Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New bling

I'm going through that stage of pregnancy that is causing me to become a bit, er... gassy. So Jason gave me a necklace he made out of a can of air freshener. What a considerate husband!

Relaxation, Hawaii style

Jason has become good friends with a guy that he works with, Francis. Francis is a born and bred Hawaiian, as is his wife, Kim. Francis's family has a house on Sunset Beach (up on the North Shore), and the house is literally on the beach. You walk out the back door and through a gap in the hedges and you are on the beach. Francis and his family invited us up there for a barbecue on Sunday night. We had Hawaiian barbecue, played with Francis's kids in the water, watched the sunset, and hung out on the beach in front of a huge bonfire. Not a bad way to spend a balmy summer evening.

Francis mans the grill

Sunset at Sunset Beach

Friday, May 25, 2007

I see dead people

I've read that pregnancy can bring on crazy dreams. I have pretty insane dreams anyway, but in the last week, I've dreamt three different times about childhood friends of mine who are dead. One died in a car accident and one in a plane crash. But in my dreams they're alive and just hanging around, doing whatever I happen to be doing in the dream (at a party, for example, or riding in the car). In the dreams, I'm aware of the fact that they are dead and aren't supposed to be there, but I don't say anything to them about it. And then I wake up very disturbed and sad. I keep waiting for a dream about Kristin, but it hasn't happened yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Virtual book club

I've added a new feature to the blog. On the right side of the page, there's a list of books I'm reading. I did this because I really miss my book club. Kathleen and Mindy and I started it about 6 years ago, and we would alternate fiction and nonfiction. We read some great stuff, met some great women, and had some great discussions. So if anyone wants to email or call to talk about books, or suggest a good read, please do.

Tables turned

Last weekend we went to a new baby product expo in Honolulu. At one of the booths there was a prosthetic pregnancy belly for men to try on so they could get a sense of what it was like to carry around a big belly. So here's Jason at 7 months, and me at 17 weeks, belly to belly:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Family tradition

We're at the point in my pregnancy where we're thinking about names. We've actually had first names for a boy or girl picked out for a long time, so there hasn't really been any debate about that. But we wanted a cool middle name, too. My dad is a great student of military history, and my brother Josh's middle name is Wingate, after Orde Wingate, a British major general who was instrumental in the creation of the State of Israel. So Jason and I were thinking about choosing a middle name for Zeke that reflected both Jason's Australian heritage and my Jewish ancestry. So I asked my dad. And it turns out, John Monash was a great Australian war hero during World War I, fought at Gallipoli and all that, was a tremendous civil engineer, and he was Jewish. There's even a univeristy named after him. So we can name our boy Ezekiel Monash. Fucking awesome.
It's all starting to feel more real, this whole baby thing. Next week I've got an appointment to tour a daycare/preschool center. I'm on waiting lists for others. I've already received samples of formula and baby gifts from friends. Holy crap, I'm going to be a mommy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A new monkey in the family

Today my sister-in-law Lori is having another baby. Hazel, welcome to the world, sweetie. I can't wait to meet you!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Don't mess with Aussies

Australians, or at least, the ones I know (e.g., my husband and his family), are unbelievable practical jokers. Jason's dad had a neighbor who used to go boating from time to time, and he kept his boat at a marina but brought the boat's engine home to store in his garage or whatever for safekeeping. So one day when the guy was out on his boat, Jason's dad dug a big hole near the guy's back yard, along the path that he typically walked when bringing the boat motor home. He covered the hole with palm frods or other pieces of foliage, and then hid behind a fence and laughed his ass off when the guy fell into the hole while carrying his boat motor. Or there was the time Jason and his pals duct-taped a drunken friend to a flag pole naked in the middle of a public square. The poor bastard had to borrow a towel from the police to wrap around himself so he could take the train home. Or there was the time Jason rewired his boss's car so that every time the guy stepped on the brakes, the car horn sounded. Or the time his brother stole a garbage truck and drove it to his girlfriend's house to pick her up for a date. I could go on. But in any event, what many Australians would consider a "harmless prank," we would consider "vandalism" or "battery" or "larceny."

There's a guy at Jason's work that has started the cycle, apparently unaware of what he's gotten himself into. He put some goofy stickers on Jason's hardhat, so Jason taped some flowers to the guy's hardhat. Then he screwed Jason's tool belt to one of the equipment carts at work. So Jason waited until the guy had put his tools away for the day in some secured boxes that he keeps on the back of his truck, and screwed those shut. So the guy can't get them open because any tools he would use are locked inside. Last night Jason started talking about needing to get some shoe polish for the next round of tricks. I'm getting really nervous that we may have to put a defense lawyer on retainer.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Soul Food

It really shouldn't have been that complicated. There were a couple of teenage girls ahead of us -- typically giggly and silly, and, let's face it, we're in Hawaii, so odds are they weren't overwhelming intellectuals -- and they managed it with no trouble. But for some reason, with our myriad advanced degrees and years of living experience, three highly independent and intelligent women were having a bitch of a time getting a decent picture out of the photo booth. And by "decent", I mean one with our faces in range, rather than tops of heads cut off, everyone looking the wrong way, no one able to figure out how to get into position.

We were in the checkout line at the K Mart, buying snorkeling kits on our way back from getting massages at a swank spa, when we saw the photo booth. One of those old school ones that you see on Atlantic City boardwalks and in arcades. "Oooooh, fun! Let's get our pictures taken!" So we got our big pile of quarters and headed over to the booth.

We had enough change for two sets of pictures. On the first one, someone (and I won't name names **cough*Michele*cough**) got confused about which button to push and committed us to a single photo, rather than a series of 4 like we had planned. That picture actually wasn't half bad, miraculously enough.
Then the fun really started. The next time, we figured out how to do a series of four, but we were having a bitch of a time actually positioning ourselves for the photos. First we moved the camera too low, so that it focused on Michele's midsection. Kathleen didn't even make it into the booth in time for that one. Then Kathleen got in, but the shot only got the top half of her face, so it looked like she was peeking over a fence, a la "Kilroy was here." Part of the problem was that there is a screen in the booth that shows what the picture will look like, but the urge to look at the proposed result rather than the camera -- resulting in everyone looking down -- is difficult to resist. In any event, we finally got the camera positioned, but we were racing around the booth like a Chinese fire drill, laughing our asses off and creating quite a disturbance in the K Mart. Here's the end result:

We kept the prints in the car all weekend, and every time we looked at them, we couldn't stop giggling.

I think that laughter and familiar companionship was exactly what we all needed. Each of us was feeling stressed out by life in general, and Kathleen had the added pressure of worrying about her grandma, who was very ill in the hospital all weekend. But cooking dinner together, spending time at the beach, having coffee in the mornings, and being able to talk about everything and nothing fed all of our souls for a few days.
And as an added bonus, we all got in some serious beach time (and some serious sun -- Jason and I are both nursing sunburns) so that Kathleen and Michele could get some surfing in. Kathleen was out in the water with Jason for about an hour and a half, and she did great. The waves and wind weren't cooperating much -- too small and too much chop -- but she's a strong paddler and made terrific progress. Michele got up as well, though she was a pro at that point, having surfed 4 weeks earlier.

We're going to make up shirts for people that graduate from our surf school, so that anyone who comes to visit and gets a surf lesson gets a shirt. Design ideas are welcomed and encouraged.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The van is ready, and didn't even cost an arm and a leg to fix. (Never mind that we bought the damned thing a month ago and have driven it a total of two days). Jason started work this week and is doing really well already -- the foreman loves him because he's efficient and he knows his shit. I'm in my second trimester and no longer on quasi-bed-rest -- I started exercising again and feel a million times less sluggish and energetic already. And Kathleen and Michele are going to use frequent flyer miles and do an impromptu visit out here next weekend. I think we're going to do a day trip to the Big Island and see the volcano. Woohoo!

This is all such good news, because I've had a bit of a rough week. With Jason gone at the crack of dawn, I've been completely by myself all day for the first time since we got here. And with the van in the shop, he's been using my car, so not only have I been by myself, but I can't even take little breaks into civilization to run errands or anything. Yesterday I felt very lonely and isolated and spent much of the day either in tears or on the verge thereof. But I'm much better today, and so excited to have some members of my posse out to visit me. They are just the best and I love them like crazy.