Still with me?
I figure by now, if you don't have me in a blog reader, you have gotten tired of checking daily to see if I have posted and have finally forsaken me for more prolific, overwrought, mothers of boys.
Well, we are moved. As of today we have the rest of the flotsam of our lives out of the old house and a mound of boxes in every room of the new house. Trying to arrange naps and meals and wipe snotty noses and brush teeth is finally do-able since we have found most of the basic necessities of life.
Noah seems to like the new house although, honestly, he hasn't had much time to react to the move because we have kept him busy by shipping him off to day camp and when he is home, he has been swept away by his Mima for hours on end. Luka took the move VERY well, the happy-go-lucky-little-fella that he is.
Ethan was another story. We wonder if Ethan doesn't have a wee touch of OCD, the way he likes to line up his toys in a row, and other assorted Ethan-isms. At the very least he likes things to be the way he likes them to be. We were able to move a few things into the new house each night for a week before the big moving day, and when things like the couches disappeared, and his crib vanished and was replaced by a playpen, he started tantruming over the smallest of things.
Then one day, he saw Daddy pick up the desk chair and carry it out the back door, and I think he realized that his world was being deconstructed. The twins are just barely too young to explain that we are moving to a new house, and all he knew was that things were going away, and his parents were responsible. He fell to the floor and started to flail.
We were to spend that night in the new house and I decided it was time to get him out of the old house now. He was having a mental break that was not stopping. So we loaded up the car with the kids and decided to care for them here instead of there.
Ethan loves exploring new places, so he had fun wandering through the rooms, and he began this relieved crying and laughing at the same time as he saw his couches, familiar dressers, and finally: his and Luka's cribs all set up with his teddy bears inside. It was all good again.
Well, almost. He is still easily sent into hysteria over the smallest of things. He is very clingy. But he is far improved over the puddle of snot and slobber he had become over the course of last week.
So, now it is back to work for me. My project today is to clean out the kitchen of boxes so we can build the dinner table. I am purging all the random things we never use, building up a big box of stuff to one day list on the free section of craigslist or freecycle.
I am so in the purging mood. Pray it lasts. I need the space.
OK, then, back to work!
Monday, March 31, 2008
Still with me?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Well, we are back home, safe and sound. At least for the next seven days or so...
Hawaii was a blast. I figured getting photos up was going to be next to impossible because I didn't have the best setup to get photos off my camera, into my laptop and onto the blog, but I figured I could at least write a bit about our days.
The hotel's in-the-lobby wireless connection was sketchy to say the least. A lot of long waits for page loads ending in failures. A distinct lack of uploading short videos of our time there. So I eventually just gave up on the whole Internet/keeping-you-guys-in-the-loop thing, and just had a good time.
The first half was go-go-go and then I started taking y'alls advice about slowing down and relaxing. We saw volcanoes, went down into deep valleys, saw waterfalls, did the luau thing, hung on the beach, went snorkeling and took a real submarine ride! And *I* had a lovely massage, to boot!
The twins seemed very happy to see us, still well adjusted and seemed to make it through six days without us just unscathed, (although Ethan once brought the phone to Mima saying, "Daddy? Daddy?" and was rewarded with a little chat with Michael).
Now, I need to warn you... and I thank you, dear readers o' mine, for sticking with me through house-hunting, vacation planning, and then the actual vacation, while I write a few piddly posts here and there to keep you appeased and from running off and cheating on me with some other mama-blog... but I am going to continue to be sketchy about making blog posts for another 10 days or so while I pack up my house, move to the new house, try to unpack a little in the new house while simultaneously not being totally negligent to my children.
And I will try to work on that problem with the run on sentances, too.
I do have about a dozen little videos from my trip I had PLANNED to upload while I was there. Maybe I will appease you with one of those on a daily basis.
We shall see.
Monday, March 17, 2008
We had a long drive home in the dark last night, and after such a long day, both Michael and I were VERY sleepy, with two hours left to drive. Noah was crashed out in the back seat, and we decided it was time for some coffee; fuel for the drive home.
I had fantasies of Kona Coffee in the land of Kona, but all that was open this late on a Sunday night was the 7-Eleven. I waited in the car with the boy as Michael went in to get the coffees. We chatted a lot to keep each other awake the whole way home, and when we arrived, I poured Noah into his bed as Michael brought our gear up from the car.
When all was done, nearing midnight, I looked out the windows of our little apartment to the ocean, and there on the table on our balcony was a little 3 inch by 3 inch chocolate cake with 5 lit candles in it (NOT 42!) and Michael began singing Happy Birthday in my ear.
Even though we were exhausted, we sat and ate chocolate cake and talked about our day.
I have the best hubby. Really.
(Like the previous post, this was written Sunday, uploaded Monday.)
I am in the passenger seat again, with the laptop on my laptop, where I suppose it belongs, typing to you, for later uploading to my blog, instead of being chatty with my hubby to keep him awake while he drives.
We are in Hilo, having left the lava flow this evening, and we still have a two hour drive back to Kona before we can rest for the night. Its raining and Noah is asleep in the backseat.
It’s a special time here on this side of the island because the lava has burst up from a vent in the side of the mountain and has rolled down to the sea where it spills in and creates quite a show.
After leaving the Volcano National Park, we headed down to the seaside where a public viewing area has been set up. Years ago, this same flow cut through some forests and some neighborhoods and as we got to the end of the road (which used to go through but is now covered in lava) we could see a few houses out in the middle of the black lava field, completely surrounded by lava (I have no idea why they didn’t burn up!) and people are still living in them, with electricity generators and catchbasins for rain water.
At the end of the road were lines of many cars, waiting to get into the viewing area. We were told we could park where we were and walk a mile in, or wait up to 45 minutes to drive into the last parking area. We decided to park and walk, but just as we were doing so, the call came over some guy’s walkie talkie to let 20 cars in, so we got to drive in after only a couple minutes wait! When we got to a second parking area before the walk, they told us again we could park THERE are wait anywhere from 5-45 minutes but because it was getting dark, people weren’t coming out so much because they wanted to see the light show. Again, we parked and started to get out. And again, the guy got the call right then to let more cars through, and we jumped back in and drove right up to the trailhead!!
The trail in was over rocky, loose, old lava flow, and was about a quarter mile to the beach (they told us a full mile but it couldn’t have been. We were forced to stay quite a distance, but we could see two very red, very hot flows, one going into the sea and creating lors of steam and glow, and the other cutting through some vegetation and setting some nearby trees on fire.
They keep you back because there is liquid glass in the air that is not the best thing for your lungs, because of the poisonous gasses, and also because the edge of the land has at time broken off and crashed into the sea. We were right near the sea cliff just north of the flow.
We had picked up and given a ride to a nice local couple who were coming out to see the sites, and who had a better flashlight than we did. The were very cool, and gave us some good tips on things to see. Its funny, for those of you who know anything about the Gatherings that Michael and I (used to) go to (before we had three small kids) the spirit there was very similar. Lots of those with cars offering rides to those walking, lots of chatting with strangers, the hike in, the hike out, the feeling that you were experiencing something very special, and even the path with lots and lots of flashlights going by.
As we dropped our new friends off at their car and pulled away, it began to rain again. It occurred today how many times perfect timing happened to us. Getting to move three parking lots into the viewing site when our son was sound asleep and we knew he wouldn’t want to walk, the rain stopping just as we entered the Vocano Park, the rain starting again the moment we drove away from the lava flow, the sighting of Pele in the steam plume above her personal crater.
It was a beautiful birthday.
But now I must attend to my yawning husband and chat with him before he drives off the road. Still andhour and a half to go.
Tomorrow, he begins his conference, and Noah and I should take a tour on a submarine. Oh, and my valentine’s gift massage, and a LUAU, baby!!
And it was raining.
But we had heard rumors to the contrary as well, so we decided to risk it and go. We took the northern route around the island, stopping to view the Waipio Valley overlook, and to see Akaka Falls which was amazingly tall and stunningly beautiful.
We got to the national park, which is mostly a drive around the Kilauea Caldera (a crater) with stops to see some interesting sites. Apparently there are some very unique situations going on with the Volcanoes.
For one, there is some lava flows that have actually snaked their way to the ocean and are pouring in, creating some exciting views. We are actually in the car, after a long day of driving and hiking, on our way to see that (the sun is setting and it all looks more amazing at night).
The other thing is that in the park, in the caldera, there is another, smaller crater that has had a fissure open up in it and a huge plume of steam is coming out, constantly. It is to blame for much of the poisonous gas (we were required to drive with windows up and vents closed but could get out and view it). This is the crater that Pele herself, the Goddess of Volcanoes is said to reside in.
We enjoyed the view of the crater and the plume, and also stopped to see an area where there were many cracks in the earth with steam coming out of them. Noah’s favorite stop, being a tunnel-lover, was the Thurston Lava Tubes. Apparently, lava that flows under the ground creates its own tunnels and travels through them to open in fissures elsewhere, and flow across the land. These were the largest ever discovered. We walked through them to the end, and because our guidebook told us to, we brought our flashlights to explore the completely unlit side tunnel. Noah loved spelunking!
We stopped for dinner (very late lunch) at a restaurant and took our meals back into the park to eat at a playground in a camp area with picnic tables and to let Noah run around a play a bit. On our drive out of the park, we took one final look (while driving) at the huge plume coming out of Pele’s home crater.
Michael noticed it first, and pointed it out to me, and I saw it instantly. The giant cloud of steam had formed into the shape of a woman’s face, looking straight up at the sky, hair falling back into the crater. She looked serious and angry. She had a forearm and a fist by her face, clutching a small stick or knife, or rod of some sort, twice as long as her fist. We both got very excited as we drove by, and into a forest. Noah wanted to know what the commotion was and when we explained what we had just seen he REALLY wanted to see it. We thought, “what the hell, lets get a photograph!” and spun the car around at the nearest safe spot and sped back to the overlook.
When we arrived, the plume was in the shape of some formless white blob. Not of anything in particular. Noah was angry that he had not gotten to see the cloud. And it is one of those pictures I will always be sad I never took. But it was like a gift to us from Pele.
What better birthday gift could I have asked for?
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Just a quickie post to let you all know we arrived safe and sound.
The flight was very long but non-stop. Noah did AWESOME! When we landed we had a quick trip through baggage claim, to the car rental place and to our condo. But as awesome as he did on the plane, we are already SO DONE hearing "are we there yet?" and "how much longer?"
After taking a look around our little resort, we drove down to a park called (in English) "The Place of Refuge" Its the place that many chieftains are buried and where people went to for sanctuary from persecution and for safety in times of war. Lots f tikis and some carved boats and recreations of huts.
We went out for a great dinner, taking advantage of the restaurant gift certificate Mima gave us for our birthdays. Thanks Mima!! I had blackened salmon, Michael had pad Thai and Noah stared at a bowl of Mac and Cheese.
Tomorrow is my birthday and we are off to the other side of the island to see the Volcano National Park and see where the lava is currently flowing into the sea. Its funny to hear Noah saying about once an hour, "you know, we are ON a volcano RIGHT NOW!"
I am in the lobby, supposedly checking the weather and if the park is open (apparently Pele is spewing lots of sulphur dioxide up at the crater, hinting that we should spend more time down at the coast watching the lava light show!). So this is your quickie update. More later!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Today is our last day at home before heading off to the enchanted land of HAWAII!! Wooot! I am so excited to get there. Its my first time ever. For those who need catch-up, we are going to the Big Island for about 5 days for a medical conference that Michael needs (yeah, NEEDS!) to attend. The conference is in the ritzy northwest of the island at Hapuna Beach, but we are staying in cheaper digs 50 minutes south in more laid-back Kailua-Kona.
Tonight, we head to Mima's (Michael's mom) house to get the twins settled in with her, spend the night, and then off to the airport the next morning. I am not looking forward to 6 hours on an airplane. As I get older, I have been developing a growing (irrational, I know...) fear of flying. It's not really a fear of flying... I LOVE flying. Its falling I don't like. Falling for, like, 10 minutes before the big crash. So, I tend to white-knuckle it through every bump and twitch.
I don't know how much I will be posting. I will be taking about 3 million photos a day, but I don't have Photoshop on the laptop (so I won't be able to make any photo look all pretty) and we will have to go to the lobby for wireless hookup. The internet in the room is a little too pricey for us, so updates might be few and far between.
We will be celebrating both mine and Michael's birthdays (16th and 19th of March respectively) while we are there. Hopefully, we will be able to finagle a great restaurant with a kid's menu for Noah once in awhile.
Well, I gotta go have a picnic on the living room floor with my son. (He is asking for those potato chips that are translucent, not opaque!! Such the smartypants.)
No picture for this post. I am still packing and such. No time. Gotta run.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
For those just popping in,
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Just got back from an hour at my friend Joyce's house and then put the kids down for nap. I stopped by the new rental house we will be moving into after we get back from Hawaii, and peered in the windows, made some plans for the kitchen. Now I am sitting down eating a stolen orange from the neighbor's tree and about to get back to work on plans for our tourist destinations in Hawaii.
I am STILL having pain in my neck, even after 11 days, and Joyce is a physical therapist, so she had me come over so she could do some work on it. She thinks I pinched something in something... I was too engrossed in the massage that I wasn't payng a lot of attention. I think I may need to fake injury all year to get the free massages!!
It was funny, Luka was really stressed seeing me on the bench seat she had me lay down on while she worked, and was constantly bursting into tears, and trying to make me stand up. I finally had to seatbelt him down with a snack in the kitchen so he would let us finish. She gave me some exercises, but it looks like I am going to Hawaii with a painful neck.
Hawaii is gonna be a blast, though. I have planned a kid-friendly snorkelling excursion, a luau, a mule-pulled wagon ride through Waipio Valley (check THIS out!!) because Noah is too young for the horseback rides, a trip in a REAL submarine, and of course a trip out to Volcano National Park.
We are so excited about that trip because Kilauea, which has been erupting for years, has really been putting on a show for the last few days! Some streams of lava have been going gangbusters and two of them finally reached the ocean. They just created a new access road to get people to a safe viewing area, so we may have to find a way to plan the trip to see the lava at night time.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I haven't been posting much lately because we have been so harried... what with finding a new place to live, planning how to do it, doctor's appointments, registering for day camp, making lists, planning for Hawaii, and just trying to live our regular lives which always seems to go a hundred miles an hour.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
For those just popping in,
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
All right, Mom, I will stop torturing you with days of "before" and "during" pictures! The wait is over.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I am dragging this haircut out like its some epic drama, but its the only thing that I have photos of that I can blog about right now. And frankly, I have so many cute photos that I have to spread it out so I can post all of them. I mean, look at this. Poor, tortured guy.
I found this cute little place in La Jolla that is a salon just for children called Little Locks. The woman who cut their hair was named (I think) Larita, and I HIGHLY recommend her if you are in the area because she did exactly what I asked her to do.
Which was basically, "leave it long".
I told them that there were some photos online that I would like to have their hair cut to look like, and the folks there were happy to let me bring up the web pages. Here are the links for what I showed them for Ethan and for Luka.
Larita took such a quick look at both pictures I was worried she wouldn't really do what I asked, but she was spot on. She even asked if I wanted to cut a bit more from Luka because it was still pretty long on the sides (like the picture) but I hemmed and hawed and finally told her no. I figured I could cut it more if I needed to, myself. (And a couple days later, it looks like I might just do that).
This place has it all figured out. The kids sit in little cars or airplanes while getting their hair cut, they have cartoons to watch, and you literally have to walk through a toy store to get to the salon! They seem to be okay with the kids playing with the toys while waiting, and there are even live bunnies to look at in cages that are housed at toddler level.
Look at Luka.
What a little trooper he was. Of course, he had his lovey, "Lambie" clutched tight in his lap. I think the cuts would have gone better if the kids hadn't gotten spritzed with water bottles before the cut. But it was necessary to get those crazy locks tamed.
So, yeah, both kids cried. Both kids survived. Both kids still look cute.
Here is evidence of the carnage:
The "After" pics will be in the next post.
Sorry, Mom. Nyah, Nyah!
Lord, you'd think this story was a Penny Dreadful the way it goes on and on!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Well, we did it. We finally bent to the social pressure and had the twins' hair cut!
I am SO thankful that none of the social pressure came from ANY of my family members. It mostly came from from well-meaning ladies at the grocery store who are constantly telling me how lovely my girls are. And the rest of the pressure came from my own internal dialog (which can be social pressure if you count ALL the voices).
So, for your perusal, I give you the BEFORE photos of their hair.
This is the side of Ethan's hair. Can you see why it was hard to cut this? He actually had Shirley Temple ringlets in the back!! Here is the front:
I have always cut Noah's hair, it being so straight and simple. The curls and waves on the twins threatened and intimidated me. And as their hair grew longer, I learned I preferred longer hair to shorter hair on these boys.
I kept expecting the grandmas to give me sweet gentle nudges toward the scissors, but one insisted I not cut it until she came to visit in 5 weeks and the other insisted they looked just perfect the way they were. I thank you, ladies, for letting me do this when I was good and ready.
And, finally I was.
I mean, who wouldn't be... Luka had passed from lovely locks, through mullet-ville, into Crystal Gayle Land!
I mean just look at the back! Not a curl left, which was my original excuse for not cutting it. When you washed it, it lengthened out to past the middle of his back!
I am mad for this picture of Luka, though. I am going to miss those shoulder-length locks. Not that its not still a bit long. As a preview, I will say there are those who would look at Luka post-haircut and say he is ready for one now.
Ethan, in my opinion, could have gone a wee bit longer, but with twins, you tend to do things at the same time to save yourself the extra trips.I decided to take them to a hairdresser, which I may continue to do in the future, after I deduce whether or not I can cut their hair on my own after careful observation of a curly-cut. Not that Luka had a curl left on the back of his head.
I clipped a curl or two from both their heads, just in case I never saw those curlie-ques again.
To be continued.
As Rosanne Rosannadanna always said, "It just goes to show ya, It's always something. If it's not one thing, its another." If you plan a nice trip to Hawaii, then you get kicked out of your house. If you find a nice, sweet house to live in, then you crank your neck so bad you can't shrug your shoulders!