Nothing To Fear But…

I noticed a Friend’s Facebook post while banging my head against the steering wheel waiting patiently in the car line today. It made me chuckle.

Ray has been dealing with both Ebola and Fearbola at work lately. Ebola is a scary, scary illness. Ray continues to assure me that when it’s time to worry, he’ll let me know. He also texted me a link to a zombie proof cabin today so who knows…

I’ve decided this afternoon that there are far more things that can cause me harm in my immediate vicinity. Here’s my list of 10 in no specific order. I’m not Letterman after all.

1. Mount Washmore… I can’t even begin to imagine the germs and bacteria that I come across in my piles of dirty underwear, soccer gear, sports bras, shin guard studded, beach bathing family’s pile of YUCK! Seriously. I wash my hands before during and after every single load. I have eyes. Those eyes may also need bleach. You can’t unseen some things people.

2. The giant cockroach or any other tropical creature… it won’t hurt me but trying to kill it I’m very likely to have some sort of horrific accident.

3. LEPTO…Not familiar with leptospirosis? You can find more info here. I’m pretty sure it took me down for about a week after running the Makahiki in the rain but I’m still signing up to do it again.

4. On any given day I think my bootcamp class might kill me and then it doesn’t.

5. Haole trips me, I’m pretty sure purposefully about 446 times a day.

6. Homework on a Monday could probably do me in. Emerging readers anyone? I have exactly two in my house. One thinks she can read Harry Potter, the other reads enough to surprise me but it is as slow as molasses in December.

7. The guilt from my mother… just kidding Mom. No I’m not, wait… Mom could kill me.

8. Parenting an almost 14 year old and a 12 year old, both in middle school suddenly seems far more dangerous in anything else at the moment.

9. I live in the land of volcanoes (mine are dormant) and tsunamis. This week we threw in a weak hurricane for good measure.

10. The thing that gets everyone in Hawaii… traffic. It’s not the accidents. It’s the stress of bumper to bumper headed to Pearl City for piano class after picking up kids from the hill in Aiea that will kill you!

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Hauntings In My House

Yesterday was one of those days. Nana was making preparations for her flight home and my kids were… well let’s just say less than their stellar selves. I may or may not have considered at one point that one in particular might have been possessed. I have a busy weekend, a todo list roughly 10,000 miles along, the prospect of a weekend hurricane which has blessedly moved south but I wasn’t so sure of that yesterday. I was in the middle of a discussion with a teacher. I’m not completely onboard with a particular policy she has, especially when so much of my child’s grade will hinge on the project the policy applies to. I respect it though and had to convince a very weary middle schooler that it would not be the end of her middle school career.

I was done. I had cried a little but felt like I could cry a lot. It’s hard when your kids aren’t acting like your kids. It’s really hard when it’s so bad you stop to consider if they might be demon possessed. It’s ridiculous hard when you stand in a doorway with your mouth hanging open wondering how on earth you are supposed to act like a grown up and be a parent when you have no idea how in that situation not to lose it. Basically I was thick in the middle of Alexander’s No Good Horrible Terrible Very Bad Day. I wanted my Mom! Surely that saint of a woman could handle things better than I am.

I got my own version of a Mom time out. I tucked little people in bed and left Arleigh babysitting and went with Ray to take Nana to the airport and pick up a lightbulb for my kitchen. I know…our date nights are totally the bomb dot com! (Should that have been thebomb.com?) I got home, kissed Arleigh goodnight and went upstairs to check on my little people. I asked Arleigh why she hadn’t gone on to bed, she was tired. “The house just seems creepy tonight.” I should’ve known it was foreshadowing…

Bria just got a new doorbell for her room. She LOVES it. Little doorbell button is outside her door so her brother and sisters have to ring it before entering. It’s attached to a flashing dinging butterfly that she got to decorate inside her room. I’m standing in the hall having a conversation with Hanan. No one else is anywhere. Jack is in bed. Bria is sound asleep. Arleigh is off to bed and Ray is installing a kitchen light. The doorbell starts to flash and ring. I quickly check on Bria. She sleeps through it. Weird but I thought the batteries are probably already dying they ring that thing ALL THE TIME.

Finally, I got downstairs and fall into my favorite cushion on the sofa. It’s a joke in my house. I am Sheldon. (Big Bang reference.) I was sitting there all of two seconds when my cell phone started ringing. No one calls my cell after 7. I might get a text. I purchased new phones for the house because my old one was broken and Ray had just installed them. My cell phone said our home phone was calling. I’ve yelled at Ray for hours but he swears he wasn’t messing with me.

Oh the dreams I had last night! Mom says that Tye was messing with me to tell me to get over my Terrible No Good Horrible Very Bad day. If he has to do that, it’s awesome. He just needs to materialize so I can punch him and get on with my day. Hope it was you Tye. I could use the laugh!

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Hard Days…6 Years

Six years ago today was absolutely one of my hardest days…our hardest days. I’ve stopped calling it the worst day. I’ve had my share of hard days since then. Still, it hangs on my head. I start to dread seeing October 10 come up on the calendar. Then it happens. I wake up almost surprised that it is actually just like any other day. If you’re new here, you can read about our Jessa here.

I’m not writing this for pity or for you to feel sorry. I’m tougher than that. I just need to document it to alieve guilt I think. So Jessa somehow knows that I will never forget. I dread the 10th once October starts. I distract myself with Bria’s birthday or fall break but it hangs. This year like most years, I’ve woken up and it’s just like every other day. The cloud just hangs a little heavier. This year like most other years I had my major pity party on the 9th. I guess that’s appropriate. We found out Jessa was gone on the 9th. On the 10th I was blessed to hold her. I got to stare at her face and decide that she was going to favor Hanan. I counted her fingers and her toes and tried to show her how wanted and loved she was before we had to say goodbye. It was hard but I got that. I might not have.

It’s funny how grief ebbs and flows. I’ve compared it to a scab before. Yesterday my scab was picked. Mom told me about running into someone who knew my Dad. I spent so many years telling myself that God’s plan for Dad was better. He couldn’t had another stroke and not really been able to live. That would’ve been so much worse for him. There are days like yesterday when I’m just heartbroken. I know how much he would love my kids. He would be kicking a soccer ball to the girls, playing Infinity with Jack and throwing everyone in the pool. He would convince Arleigh to race him the length of the pool and just let her squeak out a win…maybe. He would be doing handstands with Hanan (in the pool) and throwing Jack in the air as high as he could get him. He would have Bria standing on her boogie board and teaching her to flip off. Oh my word I hate not having him around for my kids. Yesterday was one of those days when I really felt the weight of it.

My dad didn’t have a dad. He didn’t really know how to teach us to fix things although he did teach me to change a tire after I shredded one. He did know how to participate. He coached baseball. He played basketball with us. He had a bike so he could ride with us. He loved to run and would sprint with me around our house and the house next door. I thought I would never be able to beat him. I was happy with I could just stay with him. He was always there doing with us and I never gave him enough credit for it. Yesterday as I imagined all he would be doing with my kids, my heart hurt a lot.

As I spent the day thinking about Jessa I realized Dad is probably doing all those things with her. It’s selfish but I want them both here with me, with us, playing with us…doing life with us. My scab is open. It’s another hard day.

I’ve stopped calling October 10th my worst day because I got to hold her, to see her, to know her for a second. So many people, some I didn’t even know were so kind and compassionate in our grief. It was awful but there was good in the day too. There is good and bad, sometimes awful in every day. I’ve just come to hope for more good than bad.

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The Middle

There are times that I question if I post about Bria too often. She is really at that fun age where she’s figuring everything out. She also doesn’t seem to care if her picture is plastered on the internet. Arleigh and Hanan often want veto rights on images. Sometimes, her little stories are just too good not to share.

Bria wants to take her baths by herself now. Thankfully, she wants me perched in the bathroom so she work out the day with her Mama. This week, I was watching her try to rinse the suds out of all that hair… it can take awhile. She was listing off the things that she wants to ask Santa for this year. It’s not a long list but I was hearing cash register sounds in my ears. Good grief. She really wants one of this Nabi tablet things. (She also wants a new bike with a basket and a phone if she could swing it. Not happening.)

The child looks at me with her serious look and says, “But Mom, I don’t know if I’ll get it.” I thought she might be considering Santa’s magical budget… Nope. “I might be on the naughty list…”

Um. Wait a minute. Neither of her sisters ever even considered that they might be on the naughty list. What has she done? How do I deal with this? How do I not bust out laughing when she so freaking serious? I just ask, “Bria, why do you think you might be on the naughty list?”

“Because Mom, sometimes I’m really good and sometimes I’m not. I think I might be in the middle so it could be either way.”

Bless her… my in the middle kid.

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I could learn a lot from Bria. As long as she feels the support of her family, she isn’t afraid to try anything new. She fights her way into keeping up with her much older sisters. At the beach this week Arleigh and Hanan were passing a soccer ball. Most little sisters would insist for a pass. Not Bria. She made herself the monkey in the middle and did a great job of stealing the ball from both girls. Sometimes that stubborn I can do anything I want streak gets her into trouble. She still whines to get her way. She can throw a fit if she thinks she needs to but 90% of the time, she’ll take whatever is front of her head on first. Unless, this is in her words “I can’upposedly get distracted.” That’s usually by something else she just really needs to conquer. I’ll take her in the middle for good or bad…it’s Bria.

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Women Are Spaghetti

It’s fall break and we got to head to a cabin on the west end with Nana. I have to say, the views could be worse.

Yes, I’m going to miss it here. We used the opportunity to get the kids on a SUP. (Stand Up Paddle board) It’s taken me a while to get the hang of it, but I do love it take it out now. Ray is much better at it in the choppy water than I am. He got his exercise yesterday teaching the kids how to do it on their own.

It was a good day. When Ray was renting a board he met a local who teaches surfing on the west end. I believe we have a new friend. He hung out and talked story with us for a while. He obviously doesn’t like to see people trashing his beach. He can’t stand McDonald’s wrappers left to blow around. Good for us, we didn’t have any. He told us about a couple who were on vacation from Delaware. “Everything was F you and F that and they going back and forth.” He told them that there were kids around and he was clearly uncomfortable trying to teach a lesson with this going on. He said he took his clients to the water and when the wife walked away his cool uncle went to talk to the guy. Apparently the conversations went like this.

“What are you doin’? I tell you what you need to do…BE QUIET.”
“But she’s wrong!”
“No! Be quiet? How long married?”
“5 years.”
“Best advice you get. Be quiet. Smile. Walk away. Rub her back. Just be quiet. She always RIGHT!”

Danny, the surf instructor said he isn’t married and even he knows you can’t win a fight with a woman. We were laughing. He said his uncle always says men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. I didn’t get it either. Apparently when you put a waffle on the plate and pour syrup on it, the syrup spreads and fills each crevice. It’s slow and everything is compartmentalized. Women, in uncle’s eyes are like spaghetti. Everything bleeds together. You put spaghetti on a plate and pour syrup, it’s everywhere on everything. Women are working on everything at once. They can’t stop. Men are putting it in boxes and one thing at a time.

We laughed until we cried at uncle’s stories. I will miss talking story this time next year.

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Promises Promises

I know. I’m awful. I promise to post and then I don’t. I’m sneaking in a few seconds on this lazy Saturday afternoon. Here’s what’s been happening.

I finally got Mom out here but it felt like the time was way too short. A bit of a fiasco at the airport led to arriving sans luggage. That meant lots of shopping. There is now a rubbermaid filled with summer clothes awaiting her return and a filled suitcase that I borrowed from her at her house. I am seriously envious of a Hawaiian quilt she totally scored at the Swap Meet… 

Mom supposedly got to see me surf. The truth is, we were so far out, she didn’t know who was who. I’m pretty sure she napped after she took the first picture. Wait… she was resting her eyes. 

Grandma also got the new iPhone. It’s the bonus of being a frazzled mess and leaving your phone in the car for a long trip half way around the world. Funny thing is she got it the very day that so many people were waiting in line for it. Luck of the draw I guess. 

We had almost nightly shows of the Blue Angels right above my house. It was insane.

Grandma even caught this picture from my front porch

We had a really great extended week that wasn’t long enough. I promise more on that later. 

I’ve had one child making her own Halloween decorations because I didn’t decorate quite fast enough for her.

We’ve celebrated having Jack home for three years. More on that later too. 

Nana has arrived. We are entering Fall Break. We plan a trip to the west side of the island soon. Soccer is still happening. We are taking a brief piano hiatus while our teacher travels to Japan. Then there’s the middle school dance. A boy that I don’t know called one of my daughters cute. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know she’s more than cute, but I’m just not ready for the drama of what to wear and that boy and that song and that… Mama needs a drink and it’s three in the afternoon. 

Clearly I have so many things to document and no time to document it… I’ll try. Promises…promises…

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