Monday, November 29, 2010

Bucket Babies

Because when your kid fits inside a pot, you put him in it.

And then you put him up on high surfaces.

Like the fridge.

And when your brother gets put in a pot... 

...and stuck up on top of things, well.

What did you think would happen?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fun at Hickam

We went to Hickam Beach with our friends April and Jayna and had a great time playing in the sand and the water. Avril and Jayna are in the same first grade class together and have become fast friends. 

Roman's still a bit nervous about the water, but he loves the sand. 

Derek, being the good doctor he is, brought along the American Journal of Family Medicine to keep up on all the studies being done in the field.

The girls obviously all need to be buried in the sand now. 

So I decided to put the camera down for a bit and help out... my little sand merbaby!

It all started out innocently enough....

... but when Daddy is involved, mischief happens....

...which quickly escalates...

and spreads...

Friday, November 26, 2010

La'ie Temple Open House Slash North Shore Day with Friends

So the La'ie Temple has been closed for renovations for two years now. Sure glad we came in on the tail end of that! 
The Open House ran during the last two weeks of October and the first two of November, and we felt like it was a great opportunity to share some of our beliefs and just the beauty and the spirit at the temple with some of our friends who might not have another chance to experience it. 

I'd never actually been to a temple open house myself, so I didn't quite know what to expect. As it was, I really enjoyed walking through the temple and seeing it with our friends and the kids, especially the Celestial Room. When we got in there, Xandri pointed to the chandelier and whispered (somewhat loudly) to me, "I wish that was in our house." So do I, honey, so do I. 

It was interesting to me, because I also didn't know what to expect to feel. When I go to the temple normally, I feel the Spirit so strongly, and there is such a peace and a reverence. If I am in a particularly good frame of mind, it's truly an amazing experience. The open house wasn't the same. I enjoyed it- it was beautiful, I felt the peace and reverence of the temple, but I didn't feel the spirit to the degree I normally do. I hope in any case it was enjoyable for our friends and they were able to learn a little bit about our temples and their purpose. It was such a good reminder of why we have them and the importance of families, and it was wonderful to share that with our children. 

Afterward, we took our friends up to La'ie Point to wander and check things out and then headed up to Ted's Bakery for lunch, which was delicious. Crab BLT anyone? Yes PLEASE!

My awesome friend Arren and her hubby, Jeremy:

Heather (or Heddy if you're Xandri) 

Heddy, me and Xandri.... such a familiar site! For those who don't know, this was the view off our lanai for the semester we went to BYU-H some 8 years ago.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bucket Babies

When a little boy sees a bucket, he climbs in.

When that boy's dad sees him in a bucket, he puts him on top of things.

Like hutches.

And refrigerators.

When little girls see little brothers in buckets on hutches and fridges, they clamber for their turn.

And beg their daddies to put them on hutches, too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Xandri & Roman!

Ok, before I hear it from everyone who had to share a birthday party with a sibling who's birthday was like a week apart from their own, please note that this is not a tradition that will continue past the age where it starts sucking. For now.... just imagine a two year old watching a four year old (keep in mind he's almost as big as she is physically. In his mind, they're equals.) open presents, get toys and treats and lots of attention. And then the four year old watching her brother get all that a couple days later. I'm absolutely positive this is how that tradition started in most families-- it was simply more practical and actually easier on both kids to share the birthday celebrations.

It was honestly a rocky week for birthdays though. Xandri had been asking when it was her birthday for about a month and then Derek kept getting home late at night. We hadn't decided to celebrate their birthdays together until a day or two before (or maybe even the day of), so Xandri knew when we were SUPPOSED to celebrate her birthday and wasn't too happy when we postponed. But she had also been running a bit of a fever earlier that week... which Roman caught and it was really bad for him. Wheezing, croupy cough, 104 degree fever at night... I was really worried and very grateful he had a doctor daddy. He could stay at home in his bed and get better rest than he would at the hospital (as would we) and still have a doctor monitoring him. So combined birthday week was a bit unorganized and stressful since I didn't even know if Roman would be up to celebrating!

We intended to celebrate on Thursday, but with the sickness and the schedule, it happened on Saturday instead. We just kept it simple and instead of wrapping presents, did the present treasure hunt. It was a hit. Of course, once Roman found his first present, he was happy and had no need to keep looking. It took quite a lot of convincing to get him to realize there were more. Maybe we shoulda saved em for Christmas....

Xandri, on the other hand, had no problem grasping the concept of multiple presents hidden around the room and immediately fell in love with a few favorites-

a giant Pegasus My Little Pony with gorgeous hair to brush and comb and play with, as well as a Hello Kitty purse Daddy picked out for her (he actually handled the birthday shopping this year and he really nailed it)

Truck number two

Showing off her new "Dolly & Me" dress set

Avril found Roman's dragon

Figuring out how to shoot the thing

Hey, where'd it go?

Thanks Grandpa Jackson!

Xandri loves her stuffed weasel and of course the Teddy Grahams are a hit like always.

A screaming monkey. Great. Just what I need. And of course he loves it.

Just like he loves his Happy Meal toy, The Thing.

Which yells "Iiiiiit's CLOBBERIN TIME!" everytime you hit it against something. Like my face.

This is actually a while after their birthdays, but I had Xandri bring her money (thanks to Grandma Zan and Auntie Camas for a combined whopping $30 spending money!!) to the Swap Meet to pick out some fun things and this is what she chose:
(Please note that she also got a necklace with a cute little slipper on it which she promptly lost. Upon finding it, she realized that now the necklace itself is lost.)

Oh and she couldn't even think about anything else she wanted until she had that Dora the Explorer phone. Nothing else was worth giving that up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soccer Fun

Derek's been playing soccer on Tuesdays at Tripler after work with some of the doctor's in family practice. He's been trying to convince me to come play for some time, and so I finally broke down and came out. 

Now keep in mind, I haven't played since... well, probably 2nd grade? And by playing I mean running around the field with a huge knot of kids until I got bored and decided to sit and pick clovers instead. 

So I had no expectations for any spectacular level of play from myself. Mostly run around and know who my team is. And if I kicked the ball, all the better! I had no shame, and it's a good thing, too. 

Anyway, after a few weeks of playing, I was enjoying it and improving my game, coming regularly and having fun getting to know people Derek works with. So we decided it might be worth it to snag me some cleats. After about two hours of soccer gear shopping, we came away with a little more than just cleats:

That's right, Holland and Spain soccer-stylin. I must say our game has improved since getting all decked out. Is it just the cleats--- or the whole outfit? I suppose we'll never know...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I had big plans for Halloween this year. I was gonna hit every haunted house/attraction I could find. Halloween crafts all week long, Halloween meals, jack-o-lanterns, fun kids outings, the whole bit.

Well, the month slid by... it came down to the last week and I hadn't hit a single haunted house yet. Derek's on one of his more annoying rotations that has him up at 5:30 and home at 5:30, so he's always tired and not interested in haunted anything.

And I find myself halfway through the week and my babysitters are all going to be at a Halloween party- together. Not that I expected to get anyone-- I mean, c'mon, it's Halloween. What kid doesn't have plans?

So at this point, I decide to pour all my Halloween effort into Friday and Saturday. Friday morning is Avril's Halloween book parade--- dress up as a character from a book and bring the book and march around the school twice while all the parents cheer their kids on.

Avril's costume for Halloween this year is a devil costume. Know any good childrens books about devils? Yeah, me neither. So we opted for the easier route-- a Cinderella costume which she already had for a Cinderella (ok, princess) book she already had.

Isn't my little girl beautiful?

I didn't use enough hairspray or something, because by the time her parade was to start (30 min later), her hair looked like this. Oh, well. She's still so stinkin' cute.

So that night my plan was to hit IHOP for their free Scary Face Pancakes for kids under 12 and then the mermaid show at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

Well, neither of those things happened, but we did miraculously find a sitter (a friend of mine hooked us up. How awesome is she?!), so we took advantage of a Halloween date night and got delicious sushi and went to Zombie Prom. Classic love story-- boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love. Parents forbid girl to see boy, girl breaks up with boy, boy commits suicide in local nuclear power plant. Girl mourns boy, boy comes back to life as zombie, campaigns for equal rights for zombies so he can graduate high school and take his girlfriend to prom.

If you ever get the chance to see it, you should. Definitely made for a fun date night.

Saturday morning we got up, made our own scary pancakes (the kind of scary pancakes that it takes about three guesses to figure out what it's supposed to look like and why it's scary) and got dressed.

Borders was "supposedly" doing a Halloween activity with scary stories, a puppet show, a craft and a parade. So we showed up all dressed up and made up and all excited....

and ok, an hour or so late... and of course missed it. I thought with all that stuff we might at least catch the parade by then, but no such luck. Maybe the wrong Borders? Anyway, I let the girls pick out a few books and used my coupon (40% off!) and went home, pretty let down and tired...

By the time we got home, Xandri was asleep, Roman was still napping, Derek was still watching football and Avril wasn't too happy because the day hadn't been fun enough yet.

So we discussed what to do with the rest of the time-- trick or treating and festival thing at Aloha Tower or jack-o-lantern carving and no more driving until the ward trunk-or-treat slash potluck. She opted for jack-o-lanterns and trunk-or-treat, so we got out the pumpkin and she designed the face and I cut it out.

By the time I finished, I was done with Halloween. I got my expectations up too high and tried too hard (well, ok, hard, but not hard enough since they fell through from my own lack of planning) to do all these extra special things that the kids didn't really care about. And then ran out of energy when the day wound down to what they really did want to do.

But I pulled it together anyway and we went to the trunk-or-treat slash potluck (about thirty minutes late which didn't improve my mood any) but when we got there....

"Look at the camera, Roman!"

Xandri made this face BEFORE Daddy said "Silly faces!"

Silly Faces

And why was Roman missing from the previous pictures?

Ahh..... here we go....

The sole picture I got of Derek that actually turned out. Hawaiian pirate. Meaning pirate top, bottom in flipflops and cargo shorts.

and found that we were actually quite fashionably late and it was an easy, laid-back affair (c'mon, where did I think I was? We're in Hawai'i!) I let it all go and enjoyed the potluck (I was a taker this time, I'll admit it) while the kids ran around with their friends and played on the playground equipment.

When it was time for the trunk-or-treat, there weren't many cars, but they had a lot of candy. By the time the kids were done and we left, I think every kid had gone around to each car at LEAST five times. Which worked out fine for us since that was pretty much the only trick-or-treating they got in this year.

All in all, Halloween was fun for the kids, which is the most important thing in my book. It was disappointing and stressful for me (except the things we actually did), but ended well.

So, if I DO have any lurkers out there, you know, you people who read my blog but never comment, I'm asking you to step out of the shadows and give me your ideas. What do you do to make holidays and birthdays special? What kind of traditions do you have for special days, any of them really, but Halloween specifically?...... Bueller?..... Bueller?.....