i miss it already ...


we spent a few days on oahu for my sister A's graduation. it was lovely. super-duper lovely. so hard to come home and get back into the swing of things. especially since i'm still incredibly busy as i mentioned a couple posts back ... i am overwhelmed, which means i procrastinate even more. you know what i'm talking about. you do it too.

anyway, i'd rather talk about the fabulous time we had in the four short days we were there. it was a mini-family reunion of sorts :: my step-sister D came and totally surprised A, my auntie + uncle came from japan, and it just so happened that my step-cousin E's family was on oahu too.

the first full day we spent with family :: breakfast at zippy's with my step-cousin's family, D and her boyfriend T; kailua beach with E, his wife SA, and their son K (who is only four days older than ian); and dinner with my folks, auntie + uncle, and D + T @ island's (in ala moana mall) where my sister works. (we made A wait on us!)

jumping into the pit 1 we hadn't actually been to kailua before; we usually drive a tad bit farther down to lanikai. both are gorgeous white sand beaches with very small waves. it's windy but when the sun's beating down on you the breeze is a welcome relief from the heat. kailua is nice because there's a parking lot and bathrooms you can use, which is helpful when you have a kid who refuses to pee in the ocean (that would be ian).

ian and K played like crazy on the beach. ian's not much of a swimmer so SA gently took him out to get used to the waves. he ventured out farther than he normally would, but he spent most of his time on the sand. rupert got some great shots of the kids jumping into the huge whole E dug. maya chased the waves as they receded and ran away when they came up the sand. she chased pigeons and got in the way of the boys. it was totally fun and relaxing.

getting to pet a penguinthe second morning we drove the short distance to see the african black-footed penguins at the hilton hawaiian village because both the kids love penguins (maya probably only loves them because ian does). we made it just in time for the morning feeding and ian got to pet one of them. well worth the $7 we spent on parking!

afterwards we headed to moanalua gardens to meet myra of my little mochi and her family. as i expected she was so nice and sweet (she brought bentos for us) and much more soft-spoken than i imagined. her son and ian got along quite well. they spent most of the time running around, playing ball, flying a kite, and looking at fish. oh yeah, and ian got stung by a bee.

the famous monkey pod tree at moanalua gardensi'm not even sure ian noticed the ginormous monkey pod trees the park is known for. the largest tree in the park is used by hitachi for their tv commercial and most japanese people can at least hum the tune of the song that goes along with the commercial. basically, the tree and song are synonymous with hitachi. so, not surprisingly, while we were there bus loads of japanese tourists came to see the tree and take pictures. when i mentioned to my mom and auntie + uncle we had seen the tree they got incredibly excited. seriously excited it was weird. my uncle wanted to see it more than he wanted to see pearl harbor!

anyway, enough about the tree. myra and her husband were so generous with their time; i'm sure they had better things to do than meet with strangers from the blogosphere! and myra sent us home with tons of hawaiian treats to enjoy. thanks myra!

sunday was graduation. it was a beautiful day for mother's day and the graduation of the centennial class of the university of hawaii at manoa. one thing rupert and i noticed (and it made us feel old) was the amount of cellphone-ing and text-ing going on among the graduates. i'm not sure they were listening at all to the speakers. but i'm getting ahead of myself. before the graduation began the hawaiian students did a chant, which was really cool and so distinct. definitely not something you would encounter at graduations on the mainland. the other exciting thing (well, not exciting per se) was that one of the graduates stripped down to his birthday suit after receiving his diploma! he walked out of the stadium with nothing on except his cap. that sure got a laugh out of the audience ... and i'm sure some gasps and maybe some tears from his mom. happy mother's day!

not as many leis as some gradsafter the ceremony the graduates headed outside for pictures with family and friends. everyone was carrying leis (no surprise there) but some people were also carrying innertubes. i'm not sure what the significance of it is, but they were wearing them like leis. as you can imagine some of the graduates looked like they had no neck because of the sheer volume of flowers (and innertubes) around their neck.

@ manoa fallsbefore dinner the boys headed to manoa falls with D+T for a short hike. i'd done it before with my mom on my last trip to oahu so i took maya to the mall to meet up with my parents and A. as much as i like spending time with them, i really should've taken that opportunity to go to fabric mart for my mother's day shopping spree. in the end i didn't get a chance to go so i came home empty-handed. boo.

i think that was the only bad thing about the trip and it's not that bad. i take it back; the other bad thing about the trip was that it was too short! half the fun was definitely being there with my extended family. i really enjoyed that ... although we kept saying that it's crazy we have to go across the pacific to see each other when most of us live within an hour's drive from each other. go figure.

aloha! (and mahalo for reading this incredibly long blow-by-blow account of our trip.)


18 months (i.e., 1.5 years old!)

future anarchist?
maya @ 18 months :: may 4, 2007
  • some new favorite foods: kiwi, milk shakes, raw bean sprouts (ew!)
  • weaned her off the nighttime and morning bottle; she's not getting as much milk as before so we're giving her more yogurt and cheese.
  • maybe because of the weaning she was really cranky in the morning for awhile.
  • new favorite toys: finger cymbals, plastic easter eggs, dragging around half-deflated balloons from trader joe's as if they were dogs on a leash, superballs (which she will throw with an "ungh!")
  • opening drawers and cabinets so we had to empty out the ones in the living room (she was pulling out ian's books, rupert's cds, and all kinds of other stuff).
  • likes bracelets and anklets. my mother-in-law gave her a charm bracelet from the charlotte's web dvd and she knew right away to put it around her wrist. in rie class she takes the plastic bracelets and tries to get them around her ankles.
  • was actually interested in seeing the animals at our last trip to the zoo. before she just sat in the stroller but this time she insisted on being picked up to look at the animals. her favorites: lions, seals, giraffs, gazelle-like animals.
  • first bike ride :: april 15 with rupert. no surprise she hated the helmet and spent most of the bikeride trying to take it off.
  • loves it when you make monkey noises. she pulls out her animal book, points at the monkeys and looks at you expectantly. she'll do it too. maybe it's related or maybe not, but she likes the curious george cartoon on pbs.
  • will always put stickers from the local markets on the bottoms of her feet. she doesn't like socks or shoes but she'll "wear" stickers. go figure.
  • turns the lightswitch on and off.
  • likes to ride around in the push-trike that used to be ian's. it's been sitting outside for five years so it's seen better times but she doesn't care.
  • she continues to love all living things (dogs, cats, birds, fish, monkeys, babies).


when it rains it pours

i've been mia for the last few weeks. i don't know what happened but all of a sudden i got busy. busy with work. yes, you heard me right :: paid work.

i started tutoring last month, which is not a huge time-taker-upper but it doesn't pay that well either. i've heard that credentialed teachers who tutor can ask as much as $50 per hour. i'm not credentialed, but i have enough experience to know how to teach certain things, like reading (all that open court training paid off). and i'm bilingual (which is a skill i use because my student just moved here from japan six months ago). so, at the very least i should get paid $25 per hour, in my opinion. but right now i'm only getting paid $20 per hour. but when you consider the commuting and prepping and finding a babysitter for the kids, it just may not be worth it to keep this job.

on the more creative side, i've been making tagE*blankEs. some of my (very generous) friends are helping me with this fledgling business by buying them. it helps that people go gaga over baby stuff and they loosen their purse strings a bit. they've also been kind enough to spread the word so i've had enough orders to keep me busy.

i've also been playing with paper :: working on a couple of wedding invitation orders and creating welcome invitations for our friends' new baby. it's fun, but it could be funner if everything didn't happen at once! you know me, i'm not the multitasking type.

the messy craft areaconsequently, my crafting area is a huge mess. even messier than usual. i'm losing things left and right. stacks are tumbling down. receipts are piling up. rupert's tripping over everything. crazy clutter going on here. it's a bit annoying when i can't even find an empty space to put down my cup of tea, but at the same time it gives me happy pimples to think that i'm surrounded by all of my creating stuff. love it. inspired by it.

but i do need to clean up a bit so i don't make rupert angry. ;)

i knew i was worth something around here ...

salary.com came out with the 2007 figure of how much moms would earn if you tallied up all they do during the week :: $138,095. that's a heck of a lot of money. i wonder what life would be like if mother were an "actual job" and the government (or some entity) paid a salary?? i'm sure more moms would stay at home. and dads too. but would the productivity of the nation, and therefore the economy, go down? but if moms had more spending power that would boost the economy, wouldn't it? interesting ...

i know moms (working moms and stay-at-home moms) who definitely are worth the $138,095 mom salary + regular job salary. they put me to shame. i can't really say that i do enough to earn much money. i know that i do stuff around here to keep things chugging along but compared to other moms i'm not very productive. i would, in fact, probably get fired from the job of sahm. thank goodness i'm the boss around here!

p.s. you can personalize the mom salary to see how much you would get paid by using the mom salary wizard. i plugged in numbers for the number of hours i think i do stuff around the house, my zip code, and voila! apparently i could earn $143,354 as a mom in my area. okay, okay, i might've fibbed a bit on how many hours i work as the janitor at home ...