Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Girl's Weekend Out!

August 3rd, 2015

For a decadent summer getaway, I went back to my old stomping grounds and stayed a weekend at Halekulani. It was luxurious in more ways than one.

I decided to break up the stay, spending one night with my daughter for Girls' Weekend Out, and the second night with my husband. It worked out really nicely for all parties.

View from our suite

View from our suite

Olivia was thrilled to have special Mommy-daughter time, which started with afternoon tea at Veranda. She's got a serious sweet tooth (like me) and the pastries are as delicious to look at as they are to eat. In retrospect, we decided it was the trip highlight for both of us.

Then, we went back to our room, a lovely Diamond Head Ocean Suite, to change into our swim suits and go swimming. Except, when she saw the deep bathtub, the SpaHalekulani bath salts, and the pretty glycerine soap with silver glitter, she asked if we could take a tub bath together.

And so it was, me sitting in the tub with this crazy-cute eight year old, playing and chatting and having a good old time. It reminded me of when I was that age and would do that with my cousins or my friends, and we never wanted it to stop.

We had dinner reservations at 6:30 p.m. and while we were both full from tea, I felt it prudent to eat now, because any later and I'd be too tired from my weird body clock. I get up at 3 a.m for work so I'm used to a nap and an early bedtime.

At Orchids, I had a three-course meal that was heavenly. Everything was perfect. I even indulged in a glass of wine (might be my first glass of wine I've drank all year - I rarely drink) because Girl's Night Out with my sweetie is a special night.

We were so full, but I kept eating everything because it all tasted so good. I remember now why I gained nearly ten pounds in my three-and-a-half years working there.

VIP breakfasts, client lunches, business dinners, corporate functions, and the free staff cafeteria. Oh, and the hardship of staying up on product knowledge required me to eat there occasionally on weekends. It takes dedication.

After dinner I asked if she wanted to walk around Waikiki, but Olivia was tired and wanted to return to the room. She hardly admits she'd tired. This must have been a lot of stimulation for her!

In the morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Orchids before jumping into the pool. What we like to do is race, compete to do the most somersaults, and make up water dances. I ended up inventing interpretive dances as a jellyfish, a rainbow, fireworks, and more.

We completed the Girl's Getaway with a little shopping before I dropped her off at a friend's house for a sleep over and went home to pick up my husband.

That was fun, and too quick. There were about ten things more on our To Do list that we didn't get to, so Olivia and I are already thinking about our next Girl's Weekend!


July 31st, 2015

We passed a car lot and there were little American flags all over the cars. "Why is that, Mommy?" my daughter asked.

"Oh, they just want to draw attention to the new cars for sale," I said.

"For sale? So they're free? Can we get one?" Olivia said excitedly.

"They are not free," I corrected.

"But they're for sale?" she pressed.

"Right. Sale. Selling for money," I clarified. "Not free."

"Are they really cheap? Doesn't sale mean cheap?" Olivia continued.

"Yes, but sometimes they trick you by saying it's cheap but it's really not," I said. "Why? Do you want to buy a car?"

My eight year old said yes. She wants to own a car and drive one, though she knows she's currently too short to reach the pedals. I told her she would need to save her allowance for the next ten years before she could afford one.

"And where will you drive to?" I asked.

"Disneyland!" she exclaimed. She estimated it was a "million" miles away and she knows it's not possible over the ocean, but claims she still wants to try. My gosh, I love the imagination of children.

Now that I think about it, I recall being fascinated by cars when I was very young, too. I'd sit behind the wheel of my grandfather's car and pretend to turn the wheel. I'd sit on my dad's lap and he would actually let me turn the wheel if we were driving down an isolated road.

It was very exciting. I forgot all about that until this conversation.

"I know! Mommy, when I'm older, I'm going to drive your car. I don't want to buy one because I don't know how add, subtract, multiply, and divide," she stated.

That's great, she'll probably also be living with me until she's 35. Actually, I'm so attached to her I think I would like that.

She Shed and Man Caves

July 29th, 2015

I read that women caves are the new hot answer to the long-trending man caves. In this case, they're little sheds separate from the house.

I first saw this on Facebook, when my California friend Nanea Hoffman posted a series of excited updates about her She Shed. It's in her backyard.

I didn't realize this was the new, hot thing. Much later, I read about it in Time magazine. That means it's a big deal.

We don't have enough house-space to create the traditional man cave, so my husband's is in the garage. It's where he does all his testosterone stuff.

Bike, work on his bike, read about his bike, clean his bike, tend his bike equipment, and let it all hang out in a way that won't gross out the two females he lives with.

I decided I needed a woman cave. I don't have enough yard to build one. My yard is the size of a postage stamp.

Back Camera

Everyone else has a space all their own. The dog has her porch. The kid has her room (which nobody else wants to enter because it's always a minefield of toys). The cat has the world.


I needed to carve out some house-space for my own estrogen sanctuary. I considered the master bedroom, but it's called the master bedroom for a reason: it's not the mistress bedroom. I have to share it with the master.

I thought maybe I could claim the master bathroom because Claus likes his own space so he exclusively uses the guest bathroom, but I can't. Olivia has all her stuff in both bathrooms and uses some of my hair products. Plus, meditation and toilet aren't the words I wanted to put together here.

We have a teensy little storage area, pretty much the size of a generous walk-in closet, that I decided to use. It's peach colored and has a ladybug light sconce, so I'm halfway there.



In went my yoga mat and my spiritual meditation items. Inspirational photos. Calming images. In went me.

I shut the door, sat down, and felt really good. I closed my eyes and listened to the Gayatri Mantra (yoga stuff) and focused on breath. Outside I could hear the house noises as they slowly faded off as I tuned out the world and into myself.

This is nice! It's clearly not a stand-alone shed, so I've named it the Meditation Chamber. That sounds fancy and authoritative.

People came to check on me. Olivia wanted permission for something or other. Claus wanted me to help find something or other. The usual family requests.

Hey! Head wounds only!

Hey! Head wounds only!

"I'm in my Meditation Chamber," I called back through the door. "Don't bother me unless it's an emergency." I defined for them that "emergency" means you're bleeding from a head wound.

So they left me alone. Mommy got her head screwed on straighter after half an hour of down time. Niiiice.

I like my repurposed room. I'll be in there if anyone's looking for me.

Do you have a Man Cave or She Shed?

Kids and pets

July 27th, 2015

Lots of randomly funny things happen to me living with a young child. Things I would not think to do in my adult, set-in-my-way, routine life.

"Leave me alone."

"Leave me alone."

Last weekend I heard the cat yowling outside for about five minutes. This is not usual. The cat hisses, growls, or meows, but this sound was not in her behavior pattern.


I walked outside to see the cat tied on a leash next to the dog. Olivia was trying to force them to be friends. The cat looked miserable in that comically pathetic/ grumpy way only cats can.

"Take that cat off the leash," I ordered my kid.

"Mommy! I just wanted them to get to know each other. Maybe they'd like each other if they spent time together," Olivia explained.

"That is not going to happen. Let that cat go," I demanded, in what was probably the happiest moment of Ocho's day.

In a related story, it's been very hot lately. Olivia comes home in the afternoon and plays in the yard. She turns on the hose and sprays water around.

I remember liking that too, when I was little. I could spend what felt like a long time watering the yard. Why is water so fascinating?

As it happens, she's decided to do the following to either justify her playing with the hose, or to make herself feel like a big girl helping with tasks:

Wash the dog
Wash the cat
Empty out my fishpond, wash it, and fill it up with fresh water (except she discarded all my lily plant dirt!)
Water the street ("Stop that! Only water things that are alive!")
Hose off the dog's porch

For three days straight, Inca's gotten a bath. The cat is smart enough to dart off, but the dog, oh - Inca's loyalty is going to be her demise.

Olivia used her shampoo on the dog. Half the bottle.


This is why I refuse to buy her expensive shampoo. She gets the $2 VO5 brand because the other thing she does is scrub the tub with it.

My husband said when he went outside the dog was covered in bubbles and he had to supervise while she rinsed the dog off. For ten minutes.

"The dog was not happy," Claus reported.

So Olivia dries off the dog and when we're elsewhere in the house she lets the dog in. I can hear the nails clacking on the floor so I know what she's done.

"Mommy, can I let Inca in?" Olivia asks after the fact. "I dried her super good." Then I hear shaking of dog fur. Do you know how much fur Labradors shed?

15-7-4 Inca & Olivia

"No! No wet dogs in the house!" I command.

Something else this kid does is feed the dog her breakfast one pebble at a time. I'm not sure why because I have no patience for that, but it makes Olivia happy and Inca unhappy. It makes Claus unhappy only if he's pressed for time and needs her to hurry up.

When I think about all these silly incidents I laugh and shake my head - and wonder what foolishness the next day will bring. Aah, parenting.

July events at Maui public libraries

July 23rd, 2015

Want to learn to play the dijeridu? You can this Saturday at Kahului Public Library. The free event is part of the celebration of the end of the HSPLS Summer Reading Programs.

July 25 (Saturday), 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. - "Dijeridu Workshops 2015," Library Lanai.
Wes (Forest) Hada, Maui's foremost dijeridu performer and teacher, will provide information about the history of this unique aboriginal Australian instrument, demonstrate how to play it, and invite participants to learn how to play the dijeridu in two different two-hour workshops.

Hada has nearly 20 years of experience teaching and performing throughout Maui with bands including "Lost at Last" and "Jivatma."  Hada is also a dijeridu craftsman who makes the instruments from Maui bamboo and agave flower stems.  These workshops are suitable for ages 12 and older.

The Maui Friends of the Library is sponsoring this event. Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed for these events.

Kahului Public Library is located at 90 School Street.  For more information, call the Library at (808) 873-3097.

In Wailuku, you can learn to protect yourself from con-artists at a July 28 lecture. "How to Protect Yourself and Your Money from Predatory Tactics," a free program for adults, will be offered at Wailuku Public Library on Tuesday, July 28 at  2 p.m.

Con artists will say or do anything to try and take your hard-earned money away from you! Theresa Kong Kee, Investor Education Specialist for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Office of the Securities Commissioner, will conduct an informational presentation with examples of predatory tactics, questions you can ask to protect yourself, and how the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner can help you.

This one-hour program will include a question- and-answer session.  Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.  This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing @ your library (r), a partnership with the American Library Association.

Wailuku Public Library is located at 251 South High Street.  For more information, call the Library at (808) 243-5766.