbins he would ask us, “Eat ice cream cake?” And we would have to tell him that it wasn’t his birthday yet.  DSC01509

He was so happy when his birthday finally came, and he was able to have his own slice of birthday cake. My kid really loves ice cream.  Happy 2nd Birthday Connor. It’s been a fun two years.  Here’s to many, many more.

Sea Life Park

Last weekend was another busy one for the family.  On Saturday, Connor had a playdate with the ever so cute Miss. Lily Paige.  Just look at how happy they were to be reunited once again:

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They apparently have similar smiles 🙂

For this playdate, we decided to take the kiddies to Sea Life Park.  I haven’t been there in ages, so it was a nice to go again. Sea Life Park didn’t include Kamaaina rates on their website, but fortunately, my friend Tasha (Lily’s mommy) called prior to going and found out that the Kamaaina rate was $20 for adults and that Sea Life Park was having a promotion with L&L Drive Inn.  By bringing in an L&L Drive Inn cup, we got a 2 for 1 discount on admission into the park.  Kids under 2 are also free, so Ev and I ended up spending $20+tax for admission.  Score!
DSC08474After we went through the entrance, we made our way to the Hawaiian Reef Tank.  I remember that this tank used to have hundreds of colorful fish, sting rays, and sharks when I was a kid and this used to be my favorite exhibit at Sea Life Park.  So, I was a little disappointed to see the tank’s current state.  This tank is now used for the “Shark Trek” interactive experience where people can pay to swim with sharks, which explains why the tank is now mostly filled with hammerheads and other sharks instead of fish.DSC08486
On the bright side, I was told that the tank was being closed for renovations, which hopefully means that the tank will be improved in the very near future.  And, despite my disappointment with the tank, Connor didn’t know any better and still enjoyed looking at the sharks and the few other fish that were in there.
DSC08488After the Hawaiian Reef Tank, we visited the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Lagoon.  I was surprised at how many large turtles they had in such a small space.  They probably had about a dozen turtles there.  Connor is very into turtles right now, and he had pointing at each one, and saying “turtle” “turtle” “turtle”!DSC08494From the turtle lagoon, we visited the California Sea Lion exhibit.  Again, I remember this exhibit having way more sea lions than what we saw in there.  Maybe we visited this exhibit at a bad time and some of the sea lions were in some back area, but there were only about 4 sea lions swimming around in the entire exhibit.
DSC08489After the sea lions, we visited the Discovery Reef Touch Pool where Connor got to touch a variety of sea creatures that are native to Hawaii’s oceans such as a clam, a sea urchin, and a baby Hawaiian sea turtle.  This was one of the park’s newest exhibits and it was very well done.  There was also an area where kids could crawl into a glass tunnel to the center of a fish tank and watch the fish swim from all sides of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, there were way too many kids in there when we went so we skipped that portion of the exhibit.DSC08508From the touch pools, we decided to make our way to the Dolphin Cove to get good seats for the Dolphin show.  We got there about 30 minutes before the show started so there were still some good seats available in the shaded area.  While we waited for the show to start, we ate some lunch and let the kids play around.  The show was entertaining and Connor got to see dolphins and a wholphin, which is an extremely rare hybrid born from breeding a false killer whale and a dolphin.  While such hybrids are said to exist in the wild, the Wholphin at Sea Life Park is the only one to exist in captivity.  In addition, unlike most hybrid animals, the wholphin at Sea Life Park was fertile and has given birth to three times.
DSC08532Shortly after the show ended, we headed for the Aviary, which housed approximately 300 cockatiels and lovebirds.  I’ve never seen so many birds in such a small area before.  It was madness.  Birds everywhere, and they weren’t afraid of humans either.  One landed on my head and another landed on Everett’s shoulder.  I’m glad the birds were smart enough not to land on Connor because I don’t know what he would have done.
DSC08529By the time we finished with the birds, it was just about Connor’s nap time, so we decided to call it a day.  Connor was so tired, he literally fell asleep in his stroller on the way to our car.
DSC08476I wish we were able to see more of Sea Life Park’s free shows and talks, but I don’t think the kids’ attention spans would have allowed for it. For example, we didn’t get to see the Hawaii Ocean Theater show, the Penguin Habitat talk, the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle talk, the Kolohe Kai Sea Lion Show, or any of the 3-D Theater & Reef Ranger presentations.

Sea Life Park is really pushing their paid interactive programs that include swimming and/or feeding dolphins, sharks, stingrays, seals and/or turtles. Obviously, Connor is too young right now, but perhaps sometime in the future.  Overall, I thought our trip to Sea Life Park was well worth the $20 we spent.  It was a beautiful day and the weather was just PERFECT for spending it outside.  Hopefully, they continue to have the L&L promotion, so we can take advantage of the 2 for 1 deal in the future.

15 Months

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This was a big month for Connor.  After months of anticipation, Connor finally learned that his feet were made for walking. Yay!  He cracks me up.  At first, he could only go in one direction.  Whenever he tried to change direction, his top half would turn, but his feet and momentum would keep on going in the original direction.  All in all, he still walks like a zombie – arms outstretched, slow,  and meandering with a plentitude of stumbles and pauses – but he’s definitely getting better every day

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If you ask Connor to smile, this is the face you’ll get. Every. Single. Time.

Connor also had his first big cold this month.  It started with a slight cough and then graduated to a fever and a runny nose.  He also got myself, my mom, and  my aunty  sick.   Connor  took being sick like a champ and coped much better than I did.  Although he could tell he wasn’t feeling quite right, he still went though his day, business as usual.  On the other hand, I was inoperable for about 24 hours and took off from work for a day.  Overall, I know that we are super fortunate to have gone over a year before Connor’s first big cold.

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Other than that, Connor had his 15 month check-up earlier this week and he did fine.  The doctor said that we have to encourage Connor to talk more.  Our goal is to have him learn how to say 6-8 new words in the next 3 months.

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We’re Back!

Late June and the first half of July has been so busy for the Ohta family that I haven’t had time to post very much over the past four to five weeks. All of our time and energy has been pretty much taken up by preparing for Connor’s first birthday party and then our first family vacation from July 8th to 19th. It’s been a hectic few weeks, and I’m glad everything is finally getting back to normal. I promise that more posts regarding the party and trip will follow shortly.

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Connor is makes 13 months in a few days, so I figured it would be a good time as any for a Connor update. The biggest change for Connor over the past month is that Connor has decided that he no longer wants to eat baby food. All of a sudden, one day Connor just decided that he was done with baby food. Lips pursed, head shaking, flat out refusing to eat anything from a spoon.

We tried everything we could think of to get him to eat baby food – we tried reasoning with him (“Connor, you need food to help you grow big and strong”), begging him (“one bite, pleeeease”), bargaining with him, but with no success.  We  tried withholding snacks but that led to a very unhappy, starving kid and when we tried forcing him to eat, he learned that he could just spit it out. Needless to say it was a very difficult week or so and there was a lot of crying involved (on both sides).

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In the end, Connor’s will not to eat baby food exceeded our will to fight with him any longer.  We let him feed himself now by putting 4-5 healthy bite size options on a plate and letting him have it.  Mealtimes take at least twice as long, he makes a mess, and more food ends up on the floor than in his belly, but at least he’s eating and he’s happy.  Connor’s current favorites are string cheese, bread, pork chops, blueberries and watermelon.

Connor has also finally mastered the skill of turning around and scooting off the bed/couch feet first. This is such a relief because we can stop worrying about him tumbling off of things head first. Connor rolled off the bed once and we freaked out. We rushed him to the emergency room like idiots. The doctor looked at him, said he was fine, and sent us home. What can I say first time parents right?

Anyway, Connor spends most of his day eating, sleeping, and playing with all the new toys he got from his birthday.  Connor’s still not walking, but I’m not really as worried as I used to be because I know he’s happy and healthy. And like crawling, even though he takes a little longer than most to do it, he’ll do it eventually. Right now, he’s really good and quite content at cruising and can shuffle from one piece of furniture to the next with ease. Ev and I are also savoring these moments while we can because Connor will be running around very soon, and I’ve been told it gets 10 times harder from there.

More posts about our trip and birthday party shortly!