Monthly Archives: August 2009

beach boys

Dave and Ben kayaking in Kaneohe Bay today.

Dave and Ben kayaking in Kaneohe Bay today.

We had a family beach day today after spending much of yesterday morning doing “family field day” – cleaning! We were wondering how Ben would do in the kayak since he’s such a high-energy guy. He was great between my legs on our little journey around the coves, then Sam and I jumped out to snorkel and I put Ben back with Dave – after pointing out some things to each other, Ben fell right asleep. Look how relaxed he is! How cute the two of them were. I have posted more pictures in the album…Thanks Richard, for storing your kayak with us! You can see it did very well – no pictures of all four of us in the kayak but Dave says it was really pretty stable even with all of us in there. He says it didn’t even seem like it was riding too low. No big swells, but for calm water it was great. Thanks!

Windward Nissan really saved my okole

Scott wrangled the bumper off and popped out the dent!

Scott wrangled the bumper off and popped out the dent!

I’ve been driving for 20 years now – entirely without incident – and to celebrate (I guess) I managed to bump into and dent our bumper – on mom’s car! No damage whatsoever to her car, but our bumper had a good sized dent. It’s plastic, so I thought it would pop out, but the screws to get the bumper off were buried and Dave couldn’t get at them the other night. He threatened to take my backing-up privileges away and have me pull forward into the driveway (we have to stow two cars on a tiny patch of driveway while we store mom’s car here). So the boys and I took matters into our own hands yesterday and while running an errand in Kaneohe, decided to stop at the dealership and see what they said about fixing vs replacing. The nice guys ended up staying overtime on a Friday and fixed it – for FREE!!! I am so thankful to Scott, the mechanic (left), and Doug the service advisor (not pictured). I’m writing a letter to the owner of the dealership. I’d always heard not to go to a dealership for maintenance because they charge too much, but after reviewing pricing, I really think they’re competitive and I’ll be taking the truck there from now on. Wow!  Thanks Windward Nissan guys!!!!

Mom asked how they popped it out – I think I saw Scott jumping up and down on it, then he used a heat gun to warm the plastic and reset it so it wouldn’t pop back into a dent. Now we just have a scratch. In my defense, it was a crazy day with a run on base, then to dental appt with two boys in two, then to commissary, home to unpack/eat in 28 min and then back in car to take Caff to vet. I think I was low on blood sugar at the time! We have new backing up rules now – Sam is spotter, and we don’t have music blaring during parking.

“Mom! Tonight is the end of antares.”

Sam called to me thusly as I tucked him in – antares is a star in the eastern sky which is a supernova about to happen. Sometime in the next 100,000 years. But it could be any day. You never know. After the boys get jammies on we go to check on the stars, and antares to see if it’s gone “supernova” yet. Sam reminded me of white dwarfs and red giants this morning. I asked if I could dress up as a white dwarf star for Halloween and he looked at me like “Duh, mom, no!” He told Dave tonight as we were out on the deck looking at the stars that “They use hydrogen for fuel and when the hydrogen is all out they die.” I, on the other hand, said some very silly things tonight. Such as “I am not sure we can see the North Star from here. It might be too low on the horizon.” Dave quickly corrected me that the North Star is named as such since anyone in the northern hemisphere can see it. Ahhhhh… Then I told Dave that Sam had asked this morning about scientists – specifically “What kind of scientist studies fires?” Tonight I was relaying the story to Dave while we were putting jammies on boys and slipped right into the trap of saying “it must be an arsonist, right?” (It DOES end in ist!) Dave shook his head and tried to fight off a little smile 🙂 I saw it – there was a smile “Well, I guess so!”

“A hypernova is a supernova that’s lookin’ right atchya.”

"You can call me Mr. Whiteface!"

"You can call me Mr. Whiteface!"

Here’s Sam cleaning up with baby powder after a visit to the beach this morning for a little snorkeling. This afternoon I finally watched one of his favorite DVDs with him – “Searching for Superstars” from the Starry Night software program set (astronomy program). It describes supernovas, black holes, binary stars, pulsars…very interesting and very complicated stuff for me to remember. So Sam refreshed my memory tonight before bed with the above statement about hypernovas. He also asked me to tell him what all the different kinds of scientists are in the world, so we talked about astronomers, and about entomologists (he’s met the state entomologist here – a super nice guy (Mike) who goes by “bugman”). I think Sam is a really science-minded analytical sort – he really studies and asks questions, then considers and asks follow-up questions. After the DVD he reflected on how all the elements that make up all matter in the earth first came from the death (explosion) of a star. I tried to relate it to all the Lego pieces that come in his sets, but he has to put them together to make a “creation.” God helped organize everything into His creation, too – to which Sam said “God is pretty clever, isn’t He? How did He get so clever?”

Yesterday before the birthday party, Sam was buckling into his seat and had a little drool on his shirt. He looked down and said “Hey Mom, I think this shirt knows it’s going to a party because it already has a balloon on it!” The drool was indeed shaped like a balloon! He actually made me laugh out loud – kids are so creative!

all ok again

On our hike yesterday - these roots were incredible!

On our hike yesterday - these roots were incredible!

Thankfully, Sam’s eye is fine today. He woke up last night pretty uncomfortable but it seems Tylenol did the trick. I am grateful for a good outcome. We said a prayer of thanksgiving this morning as we set off on a run. Sam said “Oh, and mom also say ‘Don’t let sand or dirt get in our eeeeyyyyes’ in our prayer.”

Thanks to Michelle for snapping a picture of the kids playing on this incredible tree. Today we went on a little jog, then bumped into a good friend and her kids at Lanikai Juice. Sam is enjoying watching “Searching for Superstars” (not the kind you’re thinking of but nebula and supernova!)…

Last update – just got back from a great party thrown by a friend of mine. This was the first time I have had a babysitter put the kids to bed since Ben was born 15 months ago. Everyone did great and I just sneaked in to check on them – sleeping soundly. What good boys. Probably helped that they went to celebrate Caliegh’s birthday – complete with castle bouncy house – just a couple hours before bed! I really enjoyed talking to other grown-ups, and also enjoyed some time just sitting quietly and eavesdropping. I am not used to being around so many people! Funny side note…people really loved my hair – several compliments on the style. It was fun to respond when they asked where I went that I hack off a ponytail every three years or so for charity! How lucky am I that my hair looks good with that simple cut. We’ll see how it looks in a couple months, though 🙂

another crazy day

I’m pasting an email I just sent to a friend here…no energy to even retype or revisit the events of the day. Unbelievable…

At the hike, wanted to greet visitors from Russia with a nice “dobre utra!” (“good morning!” – can’t believe I remembered that from my travels many years ago) so I belted it out. They were, after all, getting off a van inscribed in Russian with “Russia Hawaii Tours.” Felt it was a pretty safe bet. I also heard them speaking what I thought was Russian, but I was too far away to be sure. All I got was icy stares. Wow. Hmmm… Had to ask – ah ha – they were from POLAND! Nice. Of course I remember from my travels that Poles, and many other Eastern Europeans, do not wish to be addressed in Russian at all. DORK. HUGE DORK. How could that have been my luck? I smiled and said “Ok sorry! How about ALOHA!?”


Then the hike this morning – 3 moms 6 kids – despite some whininess and a rocky start, we all did fine and the kids had fun. Little 2 1/2 yr old Cameron wins the big trooper award for doing all 1.7 miles on his own two legs! We almost didn’t find the cache but finally did…Sam got dirt in his eye, rubbed it, got corneal abrasion. Has been alternately fine then screaming every 15 min or so all afternoon. He is usually a very tough guy so I imagine this is really bothersome.


Went out for pizza – ladies behind me were cracking up while eating. Finally had to ask why – they said “it’s about YOU!”  I’m like – no…not again. Don’t want to be center of attention and a DORK again. A plate had blown off their table and onto my HEAD, stayed there long enough for them to deliberate what to do, finally get up, retrieve it, get back and seated, and I never knew about it!

Went for ice cream, then home and in bath, finally.


Just get Sam’s head washed without a major freak out and I turn to look at Ben and there’s a huge pile of poop in the tub! Like huge pieces of grape and other misc food that won’t even fit down the drain! So I have to evacuate Sam before he rubs his eyes with poop-water hands…clean his hands, evacuate Ben, figure out if we’re calling it a night with the bath or not…decided to call it a night and head them to bed. I’m hoping he’s ok now, and will be even better tomorrow. There’s not much that can be done anyway and in kids it heals really fast. Poor guy. What a trooper. I feel like everything that could happen in a deployment – just about – has happened in 7 days. What a week!


how to say honey in Japanese (sounds like "mee-tsu"
how to say honey in Japanese (sounds like “mee-tsu”)

Here are Holly and Sam back at the Japanese. Holly says she didn’t forget all her Japanese over the summer and is back in school picking up some new sounds and words. Today we focused on the m sounds since earlier today Sam had learned about how honey bees make honey. There is an excellent video on YouTube which describes the process.

Later when Holly was leaving, Sam came out to say goodbye, ukulele in hand. He had blood on his lips, on his finger, and his chest. It looked like war paint. I asked where he was cut and he said “Oh, just my finger from playing my ukulele.” He’d really been jamming and wore off some skin! Holly and I couldn’t help ourselves from laughing, and Sam gave us a loud “NO!” rejoinder – “DON’T LAUGH AT ME!” Of course saying we’re not laughing at you but with you doesn’t cut it – at 4 1/2 he knows better already!

Ben is saying a bunch of words now. When you read these, only pronounce the letters that are not in parentheses if you want to say it his way: ha(t), sit, hot, mi(l)k, t(r)u(ck), t(r)ai(n), pa(ne), dotsie (really doggie – an oldie but goodie), wa-wader (water). He’s climbing up onto chairs, going up and down stairs, climbing onto Sam’s bed and dropping “bombs” (box sets of books), kicking balls, throwing balls, running away from me to hide from me in the closet (he’s learned teasing quicker than Sam did – thanks to big brother, again!), and yesterday I bought him a puppy harness and leash for the airports and hikes. He is too strong for a regular child harness that has velcro and stuff. The one I used with Sam would not cut it. Too flimsy. I suited him up at the pet store last night and he took right off – he loved it! He hates to hold hands and does not want to be helped. He refuses and throws a fit. So for safety and sanity, this is what I opted for. We shall see how it goes. He looks rather handsome  since it’s a red vest with cut-outs for front paws. The leash clips onto the back between his shoulders so I can save him from a nasty fall much more easily. Since I’ve been working with Sam to learn not to lie, when we went into the doggie store we had already agreed that when the lady asked about our “doggie” we’d tell the truth. Sure enough, it got hard to fake it much past “uhmmm…25 to 30 pounds” – when she got to what breed? I had to laugh and tell the whole story. Thankfully she said – “You know, you’re not the first! I just outfitted another lady…”

happy hikers

Mariner's Ridge - Sam 4 1/2 and Ben almost 15 months (asleep!)
Mariner’s Ridge – Sam 4 1/2 and Ben almost 15 months (asleep!)
Sam at 3 yrs old and Ben 6 months gestation (probably sleeping!)
Sam at 3 yrs old and Ben 6 months gestation (probably sleeping!)

I have always loved this picture of me hiking with Sam (and Ben in belly). I thought to ask April to grab a similar picture of the three of us today. We had a great time hiking with our friend, April, and really enjoyed finding another cache. We also loved how the clouds drifted by at the summit, obscuring our view some of the time, then unveiling it softly a few minutes later. I just walked these photos over to Sam so he could see how much bigger he is now. He enjoyed comparing how much he’s grown, and how fast he hiked up this time – only an hour to the top and no snack stop! Wow (for reference it’s 1.5 miles to the top and 800′ elevation gain). I am still impressed he did this at 3 yrs old all by himself! What a guy.

BAYFEST crazy carnival time!

Bayfest - fun at the carnival!
Bayfest – fun at the carnival!

The boys had a fabulous time at the carnival tonight – and I felt their excitement, too. It was so fun to watch them take it all in! We hit the ferris wheel, Sam did a roller coaster on his own (Ben was too small to do it), then we all three squeezed into a helicopter for a little ride. (Ben LOVES helicopters – any time he hears one he goes “TACTOR!” – everything with a loud engine is a tactor to Ben. We also got to hear one of Sam’s favorite bands – Ten Feet play on the big stage. Sam was so cute tonight as we chatted about the rides. He said in response to me asking if he enjoyed the roller coaster he did on his own (twice!) “It was good that you and Ben got to go on the helicopter, too.” Ben was bonkers over all the military equipment – tanks, trucks, tactors and planes. Wait til you see the little guy go after all these big rigs…click on photo above.

weekend adventures

My hero - the mouse eradicator enroute to flight to undisclosed location...

My hero - the mouse eradicator enroute to flight to undisclosed location...

So yesterday morning I awoke to TWO mice in ONE glue trap right where I thought the buggers were coming out. Bonzai! BUT – they were VERY vigorous. One of them more than the other. It was staring me down. I tried to gather the courage to get it into a grocery bag and out into the trash before the trash guys came and the boys woke up. I figured without my contacts in I wouldn’t really see what I was doing and it wouldn’t freak me out, well when I got close enough and they came into focus, I did freak out. I went and got my glasses, tried to call Dave to walk me through it,  got his voicemail, left teary message. (Yes, lame, I know; you thought I was tougher than this. So did I!) Next tactic was give them a little ride to the front door via pushing with Swiffer. But the one started to lunge toward the Swiffer and seemed to almost come loose. I was brandishing the Swiffer at it and yelling “NO!” like it would listen. This thing seemed 4 ft tall to me by now. I was shaking and literally covered in sweat at this point. Then I started thinking of who else I could call. Virtually all the men I know are either deployed or heading off island this weekend. I tried calling Angel – turns out she was on a walk without her cell phone but dropped by my house with bananas and left them at the gate while I was inside grappling with my mouse fears. She would have had no problem getting them into a back, she later assured me, having grown up in a trailer where all sorts of “visitors” came. Next I called Jay and Dana, neighbors with whom we kind-of have a contract that the guys bail us girls out of critters if the other’s spouse is gone. Would you believe Jay was literally on his way to the airport but turned the truck around to come help me?!!!!! So we went for a run, stopped by the hardware store on the way home to get some super foam that grows and fills up gaps. Not messing around, I got way down in there to fill the entire crack where they were coming in. I managed to get super-foam in my hair, tried acetone to get it out of my hair, but then had to cut a shock off. I think I heard mice in the walls last night – Dave assures me (safely by phone from gorgeous Lake Tahoe) that there’s no way they could still be in the house. Hopefully I get a full night’s sleep tonight.

adventures in pearl city

super splash at April's pool!

Can you find April? (Click photo for most recent batch of pictures.)

Today we checked out a bike path in Pearl City with my friend April – one of the charter As who lives here now! How lucky for us! I called her yesterday and said be ready for us to pick you up at about 9am – be in your bathing suit with running gear on top. And she was ready, game for anything! We chased Sam down the bike path, spotted some fish swimming in a little stream outside the HECO plant (electic co) and had snacks under a beautiful fern tree in bloom with it’s red blossoms. Then we tooled back by way of a few swings on a banyan tree, then assualted April’s beautiful pool, and finally raided her pantry – our favorite part! The two boys chomped on snacks outside on her lanai – they looked like zoo animals wolfing down pretzels and grapes. Then Sam goes “What ELSE does she have???!” in a little voice that got cuter and higher with each word. So in April went to raid her fridge this time! While she was inside, the boys gathered at the door, peering to see what she was doing. Speaking of that sliding glass door – I totally bonked Ben’s head into it when I first arrived at her house – I didn’t see it was closed because her glass is SO CLEAN! I like to think my house is more safety-oriented, what with the greazy nose prints (boy and dog), paw prints, and dog hair that clings to all surfaces. Not to mention the mouse prints that are probably all over things. April and I had a really good laugh over that one 🙂

“Mom, catch that Marine!”

On top of Radar Hill, waiting for Felicia to come through.

On top of Radar Hill, waiting for Felicia to come through.

Sam wanted to go on a bike/run around the fish ponds on base so we packed up and headed over the day Felicia was going to come through (Tues I think). I thought we might see the storm, some planes taking off to go survey the storm (P3s from base) and who knew what else. So Sam biked and I ran the 4.7 mile loop. We try to catch any Marines we see out running – if they pass us during a water stop, we like to run up on them from behind (they are often listening to ipods) and enjoy passing them. Not fun for them so much but fun for us. Well, we couldn’t catch one this particular day. Every time we gained ground, someone needed to stop for water, run through a mud puddle, or something. Sam wanted to know why we couldn’t catch him so I explained how tough Marines are.

getting grounded

Last night after I tucked Sam into bed and walked over to Ben’s crib, Sam whispered out to me “Mom!” so I went back expecting a question about bad guys or some other topic covered earlier. He said “Thanks for taking me campin’.” Wow. Made my night, actually my whole weekend and likely my whole year. Those are the moments we treasure, aren’t they? That short camping trip switched up our getting-stale dynamic and renewed our bonds. Funny how the outdoors can really ground you. Pun intended.

Off the grid

Boys enjoying a campout morning!
Boys enjoying a campout morning!

The kids and I have been just hankering for a campout, so it was time to seize the day and just go! We were all packed up and ready to head out when I was flatlined by a kidney stone trying to pass. Long story short, we went camping, and really enjoyed ourselves. Love the smell and feel of camping. You get a full-body workout just setting up and taking down! I can feel lots of muscles and my hair still smells like fire after a shower – YES! Poor Dave had to miss all the fun because he is working swing shift and was feeling under the weather today. I tried to schedule a massage for him over at Bellows this morning, but poor guy had to opt for sleep instead and wasn’t even able to visit us. Thankfully he feels better now, and so do I. We had fantastic weather, found lots of fun things to play with, came home tired and happy, and with lots of memories. Enjoy the pictures by clicking on the photo above.

UPDATE: mom emailed me asking where my stone is now – did I pass it? Here’s what made her laugh. 

No – it took a day off. Probably in my bladder. The Tripler nephrologist called back while I was camping and asked how I was doing, etc. I said the pain went away so I went camping, brought beer (to hydrate) and bourbon (for pain) and was peeing on the ground so I wouldn’t lose the stone if it came out (he had said he wanted to send it in for analysis). He was laughing!

i had to smile…for so many reasons…


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