Friday, October 24, 2008

Afternoon of Our First Day: at the Play Park with the Locals

We walked here from our hotel, through wacky-tacky crowded downtown Waikiki, past the Zoo where I remembered there being an empty cage with a mirror on the back wall (the cage was labeled THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE WORLD, and then you would see yourself in the mirror)...

We arrived just as school let out, and Zaza sooooo wanted to be one of the big girls way up on top of the climbing structure, hanging out, away from the little kids.

I drove the kids -- and ZaMeAndad -- "lolo" experimenting with my birthday-new camera. (We could see the giraffes peeking over the Zoo hedge across the street, but I couldn't get a clear photo.)

Our First Day: Floatables and Potables

After watching Ander ride the waves on his ABC Store raft, Zaza was game to give it a go in her hot pink floaty ring (no pictures because I was with her).

And then lunch with Lilikoi Punch! It's a tropical dessert in a can, bay-beee! (All the tastier after you've been gargling seawater for a few hours).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

40 and Flying

Trying to focus on new comics and new markers and not on my oh-so-old body in a swimsuit...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Starting to Get Excited

I haven't been to Oahu (except for layovers) since I lived there as a kid.

Can't wait to smell plumeiria.

Can't wait to be weightless in the warm, warm sea, and to slide through waves with Ander and Zaza's wriggly wet-seal selves.

Can't wait for hotel maid service.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Carpool

Zaza and I drop Ander at Miss Kitty's every morning. We're on time if 'Greyhound Guy' is walking his two dogs past Miss Kitty's building, we're running late if Miss Kitty's mom is idling in the driveway, and they're running late if Miss Kitty's dad comes out and walks Ander inside. I still have the child-locks functioning in my car, so I put on my hazard lights and jump out to let Ander out of the car. He kisses Zaza goodbye, gets out of the car, shoulders his jingling jangling backpack, hugs me tightly (planting a kiss somewhere on my torso), and perches on the low wall next to the driveway which acts as a perfect step up to their SUV.

Zaza is terribly jealous that Ander gets to ride to school with another mama. And most days she sighs as we drive off, "I misssssssssssssssss Anderrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." We discuss how that is actually a good thing, because she only wouldn't miss him if he was a mean, bullying big brother.

In the afternoon, I pick up Zaza first. She is usually fresh from the playground, new shoes scuffed from yet another game of "I'm a cat," and almost always a tad cranky. She doesn't want to pick up Ander and Miss Kitty -- she wants to go hooooome nooooowwwww. But then she misses Ander and focuses all her whining on poor Miss Kitty and whyyyyyyy do we have to take herrrrr hooooome tooooooo?????

It's a relief to pick up the big kids. It's somewhat louder, a whole bunch sillier, and far less whiny.

If we're early we idle at the school gate, cursing my faulty air conditioning; if we're perfectly on-time the gate is open and the line is moving along nicely; if we're late we park at the walk-up gate, honking and waving madly.

Ander climbs in, throws his pack onto the front passenger seat, and begins talking a mile a minute. Miss Kitty hands me her lunchbox and jacket, climbs daintily into Ander's old booster, and waits for Ander to belt himself and her into their seats. Now and then she's bursting with news too, and it comes out in excited little burbles (always in danger of being washed away by the torrent of verbiage pouring out of Ander). There are Special Helper certificates and AWESOME stickers to show off, and with some prodding I get the bests and worsts of their days. If Zaza is still cranky, Ander pretends her foot is a telephone and chatters away into her heel. Miss Kitty pulls one of the car trip bingo games out of the seat-back pocket and we discuss fair substitutions for things like DIVIDED ROAD. There are stories about P.E. and art class and drama class and substitute teachers and whatever book was read to them in class. Ander CANNOT keep his hands to himself and so I am forever shouting over my shoulder for everyone to please keep their hands to themselves for the sake of Pete for cryin' out loud for the love of Christmas. Bad drivers are mocked and scolded. Billboards are discussed and redesigned. Faces are made in the rear view mirror. If it's Friday, it is ice cream day, and we stop at B&R or Yogurtland (above), and Miss Kitty must sit next to Zaza one week and Ander the next.

Somehow we always manage to bring Miss Kitty home, where her dad walks out to meet her, sweeping her up into a hug, or chasing her through the parking garage with her cardigan over his head.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Once a Week with Zaza (Two Weeks' Worth of Photos)

Once a week Zaza is allowed to say she is not quite ready to start her school-day, and once a week we stop for Second Breakfast at a Starbucks on the way to her school.

She has warm vanilla milk, and yogurt, or madelines. She sits across from me at first, and then ends up in my lap for butterfly kisses and body-heat-vampirism.

I have goopy coffee of some sort, hot if we're not in a hurry, and cold if we are. I also scrounge the Calendar section out of the recycled paper bin next to the condiment bar. We don't take the paper at home anymore, and this is a good way to catch up with important world news like who wore what to the Emmys and what Bucky and Satchel are up to and what snarky-but-true advice Carolyn Hax is dishing out.

If we stop at the Gower Gulch Starbucks we try to sit at the Love Table (pronounced as Elvissian as possible: a hunka hunka burnin Luuuuuuuv Table). The table sits beneath our favorite bit of weeeeee guerrilla art: LOVE written in pencil, teensy-weensy, on a brick wall between the windows.

We sit and chat, and nibble and sip, and cuddle and giggle. The day seems to stretch and yawn, slow and cozy, smelling of tea tree oil and baby shampoo and espresso.