A big bunch of us got together for a hike this morning – I think there were 8 grown-ups (counting an awesome 12 yr old boy!) and 8 kids from 1 yr to 5 years old. So that was a good ratio – about 1:1! We went to Bellows and romped around the ironwoods, then out onto the old runway to take a look at a weird prop that I found a while ago – a huge skull that we think was used for a haunted house maybe? Anyway…we all had a great time. Ben wanted to hike the whole thing! I tried to carry him a few times but he squirmed to get down and keep up with the big kids. What a trooper he is. I tried to measure the distance – it was at least a mile, probably just a hair over. But with all his darting forward then scooting back to pick up a pine cone, who knows! He just really enjoyed himself, then we had snacks under the shelter of the lanai during a shower, then out to the playground, THEN Sam wanted to swim with Aiden…finally wrangled them all home in time to see Dave off to work (he’s still on swings through the weekend and next week). I am tired! Not to mention I’m not sleeping well…there was a mouse in the house a few days ago, which we caught, but I keep hearing things at night just as I’m about to drift off to sleep. Then in the middle of the night I SWEAR I heard something laughing at me – imagine a high-pitched squeaky voice giggling at you? It sounded like the mouse was laughing at me, right on my bedstand. I honestly can’t think of anything that would sound like that at all in the room, so either I am going totally crazy or the mouse did squeak at me. Do they squeak? Do mice climb up things or scoot around on floors? I am hoping it’s just floor scooting, not crawling up walls like geckoes. (Alden, man who knows all, if you’re reading this and you’re about to inform me that they DO crawl up things, please just don’t even comment! Remember, I said I was not sleeping well! In a few weeks you can weigh in on this…) Then today on the hike there was some teasing – “poopie-head” I think. So I talked to Sam about how we never say that (I don’t think he did, but he thought it was funny when he heard it), but then tonight in the bath it was all poopie water – somehow there were particles floating around! Did Ben do it? I never heard or saw anything come out. So then I’m thinking “GROSS!” poopie water! Ewwww! Flush out tub, rewash everyone in a shower, put in cleaner and let it sit all night, clean all toys…ayy yii yii. I had already had to do two washes of linens yesterday and today because Ben apparently does not like to poop on hikes. He prefers to store up a huge load then poop after his luxurious nap in his bed, then it creeps out of the diaper and he does poop-stamps all over the bed by standing up then flopping down so the stuff comes out in a nice little line of poop-stamp. Ewwwww. What a couple days. I pray for sleep tonight, no huge poops tomorrow, and more laughs. Check the album for the rest of the July pictures. About to upload…
April, Angel and I went on a hike with the boys today in Lanikai. It was very sunny and warm, but breezy. Gorgeous views, as always. We could see Molokai (I think) faintly on the horizon. Ben wanted to walk all over that bunker top…yikes. Sam enjoyed checking out two spiders and a fly with April – they were taunting each other! Then some butt-sliding ensued back down the steep grade, finished off by shave-ice for lunch at a new tiny store on Oneawa. Much better than Matsumoto’s at the North Shore, a spot which everyone raves and raves about…Glad we have our own hot spot here! The boys really enjoyed that.
Dave really does the tastiest salmon on the planet. Here is his response to my mom’s email asking us how he does it. Figured I’d save it for the day I actually try to cook him some salmon dinner 🙂 I should first preface this by our favored marinade – huli huli sauce. See if any of you mainlanders can find it. It’s like a soy/ginger sauce. Very good. Might be in your “ethnic” section? I don’t know. I’d be curious if it’s available so when we move back I will know if I need to set up an import liaison in advance…
If she’s trying to do it “my” way, I make a “boat” out of foil and put the salmon in with all the excess marinade. The salmon basically gets poached in the marinade and retains alot of moisture, with the added bonus that the skin peels right off.Grilling directly probably gives you a bit more flavor, but you have to skin the filet (no easy feat) and use a well oiled grill. You would put the filet on, turn (90 deg), flip, and turn again (for the nice cross hatched grill marks). In my experience, you have to really know your grill to not overdo the fish this way. With a charcoal grill, the addition of some cedar chips (or kiawe!) would add to the flavor nicely.
One of the most precious rituals for me is tucking the kids into bed. I read to them, say prayers, sing, then tuck Ben into bed. I go back to Sam and chat about his day. We always end with “I love you more than . . .” and I think of something from the day. Like “all the toppings at Yogurt Mama piled up one on top of the other high into the sky.” He’ll then say “I love you more than all the toppings in all the galaxies in the universe!” or “…all the stars in the sky.” Tonight I said “…more than all the waves that will ever come into the tide pools.” We both thought about that for a minute, and realized that the waves will never stop coming. (For once I could beat Sam!) He said, “I’ll love you until the earth dies. Does it ever die?” I wonder what this routine will be like in 5 years, 10 years…There are so many times I can’t wait for the kids to be a little older to do certain things, like heli-biking for their birthday, or whatever. But these moments are the ones I want to last forever. On the days I feel like a bad mom, an impatient mom (I have been lately, tired of repeating myself), I am thankful that I have so many days to try again, to be better. I don’t have to wait for the weekends to have that time to hit the reset button. The days are few before I turn them over to someone else…unless we decide to homeschool and live out of an uber-cool Airstream travel trailer!!!
Big day at k-bay! This little shark was in very shallow water, at one point coming so shallow that he almost came out of the water as the swell receded. He was so fast that video is all I could get quick enough. I couldn’t snag a picture of him – he darted too much. Apparently K-bay is a breeding ground for these guys, so I’m surprised this is the first I’ve seen in the three years we’ve lived here. Sam and Dave got a chance to snorkel around again today…and now they’re building a PLANE Lego set that we promised Sam some time ago after his big trip to Scotland (hence, the “plane” theme – many many hours on planes – let’s see – 40 hours! Wow. (Crazy that I had to open up the calculator feature to check my math on that one. Usually you can count maybe on two hands, at most, how many hours were spent on a plane. This doesn’t count hours waiting for the plane 🙂 via space-a LOL!) Dave starts swing schedule this week for a couple weeks so I’m glad they’re having lots of good man time even though that means lots of time for me with little-man who is not so sweet sometimes. He is, shall we say, very expressive. A baby hammerhead…
Good reading sent by my mom: “The truth about the lies we tell our kids.”
One thing led to another tonight. As Dave got home, Sam was spraying down the deck because he’d gotten sand all over it bringing me “apple pie” from his secret garden, water was sprayed into the house (not a lot but a little); Ben was walking around with the swiffer mop, banging it and yelling (happy yells), almost slipping on the water Sam had sprayed in; I was halfway through emptying the dishwasher (I usually do that in the morning) and my laundry was all over the bed, half-folded; the vacuum was in pieces on the deck to change a belt that had broken when Sam was vacuuming a couple weeks ago (I’d been limping along hoping I could get it to work all that time, using the wand on the floors, etc. until I just couldn’t take it any more); and there was a red splat of spit-up that was tinged with bright red frosting from after-commissary lunch-dessert on the carpet, which I was also trying to clean while cooking, wrangling Ben, wiping up the floor, and telling Sam to turn off the hose.
Sam says he liked the tigers the best (daddy bought him a tiger at the gift shop on the way out) and Ben seemed to really enjoy these big birds chasing each other around with cardboard hanging from their beaks. Tonight we had a laugh at the boys – Sam would not eat a green bean to save his soul until this year when he and I started doing bean races to see who could chomp and swallow one first. He still requests beans now to do that game. Ben, on the other hand, fussed until he got the bowl of veggies and sifted through trying to get the green beans and LIMA beans!!!! This is the same kid who fussed and protested eating salmon because he didn’ t like the texture (nor did he eat his shrimp tonight). But green beans, which feel like you’re eating a chicken claw, are a delicacy to be favored? Someone please explain?!
Eating with Ben is a full contact sport. I remember taking a similar picture about 9 months ago up at Turtle Bay. Here we are at Cholo’s in Haleiwa after snorkeling in Shark’s Cove. The fish were super large up there! We were all a little snarly at each other at first, fighting traffic, trying to find a parking spot (we ended up with a ticket, too) and then who got to snorkel with Sam first (always a joy) while the other wrangled the biggest fish in the cove (Ben). Anyway – the fish were amazing. As soon as I plunked down into the somewhat chilly water I saw a unicorn fish – literally as soon as I looked around. Saw humuhumu, wrasse, moorish idol, parrot fish, a cornis, lots of butterfly fish, surgeon fish, and more. My friend April and her son, Ben, were there, too – they have moved here to Hawaii so they’re taking in all the adventures they can right away. Big Ben was really funny to watch getting his mask on over long, thick hair! He was like “Miss Alli! I am having a little trouble seeing the fish!” with his hair totally flopped over his mask. Very funny! They had a good time and explored the windward side on their way home. Dave took Sam out into the cove proper this time and they both swam all around the rocks out there, spotting a puffer fish among other very large parrotfish. Sam did really great with Dave using his snorkel and staying calm while clearing it out every now and then. I am very impressed. Another “license” for my big guy. He takes it all in stride, though. When he came back he made arrangements for Dad to watch Ben while he would take me out to show me all the fish. Such a cute guy – had to take a rain check on his plans, but next time! I love snorkeling with him. He holds my hand. Dave says that’s cheesy and only advertisements for resorts feature couples doing that.
Benji likes to lean back against Caffrey and she doesn’t mind too much. She seems to like it a bit. He is pretty gentle with her, but we have to watch his curiosity with eyes. He likes to poke eyes – ours, hers, his. This picture was taken after a long run to the dentist, then the playground, then the doctor, then home. He didn’t nap the entire time we were out so he was pretty tired by the time we got back and slept for 3 hours! I made smoothies for the boys since it was hot. See my recipe here: http://www.outdoorohana.com/?p=28
We went hiking with April yesterday on Pu’u Pia – one of our favorites! It was Dave’s first time up that little peak, and Sam was so excited to show him the way. He chatted all the way up and down! We also swung on some vines hanging from a tree and had lunch at P.F. Chang’s in Waikiki with April’s son, Ben. What fun! Love having another A here!
We decided to go for a run over at Ala Moana beach park to break up the routine a bit – plus our friends were meeting at the Children’s Discovery Center so we could zip over there (just a block away) to hook up with them for a bit. We had a great time. I wanted to see Magic Island as well – there is a really calm lagoon at the tip for kids. Also saw some SCUBA divers getting certified. When Sam wasn’t really responding or listening while biking (he got spaced out looking at everything) I got a little barky trying to get his attention so he’d stay safe while going through the parking lot. I asked him why he wasn’t listening that day (despite several attempts to turn on his ears for him!) and he said “It’s a thinking day today, not a listening day!” Ah ha! Before I forget…did you see the news story about the dog which got a bbq fork stuck in its head? It ran away for two days then returned, the vet removed the fork successfully and it’s recovering now. Guess what the dog’s name is??? SMOKEY! Unreal. Thought that was pretty funny. Sam enjoyed seeing the vet work on the dog. I wanted to be a vet – that was my first ambition. Lastly – Sam asked today on our way home from a run if I knew how to count to 1000. Yup. A million? Yup. A trillion? Yeah… Mom, what comes after a trillion? Uhh…standing at a stoplight now so I turned around and asked a lady in the nearby parking lot a few feet from me. She said very convincingly “Oh! A zillion, right?! Yeah, I’m sure that’s it! Right?” So I decided it was Friday pop-quiz time. I called my A-list of smart women. Kathy says quadrillion. April concurs. I asked a guy on the way home – turns out he was from Austria and wasn’t so sure what to call it in English. See – you just never know what interesting folk the pop-quiz will cause you to meet. We had fun with that. Still need to verify the quadrillion but it sounds pretty good. Check the album for a lot more pictures…if you’re still with me after this post I’m sure you’re one of our loved ones and will want to see more pictures.
I am so sad to post this, but it’s a little tribute to our friend, Mel, at the Y. I just found out yesterday that he passed away while we were traveling in May. He and I shared a lane at the Y while I was swimming, joking that there wasn’t much room left in the lane since I was pregnant (very very pregnant!). When Ben arrived, Mel greeted us with a big smile and lots of joy. He even got to hold Ben on this particular day last October. Such a nice guy, and such a beautiful, happy person. Aloha, Mel. We miss you.
Guess who is back in town!!!??? APRIL! Can you believe it? The three charter A-team members are together once again. April and family are moving here! Now we just need Amy, who is back in CT and “Anita” in WA! We had such fun getting together for dinner last night. Can you guess what we made? Artichoke, asparagus with sea salt (and almonds), alfredo sausage and sauce, and dessert was angel food cake with strawberries and syrup. Do you see a trend? Each course started with “a” and spelled the same three-letter word. Silly As. Today we went to check out the USS Missouri. Very very cool. When Sam is 6 we will think about holding his party on the ship – kids as young as 6 can sleep over on an encampment there. Wouldn’t that be neat?
We took a break to watch the fireworks yesterday…nice to spend a little time together. I’ve been working on the last round of revisions for a book. It’s been very busy and Dave was so helpful playing with the boys while I cranked away. I am secretly kinda glad that he got to see what my life is like when he’s wrapping up papers for his courses… ha ha ha! More pictures in the album…I hope to be better about posting in the coming weeks. Should be a bit more normal schedule. Of all the hours devoted to this project over the last 11 months, about 30% have fallen in the last two weeks alone. whew!