My Renovation Blog

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dino Dash 2015

The Dino Dash supports our district's schools, but it's also super fun!  We were a little worried this year since it was the day after Halloween (who planned that one?!), and I admit that I just wanted to stay in my pjs all morning, but once we got there, it was so much fun!

Daddy ran the 5k and gave the kids a high five as he ran by...

These two did so great!  Ella and her friend ran the entire 2k, and Everett even ran half of it!

Ella's teacher ran with us too!

We ran into lots of friends!

We love to support our school!

Halloween 2015

I was able to do it again...fourth year in a row of coordinating costumes!  My little cheerleader and football player...

Coordinating cuteness four years and counting...

It was another fun year trick-or-treating in our hood with all the neighbor kids!  We had a big group...this was just half of them!

The cheer squad!


We still aren't sure which one he is going to marry...
...but it better be one of them!!! 
The amount of candy we now have in our house is really just ridiculous.

Halloween Parade

On Thursday, Ella had her school Halloween parade and class party- it's one of the most fun days of the year!

It was Red Ribbon Week at both kids' schools, so while Ella was parading, Everett was wearing his Halloween pjs to school for pajama day!  I wish every day was pajama day because he LOVED wearing pjs to school, and it was the only morning he didn't fight us getting dressed! ;)


We've a lot of really fun birthday parties lately, but I always forget to take pictures!  Except at the Build-a-Bear party because we had never been- it was so cute!  Ella and her friends loved it, and I want to take Everett back there because they have adorable Star Wars bears!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maui Day No. One 10/19/15

This trip was the kids very first time flying!  They were beyond excited- Everett could not stop looking out at everything that was going on on the runway...

 Time to board the flight!  They even let us pre-board even though it's supposed to be for families with infants only. :)

First time on a plane selfies!

The flight was great- so easy!  I was so scared to fly with the kids...especially Everett...and it was so easy.  An older couple actually stopped me when we got off the plane and said, "your kids were so well behaved, and they are so cute".  Amazing!!!  I told her that we got lucky. ;)  I had packed tons of candy and forbidden snacks, and I didn't even need to use them.  Oh, and Hawaiian Airlines is the only airline in the US that still serves free meals so we all received an unexpected lunch...and it was good!!!  It even came with a mini pack of chocolate covered macadamia, yum.  I took those immediately off all the trays to hide in my bag...for myself!  The only downside was that the baby behind us screamed all throughout Everett's naptime so he got almost zero sleep. Almost...

We're in Maui!!!!!!  Grandma and grandpa were already there and greeted us at the airport...
We arrived at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and it's even more beautiful than I remember from 10 years ago.  They greeted us with fresh leis and gave the kids shell necklaces and shovels and pails for the beach. :)

The room was amazing- very big, completely separate bedroom and a huge bathroom with soaking tub- my top priority!  Our view was amazing- overlooking the pool and ocean.

 We spent some time at the beach before dinner...

We had dinner at Ko.  Kids 5 and under eat free at the hotel!  We were starving early since it's 3 hours earlier in HI, so we were able to catch the happy hour at Ko.  The appetizers were so delicious- the ahi sushi was SO good!  And the kids were perfectly behaved...even Everett, who had no nap (and he NEEDS a nap every single day) and was eating at 8pm our time.  Seriously, the kids were such troopers- so proud of them!  View from the restaurant...
 Gary and his girly man drink at happy hour. :)
We came back to the room to watch the sunset (absolutely gorgeous), and we got to see the kid running around blowing a conch shell while holding a torch, lighting all the tiki torches...the kids loved it!  Everett said to me, "mama, I LOVE this house!"  He thinks our room is a house! ;)

We also had a little treat in our room when we returned from dinner...

Maui Day No. Two 10/20/15

We woke up at 4 a.m.! So I went to the gym at 4:30 a.m., then when I got back, Gary went running...and we were still at breakfast before 7 a.m.  The view from our room was absolutely gorgeous- I could sit on our balcony all day long...

We went to the breakfast buffet place, but we just ordered off the menu- it was expensive like all the other hotel restaurants, but the tropical granola with vanilla yogurt and berries was so good!  Gary got the steel cut oats with berries and liked it as well.

We were the very first people at the pool so we got our choice of lounge chairs.  Ella LOVED the water slide.  As usual, Everett wanted nothing to do with swimming.  Then we went down to the beach and sat under an umbrella (free for guests).  The sand is SO soft and it's a gorgeous beach (it's Polo Beach), but it's pretty choppy.  I remember the Four Seasons beach being very calm, so we may walk over there at some point and use their beach.  Everett doesn't care about the water because he could play in the sand all day!

We only stayed at the beach/pool for a few hours, and we decided to meet my parents in Paia because the Paia Fish Market was on my list of restaurants- it was featured on the show "Best Thing I Ever Ate". ;)  I thought it was good- nothing fabulous, but Gary and my dad really liked it.  Personally, I think my fish tacos are better- HA!  The cajun rice was pretty delicious though. We went in a few shops in Paia, a cute town, but nothing you can't miss.

We were going to try and forgo naps this trip, but we were too scared so we came back to the hotel so Everett could nap.

After nap, we headed to Kihei so we hit up the ABC Store (my favorite!) and got a shaved ice at Ululani's. They kids were dying for shaved ice so they got to have dessert before dinner tonight, which they were extremely excited about.  
The kids picked out outfits...Everett cracks me Hawaiian fashion victim!
We wanted Aloha Mixed Plate for dinner, but it's in Lahaina so we went to another Hawaiian BBQ Place that I had read about called Da Kitchen in Kihei.  The teriyaki beef was super good- very thin cut, the chicken was ok and the macaroni salad (my and Ella's favorite part) was gross!!!  So disappointing!!!  Our local Hawaiian BBQ is better.  Oh well.  The best part of dinner was the view because we got the food to go and ate it on our balcony and watched the sunset. :)

Gary took the kids for a night swim while I read in bed barely able to keep my eyes open because I was so tired!  Why can't I adjust to a mere 3 hour time change?!

Maui Day No. Three 10/21/15

We slept in a little later today...5:30 a.m. I think!  We went to Kihei Caffe for breakfast because I read it's the best local breakfast place.  It's a hole in the wall with chickens roaming around while you eat outside.  The pancakes were delicious, and they have this coconut syrup that is probably the best thing I've ever tasted for breakfast!!  I would go just for that. We also got the traditional Hawaiian breakfast- rice, a meat patty, an egg and gravy.  It was gross- but it's very traditional, and if you like that type of thing, I'm sure it's really good.  

We went back to the hotel to swim and grabbed lunch from Caffe Ciao Deli (note that kids do NOT eat free here, which I didn't realize!).  They have a bunch of pre-made sandwiches and salads.  It was fine.

After lunch, my parents took the kids to the other side of the island so Gary and I actually got to have a few drinks at the swim up pool bar!  I highly recommend- it was so relaxing with no kids around, drinking in the pool, talking to other adults.  We got dressed for dinner and had some drinks at the hotel bar with an amazing view and then headed to Nick's Fish Market for dinner.  SO DELICIOUS.  We split the Maui Wowie salad, Gary had the filet (he loved it), I had the potato crusted mahi mahi (amazing) and then we shared the "Chocolate Decadence" for dessert- some kind of chocolate mousse bomb with ice must try this dessert.

Then it was time for another early bedtime!

Maui Day No. Four 10/22/15

We were all up at 5 a.m. today (why can't we get on Hawaii time?!). We decided to eat at the Kea Lani Restaurant again, but this time, the hostess pointed out that the kids can get the breakfast buffet for free!!  I thought they could only order off the menu for free- why did we not know this?!  Best deal in town because there is everything they could possibly imagine, and I think after my kids hit the buffet, they might change the policy- I swear I had never seen them eat so much for breakfast!!  Eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, melon, pineapple, yogurt with granola, blueberries and strawberries AND a bowl of cereal each.

After breakfast we left for the Iao Valley State Park.  It's a beautiful rain forest with little paved hiking trails- we did them all!  It only takes maybe 20-30 minutes to do all the little trails.  I think it's definitely worth the drive (about 40 minutes from Wailea). 
The Iao Needle (clearly, I didn't get a good shot!)...
I realize I look like an oompa loompa- I did have tanner soaking in, but I swear it didn't look so orange in person!

On the way back, we met my parents at a craft fair in Kihei that had great souvenirs at great prices.  Lots of jewelry, shells, dresses, sarongs, hair clips.

We came back to the hotel and had lunch at the pool restaurant, Ama, which is just basic pool food, burgers, salads, etc at very high prices (as usual).  Our burger was $21.  And came with chips.  Because we didn't pay the EXTRA $3 for fries.  At least the kids got giant turkey sandwiches with fruit and veggies for free, and the view was amazing!
After Everett's nap, my parents took the kids to a goat farm (???), and then we all met at Mama's Fish House in Paia.  Gary and I went there on our honeymoon 10 years ago!
They have the softest most delicious bread- I seriously could have just eaten 5 loaves of that and called it a night.  Then they bring you a complimentary amuse bouche, which was an asparagus lobster bisque I guess?  Whatever it was, it was amazing.  Luckily Ella didn't like it so I got hers too. :)

My mom ordered a bouillabaisse broth with mahi mahi and shrimp...omg...quite possibly the best soup I've ever had in my entire life.  I ordered the opah- it was good, not great.  But the location of Mama's is so beautiful- I'll probably go back every time we're in Maui!  Just know that's it's pretty pricey ($68 for a filet!), but they do have a kids menu...and the best bread on the island. ;)