Hawaiian Vacation

Sunday, February 27, 2011 1 comment
We've returned from our warm, Hawaiian vacation to snow-covered NJ. It was nice to get away to the warmth of the Big Island of Hawaii, even if it did mean we endured some pretty terrible Oliver tantrums on the flights to and from Hawaii. Our apologies to the 200 passengers on the flight from D.C. to San Francisco. Oliver didn't make any friends on that flight, with the exception of the very nice flight attendant who gave us support & defended us against a very rude young lady who demanded Oliver be "medicated" during a very bad episode.  We made it and the return flights were uneventful in comparison.

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort and it was fabulous. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to vacation on the Big Island with children. Chloe loved the water slides, pools, & the lagoon. The resort came with its own train and boats to ferry you to your resort destination. We got to see humpback whales in the ocean, play mini-golf and see lots of colorful fish.

We learned that Chloe should be in event planning or PR for a resort or travel company as she planned our day out on the handy notepad she tucked in her Hannah* Mon*tana carryon bag. Each days activities included swimming, playing mini-golf and three games of pool. Oliver didn't quite know what to make of sand at first but quickly learned it was fun to eat on top of cheese puffs and throw at people.

Chloe didn't want to leave and has decided that she wants to attend the University of Hawaii. When we asked her what she would major in she told us "swimming & surfing". Hmmm, looks like she's going to college in NJ.

Will we return? You betcha!! We're already planning it....

Chloe & Daddy in their Hawaiian shirts. Chloe wore her shirt for 5 out of the 8 days we were there.

The view from our hotel room.

Chloe & Oliver headed to the beach.

A view of the resort.

The resort train that took you from one end of the resort to the other. You could walk just as fast, but it was fun to ride the train or the boat.

A view of the canal and one of the bridges that the resort boat taxi traveled.

At A-Bay for a morning at the beach. We purchased more beach toys and rafts than I thought any 2 kids needed.

A view of A-Bay.

Oliver striking a beach pose for the "Toddlers of Hawaii" beach calendar.

Playing in the sand.

Chloe (in her Hawaiian shirt again) at the resort.

Another view of the resort from the lagoon side.

Chloe & Matt playing mini-golf at the resort.

A quiet spot at the resort where you could spot the humpback whales.

A view of the lava fields and ocean at the resort. This was a great place for whale-watching. People that stayed in this tower at the resort said they could hear the whales spouting at night.

Oliver looking for whales.

Chloe at the Hawaiian luau enjoying her un-Hawaiian meal of pasta.

The fire dance at the luau.

Chloe with the hula dancers.

In Hawi, the northern tip of the Big Island.

Playing pool, a nightly activity for Chloe & Matt.

Riding with the car windows down.

The cliffs at the northern tip of the Big Island. That's Maui in the background.

Chloe holding one of the parrots at the resort.

The lagoon at the resort. The water was calm and easy to snorkel and see fish at this location. You could also kayak and swim.

At the beach.

At the luau. Oliver sat this one out with a babysitter.

Have You Seen This Superstar?

Saturday, February 26, 2011 No comments
Last spotted screaming his head off on a flight to Kona, Hawaii.

Life With Kids (In Pictures)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 No comments
I kept the camera handy this past week and snapped shots of the kids behaving as they normally do. Looking back on the blog, I realized that much of what the kids do on a typical day isn't all that obvious. I want to remember the good and the bad of their personalities at this age so below are some random, honest shots of the kids on a typical day in our house.

Lovely, isn't it? This is Oliver's latest "trick". He did it once in front of his big sister and she laughed so he does it several times a day to see if he can get a giggle. He thinks it is hysterical.

Oliver's feet at any given moment at any given time of day. Shoes do not stay on for any time and socks don't usually last long either. His latest trick is to keep his shoes and socks on until you are in the car and then throw them at you. He's a pretty good aim.

Hats---Oliver loves this beanie cap of Matts. He usually wears it when we go out and about. He also likes to wear it down low, almost over his eyes.

If it is plugged in then Oliver is all over it. This is the sound equipment in the playroom, which he likes to turn on and off, remove the knobs and reset all the controls so when it comes time to watch TV or use the surround sound it will take you 30 minutes to figure out what Oliver pressed so that you can make it work. Oliver and I took a mother/child class at the library but we only made it through 2 classes--there was a radio and CDs were played during the class. Oliver wanted NOTHING to do with the books or the singing of songs. He only wanted to play with the stereo and the CDs.

Chloe's socks, left randomly around the house. I once pulled out 3 pairs of her socks from the couch. As soon as she walks in the door, she kicks off her shoes and socks and half the time she can't remember where she left them an hour later much less the next morning when she is getting dressed.  We are working on picking up these items and putting them in their rightful place.

Oliver is all about feeding himself. His favorite food is yogurt. No matter what he is eating, he must have a fork. He will pick up the food with his hands, stick it on the end of the fork and then put it in his mouth.

Chloe thinks our furniture is gymnastic apparatuses. In this photo she is performing a handstand and then she rolled onto the top of the radiator.

Chloe loves to read. She is really into astronomy (she can't wait to go to Hawai'i and see the big telescopes). She told me the other day that she has decided that she does not want to be a astronaut anymore. She is afraid that if she goes into space she will come across a black hole and get sucked into it. Instead, she has decided that she will be a scientist that stays on the ground in the command center and lets the astronauts take the chances.

This is the longest Oliver has ever sat for a book!! He saw his sister reading and had to copy her. If Chloe is doing it then Oliver wants to do it.

Happy Valentine's Day 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011 1 comment
Chloe making her Valentine's for her classmates.

Chloe's Valentine's Day Cards 2011

I got Chloe some sweets and some bath bombs from Lu*sh for Valentine's. Oliver received some play cars (what else?). The best Valentine's Day gift of all was the 55 degrees and sun we received from Mother Nature. The frozen tundra is starting to recede!!!

The Winter Concert

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 No comments
I must admit that a terrible thought did occur to me---to skip Chloe's winter concert at her school this morning. How could I think such a terrible thing?

  1. Oliver--he's teething (at least that's what we hope it is!) and he's feisty, to put it delicately.
  2. It's 16 degrees outside.
  3. The piles of snow that cover the yards, sidewalks and streets. Parking at Chloe's school is minimal and there is no school parking lot so you have to park on the streets surrounding the school but about 1/2 of the streets surrounding the school are NO PARKING and add to that the snow piles along the streets, there is only about 1/4 of the available parking space. Now throw in that the concert was for grades 1-5 and you can get the picture that parking is NOT easy to come by. Its not even easy to park on nice, warm days much less cold, blustery days with giant snow/ice piles blocking half the streets.
  4. Yes, I could have walked and I did think of it but I walked to school to pick up Chloe on Monday, a nice, sunny 40 degree day and it was nearly impossible. There are many neighbors who have sidewalks of ice, snow piles block the sidewalk where it ends into a street and you half to have a pick axe to climb over them and then drag a stroller up and over. I felt like I climbed Mt. Everest on Monday when I  finally made it to Chloe's school. I ended up walking back home along the street, not the sidewalk, following all the throngs of children and parents having to do the same thing. I wasn't going to do that today, because those were the streets people were desperately searching for parking spaces.
  5. The police officer giving tickets to parents who had parked illegally. I had found a parking space and was gathering my items together when a police officer tapped on my window and told me I had to move because I was less than 20 feet away from the corner of the street. I did move to another spot and was lucky I was still in my car when he arrived. The other parents parked illegally on the opposite side of the street weren't so lucky.
So, I DID park the car legally and I did load up all the necessary items to keep Oliver at bay (I hoped) during the concert and I did attend. Oliver behaved well-enough as he ate his snack and drank from his sippy cup. He did let out a few squeals, but did not cause the concert to come to a halt. He did however confiscate the F*lip so I have no video of the event. If I tried to pry it from his grasp he let his displeasure known (and for those that have met Oliver, you know that he is VERY good at letting you know he is displeased).So, I only have photos from the event.

The first graders sang first and it was very sweet. They sang "Grand Old Flag", a song about Phil the groundhog, a song about love in which they used sign language, their school song and a Valentine's song. Chloe, of course, was the star of the show! Well, at least mine anyways.