Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Quinton's in Hawaii 2016


So before I talk about my trip, I just want to brag about how perfect my baby was. Every time Brett and I had flown, it crossed my mind many times that people were extremely patient and at the same time nuts flying with small babies. Pros to going on a plane with a baby.....they're free. So we were in.
Selfie before our flight, had been up since 4:00 am

In the 13 hours we flew, he screamed once. We booked the trip only a week in advance cause there were some last minute seat sales. Brett's dad had text him and asked if we asked if we wanted to go. Brett then called me and said, "Whits we have minutes before the sale is gone, I'm about to book if you want to go." Anyone who knows Brett, he takes an eternity to make decisions, except deciding to marry me, that took two weeks. So this was out of character for him, so it was a yes from me. After about five minutes of being excited, I began to think of every worst case scenario of taking a baby. Barfing, ear aches, teething, screaming, growing pains, four hour time change, and blowouts. Every minute Ronan was down for a nap, the internet was my friend for researching travelling with an eight month old. Thank you to all of the people who take time to blog about their tips cause it saved me life and my trip was smooth sailing. Also, by some miracle, the flight wasn't full on the way to Hawaii or the way back, so Ro got his own seat in between us. So every time he napped, we laid him on the seat. It was wonderful to give our arms a break.

Coolest thing about flying to Hawaii is you gain four hours once you get there. We left at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at 10:30 a.m. Weird I know. Greg and Linda booked their seats right in front of us, so it was nice to take the stress off in case RoRo had a meltdown. He only slept an hour and a half of the 7 hour flight, but he was happy and smiled at every person who walked past our seats.

When we landed we of course went to Costco. Watch out if you eat at the cafeteria there, the birds are as aggressive as the birds at disneyland.  Then we settled into the townhouse and hit the pool and beach that day. My baby LOVED the pool. He couldn't get enough of it. Every time he would splash himself in the face, he acted just as surprised as the first time he did it.

Next day we went to see the temple and Greg and Linda did a session there. So many times people would post a picture of themselves in front of the temple on Facebook, and I will say pictures don't do justice for how beautiful it is. The temple is at the base of a jungle/volcano and has a million dollar view of the ocean when you are at the front doors.

When we were waiting for Greg and Linda, Brett and I hit the beach and did all of the paths around the temple. Then we watched the videos at the visitors centre and pretty sure I cried in three of the five movies. We learned there that forty percent of people who visit the Hawaii temple aren't LDS. The missionary couple working there said they get busses full of hundreds of people in the afternoon. What a dream job as a missionary just having people come to you with questions and eager to learn.

After their session was done, we ate at Seven Brothers Burgers. They had a delicious aloe sauce with their fries that was probably eighty percent fat, but to die for. The burger was so moist and the cheese didn't taste fake. Definitely would recommend someone to eat at this place.

Later we hit up the Polynesian Cultural Centre. (As I'm writing this, I'm realizing how much we packed in one day) Really cool experience seeing all of the mini shows they had, lots of laughs, watched a guy climb a palm tree and the food was delicious. It was a special experience to Greg cause he served his mission in the Cook Islands. Probably took him back in time forty years. The show "Breath of life" was too long, for my liking, ridiculously loud and very repetitive of what we had seen all day.  But in the show, some people did some crazy stunts with fire and that was cool.

Next day was my favourite part of the whole trip, Waimea Falls. They had a paved path, so stroller friendly, and it takes thirty minutes to walk there. The vegetation was so luxuriant and we stopped many times to check out crazy looking tress and big exquisite looking flowers. You never wanted the hike to end because there was so much to look at. When we all arrived at the waterfalls, it did not disappoint. Ronan didn't like the cold water, so we took turns swimming. Brett and I went first, and Linda took our picture under the waterfall. When we got out of the water, I looked at my camera and every picture was blurry. I'm a camera nazi, and I made Brett swim to the falls again with me just to get a clear picture. Thanks for putting up with that honey. Bonus was doing it twice and it wasn't even that cold. Incredibly romantic as well. Linda was not wanting to get into the water but I gave her a really hard time. I asked her how many times she had swam under a waterfall. When she had no response, she and Greg were in there in minutes. They were glad they did it.

Once we were back to the car, we decided to hit up Ted's bakery. Ok, I had several friends recommend this place and sketchy doesn't even begin to describe it. The outside of it looked very neglected and could use some serious TLC. Inside we went to order this so called "best shrimp on the island." As I am typing, my mouth is watering. All four of us agreed that it was the most outstanding shrimp we had ever tasted.

Next we drove to the Dolewhip plantation. Never in my life, have I seen over a hundred people in line for ice cream. Brett said there wouldn't be that many people in line if it wasn't worth it. Agreed. We went on the train tour of the pineapple farm to see if the line would go down and then also hit up the maze. Back to the lineup we went with only a few people in front of us (because it was minutes from closing) and again we were not disappointed. I've been home just over a week and have tried several copycat recipes and none of them come close to as good. Apparently pineapple dolewhips are exclusive. They are only sold in Disneyland and Honolulu. Guess I'll just have to hit up one of those two places before I die cause it was beyond yummy.

When we woke up the following morning, it was the first time where I felt like I had the energy to get out of bed to watch the sun rise. Also Ronan was awake. Walking outside at 6:30 in the morning and it already being 27 degrees felt fantastic. Humidity is not only my best friend, it is fabulous for my skin. Missing it dearly every second we are back in Alberta.

It felt surreal that morning watching the sun rise with Brett and Ro by the ocean. Would've been nice if time just either slowed down or stopped, cause those few minutes were magical.

We walked back to our place, ate breakfast and I got Ronan into the cutest outfit! He had baby gap cream shorts (which I paid $2.50 for on sale in Missoula) a grey shirt and adorable little blue sneakers. As a mom, I've learned you don't get your kid dressed till you are about two minutes away from leaving the house. So I changed him, gave him to Brett and quickly went to brush my teeth. When I came out of the bathroom, Brett also was brushing his teeth but thought that was a brilliant idea while holding Ro. I looked at his outfit, two huge blotches of toothpaste on his outfit. Brett only got 3 death threats out of me and had to clean his outfit before we left. Men.......

On the road again and we hit up Pearl Harbour. After seeing the movie many times, it was on my bucket list to see it. The submarines were massive!!!!!! Seeing how tight the quarters were where the men in the Navy slept was loco. Think of bunk beds, but the bunk bed above you is only twelve inches away from your face. Claustrophobia maybe?

After checking off our tourist stuff, it was time to just do nothing which I was very much looking forward to. We had some beach time at Waikiki beach and did some snorkelling. Saw a fish that was every colour of neon. Pink, yellow and green. I'm sure if it was pitch black in the water you could still see it.

When we were ready to leave, I noticed a drinking fountain and was seriously craving some ice cold water. One slight twist of the nozzle, thinking it would barely come up to my face, the water shot up about ten feet high and almost hit a guy running on the path. He made eye contact with me and said, "Easy there ma'm." Greg was the only one that saw what happened and was dying laughing. My bad.

At the end of a fun filled day, we all went to watch the sun set. Hawaiian sunsets are so dreamy and listening to the ocean waves breaking was beyond whimsical. Bonus on all of us going together, we took majestic kissing pictures in front of the sunset.

On our last days there, we enjoyed more ocean time at turtle bay and spent time at the pool. Lots of beaches the swells were bad probably due to an earthquake the day before in Japan. It also rained for probably an hour one morning, but it cleared up and we had a great few days doing nothing. Ronan slept at the pool for almost two hours that afternoon, so I just sat in the shade and enjoyed the peace and heat. Once he woke up, I nursed him and he hung out in the pool with Greg and Brett for an hour, while Linda took a nap at the townhouse.

We hit up Waikiki beach one last time before we went to the airport and I thought to myself, "Hey I'm on maternity leave. I'll stay here and all three of you can go back to work. Ronan and I aren't ready to go home." But you can only dream.

Our flight home blew goats cause we had a nasty layover, that we knew about, in Vancouver. Bonus was the baby slept and we had Sunday afternoon when we got home to recover.

All in all, Hawaii was beyond marvellous and I would highly recommend if you haven't been to go. In 2011 Brett and I also went to Maui with Abby and Steve and still bring up funny stories from that trip. Which island is better you ask? They're both wonderful cause you get the beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets and great food. Differences are the tourist attractions.

Thank you to Greg and Linda for spending your first time in Hawaii with your only grandchild. Ro loves all of the time he can get with any of his grandparents or great grandparents.

Best part about trips is all of the memories you make, they are way better than gifts in my opinion. You'll talk about things from your trip for years to come.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Day our Miracle Arrived

It was Sunday August 9th, and I was extremely stressed about giving a lesson on chastity to the Young Women in the third block of church. The lesson went well except for the girls hardly breathing a word throughout it. Can't get anymore awkward trying to explain to the girls, as I stood in front of them almost 38 weeks pregnant, not to have sex.  Nothing sounded better than when that buzzer went off to tell me my time was up.
      The plan was to have burgers for dinner and Brett started the Traeger grill once we got home. I opened the cupboard to get a glass and one of them came out and shattered to pieces on the floor. Brett was upstairs, so I ran downstairs to get the shop vacuum to quickly clean up the mess. About ten seconds of me bending over to clean it up and my water broke and Brett was standing in the kitchen as it happened. Brett asked me if I was sure, and I reassured him it was like a water balloon exploded in my pants. On Friday at my doctor's appointment, they tested me for Group B strep which came back positive. Apparently a third of women test positive and if you do, you are to go straight to the hospital once your water breaks. By some miracle one of the burgers was cooked and Brett put it together for me on a plate, grabbed our hospital bags and we were out of the house in under 10 minutes. 12:20, only 20 minutes after church that all happened. Pretty sure I would've cried if my water broke during that lesson. At least it would've happened in front of women if it did.
     On our drive there, Brett said a prayer and when we arrived in emergency, there wasn't a soul there. The nurses took me in and asked me multiple questions to confirm that it was my water that had broke. Several of the staff said you usually go late on your first baby, and here my water had broke almost two weeks before my due date. After checking for my baby's heart rate, I started on IV antibiotics to prevent our baby from getting an infection.
    They moved us to labor and delivery and we were in room 10. Brett said,"Hey we were here last week when Haley had Clara." What were the chances of that? My sister and I delivering in the same room one week apart?
   After letting our families know the status of where things were at, we got a lot of phone calls. My mom was in Montana and planned on coming the next morning, in hopes we would've had him by then. My mom had just left back to Montana after Haley had her baby 9 days late and I'm sure she thought mine wouldn't be arriving for at least a few weeks. Wrong. Sorry mom. My mother-in-law then called and asked if she could come to the hospital to be there when he arrived. She was very excited for the arrival of her first grandchild that I had made her wait a long time for.
   Thet doctor checked me after I got off the phone with Linda, and Brett knew we'd have a few minutes. He then gave me a priesthood blessing. In the blessing, he said the doctors would know what to do and that I would be strong throughout it.
   It was only a waiting game from there. The contractions started and each time a nurse would come in, they would bump up the drugs to get things moving. Brett walked around with me for a while the contractions started. After thirty minutes of that, they gave me an exercise ball, which was awesome! Two minutes of me bouncing on that thing, my dad called me and we visited for a bit. At that point the contractions were about five minutes apart, and the pain wasn't bad at all. Linda then arrived and we just visited about random stuff as I tried to bounce the baby out.
  When the nurse came to check on our vitals, she said it was hard for the monitor to read the baby's cause I kept bouncing on the ball. Dang it, it really helped take my mind off of the pain which seemed to be only in my lower back. At least I got to enjoy it for an hour. She said if I had back pain to go sit backwards on a chair and get Brett to push on my back each time a contraction came. That worked wonders for a few hours but then I was getting really uncomfortable. They offered me the nitrous, which my boss Ed told me to take cause its great. I had never had it but thank you Ed for recommending it. Nitrous is so strange. You feel pain, but you don't care you're in pain. No wonder dental patients love that stuff.
   Finally around 12:00 a.m. the contractions were two minutes apart and one contraction absolutely took my breath away. Brett asked me how my pain was and I couldn't even respond. I turned to him and said, "get me that epidural." Brett was so good for the few hours I was on that chair and he would give me the nitrous during each contraction. Hearing his voice got me through it all I swear.
  The anesthesiologist arrived and she warned me that the needle hurts when inserted. My response was it couldn't be any worse than what I was feeling at that very minute. Once those drugs were in, I was on cloud 9. Apparently it was such a shock to my body though that both of our heart rates dropped off the charts. (I don't remember any of this, Brett told me) They pressed two code buttons and within seconds Brett said there were two doctors and 5 nurses scrambling and moving me around to get our heart rates back. The c section team arrived because we were both still in distress. When they said we need to do an emergency c section, all of a sudden our vitals went back to normal. I do remember through all of the chaos reaching for Brett's hand. He said he was ready to pass out up until that point. It was a rather traumatic experience for him almost watching both of us almost die. My hubby isn't much of a crier, but that made him cry.
  When the adrenaline settled, I slept for an hour. Sleeping while your body is busy trying to get ready to push out a baby is pretty amazing. Once I woke up, I was eight centimetres. Almost there. Brett was keeping me occupied by making jokes and visiting with me. An hour later I was at 10 centimetres and ready to push. Pushing was my favourite part. I'm an extremely competitive person, so it felt like a race how fast I could get him out. They told me if I didn't get him out quickly, they'd have to use the vacuum. That's when I got into my determination mode. Twenty-three minutes he was out. No words can describe the feeling once that baby is out. I guess I would compare it to making all of the orange buoys water skiing ten times in a row. That would be really hard to do, and it will never happen.
  Baby Ro arrived with a set of lungs like you wouldn't believe. They put him on my chest and immediately he stopped crying. That's when the flood gates opened. Brett and I just stared in awe that he was finally here. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my ribs were very bruised from his frequent kicking and it was a relief he was out of me.
  If I could do it all again, I'd have another baby tomorrow. The experience was spectacular and the staff were out of this world wonderful to me.
  Brett and I were extremely grateful to our amazing photographer for capturing moments that remind us of the emotions that were felt that day. Can't believe Jamie came to the hospital just before 4 a.m. and then went to work after that. She is so unbelievably talented and no one believes us that it was her first time doing a baby delivery shoot. Thank you Jamie.