Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Hawaii Adventures

One thing I love about Hawaii is that there is always something to do outdoors. Our first week there we:

Hiked the Hau'ula Loop Trail:

This hike is maybe 10 minutes from my house, but I've never hiked it. And I never need to do it again. It was great for some exercise, it got us out of the house, but there was no water to swim in at the end, no waterfalls to view from a distance, not even really much of a view. (Yes, I am spoiled when it comes to hikes). Just a hot walk through the tropical forests. Even Waimea got bored:

Something we HAVE TO do every time we go is get shave ice. And the only place to do that is Matsumoto's in Hale'iwa. Yum Yum. If you ever go, get a large with ice cream, but no beans. Some of the best flavors are the li hing mui, melona, and tangerine.

Something else I've never done is stop at Turtle Beach. It is almost guaranteed that you'll see a Hawaiian Sea Turtle basking in the sun here. Because it's a big tourist stop, and because the sea turtles are an endangered species, they have them blocked off. It was neat to see, but I prefer finding them swimming at the beaches closer to home, away from all the tourists. They can be quite common to see, but you have to be looking out for their little heads popping up for air.

And, of course we had to stop at the place that inspired Waimea' s name:

Here's most of the gang, playing at Waimea's Beach. The currents at Waimea Bay are quite strong, and there's a big dropoff just a few feet off shore, so I didn't want the kids to get in. But we had a great barbeque, followed by an amazing sunset.

We let Waimea explore, and of course she headed right for the stairs of the lifeguard tower. Future lifeguard? Doubt it. Not with how anti-water she is right now.

Another must do (but only when they have their cheap Kama'aina rates) is to go to Hawaii's one and only water park, Hawaiian Waters. We took Spencer (and Brookie) and had a blast.

Friday, June 26, 2009

First day at the beach

To celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary, and because my first sibling was getting married, we went to Hawaii in May. Evan stayed two weeks, and I stayed a month. A very exciting and action-packed trip. The day after we got there, we decided the best thing to do was to go to the beach. The pictures below document this first trip to the beach, in all our glorious whiteness.

Here we are, lotioning up.

Spencer has been to the beach before and knows what to expect. Besides, he's my water boy. He was diving into pools and practically swimming when he was a mere 14 months old.

Waimea, however, not my water girl. She won't even sit in the bathtub anymore and HATES water being poured over her head. When I take her swimming she just whines the whole time and would rather sit with her towel wrapped around her than get wet. Here she is, eyeing the water.

After watching Spencer, she decides to venture forth:

Here comes mommy to coax her in:

Feeling the water...she seems okay with that:

But will NOT get in:

Running away from mommy the meany who tries to make her get wet:

Meanwhile, Spencer and Evan and auntie Brookie are enjoying the calm water:

Waimea saying "no no" to mommy trying to take her in the water:

More sand play with Michelle, Jeremy's then fiance, now wife (aka the photographer), and auntie Brookie (not a real aunt, but may as well be).

A great day, despite my frustrations with my water-fearing daughter. (Seriously, how could I have a daughter who won't go near the water. She must take after Evan somehow)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Close Call

Yesterday morning I was helping my kids get dressed for the day. I was leaning over Waimea, when Spencer, who was standing nearby, stood up. His rock-hard head somehow smacked me dead center on the nose, and there was an a very audible CRACK. My mother even heard it from the laundry room, with the washing machine on. And, oh man, did it HURT! We were all convinced it was broken, especially because it had been broken before. But the x-rays showed no breaks, chips, etc. It does look a bit crooked, though. But hey, at least I didn't break it, right?

Combine that with Spencer being quite less than agreeable yesterday, and I think I'm ready to send him off to Finland with my parents for five weeks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spencer's Birthday Party

Maybe I'm poorer than everyone else, maybe I just can't bring myself to spend too much money on a birthday party, or maybe I'm just ghetto. But Spencer's party was nothing like all the birthday parties he's been to in New Jersey. Our was in our "backyard," with a home-made obstacle course, the cheapest pinata I could find, and cupcakes from a cake mix. Yep, ghetto.

But it was a blast. I'm not sure the kids understood the objective of an obstacle course, but they had fun running around. Here's what the course entailed:
-hopping over water jugs
-somersault on a blanket
-crawling through a cardboard box
-throwing balls into a basket
-crawling through another cardboard box
-hitting baseballs
-hopping over more water jugs
-another somersault on a blanket
-hitting golf balls
-crawling through yet another cardboard box
-walking across a balance beam (my most creative one yet--two ramps for changing oil with a 2x4 taped in between. Brilliant, if you ask me)
-jumping on our trampoline (a leaky air mattress)

I warned you it was ghetto.

Here's a picture of the course:

Most kids had fun. Maybe Adam didn't:
My stroke of brilliance--the balance beam:The "trampoline":

Other activities included:

Hitting a pinata in the shape of the number "4":

Eating hot dogs:

Opening up presents:

Eating cupcakes:

Hopefully everyone who came had as much fun as we did! Thanks to everyone who came and those parents who stayed to help out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We love Aunt Amy!

Aunt Amy, Evan's sister, came for a visit back in April. We had a fun week and a half with her, and the kids absolutely love her. Here's what we did:
-went to Philly. Did the Independence Hall/Liberty Bell thing, walked around and saw most of the historical sites, and ate Dunkin Donuts.
-went to Six Flags Wild Safari. Spencer had a blast, and Waimea called everything either a doggie or a birdie. Strangely enough it wiped us all out, even though all we had to do was sit and drive through the park. Must've been the heat.

-went to the Princeton Fountain. We LOVE this place. Luckily it was hot so the water felt great. Amy and I wished we had brought our suits so we could join Spencer. Waimea cannot be my child--she doesn't seem to like the water when it gets past her ankles. But we had fun trying to get her wet, anyway.
-went to Hoagie Heaven in Princeton to get some Philly Cheesesteaks. (We couldn't bring ourselves to eat the ones in Philly made out of Cheese Whiz). Also went to the Princeton Battlefield, Jersey Gardens, and Ikea. Sorry, no picture.
-went to many other places, but it's been too long since it happened, so I can't remember. But I do remember that Amy was gracious enough to help out (A LOT) with Spencer's birthday party(sort of pictured below), watch the kids for us so that Evan and I could celebrate our anniversary, and watch them again a second time for some other obligation.

Amy is a great aunt and sister and we want her back!! Thanks for visiting us, AMY!!Next time you come we'll be sure to leave Evan behind with the kids and go roller coastering at Six Flags.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I built my kids a sandbox. I was tired of them digging up my dirt and plants. It's conveniently located just off our back patio, so now they have something to do while I'm making dinner just a few feet away. And now I don't have to drive an hour to get to a beach. Whoever invented the sandbox deserves a prize in heaven.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

221 pictures

That's how many were taken since the last time I posted. We'll see how many I actually post on here.

Here's one:
This was not our doing. But we're sure glad we got a picture of it.