Thursday, May 31, 2007
Pictures from Paradise

Hawaii was awesome! I can still rememer the great feeling of sand between my toes and warm water lapping at my ankles. Are we already back in the Midwest?

Major "thanks" to Wendy, Nathan, and family for being such wonderful hosts. We had a fabulous time!

Friday, May 25, 2007
Tiki Land--More Sun and Fun
Hanauma Bay. Wendy took me snorkling for my first time since I visited Hanauma Bay back in 1989.

The first thing I saw when I looked under the water with my mask was some kind of water snake or eel. It was bright orange and white striped, and it was swimming right at me. Like a true snorkling pro, I screamed and skittered out of there on my haunches. It took me a while to start enjoying watching little creepy things poking out of the reef.

Once we got started, I was a nervous to breath underwater. I got a little panicked, but Wendy gave me lots of good advice and calmed me right down. I liked how she would stop and ask me how I was doing as we went along.

Once I got the hang of kicking with my fins on and breathing through my mouth, I started to relax and enjoy the experience. The reef was quite shallow (maybe low tide?), so it felt like we had to kick really carefully not to scrape against the coral. The coral was funky and bumpy, and we saw lots of fish. One fish, two fish. Red fish, blue fish.

Nathan and John, ready to go snorkling.

John did really great snorkling. He was just like a little fish himself out there in the water.

Katie trying out the waves. The surf was very gentle, but still a little scary for this girl. She said "bath" as we played in the water.

She also spent a lot of time today waiting for us while we went swimming. Someone was always with her, but it was still a lot of time to just hang out one a little towel in the shade. She just kept to her towel, singing to herself and babbling in her secret baby language. She never did venture off the towel onto the sand. So far, this girl is not crazy about touching icky stuff like grass or sand.

Note to travelers. If you visit Hanauma Bay in the near future, don't forget to stop by the snack bar on the way out. They have some chocolate macadamian nut cookies that are worth the cost of the airplane ticket to the islands alone.

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tiki Hut Tours--Photo Update

Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Blue Hawaii
Aloha! We made it to Hawaii!
The Rubsam Clam is staying with with sister Wendy and her family in their lovely home near Waikiki. Little Katie survived a 16 hour flight in good humor the whole way, and after two days, she's adjusted nicely to the time difference.
We've already waded in the surf, eaten pineapple, watched hula dancers, and gone to a barbeque. We've got sand in our shoes and sunburns. So we're practically locals now!
The cousins have kept Katie well entertained. This evening before bedtime, she was crawling like crazy, trying to keep up with John and Emily. Emily has decided she wants to teach Katie how to walk. This involved a mild fall, but Katie survived unscathed. Katie definately likes being around other kids!
Wendy and clan have been very gracious hosts. They greeted us with beautiful flower leis at the airport. They've taken us sightseeing, let us raid their cupboards for snacks and cereal. And they've even provided diapers and wet wipes for the wee one.
Next on the agenda: Pearl Harbor, walking tour of downtown Honolulu, and a hike to a waterfall!

Monday, May 14, 2007
Lift and Separate
I broke down today and bought two new nursing bras. I feel like a new woman.

I've been limping along with a collection of saggy, baggy nursing bras for months. My old bras are from the "Iron Maiden" line of nursing bras. Whenever I'd spot myself in one of these quasi-burp clothes in a mirror, I'd think to myself, "It's official. I've become my grandmother."

And the pity of it is, I spent a fortune on what could be taken for fishing drag nets. I went to a specialty shop to be sized by a supposed expert. Even though the bras looked like they were woven from stainless steal, my chest drooped lower and lower as the year went on. Recently, my nipples began dragging below my belly button. I'm too young to begin singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" every time I get dressed in the morning.

Well something had to give. I put off this purchase for way too long. Why? Because how much longer am I going to be nursing anyway?

Ah, I used to love nursing. Until just a couple of months ago, nursing was the highlight of my day. Nowadays, we can still have our sweet nursing moments. Like when Katie is drifting off to sleep at night, and her little hand pats my breast to say "nighty-night." Otherwise, nursing a 13 month year old must be like nursing a monkey.

In fact, this weekend while we were at the zoo, I spotted a nursing monkey. The mama monkey could travel hand over hand the length of the enclosure with her fuzzy little baby latched on through the entire journey. I felt a twinge of sympathetic nipple pain at the sight of it.

As far as nursing goes, Katie has been a really healthy baby, and nursing must have something to do with it. She's had one bad throw-up illness, and a series of snotty noses. Knock on wood, we made it through the worst of the cold season this year. For a healthy baby, I'll put up with some nursing gymnastics. Especially now that it won't look like I'm wearing a life-vest under my summer t-shirts.

Sunday, May 13, 2007
Go Girl

Fun new things Katie can do:
  • Pose for a funny picture at the zoo.
  • Take a step or two away from the couch and into my arms.
  • Scribble with a crayon.
  • Notice the animals at the zoo and laugh when she seems them.
  • Point at things she wants.
  • Push around her toddler rocking chair like a walker.
  • Throw a ball a foot in distance.
  • Turn pages in a book.
  • Stack one block on top of another.

She is also picking up baby signs pretty well. I'm really glad we did baby signs with her, because otherwise I don't think I would recognize her cute babbling as actual words. Here are some signs she can do:

  • Milk
  • Bath
  • Down
  • Up
  • Ball
  • More
  • Daddy (but not Mommy yet)
  • Hat

Today, I was reading her a book with baby pictures in it, and I did the sign for baby, and she did it back for me. She did it a few times as we were reading the book. She's brilliant! Brilliant, I say!

Postscript: Despite how it looks in the picture above, I am not pregnant. I like to think I am not that chubby, either. Sheesh!


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