Friday, November 28, 2008

A Tapler Family Thanksgiving

We had a pretty good Thanksgiving here in the Tapler Ohana! Grandma Jo has been here visiting for a little over a week and Dean is getting more spoiled by the day!! He's so cute. He has learned that my Mom is "TuTu" (the Hawaiian word for Grandma...her request, not mine, but whatever) and Grandma Jo is "Grandma" or "Am-Ma" in Dean-speak. The other morning we let Grandma sleep in a little and Dean was going all over the house saying "Am-Ma?" "Am-Ma?" looking for her. He's definitely going to miss her when she leaves next week!!

Thursday morning we woke up and Joel got right to work on the turkey and baking his famous home-made honey wheat rolls. Dean and I took a walk around the block and dropped of a little Thanksgiving cheer to our new neighbors, Wendy and Tui, who moved in behind us a few months ago. We are so thankful to live in such an awesome neighborhood and we really do have the best neighbors!!! After our walk, Dean took a nap while Joel and Grandma Jo prepared the turkey, rolls and potatoes. Grandma Susan and Grandpa Eddie came over around 1:00 with the broccoli and green bean casserole and pies. Don't worry...I didn't forget MY traditional contribution - the relish tray...each year I slave for such a long time over opening those olive jars and arranging both the green and black olives just right in the little divided dish and stuffing the celery sticks so carefully!!! (yes, I do know to be thankful that I married a man who can and likes to cook!!!). Grandpa Eddie wasn't feeling well, but he rallied for some turkey and we all stuffed ourselves then had a nice visit and some wine.

Here are a few pictures...Dean and Grandpa Eddie enjoying some turkey

Can I eat yet Mom?? (yeah right...I WISH this kid would ask to eat...I'm afraid he's going to end up being a picky eater like his Mom...mealtimes are a nightmare right's like he just can't be bothered with trivial things like eating).
He does like olives though.

Dean pretending to eat a turkey leg (I don't think he ate even one bite of turkey...I think he's a vegetarian...he never eats meat).
But he will SHARE his turkey leg!!

We've had a very busy week and the rest of the weekend will be busy too. We're celebrating Dean's 2nd birthday a week early tomorrow with a Pool Party at the Keali'i Ocean Villas. We're expecting about 10-15 toddlers and their parents, so that should be lots of fun!!! :-) Then on Sunday we have 2 more birthday parties for some of Dean's friends (then next week is both Grandma Jo AND TuTu Susan's birthdays!!).

In other exciting Dean news...Grandma Jo and Grandpa CR bought Dean a "Big Boy Bed" for his birthday / Christmas and we'll be setting that up tomorrow. Thank you Grandma & Grandpa!!!! You guys ROCK!! I was a little sad that tonight is his last night in his crib! Jo and I have had fun though planning Dean's new bedding and room accessories and picking out fabric for that. We're going for a surf theme with a kind of retro-ish color scheme of blues, greens and browns. I can't wait to share pictures of the finished projects...(no pressure Grandma Jo!!). Anyway, I'll probably be back tomorrow with some pictures from Dean's birthday party.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Backyard Camping

Dean has been obsessed with making forts lately...except for some reason, no matter how many times we try to explain to him that the correct terminology is "fort", he continues to call it a "house". He LOVES to pull the cushions off the couch and lay them over the edge of the couch and coffee table and play underneath, or have us hang a quilt over the backs of a few chairs. Sometimes he happily invites us inside his "house" and sometimes he literally shoves us out saying "No. Dean's house". He has started requesting a "house" every single night when he goes to bed, refusing to go to sleep without it - we put his toddler quilt over the top of his crib, hanging over the sides, making a "house" out of his crib. Anyway, as we were cleaning up some things in the garage today, Joel decided it might be fun for Dean to play in the tent, so Joel set it up in the backyard and Dean absolutely LOVED it!!! He laughed and squealed nonstop for about an hour! It was so funny!!! We still haven't taken him camping for real yet {gasp}, but have decided that after Grandma Jo's visit (she gets here Wednesday for 2 whole weeks!!!), we're going to take Dean and his "house" Upcountry and camp. It's about time.

Monday, November 10, 2008


No, I'm not channeling Van Halen....we went to a keiki birthday party in Haiku Saturday evening and they had a bouncy castle. Dean had so much fun jumping with the big kids!! Here he case you can't find him, he was the only haole (white) kid there!

Giving Taylor hugs...he's such a little flirt. Actually, he was giving EVERYONE hugs, even the boys who didn't necessarily want hugs. He obviously hasn't learned about personal boundaries yet. Oh well...

Sharing is caring....even if Taylor doesn't want your stick!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So I know not everyone reading this blog agrees with us on this, but the Maui Taplers are celebrating an exciting historical moment this evening. We feel renewed faith in the democratic process, hope for the future of this wonderful country and just plain happy at the outcome of the presidential election. We feel very strongly that the changes President-Elect Obama is going to bring to Washington will mean greater financial security for our sometimes struggling middle-class (ok, maybe lower-middle class) family, a cleaner and safer planet for our son to grow up, a better education system for Dean to learn all he needs to learn to be successful in life, and a wealth of other important changes that I won't go into here. I cried as I listened to Obama give his acceptance speech tonight - what powerful and moving words and what a truly wonderful man we have chosen to lead our country for the next 4 years.

I wanted to capture a few photos for Dean's scrapbook of today's important events and I think these pictures tell the story quite well...

Dean showing his excitement and awe that we won!!! (in case you can't read it, the TV says "Breaking News: NBC News Projects Obama Elected President").
Giving President Obama kisses...
Giving President Obama a high five...
And finally, the cutest of them all (and this one's not even prompted) President Obama "knuckles"!!!!!
Do we live in a great country or what!?!?!?