Saturday, January 24, 2009

Meet Rosie

This is "Rosie", Anna's new best friend, born (or stuffed) on January 22, 2008.  Every month Asher and Anna take turns having dates with Joel or me.  We started this after Jesse was born so that the kids could have positive one on one time with us.  The kids love this new tradition and both Joel and I truly enjoy our special time with the kids.  This month I had a wonderful date with Anna and her best friend Gracie to Build-A-Bear.  I had never been there before so it was a new experience for all of us.  The girls were in heaven.  Of course, Anna picked a pink bear.  However if there had been a purple bear, that probably would have been her top choice.   After choosing their bears, the girls got to help stuff them and put hearts inside before sewing them up.  Then the newly "alive" friends got baths and their hair brushed before trying on numerous clothes at the dressing areas.  That was hard because Anna was grabbing a purse, backpack, cell phone, stroller, and any other pink accessories to go with the ballerina outfit (yes, a pink one) to go with her bear.  Her reasoning - "But my bear wants it!".  Finally, they got to name their bears and get birth certificates printed out.  It was so special and now "Rosie" (after her middle name) is her new best friend.  She sleeps with her and takes her everywhere.  It was a great girls night out.

Anna and her friend Gracie giving their bears air baths.  Notice that they both have the same bear.  They also picked out the same clothes and named them both Rosie.  Gracie's mother and I had to initial the tags so we could tell them apart when the girls play together.

Here they are putting the hearts inside.

Heading home with our Rosies in their cub condos.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A True Hawaiian Experience

How many people can say that they have swam in a waterfall?   Well now the Thorson's can!!  Joel had the day off of work on Monday so we were able to take a Hawaiian family excursion.  It was an easy 3/4 mile hike up a paved walkway through a botanical garden to this beautiful waterfall with a lifeguard so people can have this experience.  The water was freezing.  It reminded me of Salisbury Beach, MA in August where you have to wait for your body to go numb before you can enjoy a 5 minute swim.  OK, so maybe it wasn't as cold as that but it was pretty cold.  But well worth it!!!  Anna wouldn't even get her feet wet, but Asher jumped right in.  Then he started shivering and just wanted to sit on the rocks.  It was awesome-a true Hawaii experience!

Anna was our guide holding the map like this the whole way and pointing which way to go.  She kept saying "Stop guys. Stop.  Look, we have to go here" and marched onward.

Joel and Asher enjoying the serene surroundings.

Asher and I are in the very corner of this picture on the left.  That was as close as I could get him before the cold took over and he wanted out.  But at the age of 4, Asher can say he swam in a waterfall in Hawaii.

Joel enjoying a dip.

The new family picture that is now on our blog page.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Hear or not to Hear

This is the question Asher has had to deal with for awhile now, but we just discovered his internal dilemma!  Asher has always had problems with fluid in his ears and ear infections, which lead to allergy medication that stopped the ear infections but not the fluid.  Every doctor's appt he has, the pediatrician makes a comment about fluid in his ears.  We have tried 3 different types of allergy medication but since we have been in Hawaii have noticed that he might have hearing problems.  We use to think it was selective hearing-that he just didn't want to hear us and it was a discipline issue.  So we cracked down on him.  When this wasn't working, we tried to watch him a bit more and noticed confusion with words, a troubled look on his face, always breathing through his mouth, and that he is constantly in la-la land.  So we finally decided to have his hearing tested.  Today made me feel like a bad mom.  Asher does have extremely bad hearing due to major fluid in his ears, behind his ear drums, and potentially some sinus problems from allergies.  The doctor told us that we have to be yelling at him for him to hear every word we say.  If he is in another room, forget it.  It is easier for him not to hear than to hear so if he isn't focused (or interested) on you or whatever is making noise, he won't work to hear what is going on.  We have found this very interesting and are wondering if this has shaped some of his personality.  For instance, the baseball story I just blogged about...could he be drawing in the dirt and wondering around because he doesn't hear the coaches instructions and it is too hard to focus on them to figure it out?  Is this why he lives in la-la land all the time or refuses to talk on the phone?  Thankfully, this is not a permanant problem.  In about a month, we will see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor for more instructions but he will most definitely need tubes (a very minor surgery), potentially will need his anoids and tonsils removed, and will probably be put on a more specific allergy medication.  The doctor informed us that the difference between his hearing and attention span will be night and day.  In the meantime, we have to give the kid some grace and make sure we always look at him when we are talking, and make sure he understands what we are saying.  How did we miss this for so long?!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boys will be boys

Asher had his 1st baseball/tee ball game this past weekend.  Soccer was an acquired love so we thought we would take a crack at a different sport.  The kids actually have "games" against other teams but no one keeps score and there are no "outs".   All the kids bat, run the bases, and then they switch.  The teams are coed and range in age from 4-7.  Asher's team is quite unorganized but it has to be hard to teach that age the skills and rules of baseball, right?!  Arriving at the game was like a scene from the movies when the music starts playing and the opposite team walks onto the field in step, wearing sunglasses, and the parents of the other team (that would be us) shudder in fear for our poor children.  The other team starting running drills and doing warm ups.  It is a good thing they didn't keep score or our kids would have been out every time!  Anyways, the boys did have fun.  Asher is still kind of in la-la land.  He did pretty good hitting but ran the bases staring at the sky.  While fielding, he played 1st base and started running the bases when the other team hit.  Then he started walking around and visiting all the other players, then sat in the dirt and drew pictures.  We got a nice chuckle out of it.  We know Asher will find his niche sometime and we are OK with him drawing in the dirt in the meantime. 

Asher hitting.

Asher running the bases.

Jesse just looking cute.  He ate the dirt instead of drawing in it.

The theme at AWANA day was "trauma day" where everyone was supposed to dress like they had been in an accident.  This is to teach the kids that God ultimately takes care of all our pains.  Anyways, Joel and Asher had fun dressing up :).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Whale of a Tail

This past weekend we went whale watching.  Whale season is from December - March in Hawaii when the Humpbacks migrate from Alaska to breed.  You can actually see them off shore at times from the beaches.  W e actually saw a couple on our drive to the harbor for our whale watching trip.  Our tour was at sunset so it was beautiful being on the water during that time of day.  The whales were a major bonus!  We saw a group of 2 repeatedly...we just kind of followed them around and they gave us a nice show even though we had trouble capturing it with the camera at the right moments.  It was awesome experiencing the majesty of God's creation.  We really have got to see and do a lot here in Hawaii.  The kids were so excited and Anna kept saying "Just like of Diego!".  Ah, what would we do without Dora and Diego?

Mommy and the boys.

Anna and her friend Gracie.

The best family photo we could manage.

One of the best photos we could get.  I just loved see ing the tails come out of the water.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009 everyone!!  I know we celebrated the ocassion a few hours after most, but it was one of the most amazing experiences.  Normally we spend New Year's Eve watching movies, playing board games, and watching the ball drop in Times Square.  Not this year!  Ringing in the New Year is quite the ordeal here in Hawaii and we were able to take it in with our non-military friends at their house on the other side of the island.  We had a cook out in their yard.  Fireworks go off everywhere from the minute it gets dark until 1 am.  Smoke is constantly hazing over everything.  The kids played with sparklers and poppers, and enjoyed all the neighboring displays of arial fireworks all night.  Anna and Asher actually made it to midnight!  I think all the action and loud noise kept them going.  There was so much noise, Jesse wasn't able to konk out until 11pm.  We had so much fun.

Asher learning how to write his name with a sparkler.

Anna even enjoyed the fireworks...but only with earplugs in the whole night.  Yes, it was that loud!  She called them her earrings.

Our friends made homemade malasadas, a YUMMY Hawaiian delicacy.  You can never go wrong with fried dough and sugar.

This was the sight at midnight.  Behind me are strings and strings of firecrackers hung from a bar over the road going off.  The camera couldn't grasp the arial fireworks going off all around at the same time.

and of course New Year's Day was spent watching football.  GO HOKIES!!!  We also enjoyed some Kailua Pig and cabbage over rice with our neighbors which I think now is going to be our New Year's Day tradition.  My parents always had cabbage or saurkraut on New Year's Day.  Isn't it supposed to bring good luck to the New Year?

I hope you all had a great time celebrating.  Happy New Year!