Monthly Archives: March 2011

Surprise!

A great morning was spent playing at the beach with our hiker hui and boys. Amy (on left) is due to deliver in about 3 weeks. This beach has a lot of meaning for her family - she was engaged on the Mokes and married on the beach. So cool to celebrate their newest member of the family right beside both those important places to her family. We brought some little treats in a cooler bag, and Brenda actually MADE some burp cloths with a big K on them! Amazing! Love these gals and their boys.

A great morning was spent playing at the beach with our hiker hui and boys. Amy (on left) is due to deliver in about 3 weeks. This beach has a lot of meaning for her family - she was engaged on the Mokes and married on the beach. So cool to celebrate their newest member of the family right beside both those important places to her family. We brought some little treats in a cooler bag, and Brenda actually MADE some burp cloths with a big K on them! Amazing! Love these gals and their boys.

Then Sam, Ben, Gramma and I went to a unique Japanese kibou (hope) card making event organized by two ladies who I met through a homeschool network. These are Sam's cards. The ones Gramma and I made are on their way to Japan with a message of hope and healing inside. The designs are stamped onto the paper, then we colored in the blooms with pastels and burnished the edges. Really beautiful.

Then Sam, Ben, Gramma and I went to a unique Japanese kibou (hope) card making event organized by two ladies who I met through a homeschool network. These are Sam's cards. The ones Gramma and I made are on their way to Japan with a message of hope and healing inside. The designs are stamped onto the paper, then we colored in the blooms with pastels and burnished the edges. Really beautiful.

How Gramma found us this afternoon :)

Preparing for a little science lesson for Sam's class on viruses. Motivated by hearing that kids are continuing to spit in class. Needless to say I have the boys' colds now ;)

Preparing for a little science lesson for Sam's class on viruses. Motivated by hearing that kids are continuing to spit in class. Needless to say I have the boys' colds now 😉

Sam did his homework in this thatched fort we built, and read a bit of the Dangerous Book for Boys. Love the world of boys! So over dinner just now we were doing some math in our heads for fun and something to talk about (I am not very interesting when I have a cold). So after 100×100 and such, I decided to stump Sam with 20×20, figuring he’d never get it and maybe I would if I used our white board which is right near the table. So he said “2000?” Nah…I said “What is 20×5?” Sam: “100” Mom: “So what is 20 times 20 then?” Sam: (12 seconds later) “400!” I asked him how he figured that out and he said “I’m not gonna tell youuuu!” I honestly think he pictures math, doesn’t have a system exactly. I have to use a system to ladder myself to an answer. He doesn’t. I think maybe that is related to good spatial relations? And music? That’s what I’ve read anyway. Whatever it is, it’s a gift that will come in handy when he’s out to dinner on a blind date that dead ends. At least he can do some mental math 🙂

“Sam, why are boys so…”

At the Waikiki Aquarium for Marine Munchies - a private tour of the aquarium during feeding time!

At the Waikiki Aquarium for Marine Munchies - a private tour of the aquarium during feeding time!

I was afraid I’d forget this entire chat on the way home from an aquarium tour – a private tour! – we’d arranged for some friends on a day off from school. So I jotted things down immediately.  The tour was at 4:30-6pm, for 7 boys age 7 and under. What were we thinking? It’s happy hour at that time for boys. Just wild-making time. But they did really well overall and it was a great tour for all…especially the octopus opening a jar! We loved seeing the fish eat and learning so many things from the guides, Mary and Kanako. So here’s the chat about boys…

“Wild?”

“Yeah. Why when we arrived at the aquarium were you all jumping off anything you could find, twirling around and yelling?”

“That’s just how boys are. We are wild”

“Is that just how you are? What else do I need to know about boys?”

“Well, we are big. And we eat a lot. And so we have a lot of energy. The highest maintenance age is 1. When you are 1 you can’t do anything, you don’t know all the rules. You just eat. When you are 6 or 7 you’re not as high maintenance, it gets lower, then when you are much older, like 99, you are very high maintenance again like a brown a dwarf, or any star – you have a lot of fuel to burn.”

“OK. Thank you Sam. That clears it up.”

Ben: “Our dad is in uh…JAPAN! Yeah. Now you listen here young man!”

“The earth is like a big treadmill.”

Cute boys - Ben, Henry and Camden - on a "palm motorcycle" while out on a hiker hui outing this morning.

Cute boys - Ben, Henry and Camden - on a "palm motorcycle" while out on a hiker hui outing this morning.

Sam remarked about the earth treadmill tonight while we were reading up on fever and how the body manages homeostasis unless challenged. The challenge might be an infection – the fever denatures the viral capsid coating so it can’t take over your cell’s machinery to churn out more viruses. This was particularly relevant because Sam had a fever today so was home from school, lounging. I love sick days, except I feel bad for the kiddos if they are really feeling awful. Thankfully it’s just another low fever so hopefully it will be a short course for them.

Back to the treadmill. While reading the Biology book tonight about homeostasis and fever, we saw a picture of a ghost crab on a treadmill! The ghost crabs are our little beach friends so we were curious to see what he was doing in a tank on a treadmill. The scientists were measuring metabolic output. So I explained what a treadmill is – a sheet covering two cylinders that spin around and you have to keep up on it or you fall off (like I did in ancient times past while enrolled in a running study – I closed my eyes while running on a treadmill hooked up to all kinds of equipment because I was bored  – apparently that is not a good idea on a treadmill!). Sam says “The earth is like a big treadmill, except going really fast.” I agree. Earth is spinning extra fast I think right now. I just can’t seem to keep up! Thank goodness for my mom running out for emergency supplies of all sorts – she is expecting a call around 7pm every night I think 🙂

It’s raining ants!

Boys reading favorite books after dessert. On Sam's lap is a college biology book (he studies the pictures, picks a good one, then we take turns reading the captions - tonight was on lipids and their hydrophilic heads/hydrophobic tails, followed by mixing oil and water to see it in action). Ben's book is the words to their favorite CD from Eddie and Myrna Kamae.

Boys reading favorite books after dessert. On Sam's lap is a college biology book (he studies the pictures, picks a good one, then we take turns reading the captions - tonight was on lipids and their hydrophilic heads/hydrophobic tails, followed by mixing oil and water to see it in action). Ben's book is the words to their favorite CD from Eddie and Myrna Kamae.

It was the first day back to school for Sam and we were actually even on time (just barely). Ben and I enjoyed our usual jog down the beach and rendezvous with mom, followed by running errands in town, studying an FJ Cruiser going through a car wash, a digger tearing up the road, and finally home to help finish up the landscaping out front. Got it all done, Ben in bed (thanks to Mom’s help), work done, dinner made/done, dessert done, and cute boys curled up reading as above. Thinking that although I am tired, I’m really a rock star of a mom and doing just fine. Then I realized that I only had no nighttime pull-ups for Ben! Poor Mom and Richard ran out to get more and managed to come back with baby diapers (???) because mom’s cell phone with specific instructions somehow landed in Richard’s pocket…anyway poor things rescued me as  best they could. As mom walked in I was finishing up Sam’s bath – used the shower to clean off all the bubbles (the boys and I go a bit wild with bubbles – decorating each other with hats, stegosaurus plates, beards, lattes, etc.) and little black things ended up on him! Then they started moving!!! Horror! What were they? I realized they were tiny little ants literally raining down from the shower head! Time to call my knights in shining armor at Kilauea Pest to figure out where these pesky guys are hiding out and get rid of them! Otherwise I have really seen an improvement in the invaders despite the rain, which often drives unwanted guests inside. I am grateful for countless blessings, including the people I meet on a daily basis here. I hope when we move to WA I stumble across equally amazing people…

Happy day for two little boys

A happy end to the day - relaxing in bath with cookies and light sabers!

A happy end to the day - relaxing in bath with cookies and light sabers!

UPDATE: clicking on the above picture will take you to all of the March pictures…finally ;0

We started with breakfast at Moke’s, then uke lesson, then Aikahi playground in the intermittent rain with the ever-game Tamara and company, then pool party/hot dog fest in the pouring rain, then UBERMOON with the gang, followed by lightsaber cookie bath. Whew! I will try to update the album tomorrow with all the pictures from the past week of spring break.

Reaching out

We have been talking about the families in shelters, how it is cold and snowing, and how it is hard to get food to them with all the roads full of debris and gas shortages. So when an opportunity came along to make a donation that would be matched, Sam was in on it right away. He offered $20 of his money actually, but the matching offer was only for $5. He was excited that it would be doubled just by his giving. Thanks to Ang for sending us a link! I also donated to the Red Cross - you can find a pretty tame video of conditions in Japan (i.e. suitable for kids to see) at www.ifrc.org (Internat'l Red Cross) and make a donation directly from the site. Thanks to mom and Richard for brightening up our St. Patty's day with a dinner out at the local pub followed by crazy-making at Chadlou's (for ice cream sandwiches) around the corner!

We have been talking about the families in shelters, how it is cold and snowing, and how it is hard to get food to them with all the roads full of debris and gas shortages. So when an opportunity came along to make a donation that would be matched, Sam was in on it right away. He offered $20 of his money actually, but the matching offer was only for $5. He was excited that it would be doubled just by his giving. Thanks to Ang for sending us a link! I also donated to the Red Cross - you can find a pretty tame video of conditions in Japan (i.e. suitable for kids to see) at www.ifrc.org (Internat'l Red Cross) and make a donation directly from the site. Thanks to mom and Richard for brightening up our St. Patty's day with a dinner out at the local pub followed by crazy-making at Chadlou's (for ice cream sandwiches) around the corner!

Checkups and other misc adventures

PB&J to the MAX! On Texas Toast, with fresh strawberries, and chocolate dunking sauce?!

PB&J to the MAX! On Texas Toast, with fresh strawberries, and chocolate dunking sauce?!

It’s Wednesday of Spring Break and I am absolutely loving having these two boys all to myself! No naughty school jamming up our morning. We did have to go to the doctor this morning for an 0825/0845 checkup for both boys. Sam is proportionately off the growth curve for ht and wt (50 1/2″ and 68 lbs) and Ben is at about 95% on both (40″ and 37 lbs). They both behaved pretty well in there considering all the stuff going on. I enjoyed when the doc asked what Sam puts on before riding his bike and he said sunscreen I think… then she asked if he played any sports, like tball or football, and Sam thought for a minute then said “uh, not so much.” I had to fill in that we hike, mountain bike, snorkel, boogie board, jog, swim, scoot, play frisbee and football, chase on the playground, etc. I know she was asking about organized sports and her bias is that kids be in preschool or some kind of daycare when they are Ben’s age, and for Sam’s age it is clearly her preference for organized sports over lots of active time playing. I really wished I could have said something snotty just for kicks, like “we do (name all the above activities), but you probably mean those teams that hog two days a week and every Saturday during the hottest part of the day which caused heat exhaustion for a friend of mine’s kid…nah, we don’t do those just yet.” So I have to go back to medical records because they wrote down Sam’s PPD test as “not read” when it most definitely was. You know from previous posts how much Sam enjoys shots, so I will have to get that rectified or we will most definitely be doing another hallway chase for a PPD ;0

After a fun morning of doctor appt, then run around the fish ponds checking on our friends, a romp in the playground (the one that has rubber shavings and turns your feet black), then lunch at the bowling alley (as pictured above), I set to work on some outstanding projects which had gotten delayed from the tsunami evac last week. At about 5:30pm our night got a bit wild rounding up free boxes from a Craigslist connection (he had to fend off two other people to hold my boxes for me!) so we can clear some clutter for house pictures to list in the next couple weeks. I have to get Dave to help clean the garage first so we have somewhere to put boxes…but he has been working a lot so I am not pushing the timeline. Back from Kaneohe Craigslist box hunt, we went to Taco Bell for dinner, then finally home. Dave came home late, but in time to do some more informal hearing tests on Ben (who the doc referred to audiology on the chance that he is hard of hearing and that is why he talks so loudly). Mom and I had done some hearing tests on Ben in the backyard – with Sam’s help – and it seemed like his left ear was a bit hard of hearing. Really weird. Can you picture Ben hiding behind a planter while we had Sam hide across the yard and make noises, then Ben was supposed to point to where Sam was? It was funny. Then Sam would dart to another corner of the yard and make noises…that’s when Ben didn’t seem to hear him with one ear. So mom and I tried to do our own, the way they did on Mom when she was a kid. The same ear failed our very rigorous second level of testing. So we gave it a rest for a bit and then Ben was lying down with his “good” ear on a big pillow, so we tried whispering into the other other, and a few inches from the other ear. I would whisper to mom what to ask him and she’d be like “uh…huh? what was that?” because she is growing hard of hearing herself! It was all hysterical. Not so much to Dave, who was a little worried…and me, too…but we have an audiology referral and in the meantime Ben’s hearing seems fine. He is a wily dude. Would not surprise me at all if he was messing with us. Lastly…and there’s no gracious way to put this, after Dave did more daddy-style hearing tests, he had to locate a missing boy part (which starts with “t”) while doing bath. The doc had trouble finding one on Ben, so she said just check him out in bath. Dave goes to me “Did she TRY? Did she LOOK for it? I mean he was born with both?” I was laughing, like of course she tried! He goes “Did she get some warm water?” I’m laughing again trying to picture her running for warm water with Ben naked on the exam table and just what that might trigger. Nah, she didn’t do that. Meanwhile as I’m asking Dave to locate the other said part, both boys are on our two potties at the same time, it’s well past bathtime, and Dave is running from bathroom to bathroom with wipes in hand…it was all entropy tonight and thankfully I found it all really funny. We did end up finding the missing boy part, and we think Ben’s ears are fine. Just a touch of selective hearing but we’ll find out in early April.

back home after tsunami evac

Waiting to get back home...police not letting anyone into Kailua, even into the areas outside the evacuation zones. I guess they were trying to prevent looting. The boys are snoozing, finally, to the soft sounds of cars running periodically and rain falling. Really was quite relaxing if you don't try to fight the whole process and just go with it.

Waiting to get back home...police not letting anyone into Kailua, even into the areas outside the evacuation zones. I guess they were trying to prevent looting. The boys are snoozing, finally, to the soft sounds of cars running periodically and rain falling. Really was quite relaxing if you don't try to fight the whole process and just go with it.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan. The images of that wall of water forging 6 miles inland, and the trucker trying to outrun it are just gut-wrenching. I can only imagine the fear of parents wondering about their kids, just getting out of school. Thankfully it was a very mild impact here. For posterity’s sake, here is what our night went like. . .

Dave went to the command center at Pearl last night around 9pm just as all the warnings started coming in. (He gets messages from his work, and I have signed up with USGS for earthquake notices as well as with the PTWC for tsunami warnings.) I stayed up with mom and Richard (who had to evacuate their cottage as it’s in an inundation zone). When the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center chief didn’t come back out with an update for the press after the wave passed Wake Island and Midway Island (the two islands in line before us), I decided I didn’t like all the uncertainty of the “models” and their lack of specificity re offshore topography. So while Dave said to stay put, and all the data indicated we were in no danger, I went with my gut and decided to head for high ground. There are a few things in life I am totally ok with being wrong about. And evacuating is one of them if I feel it is warranted. So I packed a bag, jackets, blankets and I woke the boys up at 2am, an hour and 21 min before the wave was supposed to hit. We went for a little drive to one of our favorite trailheads which happens to be at mom’s church. There we waited. I couldn’t call or text anyone – my smartphone must have gone into a panic and became a dumbphone. I found a wifi connection and was able to check the PTWC website, but they weren’t updating past 2:30am. With no real news I decided to start heading back at 3:57am. I realized I might not be able to get home as they were worried about people roaming around and looting. So I parked on the side of the road along with hundreds of other people in line to get back into Kailua. The boys snoozed a bit (as did I) after I sprayed them with bug spray (mosquitoes sneaking in to eat us alive). I had plenty of snacks and water for a 24 hour adventure, blankets, jackets, gas. (Dad, I had half a tank as you always say to have!) We finally were allowed back into Kailua at about 6am. They handled everything so well – I was quite impressed. They really go with the flow and just hunkered down in the truck for 4 1/2 hours in their seats while we chatted and ultimately dozed for a bit. All their travel and camping makes them pretty easy going I guess. We just called it our truck tent. There were people literally camped out in the median before you get onto H3 – a huge sun shelter erected, cars all around on the grass, lanterns on, beach chairs out. So interesting to see what everyone does. When we finally got home I gave the boys milk and a granola bar and sneaked them back into bed just as dawn was breaking. I hoped that they’d fall asleep before they realized the birds were up. They slept until 9am. So, thankfully I got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Ha! Dave arrived home at 0630 after a long night in the command center (still not sure exactly where he hunkers down) and slept until noon. I am about to go nap now if I can. When I took Ben out for a jog at 1130 am, I noticed that the water was still receding and surging. Very spooky. Ben got some nice new sand toys out of the deal – the tsunami washed them up on the sand. Oddly, one of them was an Asian soup spoon.

Thanks to all of you who checked in via email and text, avoiding the phone lines. Everything was calm here, and very well run. I am thankful that the surge was isolated really to harbor areas and seems to not have caused a lot of damage. Glad to live well outside an inundation zone, just wish the wave had come during daylight so we could have hiked up to see it like last time. This one definitely had more energy and did surge further inland than the one last year.

Aloha to all…

A baker’s dozen!

Some new friends for Ben. This mommy duck had 13 babies out in a median on "duck road" in Kailua. We stopped and went to visit with them. Ben even got to pat a little peeper on the head. They were so cute!

Some new friends for Ben. This mommy duck had 13 babies out in a median on "duck road" in Kailua. We stopped and went to visit with them. Ben even got to pat a little peeper on the head. They were so cute!

Cute kiddos on a big trip from Idaho!

Our good friend Neil's niece and nephew, ages 8 and 5, hauling away a trophy from a  hike. I have cut a segment for them to take home to remember their trip. Neil is here for his promotion ceremony to CDR. Those of us on island who have known Neil since USS John C. Stennis days will be celebrating with him tomorrow.

Our good friend Neil's niece and nephew, ages 8 and 5, hauling away a trophy from a hike. I have cut a segment for them to take home to remember their trip. Neil is here for his promotion ceremony to CDR. Those of us on island who have known Neil since USS John C. Stennis days will be celebrating with him tomorrow. Mom and Richard were stellar kayak crew chiefs and showed everyone a splendid afternoon!