Archive for September, 2010

Mr. Mom

September 20th, 2010

Claus is very tired. We are all adjusting to my (lovely) new job, which is a pretty normal thing for a family in this situation. I have different hours, so we had to reschedule who was watching Olivia and when.

At the end of the first week, he was tired. He did not wake up for his usual Saturday triathlon training. He said he would make it up Sunday, and he again slept through his 5 a.m. alarm.

I asked him why, and he at first didn't know why he was tired. He wasn't sick, it wasn't a hard week at work. It occurred to him some hours later, and he came to me. "I know why I'm so tired. I've been working a full day, then coming home and taking care of Olivia, taking care of the house by doing laundry, cooking, some cleaning, and the pets, and then taking care of you when you get home. I've been running the errands like post office, dry cleaning, and grocery shopping. I'm Mr. Mom," he said.

I laughed. Now he knows what I did all day when I was a housewife!



The end of my second week saw me catching a virus. Seriously, what terrible timing is that???

I knew it would happen. I had been warned that preschoolers spread all kinds of colds and germs amongst their classmates, which then gets shared with the rest of the household. A month into preschool, Olivia came home with a cold that had her coughing a lot at night.

For three nights, she came into our bedroom at 2 am, and my wake-up call was her coughing right into my face. Gee, thanks. You ask them not to, and it goes in one ear and out the other. Then she would ask to come into bed with me, and cough some more.

The third night, I said no, and she howled and howled until she got her way. It's pretty hard to put my foot down at 2 am. I'm tired, and I just want the noise to go away.

I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure enough, on the fourth day, just as her symptoms were easing up, mine started. I thought it was a minor head cold, so I went to work.

It got worse over the day, and it became a fever by the time I got home. I took pills and went to sleep at 7:30 p.m.

Olivia's bedtime is shortly before that, so Claus took care of her - shower, nightgown, brush teeth, story, tuck in. She is used to a different routine (lying in my bed for a book and a cuddle) so this was not kosher with her. She protested when he tried to leave and see me. He walked back in to her room to sit with her in her bed for another ten minutes.

Take two. I hadn't quite fallen asleep when I heard him creep out of Olivia's room successfully, and into our bedroom. "Are you OK?" he checked. "When do you need to take medicine again? Should I bring you some water and pills?"

I said yes, so he went to the kitchen and got me my supplies in anticipation of me waking up overnight and needing more acetaminophin. (Turns out, I did need it.) Then he sat down on the bed to chat with me briefly before letting me go to sleep.

"How are you? How was your day?" I asked.

"I'm tired," he sighed, and exhaled a long, slow breath.

Despite my fever, I had to chuckle. "You poor thing. You're being pulled between your two sick girls, taking care of both of us, literally going from room to room."

"I know! And don't forget to count Inca and Ocho, because I have been taking care of the pets too!" he reminded. The dog and cat are both females.

Good husband.

What are your Mr. Mom stories?

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Political sign waving

September 17th, 2010

Sign waving season is in full force, and as we drove past a crowded street corner, Olivia said, "Look, Mommy. They are holding ABCs!" (For my non-Hawaii readers, it's an old Hawaii custom to have people waving signs at rush hour, because we don't allow billboards.)

8-26-10  coloring

She is learning how to recognize the alphabet in preschool, which I think is so cute. The way this came out at home was Olivia pretending to be the teacher, and telling me, "Everyone find a letter and sit on it!"

8-26-10 Spells owl

She tries to spell little words, but so far, it's just guesswork. We were eating at a restaurant, and the kiddie menu had New written next to some item. She pretended - with absolute confidence - to know what it said. "O-W-L. That spells cat!" she said proudly.


A recent visit to Jen's house sums up perfectly why I consider her one of my best friends. I told her I had a hard week and I was escaping for some girlfriend time. I left Olivia home with Claus. When I got there, she had this waiting on the table, wine poured and all, because she knows my taste in wine.


I like medium and large breed dogs. Having the dogs around was just a bonus.





How do you unwind?


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Sleep over

September 13th, 2010

Olivia had her first real sleep over at someone else's house. That someone is my parents, so it's not a big stretch, but it was still a momentous occasion marked by some clingy sadness. Then Claus hugged me and said it would be OK.

Now that she's in school, my parents miss her. They might miss her more than I do. It's not that they spent that much more time with her before, but it was the idea that they could take her places if they wanted to.

"Can Olivia sleep over on Friday night?" my mom requested.

"Sure," I said. "You sure you want her in your bed? Won't you be cramped up? She pinwheels in her sleep, you know."

But Mom insisted, so we packed her a small bag and took her over. Olivia was very excited. She sees them just about every day, and they put her to bed twice a week (when we go to jujitsu), so it isn't much different for her. When I say they put her to bed, my mom actually lies in the bed and falls asleep with her for two hours till we return.

Olivia burst into their house with her cute little princess backpack, all ready to play. My mom was super excited and told us she had changed the bed sheets and prepared all the books for reading at night. She had big plans to take Olivia out to breakfast in the morning. They were both happy.

Claus and I decided to spend a Friday night at jujitsu practice. It was our first night "alone" at home (unless you count Tai and Christian) in over three years and we didn't even do anything wild and crazy - just the normal routine. No dinner out and drinks. No late night movie. No midnight romantic stroll on the beach. Just a workout and home at the usual time.

It's silly, but I actually missed her. I came home from practice and was a little sad that she wasn't in her room. She would have been fast asleep anyway, so it's not like I would have interacted with her. It was just the idea that she wasn't right there.

And come to find out, when I saw her on Saturday, I asked how her night was. Apparently, the grandparents kept her up past her bedtime. So even though Claus and I were keeping to our boring routine, our child was, relatively speaking, having her version of a wild and crazy night.

I guess that's what grandparents are for.


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Pro surfer grabs attention for different reasons

September 10th, 2010

When Crystal Dzigas comes to Waikiki to surf, she turns heads. Her shoulder length, sun-kissed brown hair streaked with gold falls softly around her shoulders, framing a hapa-haole face that so perfectly fits the image of beautiful island girl. People notice her.

Just some of Dzigas' media hits

Just some of Dzigas' media hits



Dzigas is a model who has appeared on billboards in France and covers of international magazines. She’s a professional surfer who has been competing right out of high school. She’s a budding film and television actress, whose credits include a cameo in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer, and a gig as a body double for Tia Carrere in You May Not Kiss The Bride.



On this day, though, she is turning heads for quite a different reason: She is seven months pregnant. Her doctor told her to stop surfing when she was two months pregnant, but “since I started surfing in 1997, I haven’t stopped for more than a week. So I can’t imagine not surfing through my pregnancy,” she says.


As you might guess, it is not a common sight. Neal Nakamoto is a long time manager of the surf rental stand Hawaiian Island Beachboys. He’s seen it all in Waikiki. “It’s very, very unusual for someone that far along in pregnancy to be out,” he verifies.

A woman who is nine months pregnant happens to be nearby. “I surf too, but there’s no way I’d be out surfing this big,” says Noelle Lau, as she looks down at her belly.

How does she do it? Dgizas paddles on her knees now, slightly leaning on her unborn son. “I think it puts him to sleep. I don’t feel him as much when I’m out surfing.”

Before pregnancy, her home break was Ala Moana Bowls, on Oahu’s South Shore. Now, however, she needs the gentler waves of Waikiki. In the lineup at Queen’s break, people stop and stare. “Every time people see me and my big belly, they stop paddling if I paddle for a wave. It’s great,” she laughs.

Video shoot with photographer Tracy Arakaki

Those same rolling waves that make Waikiki perfect for the pregnant Dzigas are also why it’s such a popular place for beginners. Isn’t she afraid of someone else losing control and hitting her?

She concedes, “I’m definitely worried about safety out there. There are a lot of things that can happen. I try to use caution when catching a wave. I know what I can do, but it’s other people that pose a threat. If I see dangerous people I steer clear.”


Morris Visitor Publications magazine shoot with photographer Chris McDonough

Her family and doctor worry about her surfing while pregnant, but if anyone can understand, it’s fiancée Anthony Walsh, who is a big name Australian professional surfer. While he is concerned for her safety, he also knows the lure of the ocean. “For me it’s cool to see she’s still surfing. It does really relax her, even if she’s sore because she’s bigger now.”

Anthony Walsh, pro surfer

Anthony Walsh, pro surfer


Dzigas only has the energy to catch a couple waves before it’s time to head back in. Still, she insists, “An hour in the water is worth being tired and sore for the rest of the day.”

Photo courtesy Anthony Walsh

Photo courtesy Anthony Walsh


Photo courtesy Anthony Walsh

You might find her in the water till the very last day. “I always joke I’ll give birth in the water surfing,” predicts Dzigas.

“If she can’t surf, I think she’ll still be in the water swimming,” adds Walsh.

After Dzigas gives birth in September 2010, she and Walsh plan to stay on Oahu for a few years, then move to his hometown in Australia. They hope the ocean will play a big part in their son’s life.

Photo courtesy Anthony Walsh

The kid has got a pretty good head start. Dzigas was pregnant in March 2010 when she took first place in the Noosa Festival of Surfing, which is a major Australian meet.

Walsh points out, “He’s already won a contest. He’s only seven months old and he’s already surfing.”

[youtube YLaHWibsNoc]

Produced, written, reported by Diane Ako/ Land video shot and edited by Tracy Arakaki / Water footage (surfboard camera) shot by Anthony Walsh or produced by Taires Hiranaka/ Thanks to Morris Visitor Publications and WhereTV for use of their GoPro camera / Thanks to Chris McDonough for assistance.

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Personal baggage

September 6th, 2010

Some old friends from San Francisco were in Oahu and had dinner with us recently. It's a husband and wife, Stan and Peggy, and their 21 year old daughter.

I don't remember how we got to talking about odd discoveries, but the next thing you know, I was saying how I was helping my dad unpack his suitcase and I was SO embarrassed to find Viagra inside. I'm pretty sure my dad is proud of the fact that he still has a use for Viagra, therefore it's OK for me to blog about this.

Stan said, "That's like the time I found condoms in my daughter's travel kit. Oh man!"

The daughter turned red. "Why were you going through my toiletry kit?" she stammered.

"Remember? You told me to get your thing and you said it was in your small bag in your suitcase. There were two small bags and that was the first one I looked in. And then not just one, but a whole string of condoms dropped out," Stan answered.

"Well, Stan, condoms suggest occasional sex. At least it's not the Pill. That would mean she's having regular sex," consoled my dad.

Uproarious laughter ensued from the whole table, except for the daughter, who just got redder and seemed to want to shrink under the table.

The lesson: keep your suitcases to yourself!

Got any similarly embarrassing stories?


Side note to those wondering. I have been allowed to keep blogging. I'm pretty happy about that, as it's been enjoyable to get to "know" the regulars, and frankly, I enjoy the remnants of who I was as a media person. It's a part of me.

My first week at the Hakekulani was interesting and informative, and I feel really good about it all - thanks for asking!


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