26 July 2019

Birthday Getaway + G Hotel Kelawai Experience

Both of our birthdays are in July, and coming up on the end of a summer break that, while very fun, didn't allow for much actual "vacation," we'd decided we wanted to take a mini-vacation and get away for a night.

This meant me being away from Cyrus for a full 24 hours for the first time ever. Dun dun dun!

(Spoiler alert: Apparently, Cyrus was extremely happy the whole time we were gone, spending time going out with his grandparents and aunts, and even slept in until 6:30. We also survived the separation, although Cyrus came up in many conversations and we talked about how much he would have loved exploring the hotel room and climbing around on the big bed.)

We got "dressed up" (I wore a necklace--something I never do when I'm with the baby!) and headed out. And I took a photo of us in the parking ramp, haha! The first item on our agenda was an 11:00 showing of the "Spiderman" movie. I never actually saw the first Spiderman movie with this new kid because I was newly pregnant with Cyrus when it came out and was stubbornly not going anywhere unnecessary because the nausea was so intense. haha! So I didn't know who some of the characters were, but it's pretty easy to catch up on a Marvel movie. We had free movie ticket vouchers because of the movie theater's birthday program, so that made it extra fun--a movie for free!

Then it was time that we could check into our hotel! We had booked the "sister" hotel to the hotel we'd stayed at for our 7th anniversary (Our last night away together--I was about 26ish weeks pregnant then!) We learned some things last time and had remembered to bring along the credit card that we'd used to pay for the hotel booking, and at check out, we were very surprised when a manager came out and notified us that we'd been chosen as "Guest of the Day" and had been upgraded to an "Executive" level room with access to the "Executive Lounge" which served refreshments at certain times of day.

That was an extra-special surprise that made our day a little more exciting!

Even though this hotel is only about a 3 minute walk from where we stayed for our anniversary a year and a half ago, the view was very different, because this hotel faces inland.

We had fun checking out our upgraded room.

We headed out again to grab a late lunch, and decided to try a Japanese restaurant we hadn't been to before because Angel was in the mood for noodle soup, and I wasn't feeling up to walking all the way to our usual favorite noodle restaurant.

Verdict on the new place: Not too expensive, the both of us had our soup and tea for a total of about $11 US. But not the best ramen option around. Still, enjoyable and filling. We stopped for some ice cream and headed back to relax in our room.

(And took 23-week photo using the great natural light in the hotel bathroom, haha!)

Angel always gets excited to watch TV when we're in a hotel (maybe because we don't have it at home), so he was flipping through channels while I got out my embroidery and we stopped to watch a tourism commercial that was promoting tourism for our island. We were just watching, identifying all the places: "We've been there...and there!" "Hey, that's the same spot we took our family photos last year!" "I know where that's at!" (all easy to do when you've lived on a small island for years). The commercial showed a guy in the black swimsuit fly off of a waterslide that Angel had gone on back in January, and he joked, "Hey, that could have been me!" and I commented back, "That was definitely not you..." and a second later...ANGEL himself is on the TV, at the front of the bunch of racers in this year's St. Patrick's Day race. We just looked at each other and burst out laughing--it was too funny to suddenly see him there on the big screen...and because he's wearing a black tank instead of the green race shirt like everyone else in the shot, he's really easy to see!

Once we got over that, we noticed that The Blindside was playing on a different channel and watched that until the end. It was now 6 p.m. and we headed up to the Executive Lounge to see what this "cocktail hour" was all about.

It was fancy! Something you may not know about us is that we tend to feel a little bit ridiculous and out-of-place in fancy situations. As the service staff called Angel "Sir" and asked what drinks he'd like to order and nicely explained all everything available what was going through my mind was, "Why are they talking to us like we're real grown-ups? We're practically still children. Don't they know we didn't actually pay for this? We just got upgraded and don't belong here!!"

And later Angel whispered the same thing to me...that he felt like we were imposters or something. They had fresh fruit juices and quite a nice little spread of snacks.

I liked the crackers with guacamole the best. They had quite a bit along the lines of food I don't really eat anyways and am especially not supposed to eat right now--shrimp, deli meats, fancy cheeses, sliced salmon...

But they also had fruit and peanuts and plenty that I could snack on!

We really enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the outside deck and the view from the 24th floor, and ended up spending about two hours up there, chatting and taking in the sights, and trying to identify all of the places that are very familiar to us from ground level but we've never seen from this angle before. We stayed till the sun set and then headed back to the room.

Shortly after we got back to our room, there was a knock on the door and the staff delivered a birthday cake to us! We had made a note when making our reservations that our stay was to celebrate birthdays, but this was a fun surprise. Of course, by this time it was nearly 9 p.m. and after all the snacks in the lounge we weren't very hungry...we ended up taking the cake home the next day and the kids at my house polished it off as a lunchtime dessert. :)

We fell asleep fairly early--that cozy bed and the fluffy comforter were pretty much perfection. In technological terms, according to Angel's smartwatch, he got 3 hours and 30 minutes of "deep sleep" during the night, in comparison to the roughly 1.5 hours his watch normally records. I don't know if I even believe that it's possible for a watch to tell you how well you slept...but I know I slept really good!

We were awake and at the breakfast buffet by 7 a.m. (parents of toddler problems..."sleeping in" is anything past 6:30). They didn't have the most variety in their spread, but they did offer made-to-order omelets, which I really like. After breakfast and getting ready for the day, we played an uninterrupted game of Quiddler and then headed up to the Executive Lounge to spend a little more time there, where Angel got a second breakfast from the spread they had!

The morning passed quickly and then it was time for our mini-vacation to end. It was a great way to celebrate our birthdays and a fun way to close out summer break as Angel heads back to work after the weekend. I said to Angel as we were packing up to leave, "I would be sad that vacation is over so soon...except that we're going home to Cyrus!" When we arrived home he had just finished his lunch of curry and rice and was ready for a nap!

Happy birthday to us!
11 July 2019

Current Obsessions (Toddler Edition)

I once saw posted online the conversation question: "If your child's future career was determined by their current obsession, what would it be?"

This hypothetical amused me greatly, and Cyrus's potential careers popped into mind immediately, as he is certainly a toddler with passions.

Potential Career #1: Janitor/Housecleaner/Sanitation Worker

Cyrus's love for cleaning supplies is still going strong. Brooms, mops, buckets, dustpans, and the vacuum. The one legit temper tantrum he's thrown yet was because Angel took the vacuum away.

The brooms and dustpan we normally let him play with--he'll make a beeline for the kitchen when he wakes up in the morning, grab both brooms and sometimes will rope me into helping him carry two brooms and the dustpan out into the larger area of the apartment. 

He's learned that loose hair tends to collect in one certain corner of my bedroom, and now daily leads me to that corner so that I can assist him with sweeping up the hair. He does try to do it by himself, but he's learned that he's not quite as efficient as actually getting dust into the dustpan as Mommy is, so has very clearly delegated that particular sweeping task to me, and then he carries the dustpan back to the kitchen trashcan and dumps it in (a 'trick' Angel taught him). 

Maybe before too long we'll be appreciating his dedication to cleaning supplies, though in the meantime, every time he smiles at cleaning staff in various public areas we visit, the cleaning staff feel happy and tell me he's so cute...meanwhile, I'm just restraining him, nervous he's going to make a lunge for their broom or mop. So far we've avoided any theft of cleaning supplies or high-speed chases through the mall, but I see the look of sheer joy in his eyes when he sees the staff members cleaning floors and I know he's just longing to get elbow-deep in that bucket of soapy water.

I also wouldn't generally say he's obsessed with neatness...he loves dumping his container of blocks on the floor and happily digs himself into the sand at the beach and loves running through grass and dirt...but sweeping is a passion all of its own, I've learned, as he's begun to lead me through the house more often, pointing at small things on the ground and asking me to sweep them up so that he can dump them into the trash can.

The vacuums we use here are very small and light, nearly the size of what might be sold as a toy vacuum in the USA, so he can handle them easily. If he finds the vacuum at school, he'll push it around the classrooms for an hour before tiring of the game. One day, my sisters hid the vacuum before Cyrus arrived, but without much effect, because he found it after a five minute search. My Dad, on the other hand, came into the classroom later in the day and spent a great deal of time searching for the vacuum before deciding that someone must have taken it away. This is the difference that passion makes.

Potential Career #2: Bird Watcher/Bird Finder/What is the name of a career that has something to do with bird observation?

"Bee" or "Bees" or "Baby" is, we've learned, his term for birds. He often wakes up from nap, immediately points in the direction of the balcony door, and says "Bee! Baby!"...meaning that he wants to go look for birds. He notices bird calls/noises very easily, and even I've begun to notice how often you can hear bird calls from our house, now that I've realized that they are the reason Cyrus will take off running for the balcony door. While riding in his carseat, he will notice and point out birds lounging on electric lines or flying past the road. He's attempted to chase small birds at the beach and the park but they always stay out of his reach. "Bees" are a great love. We still only allow very occasional screen time, but he's even tuned into birds on screen. My family was watching Voyage of the Dawn Treader when suddenly I noticed Cyrus getting very excited, pointing at the screen, saying, "Bee!" There was a bird on the screen.

Potential Career #3: Shoe Salesman

"Shoes" is probably his first, clearest word that is actually used to communicate meaning and sounds like proper English. He loves shoes. He loves them because when he puts his shoes on he gets to go outside, but he also loves the very idea of them. He will put on anyone's shoes, he will watch people put on their shoes, and he will put shoes on other people's feet. He has located all of the shoes in our house, including Angel's prized leather dress shoes that are kept in a wardrobe and not used often.

Some of our neighbors store their shoes in the apartment hallway and it's been quite a lesson in teaching self-control to consistently make sure he knows that he CANNOT try on his neighbors' shoes.

Bonus Job: Luchador?

Cyrus likes storytime in general, but he LOVES this book, "NiƱo Wrestles the World." Angel even put an audio track of the story being read aloud in our "Cyrus Soundtrack" for our car.


I've always said I want him to grow up to be an accountant. For the sheer practical reason that there's no accountants in my immediate family and I feel like that would be a convenient set of skills to have in the family. But thus far I'm not seeing a whole lot of excitement for numbers. What might your child's future career be if it were determined by their current passions?