February 16th, 2018 – Planning & $aving for our next vacation…

Greetings everybody!

If you have followed this blog for a while or know me personally – you already know that I like to plan and prepare for my next vacation as soon as I get back. Well this time was no different.


Growing up – I spent every summer in Hawaii living with my grandparents – and I thought that was pretty cool!!! I want the boys to be able to look back on some of the things that we did as a family and think – “Wow, that was pretty cool!” too.

The woman that we rented the South Lake Tahoe condominium from last summer, reached out to me and said that her dates would be from July 14 through the 21st and asked if we would be interested in renting it again this year. I was so excited to hear from her – except when she told me that the price had gone up another $100 for the week. At $1,200 – I still think it is a pretty good deal. I tentatively agreed pending confirmation with Rachel. I messaged Rachel the dates + the cost and asked for her opinion. While waiting for her to reply I decided to look up the cost for a 2 week trip to Hawaii around the boys 3rd birthday in September. I work in IT – so I am all about gathering the facts and finding the best deal available in order to make an informed decision.

2 weeks – same flights, same hotel came out to be only $3,000 more than the 1 week in South Lake Tahoe. Hmmm – tough choice? Haha – I think not!!!

I messaged Rachel with the additional information and eagerly awaited her reply 🙂

HAWAII it is!!!

Now – how do we pay for it in just 8 short months? You don’t know how hard it was for me not to press ‘SUBMIT’ and charge it to a credit card. Fortunately we talked it over and decided that we would streamline our finances a little and try to cut out some of the ‘extras’ that we have grown accustomed to enjoying. With only 212 days to save until the boy’s birthday – where do we start?

Personally I have stopped purchasing and drinking energy drinks – Redbull & Rockstar – 2 per day and @$2 a piece – it adds up fast! Rounding it off that’s about $870 just in energy drinks! Rachel has decided to cutout Starbucks mochas & Starbucks runs. I am not sure how much we are saving here – I am rounding off to $1.50 each, 2 per day – that’s another $640! So we haven’t even started saving yet, but we already have $1,500 earmarked towards the trip! I think this might be a little easier to pull off than we had thought? 😉


On the home front – the boys appear to be going through another growth spurt! Their sleep schedule has been a little wonky since returning from Hawaii, but they are officially down to 1 nap per day.

Mahalo ke Akua – Thank you God



January 16th, 2018 – Aloha Kakou!!!

Aloha Kakou – Greetings to all!

This post is being brought to you from the sunny shores of Hawaii 🙂


Alaska Air – Spirit of the Islands

We were going to wait until the boys were a little older before we took them on their first ‘BIG’ trip. Thanks to a generous gift from a relative/old family friend and the Atlantis Resort and Casino – Rachel & I decided to ‘Go For It’!!!

Let me backtrack a little before getting in to our big adventure.

  • What to Bring?

Rachel and I wracked our brains planning this trip. How do we keep almost 2 1/2 year old boys entertained for 5 hours on a plane? Fortunately an iPad, a Galaxy Tablet and a Lenovo Tablet came to our rescue. I loaded the devices with the boys favorite movies: Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, Big Hero 6 and Ice Age. We also bought them some new Hot Wheels and some playing cards. I purchased 3 Blue Tooth headsets to pair with each device so that they can watch whatever movie they want. This worked out pretty well and kept the boys busy for at least 2 hours. We also brought some new Hot Wheels and some cards for them to play with

  • Research Kid Friendly Activities

I love to travel and the one thing that I am really good at is researching/planning activities. This trip was a little different as I had to keep in mind that we have 3 toddlers to entertain and keep happy.

Here’s a short list of our ‘Must See‘ things while in Hawaii

  1. Honolulu Zoo
  2. Sea Life Park Hawaii
  3. Hawaiian Railway Society
  4. Waikiki Aquarium
  5. Matsumoto’s Shave Ice


A couple of days before the trip we all came down with a cold. Fever, cough, scratchy throat. I went out and purchased some Zicam & Airborne and it helped me to fend off any further issues. Rachel was not as fortunate and had to visit Kaiser to see if she needed antibiotics. The boys each had their bout with the flu and Makani has had it the worst. Hopefully we get one full day in before we have to go home tomorrow.

I think the 2 activities that stand out from this trip were the train ride at Hawaiian Railway Society and an evening at the beach in Kailua. We also enjoyed playing at the Lagoon in Ko’olina (by the Aulani Resort). If you decided to try the train ride be sure to check out the model railroad museum and 2 Scoops Ice Cream in Ko’olina.

That’s all for now. Here are some pictures of our adventure:


Waikiki beach – view from our lanai


Honolulu Zoo – Keoni, Makani & Kaleo


Kailua Beach


Hawaiian Railway Society – Kaleo, Makani & Keoni


Waikiki Beach – Keoni, Kaleo & Makani


Rachel wrangling the boys at Kailua Beach – Kaleo, Makani & Keoni


Family photo at Mokoli’i (Chinaman’s Hat)


Waikiki Beach








Tiki Bar

There was a ballistic missile alert for the Hawaiian islands on Saturday, fortunately it was a false alarm!


We were oblivious to the threat because we did not receive an alert until after it had been cancelled. Mahalo ke Akua…

Until next time friends

November 16th, 2017 – As we recover…


In memory…

The wildfires have been fully contained. The sound of rain falling as I type is a pleasant melody to my ears – our community is still in shock, the process of rebuilding will be a long and arduous journey!

2 Year ComparisonFixed

2 years – time is flying!!!

On the home front we continue to plug away. Poor air quality has made it difficult to plan any outdoor activities.


The smoke could be seen from outer space…

We have been doing some arts & crafts (finger painting) and played some indoor newspaper basketball!


Zip lock finger painting

The boys were so happy to get outside once the blue skies returned. We have a middle school close to our house that has a huge playground that the boys can ride their scooters, play on the slides or just wander around!


A Gorgeous Day at the School

Last weekend we delivered some bottled water and couple of bags of coffee to the firefighters at the Rancho Adobe Fire Department on behalf of the Heroes of America Foundation. The boys got a tour of the fire station, climbed up inside a firetruck and even tried on real fire helmets! They were so thrilled! The firemen were so kind to do this for our boys. Thank you to all of the first responders from around the United States that came and battled the devastating fires that affected our community. We are grateful for all that you did!!!

If you would like to join the Heroes of America “Disaster Relief Team” or learn more about them, please contact info@heroesofamerica.org

The boys are at a fun stage in life!!! I refuse to accept or acknowledge that the ‘Terrible Twos‘ are a real thing- I am enjoying each every minute that we spend together. I feel that life is what you make of it!!! 🙂

Mahalo ke Akua/God Bless!





September 16, 2017 – A Note to My Sons III, Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

To my sons – Kaleo, Makani & Keoni,

Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays!!!

The three of you have brought so much joy to our lives 🙂 When we are out together, total strangers always come up and say to us – ‘Wow, you have your hands full!’

Not nearly as full as our hearts!!!

2nd Birthday

-Baby Kaleo

What you lack in size you make up for in attitude and cuteness! You are such a creative thinker and always try to be the center of attention. It cracks me up when you come up with all your ‘new dance moves’!!! Sometimes, I feel like you get the short end of the stick because your brothers are a little needy when it comes to Mom & Dad’s attention. Never the less, you manage to keep yourself entertained and happy! You are fearless to a fault – I have never seen you shy away from a danger or a stranger! Hopefully we can get you to reel it in a little, but I definitely don’t want to hold you back – it is who you are!


-Makani Boy

Daddy’s boy! I have stopped trying to count how many words you know now – the number is unfathomable. So smart, so articulate and such a Papa’s boy! I am grateful for the unspoken connection that we share. You teach me new things on a daily basis. I love how observant you are, especially as you notice all of the little details in the world around us. You are always quick to point them out to me! Keep smiling and flashing those baby blues!


-Keoni ‘Big Boy’

Mama’s little Big Boy! People say all of the time that you are a Mini-Me, so I guess it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from this tree! You are clearly the shyest of our boys. It takes you a little longer to warm up to strangers, but I think you have the biggest heart. Also, like me – you love your Mom so much and I know it warms her heart when you give her one of your Big Boy hugs! I hope that your love of life continues to grow and blossom!


Mahalo ke Akua! (Thank you God!)

With all my Love – Happy Second Birthday Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!



August 23, 2017 – Lake Tahoe Trip with the boys, slideshow

Just a quick post to share a video slideshow of the photos from our Lake Tahoe trip & the Cotati Accordion Festival.

Hope you enjoy!!! 🙂

The boys turn 2 next month – OMG!!!


July 16th, 2017 – 22 months

Hi everybody,

Hope you all are doing well.

Happy 22 month birthday to Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!!!


Keoni, Makani & Kaleo going for a ride…

Here are some updates:

  • Naps and Sleep: The boys are still napping 2 times a day and sleep from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am on most days. They still sleep in their cribs for now, hopefully they don’t get any ideas on escaping anytime soon!
  • Food: The boys have a voracious appetite. Keoni still has a thing for greens – green beans, asparagus, spinach, cucumbers and broccoli (Go Big Boy!!!) Makani is warming up to them – he is our ‘Old Faithful’ when it comes to eating. He doesn’t mess around – his brothers will play with their food, sing and cry – while he goes at it with a workman like pace! At this point Kaleo doesn’t really care for vegetables, I’m not sure if corn is considered a vegetable, but that is the only thing he will eat. I have a feeling that he will be on the receiving end of some good lickens’ from his brothers for eating too slow and holding them up. He is ALWAYS the last to finish!!!
  • Milestones: The boys are talking up a storm and have a pretty extensive vocabulary for their age! Rachel and I feel like they are all well ahead of the norm. The typical 2 year old toddler knows between 50 – 75 words. There is a pretty wide gap for this age ranging from 50 to 225 words. I made a list of words that Makani can say and it is already at 250 words and counting.  Plus he is also starting to form sentences. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started reading sooner rather than later. This is a pretty amazing age for their young minds. They pick things up so quickly! As far as weight gain – all 3 are 30+ pounds and show no sign of slowing down!!! 😮
  • Testing the waters: We are getting to that age where the boys are starting to test us on a daily basis and depending on if they get their way or not – things can get pretty emotional for them. Fortunately Rachel has a lot of patience and can usually redirect them long enough to calm them down. I, however – am a work in progress!!! 🙂
  • Rachel update: Rachel is still recovering from her AWR surgery. She got the go ahead from the doctors to start lifting the boys 10 weeks after surgery. It’s been a long road – but she is feeling better. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, thoughts and well wishes! It has meant a lot to both of us.

Here’s a fun slideshow that I put together (with music):

Until next time – Mahalo ke Akua (God Bless!)


May 16, 2017 – 20 Months & Happy Mother’s Day…

Hello Everyone!

Happy 20 month birthday to Kaleo, Makani & Keoni. 🙂


Happy Mother’s Day!!!

The past couple of weeks we have noticed that the boys are getting more and more attached to certain objects – e.g. pacifiers, lovies (monkey blanket), toys, etc… We had an incident last week where their lovies were in the wash, (unbeknownst to me). Kaleo & Makani were PISSED!!! They screamed and cried for almost an hour (Keoni is our best sleeper & he didn’t care either way). They all have been pretty good about naptime or bedtime, but on this night they were just not having it. Rachel replaced their monkeys with another plush blanket animal but that didn’t work. Finally I had to go upstairs and bring both of them down until their lovies made it out of the dryer. They were elated to be reunited with their monkeys and happily nodded off into dreamland…

We have learned that you should always have a backup of their coveted lovie or whatever they are attached to and rotate it out just for situations like I described. It sounds good in theory, but we all know how Real Life works! lol 🙂


Lovies (Monk, monk!)

Rachel is still in recovery mode. Things are going well, but she can not lift the babies yet and she is having a difficult time sleeping as a result of the pain medication that she has been taking. Hopefully her recovery will continue to progress with time!

It has been difficult to get the boys out of the house on a regular basis. I have been working on toddler proofing our small backyard with some success. We have a slide, sandbox, water table and a couple of garden boxes filled with dirt that they can play in. Getting outside into the backyard usually makes them pretty happy, but I know they miss our family outings on the weekends. 😦


Kaleo, Makani & Keoni

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms!!!


Until next time, Mahalo ke Akua…