Sacrifice

There a million things vying for my attention almost at the exact time, and I find myself making 10,000 decisions every minute, especially now that I have taken a new role as a mom. Often, even taking time for myself seems a waste, but its a sacrifice I need to make for myself. A sacrifice I need to convince myself, worth taking, if at all.

And this poem is a reflection of just that. I yearn for those quiet moments, but sometimes, life’s call is 10x stronger than of those flitting quiet longings.

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the night grips

enticing i

to sit under the stars

and stare at the vast velvet expanse

summoning

to step out behind the dusty, flimsy door

just one more step

just lie across the grass

feel the wind upon your face

tuck your arms under you head

i, hesitated

and walked away

 

Emory Turns One!

Emory’s first birthday theme came before he was born. We were still deciding what to name him, when Ralph’s coworker jokingly suggested – Felix, so when put together it will be Wreck-It-Ralph and yup, you guessed it…Fix-It-Felix! Ralph and I fell in love with the idea and it just stuck with us, hence our Wreck-It-Ralph theme.

The ideas for a Wreck-It-Ralph party were scarce and few (fewer than most Disney movies), but we just found enough to fuel our vision. Some ideas we DIY-ed (Pinterest has been our saving grace), but some we decided to ask family, friends, and hired some amazing vendors to throw Emory’s first ever birthday bash.

We decided to have the party in Maui for two main reasons – most of Ralph’s side of the family has not met Emory in person yet, and my side of the family has not been to Maui yet. So win, win! We also picked the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center as our venue. It was comfortable enough to hold the amount of people we decided to invite!

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The Binhi at Ani stage by Creative Events by Carnation.

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Took this balloon idea from one of the first birthday Ralph & I attended. We had family build the stand where the balloons attaches to, and ta-da! Loved how it looked when you enter the building.

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Putting the centerpieces and brick fillers together was no easy feat. The spinning pops company do not ship to Hawaii, so we needed to route it to San Francisco and have my family bring it all the way to Maui. The brick fillers was a different story. Ralph’s coworker painstakingly pre-made them, before we could assemble it! Whew!

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Registration Table! The DIY arcade served as the party’s money box.

 

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Around the Binhi, we set-up different stations. This one, dubbed the Time Capsule station, sat across the registration table. We invited family and friends to write a note to 18-year old Emory. We plan to keep the box, and have him read the notes when he turns 18!

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Tapper Station = Rootbeer Floats!

We also had a Glitter Tattoo and Balloon Twisting station hosted by Purple Elephants. I could not say it enough, but Lisa and Mark made it so easy and so fun to have them! Will definitely hire them again.

A Coloring Station was also set-up. With some FREE downloadable Wreck-It-Ralph coloring pages from Disney and a box of crayons, it was the easiest station to set-up.

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You’re My Hero cookie as party favor for our guests.

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Our take on the traditional candy bar. The kids got to build their own candy race kart just like the movie.

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We opted out of the traditional goody bags to give out to the kids. Wreck-It-Ralph Little Golden books for the younger kids, and the Bubbles to the older ones.

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The Birthday Cake! Happy 1st Birthday Emory!

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More party fun with a photobooth, and with our Emcees!

Have you ever had a Wreck-It-Ralph themed party? How did yours go?

It’s a…

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It was rather a gloomy Hawaiian day. The indecisive pitter-patter of the rain against the windows and the cold breeze blowing harder than usual reminded me of a beautiful fall day in Italy, only with palm trees dancing with the wind. Ralph and I have silently waited for this day to come. We went about our usual day – him, working as usual, and I, running errands to ease our growing excitement.

By 4:00pm, we were on our not-so-merry way to the hospital. The silence, as we drove there, was a bit deafening. Ralph always wanted a girl, and I always wanted a boy. With our misaligned hopes, talking about our baby’s gender has been taboo during the first three months of my pregnancy.

“That guy’s blinking light is on! That car’s switching lanes!” All I could be was a pregnant backseat driver. Really? When did that happen? Apparently, today.

Ralph solemnly replied, “I see it.” Then sighs.

I exactly knew what was going through his head. Or so I thought.

Upon reaching Kapiolani Hospital, my impatience kicked-in. Every single time the door leading to the examination rooms opens, I’d sit straight up and expected the nurse to call our name. Fifteen minutes passed. Then, 30. Then, 45. I’ve excused myself several times to the bathroom – a result of forcibly fixating my waning attention on downing a bottle of water, and of course, my shrinking bladder. The Disney channel slowly picked up volume. The hushed murmurs gradually turned into silence. The chairs have eventually turned cold. And all we could do was sit there and wait.

We finally decided to nap the wait through until…Nurse Mary came. She greeted us with a big warm smile dispersing all chagrin that had excruciatingly been eating us alive.

“What are you guys planning for Christmas?”

Okay. “Oh, just lunch with our friends.”

“I’m making jam all day long! After having a full-house for 18 years, all you’ll want for Christmas is some peace and quiet – making jam!”

I never seen anyone excited over jam. We all laughed while the ultrasound probe and warm gel glided its way across my bigger-than-ever belly. Nurse Mary’s eyes twinkled, as she watched my baby through the monitor. Within seconds, BAM! There was no denying it, even an untrained eye could make out past those wavy black lines.

“It’s a boy!” Nurse Mary happily announced.

I knew it! My budding mother’s instinct has been right all along, but I couldn’t throw myself into euphoria worrying about what Ralph thought about it. He tried his very best to be ecstatic, but his eyes told a story of disappointment he battled to express.

Nurse Mary continued pointing out everything we needed to know. She tried showing us different angles on both 3D and 4D images, and printed more pictures than necessary.

After saying our goodbyes, we walked out of the sonogram room filled with mixed emotions. We scheduled our baby’s Fetal Heart Echo test for another month, and awkwardly made our way back to the car. I knew I should have given Ralph ample time to digest the news, but I was too eager to hear an answer I didn’t want to hear.

“So, are you disappointed?” I asked.

“Yes” was his short reply that sent a million daggers into my heart.

Well, why are you disappointed? What’s wrong with having a boy? You should fully accept your child. And on and on I went bombarding him with questions, and pushing his buttons like a pregnant woman on a double dose of raging hormones.

He finally snapped. “Well, it’s like when you have a daughter and you worry about how to become a mom to a daughter. That’s the same thing with me. I worry about how to be a father to a son!”

Silence.

The hurt I felt completely subsided. How could I be angry at him? How insensitive was I becoming? I have to remind myself that all of this is as new to him, as it is for me.

The rest of the night still did not go as smoothly. We argued a bit more. We argued where to eat, when to eat, and when to break the news to our families. And that was okay because a major paradigm shift happened between us. What I saw as an initial lack of concern for our unborn baby was actually of a man, preparing himself to become the one and only greatest dad my son will ever have.

And that’s all I needed to know, and that’s all Ralph needed to be.