Tuesday, May 26, 2009

leavin' on a jet plane...

In 2000, Ben and I honeymooned on the island of Kauai. We fell in love with the quiet, pastoral feel of the small island. You could enjoy all the beauty of Hawaii with none of the crowds of Waikiki. 

Three summers ago, shortly after finding out we were pregnant, Ben and I embarked on a vacation to Oahu. We joked that we were starting our child's life off right by taking him/her in utero on their first island adventure. 

The following year, we made it back to Kauai, this time with a six month-old Maddie. She amazed us by falling right into a different schedule and time zone, her joy of the ocean (and delight in fistfuls of sand), her love of tropical fruit flavors (although pineapple caused a serious diaper rash) and her ability to chill.

lawn chair, Poipu beach

Fast forward two years, to Summer 2009, and we get to go back, this time to Kauai as a family of four. Honestly, I am most excited about all the time Maddie and Sam get to spend with their awesome Dada. Maddie has spent most of the past weekend in her Dada's arms, grateful to have him around all day. In the next week she will discover that in Hawaii, her Daddy comes alive. He is relaxed, happy, peaceful, fun, and full of energy. None of the stresses of work can penetrate the joy that is the Hawaiian islands, and Ben fills his time boogie boarding, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, reading, chilling, and seeking out the very best plate lunches and shave ice. This year he gets to share it all with his best little buddy!

a happy pair, Poipu beach

Another first this year will be vacationing with our best friends--Gregg, Kelly, Tyler and Nicole. Every day Maddie will wake up to a beautiful Kauai sunrise followed by hours of play with her buddies: building sand castles, splashing in the waves, running in the grass, playing in the shade of palm trees, donning her hula skirt. When she woke up this morning and asked with her usual joy and anticipation, "What are we doing today?!" it was so fun to announce, "We're going to Hawaii!" Tutu, Boppa, and Auntie Jennie will be picking us up at the airport and the party will begin!

sunny day smiles, Poipu beach

And our little Samuel, who is as Hawaiian in his blood as a mellow boy can be, will have his first trip to the islands at only 11 weeks old. He will be spending many hours in the blue pop-up tent, on a quilt, chilling in the balmy breezes. No fistfuls of sand, no sand in the diaper, just all the joys of Hawaii without the mess. Hooray for immobility!

And so, we're off this afternoon. Maddie is fighting a bad bug, having spent most of yesterday either sleeping or fighting off a fever of 103. Today she is much more herself, though still very congested, snuggly and a little warm. We're praying the bug is on its way out, and that the increased mellowness will be a plus on the late-night flights. Aloha and see you in ten days!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

aaand...we're back!

Crystal light killed the laptop. Fried it, actually. Short circuit is no longer just a cute 90s flick about a robot.

Thankfully (Macs are just awesome) when Ben plugged in our hard drive earlier in the week to grab some photos, time machine automatically backed everything up. The only things lost were a handful of photos from the week already uploaded but not backed up.

So here you go, courtesy of the new computer...

Go Beavs!!

Jammie Time!

Pool Girl

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mama Day II

Dear Maddie and Samuel,

My sweet babes, how lucky am I to be your mama?! Each day you surprise me with your cuteness, naughtiness, love and laughter. Each night I go to sleep exhausted, yet my heart full.

Maddie, you amaze me with your gentle love for your brother. You have nothing but kisses and snuggles and soft words for him. You repeat what you hear from us, calling him "little buddy," "sweet little boy," and "bud bud." It is too cute. Yet you are a toddler, all knees and elbows, and we are constantly running his defense in order to protect him from your exaggerated hugs and energetic snuggles. 

You will turn to me at random points in the day to say "I love you, Mama." (These days, though, it sounds more like "Muh-Mawh," as you have taken to a funny voice that sounds perpetually needy.) It was you who made me a Mama (Muh-Mawh), who 28 months ago burst open my heart with such great love and passion and emotion. And though you grow heavy in my arms with each passing day, you will always be my baby girl.

And Samuel, you are delightfully sweet and gentle and altogether kissable. Last night after you finished nursing, you were in that space between awake and sleep, eyes open but totally still. I couldn't stop kissing your soft cheeks, unable to put you down. I was a mother before you were born, but you have softened and expanded my heart in new and unimaginable ways.

The two of you are quite a pair, spicy and sweet, like a well-balanced thai dish. You make me laugh harder than I've ever laughed and cry more tears than I've ever cried. My heart beats for you, breaks for you, and I promise that as long as you'll allow, this heart is yours.

Not a day goes by that I don't say a prayer of thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for allowing me to be a Mama to you two. I love you so much!



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

2 Months: Samuel

Dear Little Buddy, Milk Man, Sweet Pea, Lovey Beans,

Can you be two months already?! It seems like just yesterday you were lifted out onto my chest, looking out with those wide-open eyes, taking in your new world. Now you smile, coo, track your sister's movements and interact with your environment.
You've officially gone from a newborn to a baby. No longer do I see spindly arms and chicken legs but in their places rubber band wrists and delightfully delicious thunder thighs. After eating, your belly swells like a buddha and when you add to that some of the softest, roundest cheeks ever, and you hardly resemble the long, thin baby who left my body just eight and a half weeks ago. According to our scale you are up to fourteen pounds, which is what your sister weighed at twice your age.                                                         
Along with the weight gain has come the blessed ability to sleep longer than three to four hours at a time. You've clocked many six-hour stretches and a handful of those amazing eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. I thank you. As does my mind, my body, and my entire circle of influence, all of whom are benefitting from your Mama's re-entry into wakeful life. Everybody told me I couldn't have two sleepers, but once again genetics has given me the benefit of their doubt, and I revel in it.
Now you are smiling with regularity, and when your whole face is involved, your nose crinkles up. It gives me tingles every time. You are the handsomest boy I've laid eyes on, and I cherish our moments on the couch, eyes locked, communicating in your newly discovered language of "geeee," "iiiii," and "ah goo." 
I love to hold you, yet it seems like every time you finish nursing I'm off to diaper duty, snack duty, or attending to some other Mama need that whisks me away from you all too soon. Thankfully you love your swing and are content to lay and watch the world move around you. In the evenings after the family is fed, the kitchen cleaned, and your sister fast asleep, I will gather you up in my arms to hold for just a few more minutes before bed. Each time I say to you, "I just miss you when you're not in my arms," and it is always true.
Thank you for rounding out our family. Thank you for being a sweet and gentle and completely mellow little man who delights us each day. Thank you for enduring the nearly nonstop kissing coming from any three of your enraptured family members. Most of all, thanks to God for giving us you, perfect child, to watch over and raise and disciple and enjoy. We couldn't be more in love.
Your Mama

Saturday, May 02, 2009

lucky 8s

I feel so fortunate. Both of my kiddos learned to sleep eight hours by eight weeks! Samuel has now gone three eight-hour stretches in the past 10 days. Yeah for sleep!