Archive for June, 2009

We are naked!

June 28th, 2009
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Lately, Olivia's big thing is about being naked. Luckily, she's only two, not 22. It started a week ago when she insisted on coming into the shower with her clothes on. "No," I instructed. "You have to be naked to bathe." I went to take her clothes off. She fussed, so I had to make a game of it. When all the clothing was off, I exclaimed with faux-excitement, "See? We are naked!"

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That's become the rallying cry around our house ever since. When I come home, We are naked! When people visit, We are naked! Standing on the balcony and seeing our neighbor emerge onto hers, We are naked! For that one, we half were. Olivia was nude and playing in her tub on the patio. "Vicki, I AM NAKED!"

It's also morphed into random statements using the word naked. Like, Juicy Naked Tai! Or, Follow that naked Popo!

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At the public pool recently, she caught the eye of the lifeguards standing nearby and decided to announce, "Daddy's naked!" When that got laughs, she added, "Popo's naked!" She yelled this out in a loud, clear voice for another four minutes. In a really crowded pool. By the way, we were not naked.

That has coincided with a desire for her to actually BE naked. She tries to take her clothing off on a fairly regular basis. She is not potty trained, so I don't want her to have accidents around the house. I've been on the phone a few times when I have had to ask her to keep her diaper on. For kicks, I'll come back on the phone and say in an exasperated voice, "Huh. My roommate."

I've read that you can turn this into a great incentive for potty training. iVillage.com's article says, "You can certainly begin to train your child to use the potty at this age. You can tell her that if she wishes to remain without any clothes, then she has to use the potty. Try placing a potty in the room where she spends the most time, and see if that works. But don't be concerned if it doesn't work, as she is very young."

We have three potties stationed around the house, which I think is a high toilet to toddler ratio. We're all excited about the day when she will learn to use it. That, and to keep her clothing on.

What is your experience with nekked babies? Did it help with the potty training? How do you keep their clothes on?

Long and lean

June 26th, 2009
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Olivia turned two years old in June, and watching her run around the living room, it recently struck me how much my once chubby little baby is getting longer and leaner. What happened to the cute fat feet? The puffy ankles? Aww, goodbye babyhood!

July 2007

July 2007

That also probably means it's time to trim the fat! The doctor reminded me that after her second birthday, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents reduce their child's fat intake to less than 30 percent of their daily calories. I'm the main grocery shopper in my household, so I'm making sure to buy low-fat milk, and low-fat versions of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

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She's already starting to look more and more like a big kid, as her limbs get longer and her torso stretches out. The average two year old will gain about two and a half inches and five pounds this year.

I was having pangs about my baby growing up, when my friend and co-anchor Howard Dashefsky consoled me that it's all good. "They leave one stage, but the next one is cooler and funner," he said. That makes me feel better, but I just hope she always wants to hold my hand.

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Tell me: what was your experience with your child's growing up? What kinds of fun things are in store for the next age?

Family Friendly Kailua Town

June 22nd, 2009
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Everyone goes to Kailua, it seems, for the beach. Don’t get me wrong. I love the beach, as does my family. But on a recent weekend, we spent a half a day in Kailua, landlocked, and loving it.

This is how Olivia wants to stroll now!

This is how Olivia wants to stroll now!

It’s wonderfully central. You can park in one spot and enjoy a walk around the town, as we did by stopping in at various boutiques and stores. We even looked at the recently-featured Brent’s restaurant, which made it on my radar after my co-workers Russ and Lyle featured it on Cheap Eats.

Should the kid wear the leash, then?

Should the kid wear the leash, then?

I hear that business goes through the roof after a Cheap Eats airing, so we couldn’t get a lunch table for 20 minutes. We then made our way over to our old standby, Big City Diner, for a hearty brunch.

Inca

Inca

I like Big City Diner in general, but any business that’s dog-friendly shoots up a few notches in my book. Americans are too uptight about pets in public places. It has a patio near a big shady tree, so customers can tie their dogs up and keep an eye on them while dining al fresco. Nice! I appreciate whenever Inca can feel like part of the family.

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It’s great. Everyone got a little fresh air, a little food, and some healthy family time. To end the day, I wanted to check out a chocolate shop recently featured in Honolulu Magazine. Shucks; it was closed. Now I guess I have a reason to make it back to Kailua for another weekend visit!

Everybody, smile!

Everybody, smile!

What do you think of Kailua? What do you recommend doing in Kailua town?

Happy Father’s Day!

June 19th, 2009
By



Paul and Diane Ako

Paul and Diane Ako

As we commemorate this year’s Father’s Day, I wanted to thank mine for just being there. So many studies illustrate the positive impact of fathers on the social, mental and emotional development of their children, and I’m thankful that I have one who has and continues to support me positively in all my endeavors.

My dad, on the left. (No, really? You think? Not on the far right?)

My dad, on the left. (No, really? You think? Not on the far right?)

Whatever I do, he’s always proud of. He might not always like it at first, like when I said I was going to go into journalism instead of law, or move to Mexico instead of getting a real job after I graduated. But he eventually comes around to supporting my decisions. That, I think, is the parenting skill my father does best - warm fuzzies. (My apologies if you are stuck at a table with him and he goes on and on about me.)

At our Kailua house

At our Kailua house

Lived in Connecticut during my youth

Lived in Connecticut during my youth

We’re a little too new at parenting to decide what Claus’ strength is going to be, but for right now, it’s getting Olivia to go to sleep. She’s a pretty good sleeper, but some nights she will fuss at bedtime, or wake up and call for one of us to pick her up in the middle of the night.

My husband is excellent at getting her to go back to sleep. He apparently just walks in to her room and explains in a quiet voice that she has to go to sleep now. I hear her complaining, but he’s pretty firm about it, and after several minutes, he’ll return to our room in a cloud of silence!

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I asked some mom friends what their man’s best parenting skill is, and got a wide range of answers. High school classmate Tina Namumnart says of her husband Michael, “Some mornings are tough to get started. A multitude of activities sometimes result with kids less than pleasant and cooperative in the morning.

My voice signals the time to wake up. Once, twice, three times, then the yelling and crying begins. Dad can often prevent the mayhem when the "tickle monster" enters the kids' rooms. The "tickle monster" may get some moans and groans, but it seems to be more effective at waking up overly tired kids than the mommy "yelling monster." The kids are able to somehow crack a smile on their face as they lug their bodies and bags out of the house to greet the new day.”

My best guy friend, Paul Drewes, is apparently the “fun” parent. Wife Gina says she’s the disciplinarian and the timekeeper, so when it comes to running around like crazy or doing silly fun stuff, she turns to Paul.

Coworker Jessica Hamamoto calls herself the nurturer, and her husband the disciplinarian and sports director for the family.

What about you? What parenting skill does the dad in your life do best?

Small talk – about small people

June 14th, 2009
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A little over two years ago, I became a mother for the first time. Well, unless you count my dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish, rodents, and turtles. I’d heard about this parenting thing before and I approached it warily. It seemed like a really tough gig. Getting married was no problem. Getting pregnant? Scary!

We took the plunge anyway because we liked the idea of creating a family. It was the best decision of our lives. It’s opened up a new world to me, because I see things from a whole different perspective; sometimes, literally. Like when I lie on the basketball court and we look up at the sky, or sit on the sidewalk and watch bugs.

Mostly, it just opens one up to a whole new level of compassion. It feels like my heart is walking outside my body.

I’ve found among my circle of friends and acquaintances that the parents among us enjoy swapping stories and sharing bits of advice. I realized early on that I’m constantly learning new tricks by watching how others handle situations, even if it’s just how my mother, husband, or sitter responds to the baby.

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For my friends without children, I notice I’m always answering various questions that people either wouldn’t know or wouldn’t consider: How drastically do kids really affect your life? Why are you always tired? How come you don’t want to go out for drinks anymore? How come you don’t have time to check Facebook but twice a month? Why are there small bite-sized chunks missing on the corners of your drywall? Yep, that’s stuff I wouldn’t have ever though of or known before one Miss Olivia came into my life.

I see this blog as an extension of that circle of friends, and I would love if you and I can continue a conversation in which we share tips and swap funny stories. And hopefully not scare the non-parents too badly.

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Listen, I gotta run. Olivia’s on my lap as I type this and she is crumpling up all my bills, receipts, business cards, and bank statements, and throwing my jewelry into the trash. Thanks for stopping in and I look forward to cyber-hanging out with you!