Monday, July 28, 2014

Here today, Gone to Maui. Big Beach Edition.

Big Beach has long been hailed a favorite of all of ours. Why, you ask? Well because it's big! The sand bank is BIG. The waves are BIG. And it's just a small hike away from Little Beach where clothing is optional. Mike and I accidentally learned that on our honeymoon.
A quick moment for a group pic before the waves started to come in. That day the waves were the biggest I've ever seen in my life. There were surfers and I kept imagining how I would stabilize their broken necks when they washed upon the shore. That water is powerful!
Here's a pic for perspective. Look how short Carson looks compared to this wave..
and just imagine the waves breaking farther out!
I love this Mike Cooper photo bomb.
Our little clan spent a lot of time in the sand that morning. Thanks to my trip to LA with Britt, I had a huuuuge hat that covered my shoulders. I stole it off of her sailboat. It's too windy on the boat to wear a floppy hat, so it just needed to go to Maui.

Serious shovel-er.
Ava didn't spend a lot of time in the sand. She was petrified of the 'dirt'.
This was the classic pose every time someone tried to put her down =)
So her great daddy improvised.

Becky Wade photo bomb! Also, this is how Amelia took a lot of pics.. ..huddled in to a shoulder. (She is more and more like her daddy everyday... family pictures are his worst nightmare ;) ).

Great action shots by Papa Wade.

Too bad these kids didn't have any fun!

A frequent pose for Owen at the water's edge.

Millie probably asking Mima for a cookie or sucker.
She thought the beach was for shoveling and for junk food.

Love this man!

View of Molokini Crater from Big Beach. Papa Wade, please let me know if I'm wrong.

Sand sliding!

Hunting for shells!

After naps we drove up to Lahaina to spend some time by this huge banyon tree. It's all one tree. There are lots of vendors (and homeless people) around the area. While we were here, Millie had an allergic reaction (on her face!) to the sunscreen, so we hoped over to Walgreens for some Benadryl and headed home while the rest of the clan shopped.

Back at home she was all better... and kind of wired. Guess she has the 'opposite' reaction to Benadryl! Anywho, looooove this shot of the kids and wanted to end the post of this great day with these two amazing blessings.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Here today, gone to Maui: Day 1.

Day 1 started out with a fantastic Sunday brunch at the Kula Lodge. This might be my favorite brunch location in the whole wide world. The Kula Lodge sits atop a mountain (halfway up to the Haleakala crater), and from your table you can see the ocean on both sides of the island. The macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup certainly add to the ambiance!

Here's the whole clan post-breakfast. I think we're missing Papa Wade who took the majority of the pictures I'll be posting.

Livi enjoying a passion fruit or mango or something tropical smoothie.
Carson and MiMa looking relaxed.

How could you ever say no to that smile?!

Outside at the Kula Lodge

MiMa teaching Millie about wildflowers!
After brunch we hit up beach Kamaole III. It's just across the street.
The big kids couldn't wait to get to the beach (of course)!

Carson took to boogie boarding right away.

So Livi joined right in, too.
Owen took a minute to warm up to the waves, but a little help from daddy moved the process along.
He really really really loves to run and run and run on the beach and in to the waves.

This is where Amelia preferred to be on the beach that first day. Ultimately, the sand was ok/sometimes fun, but mostly the water was scary.

Dinner was at Cheeseburger in Paradise that evening. I love this picture of the Papas and Owen all standing & leaning the same way. That night MiMa Wade and I split a burger topped with Kahlua pork and fresh pineapple. That almost sounds like a Jim Gaffigan joke! That's why we split it...
We were all in bed by 8:00 pm Maui time (1:00 am StL) time that first night. We were so proud that we lasted that long!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hale Kamaole

So here's a little history about the Maui Condo. In 1974, Earl & Evelyn Wade purchased condo # 342 in Hale Kamaole (House of the Dessert). Hale Kamaole is located in Kihei, Maui, a town on the southwest side of the island. 
Earl was stationed in the South Pacific in WWII and always had a desire to get back. After WWII he flew for United which allowed he and Evelyn to travel around the world... so Maui was an attainable destination. They condo shopped for a few years, exploring several locations and several islands. They ultimately chose Maui (a wise choice, indeed)! In the 80s Granny & Grandpa Wade treated their kids and grandkids to a trip to Maui, and  Dave and Becky wanted to follow suit. Their gracious offer was also extended to the grandparents on 'the other side' as well, so Mima & Papa Cooper and Gaga & Papa Nieders joined us in Maui. It was, indeed, the trip of a lifetime for this party of 15! 
Here's the view from the lanai (porch) of 342. I think this might be one of my favorite views in the world. #paradise.

When the entire Wade clan traveled in the 80s, they got a picture of the 4 grandkids (Mike, Lindsey, and cousins Hilary and Emily) in front of the Hale Kamaole sign. The only thing Dave wanted was a picture of his 5 grandkids in front of the sign as well. We tried, and tried. This is the only picture (this day) without someone crying....

So we tried again in matching outfits (aren't they cute?!). Well just as soon as Owen stopped crying, Ava started. It's really hard to be 2&3 in Maui, right? No luck getting a shot without tears this day. If you look closely, you can also see Becky standing behind Amelia trying to stabilize her.. there was a significant drop off. This was a frustrating endeavor... oh, well!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jumbo Jet. AA Flight 7

The time has come to start the (many) blog posts about our amazing Hawaiian adventure. We left Saturday, May 24th... first day of Memorial Day weekend.
Upon our arrival to the StL airport, I was greeted by an excited and energetic Carson. You can see Papa Wade in the background trying to get all of our luggage checked at one time. It was an event... and all I can say is, I don't think they do that very often ;)

We got the 5 kids and 6 adults through security and the kids went nuts looking at the airplanes at the gate. The other two sets of grandparents (my folks & Dax's folks) had separate flights. They're apparently very wise.

The first flight was a quick jaunt from StL to DFW and Owen was able to sit in between his two idols; Carson and Olivia. This vacation was off to a great start for Owen. Jumbo jets and cousins. What could be better?!
Before our trip, Carson worked very hard on the seating arrangements for the family on all of the flights. A true engineer in training, he had a master excel spreadsheet that was quite organized and seemed thoughtful beyond what I would expect out of most 9 (almost 10) year olds. Great job C!

Papa Wade was gracious enough to get Amelia her own seat, so we were able to contain her in her car seat for a large portion of the trip! She was already antsy and taking down her hair when I snapped this shot.

This is a THRILLED little boy.

Lindsey and I packed and packed and packed toys and snacks and activities and art. I packed waaaay too much, but I just wasn't sure how to get a 1 and 3 year old through 10 hours of flying. I really anticipated that Owen would play his leap pad...even purchased about $40 worth of games and headsets, etc. Turns out all he really needed were cars, fruit snacks, and play doh. He was phenomenal on the flight, and he was practically giddy over using the restroom on the jumbo jet. He couldn't believe it was SO BIG that it had a bathroom! I love seeing things through a kids eyes. When we had just about 30 minutes of flight time left, he had a little breakdown about hating the jumbo jet. Fortunately it wasn't too long after that the pilot started descending and we could see the beautiful and perfect topography of Maui.
This might be my favorite picture of the whole vacation (not really), but it is priceless. Mima Wade snapped this on her phone. This is upon descent in to Maui. Millie slept a total of 15 minutes of the 8 hour flight and was just on the brink of sleeping again when we landed. This pic really sums up most of us at the end of the flight =). I have to give major kudos to this kiddo too. Despite her lack of nap she was really content in her seat.. mostly stuffing food in her face, but whatever works. We had  lot of other tricks up our sleeve, and they seemed to work well.
Here's Maui Millie, refreshed after collecting luggage, getting a diaper change, and hopping in the rental car with Mima and Papa Cooper. They landed in Kahului about 15 minutes after we did. Perfect timing.
Although that much travel with little kids was certainly an adventure, the real adventure was about to begin!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

21 months: Word Explosion

It's here! It's happened! The words are a flowin'! Whoop. Mike left home for 10 days and came back to a brand new baby girl. She has so many words now that I've not even tried to count them. She's even stringing words together. 'Thank you, Mommy'. 'Love you, Daddy'. 'Night, night Bubbles'. (Bubbles is her dolphin lovey). She's also identifying 'twos' of things, but I think this might still be mimicking. I'm just so proud of her mega progress in 4 weeks, and I love her sweet little voice and words. Way to go, Amelia!
'I sure wish my mommy would take me to a pool'.
...oh wait. I DID take them to a pool. By myself. We aren't quite ready for that. She refuses the life vest, and Owen still needs/desires some one-on-one attention/confidence boosting, etc. She sure does look cute in this little floaty, but it didn't last very long.

First Ice Cream truck treats of the season... in our new double stroller!
Why did I wait so long to get one of these!?

This has been the month of the pigtails as well. Miss Gretel, her teacher at school, loves to give her pig tails after naptime. So I pick her up just as cheerful and as cute as can be. By the time we get home she's usually whining, but I'm gathering she saves that just for me!

Cutie on a big slide. There's no slide she won't tackle.
I'm really hoping I don't have any broken bone posts this summer...

Here's bubbles. He was a souvenir from Maui, and he goes everywhere.....

Smoothie to cheer our little fussy girl up. She (and 9 other one year olds at school) contracted Hand, Foot, and Mouth. Oh.My.Goodness. This was one of our most miserable weeks parenting Amelia. Ok, she was also cutting 3 teeth. But she was up every 45 minutes, 2 nights in a row, and she cried for a week straight. It was brutal. Thank goodness it was during M's week home in between Seattle trips.
 It's been a rough month adjusting back from Maui time, daddy being gone, working on teeth, and having blisters all over your body... but maybe we can work on more giggles instead of cries for the next month?

We've been hitting up the local splash pads. This is her little friend Eden Merrill, he's quite the charmer with the best dimples ever.

My little firecracker. How I love thee.
Hard to believe Owen was 21 months when I had her... time REALLY flies!