Friday, December 25, 2009

so this is christmas....

my fave shot of the day. the opposite of present fatigue!

And it WAS a good one. See, every year we have this resolution - that the amount of presents under the tree won't be a tiny bit sickening, that THIS is the year we're going to scale it back, take it easy, our kids are completely spoiled, blah blah blah. And somehow, every year we get to Christmas morning, and there's a pile of presents the size of Texas, and by the time they've opened one fourth of the stack, the kids have present fatigue - glazed eyes, crazy smiles, and "WHAT'S NEXT!" mentality. Ugh. It makes you want to throw up just a teeny bit.

But this year, it all came together. Because we got on a plane on the 15th of December, we skipped it. We skipped almost all of it. We didn't put up a tree, or lights, or decorations at our house in Oregon. We didn't go to the mall, and fight the crowds, and elbow people to get the last Buzz Lightyear talking whatever. We on a plane! And we told the kids this was their gift. And pretty much, they were okay with that.

We did a tiny bitty bit of shopping at a super cute store in downtown Haliewa called The Growing Keiki, and then we went for ONE trip to target. One. That's it. The kids each got their very first gaming device - and I'll pause now for all the stones and torches to be thrown. In our defense, my 7 year old has never once owned a video game, and we've decided not to own one for our family. Mostly because I'm pretty sure it would be impossible for them to fight their father off long enough to use it. So Jack got a Nintendo DS, and Aidan got a Leapster with a Star Wars reading game. And a few books, and some body boards. Chloe got a new baby and some hair pretties. And that's it! Shawn and I didn't buy presents for each other, although we did splurge on a getaway for a few nights. (coming later...)

We were done opening presents in like 20 minutes flat, the kids were ACTUALLY excited about what they got, and then we hopped in the bus and headed out to watch the 30 foot surf break in Waimea Bay. Now, our bright idea was shared by about 47 million other people - so it was a bit of a long trip. Like an hour and a half, to drive what usually takes about 20 min. Mimi taught Aidan how to play "go fish," Jackson read a book, Mama read a book, and everyone was pretty much happy. And when we got there it was beautiful, and dramatic, and we even scored a super choice parking spot in a totally cut-throat parking situation. Generally, a great day. We got home too late to cook the ham we were planning on, so we had some snacks and cheese and went to bed. Christmas, over, done, and pretty darn easy and fun. The best part? When we get home - I HAVE NO DECORATIONS TO CLEAN UP!

Oh, and last thing: the BEST presents of the year, by far, were the handmade, hand drawn books that Jackson created for everyone in the family. Each of his siblings, and all the adults got a personalized story for them. Yeah. I pretty much wanted to bawl. But I kept it together, seeing as how it was Christmas, and I didn't want to frighten the children.

it's european.

So, technically, this photo should have gone in with the previous post. HOWEVER. I felt it necessitated it's own post.

Ummmm, yeah. Because mister? It's not enough that you're wearing a speedo in the first place. Or that you're still wearing it at the top of the hill, FAR AWAY from the water. Or that you're standing by the stroller while whatever woman you procreated with goes to the bathroom or whatever - she obviously doesn't care enough to tell you to PUT ON SOME SHORTS. But really, really. The propped up leg? That's the BEST POSE YOU COULD STRIKE? IN YOUR SPEEDO? And p.s. - I think your fanny pack is getting damp.

And just for the record - yes, that is my shoulder in the lower left corner. Because I forced my husband to act like he was taking my picture, to get this shot. Obviously, he could be more convincing, seeing as how the GUY IS LOOKING STRAIGHT AT THE CAMERA. Because we're all about the subtlety.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

glug. glug. glug.

That's the sound of my kids, trying to snorkel. The snorkeling didn't work out so well. There was a bit of crying and refusing to put faces underwater, and wanting to see the fish WITHOUT putting the face underwater. Finally, I told Shawn to stop whining and go back to the beach.

Nahh, just kidding. That was Mimi. Nahh, just kidding again. But once we sent the kids to play on the shore, Shawn and I had a great time snorkeling, exploring, and vaguely remembering that thing we once had in Mexico, long ago.....a honeymoon.

We spent the afternoon at Haunama Bay, which, although crowded, is a pretty awesome place. And how's this for a bit of good old fashioned capitalism - instead of walking up and down the steep hill to the bay, you can take a tram. Which is .75 cents on the way down - and A DOLLAR on the way UP. Love it.


Mmmmhhmmm. It's a word. I just decided it is. Here are a few glimpses into our general Christmasery.
The "Living Nativity" was good fun - as most programs involving children in Bible costumes usually are. Click here to see a few photos from the fun.

Chloe's christmas dress turned out pretty darn cute...

We also took a trip to see the Honolulu City Lights. And let me tell you, other than the crowds, it was FAB!! We loved the displays, and I think our favorite part was when we promised the boys we could ride a trolley, but neglected to do our research....finding out only after we were there that they were by RESERVATION ONLY. As in, "no, children, you can't get on that trolley. Even though it's empty." Thankfully, my kids never EVER whine or fuss or throw a fit. Especially NEVER in the middle of a crowded street, full of cheerful Christmasery families. And they NEVER spontaneously burst into tears when they see a full trolley of happy families drive by shouting "MERRRRY CHRISTMAS!" You can imagine how fun the walk back to the car was. Yeah. Some photos, anyhow.

We planned on heading into Waikiki to have some dinner, and see all the pretty lights there. But um, remember how my parents have that VW van? With racks on top? It doesn't fit into any parking garages. Like, at ALL. So somehow, we ended up celebrating the Honolulu lights at.....BURGER KING. Yeah. Luckily, the kids really liked their sponge bob crowns. So, you know. That was fun.

Well, it was fun. It was new, and different, and ohhhhhh, so warm. And it may just be our new holiday tradition. But next time, I think we might try to get a reservation on one of those trolleys.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

more beaching,

So, it's shocking, I know, but we've been spending a lot of time at the beach. Gasp. It's HAWAII, people. The boys haven't been doing a ton of surfing, mostly beacause the surf is BIG. I mean BIIIIIG. But they're having fun playing in the shore break, building castles, and for the FIRST TIME EVER Coco is letting her feet actually touch the sand without being all like "HELLO, this is HOT LAVA, here, folks. COULD YOU PICK ME UP RIGHT NOW?" And maybe even getting some on her hands. And in her diaper.
Some beaches we've been to, and loved:
Shark's Cove. (no sharks, as far as we could see with our kids snorkle masks.)
Laniakea. (The turtles, the turtles are so cool. Seriously, they are just right there. Like big, giant, real life turtles.)


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