Archive for November, 2011


November 18th, 2011

I often associate homesickness in children with summer camp, so to my surprise, Olivia has been expressing homesickness over several trips this year.

In August, my husband and I stayed at Hilton Waikoloa. We went with my cousin's family, and those are her favorite friends, so I thought she would be nonstop distracted and happy.

Instead, on the first night, she started literally crying for her grandparents. She was past her bedtime so the fatigue did not help the situation, and she said she missed Popo and Kung Kung and wanted to see them.

This homesickness mainfested the next night as well, but not as strongly. She usually sees her grandparents every day or every other day.

In October, the five of us went to Disneyland. Since we had the grandparents with us, I didn't expect any homesickness, but there it was - always at night, when she's tired - in the form of "I miss my house and my pets." It is always strongest the first night, not as bad the second, and gone by the third night.

Last week, the three of us stayed at a relative's house in Diamond Head so that I could bicycle to work during APEC. This was a fantastic house with a large yard and a pool. Again, more of her favorite things.

While she did use the pool morning and night, she complained at first of missing the dog and cat. So much so, that when the babysitter picked her up from preschool one afternoon, he took her back home to visit the furry friends.

I figured that it was more the change in routine than actual homesickness that was the issue. After all, the little changes and extra effort to disrupt my routine caused me a little grief (in the form of extra energy to think about what to pack, who will feed the pets, etc.), but at least I'm old enough to understand what we're doing and what the payoff is.

I recently saw this article online at which confirmed my theory:

"No matter how free-spirited and even defiant your preschooler can sometimes be, know that structure is the best thing for him and your entire household. When children don't know what's happening next, they can feel anxious. And anxious children are irritable, angry, uncooperative, and unhappy. Routines offer security and reassurance."

We are a very stable household. We do the same things day in and day out. As one would expect, we have become more routine-oriented since becoming parents. It's just easiest that way.

For every trip, I explained to Olivia what we were doing and why, but maybe I'm missing something. Is there something more I should have said than, "We're packing a suitcase because we are going to spend the week at Aunt Henrietta's house. It's for Mommy's work. You like the pool, it'll be fun."

Am I supposed to reassure her that we will be going home in five days? Or is this just a phase that she'll grow out of?

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The Great American Smokeout

November 17th, 2011

Ready to stop smoking? The American Cancer Society's 36th annual Great American Smokeout is today! The Great American Smokeout is an annual nationwide event created by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to use November 17 as the day to quit smoking or to make a plan to quit smoking.

For those interested in quitting tobacco, there is free help available. The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), is a free and confidential telephone service for Hawaii tobacco users who want to quit. Available statewide, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline provides people who are ready to quit with free nicotine gum or patches as well as free coaching. It also provides referrals to other community cessation services and information to family and friends and health care providers who are interested in helping others quit tobacco.

For more details on the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline and contact information for other cessation programs, access to an interactive quiz to test if you're addicted to nicotine, or to calculate how much money you can save from quitting tobacco, visit You can also follow Clear the Smoke on Twitter @clearthesmoke or Facebook at

Communites around the state are holding events to mark the day. On Oahu, the University Health Services-Manoa Health Promotion Office will host the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout health fair.

The fair's theme is "Clean Air, Clean Aina." The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Campus Center Mall and will feature interactive games, displays, free giveaways and prizes.

Other participating organizations include Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, University of Hawaii School of Dental Hygiene, American Heart Association, Waikiki Health Center, Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Blood Bank of Hawaii. For more information, contact Lisa Kehl or Kristen Scholly at (808) 956-8060.

On Hawaii Island, the West Hawaii Tobacco-Free Coalition will commemorate the Great American Smokeout with an exhibit table at a free Luncheon and Community Fair for the homeless, a celebration in recognition of the Hawaii County's 2011 Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month.

The event is sponsored by HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc., Family Support Hawaii, and Community Alliance Partners - Hawaii County and will take place on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Kona Airport, Makaeo Pavilion. For more information, contact Josephine Ibarra, HOPE Services Hawaii's West Hawaii Community Relations Director, at (808) 933-6041 or

On the east side of Hawaii Island, the American Cancer Society - East Hawaii Branch will be hosting a Turkey Trot Great American Smokeout event at Waiakea Intermediate School during lunch recess from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Students can participate in a mini-fun run and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii - East Hawaii Coalition will conduct a spin game and Tobacco-Free Me Pledge. For more information, contact Vanessa Carlson, Waiakea Intermediate School's Student Activities Club Advisor, at (808) 981-7231. Waiakea Intermediate School is at 200 West Puainako Street in Hilo.

Moving to Kauai, the American Cancer Society, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, Kauai Veterans Clinic, and Hoola Lahui are joining forces for the Great American Smokeout "Holo Holo."

This initiative is a mobile unit that will be deployed at several Garden Isle beach parks (formally Pine Tree Inn, Hanamaulu & Kapaa) from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to distribute Quit kits and provide on-the-spot cessation advice to beachgoers. For more information, contact Susan Oshiro-Taogoshi at American Cancer Society's Kauai office at (808) 246-0695.

And on Maui, over the weekend, The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Maui will be hosting a Great American Smokeout event at the Maui Mall on 70 East Kaahumanu Avenue in Kahului. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m on November 19. There will be food, entertainment, and great family fun.

Grade level division winners and the overall winner of the "Smoke-Free Cars = Healthy Kids & Ohana" art contest will also be recognized at the event. The contest was open to all Maui County students in grades six to eight to help build awareness that secondhand smoke in cars is harmful to everyone's health, especially those who are ages 17 and younger.

For more information, contact Sonya Niess, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Maui Coordinator, at (808) 575-7602 or

Good luck on this day in being a "quitter!"

Nightly ritual

November 16th, 2011

Like so many women, I have a nightly bathroom beauty ritual. Mine usually involves just three steps: I remove makeup, I moisturize, and I apply lip balm. If I'm feeling ambitious, I use a facial scrub or mask.

Very recently, that ritual has expanded to ten steps. I received a number of gifts for my birthday, I got a random gift from Paul's wife who runs Merle Norman, and I re-discovered some products under the sink when I went looking for more toothpaste.

I now have makeup remover, toner, pore tightener, pre-moisturizer, moisturizer, wrinkle creme for the eyes, wrinkle creme for the lips, lip balm, and hair smoother (don't ask me why. My hair is stick-straight like most Chinese people). That night, I felt ambitious and I also used a mask.

Often, there's a backup for the bathroom. Our bathroom is tiny, with one sink, which is located in the bathroom, not outside like in some homes. It's roughly seven by five feet, including all the appliances, so really, there's not much room if you add people.

If all of us are in it at the same time (one in the shower, one on the toilet, one using the sink) it feels like a telephone booth of yore. (Am I dating myself with that anachronistic reference?!)

I got to the sink first. Claus patiently waited. He has my timing down after all these years of marriage, and after three minutes he started pacing outside and leaning in the door frame waiting to get in. After five minutes he cut in front of me to get his toothbrush to start his male bedtime ritual (teeth, pee, done. Men are so easy.)

After he brushed his teeth (squishing me aside to rinse his mouth) I was still on the last step. He looked at me and cocked his head, not unlike the way Inca does when I do something out of the ordinary.

"Yes, I'm taking longer tonight. I added some things," I confirmed. Now and then I have the desire and the energy to take a few extra minutes for just me. Since I became a mom, I feel like my life is spent doing for others now: a job, a little kid, a house, a dog, a cat. The needs are cavernous and never-ending. Where am I in this mix? You wonder why I ignore all the Facebook requests/comments/messages?

So yes, a 10 minute bedtime beauty ritual helps reset the balance- maybe as much for the inside of me as the outside. Husband, you'll just have to wait.

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Hourglass figure?

November 11th, 2011

What does "hourglass figure" mean to you? Is it shapely and attractive, as I took it, or is it a euphemism for"fat," as perhaps one woman took it?

One reader, newly transplanted from Los Angeles, wrote to ask advice from your blogger, because, he pointed out, I'm a local Asian female, so maybe I have insight. I don't think I do, so he let me open it up to the larger blogosphere.

Here's what he said:

"I met a really beautiful and intelligent woman at an an outdoor event a few weeks ago.  She was Asian (Chinese / Filipina), born and raised in Hawaii, and a high school teacher in her early thirties. We had been talking for about a half hour and really seemed to be developing a nice rapport. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime.

Then, things suddenly went downhill. Because she had classic curves (large bust, narrow waist, etc.), I thought I would pay her a compliment and be a bit flirtatious, so I commented that she had a 'really nice, hourglass figure.'  Instead, she became deeply offended.  She said, 'Excuse me, you hardly know me, why are you talking about my figure?'

I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only exacerbated things.  She told me I was being 'inappropriate' and 'offensive' and got up off her chair and began to walk away.  Then she came back and she politely asked me to sit down (she was much shorter than me and it will make sense when you read the next part.)  I sat down, though she remained standing, and shortly thereafter WHAP! She slapped my face and departed."

I don't know this reader IRL, so I have no idea what kind of vibe he may have been giving out as he said it, nor do we know what the female is like, to better assess her personality and get an idea if perhaps she's very conservative.

However, going off just this description, I think the lady is being too sensitive. If she's at an event, she's hopefully dressed nicely. If she's chatting with a man for half an hour and talking about coffee dates, that would seem to indicate some interest on her part. (Unless she's a timeshare salesperson, which she's not!) What's wrong with a nicely delivered compliment?

Your thoughts? Let's help a brotha's love life.

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The Lokahi Giving Project

November 9th, 2011

Want to get a jump start on the holiday season? Finance Factors is looking to Hawaii residents to help give an early gift to KHON2’s  Lokahi Giving Project.

From now until November 30, Finance Factors will donate $1 for every new fan who “likes” its Facebook page in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the great work the Lokahi Giving Project does for Hawaii’s families.

Here is the link:

It's a simple way to support one of Hawaii’s hardworking nonprofits, which provides relief to struggling individuals and families, especially the working “gap group,” through donations of goods, cash equivalents, enriching experiences, and advocacy.

What's not to "like?"

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