bouquet background

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How to Host a Murder

I picked up a "How to Host a Murder" game at Salvation Army when I was in college, and it has followed me through way too many moves now waiting to be an awesome date night. I vowed that we would not move it one more time, so we planned what turned out to be a super fun evening with some of our best friends in Hawaii on our last Saturday before the move.

The setting for the evening was a 1950's cafe, where a group of friends had gathered after their 5 year class reunion. The participants were all assigned their roles before the party, and some of us had quite a bit of fun dressing up for the occasion.
 Of course, the joyful reunion was soured when we discovered that one of our friends had been murdered. As the evening continued and the evidence came out, it looked like just about all of us could be guilty of the crime.
 Kelson & I as Penny Loafer and Rick Calcitrant. Yep, I was a murderer.
 Jessica & Andrew as E.C. Leigh and Cal Q. Layder, guest starring Loren. Cal was my accomplice.
 Alishia and Zach as the Del Toydes & DeeDee Deucer. Caroline was a spectator.
Chris and Rachel as Joe K. Awledge and Pris Teene. Joe was guilty too.

We ate hamburgers and fries with root beer floats and had fun getting into character and ferreting out the killers. We are so lucky to have such great friends!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Daddy & Sarah

Sarah has been a major daddy's girl lately, and Kelson has had some major daddy wins. He is pretty proud of himself.  One of the major challenges we have had with Sarah is her sleeping.  Ever since she was born, she has needed to nurse to sleep at night and at nap time, which means that I was the only one who could put her to bed.
 Three times in a row that I left Sarah with Daddy, I came back to find her (and usually him) sound asleep. Putting the baby to sleep is just about the best way to make Mommy happy!

 Complete with cape :)
Like I said, bedtime has always been my job. One night, I had to be out late at a church meeting, and I was shocked when Kelson said he had put her to bed and she didn't even cry for more than a few seconds. Ever since, I leave the room at bed time, and Daddy puts her to bed. They read Cinderella, sing songs, and snuggle, and then she goes to sleep without a fuss. 

 Aren't they sweet? This shot is one I took while I was spying with the video monitor. I will admit that it makes me a little sad not to be the one to put her in bed any more. My baby is growing up. I am definitely a fan of her sleeping better, though. 
 Daddy-daughter princess paper dolls
 Helping Daddy with the dishes
Just a little snuggling after a trip to the beach
 Swimming at Magic Island near Waikiki
"Helping" Daddy ice his foot

I am so grateful that Sarah loves her daddy!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Bishop Museum

Since we will be leaving Hawaii very soon, we have been trying to fit in all of the things that we had thought about doing but just never quite got to. One of those things was visiting the Bishop Museum in Downtown Honolulu. Kelson and I went there for a planetarium show a few weeks ago for date night, and we were really impressed, so we wanted to go back and see the whole thing. This Saturday, we spent the morning snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, then made a quick wardrobe change and spent the afternoon at the Bishop Museum.
They had tons of exhibits, including a science building with a really cool volcano exhibit, a beautiful historical building filled with artifacts from Hawaii's history, a planetarium, and a dinosaur exhibit.

 Sarah was really excited about the dinosaurs. They moved and made noise, 
and she really wanted to go play with them.
 Kitty! (We are working on learning more animal names.)
 However, she wasn't so excited to sit on top of the triceratops. 
Daddy fed her to a T-Rex. She didn't think that was very nice. 

Kayaking Chinaman's Hat

There is a rock formation in the middle of Kaneohe Bay called Chinaman's Hat that is a popular kayaking trip here. At low tide, you can actually walk out to the island. We have been wanting to kayak to it since we got here but never found an opportunity. This weekend, we got together with Zach and Alishia Mattee, borrowed 2 kayaks, and took turns babysitting so we could go out to the island. I had never been kayaking before, so I was a little nervous about going out in the ocean, but it was really fun. We even paddled right past a sea turtle!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tantalus, Pali Lookout, & Ho‘omaluhia

One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii has been going on hikes, so Kelson's foot injury was a real bummer for us. On an afternoon when Kelson got off work early, we decided to go to some cool lookouts that we could reach by car with minimal walking. It was a good substitute for going on a hike. Our first stop was Tantalus lookout, which overlooks downtown Honolulu and Diamond Head.

Sarah was asleep, so we had a peaceful drive up and back down the mountain and then stopped at the Pali Lookout on our way through the mountains to the east side of the island.
This sign was placed at the entrance to the lookout. It was especially concerning because it was amazingly windy there. Scary!
Unfortunately, it was too cloudy up there to see much of the view. On the bright side, we didn't get attacked by any bees.
From there, we went to the Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe. There were all kinds of cool trees and plants to look at, and it was free. Score!
We also finally got to see wild pigs. The baby ones were so cute!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Date Night at Haleiwa Joe's

Swapping babysitting is the best! We had some friends who owed us a night of babysitting, so we had the chance to leave Sarah for the night and actually get out for a date night by ourselves. Sarah tends to scream her lungs out for hours on end when we leave her, so we don't get babysitters very often. We hoped she would do better this time, and she did. She only cried for a minute or two after we left, and then she played with her friend and didn't want to leave when we came home. Success!

We drove over to Kaneohe on the other side of the island and ate dinner at a restaurant called Haleiwa Joe's.
We had a little time to kill while we were waiting for a table, so we went for a walk on a fishing pier. 

Our table overlooked the mountains and a botanical garden. It was beautiful!

Yummy dinner and great company!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sarah's First Zoo Trip

Since we are living in an empty house for several weeks, Sarah and I have to find lots of fun things to do. Sarah loves animals of all kinds, so we decided it was time for a trip to the zoo. We got together we a couple of other moms and babies from our ward and had a great morning seeing the animals.
 The tiger was kind enough to come sit right next to the fence so we could get a good look at it. One of Sarah's favorite books is about tigers at the zoo. She knows that they say Rawr!
Checking out the elephants

The Honolulu zoo has an awesome children's section with farm animals, fish, and a petting zoo. Sarah had never seen a goat before, and I figured she would be scared. She jumped right in and started petting them. She absolutely loved it! I finally had to pry her away to look at the other animals.

Fishies! They had some of the biggest koi I had ever seen.

There was a tunnel to crawl inside and look at the fish tank. Sarah thought that was pretty fun.

Guinea pigs, or, as Sarah says, "kitties!"

The Honolulu zoo is pretty small, but it was just right for us to see in a morning before nap time. I can't wait to take her to see more animals. It was so much fun seeing how excited she was. Thanks, Paula and Alishia for spending the day with us!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hickam Dog Beach

At the end of a long, hot Saturday, we felt like going to the beach. We remembered that we hadn't been to the dog beach on the Air Force base since we first moved here, and we thought Sarah would love it. It is a very unusual beach, in that it is on a mud flat that makes it so you can walk half a mile from shore. The water right along the shore is only a foot or so deep and has little wave action. Add to that the fact that there are always dogs there and you have the perfect baby beach.
 Hand this girl a bucket and a shovel and she is in heaven. I love that she has moved on to the playing with sand stage. It is much more fun than the "try to prevent her from eating sand" stage.

 Rocking her hat and sunglasses. She has also moved on to the accessorizing stage. It makes keeping sunglasses on her much easier.
 The dog beach is also a perfect place to watch sunset. I am sure we will be back here several times before we move. What a great way to end a Saturday!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Our awesome friends, the Mattees, called us up one day to invite us to join them at Germaine's Luau because they had two extra tickets. Of course we said yes :)
The luau was right next to the beach, and the view was phenomenal. We watched them pull the roast pig out of the fire pit right before we all sat down to eat. The food was awesome. It was definitely the best Hawaiian food we have had on the island. 

The after dinner show was great too. Even Sarah, who was sick that night, got into it. She likes to shake her hips along with the Tahitian dancers. We have a little hula girl in the making. Thanks for a great night, Mattee family!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Eye Surgery #2 for Sarah

After Sarah's surgery last year, we hoped her eye problems would be taken care of and we would be done with surgeries. Unfortunately, she developed glaucoma after her first surgery, and the membrane that the doctor cut away from her pupil slowly grew back over the last year. We found out last Fall that another surgery would be necessary, and we decided to do it after Christmas and before we moved.
Sarah had to fast the morning of the surgery, so we stuffed her full of all of her favorite foods the night before. Doesn't a bedtime snack of spaghetti, rice, and peas sound delicious?

 It was nice that she wasn't aware of why we were at the hospital, so we didn't have to deal with so much fear and anticipation. This was Sarah playing in the waiting room while we were checking in.
 By the time she had her temperature taken (by far the most traumatizing moment of the day. Thermometers are evil!) and got changed into her much-too-large hospital jammies, she was thoroughly scared and grumpy. Never fear: the anesthesiologist came along with some happy medicine to calm her down before they took her back. 
 Within 5 minutes, everything was hilarious. It was pretty funny to watch our intoxicated baby.
 She just got heavier and heavier until she was mostly asleep. She didn't care too much when the nurse came to take her back for surgery. It was scary handing my baby over and just walking out of the room without her. No fun at all.
 They told us that the surgery would take around an hour and a half. By the time they finally came to get us 3 hours later, we were both pretty anxious. I was very grateful to snuggle my baby up and be the first thing she saw when she woke up. She wasn't a very happy camper. The surgery went well. They were able to correct the glaucoma and remove the membrane blocking her vision again. We hope that this will be her last surgery, but we will see what the future holds. 
 She did great with her recovery. She absolutely hated the eye drops we had to give her 10 times a day, but she miraculously left the eye shield alone for the whole week she had to wear it. That was a huge blessing. 
Later, we had to go back to the hospital for another sedation so that Sarah could have an MRI to make sure that there wasn't a tumor in her eye causing the abnormal growth. Any time a doctor pulls out the big C word, it gets pretty scary. We were very relieved to learn that there was no evidence of a tumor in Sarah's eye. 
Working on Sarah's vision continues to be a challenging journey, but we are very blessed with good doctors. We patch for about 3 hours a day, which gives Mommy & Sarah lots of play time together. That will probably continue until she is 8 years old or so. In the end, we know all of it will be worth it when it allows her to see!