(this was the beach in our backyard at sunset... just lovely, right?)
I felt like I was preparing for this trip for an entire month before we left. Flying with 4 kids, five and under especially, is quite the task and I like to be very prepared for it so it can go as well as a long flight with 4 kids can go. ;) Each child had their own bag of special things that I put together in the weeks leading up to the trip. They couldn't open it until we were in the air. I usually do some small toys, a new coloring book, a new book, favorite snacks, a new movie, etc. So far, every time I have done this, it's been a great trip. This time was no different. I mean, it's still 4 kids and 2 of them are lap children, so it makes for a busy and eventful flight with changing diapers, nursing, bottles, bathroom trips, etc. but we managed to get by on each flight with a compliment or two from someone about what good travelers our kids are. Whew! Good thing because by the end of it, Steve and I are exhausted. :)
Here is a video of the little trunki's that were awesome on the trip through the airports... this is just the kids testing them out at home before our trip:
The best thing about these are that you can unhook one side of the strap on them and pull your child through the airport while they sit on it. Steve did that with Cohen through the airport on the way out to Hawaii and I did it with Scarlett on the way home. They loved it.
Kanyon had not been well the week before we left. Just a cough, low fever, etc. I was so worried he'd pass it on to the other kids that I tried to keep him away from them as much as possible. BUT, I guess I didn't do a good enough job. He was just starting to feel better the day we left and while we were on the flights, the other 3 kids started coughing a bit. Steve and I just looked at each other like, oh great! Scarlett probably faired the best... no fever at all, just the cough and cold stuff and really tired. Cohen looked the worst, but Kelan sounded the worst. Kelan was for sure sounding like croup, so the night after we got in I took him to the ER for a steroid dose and to be tested for RSV. Thankfully that was negative, but I was right about croup. The following afternoon I took Kelan and Cohen into a local pediatrician and got more steroids, some antibiotics, and loads of tylenol and motrin. Kelan started wheezing after a day or two of the antibiotics, so I stopped that right away and he got much better. Steve and I figured that he may have just been having a reaction to the meds. It just took some time to recover and we tried to keep things low key and not do much that first week.
Here's the house we stayed in. It was a cute 3 bedroom place just recently remodeled inside and it backed up to a beach in Kekaha (just west of Waimea town).
Can you believe Scarlett's hair? There is not one ounce of curl in it here in Utah, but out there it was really pretty curly! It definitely made it cuter to just let it go and not have to fix it every day.
This was the balcony off the main living room. All that grassy area you can see was ours. Where the grass ended, the beach began. There were coconut trees and banana trees on the property. We tried a coconut a couple times but the bananas weren't quite ripe enough yet.
The kids were so excited to be there and wear flip flops and swimsuits and just run outside without a jacket of any kind. :)
This pic is a better view of the backyard. The kids loved the hot tub and Steve and I enjoyed those two lounge chairs back by the beach when the kids were napping.
With everyone not feeling well, there was a lot of this:
(see Scarlett's curls?? Fresh out of the shower)
(see Scarlett's curls?? Fresh out of the shower)
When Cohen doesn't feel well, he turns into a normal toddler and not the crazy wild little boy that he is on a normal day. He did, however, fall asleep on the couch while we were visiting with Steve's mom and Barry at our house one afternoon. That was strange!
Thankfully, all the rain we got this trip was in that first week while they were all sick. If we couldn't do anything, at least we didn't have to stare out at a perfect day and wish we were out playing in it.
There were some impressive thunderstorms and lightening going on through the nights too and it would rain so hard that it would wake Steve and I up. Lucky for us, the kids were so exhausted from not feeling well that they slept through it all. :) One night we put Cohen to bed at 6:30pm and he didn't wake up until 9:30am the next morning. That was awesome.
We did attempt the beach one morning when the kids were starting to turn a corner. The weather still wasn't great, but we were ready to get out. This beach is just about 2 miles down the road from the house we stayed at. We have loved it in previous trips because there is hardly ever anyone there.
We got a little bit rained on, but no one seemed to care about that except for Scarlett. Typical girl. ;)
It was this particular beach that I was at one morning running/doing my workout when I saw dolphins jumping in the water! So cool. :)
Cohen was our sand boy. He loved to dig in the sand and actually was quite scared of the ocean. If I would say, 'Cohen, do you want to go to the beach?' and try and put on his swim diaper he would run away yelling no. I think he didn't know what it was and the waves were pretty decent sized and it concerned him. We were pretty shocked considering that he is our wild child. Instead, he dug in the sand... piled it on top of his own head and had problems throwing it at others. ;) Just your typical almost 2 year old at the beach except that we didn't worry about him with the water as much! Kind of nice.
I was so glad I brought this little sun tent I have had for years. It was perfect for Kelan when he was sleeping and we were playing to block the sun/wind/rain from him. We would stick his entire infant carrier in there and then we not hear much from him at all. That made the beach a bit easier for Steve and I.
My kids love a good hot tub, so it was perfect that we had one at home. They could swim and splash and do whatever they wanted without us worrying about disturbing someone else. Grandma was great to get in there with them.
Fun fact: I never got in there once! I was either making a meal, feeding the baby, taking pictures, or just too tired at the end of the day and would rather just curl up on the couch and read a book. :)
A lot of the time we would travel about 35 minutes over to Poi'pu where Steve's mom and her husband, Barry, have a time share. They are out here on Kauai for 2 months out of the year and we planned our trip for when we could overlap with them and spend some time together. The kids' favorite beach was Poi'pu beach because it has an enclosed area that is sheltered from waves, so the kids could play in a shallow pond like pool. Cohen would actually get in the water here. :)
Another funny thing about Cohen. He's our friendliest kid. He will find a friend wherever we go. He's not afraid to go right up to them and sit by them or play with their toys. It's pretty funny and embarrassing how not shy he is. I don't care about the kids part, but he'll even do it to some adults and I always just hope that they like kids because he doesn't take no for an answer most of the time. So far, we've been good.
There was a seal on the beach when we were there one day... it was all roped off so people didn't bug it, but you hardly noticed it anyway. It just looked like a big rock.
I'll be back with more from our trip later. I have approx 150 photos (and that's after throwing out a bunch!), but I'll try to edit it down a little. ;)