*Merry Christmas! I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holidays so far!
Even though I always try to remain positive throughout the holidays, I unfortunately can't sugarcoat everything. The pregnancy hormones and everything have been a bit difficult to cope with this time around, and since I stopped taking SAM-e for my C-PTSD, my symptoms have been coming back, and now since I am officially in my third trimester, I have decided to start taking it again. Even though extensive studies have not been done on the long-term effects on babies, there have been no birth defects linked to the supplements, and it has been considered safe to take in the 3rd semester, and in my case, the benefits are definitely going to outweigh the risks.
In the few weeks leading up to Christmas, I was able to enjoy some holiday traditions with Chinami, such as watching some great local Christmas parades, sharing my favorite Christmas movies with Chinami, riding the McCully Shopping Center Christmas trolley, and finding a Santa to meet that doesn't charge $20 minimum for a picture (This year we unfortunately missed the Makiki Christmas event, but we went to Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki and took a picture with their wonderfully tropical themed Santa.) We also had some awesome new experiences such as the School of Deaf and Blind's winter fair, complete with a pile of ice cold snow in the middle of the field for everyone to play in! And on Christmas Eve, I took Chinami to the beautiful Central Union Church for their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, where we watched a kid-centered version of the story of the birth of Jesus. Chinami often goes to church with her Aunty Lia and Uncle Papi so she was excited when I told her we were going to church, and she kind of showed me what to do. I also feel that it is important to teach Chinami about the Christian aspect of Christmas.....We also did have a makeshift menorah made with LED candles that we lit together on each night of Hanukkah, and I had a smaller green Christmas tree that we decorated with more earthy, Yule-themed ornaments.
On Christmas Day, I had to go to work but I was able to get home around 8 am, make some waffles and we had our present opening time before Yasushi had to go to work. After that, we cleaned up, tested out our presents. Chinami got a riding toy and minion toys from Daddy and an ukelele, minions toothbrush, puzzle, new shoes, Inside Out sheets, and other little practical things from Mommy...she spent most of the morning sitting on the riding toy and strumming the ukelele to an audience of little Minions. I put some lamb, beef, garlic, onion, mushrooms, seasonings, and wine in my new electric 7-in-1 pressure cooker, and plugged in my vacuum/steam mop and gave everything a good cleaning!
Then we headed out to Manoa to visit our other ohana, exchange presents, and make gingerbread houses! I always do it every year using graham crackers, pop-tarts, and icing and marshmallow fluff, and this year we had so much Halloween candy that I saved a bunch of things like taffy, etc. that we don't eat anyway and we used it to decorate our houses! And then we went straight to Waikiki, bought some sushi and headed to the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon to eat our dinner by the ocean, and then enjoyed the weekly fireworks show. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy and we couldn't see the beautiful full moon, but the fireworks were great!
This Christmas, I was especially pleased to be able to show my gratitude and appreciation for the loved ones in my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to work at a honey stand selling some of the most delicious honey until the beginning of this year, and a few months ago I started working at the only true gathering place for new parents interested in the best and most natural things for their babies, plus a full cafe with a range of organic teas and a menu of healthy and delicious food. So this year for Christmas, I put together various gifts of tea and honey and sent them out to my loved ones.
So now that Christmas is over, it's time to transform our tree into a New Year's decoration, and make sure our home is clean and organized for 2016. 2015 had its ups and downs, but I'm looking forward to meeting our son Kairu in 2016 and continuing to heal and grow personally.