Archive for October, 2013

Waihe`e Falls

October 7th, 2013

Cousin Val wanted to try a new hike, so she invited us to join her family one Sunday to trek up to Waihe`e Falls in Kaneohe. It's lovely, but it was longer than we all expected.


We drove up Waihe`e Road until it ended. You'll see a torn chain link fence; walk through that. Most of the hike is paved (nice) but not in the shade (hot.) Bring a hat and sunblock. I also put on a lot of bug spray in case I stood still. Windward side is so buggy.

You'll walk and walk and walk. The hills are sometimes steep. The most challenging part is to encourage a six-year-old up these hills.

Much of the hike parallels a nice stream. Midway, you'll see a watering hole, which a lot of people stop to swim in. Keep going! It's worth it to get to the top; takes about an hour.


At the top, there's a refreshingly cold waterfall which you can dip your feet in. Bring lunch to reward yourself at the top, and definitely bring water to drink.

Me at the falls

Me at the falls

Quite honestly, the Yelp reviews are very helpful and pretty accurate.

Plan for about three hours total for this, and if you're anything like me (soft office worker), you will feel pleasantly used.

I enjoyed the family time and the connection to nature, but my favorite memory of the day is that Olivia told me she liked that she got to spend a long, long time with us today. Aww!

A losing battle

October 4th, 2013

Poor Claus, living with all this female energy: a woman, a girl, and two female pets. I have mentioned here before that we've squeezed him out of most of the house space such that his domain now includes his bathroom (kingdom!) and the garage. No, make that a quadrant of the garage where he stores his sports gear.

The other week, I left a lavendar scent packet in the dryer by accident, and he threw in his jujitsu gi. When he fished it out later, he noticed the smell. "And now I have to go to jujitsu in this?! What will the guys think??" carped the black belt.

I laughed quite a bit. "Sorry... but that is so funny!"

"No!" he shook his head.

Then, because we have Olivia in dance lessons, and the teacher has rules on how to style the hair, I stored a bunch of ponytail holders in his SUV by the gear shift. Rainbow colored rubber bands. "They're right here in case you take her one day without me," I said.

"This manly car is turning all girly!" he sighed.

He knows it's a losing battle. Already in his manly car, there's a light purple Dora the Explorer booster seat.

Claus should be reassured that at least I haven't touched his bathroom. Yet.

Money management lesson

October 2nd, 2013

Olivia has been saving up money from household chores. We pay her a quarter per task.

It's a lesson in how to count money when we dump out the coins to see how much she has to spend. She's still not getting the abstract concept of value, but it will come in time. For now, her idea of counting her coins is to literally count them one by one, regardless of monetary value.

We painstakingly count the pennies (she does it, I supervise), and then I tally up the silver coins and the paper bills (she found a dollar on the sidewalk!). Today, she has a whopping $6.81.

Yesterday, she nagged me to take her to Ross because her friend Kira got some big fancy toy set there, and Olivia wanted same. I told her we would look at it but I doubted she has enough money to buy a big set. She even said, "It's OK, I will just look at it if I don't have enough money."

As we walked in to the store, I reminded her that I would not be buying her the toy if she did not have enough money. "It's not because I want to be mean. It's because I want you to learn a valuable lesson about money, and so you know how great it feels to buy something with your own money," I explained. She nodded and accepted this.

Then, we went in, and she found the toy... for $24.99. She's not good with reading prices, but I remind her often what is a dollar sign and to mainly look at the number to the left of the decimal to see how many dollars it is.

"Do I have enough money?" she asked with hopeful eyes.

"What's bigger, 6 or 24?" I guided.

"Twenty four," she said, getting the picture.

Now I think I have another teaching moment because I said, sounding like a textbook, "If the toy costs $24 and you have $6, how many more dollars do you need?"

Frustrated, she just threw out random numbers. "Four. Two. I don't know," starting to slow road to Whinyville. "What is it? Just tell me."

"I'm not going to tell you. You are going to figure it out at home. We will work on it," I said, intending to pull out little visuals for the mathematics lesson.

There was a lot of grousing, crying, nagging, and hiding in the clothing racks for about ten minutes. My advice to her was to save up her money and come back the next time to buy it. "Mommy! I just don't know if I can wait!" she complained.

She attempted to nag or ask me the same question about it, but I wouldn't engage. Finally, she said, "What if I have enough money to buy something now?"

I said, "Then we can look at something for six dollars or less."

She raced over and only found something she half liked. "But I just want to buy something today!"

"Olivia. Not every trip to the store means you have to leave with a purchase. Do you want the toy that you love, or do you want to buy something you half-like today just for the sake of buying it?" I chided.

To my somewhat surprise and amusement, she answered, "I want to buy something today just for the sake of buying it!"

"Well, no. That's silly. You are going to go home and save your allowance another few weeks and we'll return to buy the toy you really wanted," I insisted.

"Why! Why do I have to save money! Saving money is boring!" she fussed, sounding scarily like a lot of adults I know or know of. Because I don't want her to be THAT person, that confirmed for me my decision to teach her to save.

Olivia started to cry again. "I want it now! I don't want to save my money!"

I stood in line with this griping for another ten minutes. Oh, for Pete's sake.

Did she get any of the lessons I tried to impart in this trip? I really don't think so.

But this mommy got a lesson. Don't take kid to store again.

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