1 Sam and I have been wanting to hike a ridge near us - Pu'u O 'Ehu I think is the name. We think there is a trail - we've seen it - but how to get to the trail is a mystery. We tried this drainage ditch but it was a no-go. So we walked up the road and checked out a heiau.
2 Pretty interesting place - lots and lots of work to build this.
3 There is a taro patch behind the heiau and a bunch of little bridges over the marshy areas.
4 Funny guy!
5 Looking out over Kawainui Marsh.
6 Better shot. Still blown out.
7 BIG BIG BIG taro!
8 They like to grow in really watery areas. Grind up the root to make poi - very easily digestible but not very tasty for most people.
10 And an imu.
11 Grass was neat.
12 Lots and lots of rocks. Legend has it the menehune helped build this. I finally shared that legend with Sam. He seemed old enough to not be freaked out by little people who may or may not be real.
14 Hiking home now...Ben is such a crazy guy. He would not let go of my hiking pole, so I put it all the way down for his height.
15 And he would not stand near Sam for a picture! This is Sam "helping" - more than happy to wrangle Ben by the shirt as you can see!
16 My view while hiking :)
17 Found a golf ball!
18 Cleaning grass off so he can put it - guess where? yuck! Yes, I told him not for eating.
19 Throw to me!
20 This really cracked the boys up - Sam put his feet way up so Ben could push him around the house!
21 Uncle Wally Amos at storytime at the library. He is such a fantastic story teller. For those of you who don't know, this is the Wall Amos of Famous Amos fame. He lives in Kailua and has a cookie store devoted to children's literacy - "Chip and Cookie".
22 Out on a run around the fish ponds on base. Trying to be good about sending Dave cell phone pics of the boys so he can try to figure out what we're up to :)
23 The airshow at the Ford Island Pacific Aviation Museum. These little planes have real jet engines!
24 Amazing, huh? They sound just like a real jet taking off.
25 Checking out an F-14 on the tarmac.
27 And inside the hangar - we're members of the museum so we get access to all their backstage areas where they refurbish donated planes. Very cool.
28 Ben wasting no time to head back for shave ice. Dave is in the green with Sam next to him.
29 On top of Radar Hill watching the storm roll in.
30 Marine encamped next to us.
31 Stumbling onto a free concert and pupus - hamburgers, dogs, ribs, wings...amazing!
32 Rousting April for an adventure that took us by the HECO power plant. Pretty cool - Sam spotted some fish swimming in a little stream - maybe runoff water from the plant? They seemed happy there.
33 The bike path. 3.75 miles each way from Pearl City housing to the Arizona Memorial pier.
34 Ford Island in the distance.
35 The snack tree :)
36 And a swing from the banyan tree - we always seem to do this with you, April, don't we?!
37 Probably good he's still got his helmet on :) ha ha!
38 Then a jump in her pool! Sam had a blast swimming all over. Ben kept squawking and wanted to play with a little drain plug on the side of the pool. He hates being carried in my arms in the pool but doesn't want to be in any flotation device, either. Kind of like how he hikes - doesn't want to ride or be carried, but doesn't want to hold hands, either. He will touch your hand to be sure you're near, but won't hold on. He might permit you to lightly stabilize under his armpit, but that's it.
39 April! She was so much fun playing with Sam while I wrangled squawker!
40 Is that a dolphin? Sam was doing backflips, swimming on his back, doing the crawl, cannonballs...you name it.
41 They jumped together this time. Can you find April?
42 Pantry raid!
43 Dave in Lake Tahoe. That stinker! We were hoping to catch a space-a flight to anywhere near there but nothing has popped up! And there's something about bold, western mountains, crystal blue water and sky...wow. I need to get back there like I need air to breathe. Although I do LOVE snorkeling here in Hawaii.
44 Tahoe trail.
45 Ahhh...love it!
46 Jay, the mouse-rescuer! (And wife Dana!) He was on his way to the airport but when he got the call from a damsel in distress, he turned right around and rescued me! (He was just down the road, thankfully.)
47 Luke, another big man on my short list of would-be rescuers, was on his way to the mainland for college! We happened to bump into them at Kalapawai while we were out on a run!
48 How lucky we got to say goodbye and get a picture with the celebrity.
49 Ben Ben Ben.
50 Ha! I got it! What a three-ring circus walking with these guys! Ben insisted on walking all the way home. It was a mile. He's such a wild man. I feel like a bad mom when someone asks me how he got a particular abrasion on his knuckles - I mean, I know generally speaking it was yesterday but I still don't know exactly how he managed it! I should know, though, right?
51 On a hike with Leo and her girls!
52 Love the Cook Pines.
53 My friend Leo - a fellow rower!
54 Big shaka picture for the daddies.
55 Hiking with Ben is a joy, and insane. Every single picture I have of him is blurry. My autoshoot camera which can snap Sam jumping into the pool in mid-air can't capture this guy.
56 Yeah. See what I mean! This is how I FEEL, too!
57 Whew - he's trying to pop open a macadamia nut.
58 Or I get some of him and not all...but this is a great part of him to catch :)
59 Hiking on my OWN!
60 Fresh mac nuts!
62 Sam cracked his open himself.
63 Caff looking all pretty after a grooming and toe trimming :)
64 Learning about bees and honey - in English and Japanese. Holly (you've seen her pictured before) is our babysitter who comes over once or twice a week for about 2 hours while I work.
65 You say honey in Japanese as "meetsoo".
66 Crazy turtle chasing a manta ray at Sea Life Park. They were both huge, but moved very quickly to play chase. Turtle kept swimming up to ray, swimming above, nosing him around. Fascinating to watch.
67 Here is the first puppy harness I tested for Ben. Bunched up a bit too much. Got a better one. Works great! He and I both love being hands-free but in control. And if he chooses to throw a head-banging tantrum in an unsafe place, I can foil his plans by saving him before he hits the ground. He's growing out of that a bit now, thankfully...
68 Not sure what was up with Sam wanting to wear one of our costume hats, but hey...wear it, man!
69 Watching dolphins eat a fish snack.
70 Went to a party at a friend's house. She had 70 people over - they're about to leave for a cruise to kickstart a year of traveling with their kids. She is homeschooling both of them now. Loved the pirate outfit. This man is actually - in real life - a child psychologist. Really nice people. Holly took care of the boys' bath and bed so I could escape for a couple hours while Dave was in Tahoe. I really needed it after the craziest week I'd had in a long time.
71 Ben in the morning, wearing his milk :)
72 Baby hammerhead shark in the ponds on base! Another interesting bike/run! Sam and I are really getting around. We have 5 or 6 routes now that he can bike while I push Ben.
73 We're checking out a new trail - Maunawili Ditch Trail - for mountain biking/trail running. We had such a great time! The trail is 3 miles long, in a loop, so we got a lot of good riding in. It was pretty much like you see behind Sam most of the way, so very doable for a young biker and me pushing Ben in the stroller. There were some tricky sections and places we needed to walk, though. Lots of birds to listen to. Sam was so psyched to be out front biking on the trail.
74 These are the most incredible machines - AMTRACs - they drive into the water and then FLOAT! So unbelievable to see them roar to life, then drive straight into the waves. We happened upon them training at Bellows and the instructor in charge allowed us to watch the Marines go out 500m then get out of the AMTRAC and swim to shore in all their gear. We stopped at Bellows for playground time after our mountain bike ride/run. We are always blessed with adventures it seems. We just keep stumbling onto interesting things. At the Bellows playground, I bumped into a family visiting from Japan so asked about places to stay there. Apparently the New Sanno hotel, run by MWR (a Navy facility) is amazing - so I Googled it and sure enough - right in a nice section of Tokyo and just gorgeous. Unreal! Dave says he'll go with us before we leave here.
75 Out on a run to the beach park - both boys enjoyed running up and down the dunes. Ben walked up to a couple ladies and waved - they offered him a Cheeto out of their bag and he plunged his chubby paw right in there to help himself. Gave them a cute little smile, and was off again.
76 Jumping in for a swim after another bike/run in Lanikai last week. This was a triathlon - bike/run, playground, then swim. Not bad, huh?
77 Ben yelling something at me as he's about to clobber me with sand :)
78 Sam after a beach romp - "You can call me Mr. Whiteface, mom!" This is baby powder - works great to get sand off chubby rumps (like Ben's) during a diaper change. Sam wanted some, too, of course.
80 Sam picked this for Ben to play with while we ran errands. I unplugged our cable box and dropped the bazillion channels we never use.
81 AND this really nice guy helped pop a dent out of the truck's bumper after hours on a Friday! Amazing, huh? We're at the dealership trying to get me out of the proverbial dog house. Full story posted on the blog. This was my first incident in literally over 20 years of driving. I am thankful it was just a 2mph bump into mom's car in our tiny driveway, but still...bummer!
82 Dave out training for a marathon - he did a 6 mile run on Sat. Gearing up for a 9 miler this weekend. The boys and I scooted out with the double stroller to stalk daddy - I ran while they chomped bagels in little trays. Sam really liked eating that way - like on a plane he said. Daddy not so thrilled about being tailed by paparazzi...
83 AND I bumped into nurse Michelle who is the boys' biggest fan at the clinic on base. She is way cool - also always training for some event or other. Sam took this picture - nice job, buddy!
84 AND AND AND - my dear friend Kathy was out with her marathon training group for a run on "our" side of the island! Too funny to spot her!
85 Then to Morning Brew for a soy latte - must have one once a week - and saw MORE friends! This is Sean hiding not-so-successfully from my peering eyes :) He is such a trip - formerly worked the fashion scene in NYC (where he actually ran in the same circles as Doug's wife, Mary) and now lives here. He works at one of our favorite restaurants and is always so great with the boys.
86 BBQ party with our friends Rich and April (and son Ben) and Mike and Angel (and sons Josh and David). Rich kindly brought his new weed whacker over since ours died so we could trim the lawn up. Nice of them to come over as we wrapped up "family field day" - cleaning time!
87 Big Ben (April's son) is 15 - started to get a bit antsy looking for something to do. After he tired of the computer, I realized I had lots in common with teenage boys - starting FIAH FIAH! So I broke out my machete and wood...and away we went. Here's Sam showing his technique.
88 Ben looking on in his muscle shirt (thanks Leo!). Big Ben is having a go at the fire starting.
89 And now Rich - we got smoke!!! Very very close to fire. That wood was so hot. Just short of embers. We'll refine the technique I'm sure, just in time for this year's bonfire :)
90 This is how I learned to do it from the Samoan chiefs at the Mac Nut farm. They gave me their machete. A treasured tool...a must-have at every party.
91 Sam and April giving it a go. This kept everyone busy and out of mischief for quite some time.
92 Sam played for us...
93 Then David came over and worked on his technique.
94 Ben climbs on everything now...see the glint in his eyes?
95 He was so funny showing off his abs to Mike (l) and Rich (r)!
96 The three guys together again - all NR-1 buddies! So great to see you three together!
97 Then the warriors went at it with pool noodles! Great duels and lots of laughs while the spectators took refuge on the deck.
98 Sam was very proud to have bopped "that big guy, Ben, in the NOSE!"
99 David and Ben with Sam assisting! See all the balls stewn about as well? It was wild back there! Way too much testosterone for our small yard :)
101 Off to the beach to relax today...Gail and Bill - see the little swim suit? Thank you!
102 Fishies! Sam and I were snorkeling together!
103 Here we are! Snorkel faces :)
104 And look who is relaxing with Daddy?! Dave is totally wishing he was napping in the kayak right now but how precious this is.
105 Gorgeous day. This is Richard's double - Ben and I rode in front with Dave and Sam in back (Sam was in the middle, actually).
106 Rich and April out for a spin. The guys saw some puffer fish we hadn't seen before.
107 Ben throwing coral at me and making a big splash :)
108 This guy is serious about his playtime - so fearless but also learning a healthy respect for the "Waadah!"
109 Fun to play in "da boat!"
110 Sam swam and swam...we were at the beach a couple hours and the boys were literally spent and in bed by 7:30pm tonight. Totally wiped. Sam was like - I just want to skip bath and go right to bed!