Now I know for sure he’s is Dave’s son – he loves the high dive! And he just saw a diving board for the first time yesterday! He does gather a lot of data by asking questions before undertaking a big adventure, a true mommy trait. We were at our friends’ pool where the kids are allowed to use the high dive if they pass the swim test, so Sam decided to give it a go as soon as he saw Anneliese jump off. Sam says “Now I have a license to jump off Waimea Rock when Daddy is there with me!” What a guy!
Thanks so much for introducing us to your pool, Anneliese and Caleigh! Now we have another fun place to go when Daddy is in Guam ;0 Can you see the climbing wall next to the pool? What a great idea – if you fall off you just land in the water. I loved it. I did the high dive again, too, and Ben jumped off the low dive (with a little help). It will be some time before he’s in love with it like Sam :0
Proud of Sam would be a major understatement! Team Krug threw a few fistpumps in the air as we left the pool today… From being completely comfortable in the ocean yet nervous in a pool, Sam has developed into a very natural monk seal 😉 With Dad as his constant and gentle guiding hand, he has never had a swim lesson. He’s developed some natural strokes based on what we see our ocean friends do (such as “turtle”) and he’s picked up the crawl fairly recently. He’s so comfortable under water that it takes a lot of exhorting to get him to do anything along the surface :0 So it was with some trepidation that I’ve contemplated taking him over for the swim test at the base pool…for several reasons: 1) he’s never seen a pool this big (50 m is monstrous), 2) I wasn’t sure he’d stick with the task at hand (25 m swim and 2 minute tread). But with his friends all in their second or third years of swim lessons, and some of them passing the swim test so they can do the water slide and diving board, etc., it was time to get with the program and let Sam take a stab at it.
So, after church today we went to check out the pool, talk to the lifeguards, and assess the scope of the test. Then we went to the playground, had lunch, and came back well prepared (and hot enough to want to jump in!). A lifeguard was free to do the test so away we went. He did the 25 m swim great – was a little nervous and not breathing calmly like normal, and forgot to kick for much of the length. Then he did the 2 min tread, which I was most nervous about as he loves to swim under the water. I can’t get him to keep his head up long enough to say anything to him! But he did it! Man was I proud! After all that he got a wrist band to show that he passed and we got to jump in the water. Ben was very happy about that – he was fussing in my ear during Sam’s entire test wanting to jump in, too. Oy. After a bit they opened the diving board. This was the next big deal of the day. His friends taking swim lessons have been around these but we have been jumping off lava shelves and stuff, so the diving board sticking way out over the water was something to be reckoned with. (He’d never even seen one before, so yesterday I showed him one on YouTube as a sneak preview.) Sam asked a bunch of questions, was nervous, walked down the board, said he didn’t want to do, came back. Did that several times. We talked, had a team huddle, decided to jump off the side of the pool a couple times, and then he decided to just do it. It was time (Ben was really getting mad now, having been in the pool then had to get out to go to the big kid area with Sam but not able to get back in over there.) Once he jumped, he loved it, as I knew he would. I well remember my first diving board experience and it was awful – killed a love of the water until I was over 30 and decided I just needed to teach myself to swim again and then got SCUBA certified. (In my case I remember the Y pool, indoors, loud, chlorine smell, white caps on the water it seemed so forboding, and a large lady named Ursula yelling from the pool to JUMP!)
My most sincere hope is that Sam has fond memories of his first days in a big pool and continues his love of the water. I am really floored by his composure and maturity handling the swim test, then overcoming nervousness about the board. There were no other kids even in the deep end (which gets to 18 ft!) when he was on the board thinking about jumping. Oh, and there were 25 Canadian frogmen doing helicopter pilot drownproofing in this vast pool. And there’s a huge contraption for lowering a makeshift helicopter into the deep end to help pilots figure out how to get out of a crashed helicopter. So you’ve got all this intense military stuff going on in the pool – a tad intimidating I thought. On our way out we talked to one of the “frogmen” – they were probably helicopter pilots but thinking about frogmen was super cool – anway I asked them if they were nervous before their test and they were like “Heck yeah! I don’t much like getting belted into a contraption then spun upside down!” Sam noted that even big guys do things that make them nervous, too. And he was a great coach when mom decided to jump the high dive!!!!
I put together clips of his day, including a movie of his first jump. Enjoy 🙂
I’ve had such a couple funny nights with the boys that tonight I managed to lose my phone again! This is twice in two weeks!!! We were out biking around in the park when Dave called from Guam, I talked to him for a bit, and somehow the phone disappeared after I hung up. Oy! I wish I had a locator or some way to trace it. I guess there are ways to do that but you have to subscribe to them before you lose it. I keep calling the phone but I guess it hasn’t been picked up yet. Anyone have any ideas? It’s a cheap $40 phone thankfully. On the bright side, we had a really fun hike this morning with our buddies…pictures and notes to be found through the photo above.
Last night on our way home from Farmer’s Market, Ben wanted to walk, then it turned into a jog and he never stopped, except to check out the scooting chickens, the dogs woofing, a kid on a skateboard who lost the board into a drainage thing when he tried to jump it up on the curb (which Sam found hilarious!), the random egg nestled into grass on the side of the road (was it Chuck-the-Chicken-Duck’s egg? will it hatch?)…our street has many interesting things to see and enjoy if you have the right frame of mind. As we made our way home dodging signposts, sharp mailboxes which have settled into the ground askew, and fire hydrants (which Ben wanted to sing into, LOUDLY), families would peer out kitchen windows or smile off their front porches. I felt like the crazy-parade rolling through town and was thankful we’re all good runners in case someone didn’t find us quite so funny! So Ben jogged all the way home, over a mile, and Sam got a good 2-mile jog in since he jogged over with me on the way there. It’s amazing how much fun the most random escapades can end up being. The mental images of our family that I have still crack me up. Tonight as we sat at Kalapawai having dessert (after I’d realized I had lost my phone!) Sam was making farting noises into his popsicle and Ben was screeching in laughter at that while I had tears rolling down my cheeks and could help but laugh with them. Thankfully their laughs are infectious and people seem to enjoy us having a good time. I did apologize last night as we rolled by a restaurant rather loudly – a younger lady and another couple was having wine out in the outdoor area and we had lost total situational awareness and were high-fiving each other rather exuberantly. So I said “I’m sorry! We were just so thrilled to get across the street!” (It may sound overwrought but here’s what we had going on – 4 lanes of traffic with me carrying Ben like a 40lb football as he yelled that he wanted to “RUN!” while pushing the stroller and minding Sam’s whereabouts, all while keeping Ben’s slippers still on him! I was sure that he had kicked them off as he often does and they’d be stranded out in traffic as he wanted to keep running…whew. The lady with the wine was like “Oh no! It’s fine – love the sound of children!” I am thankful for them, and for like-minded folks. Mind you, we don’t always run wild, but the last couple days have been pretty funny…wish I could change my phone’s voicemail greeting to the subject of this post!
Not only did a week off for Dave end today, he flew to Guam! The boys and I unpacked from a night away last night at a beach cottage (above), I got back to work, and tried to grill up some chicken. (Our neighbor came over to check it out and ended up taking some home. It just had a weird texture but he said it was fine! Tasted good…) Pictures of our time off going holo holo around the island can be found via the photo left/above.
Dave’s clutch has blown on the GTI so we took it to the dealer for diagnostics. Their estimate was $2500, so we quickly called around and found a place to do it for $1216. Wow! It is an authorized VW and Audi repair shop called Wrench Werks in Waikiki. So this morning was pretty busy going back over to the dealer across the island, then caravaning down to Waikiki to take the car to the cheaper shop. We had fun, though, thinking of it as a family road trip all over Ewa plain. At the dealer Dave and I were tempted by how sweet the new GTI looks…even tartan seats (if they had the Skene tartan on there I’d be buying it on the spot!). The guy who showed us a couple cars (just to kill time while waiting for Dave) was pointing out the entertainment package assuming any mom in her right mind would want one for sure. Tonight as we drove home from the beach the boys were so funny – made me realize how much you miss if you occupy them with stuff other than interactions between each other, their environment (i.e. looking out the window and observing stuff) and the parents. As I told the guy at the dealership, “I am the entertainment package!” He enjoyed that one 🙂 Truthfully we all take turns entertaining each other – Sam with his uke and hilarious faces of late, Ben imitating the faces, and then the typical skirmishes over territory in the backseat. There’s no shortage of fun 🙂
Dave is on leave this week so I didn’t plan out adventures, we’re just letting them happen as the family chooses day by day what sounds fun. This was a great day – thank you for all the birthday well wishes! Here’s video of our birthday snorkel with a few new fishies identified: 2010-june-birthday-snorkel
And here’s a video of the three guys playing uke and guitar after dinner…enjoy! 2010-june-after-dinner-jam-session
We thought we were getting together with dear friends for dinner since Dave is on leave this week and has time to cook for a gathering. So when our friends and their teenage boys arrived with looks of mischief in their eyes, we started to wonder! After dinner the clues began – Angel and April had collaborated to hide all the fixins for a birthday (cake, frosting, decorations for cake, candles, matches, everything!) all over the house and even out into the garden. Their clues were so imaginative that they really had me going a few times! Eventually I found everything and Sam enjoyed frosting the cake April had made. Then came the fiah fiah – we put 39 candles on and got a nice little bonfire going! Here we are lit by the candlelight 🙂 Thank you, dear friends, for the surprise!
Menu (since Mom asked 🙂 ):
Salmon, steak, Caesar salad with papaya and grilled red peppers, asparagus and potato salad. And here’s the recipe for Dave’s homemade potato salad which was just amazing (all amounts approx. and ingredients may be tweaked to suit your taste):
Upon crossing a little drainage ditch and into the trail, Dave goes “Huh, this really isn’t much of a trail, is it. How far to the rappelling tree?” We had a great time, the thorns which penetrated our slippahs (as we were really not dressed for pig-trailing it – was a last-minute diversion) didn’t strike any feet, and the ants didn’t sting anyone (I didn’t warn Dave about the ants – kinda forgot about them). On the way back down the trail, we came across some interesting trash, but it was Dave’s comments which really made me laugh. We found a couple used preg tests – Dave goes “I wonder how that worked out for her.” (I checked – both negative) Then upon finding an empty Trojan packet he says “I guess they decided to try again.”
Every now and then, when the kids are poking at each other, sniping, getting underfoot and generally being annoying to each other and me, I say “you’re in my asteroid belt – someone’s gonna get hit by an asteroid!” because that’s how I feel and it makes the boys laugh. I guess it may not make much sense, but it makes the point well enough. We all laugh and recognize just how annoying we’re being to each other and my space is cleared out – to an arm’s length at least – so that I can move around again somewhat more freely 🙂 I’ve also tried “My electrons are not interested in bonding with yours right now!” when I need some space since Sam is interesed in atoms (Dad is a nuke). After clearing my space enough to get a skirt on (wow!) we all trekked off to Bishop Museum to see what was shakin’ over there. Sam finally got a chance to really use the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pictured above – it’s a small camera that you guide with a joystick and watch the video feed on a screen in front of you. Since Sam likes BBC documentaries about ocean life, this was a really cool thing to use. Usually it’s swarmed with kids but this time we managed to carve out some time with it undisturbed. I really enjoyed having a minute to use it as well. Ben enjoyed seeing the volcano again, and I brushed up on some history about Captain Cook’s last days on Kauai. Good day… During prayers at bedtime I’ve been asking the boys what they’re thankful for. I will start mentioning what they say when it’s interesting or different from “Gwamma and Wichud” (Ben) – tonight it was Daddy (also a frequent mention on “the list”) for his great romping time. Mommy never makes the list. Dave says that’s because mommy is ubiquitous – they can’t even conceive of being thankful for mommy because that would open the door to the possibility of a world without mommy. Hmmm…thanks for that insight 🙂
We’ve had a couple funny days’ worth of Sam saying “Look at mah faaaace!” You never know what it will look like. Yesterday we set out on a random ridge hike since our usual buddies were not available for a hike (swim lessons) and we don’t like to drag our friends out on weird adventures. We ended up exploring several pig trails which initially looked promising but I tell you those pigs just do not tend to go high. They stay low and forage so their trails didn’t take us anywhere very interesting as far as a usual hike destination is concerned. They did, however, take us to an escarpment that Sam very much enjoyed climbing with the help of several vines. He said “I’m rappelling down just like Uncle Tom on El Capitan!” as he swung down. He went up and down a couple times with Ben watching from below. You just never know where a pig trail will take you, but the boys are always able to come up with fun. The other funny thing for me was finding a perfectly pristine trash bag toward the end of the hike – perfect for stowing the trash we’d picked up along the way. How funny to find a trash bag among the trash! And in great condition?! I do “tiny ghostie” for the boys (blow up trash bag with air and chase boys around house) so they were amused to find tiny ghostie out for a hike as well. THEN as if that weren’t enough we got back in the truck and drove off but within a block found two boys out riding bikes and I decided to ask about other trails in the area. Sure enough, these two knew of one just behind one of their homes and they offered to take us! Thinking we were just going to the trailhead we piled out without our gear (water, snacks, etc.) and followed them. When we reached the steep, lava-rock trailhead they said “You wanna go?!” with such true-hiker enthusiasm that we had to say “yes!” and followed them up. The two guys, 10 and 11, were super nice and really helped out a few times with Ben when the going got tricky. One of the guys goes to Sam’s school and it turns out I know the mom of the other guy. We were able to reach “King’s Chair” and see the gorgeous views of Kailua, then headed back down with their excellent guidance. The shot above was taken after a jog in Lanikai. We cooled off with a swim before playground time. We are blessed!
Butterflyfish are among the more common fish you’ll see while out snorkeling. Behind these guys are the ubiquitous convict tang. We also get to see moorish idols frequently (striped with long pennant from dorsal fin). So I wasn’t exactly surprised to find these cuties, but what made this little trip special is the sun popped out only briefly while I was snorkeling, which helps bring contrast to the fish and makes the pictures come out better. I decided to catch a movie of them hanging out and am glad I did – when I came home to study up on these particular butterflyfish, I found that they are considered relatively scarce here and are thought to be more common on Kauai. They eat live coral polyps and do not survive in captivity. They are also thought to mate for life. I am sure glad they decided to make Kaneohe Bay their home! Dave saw a bunch of juvenile parrotfishes yesterday. They are also pretty neat to learn about – they eat live coral and the teeth in their throats grind it up during digestion. The tiny particles are then deposited from their anus, forming a large portion of our sand in the process. Also, they are very deep sleepers at night and are known to secrete a mucous around their entire bodies, some biologists think to keep eels from smelling a tasty meal. The parrotfish come in a wide array of colors and designs, and they change their markings during maturation, making these fish “an ichthyologist’s nightmare” according to our excellent guidebook (Hoover’s Hawaii’s Fishes). “Anyone who can accurately identify them underwater is a master…” Good job, Dave! They are among my favorite to spot, too.
Sam also had me make a documentary about trail biking. He had me film him introducing what we were doing, then he introduced himself, Ben and me and even gave our ages (said I was 27! yeah!) then took took off on the trail. It’s sure fun to watch him progress on his bike. I could barely keep up with him this time over about 4 miles on the trail. It’s happy hour time here (i.e. 3-5 when boys are up to no good!). Aloha 🙂
Fantastic time getting to do some snorkeling in good conditions, then perfect timing for a rock jump (high tide, relatively calm water), followed by a celebratory margarita at one of our favorite haunts. Thanks for a fun day, guys! (More pictures by clicking the photo above.)