Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sleeping Beauty R.I.P.

A sad day. Alas, Sleeping Beauty has met the fate of all toys left on the grass when the mower is allowed full reign.
This evening Ryan mowed our backyard while we were outside. The girls were playing in the sprinkler on the upper portion while he mowed down below. There was a big crackle crunch sound and we all came running. (We thought maybe our old sad mower might have died) Ryan himself was unsure of the cause of the sound, so he let the engine die. He picked up a few pieces of blue plastic and puzzled aloud over what it might have been. Upon further inspection, we discovered it had been Sleeping Beauty. Then the wailing began. That was Emma's favorite "polly." (This is the name of all smaller dolls, as in Polly Pocket.) I found first a recognizable arm, more pieces of dress, another arm and lastly, a head. Emma clutched the pieces of her destroyed doll and cried and cried and cried. Ryan and I exchanged amused looks. Ok, that's not quite honest-- more like we shared a look that said, "Don't laugh. Our daughter is crushed, but it's a little bit funny somehow." Surely good parents wouldn't feel the urge to laugh, so why did we? The doll is totally demolished. Emma singled out the arms and head and begged to be allowed to keep those pieces. She tearfully asked why Daddy killed Sleeping Beauty. We made it a teaching moment: This is why we don't leave our toys outside. Emma grieved for a half hour, clinging to the broken pieces of her lost doll. Poor Sleeping Beauty. She won't even be allowed to rest in peace. Her dress is now lost in the kitchen garbage, but her head and arms await Emma's pleasure on top of the tv. It's a little morbid, no?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Fabled Day of Rest

"Ex 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
We believe in Sundays being a day of rest. A rest from work, shopping, and "cares of the world." How odd then, that by this time every Sunday, I am exhausted.
Mornings have never been my favorite time of day. The first thought that goes through my mind upon waking is not "Yea, another day!," but rather, "How long before I absolutely have to get up." Pregnancy has not made it any easier. Before lunch time I have a big problem with dizziness. Eating actually exacerbates the problem. The blood all goes down to the digestive system and away from my head for a time. Taking a shower in the morning will put me out of commission for at least an hour. So I have to plan very carefully for Sunday mornings, with church starting at 9 am.
Preparation for church begins Saturday night. I shower, try to remember to find appropriate church shoes for the kids and round up various items to put in the diaper bag for (hopefully) quiet entertainment during sacrament meeting.
And then Sunday morning rolls around. Ryan's alarm goes off at 6:15. He has to be at church for his pre-church meetings at 7 am. He isn't a whole lot better than me first thing in the morning, and hits the different buttons on our alarm clock about 15 times attempting to shut off the alarm. I groggily tell him what time to reset our alarm for me, which is usually about 7:30. However, he has generally reset the time, so really, who knows what time I will actually be reawakened. One time it was pretty close to 8 am (and of course that is the morning the girls sleep in, so we were a little rushed that morning).
And sometime in the vicinity of 7:30, my alarm goes off. I roll out of bed to the sounds of the girls stirring in their room. I grab something from the closet to wear (hmm, not too many wrinkles because I am not ironing) and shuffle off to the bathroom to tame my hair and put on makeup. That done, I get the girls and myself some breakfast. I scarf my bowl of cheerios down and head down to the girl's closet for dresses. The girls usually follow me down, as whatever Mommy picks out to wear is not suitable to their tastes for that particular day.
Then we grab an assortment of rubber bands and barrettes, a hair brush and detangler spray. This is a process. Trying to decide how we want our hair, and what color pretties we need is a massive undertaking. Sometimes (like today) we want to be exactly like our sister, and other times we want something different. The girls have very different hair, as far as thickness and texture goes, so we cannot have exactly the same pretties in our hair. And we don't always understand this concept.
Ok, we are breakfasted, dressed and hair is done. I ask (nicely!) the girls to put their shoes on while I grab a the last few things for the diaper bag. Instead, the girls follow me out to the toy room and tell me which books and toys they absolutely need to take to church. Again, I ask the girls to put their shoes on while I grab a sippy cup for Elizabeth. Do they listen? Ha!
Diaper bag is ready. I look at my watch and look! it's time to go if we want to say hi to Daddy before church begins. This time I tell (not very nicely and kind of loudly) the girls to put their shoes on already! Emma whines, "Don't yell at me," and I reply: I've asked you two times already and you didn't listen. Do you like it when I yell? ("No") Then why don't you listen when I ask nicely? By this time, the dizziness from having eaten breakfast has set in and I want nothing more than to be sitting, or better yet-laying down, which probably contributes to my grumpiness.
Ok, mommy, children, diaper bag, wallet and keys make it into the car. We have a traditional Going To Church talk about good and bad things to do during sacrament meeting. (Mommy-Do we stand on the seats? Kids-No!, Mommy- Do we whisper when we talk? Kids- Yes!) We have this conversation every single week. I hope someday all of it will sink in.
We pull into the church parking lot and unload. As we walk into the church, I try to evaluate my appearance in the reflection of the glass door. There are three reasons for this: A- we no longer have a full length mirror, B- even if we did, I generally don't get a chance to look at myself before leaving and C-Ryan isn't home to say I look ok. So, I make sure my slip isn't showing and my hair isn't sticking out anywhere. We pass people in the hall, and we exchange the "How are you? question. Frankly, some days I (gulp) lie (yes, even in the church building) and say we are doing fine, even when we are not. Then we find Daddy, give hugs and kisses and exchange an extremely short evaluation of our morning. Such as any major catastrophes that happened during the course of that morning. And then it is 9 am and church begins.
I won't go into a detailed description of Sacrament meeting. I think any parent of small children knows the kind of effort that goes into trying to keep their children quiet and semi-still for 70 minutes. I think we all realize that attendance is more about showing our children the importance of attending church and taking the sacrament than actually getting much from the talks. I will just say this, the toys that were oh so important to take to church take a backseat to how cool the toys are of the people sitting next to you.
We make it to the end of church. Today a new rule is implemented, and I can't go in the nursery room to pick up Elizabeth so I have to wait until Elizabeth is good and ready to come to the door. (Who made up this rule?) Sis. B is standing in the way, calling the kids to come to do the door. These are 1-3 year olds. Good grief, don't you know they run away when they are wanted? Elizabeth finally became ready to come see Mom. We didn't see Daddy anywhere to tell him we were going home, so we just left. ("Ow, my seat is hot. I can't buckle my seat belt." etc. etc.)
Then comes lunch time. Sundays I make a nice lunch and today's selection was corn fritters. The girls feel obliged to help make them, so who's to say how accurate our measurement of the ingredients are. I do know that flour and baking powder ended up on the floor, and who's knows how many shakes of the nutmeg it ended up being? I get the first round of fritters made and on the table, buttered, syrupped and cut. Prayer said, next round on the stove and then Elizabeth says she needs to poop. I try to take her, but she wants to do it "all myself." Heaven forgive me, I let her. A minute later the deed is done in her underwear because she was playing and not sitting where she should have. AAAAGGGGHHH. As I clean that up, a round of fritters burn. (Why me? This is not the picture I had of motherhood. Can I change my mind?) And then I hear Emma, "Mommy, I need another corn pancake!" *sigh*

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Few More Pictures

Evidently you shouldn't park here overnight... I wonder what the rental company will think about this?
These last few pictures are just of some of the beautiful plant life we saw on our sojourn in Maui. I think I had way too much fun taking pictures, but I just had to share.

Last Day in Maui

The last day arrived. This is the Maui Tropical Plantation. Admission was free, but to ride the tram around the actual plantation required a paid ticket. Since we didn't really have time to ride it before needing to be at the airport, we just enjoyed the grounds.
After visiting the plantation, we drove to Walmart (even away from home, we just can't seem to get away from Walmart) to pick up a supply of macadamia nuts and a few last minute items. Then we returned the car and went to the airport. We discovered that the west US is very picky about what they let in. We suffered through two agricultural searches in addition to the usual security check. No problems however, just the one incident where Ryan's belt buckle set off the metal detector.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saturday, Day 6

After Ryan and I dropped James and Tiffany off at the airport on Saturday, we took a drive to the 'Iao Valley, not too far from Kahului. The 'Iao Valley. This was the site of a major battle when Kamehameha the Great was trying to unite all the islands under his rule.
'Iao Needle in the background

There was a garden area where some environmental group was trying to weed out all non-native plants to give visitors an idea of what Hawaii was like pre-Captain Cook. We had a good idea what that might have been like, thanks to our history lesson at the Haleakala visitor center. Did you know the Polynesians who settled in Hawaii brought the Taro plant(or Kalo in Hawaiian) and coconuts? Also, chickens, dogs and pigs. Pre-Captain Cook, there were no mangoes, bananas (if I remember correctly), guavas, pineapple, macadamia nuts and many other things considered Hawaiian.
Fish watching.... at the arboretum close to the 'Iao Valley park.

This little photo op was outside the Bubba Gump restaurant in (where else?) Lahaina. We were amused enough to go go inside for dinner. Besides, it was actually cheaper than the other restaurants we looked at. And it had really good shrimp.

The tables were equipped with the as-seen blue "Run Forrest Run" sign and a red "Stop Forrest Stop" sign. When you needed anything, more drinks, ready to place your order, etc. you would flip over to the red sign and about 3 seconds later, someone would be at your table. Nice! And then before you got your check, the waiter gave us a Forrest Gump trivia quiz, and we only did ok on that. I think we got a little over half the questions correct. (quick- name two sports Forrest Gump was good at besides ping pong....) The restaurant was actually built partly over the ocean, so when the waves broke, people sitting by the windows enjoyed the ocean spray.

Happy 4th of July

Friday morning Ryan and I drove to Haleakala. The drive was yet another twisty, slow going road. We left early, which was a good move on our part. The tour buses were just arriving as we were leaving. We were the only audience one of the rangers had for his little history/geography lesson. Of course, the poor guy didn't know what he was getting into, talking to us. I think we asked a few more questions than the average audience member. Ryan the science teacher guy and me with my small background in all-things-Hawaiian, gave the guy a run for his money. :o)
Overlooking the crater. This was the only time during the week I needed my coat. It supposedly frosts at night, but it was about 50 degrees and windy while we were there at 9 am.

We were above the clouds. It kind of looks like the moon, or something, doesn't it? Rather too high for much in the way of vegetation.
Yikes! We were high. I wonder if my OB doctor would have approved? We walked the last 5 feet to the top, and were winded. The air is so thin, we just couldn't catch our breath very well. We felt good about not taking the hike around the crater.

Ryan, Danae, Tiffany and James waiting for the fireworks to begin. We were waiting for almost an hour by the railing, so we would have a good view.
As Emma would say, we felt (and looked) kind of "melty" by this time.
There were flags everywhere along the main street of Lahaina.
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful!

Happy 4th of July!
On the radio, we were told that Lahaina was one of two places on the island to see fireworks. You could set some off on your own, but we didn't think that would be any fun without our girls. The fireworks started at 8 pm! Since the sun goes down at about 7:30, it's plenty dark by then. We were amused by the fact our girls were watching fireworks with their grandparents at 10 pm Pacific time, which was only an hour before we saw ours. We were a little glad it was Grandpa and Grandma that would have to deal with the post-late night grumpies and not us. (oops, did I say that out loud?) After the fireworks, we all went back to the condo and played cards.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Castles in the Sand

Thursday night after dinner, we all went down to Ka'anapali beach to walk along the beach. After a nice long walk, Ryan, James and I built a sand castle. After the sand castle was (sort of) completed, the guys started building fortifications against the tide, a la' Captain Moroni. We were just missing our Title of Liberty.
Here is the sand castle itself. We didn't come prepared with buckets or shovels, so this was all done with our hands and feet.

Ryan was trying to hold back the tide. He literally was throwing himself down on the sand when the big waves came in. He mentioned that he had sand everywhere, after we had all showered and cleaned up.

"Come Spend a Day in Lahaina"

Thursday morning was spent snorkling, and those pictures are on the waterproof camera getting developed. After lunch we went to Lahaina to walk around for a couple of hours. An itty bitty lighthouse right in Lahaina.
This appears to be where a lot of surfing lessons are given. We spent quite a while watching people try to stand up on their boards. And we decided boogie boarding looks to be more fun for the likes of us.
This is the very large Banyan tree by the old Lahaina courthouse. It's seriously huge.

We stopped for ice cream before heading back for dinner. Here Ryan is enjoying his Road to Hana ice cream (yep, that's the name of the ice cream). It is basically Rocky Road with macadamia nuts. I had macadamia, coconut and caramel in vanilla ice cream. Yum! It didn't have a cool name like Ryan's though.

Road to Hana

Wednesday was our day to take the scenic trip to Hana. It is about 56 miles from Kahului (the airport and about 45 minutes from where we stayed) but it takes about 2 1/2 hours to drive it. It was a beautiful trip. We left before 7 am and made it back for dinner about 6 pm. We stopped numerous times, partly so Ryan could enjoy the scenery. We were told the road has roughly 600 turns (we aren't sure of the accuracy of that information, but it sounds right) and many one lane bridges. Ryan and James climbing at one of the places we stopped.
Coffee beans growing wild.

I don't remember which stop this was, but the waterfall was pretty.
Ryan and I hiked up to Fagans Cross, which affords a really good view of Hana. Truthfully, looking at Hana from far away was about as good as looking at it up close. The so-called famous Hasegawa General Store was a dive and a disappointment. I don't think they've done much to the store since it opened in the early 20th century.

Another view from the top.

Us at the top. James and Tiffany opted out of the hour walk, choosing to read and nap in the shade. We were very hot and sweaty when we returned, but it was good to walk. We saw mangoes, guavas, coconuts and macadamia nuts all growing wild. Ryan showed me the proper way to get fresh mangoes-- take a rotten one and throw it up into the tree to knock fresh ones down. They were sooo good. We tasted fresh guavas for the first time. I thought they tasted just kind of sweet, and Ryan thought they tasted like a sweaty horse. (How does he know what one tastes like?) Guavas are very, very seedy, like the prickly pear, or tuna.
There is a funny story from this walk, but it's too long to do justice here. Ask me in person.

Some of the stained glass windows at the Catholic church in Hana.

This was a Hawaiian hymnal. Good luck singing that!
Hamoa Beach, just past Hana. This is supposed to be the only north Pacific beach that looks like a south Pacific beach.
We thought this was a cool crab. He's well suited for his environment. Ryan took several pictures of him.
We stopped at Wai'anapanapa park on the way back. It was a very pretty beach, but it required walking down from the parking lot quite a ways. We were so tired at this point, that we just admired from a distance. This was a black sand beach, and it appeared to be hot for the barefooted people playing on the beach.
We made the trip back must faster than the drive to Hana. Everyone on the road appeared to be in "let's go home" mode, rather than the "let's look and drive" mode of the morning.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Tuesday we got up at 6 am Hawaii time. We felt like we had slept in, since that's 9 am Pacific. After we got ready for our day, Ryan and I took a drive around the northern portion of the island. The map indicates "rough road," but it really wasn't that horrible. The views were breathtaking. There was a lot less traffic than the Road to Hana, and I'm guessing the locals probably like it that way. Yep, we are in Hawaii, all right. The car rental company gave us this Subaru Impreza, instead of the economy car we reserved. It was very sporty, but got just a bit better gas mileage than our minivan.

You might be surprised how many signs like this there are in Maui... I was glad it was Ryan driving. I think they may not know how to make straight roads there. :o) I guess it goes along with the one lane bridges.
We went snorkeling at Honolua Bay. We rented gear at a place called the Boss Frog. Ryan convinced me that I could do it. So, with the help of a blow up pool toy, I swam all over the bay! So yes, even I can go snorkling. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I was sure glad I did. It was sooo awesome! We saw lots and lots of tropical fish and coral. Even the humuhumunukunukuapua'a. (It took me three days to teach it to Ryan) We went snorkeling again Thursday, and we bought an under water camera for that very purpose.
Seriously, could I look any more ridiculous?
If you can see behind me, that is a rocky beach, not a sandy one. We felt so retarded trying to get in and out of the water. The good news is, after we got back on land, we watched other people and they looked just as awkward.
A view from above at Honolua Bay. It was beautiful!

Here we are at the Royal Lahaina Luau. The price of the tickets included an all-you-can drink bar, as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet. It's a shame we still have to pay the full price when we don't drink. We had a nice selection of juices and soda. The buffet, however, was very good. And we stuffed ourselves accordingly.

The Kalua pig held by two of the dancers in the show later on. The lady in the middle was the emcee for the evening. She was very engaging and quite funny. I think the faces she made alone made us laugh. The guys were doing a "hula kahiko" or the ancient style of hula. The styles included Tahitian, Hawaiian (both ancient and modern) and Samoan. There was a guy who, for the finale, did the fire knife. My camera really didn't do justice to it, so I'm not posting one. But it was very cool. The regular guy dancers did a less intense version with the fire knife and the ladies came out with flaming poi balls. I know how easy it is to hit yourself, in spite of your best intentions, so I don't think I'd use the flaming poi balls...
We are ready for bed! 9 pm Hawaii time is too late for us....