We had a good time roaming around the 15th annual town party today. After a run, we showered at mom’s place and walked into town for lunch. After the party we went to Sammy’s favorite place – the tide pools – for a dip. It was a nice way to wind up the weekend. We got to taste some great food – especially at the Formaggio Grill booth. We can’t wait for the Kailua restaurant to open!
Dave got home today! We are happy to be together again. Two weeks felt like an eternity for both of us. How weird given that we were both looking forward to a mini-underway since we’re accustomed to spending so much time apart. We thought it would be refreshing in a way, but Dave really missed all we have here in Hawaii (warm water, beautiful sandy beaches, lush foliage, vibrant colors and lots of really genuine people). And Sammy and I missed having Daddy around for romping time. As you know by now, though, we did have lots of adventures while Dave was gone. Tonight we had a sell-out performance of the Sam-in-a-hamper-show, and did an encore performance of Sam-in-a-dryer while Dave repaired the hamper (the bottom fell out after so much use!).
We had a little fun with the laundry hamper while I was folding clothes this evening. Enjoy his infectious laugh! I don’t need to lift weights – he’s 36lbs and makes me do these stunts OVER and OVER, especially when Daddy isn’t around to do them. He loves “high jumps” too – I have to lift him to the ceiling on our way down the hall so he can touch the lights. No wonder I’m stiff many mornings 🙂
A picture from our hike today – we did the Pillbox trail in reverse, starting at the south end of the loop and coming back to the golf course trailhead. It was good to get that long walk on the road out of the way early. The hike up that steep trail at the end of Lanikai was difficult going up, but not as bad as coming down it. We were at the top in 30 minutes. From there to the third bunker it took 40 minutes, still carrying Sam. From there we walked (Sam on his own) to the first pillbox in 1 hr. Sam was slow today, checking stuff out all along the way, clearing the trail of rocks and standing on one leg “like a stilt.” It was cute, but not so cute in the strong winds up there. We had lunch then descended back to the truck where mom surprised us at the trailhead! We went to have some shave ice, and Sam stole much of mom’s cone.
Sam was very observant today on the hike. We talked about runways with a new bath toy (an aircraft carrier) last night. We saw a runway today from the hike (at Bellows) and I asked what it was – he said “a runway for planes landing”! He also loves a particular flower here – a plumeria? He picked one up yesterday on a walk to the playground and held onto it for 1/2 mi walk, saying repeatedly “it smells so sweet.” He held onto it on the hike for about the same distance while in the pack. We talked about birdies chirping in the trees – I asked where the birdies were and he said “in the trees,” and when I asked what they were doing he said “napping.”
Tonight he was very studious in his baff…he watched the water go down and stuffed a washcloth in the drain to see it stop up the water. Then he filled his big bucket up with water and put the washcloth in there and said “fishie in day-oh!” with a big smile. As the last of the water was draining out he said “it goes down a tunnel” (because he knows it’s a drain, I enjoyed this alternate take on what a drain looks like). Then he said – and I know you totally won’t believe me and think I may have heard something else – “water goes out ocean.” So I asked again – where does it go? And he said “to the ocean,” to which I asked “and how does it get there” and he replied “on a road.” During jammie time he continued to talk about this and said the water from the bath goes out “to the beach, to the water” and “comes down the rocks by the beach.” We talked about how rain fills up the lakes, then water comes into our house and goes back out to the ocean to come back down again in the rain. Lord knows if he has any idea what I’m saying…but you never know. I must have said once long ago that water goes out to the ocean from the bath. We also had fun with shapes on the hike – there are huge leaves with oval shapes in them and he noted that right away. I pointed out red hibiscus and he pointed out “yewow hibiscus” when we passed it. He is so full of wonder and absorbs so much information daily, it’s mind boggling. His mind must be really burgeoning with information. Mine would be totally and completely overloaded if I had to absorb that much stuff every day.
On a separate note, I made some sourdough demi-baguettes today which we ate for lunch (with peanut butter and honey – a favorite lunch request of some little buddy I know). They tasted good, rose well, had good hole structure and were soft and springy. They were lacking in oven spring (they should have had a better rise in the oven) but that could be due to lack of sufficient preheating – I only let the oven come to temperature rather than sit at temperature for 45 min or so (we needed to hit the trail). If the stone had been quite a bit hotter we may have gotten better oven spring. Next time.
Dave is horrified to hear the goings on around here…not only was his French press taken on a camping trip (a big no-no – it should never have left the safe confines of the kitchen) but it was shattered in the gale force winds that tore through our campsite after I spent two days carefully stowing and protecting it. Then today a huge roach scooted around the kitchen and I broke a broom trying to kill it. Mom was here and laughed watching me perch on the sofa trying to herd it out like a chicken or something. Once I got it under the broom I thought I could send it out the door in a straight shot – well, I’m no hockey player. It did not go straight out. Oh no. It darted under a sofa and I had to herd it back out again. When I finally got it outside, I beat the heck out of it and broke the broom long before I broke his carapace. The legs were still kicking after I dropped a planter full of concrete chips on it. How disgusting! I can’t wait for Dave to get back and pounce on them with his bare hands (well, he does usually have a dozen or so paper towels wadded up as protection). He crouches like a tiger, stalks his prey, then leaps with precision. I’m usually perched, breathless, waiting and watching. He is so good – he never chases me with them. I know he understands I would truly scream and have a heart attack. My BROTHER, on the other hand, chased me all over our 6 acre farm with daddy longleg spiders. He was so bad! That’s when I started running. It wasn’t until much later I ran for pleasure, not dread.
Our homeowners association had its annual meeting tonight. I made kalua pig and rice for our potluck and we had a really enjoyable time getting our business done in the pool area. We elected new board members (I am one of them) and approved a change to our bylaws that I researched and drafted to allow us to appoint and compensate one of the board members as a resident manager. We transitioned to self-management over the last few months to reduce our costs and impart more of a community feel to the management of the association. Everyone is very pleased with the changes around here, and I am gratified that all my hard work reviewing the budget, soliciting bids for contractors, etc. has paid off for all of us. Our fees were reduced more than 7% this year! Sammy came to the meeting for a while (Mom was watching him for me) and enjoyed taking “minutes.” This week I have to go and review documents to decide which ones should be retained and which can be shred so that we can further reduce our expenses. One of our big line items was storing paper…ugh. I proposed a bonfire at the annual meeting, but that didn’t turn out to be feasible 😉 I’m looking forward to the coming year as we tackle some long-standing issues and make some improvements to our pool area. The association is small, but everyone is really great and willing to pitch in. We’re very lucky.
Mom, Sam and I decided to sneak away for a little camping trip while Dave is away. We wanted to check out a park we’d heard was a good, safe place to camp. While you don’t have to worry about bears or snakes here on the island, you do have to worry a bit about crime – car break-ins and noisy walk-ins hanging out in the campground. Maleakahana has 24 hr security, so we felt it would be a good place to check out. We had a wonderful time! Turns out this is the windy time of year (Mar-Apr) so we lost a lot of food to the camp chickens (who apparently eat centipedes live!). This juicy little fact is pertinent because our camping neighbors found a centipede in their tent – yikes! So those roving chickens are actually pretty helpful.
Dave didn’t grow up camping as a kid, so he is remarkable in that he’s really taking to it as an adult. However, he likes to be comfortable and have a few amenities, whereas I’m pretty happy as long as I have fire at night and coffee in the morning. So after experiencing a wild night camping out for Sam’s 2nd birthday (we selected what we thought would be a quiet spot at the end of the campground on the Marine Corps base, but our site ended up being adjacent to a group of about 40 drunk Marines who blasted Metallica until we chased them off at about 3 in the morning), and this centipede story (along with a few others I can’t mention here), Dave is really wondering about the merits of camping! Please post your reflections on memorable camping trips so he can appreciate what an indelible mark camping makes on your life 🙂 Sam has a great time and grows up more each time we go. It really seems to make him feel like a wee man. And I appreciate the opportunity to get totally filthy, sleep very little (because there’s always some intrigue going on at night, whether it’s your toddler doing 360’s in bed next to you and putting his feet in your face, or the aforementioned drunk Marines, or centipedes or whatever) and come home to really relish a shower and having all your cooking tools handy 🙂
There are a bunch of photos in the album (the picture above links you to them), and I posted a review of the campground at Outdoor Ohana, a new website Dave and I launched for like-minded families. Let us know what you think!
Sammy and I had a busy day, and I’m overstimulated. We went for a run, then did a 10min-aboutface to go to church (on our bike), then home for lunch and nap (from which I had to wake him up) then to a birthday party. We biked over to that as well. I think we were on my mountain bike three times today for all the outings.
I actually broke out Sammy’s water colors today to see how difficult it would be to capture the colors of the water. As mom’s visit here draws to a close, I often think about what she should have as a keepsake of her six month stay. Since she’s crazy about the kite surfers, I decided to set the painting at dusk, when the wind is really ripping. Turns out you can get away with as few as 2 colors – blue and green. I just wiped the colors around with water and it looked just about like the water truly does. Those are the Mokulua Islands offshore. We’re heading over to mom’s cottage for dinner now. Hope you are having a great weekend!
Mom, Sam and I went up to the North Shore yesterday for my first day “on the job” guarding the honu (green sea turtles). We had a great day and Brutus (one of the larger turtles) showed up to bask for us. Then we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the way home to check it out. Mom treated us to a nice lunch (we were starving!) then walked around and saw the different islands represented. We really enjoyed the demonstration of native Hawaiian instruments. Since the hula has its roots in a sacred dance performed only by men, we decided to let Sam try it out on the stage after the performers were done, using their authentic instruments. In the movie, you’ll even hear him singing! We might have borrowed a couple rocks from the grounds and added them to my “instruments” at home – part of a wind chime that broke in the gales a month ago, and a small bamboo drum I found at Sal’s on our way home from a run 🙂 Stay tuned for more videos now that I have new software to convert from .mov to .avi, splice them together, and compress them for you. Mom enjoyed entertaining Sam this morning while I got all this up and running . . . all Sam’s fans appreciate it, I know! 🙂
We had a wonderful Easter weekend and hope all of you did as well. We are blessed to share a great life here with family and friends, and we think of all our family and friends who are far away. We miss you! Lots of great pictures of our weekend in the album, click on the picture above to visit. Aloha nui loa to each of you!
PS I forgot to mention that Sammy was a real hit at church today. He started off with blowing farts on his arm before the service started, then during the closing prayer he burped and said “AMEN” heartily. He was really pretty good throughout the service and people enjoyed his hearty AMEN’s 🙂 Tonight he came out with a tube of lotion and said “ant ootie ubs” (want footie rubs) – something I had done for him once months ago. So I showed him how to recline on the sofa and enjoy his footie massage. Within seconds his little head was lolling and he had a line of drool rolling off his chin 🙂
I was talking to Dave’s mom, Gail, this morning and she noted that the blog has been quiet lately…indeed, it has. I uploaded new pictures this morning. Just click on the picture above of us after the race this morning. It will take you to the April album.
We have both been very busy this past week… Dave has been getting to work at 4am and I’ve been burning the midnight oil on a few projects. But we’re having a great weekend reconnecting and unplugging from work a bit.
To kick off the weekend, we had a great race this morning! Mom joined us (as she always does!) for our adventure. We left at 5:45am to park, prep, pick up our timing chip, hit the potties one last time and line up with several thousand runners. I was amazed at how many stroller runners there were and how fast they ran. The last 10K I did with Sam we were the ONLY stroller entry. I felt like a celebrity – which made that run feel extra great. This one was a challenge for me, but Dave and I both did really well. Dave beat his goal time by 5min, and I came in just a few seconds after him, beating my PR by a minute. My splits were sub-9 minutes, which is really great for me over that distance pushing Sam. I have done a 5K workout (pushing Sam) and hit below 8 min/mile, but that was an extraordinary day when I felt great 🙂 Today I felt more tired than usual – I think I went out really fast, so that could be part of it. Despite my best efforts, it is tough to gauge how fast you’re going when there are so many people that you have to walk or slow jog across the starting line. Then I felt like I was playing a videogame, weaving our way through all those people, trying to find an open spot where I could hit my stride. It took a mile of weaving to get a spot, then I started passing people like crazy because I had lots of energy bottled up. It is a challenge to push a stroller in a big race. But I commend the organizers for allowing us committed runners with children to do it! Many races don’t allow strollers at all, and of the few that do, even fewer actually allow us to be a “category,” like gender. I am working on organizing a strollers-only fun run to demonstrate how a stroller-friendly race can be organized. One of the biggest triathlete coaches here on the island is really behind it, and that’s exciting! He organizes a lot of races and is looking forward to working on this idea. Probably early in ’08. My vision is to make it hilarious – you can push anything in the stroller…Christmas tree, chihuahua, chia pet – it doesn’t matter! I digress, though. We had a great run, came home and made pancakes, and now we’re packing up stuff to go to the beach for an Easter egg hunt with a couple friends and their children. We’re going to grill out there while the kids hunt for eggs.
Wishing you all a wonderful and Happy Easter!