Do you believe in ghosts?

Sometimes, I think that the fear of ghosts (and the belief in the afterlife) is based on culture and upbringing. For instance, in Hawaii, in addition to their languages and food, the immigrants who came to Hawaii also brought their monsters. Tales of spirits are often told — from stories of the Night Marchers (Ghosts of Ancient Hawaiian Warriors) to the Japanese faceless woman who washes her face in the bathroom.

I studied a lot about ghosts and spirits and have formed a few conclusions: 1) by understanding a culture’s monsters, you can understand the culture’s fears and hopes and 2) every culture has monsters, maybe not spirits, but definitely monsters.

In Hawaii, ancestor worship by Chinese immigrants is a tradition that is upheld and can be seen in the Chinese graveyards. I remember tending one day every year, tending to family grave sites with Chinese Bai San with my mom’s side of the family. During Bai San, my great aunt would prepare “money” which we would burn so our ancestors would have money in the afterlife.  We would then set out food and burn incense. Before we could enter our homes after the graveyard, we would have to jump over a fire so the ghosts wouldn’t follow us home.

I’m not going to tell my daughter anything about ghost or spirits. I’d like her to draw her own conclusions about the subject, but I don’t want her to miss out on our culture. So, instead of scaring her with the spirits, I’ll talk with her in terms of learning more about her cultures.

So, what do you think, do you believe in ghosts? What is your experience? Is your belief cultural?

What To Do with a Toddler When You Are Sick

I woke up yesterday with a full blown flu. I caught something two weeks before, and I thought that, after a week, that would be the end of the flu bug. I have been sick for almost 13 days. I’m not sure if it is two bugs (I’m suspecting it is) or just one nasty bug, but I’m leaning towards the latter. Two weeks ago my daughter caught a stomach bug. She started throwing up and had really runny poo. Naturally, I caught it and was sick for about 6 days. We got better, started leaving the house, and went to a place with other kids. Some of those other kids were coughing and I should have run, but I didn’t.  She caught the flu.

She was a little under the weather, but not too bad. I think it’s because she has been breastfeeding which can help immunity.  I, on the other hand, woke up with flu yesterday morning and had a 101.8 fever last night. After my mom got home from work, she watched my daughter as I sat here sneezing, coughing, and blowing my nose, but I needed to find a way to entertain her while I was sick before she got home.

What to do with a toddler when you are sick

Here are the 3 activities that are (and were) working for me while I’m sick:

1. Play Doctor

My daughter loves to play doctor. In fact, she once yelled,” Tell Grandpa I’m a doctor!” When I told her mommy was sick, my daughter grabbed her “doctor bag” where she keeps her little “doctor tools” and poked around my face. I asked her,”Baby, what type of doctor are you?” and she smiled wide and said,”Baby Doctor!”

2. Turn on Disney Junior or Netflix

Watch Doc McStuffins When You Are Sick

Yup. Guilty. My daughter watches more than 2 hours a day of TV when I’m sick. Unfortunately, when my energy is waning, I can’t play with her, and no one else is in the house to help me, my daughter watches Disney Junior or Carebears on Netflix. Yesterday, I had her watch Doc McStuffins, and asked her if she could help me get better. She eagerly agreed. We turned off the TV and played doctor (see activity #1).

3. Have fun with toddler crafts

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Do you remember that pipe cleaner, straw and colander post I wrote? Yup. Extremely helpful while I was sick. We also had big and small pom poms and a bucket on hand. In order to teach my daughter the difference between “big” and “small” I asked her to place the big pom poms in the bucket first and then the small pom poms — this kept her busy for a while. When this got old, we got crayons and drew pictures and made a “card” for daddy.

BONUS: NAP

if you can get your toddler to nap, this would be the best activity of all. After all the crafting, TV, and playing doctor, my little one was really tired. So, she curled up next to me and fell asleep until everyone got home.

Note: In case you were wondering, this post was written during Hapa Baby’s nap ;)

Our New Favorite Show: Sheriff Callie’s Wild West

Hapa Baby LOVES Sheriff Callie — Disney Junior’s new show. We started watching it on the Disney Junior Xfinity app before it got to TV and she can’t get enough of it.

Sherriff Callie is a calico cat who is a brave and thoughtful leader of the wild west. With Sparky, Callie’s special horse, and Peck, her deputy, they get up to some really wacky adventures. At the end of the episode, there is always a lesson to be learned.

Although not necessarily educational, I enjoy watching it with Hapa Baby and listening to her chatter about Callie and Sparky after the show is done. She’s learning new words, and we laugh as she tries to do everything that Callie does.

Hapa Baby’s latest favorite activity is to play “horse like Callie”. She jumps on top of her large fluffy caterpillar and starts to scream,” Yeehaw!” as she maneuvers it back and forth around the floor.

Hapa Baby and I giggle and roll around on the floor as we pretend to be cowgirls and “horsies”. Sometimes D joins in. It’s a great way to get some toddler energy out while just being a little silly.

Here’s our demonstration on how to ride a caterpillar like Callie:

Ride like Sheriff Callie

Jump on the caterpiller

Ride like Sheriff Callie

Grab the Caterpiller by the ears.

Ride like Sheriff Callie

Scream,”Yeehaw!”

Ride like Sheriff Callie

Hold on tight!

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Cougar Mountain Zoo is a favorite of ours because it’s not very crowded, has some very interesting animals, and a petting zoo that Hapa Baby loves.

I read in a few reviews that this zoo is extremely small — I’ll agree with this. The zoo is quite small and if you are interested in seeing a larger zoo the Woodland Zoo is the best.

The Cougar Mountain Zoo is charming and fun for toddlers. I used to be in the “it’s too small” camp, but I’ve realized the wisdom of taking Hapa Baby here instead of a larger zoo. She gets to see and explore everything without getting overwhelmed. Although I love the Woodland Zoo, we can’t get see more than one large area because Hapa Baby gets impatient and wants to leave. Not so with the Cougar Mountain Zoo — she can explore all the exhibits to her heart’s content and she loves to run through the petting zoo areas.

At the gate, the people remember us and we purchase $2 apples. Then we say hello to the cougars before heading off to the petting zoo where Hapa Baby feeds the alpacas and runs around.

But, instead of telling you about it, I’ll let you see the fun. Here is a typical day in pictures at the Woodland Zoo.

 Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

Hapa Baby loves the zoo. When we visit, we purchase her cups of apples for $2.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She feeds the alligator.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She feeds the Alpacas.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She likes how the Alpacas’ fuzzy mouths tickle her little hands.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She watches the cranes with their beautiful pom poms.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She talks to the wallabies.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

But her real loves are the alpacas.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

Especially this guy with funny teeth.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

And she really likes to feed this alligator on her way out of the petting zoo area.

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Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She checks out the Emus.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

And watches the beautiful views.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

She plays hide and seek with Daddy

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

Then gets a good look at the tiger getting a good look at her.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

The tigers are beautiful. Aren’t they?

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Cougar Mountain Zoo even sells Carnivore Poo to keep away pesky predators

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

Predators like this guy.

Fun Times at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

More “Zoo Doo” to be sold.

Last, but not least, what was I wearing?

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A skirt from Anthropologie, a ruffle scarf from Blooming Vintage, my favorite Kate Spade bag that fits everything and Adriana Nuni Fluevogs! (I should have worn tights, but I couldn’t find them. They would have pulled my outfit together.)

Hapa Baby wore a Gap Pink Puffy Coat, silk skirt from Peek, Mini Boden tights, and pink boots we bought in Brooklyn for a song.

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Another peek at the Adriana Nuni Fluevogs

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