Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We packed up all our winter clothes and Christmas gifts and sent them home so that way we only had to haul two suitcases and so we wouldn't have to pay the "second luggage' fee for all our upcoming flights. I was significantly less stressed about this flight because I knew we had tons of family to help with the kids and that would keep them plenty stimulated. I sat in a row with my BIL, Bryce and he was a great help. For some reason, Jada was clingy to him (actually I know why- for seven hours he kept stuffing teddy grahams in her mouth. That is her seventh heaven.) Poor Bryce was a mess after the flight with reguritated, chewed up, and slimy bits of teddy grahams all over him.
So yeah, the flight was seven hours and it seemed like forever. But energy was high. I mean come on, we are going to Hawaii.
First part of our agenda was Oahu. We had a half day to relax and in the morning we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. I had been there once before, four and a half years ago, and it was exactly the same. What was interesting is that when I went before our tour guide took us in reverse order through all the villages. This time our tour guide took us the regular way. So what I didn't get to see before I saw this time.

The canoe pageant

In New Zealand we all got tattoos. I went much more conservative and got one on my ankle but then I didn't take a shower for two days because I didn't want it to come off. I thought I looked cool with the tattoo.

After it was said and done we had to wait over an hour for our show to start. It was rough on the kids because it was already so late for them. This is truely a rare moment of Jada sleeping anywhere except for her bed.

At the same time, Riley walked on this circular retaining wall for about an hour with grandma. I would tickle him every time he passed, or I would try to scare him, or hide and he would stop to look for me. It was real fun but eventually we stopped due to rain and went in the gift store for another half hour or so. I sat in a chair with Riley the whole time and we sang songs or I tickled him. It was a real nice time for the two of us.

The next day we took an island hopper flight to Kauai. It was only thirty minutes and it was a sinch. The security in the airport was so different then on the mainland. I reminded me of what security was like pre-911 but I totally forgot about those days. After so many long flights, thirty mintutes was a walk in the park.

Kauai was beautiful and very remote. You are hard pressed to find a typical McDonalds or Walmart. They exist but they are hard to find. This island, though beautiful was actually difficult with young children because of the remoteness. The food was a little more difficult to come by. Supplies like diapers and wipes are harder to come by. Plus in a place like that you just want to relax and that, of course, is impossible.The Hawaii Grand Canyon

Most of the gang: Brett, me, the kids, Tasha, Bryce, Kathy, and Nik

Our beautiful condo on the beach

Me and the kids

Miles feeding Riley

We mainly just hung out the whole time in Kauaii. It rained alot and was a little chilly. I usually spent only a hour a day on the beach before either the kids had to have a nap, or had to be fed, or it started raining. Even still I got an itty bitty tan that I am very proud of.
Wait til you hear about our New Years plans! We were going to stay up all night and play Wii but as 10 pm came everyone wanted to go to bed (this or earlier was true every night) so we busted out the bubbly and just then fire works went off (I guess people from California were celebrating with their state). We had a beautiful fireworks display and then everyone went to bed. Brett and I played Wii for another hour and then decided this was the lamest New Years ever so we went to bed too. Brett's family is by NO MEANS party animals.
On our last day we had to be out by 10 am and our flight didn't leave til 9:30 pm so we checked out, rented scooters, and drove a waterfall that you could cliff jump into. It was about 30 feet high. I really wanted to do it but the trail getting there was so slippery and the rocks to the waterfall were even more dangerous. Brett's family is very helpful until everyone is busy and then I get stuck with the kids all by myself as was the case at the waterfall. Brett and his brothers went to jump the falls, Kathy was in the car watching Ben and Marie's kids, Tasha was unable to hold the kids because it was too dangerous, and Bob volunteered to hold Jada. That meant I had to hold Riley and some how video tape everyone else having fun. After they all jumped we had to quickly leave and I didn't get a turn. Plus by now, I was EATEN up by misquitos that I just wanted to leave anyway.
Our first leg of the trip home was from Kauaii to LA. That was a five hour flight. I luckily sat next to a women and her child and her child slept in her mom's lap so I asked if I could use their floor to put Jada down for a nap. They said yes and I was so happy I wanted to cry because she was able to sleep the whole way. But since I am incapible of relaxing I volunteered to help with Riley because Brett was having a very hard time getting him to sleep. It took me 45 minutes and once he was asleep I gave him back to Brett. I had to watch Jada afterall!!!! Riley only slept about an hour on this flight and now it was 2 am. We had a two hour lay over in LA and Riley was fussy. Since Brett and I took care of the kids the entire previous flight, his family was very willing to help with the short leg from LA to Salt Lake. Both Brett's bench and my bench only had two people in it so we pawned of the kiddies, laid down and slept the whole time, so did the kids- go figure!
In Salt Lake we said goodbye to Brett's family and headed out to begin our three hour layover. Brett's dad is some sort of Delta Platium Medallion member so he got us into this fancy room with a TV that we were able to wait in insteed of with all the peions in the terminal. That helped time fly by and helped us comfortably relax. The flight to Atlanta was very tough. We were all sooooo tired and the flight was booked solid. Of course, Riley slept the entire time on Brett's lap but Jada was very difficult. She cried alot and all I wanted to do was sleep. I tried walking the aisles but all I wanted to do was sleep. I am sure my parenting was sub par but all I wanted to do was sleep! I sat next to a grandmotherly figure (thank goodness) who didn't complain when Jada was kicking her or pulling at her shirt and I was half asleep. She even offered to hold her a few times and let me use her tray table to hold my caffinated soda.
22 hours since our first flight, we arrived in Atlanta. Brett says it was totally worth it. I say, we are staying put for a long time!

Christmas in Utah...

Brett's parents flew us out to Utah for Christmas this year and we were so excited to go. We did have several things to be nervous about like-
1. Flying out with two kids
2. Flying out with two sick kids and two sick adults
3. Packing for three very distinct events: winter in Utah, Christmas gifts, and warm sunny Hawaiian weather.
4. Getting everything out with three suitcases
This flight was the first time we decided not to drug the kids with Benedryll because we felt that in the past Riley has been more cranky than sleepy. Since I knew he would be awake alot I spent HOURS preparing for the flight. We bought a Video Ipod and downloaded several TV shows, packed Thomas train pieces, packed Play-doh and much much more. As stressed out as I was about Riley, I was even more stressed out about Jada. She was severely sick as the departure date approached and she already is hard enough to entertain. She is very mobile and hates being confined. Her entertainment level/attention span is 10 seconds. My back pack was loaded with things to do, all in an attempt to keep her quiet at least.
We got up bright and early, after a restless night for me, and began our 9 hour travel day. To my great relief, everything actually went pretty smoothly. The actual flight was four hours and I started off with Riley. I played with him and it was draining but he behaved very well. Jada slept the whole time with Brett. When Jada woke up, we switched as was previously decided (to switch half way through the flight). So I played with Jada the whole time and Riley immediately went to sleep with daddy. So though it was tiring, it was so much better than I expected. It was a GREAT trip for Brett!
Our first stop in Utah was Cafe Rio for our beloved Beef Salads. Unfortunately since I was so congested I could barely breathe, much less taste the food.
When I first got there, I had already been sick for nearly a week so I thought I would for sure feel better by Christmas and defiantly for Hawaii. Well that wasn't the case. I was so congested that I just bummed around the house the whole time. I tried to run on my inlaw's treadmill but it was pathetic. I ran about 12 minute miles. But I had to keep working out because I was going to Hawaii in a few days!!!!
By the end of the week, I was feeling well enough to visit some friends and family but I didn't get to visit even half of the people I wanted to. But I got to see my long time friend Robin and my uncle Dale.
Oh well, enough complaining!
Brett's mom and dad and sister and brother were so AWESOME at playing with the kids! I mean, seriously, they were always willing to help even without me asking! Brett's other brother, Ben and his wife Marie have two little ones about the same age and they came over everyday so the kids got to play so much. Plus Brett's sister, who we hardly ever see, drove down and stayed with us for several days. She has a son a little older than Riley and so it was nice for them to play too.
Some things that Riley did that I am so used to but my inlaws thought was cute...
1. Says 'sure' instead of yes
2. Says 'bless you' any time you sneeze OR cough
3. Says "thank you mommy" any time I do anything for him
4. Shares very well with others
5. Eats very well and isn't picky
6. Is obsessed with watching Blues Clues and playing with Thomas

Here are some pictures from our WHITE CHRISTMAS...

For Hawaii info, stay posted...