Happy Birthday Arleigh Grace

Love seeing that smile!

Today is Arleigh’s Birthday. I’m in denial that my sweet, beautiful girl is now 14. It seems like yesterday that she was born a little early with lots of excitement. I hate that my kids have to grow up. I love who they are becoming.

Fourteen Things I Love About Arleigh

1. She is passionate. Granted I would sometimes like to direct some of that passion away from things like One Direction toward some other goals but it is a fabulous quality to hold on to. And we are pretty passionate about her. She was soooo tiny!

Just Born2. Arleigh’s love for music. Yes, this is where some of her passion lies. She plays piano and alto saxophone. She’s been selected for honor band. She picks at a guitar every now and then. When she decides she likes a band, she LOVES the band…or the song…or the artist… We get the benefit of hearing her play.

Love seeing that smile!

3. Arleigh’s love of books. She’s introduced me to some pretty great stories. That passion shines through here too.

4. She takes care of her siblings. She’s their other mama. It may not always be ideal, but I can count on her and that makes me proud.

5. She still thinks I’m cool…sometimes.

5. Things don’t always come easy but she works to get it.

6. She helps me almost every night without me having to ask. She’ll clean the kitchen, empty the dishwasher, wipe a counter. I love this girl!

7. Her love of soccer…and even British boys. 

8. I miss the little girl who wanted to talk on the phone ALL THE TIME. Now I have a teen that texts on her phone ALL THE TIME. I appreciate how easily she navigates technology. I love that it’s another way she helps her crazy Mama.

9. I love that she finds her own style. She always has. It’s not always what I would pick but she is comfortable in her own skin.

10. I love that she loves Hawaii. She is ready to move back to the mainland but she’s embracing her last few months on our little island. 

11. I love Arleigh’s friends. I love that they hang out at the house or sneak into a command Christmas party. They are great kids. 

6th Grade Banquet Picture

12. I love that Arleigh literally has friends all over the world. I didn’t have that. She talks to people in many different time zones and cares deeply for all of them.

13. Arleigh is filled with compassion for others and demonstrates it daily.

14. I get to be your Mama! What a huge blessing it is to watch you grow up into the beautiful woman you’re becoming. I mess up a lot and you bounce back from all of it. I love you Arleigh Grace! Happy Birthday!!!

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My Musician

It seems like yesterday that I was living on another much colder island with only one very cute little girl.

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She has always been silly and funny and ready to sick her tongue out in a picture.

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When exactly did my super compliant Ariel loving, soccer playing always ready to talk on the phone daughter turn into a dauntless always texting teen ready to take on the world? I think I only blinked and here we are. It seems like yesterday stray puppies came to Grandma’s house and she was crying, begging to bring one home. I refused to do that to Kiera. We brought home cats instead. That’s right, I said cats. Could you say no to this?

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Apparently I still can’t.

Arleigh is growing into a beautiful young lady who is courageous and compassionate and a very talented musician. I’m clearly very proud of her. 

This week, Arleigh was selected to participate in the CDBF Parade of Honor Bands. She was chosen to play with a group from 7 schools across the island under the baton of Robert Feller, Head of Winds and Percussion at Biola University Conservatory of Music and a Disney clinician and Grant Okamura, retired Director of Bands at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is very excited about this opportunity. 

Never in a million years would I have ever thought I’d be a band mom. Here I am. Every Saturday for a while, she’ll need to be at the school at 6:45 in the morning. Poor Ray. Just kidding…maybe. He really is the morning person of our parenting team. 

Arleigh we’re super proud of you. It’s so much fun watching you pursue music whether it’s piano, sax or guitar. I can’t wait for the CDBF Parade!

 

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There Is No Picture…

I’m going to tell you a story. It was a hot night in July… (Just kidding Grandma. That is an inside family joke meant to make her smile.) It was, however, a very hot Hawaiian afternoon in July. We dropped our guests off at the airport yesterday and headed straight to the soccer field to watch the last half hour or so of Arleigh and Hanan’s soccer camp scrimmage. Ray parked in the shade since we didn’t have chairs. Bria and Jack were playing around in the back of the van when I hear, “Oh no! It was itchy Mom!” from Jack. 

Oh no was right. Bria says, “His nose is bleeding.” This is unfortunately a regular occurrence for Mr. Jack. If I know he’s getting dry, I can pretreat but the poor kid just gets bloody noses. 

We have been all over creation. I had nothing in the back of the van because it had moments before been filled to the brim with suitcases and backpacks. I used all the wipes while we traversed the island with our guests. Hanan had been through my stash of tissues. Thankfully it wasn’t so bad yet. I grabbed Jack and laid him down. My mom-mobile is equipped with lots of little hidden compartments. Ray started digging hoping to find a napkin or anything to stop the bleeding. He found a stash of just in case tampons. A friend who’s son suffers with the same affliction had recently told me that was what she used. 

Yes. Yes I did. Don’t judge me. I had on a white shirt and the boy can bleed profusely. I opened that sucker up and stuck it in the bloody nostril as gently as I could. It did the trick. As I reached for my phone, Ray said, “No pictures.” I guess he thinks Jack has enough going against him without his mother posting a picture of a tampon shoved up his nose on her blog. It was funny though. He also didn’t seem to mind since his nose was no longer bleeding all over his favorite Monster’s Inc. shirt. 

We hung out for a little bit. He stopped bleeding and went to playing. No trash can in sight. I laid the grody thing down until I could find a rubbish bin. 

All is well right…Haven’t you learned by now that the Stiff’s can never do anything the easy way?

Cut to 8 p.m. last night and I’m giving Jack a bath. He was playing around, sticking his face in the water. Apparently the tampon just caused the blood to form some sort of alien looking booger blot clot that slipped out of his nose as he got a little water in it. Gross doesn’t describe it. I cleaned him up and immediately went to tell Ray all about it. I can’t keep anything gross to myself in case you didn’t notice.

As I’m telling him that apparently tampons cause gross bloody boogers, Arleigh walks into the room and only hears the words tampons, bloody and boogers. She has a look of true horror on her face. 

I explain that Jack had a bloody nose, I felt like MacGyver and I was as her British soccer coaches like to say, “BRILLIANT!”

Arleigh was disgusted. What if Joe saw? Oh yeah… Joe. He is one of the British soccer coaches. He’s the one that came over and asked for a ride. He’s the one that was in the car with the bloody tampon lying right there in the cup holder. Sweet! 

I always say I haven’t done my job as a mother for the day unless I’ve completely embarrassed my children at least once over the course of the day. I’m thinking yesterday it was a job well done. 

(So you know Grandma, I’m pretty sure Joe never witnessed any of my mess.)

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Oh Snap!

When you are 5 you want to be just like your sisters. When your mother is busy getting ready for a birthday party, prepping for a tropical storm and worrying about what’s happening in Kentucky, it’s pretty darn easy to wear her down. It’s made even easier when Daddy is out of town. It’s then that bad things can happen. Things like this…

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Need a closer look?

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That would be Kool-Aid dip dyed hair. Oh it will come out with baking soda and vinegar they said… They better freakin’ be right! School starts Monday for heaven’s sake!

No. It is not just Bria. Arleigh chose blue that turned into a lovely shade of chlorine green. Hanan picked purple… AKA my goth phase is growing out. Bria’s definitely accepted the color the easiest. Maybe it was those ends that have gotten bleached in the summer sun. It is pretty much the same shade of red as the Ariel wig Arleigh wore the entire year she was three.

I’m praying that the baking soda combined with a day the pool takes care of it. The things I get myself into!

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Track Stars

We interrupt this programming for a Proud Mama Announcement… Arleigh and Hanan are officially on the A. Scott track team. I didn’t even realize they were trying out until they got home.

Bare with me as there are a few things to say about this. First I’m super excited as I have delusions of grandeur about my own running. (Can you call them delusions of grandeur if you realize that’s what they are?) I also never dreamed I’d here my kids describe the track like this… Well, we started back by the basketball court, you had to run to the banyan tree, around the coconut trees, to the palm trees… you get the idea. I still have to pinch myself that we live here.

Time to single Hanan out. Hanan is my mostly quiet one that tries sometimes to get lost in the shuffle of our herd. That’s easy to do with Bria drowning the rest of us out. She is one of the shortest kids in her class. Her legs are about half the length of her good buddy, Raina’s legs. I’m not even kidding. Raina is almost as tall as me. We’ve always said, if Hanan finds the determination she would be a runner. She came in first in the long distance race. Considering those little legs had to pump a bit harder to keep up with the longer ones, I’d say that’s a pretty big deal!

There aren’t really gyms in Hawaii public schools. You don’t need them. Everything happens outside. There isn’t much money for tracks either. I hear their headed for a meet at Moanaloa. I’m anxious to see how this works. Banyan trees have lots of roots that are really great for tripping people.

Good job girls! We’re super proud of you!

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Happy Birthday Arleigh Grace

I have waited long enough. It just doesn’t seem possible. How did Arleigh go from this…

To this…

Arleigh has grown up so much in the last year. She has always been mature, but she’s finding herself. It’s so hard to let her do that on her own. I miss the baby that was attached to my hip all by herself for a full 18 months before she had to share anything. As much as I miss having Arleigh totally dependent on me, I love watching her grow into the beautiful, compassionate, loving girl she is. She still likes to needle her siblings and seems to get better at it every day. In fact, I’m listening to it right now.

On Saturday we celebrated with a Hunger Games/Pool Party. Arleigh isn’t so happy her birthday falls right before Christmas. This year, she really wanted to soak up being on an island and do something different. After a little Tribute Training, we had lunch and hit the pool. I only really got pictures at the pool, you’ll have to trust me. It was a good time… Happy birthday Arleigh, WE LOVE YOU!!!

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