Today the Hart family played tourist and hopped on board the Star of Honolulu's whale watching boat. It was early in the season, but since they have guaranteed whale sightings I thought 'what the hell', even if we don't see whales we still get to go out on a boat and we can go back for free if we don't. Well, no sooner had we exited the harbor than the captain saw whales! We headed that direction and spent about 45 minutes watching a mama and baby in the water. I thought that was amazing enough, but every time I see whales I wish and I hope (and if I prayed I would) for them to breach. And then it happened...
We were driving away from the whales and the baby breached. I did not have my camera ready and thought that it probably wouldn't happen again. I was wrong...it did it like 5 more times. It was AWESOME! I mean AWESOME! (Yes, I'm squealing it!)
After watching them for a few more minutes, we pulled away and that concluded our whale sighting. It was like the Holy Grail of whale watching! We got back into the harbor and exited the boat at Aloha Tower. We've never been to the top of the tower and decided today was a lovely day to do it.
We had a tasty little lunch and headed back to the North Shore. I left Eve and CRH home to nap and hit my favorite beach, Papa'iloa. I saw 2 turtles out there today...one was way down the beach and I didn't feel like trekking down and then one was in the water. I kept my eye out for whale spouts, but I didn't see anymore today. I did witness a wedding and I managed to not yell "No, don't do it!". I crack myself up.
On another funny note, today I had Eve in the bathroom on the boat. She started to sit straight down on the nasty toilet seat (though this bathroom was amazingly clean and nice for a boat) and I shrieked "OMG, make a nest! Have I taught you NOTHING??" She replied with much exasperation in her little voice, "Yes, you've taught me that Southern women are crazy."
The Hart family had a wonderful, low key Christmas. Eve and I baked up a storm Christmas Eve. Between the night of the 23rd and Christmas Eve, we made 2 types of fudge, sausage balls, and 4 types of cookies! She's gotten to the age where's she an excellent helper, so it was really fun baking with her. Christmas Eve we had a huge ham dinner and watched The Grinch movie. Christmas Eve, Eve was tracking Santa online and stalked him around the globe. Finally at bedtime, she crawled into my bed and could not fall asleep from the excitement. I went in to the bedroom to get something at one point and she told me that she had sung herself songs, told herself stories, and tickled her back...but she still couldn't sleep. I finally laid down with her after she tracked Santa to Alaska and knew that Hawaii was his next stop. She was in tears afraid Santa would skip us because she was still awake. Indeed she fell asleep and Santa did not skip us. She woke me up at 4:45am to tell me that she knew Santa must have come because she'd been asleep for a good long while. I told her she better go back to sleep for another good long while, as we were NOT getting up that early. She lasted until 6:45am and there was no putting her off from that point. Santa brought her lots of goodies, as did family and friends. We had a wonderful day full of much food and alcohol. She ended up spending Christmas night at the neighbor's house and I missed her a ton but knew she was having more fun playing with all the kids! We hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!
This has been a fun filled week around here and super busy! Last Saturday, Eve and I went to my company Christmas party. She was adorable! We had a lot of fun and apparently she's my good luck charm. I won a mall gift card and $150. I never, ever, ever win things. We should have flown to Vegas that night.
Monday, she started Sea Life Park camp for the week. We try to send her every year and it's a great, educational week. The kids go to all the park exhibits, see behind the scenes, and learn a ton. After camp on Monday, she went to a friend's birthday party for a sleepover...Tuesday, she missed camp because she came home to nap...for 4 hours. This is a child that quit napping at 18 months. I kept checking to make sure she was breathing.
Finally on Wednesday night, I received all of my grades for the semester! I made straight "A"s. I was pretty confident about two of my classes, but I honestly had no clue what the other two classes were going to result in due to lack of timely feedback from those professors on things turned in near the end of the semester.
Today was Eve's big day at camp where she had her dolphin encounter. Sadly, CRH had to work but there were a few pictures taken to capture the moment. We came home and started round 1 of the holiday baking. We made fudge, peanut butter kiss cookies, and sausage balls. I almost got a little teary making the sausage balls. I remember being Eve's age making those with my mom. It's a Christmas tradition in our family that I love to keep going and fortunately it's something she'll actually eat! Anyway, I loved making them with her and I hope one day she makes them with her kids.
We had the pleasure of attending Eve's performances on Tuesday night at her former school, Ka'a'awa Elementary. They put on a Christmas show each year called "A Warm Christmas Night". I love it! It was dark though and we didn't capture the moment. No worries because tonight was her hula halau's annual Christmas party at Kualoa Ranch and here she is performing "The Christmas Luau" again. Moments like this make the weekly trek to Ka'a'awa totally worth it!
This is the Hawaiian version of this song. It cracks me up, enjoy!
Numbah One day of Christmas, my tutu give to me One mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Two day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Two coconut, an' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Tree day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Foah day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Five day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Seex day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg (that make TEN!), Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Seven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Eight day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, Five beeg fat peeg (that make TWENNY!), foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Nine day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah let, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Ten day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukuklele, seven shrimp a-swimmin' Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg, Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Eleven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Eleven missionary, ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson, Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.
Numbah Twelve day of Christmas the bes', and the bes' stuff always come las'...) Numbah Twelve day of Christmas, my tutu give to me Twelve TELEVISION, eleven missionary, ten can of beer, Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', Seex hula lesson, FORTY steenkin' peeg, Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree!
Music and lyrics published by Hawaiian Recording and Publishing Company, Inc., and copyrighted in 1959.
Yesterday was a Christmas extravaganza day for us. I'm not a fan of leaving the North Shore on the weekends after all the driving I do during the week, but poor Eve would never get to do anything if I didn't occasionally trek to town. Friday night, I went out to Ka'a'awa for a super fun Pomegranate Martini Christmas party with a bunch of hilarious women. That was a great kick off to my 4 day weekend! We played Naughty Santa and I left with 2 bottles of wine...score!
Yesterday I took Eve to The Nutcracker, which was followed by a Sugarplum Fairy tea. When we lived in NC, I would take her every year to the Sugarplum Fairy tea at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. It's amazing...the venue is awesome...the food is great...there are photo opps with the fairy. This was far less grand, but Eve enjoyed it. We sat on a cement bench eating a quarter of a PB&J and drinking fruit punch, but she got to see the Sugarplum Fairy up close and that seemed to make her happy enough. NC has the tea thing in the bag though, Hawaii could take notes...I'm just saying. After the performance, CRH met us and we went to Ala Moana for our annual Santa visit. I LOVE Santa, but I hate this mall and I hate trekking into Waikiki yet every year I make us go b/c this Santa is THE best. Sure enough traffic was horrible on the H1 (even at 5pm on a Saturday) but once we got there it was all worth it. We got smarter this year and after entering the mall at Macy's where Eve could write her letter (I love that!)...we decided to skip the food court for CPK and enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner. CRH spotted sunset on the way to the restaurant, so we got to watch a beautiful sunset and then head to dinner. I could feel my blood pressure dropping as I polished off the last sips. Eve was so cute patiently waiting...poor kid. I had a plan for the mall...you should never go into that mall without a clear cut agenda because it's vast. After executing it down to the level Santa was on, we hopped in line. It wasn't bad...really. There was entertainment from the other parents and kids in line and we moved pretty quickly along (Yes, 2 weeks before Christmas on a Saturday night no less!). I think this may be the last year for Santa though, so it was a little bittersweet for me. She's asking a ton of questions and when I avoided her yesterday she totally called me on it. I hate for that innocence and magic to leave, so I'm keeping it going as long as I can, but I was 8 years old when I figured it out and I'm worried she's smarter than I am. When we left the mall, we went to the City of Lights display. We went for the first time last year and it's so cool. I've added a couple of pictures below. Eve questioned again how Santa could be at the mall and at the City of Lights. We gave the patented 'Santa can't be in every place all at once...' after the 'He's a magical elf.' fell flat. I'm worried she's onto us.
Eve and I had a fun weekend starting to get into the spirit and making and baking stuff. Yesterday, I woke up with some serious motivation to get it in gear. Last year, I waited until the last minute and I regretted it because I was super tired and quite grumpy. So, Eve and I made our ornaments yesterday for the family. Since I don't want to spoil the surprise, I won't describe them but holy hell they were tedious. I have mild OCD (self diagnosed of course) and I'm a perfectionist...so this tried my nature but I kept my psychoses under wraps and we had fun doing it! After the ornaments finished, we headed to the beach and took her Christmas pics for the cards. I'm going to be organized enough this year to send out cards, really. Last year, I skipped it (see previous paragraph). I will spoil it and tell you that this is so the one. I love it, especially since you can see her lack of front teeth. Once we left the beach, I came home to make fudge. I'm an excellent baker, if I do say so myself. I've actually spent the past 6 months cooking as well...but baking is my thing (or so I thought). My fudge requires a spoon...it did NOT set up. It's yummy goodness, but it's gooey and soupy. I'll probably try another batch later in the season.
Thanks to the awesomeness of the Norfolk pine tree, I was able to put up our Christmas tree this weekend. If you put up an imported real tree in HI this early you will have a pile of dead needles by Christmas, but last year I discovered this delightful variety. The really cool thing about this tree is that it's fairly "green" for a real tree. You also only have to water it like twice all season and they do NOT shed needles. So they cut off the top of these giant trees, allowing the tree to continue growing. Yesterday, I took Eve and her friend, Leah, to pick out our tree. Normally, I go alone and look at every single tree and very carefully chose the BEST one. This year, I let Eve do it and our tree is sooooo crooked, but she picked it out. I will allow my OCD self to love the tree anyway. I'll just turn my head when I look at it each and every time all season long. CRH and our friend, Kevin, went diving yesterday. I took Eve and Leah to a local resort with my friend, Robby, and played in the pools and hot tub. When we all arrived home, we started decorating the tree. CRH and Kevin initially put up all the lights, until we went to plug it in and over half the strands did not work. I realized those two bright lights had NOT plugged boy ends to girl ends and they had just tucked things around. Duh...so, I unwrapped the lights and Kevin and I redid it all because CRH declared himself done after that fiasco. The rest of the tree decorating went very smoothly and the finished product is our lovely Charlie Brown, crooked tree.
The Hart family enjoyed a fun day yesterday, well 2/3 of us did. 1/3 of us had to work insane hours, so I can't speak for him so much. We are VERY THANKFUL for how hard he works and continues to provide for us though. Ok, so I decided that I wanted to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. Previously, I have always been assigned pies (because I can bake like a champ), bread, or to bring the can of cranberry sauce. In the spring when my grandmother found out about our divorce, she said to me "Amy, how are you going to eat? He does ALL the cooking.". I have laughed and laughed over this, but I think it inspired me. I started cooking and I realized I don't suck at it either. I attribute this to watching CRH cook for years, but I've got it not so much down as coming along. Our menu included Roasted Turkey with Artichoke-Sausage Stuffing, Green Bean casserole, Deviled Eggs (which CRH made), Rolls (ok, I bought those), gravy, and of course the can of cranberries (which I opened). Dinner would NOT be complete without our favorite, Nutella Pumpkin Pie. I started cooking Wednesday night and finished prepping Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon, I went to my friend's house for Thanksgiving lunch and to pick up Eve Hart. We ate a delicious meal with their family and then I headed home to finish cooking our dinner. I was SO full, but I managed to put in a dent in this plate. After dinner, CRH went to work from 7pm -7am and a friend of mine and I took Eve and 2 of her friends to The Fun Factory and to see Tangled. It was cute enough, but I'd rent it if I were you. Today, we avoided the stores (except the grocery store for wine and Ace for cheap Christmas lights and both stores were desolate). I spent the day instead working my tail off with Eve and a friend rearranging her room. It looks awesome now, but holy crap I'm sore. I cleaned the house like company was coming (though no one is until January) and now I'm ready to decorate for Christmas tomorrow! Hope you all had a great turkey day! It's been a hard year, but I have so VERY much to be thankful for...family, friends, a job, my health, school, and less we forget my location!
We are LOVING the SUP. I soooo want a board, maybe one day. Although the problem with having my own board is that I would have to be able to get it out of the water...a skill I still must master. I can get it to the water, get on it, paddle it (even with a kid on the end), but getting it out is something I'm not rocking yet. Today, I spent a delightful 2 hours at Kahuku Beach walking up and down looking for shells. I found some really cool ones and as I was heading home CRH texted to see if I wanted to go paddle boarding. Of course I did! He picked Eve up from school and we all went to the beach. We took turns paddling her out and she and I went under the rainbow bridge and down the river twice. I am WIPED out now, but it's a good wiped out. At the end, she wanted to paddle herself. CRH held onto the leash and she went at it. We capped off the day with a sunset cocktail at a local restaurant and headed home for dinner. No one will have to rock me to sleep tonight...zzzzzzz.
This weekend was soooo relaxing and fun. Saturday, I woke up and took Eve to a craft fair at a local school. She and I had fun walking around and looking at things. We gathered ideas and made plans for the holidays. I took her for a long beach walk Saturday afternoon and we picked up lots of cool shells and saw a sea turtle out on the beach. It was a perfect North Shore afternoon. CRH texted me as I was coming back with Eve down the beach and said he wanted to meet us with wine and apps for sunset. It was a gorgeous evening. On the beach, Eve's front tooth started bothering her. She bit into a cracker hard and it started bleeding some. When we got home, she asked CRH to pull it. Oh how thankful I was to have him here to do that....ewwwww. Today, she's down another tooth. I love this toothless smile. I'm happy all of her Christmas pics will be this cute smile. Today we hung out and had a low key day. I actually woke up this morning thinking that it had to be Monday because I was so relaxed, but I was delighted when I figured out it was Sunday and I could go back to sleep.
I'm so totally on island time these days, it's gotten ridiculous. I love it. It is the way I was meant to live. Ok, enough excuses though. CRH turned 40 last week! For his birthday, I was going to rent a stand up paddle board for him for the day. The morning of his birthday, I called the place and they didn't have anyone available to meet us to rent a board. I would like to mention that on this particular beautiful, sunny day I think their staff was all out surfing. ;) Anyway, I reserved one for the weekend so that we could all go but sadly CRH's work schedule changed. Today was the day and we went out this morning for several hours. It was tons of fun. This was his first time and only my second. He caught on quickly and ended up paddling me on the front of the board down the river for about an hour. It was gorgeous! We saw tons of turtles while we were out too, both together and separately. Incidentally, we remarked how this was the first time we've done anything involving a paddle since our unfortunate outrigger canoe experience of 2000. I guess now that we're getting divorced, it was ok to try it. So, I highly recommend this activity now on the Hart Family tour when you visit. It's so easy (mostly, depending on the surf) to rent a board for the day and it's a great peaceful, fun workout. Happy 40th Birthday CRH!
I know I've been a bad blogger. We've been really caught up in school, work, and life, so if you were at one time actually following this...my apologies. I'll resume one day, like over Christmas break. Anyway, I had a interesting conversation with my kid tonight about voting I wanted to share. Eve told me that her school is doing kids voting soon and she's nervous about who to vote for. I asked who she was thinking of voting for and she told me that she was obviously going to vote for the ladies and the people whose names she liked...oh yeah, and the pretty people. After explaining how politics differs from say pageants, I gave her a lecture on politics. We talked about when in doubt, vote Democrat (of course!). Then she asked me if Democrats are white. (Incidentally, Hawaii is the most racist place I've ever lived/been in and I'm from the South.) I said typically, more white people are Republican, but that a lot of white people are Democrat as well...noting that COLOR really shouldn't have anything to do with believing in what's important to you. (Clearly, I've failed as a mother.)
Last night I came home to Eve being babysat by the neighbor...when I got in the door with my jug of wine, she suggested I go ahead and have a glass. I said "Um, why? What did you do?". Here's our convo: Eve - Mama, I think you should have a glass of wine. We have a mouse in the house. I locked him in the closet. Me - WHAT??? Eve - Yeah, why don't you have a glass of wine and think about what to do about this? Me - Ok, sounds like a good idea. Eve - 15 min time lapse yells from her bed- Mama...did you have some wine? Me - Yeah, working on it. Eve- So, are you thinking about the mouse situation? Me - Yep...I think we have to move. Eve - No, really...what are you going to do? Me - I don't know.... Eve- Mama, you have to problem solve this! In case you're not around us frequently, this exchange was particularly humorous because I tell Eve about 3,000 times a day to problem solve things.
Eve and I were playing on the beach today and let me tell you guys, she has become quite the little fishy! She was in the water swimming, going under, and floating. CRH has done a really good job of taking her to the pool a lot to increase her confidence in the water and now she apparently (after living in HI for 2 1/2 years) has decided she loves the beach and the ocean. Hallelujah! It's about time! As we were packing up to leave, a lady walked by and pointed out 3 manta rays that were playing in the water about 50 ft out. We stood and watched them swim for a while. They are so graceful and amazing to watch. They were too far to try and take a pic with my phone and true to form these days, I didn't have my good camera with me. I've only seen rays here once before at Pipeline one day. There was a group swimming and every time the wave would come up, you could see them in it.
I know it's been eons since I posted last. The blog is sadly probably going to become more and more sporadic over the next 2 years as school has started! I started classes feeling totally stressed and overwhelmed and then some wise friends who also have their MSWs reminded me that I actually don't have to read every single word that's assigned and that helped ease some of the stress. Then, I got some really nice feedback from an instructor this weekend on a short paper that I turned in last week, and I'm feeling like I can actually breathe again and that I might just be able to do this! Ok, I know I can do it but Eve's having a hard time adjusting to me being gone 2 nights a week and it's just been a taxing few weeks. This weekend it was time to just relax. I slept until 9am every single day, which was AWESOME. I've been in bed by 12am at the latest every single night, so my body hardly knows what to do with all of this rest. I've had wonderful food, lots of wine, and plenty of beach time. We've taken Eve to the pool several days, I've been on the beach every day, and I've continued to be in awe of the beauty that is Oahu. I've included just a few pics from the weekend and since I now have a new laptop I hope to start using my good camera again very soon. We saw this guy on the beach today and sadly he had a fishing line attached to him. There were a bunch of turtles out today swimming around at Papa'iloa. Yes, I still act like a tourist when I see one...I get super excited about it. I was cleaning out pictures on my phone the other day and deleted a ridiculous number of almost identical turtle pictures. Can you say "Stalker"? On a happy note, I'd like to report that CRH and I are in a really good place right now. We've kind of figured out this living together as friends/roommates thing and it's been really, really nice. So, if you've stayed away because you thought the tension would be insane (because it was a for a while), I feel confident in saying that it's safe to come back.
This has been a fun weekend of wildlife! I started training Friday to be a Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team member. Essentially this means that when a seal hauls out of the water, you go rope it off and stand guard to make sure no one assaults the seal or tries to pet it. You also answer a bunch of questions from tourists and locals about the seals, but I hear it's pretty much the same 6 questions over and over again. I've thought about doing this for a while, but now that the baby is up here it really sparked my interest. I obviously am not going to have an abundance of free time with school starting next week, but all they ask for is 3 hours a week. I can do that and I can take Eve with me too. I went last Sunday and took some really cool pictures, but we continue to have desktop issues and I can't upload them yet. Friday I didn't take any pictures and it really didn't do anything of interest while I was there, just nursing and sleeping. I actually got to see 3 seals Friday night. Honey Girl and her pup were the main focus and Right Spot was hauled out further down the beach. Yesterday, I took Eve and two of her friends to Papa'iloa and we saw a bunch of sea turtles out. I took some pics with my phone. I really should remember to take my good camera with me when I go, but I keep telling myself I have a bazillion turtle pictures as it is plus with the computer screwed up, I couldn't upload them anyway. This is one of a turtle swimming in the surf. That rock looking thing...it's a turtle.
Yesterday was Eve's 1st day at Waialua Elementary. She woke up excited and ate breakfast on the porch with CRH while I ran around getting ready for work. Nonni called before we left and then she called Papaw too. As we were taking her in for her 1st day, a huge brilliant rainbow was out over the school...it was pretty cool! This school is so much bigger than her old one. As we were leaving her in her classroom, I started to get a little teary looking at my baby sitting there alone in her seat. I knew how she was feeling and resisted the urge to stay and hover. She ended up knowing quite a few kids in her class from Summer Fun, so that worked out well. Her teacher, Mrs. Luarca, is pretty strict according to Eve and she's been teaching there for 29 years! Her homework last night was to write a letter back to her teacher introducing herself. I think it's going to be a good year!
Currently the big news on the island is the filming of the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie...yep, the 4th one. I've never seen any of them as I've mentioned and I actually thought this was the 3rd one being filmed. Anyway, they are filming for the next 3 weeks in Kaneohe Bay and the pirate ship is right out in the harbor. Eve and I are pretty psyched about it, because we just like seeing TV and movie sets it seems. Here's a cool picture we took Thursday afternoon from the state park above the bay. They are filming at night so we may go back over one evening to check that out and to meet Johnny Depp, of course.
My sister-in-law has a new business that she's started doing in addition to teaching 1st grade full time and being a great wife to my baby brother. I'm shamelessly plugging her business on here because I'm so proud of her! Here's the link to her website. http://www.mythirtyone.com/amyhumble/ If you are in the NC area and would like to host a party for her, you can get tons of free stuff! If you prefer to pay for your items, then you can order directly as well. They have everything from super cute purses, totes, baby items, backpacks, etc! Christmas is soon and this stuff makes excellent gifts, hence the name. Thanks for checking it out!
There is usually a week right after school ends and a week before it begins that all summer programs cease. I don't know what they think working parents are going to do, but it's kind of a pain. CRH and I are lucky enough that we have flexible jobs/schedules and have been able to work it out amongst ourselves who would be off on what days/times. My friend, Khristy, has also helped a lot too! Well I think after today, Eve will officially say Summer Fun Hart Style beats the pants off Parks & Rec. This afternoon, CRH took Eve jet skiing while I was at work. For whatever reason, probably her fear of the water which is subsiding, she has refused to do this. He loves to jet ski and finally talked her into it. They had a blast! She was vibrating as she was telling me about it over dinner. Tonight, we did the hand off so he could work the night shift and I took her to see The Black Pearl pirate ship which is currently in Kaneohe Bay while they are filming Pirates of the Caribbean 3, or whatever the official name is. I've never watched any of those movies, but obviously I'll catch this one so I can look at the scenery and play my favorite 'guess where that was filmed' game. They were filming I think tonight, so the road was a mad house...but of course I stopped to snap a quick pic. We're going back tomorrow with the good camera. The evening concluded with Eve and I going to see "Ha". This is the new (ish) Polynesian Cultural Center's night show and it was pretty awesome. Eve and I both agreed we liked it more than the previous one, but we also saw the previous one about 6 times...so maybe we just liked seeing something new. At any rate, she had a super fun day.
The universe smiled at me today and then smacked me in the ass. It's the way of it these days. ;) I went to my favorite beach and as I was walking down the path, I noticed a new sign up. This sign was obviously put up because the turtle volunteers are too busy down at the actual "turtle beach" to patrol this one too, but it concerns me. Does this mean the tourists are catching wind of my Zen spot?? I decided today was the perfect day to walk on the beach because it was a little overcast so the sand wasn't blazing hot and frankly I needed some exercise. I've gained about 4 lbs back this summer due to poor eating and no exercise! I always look right first at this beach because this is where the turtles are the most apt to come up onto the sand, but there were none today. So, I went left thinking I would walk down and pick up some shells. As I started walking, I saw 5 turtles in the water eating. I walked a little further and saw about 10 more also hanging out near some rocks and eating. I climbed onto the rocks and was trying to get a picture with my phone of the awesome creature, when I slipped on the very green matter they eat and smacked my bottom HARD onto the rock. I'm pretty sure there's a huge bruise coming up because this was over 6 hours ago and it still smarts big time. As I tried to recover from this very ungraceful move, which almost landed me in the ocean with my phone on top of the said turtle I was trying to photograph, I walked along the not slippery part of the rocks and just kept seeing more and more turtles. It was amazing. I walked a good mile or further on the beach and I just kept seeing huge groups of them. I even saw two babies!! I knew my count was over 45, but in the interest of not exaggerating, I counted again on the way back and my total was 46. I have never, ever seen that many sea turtles in one day...ever. It was so cool! My sore bottom is totally worth the coolness of it all. Almost all of the turtles were in the water, but this guy was hauling out as I was heading back today. After my turtle fest, I went to pick Eve up from my friend, Khristy and took her to hula. She's learning a new song right now in class. I love her new teacher because she really teaches them a lot with regards to the words of the song and the cultural component. She's a really great teacher! And speaking of teachers, my baby starts 2nd grade on Monday!!! I can't stand how fast time is flying!!
Well sure enough there was a monk seal (Honey Girl) and her baby at Turtle Bay today! The baby was born on June 29th, 2010 in the very bay area where they are hanging out. It seems monk seals give birth and then they hang out with their baby for about 2 months. They nurse and play with it, and then they are finished. I mean after about 8 weeks they get into the water and swim off and the two never so much as acknowledge each other again as far as the humans can tell, even if they come up on the same beach one day. The baby is the cutest thing! I went to scope him out this morning and then after picking up my car finally, I took Eve and CRH back to check it out. He was about 30lbs when he was born, but they gain 5lbs a day and so he's at about 100-150lbs now. An interesting side note is that while the mama seals nurse, they don't eat at all so they lose that baby weight super fast! I got some great pics with my good camera, but our computer still has a virus so I can't upload them yet. Here's a horrible one I took with my camera phone. The "rocks" are seals...really, I promise.
Well guys I fear my two and a half year vacation is about to end. Tuesday I went to UH for a meeting with my practicum adviser and realized that my world as I know it is almost over. (I'm waiting for the sympathy to start...really, I am.) As most of you know, I currently work a sweet part time job 20 hours a week. This gives me 4 days a week to basically do whatever I desire, which mostly consists of going to the beach. Tuesday I was informed that in addition to maintaining my current employment (which is of course my personal choice and based purely on my financial constraints of living the good life in HI), I must work 16 hours a week each semester doing practicum work (i.e. free labor) and attend classes. Holy Crap! The good news is that my practicum adviser is looking for places up here so maybe I won't have to commute an hour to that as well. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this and have decided to live up this last month. I got a little sunburned Tuesday after my meeting laying out at the beach processing all of this, so I was going to do chores today around the house...however I've caught wind of a baby monk seal hanging out at Turtle Bay and I feel compelled to go track it down. Pics will follow if I find it!!
One of the perks of living in Haleiwa now is that we actually live in a neighborhood again, as opposed to on the side of the Kam Hwy. It's a much nicer, homey feel and Eve loves all the kids being around to entertain her. She actually wants to go outside and play. This has never before happened in life. One of our neighbors is this sweet Brazilian guy that mows our yard for a ridiculously low price (although we have a ridiculously small yard)and he brings us fruit from the trees in our neighborhood. We have a mango tree in our driveway, but no mango picker and once they fall they are pretty much not edible. I came home last week to papayas on my front steps. Today I drove up and he was harvesting our tree and gave me a huge bag of mangoes and guavas. Now, I am still learning what to do with all of these delicious tropical fruits and mostly I bake them into things. I've made mango and papaya bread that have both turned out great (if I do say so myself). CRH makes a spicy shrimp nacho that calls for fresh mango, but our repertoire is limited. The first time this man brought mangoes over, he told us about this mango ice cream he makes but wasn't overly specific in the recipe. CRH has asked me several times to find out the details and today when he dropped off the latest batch, I inquired. It's super easy and I decided to make both mango and guava ice cream. The mango rules, the guava not so much. Guavas confuse me in that I don't know which parts you can eat and if you scoop out the seeds, you are left with very little fruit. Halfway into the guava cutting, I had CRH ask a local girl how exactly one eats this fruit. She said the seeds are edible, but sadly they give ice cream a really weird texture. So, the guava ice cream didn't make it, but when you visit be sure to ask for the mango one...super yum.
I've been a horrible blogger lately...I know it. My friend Becky just came for a visit that was pure awesomeness. I think I've convinced another East Coast person to move to HI!! That's my secret mission you know...to get all of my friends and family to relocate here to paradise. She and I had a great time snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and Shark's Cove, hanging at the beach, going to Schofield for the fireworks, visiting Chinatown and Waikiki, and drinking it up. I'd post pics, but sadly I don't think I took any and my desktop still has a virus. I've still been without a car for the past few weeks and today finally decided to do something about it. I went to the Honda dealership in town a few weeks ago and they pissed me off enough that I left and ignored all of their follow up calls. I decided that today was car day. I really needed to move on this and quit sitting around and waiting for someone to deliver one to my door, because clearly that wasn't going to happen...although friends have been kind to let us mooch. CRH and I got up this morning and drove to town to look at a Jetta. I like the Jettas and I liked this car until I test drove it and we noticed all sorts of issues. I've never been to a dealership that cared less if I purchased a car from them. Seriously, this guy couldn't have given a rat's ass if I bought that car or not, so I left. I've turned into a super bitch at car dealerships. I've decided that I'm sick and tired of being screwed in them. My MO is to start off all sweet and drive a car to make them want to sell to me, but then at finance time my true colors shine through. Anyway, we then hit up a car dealership on the way back to Haleiwa. I immediately picked out a car that I liked and someone was moving it for a test drive. I questioned this as a sale tactic, but maybe it was legit...who knows. CRH looked at a car that he thought he might want instead of the PT Cruiser, but decided not and then miraculously my '06 Hyundai Sonata reappeared for test driving. I liked it for the price and style and told the salesman that I wanted it. We haggled over price and payment for long enough that after threatening to leave 2 times, I finally walked out. He followed me to my (CRH's) car and I told him my terms once again VERY firmly and told him to call me if he could meet them. I peeled out of there to go pick up Eve and sure enough lo and behold he called me about an hour later willing and able to meet my previously, clearly stated terms and conditions. It's all such a game. While we were in the dealership the first time, there was a group of Japanese tourists seriously on a tour of the dealership. Our salesman said it happens all the time - how weird! Check this pic out - they are literally standing in front of the wall of salesmen listening to what I assumed to be a talk on those guys...snooze. So we leave and the salesman calls with my terms and we head back to the dealership to sign the paperwork. I needed to stop by the post office on the way and what do we see in the parking lot, but my Volvo for sale!! The irony was outstanding. They have my poor old car sitting in the lot of the Pizza Hut/USPS on sale for $3300 OBO. I guess they got it running enough to sell, but not enough to donate to a family. CRH felt the need to commemorate this weirdness with a photo op. Priceless, right? Back at the dealership, we complete the sale and I head off in my new car...only to get it onto the highway and it start lurching along. The rpms were totally high as I would accelerate and the car would almost lose power completely if I took my foot off the gas. When I went up a very small hill, the car also seemed to lose power and the brakes were metal on metal. I had test driven it, but around the block in Waipahu...so not at fast speeds. I called CRH and told him I was turning around when a guy behind me pulled up and yelled at me that my emergency brake seemed to be on...it wasn't. I called Ivan, my poor, poor salesman and told him I was headed back. Ivan hates me now by the way after I broke bitch on him at the end of our initial bargaining. I get back and tell Ivan my woes with the car and remind him that I did in fact purchase the extended warranty, so I'd like a rental car while they fix this one. You should have seen the look on his face. I'm obviously the first person to have ever asked for a rental the same day of purchase. The whole day was so weird...weird and funny in the end. I'll put up a pic of my "new" car when I get it, but for now I'm driving a rental Honda Civic.
Well, we've decided to continue to co-exist in the same house for now. Some changes are still being made, but we're going to try to maintain this for Eve's sake and for mine and Eve's financial sake while I'm in school. Keep us in your thoughts...we're going to need some good mojo flowing our way these next few months as we continue to try to navigate this. My friend, Becky, is coming next Wednesday to hang out for a few days! I'm sure some good stuff will come about from her trip, so stay tuned. I promise to start putting pics up again now that my computer virus is cured.
So much has changed since I last blogged...sometimes this is just overwhelming to write down and other times it's very therapeutic. Well again without a lot of details, CRH and I are officially moving residences apart from one another...it's just time. This co-existing thing wasn't working for me. I'm guessing from his recent actions that it wasn't working out so well for him either. My bff, Cheryl, left tonight. OMG I miss her already and can't wait for her to come back...although after the drama that has unfolded in this house over the past week...I'm not sure she will. :( Anyway, we had a great time. We get along SO well and just mesh...it's super nice to have those people in your life. I'd post pics from her trip BUT the desktop seems to have a virus (what else....really???), so they will come when they come. We did lots of fun stuff to include lots of beaching, snorkeling, Waimea Falls, Waikiki, trying to go to Pearl Harbor twice (seriously), and just drinking and talking. I think it was good for both of us.
Today was one of those really good days...it was nothing extraordinary, but just a good day. I woke up this AM and went to pick up the Pooh Bear. Eve has been at Khristy and Tracy's since Friday night and I missed her!! After picking her up, I went and worked out and then we came home for lunch. I didn't want to drag her to the beach and honestly I was a little red from the 3 previous days of basking. We decided to go to Wahaiwa Botanical Gardens today, which is a gorgeous park right in the middle of the ghetto of Wahaiwa...I almost turned around, but was glad I carried on. She had a great time walking around and photographing all the pretty flowers. We did lots of other random feel good stuff today like ordering her birthday cake, going to the library and signing her up for a summer reading program, and talking/webcamming with the grandparents. When CRH got home, we were out on the porch and our neighbor walked by with a 5 gallon bucket of mangoes. He offered us a bunch and said that since he now knows we like them, he would leave us some every time he collects them. I wasn't sure what to do with that many mangoes, so I decided to make mango bread...omg YUM. After dinner, we finally watched Alice In Wonderland. It was very different than what I expected, but good in a Tim Burton way. I'm happy that I rented it for $1 though instead of shelling out at the theater. I realized to my horror today that I didn't post about Eve's Ho'ike last week. Good Parent Points - minus 10. Eve ended her 1st grade year at Ka'a'awa last Tuesday. We attended her Ho'ike at Kualoa Ranch and it was fantastic! The kids did an awesome job. I will post about it very soon, but now I must sleep for I have to return to work tomorrow.
I'm loving this Memorial Day weekend and the official kickoff to summer. Eve is camping with my friends, Khristy and Tracy. Yesterday, I worked out and then spent the afternoon at Rocky Point sunning myself. Today, I spent the day at Lanikai on the pristine white sand beach. Tomorrow, I shall find yet another gorgeous stretch of sand to lay myself upon. My bff, Cheryl comes on Thursday. Bradley arrived last Thursday to stay with us for 2 months and help watch Eve for the summer...life is good. I had a lovely, laughter filled dinner with CRH, Kevin, and Bradley tonight...good friends, good food, and crappy (cheap) wine...good times.
When I was pregnant with Eve, we had a Toyota Camry and a Saturn something or another. The Saturn was a 2 door straight drive car...not a fam car. I went and picked out the blue Volvo S40 one day while I was killing time at work. I fell in love with that car. Initially it was CRH's, but once my Camry lease ended I found him his dream car (yep, the Volvo wagon) and I took this one. We moved both of them here and in the past few years this one has been giving me some problems...so our relationship has been a love-hate one. We had to buy CRH a new car last summer when his died and so sadly we really aren't in a great position for mine to have died this second in time, but I would like to point out that this car did make it to over 200,000 miles. It needed gas, so it died on empty saving me $35. I was sure that it was going to die one day right after I'd filled up. It needed an oil change and a safety inspection this month too. I was going to go earlier this week and do it, but I've just felt like crap all week and was lazy...thankfully because it saved me $60. Finally, the car was nice enough to die about a block from my house. It needs a new transmission (along with many, many other things), so it's just not worth fixing. It's currently out under the mango tree...RIP dear Volvo...RIP.
I have been dying to do this since we moved, but it's one of those things I keep saying I want to do and just haven't gotten around to until today. I freaking LOVED it. I went out in Haleiwa, got on a board after about 4 attempts of trying to stand up, and paddled around for about an hour and a half. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I just paddled the beach area in front at first and then I made my way over around the pier to the rainbow bridge in Haleiwa. It's so peaceful and serene back there. Then, I went out across the beach the other way. This is when things got a little dicey. I paddled out past my experience level and the water was a little choppy and the wind was up. I was afraid of falling, so I sat down and paddled. I was wayyyy out and doing fine, until a turtle came by. It distracted me, so the current took me down a little bit. I was able to turn myself around and get safely back to shore, but for a few minutes I thought Search and Rescue might be required. It was such a fun experience...I can't wait to go again!
We had an awesome weekend of sun and fun. Saturday, I spent 5 hours at the beach. I can't remember the last time I did that...nor can I remember the last time I was able to do it without hearing a lot of complaining from the family. I should thank their friends, really. Anyway, we went to a new beach for us Saturday here in Haleiwa and I sat in my chair watching sea turtles swim around for hours. Finally, CRH brought some snorkel equipment around and I actually swam with 2 of them in the water. One was a smaller, younger turtle and one was pretty huge. A few weeks ago, I saw 3 baby turtles swimming at Papa'iloa. That was awesome! CRH went wayyyy out on Saturday and swam with like 7 or 8 of them. Sunday, I did manage to clean the house. Sometimes I actually do chores before I play...it's rare, but the floor was dirty and it was bothering me. We went to Shark's Cove and I found the snorkeling kind of lame, but we did see another turtle and hung out with him a little. I saw some humu humus, a Moorish Idol, a parrot fish, and a giant unicorn fish...so I guess it didn't totally suck. It just wasn't as gorgeous as I'm used to seeing there. I'm ready to trek back down to Hanauma Bay. C'mon visitors!!
Today was an awesome day...I wish everyday could be Mother's Day! The family treats me so very well. Yesterday, they came home with a box of Godiva...always a winner. I woke up this morning to Kona Coffee flavored chocolate chip pancakes with Nutella...can you stand it?? Eve made me the cutest poster ever and they gave me a cool turtle necklace. Initially this weekend, we were going to hike Koko Head Crater. Yesterday we had to go get CRH a futon, so there was no time. Today, I had wanted to go to the Farmer's Market and the beach but I thought it would be fun to do something new. Then, we got there and I saw that the steps went straight up the mountain. I have huge height issues, but I thought I might be able to manage it ok. We got about half way up and I bailed. I kept looking up thinking OMG, I'm going to have to get back down...looking down and thinking HOLY CRAP...so I pulled the Mom card and said I couldn't do it. They were all gracious and down we went...very slowly with a long line behind us. It was BEACH time afterwards. We headed to Kailua for lunch at my favorite deli and then attempted to go to the beach there, but it was super packed. I hate packed beaches immensely, so we decided to come back up to the North Shore. I often wonder why I ever leave this area...there's just no need. We have the most awesome beaches, grocery stores, shops, food...I mean what more do you need?? I do occasionally leave for work and once school starts in August I'll have to leave, but that's it. We spent 2 delightful hours out on the beach and came home to taco night! It was a great Mother's Day weekend! Hope you all had a great one too!
Someone was recently looking at a piece of furniture in our house and complimenting my work, so I think it overinflated my crafty ego. I’m trying to decorate the new house on a budget (Well, because I have to since all our money seems to go just toward the actual structure remaining over our heads.). The new, cool, hip thing is making something old new again and to use “found” items. It’s so very green. I “found” a metal dresser at a local furniture store the other day. It was a basic 5 drawer dresser, white metal that someone had painted a drippy brown with brass handles. Sounds gorgeous, right? It was every bit as horrible as you imagine, but I saw some potential in it. It was only $60 too…that didn’t hurt in the search for potential. The really cool thing about it for me…it was Made in Hawaii. I snatched it up from the nice, Asian, Jesus loving, furniture junkyard selling lady and CRH picked it up for me the next day much to his horror at the clutter of her store. He brought it home and I washed it up and took off the handles to prep it for painting. Here’s a before shot (should have left the handles on for this…but use your imagination). Thursday, I spent hours working on this…mostly due to the cleanup. CRH told me NOT to paint it outside because of our weather. He did not tell me to tarp the entire freaking house. OMG this made the biggest mess ever and I think I’m still high from the paint fumes. I sanded it some first. My sister-in-law (who could give old Martha a run for her money) told me some basic steps on how to make over this piece. I sanded as much as I could and then I spray painted it candy apple (whore) red. My plan was for it to be a crimson color to match one of the stripes in my comforter, but it turned out more fire engine red. I now lovingly refer to it as the toolbox. Does this not look exactly like your Dad’s toolbox in the garage?? I painted the handles silver because I did actually like the design of them and it was cheaper than buying new ones. Overall, I’m kind of digging it. It’s got flaws, but so do I. I think once I decorate the top, it’ll be awesome. Although now, I kind of need a new comforter for the bed to match it….hahaha! I know the blogging has slowed down a lot. We honestly haven’t been doing that much. I feel like I drive 1000 miles a day between my current job and carting Eve to Ka’a’awa everyday for school and back. We did go to Ka’ena Point last Saturday and we saw 4 monk seals, several baby albatross, and I found 2 giant cowry shells (which is cool b/c now I’ll stop coveting the neighbor’s). School ends on May 25th and we have a boatload of company coming this summer (yay!!!!)…so stay tuned for some excitement around here soon. I promise it’s coming!
My grandparents came this past week to visit. They are the most awesome people ever. My grandfather is 81 years old and my grandmother is 78 years old and the two of them can work circles around normal people...truly amazing people. Anyway, they arrived Tuesday night and I brought them home the loooong way around the island because I had to stop and pick up Eve. I kept Eve home from school on Wednesday since it's a half day anyway and we tried to go sea turtle hunting and to Waimea Falls, but it rained...so we saved that for Thursday. Friday was a Furlough Friday day here (so no school for Eve) and we spent the entire day at Papa'iloa Beach. We saw 9 sea turtles that day. I was in the ocean playing with Daddy Roy, CRH, and Eve when one of the turtles swam up in a wave RIGHT beside me. It startled me and I screamed...then I realized what it was and I took off trying to swim after him. I was swimming against the current and he has flippers...so needless to say I didn't stand a chance. Saturday, Eve had her annual hula performance at Kualoa Ranch (which was the main purpose of their visit). Eve did a really great job! They LOVED watching her perform! After her performance, we had dinner at a shrimp truck and then watched sunset here in Haleiwa. Today, we had a leisurely day here at home, went to see CRH's store, tried to go to the Hawaiian Plantation Village (only to find they are closed on Sundays), and ended up doing the Pali Lookout before taking them to the airport. It was a whirlwind trip...loved every second of it!
All this recent moving really has put a huge damper on my beach time and I've NOT liked it one bit. This morning, I decided today would be a beach day since it rained yesterday and I couldn't go...alas, it rained this AM too. Around lunchtime though, it quit and the clouds parted slightly. Eve, her new neighbor bff, and I went to Papa'iloa and saw 4 turtles out today!! The kids weren't overly into the beach, so we only stayed about an hour and a half (something that quite honestly baffles me). I have high hopes of going back tomorrow. We are settling into the new house. It's been a stressful week, but things are leveling out. Ya-Ya and Daddy Roy are coming Tuesday thru Sunday. Eve has a hula performance next Saturday, so there is some fun on the horizon!
Earlier in the year I mentioned that 2010 would be a year full of changes...I was alluding to this event, but hadn't fully come to terms with it and definitely wasn't ready to blog about it. I hope this is not how you are finding out if you are family or friends (if so, I'm truly sorry), but CRH and I are separating. We did move this past weekend to Haleiwa together in the same house. I will NOT be blogging about the details of said separation, but we are living in the same house in our own rooms and co-parenting Eve. She is aware that we are in separate rooms (obviously), but does not know that we are headed toward divorce. We will likely continue this arrangement until I finish my MSW. We are best friends and we are trying really hard to hold onto that through this...wish us luck with that.
Today is my birthday...Happy Birthday to me. It was a fairly low key day, except I got introduced to Jack freaking Johnson!!! I am a HUGE fan of his music. I worked out with my trainer today and it was a beach run day (NOT my fave...much prefer pavement) and after stretches, we looked up and Jack was on the beach with 2 of his kids. My trainer knows him, so he went over to say "Hi" and introduced me. It was freaking awesome! I didn't act like the crazed fan that I am...I maintained my cool...but in my head I was squealing! After working out, I went to meet the cable guys at the new place and then headed to pick Eve up. I've had a great day of birthday calls, texts, and FB messages. Our friends, Bruce and Amy Jo, are coming over for a spaghetti dinner tonight. Last night, CRH made me a delicious dinner since he has to close tonight. Then, it's packing time...I wish it were Sunday already and our stuff was in the new house. My brother was laughing at me today saying how I should be a pro at moving by now. I think I'm a gypsy by his standards.
I was completely unprepared for Easter this year. It just came up on me and wham! So, I crammed it all into the last few days. Thursday, I picked Eve and her friend, Mia up from school and brought them home to dye (paint) Easter eggs. Then, we met CRH at the mall after work to see the Easter bunny. Our plans that evening included Mia staying for a sleepover until Eve barfed her dinner back into her bowl in the middle of IHOP. It was one of those parenting moments where you just sit and watch, but can't really do anything. Mia is HORRIFIED by vomit, so she totally flipped herself around in the booth. It was really funny after the fact. It was scary right then though because Eve had a fever of 102. I freak when she gets a fever because the kid is never sick. Anyway, it was a short thing and she was ready Friday AM for the Girl Scout Easter Egg hunt. Friday morning most of the troop and some of their siblings came over to the house for an egg hunt and games. These kids are so cute and we had so much fun! Of course today was the big day. Eve got up at 6:45am to see what the bunny had left. She got a zhu zhu hamster, which I didn't even know about until our friend Lori mentioned it around Christmas. That's the great thing about living in the country on an island...the "in" toys don't really make it up here. Anyway, Eve had seen them at 7-11 of all places and fell in love with them. After the candy breakfast of champions, she went over to Mia's house for an Easter egg hunt. Then, she came home for lunch. CRH made us a delicious meal and we had some lovely friends join us. It was a very relaxing, fun holiday...loved it! Hope you all had a Happy Easter too!
CRH's mom, The Nanna, was here last week. We had a delightful, relaxing visit and CRH was able to be off almost the entire time she was here. She arrived Wednesday night and we sat up and talked for a long time. Thursday we tried to go to the beach after they picked Eve up from school, but it was raining so we took her over to peek at the new house. Friday they had a beach day while I worked. Saturday, we all lounged at Papa'iloa beach for hours. We saw sea turtles playing in the surf, but not any beached. Sunday, we hiked to Ka'ena Point. For some reason, this is the only day I took my camera. It was a great hike! We saw albatross, baby albatross, 2 monk seals, and several whales. The seals were pretty active and playing around. It was a nice change since we usually just watch them sleep on the sand. This is what I love about this place. I mean seriously...how freaking awesome is that? I've lived here 2 years now and I still get like a kid in a candy store anytime I see sea life. I wonder if that ever subsides? Then, Monday they had lunch with Eve at school, did some shopping, and Nanna went back to Alaska to start her move back to SC. Thanks for visiting, Nanna! Here are some pics from our hike! Our next guests, Ya-Ya and Daddy Roy, will be at the new place! Our official move date is April 10th.
"Baby" Albatross - still a pretty freaking huge bird!
Monk Seals - I actually took some better ones that day, but I love this one b/c they are "talking". According to the website about Oahu monk seals that I stalk, these guys are M&M and Ka'ena (n9 mark).
Whales - Loving the view those guys had, but would have hated (never made) the journey seeing as how I do NOT kayak.