Tuesday, February 26, 2013

20 months old (2/22)

 James is talking more and more each day. He wants to speak in sentences, so it will often sound like, "ahgy ghoug goud TRACTOR" or "boudyg guydh gydw RIDE???".  Everything kind of ends with his voice going up towards the end, making him sound a bit British in my opinion. He is all about Adelyn. He has to know where she is at any given point in time and he says her name 24,569 times per day. "Adda!"...and he kind of rolls the "d", like he's speaking Spanish. He's very cultural.
He still is a great little sleeper. I am trying to get him to drop that blasted morning nap, but he is so cranky or he'll fall asleep in the car before lunch and mess up the vital afternoon nap (when Adelyn is also asleep!). He takes a great 2-3 hour afternoon nap and goes to bed around 7:30/8:00 and sleeps until 6:30/7 a.m.
James enjoys playing with blocks. He uses large lego-like blocks and build things or can make some serious towers with solid cubes. He loves to figure things out- I love to watch him study. James loves to be chased or chase you and he giggles the entire time- SUCH a cute giggle! I love this little man! :)

I went to my parents and Adelyn got to go my mom's school one Friday. My mom teaches at a Montessori school. Adelyn was very excited to have Nana as her teacher. 

Adelyn in Practical Life

We've had several beautiful winter days. One day the kids even got ice pops, since James fell and busted his lip. 
We have several pecan trees in our front yard. Adelyn loves to shell them and eat them. Unfortunately, she didn't get all of the bitter part out. 

He's not ALL boy

James plays with his "choo choo" table everyday

My pretty ballerina- one day we played with her hair and made this princess bun (oh, and added some lip gloss!)

Daddy is always fun!

Seth and I took Adelyn to the Big Apple Circus. It's a smaller (not for profit) circus company that came to Alpharetta! It was a really neat show and we all enjoyed it! We went on a rainy school night, so it wasn't too crowded. They moved all the spectators to the front rows- we got awesome seats!
Watching the beloved John Deere tractor video on the iPad

 One Friday, I had several errands to run while Adelyn was at school. Rather than take care of my things, I had a morning date with James. We went to Starbucks (and he had a blueberry muffin from Donut Depot while I had a latte)

And then we met my friend and her 2 boys at Catch Air. It was so fun to spend one on one time with my favorite little boy
I added a kids' table in the kitchen. Adelyn eats every meal here and James gets to eat here occasionally (he gets up too much!). He thinks he's big stuff when he gets to dine with Adda!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hawaii: Part ekolu (3)

Wrapping up our week... (Part 1 here and Part 2 here
Friday: We rented snorkeling gear. The woman at the shop recommended a beach that had great coral and fish. We packed lunch and headed to 49 Black Sand Beach. It was in Mauna Lani Resort, but was public. It wasn't crowded at all and the snorkeling was awesome! I wish I had an underwater camera for pictures of what we saw! There was a trail that led to some of the homes and it was neat seeing the luxury. 

49 Black Sand Beach

Afterwards, we headed to Lava Lava (a public beach/restaurant/rental units) for an afternoon snack

Tuna appetizer- how much tuna can we eat in one week??

Friday night was our big date night. 

We ate at Merriman's in Waimea and this was seriously THE BEST meal I've ever had. I had mahi mahi in ponzu sauce, black rice, and broccolini along with a nice pinot. We followed this with bread pudding and Hamakua Hawaiian Cloud Forest coffee
Saturday: This was our last day. :( We spent the morning cleaning the condo and packing and I went for a run. We had our snorkeling gear for 24 hours so we decided to go back to Lava Lava and hang out. We snorkeled, lounged, and ate lunch. 
The snorkeling here was pretty good. We did come face to face with sea turtles underwater, which was a little scary! 
Like my Valentine's toes? The sand here was black and tan- we thought it looked like bird seed. 

Love this!! Paddleboarding with her dog

4 sea turtles

It's too far off, but this is about the best shot we got of a whale

Saturday afternoon, we drove to downtown Kona to check it out. I honestly wasn't that impressed. It was very touristy and kind of junky. Our flight wasn't until 9:50 that night, so we just killed time. I was half sad and half ready to get home and see the kids.

This trip was wonderful in every way. I think it's important for parents to get away. Adelyn and James did great at home, staying half the week with Seth's parents and half the week with mine (at our house). We can't say thank you enough to them for taking such great care of them while we were gone. And I can't say thank you enough to Seth either for arranging this trip for us! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Part Elua (two)- Beach and a Hike

I know this is a very detailed account of our trip, but I want to remember everything we did! And I had time to kill at the LA airport on our way home. :)

Part 1 is here 

Wednesday: I went for my little run. I am on week 4 of the Couch to 5K program. Can I just say that I would be such a motivated runner if I lived in Hawaii? There's so much to see that you don't even realize you're running. Seth met me afterwards and we went to a small farmer's market in Waikoloa. Next we went to a swanky resort called Mauna Kea. We kind of snuck in and it was worth it!

Poke tuna wraps and local beer at the resort
THIS is the beach we hung out on. I miss it even more now that I'm seeing this picture

That evening, we went to the Hilton to watch the sunset. Would you like  to go to your room via train? 

Or boat? 
Hawaiian drinks while watching the sunset and whales. Side note, they were filming Duck Dynasty at this time. I've never seen the show, but a bearded man was getting a massage overlooking the ocean. Be on the lookout for that episode.

We came home and cooked our fresh tuna, served with rice, snow peas, and a salad. It was delicious!
Thursday (Valentine's Day): We started a hike that was supposed to be 30-45 minutes. We read in a travel book that said you could hike further (like, see the second ridge/mountain....on the OTHER side of that). This is the Pololu Trail near Hawi (northern part of island). 

How did this bench get on top of the mountain?? 

Gorgeous views!

We ventured a little further to and the trail was blocked off (appears that it used to zig zag down the mountain). The "new" route is a rope straight down the mountain. I was very apprehensive about this (Who put this rope here? Where does it go? We have no cell reception, what if something happens?), but we continued on. 
Seth said I look like a Navy Seal, and I agree. Ha!
Once we made it down, we walked through this bamboo forest

We made it down to the valley. It was breathtaking!
Then we had to climb back up the rope. Going up was actually easier than going down. 
This was the craziest, most fun hike I've ever done. I felt a sense of accomplishment afterwards. Then we got a yummy, tropical, much-needed smoothie in Hawi. 
That night, we ate at Charley's Thai Cuisine. Seth will probably never be able to top this Valentine's Day. :)

Part Ekahi (tranlate: One)- Volcano Park

Seth and I went on an amazing vacation (just US!) to the Big Island (Hawaii). We left on my birthday, which is February 10th- mark your calendar. We stayed for a week at a friend's condo (which was simply beautiful) in Waikoloa Village. We've been to Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. I think this is my favorite island. We spent the entire trip plotting out where our vacation home would be. We stayed busy, trying to take in as much beauty as we could. I know we'll have to go back and see the rest (and find our next home- haha!). This is a great time of year to go because you're escaping winter and the humpback whales are everywhere. They come here to breed and birth and you can see them from the shore at any given point. We spent a lot of time just watching them breach.  

Sunday: We flew from Atlanta to LA and had a 3 hour layover plus a 2 hour delay. BOO! We finally got into Kona that evening (8:30ish). 
Monday: We woke up, hit Starbucks, and started the 3 hour drive to Volcanoes National Park. We made several stops along the way and totally took our time. You can do this when there are no kids! 

Random zebra in a fenced in area on the side of the road

Ka Lae (South Point)- this is the most southern point of the US (not the Keys, as I previously thought)
Black Sand beach

We saw several sea turtles at Punalu-u Beach. The black sand was hot, hot, hot and felt different from sand I'm used to!
We did a neat hike (Kilauea Iki Trail) that took us down into the crater. Walking across this was crater was an experience!
Thurston Lava Tubes

Once the sun went down, we went back to the volacano to see the lava at night. Here is the Halema'uma- it really just looked like a smoky glow, but it was neat to see the difference from the day time. 
This Halema'uma during the day 

We stayed the night in the park.

Tuesday: We woke up early to hike to the vent of a volcano (Pu'u Oo) 

We saw this sign twice on our hike but continued on the 8 mile journey. 

The hike was 97% rain forest...

And then you came to this! We only saw a little bit of lava flowing :(

Where IS my mind? 
We did it!
Afterwards, we once again, took our time driving home. We basically did the perimeter of the island in these two days. We drove through Hilo and went to a fish market some hikers told us about. We got FRESH tuna to cook later.
Akaka Falls (442 feet- twice as high as Niagra Falls)
Tuesday night, we ate at Sansei, a sushi restaurant. There is one in Oahu that we LOVED several years ago. We ate there twice when we were there so we were pretty excited to get to dine here again.