Archive for the ‘dad’ Category

Prom problem

October 5th, 2015

"When do kids go to prom?" Claus asked me. Disney Channel was on and prom was the topic.

"It depends. I had Sophomore Banquet, Junior Prom, and Senior Prom," I told him. "So, around 15, 16, 17."

"Is that in high school?" he continued.

"Um? Where do you think kids are at age 15?" I asked.

"So we have to buy three prom dresses for her?" he quizzed.

"Well, probably six. Other boys from other grades and other schools will probably ask her to their proms, too," I joked, knowing I was dancing on his anxiety spot.

His eyes popped, then narrowed. "No, no, no! I will make sure that does not happen," he growled, eyes scanning the room for his black belt.

I was wondering why this was such a shock to him, so I asked, "Why is this so new to you? Didn't you have prom in Denmark?"

For all the years I've been with this husband, we have never talked about the American custom of proms. I didn't realize until this conversation that proms don't exist in Denmark!

No prom for you, young man!

No prom for you, young man!

They have Sodavands Fest: soda parties at nightclubs. He dragged up photos on the Internet of kids at nightclubs at end-of-year parties that occur at 3 in the afternoon.

The girls don't dress up in fancy gowns. The boys don't rent tuxes. Limos aren't really a part of that event. It's just college, but a few years earlier and with virgin drinks.

Being American, I can't imagine high school memories without prom, but being a mother, I think I much prefer the idea of my girl drinking pop at 3 p.m. rather than partying till dawn after prom night. How can we replace prom with soda parties here in the US?!

Brassiere shopping

September 30th, 2015

I wanted a new bra, and I wanted a certain type. A bralette, to be exact.

We were all at the department store, and I detoured into the lingerie section. My family reacted in two ways.

My daughter was fascinated by the pretty lace, cute patterns, and different colors. My husband was uncomfortable but trying to override that with a practical attitude.

I told him he could wander elsewhere, he said he would help me (so we could get out of here faster?)

"I want a bralette like the one I use for yoga," I described, and found a tan one on the rack. "Like this one, but this is not my size."

He totally didn't get it. To be fair, there are dozens of brassiere designs. Strapless, backless, adhesive, sports, just to name a few.

He picked an underwire bra for me. I think his only reference was that it was the same color as the sample I pulled a minute ago.

"Sweetie, that has an underwire. It has to look more like a sports bra," I explained, hoping the very common reference would help draw the picture.

He searched the rack. "What about this?" he held up, which was a bra without a wire but still had the clasp in the back.

The poor man. He had the best intentions.

Finally, he actually found the correct design. "Yes, just like that!" I said. He looked like he won a prize.

Then I went over and inspected it. "This is not my size," I determined.

He looked deflated. This is not his day in the ladies section.

It was, like, a bra built for Anna Nicole Smith and I'm, well, not that. Not by a long shot.

I found what I needed and Olivia followed me in the dressing room. "How does this look?" I asked her.

She stared at me with a blank look. "I don't know what I'm looking at. Am I looking at your breasts? What am I looking for?" I remembered I can't treat my eight-year-old like my girlfriend just yet.

I bought the bralette. I also noted to self that I should not bring my family with me on a bra buying trip again.

Made with love... and butter

September 28th, 2015

Olivia loves grilled cheese sandwiches. I made her one the other night and for the first time in all these years she paid attention to how I did it.

"You put butter in it?!" she marveled. "You make the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the world!"

I served her the plate and she continued, "Yours is even better than Daddy's!"

Well, Claus is a great cook, but I've seen him sometimes toast cheese in between bread as a lazy method. He's tired. I get it. She still eats it.

My girl went on and on about how I'm the best cook ever, etcetera. (I'm "eating" it up, LOL.)

I told her, "It's also because I cook it with love. I love cooking for my sweetie!"

"Yours is still better than Daddy's," she insisted.

"He cooks with love, too," I reminded, trying to get her to cut her dad some slack. He's a great dad.

"That's fine," she determined. "He cooks with love, but he's not cooking with butter."

Mean Meatloaf

September 23rd, 2015

Claus brought home a board game from Denmark called Ludo. It's essentially Parcheesi, but with an international name.

We like it. For me, it's definitely better than Fishing or My Little Pony Monopoly.

I used to let Olivia win games all the time, then I heard it's better to just play competitively and 1) teach your children to be good losers, 2) understand what it's like to win fair-and-square.

So I just go ahead and beat her in the games. I somehow became Mean Meatloaf when I disable her player. I get a lot of Meatloaf aimed at me when my guy is about to eat hers.

Then I taught her my strategy. She's like post-war Japan.

She learns, refines, and improves the method to best me at my own game. Now, she is the Mean Meatloaf more often than I am.

Then, Meatloaf has transmogrified into a verb to mean "lose," as in: "Let's play Ludo. Are you ready to get Meatloafed?"

I still enjoy eating meatloaf, but it sparks an entirely new set of associations when I see it on a menu.

Walk To End Alzheimer's 2015

September 14th, 2015

Did you that in Hawaii, more than 26,000 people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and one in three kupuna will die with Alzheimer's or a related dementia?

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The Alzheimer's Association is dedicated to offering reliable information, care, and support to everyone affected by this disease. Yearly, it holds its largest fundraiser, the Walk to End Alzheimer's.


I've made no secret of my mother's affliction with this disease. While some view it as a stigma, I see it as an unfortunate curse out of one's control. It's sad, but not shameful.


That's why I talk about it and support events like this one. Raising awareness is one step towards fighting it; raising funds is another step.

This year I was honored when The Alzheimer's Association asked me to emcee its walk on the Labor Day weekend. I've never attended before and I found it to be a lovely event, with people so connected and supportive.

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We've all come together for a common cause, and it felt more cohesive than other events I've attended. It's an energy that surprised and buoyed me.

It's just different. Lots of people there are affected by the disease in one way or another and it felt like one big support group. People came up to me to offer their well-wishes, share their story, and give a hug.

The impetus is sad, but the outcome can be optimistic. We're all trying to find a way to make the best of it.

Many of the main care home set up tents, so it's a good one-stop-shopping event to gather some information if you ever need to start looking into this topic. (And my sympathies, if you do.)


Volunteers Michele Hirosumi got the crowd warmed up with a Zumba class, and DJ Kurious kept the vibe upbeat the entire two hours with a great mix of songs.

US Senator Mazie Hirono and State Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland shared their thoughts and experiences with the disease, as did I. Sen. Chun-Oakland is a champion of elder causes; she co-founded and is very active with the Legislature's Kupuna Caucus, which advocates for elder issues in Hawaii.

Sen. Hirono's experience with Alzheimer's goes past Congressional efforts to support senior care. Her mother has it, and she talked about her personal pain and challenges.

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Organizers gave out pinwheel flowers to represent a Garden of Hope - a commitment to finding a cure for this disease. It's inspirational to see everyone in the audience holding up their flowers!

Valerie Tam, Ashley Stuffers of Alzheimer's Association, Steve Tam of AA's Advisory Board

Valerie Tam, Ashley Studerus of Alzheimer's Association, Steve Tam of AA's Advisory Board


A team of walkers.


The walk takes a few loops around Magic Island before things wind down.

I'm looking forward to the walk next year to honor, to remember, to care, and to fight - right alongside hundreds of others.