Friday, May 29, 2009

Whole Foods

What I Love about Whole Foods:
Fancy Cheese Samples for my child who won't touch them (darn, I guess I'll have to eat that?)
Odwalla Smoothies
Annie's Mac & Cheese on Super Sale
New Zealand Cheddar purchased after the free sample
Veggie Pirate's Booty that makes Owen chant "booty, booty" all the way home
California Blueberries already

What I hate about Whole Foods:
Quick stop for mozzarella, mushrooms, and pizza sauce = $30 after all the above impulse buys.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dueling Laptops

Tonight is one of those evenings when both Scott and I are sitting on the couch staring at the computer screen. Only this time we have dueling laptops ... we got a new computer! We have to do our part to stimulate the economy right? So our tax refund went to Best Buy and a new HP laptop that is super slick and with gabs more memory than the 5 year old machine sitting on my lap. Now begins the long process of transferring files, so our pictures are in digital purgatory until we get things up and running, so I updated the blog background design to give you something new to look at.

Our evening:
I've said before how the 5-6 o'clock hour is a tough one in our house. I walk in the door with a mental list of tasks to accomplish, a hungry belly, and a nearly 2-year old that just wants attention after a long day at school. Today, turned out awesome because I was able to put Owen to work on a few of those tasks.
He pushed our rolling garbage can all the way in from the curb (I wish I had pictures - the can is double his height), and then helped me shuck corn on the cob for dinner. That kid is just happier with a job to do!

Finally, hooray for the second trimester! I still have bouts of exhaustion (i.e. after a Saturday in the sun without enough water), but my stomach is no longer rebelling. Of course, this also brings the frustrating phase where none of my pants fit, but there's no way I'm pulling out the maternity box yet. We'll see how far a little creativity and my Bella Band will get me...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy Day

For some reason, my Thursday's tend to be jam packed full. I think because I work a couple hours from home on Thursday, I think of it as my day to get stuff done. Whereas I reserve Friday for more play time because it's my day off to spend exclusively with Owen. Today may have been a bit of overkill. Here's my "completed" list for the day:

- Up and dressed mere milliseconds before Owen got up
- Owen up, read books, get dressed (a rediculously challenging chore these days)
- Breakfast (including scrambled eggs at Owen's request that he then refused to eat)
- Prep double helping of dinner and in the crock pot while Owen watches Elmo
- Vaccuum house with help of a toddler
- Wrestle the cat for trip to the vet
- Drop off the cat, meet with the vet
- Bank
- Playground time, Swim Lessons, back to the playground, all with snacks on the run
- Home for Lunch
- Sweep house, wash cat urine off the walls (reason for the trip to the vet)
- Owen goes down for a nap
- Blessedly long nap lets me get my work done, finish the crock-pot dinner, pasta salad, and miscellaneous extras for a friend with a new baby
- Snacks on the run, while we take dinner to Diana
- Chat with Diana and meet 3 day old Winston, Owen has a minor panic attack when I hold the baby
- Play group at Bouncing off the Walls (we bounce, climb, slide, ride, and laugh ourselves to exhaustion)
- Back to the vet to pick up cat, entertain a 2 year old in the vet office for 30 minutes waiting for the vet, cat is medically fine and probably spraying our walls on purpose. Sweet.
- Home for dinner, more vacuuming, dusting, and prepping for friends coming to visit for the weekend.

I feel productive. And justified in sitting on the couch the rest of the night. At least the only think on the calendar for tomorrow is a walk in the park with friends. I guess that's why I cram it all in on Thursdays...

P.S. This was my day with just one kiddo that thinks cleaning chores are the best game ever. How do people do this with multiple children? How will I do this come November. Yikes!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Big Island, Part II

The Big Island has strikingly few beaches (most have been overtaken by old lava flows), but the ones we visited were wonderful. Before kids, I tried to avoid the sand at the beach - it gets everywhere! But this trip the weather was warm enough and the water calm enough that we could all embrace our inner toddler and just dig in.

A few of us also took a short tour of a Kona Coffee Farm. It was interesting to hear how such a small area (only 4 miles of coastline) can produce world renowned coffee. Plus, we got free tasting, which makes it all worth it.

Our other adventure was a whale watching boat trip. I don't have any photos, though because the only whale we encountered was the elusive "Log Whale" (aka a floating branch). Lame! We had what amounted to a very expensive boat cruise. They gave us free passes to come back for another excursion, but the big downer was that Ryan chatted with some people at the pool that had seen whales breaching within throwing distance of our complex while we were combing the deep ocean. Double Lame!

With all the family around, all us parents also took a date night, while grandma, grandpa, and aunt Kate watched the kiddos. Scott's boss sent us on the plane with a gift certificate to a oceanside restaurant, so we got to enjoy a quite dinner and a beautiful sunset.

Now it's back to reality, work deadlines, mounds of laundry, and sleep recovery after a LONG flight home. All worthwhile prices to pay for a week of relaxation and memory making. Aloha!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Big Island

We are back from a wonderful week on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a full Maxwell Family adventure with Grandma and Grandpa, Ryan, Sara and Cousin Calla, and Aunt Kate. We shared a big ground floor condo in Waikoloa Village down the road from the largest hotel I have ever seen (the Hilton with a dolphin pool, lagoon, flamingos, tram and canal system with boats... whoa!). It made for great destination walks when Owen was up at 6 AM.

Our complex had a beautiful pool, so we spent time every day doing this:
and this:
Owen learned how to get some real air jumping into the pool. It was great fun. He also discovered the "tub, tub, tub" and would race for the hot tub when he needed a break from hard play in the pool.

Owen also learned a bit about sharing. He started the week trying to steal all of Calla's stuff, including this pool floatie, but by the end of the week was giving her hugs, pointing out which binky was hers, and wanting to "help" with her diaper changes. I loved getting a week to get to know Calla better and watch Ryan and Sara in their parenting adventures. Calla put them through the ringer by staying on Seattle time (i.e. waking up at 4 am everyday), but they hung in there and are doing such a great job with their growing girl.

Aunt Kate was a wonderful set of energetic hands all week long. She played with kids in the pool, was a good sport when the little ones invaded her sofa bed at 7AM, and had more energy than any of us parents.

The Big Island was an unusual place for me. With several active volcanoes, there are TONS of lava flows all over the island and areas that look like pure wasteland. We stayed in the dry area of the island, where the resort area is the only oasis of green. We did take several adventures to explore other areas of the island (and there are a lot - it's not called the BIG ISLAND for nothing!).

One morning, Scott, Ethel, Owen and I took a drive north to the Waipio Valley. This is one of those amazing overlooks that just screams HAWAII! In prior years, we may have made the one mile hike down into the valley, but a 900 foot elevation drop and a 25 pound toddler made the return trip too daunting. We enjoyed the majestic view from the top and enjoyed a short hike around a nearby nature preserve instead.

I'll post our beach pictures and coffee plantation tour in separate posts. Here was our nightly view. Ahhh...

(Yes, Owen learned to smile for the camera this week, but it's pretty hit or miss...)

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for a wonderful, tropical week!