Saturday, March 31, 2012

If you happen to have $18,000 sitting around in your "stuff for kids" bank account, be sure to check out this awesome playset.



Sure it is amazing in theory.... but I'm not one to spend 18k just to ensure that every kid in a three mile radius spends all day, every day, at my house - using my bathroom, asking for drinks of water, and coming to me for snack time!

Can you even imagine how long it would take for a few neighborhood buddies to throw this thing together?!

BDEM:  Conference! 

Water:  60 oz

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stunning

How gorgeous are these pictures?






I so wish I had the talent/camera/eye to take pictures like this - they are UNBELIEVABLE!

BDEM:  Finished a really good book.  It's always kind of bittersweet when the whole adventure comes to an end!

Water:  40 oz

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oh, TOMS

How I love thee.....

Let me count the ways.






I don't really know what they say after that part - or if "the ways" are actually counted, but I'm hoping my pretend knowledge of all things literary will suffice.

Truly, I love them.  Period.

Ironically, the image number is 0824.  0824?  As in 08/24.  MY BIRTHDAY.  This shoe photo shoot was meant to be.

BDEM:  Maddie's choir concert was tonight - boy was she a CUTIE PIE!  I love that she's getting big enough that we can enjoy all of these events that come with her age.  


Water:  maybe 30 oz.  It's gotten bad - Rob and I are in a workout rut.  We were supposed to start p90x two days ago and have just slept in every morning.  I am in DESPERATE need of motivation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In My Life

We just finished up a dinner of banana pancakes and vanilla syrup. Jude, Ella and Rob gave the meal two thumbs up - while Maddie gave it a so-so. She then got jealous that we were all part of the "I love this dinner" club - and decided that it was actually REALLY GOOD.

Sure.




Jude and Ella are wandering around under blankets.  Ella is a ghost, and keeps bouncing off the walls.  Jude is a "ghost dog" and is haunting the house with barks.


I can't help but laugh at how much Ella resembles ET when he dresses up as a ghost for Halloween.

Maddie is once again jealous because, "All of the good ghost blankets are gone!"

Jude made a segway out of blocks:


And I'm blogging to some amazing butt-rock from the 80s.  The Scorpions to be exact.  That alone qualifies today as a good day.

Hope your day was butt-rock-awesome, too!

BDEM:  I think I took a total of five or six cat naps today.  It seemed like I dozed off every single time I sat down - which I think I needed after these past two weeks.  

Water:  24 oz

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

what the??

My computer is still on the fritz, and Rob has his iPad, and my phone Blogger is acting nutso...Nutzo? Nutso? My phone doesn't recognize either, but then again my horrendous autofill renames Rob Rib every time I Rupert it. Yes, I'm leaving that. From.now Ih I am going to leave eceeyring I type the way ky phone fills it Ih. Yes. My.phone thinks scary one of thaw words is correct. It's like.my autofill has a.mind of its own. Oh, and I am used to typing on an iPhone, zu every tune I try to press the space bar I end up hurting the period button. Anyone who texts me sees a lot if periods instead of spaces. The space bar is much wider on the iPhone, than on the Droid, so I always seem to miss it and hit the period button. Well that sentence went okay!!

I won't type an entries post that way....so ill end it now.

With one quick sentence...

I hate my Droid.

BDEM: swimming with the young women. Aeiously had the BEST time. Yes, my.Phoebe thinks aeiously is a proper substitute
for seriously.

Wow. Good luck reading this post!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back to Reality

Which in my case means back to wondering what the crap I am going to cook for dinner all week. I love to bake, and go through phases of loving to cook, but right now it just seems like the last thing I want to do. I finished 9 loads of laundry from wash to fold to put away, so I felt no guilt when I sent Rob to Cafe Rio to grab some take out. But tomorrow I'll have to go to the grocery store and plan some meals for the upcoming week and with my computer in the shop, (we are getting one last free check up before our coverage expires)I'm fresh out of ideas.

I think I might try this coconut Thai chicken soup for fun, but I could really use some refresher courses. Get it? COURSES? You know, to refresh my cooking skills? Oh...the comedy never ends around here. I'll give you a moment to wipe those tears of laughter away from your eyes.

But seriously, folks. Got any great must try - family friendly - easy to cook meals? Even if they're not family friendly, share them...I'll happily throw some mac-n-cheese on the stove for the kiddos.

Oh, double karma points if it's healthy.

BDEM: The kids threw a "silly party" after dinner tonight. It involved wearing ridiculous clothing and dancing around in their room. It lived up to its name and then some. Perhaps I'll post pics tomorrow when the old desktop is back home.

Water: 35 oz. Slowly but surely.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

One Final Hawaii Tribute


Lighthouse from afar 
For some reason roosters are EVERYWHERE on Kauai. We saw more roosters than all other birds combined.  

Lighthouse visit - great whale watching spot.  Whale watching became an obsession of mine while we were there.  

Rob took a mini-hike up the Napali Trail.  I am one of those tiny people sitting on the beach below. 

A handsome outdoorsman...without the stink.  My kind of guy.

Now, one thing that Kauai doesn't really have a lot of is hula dancers.  I think the island in general is a lot less commercial than the other islands - and has more of an authentic vibe.  But since no Hawaii tribute is complete without some hula dancing, I'll leave you with this lovely dancer.  Oh - and I should mention this is the first time she has ever hulaed.  

video

BDEM:  Maddie made up the most incredible song about becoming a movie star in Hollywood.  She sang it to me this afternoon while playing on her new ukulele. I have GOT to get it on video and share it with the world.  It is darling!    

Water:  About 16 ounces.  I actually didn't even drink diet coke today, either.  I think I drank that 16 oz, and maybe 8 oz of OJ for the entire day.  No wonder I'm feeling so sluggish!  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Na Pali Coast Boat Tour

If I had to choose one thing I'd do for the rest of my life, I would choose a job that involved being on a boat.  I could be at sea all day every day and never get sick of it - so this was easily my favorite excursion that we took.  We hopped on a powered catamaran about 1:30pm, and spent the next four hours out at sea enjoying the cliffs, snorkeling and exploring the caves along the coast.  The water was unbelievably clear and against the black rock almost had an aqua glow to it.  It was an absolutely incredible day.  This was the day that I saw the shark and we swam with the massive sea turtle.

Inside one of the caves

We forgot to look at the camera

When boating through this waterfall everyone was supposed to get wet - poor Bonnie was the only person who got wet, and it just soaked her to the bone.  

Pretty Caves

Na Pali Coastline 

I thought it looked like an elephant

For a person who finds fish disgusting, jumping into this was a little nauseating - but it was totally worth it.

This {obviously} European guy was on the boat with us.  Watching his snorkeling technique was one of the highlights of the day.

Driving back after snorkeling

There are still a handful of Hawaii pictures I missed - so I'll probably post one more day.  We arrived safely home a little while ago, and though I miss the sunshine, warmth, and Dad and Bonnie...it is pretty good to be back.  If the kids had been with us on the trip, I'm fairly sure we never would have returned.  I could easily see us becoming a local family that lives off low wages and sunshine.

Oh - and can you believe that milk is over $8/gallon in Hawaii?  Yeah - the price of groceries is UNREAL over there. What's not expensive?  Sunscreen...who knew?  I guess we'd probably just become a poor fishing family who lives in beach-side tents.  We'd end up raising four ridiculously tan Tarzan babies that run around naked and play on the sympathies of the tourists.

Somebody please remind me that it's not a good lifestyle - I'm Hawaii-sick already!

BDEM:  It will be sleeping in my own bed tonight.  No matter how much you love traveling, there's something about your own bed that really just welcomes you home!


Water:  Honestly - zero ounces.  Guess I'd better start forcing myself to drink again...my skin feels like sandpaper!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Confusion

I'm in tiny-town AZ, staying at a surprisingly nice Super 8 motel, and have somehow been lucky enough to have all four kids asleep. I really don't know one day from another right now, but was today opening day for The Hunger Games? Did anybody see it?

BDEM: Ella was pretty homesick while we were gone. Since returning she has turned into this reformed angel who can't seem to stop telling us how much she loves us. I should leave her for a week more often! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unofficially...

This is off the record, since I haven't seen the TV special yet, but it's looking like I actually DIDN'T win the HGTV Dream Home this year.  Bummer. I'm hoping that one of my close friends has won it so I can go visit them.

Okay, let's be honest here. This home is just mediocre anyway, right?  I mean...who REALLY wants a free 2 million dollar home with 500k to boot?  Crazy people, that's who. 




 BDEM:  Our final day of warm weather and sunshine. We are sure going to miss our Arizona cousins, but I'm sure they're happy to have their house back!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Half-Way Home

We are safely in Arizona picking up the kids.  Ella was starting to get a bit homesick, so she doesn't want to leave our sides now that we are together.  All of the kids were really excited to see us, but I think Claire's reaction was my favorite.  She saw me - stared for a second, then just started laughing.  Then she walked over and gave me a great big hug.  It was almost like she had completely forgotten that we existed, but was excited when she remembered who we were.  The kids made us tons of "We miss you, Mom and Dad" cards, and loved showing us all of the things they had done while we were away.  Matt and Lindy took such good care of them, and I am so grateful that they are all safe and happy.

The red eye flight has really taken a toll on me, so I think I'll hit the sack pretty early to try and catch up to my normal sleep schedule.  Just a couple more days in Phoenix, then the road trip starts all over again!

BDEM:  Definitely seeing the kids.  I love how happy they are to see us after being away for a while!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I've decided that if Rob chooses to make this face for the camera, it is okay if I choose to post it publicly.  This was last night's lunch-snack (apparently that's a meal - it happens about an hour and a half before dinner) of sunset sushi.  
Rob and I are headed out on an overnight flight tonight.  We'll grab one last dinner with my dad and Bonnie, and then be gone.  We have had such an amazing time - and I wanted to quickly use my post to express to them how unbelievably grateful we are for their hospitality and for their willingness to share this trip with us.  We have packed so much into this trip - so now they have their remaining couple of weeks to relax and enjoy some quiet time.

Rob and I couldn't have enjoyed this trip more, so thanks Dad and Bonnie for all of the excursions, afternoon fancy drinks, relaxing by the beach, late night card games and AMAZING fresh fish dinners.  I could go on and on just about the restaurants we've eaten at! 


I hope the two of you enjoy the rest of your trip - and have safe travels back home.

We will always have Kauai!

BDEM:  We spent our last day lounging on Ke'e Beach - soaking up some sun, and enjoying the crashing of the waves.   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Helicopter Tour

After the market on Saturday we toured the island by helicopter.  So much of Kauai is unreachable by land, so it was amazing to get up in the air and see the ins and outs of all of the canyons and the Na Pali Coast.  We were originally planning on hiking part of the trail that goes along the cliffs, but with all of the rain Kauai has received, the trail has been shut down.













BDEM:  We decided to do a last minute ocean tour of the Na Pali Coast by boat today - and it had to be my favorite day of the trip.  We saw whales, toured the coast, went in and out of the caves, and snorkeled.  While snorkeling I saw a five foot reef shark and then we swam with a huge sea turtle.  It was an AMAZING afternoon.  I'll post more about today's trip tomorrow.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hawaiian Market

One of the great things about Kauai is the local vibe that we've been able to experience while on the island.  With the exception of the occasional unshaved armpit we've really liked seeing the locals in their natural habitat.  On Saturday we headed into town and spent the morning at the local market.  There were tons of handmade crafts, and locally grown fruits and flowers.  We even watched a shoeless hippie devour twelve bananas - and he was still eating them when we left.








BDEM:  Playing Quiddler with Dad and Bonnie.  I love learning new games - especially word games!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Waterfall

Yesterday was our kayak/hike trip up to secret falls.  It is a 120 foot waterfall that can only be reached after  kayaking 2.5 miles, then hiking about 2 more.  You then visit the falls, eat lunch,  splash around a bit, and hike/kayak back out.  The entire excursion took about five hours, and we were all super tired by the end of yesterday, but it was so beautiful.  
Kayaking on the Wailua River

Open meadow during the hike - morning glory has covered all of the trees

Awkward swimsuit photo

Dad and Bonnie

Secret Falls

We figured it'd be warm, but with all the wind off the falls it was fuh-reezing! 
Even colder

We made it back in time to watch the sunset 

This is the view from the first condo that my dad and Bonnie stayed at, if you enlarge the picture - you can see where we are staying now.  It's the top floor of the white buildings on the left.

BDEM:  Today's BDEM was the helicopter ride!  I'll post about that tomorrow!