Just another day in Paradise.

Just another day in Paradise.

Friday, August 31, 2007

You Can Run But You Can't Hide...

Check, and check. It's not exactly the way I had imagined it would happen, but there is still time for me to inadvertently run into Duane "Dog" Chapman while I'm out and about and while he's roaming the streets, fighting the war against ice, but for now catching a glimpse of his weathered skin in person at the local Borders will have to do.

We heard he would be coming to promote his new book You Can Run but You Can't Hide so we loaded up and went to the mall to see him. The four of us, along with the entire East side of Oahu that is.

But we were not disappointed as everyone was there...

Dog himself

Beth and the girls...

Both of them.

I was hoping Leland and Tim would be there. I guess someone has to be keeping the streets safe though. Before we left the house I was familiarizing Avery with the superheros we were about to meet and when we got there she asked "where are the straight guys?" And I thought to myself, how does she know their sexual preference, but quickly figured it out when she said "well, there is the fat lady who is gonna have a baby (Beth, not pregnant, unless she is carrying awfully high and having twins) but where are the straight guys?" To clarify I asked her "am I fat or straight?" and she said "you used to be fat but now you are straight". So there you go. And bless her heart for moving me into the latter category.

A few more pictures and then this chapter is closed.

This last one is of Dog saying "Noooo" to a girl who was telling him that her uncle Curtis had been in prison with him back in the day. He wrote Curtis a special message in her book. I bet Curtis wishes he had a TV show.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We got invited to a real LUAU! I am so excited. It was one of the things on my "to do" list while living in Hawaii. (And for those of you looking for that perfect baby name there are a few to choose from here) Now if I can only meet Dog the Bounty Hunter ...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The First Guests

Ben's brother Brady & his wife Theresa were the first visitors we have had in Hawaii. They were actually one of the last visitors we had in Maryland, a mere 4,900 miles away, a six hour flight in either direction from California. Joining them a few days later were Andy and Yolanda, who came via Austin. I, of course, love having company, especially those as easy to please as these. They rented a van so we could travel around the island together and here is a photojournal of some of our expeditions:

Of course every trip has it's highs and lows. A few of the highs include: Ben taking a few days off, Ben, Brady & Andy seeing a smallish (4 ft) shark while snorkeling, Brady retrieving and opening fresh coconuts off of our tree in the backyard, the Polynesian Cultural Center, the new green tea flavor shave ice (with vanilla ice cream in the bottom) at Aoki's (good choice Theresa), Yolanda & Theresa taking turns holding Miles so I could actually cook an entire meal using both hands, seeing Hawaii through vacationers eyes.

There were few low points including a minor kayaking accident which was taken in stride but the major one was thankfully mitigated by the in-house doctor...and I actually mean Ben this time. Brady woke up one morning with the inability to blink his right eye (he had to manually close it periodically so that it wouldn't dry out!)and general paralysis of his facial muscles on that side as well. Of course it was an easy diagnosis of Bell's Palsy (and a touch of Tourettes), but I don't have any herbal salves for that, so Ben M.D. had to step in and save his brothers life. A quick prescription actually did stop the progression and Theresa was relieved to find out that it wouldn't be permanent. I'm sure it was scary to Brady although we did manage to find the humor in his discomfort:

WARNING: Rated PG13 for Language, Frightening Images

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How Great Thou Art

I joined the choir today. I'm not a singer as many of you well know (unless you count lip synching...which I am excellent at..."Mack the Knife" anyone?) but I've always wanted to become a better singer and thought that church choir would be the place to start. No tryouts, no solos, sometimes not even the greatest singers so no pressure. I've always had an excuse not to however, but a few things about this wards choir made me take the plunge.

1. Chocolate. The choir director brings chocolate to all practices for participants. I'm talking full-sized candy bars, not keep-you-awake-in-relief-society hershey kisses.

2. They sing in Hawaiian. Cool huh?

3. Their next performance is "How Great Thou Art" (He Nani No). A classic beloved by all Christian demoninations and one that is not too incredibly difficult to sing even with zero vocal talent. It also reminds me of my great-grandmother Fern, who taught piano for 75 years (!), and I can visualize her powerfully robust (yet graceful) hands spanning chords, foot pumping and humming (never singing that I can remember, maybe an intermittent la ti da da or something) many great hymns, including this one.

The chorister said she was glad to see a little "color" in the group..referring to me and another "haole" friend who just moved in. I said "you mean, lack of?" Anyhow, the men in the choir are particularly incredible to listen to. Should be an enjoyable learning experience.

Great Gma Fern & Gpa Lewis
(or is it Ben & I in 40 years?)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Duke's Oceanfest

This weekend was Duke's (as in Kahanamoku) Oceanfest. They had various surfing competitions but my favorite is the tandem. The pics aren't too easy to see because the break was pretty far out but it was fun. They announce the teams and the moves they are doing over the loudspeaker. The names of the lifts are kinda funny, but not as funny as ones I thought I heard but that actually don't exist...like "french backpack" I think it was actually "grass shack" but either way...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Where has the time gone?

So it looks like it's been a full week since I last posted something (I know, my grandparents are the only ones who noticed). The sabbatical was partially intentional as I was finding myself suffering from blogsomnia - that's when you lay in bed at night trying to think of what to post instead of sleeping - and I knew that when I started to consider staging events to have fodder for the blog that it had already gone too far. Luckily I stopped myself before seeing if Ben would want to have another baby so that I could have a pregnancy to track... the labor story and the pictures of a newborn would have been so great and would have given me at least two new entries!

That's a joke, it never crossed my mind till this moment, but you see how this illness works. I'm sure they must have a Betty Fordish center in Silicon Valley with a wing for bloggers and another for for texters. Fortunately I think I have this addiction under control and am ready to enjoy this outlet of thoughts once again. Besides, it's the only way Ben can find out what we are up to. He didn't even know that Miles now has two teeth because I hadn't posted it. And he requested more pictures.

So what I have I been doing this last week if not blogging? Well, having a good time playing with the kids for one, paying nearly overdue bills (no electricity means no internet access...), reading friends blogs and also being tour guide, chef and hotelier to our very first guests! (More on them later) Also, sadly I still find myself watching old recordings of SYTYCD (speaking of addictions). But it's getting better, I'm ready to consider erasing them to make room for something equally inane. Like maybe the Miss Teen USA pageant? Which I watched tonight until the evening gown portion, during which it flashed one of the girls hobbies as "texting her friends". Wow. Anothers was cliff-jumping. I just checked to see who won and it was a beauty from Colorado who's aspirations are to become an ENTERTAINMENT journalist. Like she wants to work on Access Hollywood or the E! channel?! I'm suddenly very frightened for my children (and vowing to not watch trashy television in their presence (or learn how to text message)). US Open starts in three days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Can you hear me now?

Avery had her audiologist appt. and her hearing is perfect. Nearly bionic in fact. I, on the other hand, had to ask if it was problematic if I wasn't hearing some of the sounds that she was responding correctly to.

She actually stopped the "huh" thing once I brought it to her attention...and realized I do a similar thing to Ben fairly often.

But she still talks loud.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Creepy but flattering.

This is a real letter that I just got, sent to Banning Realty (thanks Tarah for forwarding that. Yikes!) If you click on it it should appear larger. This letter came from a correctional facility. I'm not sure why he told me about his hair. I'm not sure why he had a Banning newspaper. I do understand why he might want to write to me...I knew that picture that Sara took for my real estate stuff would get me clients! Photoshop and a skilled hand can make anyone look good.

Now what...do I write him? I feel bad for him. The crime was accidental. Like as in what? He accidentally tied her up and threw her in a river? (You know I love to research so if he does even exist I will find out and I will find out details) Maybe I'll send him a postcard if I'm ever on the North Pole. I wish I could help but he's just gonna have to find another pen pal...Kit, Dave, you guys have a soft spot for criminals. His address is as the bottom.

In case you forget my name.

Every baby needs an airbrushed onesie.
Thanks Uncle Nate.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I live in HAWAII!!!

It has finally hit me.

I have very much loved every place I/we have lived - California, Texas, Utah, Maryland and I am very much excited to have this on our resume of locales. I now live where people come to get away from it all. Ben likes to joke that I'm always on vacation and now I actually am!

I set up a babysitting trade with another new girl at church who has a baby girl about Miles' age and two older girls that Avery loves to play with and who's husband also keeps long hours (he's an Air Force chaplain) so on my "free day" I didn't want to run errands or clean house or do anything that I could possibly, maybe accomplish with kids around so I hit the beach. Ben helped me load up the surfboard the night before, I dropped the keiki's off, turned on Jack Johnson, rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof (mostly so I could stop the board from rattling and ruining the mood), and I was off. I didn't know exactly where I was headed but I was going. Until I got about a mile down the road and started thinking about how I was going to surf without my key fob enduring the same death by water as our other set had (bathtub + two year old). I had thought ahead enough not to bring anything but my license but the keys you can't leave hidden in the car. So I went back to the house, grabbed the valet key, and started over. I had two options in the search of a perfect wave (which for me is about a 2 footer with nothing pokey or dangerous (i.e. - reef) below.

So, choice number one, a place called Flat Island, a long paddle out (okay by me) but dangerously near the recent shark attack (not okay by me). Option two, a place lovingly known as "Cockroach Bay", there are some mossy rocks on the ocean floor here but the real potential problem could be not being wanted by the locals who live on the beach at this spot. Sharks or locals. I took my chance with the locals. (Although I did end up with a flat tire later that day...) Unfortunately I got there and no one was in the water. I had already told myself that I wouldn't go in alone no matter what (Alise, if you would just come visit this wouldn't even be an issue). Anyhow, the reason no one was in was beacuse it was flat. So I countinued on and came to Sandy Beach. A hotspot for bodyboarding, bodysurfing and waves that are known for break ing necks. At this age, I'm not interested in breaking my neck, but I've always wanted to go there and watch so I did and it was incredible. The kids were doing crazy stuff, like standing on their body boards as well as the usual riding in the tube, spinning etc. I did see one, rather stately (ref. definition one - Dignified and impressive, as in size or proportions) woman get washed away, luckily the waves brought her back safely to her equally large mate, whom the waves couldn't budge. Meanwhile, a guy was sitting on the tailgate of his truck strumming the ukelele, enveloping us all with aloha. All I needed was a Jamba Juice to enjoy on my way home while listening to the Beach Boys to call it a perfect day. A day which will be recreated and hopefully become routine.

I did finally get in the water. On my way home there were two people in the water at Coakroach Bay, even though it was still pretty flat. But I couldn't resist the chance to get in. So I paddled out, said hi and then just laid there, an island unto myself for ten minutes.

I live in HAWAII.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Malasada's are a Portugese doughnut that we get to enjoy here on Oahu. Ben can't resist pulling over to get them when he sees the van that sells them (must be the Portugese in him). Leonards Bakery is the most famous vendor. They are the Krispy Kreme of Hawaii, and like KK, these are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven. I like mine with chocolate pudding inside.

How late do you stay up?

I've got kids in bed, bra removed (I probably just lost some readers right there) Chelsey's banana bread in hand, and a glass of milk on the rocks ready to catch up on some good Wed. night TV here. Excellent dancing tonight on SYTYCD. My favorites were Lacey/Pasha's hip hop (thanks goodness no one tried to Krump this week) and wowie Neil and Sabra's Apprentice-esque boardroom jazz routine! I've decided that Cat Deely is one of the best reality show hosts. She's cute. Although Ben (maybe it's an aspiring plastic surgeon in the making) can't get over her crooked nose but I think she wears it well!

Has anyone seen Carson Daly's show lately? He's lost like 30 lbs. Unfortunately, it still doesn't make him funny.

Conan O'Brian on the other hand has really grown on me. I remember watching him when I was living in China and he just got on my nerves but now he is truly hilarious. And Jay and Dave don't have the jokes they used to either. Although I do look forward to Ross the Intern! Anyhow, I can't wait for Conan to take over the Tonight Show and I vote for Joel McHale from The Soup to take over for Dave.

In completely unrelated taste changes, I used to prefer flour tortillas to corn...maybe that's because you can't get a decent flour tortilla out of a package (and making them, although delicious, is time consuming and messy)

When you start musing over tortillas it's time to go to bed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

No YOU be quiet.

Yesterday, around the time the day gets exteremely long (but still rewarding) staying home with two small people and no husband I just wanted to sit on the couch and read a magazine and watch TV. Plus I thought I had a chance being that I was one down since Avery was still napping after a hard day of playing princess (apparently a girl gets tired slaying dragons and running from evil queens all day). I am trying to insert the binky so that Miles and myself can relax but he's resisting and shaking his head around. But I'm not really watching him because I'm checking out my list of saved shows. All of the sudden he has control of the bink and he shoves it in my mouth. And then he laughs.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I want these...

Not the legs. The sandals...I mean slippers (that's what you're supposed to call them in Hawaii) , they are called Fit Flops and since I don't have a gym membership I need them. I think they're cute anyhow, and they are sold out everywhere, which always makes me want something more (like the Wii that I desperately had to have but haven't played in months).

Here's what the website says about them:
Every step you take in the FitFlop helps tone and trim your legs. The FitFlop's uniquely built multi-density midsole activates muscles midstep to help tone your thighs, your calves and your glutes. In fact, FitFlops are biomechanically engineered to absorb shock, lessen joint strain, and recreate the gait of barefoot walking - but with a powerful new built-in micro-wobbleboard workout-enhancing effect. Available in UK women's sizes 4-8 in Red and Black (Sorry, blue is not available until July). RRP £36. Patent pending.

I wonder if they work if you wear them while you sit and blog...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

July Recap

*WARNING* This post is extremely long.

Summer has ended here. School is back in session. I guess when summer is "endless" then you can go back to school on July 31 without much complaint. They get out of school at the end of May so it's not too long of a break. I heard that they get some other days off throughout the year to make up for it...no snow days, but that's just a wild guess. Maybe you get out of school when the waves are going off somewhere on the island. It's weird that school is back in though because nothing else changed, the pools remain open, the Fall back-to-school sales are just new shipments of summer clothes and shave ice is still a hot seller. I guess all it means is that there is more room at the beach for me between 8 and 3.

So here is a person by person, topic by topic recap of the mundane for July -

BEN - We don't see much of him but he works here, and says the view from inside is incredible. He finished a month of General Surgery and has started a month of ENT which means he gets home a few hours earlier but I think he also goes in earlier as well. I don't even hear his alarm go off so I can't be sure, but I know it's still dark.

AVERY - Wore the same two outfits for all of July. But I'm not complaining because A. At least she is wearing clothes B. She gets herself dressed and C. It lessens my deluge of laundry. She has also been staying dry at night now that her parents have figured out that it helps to make her use the potty before she goes to bed. Duh.

We have an appt. with the audiologist (Christy do you know any good ones? :)) after someone at the commissary commented (in a nice way) that she sounding like a little Marine. I think she was referring to the drill instructors. In addition to her high volume level, she says "huh? an awful lot so we're gonna get it checked out. Hopefully it's just wax.

MILES- Still small but trucking right along the bottom curve of the growth chart. Makes his dad proud by saying dad, dada and daddy all in reference to Ben, can catch and throw (when rolled to him) a regulation sized basketball (Spud Webb maybe?) and drums everything that he comes in contact with so he's the percussionist in the family. We have a two-man band with Ben on strings and lead vocals. Avery is the back up vocalist/dancer and I'm the adoring fan...okay I'm a dancer too.

Miles has a surprise for everyone in August. It's a sharp one.

BRITTANY - She doesn't live with us, but she doesn't have a blog so I'm going to include her on mine (until she court-orders me to remove all references to her). As I write, she's on a plane with the owner of $tarbuck$. Not just any plane. His plane. After spending the weekend at his house. And dining with the family. All I need to know is how many degrees does this separate me from Kevin Bacon?


One sofa.

Two surfboards. One long, one short.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN LISTENING TO (and Miles has been bouncing to) -

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium

Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls (Dad - you'll like the "Stand by Me" bass line) I like this kid cause he says he won't use bad language cause he considers himself a role model.

WHAT I HEAR BEN LISTENING TO WHEN HE'S "STUDYING" (he's probably watching the video)-

Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry


The Carpenters

They are college age boys.


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Biceps from Men's Health July/Aug. The best thing I've read in a long time.

STOCK PERFORMANCE - I'm going to change my picks on the side bar for the next month so for the record here's a what happened this month:

(Disclaimer - These are for fun and should not be construed as advice. You obviously shouldn't hold a stock on a one month basis just to, some are meant to be owned long term - others for a day. These are just companies that I like from an investment perspective. However, if you make money from a stock you see here I will gladly take a commission. :))

UA - Under Armour Up 45.65 to 65.13 Gain of $ 19.48/share

CROX - Crocs Footwear Up 41.84 to 58.58 Gain of $ 16.74/share

TGT- Target Down 63.60 to 60.54 Loss of $3.04/share (but it did hit above $70 during the month)

FSLR - First Solar Up 89.29 to 107.50 Gain of $18.21.share (this stock was all over the place)

NTDOY - Nintendo Up 45.85 to 61.25. Gain of $15.40 (i love this stock. i bought it when i couldn't get my hands on a wii.)

It was a good month...now only if we had some major amounts of real money to invest...

Are you still alive after all that?