Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Part time party

An old picture of the hospital.  Patients call the new 6-story building the "nice" part of the hospital and always lament when they have to come to the "old" part of the hospital, where I work.

I love working part time.

When I think back to when I just had one child, the prevailing emotional memory is B O R E D O M.  Sure I loved my kid and found joy in taking care of her, but seriously, you can't tell me that playing Ele-fun is intellectually stimulating.

Then I got a job, a full-time job.  And, I was no longer bored.

Full time is 3 12-hour shifts per week.  Plus a staff meeting once a month, plus I do some monthly audits, plus whatever other training or meetings I have to go to.  This was all manageable, kind of, until Lillian started 1st grade.

 I sent an email to Mrs. B like the 3rd day of school and said that Lillian was having a really hard time focusing doing her homework (suggested time to spend on homework: 30 minutes.  Time Lillian was taking: 1.5-2 hours) and did she have any suggestions.

She replied something like "Oh, it's just the beginning of school, she'll settle down and work it out."

A few days later, I got another email. "Yeah... so... Lillian is having a hard time..."  This was while we were in Hawaii, and the next day was back-to-school night.  My mother went and told Mrs. B to send home any work Lillian didn't complete in school.  And she did.

Let's just say that I started to long for the days of 1.5 hours of homework each day.  Tyler doesn't get home until 5 and then has to feed the kids, and then start homework and somehow have the kids in bed by 8 so they won't be dead the next day.

It went from manageable to overwhelming very quickly.  I scaled back to 2 days a week and it's pretty wonderful.  Turns out, subtracting 24 hours from my week helps me to strike the perfect balance between being busy but still having enough time to relax and read or watch season 2 of Sherlock on Netflix.  I feel good about my work commitments and I feel like I get to spend a lot of time with my kids.

I always thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Island, Day 2

Half-Marathon Day!  First thing, you want to know how we did:

2:34:32, 11:48 pace
131 out of 170 total
71 out of 93 females 
11 out of 17 20-29 year old females

This means that I got beat by a who bunch of old ladies.  I was feeling pretty good about my time until I realized that.  I also got beat badly by a PREGNANT lady who was probably like 6 months along.  My first thought is, "good for her! Staying active while pregnant!" Then my second thought is, "geez lady, you're making the rest of us look bad for sitting on the couch for 9 months."

2:35:46, 11:54 pace
135 out of 170 total
62 out of 77 males
11 of 13 31-39 year old males

This means that I beat Tyler.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I often complain that Tyler is just in shape.  He doesn't have to work out, he doesn't have to watch what he eats- he's not skinny because he doesn't eat... trust me, we'll buy ice cream, and I'll have my one bowl a week, and then the next week, when I want to have another one, the HALF GALLON will be gone.  He plays soccer just fine when he hasn't run at all since last soccer season... last year.  He can lift heavy things, go up and over the fence in our backyard like it's nothing, and he's really tall... just to spite me.

So, I'm really glad that I beat him, but I'm really annoyed that it took me 5 months of dedicated training in order to be just barely faster than what he can do when he just rolls out of bed.

However, Tyler was really sore afterward, and kind of cranky about it.  All he wanted to do was sleep all afternoon but we'd already checked out of the B&B.  Thanks to all that training, I ate a banana and then was fine.

I tried to find us a beach to relax on for the rest of the afternoon until our flight to Oahu that evening.  We got lost for a bit and found this park with this huge banyan tree.  I was smiling and smiling for this picture, and Tyler was taking forever trying to get the whole tree in the shot.  As soon as I stopped smiling to ask what the heck he was doing, he took the picture.

We couldn't find the beach we wanted, (in fact, I'm fairly sure the big island is a little short on so-called beaches.  I didn't see a speck of sand the whole time we were there.  Maybe they're over by Kona?) so we decided to go to an ocean pool.  It said that it was heated with geothermal energy from the volcanoes, which sounded neat.  Plus, it was a pretty drive to get out there.

Turns out an ocean pool looks like this.  It had sides and a bottom that were concrete, but it opened to the ocean at the top.  I braced myself for the stinging salt water because I was all chaffed from the run, and aside from that I thought it was quite pleasant and warm.

Tyler... remember how I said he was cranky?  He didn't want to get in, I told him I felt lame swimming around by myself, so he got in and sulked.  He complained that the fish were nipping at his legs, but I think he just got spooked by this sign.  He got out, I floated around for a while, we tried to nap on the grass, but I wasn't tired and there was a birthday party with screeching children nearby.  We showered at the spigot and headed out to the airport.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Big Island Day 1

We started out our trip on the Big Island.  We stayed at Hale Kai Hawaii Bed and Breakfast, which I would totally recommend.  Our hosts were gracious, the room was comfortable, and the breakfast was delicious.  Plus, we saw spinning dolphins while we ate.

I didn't get a video, but if you go to the 1 minute mark, that is totally what they were doing.

We woke up at about 3 AM in part because of the time change and in part because of the Coqui frogs that make a whistling sound which sounds remarkably like the Old Spice jingle when you are half asleep.  We laid around until about 5, at which time we decided to do some exploring.  We drove down this scenic by-way and my eyes were burning from all the green.  I kept saying, "imagine! a place where things just grow!  all by themselves!"

We hiked down to this little cove which had black slickery rocks instead of sand.  It was really beautiful and romantic... watching the sunrise on a beautiful deserted beach, until it started pouring rain.  We did not bring an umbrella because I'm not sure we even own one and also, in Arizona, we don't mess around with umbrellas.  We get the whole storm over with in 15 minutes.  None of this misting business or raining on and off for an entire day.  So, even if you didn't want to wait until it blows itself out and you did go out with an umbrella, it would be ripped from your hands and/or comically blow inside out.  The point is that we were soaked.

After we hiked out of the cove, we drove out to Akaka Falls, a National Park which doesn't "open" until 9.  Being an obsessive rule follower, I debated long and hard about jumping the fence to get in.  Being that it was only 7, I finally decided that it wasn't likely that we'd get caught and yelled at.

And then it rained on us some more.

We stopped at a little bakery and got some pastries made out of Hawaiian bread.  Mmmmm.

After we dried out a little, we headed down to Volcano National Park, where we learned all about Madame Pele and her fickle ways.  This is a caldera, formed when a volcano collapses in on itself.  Madame Pele was not feeling very angry, so she was just steaming a little.

We hiked through a lava tube, which was pretty cool.  Our hosts told us that you can easily jump the fence at the end and continue exploring (with the help of a flashlight) so we borrowed one... but it was out of batteries.

The active lava was a 6 mile hike across these lava flows.  It would have been cool, but it also would have taken forever.

This happened in 2003.  Tyler thought it was funny, so he took a picture.

Right after this, we went to the village of Volcano to eat some lunch.  We found a restaurant called Thai Thai and oh. my.  It was so delicious... even the waitress was visibly surprised at how greedily we stuffed our faces.  Turns out, fresh pineapple is really, really yummy.

Once we got back to Hilo and cleaned up a little bit, we tried walking around in the downtown area.  Turns out, Hilo is not much for the nightlife.  All the shops were closed, the few restaurants that were open were kind of slim pickin's and it was only around 7 or 8 on a Friday.  Oh well.

I was kind of amazed at how much vacation you can pack in when you don't have to pause for naps or potty breaks or hiking at 1 mile per hour because the kids don't want to get in the backpacks.  Thanks again, Mom for watching the kids!
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