Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

If you receive our posts in an e-mail update, Click HERE to go to the actual blog and then click the "play" button on today's post to watch the video of Dean's Thanksgiving message!
video

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kealia Pond Boardwalk

Well, after I don't even know how many years of delays and setbacks, the Boardwalk through the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is finally open!! A few weeks ago when Dean was out of school for Veteren's Day, Joel met Dean and I at Kealia Pond on a Wednesday morning and we all enjoyed a nice long walk along the new boardwalk! Here's your little piece of Maui Trivia for the day...The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a coastal salt marsh along the coast between Kihei and Maalaea. The wetland is also a 691-acre bird sanctuary, home to 30 species of waterfowl, shorebirds and migratory ducks - including the endangered ae'o (Hawaiian Stilt), 'alae kea (Hawaiian Coot), and 'auku'u (Black-crowned Night Heron) - for all you bird folk out there.

Anyway, the wetlands are pretty dry this time of year, but we did get to see a couple of endangered Hawaiian Stilts before Dean scared them off!! Here are a few pics of our adventure:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Look!

Check it out! Dean can write his name:
So it's kinda crooked and the "E" has 4 lines instead of 3, but it very obviously says DEAN!! I was impressed. And Great Grandma Joan, act surprised when you get your late birthday card in the mail in a few days!! (and make sure you save it - that's the first time he's written his entire name!!). He's been able to write the individual letters for awhile now, but he hasn't been cooperative when I've tried to get him to sit down and put them all together to form Dean. He usually gets the "D" and the "E" down before giving up and dissolving into frantic scribbling (which he will claim is an elaborate piece of artwork - complete with interpretation if you can get him to sit still long enough to tell you about it - last week the chalk drawing on the back lanai was of the neighbor's dog Cosmo going to the mall to buy stamps and olives, and he was VERY specific about which part of the scribbling was the mall).

I'll be back in a day or 2 - probably Wednesday - with pics from the past few weekends, but I couldn't wait to share this one.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat

Dean enjoyed his first Trick or Treat experience Saturday night and we live in THE perfect neighborhood for such an experience!! The Maui Lani subdivision is FULL of kids - it's a neighborhood of mostly young families - if I had to guess I'd say around 75% of the houses in our neighborhood have kids, it's fairly well-lit at night, and all of the streets have sidewalks. We had practiced a few times at home - Dean would knock on the bedroom door, holding up his pumpkin bucket and shouting "Trick or Treat" when we'd open the door to get a small morsel of candy. He had been coached that the "Trick or Treat" was necessary to receive the candy and he knows to say "thank you" - and you'd better say "You're Welcome" - because if you don't, he'll remind you!!! It was kind of hilarious to hear him say "No, you say you're welcome" to a few people who forgot that little bit of common courtesy!!

Before heading out, I donned my borrowed witch costume, only to have Dean *almost* have a complete and total meltdown because he did NOT like the idea of me wearing a costume. In fact, he ran from me and did not want me anywhere near him, even before I put on the scarier-looking shawl thing over the top of the dress (and as far as witch costumes go, this was pretty tame).(I promise I'm not picking my nose there, but I'm cracking up laughing because Dean is running from me and I'm trying to get him to just be still so Joel can get just one picture of us together in our costumes)

He finally calmed down and let us take some pics of him with the 3 jack-o-lanterns that Joel had carved. In fact, he had a pretty good time totally cheesing hard for the camera with the jack-o-lanterns:Here's a look at the jack-o-lanterns before we lit the candles in them (Joel takes great pride in his pumpkin carving skills - although I doubt he'll ever live up to the amazing Tiki Pumpkin he carved last year, which you can see HERE):And here they are again all lit up (it's hard to get a good pic at night without the flash as you have to slow down the shutter speed so much):So as soon as we all were ready, we headed out the door and down the street. Our first stop was the next door neighbors' house. They were having a typical Maui garage party and just passing out candy from there. Dean refused to go anywhere near the house, staying at the end of the driveway and even laying down at one point and screaming "NO Mommy. Dean stay here" when I tried to drag him up there. The threat of no candy didn't even work (of course, it didn't help that the little girl was walking down the driveway toward him carrying the giant bowl of candy. I think he was a little freaked out by all the costumes and noise. And the entire neighborhood was already full of trick-or-treaters by this point, so it might have been a little overwhelming. He popped up off the ground pretty quick as soon as that candy hit the bottom of his pumpkin bucket and he instantly wanted to eat it right then and there!!

We headed across the street to Uncle Rod's house next. Again, as soon as we got close to the house Dean started to chicken out. I thought "oh great. This is going to be a long night" and was ready to call the whole thing quits right then. I decided maybe Dean just needed to get a feel for the whole ring the doorbell, receive candy routine, so I picked him up and carried him to the door. He did ring the doorbell, I put him down, he said "Trick or Treat" and got some candy. From there on out it was a piece of cake!! Because he didn't know any better and at this age didn't realize that he COULD have got candy at every single house in the entire neighborhood, we decided to skip the majority of the houses and only hit up the ones we actually knew. We walked on down the street to Sarah's (the babysitter) house, then around the corner to Dean's friend Sienna's house and one of Dean's former preschool teacher Glenda's house.But Dean was most excited to go to Uncle Vince's house. We hung out there for awhile with Vince and his lady friend Marie. Uncle Aris, Aunty Heidi and their kids Taylor, Nicole and 2-month-old baby Faith also came by for a little bit while we were there. Dean had fun handing out candy with Aunty Marie to all the Trick or Treaters!! After we left Uncle Vince's house, we stopped by Uncle Tui's house right behind our house. They were also having a big garage party (for those of you on the mainland, this is a very common thing here on Maui and probably every 4th or 5th house was having what we call a "garage party" - which is really just a get together of people eating and hanging out in the garage / driveway - it's a local thing). After talking with Uncle Tui for a bit, we stopped by Aunty Sarah and Aunty Tiare's house for more candy and to see how they were holding up! Then we just headed on home to pass out candy. We only had maybe 30-45 minutes left of Trick or Treaters and I was worried we'd have way too much candy left over - but I was worried for nothing!! We couldn't even close our door. We had SO MANY kids coming for that 45 minutes that we just sat outside on the front lanai and passed out candy to the continuous stream of trick or treaters. I bet we had about 150 kids in that 45 minutes!! It was crazy!! We went through 2 HUGE Costco size bags of candy that fast. It's a good thing we stayed so long at Uncle Vince's house or we would have run out of candy way too early!!

So far, Dean has been pretty good with the candy - he seems to have just forgotten about it. We put it all away and had planned to let him have 1 piece each day for a few weeks and then just get rid of it. He opened and took a few licks of about 7 different suckers on Halloween night before changing his mind and wanting a different flavor, but other than that he really hasn't asked for anything. I think out of sight, out of mind, which is more than I can say for myself!!