Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

Birthday weekend in Waikiki!

August 29th, 2016

I usually don't make a fuss about my birthday. It's not because I'm unhappy about getting older or anything. I just don't. No real reason.


This year, for some reason, I celebrated it quite a bit. It was coincidence that I had time and circumstance.

My family took me to dinner the day before, at Alan Wong's Honolulu. It's one of my favorites. And I like Chef Alan a lot, too.


Impeccable service, exquisite food, convenient location. What's not to like?


Olivia was mighty impressed with this, her first luxury dining experience. She's had high class dinners but this is the highest and classiest.

Beet salad. So artful!

Beet salad. So artful!

I even "cut loose" and had a glass of wine. I rarely drink alcohol because it makes me tired. A mom can't afford to be tired.

I stopped drinking wine when I got pregnant and I never really picked it up again. I will go to nine out of ten social functions and decline wine, even if it's free.

Sisto Domingo and me

Sisto Domingo and me

Over the weekend, we checked in at Halekulani - a gift from my generous friend Sisto. It's always lovely to see my former coworkers again. It's such a gracious hotel with perfect service.

Our view! Look at green Diamond Head is!

Our view! Look how green Diamond Head is!

The suite was incredible. A few of my hotel work friends sent some treats to the room, which was so thoughtful and much appreciated.




They even thought of Olivia!

They even thought of Olivia!

You guys! Thank you so much!!!

You guys! Thank you so much!!!

We spent most of our time in the pool or beach, though the second greatest use of time was walking around Waikiki! We saw the newly opened International Market Place and I was a bit sad to see how different the flavor is from the kitschy old mall.

The century-old banyan tree at International Market Place

The century-old banyan tree at International Market Place

I completely understand it's the best use of valuable property, and it's well done. It just feels like every other luxury shopping center in Hawaii and in America.

It's probably just because I'm a local and I know what it was, that I miss it. I'm being rigid and resistant to change.

We also walked into Harry Winston and tried on some jewelry. Mind you, I'd never have the audacity to walk into a store in which I could afford nothing, and waste their time asking to try on pieces.

Reef and me. I'm such a goober.

Reef and me. I'm such a goober.

However, as Olivia and I were drooling at a window display, the security guard started waving - it was my high school classmate! OK, if they can hire Reef, they must be pretty cool, I thought.

This was my first time ever doing this (of so many unusual things I've done- go figure!) and they take you into a special room to try on the jewelry. I asked to try on the pink, six carat diamond because it's $20 million and I wanted to know what it feels like to be that close to that much money.

$20 million ring

$20 million ring

Oooh, that diamond. Wow, it sure looked good on my finger. I'm fairly sure the diamond and I were soul mates in a previous life and we're supposed to find each other in this life.

We made such a fuss, even Claus tried it on.

We made such a fuss, even Claus tried it on.

See: now the connection has been made, but the diamond is still not quite ready to be with me so we're still in a separation period. I have faith that when it's right, that diamond and I will be reunited for good.

The $800,000 yellow diamond

The $800,000 yellow diamond

Then we tried on a 13 carat yellow diamond that retails for a mere $800,000. The super cute sales ladies thought my daughter and I were funny so they also brought out a pair of 18 carat, $180,000 diamond earrings.


Halekulani, Alan Wong's, and Harry Winston. I've spoiled Olivia. I saw a pretty flower as we were walking around Waikiki, and I pointed it out to my girl.


"Look! What a pretty pink!" I exclaimed.

"Meh. It's not a pink diamond," Olivia joked back. Man, I'm sorry, Future Boyfriend of Olivia. That's a pretty hard act to follow.


Though for right now, I'm happy. It was a great birthday - and I'm ready for what the next trip around the sun brings!

Hobbies inspired by our child

August 26th, 2016

It's funny, how having a child opens you to new experiences and people. We've made friends (e.g. the Hartensteins) and gone places (e.g. the Ewa Train) we otherwise wouldn't have. We've also picked up new hobbies inspired by our daughter.

The Hartensteins, 2013

The Hartensteins, 2013

I guess we approach life differently, Husband and I. Because Olivia started doing these things, I picked up an interest - at first because it seemed like a nice way to spend more time with her doing the activities she likes.

16-7-3 Olivia in animals

I have a recent interest in ukulele, sketching, and I would really love to take up hip-hop dancing, though I won't because I feel silly that the "adult" class consists of newly formed adults - like, they literally all just qualified to buy alcohol, and maybe the oldest can now rent a car. I could be their mother.

With my Kanile`a ukulele

With my Kanile`a ukulele

My husband, on the other hand, really surprised me with what he picked up from Olivia: video games. Now, they sit down and play or what have you together.


Sometimes, I see him with his iPad all alone on the sofa and he's actually playing games by himself. There is no kid in sight to instigate this.

That, and peanut butter. European through-and-through, he has disdained peanut butter for almost as long as I've known him. It's hard to get there so they don't develop a taste for it. Their version is Nutella (which I don't like.)

"Hello, I'm so Danish if I admit to eating peanut butter they'll revoke my Euro card."

"Hello, I'm so Danish, if I admit to eating peanut butter they'll revoke my Euro card." Would that be called the Sexit? Scandinavian Exit?

Now, however, because he makes so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he's actually taken to liking this very American paste. He makes Olivia PB&J. He makes himself PB, no J. Just peanut butter and bread.

This child. She has enriched our lives in ways we didn't even imagine.


I have a feeling Claus is hoping she'll get into Pokemon Go next. It's, um, "for her," you know.


The new IT Director

August 22nd, 2016

When Olivia was eight, she taught me how to put together a PowerPoint presentation. She proudly showed us her class project, and I was very impressed by the fancy wipes, transitions, fly ins, and what not. She even used a built-in laser pointer function to point to the text or images as she spoke to it.

Holy cow. I asked her to teach me how to do that. Schooled by a third grader.

I can edit video on Avid, I can work fairly well on Word and Excel, but for some reason, I've never had to put together a PowerPoint. When I was a PR director, I, um, had people for that.

I don't know when I'll ever need to do that again but I like to always build my skill set. So one Sunday afternoon, she sat down with me and worked with me on a sample demonstration that I put together myself. Yay, Mommy!

"Or I can just do it for you if you need. You can hire me," she offered. "I'll only charge you $5."

Five bucks. What a bargain! Done!

Realizing I've come to the age where the young mind is more in tune with technology than I am, I asked her to fix some other tech issues for me. I need help with my iTunes and I seem to have maxed out the storage on my personal iPhone.

"Yep, I'll look at that for you," she stated with all the confidence of a tech professional. And I truly believe she will fix it.

So she's now our household Director of IT. I actually like it.

Slumber party

August 17th, 2016

Olivia and I had a slumber party. With each other. It was so much FUN!

It didn't quite start out that way. It was the usual bedtime tuck-in process, which for us means a little one-on-one chat time. When I was working, the talks were ten to 30 minutes.

Now, though, the sky's the limit! Or, until someone gets tired.

Boy, can we talk. And talk. And talk. She is so much fun to talk to.

I felt like a nine year old myself, when it feels like I spent every school weekend at my best friend Steph's house and then the entire summer.

We talked about hopes and fears, goals and challenges, gossip and funny stories. It just kept going and going.

She told me about pinch pots and disco parties at summer fun, what the boy who likes her did today, and small fruits that would be nice to craft into a lei (instead of a cellophane candy lei.)

We compared favorite candies, places to go for Girls' Day together, and how much we love each other (always involves astronomy and superlatives.)

I shared gross pet stories (e.g.: dog enema), which resulted in a burst of energy and raucous laughter. This is the point during a sleep over in which I would be walking to her room saying, "Girls. It's time to wind down and sleep."

Somewhere during all this chatter, I decided I would just stay in her bed and we could call it a sleep over. That was well received.

We actually tried a few times to go to sleep but someone would say something else and the conversation would just pick up again. We couldn't help ourselves.

Next thing you know, 90 minutes had passed. "Mommy, I really should sleep. It's 10 o'clock and I don't want to be tired tomorrow."

I can't believe we've created such a perfectly reasonable little human who would utter these sensible words. I'd have fallen out of something if I weren't already lying down.

"OK. I love talking to you, though. Good night," I said a little reluctantly. I was having such a good time.

Luckily, there's always next weekend, and I can ask her if she wants to have a sleep over again.

The dance recital mom

August 15th, 2016

Kids' recitals are funny, because all rules of traditional decorum go out the window. Olivia dances, and at the shows, every single song is punctuated by excited family and friends screaming out their dancer's name.

So it is with me. At the last many performances, I wave wildly from my seat, hoping to catch her attention. Last spring, she actually didn't see us, and she met us with indignation backstage after the event.

This time, I added yelling into my repertoire. Darn it if she's not going to know we're there. That and... I get such a thrill seeing her do her thing!

When her number started, I frantically shook my husband next to me as if he wasn't right there seeing the same thing. "Look! Look! LOOK!"

I've mentioned before that Claus is the calm one. He always just sits there quietly. I think he might wave once. He does the Queen wave. I do the Tom Hanks Castaway wave.

I let out a whoop. "Woooo! Yeah!!! OLIVIA!!! OLIVIA!!!" and gesticulated with the fervor of a person trying to make it off a desert island. Every time the lights got a little brighter, I folded a white paper in half and used that to hopefully catch her attention better.

I was so pleased with her. I'm always proud of her, but this time she really seemed to step up her stage presence and her dance moves. She is finally finding her groove in this class.

Inca, wearing the lei I made for Olivia for the show. Dog= not too happy. Child= loved it.

Inca, wearing the lei I made for Olivia for the show. Dog= not too happy. Child= loved it.

When we met her after the show this time, she said with half-amusement, half-embarassment, "Yes, I saw you waving. And waving. And waving. I was thinking, 'Mom, stop distracting me,' but I couldn't do anything because I was dancing."

"Sorry. I just get so excited! Did you hear me calling to you, too?" I asked.

"Yes. I heard that. You know, you can just tell me your row number and I'll find you. I always do," she suggested. Well, except that last time because we didn't tell her our row number.

"Uh, OK," I acquiesced. Claus shot me a side eye and snickered.

I feel like I now need to practice to be an audience member because it will take all I have to sit on my hands and shut my mouth.

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