Kauai Vacation 2018

It’s been a bit since we got home from vacation, but I am fiiiiinally posting about it. One thing that struck me after vacation was that we rarely vacation without family or friends or someone to visit. While we loved it, it also highlighted the benefits of being with other folks. I think we would have pushed ourselves to do more different things. Nonetheless, it was a vacation to remember.

First the whole mashup of photos, then the lowlights and highlights.

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Lowlights:

  • Demi decided she’d rather drive than sit in a car seat, so each time we got into the car for a 2 minute drive or a 2 hour drive, she’d try to get into the front or lose her mind screaming. This would go on for a couple minutes or up to 30, which was just awful. It reminded us that we’re entering official tantrum zone with her.
  • When Cam had an accident in his pants during dinner in the bathroom of a restaurant and I had to run him out to the car with no pants on to change into his wet board shorts and finish dinner.
  • Cam and Demi tug-o-warring over _____ (fill in the blank with whatever you want–a towel, the door knob, a piece of broccoli). This was also an indicator we’re entering that era where we need 2 of everything and they need to be equal, look equal, sound equal, be shaped equally… or someone is mad.

Highlights:

  • Early morning sunrises on the back patio with coffee!
  • Kiddie pool at the condo was 2 feet deep which means the kids could flounder about happily and mostly safely without active assistance. They looooved it.
  • The kids “jumping waves” in Hanalei. I say “jumping waves” in quotes because Joe and I were breaking our backs lifting them up and over aggressive “pre-winter” waves as they shrieked and laughed and couldn’t get enough.
  • Shave ice every day. Favorite: Wishing Well outside of Hanalei.
  • Evening/night swims.
  • The beach in Poipu was the best suited for small kids and therefore allowed Joe and I to chill a little more while the kids were still thoroughly entertained.
  • All. The. Birds. There were sooooo many native birds. We fed the “nenes” (geese) each morning, watched the red-headed cardinals, tall white birds, and chased chickens and roosters around everywhere. Demi called the chickens “bawk bawks” so we spent a good portion of our vacation talking about bawk bawks.
  • The rain followed by a rainbow! We only caught 1 rainbow, but it was a really good one.
  • Naps after getting sun-kissed.
  • The moments when the kids were cooperatively playing. This happened in short bursts every day.
  • When Cam sounded out and spelled “pool” to earn going to the pool one evening.
  • How Demi now calls all bodies of water “pool” even if it’s the ocean. It makes me giggle.
  • Cam’s drawing of the Hawaiian Islands which included several volcano islands, the one we were visiting and the one that Joe and I got married on.
  • For me: poké every day, no cause to put on makeup, convenient entertainment, discovering organic non-refrigerated milk (what!? It exists.), the scenery, the beer, listening to the waves to put us to sleep.

Meeting Cousin Steely!

Auntie-to-be Kelsey lost her noodle waiting for cousin Steely. After what felt like 15 months since we found out about her, she finally arrived on 7/11 a little before 11am.

Here are a couple preshie pics from the night before:

When I picked Cam up from school at 12:30, I told him his cousin arrived and as I strapped him into the car, I told him her name. He repeated it back with a smile, “Steely”.

From there, we went to the gas station and filled up, then we popped over to the 7/11 to celebrate 7/11 day/baby Steely day with a free Slurpee. When we parked, I asked him if he remembered his cousin’s name and he smiled again and said, coyly, “Steeeeeve.”

I laughed and reminded him it was Steely.

Later in the day, Demi and I were gathering up our stuff to go meet Steely and visit Uncoco and Anicole. I kept telling Demi we were going to see a baby. And she’d repeat “Baby, baby!” I strapped her in the car and said, “Are you ready?” And she again said “Baby!”

She changed her tune when we got to the hospital. I picked up sweet baby Steely and Demi decided it was time to scale my legs “Mama, mama!” She was also generally scowling throughout the visit. I can imagine it’s tough not being the baby anymore, and even at that young age, you have a perception of that. Lucky for Demi, Steely isn’t my baby and Demi will always be my littlest love.

Two days later, all four of us visited again. Camden at 3.75 years old is much more interested in babies than Camden at 2.5 years old when we brought home Demi. It took Cam about 4 months to acknowledge his sister. Cam saw Steely and willingly gave her a gentle kiss and was trying to tickle her. I find it funny that Cam thinks tickling happens on cheeks. I never tickle his cheeks, Joe never tickles his cheeks, so why in his mind, is that the tickle spot?

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I already feel like having a cousin has brought our family closer together. I can’t help but think of all the amazing adventures ahead.

Demi Grey’s First Birthday Party

I managed not to cry. My baby is ONE! And we celebrated on her actual birthday with a whole bunch of wonderful people who love her very much.

I plan to put together another post that records everything about Demi at one year old, but for now, I just have to get all the pictures up. She was cute. The decor was cute. The guests were cute. The kids were cute.

Highlights of the day:

  • The cuteness of Demi Grey. One year old is just so fun.
  • 4 grandparents lovin’ on their little granddaughter
  • Demi trying on her new flip flops
  • The older kids blowing their “frog tongues”, bouncing in the bounce house, swinging on the tire swing and having a dance party in the living room
  • Demi smashing the smash cake … she ate at least half of that monstrous cupcake and would have continued if we hadn’t intervened

Pint-Sized Celebrations

Cam is 3 years, 3 months and Demi is 10 months… the result? A countdown at about 7:00pm, Martinelli’s, a dance party with neighbors and sparklers on the street. Truth be told, Joe and I barely made it to midnight.

Cam and Kaya cut a rug and then we cheersed to the New Year with our plastic champagne flutes. We asked Miles to sit next to Demi for a picture and he sat on her lap. He may be several months older but they weigh about the same–ha!

Our neighbors down the street always have sparklers, poppers and small fireworks so we hit the street and played with fire for a bit.

Happy happy to all! Looking forward to watching these monkeys grow in 2018!

Celebrating the Holidays

Pre-kids, Joe and I went somewhat easy on the holidays. We would put up a menorah, lighting it only a few days, and put up a tree (fake). We didn’t even really make a big deal of gifting anything to each other.

Now, with the kids, and Cam understanding more and more what the holidays are about, we are starting to do it all.

Hanukkah happened largely thanks to Grandma Monkey and Jeanne who made multiple dinners, provided gifts on gifts to the kids and lit the menorah, sometimes bringing it to our house to make sure it happened each night.

Cam loved lighting the candles and every night struggled against his desire to blow them out immediately. Cam also loved opening gifts so much he coaxed Grandma Monkey into letting him open all of his gifts by night 4. Demi, predictably, was a bit more interested in boxes and bows than in gifts, but she scored some cute outfits and fun new toys.

We put up a tree and stockings and some other standard Christmas decór.

We brought out the Elf on the Shelf, this year abiding by the actual rules. We named him Elfie Magelfie and he traveled with us on a family trip to Bend, Oregon and to great grandma’s house in Bishop so he could keep a close eye on things. We also decorated cookies (followed by a day of throwing up the gallons of sugar Cam consumed), and put out cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.

Some highlights:

  • Demi getting her two front teeth (round 1) for Christmas–how apropos that they popped through just in time
  • Cam meeting his second cousins Cohen and Brynn and having so much fun playing with them. Despite the overabundance of toys, Cam sourced rope from Great Uncle Chuck and kitchen supplies (he kept specifying “cylinder shaped”) from Great Aunt Bonnie to build and re-build and re-build monster traps.
  • Great food, long naps and walks in cold mountain air.
  • Generally just seeing Cam engaging with the various traditions, asking questions, anticipating events
  • Having DGO join our holidays for the first time. Baby’s first Hanukkah and Christmas is so very special.