Project Yourself Online

Now that I have started applying for more writing jobs, I have become acutely aware of what one would call my "online image". And Im not just saying that because I include the link to my blogs in my applications...

I learned about "Google-ing" people from my college roommate. If I had a crush on a guy or if a new professor showed up out of the blue, Ruth would immediately hop online and try to dig what she could so that we would be prepared should we ever have to strike up a conversation with this person. Not that you could blatantly use that information (that would seem scary and stalker-like), but just so you felt prepared knowing where you stood with this person as far as being intellectually or emotionally compatible. Which begs the real question, how much can you really know about someone based on their online persona?

Turns out that future employers arent above Google-ing, or other search engine-ing, their current or future employees. That picture of you sucking jello shots out of your girl friends chest during Spring Break '02, the one you posted on a Photobucket account you stopped using 4 years ago? You can rest assured that your boss has already seen it (and more likely than not shared it with someone she knows). Even if your boss/future employer has a good sense of humor or skeletons of her own, its likely that this will not reflect highly on your professionalism.

We try to take preventative measures like putting all our most tawdry and scandalous material "on private" to keep our image protected. But how well does that work? It only takes one person saving that image, uploading it, or (better yet) having a pictorial memory of the same event on their own digital camera to foil our plans. What about that diatribe you wrote on your blog four years ago and forgot about that talks about how working for "the man" is for sell outs and posers. Guess what? "The man" isnt going to take kindly to that one either. And if you created it, if its tagged, if its got your mark on it somewhere, any girl worth her Google is going to find it.

But what does this all mean? Are we forced, yet again, to bow to the system and put on the self-inflicted shackles of censorship? You may have noticed that I went through and edited some of the more recent/boring/useless posts from Terms of Indifference. I would hardly call this "bowing to the system". I think a healthy amount of self-editing could go a long way for most people online. Even if you arent trying to get some kind of web based employment, people like my college roommate and your potential real-world employer are judging you based on, not just who you are in person, but who you are in cyberspace, too. So do yourself a favor and save the body shot pics for the coffee table photo album.

Like these photos of Ikaika, for instance. Im sure they will come back to haunt him someday as people punch his name into a search engine. Let me help their efforts with this tag:



Chillaxin' with Mr Rabbit

Some might call this "boring". Im excited about the fact that hes actually playing with something instead of just looking at it. He likes Mr Rabbit (this doll that has all sorts of different sensory things like zippers, snaps, crinkly stuff, etc) and he mostly chews on the feet but also enjoys smooshing the crinkly ear part and talking with Mr Rabbit, which you will witness on this video.

Pee and Sleep

A lot of people have been asking me about Ikaikas sleeping so Im going to state it for the record here.

He will usually go to sleep between 9 and 11pm. Meaning, he goes down when we go down. Now, is he going down because we are or vice versa, I do not know. I just know thats about when he knocks out. Then he will wake up anywhere around 4 to 6am and want to eat. We feed him, change him and put him back to sleep. Rare is the night when he wont go directly back to sleep once he is fed and changed. Then he stays down until between 8 and 10am.

Its not a terrible schedule. If he takes long naps during the day then he will usually be easier to put to bed at night (Granny said it best "the longer they sleep, the better they sleep"). If he doesnt nap well then things can get wild at night.

Before he was born I was pretty confident about having him on a certain schedule, convinced by the book that it was the only thing that could possibly be good for him. So am I traumatizing him now by leaving it up to chance? Will he develop major sleep issues later and will I regret not being more strict? Will I, godforbid, wonder if I should have put my own selfish needs and schedule aside for his wellbeing during his infancy?

I doubt it. And if I do end up saying later that I regret not scheduling his sleep the way the book told me to, you can just remind me that there is no possible way I could do it given my current living situation (impossible to make this place dark and I dont have a crib anyhow).

EC is becoming trickier for a multitude of reasons but mostly because Ive been lazier about it. Also, he is getting too heavy to hold over the sink for great lengths of time. He will sit on his potty seat but Ive only caught a handful (NOT literally) of doodoos or pees in the toilet since we moved here. Ive been meaning to spend an entire day diaper-free and see how it goes. Maybe tomorrow.
However, yesterday was exciting because he went swimming (screaming) at Mauna Lani and so he was naked in his carseat with a diaper under him for the ride home (he fell asleep on the way to the car and I didnt want to wake him up by putting a diaper on him). When we stopped at a gas station he woke up and was fussing so I checked him and THE DIAPER WAS DRY so I took him out and ECed him right there and he peed outside the car. It was rad.



Three Months Old Update!

We have hit the three month mark and heres the official stats!
Height = 24 3/4 inches
Weight = 16lbs 6oz (although he had clothes and a diaper on so it might be slightly less)
Wearing most 3/6M clothes perfectly fitted and 6/9M fit with some room for growth
Eyebrows are finally starting to emerge...


My Sister: The Famous Historical Education Lady!

MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Jim Doyle's program promoting college attendance may do little for those who need the most help without more tuition aid, according to a study released Wednesday.

The complete article can be viewed at:http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-educationpromise,0,975261.story [this article contains pearls of wisdom from MY sister]

January 21, 2009
WISCAPE Policy Brief
Addressing Opportunity in Wisconsin's Four-Year Universities A Comparative Analysis of State College Access Programs

Beth Stransky, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Annalee Good, University of Wisconsin–Madison

This brief explores state policies designed to help students and families cope with rising tuition costs at four-year institutions. It evaluates the Wisconsin Covenant, a relatively new state program, in comparison to Indiana's Twenty-first Century Scholars Program and Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program—two of the first and longest-standing state scholarship programs focused on access to higher education—in terms of efficiency, equity, and political feasibility. We recommend that the state of Wisconsin adopt a hybrid model—one that integrates components of the existing Wisconsin Covenant with state scholarships targeted to low-income students—in order to provide students, families, the higher education system, and the state with the highest levels of efficiency and equity.
Download the brief
Written by education scholars and practitioners [they are refering here to MY sister], WISCAPE Policy Briefs are succinct analyses that provide policymakers, practitioners, and others with knowledge and recommendations based on the latest research and best practices in the field.

MY sister, newly published! She is now officially an academic big wig. Next stop? Some History Channel documentary, no doubt.

I brag to say that I not only read her paper on the GI Bill but I also attended an academic conference where she presented her research. You could say that Im somewhat of a Beth Stransky Groupie. Or Im a sucker for BS. Get it? Hardy har.


Babies on a Plane

I know, I know... this is from almost 3 weeks ago, so why am I posting it now?

Well, I thought for posterity I should post some pictures and comments from the plane ride over here - seeing as it is Ikaikas first airplane trip and all.

We were nervous about him flying because I have always been told horror stories of my first time on a plane. Non-stop screaming from Virginia to Washington. Granny helplessly pacing back and forth with my writhing body in her arms (back before homeland security banned such activities). I planned to nurse him on the way up and the way down, wasnt sure how to handle diaper changes, wasnt sure if the stoller wouldnt cost me $100 in extra baggage fees.

When we got to the gate we saw that the flight was packed full of children. All types of children, including other infants. In fact, there was a 6 month old boy behind us (who was about the same size as Ikaika if not smaller and dressed in what I would consider a "girly" way) and a year old girl in front of us. I just kept praying that if Ikaika was going to start screaming, could one of these other babies start screaming first so as to take the attention off of my child. I would think people are more likely to feel sorry for you if your baby is just screaming in reaction to the rucus. Essentially, I wanted to blame it on the other kid.

Luckily for me he was a dream boat and so were the other kids. He slept almost the whole way and when he was awake he was mostly just looking and cooing and whatever else small babies do when they are being dreamy. I found out that you change their diaper in your husbands lap because there really is no other place. The bathrooms are the WORST place to attempt such a thing! By the time we touched down in Kona my boobs were running on fumes. I didnt anticipate how quickly the flight would go up and down and how short our layover was. If I had to do it again, I wouldnt nurse him so long during our decent into Maui. Maybe just the last 10 minutes or so of the flight.

I also must confess, now that I have travelled with small child I never want to go back! You get to go through a special security line, you get to board the plane ahead of everyone no matter where your seat assignment is, and you can take a stroller diaper bag and other kid related sundries without paying any extra fees or compromising your own carry on bags! Its awesome. When my children grow old I may just borrow babies for flights (why not? heck, they fly for FREE!)

I should also report that the day before we left we had a doctors appointment and he was 24.5" and 14lbs 1oz. Now, three weeks later, hes about 15-16lbs and longer.


This is the first time I have ever tried to blog a video. If this is successful there may be many, many more of these on the way!


Maui Wowie!

to give some perspective to this story, this is the view of north Kohala (where we live- the land mass in the distance on the right side of the picture) from Mauna Lani. Everything clearly visible here is Hawaii

"On a clear day you can see Maui"

This is what I was told by people and guidebooks alike. For the first week here I kept talking about the moment when I would see Maui - if the day were clear enough since typically it is "covered in the clouds". I asked Clayton in the car, with great anticipation, "so can I see Maui today?!" and his answer would seem casual - almost too casual for speaking about such a great and rare occurrence - "its back over there, cant see it from here."

Keep in mind here that I am envisioning Maui as this speck in the distance. Im thinking that on the clearest of clear days, with no clouds covering the horizon, I would look off into the ocean and see something, perhaps a wave, but alas it is an island! From the windward side of Oahu you can see Molokai on the clearest of days. But its just a blob in the distance and if someone didnt point it out to you, you would likely never notice it. This is what I am thinking of my Maui-sighting experience.

So imagine my embarrassment when we are driving and lo 'n behold THERE IS MAUI!

Yep, that thing covering the entire lower skyline is the island of Maui. Its so freaking close to Hawaii I thought it WAS Hawaii! I had to double check that I was looking out across the shore and not inland! Yesterday in fact was so clear that I saw both Maui AND Lanai! I heard that you can just barely see four islands (Im assuming Kahoolawe and Molokai in addition to the two aforementioned islands) on super clear days, but that wasnt yesterday.

I heard that even though the islands are close together, the channels between them are so rough and dangerous that its not safe to take anything much smaller than a barge. Which would explain why theres no genuine ferry service. In fact, I was told that the channel between Maui and Big Island is one of the most dangerous channels in the world and that barges have to navigate north and then sail down the coast line to Kawaihae instead of just heading over in a straight shot.

The legendary Eddie Aikau used to sail his canoe between the islands and died during one of these famous adventures (I think he was heading to Kahoolawe). Theres a saying here - "Eddie would go" - I suppose telling people to be brave.

This is a view down Hawi Street, the street we live on. That is ocean in the distance, but Maui would be to your left behind all those trees.


First Ocean Experience!

This actually happened last weekend but better late than never with the posting, right?!
We went down and spent the day at the Fairchild Orchid, which is the hotel at Mauna Lani. The way this works is that the major resorts are actually like small little villages with shopping complexes and condos, etc. Its not just a hotel but there is a hotel and a beach and everything else. Anyhow, Mauna Lani is where the sand volleyball courts are located.
So we were down there last Saturday to play some volleyball and enjoy the weather. Ikaika was awesome because he slept pretty much all day while we played volleyball. After we finished, Mr A and I took him down to the beach and let him get his first experience in Hawaiian waters. If not for the sunburn he got while napping, it would have been the perfect Saturday!
"Swimming" in the water was not exactly what I was expecting.
First of all, my dad gave Ika a really bizarre pants/diaper cover thing for Christmas. I assume he got it because it has Vikings logos all over it, but we had the damnedest time figuring out what they could possibly be. They say "3/6M" but unless they are bonefide underwear for an infant I cant imagine what part of a 3 to 6 month old they would fit! They are impossibly small - no diaper made by man could fit under these things. Lo and behold we find that these make the perfect little swimsuit for our baby chunk-a-lunk! Thanks dad.
We got in the water and even though the day was hot it was clear that the baby was cold in the water at first. I was concerned about the baby being in the sun because I dont want to use sunblock on him just yet. I think thats the inherent problem with this baby swimming in the ocean thing - I dont want him in the sun but he needs to be in the sun or he will just freeze in the water. Its a catch 22, right?
I was thinking that his swimming experience would be a lot like at home in the bathtub where I him and he floats around and kicks his legs. The ocean is a little more challenging. Theres the sun in his eyes and the water temp and such things. Mr A ended up just dunking him and swishing him back and forth a couple times. It was fun but, like I said before, it wasnt exactly what I was expecting. I momentarily became that annoying mother thats got the camera and is like "oh my baby! hes swimming!" We also couldnt decide if dunking him completely under was safe or not so we opted not to do it since neither of us is overly confident about infant CPR.


Toys Now Exist!

Ikaika has had this elephant dangling from his car seat for almost an entire month. Not only has he never "played" with it - hes never even looked at it! He has paid less than no attention to this thing. Hes never given me any kind of indication that was thinking about playing with it but just didnt know how (ie. staring at it or reaching for it in some manner).
Then, quite suddently and unexpectedly, the other day when we were in the car, I heard some rattling and I looked over and he was doing this!!! He was shaking it and laughing and trying to eat the feet, etc!!! Seemingly overnight he has made this amazing developmental progress! I was so proud. And, additionally, he has also recently discovered his hands so when hes not loving on Mr Elephant he is playing with his fists.


Make Man Rain

Its called Make Man Rain (mah-kee) when the rain falls at the same time the sun is shining. I think this is because the freaking centipedes come out! I have seen two of these disgusting creatures in the last 24 hours - one crawling around on the sweet bread I was eating and the other slithering near my infant child! As a kick, their legs are an eye-catching electric blue to let me know how grossly poisonous they are.

Well life here in Kohala is certainly something new. New Years came and went with a wonderful and welcoming party at Cousin Billys house. The single largest spread of food I have ever seen! From one end of the garage to the other and up the center. Imagine a food and Im sure it was there. As one man commented "Holy smokes, they even got spaghetti!"
At midnight they hung a line across the yard and from this line dangled a dozen or so of these specific fireworks. There were three drums at the top and a steamer of fire crackers coming from the drums. You lit the bottom and the fire crackers exploded up the streamer until it reached the drums which were loaded with louder and more elaborate explosives. The streamers varied in length but I couldnt tell if this was intentional or not. There were other parties going on around the block and they all did this or some variation of it so I guess this type of firework is specific to New Years and/or Hawaii.

Yesterday Mr A, Bradda J, Bradda Clay, and Cousin Billy all went out and dug a grave. You bet. A 6 foot deep grave. Someone has to do it and I suppose why not a bunch of strapping (young?) men. Thats something I like about life in Kohala so far. Everyone seems to be as self sufficient as possible. Of course, you probably have to be since there isnt really much in the way of "convenience retail".

This is your official tour of our house-for-the-time-being.

In this picture I am standing in the front doorway looking into the place. On the right you will see a closet. There are two of these on the wall and the space is substantial -something I wish I had at the Ellis house. Through the doorway in the middle is a hallway/stairs that lead to Bradda Clay's house and our (private) bathroom. I didnt take a picture of the bathroom but its pretty straightforward - sink, mirror, shower, toilet. To the left you will see our bed (unmade of course). The three of us share this and Im fairly sure its a queen. I wasnt worried about it being on the floor until the whole centipede fiasco started. In front of the bed you will notice the small table that is our dining table/office space! Like a kotatsu but smaller and no heater!

In this picture I am standing in the corner where the bed is in the previous picture. The television, which doesnt get tv but does play DVDs, is to my right at the end of the bed. What you are seeing here is our front door and kitchen. Standard stuff. But the exciting part is that kick ass treadmill in the corner. Not only does it work but it has a CD player and a fan and is pretty much awesome. Only bummer is that when I run I am staring at a wall!

And this is the gigantic aloe plant that is in between Bradda Jason and Bradda Clays house (therefore, its right outside our door). I recently learned that their father had dug a 26 foot cess pool BY HAND directly under this plant. Keeping with the theme of self reliance.