The Tampon Story

Someone is taking P.E. as a summer school course. She’s is on my computer all the dang time with driver’s manuals. (Y’all, pray for me…PLEASE!) For her benefit, no she didn’t fail P.E. With 3 electives in her sophomore schedule… band, P.E. and foreign language requirements, she didn’t have room for an advanced writing course. We’re knocking P.E. out to open up the schedule. Anyway, that would be one of the many reasons for my lack of posting. I’m up early to get this late breaking story to you because, well, it’s too funny.

Arleigh and Hanan have a habit of watching the Dolan Twins. At least, I think that’s who they are. Bria was sitting at the computer last night watching a few of their old videos with me hovering behind her to make sure the content was 8-year old appropriate. She found one where they were testing products more suited to girls than boys that other you tubers I guess had tested. Anyway, they pull out a tampon. Bria starts laughing hysterically. The following is the conversation I had with my little firecracker.

“Mom! They have a tampon!” Laughing ensues. 

“How do you even know what a tampon is?” 

“Because you use them.”

Obviously this stops me in my tracks. Ray is smirking in the corner because we both realize we need to brace ourselves for what might come next. “Huh?” 

“You know.” She gives me that look like I’m being really obnoxious acting like she’s a baby. “You stick them up…” 

I swear to you I nearly died a little. The pause was literally milliseconds that felt like a year.

“…Jack’s nose.”

It was so very hard not to roll around the floor laughing for an hour.

And there it is. Jack has some grotesque bloody noses. I have in fact in the past used a tampon to stop the bleeding. In fact in a pinch at a British soccer camp the girls were attending years ago, I had nothing but a tampon. I used it and pulled it out just before the British soccer coach jumped in the mom-mobile for us to take him home for dinner. I couldn’t find a trashcan. I couldn’t lay a bloody tampon on the ground so I laid it on the wrapper in the cup older. Arleigh and Hanan were the ones that wanted to crawl in a hole or just die that day. 

Now it’s Grandma’s turn. I guarantee she can’t believe I just told this story. 

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Her Therapy

Bria’s tournament this weekend was fun for all of us. It’s amazing to see how much Bria has improved over the last year. Soccer, like everything else has been a huge adjustment. The theories of how to teach development are very different here compared to what we were doing in Hawaii. Basically here the focus is on individual development. Bria grew up behind her sisters hearing that the field is another player, look at the field. Bria is caught desperately trying to play a position when her coaches don’t encourage it and her teammates are playing an individual game. 

I promise I’m getting to the point. These girls are old enough now to know to throw in down a line instead of to the middle. The way they played in one of the games they made their play so much harder by constantly handing the ball to the other team. I’m probably not making much sense to, well Grandma. All this to say, our ride home after the first game included Ray trying to coach Bria through some of those you should know this basics. Bria was saying “But coach says find the open player.” It took a half hour to get from the field to our house. They went through this for the entire ride after the first game.

It came time for the second game… Bria was trying to follow her Dad’s instructions but so many times that ball went down the middle right at the other team’s goal. At least Bria listened part of the time. The rest of the team… it was painful and shocking that they still won 5:0. Everyone was at the second game, including Josh. We got back in the car and her sisters started in giving her their version of “down the line…” Bria looked up and said, “Really? Dad already gave me therapy on this.” 

I guess it’s good to know that I be forced to pay for that therapylater… just so many other things. 

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Parenting Isn’t For Sissies

Let’s start with yesterday. Yesterday two of my spawn children were at each other’s throats at the pool. One was hogging the toys. The other wouldn’t leave her alone about hogging the toys until there was a “Fine! You take it!” Throwing of the goggles moment thwacking one dear sister just a over her eye. Good times, y’all! Good times. 

Wait! It gets even better after I say, “Get out of the pool. We’re going home.” One of my dear sweet children starts arguing with me that she didn’t do anything wrong and her life isn’t fair and she’s always punished for nothing and I never ever in a million years punish her sister. Um. I didn’t make just one kid go home. The one that was doing nothing minding his own business going down the slide 1,453 times missed time number 1,454 because of his sisters. If anyone had a “life’s not fair” moment, it was him.  A phone was taken along with my a big gasp of air so I didn’t want to dunk her in the pool. 

What is wrong with my kids? Summer literally HAS NOT started for us. Is that the problem? For crying out loud! They were at the pool for less than two hours with 45 minutes of swim team. 

Let’s move on to this morning. Jack had a complete and total meltdown at speech. It was no fun. He wasn’t happy with his therapist. She was clearly upset. He cried all the way to the bus stop. I have hard choices to make about his speech therapy.

Let’s just make a small, incomplete list of all the other little things I have to worry about parenting ages 8-15.

  • Texting
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Schedules
  • Boyfriend
  • What is she doing with the boyfriend?
  • How serious is the boyfriend?
  • Summer school
  • Summer soccer
  • Band camp
  • Trips to China
  • Friends
  • No longer friends
  • Peer Pressure
  • Self confidence
  • Track
  • Are they reading enough
  • I know there is too much screen time. How do I make it stop?
  • Have I lost control?
  • Does that one have me wrapped on her finger today?
  • Is it her sister that I’m spoiling?
  • Am I doing enough to help Jack?
  • Am I too soft?
  • Too hard?

You get the idea. I’m a balled up broken mess trying to figure this stuff out. And then I get this picture texted to me.

From the child that lost her phone last night. Maybe in the end they’ll be decent human beings. I sure hope so! And may I make a suggesting… perhaps schools should reward parents with at the very least a nice bottle of wine when they demonstrate exception restraint and appropriate discipline. I’m just saying…

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Can I Say Something?

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a children’s therapy clinic while Jack “plays” with a speech therapist. I’m watching kids of various ages and abilities play and talk and whine and cry and share and be selfish like kids do. I’m thinking about other parents.

I realize that I’m late to the gorilla, alligator, dingo ate my baby post. Too soon? Anyway, I’ve read the parents shouldn’t shame each other post. We should back each other up posts. I’ve read the animal lover outrage. This week at my bus stop I heard a teen say horrible monstrous things because she was angry that alligators and gorillas have been killed while her mother laughed nervously and tried to excuse her animal lover.

So let me turn this on its head as I sit in this incredibly loud waiting room of parents and kids and obviously different parenting styles. My initial, knee-jerk reaction was “why were they there and would I have made the same mistake? Walking where signs said ‘keep out’ trying to keep a toddler quiet?” I sent a quick text to friends with a two-year old that parent the same way I do. My initial response was being horrified, sad and maybe a little judgement.

If I did quietly consider that these parents weren’t where they were supposed to be, it was because the media wanted me to. Constantly posting no swimming signs showing where a two year old would stand. Oh my word, not once did they mention that alligator warning signs weren’t posted. Not once did they mention it was a beach atmosphere begging to have toes in the water. Absolutely I would have let my kids wade in that water. It could have been me.

This begs the question why does the media feel the need to push us to outrage? Their coverage made a teen act like she was happy the two-year old “got what he deserved” for being in a wild animal’s habitat. If the media can push us to pass judgement on this poor family instead of trying our best to support them, what else are they doing? 

Just something to say outloud and think about…

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The Weekend Highlight

Four more days, four more days, four more days… repeat it with me… four more days. This school year seems to have a Never-ending Story sort of feel to it. We only have four more days. It true end of year fashion, we are packing it in. This weekend started with Hanan’s end of year dance. I’m trying not to think about it because this is the last event before…gulp…I have two in high school. This doesn’t seem possible since I graduated from high school a couple of years ago.


Bria was participating in the Father’s Day All Star Tournament for her Rec League. Since so many are now moving on to different teams, of course there was a party.

IMG_3850Only one of the girls played with Bria the entire time, but in the last year that we’ve been here they’ve been playing for an academy team and indoor soccer in the winter. Because of her birthday, she and two other girls will be the only three that continue to play together. They are from different schools so it was a bitter sweet weekend for sure to see them play one last time. They did a great job.IMG_3893 

I also felt incredibly old when I found out that one of her coaches has a brother in Hanan’s class at school. Evan and Renzo have been great and these girls have come a long way in the last year. It’s been so much fun to watch.





We also had a great group of dads who spent their entire Father’s Day on a hot soccer field. 









I absolutely didn’t want to forget any of that but our biggest event was finally being able to meet our sweet friend, Dana in person.

IMG_3864I tried taking several pictures of Dana with Jack but this is by far my favorite. About five years ago I met Dana over a phone line. She quickly became my lifeline as we walked through a paper pregnancy to get to Jack. Even though we weren’t able to meet her in person, she was with us through the entire experience. She laughed with us. She cried with us. She still checks in on us. 

One of my greatest memories was when she called to say she had a file she wanted to send. She wanted us to look at it. I was so excited I was bursting at the seams. She cautioned me but I know she was just as excited because like everything else, we had taken our sweet time and jumped extra obstacles to get to that point. 

Dana was there when we got a report from the pediatrician that said, “I really just don’t know if he can walk or talk. I have no idea what you’ll be getting.” She cried when after our kids said, “Who cares if he can walk or talk? He needs us!” we called and said “Lock that file!” She followed us to China and back without ever meeting us in person but we still count her a dear friend.

Dana has been there sending us information when Jack was diagnosed with institutional autism. She checked in with us after Tye’s death and Ned’s. That wasn’t because she’s our social worker. It’s because she’s become part of our ohana. 

We love Dana and her family and thanks to emails, phone calls and social media we’ve been friends. They walked into our home and it was just like we knew them forever. Their sweet accents made Hanan homesick for Kentucky. We shared a meal and talked about life. I’m so very grateful that I got to hug her in person. If you know me, you know that’s a big deal because I don’t always freely offer a hug. 

God is the reason we have Jack but He used Dana as his hands and feet and continues to do so. We are so blessed to know you sweet friend. Next time, stay longer! 

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Things I Hear At School

Just wanted to share some things I heard at school…

  • Your toes are pretty. (Kindergarten)
  • What is an idiom? (Fifth grade)
  • It’s sooooo hot. (K, 2, 5, 6)
  • Miss Stiff is here! (K)
  • Oh no! You’re here Friday? It’s ruined! (6)
  • Swimsuits and girls in swimsuits. (When I asked what made them passionate about summer. That would be grade 5. Heaven help us all.)
  • Mom, I won’t get lost like on June 3rd. It was a Friday. (My very own second grader after walking away from his sister and not remembering which classroom mom was in every day when I drive to school so not technically in school.)
  • There’s mulch in my eye! (K)
  • Miss Stiff John is throwing mulch again. (K and don’t worry. All names are changed to protect the guilty.)
  • I have a black eye. (K. Three times this week.)
  • I think I miss my mom. (K)
  • I need to call my mom! (5- after forgetting his instrument.)
  • Is he adopted? (K, 1, 2, 5, 6, 9) that wasn’t a typo. A ninth grader who was also adopted from China asked this week.
  • Why don’t his parents want him? (2)
  • I’m so done! (Teacher)
  • Is this year over yet? (Teacher)
  • Can’t we just do recess all afternoon? (Aide – sadly she wasn’t kidding.)

These are just a few of the things said on an almost daily basis. I need to start taking notes.

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