Just another day in Paradise.

Just another day in Paradise.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Postage Due

As Ben pointed out - it probably costs the USPS at least 3 cents to print these little envelopes up to bill me for this penny. This isn't the first time I have had to pay to receive a letter. Many years ago, I remember having to pay 10 cents to receive a letter. Otherwise it was going to be held hostage...or is it for "ransom"? Whatever the case, I'd better pay this puppy before it negatively impacts my credit.

For Sale SOLD

'94 Honda Accord - Immaculate and Loaded. $4,600. Any Takers?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trust me - I'm a Doctor.

Congratulations to Ben for successfully completing and "graduating" from his (first) internship. I never thought I would say this about a surgery internship - but it's been a great year. Congratulations on passing Step 3 and becoming a licensed physician and for being the kind of doctor that any patient would be glad to have.

But seriously, would you let this guy cut on your face?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Art History 101 - Chiaroscuro

How can two little bodies with the same genetic input and same exposure to the sun have such different complexions?

How to cut a mango.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fathers Day '08





The "best Father's Day gift ever" -

My sister's boyfriend was at the Lakers playoff game* on Sunday and had "HAPPY FATHERS DAY BEN WESTBROOK" come across the jumbotron at the beginning of the game. His attempt to capture it via cell phone camera failed miserably - but it still goes down in history as successfully "the best Fathers Day gift ever" according to Ben.

*In case you are wondering how B. doing after Tuesday's slaughter - He got to drown his sorrows in root beer and filet mignon at Ruth's Chris after the game compliments of a drug rep, so he's fine. Plus, he said "they didn't deserve it anyway", I'm sure in reference to the heartless way they played.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Olomana - Peaks Two & Three. Mission Aborted.

The second and third peaks were taunting me (we can see them from our house) so I thought it’d be fun to have my mom watch the kids and Ben and I could tackle the hike in its entirety. We got up early and headed out. Surprisingly the hike seemed more strenuous without a toddler on my back but I’m certainly glad the kids weren’t with us because the events that unfolded after we reached the summit would have been tragic and almost were nevertheless. The children almost lost their mother.

Ben was enjoying the view from the first peak and since I had been there two days before I decided to go ahead so that I wasn’t holding Ben up. I was trekking along steadily when all of the sudden the ground below me seemed to disappear and I was falling – fast. I was sliding and screamed out for Ben while trying to grasp at anything to stop me from a non-stop plunge 1,700 feet down. Following a 10 foot slide I went over a drop-off and kept sliding, silently this time and not knowing when or if I would stop. Luckily, I hit a tree.

Ben, just hearing the scream, the fall and a thud, thought that at best I was unconscious. I finally mustered an “I’m okay” and was faced with a new, not less scary dilemma- how to get back up to the trail. Going back up the way I came was out of the question and I would be lucky to get anywhere without sliding further. Not to mention I had sustained some bloody injuries (see exhibit a). I did find a way out and with help returned to the trail. We decided to continue and cautiously made our way to the second peak and were rewarded with an incredible view of the entire Windward coast, and that’s where our journey ended. Reaching the third peak entailed swinging on a rope over a 400 ft drop and we weren’t feeling super confident or as excited about the risks involved, so we turned back. On the way up we had been chatting happily about our hopes and dreams for the future and on the way back we were quieter, bodies limp after the adrenaline wore off but happy to be walking out together. Even portions of the trail that I had quickly traversed with a baby in tow two days before, suddenly seemed like an accident waiting to happen.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. Having a personal doc to assess my injuries he starts rattling off a list of scary sounding conditions that could arise from my abrasions and when I question the possibility of one of those actually happening he replies that he’s seen multiple deaths and amputated multiple legs this year from similar things. So looks like I’m not out of the woods yet, folks.
Exhibit A - We wern't too concerned about getting them in focus at the time and chances are we were both shaking anyway.

Olomana - Peak One

There is one hike that I really wanted to conquer before we left and with my mom here I thought we might be able to do it even with the kids. Mt. Olomana, or "Oahu's Matterhorn" as it's been called, is a hike with three distinct peaks or ridges that are just begging you to climb them. The first peak is a steep ascent but not as dangerous as the second two and I was never planning on taking the kids past the first and frankly I'm still shocked that we made it to the first. Props to A. who hiked at least four miles round trip from car to summit and back. At one point she even referred to the rest of us as "slowpokes" as she scrambled up rocks like a champion (I was sure that she got her mountain goatedness from me - but I found out a few days later it may not be so). One thing that was cute was that she misunderstood the concept of reaching the "peak" and instead kept finding "peeks" along the way where she would look out over the world below. Miles got a free ride to the top and back, sleeping through most of the trip but giving a few encouraging "weeeee's" along the way down.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


My mom is here to help me with the kids while we get ready to depart, but rather than clean, pack or organize what I really wanted to do was go to another island. So we went to Moloka'i. The plane ride over was amazing. It was a nine seater propeller plane and the view was worth a million dollars - far more than what it cost ($50).

We only spent two days there but the lifestyle is so slow that it felt like a week. There are no traffic lights on the island and only one chain restaurant - you guessed it... Subway :) (it's a little known fact that there are more Subway's than McD's worldwide) Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting much but I thought it had some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Between the small plane and the private beach time I felt like a celebrity with my own private island. I was set to fly back this weekend so Ben could experience Moloka'i but the flights are all sold out.

A few highlights for me was seeing Kalapaupa - the leper colony (if you want to know more about it I fully recommend The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the exiles of Molokai). You aren't allowed down there if you are under 16 so I didn't get to tour it this time (on account of the kids), but we did hike along the worlds tallest sea cliffs and visit Hawaii's longest white sand beach. Another place of interest was Phallic Rock - where according to Hawaiian legend women trying to concieve can sleep here and be rewarded with child. Interesting and almost embarrasing to look at. There is a picture in the slide show (we're all adults here people).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May Recap

It can't be June already! I guess when summer never ends, you don't quite realize when it's starting again. In fact, it looks a little more like Fall around here since Summer means less rain some of the hillsides are getting tinged with brown and orange (just around the edges - it's still wonderfully green of course). We are supposed to be getting ready to move but the powers that be have been slow on getting us official orders so there is not much to be done but wait.

Ben - The highlight of May for Ben would probably be the discovery of his talent playing the ukulele. This ability should be no surprise as it runs in his blood (the Portuguese brought the ukulele to the islands long ago and his Portuguese-Hawaiian great-grandfather was a talented musician on Maui). So, on Mother's Day Eve the men at church organized a dinner for the women of the ward and the youth provided in-home childcare so that everyone was assured of having a great time at the ward function. It was held in probably the best located home in town with sweeping panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. The property and home itself are so beautiful it makes you sick to your stomach - in a good way. That was the scene. Following dinner Ben was able to join the entertainment of the evening which was kanikapila - basically a Hawaiian style jam session. After his performance with the group he was asked to be in the ward choir, invited to kanikapila at the beach on Memorial Day and given his very own ukulele song book the next day with the songs often played when they get together. I had a hard time getting him to leave so that we could relieve the babysitters and he admitted on the way home that "this was a rough one" meaning - he was already sad about leaving the islands but this just made it that much harder. I agree.

Work wise, since some of you have been, are in or are imminently going to be in the same position career wise and since that's where he spends most of his time let's report and commiserate. After Ben and I were just discussing how easy this general surgery internship has seemed (we expected the worst)(and it is relatively easy, because I do not see how he can get up that early and still come home with a smile on his face, then again, he's probably smiling cause he's finally home - whatever the reason he's made it easy on me) he started his neurosurgery rotation. After enduring demanding ICU, ER, Surgery and Medicine rotations I thought this one would be a good one to end with, however, on his first day, after being there since 5:30am he called at 7pm to say they were going into surgery and he'd call me when they got out. They got done at 3am. Thankfully, he didn't call me, nor did he come home. Since he had to be back two hours later, he made the right choice and stayed on some lovely bed at the hospital - either that or he has a mistress.

Miles - Still wears a size three diaper but is growing up and out. Can carry on a simple conversation and his favorite phrase, when he is the slightest bit disappointed, is "oh man" (said like Swiper on Dora except that he still won't watch TV (oh man) so I'm not sure where he learned it).

Avery - Graduated from her first year of Awana Cubbies. Is excited about moving to a new "island".

Me - May was not all flowers for me, in fact, I had one very bad day amidst some decent ones and a couple great ones.

Within 24 hours: I put a huge dent in our car while sidling up to what looked to be a harmless baby palm tree, my daughter broke one of my favorite dessert plates, our waterproof camera isn't actually all that waterproof, the dollar theater in town closed down and to top it off I realized, at the end of the day, that the shirt I was wearing all day is see-through.

However, I have a car, and the damage could have been much much worse, I still have 7 more plates and at least it wasn't my stoneware which I only have 4 left of, we have a DVD player to watch movies on and maybe me wearing a very sheer shirt made it a good day for someone else.

In other news, I finally lost all the baby weight from Miles.