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.

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