Sunday, July 12, 2009


We've been keeping busy here in hawaii and have done LOTS of different and fun activities. We have explored many of the beaches along Oahu's coastline and made new little friends on the different beaches. I love this age...when every other little person can be your friend. It's so cute! Not to mention fun for the boys! They end up sharing sand toys with each other...SO cute! Also, we are collecting sea shells. It's sooooo cute when the boys bring some rock, coral or shell they find interesting...asking me to hold it carefully for them. :-) I love it!!

We have been working on getting the boys more interested in the water. Both of the boys are doing really good. Brandon can go up to his chest, but still absolutely refuses to get his head's a start! ;-) Ryan can now go in shallow, calm water and sit's a start! haha

We signed Brandon up for FREE swim and water safety lessons by the American Red Cross. They have a four week session for different age groups, where the kids learn in the's pretty cool. However, it's only one hour a week. So, we MIGHT have to supplement the swim lessons with a paid professional. We feel that Brandon is now 5.5 years old and NEEDS to learn to at least keep his head above water and doggy paddle to safety. We are often in places that have either swimming pools or an ocean and he needs to learn some basics. He is VERY resistant to learning how to swim. It's worrisome for ME, who's sister had drowned in a pool at two years old.

We have been to the movies a couple of times and seen kid friendly movies. That was a nice treat after being in Shanghai for so long. :-) We have watched a few DVD's at home, which has also been nice. While you can get cheap movies in China, the selection is rather limited and USUALLY limited to new releases or more popular movies.

We have visited the library. That was really cool. It doesn't get much better than renting books for free and renting movies for $1 a piece. Our libraries are a luxury we, as Americans, often take for granted. When you don't have them readily tend to appreciate them a lot more. It's a GREAT resource, and one we will be visiting many times this summer.

We have also been able to visit with my Grandmother, who Brandon knows and remembers. He is always excited to see her and give her hugs whenever he can. It's nice that Ryan is also getting to know her better as well. It's a valuable opportunity we have over here.

We have been to the Honolulu Zoo, which was LOTS of fun! The zoo is kind of small, but that ends up being really great for an age group who has a short attention span. ;-) The boys got to run, run and run...only stopping for the most essential of zoo amenities. What kind of zoo would it be if: a) they didn't have a Dippin' Dots stand; b) they didn't have a shave ice stand, being as it is located IN Hawaii and c) didn't have cool drinks to offer at an extraordinarily high prices? Well, this zoo has all three of those zoo the boys had a very fun day eating lots of snacks.

I was impressed they actually stopped at each and every habitat to look for the animal before they ran off again. And what zoo would be complete without a kids' playground for all the little human monkeys? haha It was a good day spent at the zoo.

Parks! How nice it is to be somewhere they have lots of parks and playgrounds!! We certainly miss those in Shanghai! As you can imagine, we have stopped many times at one playground or another to play...with spectacular ocean views!

Brandon LOVES bowling! So, of course, we have been to our local bowling alley to hit a few rounds of pins. Brandon is VERY good at it...I'm always impressed by him.

I also like to bowl, although I stink at it. I oscillated between being tied in numbers with my three year old and my five year old - no joke! haha My mom came with us which was a rare treat. It was lots of fun!

I had found a few outdoor play items for my mom's house, on Craigslist. The boys have been playing outside WAY more than they play inside. This is a WONDERFUL change from Shanghai. In China, either the air or the weather is horrible...and the kids really don't have many opportunities to play outside. Considering I spent MOST of my own childhood outside, playing from dawn to dusk, this is almost a crime for my kids...and I always feel guilty about it in one way or another. I'm a firm believer that kids NEED to play outside for better balance in their lives and to help them grow. So, watching and listening to them play so much outside here in Hawaii has been GREATLY refreshing for me. Their imaginations have soared by leaps and bounds by this opportunity and I'm SO grateful!

There are so many more activities we can plan for over here! We might go to the Sea Life Park, the Aquarium, different and new beaches, picnic at a botanical garden, go camping and make hot dogs and smore's, visit the volcano on the Big Island, walk through an old lava tube, visit the water park, visit blowholes, maybe try a little snorkeling, walk/boat to a little island off of Oahu's coast...the list almost seems endless! It's wonderful!

Another event we are all looking forward to is my girlfriend's visit this coming week. We are soooo excited about friends coming to visit for a whole week! Her kids are the same ages as the kids will have LOTS of fun!

And best of all...I feel SO good about this baby! I find myself getting caught up with warm fuzzies about him all day long! I'm so glad the "process" I went through has come full circle for me. It feels wonderful! I feel good, life is good...what could be better?

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