Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dean's 4th Birthday / Jen & Joel's 5th Anniversary

December 3-5, 2010

Dean turned 4 on December 6 and Joel and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary on December 9. Because things were so crazy this fall with our vacation and then my Dad's death, we didn't feel much like planning a big kid's birthday party - and come on - we all know that I can't let my kid have a birthday party without him having the BEST invitations, handcrafted party favors, decorations, thank you cards, etc you've ever seen (I mean, I kind of have a reputation to uphold here) so yeah, I wasn't really feeling it this year. So instead of doing a full-on birthday party, we decided to stay at a resort over on the West Side for the weekend and celebrate both Dean's birthday and our Anniversary all at once. We called around and found some killer Kama'aina rates (those are the discounted rates you get if you're a Hawaii resident) at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas. I mean, they were REALLY good - like we got a 1-bedroom villa for $168/night! And it was SUPER nice - it had a full kitchen, a big lanai, a HUGE luxurious bathroom, and the resort grounds are amazing with all the fun pools you can stand! So Dean got to stay home from school on Friday and we drove over to the west side around 1:00 to get checked in with plans for Joel to meet us there when he finished up with work (he scheduled a few clients in Lahaina that afternoon). Traffic SUCKED due to road construction, but we finally made it to the resort around 2:00. After we checked out our room (and then calling the front desk to make sure we were in the right room and it really was only $168/night - because it really didn't seem possible that this nice of a place could only cost $168!) Dean and I headed down to the Keiki pool where he had an absolutely blast playing for about 2 hours!! Here's a look at our room:

The Keiki pool area is a big pirate ship with a couple of slides, water spraying everywhere, tunnels to climb through and just about everything a 4-yr-old could possibly want! Dean was in 4-yr-old bliss!!

After Joel arrived we went back to our room and got cleaned up so we could go get some food and snacks for the rest of the weekend. We headed down to the beach to watch sunset, then to Lahaina Farms (like a local version of Whole Foods) and had some sandwiches and bought cupcakes for Dean's little mini party the next day. When we got back to our room, Dean had yet more fun taking a bath in the giant jacuzzi tub in the big bathroom! He loved that there was a window in the bathroom looking into the bedroom - he thought that was pretty cool!!

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast on our lanai before heading back down to the keiki pool for more fun in the sun! TuTu and two of Dean's best buds from preschool, Maddox and Cole, drove over with their Mommies to celebrate Dean's birthday on Saturday. They had about 15 minutes of fun in the keiki pool before some kid's paranoid Mom called the pool attendant and a security guard over to point out something on the bottom of the pool, which turned out to be the tiniest piece of poop you've ever seen in your life. They fished it out with a net and promptly closed down the keiki pool for the rest of the day! (Never mind the fact that there's enough chemical in that pool to kill the good bacteria, not just the bad stuff - but whatever! If I would have been the Mom to find that turd, I would have quietly ignored it and hoped nobody saw it and just kept my kid away from it. People are way too paranoid for their kids' own goods if you ask me. Dean's played in WAY worse than a giant pool full of chlorine with a tiny turd in it). And for the record, I questioned Dean thoroughly after the "Code Brown" and I'm 95% certain the crap didn't belong to him. But one can never be completely sure I guess. Anyway, we headed on over to the big pool with the Big Waterslide and the kids didn't seem to mind one bit with this change in plans - they still had a blast swimming and playing in the hot tub and eating cupcakes!

And Dean even went down the giant waterslide all by himself (I still waited at the bottom to catch him, but he went down the super fast big slide by himself - my boy is growing up!).

So after a full day of swimming and playing and green cupcake fun with Maddox and Cole, Dean headed back to Kihei with my Mom while Joel and I enjoyed another 24 hours at the resort all by ourselves! It was a very nice and relaxing way to celebrate our 5th Anniversary. We had dinner Saturday night at the Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant) after Joel watched the Big 12 Championship Game (I enjoyed a couple of hours spending quality time poolside with my Kindle before catching the 2nd half in the room), then we spent most of the day Sunday lounging by the pool before driving back to town to pick up Dean and get back to our normal routine.

I did take Monday off of work as it was Dean's actual birthday - December 6 - and we provided a little lunchtime Pizza Party for his class at Preschool, which was pretty much a disaster. I should have known better. They're constantly telling us that kids this age do thrive on their routines. Well, I didn't pack Dean's normal lunch (he has an Almond Butter and jelly sandwich, an apple and a juice box every. single. day.) since I was bringing pizza. Well, when all the other kids still had their normal lunches AND pizza, Dean FLIPPED OUT - complete with crying and refusing to eat pizza (his favorite on any other day) and continuously asking me where his sandwich was. {sigh}. And here I was - using vacation time to take off work and all excited to get to eat lunch with my boy on his birthday at preschool! ha! But seriously, other than that little incident, it was a pretty successful (and EASY) birthday this year - one we very well might repeat from now on!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

So I didn't fulfill my goal to catch up the blog before the New Year. Oh Well. I am going to *try* to do better this year.

November 25, 2010:
Anyway, way back in November, the day after Thanksgiving to be exact, we decorated for the Holidays. Last year you may recall I was excited to have my first REAL Christmas tree - well, that was enough for me! Those needles were a pain and I don't think our Hawaii climate is suited for keeping a tree alive and looking fresh from Thanksgiving to Christmas (it was looking pretty sad and brown by the time Christmas rolled around!). So, a few days after Christmas last year I hit the sales and picked up a super nice tree for an awesome deal!! (it was one of Macy's display trees and it's regular price was $750!! But I got it for 80% off, so only paid $150!! And it's a BEAUTIFUL pre-lit tree that is really easy to put up!). I was pretty excited to put it up for the first time this year. Anyway, Dean was way into decorating this year and went with me to Home Depot to pick out all new ornaments for the tree - he was very particular, but I was pleased with his final decision and think we'll stick with these for at least a few years. Dean wanted to help put the ornaments on the tree this year and did A LOT of thinking and studying of the tree before placing each ornament in just the right spot (which was sometimes on the exact same branch as the last 4 ornaments he had put on the tree - PAINFUL for me to let go and just let him decorate. I waited until he was asleep and then moved several of them around!!). Anyway, here are some pics of our tree decorating process from 2010...