Ikaika's Handwriting

My son has gone from a child who wouldn't so much as draw a line through a picture to someone who spends hours sitting at the table with a pencil in his hand.

He copies words out of books and draws intricate pictures of imaginary scenes. His teacher tells us that he is very visual.  Lately he had been writing words from straight out of his head...like this example, which is part of the state motto "(ua mau) ke'ea o ka 'aina i ka pono o hawai'i". I'm pretty sure that he dictated it better than I just did.

Being my child, he discounts the genius of his writing skills by sighing and saying "oh mom, only in Hawaiian".  I worry that I somehow made him feel it's a lesser skill than writing in English. Sometimes when he watches me write he will say "you write fast" with just a hint of awe in his voice. I should make sure he sees me writing in Hawaiian more often.

The other interesting thing is this example I found of him writing completely backwards. Or, more appropriately, as a mirror image.  These are the names of his teachers and I'm not entirely sure what to make of this, but I guess it's pretty cool because Lord knows I can't write that way.


Koa and the Mystery Cavity

Today we flew to Oahu so Koa could have, not one, but three cavities filled by a pediatric specialist. For the last few weeks, MrA and I have fretted over this decision.

Do we have them fill his teeth with mercury (amalgam) or BPA (composite). What if they don't give him drugs and he's traumatized? What if they abuse him while I am asked to wait in the reception area? Is this worth it even though his baby teeth will fall out anyway? But, then, what if his teeth rot right out of his head from our neglect???

Well, turns or there was no need for all of that. After a quick x ray the very awesome and professional Dr Yim told me that there were no cavities and no need to fill anything!

So we ended up with no trauma, clean teeth, having a beautiful afternoon with my sister-in-law and a delicious lunch to boot! What an awesome day. Now I'm just excited to get home and tell Ikaika about all the cool sights we saw today.


Mothers Day

This mothers day was great. Just sat around in our pjs, read CS Lewis, took a nap, then went to work. Ok, so the working part isn't that great, but it was still an amazing day. My boys wrote me a card, my husband didn't get me a single gift (out of respect for my desire toward minimalism and sustainably), and we made fresh juice with our rare berry tree harvest.

Cheers to you, moms.


First Rate Second Hand

Another score at the thrift store - a scooter (I've been thinking about since Christmas) finally popped up today.  The only problem I foresee is that we now only have one.  So, they will have to share.  Or fight.  If they both like it, I will have to keep my eyes out for another one. 

Speaking of shopping second hand - I again must ask myself, why doesn't everyone do it?  Especially clothes.  Seriously.  There are SO MANY clothes out there just waiting to find homes.  Ebay, thrift store, friends' closets.  And the variety is amazing, unlike retail stores where you basically just get whatever they tell you is cool right now.

Speaking of cool - I ran across this article recently where the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch talks about his company.
 "In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids," the clothing retailer explained. "We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
Puke!  I would like to contest the "great attitude" part.  The very nature of (literally) buying into this completely negates that argument!

And, if the perpetuation of a life-sucking, consumerist culture isn't enough to send you running from the malls, how about a factory of workers who sacrificed their lives so that we could purchase shirts for less than $15.
Do people even realize how much work goes into making a garment?  There is no way that $15 covers the raw material and labor value of anything that covers a body.

I just finished making a bunch of things for the school's silent auction.  I know what goes into fashioning a garment by hand.  Even high end retailers cheapen the process in order to maximize profits.  The answer lies in using the resources that are already available to us.  When a garment is quality and designed to last, it will have a benefit that extends well beyond the point of producer/consumer exchange.


Grad School Complete

The final grade hasn't been posted, but let me preemptively celebrate by saying that Mr A has (unofficially) finished graduate school.  Phew.  I don't think either of us would have lasted another year so the timing is right on.  
Without even his diploma in hand, he is already receiving job offers from schools across the state.  Being "highly-qualified" (in a high need field, no less) means we are no longer necessarily tied to where we currently live.  The possibilities are daunting, actually.  
Since he periodically brings up moving to O'ahu, and since previously his reason for not going was that he didn't want to go unless there was a job waiting for him, this new chapter of life is opening up all sort of what-ifs for me.  I'm not sure what the future holds, but let me just say that after chatting about it, we both agree that the boys have an opportunity right now to learn from the best Hawaiian language school in the state.  So, until that no longer makes sense, we are staying put here in Waimea.   
Congrats, Mr A.  In another 10 years, I'm sure you'll be back - the lure of academia is just too strong.


Tea & Treasure

Today was the MOPS Annual Tea & Treasure where we dress all fancy, sip caffeinated beverages out of real cups and hear inspirational stories that compel everyone to immediately go home and make more babies.  
As you might know, I finished the first draft of my book the other week.  Sure, it still sucks (IMO), but it is done.  This is a project I have been thinking about to varying degrees for the last 10 years.  I printed a hard copy so I could give it to a coworker and as I looked at the fruits of my labor, I couldn't help but think "that wasn't so hard.  In fact, I could do that again."
Is there an unwritten rule about starting something new before finishing the first one?  I've heard conflicting opinions about this.  I've also heard that perhaps that first book, that idea that haunted you for so long it just nagged its way out of your head - that book might not be the one.  That might just be the warm up.  
At Tea & Treasure today I began dreaming about a new story and it got me pretty excited.  It's not quite as emotionally heavy so I think my husband will be happy to know that I won't be slipping into psychosis after a long afternoon in front of the computer.  I have to wait for my guinea pigs...I mean, generous volunteer readers...to get back to me before I make edits on that first one.  In the meantime, maybe I won't stop writing.

I could have sworn that "wear my wedding dress again" was on my To-Do List...but it seems I have bigger dreams, like joining a CSA or getting a bikini wax.  Wait, who the hell came up with these?  
What's that?  ME!  Ugh.