A few early pics of what we do everyday in Hawaii. The kids are having a ball playing in the tide pools and finding crabs and fish. We swim, we eat, we snorkel, we eat, we sleep, we swim. That’s pretty much the routine here. We play on the beach, and the kids are loving the food here. They eat fruit and fish like it’s going out of style. You’d be surprised how quickly they adapt to no shirts and no shoes. Everywhere.
Sawyer is looking darker than anyone, the boy tans even though I slather the SPF 30 every 2 hours. It’s his back that just gleams with a suntan from all the hours he spends swimming in the pool underwater. He of all the kids is enjoying himself the most. He asks each morning at breakfast how many more days we have because he is dreading leaving this place. He has already asked if we can just move here.
The first morning was rough with all the kids up at 5:30am because of the time change. Fortunately this morning only Greta got up at that time and the boys slept in til 6:45am. Here’s hoping to them sleeping til 7am tomorrow.
Here are a few of the many large sea turtles that just hang out on the beach and in the bay here. There’s two in the foreground and Uncle Judah and Sawyer climbing rocks in the background.
I have decided Greta has the perfect beach hair that every girl dreams of having. In the pool, ocean, you name it, she ends up with the most beautiful perfect tendrils, every single day, that just blow in the wind. Meanwhile, my frizzy mane is in a hat. Every single day.
And of course Gunnar had to remember his golf clubs. He missed his last lesson of the summer Wednesday night because of the fever and leaving the next morning. But have no fear, there’s golf in Hawaii. And he is putting all those lessons on form to good use.
Since I am on my old laptop and loading my pictures are taking forever, I will try and post a new favorite pic each day from our vacation.
Yep, we made it on our vacation. I wasn’t quite sure I was going to fly out with Greta on Thursday. Not too many know that the kids came down, beginning with Sawyer on Monday, with fevers. They dropped like flies, Sawyer, then Gunnar, then Greta. Greta was the last to get it and thus the last to finish as well. Fortunately by Wednesday afternoon her fever broke and they all have a very nice dotted rash covering their little bodies now. The doctor said it was a virus since they have all had roseola previously, and the rash was part of the virus as well.
It was a good thing we flew out Thursday because I have some very exciting celebrity news to share. On our flight was Tobey Maguire, his wife Jennifer Meyer and their daughter Ruby. My sister of course was the first to spot this and she conveniently let Greta walk nearby the first class curtain for little Ruby to catch her eye. They’re only a few months apart and were quite taken with each other. Well, let me clarify. Ruby was quite taken with Greta, and Greta was taken with Ruby’s doll. That’s how it went off and on for a few hours. The girls played and both refused to nap. Ruby even came back to coach to find Greta. All in all, Jennifer was a sweetheart, so nice and down to earth. The girls bonded over their matching shoes which was really cute. Her husband on the other hand, Mr. Spiderman. More like Mr. Sourpuss. I did not see him take his eye mask off once the entire flight to lift a finger for their daughter. Nor in baggage claim did he help with a single piece of luggage. I am hoping he was ill or recovering from a movie shoot somewhere, because he was kind of a jerk. When they were leaving with their bags Jennifer made a point to say, “Ruby, tell Greta goodbye!” She was truly a nice person to talk to, but I don’t know what his problem was.
I am not into asking for autographs or staring at stars. I see enough of them walk through the doors of my work to no longer be starstruck, and maybe that’s why it irritates me so much to see someone irritated at nothing at all. No one was bothering him, no one was staring. Maybe I was staring a little because he wasn’t helping his poor wife. But that has nothing to do with what you do for a living.
Back to the original point, we are on the Big Island of Hawaii and hopefully I will be able to post a few pics over the next week of our vacation. I will work on loading some pictures and hopefully be back to daily posting of them tomorrow.
I will drink a Lavaflow for you. I already did. I’ll have some Mai Tais too.
I have been meaning to redo Greta’s bookcase since she moved into her own room earlier this year. It was the bookcase that the boys used and it was the only honey colored piece of furniture in her room. I think it was from Pottery Barn a long time ago. It stuck out like a sore thumb so I finally got around to doing something about it. The only problem was I have never refinished anything in my life. And after a little research I decided restaining wasn’t going to happen.
Instead I was persuaded by Aaron to purchase an electric sander and repaint it. I secretly think it was only the power tool purchase that made him agree to my new plan. This time around I was able to indulge my little people’s dream of helping me paint. They did the whole back side themselves.
I also had this vision of wallpapering the back of the shelves. I couldn’t remember if I had seen it anywhere, but I think I have and just filed it away in my brain somewhere. Aaron had to help with the wallpaper, I was not about to screw it up, although I did have 11 yards so messing up wouldn’t be the end of the world. Anyone need some wallpaper?
I realized this morning that we only have 3 1/2 more weeks before Gunnar goes back to school. Here are some things I will miss.
1. The mystery of not knowing which child will crawl in bed with me first in the mornings. Greta has a 60/40 chance over Soso, but it’s a toss up. And I never know which one until their footsteps reach my bedroom doorway. Eventually all 3 make their way into my bed for some cuddles and morning wake up time. I will definitely miss that.
2. The many times I reach into my bag for my cell phone or wallet and pull out a pair of goggles.
3. The boys tanned backs. When their shorts creep down a little, you can see the definite line of sun.
4. Being able to shower at 9am and still get the boys to camp on time, with their lunches packed.
5. Later bedtimes. I love being able to indulge the “just one more story mama” requests and read 5 more books than normal. Instead of just one more it usually ends up being 45 minutes worth of reads, but I don’t mind.
6. The after bath playtime outside. The longer days mean longer sunshine. And after dinner and baths there is still enough time to hang out outside and enjoy the coolness of the night and setting sun.
7. Vacation. I love looking forward all year to a summer vacation. Hopefully this is a tradition we can keep for the kids’ entire lives. There is little better for them than the anticipation of a plane ride and a destination of sand and snorkeling, volcanoes and their family being all together, all day.
8. My Fridays with the kids have been extra special. I love having one day a week where we get to pick a new adventure or activity. We have been able to go to a museum, the beach, swimming, movies, bike rides and park days. I will miss these days being regulated to our weekends where we try to pack too many things into too little days.
9. The extra good choices of craft and school supplies available. This time of year provides the best markers and paper, backpacks and pens to stock our closets and shelves full for the year.
10. The unguiltiness (I know, not a word) I feel making Aaron take a day off here and there throughout the summer months to enjoy the extra time with us.
Summer, I will miss you, and cannot wait til we meet again next year, for more adventures and moments like these.
These are the books that really helped Sawyer’s reading move beyond sound recognition to actual whole word recognition. They are really fantastic. My mom informed me that back in New York when she was in elementary school those were the books she learned to read with in class. I really wish that were the case here instead of the awful Open Court Reading system. But at least we got our hands on some individual Dick and Jane stories and a book of the whole collection. I try and sit with Sawyer for about 20 minutes 3 times a week. The book is perfect for him because he is memorizing sight words and in one story they will repeat a sight word like a bazillion times and each story introduces a new word. And trust me, by the end of the 3 page story, the word is memorized. I didn’t know how many times you can put the word “go” in a story, or “oh”, or “here”. It’s pretty great.
Unfortunately I think Sawyer is beginning to believe every story is about children named Dick, Jane, Sally, and Tim. And the only pets are Puff and Spot.
I put 2 clips together of him reading in the last few weeks, if you can make it through the whole 4 1/2 minutes you’ll get some lovely glimpses of the mole removal sites on my back. The circular bandaids kind of give them away.
Just incase you didn’t believe that my 3, now 4 year old was a reader. Here’s the proof baby! You can see the words he knows and when he comes to one he isn’t 100% sure he will sound it out. But the words he recognizes by sight are growing leaps and bounds. Tonight we read a new story he hadn’t seen before and he just read the word “you”. Didn’t know he ever knew that one.
No, not the show. My mole. A real mole. Actually, 2 of them. I have inherited a not so wonderful gene from my father, along with the ‘we don’t know what eye color you have, so just call it hazel gene’, and that is the mole gene.
The mole gene blesses you with really cute beauty marks when you are born and in the first few years of life. And then you get some larger beauty marks that aren’t so beautiful. These are moles. One or two can sure be sexy. But with them also pose some not so sexy traits, like melanoma. A few years ago I had a mole on my stomach, which my mom and sister both share as well, removed. Along with one on my shoulder and one on my chest. I figured this was enough to appease my mother and her family. They hate moles, and with it the threat of death. Yep, lots of people die of moles, especially at my age.
In recent months however, my Nana began to badger me about two moles on my back. Aaron likes to refer to one as my third nipple. And although he affectionately refers to it as that, he was always scared by them as well. I don’t think moles are so common in his white and pink heritage. Honestly, not a day went by where my Nana wouldn’t call me about getting rid of my moles. I would tell her, ‘Nana, I have had them my whole life, they have not changed, there is nothing to worry about’. That was not satisfactory to her, and after a few months of these ‘talks’ I succumbed to the pressure and made the appointment to get them removed.
I made it conveniently for the same time as Sawyer’s 4 year checkup. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone is very convenient for me. And I figure if by chance Sawyer was due for a vaccination he would take great joy in watching the doctor knife me with a scalpel first. As soon as the other children got wind of what the doctor would be doing to me, well, they begged to come. I guess I didn’t realize quite how exciting it is for them to have the chance to watch mom get a medical procedure done that involves a shot of her own, a knife, and some burning skin. Yay.
Sawyer went first and no shot was needed. After his eye and hearing exam it was my turn. If anyone has ever brought all their children and that number totaling 3 or more, they understand the chaos of the doctor’s exam room and how small it seems when you have 3 kids fighting over the blood pressure machine and telling the doctor poop and pee jokes.
When they saw the cart wheel in with the instruments on it for mama, silence fell upon the room quicker than I’ve ever witnessed. Quiet ensued as he first shot me up with some numbing juice. I heard Soso yelp and assured him I was fine. Nothing like putting on a brave face for the kiddies. The next part I think took them by surprise when he used the machine to burn the flesh around the moles and then cut the moles off with a knife. Gunnar’s only response was that it smelled, and yeah, burning flesh isn’t the best smelling thing.
It made for some interesting conversation on the way home.
Greta: Mama, the doctor cut your mole off your back?
Sawyer: Yeah, I saw it. Did it hurt you?
Me: Not really. That’s why they give me the shots. And when I started to feel it hurt he gave me more medicine to numb it.
Greta: Mama. The doctor just cut the mole off.
Me: Yep. He did.
Gunnar: Mom. I’m kinda scared. I have a mole on the side of my head, am I going to have to get it taken off too?
Me: Probably not sweetie. You were born with it and we’ll watch it.
Gunnar: Okay. But I am still worried about it.
Me: If you are scared then you need to never let Nana see it.
Gunnar: (covering his temple with his hand) Ok.
The bain of my existence for the last few months is finally gone and off in 2 biopsy capsules to be tested.
I apologize in advance to you Gunnar, so far you’re the only one who got the mole gene.
Usually on Fridays you will find our friends, Rob and Tanya over our house, and if they aren’t here then we are usually walking to our favorite cafe for dinner and or ice cream. I love Friday evenings. It’s the start of our weekends and usually the weekends feel longer for some reason if we kick it off on Friday.
The kids usually take their bike and scooter and it’s a constant herding of children across streets and alleys.
We sometimes walk through the abandoned tracks near our house as a shortcut. And this particular evening the light was pretty cool. Mental note, come back when planning to actually take some photos of the kids.
And the whole reason for the walks in the first place? The ice cream and toppings of course.
Here is a sneak peek into my current house project. It’s the wallpaper pattern I am using.
The only reason my husband has not murdered me so far with all my projects and reorganizing is once in awhile the project will require a power tool purchase. This particular project he had to buy me an electric sander. very exciting.
I really don’t think most of you are that interested, but here it is anyways. What we’ve been reading in our house of late has been,
for me- Loving Frank which was awesome. I finished it and now all I can think about is visiting Chicago’s Oak Park neighborhood to see all the homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is supposed to be fiction, but it is based on true people and events, some details and actual conversations were fictionalized, but the whole time I really felt like it was true. Although it’s a love story, it’s not mushy and I think men would enjoy it just as much as women. It’s on the shelf for Aaron to read next.
the kids- They are loving this series by one of our favorites, Lauren Child. Clarice Bean is the main character and I find myself laughing as I read the stories. This one is a particular fave, and so is this one. We have almost the whole series and each one is just a great story, kids of all ages would love them.
Hopefully soon I will have some more good reads to recommend. I picked up a few at Barnes and Noble today to bring with us on our trip coming up. I am only hoping I have the time to read one in between snorkeling, kayaking, keeping my children from drowning in the pool and ocean, making sure Sawyer leaves the endangered turtles alone, and taking some good pics.
Email me if anyone wants to do a book trade. I feel bad buying all these books and only reading them once and they sit in a cabinet. Let me know what you got and what you want. . .