Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hawaiian Vacation

We went to Hawaii last month and spent 9 days in the island state visiting Dave's brother who is stationed on the Air Force Base there.  I can't lie -- this was not one of my favorite vacations.  In fact, I didn't have the greatest time when we went there on our honeymoon either.  I guess Hawaii is just not my thing.

I could spend hours telling you about everything that went wrong.  Instead I'll try and accentuate the good memories.  

We received these beautiful real flower leis at the airport from Megan and her boys.  Poor Benjamin was so tired and sad after the flight.  He had been sick for a month before this trip, sick enough that I was really tempted to stay home with him. 

Benjamin LOVED the ocean.  We spent a couple of hours there on day 2 of our trip then went back to the house, changed, and over to the Church where we took part in Daniel's baptism.  Ben, of course, wanted to go back in the water when he saw Daniel and Matt wade into the baptismal font.

Day 3 was a Sunday.  We went to church but left after sacrament meeting with a sick baby and spent the rest of the day just relaxing. 

Day 4 we took in the sights at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie.  I was disappointed when we went on our honeymoon that we didn't get to see and do everything while we were there so I was hoping to make up for it this time.  I must have forgotten that I have an eleven-month old who works on his own schedule.  We were only able to participate in one show, two activities, and the IMax movie.  There is so much we missed out on.  Maybe someday I'll get to see it all (that is, if I want to chance it and try Hawaii a third time).  

We had big plans for Day 5: go to the temple, hang out at the Dole Pineapple Plantation, then head off to Maui.  However, our car was parked on the street that morning and the school bus caught the driver side mirror and broke it off.  It took Dave a couple of hours to get through the police report and to deal with the car rental company.  We decided to bypass the temple and just went to the Pineapple Plantation.  There we ate lunch, took the train ride (just an FYI -- the train ride hasn't changed a bit in four years so if you've been once that is probably enough).  Then I talked Dave into going through the garden maze.  That was probably the highlight of the whole vacation for me.  I loved the challenge of finding our way through the tall hedges.  Back at the Base we all packed up and headed over to Maui on a late flight.

Looks like all the pictures of our first day in Maui are on Dave's phone.  I'll try and get them downloaded later.  Dave left us at the hotel for the morning while he went scuba diving.  Ben and I slept in, went shopping, and took a nap.  It was lovely.  Dave came back and we started driving west. We ended up in Lahaina and took a stroll down historic Front Street for a few blocks.  The sun was about to set so we wandered over to Bubba Gump for dinner.  We told the hostess to give us VIP seating.  She took one look at our cute baby and led us over to the west side of the restaurant.  We sat right in front of a wall of windows and watched the sun set out over the water.  Beautiful!  Definitely VIP seats.

Our second day in Maui (day 7 of our vacation) was spent driving in the car.  I have some choice thoughts about this experience but we're trying to focus on the positive.  We took the Road to Hana all the way around the eastern half of the island.  This road is famous for being narrow and windy as it travels through the mountain and along the coast to the small -- emphasis on small -- town of Hana.  Once we finally reached Hana we stopped for lunch and then continued on our way.  Now, it clearly states on all maps of Maui that to continue past Hana may potentially void your rental car contract.  The prohibited road is even more narrow and winding and has disintegrated to dirt in some areas.  Additionally, the rain started pouring down along our way nearly washing out the road.  But the sights were amazing and definitely worth the risk.  Truly an adventure!

Warning: I'm going to rant again.  Day 8, our last day in Maui.  We had to check out of our hotel at noon but our flight didn't leave until 9pm.  I thought it would be great to just take it easy in the morning.  Sleep in, get breakfast, take Benjamin swimming, check out, then still have a good 7 hours before we had to go to the airport.  I told Dave my plan but Todd had other things in mind.  He insisted that we had to go see some crater about 90 minutes away.  I suggested that we go there in the afternoon but he held firm that we had to see it in the morning.  After spending the whole day in the car the day before I didn't think Benjamin could handle another 3-plus hours so I refused to go with them but Dave went along for the ride.  While they were gone Ben and I went swimming and he took a long nap.  It was a leisurely morning though I wish Dave had been with us.  Later I learned that they got to the crater, hiked the short distance to the lookout, spent ten minutes, then turned around and came back to the hotel.  Apparently there was a visitors center and several other longer hikes they could have gone on but they were time-strapped to get checked out of the hotel.  You can imagine my frustration when I heard this report.  It would have been so much better to have gone later in the day, but no.  So once we all finally checked out, Todd took us to the West side of the island to some high-end shopping mall where we all aimlessly walked around and wasted time until our flight.  Definitely my least favorite day of the entire vacation.

On our way back to Oahu, there was this curious little hen at the rental car shuttle stop.  Benjamin fed her some goldfish and was totally entranced as he watched her peck around.

The last day of our vacation we went back to Laie to attend the Temple.  Maureen was such a sweetheart and stayed with Benjamin for two hours out in the parking lot while the rest of us went to a session.  What a beautiful, serene building.  I loved it!  We spent time at the visitors center and then drove over to BYU Hawaii to have dinner at the student cafeteria.  I had eaten about half of my dinner when I suddenly realized something wasn't quite right with me.  The family watched Ben while Dave and I hunted down a restroom.  You do not want to see what I saw when you're nine weeks pregnant.  Horror.  We called our doctor's emergency number and the nurse asked lots of questions.  She told us that things were probably okay because I wasn't cramping but that I needed to get off my feet right away.  Easier said than done but I cleaned up and Dave immediately took me to the car, gathered the family, and we headed back to the Base to collect our luggage for the flight home.  Unfortunately, I had one more episode at the airport but it wasn't as bad as the first.  It was a frightening experience but at the same time I was calm through it all and I felt that things were going to be okay -- I hoped and prayed that things were okay.

We arrived home Sunday morning.  I have never been so happy to have a vacation over with in my life.  We had some good times but overall it was a very difficult nine days for me.

First thing Monday morning I was in the doctor's office for an ultrasound.  Gratefully, all was well with the babies.  The technician said it looked like the placenta on Baby A hadn't completely grafted into the uterus.  The open blood vessels must have pooled and clotted for weeks and suddenly decided to all descended at once.  So, all was well but I still needed to take it easy.

Well, enough of that.  It was good to get away and we made some good memories but truly there's no place like home!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

We celebrated this week by going to the zoo, eating way too much cake and ice cream, and having a double birthday party with Grandma Hinckley.

Happy 1st Birthday, Benjamin!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Announcement

These two little beings will be joining our family just before Thanksgiving. We are excited (but nervous -- three kids 18 months and younger)!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ben v. Apes

Look how my baby has grown over the last year!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some Toy Love

Sometimes it's not enough to just play with the toys.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day is Coming

We were at the temple over the weekend and as I walked to the lobby to wait for Dave after the session one of the sweet temple worker sisters said to me, "Happy Mother's Day!"

Her simple well wish caused a happy jolt to go through my heart--the best kind of jolts. I am a mother. And this is my first Mother's Day as a mother. (Benjamin missed it by one day last year.)

I am grateful for my little guy and grateful for the opportunity to mother him and help in the mothering of all my wonderful nieces and nephews.