Three weeks is a long time to be away from home. But when you've got family to hang out with, US citizenship to apply for, and the cereal aisle to haunt, it's not too difficult to whittle away your time. A stay that long was really only possible because of an amazing deal we were able to find on a house in Honolulu. A local church in the area had a house available for us to rent for just $100 a week. So for the bargain price of $375 (we threw in a little extra in the end to make up for the blinds the boys tore down and our love affair with the air conditioner), we had a place where we could build lots of fun family memories:
- Sam learned to fo-real crawl in that house. No more army crawl for my little guy! When he wasn't crawling, he was working on pulling up.
- We shared the house with my parents, brother & sis-in-law when they came to visit. Mark & Valerie cooked fancy dinners for us almost every night, which eliminated a lot of stress from my life in having to take the babies to a restaurant. They went to bed, we ate, and then I promptly fell asleep on the couch (that's the biggest downside of being in your first trimester when you haven't seen your family in a year and a half!).
- Football every Saturday! It's been a while since we've gotten to enjoy that, even if it means watching our Aggies lose.
- We shared a room with the boys while my family was staying with us. One morning, Sam woke up first and was serenading us with his typical morning songs & coos. Micah, who apparently was not ready to be awake, yelled from his crib, "No! Hush!" Who in the world could he have picked that up from...?
- I will whole-heartedly say that having a backyard is an amazing thing. Since both of our boys are water babies to the core, we stripped them down to their diapers and let them play in buckets of water on the porch. And we didn't even have to worry about them drinking it the way we do in China!
- Speaking of our backyard porch, there were these cute tropical birds with red beaks that would perch on our porch railing. I think there might have even been a nest inside the wall of the house. Micah & Kevin enjoyed sitting out there in the mornings, Kevin drinking coffee and Micah bird-watching.
- We were walking distance from a park, a public swimming pool, Wal-mart, the boys' pediatrician, and a bus stop that could get us everywhere else. The weather was a welcome treat as we walked to all those places several times a week.
- While we were busy, we still had plenty of down time for the important things in life like naps & Sesame Street.