Archive for May, 2012

Mommy cooler

May 18th, 2012

Does every mother have this Costco cooler?

April 2012 019

I went to the pool last weekend and met up with another family. That mother brought the exact same cooler. We also noticed the family at the next table had the same red bag.

It's obviously practical and necessary to bring snacks when you have an outing involving kids. Pretty funny, though, that all of Oahu seems to shop at Coscto.

Another mark of mommyhood is what I've noticed as the unofficial uniform: a cute but comfy t-shirt that isn't overly delicate with a neck high enough to not expose boobage when we bend over (which is often), long shorts (that go to the knee, give or take an inch- and extra points if you have easy-access pockets to store random child-trinkets in), and flat or almost flat shoes/slippers that won't kill your feet if you have to carry a tired child (mine are basic black slippers which can slide off easily yet not break my stride in carrying a sleeping girl into her bed.) I have noticed the purse is either small enough to sling across the body (mine) or a tote so huge it can carry 50 pounds of spare stuff.

It's not high fashion, but it works for this stage of life.

What else have you noticed is common to parents?

Crusty cat

May 16th, 2012

Olivia and I enjoy breakfast on the lanai when we're not in a terrible rush to get out the door. The cat joins us and tries to partake, so we share our toast with her. Ocho likes the crust, which works out really well since a lot of kids - mine included - don't like the crust.

Good old Ocho

Good old Ocho

One morning Olivia gave Ocho more than the usual amount. "Hoo, look at that! She's going to be a faaaat cat tomorrow!" Olivia chuckled.

"That's not how it works, Sweetie. She won't just get fat overnight," I corrected. "You'd have to overfeed her for days and days and days in a row before you see a change, just like how we don't notice you're growing taller because it happens a little every day."

Olivia looked amazed. "Then how did Kung Kung get fat?" she asked innocently.

I am pretty sure my eyebrows shoot up a good inch every time she says something this honestly blunt. "He worked on it for a long time," I said, trying not to laugh. (Sorry, Dad.)

Phoning mommy

May 14th, 2012

When I go to jujitsu at night, once or twice a week at best, Olivia often raises hell. There is some separation anxiety going on in which many times, I'm tempted to stay home. "Don't go! Don't go! Stay home! Nooooooo!" Olivia will whine and cry.

Every parenting manual will advise you to make it a quick, clean break and that the child will stop whimpering within five minutes. This is accurate. The sitter always says Olivia stops a few minutes after we drive off.

Still, this plays right into the working mother's guilt. I feel terrible, and I will often get into the car and ask Claus, "Should I just stay home tonight?"

He advises against it; work-life balance is important, he reminds me, and the times I can actually go to class at night are still inconsistent due to business events, late meetings, fatigue, or lack of sitter. So off we go, and I usually feel great after. (Yes, Husband, you are right.)

What I did not realize is that for about six or eight months, Olivia has been asking the sitter to phone me in the middle of class. He does not. He has mentioned this a couple times before, but I didn't realize it was a habitual behavior.

The usual end-of-night conversation between us and the sitter is so brief, we exchange the pertinent facts and he heads off. It takes about five words.

For some reason last night, I sat around and chatted him up over an evening snack, which is where this nugget came up. Apparently, at around 8 o'clock, she will ask him to call me, and he will pretend to oblige. The conversation goes like this:

Jul, the sitter, into the phone: "Hi, Olivia says she misses you."

Jul, to Olivia: "Mommy says she misses you too."

Olivia: "OK." (Mopey sounding)

Jul, the sitter into the phone: "Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh. OK. Have a good class. Goodbye." (Fake hanging up the phone.)

Jul, to Olivia: "Mommy says she loves you."

Olivia: "OK." (Mopey sounding)

Jul, to Olivia: "Mommy says you need to go to sleep now."

Olivia: "OK." (Mopey sounding)

It's so cute and dear - and it still makes me feel a little guilty! What to do?

UH Manoa KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

May 9th, 2012

The University of Hawaii at Manoa's Outreach College presents a free summer festival for families called Kids First! Film Festival. Now in its sixth year, the award-winning event returns with another summer of quality family fun. KIDS FIRST! gives young people the excitement and thrill of attending a film festival just for them, at an affordable price for all the family -- free!

My family and I attended a couple films in previous summers and enjoyed the experience. There are heaps of other children so if mine got wiggly or loud, nobody gave stink eye. It's in a cool, dark auditorium in the peak of the hot summer months, which is lovely. And it's the right price. I appreciate community outreach like this!

The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2012, supported in part by the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust and a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, screens on Sundays, June 3, 10 & 24 and July 8 & 15 at 3:00 pm in the UH Manoa Art Auditorium (follow the balloons on campus; parking is free on Sundays). It partners each year with over 150 venues nationwide, reaching an audience of more than one million people, making it the largest kids' film festival in the world.

Curated locally by UH Manoa's Outreach College to appeal to Hawai‘i audiences, KIDS FIRST! films are free of gratuitous violence; race, gender, or religious bias; inappropriate content; and condescension toward children. Age-appropriate groupings of films entertain through a balance of animation and live action, plus varied themes from different cultures. To add to the festivities, door prizes are awarded at all screenings. Parents, grandparents, friends and neighborhood kids - everyone can enjoy the films because they're juried by kids, parents, teachers, and child advocates nationwide to qualify for the Festival.

This summer's line-up includes films with broad appeal - for toddlers, tweens, teens, and grown-ups too. Programs include feature-length films as well as award-winning shorts. Here are the highlights:

June 3: Animated short about a boy who wants to be a dog with the full-length family film, Miss Minoes, about a cat who turns into a girl. Based on the children's book by Annie M.G. Schmidt, the film was hugely popular when released in 2001 in the Netherlands (this newly released version is dubbed in English), received international awards, and was designated a New York Times Critics' Pick.

June 10: From auteur director Yoichi Sai, based on a true story, feature film Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog will have its US premiere in mid-May, 2012. "A warm-hearted, visually charming, and ultimately thought-provoking tribute to the ways, little and large, that these creatures improve our lives." - Georgia Straight

June 24: Six short films for ages 3-7, including international favorites Hello Kitty and Babar, films from the UK and Australia, and a couple of ecology-minded puppets.

July 8: Award-winning short animated and live-action films for ages 5-12 from Here (locally and mainland produced), There (from Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Iran and Italy) & Beyond (outer space).

July 15: Following instincts or following dreams, the subjects of Ride of the Mergansers and Circus Dreams are highly entertaining and inspiring. Circus Dreams features aerial performer and contortionist Thula Martin from Pahoa, Hawai‘i.

For information, go to the or call 956-9883.

Hawaiian Fish Ponds Tour

May 2nd, 2012

Early Hawaiians were engaged in fish farming or mariculture practices for over a thousand years in Hawaii. One of the largest and oldest inland  fishponds, the Kawainui Loko I'a, was located in Kailua.  Other types of fish ponds were located along the shoreline with a wall enclosure (kuapa) and sluice grates (makaha) to control the movement of fish and tides, and can still be found in Kaneohe Bay.

Join 'Ahahui Malama I Ka Lokahi and the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club on Saturday May 5 from 8:30am to 12:30 pm to visit the ancient fishponds at Waikalua Loko Kuapa with brief overlook stops to Nu'upia Loko and Kawainui Loko I'a.  Make your reservations by calling 'Ahahui at 808-263-8008. A $10 donation is requested. Meet at Ulupo Heiau at 8:15 am and carpool to the various sites. Bring sun protection, water, snack and camera.

Also, at the Waikalua Loko Fishpond, the groups will participate in the worldwide event to Connect the DOTS on Global Warming.  Participants will be holding a sign with a painted Red Dot to indicate the rise of sea level within 50 years that will impact this site.  A digital photo of this scene will be added to the thousands of photos being taking on this day throughout the world.

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