Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hello World! This is Pookie!

I am writing about my trip to Hawaii.  My Make A Wish trip!  Mom's always talking about her favorites, but since she's on the phone planning Halloween parties at school, I snuck into the reading room to tell you mine.

My first favorite part was swimming with dolphins at Sea Life Park.  I got a kiss and a belly ride.  I also got to tickle it.  I got to hold up its talk, and while the trainer was showing us the parts that make it a girl, the dolphin pooped.  Mom's dolphin pooped, too.  She says swimming in dolphin poop was the grossest part of the trip.  (I bet she didn't tell you that!)  I thought it was kind of weird seeing a dolphin poop!

I also liked the luau because I got to go up on stage with these pompom thingies.  Someone in the audience cried, "Shake it little girl!"  And the guy that picked me to dance on stage gave me an autograph.  I got to dance with him.

I also liked the helicopter ride.  We got to fly over the whole island of Oahu.  We even got to see Rabbit Island.  And we saw where they are building a new Walt Disney Resort!  When Sashi fell asleep on the helicopter, Mom said it was the most expensive nap she'd ever taken.

I also liked the plane ride home from Oahu to Chicago because the stewardess let me go up in the kitchen.  And they even let me pick up trash at the end of the time with them, but I was asleep.  They gave us snacks and first class ice cream!  I got to call the pilot to see if he wanted his dessert from the kitchen.  I called and said, "Hi!  I'm the new flight attendant.  Would you like your dessert?"  He was like "Sure!"  So I said "OK!"  The stewardess took ice cream out of the ice cabinet (because they don't have freezers) and brang him his ice cream.

OK.  I probably better go now.  Mom just got off the phone and might be headed here. 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hawaii {Top} Five-o

Tired girl gets off the plane after 9 long hours...

Wow!  Thank you for your kind words and anticipation of our stories and photos!  (I'm feeling a lot of pressure on the photo front.  Viewing and reviewing, I'm trying to decide what makes "the readers' cut!"  Yikes!)

In the highlight reel of our Hawaii week, I think in terms of five main moments. 

First and foremost, surfing.

Pookie and T were both going to swim with dolphins.  Worrying that Meiners would feel neglected, we decided to take him to surf lessons.  The Man came upon Hans Hedemann Surf School right on Waikiki Beach.  I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing they are.  Actually, I'm going to tell you. 

They. Are. Amazing. 

We walked in to the surf shop Monday afternoon with 6 year-old Meinie quietly nervous but thrilled and in tow.  There was hustling and bustling and a bit of a wait when finally the woman behind the counter looked me straight in the eye and said, "I see your Make A Wish pin on you and your husband.  Is Meiners the wish kid?"  No, I pointed to Pookie.  "My manager said he'll take both children out."  The store manager - also her husband - James Donnelly - most definitely did take both kids out.  After letting Meiners, I mean, Surf Instructor Mein-Chow, show the class how to catch a wave with style and penache in the surf shop, he gave both Meiners AND Pookie the surfing time of their lives on the waves!

Surf Boy with James Donnelly

Surfer Girl
James told Meiners he was hired and to come back the next day @0830 to teach the next lesson.  We did return the next morning - just to make arrangements for another lesson, but when we left to head on to Sea Life Park for dolphin swimming, Meinie burst into tears.  He truly wanted to stay the day there with James and teach the tourists how to surf.  We finally gave him the chance to surf again Thursday, and James further rose to superhero status by bringing Meiners back to the front of the class - and then taking all three big kids out for almost 3 hours, on a one-hour surf lesson dime.  He even tried to take Sashi - who stood on the pier singing love songs to "her James."  But, she went mute when he offered her the board, so off he went with the others instead.  Poor girl.  Would've made for some pretty fabulous photos.

T & Pooks looking stellar!

She still gets the love
 I will refer people to Hans Hedemann and to James Donnelly @ Waikiki from here to the moon and back.  They were not only generous to us, but James as an instructor understood who was timid and who was able to go out to bigger waves.  He told the kids great {age-appropriate} surf jokes perfect for Halloween!  He made surfing incredibly fun - and looked like he was having just as much fun as the kids were.  The whole experience was incredible!

In the highlight reel of my Hawaii, Surfing is Hawaii.

Come back tomorrow to see Hawaii Five-2... 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Parked" Back @ Home

Hey Hey all you blog fans! 

Or should I say "ALOHA!"

The blog is back up and running and have I got a smorgasbord of photos for you this week! 

Or should I say a "Luau" of photos?

Our family just returned from Pookie's Make A Wish trip to Hawaii!  I don't even know where to begin.  From the humble gratitude we have towards Make A Wish for giving Pooks and all of us this trip to the truly phenomenal memories we made to the absolute enormity of the task of now documenting our experiences in print...Can I just tell you that I cried and cried and ... cried ... yesterday?  The day we came home. 
From Paradise!

This experience is one we will never forget ~ and truly, truly we appreciate Make A Wish and their sponsors (Applebee's!) for making it happen!  We're not a family who defines itself by a child's life-threatening medical condition ~ there is so much more to living than that.  But it does exist.  And without defining, it does shape us.  We were finding outlets in airports for lung meds and mixing heart medicines on the plane before 'bedtime' and all the things we just do because it's what we do.  Not who we are, but what we do.  Because we have to.  Because her life is precious.  Because there is no alternative. 
But this trip...

This trip....Meant everything.
And I'll tell you about it starting tomorrow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

In an old box of photos

I have more pictures to share  :)  . This one is obviously around Halloween in high school - and I am sporting my brother's HapKiDo uniform (that he wore when he was 12).  This photo just makes me laugh.  And cry a little, because I don't even remember it.  Like, at all.


I guess I really am getting old.


Last Friday, my mom and I got together to go through some photos that she has to decide whether to keep or to throw away.  Our intentions started out pure.  But then we (OK, I) got entangled with all the memories and the stories she was able to share about even long-lost-distant-to-the-beginning-of-time relatives that I found enlightening and self-defining.  And we saw how time has damaged the photos, even the ones stored so deeply and eternally between the pages of dark books in dark boxes in dark closets, that we were taken in a whole new direction.

***whisper:  Save the photos.  Save the world.***

As a photographer, I have made a point to take fewer pretty pictures of just landscapes and more pictures of people in the landscapes.  And everyday landscapes, too - like the kitchen and the street we live on.  It's amazing how much it means to me now to have a photo that shows the kitchen in the apartment we lived in while I was in high school.  I remember countless hours at the sink washing dishes while the phone was tucked between my ear and my shoulder, talking to Cherrie or to Jim - or fighting with Cherrie over Jim (Oops.  Daughters, never fight over a boy.  The end.)  I realize I really do need this link to my past.  And my kids do, too.  And one day it all may be lost. 

We fought over more than boys - Here's a pillow fight @ The Renaissance Festival.  Right after this, Cherrie smacked me right up side the head and I fell plumb off that log.  Good Times.  Good Times.  :)

Every school year, I have a goal.  Last year - organize the house.  This year - organize the photos.

What about you?  Do you have old photos sitting in a box?  (And let's be honest here.  Now they're all sitting in my digital box - perhaps even worse than the dark box in the corner!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Photo Post

Because pictures are worth a thousand words (and because I still like to talk):

Mr T demonstrates his new skill
Both Mr T and Pookie have taken up playing the violin ~ and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Meiners is back on the soccer field
Making lots of great improvements.  He thinks he'd like to continue with indoor soccer rather than trying basketball this winter.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.

Li'l Roo plays Peekaboo!
We sure do love hanging out with this little guy.  On Friday, Sashi and I got to take him to the zoo for the day!  Thanks Auntie S!

A Mid-Day Tea Party
Sashi likes to play solo in her room nowadays.  And most of the time I let her.  Because there's little time in her life when she has to be alone, and I think it's good to learn to be comfy in your own skin.  This day, though, I couldn't help but join the party.

No words

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