For some reason Sammy really wanted to learn about bats yesterday. He mentioned it during prayers the night before, so we fired up youtube and checked out some bat footage. Then later in the day we were outside and I gave him a bunch of chalk to draw with. He came up with this completely on his own – see all the parts in the picture? I was pretty impressed by what he included with no coaching at all.
It’s New Year’s Eve here – and it’s noisy!!!! The M-80s have been going off since noon and now they’re in full force. We drove around Kailua and it seems the Kihapai/Oneawa contingent is where the action is. The streets are filled with smoke, fireworks are filling the sky overhead, and driving a car is hazardous. So is breathing, for some people. It’s our anniversary so we’re going to sift through our treasure box of little scrapbook items we’ve collected during the year, seal it up as a time capsule, then hunker down like there’s a hurricane (i.e. in the middle of the house) and try to sleep!
This was as much a present for me as it was for Sammy. Dave hooked it up to his bike first to test it out, and after a shake-down ride to the marsh we hooked it up to my mountain bike. It was pretty weird at first – the center of gravity is way different than having him ride on the handlebars like he usually does, but we had a good time. We got used to it and he enjoyed helping me pedal up hill. It’s a nice way for him to get some pedaling in as well until he can keep up on his own. He’s enjoying riding his own little mountain bike quite a bit as well. Last week he rode through some ironwood trees and down a pretty good little hill all by himself (with training wheels but without mommy helping stabilize). It was real off-roading and he was so excited to do it all by himself that I had to circle ’round with him five more times to “do it AGAIN, mommy!”
Sammy and I found a way to have some snow here 🙂 Thomas found the tracks to be a bit slippery with all that snow…(flour). It was fun to make it snow in Hawaii!
We are so excited to see a plethora of new leaves and even some buds on our hibiscus that we rescued from neighbors who did some landscaping. We cut this ancient tree back about 1/3 (it was 20′ tall!) and planted it with little hope that the small root ball would sustain the plant. It did! Fortunately it’s in a relatively damp section (right by a downspout collecting rainy season water) and protected from wind. The poor plant was such a scraggly remnant of its previous self after we pruned it back that we started calling it the “lobiscus” and wondered if it would make it. New growth gives so much pleasure and soon it will give us some privacy again, too.
We were joined via webcam by Dave’s parents – Sammy’s Nana and PopPop! It was really fun to have them sitting in with us and watching Sammy open gifts. I’m sifting through over 100 pictures from this morning alone…but here’s one, above! The Craftsman tools and belt were a big hit. Thanks Daddy! Our traditions seem to take shape a bit more each year. It’s fun to discover them as we go along…here’s where we are with them so far. Thought you’d enjoy visualizing the festivities 🙂
Preparations…Sat before advent starts we get a tree and break out the decorations. Begin celebrations with advent calendar and countdown candle. Read Sammy his Christmas stories and set up his creche.
Christmas Eve…make Christmas cookies for Santa, early pasta dinner, vigil mass, put out cookies and milk for Santa and veggies for the reindeer, then Sammy opens one present before bed. Then the grownups have a Christmas cocktail, finish wrapping presents, and share one present each. Dave chomps the veggies to make them look like the reindeer came through. Chomping is noisy and messy and can be heard from a great distance 🙂 He also splashed water around because they were thirsty. I wanted to feed the reindeer some fennel but Dave wouldn’t give it up so they had to settle for celery 🙂
Christmas Day…coffee while we wait for Sammy to wake up (Dave made lattes!), open presents for a bit, festive breakfast (today it was panettone French toast, could be omelets…you never know Dave says), have a Hickory Farms beefstick on hand for a light lunch snack, nap, then dinner – some hock of meat or fowl (Dave’s words – he’s helping me note these traditions so we don’t forget next year!). Tonight we’re having standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding. Mom and Pete are joining.
New Year’s…we are thinking breakfast should be whisky porridge (steel cut oatmeal topped with cream, butter, honey and whisky – Scotch or perhaps bourbon). For dinner we’re thinking we’ll do a fish fry with our new kitchen gear (thanks Mom and Pete!).
We enjoyed making cookies for Santa with Gramma and Pete today. Dave made our traditional holiday pasta dinner in the new kitchen. We’re heading to mass in an hour, so I’m posting in a hurry. Check out the album for pictures and notes 🙂
Here’s my “date” for the evening in his stocking-hat and headlamp 🙂 We had a great time at a friend’s house – she has people bring cookies over, serves drinks, then everyone goes caroling in her neighborhood. There were about 75 adults there, plus all the kids (50?). Sam enjoyed sampling all the cookies, as you can imagine. He did, however, share with me. 🙂
We went to Learn with Me on base last Friday and stumbled upon a breakfast with Santa! Sam wasn’t too sure about Santa at first but after a couple opportunities to chat with him he warmed up. We sang Christmas songs in Hawaiian with the kids and Auntie Carolyn. The Marines helping host the breakfast sang along, too. One of them knew songs in Hawaiian. I’m going to try to post and mp3 of one so you can hear it. They’re beautiful.
Dave and I went to the ultrasound yesterday morning. It was so nice to have him there for this pregnancy and to see the baby. The ultrasound was very detailed – about 45 minutes – and we got to see great images of the heart beating, the brain, the nasal bone, the diaphragm, feet, hands, etc.
Here’s Sammy calling his friend Dado (DAH-doe).Â See the finger pointing? We are on our way home from the Y with Gramma (who took the picture). He was calling “Dado” to see if he could come over and play when we got home. Sam was quiet for a long time while Dado “spoke.” He looks like he’s a big executive riding in the back of his limo making calls to close deals.
Week two of our remodel has been tiring…I mentioned the windstorm previously. Well, that blew our fence down and in the tumult of counter guys and carpenters in the house in the early morning, I forgot that Caff might escape. She did.
Aloha – just wanted to post a note in case anyone is wondering. We had a big storm last night – 60mph gusts – and didn’t sleep much but we’re all ok. We lost a fence that needed to be replaced anyway, so that was nice. Took care of that demo for us! Most of the island is without power, trees are down and schools are closed. So far our roof seems to be holding – no leaks. This will be the last time that I pray specifically for something – last night Sammy and I prayed for snow, just once, in Hawaii. I really miss snow. I guess God figured that if he sent down rain fast enough sideway it’d look like snow! I do think I spotted some hail out the window. The winds come from the Big Island (called Kona winds) and race down the Ko’olau peaks. They gather speed as they descend the 2000′ and over the windward side. That’s why the gusts got so high – downdrafts I guess.
The kitchen project is proceeding nicely. Our carpenter is having to fix his roof so today is on hold. The high winds yesterday made people really really edgy. I had to talk multiple contractors off the ledge and help them destress. It’s like the horses were when it was windy on our farm (when I was a kid).Â Sam slept fine through it all. So did Dave. I guess we could lose our roof and I’d be the only one standing watch! If a hurricane is forecast, I think I’m outta here. I’d take 6ft of snow any time over winds. They are freaky. You never know when the next crack or bang is going to be the big one. Thank goodness we have double wall!