Saturday, September 30, 2006


Is what they call they grey cloud that hangs over Kona and it's higher neighbors.
You will not learn this from the tourist bureau of Hawaii, that is for sure.
So, what is VOG? Well, it's like fog, or smog, but it's from the volcano, so they call it VOG.
Apparently, when the volcano is spewing HOT LAVA into the ocean in great quantities, the VOG gets worse. Like now.
When the HOT LAVA hits the ocean water, apparently clouds of sulfur dioxide and other gasses are formed. These gasses are carried up by the tradewinds and just sit there on the mountain. So after about 1pm there is NO SUN and no sign of sun.
I am not a fan of Kona.

Many more details to come, but here's a synopsis:
Dh's computer got terribly disabling worm and I could not blog.
I did turn 40.
Aloha Airlines cancelled (yes, cancelled) our flight and we sqeezed two more days out of the vacation. So I am not going to waste my last 12 hours in Hawaii blogging about it. That can wait for home.

But blogging about VOG? That could not wait.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm so relaxed, I have to remind myself to breathe!

I don't think I have ever spent five days in any one location and garnered as much slowed down relaxation time as I have here.
In three hours we must be moved out of this house for the next lucky people who stumbled upon paradise available for rent. We are then headed to the Kona side for the rest of our vacation - I am sad to leave the Puna district, for it feels like Hanalei does to me - home. A stack of real estate magazines and good intentions shall accompany us home.
The energy on this island is pulsing, palpable. Perhaps because of the new life being created by Pele as we speak. Suddenly, looking around at the lava-covered devastation, the life force emanating from the volcano is just as obvious as the destruction force. Land is being born here as I type.
I don't think we will make it to the area where we can see 'HOT LAVA' (scream this phrase for the full Supergirl effect) as we would be toting two kiddos over hot black a'a for two miles each way, but our 'journey to the other side' will include adventures and exploring, since it is all new to us.
Now, I must gather up the diapers, bathing suits, snacks and beach towels and cram it all into the rental car that will take us through our next adventures and on to the next house - the one with a pool and a tiki bar! Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Honu World

The air here is supposed to be some of the cleanest air around the globe; 'virgin air', which has wafted over the landless Pacific for weeks. Mmmm....a deep breath feels so good here!
From this house I can see and hear the crashing sea, but it can not reach me. Even from the lagoon that borders the house and the adjacent champagne pond, the waves cannot reach us. The water in the pond is about 90 degrees - the water in our private snorkeling lagoon is about 94 degrees. The children are quite happy with this arrangement, taking after their hotspring-seeking parents. Aahhhhh...I love my kids!
This morning our whole family swam in the pond with the turtles. I counted six after just one lap around the pond. I was watching Supergirl snorkel around, flush with the excitement of being outnumbered by turtles, and felt a bit sad for Bubbles floating around in his baby float unable to see the turtle party going on underneath his feet. Just then, Grandpa Turtle popped up to take a breath not two feet away from the lucky baby, who saw, splashed and clapped in appreciation for the show.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Somebody pinch me

I woke this morning to the sunrise on the east side of the island of Hawaii. My son was sleeping next to my daughter, who had climbed in to join the family some hours earlier. The sunrise silhouetted their faces - they have the exact same profile, in two different sizes.

Supergirl woke and nuzzled into the head of her brother.
"Mama, the baby smells so good! He smells like very clean pancakes and syrup!" she exclaimed.
I sniffed; she was right!

Then we went out to swim with sea turtles in our back'yard'.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Today, for my brother Paul

Happy birthday to you
I'm younger than you
Soon I'll be forty
But you're forty TWO!

Before I Blogged - 20 Things

One year ago I:
  1. had no blog
  2. was pregnant
  3. was feeling crazy due to hormones
  4. didn't know Grace Davis
  5. didn't know that grace would reconnect me with lost friend Jen
  6. was the parent of one live child
  7. hated brussel sprouts
  8. thought I couldn't help victims of Hurricane Katrina because I was on bedrest
  9. was reading a book a day
  10. couldn't see my feet
  11. wanted to sue my dead son's pediatrician
  12. really wanted to drink a full glass of wine
  13. couldn't decide what to do with Elijah's ashes
  14. wanted to name my unborn son Malachi
  15. predicted that I would give birth to my son on Halloween
  16. had a lot of good friends
  17. was prone to profoundly sad spells
  18. wanted to go to Hawaii for my 40th birthday
  19. lodged a complaint about hospital food
  20. wondered if my baby would be allright

Today, I:
  1. have a blog
  2. am not pregnant
  3. am feeling crazy due to sleep deprivation
  4. know and love Grace Davis
  5. am reconnected with Jen
  6. am the parent of two live children
  7. still hate brussel sprouts
  8. did help with Grace's Katrina Relief Site while on bedrest
  9. average about a book a week
  10. can see my feet
  11. have decided not to sue anyone at all
  12. will have 2 glasses of wine
  13. still haven't done anything with Elijah's ashes
  14. have a son who is not named Malachi
  15. will celebrate his first birthday on Nov 1st, the day after Halloween
  16. have even more good friends
  17. am prone to about half as many profoundly sad spells as a year ago
  18. am packing to go to Hawaii for my birthday
  19. lodged a complaint about the ASSHAT CHP officer
  20. have the most awesomest baby in the world

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thanks for the propaganda, Scholastic!

How many of you have ordered the complete set of Curious George for only $10.95? Or a great bug encylcopedia complete with stickers and bug cage? All delivered conveniently to your school, sent home in your child's backpack, having magically transformed from the check that was paper-clipped to the newsprint order form which was sent to school in your child's backpack just two weeks before!
Wow! And have you seen the Bookfairs that they put on? Nice! They set up a display that any self-respecting five year old would find a justifiable situation for throwing a fit if you do not buy her the polar bear book that comes with that cute little stuffed polar bear right now.
They have made a bad corporate decision and they must have a consequence. Tomorrow's a new day, Scholastic. You can make better choices then. But today you must have a time out. You are not a bad company, but your behavior has been very very bad.
You should not buy into the GOP 9/11 re-writing history for the sake of perpetual war dogma, and you definitely should not be trying to sell it to my children.
Since I get all emotional about this sort of stuff (WHAT? YOU WANNA FEED PROPAGANDA TO MY FIVE YEAR OLD? IN SCHOOL? LET'S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE. RIGHT NOW - YOU AND ME, I MEAN IT!), I will spare you wading through my outbursts, and just go directly to the most succinct sources yourself.
The Huffington Post
Daily Kos
Think Progress

UPDATE: Yeah, Scholastic! I knew you were educable! You made the right decision! Good Job! I will now give you a cookie!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things I never want to hear again:

From the yoga instructor at the studio who was saying goodbye to one of his clients after their class and assaulted my infant's delicate ears and my digestion all at once:
"You were just oozing love all over the room today."
Said oozer, gazed back glassily and oozed a bit more. But the yogi didn't know when to quit.
"Ten gallon buckets of love."
(you may now hurl)

From my Dh, who was trusted and left with our precious mobile infant who subsists only on breastmilk and cheerios and given instructions to give him soymilk in a bottle should he raise a ruckus and then asked by me, hours later, WHAT ON EARTH WAS IN HIS BOTTLE?:
"Yes that is the chocolate rice milk that was in the refrigerator that Supergirl drinks. I couldn't find the other stuff."
("But he loved it!")

From my dear daughter:
"I will only_A__ if YOU _B__!"
(feel free to fill in the ___s; A should have something to do with behavior, and B should have something to do with giving sugar)

From the steroid-pumped pimply CHP who pulled me over today for a seatbelt infraction when I had removed my arm from the shoulder strap momentarily to reach back to Supergirl and NOT SMACK HER for undoing her upper clip but attempt to do it for her and (realizing what a stupid idea that was) pull into the next parking lot to find him pulled in behind me and then when I attempted to remove my screaming infant from the back seat of the 100 degree car:
"You stay put right there, ma'am."

Friday, September 01, 2006


Dear Little E (aka Bubbles, aka Mangler, aka Sweetboy);
You are a big shot. Fat cat, big cheese, top dog, da kine.
You rock, and you know it.
For some time now, you've been able to work a room. You have piercing baby blues that beg to make contact - and you know how to use them, my boy.
Every day you begin by grinning. Every day. Usually followed by the giggle. One single, cheerful 'geh', that knowing look you flash me while your eyebrows are still laughing - our private joke. When you crawl up on my chest and try to head-butt me, I usually try and distract you with offers of more milk. "More nursing? Nurse again?" I ask hopefully. You know that word to be certain, as many have paid surprise witness to someone else offering to nurse, and at the sound of the 'nur' you are tossing backward in my arms and scrappling for the entry to the nipples. Darn clothes get in the way! When your belly is full and no amount of morning milk can placate you, you usually let out a few good rips, more grins, then it's up-and-at-em. Unless I want to get head butted again.
You love the great outdoors. You love to swing, hang out in the outdoor playpen, take walks in the bjorn (almost graduated to the backpack, mr. longlegs!), touch plants-trees-dirt, bounce on the trampoline, take secretive rides with Daddy on the zipline (thankyou, mr. babybjorn), and bang on the door to outside when you feel inclined to see and be in it. Did I mention that you rock?
You have a...well...precocious and testosterone-fueled sense of humor. One morning (when you were just nine months old, which makes what I am about to say even more remarkable), you let out this huge teenager fart, looked right up at me with a grin, and gave me a huge raspberry, thus showing me that you did realize exactly what had just occurred. Impressive.
This has been a very big month for you - first you finally mastered sitting without falling, but then, only days later, crawling quickly smashed any notion you might have had of sitting around. Within days of discovering you could crawl and thrash your way across a room, you also realized that you could use your arms to achieve a vertical position - what we bipods call standing. The first time you did this, I threw up my arms and shouted "YAY!", and the next ten times you pulled yourself up, you would toss your arms in the air, yell, "Yaaaaaaayyy", and promptly lose your balance and plop to the floor. Then (and this is my favorite part) you would look around the room as if you wondered who pushed you! (I did not)
Earlier this month, at the beginning of our Seattle sojourn, you had just begun to crawl. Julia very accurately described your crawling ballet as resembling one of those sticky things that you throw on a window and then watch as it chaotically makes its way down to the bottom. But by the time we left you were showing off with a quick scoot, able to hold on to a table with only one hand while standing. One friend remarked that it wouldn't be long until you started walking, the way you keep practicing that balance skill! Please forgive my gut third-kid-reaction: "Not if we keep pushing him over!" You're just SO active...let's stick with crawling for a while, shall we?
At some point this month I finally figured out that you just hate baby food, and yes, I promise I will stop buying it, opening it, feigning mock excitement about it, sniffing it, and shoving it into your unwilling mouth. And from now until you deem it unpalatable, I promise to mix everything that I do try and feed you with your favorite food, pesto. Mashed potatoes and avocado? Both duds -until mixed with pesto. Basil will do in a pinch, but you prefer the cilantro variety - the more garlic, the better. I will keep trying with the bananas and oatmeal in the mornings though, darling. Mama can't take your garlic breath too early in the morning.
Your vocabulary is growing. I really have to stop saying "Oh shit" when you wake up (every one to two hours!), or it is sure to be your first phrase. Since you are still on single word utterances, I consider myself safe for a limited time - but On Notice.
So, you say: Yay!, Dada, 'at (cat - yes it really is, since you say it whenever the 'at comes in the 'oom!), kak-kak (when looking at the duck), hey!, mmmmmmm (yum), and...(drumroll, please)...MAMA! Oh yes, you SAY it! Not just calling me 'milk' as you have been signing at me for months (my name is not milk), but MAMA! Thankyou, sweetbabyboy. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!
You, my dear one, are everything we needed - and we didn't even know what we needed. Because you are so fabulous, I will save my little tiny rant about how you never ever sleep through the night and how I am so sleep deprived right now, I am perfect cult material. For another day.
Because today I celebrate you.
Love, Mama

(editor's note: yes, they really are that blue.)