Wednesday, January 30, 2008


OK, so that is not really a Hawaiian word, but for the first day that we were there, Jon kept combining mahalo with aloha and it was rather amusing. We got back late on Sunday night and I have spent the last two days getting caught up with laundry and other neccessities. We had a really good time but were glad to come home and see our kids. As I feared, Gracie began to walk well while I was gone, and despite my request my mother refused to push her down until I got back! I can't believe that she will be turning 1 in a week and a half. And Derrick turns 7 just 5 days after that. But before I get to planning those parties, I need to document our trip. The resort was beautiful and we spent a lot of down time hanging out at their beach, Jon and I even snorkeled a couple of times. I actually came home with a tan, which for me is still white, but not blinding white. We spent our entire week on the island of Kauai, which is said like Hawaii but with a K. We visited the Spouting Horn, Wailua Falls, Kilauea Light House, Old Koloa Town, Fern Grotto, and Poipu Beach. We also got to attend a luau and cultural show. But, my favorite activitiy was definitely our sunset sail and whale watch. It is right in the middle of whale season and there wasn't a day where we didn't see a humpback whale from the shore, so it was exciting to go out and see them a little closer. We also saw a couple giant turtles swimming around while we were sailing. Another exciting thing we got to see was the Hawaiian Monk Seal. They are endangered, but come up on the beach in Poipu right by our hotel. They have volunteers who rope off the area around them, but you can go right up to look at them and take pictures. We saw the seals on our beach several days while we were there. And of course, we did a lot of shopping and eating! I probably ate enough pineapple and macadamia nuts to last all year. While we were there, we ate at some really fancy restaurants. I'm not a huge seafood person, but I'm also not averse to the idea of fish. I figured that I wasn't likely to get better fish than in Hawaii, so I was brave. One night I had Macadamia Nut Crusted Shutome (swordfish) and it was excellent, and another night I tried Orange-Ginger Mahi Mahi. It was good, but not as good as the Shutome. Here are some pictures of the trip.

Spouting Horn

View from Spouting Horn

One of Kauai's famous roosters

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Sunset Sail

At the beach

Our hotel

Our hotel

At Spouting Horn

Lindsey and I have the same idea!


Queen Emma's Retreat

Our hotel from the catamaran

Whale splash!

At Kilauea Wildlife Preserve

Wailua Falls

At Wailua Falls

View from Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today is my 1 year blogiversary! How I wish I was more prepared with some insightful thoughts to share. Instead I'm stressing over the fact that we leave on Friday morning for our Hawaiian vacation and I'm still trying to pin down arrangements for my children that evening until my parents get back in to town to take them for the week. Tomorrow looms full of things to be done before I go. I need a list, but the thought of making one right now makes me tired, so to bed instead, I said!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

lots of random order

I really seem to be in a funk with blogging right now. It's not that I don't want to blog, or that I don't have anything to blog about. I just seem to be having a hard time sitting down and doing it right now. But, I'm determined to get a few things in writing before I forget. Hence, lots of random in random order.

1. January 3rd, 2008 was a Thursday. We will now remember it as the day that we became the "proud" owners of what I'm sure will prove to be a very expensive penny. We were in the process of getting ready for a ward activity when my little sister found Gracie in the office with a panicked look on her face. It seemed that she was choking on something, so Katie picked her up and called for help. Jon was there quickly and they tried to fish out whatever it was that Grace had eaten. This is no surprise for us. Grace puts things in her mouth more than either of my first two did. I am constantly fishing out her latest taste test. In any case, whatever it was seemed to have been pushed down or spit out. When Jon brought her to me, she was acting and breathing fine, just a little mad from several fingers shoved in her mouth. We decided to keep our eye on her for the night, just to be safe. We continued to get ready for the activity and headed to the church. About the time that the opening prayer was offered, Grace threw up all over Jon and the gym floor. We hoped that whatever is was had been expelled in the process. But, every now and then she would gag like she was trying to throw something up. At one point she took a nap while I held her, but when she woke up she acted like she was in pain. But, then she was fine again. I took my sister home afterwards while Jon was in a meeting, and within minutes of leaving my parents house my mother called to let me know that they all thought I should take her in for x-rays, just to be safe. When we found her there were a couple of paper clips in the area, so we thought that one of them might have been swallowed. Jon came home and we decided to take her to the ER, because I knew I wasn't going to sleep anyways without knowing for sure. I fully expected them to send us home, because of course Grace was smiling and laughing, with only the occasional attempt at throwing up, which produced nothing. They performed an x-ray and then we waited. But not for long. The doctor returned to let us know that she was moving ahead of about 4 people, which is great in most cases, but not in the ER because it means that things are more serious that you want them to be. It turned out that she had what they thought was a quarter lodged in her throat, by the aortic arch, wherever that is. Removal itself was a simple process. Done by a surgeon, they would put her under general anesthesia and go in and pull it out. The whole thing should take no more that ten minutes, they said. There was just one problem. Our hospital couldn't do it because she was too small for the equipment that they had, according to the ER doc, but he called the surgeon just to make sure. Instead we would need to go to a larger hospital about an hour away. This in itself was frustrating because we may be a small town, but our hospital serves a fairly large number of people, so you would think they could handle something like this. Not only did we need to go to Grand Junction, but he wanted to send us up by ambulance. Eeek. I understood the logic, though. If by chance the "quarter" moved during the drive and Grace was unable to breath, the last thing anyone wanted was for us to be by ourselves on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with no help around. So, they hooked up an IV, Jon and his father gave Grace a blessing, I was strapped to a gurney with Grace asleep on my chest, and off we went. Jon was supposed to follow with his dad, unfortunately I had the car keys in my pocket, in the ambulance, and my cell phone was off. They followed in Herb's truck, knowing that we would have to buy another car seat up there in order to bring her home. The ambulance ride was uneventful, thank goodness. I did learn, however, that you should ALWAYS go to the bathroom before taking a ride in one if you can help it. They are certainly not a smooth ride, and I was dying by the time we got there. They were expecting us, and we soon met with the surgeon, followed by the anesthesiologist. They took my baby to the OR, and came back with a penny instead of a quarter. All was well. We left Grand Junction about 6 hours after first going to the ER, which I have to admit was pretty good as far as timing was concerned. If only we didn't have a lingering suspicion that we were sent to Junction because the surgeon here just didn't want to be bothered with coming in that late. Mostly this suspicion was fueled by the anesthesiologist in Grand Junction, and his questions "out of curiosity" about the reason we were given for needing to go up there. Plus his remark about them being everyone's "dumping ground." That's great. He wasn't upset with us, obviously, but if that was the case, then I'm going to be furious because it will end up costing us more money than it should have.

2. While I maintained my composure throughout the whole penny incident, which surprised even me, it didn't last. Of course Fast Sunday was just a couple days afterward, and I knew I would be up there. How could I not when we had been spared from something that could have turned out far worse? I was great until I hit the stand, and was crying before I even started speaking. Jon was in the hall with Gracie, and couldn't even tell it was me through all the blubbering until he made out the word "penny." I kept it short. I made several people cry, too. Then I sat down next to Derrick and he looked at me and said, "Mom, were you just acting that?" I had to laugh.

3. On Monday we left the kids with Jon's parents in order to go to Utah and attend my little sister's sealing. Since we were flying solo, we got to enjoy some time with my brother and his new wife. The sealer did a nice job, despite the circumstances. I know, those "circumstances" remain a mystery to many. A mystery which I'm not allowed to elaborate on without creating problems, so I won't. What I will say is that I'm glad it's over. I'm glad the reception back here is finished, too. Now we can all move forward and hope for the best. Enough said.

4. I have three days left before our Hawaiian vacation begins. Jon's parents purchased a timeshare here in 2006, and last year they "banked" their week so they could get two suites this year and take all the adults. I can hardly believe it. We've been building up to this for over a year. I'm excited and anxious. Excited to be going, anxious to leave my children for 10 days. Looking forward to adult time and activities, but worried about the flight. If you can believe it, Jon and I have never flown anywhere together, EVER. We're drivers, for the most part. It's not that I'm afraid of flying, I somewhat enjoy it. But I've never been on a flight that lasted more than a couple hours, or one that crossed an ocean, hence my trepidation. I know my children will be fine, and we intend to enjoy ourselves. I already have a digital kit ready to document the event. So, today begins the packing, anxious not to forget anything. Of course, I still need to work out arrangements for my children during the day on Friday. Those pesky details.

5. For Christmas Jon's mother gave me the Twilight trilogy. I've been hearing all about these books for some time now, but didn't have a burning desire to ready them. I even had one friend who was in the middle of reading them when the final Harry Potter came out this summer, and she postponed reading Harry Potter until she was done with the Twilight series. This I could not understand. But, I'm about halfway through the second book and I will confess that I'm enjoying them. I won't yet concede that the saga of Bella and Edward is worthy of trumping good old Harry. That remains to be seen. No doubt I'll have completed them all by the time I return from Hawaii. I'll try to remember to give my review.

6. I've been driving now for almost 14 years, pretty successfully I might add. I've only been pulled over once, for a headlight being out, and I was just given a warning. That all changed on Friday. I wasn't speeding. I was impatient and stupid. I blame my children's principal. Why? Because he has designed the worst possible drop-off/pick-up scenario known to mankind. He ignored logic and opted for stupidity. That is why I pick my children up at the mailboxes in my mother's neighborhood, which backs up to our school. Anyways, at 3:05 traffic is backed up for great distances in both directions waiting to get in to the school parking lot. It's a mess. Unfortunately, I arrived two cars too late on Friday to easily turn in to my mother's subdivision. But, the entrance was right there. I knew the traffic in the opposite lane wouldn't be a problem because they were all stuck, too. So I did it. I swung in to the opposite lane so I could drive past two cars and turn in to my mother's neighborhood, thus avoiding the nervous breakdown of my children when they didn't seen my car and thought I had forgotten them. What I didn't see was the police car in the line ahead of me, three cars ahead. And...he followed me in. Of course I hadn't replace my insurance card yet either. So, I was cited for illegal use of the left-hand lane and failure to provide proof of insurance. I have a summons for Valentine's Day. I'm sure I'll just go in and pay the fine, though. I can't pretend that I didn't deserve the ticket. I did. But I'm still blaming Dr. Tomlin (and yes, he makes you call him Dr. Tomlin, which makes me like him even less.)

7. My husband bought a toy Slurpee machine...for himself. Have you seen these? They actually make a pretty darn realistic Slurpee, if you have about 10 minutes to wait for one. But, since we don't have any access to the real thing, this will have to do.

Perhaps now I can get back on the blogwagon. Even if I'm leaving town in a few days.