Happy Belated 3rd Birthday Celebration, Kekoa

It took awhile, but we finally made it to Hilo.  Huge mahalo to everyone who contributed some moo-lah to Kekoa's birthday fund.  We got a year-long family membership to 'Imiloa Astronomy Center aka THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE EVER! 
We started with a show in the planetarium called Seven Wonders (about the 7 wonders of the old world, of which only one is still standing...Mr A calls shenanigans) then headed out to see the canoes which had been brought up for the Wayfinding & Navigation Festival.  Last, we blasted through the exhibits inside.  The boys were so overwhelmed with the newness of it all, they were just running around and touching everything.  Maybe next time they will take a moment to like, I dunno, actually read/listen/do some of it.
Something I LOVE about 'Imiloa is that all of their exhibits are in both English and Hawaiian.  Ikaika was pumped to see a giant picture of his school principal on one of the displays (the exhibit was about Hawaiian education).  I'm excited to see every single planetarium show on the menu.    


Sick Days

Last week the boys both got sick but on separate days.  Koa ran a fever one day, which we happily burned off while drinking coconut water and watching Pokemon.  Ikaika came home from school and sat quietly with him watching TV (unheard of on a school night but I didn't have the courage to turn it off).  Two days later, I got a call to pick up Kaika from school because he was running a fever.  When I got there all the kids were eating lunch outside and he was laying on the floor in the middle of the classroom.  I could hear his snoring from the doorway.  He hit the couch hard and slept all afternoon.  Koa, rather than being quiet and cooperative, ran around like a maniac and did everything in his power to make the afternoon as miserable as possible.  I felt awful - I wanted to care for Ikaika, but I ended up mostly ignoring him because I was dealing with Koa's madness! 
Kaika is a very tough kid.  When I was small (and even now that I'm an adult), when I threw up I would panic and cry.  He just puked and said in a quiet voice, "I kind of feel better."  People always told me that my own child's vomit wouldn't bother me (I usually get all queasy), and I guess its true!  Maybe its because Mr A wasn't home, but I just cleaned him up and moved on like a champ.  It was a total breakthrough in my parenting.  Then again, I also used the television to placate my children for almost 4 days straight so they would just sit still and let their bodies rest.  Didn't think that would ever happen either - busting through the barriers between fantasy mom and reality mom!


Aloha Paikau 2013


I was planning to blog about something else today but when I uploaded the videos from my camera, I saw that not only did Mr A get Ikaika to the Aloha Week Festival Parade on Saturday (while I was at the Hawaii Women of Purpose conference in Kona), he also TOOK PICTURES!  That man never stops surprising me.  I love him.

Check out that sign!  We are such a legit kula!
Ikaika's kumu (teacher)
he was practicing his chants all week!


Opposites Attract

Oh man, I don't spend nearly enough time on here complaining about my husband.

As I was making my lunch and searching the cupboard for something to sprinkle on my halibut before subjecting it to the steamer, I came across this...


Why, Husband, must you shop at Costco for seasonings?  Was it the "organic" label that immediately hooked you, rendering you helpless to resist the temptation of buying a JUG of mystery spice?  What is this stuff anyway?!

This drives me bonkers for multiple reasons.

  1. this has been in the cabinet for over 2 months and we, predictably, have barely put a dent in it.  
  2. I have never bought "no salt seasoning" in small quantities (ie. we don't regularly consume this product, let alone plow through a gallon of it at a time) 
  3. I have no idea what to do with this.  
  4. even if I did, I guarantee we would get sick of it long before we could see the bottom of the container.  
  5. it takes up prime real estate in my very modest pantry!

So I sprinkled this on my fish and shook my head at the hilarity of my husband's logic.


 ĽAkolea - a Cloud Forest Watershed

Sunrise over Waimea town
Waikoloa River
On Saturday we hiked up Pu'u Ao'aowaka - the hill that is directly in front of our living room window (for those who have been here - its the hill next to the one with the trees in the shape of a "P").  Even though I look at this hill everyday, I realize now that it is a stranger to me.  We met for the first time this weekend.

Behind that hill is 'Akolea, a beautiful and rare cloud forest watershed, which supplies fresh water to Kohala.  Families from the school went up to kill the invasive ginger species, which is taking over the forest and, of course, causing all kinds of problems.  For the first time in a long time, I really appreciate how delicate an ecosystem truly is.  Even the Waikoloa River, which used to flow over the dam (built in WWII), is now so clogged with invasive plant life that it no longer reaches down to the ocean.  With that chain broken, 'o'opu and 'opai (goby fish and shrimp) can't complete their life cycle in these waters anymore. 

I don't quite know how to explain it, but I'm thankful that my children are being exposed to this at such an early age.  Native Hawaiians, simply by nature of who they are, are environmentalists.  Its not a label - its just an alignment of core values.  My children are being taught that when we take care of the land, we are really taking care of ourselves.  We don't exist outside of nature, we cooperate within it.  I hope they become familiar with all the hills and valleys of their homeland, instead of passively enjoying them from a window.


Take the Time to Make the Time

Today I ran across a picture on my friend's Facebook page (thanks, Cort) that spoke the truth in big capital letters: STOP THE GLORIFICATION OF BUSY!

Oh man, how I struggle with that.  I whip up a mile long to-do list everyday.  I want other people to look at my life and think "how does she do it?" rather than "what does she do all day?" But is that making me happy or making my life more fulfilling?  The most honest answer would probably be no.

This year was supposed to be a nice transitional year.  Things are more stable now than they have been in a long, long time.  In April, I dreamed about what I would do with all this free time.  Write another book.  Give Ikaika piano lessons.  Maybe get more involved at the school, take some time to really learn Hawaiian.

Unfortunately, as it is, I spend a lot of time thinking about the pile of "things" I have yet to do.  I feel obligated to keep busy, but the truth is, someone else should coach the soccer team.  And someone else can attend the seminar in Kona.  By not jumping on every opportunity that presents itself, I am actually allowing other people to assume a leadership role that might change their lives.

Someday I hope to find the correct level of 'busy'.  I hope to be active and involved while still having enough free time to focus on the moments that matter in between.  Maybe all I need is an attitude adjustment?