Archive for October, 2016

Refrigerator mystery

By
October 4th, 2016



The people I live with. OMG, if it wasn't so funny it would be maddening.

I cut up a watermelon and put it in the fridge in a plastic container. When I went to eat it the next day, there was NOTHING in there but one seed and some juice.

?!?!

This is worse than the person who leaves a teaspoon of juice in the carton and puts it back.

I was about to blame Olivia, but luckily I intercepted Claus first and told him what happened, chuckling.

"Who DOES that?" I huffed.

"Yeah!" he said brightly.

Hmm, that doesn't seem right. He should be shaking his head, too.

I peered at him hard. "You did that?"

"Yeah!" he chirped.

"WHAT?" I said.

His reasoning: there was another half melon to cut up, so it was OK to just put the empty bowl back in the fridge. I guess it was his hint to me to find it empty and get busy filling it up.

I thought I only had one kid in the house. Ugh.

Mr. & Mrs. Soda Bottle

By
October 4th, 2016



Slumber parties sure have changed since I was a kid. At Olivia's big sleepover, ( http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/10/10/girls-slumber-party/) I found out one of the reasons the girls were up at midnight was "to get married." To one liter soda bottles.

They were talking about boys, and two of the seven girls decided they just looooved their crushes so much, they wanted to marry them in a practice ceremony. I had some Pepsi bottles waiting around (to be turned into Mentos geysers the next day), so they grabbed two as mock grooms.

"What does marriage mean? What do you do when you're married?" I quizzed Olivia.

"I don't know. I don't care. I wasn't getting married," she shrugged nonchalantly. She was just a wedding guest.

I like soda. (Guilty pleasure.) I asked Claus if I could marry a soda bottle, too. Colas are soda-licious.

I now pronounce thee husband and wife.

I now pronounce thee husband and wife.

The Danes are so liberal! He said OK and that he wouldn't be jealous. So now we have an open-container  marriage.

If I see a soda I like, I just have to tell him first, so he doesn't have to find out from someone else or that it doesn't seem like I'm going behind his back. I've sampled a lot of brands and flavors in the past, so I basically know what's out there and what I do and don't like.

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I have exotic taste in sodas. When I was briefly living in Mexico, Jarritos was a fan favorite, so that's what I developed a taste for. I've been to about 20 countries, and I tried Mirinda in Spain and Lorina in France (such pretty bottles!) I once flirted with an Irish soda, Cavan Cola; I liked it, but it is no longer available. That's too bad.

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It's nice that if I get a hankering for a soft drink, I'm still allowed to indulge. I'm only going to act on this once in a while. I don't have a drinking problem.

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Wedding vows for Soda and Diane:

I, Diane Ako, take thee, Soda Bottle, to have in a chilled glass and to hold for the duration of the evening, to love and enjoy for a short while, until an empty bottle do us part.

I, Soda Bottle, take thee, Diane, and pledge to show my love for you in the form of an expanded waistline should you imbibe too much. Those whom Foodland has joined together, let only the City's blue cart recycling program put asunder.

Bride, you may now drink the groom.

Fourth graders create day spa business

By
October 4th, 2016



Olivia and six of her friends created an entrepreneurial venture - a day spa, which is appropriately named because it lasted for just one day. It happened during Olivia's recent slumber party. (  http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/10/10/girls-slumber-party/)

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I was in the pool, when the girls beckoned me into the hot tub. I had heard them having some kind of "staff meeting" and assigning duties to each person.

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"It's hot in the hot tub. I want to stay in the pool," I rejected.

"Auntie, will you please come in here? We need a customer," they cajoled.

*sigh* Fine. I was welcomed into their spa.

Hot tub

Hot tub

"This is our spa!" they proclaimed proudly, pointing out different areas. "That's the area where we keep special stuff, that's the storage place, this is the staff break room," Eli pointed out.

Then Tyree instructed me to select from a hand or a foot massage. I picked hand massage and was treated to light poking and prodding for 30 seconds.

There were no other treatments available, but I guess that kind of narrow menu offering allows for quick training. I'm sure they planned that for maximum efficiency.

Because I was a special customer for this grand opening, Olivia gave me a foot massage, too. She may have pioneered a new spa protocol, because instead of bringing the foot to the masseuse, she brought herself to me. Underwater. Since she was holding her breath and rubbing my feet underwater, this massage experience lasted 15 seconds.

I was impressed. "You guys are great! Do you make a lot of money?" I asked.

"Nah. We get paid in sand and leaves," Kiryan confessed, holding up a dead plumeria leaf that also doubled as an admission ticket.

"Now, can you go over to the pool and get a swimming lesson from Evie? She's bored," Tyree urged, practically pushing me out of the tub.

Kiryan reminded me that while in the pool, I could also lie on the raft and be treated to a nice ride around the water. I took them up on that.

Me, on the pool ride

Me, on the pool ride

Olivia added, "After that, you have to get a tennis lesson from Jaycie."

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"And make sure to buy a ticket from Meya at the cash register. She's got nothing to do," Eli added.

This is the second underutilized employee they spoke of. I suspect there may be a need for staff reduction or restructuring. They have a ways to go before they're ready for their IPO.

"What if I just want to float in the pool?" I pushed back.

"You can't. You're our only customer," they explained.

Daddy would not come in the water. He wanted to watch Netflix in the cabana.

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There may be some flaws in this business model. Still, it was sweet being their one and only customer. If anyone needs a nice 15 second foot massage and can pay up in dead leaves, I have a good contact for you.

Chinatown excursion

By
October 4th, 2016



I took Olivia to Chinatown one morning for a cultural excursion. She's been before, but either for a quick errand, or she was too young to really remember.

Honolulu's Chinatown

Honolulu's Chinatown

It's just so different from our usual Western haunts, I thought it would be fun. And it was.

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We bought dim sum at Char Hang Sut and a smoothie at Maunakea Marketplace, and enjoyed a little repast in the courtyard. To our delight, there were two men playing live music there, one with a homemade bass.

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After, we strolled the market, because she's really only accustomed to Safeway and Foodland, and this is far from that. Her eyes were so wide at the sights and sounds.

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I pointed out live fish, crustaceans, and abalone, which fascinated her. I taught her how to buy fish - by looking for clear eyes. I showed her blood sausage, chicken's feet, pig's feet, and intestines, which grossed her out so badly.

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Her repulsion, I laughed at, and then shrugged at the vendors, "She doesn't know she's part Chinese yet," and they laughed along.

We looked at the stores with all the charms and bric-a-brac. I had forgotten Chinatown was a place for good beads, and her eyes widened at all the shiny stuff.

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"There's a lot of stuff on these shelves," she admired.

It's a different aesthetic than Western stores. It's very practical, which is fine with me.

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It's a charming disarray. It's familiar. "See how I'm walking sideways down this aisle? That's how I had to walk in all my aunts and uncle's homes," I told her.

I walked her into a herb and acupuncture store, which smelled typically pungent. She didn't like it, but I wanted her to see an Oriental medicine shop.

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We passed a candy and crack seed shop, and I told her to look at the glass jars with seeds. "My grandfather used to take me to places like this to buy me seeds," I told her. "This is how they used to come before all the little plastic bags."

It's funny to me that Chinatown is ten miles away from us but a world away.

Lastly, we passed a few lei shops. "Chinatown has the best lei," I advised Olivia. We looked at the ladies stringing it.

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She saw a rainbow colored orchid lei and thought it was pretty. "Shall Mommy buy that for you?" I asked.

"You don't have to buy me anything, Mommy. I just want you to spend time with me," she responded.

Which makes me want to buy her everything. She is my heart.

Girls slumber party!

By
October 4th, 2016



We did it. It's over. I'm still alive.

We had a big slumber party. Six guests from school. Only after the fact did the experienced moms confess I was nuts.

It is nuts. I almost want to warn you never to do it, but it's also very rewarding and fun.

So do it, but beware. You will feel so exhausted the next day.

Olivia and I had lots of fun planning it in the weeks prior. The favors, the guest list, the activities, the menu.

Olivia and I had fun crafting bracelets as favors

Olivia and I had fun crafting bracelets as favors

I had actually deep-cleaned the house over a month ago, just because. So at least there wasn't that much prep to do.

On the first day, the girls were very excited to see each other. We took them to my cousins' pool, which happened to be available because my cousins were out of town and let us use it when they're gone. (Thank you, Cousins!!!)

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A body of water is perfect for letting them entertain themselves. We tossed them in and let them play into the night. It was very cute. In the evening they spontaneously broke out in song, which I found adorable.

Dessert bar, before

Dessert bar, before

We brought pizza, chips, and ice cream with lots of toppings. They can detect sweets like sharks smell a drop of blood from a mile away.

We didn't even have to call them. They saw us setting it up and came running. They dove into the ice cream bar like a predator feeding frenzy.

Dessert bar, after

Dessert bar decimation, after

Geez. Hurricane Lester did come to Oahu: it came tableside for five minutes while little grabby hands fought to get eight kinds of sprinkles, crushed Oreos, Snickers bites, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

Then there was total quiet for five more minutes while they ate. That was a short-lived peace.

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I like all of Olivia's friends, and I enjoy chatting with them and spending time around them. That night, I told the girls ghost stories before asking them to lie down by 10:30 p.m. Of course, nobody listened to me.

Ghost stories!

Ghost stories!

When I got to the master bedroom, my husband was crashed out, snoring. Lucky him.

Our walls are thin and we have no soundproofing. The living room has wood floors, which means every sound bounces off the walls and into adult ears.

Why are you still UP?!

Why are you still UP?!

It was midnight and I could still hear loud footsteps and bursts of giggles. I went to tell them it was lights out now, "and I mean it." They actually went to sleep obediently, but I'm sure that was just coincidence after a long day of play.

I still can't believe this, but they woke up - and woke me up! - at 4:15 a.m. Are these future morning anchors in the making? What the hey? Why do they need only four hours of sleep?!?!

How does my husband sleep through this? I'm jealous.

I had to go tell them to cut it out, which, surprisingly, they did. Silence for two more hours. I know this because I tossed and turned and couldn't get back to sleep. (Grr.)

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That morning, we served them whipped cream and sprinkles with a side of pancake for breakfast. Yes, Moms, I pumped your girls full of sugar for 24 hours.

Then we all headed back to my cousins' house, for another five hours in the pool. Thank the Maker for pools, the sanity-saver of parents everywhere.

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On the car ride home, half the girls actually fell asleep, and the other half zoned out quietly. High five, Daddy! We did it! We tired them out, finally!

Party favors

Party favors

We sent the girls home with a party favor: a half-pound of candy to help them get ready for Round Three at their own home!

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