December 2008

Monthly Archive

christmas in hawaii: part one

Posted by lynn on 24 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, travel

Pre-beach Stylin'

Lanikai Beach

While our family and friends are shivering through uncommon rain and cold on the mainland, we’re happily enjoying a mellow Kailua vacation. Melina has taken to Grandma Rapoza very well. It helps that Grandma has a big lab, Samson, that Meli adores and likes to help her feed. She’s also become an expert stair climber thanks to the small steps leading up to the front porch and down to our room.

Kai @ Lanikai

Meli @ Lanikai

We’ve had a couple beach visits and would have had more but the weather’s been off-and-on rainy or windy, which brings out the Portuguese Man o’ War (we saw one wash up the other day). Kai and Meli both love running in the waves and carrying bucket-loads of water back to a sand volcano that Daddy builds. Unfortunately for us, Melina’s still a sand eater. She also likes ocean water. Must be the salt.

Zeke & Meli, Bleachers

Kai, Bleachers

Joey’s niece Nancy and her family now live just a few blocks away. Her kids, Maya and Zeke, are close in age to Kai and Melina so we’ve been spending a lot of time with them. Kai and Maya act like old buddies. (They are, really!)

Zeke & Meli, Grandma's Yard

Kai & Melina, Honolulu Zoo

Zeke is obsessed with “Mina.” He follows her around, gives her hugs and kisses at every opportunity (as if she doesn’t get enough of that from her brother), and will even pull her picture off Granny’s wall to stare at up-close. It’s pretty cute. Maybe by the time we leave Meli will return his affections.

Other random highlights:

With Granny/Grandma

Kai & Maya with Keyboard

* A Matthew Fox (from “Lost”) sighting in Kailua town our first afternoon here.
* A visit to the Honolulu zoo.
* A trip to Ala Moana mall and visit with Santa. (Kai smiled politely. Melina screamed. The photo is fantastic.)
* Following Barack Obama’s own Kailua holiday on the local news. We drove up to the private lane where he’s staying the other day, but only saw clusters of American flags and Honolulu police cars as evidence he was staying nearby.
* And of course, oodles of unscheduled time!

The fun continues so we’ll have much more to come. In the meantime, happy Christmas Eve to all!

hearts and minds

Posted by lynn on 15 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: kai, melina

Crib Kids

Over six months ago our friend Kitt commented, “Kai’s all head. Melina’s all heart.” Of course it’s not completely true. (Kai is also full of hugs and kisses and Meli curiosity about how the world works). Yet it does follow that, for example, when they want something Kai’s first instinct is to try to use his own form of logic, whereas Melina’s will pull you in with a cheeky, doe-eyed smile. And I imagine she’ll still ask with her eyes over her words even when she’s five. Time will tell.

Meli @ Tilden Carousel

Melina is growing more aware of her social surroundings by the minute. She’s started to visibly miss any of her immediate family members when we’re gone outside of routine. (In other words, it’s usually ok when Daddy leaves for work in the morning, but Thor cat better not walk out that front door with him.)

Having Kai be an intermittent part of her routine sometimes throws her. Some days we pick him up after daycare, and some days we head straight home. I don’t dare drive by Kai’s school after picking up Jelly Bean unless we’re actually going to get Kai. Kai @ Tilden CarouselShe gets pretty upset when we don’t stop.

On days he’s not with us, she often seeks out pictures of him around the house before bedtime, or points at his dining room chair next to hers as we eat. Often she says “bo bo” (bro bro) and points to the door. If we ask “Is Kai outside?” she nods her head. It makes sense: Usually the last she sees him is walking out the door, either with his mom or to catch the school bus.

My Hands Full @ Tilden Carousel

I’m sure soon she’ll catch on to the sporadic routine of Kai being with us (there is a routine, but not one easily understood by a toddler), and in the end they may end up even closer thanks to forced distance every few days. What sibling doesn’t crave that from time to time?

Luckily the two kiddos will get to spend 12 straight days together starting Wednesday, when the four of us head to Kailua for Christmas with the Rapoza ohana, island style.

Happy holidays, everyone!

happy birthday and a half

Posted by lynn on 03 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: melina


Turkey Day

18 months! A two-day belated happy birthday to me and happy half-birthday to our little girl. The biggest change for me this past month is realizing how little baby Meli has left in her. Other moms at the park will say to their toddlers, “Oh, this little girl looks about your age” and I’ll think, “but that kid’s a KID!” Inevitably, the tot in question is just a few months older than Melina.

The biggest changes for Melina all have to do with independence. Even Teacher Mei at daycare likes to comment, “She’s very independent, that one.” Kiss (Meli & Suli)Sharing (Meli & Suli)Suddenly I’m not always the coolest thing ever – until another kid, even Kai, tries to sit on my lap.

She’s talking up a storm (mostly single words, and she now spontaneously says “PEEzh” when she wants something), opens inside doors all by herself (good for us since she loves to close them), and has thrown a single full-blown tantrum (when we cut off her teeth-brushing after 10 minutes of what was really water play).

Post-Thanksgiving Breakfast


The one tantrum aside, Meli does a great job brushing her teeth all by herself, including bringing the stool to the sink and putting her toothbrush back when she’s done. She also puts her clothes in the hamper before bath and sometimes puts any clothes she finds on the ground in the hamper. If she finds a blankie in there, though, she pulls it out.

With Bro Bro

18 Month Doc's Appointment

Melina is fascinated with the straps on her table booster and shopping carts. She’s determined to figure out how to latch them together (she sometimes succeeds) and pull them apart (she doesn’t get the squeezing part just yet). She still adores stickers, dogs, cats, and her brother, and had a blast keeping up with her twin 2.5-year-old cousins over Thanksgiving weekend.


I Found Dada's Recycled Bottle

She’s also obsessed with feeding Thor cat and giving him kisses when it’s time to say bye bye.

One thing hasn’t changed a bit: Our little girl LOVES to explore, and if she’s really interested in something will stick with it for a while. The other day she spent a good 20 minutes pulling every last box of pasta, bag of rice, and can of beans out of our corner kitchen cabinet. Mess? Who cares. Yay for independent play!