The Beat Of Her Own Drum

We’re just going to ignore the fact that I haven’t been posting. I have a traveling husband, visiting Grandma and four kids in the middle of soccer season. One just joined the dance team, another the drama club. There’s saxophone and piano and traffic. My calendar is CRAZY! I’ve been back on island for a bit. We are excited to have lots of visitors this fall. I have to admit it has taken me a second to find my groove. I think I’ve found it. I might need a bit of dusting off and polishing up but it’s back. And with that… I’m going to try to get back to posting more often. 

This morning on my daily car ride, I was listening to Arleigh and Hanan discuss 5 SOS and which band member was cuter. Jack was repeating that it was picture day for him and Bria was trying to find a rhythm with two pens on the back window. Arleigh and Hanan got out dragging a giant saxophone case, and dance bag and whatever else was shoved between the seats and Bria just kept banging. 

I made the turn to drive back down the hill (mountain) to get to Bria and Jack’s school. Every morning I catch my breath. I can see Ford Island, The Arizona and The Mighty MO just sitting in the calm water. It was supposed to rain today but it was beautiful again. Before I can point it out, Bria says, “Do you like this beat?” There is another rhythm coming from the window, tapped off the cup holder, and then the pens being rubbed together. 

This kid…

DSCF0784Last year she asked for drums for Christmas. I talked her into a much smaller One Direction guitar instead. I’ve been noticing the constant drumming with anything she can find. I need to ask her teacher if it’s something they talk about at school, maybe in Hawaiian studies. She was born loud. She came out ready to take on the world, and especially her big sisters. This morning while I was braiding her hair I asked if she ever plays her guitar. “Not really. It needs to be tuned and I don’t know how.” Apparently you don’t have to tune the car window. Who knew?

Bria is going to have a birthday soon. She asked if she could swim with the sharks since her best buddy will be off island. She goes all out at soccer. She’s pretty sure she runs her elementary school even though she’s only in the first grade. She has so much more compassion for Jack when he’s having a hard time than any of the rest of us. When he’s not… she treats him like a little brother should be treated. She is ornery as the day is long and as sweet as my favorite strawberry cake. This week, she plans on marrying and sailor and teaching Kindergarten. I asked why. “I want to move around and I know kindergarten best because I did it twice.” I guess I need to send Santa a note about the drum set. I can’t wait to see what she does marching to the beat of her own drum. 


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Her Majesty…Her Highness… Nope Just Dictator.

I like to tell the kids that life in our house is not a democracy. Apparently life in our neighborhood is also not a democracy. I was going to call it a monarchy but let’s face facts. It’s a dictatorship ruled by a six year old. There was no passing reign. Her power was taken by force. 

IMG_1263See what I mean? 

Yesterday a friend stopped by. I told her Bria was about to play with the hose. Jack was playing with the Xbox. She should send her boys down. Kevin was the only smart one. He made sure to grab his swim trunks so as not to upset the dictator. He came prepared.

So while this was going on 



Bria had Kevin outside doing this. 

photoBria decided that all the boys needed to be outside. She was going back and forth asking. I stopped and said, “Bria, Hanan’s home now. I’ll have her come outside and play with you and Kevin.” She gave me that look and replied, “I want boys to play Mom! Not girls!” Good grief!

Before it was over, all the Moloney boys were outside sopping wet, trudging buckets back and forth from the backyard. I’m sure it was at the dictator’s request threat. Did I mention that all Moloneys are older than Bria? Well, all except for the baby who wasn’t playing yesterday. She is a full on force to be reckoned with… or they are just the kindest sweetest boys in the universe. Ray would say the answer is yes. 

I’m in serious trouble with this one!



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Oh Bria!

Bria is a never ending source for blog material. Like last week, at a particularly cringe worthy soccer game where she played all four quarters. It was cringe worthy…blog rant worthy for many reasons but this isn’t about that. Little bit was so tired in the fourth quarter that she booted the ball on a kickoff into the goal. It wasn’t touched by anyone. The best part was the look on her face. She is pretty good about following a ball. She was so tired she just kicked it with the pure intent of it going in so she wouldn’t have to take another step. Of course it doesn’t count when you do that on a kickoff but I dare you to tell her that. 

She plays hard. We joke about her beast button. If anyone makes her mad, she goes 100% harder. Unfortunately last week that resulted in two separate collisions. One gave her a fat lip…


The other had me watching her for signs of a concussion. Good grief kid. Grandma keeps saying that she reminds her of someone. I have no idea what she’s talking about.

This week at soccer it was wet. Bria was…shall we say, vertically challenged. She slid. She slid on both knees. She kicked it out from slides. It was DRIVING ME CRAZY. Toward the end of the game she was close enough for me to say, “Bria, why are you sliding? Stay up!” She just gave me the grin. One of the Dads said, “What are you going to do when she’s 10?” Truthfully I have been more worried about 15 and thought I had some time but OH CRAP! I’m not sure. Then from behind, I heard two guys. “Number 5 kicked it from the half line last week and scored.” Well, technically she didn’t score… BUT THAT WAS MY KID. 

Bria is currently outside with Arleigh’s old skateboard. Don’t tell Arleigh but it makes a pretty good riding device to jump the speed bump on our street. Yes, she’s wearing a helmet. At six, it would never have crossed Arleigh’s mind to play with a skateboard much less use it as a launching device. Tricare (Our military insurance) never saw us coming. 

At the recent Girl Scout World Thinking Day, Bria wasn’t afraid to try anything…especially Korean sweet cakes.



Did I ever tell the story of how she got herself into the Daisies without me signing her up? Yep. There was also the free tennis lesson… Tennis is taught in our neighborhood. She decided to follow her friend down a couple of weeks ago to “watch.” I was outside and Bria comes running up, grabs her running shoes and a tennis racket. She got the coach to let her try a lesson for free. She is now confined close to home on Tuesday nights. 

For all of her courage, like most super heros she has one fatal flaw. Her kryptonite is sleep. She wants to crawl in my bed every night. We have a king sized bed. This would be no big deal as she is the only one of four kids with this problem if she didn’t insist on sleeping on top of every cover, continuously kicking you while simultaneously flopping from her belly to her back like a fish out of water. Do you have any idea what it’s like have a six year old be so sweet and so diabolical? It is torture. I just tell myself that this is God’s way of reminding me that I don’t need another baby. Sleep deprivation is used as a torture device for a reason. Last night Ray had to go back to work. I was busy rushing kids off to baths and beds. He was telling Bria goodnight and she looked and said, “See you on the mattress later!” Good grief!

She definitely keeps me on my toes…and running! Of course nights like this never hurt. IMG_2265

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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…

Need a closer look?

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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What My Kids Think About Marriage

We have good friends who also happen to live on an island. Unfortunately, it’s not my island and it’s frankly way too far away. I hope our kids will be friends forever. My kids are certainly trying to find a way to forever link our families. The Babcocks have the same demographics as the Stiffs, 3 girls one boy. Their one boy was born just a few months before our third girl. There are four older sisters, my two in particular that have been plotting their marriage since birth. In fact, my girls remind Bria all the time that Charles was her first kiss and here’s the evidence. They were totally set up by their sisters in a princess tent. 



Now that we live so far away, I was telling my friend yesterday that I LOVE Charles for a whole new reason. Bria is very aware of her older sisters. She knows they talk about who is cute and what girl likes what boy. Charles is the unattainable perfect boy for her. You know, as long as he stays on his island and we stay on ours. There was a little boy at school that was very sweet on Bria. Bria pretty much let him know, we’ll be great buddies but I have Charles. Don’t tell Bria, but so far, Charles hasn’t exhibited the same sort of loyalty. Apparently she has competition. 

As I was talking to Charles’ mom, she sent me a text with all his wonderful attributes for a prearranged marriage. It included his lego building skills being a good indicator that he would follow in the footsteps of the other men in his family to become and engineer. My text back said, beautiful children is all I’ve got. Bria plans on being a warrior princess and I’m not really sure which occupation has that in the job description. Suddenly, it hits me…she’ll stay home like her mother. That and the fact that she doesn’t have a dowry means… we’ve really got nothing… Except how cute they are together even when they’re island apart. 

As the girls and Grandma planned the lovely couple’s future…(Charles I hope at some point you develop a taste for bourbon because I’m pretty sure they have you in a lake house in Kentucky) other things about marriage came up. Arleigh started asking how many schools I attended with Ray. (just college) Did you know him before? (yes) Like elementary school before? (No) Apparently I have one (Hanan) who thinks it’s weird to only date one person all through school and then get married. Apparently you wouldn’t have considered all your options. (Heaven help me!) Arleigh would prefer one and done. (Thank you!!!) Clearly I have my work cut out for me. Seriously, I would be thrilled with a Bria/Charles match up. I have awesome pictures for the wedding!

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Conversations With Bria

Yesterday I found out it might be possible to break someone’s (my) ribs with an ultrasound wand while Ray was in a tiny room with Jack and a doctor. Still, I’m pretty sure he had the worse end of the deal. Dueling appointments at Tripler means Jack is due for a blog update and I’m due for some humor in my life. His update will have wait. I’m still processing our next steps and how he can keep his privacy while I try to explain how far he’s come and how far we have to go. Lucky for me Bria doesn’t disappoint in the humor department. I can’t call them Briaisms anymore though because now that’s she’s five, she just inserts herself into conversations.

Yesterday I was a little over the news. Hawaii News Now feels it’s necessary to remind us repeatedly that President Obama’s vacation here cost $7 million. Ray was watching his evening news and we were having a conversation about what sort of budget President Obama will present. I had a difficult time with the President’s vacation because of the cost in light of our deficit. If my little family’s budget forces us to make difficult decisions about where and if we will vacation. I have a hard time with decisions made by the Obama family. Ray and I were some of those choices made including when as a country we were encouraging everyone to travel to the Gulf Coast and Mrs. Obama chose to head to Spain. Just in the living room having a political conversation with my husband when I said, “I really wonder what sort of budget he will present when his trip to Hawaii costs 7 million dollars.” Out of no where Bria’s voice pops out of the stair well. “Who’s coming for 7 million? Uncle Mike?” I had no idea Uncle Mike had 7 million anything.

Bria has also taken to giving us the biggest puppy dog eyes you’ve ever seen. A few days ago Ray was leaving to take a Red Box movie back. Bria wanted to go. Her seat wasn’t in the Jeep. It was cold and raining. That would mean Ray taking the van. She started giving him the look. It was cute and pitiful. I don’t know how she didn’t crack up. She plead her case for so long with her mouth turned down to her toes and her eyes begging to go for so long Ray could have been to that darn box and back twice. In the end he took her. The next morning I have no idea what she was asking me for. I said no. She turned those big eyes back on. They are pretty powerful. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “That doesn’t work on moms. We’re meaner.” Currently she starts to give me the look and then says, “Oh. It doesn’t work on moms. Daddy!”

One of my all time favorite conversations happened Tuesday. Ray has a friend stationed here that he has known forever. Their friendship forged in Iraq and solidified over years of working together. That sometimes means you go years speaking to someone all the time but you are in two different parts of the country. I don’t know George nearly as well even though after hearing Ray stories, he should be part of the family. George has orders to head back to the mainland so Ray called and said that he and his wife would be coming to dinner. I had some errands to run that day and a house to clean so by the time I got to the school I was a bit of a scatter brain. I was telling the kids to hurry to the car so I could get everything done. Bria must have asked why I was in such a hurry. Now, George is Ray’s good friend but he also outranks him and the kids have only met him at official events like Change of Commands. I was choosing my words carefully. I didn’t want them to call George by his first name. I had a strong case of cerebral flatulence and couldn’t think of his last name. So I was saying “Daddy’s friend is coming to dinner. His name is Captain, Captain, I can’t think of his last name.” Bria says, “He’s a captain! Is he a pirate?” So much for her status as a military brat. She seriously thought Jack Sparrow would be arriving for dinner. I think she had plans to sharpen her sword.


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