Photo Friday

Photo Friday – Will “sings” the hits

will singing.jpg

Instead of singing the words to songs Will has taken to lip-syncing. It is hystarical; several times I have almost driven off the road watching him in the rearview mirror. One of his favorites is We Are Young by Fun. I finally was able to capture it on video. He also does part of Katy Perry’s Part of Me on it too. “Happy singing.”

Update – for some reason YouTube has blocked my video. I apologize for the mix-up and will try to repost when we get it figured out. Thanks for your patience.


A Video and A Project

Today we took the boys up to the pass to ski. Jack had a lesson and Will got to try out the magic carpet for the first time. We had no expectations on what Will would be able to do on skis, but hoped that he would be able to stand up and balance. He did great with both, but has no concept of how to stop. Jack is doing well with his lessons too and working on making parallel turns.


This year I wanted to try to take a photo each day. The photos didn’t have to be anything amazing, but would get me to think about photography each. I was doing great until I got sick last week, since then I don’t think I have taken any photos. So in an attempt to get back on the horse I am participating in Fat Mum Slim’s February Photo-a-day Challenge. I will post my daily photos on our Facebook page. Please like our page and check out the photos.

Break Dancer

Jack has loved to dance since he was little, but now his moves are more like break dancing. We aren’t sure where he learned them, since we are not break dancers and I am pretty sure he has never seen Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (you know you have seen it.)

Red hot lava–Hawaii Part 3

Hawaii 1

Hawaii will carWe were on a quest to see the volcano this trip since on our last trip (our honeymoon) we didn’t. Jack really wanted to see red hot lava and wondered if we would be able to see the center of the Earth. We weren’t even deterred when they told us it would be at least a 3 hour drive from our hotel, no we were ready. We had our highly capable tin can of a car, the 4 door Jeep Wrangler (I know what your thinking, that make 4 door Wranglers. Yes they do and they are all over the island.) It was 4 wheel drive.

Breakfast in the car and we set off around the top of the island. It was a beautiful drive along the coast, where it was much greener. We arrived at Volcano National Park in just over 2 hours, despite a lot of road work on the 1 lane each way “highway.” (Not sure how locals drive, but we didn’t speed.) After stopping at the visitors center we decided to drive as far as we could on Chain of Craters Road. Normally you could drive all the way to the coast and see recent lava flows, but with the new flow that started a week before we arrived and a brush fire, the road was closed at the 6 mile mark.

The end of the line was at a big lava flow from the 1970s. We were able to get out and walk around on the lava. It was hard for Jack to believe that this was once red hot lava.

Hawaii family lava

 Hawaii lava  Hawaii lava 2

On the way back we stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube, which was made when a flow came up and the top hardened when it hit the air. The red hot lava then continued to flow through the tube. We walked through a rain forest area to get down to the tube. The park was an interesting mix of rain forest and lava fields.

 Hawaii Lava tube Hawaii lava tube 2

Hawaii lava tube 3 Hawaii lava tube 4

Then it was on to Kilauea Crater. The road that goes all the way around the crater is closed due to high sulfur dioxide levels. At the  Jaggar Museum there was a great view of the crater and the steam being released from the Halema`uma`u crater, (which is a small crater inside Kilauea) which as recently as the 1920s was a lava pool. There were photos of people standing next to it. Now would you really go stand next to a pool of red hot lava, come on don’t you want to become Darth Vader.

Hawaii volcano

 Hawaii volcano 2 Hawaii volcano 3

Now it was lunch time and we didn’t have much with us, so decided to head back toward Hilo. We wanted to drive back a different way, going through the middle of the island, between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, banking that the road would have less road work, but we found a 5 mile stretch of unpaved road that they were rebuilding, oh well.

This drive took us right by the turn off to the Mauna Kea Observatory and it was still early enough in the day so what the heck lets try it. The visitors check point was 6 miles up and with big signs saying Stop and check in, treacherous road ahead. You could see the switchbacks of the road on the side of the mountain.

Jim talked to them and immediately determined we weren’t going to the top. There was a long list of people that they recommend not continuing up, including children. Well the top is 13,796 ft. It doesn’t look nearly that high. There was a short walk up to one of the cinder cones that would give us a view of both sides of the island. With Will in the ergo backpack, crying the whole way, we walked up close to the top, it was really windy. Jack was a champ, doing a great job hiking up in the wind. It wasn’t until we got back in the car that we wondered what the elevation was, 9100 ft. WOW!

Hawaii 8  Hawaii 10

Hawaii 9  Hawaii 4 

Our day with the volcanoes was great, even if we didn’t get to see red hot lava.

Friday morning Jim and I got to go golfing again. Jack went back to camp and Jen watched Will again. This time we played up at the Hapuna course, designed by Arnold Palmer. It was a beautiful course that had views of the water on every hole. On the 17th hole we discovered herd of goats, some on my tee box and more down the fairway. (See the video) We finished our round early so we went and had a drink (or 3) at the Hau Tree bar at the Mauna Kea hotel. Will’s birthday was also Friday so we took the boys out to dinner, after a Husky basketball win.

Since Saturday was our last day there we wanted to spend the day at the hotel soaking up every last drop of fun we could. Yaya and Papa came over and had breakfast with us. We decided to start our pool tour at the Kohala Pool to show Yaya and Papa the water slides.

Next we headed over to the Kona pool. That was my favorite pool, even though it was just a touch cold, but much more room. We had a nice lunch poolside under our umbrella as it rained for the first time of our trip. Will and I then took the tram back for his nap and met up with Jim and Jack later. They tried to play the putting course, but it wasn’t staffed the times they tried. So they swam instead.

We met them at dolphin pool to watch them for a while and then went over to the Lagoon. I wanted to swim out to the waterfall with Will and Jack in their floats. As we were on our way some folks let us know that there were sea turtles out there. We could see them surfacing for air. Unfortunately we didn’t have masks, so it wasn’t easy to see them under the water. I tried to take some photos with the underwater camera, but nothing came out that well. We swam and played until dinnertime.

Hawaii 14

Hawaii 13 Hawaii 15

Dinner was at the Lagoon Grill for burgers where we ran into some people from Seattle that we met in the rental car line. We pushed the tables together and chatted for a while. Their son was Jack’s age, so they had fun playing.

Our last morning was a bit somber. No one really wanted to go home, because we had such a great trip. For the flight home people were nice enough to trade seats, so we could all sit together. It made the flight a lot easier. On the flight home Jim and I decided that we need to come to Hawaii every 3-4 years, 11 is just to long to wait.

Hawaii 12 Hawaii 11

Paradise we are here–Hawaii Part 2

Hawaii arrival

After deplaning we walked through the Kona airport which hasn’t changed in the eleven years since we were there, even after 911 and all the security changes. Right before baggage claim we are greeted with leis, flower ones for Jim and I and candy ones for Jack and Will. The candy leis kept them happy while we navigated a way to long line and wait to get our rental car.

DSC02600  Kona airport

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the Hilton Waikoloa. I knew it was going to be big, but I didn’t realize how big. When I checked us in they were able to upgrade us to a nicer, larger room, but again I wasn’t sure what to expect. We took the tram (yes, they have a tram) to our tower and as we walked down the hall we saw double doors. Yes, those were ours. We had 1.5 bathrooms, 5 lanais, a huge sitting area, a big master and views of both the golf course and the ocean.

Jack was so anxious to go swimming that he practically jumped out of his clothes as we walked in the door. Will took a short nap to get him through the evening and then I took him down to the pool too. We went to the Kohala pool which has 3 water slides, 2 small ones that Will could go on and a bigger faster one that Jack loved.

Jack water slide  Jim water slide

I was worried that the boys wouldn’t transition to Hawaii time, but we kept them up until after 8:30 on the first night, even though Jack was almost falling asleep at dinner. They did great and slept until almost 7 the next morning.

Since this was one of our only days we didn’t have anything scheduled we thought we would go see Hapuna State Park Beach. It was a great beach that was nice and shallow. Will liked walking into the waves and didn’t even mind when they knocked him down. Jack got to try boogie boarding. We played in the sand, enjoyed the waves and tried to stay out of the sun. After lunch Jack and Jim went to explore another pool, the Kona pool with a waterfall and kids sand bottom pool. Unfortunately the waterslide was cracked and not open. Will and I joined them after his nap and played until it was dinner time.

Hapuna Beach beach

swimming at hilton waterfall pool at hilton

Tuesday morning we met Yaya and Papa (my parents, who were there for a family friend’s wedding) for breakfast before swimming with the dolphins. Will and Yaya did the Wee Tots program and then Jim, Jack and I got to do our Deluxe Encounter. Yaya and Papa watched Will during our program. I have always loved dolphins and couldn’t wait for this. It was so cool. We got to touch them, kiss them and give them commands. At one point they have you float in the water and the dolphins swim back and forth underneath you. Through the mask it looked like they were going to hit you. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

  dolphin - jack  dolphin - will

dolphin - jjs

dolphins  Will sleeping

After our amazing experience we had lunch on the deck at the Lagoon Grill, where the wind decided to kick up. It was like clockwork everyday at 11:45 the wind came up and it was windy through the afternoon before it calmed down again. Once we had some good burgers (Jim and Papa actually had lobster burgers) we tried out the Lagoon, a salt water fed pool that has fish and turtles in it. Jim and Jack rented a paddle boat that Jack was too short to reach the peddles and Will and I played on the shore. That evening we got to have a home cooked meal at Yaya and Papa’s condo with their group. It was fun to see friendly faces.

Lunch at Hilton

Wednesday morning Jim and I got to go golfing. Jack went to Camp Menehune and Will had Jen the babysitter. We needed to play quickly to make it back for our sunset cruise, but halfway through the round we got a call that they were canceling the cruise due to the wind and heavy surf. The Beach Course at Waikoloa was in pretty lousy condition. There were weeds growing in the traps and greens that were pretty dead. It didn’t help that we were behind a slow 4-some, but any day on the golf course is nice. Jack had a great day at Camp and Jen took Will all over the property.

Hawaii golf

After taking the boys swimming for a bit we got cleaned up and headed to dinner and then turned in early because we had a big trip the next day. We were headed to Volcano National Park, but that is for the next post.

Will’s new moves

Will has really expanded his dance repertoire since the last video I posted. He discovered that one of his trucks makes a fun song and he spontaneously started dancing to it. Of course as soon as Jack noticed that we were recording he had to jump in and dance too.

A little fish

Jack has been taking swimming lessons all summer. He started out with lots of enthusiasm, but not very much skill. Now he is learning freestyle, back stroke and breast stroke. I think we have a little fish. He loves the water and would swim all day if I let him. To bad our climate and the size of our yard make a pool not conducive to having a pool. (I have always wanted a pool.)

Just Dance

Jack and Will love to dance. Anytime there is music playing they will stop and dance, even in the car. Most recently their music of choice is Lady GaGa. Over the weekend Auntie Steffi, Unkie Paul and Oliver were visiting and Saturday morning Jim turned on some music. The rest is below. The first part of the video is from The Zone before a Husky game.

Things to watch for:

  • Jack’s cartwheel
  • Oliver cleaning up the dance floor
  • Will’s jazz hands

Will does tricks

Will is learning to talk. Instead of starting with the normal first words, his favorites are juice, shoes, tractor and more. Any vehicle with wheels is a tractor. Juice and shoes  sometimes sound the same. More is on of the cutest because he rolls his lip out before he says it, but on the video he doesn’t do it as much as he normally does.

A few weeks ago Jim started making an “O” face and Will started copying it. He starts to laugh and then can’t get it to work because you can’t do that while you are smiling.

When Jack was going through his eating program we taught him to cheers (love us, don’t judge us.) It was a good way to get him to take drinks without saying take a drink. My nephew does it now and Will is learning. He even says cheers.

Enjoy the video.

Will was made for walking

Will is walking, finally! After months of cruising around walls and furniture he has turned the corner.  For the last two weeks he has been taking a few steps away from his safety net then sitting down when he realized where he was.

Something happened on Friday, not sure exactly what it was, but all of a sudden he was walking across the kitchen. It was like he woke up from his nap and realized that walking is faster. Now he will come walking into the kitchen and look at me like “What? Yes, I am standing here.”

He still is learning how to turn around and walks similar to how a puppy runs, slightly sideways. The look on his face is priceless. He gets so excited when he walks to you and most of the time makes it the whole way. He also walks with his hands up like a creature from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

We know soon he will be running to try to keep up with his older brother. He already tries to go a bit faster than his skills will allow. I am sure we have many more head bumps as he gets better, but I am so happy to have him walking.

I don’t really like the crawling faze. He wants to be mobile, but I don’t like letting him crawl around on floors in public places. I am just funny about the dirty floor thing, because you never know what they will pick up down there. I know he will be faster now, but at least now I don’t have to worry about him immediately dropping to the floor to get across the room.

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