Iron Chef Hawaii

Ive been making lots of new food stuffs lately. Last week, as I said earlier, I tried many Filipino foods with mixed and disastrous results. Well, this weekend I made bandae-bandae and it was great! Banana lumpias - so easy, even I cant screw it up. I might post the how-to for that later this week if I run out of stuff to talk about.

I made croquettes last night out of white fish (pollock?) and potatoes.

Today I have been making stuff for the baby. I like this website, recommended by fellow blogging mom friend Abbie, it has lots of info on making baby food. Although, Ive never been one for baby food "recipes" because who wants to measure? just steam it and puree it and combine it at will!

I like their information on homemade cereals. I have seen several different options for how to cook homemade cereals for infants and I think a combo works well for me. I like the convenience of grinding the grains down and then just cooking them for 15 min (rather than soaking them overnight, cooking them for an hour and straining out the fibrous parts). I throw a small square of kombu (a type of seaweed) in with the cereal when I cook them, adding some needed minerals.

It doesnt bother me that the cereals arent fortified, they are whole grains (just the way nature intended) and breast milk provides more than enough nutrition. I think the only thing that is really a concern is iron and I feed him lots of leafy greens and I always take my iron supplements so Im sure he gets more than enough from his food and breast milk. I actually like the idea of giving him foods that havent been overly processed (been refined and then enriched).

I ground up some brown rice, pearled barley and made some oatmeal today so we are all set for the next week or two!

Today I also made some teething biscuits out of barley flour, rice cereal, and apple juice. I dont know how they will turn out. I should have greased the baking sheet I cooked them on since they all got stuck! I might have made them too thick but the dough was so sticky that I had to pipe it out of a plastic bag rather than roll & cut! I tried to bake them at 250 forever so they would be really crusty like zwieback toast.

Ikaika has been so so fussy and horrible for the last two days. I think hes teething again. Its been really crappy, but luckily its also been very out of character for him. He just wants to be held or talked to or anything but he can not entertain himself to save his little life. Im actually only able to write this because hes sleeping!


Memorial Day Pow Wow

Yesterday we visited our big island brothers to the east, Hilo. This weekend was the Inter-Tribal Pow Wow, a three day celebration of native americans (I suppose that would include native hawaiians and it appeared to also include veterans of any ethnic background). I think they must have flown these people in from the mainland because I havent seen many native americans on the island (and for once I cant blame it on the reservations) and one of the girls in full garb was holding a small coconut and said to her friends "this must be a baby pineapple."

I was all jazzed for the pow wow because when I was growing up in the northwest, native american cultural education was part of our mandated school curriculum. I was also a Campfire girl, which is rooted in native american tradition. In addition to that my parents took us to the reservations when we were small and I always thought it was fun and fascinating!

Hawaii should stick to what it does best, ho'ikes and hula shows. This pow wow was more like the annual gathering of the extras from Waterworld. All the people that we see flying signs (common in Portland but not common at all here) and hitchhiking on the highway seemed to flock to the riverside park in Hilo for a little peyote and drum circling.

This colorful couple, whom I will call Feather Nose Guy and Dreadlocks Tattoo Girl, and their band of wacky friends were sitting in front of us when they werent participating in the Inter Tribal throw down. The innocent looking Japanese couple sitting with them approached only moments before and the conversation I heard went like this:

Feather Nose Guy: "Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka?"
girl said something back
FNG: "hajimemashite...hajimemashite."
girl or guy said something (FNG had an extraordinarily loud voice which is why I could only hear him)
FNG: "you wanna smoke?"

And they proceeded to take out their "peace pipe" made from a huge bamboo shoot, of course, and get baked. Maybe they are members of this congregation in Downtown Hilo.

So the Pow Wow was disappointing, although the music was cool and it made for a nice afternoon picnic.

After that, we decided to walk around Hilo for awhile. Hilo reminds me of Thailand. Everything is a little older, nothing is what it says on the building (if its the "Hilo Steel Mill" then its actually a real estate office, a t-shirt printer and a dance studio), the pace of life is relaxed, its wet-hot climate makes me yearn for a small washcloth, and its fairly clear they arent spending their tax dollars on cleaning.

The day was officially resurrected when we stopped in the Hilo Sugar Shack and enjoyed "Da Works". This shave ice (or ice shave as they say on Big Island) was so freakin tasty and a perfect treat for such a muggy, hot day! It is shaved ice flavored with mango and coconut, hidden in the middle is a delicious surprise of ube ice cream and azuki beans, topped off with a generous helping of condensed cream! Onolicious.


High Society at the Country Club

Last nights party was fun fun and fun with a side of WAAAAY too much food! Of course, the best part of any party in Hawaii is after the sun goes down and everyone (adults) sits outside and kanikapila (plays music and sings), chats and occasionally plays an impromptu game of jump rope! We even got to watch the big UFC fight and the fighter I prefer won so I was satisfied.

Last night i fell in love with the Ergo baby carrier. My friend has one and let me borrow it and I carried Ikaika around all night (that is, when Keita's mom finally gave him up!) front-packing, back-packing, you name it! He fell asleep in the pack and I was able to just keep on keepin on! No baby monitors necessary. Its very comfortable, unlike Baby Bjorn, and more hands free than a sling. There is even a little flap that protects baby from the wind and sun. I hear they are made on Maui.

Today we went to the Waimea Country Club (they least "country club"ish country club I have ever been too - my range balls were given to me in a plastic bag!). Even the baby got to play a little. He started dropping the golf balls into the hole and Im wondering if that is some new stage of development. Should I get him some toys that have like different shapes that go in different holes? I felt for a moment like if I didnt do something to harness and foster his developing talents that he would turn out to be a dunce with zero creativity. I believe the words "must buy toys" kept flashing through my mind. But I think Im just overreacting and Ill probably stick to letting him play with power cords and slips of paper.

Did I mention he was Mr Bare Bunz?


Ho'olaulei'a & MOPS

Yesterday was Waimea Middle School's May Day production and ho'olaulei'a (carnival thing?). I missed all the good stuff, the hula and songs and presentation of May Day court, but I did show up in the afternoon for the carnival. Ikaika and I walked around with Mr A and saw his classroom, met his students, etc. There was a dunk tank but Mr A refused to go in it, much to his students dismay. Sure took us back to our Boys & Girls Club days.

I missed the morning events because I was attending my very first MOPS meeting. MOPS, or Mothers of PreSchoolers, is...well...exactly what it sounds like. It was so much fun! We had a little tea party with tea foods and china cups and CHILDCARE! - again, it was so much fun.
I really appreciated being able to talk with other women who more or less understand what Im going through and the challenges I am facing. These are all well educated, service oriented mothers and wives (many of whom have moved to the island from the mainland and many who are either local and married to a haole or haole and married to a local) who are active in their church and seeking out relationships with other mothers. These are Titus 2 women! I am a Titus 2 woman! At any rate, it was great to get out of the house and talk with someone who isnt my husband and have someone else watch my kid for an hour or two.

Today we are going to a graduation party where the food is sure to be exceptional. Although probably not as tasty as the kale seen smeared all over Ickeys face here!


Onion Face Mask and Ginger Soda

Lots of stuff to post about today - none of it all that interesting

  • I am on the final day of this crazy detox thing. Ive forsaken the Green Goo Drink and the completely vegetarian diet but Ive dont all the spa/pampering things. Today is Face Day and I started my day with a sugar scrub followed by an intense mask (puree a medium onion and combine that with some oatmeal until its solid enough to stay on your face - try to ignore the burning in your eye sockets/keep your eyes closed, lay down and let it dry, rinse with tepid water) followed by a light facial massage with 10 drops of jojoba oil. Im going to drink a gallon of water today and then later tonight I will steam my face with chamomile, apply another (gentler) mask.
  • I found this recipe for a ginger drink, something comparable to ginger ale. Im going to attempt to make this tonight but Im using honey instead of agave nectar.
  • I made Pancit last night and lets just say we should leave the Filipino foods to the Filipino people. I made Kare-Kare last week and Mr A complained that it wasnt soupy enough - then the Pancit was too soupy. Arrg!
  • Tonight for dinner we are having Guava Chicken. I dont know how it will turn out and I dont know if I can handle any more disappointment!
  • The baby has officially become Mr GetIntoEverything! I cant take my eyes off of him for a second or else hes reaching his hands into the toilet, eating the tax return papers, tearing the jackets off of all my books, crawling into the closet to get the sewing scissors, etc. Yikes! I desperately need a bookshelf so I can get this stuff off the floor and out of his reach!
  • I talked to a diaper service today and they mentioned something about how if you rinse the diaper it will mold and then ruin the entire batch. Uh...I think I need to go and wash a load of diapers...right now! I also need to find a way to rig up a clothes line outside because without drying in the sun the dipes have gotten very dingy and gross.


Palu Girl

The liver flush did not go as intended and I spent 2:30-3am puking my guts out. I came to three important conclusions

1) Olive oil was never meant to be consumed straight up
2) This particular cleanse is lose money and I will never be doing it again
3) I should chew my food more thoroughly

Today is "hair day" for the detox diet thing - I gave myself a nice scalp massage with jojoba oil this morning and will be taking a purifying bath later tonight. I only drank one glass of OJ-from-hell and have since eaten a grilled cheese sandwich and some more cookies because after a night like last night my stomach just wanted something comforting and delicious. Eating all plants and nuts and berries all day yesterday just made me really hungry and antsy for no reason.

I dont know why Im suddenly feeling like I need to be flushed out or cleaned up or whatever. I guess since the baby was born (7 months ago) Ive felt weird, for lack of a better word. Like I spent all these months carrying this thing inside me, a parasite of sorts, and then it left my body and now I feel almost like there are still little parts of it in there and I want them out, too. I like my son, but I like him best as a completely autonomous being. Physically. On that train of thought, maybe Ill never stop feeling this way until I stop breastfeeding.

Hmm...starting to sound kind of wacky. Must be the olive oil talking.


Monday Fonday and the Wimpy Cleanse

Heres whats going on today.

My friends sister has challenged people to get in the pictures they take of their kids. Here is my attempt at participation.


Im trying not to catch whatever it is Mr A has had going on for the last week. Ive been neti potting twice a day and using colloidal silver nose spray once or twice a day as well.

Im also attempting a wimpy, half-ass detox. I dont want to go with the full master cleanse or super liver cleanse program because Im still breastfeeding and not sure Ikaika would dig it if I dont eat for two weeks.

But I will commit to the half-ass version (its the three day program found in The Green Beauty Guide). I have thus far today taken a purifying shower where I cleansed and massaged my skin with olive oil after an invigorating pre-shower dry brushing of the body.
Ive been "enjoying" a glass of Detox Drink every two hours (enjoy = not really enjoying it at all). The drink consists of a lemon, orange, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, olive oil, maple syrup, and cloves. Truly disgusting.
Ive been eating a light and vegetarian diet with the exception of the milk on my cereal this morning (forgot to check the directions before breakfast) and the three Mauna Loa Toffee Crunch Cookies I ate after lunch (damn you for opening those, Mr A!)

For lunch I had a spinach apple soup with almonds and the other half of the apple.

The soup is:
2C tightly packed spinach leaves
1/2 apple, peeled and chopped
1/2C water plus a little more to thin, if necessary
1tsp fresh lemon juice
Dash salt
1/2 ripe avocado

It all goes into the blender and comes out looking like this

For dinner I ate some marinated kale with olives and pine nuts. Yum yum! Too bad I have to follow it with another glass of "orange juice from hell".

Then later tonight I will sit myself down in front of my lap top with a shot glass, a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of lemon juice, a hot water bottle and Fellowship of the Ring, Extended Version. Where I will promptly begin a light liver cleanse.

But first, I have to feed Ikaika his dinner - kabocha, kale and oatmeal. Lucky for him, I pureed some dried apricots yesterday so hes in for a treat tonight!

Obviously, nothing exciting happened today but tomorrow I am checking out a "moving to the mainland" sale and everything is A DOLLAR!!! So hopefully that will be awesome (I got a tea kettle at a garage sale last week but it was $2 so this could be better)


Learn to Read Directions! Stop Making Us All Sick!

Does anyone ever notice the fine print on the side of the 'sposie package that clearly says:

"When throwing away a used diaper, empty the waste into the toilet, wrap the diaper tightly and throw it away"

I suppose they dont, because it located in teeny tiny print right next to the directions (and who needs directions to use a diaper?). Maybe manufacturers should start putting it in huge block print front and center.
But then no one would want to use disposables anymore because it would be "hard". The number one complaint I hear about cloth diapering, although its usually the number one question masked as a complaint because its only non-clothers that say this, is that you have to get up close and personal with bowel movements.

Well, guess what? You are supposed to do it either way!

This isnt a foriegn concept to most of us. We know that if we are camping, we must bury our #2s in a hole. We know that we shouldnt leave our waste out there in the forest where its going to hurt the animals or the ecosystem that we depend on (or the water will be potentially be drinking/swimming in later...GROSS!). So why are we just throwing our kids poo on top of the trash heap like its no big thing? I dont know all the gruesome details of what feces does when left rotting and untreated but Im sure its not good.

I am now convinced that cloth diapering people are the only people on earth who use conventional diapers properly (when we use them) because we are just in the habit of doing it that way. In fact, Im sure if I went to using 'sposies full-time I would probably send full poo-packages to the dump because its just that easy to be that lazy.

The bottom line? Changing diapers was never meant to be glamorous work. Do us all a big favor and keep your bio-hazardous waste out of the landfills! Its totally unhealthy for all of us and we built these amazing sewage treatment centers for a reason.


Hapuna Beach

Here we are MID-WEEK at at the beach!

Mr A claims that in all his years growing up in Hawaii he never went to the beach during the week (he was always busy with sports or school or work or whatever). So it was terribly exciting to spend a Wednesday afternoon down at Hapuna! School lets out early on Wednesdays so since we had the extra hour and the beach is only 10-15 minutes away...why not?! After we finished playing in the waves (they dont call it "break neck beach" for nothing) we checked out some of Mr As students playing b-ball at the middle school and went to the store to pick up ingredients for a pizza I am making tonight.

Please notice the match match Ickey and I have going on here.

I doubt Ill be making another of these skirts anytime soon since I caught my son eating the pattern the other day.


Our Town

Kamuela. aka Waimea.
Population 7,500.
2,500 ft above sea level.
U'a Kipu'upu'u (name of the famous rain)
This is Paniolo Country.
paniolo = hawaiian cowboy
This town is home to various ranches, farms, rodeos, and some seriously 'ono BBQ! It also has not one, but two private schools (HPA and Parker) although no public high school, the famous Parker Ranch complex, a Starbucks and a hoppin' farmers market every Saturday.

This is the view from our backyard - looking down towards the ocean (cant exactly see it because its somewhat hazy today) with the Kohala Mountain Range on your right. Straight ahead (and down on the coast) is Kawaihae Harbor and to the left would be the beautiful, richy-richy Kohala Coast!

Pink Anthuriums?!

Leave it to my wonderful, thoughtful, kind, generous, loving, caring, and creative husband to dig up something so special and unique for Mother's Day. Barf. I know.


Saturdays at Mauna Lani

Mom requested a video with more sweeping panoramic views and since its Mothers Day, shes going to get whatever she wants!

Here it is - a typical Saturday morning in Hawaii.

just so you know, the walking thing worked. His tired little body was helpless against the sheer peacefulness of "Spa Without Walls" or whatever it called. Its basically a bunch of little huts in this tropical garden thing at the resort thats full of waterfalls and awesome smelling plants. Im certain that the spa is way out of my price range, but you can walk around the gardens for free - its practically the same experience!


6 month check up

Went in for the obligatory six month check up on Thursday.

Last week he had his first official illness. There was hanabata, fever, and everything. But even though hes been scratching at his ears the doctor said it was just some congestion and not an infection (*phew* Ive been very nervous about ear infections since Mr A and I both have a history of some pretty gnarly autolaryngological problems).

Overall, doc gave him the stamp of approval. He weighed in at 20lbs 1oz and measured a whopping 28 3/4"! He was very energetic for the doctor, wowing him with all his mobility based tricks. You can see in the above picture that he completely destroyed the paper cover on the examination table!

There have also been new developments in the circumcision saga. We decided to go ahead with getting Ickey circumcised so I asked the pediatrician about it when I was there. They wont do it after one month old so we have to go to a urologist in Hilo. I called the urology clinic and they wont do it until hes a year old! Furthermore, its still not clear whether or not insurance will cover it since its technically not a medically necessary procedure. If they dont, lets just say we could use the same amount of money to take a relaxing holiday in Thailand! The bottom line is that our baby needs to go to the penis doctor to get some plastic surgery. But hes stuck with his foreskin for at least another 6 months, if not more, depending on how big of a pain in the ass this whole thing turns out to be!

Happy Mothers Day

Guess who won the Mauna Loa Mac Nut Mothers Day Gift Basket from KTA Superstores???

That's right...ME!!!



Its Flunk Day!

For those who dont already know, Flunk Day is a Knox College tradition where a secret day in the spring is selected and classes are canceled, senior "friars" burst into all the dorms at some ungodly hour and wake up the underclassmen, and a huge campus wide party (complete with bubble pit, staff v student softball and late night cover band) ensues. Its a tradition that really deserves to be carried throughout the rest of ones life.

Even though I no longer live in Post, I feel like Im already there. My "roommate" is sick this morning (although Im up to my ears in snot instead of vomit), I woke up super early and have gotten little to no sleep, and if my day continues like this I may end up drinking heavily before noon!

I thought it was hilarious that the Knox Alumni was encouraging us to get on Facebook and "share some Flunk Day memories" ...AS IF ANYONE REMEMBERS FLUNK DAY! If you can remember what you did clearly enough to make a coherent story out of it then you werent really participating to the fullest extent.

I do vaguely recall one Flunk Day Veronica's freshman year roommate and her boyfriend singing (and performing a colorful interprative dance) to "The Bad Touch" during campus karaoke and I was sitting there thinking "I cant believe shes doing this in front of all her professors..." But that thought was interrupted because Like A Virgin was up next and I needed time to prepare.

Mr A and I have been scoping out this place in town called Tako Taco - a mexican tequeria right in the heart of Waimea! - that apparently has some amazing pineapple salsa and margaritas I would like to try. Perhaps in honor of Flunk Day I will have to push my scheduled mother's day celebration forward!


Beach & Beets

This is Ickey playing at the beach on Saturday. You can clearly see where we are with the crawling to walking transition. Practicing in the sand is good because it doesnt hurt as much when he falls over - although he could drown so that kind of sucks...

The other video is him trying beets. The first food he has categorically rejected. You can see that I have to trick him to even open his mouth and even then he gags and acts like hes going to puke. I hope its not too dark...

He ran his first fever last night. Mr A has picked up something from the students and brought it home to share it with his family. The fever is gone (I put onion slices in his socks and gave him a cool bath) but the runny nose remains. Luckily, instead of being fussy and terrible, illness has made him docile and somber all day long.


What a Brute!

Little Ickey is just too much kid for his own good.

Last week at an HPA volleyball game Ikaika was introduced to another little baby boy Niko. Niko is about two months old and Dougie was holding him so we sort of held Ikaika up to see the baby and said "Look! Another baby!" My man got all excited and started laughing, flapping his arms around, kicking his legs - just nuts happy. Niko burts into tears. I assume he was terrified.

Yesterday over at our friend's house, their granddaughter Xela (pronounced zey-lah. its alex- the dads name- backwards. i will never cease to be amazed at how people come up with names) who is almost 2 was playing on the floor with a toy (something that makes noise electronically so you know my son doesnt have one) and Ickey goes crawling over there to explore. Xela's mom is sitting on the floor with her and says, "Xela, say hi to the baby, share with baby" and so on (mom is having another baby any day now and is eager to get her daughter used to having a small infant around) After a small protest, Xela timidly relaxes her grip on the toy and Ikaika touches it for the briefest moment.

Then he goes nuts. He starts screaming laughing and tries to grab Xela, all but throws himself on top of her, and is flapping his arms around like a mad man again. Guess what? Xela bursts into tears.

I pick Ikaika up and hold him on the couch but then he will not stop screaming. Not screaming crying but just screaming yelling. Hes just yelling. Not unhappy, just yelling. Our friends were laughing and said it was probably because Xela raised her voice at him (when he first tried to grab at her toy) so maybe Ikaika just got the impression that yelling is how you play. I doubt it, I think he was just trying to get her attention back.

I dont know. But I do know that I was sitting there thinking, "is my kid crazy?" Every parent probably reaches the day where they at least think that their kid might be totally anti social, and you worry that perhaps you have raised a little demon who cant interact with other children. I wanted to run out and join some kind of toddler playgroup just to make sure he wouldnt turn into a brat down the road (for now he at least has the excuse of being small). Its kind of an embarrassing process, teaching your kid how to play well with others.

For the record, Ikaikas first attempts at play have resulted in two tearful episodes on the account of his over enthusiastic approach to fun. Hes an animal!