Wonder Woman Down

When I was a kid, one of my prize possessions was a pair of Wonder Woman underoos. I loved those things. In fact I remember mom being mortified when I wore the way too small pair to a doctor appointment. I also happened to get a shot in the bum that day I swore the underoos helped. I still have aspirations of being an Amazonian warrior princess who saves the world. Oh snap! I guess that’s where Bria gets it from…

This week, the real Wonder Woman went down…hard. I’ve joked about her walking softly and carrying a big stick. (a giant plastic bat that she thinks will fend off an attacking dog) I’ve talked about how she’s always there when I or anyone else for that matter needs her. This week, I’m thankful Nana Bonnie found her underoos and is taking care of my super hero, the person that Ray regularly calls a saint and my kids call Grandma.

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When Dad died Mom started walking. She walked 6 miles daily and at that time could easily lap me. She met Ned, moved to Golo and her walking turned into walking up and down a driveway and when that got boring she started walking her 6 miles down country roads. That’s brought out the Beauton Wheeler in me. (My Gran and an avid worry wart.) I’ve begged her to find her aloha walking on a treadmill but she’ll have none of a massive piece of equipment ruining the decor. Mom… I know now what you really need for Christmas! 

So, I called Mom on Monday morning because my uncle had been in the hospital. She was walking and I could immediately tell something was wrong. At her 3 mile mark where she turns around to walk back home she fell. She didn’t know why or what happened but she fell. She knew her arm was hurt. She was walking home. Again… I totally turn into Beauton Wheeler. I wanted to call someone and have them get her. She just let her arm hang and trudged home praying it was a sprain. 

To cut the story, she decided to lie down and rest. It never got better so my other hero, Nana Bonnie took her to the ER. It’s broken. Actually, it’s her elbow and it’s a pretty bad break. Grandma needs surgery. I am in Hawaii. Can you tell I’m losing my mind? I’m also ready for Mom to slow the heck down and stop giving me things to worry about. I’m really over the whole parent/child role reversal. 

Yesterday I called. Mom and Aunt Bonnie were hatching a plan to take the trash down her long driveway because it was raining. There was something about Mom driving a car with one hand while Aunt Bonnie held the can rolling it from the back of her hatchback. That’s when I begged them to call Chase and threatened to do it myself. I seriously can’t afford another emergency trip home people. 

So today, I’m heading to Jack’s IEP which is never an easy day. I’m worried about an upcoming surgery and supremely thankful to Aunt Bonnie for being there when I can’t. There is a price to be paid for living in paradise sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. 

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In My House Last Week

I just thought I’d write down a few things I remember from last week but it runs out of my head with all the other brain ooze…

“If you have to ask me if you look like a stripper your clothes are probably not appropriate,” is something that came out of my mouth.

It’s been early week for Bria and Jack due to conferences. I was talking to Mom on the phone. She happened to ask what time it was. Nonchalantly I said 1. Then I said something that may or may not have included a curse word. “Oh no! I was supposed to pick up Bria and Jack at 1.” It was the one time I was thankful that the car line was horrifically long. Also…I was not the last car…by a long shot.

Arleigh won most original costume at a Halloween party. She was Kim Possible.

I love Halloween here because you are never ever too told to dress up and have a good time. (Not really last week but that whole party thing made me think I should write it down for posterity.)

One of those early days I took Bria and Jack to Target. I parked beside a cart corral. I’m still the mom that insists Jack stay in the seat and Bria stays in the basket. I’m also the Mom that will purchase cherry icees to ensure that they stay there. (Maybe even a cookie to split if I’m in a good mood.) Bria was pretty excited. I was helping Jack out of the car and noticed out of the corner of my eye as she climbed the coral and jumped into a basket. There was a enough force provided that the cart shook it’s self out of the corral and was ever so slowly rolling down the aisle like she was driving a car. I should also note that I park on the second floor of Target where no one ever parks so she was safe. She was also slightly horrified that was nearly peed my pants and as she very slowly rolled away. Maybe you had to be there but it was one of those things that will stick in my mind to tell her children. Arleigh and Hanan would NEVER think of climbing a cart corral. I probably would never let them.

We got to enjoy friends from Virginia for an entire week. I even got to go to one of my favorite tourist locations… Tropical Nut Farm before the hurricane hit. It was wet. I forgot the camera. I did get this. It may or may not be a sneak preview of our Christmas card. If it weren’t for Arleigh’s socks… Mom, you can stop praying for my comeuppance anytime.

We got a new neighbor. He is in an exchange program from Japan. He asked me to call him Pepsi. I love him! He is so much fun and so sweet. Bria says he’s so nice that things must be different in Japan.

Hanan has joined the cheer team. She is also loving drama. She was on the makeup committee for a bit learning about zombie makeup. She’s since switched to lights and the fog machine. Yesterday I took a nap. I woke up to this…

It’s not her best work but her sister loved being the guinea pig with a little liquid eye liner and a huge desire to turn into a bunny for the afternoon.

Mom arrived Sept. 18. Today is the first day that I haven’t had an extra person in my house since then. The big girls had their last soccer game of the Fall season on Saturday. Dare I say that might leave me a few extra seconds in a day?

I also started reading this…

It is worth every second of your time. I can already tell that I need to reread parts of it and I’m barely into it. Here’s a little more about it.

I think I’ll leave you with that. Here’s hoping I’m back to writing daily tomorrow. Arleigh keeps saying 30 days to make a habit… we’ll see.

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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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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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