A Travellerspoint blog

November 2011

The Traveling Cold

A cold has somehow found our family in warm Hawaii. Even though it is not winter weather, I guess we still get winter colds. First, my father in law started coughing. Then I started with a sore throat. I knew it was only a matter of time. No matter how much I disinfected the doorknobs and toys, Bodhi caught it too. Yesterday I pulled him out of his carseat to meet my in-laws for lunch, and got a little panicky. He was burning up. I was having some flashbacks to his febrile seizure 6 months ago. I was ready to get back in the car and drive straight to the pharmacy. Then logic reined in my mind and we went in for some lunch first. After lunch I bought him all the natural remedies I know, dosed him with homeopathy, bought some Tylenol just in case, and took him home for a nap. Like a champ, he was snoring in minutes and slept well. This morrning, I still feel like garbage, but he seems chipper. His fever has come down, and he is smiley and active. My husband started coughing at dawn. Ut oh, it is making the rounds. The traveling cold has one more target, so we will all try to keep him away from my mother-in-law before she too gets the bug. I guess sleep deprivation and close quarters make a perfect combination for traveling colds.

I am fighting back with my arsenal of the following:
Hepar sulph homeopathic (good foo thick phlegm and splinter-like throat pains, coughs that hurt the chest)
Umcka cold care (Better than Emergenc for cutting cold duration and tasty in warm water, good for breaking fevers too)
osha lomatium throat spray (awesome, disgusting-tasting antimicrobial)
good old-fashioned steam baths and fluids

I know rest is the best policy, but...ummm, next time.

Posted by globalmomma 01:13 Archived in USA Tagged sick hawaii cold colds cough Comments (0)

Thanksgiving: My turkey-frying husband

sunny 82 °F

For this Thanksgiving, my husband decided he wanted to fry a turkey. Actually, he has been trying to convince me that he should fry a turkey for years now.  "It is sooo much juicier", he would say. "Not greasy at all".  It cooks in no time.  It is the best turkey you will ever eat.  
Um, no.  I don't think it is a good idea. I had excuses of my own.  It is expensive to buy the equipment and all that oil.  I like regular baked turkey, especially when it is savory and brined.  I don't see what the big deal is, why to spend that extra effort. Most of all, I am concerned about the safety...

He likes the wow factor. Something new. And last year, our Thanksgiving was in Hawaii, as my sister's wedding was the day before Thanksgiving (I know...nice!)  We spent the Thanksgiving meal outside on the lawn of the Fairmont, a large table in front of the ocean eating a resort-meal, which was a first time Chris was not able to have his hands in the Thanksgiving meal preparations.  We didn't even have turkey, we had opakapaka fish. I thought he might waltz back into the kitchen and ask if they needed any help with the gravy.  

So this year, he had spent a lot of time thinking about the dinner menu.  He lives for these kinds of days.  He finally announced he would fry the turkey, since both of our families were coming to have Thanksgiving dinner with us in Hawaii.  He was in charge of the meal - his terf, his plan.

He bought the frier and the propane tank. He quarantined a spot in the yard.  He bought gallons of oil. Then he bought gallons more. He read the instructions and prepped the turkey on the metal hooks.  Finally it was time. Then he informed me he had to dunk the turkey repeatedly in the oil.  "I will be right back", I said, and ran to the nearest shopping market to find some oven mitts.  He only had potholders. I thought he needed a hazmat suit.  I made him promise he would wait the 20 minutes until I returned until he lifted the turrkey out of the fry oil.  I rush in the door with 2 huge mitts and there is a turkey, golden brown and steaming, sitting on a pan in the kitchen. What happened?!? "We couldnt wait", he said.  The men backed him up:  the turkey was done. you took too long. I suspected machismo...
At least I didnt have to witness it.

He had no burns on his arms, and was glowing at his prize.  In the end, it WAS a delicious, tender turkey for thanksgiving, and I was thankful for my husband still having all of the hair on his arms and eyebrows. And to have family all around my beaming 19 month old.  A fine meal, a day to gather and reflect on all of our blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to all. And may gratefulness fill the season.

Posted by globalmomma 14:07 Tagged turkey family cooking windy thanksgiving meal fried Comments (0)

The sleep fairy

Today I slept until nearly ten AM.  It is a cathartic and totally disorienting experience for me now to sleep in so late.  I go downstairs and realize half of the day is missing. Where is everybody? What has been happening? I need to be filled in. 

My parents are here in Hawaii for the Thanksgiving holiday, and when here, they almost always take Bodhi in the morning so my husband and I can refuel.  It is just about the nicest gift you can ever give the parent of a young child, to let them sleep in.  

In fact, when being asked about Christmas gifts, all I can think about is more sleep, and pampering.  Like the song about the front teeth, 'all I want for Christmas is a little more sleep'.  

Posted by globalmomma 13:58 Archived in USA Tagged family christmas sleep gift visits Comments (0)

The Pediatrician

ugh, I had one of those misinformed mommy moments today. Apparently I didn't do enough researching. I had met a pediatrician in Kona last week, that I thought was serendipitous. I saw his office sign, then I met him in the natural food store grabbing lunch, and I thought, oh great, the new doctor for my son. I must confess here that I do not like to bring my bias as a naturopathic doctor into this blog, but sometimes it just creeps on in. I do not want to be my own child's doctor. I would like someone else to evaluate him, someone with ounces more objectivity than myself. S, I thought I had found that guy, and the appointment was today. We drive from Kona to Kealakekua (about 20 minutes), I go into the office and begin filling out the paperwork. My husband motions toward a typed letter/handout on the table. I pick it up and it outlines his policy of vaccinations. Or rather, it states that if your child is not properly vaccinated according to the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatricians, then he expects you to be 'updated'. And if you are not, then he will not allow you into his practice.

So, here I am reading this document thinking, utoh, we have differing belief systems, and I did not think to check. I tend to think that other people think like me, regarding personal freedom of choice. I tend to think that this decision is a parental choice, not a doctor choice. So my husband has a chat with the front desk staff that goes something like this:

"So...we read the letter there in the waiting room. And I am wondering, does this mean that if we are not going to have our son immunized today that we are not going to be accepted as patients?"

"Umm.... well... maybe you can speak to the doctor about this"

"well, I was going to, but apparently he made his opinion clear here, so sounds like there is not much to discuss. Is that pretty much true? Is this a nice way of saying that we will not accept patients that are not vaccinateds on a regular schedule?"

"Well, yes"

"Ok, well, thanks. We didn't know...Sorry for taking up a place in the schedule, but better not to waste both of our time"

Awkward pause. Clean up. Out the door.

So, thee I was. Shocked and surprised that I had made such a surprising oversight not to have considered a pediatrician's mindset before making an appointment. I actually appreciated his bluntness and straightforward opinion - I just wished his staff had communicated it before I got there and discovered it. But at least I didn't have to sit through an awkward visit. At first, I was embarrassed to have dealt with the awkward situation., But after we left, I felt a sense of confidence in knowing that I am able to stand up for what I feel is best for my own child, and to listen to those of others without creating conflict or backing down. I personally believe that vaccinations are a parents' choice, and although they should be accurately informed abut benefits and risks, as with all other procedures, the decisions ultimately should be their own. They are the ones who have to live with the consequences of their own actions, and feel comfortable with the health of their children. The doctors are there to facilitate and enable, but not to make these decisions for them. This is my belief, that stems from the education model of naturopathic doctors. I realize, even more today, that it can be unpopular and isolating, but I believe our society is strengthened by the concept of informed consent.

Posted by globalmomma 22:06 Tagged medicine doctor vaccination pediatrician Comments (0)

The Momma Funk

sunny 84 °F

If you are anything like me, this funk comes in fits and waves, like a malarian fever. One day you feel great, accomplished, energetic. The next you feel like something the cat dragged in...tired, groggy, heavy, dark. I blame it on our society - the need to do, strive and achieve, doesn't exactly lend itself to a full-time mothering position, where the epitome of your days occasionally lies in getting both baby sheets washed and dried by bedtime.

This week has been one of those moments for me, where the naps just don't seem to click, the days flow together, and the dark purple hue of my eyes reminds me how sleep-deprived I feel. This morning I was wishing I could just stare out the window and drink my cup of coffee in pure meditative silence. Do nothing. Until properly caffeinated. Now it is nearly noon, and I still do not feel awake, but at least during a nap, I have a moment to reflect and brew a cup of tea. This sleep deprivation explains my event obsession with caffeine: from Italian macchiatos to fresh tea leaves to Kona coffee pressed, I have discovered a new fascination with caffeinated beverages. We have been pouring over research for weeks on which espesso machine to purchase, before deciding on a DeLonghi we found on a discount site. Cannot wait until that package arrives and we begin experimenting with morning cappuccinos. When I open my sleepy eyes at sunrise, my first thought is to my toddler standing at the foot of the bed exclaiming, "Momma! Uppa!" (i.e. get up momma! or 'I am waking you up, Momma!'). My second thought is to how quickly I can make coffee or tea and then how fast I can drink it. I think this is the definition of sleep-deprivation that comes with the first few years of motherhood. Even though most nights he is sleeping through the night, the mornings still come surprisingly early.

The funk works as a strong antagonist to getting any work done, or even pursuing interests. Do I feel like surfing today? ugh, too tired. Running? Forget it. Art? Maybe just an iced tea, and reading a magazine on the couch. Soon the productiveness and the desire to be active will return, but for now, I will nap.

Posted by globalmomma 03:27 Archived in USA Tagged sunrise sleep baby kona motherhood tired lazy slump Comments (0)

Regular Life

"Of course I want to save the world, she said, but I was hoping to do it from the comfort of my regular life." - Brian Andreas

It is a lot harder to put our actions where our mouths (or our minds) are. This is the truest test: Can you walk the path that you talk about, that you say is the one that you want. Do you have the courage and the determination to make that life happen for yourself?

It is certainly easier to have the comfort of a regular life. There are a lot less uncertainties, a lot less risks.

I am facing this dilemma as I decide whether to continue my current career or to move into writing full-time. More on this later, the baby is awake!

Posted by globalmomma 22:55 Archived in USA Tagged world work life job save writing normal Comments (1)

The Dream Life

storm 80 °F

I drift back and forth now between trying to be practical and trying to be free. How come it always seems that the way that brings happiness tends to be seen as reckless or imprudent, while the ways of practicality and logic stifle and disorient? And why is it so hard in this world to be unique and create your own way when everyone wants so badly to be who they were born to be?

Today, we got up early, and took off for the garage sale caravan. In Kona, it is almost like a religious event the way people congregate and gather at yard sales. A weekend ritual of driving around early, getting bargains, moving on to the next place like a literal treasure hunt around the backroads of Hawaii. At first, when I heard about the garage sale exodus, the thought appealed to me as a way to gather gently used items, get to know the area better (by drivng around aimlessly following painted signs!!), and to be a part of this truly interesting cultural experience. The first week I was blown away. "Chris, there is a LINE", I said to him, as we drove up to the first house on our list. There were cars parked along both side of the block and groups of people flocking in. I felt like I needed to run to get in line, or worse, take a number. But the second week, I got the hang of it, and we began arriving early to those sales with the most potential, and hurrying in and out. Oh, and if I find something I might want, hold on tight because someone behind you might pick it up. I found this out early when I was trying to bargain for some bowls, but another woman came up behind me and said, "If she doesn't take them, I will". Well, needless to say, I ended up paying the full marked price, $5 for 3 bowls.

Anyway, here we are on our third Saturday of garage-sale-ing in Hawaii. And I have the first spot picked out. Because of the items described on Craigslist, I could tell it would be a larger sale, and so we drive up 'mauka', or up the mountain to get to the first stop. We have a whole list of 'needed items', but I want to see the one thing that caught my eye from the list. A left-handed koa guitar. I ask the man who seems to be in charge. He hesitates, then says, oh, yeah, the guitar, I forgot it upstairs. shew, still there. He brings it down and puts it in my hands. I don't know how to describe it but it was already humming. He tells me to play it, but I don't know how to play. I strum the chords a few times, running my fingers over the strings. I feel the resonance reverberating into my chest and I know this thing is talking to me. I carry it around for a while. It is much more than I was thinking I would even consider spending on a beginner guitar. It is also much more than I can imagine and I am inspired as a dream of sitting on the beach in the afternoon and playing some notes. Of teaching my son to play guitar and to love music. Of finally wanting to pick up an instrument and play again. So I continue to carry around this koa guitar, wishing I could hear someone else play it so I would know. Wishing I knew anything practical or intelligent about buying a guitar. What the prices should be, what the quality is, what you should look for, what you should ask. All I know are my senses. What I can see with my eyes, feel with my hands, sense with my core. I know I want it but I have no idea what it is worth. I know it is the magical koa wood, the music I saw in my pregnancy, the beautiful vibration of sound and melody and sweetness that it plays. But I don't know if it is smart, I only know it is what my heart is telling me. Now this is a difficult dilemma for a smart girl. Usually you love it when your heart and your head are in a sort of symphony on a subject. Sometimes, however, you can only hear one. Usually, it is easier to hear your head, because there is so much chatter, and so much information to distribute. But the heart does not have so much input sometimes, until it does. And then, I have been taught to know how to listen. And so today, I did. I walked away from that sale beaming from ear to ear carrying my treasure - a gorgeous golden brown koa guitar that I almost couldn't bear to put in the backseat until we got home. I couldn't leave it behind. So, that is how you know. And luckily, I followed that knowing and hopefully if I find out later that the price I paid was not a bargain, hopefully I still will not be discouraged. Because that is not what it is all about. It is about what the heart wants from time to time. And with the heart, there is no doubt. Which brings me back to my initial thought. The logic or the dream. The logic was to save the money for the items on the list. To come back home with hands full of essential items, none of which holds any particular appeal, but all of which would be nice to have. Hangers, for instance, and a second pan, and a mattress and extra pillows. But the guitar won the day.

Posted by globalmomma 03:41 Archived in USA Tagged music yard hawaii guitar dream sale exploring garage logic impractical Comments (1)

The Hawaii Diet

My husband and I are currently working on a book plan called the Hawaii Diet. The research subjects are ourselves. We are currently eating a diet that seems to fit Hawaiian lifestyle; consisting of fruit smoothies and kona coffee in the morning, fruit, vegetables, fish and brown rice throughout the day. It is a fairly simple cleansing protocol focusing on the local produce and milieu, that we are following until the holidays.

It fits the simple days here, nothing too fancy or complicated is needed or even preferred. You have everything that you need all around you. The food is sustenance: healthy, delicious, cool, fresh, savory, easy. No dairy, no gluten, bread or pasta or flour. No dairy, no eggs, no meat. A small amount of whole grains in quinoa and rice salads, and a mixture of raw and cooked items throughout the day. Mostly vegetables and items high in nutrients. It is a diet that should be closer to our norm, so we are trying to look at it as a new normal, rather than a detox. That we can have days or weeks or "not-healthy" eating, but then we will come back to the Hawaii Diet, which is our daily eating habit. Rather than the other way around, where you go on a detox, can't wait to get off of it, cheat while on it, then binge on junk when you get done. We have done that too many times. Oh, quick, we start our detox next week, let's have nachos today!

Daily exercise is also remarkably easy in a climate like this, where every morning you wake up to sun...so we need to take full advantage. My husband Chris has started his own blog about his efforts of training for an Olympic triathlon. I will post the link on this site. I am also getting back into walking with Bodhi and now that we have procured a jogging stroller, I will be getting into running as well. We are both trying to surf as a new sport as well, and believe me when I tell you it is the best workout (including Bikram yoga!) that I have ever had. All the paddling is wonderful for building shoulder and back strength. I love how I feel physically and emotionally rejuvenated and strengthened after a day surfing waves. I will write more detail about our diet plan in another blog post, but for now, we are motivated to get back into shape Hawaii style!

Posted by globalmomma 01:13 Archived in USA Tagged food surf hawaii fast exercise weight loss nutrition diet juice shape detox Comments (0)

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