Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Preschool Easter Bonnet Parade

Last week Thursday, Children's Garden Preschool held their Easter celebration and Easter Bonnet Parade for the kids. Thursday isn't one of Dean's normal school days, but because it was a special celebration, all of the children were able to attend for several hours in the morning. Parents were also invited for the special event. The school was decorated and they really went all-out this year - it was so cute! My Mom and I took Dean around 9:30 (the celebration was set to begin at 10:00) and he went with the other Dolphin kids to practice their songs and dance while the parents "hid" Easter Eggs. You may recall from my post about this event last year that the term Easter Egg "Hunt" seems inaccurate in that the eggs aren't really hidden so much as just scattered about all over the place! The same was true again this year. SO. MANY. Eggs. After the eggs were "hidden", parents gathered on the lanai and started pushing and shoving (not really, but almost) for the best seats / standing positions to view the Easter Bonnet Parade and Show. Dean was in the first group to go this year and he was so cute! The kids each decorated their own "bonnet" and they all seemed really proud! The kids all came across the "stage" (really it was just the front of the lanai) in pairs - usually a boy and a girl arm in arm and introduced themselves and said "Happy Easter" (sometimes they only got out part of this or none at all, but it was cute! Dean said both his name and Happy Easter, but it wasn't very loud). It was interesting that they paired him up with one of the only other platinum-blonde kids in his class and I had to wonder if this was on purpose for some reason? It didn't matter - they were adorable.

You can see Dean and his buddy Charlie patiently waiting inside with some of their classmates:

After they walked across the "stage", they went inside the Dolphin class and sat down to wait for the rest of their classmates to finish. Once they were all done, the entire Dolphin class came out on the stage and sang 2 songs. Dean didn't really sing the song - he was too busy trying to keep his hat on his head (his head was slightly too large for his small hat!).

Once all 3 classes finished their parades and sang and danced for the parents, the Easter Egg Hunts began!!
Dean had to make sure there weren't any eggs hidden on the slide!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Random April Happenings

Lots of exciting stuff going on lately. And yes, I know I'm not doing so well with my New Year's Resolution to blog more regularly. Oh well. We're too busy enjoying life and making memories. Or something like that...

Earlier this month (or maybe it was the end of March), my Mom convinced me that I needed to take Dean to the Maui County Agricultural Festival at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Apparently this was something every other resident of the island decided they also needed to do. Traffic was backed up on Honoapiilani Highway all the way to Waikapu and people were parking along the highway all the way back to Waiko Rd (and yes, I know this info is meaningless to those of you who don't live on Maui, but trust me - this was crazy). When we got to Waiko Rd and were sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and could see people were parking alongside the highway I decided we weren't going. But I couldn't turn around so I was stuck until we got to the plantation and could turn around. Now, let me tell you that I'm still driving my piece of crap car that I've been hoping would die soon (I'm determined to drive that damn thing until the wheels fall off, but they are being particular stubborn and strangely well-attached considering the condition of the rest of the vehicle. That being said, it would be more convenient for our bank account if it made it to August when Dean starts kindergarten and we no longer have to fork over $500/month for 3 days/week of preschool. But whatever. I really want a new car at times like this). Anyway, on top of all that the air conditioner went out several months ago. So sitting in traffic at a slow crawl in the mid-morning heat of a Maui spring day in the middle of the Central Valley is NOT fun. But then we got to the Plantation and Dean was starting to whine that he was thirsty and look! they were still letting cars into the parking lot, so why were these stupid people parking along the highway? Well, we're here now, so we might as well just park and go in - because hey! It's FREE!! So we turned into the parking lot and followed the other million cars on in and allowed ourselves to be traffic directed in an insane maze to the back 40 of the property. Just as we got to the point of no return my car started to overheat. Great. There we were, windows down, sweating like crazy, Dean whining constantly that he's thirsty, dirt and dust blowing into my open windows because by now we're no longer on the regular paved lot but on the grass {dirt} and STILL stuck in traffic moving at a crawl (which my piece of crap car does NOT like). I asked one the nice young (looked like he was all of 14) traffic director dudes how much further until we parked because my car is overheating and if I don't park soon my car is going to die and he's going to have a really long line of pissed off people in cars stuck behind me. He shrugged and said "idunno" (yes, all one word mumbled together). Great. We did make it. We parked. Only an hour after leaving the house (and the Tropical Plantation is less than 5 miles from our house!!). I was NOT in a happy mood. But we still had an OK time. Dean got to quench his thirst with some liquid Red Dye #5 and then had a really fun time making me a pretty flower arrangement in the Tropicals Tent. We watched some good hula (which Dean always loves) and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy the lame Magic Show with Aunty Linda (my Mom's good friend). We pet some ponies and cows and goats, saw some big tractors, and I tried to avoid a few of my patients so I didn't get stuck talking about spines and knees and such in a non-documented, non-reimbursable setting from which there would be no escape. But the highlight of the event was the Keiki Tent where Dean got to make a little planter out of recycled newspaper, fill it with soil and then plant a couple of beans. And in the 3 weeks since he planted those beans we now have a 3-foot tall bean stalk growing in our kitchen!! It would seem Dean has the green thumb in the family! Here's a photo of Dean enjoying the Magic Show with Aunty Linda:

The first weekend of April we had a 5th birthday party to attend for one of Dean's preschool classmates. It was a swimming party at the little boy's house and Dean had SO much fun! His favorite part was the "zip line" they had stretching across the length of the pool! I think he might have been the smallest kid zip lining across the pool, although he didn't want to drop into the water - he kept wanting Joel to just push him back to the side of the pool! Joel had to coerce him into letting go and falling into the water!! But he did and he had a blast!

Dean's been getting more and more brave at the beach, which is good and bad! Good because he's so cute and having so much fun. Bad because he has no fear of the ocean. We've been trying to work on teaching him to respect the ocean. We've really been working on teaching him never to turn his back on the waves, to always watch what the water is doing and be watching for the next wave. He is especially having fun boogie boarding and is getting pretty good at sitting "in the line up" waiting for a wave and riding it in! It's too cute!! He was feeling pretty cool a few weeks ago when he got to upgrade to a bigger boogie board! I think he really feels like a Big Kid now!
Getting tumbled by the waves doesn't seem to phase him a bit - he'll get tossed and turned and just jump up and run right back in for more! The weird thing is that he's so comfortable in the ocean, but seems much more fearful of the water in a pool. Go figure. Maui boy for sure! We are trying swimming lessons again in May, this time with a different company. These will be for one month, 3 days/week after school. We'll see how it goes.

One of my blogging friends, Anthonette, who I met online about 3 years ago when we both started our papercrafting blogs around the same time, was here on Maui this past week with her husband and son to celebrate her 10-year Anniversary. Anthonette and her husband Enriques were married on Maui in Makena, not far from where Joel and I were married. Anthonette grew up in Taos, New Mexico and we've become friends over the past few years mostly online, but having several phone conversations and enjoying talking about my memories of childhood adventures in New Mexico. It was fun meeting Anthonette in person - the two of us had lunch on Monday at Flatbread in Paia and then Saturday night all of us got together and took the boys to Keopuolani Park to play. Her son, Kalino, is 7 years old but the boys played really well together and had a great time!
On Wednesday of this week one of my best friends, Sarah, gave birth to a baby girl - Brooklyn Herenui Kahikilani Johnson - via c-section at Maui Memorial Medical Center (where Dean was born). I'm so excited for Sarah and her partner Tiare in their new adventure into Parenthood! They are going to be amazing Mommies! I was able to be at the hospital when Brooklyn was born Wednesday evening and then went back to love on her for a few hours Friday morning along with Sarah's Mom Les before bringing Les back to my house for the day to craft. Joel stopped by the hospital Friday afternoon to meet Brooklyn, congratulate Sarah on a job well done and he dropped off a 6-pack of beer for Tiare! ha! (he knows her well!!) Here are some photos:
And last but not least, we spent another fun day at the beach yesterday. My brother Jeremy is in town for a few weeks from Montana with a couple of friends and we were able to hang out with them for a few hours (somehow I didn't get any photos of Jeremy - sorry!). Jeremy looks good and seems to be doing well and thriving in Montana, although how anyone can thrive in that kind of cold is beyond me! Dean was excited to see him and has been having fun. But I think Dean was mostly excited that his friend Isabelle from preschool happened to be at the beach and he had so much fun playing in the waves with her! They are pretty cute (and full of silliness):

Well, that's it for now. Easter is coming up this weekend so I'm sure I'll have more to share soon. Joel is cooking a ham Sunday morning and then we're eating at my Mom's before she has 2 Easter Egg Hunts. One is for Dean. And then we get to have her not-Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt!! We're all pretty pumped up about that. In case you don't know about that - this is where my Mom takes $200-300 cash in varying bills ($5s, 10s, 20s and one $50) and puts them inside plastic easter eggs and hides them. Then me, Jeremy, Joel and any of our friends who happen to join us for the day make a run for it and hunt for the eggs. The rules are simple - (1) Jeremy and I both have to be here or she won't do this so it doesn't happen every year, which kind of sucks. (2) everyone is required to carry a colorful child's easter basket the entire time, putting their eggs into their own basket. (3) no stealing eggs from someone else's basket (4) No children allowed (5) anything else goes. It's highly entertaining seeing grown-ass adults running around her yard like crazy, pushing and shoving and diving for Easter Eggs!! My Mom swears this is the best money she spends all year and it is worth every penny. She just sits back and laughs hysterically. I think it's a great tradition.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Kind Deed

Dean wanted to make Great Grandma Joan a card yesterday {Great Grandma Joan - you can act surprised when you get this in the mail sometime next week}. We've been talking to him about "Being KIND" to others and DOING kind deeds to make other people happy and how doing nice things for others that makes them happy can make him really happy too - so when we were talking about that and I had told him to just be watching for KIND things he could do to brighten others' days, he said very excitedly "I know! I can make a card for Great Grandma Joan! Would that be kind?" and got a great big smile on his face. I told him yes, that would be kind. So he gathered up his markers and asked me to cut him a card out of cardstock paper and then he decorated the whole thing himself. One of Dean's favorite songs is Roy G. Biv, it's about a "Colorful man at the rainbow's end". Here's the music video so you too can learn about the color spectrum (it's kind of awesome. And bonus that it's by one of my favorite bands from way back - They Might be Giants!),

So anyway, he wanted to make Great Grandma Joan a Rainbow card, which I thought was appropriate (because apparently I was an accomplished rainbow draw-er as a child and Grandma Joan has a framed drawing of a rainbow I did as a young child and I think she also has one my Mom did of a rainbow as a young child too. So this will be a nice addition to her collection). Dean wanted to know first if she liked rainbows and I told him that yes, she loved rainbows. There was a little meltdown when he was writing the words on the front in rainbow colors (a different color for each letter and he ran out of colors before he got to the end of the word "you", so I suggested he just add a bunch of exclamation points on the end and it would be like he was shouting the words to her, which he was pretty excited about. So then he wanted to add exclamation points to everything in the card - so you'll understand why there are exclamation points after the "from" on the inside!! ha!). He decorated the whole card - front, inside and back - in his own creative way with no suggestions from me. The back of the card is a self portrait - he wanted to draw a picture of himself so she would know it was from him! And then he drew a little arrow from his name to the picture of him, just in case she couldn't figure that out!

Here's a look at the front of the card:
And the inside of the card (opened up) - he likes to draw "swirlies" and he added the sun and some rain - because how in the world do you think you GET a rainbow anyway!? and a heart and then a mini rainbow but "without red because there's not much sun inside the card" (I don't know what that means?):
And the back of the card with the self portrait:
So there you have it! The creative genius of a 4.25-yr-old!! :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Preschool Field Trip - Whale Watch

Dean's Preschool went on a fun Field Trip this week - they took a Whale Watch boat out of Maalaea Harbor! Joel tagged along as a chaperone (I'm pretty sure every child had at least 1 family member present on this excursion). I didn't go. I chose not to traumatize my child and all the other children with my violent vomiting off the side of the boat from seasickness. But I think Dean had a pretty good time. When I asked him about it later, he said "I saw 41 whales!!" while Joel stood behind him shaking his head and said "well that's interesting. I only saw 4 whales". (Dean's been really into making crap up lately). He does know the difference between 4 and 41. Joel said Dean was interested in looking for whales for about 15 minutes, then he was mostly interested in running around the boat in circles like an out of control inbred chihuahua. So yeah. I'm really sorry I missed out on that. But judging from the pictures, it looked like a beautiful morning. And Dean's BFF Maddox was there and those two have fun wherever they are! And it looked like Dean got in some good flirting time with his lady friend Isabelle. Melissa, one of Dean's teachers in the Dolphin class (which is the older class at preschool that Dean moved up to in February) apparently told Joel at pick-up the other day that Dean has become quite the lady's man at school. She said that all the Dolphin girls have been doing a lot of talking about Dean, even when he's not there, and giggling. I was amused at how much Joel's chest puffed up about this and was all "You know she's talking about DEAN, right? Not you?". But anyway, yes, 4 is turning out to be quite the adorable age (and yes, challenging in it's own way too - but fortunately for Dean also adorable).

So here are the pics from the Whale Watch Field Trip. Notice there aren't any pictures of actual whales - because as you'll recall Joel said they only saw 4!! It's pretty early in the season to only be seeing 4 whales when you're out on a Whale Watch! Maddox's Dad is a boat captain and he said they've seen very few whales since the Tsunami. The theory is that the majority of the whales left immediately before the Tsunami arrived in Hawaii, sensing it's impending arrival and heading for safer waters before it got here. He said it was strange that the day before the Tsunami they were spotting hundreds of whales on each outing and then immediately after, only a handful. Normally, we would continue to see a lot of whales far into May. I guess even the Whales have their own "Coconut Wireless" about these things, huh? Anyway, the photos...the other little boy in most of the pictures with Dean is Maddox. The little girl in the last 3 photos is Isabelle. The man with the dark beard is Maddox's Dad.