Friday, February 29, 2008

Putting The Grand In Grandparents

My parents flew out for a visit earlier this month. Even though my Mom flew over with us to help out when we made The Big Move last July, this was the first visit where they were able to see what our new life in Hawaii looks like now that all the furniture is in place, the artwork and photos are hung on the wall, the kids are enrolled in school and sports, and I've finally put all my pictures into my scrapbooks.

No, wait -- that last one still hasn't happened. Wishful thinking.

But you get the idea. And I have to say I think they liked what they saw.

The kids were so happy to see their Grandma and Opa -- and not just because they arrived with two completely full suitcases of gifts, either. My parents, grateful to finally be able to flex their Grandparent muscles after seven months of separation, spent most of their time playing London Bridge, giving horsey rides, flying airplanes, and reading stories.

John and I kept busy during their visit, too, taking full advantage of the rare opportunity for FREE BABYSITTING. We went out on lots of dinner dates, rocked our socks off at The Police concert, and even went surfing together in front of Diamondhead in East Waikiki. (OK, truth be told, John surfed and I paddled around for two hours, a little more than slightly intimidated by the shallow rocky bottom underneath me and the six years since I was last on my surfboard.)

As one of his belated Christmas gifts, we rented Dad a BMW motorcycle for the day so he could check out the rest of the island. He made sure to give exhilarating albeit low-gear rides to interested five-year-old riders, and allowed not-at-all-interested, two-year-old onlookers the opportunity to just pose for a photo with the engine off.

We went to Chinatown, where Dad had his first taste of dim sum and got friendly with a flounder, whom he invited over for dinner that night.

We paid a visit to Sea Life Park, Oahu's charming little version of San Diego's Sea World.

And, of course, there was much soccer. (With the cutest referee, by the way.)

Bottom line:
It was a great visit.

The grandparents need to come more often and stay longer when they do.

The end.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

They Totally Know The Difference Already

Karin: "Finn, as soon as you're done we've got to start working on your reading homework."

Finn: "But I still need my dessert!"

John, who just finished making the kids homemade banana-blackberry smoothies after dinner: "You're drinking your dessert."

Finn: "But this is good [for me] dessert. I need a BAD dessert."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Girls Gone Aloha

Cari and Daisy flew out for a lovely, girls-only visit at the beginning of February. The weather was dodgy -- the rain followed us almost wherever we went -- but during the sporadic moments of sunshine we managed to hit some of the top Oahu beach spots, including Hanauma Bay and Lanikai Beach.

Plus, there was much goofing around at home, including lots of Ring Around the Rosie and even a birthday party for both Daisy (7) and John (not 7 by a long shot).

On the morning of their last day here, after experiencing a whirlwind, four-day tour of our new life in Hawaii that among the more glamorous stops included a sobering sample of downtown Honolulu traffic, AYSO soccer games viewed from under the cover of umbrellas, and even trips to Costco, Cari said something that meant so much to me, a delightful non sequitur that sounded like the final judgment on an argument she had been having in her head for quite some time:

"Fine, then. I don't want you guys to come back to San Clemente if you're so happy here."

We miss them already.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

She Picked Them All Out By Herself

We've had company for most of the last month, so I have many photos and stories to share.

But first, an injection of cuteness to distract you as I get myself organized.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Everyone's Favorite 80-Year-Old Kindergartener

Finney's school recently held a celebrity dress-up day, where the students were encouraged to come to school dressed as a celebrity. But when I asked Finney who he wanted to be, he looked confused.

"Do you know what a celebrity is?" I asked.


(We got him out of Southern California just in time, folks -- just in time.)

When I explained that it was someone recognizable, someone who excelled in their field, like music, cooking, acting or sports, he jumped right on the sports ticket.

"I want to be a sports celebrity!"

He couldn't think of a single celebrity sportsperson, however, since he's not that kind of kid. Yet. Not into basketball, not into football, not into soccer (other than his own games), and only marginally interested in baseball.

(Ask him to tell you about any of the peripheral characters in Star Wars or Spiderman, however, and you'll get an earful. And an invitation to duel with plastic lightsabers. Consider yourself warned.)

But where there's a will there's a way, and the boy got his wish.

The one sports figure he knew? The one he's known since birth?

Why, the Dodgers' own Vin Scully, of course!

Check out his awesome broadcaster blazer and his kickin' press pass, which he kept around his neck in case anyone here in Hawaii wasn't quite sure who in the heck he was.

(By the way, there were plenty of those folks.)

Epilogue: After this photoshoot, he was bum rushed by a zealous female fan who mistook him for Bob Barker and smothered him with kisses.

I guess it's true that even celebrities have it tough, sometimes.