I don't have the best talent for telling stories, but I've a few things to note about the trip here and there.
First of all, it was surprisingly financially possible (though definately not WISE per se) to fly all four of us to Maui for a week. We waited for seat sales on flights and managed to fly, all four of us, for $1600. We rented a condo for a week (off season starts April 15th and we arrived April 16th so accomodations were cheaper) for another $1500. We brought another $1000 for food and entertainment and, since we had a condo we saved on food costs because we ate all breakfasts, some lunches, and one dinner at the condo. We spent a bit more than the $1000 all told because we went on the snorkling trip, to the aquarium, a Luau, and a few other things that cost some money. So, for a bit over $4000, you have a four person trip to Hawaii (could be done for less, if one did fewer touristy things and cooked at home more). Food is EXPENSIVE on Maui. We had two meals we were happy with as far as quality, and didn't spend less than $50 for four people at a single meal. Except one. Tacos at a roadside stand were $30 and gross.
Anyways, our goals for this trip were to reward ourselves for 6 months of hard work and separation, get away from the responsibilities of everyday life, relax, and spend some time together re-bonding as a family.
Both grandmothers offered to come 'to babysit' for us, but the point was for the four of us to spend time together. So the four of us spent time together. It was awesome!
The morning of our departure was a bit squirrely...last minute packing and errands took up most of the morning, and then we took off for Seattle late and got to the game late. It was fine. We had fun at the game and the boys HAD to have Mariner's hats from the store afterwards, including Brent and the baby. :-) The store and the hats were Matthew's idea, and he was quite persistant about it, otherwise we may have left the stadium without entering the store at all! I should have gotten one, too, but was thinking of 'saving money' being the cheapwad that I am so I didn't get one for myself. Now I wish I had so we would all have one!
We went to Krispy Kreme for dessert...you should have seen the boys' EYES as fresh donuts whipped past them and afterwards there was jam and icing everywhere. Matthew cleaned up all our garbage for us, one piece at a time. That kid loves to clean!
The next day on the plane Matthew got increasingly anxious--he peed (on the toilet) a total of SEVEN times in 5 hours, cried a lot, and kept frantically saying "SORRY MOMMY, SORRY DADDY, SORRY AYDEN" and SOBBING for minor things like dropping his Hot Wheels on the floor, or getting a piece of rice on his shirt. He also kept incessantly asking if we were all going to be together when we got to Hawaii. Some part of him knows, big airplane rides and lots of travel means sometimes you lose someone you love. :-( Poor stinker.
Once we stepped off the plane and he had a nap in his carseat he felt much better. That first beach visit was seriously worth the entire cost of the trip, and the time involved in getting there. I could have flown home that night and been quite satisfied! It was so good to see the boys so happy and carefree and excited about being on the beach, and to be together. Ayden and I built a sandcastle with a moat and a drawbridge, and the waves kept threatening the castle. He was furious! It was very funny! A good lesson in 'there are some things in life we cannot control!'
Also, the next day the boys put on their snorkel masks and pranced around the beach. Matthew posed very seductively for me (see previous post) and I laughed so hard I farted and the people next to us on the beach were polite enough to pretend they hadn't heard it, but I know they did.
That reminds me, when we first got to Maui and were waiting by the baggage carousel for our luggage, I sneaked out a fart that I thought was small enough to get away with but turned out to be unstoppably big, sort of loud, and totally stinky, you know the ones? They sneak up on you in a crowd. Anyways, I just sort of stepped away from it and hoped no one would figure out it was me in the melee near the carousel. I didn't count on Ayden standing behind me and blurting fairly loudly, "Aw, mommy's bum stinks! Mommy, you're stinky!" I was laughing so hard I could hardly shush him. "Why shhh?" Because if you fart in a crowd you don't want anyone else to know it was you, that's why!!! "Oh."
I'm a gassy person.
It drives my husband crazy.
Also, we tried to hit an outdoor market near our condo FOUR TIMES before we finally clued in to their hours of operation. The first three times we showed up just as all the shops were closing.
We had to buy 2 shark grabber toys on train day and Matthew lasted about an hour and a half before he purposefully snapped it in two. Guess how happy I was to have wasted $3 on that stupid thing BEFORE it was broken? Then he wanted to go back and get another one and cried when we said no. Welcome to the world of consequences, dear one. Beg for a toy, get the toy, break the toy, and it's gone.
We also bought him a stuffed dolphin he very much desired, which he promptly lost the following day. We did actually go back and buy him another dolphin. He was heartbroken and it wasn't intentional (he gets distracted. He has a one track mind so if he gets interested in something, all else in the world fades, including 'where is my beloved dolphin?' also including, 'where are my feet, will they get tangled up if I start to run right now?' and, 'is there anything on the floor I may trip on between me and the object of my affection?' He trips a lot. He also insists on wearing his shoes on the wrong feet....'Me wike it dat way,' so that doesn't help his balance).
Ayden shows his stress by licking his lips until the entire circumference of his mouth is chapped and bleeding, and by holding his pee. The kid can hold his pee for up to four hours. Four HOURS of hopping up and down, and humping the floor, the couch, the bed, and the pillows. He also gets quite cranky when holding his pee. He held his pee most days that we were in Maui. He shows incredible restraint: he wil demonstrate that he "doesn't have to pee!" by pulling down his pants, standing in front of the toilet, and waiting for a few minutes, then tucking it all away again without peeing. "See? No pee!" (drops to the floor and starts humping). He's hilarious. And frustrating. Of all the things to choose to be hypercontrolling of, why pee? Then of course when he finally gives in he is so desparate to get his clothes off that he's screaming and frantic and flopping and sometimes pisses all over his legs as he attempts to get the pee OUT of his very full bladder. I have a large bladder and can go quite long between pees, but this kid has me beat. Fo sho.
Matthew is very gregarious. Most people we meet or pass by or are standing near are treated to a loud, "HI! ME FREE!" with three fingers held up for clarity. Everywhere we go people laugh and tickle him and engage him in conversation, and admonish us about how cute he is. Well, Matthew met his match in the Seattle airport. "HI! ME FREE!" accented with hops, a grin, sparkly eyes, and three fingers. The man literally stared him down. We laughed afterwards for hours about Stone Faced Man, capable of resisting the sweetest, cutest, most gregarious, sparkliest three year old on the planet. "ME MAFEW! DAT AYDEN!" I think he was confused at the lack of response, especially when Stone Faced Man made eye contact and didn't respond like others do.
Matthew didn't mind. He turned around and jumped in the other direction. "HI! ME FREE!" If you really were free kiddo, everyone you meet would gladly take you home. Good thing you're stuck with us!