February 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Anna turned 2! We had a fun little family party--Ella was in charge of most of it. It was a pink themed party. Pink balloons, pink streamers, pink cake and pink attire. We had a bean bag toss which was fun for all ages.  Grandpa Paul was having a bit of a tricky time with his curve ball, and Ella kept gently (and not so gently) encouraging him to just get a little closer.  Chris wowed us all with his hidden talent--maybe it's the long arms, but he's got skills! The above video is perhaps the most disharmonious version of Happy Birthday you've ever heard. We Harman's are not known for our singing ability. But Anna's unscripted "I blow out the candles" makes up for it.

Some fun facts about our Anna bug:

  • She thinks her name is Anna Bug Elise Packer
  • Her vocab is serious. On the day of her party she said, "Grandma this is.......those are the candles." Grammer girl??
  • She went from being happy go lucky eat anything 18-month-old to an "I don't like that" type of gal
  • The other day Kimmy was watching the girls and told Ella that she should work on her manners...and reminded her that Anna was really good at saying please and thank you (she is!) Ella was floored as it sunk in that Anna was good at something that she wasn't. "Where do you think she learned that??" she asked. When I asked Ella about it she explained to me her amazement--"Anna learns everything from me--how did she learn that?!?"
  • Anna loves her binkies. I don't ask her if she wants to take a nap, but if she wants to go get her binkies. And she usually happily says yes. (She only gets them when she is in her crib...or if I am being a softy)
  •  She is starting to really pretend and play jokes. "I am Sophia. You are Eliza. Ella is our mommy."
  • She is happy most of the time.
  • When she is upset she says, "I want my mommy/daddy"--mommy if she's with Ryan and daddy if she's with me.
  • She is surprisingly good at understanding connections between people. If we are talking about an adult, she will ask about their children, even if she doesn't know them well. "Who were you talking to on the phone?" "Dana" "With Gabby?"
  • She says "really really" and "tiny tiny"
  • We really really love her.

February 3, 2013

Nakalele Blowhole

We took one afternoon away from the beach and the pool to go on a Maui adventure. We wanted to go to the bamboo forest, but a few minutes of Anna's happy but LOUD jabbing in the car convinced us that the 2 hour drive was not worth it. So we decided to try out the blowhole on the west side of the island. It was amazing. We hiked down the cliffs to the ocean to see the hole in the lava where the ocean sprayed out. So cool. 

On the hike back up Ella had to pee. I told her she could go behind some rocks. "No. I would rather go somewhere more....polite." That girl. Cracks me up.

We decided to drive around the north side of the island through the Forest Reserve. It was stunningly beautiful. Red sand cliffs with hints of green going straight down into the crashing blue waves. I'd never seen anything like it. The road, however, was a little sketchy. One lane, curvy, no guard rail. Ella kept telling me that her tummy hurt and she really had to go to the bathroom. But you can imagine her disgust at going by the side of the road. "Mom, it would be too stinky. Someone might find it." After a few miles of twists and turns we realized that she was misinterpreting her stomach pain. She was cursed with her mother's motion sickness and yacked into a bag. Poor girl. 

Sickness aside, it was a gorgeous excursion. If you're only going to leave the hotel once, you've got to make it count!


A few weeks ago the stars aligned for us. Ryan was supposed to go to India for a week, but at the last minute his trip got cancelled, leaving him a light week at work. That same week, Doug was going to Hawaii for a conference and wanted someone to mingle with during his down time. We checked out frequent flier tickets, and to our shock we found reasonable tickets. Less than 48 hours after dreaming up this plan we had booked tickets and were headed to Maui. When Janet heard that two of her grandchildren were going to be frolicking on the beach, she couldn't resist and she joined in on the fun. 

We had a great time. Ryan rode his bike, Ella swam in the pool, Anna played in the sand, and I soaked up my children's happiness as I soaked in the sun.  It was a quick trip (4 days) but oh so wonderful. Mahalo, Maui!