Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ryan

Dear Baby,


As I write this I can hear your Uncle Ryan having a conversation with you in Spanish. I's so cute and he loves you so much! Today is your Uncle Ryan's 25th birthday- yes, like your Auntie Stephanie, Ryan is the same age as me! It is a pretty complicated story that always confuses people, but after your Auntie Steph's mama passed away my Daddy met your Uncle Ryan's mama and they fell in love and got married. So now there's 3 of us in the family that graduated the same exact year from the same exact high school.
For the past few years we have been celebrating your Uncle Ryan's birthday in Vegas. My bff (your Tia Ashley) always goes too. 
This year we rang in Ryan's birthday here on the island. 
Your Uncle Ryan's favorite hobbies are golfing and fishing. He also loves country music. I'm sure you two will be enjoying those things together when you're a little bit older. I'm glad you get to spend some time with him on his birthday this year!


Love, 
Mama

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meeting Family

Here are some pictures from the last few days of Evita meeting some of her family members for the first time. We still have more to see, but here are some she's met so far...

Uncle Diego & Uncle Spencer:

When we arrived at Daniel's mom's house on Friday night my mom drove my little brother Diego and my step-brother Spencer over to meet Evita.

Great-Grandma and Grandpa & Tia Sheala:

On Saturday morning we drove to Harlingen so that Evita could meet Daniel's mom's parents. We enjoyed some yummy fideo and tortillas de harina for lunch and Evita swam in the pool with her daddy for a bit.

Great-Mamo and Auntie Steph:

Later that day, we drove back over to the island to meet "Mamo," my dad's mother, and my sister Stephanie. Eva had so much fun playing with her auntie. She was giggling and squealing away.

Great-Mama Fina:

Sunday morning we went to Daniel's father's mother's house so that Evita could meet her great-grandmother "Mama Fina." Mama Fina made us some delicious tamales. We were even able to snap some pics (Mama Fina hates pictures).

Looking forward to introducing Eva to the rest of our family and friends!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eva's First Road Trip

The past week has been completely exhausting. We have been on-the-go non-stop. We have tons of family that had't seen baby Eva so we've been driving around doing that for the past few days. I'm looking forward to when the madness winds down so we can finally relax. I have a lot to write about but only a few minutes at a time to do it, so for now I'll write a little about our few days in San Antonio and Austin and Evita's first road trip.
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When we arrived in San Antonio from Honolulu early Monday morning we met my brother Ryan at my favorite restaurant, Mi Tierra. That was the first time he had his first baby niece, so it was exciting. After eating some delicious breakfast tacos we headed to the hotel to relax and do some last-minute cramming.
From Tuesday through Thursday, Daniel looked after Evita at the hotel while I took the bar exam. He had a lot of homework to do for the two classes he is in the middle of taking, and he finally got a taste of how difficult it can be to study with an active little baby. I am so glad it is finally behind me. There was a pool at the hotel that was so warm in the Texas heat. It was like bath water. Eva is used to the chilly Pacific ocean so I'm sure she was a lot more comfortable swimming in that pool. She had a blast. 

When I walked out of the exam room on Thursday I didn't feel immediate relief. I still don't, really. I'm nervous about how I did on the exam. I won't know the results until November, though, so I'm just going to have to chill. My Dad had a meeting for the the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday morning so he picked us up from San Antonio and took us to Austin for the night (it's only about an hour away). We ate dinner at the Outback and I enjoyed some much deserved wine.
On Friday morning we woke up early to try and enjoy our short time in Austin. We met some friends for breakfast at Magnolia's and then ventured off for some shopping. Our first stop was Book People, a huge bookstore off 6th street. I was hoping to pick up a new book to read, since for the first time in three years I will finally have time for pleasure reading. I was a bit overwhelmed with all the options and walked out of there with nothing for me. We did leave with a few books for Evita, though, including Go the F*ck to Sleep (which really isn't for her, haha) and the Heart of Texas alphabet book. Right after Book People we went across the street to Waterloo Records (the best record store ever) and picked up an Immortal Technique DVD and a super awesome punk rock alphabet book for baby E. By the time we were finished with that it was time to pick my Daddy up from his meeting and begin our road trip to the Rio Grande Valley. 
Evita started the road trip off screaming. She usually does alright in the carseat, but only if we are moving. Oahu is such a small island that it doesn't take very long to get anywhere, so I was dreading finding out how she would do in a carseat for hours. Surprisingly, after giving her a bottle she slept almost the entire way down (about 5 hours). This was both good and bad- good because I didn't want to hear her scream and bad because she had just started to get used to the time change and I knew that she wouldn't sleep well that night (which she didn't and hasn't ever since). We made a few stops on the way down. One was at a super yummy BBQ place in New Braunfels, one was to get some drinks and some scratch off tickets (we don't have them in Hawaii so I missed them), and one was to change the baby's diaper and look at a boat at Bass Pro Shops. When we finally arrived in the Valley we dropped my Daddy off and let my step-mom play with the baby for a minute before we went to Daniel's mom's house. I was so glad to finally get poor baby Eva out of the car seat. 
We have another road trip to look forward to when we have to drive back to San Antonio to catch our plane to Honolulu next week. I hope it goes as smoothly as the first one. Having to wake up with the baby several times a night is worth having her sleep the whole way. I can't stand to hear my poor little baby cry. I hope she gets used to the time change soon, though, because I am pooped!

I have a lot more to document on this little blog while it's still fresh in my memory, but that's all I've got for now! :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eva: Week 20


Baby Eva, whheeewww it has been a busy and exhausting week for us, little one. On the first day of Week 20 you went on your first two plane rides to get from Honolulu to San Antonio. As soon as we arrived we ate some breakfast with your Uncle Ryan. It was the first time you got to meet him. He was so excited! But you were so tired, and so were we, so we went straight to the hotel after that. For the next three days, you hung out with your Daddy all day while I was busy with the bar exam. I'm so glad it's finally over! I missed being around you all day. After I finished up the exam on Thursday afternoon your grandpa picked us up and took us to Austin for the night. One great thing about staying in all these hotels is that we finally have a bed big enough for you to sleep with us again. We sold our nice bed in our house a few weeks ago in anticipation of moving, so we've been sleeping in the guest bed which is too small for the three of us. You still sleep in the same room as us, but not in our bed. I loved being able to sleep right next to you again. It's way better. You are definitely not used to the time change yet, though, and have been waking up in the middle of the night. Yesterday you went on your first road trip. It was about 6 hours long from Austin to Laguna Vista. You pretty much slept the whole way, which I was relieved about because you usually can't stand being in your car seat for very long. Last night you met your Uncle Diego for the first time. He seemed nervous to hold you, but it was sweet. It's going to be another busy week for us. You're going to meet a lot of family and friends. Other than that, you're becoming more comfortable with having your face submerged in water and you don't even cry. You can also pretty much sit up forever now, even when you aren't using your hands for support. You're getting so big and growing way too fast!!! I love you my sweet baby. -Mama

Eva by the Day:
New this Week:
-first plane ride
-first road trip
-first time meeting Uncle Ryan & Uncle Diego

*More posts about all these exciting events to come!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Supreme Court

Since today is the last day of the bar exam, I thought I'd give today's Throwback Thursday a legal theme and talk about the time I went to Washington D.C. and met my favorite Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. 
The view of the Washington Monument and reflecting pool that I had while flying in to Dulles.

  I happened to be the president of the Federalist Society at my law school, and every summer the national Federalist Society hosts all incoming presidents for an orientation in our nation's capital. Little did I know we'd be invited to a reception at the Supreme Court building itself. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and a complete surprise to me. I met a bunch of awesome law students from around the country who I still keep in touch with today. I also met a few legal celebrities (some of whom I also keep in touch with). The reception was super fancy, which I was totally not prepared for.  I had no chance to shower beforehand and I was wearing a full suit in the July heat. (I think D.C. is the hottest place I've ever been in July, and I'm from Texas.) My hair was a mess and I'm actually a bit embarrassed about my picture with Clarence Thomas, but it is a picture I treasure (even though I was able to get another picture with him a year or so later at a symposium in Virginia). I remember when I saw him I got chills. I was completely star struck. I had been in the presence of influential people before, including President Obama, who worked out on the elliptical trainer behind the treadmill I was running on one morning at the MCBH gym, but this was Clarence Thomas- a man whose words and philosophy I have identified with since I started reading his opinions in law school. 
Me standing in front of the room where the Supreme Court hears cases. 
This man truly embodies the American dream. He grew up in the 50's in a small town in Georgia founded by former slaves. His grandfather instilled in him a great work ethic and a love for learning. He was the only African American at his high school and was an honors student. He eventually graduated from Yale law school. At the event, Justice Thomas stood for hours as law students lined up to have a conversation with him. I happened to be in the first group, just because of where I was standing when he made his appearance. I told him I was going to school in Hawaii, and that he ought to come visit (like other Supreme Court justices have). He told me he only travels where his "motorcoach" will take him, and that he didn't think he would want to fly across the Pacific. I don't blame him. The trip sucks! Anyway, after meeting him I immediately ran to the bathroom to text my dad. Oh, and you know I updated my facebook status.

My cousin Ashley and her baby boy Landon happened to live in Maryland at the time, so they came to visit me in Washington D.C. We did a little sightseeing and enjoyed eachothers' company. I love my little nephew Landon and I'll admit he was giving me a little baby fever. 


One night while I was there a bunch of the other students and I went down to the Georgetown waterfront for some dinner and drinks. 
Sunset over the Potomic.
D.C. is a pretty awesome place.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Occupations

This week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic on Growing Up Geeky is occupations, which I thought was appropriate since I will be starting the three-day test that will allow me to become a lawyer. I've had many jobs in the past decade; here are a few that stand out...
Maybe I'll be a Supreme Court justice one day?

Director at Hawaii Defense Foundation


One of my current and ongoing occupations, so to speak, is a director of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called the Hawaii Defense Foundation. I'm one of the founding directors (but I can't take credit for the idea... that belongs to the president, Chris Baker.) Chris was a process server who encountered many dangerous situations in his line of work. In Hawaii, law-abiding citizens aren't legally allowed to carry firearms in public in self-defense, which makes them defenseless against criminals who don't follow gun laws. In 2010, a Supreme Court case (McDonald v. Chicago) incorporated the Second Amendment, which means that every state must recognize the right to keep and bear arms. However, Hawaii is one of the two states that still doesn't allow citizens to carry firearms under any circumstances (Illinois is the other). After facing a situation where he was scared for his life, Chris decided to file a lawsuit against the state of Hawaii for prohibiting concealed carry. Hawaii Defense Foundation was founded to raise awareness and fund the suit. We also work on cases involving other civil liberties, as well, and our organization has grown tremendously over the past year. 

Pro Bono Legal Assistant

Only pic I could find of me at work there.
A lot of law students find summer jobs clerking for judges or working in big firms. I spent my first summer of law school traveling (whoops) and the second I took a couple of summer classes to lighten the load for my last year. I knew I wouldn't be competing in the Hawaii job market so I wasn't too concerned about building my resume. However, I did score some legal experience while working as a pro bono assistant at Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii. At my interview, I casually mentioned I had just taken Fed Tax and that I actually liked it (it was interesting learning how the government controls so much of our lives through taxation) and I was immediately assigned to the Low Income Tax Clinic. I worked under a supervising attorney to help people who were in trouble with the IRS. I mostly drafted letters, filled out tax returns, and the like. While I was working there I found out that I was pregnant with Eva, which was special. I remember telling all the ladies in the office. They were just so excited. I loved the people I worked with there.

Personal Trainer

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I obtained my personal training certificate and began working at L.A. Fitness in Encinitas, CA. I absolutely loved this job. Being at the gym all day rocked, and teaching people how to get in shape rocked even more. The highlight of my work as a personal trainer was when one of my regular clients showed up for his 6am workout with a huge grin. He has just been to the doctor the day before, who informed him that he was no longer had a high-risk blood pressure level. It was normal- and he owed it all to diet and exercise. Another highlight of my job was when one of my first-time clients called my boss and told her that I needed to tone it down because she couldn't even bend down to sit on a toilet seat. I guess she was afraid to tell me? I guess I may have come off as drill-sergeant intimidating to some. That's just my style. After I left Cali I never worked in a gym as a trainer again, but I still trained family and friends. And of course, I now have my motivational fitness posts on this blog, still hoping to help others reach their fitness goals. 

Lifeguard

When I was 16 I worked as a lifeguard. I got the highest grade on the lifeguarding test in my class, but that definitely didn't make me a good one. I tend to zone out a lot, and I am easily distracted. Before I lived with my husband I thought everyone was like me. I thought ADD was a joke, and that everybody had it to some degree. He proved me wrong. That man is squared away. I, on the other hand, am a space cadette. Space cadettes and lifeguarding don't mix. I couldn't stand sitting in the hot Texas sun watching other people have fun in the water. My mind would wander, and then...

Other than that, I've also had a bunch of other jobs, like a waitress at my parents' restaurant, a hostess at Hard Rock Cafe, a cashier at a tattoo shop and at a bungee jump place, and an assistant pre-school teacher.

My Dream Job

Well, my undergraduate degree is in Geography and that's my passion. My dream job would be to work for National Geographic and travel the world documenting things. I would only be okay with that if my family could travel with me, though.

What I Look Forward to the Most

I can't wait to be a stay-at-home mom for the next 3 years. My job starts Thursday when I walk out of the bar examination room. (Well.... assuming I find out I pass in November and I don't have to spend three months studying again.) I look forward to spending 100% of my time raising my baby girl for a while. I feel so lucky that I even have this opportunity, and grateful that my hubby works to provide for us. I don't see it as degrading to women or a waste of talent or anything dumb like that. I'm just so stoked.

What do you do for a living? Participate in Toddle Along Tuesday here... 


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eva: Week 19

Baby Eva, You finally did it- you discovered that you can put your feet in your mouth! That's been your new "thing" this week, along with refusing to let your poor mama study. You wanted to be entertained all day long every single day this week, and you spent very little time napping. I'll admit, I was a bit frustrated since this was the last week I had to study before my bar exam, but I can't blame you, you're just a playful little baby. It was weird, because after all that rolling over you've been doing, you refused to roll over from Sunday all the way to Thursday, and then you finally decided to start rolling from belly to back again yesterday. You've become a pro at sitting up this week, and can stay in that position for minutes at a time without getting distracted and toppling. I'm so proud of you! We also fed you rice cereal with a spoon for the first time, and you did really well! You don't have that tongue reflex we were warned about, and you even seemed to make chewing motions (even though you have no teeth). It was pretty funny. Tomorrow is a big day for us, little one. You'll be going on your first plane ride- 6 whole hours across the Pacific Ocean to Phoenix and then another 3 to San Antonio. I hope you behave yourself! I'm looking forward to introducing you to all your family and friends back in Texas. You're about to get so much attention to make up for the weeks and weeks of studying I've been doing. I can't wait! Love, Mama
Eva by the Day:
\
New this Week:
-putting feet in mouth
-first time on tree swing
-first time eating rice cereal with a spoon

UPDATE: 7:46pm- We just watched you roll from back to front by yourself and you are ACTUALLY ENJOYING tummy time. A LOT! And for a long time! Yeay!

PM Photo Challenge: A Picture that Tells a Story

In this week's Paper Mama photo challenge, Chelsey asked us to share a picture that tells a story. Here's ours...
It's one of my recent favorites. It was Evita's first time on a paddle board and her daddy was going so fast that her hat was flying off! I was a bit nervous but she loved it, of course. Not even a hint of fear on that little girl's face. She was crusin'.
The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

First Spoon Feeding

Last night we fed Eva brown rice cereal with a spoon for the first time. We were told that since we will be starting her on real food soon we should give her some practice with the spoon. She did really well and wasn't forcing the spoon out with her tongue or anything, which I guess means she was ready. She actually grabbed the spoon from me at one point and put it into her mouth herself. She was very interested in the spoon and eating food, but I don't think she liked the taste very much because she made a disgusted facial expression once it was in her mouth. She seemed to be "chewing" though and kept asking for more. 

The feeding was unplanned and close to bath/bedtime, so we were rushed. Daniel was working on fixing some electronic thing at first so we didn't really get the best pictures or video, which I'm kind of bummed about. He couldn't hold the camera when I was feeding her at first so I set it down on the counter and it ended up being the worst angle ever. I pretty much missed all of her facial expressions. Oh well, there will be plenty more. (P.S.- I have no idea why the video plays twice.)

video

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fit Friday v.16


Quick Check-in: This week my diet and exercise went out the window, thanks to bar exam crunch time. And by "out the window" I mean I still managed my 5am runs (but I couldn't go back for weights) and I indulged in fritos and other grossly delicious processed food. Still, I managed to lose 2lbs, which I am NOT proud of because it couldn't have possibly been fat.

Fitness Tips:

Sorry, no personal tips today (crunch time), but here are a few of my favorite fitness-related links from this week:
Muscle and Fitness Hers' 6 delicious smoothie recipes to keep you going all summer long
Hungry Runner Girl's Ways to Push Yourself While Running (even when you're tired).
Bodybuilding.com's The World's 4 Most Efficient Exercises

Have a fitness-related post from this week? I want to read it! Share it below...

Fitspiration:


Source: via Jose on Pinterest
 



Source: facebook.com via Jose o      
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