Archive for the ‘dad’ Category

Math homework

November 12th, 2014

Olivia writes her homework on a tablet that the teacher assigns. Every day, either Claus or I checks it and does it with her when she comes home.

Usually it's the child who makes the mistakes with the homework- doesn't copy the assignment down, doesn't want to do it, forgot the books at school, etc. Today it was the parent!

It was Claus who took charge on this day, and since we are often tired by 5, he misread the pages assigned for math. He jumped 20 pages and some three weeks ahead in her curriculum.

She struggled through the work, but with his help, finished it without complaint. When he went to check off that box on the homework list, he said he realized his mistake.

Discreetly, without letting her know he messed up, he then opened the math book to today's homework and had her finish that as well.

Now there's a piece of paper tacked to the bulletin board at home with a finished assignment, and in a few weeks when she gets to that page, she'll be pleasantly surprised to see she's already done it.

I just hope she doesn't figure it out and scold Claus for his mistake! Ha!

Whose workplace is more fun?

November 10th, 2014

I took Olivia to work at KHON2 with me recently because there was a day of no school. She's been there before for half a day, but this was the first time she came at 4 am with me.

She really, really wanted to come with me, and I warned her she couldn't complain about the early wake up. She was a very good girl and woke up promptly.

I laid out a sleeping bag at my desk and she snoozed for the first half of my show. Then, around 6:30 a.m., she woke up and wanted to sit in the studio with me.

Sitting on my lap at the anchor desk.

Sitting on my lap at the anchor desk.

She sat quietly without complaint, playing video games and talking to Kelly in between Kelly's weather segments. I told her I was proud of her for being so good.

Olivia and Kelly

Olivia and Kelly

After the news, I took her to Kissaten Cafe for breakfast and cheesecake. The owner was nice to her and gave her ice cream.

After the day was over, we drove home, and she admitted she was tired. "Now I know why you're tired all the time, Mommy. And now I know why you like your job so much," she said. I thought that was cute.

On the floor by my feet.

On the floor by my feet.

"I want to come to work with you every day!" she continued. "Please can I come tomorrow?" She likes that everyone's so nice to her, that we eat at Kissaten, and that she can watch me live instead of waving at the TV in the mornings.

I told her she could come back the next time there's no school, but it also depends on what I have going on at work. She might have to go with Daddy to his work at Moanalua Mortuary, if I'm too busy.

"I like your workplace way better! Please?" she begged.

"What's wrong with Daddy's place?" I asked. I think there's nothing quite as exciting as a newsroom, but I was curious to see what she thought.

"Well, for one, most everyone's dead there," she explained.

So, I thought I was such a cool mom, but maybe the bar is lower than I thought if my competition are people who are no longer drawing breath.

Tooth fairy strikes again

November 7th, 2014

Olivia lost another tooth. She insisted we pull it out because it was all wiggly and she was too impatient to wait any longer. She looked like a prizefighter just out of the ring with her bloody, toothless smile.

That night, she wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy to please leave the tooth so she could bring it to show our friends who we were about to see in California, then to school for Sharing Day. She decorated the area around it with ornaments.

It is her first dental activity since starting second grade. It's a moment of pride, you know.

I love the note. It's so cute. Here it is. I love that she still believes.

photo 2 photo 1


Disney - Fall 2014

October 29th, 2014

Fall break for Olivia arrived, and we found ourselves at Disney theme parks for the second time this year. As I read over what I wrote, sounds a little crazy, considering we fly up from Hawaii to go to the theme park - but it makes Olivia happy.

Mid-October at Disney is a great time. The weather is cooler than at spring break, and the lines are shorter. If you go at the park opening, you'll encounter a long line at the gate, but few lines at the rides for the first couple hours. Terrific!


We spent two days at the parks - one at California Adventure Park, one at Disneyland. We got so lucky because it was fairly overcast on the second day so we weren't scorched. We chose to spend the third day at my good friend Joann's house in Irvine just hanging out.

At California Adventure Park, Olivia wanted to ride Tower of Terror first. It's my favorite adult ride, so I was game. She rode it for the first time in March, and claimed it was her favorite - but when we entered the spooky lobby, she changed her mind.

"Too late!" we told her. She enjoyed it less this time around, but perhaps a day later it then became her favorite ride once again. I think it's the mark of being a big girl.


We also took her on California Screamin', an inversion roller coaster, and Cars, which was the longest line we encountered - an hour and 45 minutes for a fast spin around a track. It was all fun.


We had to get up at 6 a.m. the next day to get ready for Disneyland. The plan was to make sure to see the Frozen princesses.  We tried the day before but learned the tickets are all gone within the first 30 minutes or so of the park's opening.

Disneyland entrance, 7:59 a.m.

Disneyland entrance, 7:59 a.m.

When we lined up at the front gate, people were counting down the seconds until the gates opened. The lines were about 50 people deep by the time we got there, but it didn't take us that long to get in.

I saw people running at full speed once inside, so my Type A personality ramped up and I grabbed Olivia's hand and ran to Fantasyland. Here is how it works: it's so popular to meet the Frozen princesses, you have to line up first thing in the morning, present your park pass, and have the entire party present to receive a number.

At the front, a staffer gives you a ticket of when to return for your 20 minute window. You have to present your Frozen ticket and your park passes when you return, then you line up again to meet them. You cannot line up earlier than your window, and you cannot miss it.

Hugging Anna

Hugging Anna

I had 90 minutes from the time we got the ticket, to the time our turn was up. I looked at my watch like my life depended on it. Like I was Brad Pitt in World War Z trying to catch my chopper to safety. I would never hear the end of it if we left Disneyland without meeting Anna and Elsa.

Olivia & Yulia

Olivia & Yulia

As I said earlier, the lines were short to non-existent, so Olivia was able to ride the Mad Tea Party a whopping 14 times without waiting in line. The first four times, she would exit the teacup and run back into the line. After the fourth time, the attendant told her to just stay in the cup.

Early on, Claus and I (otherwise known as Old People) chose to abort the cup because all that spinning made us dizzy, but young people are so much more durable, so she loved it. By the 10th time, we noticed she was stalking another little girl (doing the same thing, just sitting in the ride consecutively). She walked over and let herself into the cup, and they became friends for the rest of the morning until the girl had to leave.

We also walked right into Peter Pan's Flight, which appears to be one of the more popular rides in Fantasyland. There was absolutely nobody in line and nobody in the cars. I haven't seen that in ages.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

We probably rode about two dozen rides at Disneyland - amazing - but Olivia's favorite was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, because it was fast enough to rate as a Big Girl ride, but not scary.

On our third day we just hung out with a dear friend Joann, who is Olivia's godmother. I love that feeling about good friendships - that there can be time and distance in between visit, but the same closeness remains. I fell in love with her two year old, Jake.

With Jake and Joann

With Jake and Joann

This boy! Oh, my heart!

This boy! Oh, my heart!


It was a quick but easy trip. I have a park credit for about $100 that I have forgotten twice now this year to bring along and use. It's my excuse to Claus to return. In the woman's mind, it makes total sense, right, to return to Disney again soon just because I need to use this credit? LOL

Kalei's interview

October 13th, 2014

Olivia had a family tree homework assignment, and part of it included interviewing a family member. Her calabash aunt was over, so she decided to interview Kalei.

Here is where differences start to show in our personalities. The question was, "What are a couple major events happened in your early life?"

I kept offering things that I know happened during Kalei's life: Reagan assassination attempt, Chernobyl meltdown, Berlin Wall crumble. Always a journalist, I guess.

Claus suggested, "What about a fishing trip your dad took you on that meant a lot? What about a family tradition you really love?" Sentimental.

Kalei's stream-of-conscious vetting of answers is comically adult-rated. "What about the time my parents disowned me when I was 14? Or when I was suspended from school for smoking in my uniform?"

"No. That's not really second-grade appropriate," I laughed.

Artist rendering of Kalei.

Artist rendering of Kalei (standing between waterfalls.)

"OK, then there was the time I went to Sea Life Park to pet a dolphin and was freaked out by it and have not liked fish ever since," she recalled.

While we were debating the child-friendliness of this answer, Olivia went ahead and wrote it down, and drew a photo of Kalei to go with it.

This is Kalei's version of events. I probably should have just made the effort to call my 85 year old Auntie Roz instead of asking my hilariously sarcastic thirty something gal pal:

I think we were in two different places because I recall it went down like this:

Liv had a school project to interview someone, so she interviewed me.

The first question was "When is your birth date?" so I replied "None of your business," to which Di said that was an inappropriate answer for a school project, so I gave it up.

The rest were weird questions like "What elementary school did you go to," "Where were you born and raised," "What were your hobbies when you were my age," "What were your chores when you were my age," "What could you buy with five cents when you were my age," "How much is it now," then the last question was "Tell me a story or something important that happened when you were little."

My first answer was, "I was attacked by a border collie so I'm still working out my issues with dogs." Di said it was not seven-year-old material, then my next answer was, "When I was in Japan I asked my grandma to get me a baby chicken; it bit my face and then died, so I'm scared of chickens." Again, Di said to mind my audience.

So then I said, "I moved out when I was 14 to live with my best friend because I grew up in an unhealthy environment." Di said definitely too deep for a second grader's project.

So my final, edited, and approved answer translated by Liv on paper is "Sea Life Park pet a dolphin now scared of them."

Note how I said "approved" answer, because this was not an interview. It was a collective storytelling of my life as edited by the peanut gallery of Diane and Claus. You call yourself a journalist?