Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tell Me This Isn't a Bit Creepy!!

Today I was sitting at the soccer field watching the Blonde One's team beat their cross-town 'rivals' in a big way. It was a good game, and the kids always enjoy it because they all know each other and have played summer league and recreational league together for years.

Anyway, sitting a few feet away from me was the mom of one of our players. I wasn't sure exactly which player she belonged to, but I had seen her before and she was cheering for our team, so I knew she was 'ours'.

When the game was over, everyone lingered a bit while the players shook hands, got snacks, etc.

Then it got creepy.

A player from the opposing team walked past, shirtless.

The mom next to me watched him walk past, then said, "Hey! You are really cute! I've been watching you out there and you are REALLY cute!!"

I've never seen a 16 y/o boy so uncomfortable in my life.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday Weather

A little late, but last week's PhotoFriday theme was "Weather".

I have a ton of weather photos, but I had already used
my favorite a few weeks ago. That photo, by the way, was chosen as the Friday Weather Shot of the Week a few months ago on one of ouur local newscasts. If I didn't have my own weird rule about not using the same photo twice, it seemed like the logical choice.

So, I cheated. I used
this photo.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Has Left The Building!

It's been a busy month for us, but a good one.....thus the absence from the Bloggie World (and pretty much everywhere else).

I love Christmas and all the decorating that goes along with it. However, once December 26 rolls around, well, it's over for me. I'm ready to get my house and my life back to normal.....which is how I've spent the last 24 hours. As of tonight, everything Christmas is packed away and waiting to be dragged out again next Thanksgiving.

So, now it's time to play catch-up on all that has been ignored for the past month.

The Blogging begins tomorrow.

I hope you all had a great Christmas (or holiday of your choice)!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Progress, In Baby Steps

Destructo's first Christmas:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Destructo's second Christmas:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Destructo's third Christmas:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Poor, Poor Me

I hung the Christmas lights on the house today - thirty strands of icicle lights. Now I have blisters all over the bottom of my toes from climbing up and down the ladder all morning in my bare feet.

(sigh)

Sometimes it's tough living in Paradise.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Words of Wisdom

(From a 2 y/o.)

Destructo, once again, was playing with the Lego train and broke it.

It has become routine at our house for Destructo to break the train, the Blonde One to fix it, then Destructo breaks it again. The Blonde One is very good with his little brother, which is surprising considering he is a 16 y/o hormonal boy.

So, Destructo broke the Lego train while the Blonde One was sitting next to him, watching.

Blonde One: You broke it!!

Destructo: Yeah! I broke it!

Blonde One: Why did you break it?

Destructo: You need to put it up higher.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Friday Stillness

I've been too busy trying to get a huge jump on the holidays to do much with my camera lately, so I was digging through some old files looking for a 'Stillness' picture. I had a specific picture in mind, but couldn't remember exactly when I took it.

Along the way, I came across
this one, which was taken at Pearl Harbor early on a Sunday morning last spring. I thought it was fitting to use, with the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor coming up this week.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Destructo Has Earned His Horns

It's tradition in our family to begin decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Usually this means I put on some Christmas music, rearrange the furniture and clear the area for the tree while the Hubster hauls in many, many boxes of "Christmas Trash" from the garage. The kids wait anxiously for the tree to be set up so they can begin hanging the ornaments, each searching through boxes of ornaments hoping to fine their 'special' ornament (Baby's First Christmas).

Oh, wait. Reality check.

That was years ago, when the kids actually cared. This year the Diva is gone, the Blonde One was involved in a soccer tournament all weekend, and the Wildcard begged and begged to play at his friend's house.

That left the Hubster, Destructo, and me.

Oh, wait. Surf was up.

By default, Destructo became my helper for the weekend.

In all fairness, the Blonde One and the Wildcard did set up the train and platform, the Hubster and the Blonde One carried all the Christmas Trash from the garage, and the Hubster helped me set up the tree.



This is the first 'real' Christmas for Destructo. He was curious about things last year, but this year it is all so magical for him.

And there is nothing like a little magic to bring out the worst in a 2 y/o.



This year we traded our old K-Line train for a really cool Lego train set. The boys worked nearly two hours putting it all together while Destructo napped. As soon as Destructo saw it, the Blonde One made it move and whistle. Destructo did the most logical thing he could think of. He grabbed the engine and tossed it across the room, laughing all the way. It shattered into ten-thousand pieces......this was so cool that Destructo grabbed another of the cars and tossed it in the opposite direction.

When we first turned on the tree lights, Destructo squealed and began dancing around the room. He couldn't believe we actually had a tree in our house....and it had lights on it. Then he spotted the controllers for the lights and began switching them on/off/on/off/on/off in random order, laughing all the way. This fun ended when our power strip sparked and gave up.

So, we moved on the the boxes of ornaments. I tried to go slow, unwrapping each ornament and letting him look it before we hung it on our tree. Surprisingly, this worked well for at least half an hour. Then the Little Boy in him came out, and he began rummaging wildly through the boxes, pulling out random ornaments and asking "What's this? What's this?" Some held his interest long enough for me to catch up with his mess, others were tossed onto the table or floor as he searched for the next new 'toy', laughing all the way. When we finished, seven were broken but repairable, and two met an untimely end on the tile floor.

And he hasn't even dipped into the holiday sweets yet.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Not Only Am I White Trash....

If you laugh at the jokes on Neil Cavuto, does that make you a geek?

Apparently a certain teenaged son thinks so.

Keep in mind that this teenaged son laughed at someone who thought a larger tax refund meant less taxes. Even thouth he has never had a 'real' job, he knew that what is withheld from your paycheck is more important than the amount of your refund.

Okay, I am a Geek and I am raising a Geek Child.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Those Holiday Pounds

I've run the numbers:

The average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

To lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories; to lose ten pounds, you will need to burn 35,000 calories.

There are 42 days between now and New Year's Day.

You will need to burn 814 additional calories per day in order to avoid those Holiday Pounds. (Assuming you don't want to monitor your eating during those 42 days, Lol!)


How can you burn 814 calories?

2 hours of high impact aerobics
3.5 hours of leisurely bicycling (or less than 1 hour of bike racing)
2 hours of moderate stationary bicycling
1.25 hours of boxing (in a ring, not with a punching bag)
4 hours of carpentry, child care, or general house cleaning
5.5 hours of cooking (assume no sampling, or else we're looking at negative calories burned!) 3.5 hours of fishing
2 hours of jogging
7 hours of playing a musical instrument, unless you're a drummer...then you only need half that

3.5 hours of raking your lawn
1 hour of fast rope-jumping
1 hour of running at a 7 minute/mile pace
1 hour of running stairs
2.5 hours of scrubbing your floors
2 hours of ski jumping
1.5 hours of competitive soccer
4 hours of unpacking boxes
5 hours of surfing
3.5 hours of sweeping your garage and sidewalks
1.75 hours of freestyle swimming
2.5 hours of unicycling
4 hours of walking at a moderate pace
3.5 hours of walking on crutches


Gobble, gobble!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Am SO White Trash

This morning I found myself in the MomVan heading out the back gate of the base wearing my threadbare Beach Bash 1992 t-shirt (the one I sleep in on chilly nights) and a pair of running shorts. My feet were bare, my face wasn't washed, and my hair was still matted to my head (think 'going to bed with wet hair' matted).

Oh, and in the back seat was a completely naked two-year old.

In my defense, I had brushed my teeth and the kid was buckled in his carseat.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Many Moods of a College Freshman

August (before leaving)

I don't want to go. I should have just gone to U.H.

I wish I hated you....it would be so much easier to move away.

August

Oh my gosh! I've made so many new friends! People are so nice and I love my dorm!

We went to a really fun party last night and ended up swimming in the fountain! We didn't get home until 4 a.m.!

Classes are really fun!! My professors seem really nice and everything is so organized! I have a History paper due in two weeks and I'm working on it now!

September

Ummm...can I call you later? We're on our way to eat.

(voicemail) Hi - just checking in....I'll call you later in the week when I have more time.

I'm at the gym. Tonight I have a meeting and a study group. Call me this weekend, okay?

October

Mom? (sob, sob) I want to come home! (sob, sob, wail, sob) I hate it here. (wail, wail, wa-a-a-a-ail) People are so self-centered.

I hate this f-(unintelligible) place. Can I please transfer next semester? It's not fair. Everyone gets to go home on the weekends if they want to.

(6:10 Sunday morning) (sob, sob, wail) Mom.....(sob, wail)....are you awake? (more sobbing and wailing) I-Tunes deleted all my songs!! I hate this f-(unintelligible) place. I just want to come home!! How do I get my f-(unintelligible) music back?

November

So, has anyone cleaned my room since I left? 'Cause it was pretty messy last time I saw it. What about the bathroom? Are the boys using my bathroom?

How is the Blonde One doing in Trig class? If Mrs. P likes him, he'll do well...otherwise watch out. What about his AP Bio class? Because that's a lot like my Bio class here....he needs to save his notes.

I saw this t-shirt that I really want to get Dad for Christmas....what size should I get?

Oh, should I tell Dad about this, or should I just surprise him when I get home?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gross Friday

This wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

Normally I don't take pictures of gross things, so I had to put a little extra effort into this one. I browsed some of the other 'Gross' photos at
PhotoFriday, just to see what other people considered gross. It was pretty disgusting, but somewhat inspiring.

It didn't take long after that to come up with
my 'Gross' photo. Look, if you dare!

Edited to add: This should answer the question, "Why do you have THAT??"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's 4 p.m.....Do You Know Where Your Son Is?

After a marathon errand-running afternoon with Destructo, I returned home to find the house eerily quiet. The Blonde One was at driver's ed and the Hubster was sitting with his feet up watching absolutely nothing on TV.

Me: Where's the Wildcard?

Him: Oh, he went to his friend Todd's house.

Me: Todd? He doesn't have a friend named Todd. No one names their kids 'Todd' any more anyway.

Him: Maybe it was Timmy.

Me: No....no friend named Timmy either.

Him: It was Todd.....or Timmy, I swear. He said he was going to Todd's (or Timmy's) house at the bottom of the hill.

Me: Do you mean Ryan?

Him: (looking at me like I am stupid) No, he said Todd (or Timmy). That doesn't sound anything like "Ryan".

Me: Zack? Elijah? Because they both live at the bottom of the hill. Ryan does too.


Him: (sigh) He said he was going to Todd or Timmy's house at the bottom of the hill. He said you always tell him to be home by 6 o'clock, so that's what I told him. He has a cell phone if you want to call him at Todd's house.

Me: No, I'm sure he'll be home from "Todd's" house at 6 o'clock. Because he always comes home on time when he goes to Todd's house. After all, Todd lives right at the bottom of the hill....

Him: (noting my sarcasm) Just wait and see....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
(He was at Elijah's house. And "Elijah" does sound SO much like "Todd" or "Timmy".)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Light Friday

Have you ever had one of those totally sucky days where you just want the day to be over with so you can crawl back into bed and forget everything?

And have you ever been driving home at the end of one of those days and come across an amazing photo op and just happen to have your camera with you?

As a result, do you have a picture that you absolutely love, but every time you see it you are reminded of that totally sucky day?

Here's my Favorite 'Totally Sucky Day' Photo.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes....

Monday Morning;

Destructo sat on a stool watching me slice, chop, and mix all the ingredients to make a huge pot of vegetable beef soup for dinner. We chatted and talked about the different items going into the soup - beef, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, celery....

After the soup had been simmering for about an hour, the Hubster stopped in on his way to a meeting. Destructo went running to the door to greet him.

Hubster: Mmmmmm....what do I smell?

Destructo: It's cooking! It's mango garbage soup!!

(mango=tomato, garbage=cabbage)

----------------------------------

I never noticed, but when Destructo coughs I have a habit of asking, "Are you okay?"

It probably started at the dinner table when he was younger and would sometimes gag on my cooking. He would cough and I would ask if he was okay, thinking he may be choking.

Lately, any time he coughs he pauses, looks at me, sighs and says, "I'm okay."

------------------------------

Many evenings we walk down to the beach to let Destructo burn off some steam before bedtime.


Last night "our" beach was off-limits, so we had to drive about half a mile to a different beach. The Hubster, being more than a bit spoiled, complained about the beach closing and about having to load up the MomVan to drive two minutes to a different beach. Our beach is usually empty, so he was doubly annoyed when we arrived and discovered that we would have to share sand with five other random people.

Destructo was silent the entire time (two minutes of silence is forever in Destructo time!). I think he was confused by the Hubster's mood and really didn't know what to make of it. You could see the little wheels turning in his little head as he tried to figure out how to make things normal again.

We parked, got out of the MomVan and started walking toward the water. I was holding Destructo's hand and walking with him while the Hubster walked a couple of paces ahead. After a few steps, Destructo let go of my hand and ran up to walk with the Hubster.

He took the Hubster's hand, looked up at him and said, "Daddy, I am very, very proud of you."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Extreme Blog Makeover

I was feeling impulsive and motivated last night, thus the change. That, and the fact that posting photos never worked well with the three-column layout, forced the change. I found the general layout via Google, and modified it to fit me. If you are interested, there's a link to the right for "Gecko and Fly"....they have many other layouts to choose from. They are free and easy to modify - two things that were important to me!!

I'm still doing some tweaking, so let me know of any bugs. It looks different on both of my computers, so I really don't know what anyone else is seeing!

I love the tabs across the top, It think it looks a lot less cluttered than the old layout. And I'm all about less clutter.

The new Ohana (family) page is so much easier to make changes to, so I may modify that more often. Or not.

I've finally gotten the go-ahead to hit the streets again, so I may start updating the Marathon page.....although I may have to rename it "Operation 5-K".

And now that I can post photos on this page without messing up the alignment, I may do away with the Photos page. I also may start posting more photos here.

Hopefully this layout will stay around longer than the previous one!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Step #1: Admit You Have a Problem.

I took 283 pictures today. And I really didn't do anything special or photoworthy.

I took the Wildcard to the Annoying Friend's house. On the way home I stopped at my new favorite place to take pictures.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After I got home, the Hubster asked Destructo if he wanted to go to the beach (of course he did!!) and we arrived at sunset.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, November 03, 2006

Accidental Friday

It's been a while, but I'm back at it.

Two hours at a soccer field with a 2 y/o and you'll do anything to entertain him for a few minutes. Including letting him play with your pricey camera.

This is one of Destructo's
accidental self-portraits.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat for Candy?

Tonight was Destructo's first real Halloween. We had been preparing him for the past few days knowing that any loot collected by a 2 y/o is fair game once he turns his head.

We went costume shopping a few weeks ago, and he fell in love with a monkey costume. It wasn't really the costume that interested him, but the picture of the monkey on the tag. The costume itself was, well, embarrassing. It was a golden monkey with a huge belly and no tail. It had a hood with a tiny little monkey head attached. He called it his "Dunkey Suit". The first time he tried it on, he looked in the mirror and covered his face in shame.

So, tonight we dressed him in his Dunkey Suit, gave him his little candy bucket, and ran through the whole, "Say 'trick-or treat'! Say 'thank you' after they give you the candy."

He totally got it.

I took him out the back door and we walked around to the front of the house where Destructo rang the doorbell and I let him do his thing.

The Blonde One answered the door. Destructo walked in, held up his candy bucket and said to him, "Put the candy in the bucket. Thank you."

It was more holdup that cute little Dunkey Boy.

Sigh.

I reminded him to say 'trick or treat' to get the candy, and we headed out to canvas the neighborhood.

The first house we went to was a neighbor who was sitting out on her front porch taking advantage of her wireless internet. Destructo approached and said, "Trick or treat for candy?"

She never looked up, just pointed at the bowl on the table next to her. He took a piece, thanked her and we moved on.

The next house was a neighbor in full witch's attire. She was stirring a cauldron of steamy stuff, and really playing the part. As he backed away fom her, he said, "Trick or treat for candy?" She handed me a few pieces of candy and a wine cooler from her cauldron. We both thanked her and we moved on.

We should have cut our losses and stopped there.

Our third, and final, house featured a ghoulish guitar duo in the garage. The people who live there have no children, and I think they meant well, but they required a little singing and dancing with the ghouls before you could get your treat. Destructo refused to perform and eventually they gave in. They reached into their basket and pulled out an apple and a toothbrush for him.

Doh!! We had hit the dentist's house! I don't know what I was thinking.

Destructo looked at me and said, "Mommy carry you?" So I carried him home in the rain and called it a night.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sucktober....Is It Over Yet?

Two more days until the month of sucker-punches will be over. Hopefully, November will be much better.

The boys' soccer seasons have been very demanding this month....much more so than normal

The Wildcard decided to join Boy Scouts. I know it's a good organization, but there's that part of me that thinks "creepy scoutmaster in little shorts and kerchief". It didn't help that the Wildcard said, "Don't worry Mom, I won't let them try to fit me for a cup." The bottom line is that it's one more weeknight activity that we have to coordinate.

Then the medical issues....

-It started when I went for a run one night and literally couldn't breathe after the first half mile. Between the shortness of breath, the dizziness, and the pressure on my chest, I thought I was going to have a heat attack. I was actually relieved when the doctor, after numerous embarrassingly uncomfortable tests, said, "Have you been tired lately? Because you are severely anemic." So, we're dealing with that, which is much better than clogged arteries.

-Then there was the day when I looked left, looked right, and pulled a muscle in my neck...Vicodin and three days of walking around like Frankenstein seemed to cure it.

-Oh, and after that was the trip to the ER with the Hubster....blood poisoning. That was a fun way to spend a Friday night.

-And let's not forget the flu that has been making the rounds. The only thing worse than having the flu is having the flu AND a 2 y/o who thinks he can take advantage of you because you're face-down on the carpet at 9 a.m.

Have I mentioned that we may be moving next year? Because that's been an issue this month too. The Marine Corps Monitors (the Powers That Be) made a visit to Hawaii this month to discuss options for those who are scheduled to move this year.

We want to stay here. The Blonde One will be a senior next year, and we really, really don't want him to have to start a new school his senior year. Plus, for those who have been following my ramblings for a long time, he will be having surgery next year
to remove his bar. We really would like him to continue being seen by his doctors here.

Anyway.

One day they are telling us that we can stay here, no problem. Well, no problem other than that there are no jobs in the Hubster's career field....meaning that he will have to take a sucky job which will more than likely involve a long visit to a hot, dry location on the other side of the world.

Or.....they can send us to somewhere we don't want to be. The phrase "cross-pollination" has been used a lot recently when discussing the Marine JAG Corps.

What does that mean? It means "we're going to send you somewhere you haven't been before." Doesn't matter that you are familiar with the issues and policies in Hawaii, you must move....everyone must move this year.

The Hubster's choices (in order) are to stay here, to stay here and commute to a nearby base, or a couple of bases in the Carolinas. We're thinking we will end up at the Pentagon or in California, simply because we haven't been there. You know, cross-pollination and all. (Insert sarcastic eye-rolling here.)

Or perhaps we'll get lucky and they will send us on a
hardship tour to Italy.

Bring on November.

Please?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hawaiian Tradition: The Potluck

I'm sure the potluck doesn't have Hawaiian roots, but the Hawaiians seem to have perfected it.

My first Hawaiian potluck experience happened soon after we moved here. And it totally caught me off guard.

Looking back, I don't know how I missed all the obvious signs. After all, I was coaching a volleyball team, and all the coaches were required to attend a mandatory meeting at 9:00 on a Saturday morning. For me, being a naive Haole girl, I assumed this meant we would meet at 9:00, have our meeting and go home.

To the Locals, meeting = potluck.

Still living on Mainland time, I arrived 8:55 for my meeting and no one was there. At about 9:05 the guy who organized the league showed up to unlock the door. I spent the next fifteen minutes with him rearranging tables and getting ready for "the meeting" before the other coaches began showing up......all bringing a dish to share.

It was obvious that I was a Newbie.

I soon figured out that any meeting involving two or more people should be considered a potluck, just in case. If you are meeting a friend in a parking lot to drop off/exchange kids for a sleepover, bring a cooler of drinks and some potato salad....just in case.

Athletic events are huge potluck opportunities.

It starts innocently enough. Mom or Dad (and possibly a few siblings) show up in time to drop off the player and stake out a spot on the sidelines. As game time approaches, the other parent (and a few more siblings) show up toting coolers, lawn chairs and blankets. The game begins, and various other relatives arrive with coolers, grocery bags, and more chairs. By halftime the area is crowded with extended family members chowing on poke, spam musubi, potato salad or macaroni salad or potato/mac salad or all of the starchy salads, haupia, and tons of fresh fruit. It's not so much about the soccer game, but the food, talkin' story with family, and maybe breaking out a ukulele after the game.

So.

It's the end of the soccer season, and the Team Mom (yours truly) is in charge of organizing the end-of-season potluck. I explained to the coach (also a Haole) that potlucks aren't organized....they are spontaneous events. I've notified everyone of the date, time, and place. My work is done.

The rest will just happen.

Trust me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Gimpy

Morning at the Gimpy house:

Him: Hey...g'morning. How's your neck?

Her: I twisted it in my sleep again. Can you help me up?

Mr. Gimpy pulls Mrs. Gimpy up out of bed.

Her: Thanks. I think it's better though. I can do this now.... (she turns her head 10 degrees to the right) ....and this...(she turns her head 45 degrees to the left). How's your foot?

Him: I can walk, but I can't put my sneakers on.

Her: That's progress, right?

Him: Baby steps....



Evening at the Gimpy house:

Him: You want a Margarita?

Her: I don't think I can have one with my Vocodin, can I?

Him: Not sure....

Her: Where are your drugs? Can they be mixed with alcohol?

Him: (reading the labels) Yes and No.

Her: So, should we do drugs or alcohol tonight?


Friday, October 20, 2006

Two Things I Hate Most

Cooking and Mornings.

So why the heck was I up making crepes at 6:30 this morning?



It all started last Friday when the Wildcard informed me that they had finished their unit on France in his AGT class, and they would be having a potluck. Each student was to bring in one French food for the potluck. Then he asked me what he should sign up for.

Who does he think I am, Julia Child?

We discussed some options and got some input/recipes from reliable sources, and decided on quiche. Quick, simple, and hopefully foolproof.

So, the Wildcard went to school on Monday and signed up for crepes. Go figure.

Thursday the Wildcard came home from school and said he didn't want to take crepes. The fifth grade had had their potluck that day, and his class was there for leftovers. He said the crepes tasted like raw eggs mixed with barf.


For some reason, he was afraid my crepes would also taste like raw eggs mixed with barf. He wanted to take quiche.

Okay, so I've never actually made crepes, but the Hubster made them once while I watched. Based on that, I told the Wildcard that I make very good crepes and that I bought a can of squirt whipped cream to top them with. (No 11 y/o can resist aerosol whipped cream.)

The aerosol whipped cream, along with the chocolate and cherry fillings, seemed to sway him.


So, 6:30 a.m. and I'm up making crepes. Fortunately there are only five kids in his class, plus two teachers. Eighteen crepes later, I finally had ten good ones to send to school with him. I stacked them in Tupperware, separated by waxed paper, and sealed them tight. I tossed the chocolate filling, cherries, and whipped cream in a bag with the Tupperware and sent him off to school.

When he came home, the crepes, chocolate, and whipped cream were all gone. I asked him how the crepes were and he predictably said, "Well, they didn't taste like raw eggs and barf."

The lesson learned: It really is true that you can put chocolate and whipped cream on anything and it will taste good.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Well, THAT Was Fun

(She said sarcastically.)

Nothing like being rattled out of bed at 7 a.m. on a lazy Sunday morning.

I have to say, that was the biggest earthquake I've ever experienced. The initial quake lasted nearly a minute, which seems like forever in Earthquake Time. It was almost immediately followed by the biggest aftershock I have ever experienced.

Once the shaking and rattling subsided, I went into Disaster Readiness Mode.

I crawled back into bed, hoping for just a few more minutes of sleep.

It never happened. Destructo and the Wildcard came running down the hall and jumped up onto the bed, totally excited about the earthquake. This lasted about ten seconds, then the power went out.

(Apparently Hawaiian Electric has sensors installed in the ground, and they automatically turn off the electricity when there is seismic activity. Thus, the island-wide power outage. The outer islands have more archaic systems, so their outages weren't quite as widespread and they were able to return to normal more quickly. I guess sometimes modern technology slows things down a bit.)

Anyway, it was late last night when we were finally 'up' again. That, combined with the rainy/stormy weather, made for a very, very long day. This is what I learned in the 14+ hours I spent 'unplugged':

-When the electricity goes out, you will instinctively flip on a light switch in the first room you enter.

-Duct tape is the best way to keep a 2 y/o from opening the refrigerator and letting out all the cold air. The duct tape is for the refrigerator, not for the 2 y/o. Although that may work too.....

-The Hubster will surf six hours in the rain if there is nothing else to do.

-After eight hours, the entire family will go to the beach in the rain and enjoy it.

-Boys of all ages are attracted to fire. Use caution when lighting candles in the House o' Testosterone.

-The four food groups during a power outage are beef jerkey, fruit loops, potato chips, and graham crackers.

-A tub of chocolate frosting makes a great dessert.

-Finally (and most important of all) never, ever leave ALL of your Coke in the refrigerator!!


(We are fine - thank you all for the good thoughts!!)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

My Blonde One turned Sweet Sixteen on Friday the Thirteenth. Somehow that just seems wrong.

Since he is the camera shy one, I will honor his request and not post pictures of him on his birthday.

Instead, I'll tell an embarrassing story.

Well, not exactly embarrassing, but it did make him blush.

The Blonde One plays school sports, and I can always spot him from across the field because we live in Hawaii and he is usually the ONLY blonde out there. I don't know how many times I've had casual conversations with other parents at the games/meets and they ask which child is mine.

The answer is always simple.....no need to know his number or his position. "He's the Blonde One."

'Nuff said.

Last spring I was at one of his soccer games, and a group of girls from the opposing school sat directly behind me. They giggled and talked and I really didn't pay much attention until I heard one of them say, "the Blonde One".

There was only one Blonde One on the field, so my ears perked up.

Apparently they were sizing up the players on our team and comparing them to the players on their team. They were especially impressed with the hair on our team.

I listened as they talked about how they liked to watch the Blonde One run because his hair just flowed in the wind. One girl said she wanted to go up to him after the game and run her fingers through his blonde curls.....didn't matter that he was all sweaty.

This went on for a few minutes while I made mental notes and tried to stifle the giggles.

After the game, I told the Blonde One about the giggly girls and their obsession with his blonde hair. It didn't phase him a bit.

"One girl said she wanted to brush your curls, massage your scalp, then lick your face."

The Calm, Cool, Collected One turned beet red.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gender Differences

Boys and girls are different.

Need proof?

The Diva packed and moved away to college. These are the "reject" shoes that just didn't make the cut and are still sitting in the bottom of her closet, anxiously waiting for her return.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Blonde One?

He owns two pair of soccer cleats, a pair of running shoes, a pair of sprinter's cleats, and two pair of slippers (flip-flops). The slippers are $2 rubber slippers, a wardrobe staple in the Islands. One pair is new, never been worn. The other pair? Those are the favorite, and his everyday footwear.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Those spots on the heels? Holes. He completely wore them out and refuses to wear the new pair because these are just "way too comfortable". As a bonus (he pointed this out to me today), the holes in the heels drain the water off when it rains.

Someone call the "What Not to Wear" people, please?

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Baby of the Family

Family dynamics have always interested me. When one of the kids brings a new friend over, it usually doesn't take long to figure out where he/she fits into the family food chain.

Let's take Destructo, for example.

Being the youngest, and SO much younger than his siblings, can be a blessing, a curse, or just plain weird.

Like this weekend, for example.

I was in the kitchen slicing oranges for halftime snacks at the Blonde One's soccer game. I always make two big ziplock bags for the team, and a little bag for Destructo. The Wildcard was sitting on a bar stool in the corner having a snack after his game. Enter Destructo.....

Me: Are you hungry? Should we take some oranges for you too?

Destructo: I, Destructo, do solemnly swear to eat all of my oranges.

Me: Huh??!?? What did you say?

Destructo: I, Destructo, do solemnly swear to eat all of my oranges.

I heard the Wildcard snort behind me, and turned to see him laughing so hard he was nearly falling off his stool.

Wildcard: I taught him to say that! Except he forgot the part about "to the best of my ability..."

((sigh))

After we returned home from the game, the Hubster and I were in the kitchen emptying coolers, toy bags, and various other crap that we had carried along with us. Once again, enter Destructo....

Destructo (addressing me): Honey? Have you seen my airplanes?

((double sigh))

Friday, October 06, 2006

King of the Jungle

So, the boys are on Fall Break this week. We've been chillin' and taking a few day trips....most notably a trip to the zoo with Destructo and the Wildcard.

Destructo loved the zoo, in his own special way. He jabbered all the way there.

"I'm going to see the elephants and the 'pottamusses and the zebras and the 'nosrusses and the snowman."

The first exhibit was the elephants. Destructo's reaction?

"Hey!!!! They're moving!!"

This comment was repeated over and over throughout the morning. The zebras moved, the 'pottamuses moved, and the monkeys really moved.

His favorite?

The koi in the pond surrounding an empty monkey cage. He was so fascinated with the fishies and kept asking to go back to see them. Other than the fact that the animals moved, he was totally unimpressed.

Bubby, do you want to go see the monkeys again?

No. No monkeys. Let's see the fishies.

What about the giraffe? You love giraffes!

No giraffes. Just fishies.

On the way home, the Wildcard pointed out the fact that there was no snowman in the zoo. Destructo was okay with that.

As soon as we got home, the Blonde One asked Destructo if he saw the snowman at the zoo.

Destructo gave him the "are you an idiot?" look and said, "There's no snowman at the zoo."

The Hubster came home from work a few hours later and asked the same question. Destructo shot him the look, sighed, and said, "No. There's no snowman at the zoo. Only monkeys and fishies and zebras. No snowman."

So, we cleared that up.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Never Again

I say that every year, but every year I get sucked into it again.

Today the Wildcard annd I ran the Niketown 5-k. It's a great fundraiser for the P.E. departments of the schools, and the entire entry fee goes back to the school of your choice. Nike donates sporting goods and prizes, and it's an allover win-win situation.

The downside is that there are 8,000 registered runners.....more than half of them are elementary-aged or under.

I won't get into the 'kids playing tag on the race course' vent, or the 'parents walking four wide on the course' vent , or the 'be realistic when you estimate your pace per mile' vent.

I'll just say that I had to stop and tie my shoe at mile 2.5 and I told the Wildcard to run ahead (wink, wink). He finished a couple of minutes ahead of me and now has bragging rights for the entire next year. He is very proud of himself.

:)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Lions and Tigers and......

Snowmen?

I've been meaning to make a trip to the zoo with Destructo. He has never been to the zoo, and lately has been fascinated with pictures of animals. Like any 2 y/o, he likes to point them all out by name, imitate them, and make the appropriate animal noise for each. I often wonder if he realizes that they are more than just pictures in a book, that they are real, live things...just like StupidDog.

The kids are on Fall Break next week, and last night I was making some plans for the week. This, of course, included a trip to the zoo with the Wildcard and Destructo.

I asked Destructo if he wanted to go to the zoo to see the animals, and he was definitely interested.

Me: Do you want to go see the lions?

Destructo: Yeah...the lions! They say "Raaaaahhhrrrr!!!"

Me: What about the monkeys? Should we see the monkeys?

Destructo (getting really excited now): Yeah!! Monkeys!! Monkeys are silly!

Me: And the elephants? Do you want to see elephants?

Destructo: Elephants! I want to see elephants!

Me: Then let's go to the zoo!!

Destructo: Yeah! The zoo! We can see the snowman too!

Me: Huh?? The snowman?

Destructo: Yeah. The snowman at the zoo.

Me: Is there a snowman at the zoo?

Destructo: There's a snowman. He shibbers and says says "Brrrr......."

Time to get that boy to the zoo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Trick or Treat?

Hey Hon? Where did you hide the Halloween candy? Because I'm not going to be able to stop eating the cheesecake and ice cream until you tell me!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Man Moods

I sincerely believe that men have their monthly cycles, just like women.

I swear for the past few days the Blonde One, the Wildcard, and Destructo have all been suffering from Pre-Manstrual Syndrom. To make matters worse, the Hubster seems to be in the midst of Manopause. It's the only explanation I can come up with for their odd behavior and mood swings.

I really need to buy them all mood rings, just so I'll have an early warning device.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Standoff Has Ended!

It took 40 days, but Destructo has his toy back.

It wasn't as simple as it should have been.

At 29 days....

The Hubster comes to me at 10:00 p.m.:

Hubster: Are you going to be up for a while? Could you proofread a paper for me? It's only five pages....

(Eveyone knows that the time after everyone goes to bed is "ME" time, so this is a huge request...)

Me: Ummmm....okay. I'll do it if you fix Destructo's lawn mower and get it off my kitchen counter.

Hubster: Huh? Oh, the lawn mower? Okay....

The Hubster spends thirty minutes tinkering with the lawn mower, trying to get the bubble-blower feature to work correctly. No luck. He goes to bed, but I've already finished proofreading his paper. The lawn mower is moved to a new location on the kitchen counter.

At 34 days:

The Blonde One is going out to cut the grass. Destructo wants to help.

Blonde One: Dad? Can you fix his lawn mower? He wants to help me.

Hubster: Let me look at it again....

Another thirty minutes passes, with no progress. Unless you count the addition of three tools to the ever-growing pile on my kitchen counter.

At 40 days:

Destructo: I want my 'awn nower'.

Me (to the Hubster): He wants his lawn mower.

Destructo: Daddy fix it?

Me: Daddy will fix it. Daddy can fix anything!

Destructo: Yeah. Daddy will fix it!!


(Why didn't I try that 40 days ago?)


Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm No Food Whore....

But a little incident this weekend made me giggle and think of her.

The Hubster and I had gone to our favorite restaurant for dinner. It's one of those little hole-in-the-wall places with the walk-up counter where you place your order, then you choose a table from their mis-matched decor and wait for the most incredibly fabulous meal you can imagine.

Everything is made fresh, and brought out to your table by the owner himself. Sometimes he'll sit and chat for a while if it's not busy, and he always checks back with you to make sure everything is up to expectations. He's a very friendly, soft-spoken man who has lived all over the world and has a somewhat heavy accent, but I can't really pinpoint the accent.....probably a mish-mash of all the different places he has been.

Anyway, we had placed our order and were sitting enjoying the appetizer, when a couple came in. They were obviously tourists and had never been to the restaurant before. They spent a good ten minutes reading the one-page menu and discussing their options. Finally they made their decisions, and Tourist Lady stepped up to the counter to order.

The owner took their order and informed them that it would be about fifteen minutes before it was ready.

Tourist Lady seemed shocked by this. She said they were in a hurry and fifteen minutes was a really long time to wait. (This, after they had just spent ten minutes trying to decide what to order.)

The owner explained that everything was made fresh after the order was placed, and that fifteen minutes was really not that long.

Tourist Lady got all snooty, told him to never mind, then turned to walk away.

The quiet, mild-mannered owner with the funky accent yelled to her, "If you want a fuckin' Jack-in-theBox, it's one block over!!"

The Hubster and I would have laughed out loud if we hadn't been in such a feeding frenzy over our baba ganoush.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bright Friday

Normally I don't do two PhotoFridays back-to-back, but normally I am not as organized and on the ball as I am today.

Okay, that's a lie. I'm not organized and on the ball.


I got lucky and happened to snap a great picture for this week's "Bright" theme.

Tonight after I dropped the Blonde One off at soccer practice, I had 90 minutes to waste with Destructo tagging along. The sky had been looking all funky most of the day, so I had my camera and a plan.

My plan was to head to a tiny strip of beach and take a few pictures of the Mokulua Islands, locally known as "The Mokes". I love photographing the Mokes because no two pictures ever turn out the same - they vary depending on the weather, the time of day, and the mood. I was hoping the funky clouds would make a good background for the islands.

When we got to the beach, it didn't look good. The sky was very grey, which washed out all the color in the water. There were spots of sun peeking through the clouds, so I waited and hoped for an opening. Then it started to drizzle......and Destructo was getting bored.....after a few minutes we decided to leave. As we were walking away, I took one look back at the Mokes and saw
this.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Boy Friday


This week's topic was "Boy". Since I'm currently the lone female in the house (even StupidDog is a male), it wasn't too difficult to find a "Boy" picture.

I took this one a couple of weeks ago, after dropping the Blonde One off at school in the morning. I was measuring the distance of the previous night's run and we drove past the beach. Destructo, who had been unusually quiet in the back seat, suddenly piped up, "Go to the beach! Go to the beach....go to the beach...gotothebeach...gotothebeachgotothebeach...."

So, we stopped at the beach. I was determined to make it a quick trip that wouldn't need to be followed by a shower and complete change of clothes.......he had other ideas.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Welcome To the Jungle

The Blonde One is a referee for youth soccer games, so our Saturday mornings include driving to some randomly assigned soccer field and waiting while he refs one or two games. Destructo usually tags along, and I entertain him with whatever is available - playgrounds, soccer fields, holes in the ground, etc.

Today was no different. It was a new (to us) field with very limited distractions for a 2 y/o. We played in the dirt and rolled the soccer ball down the hill way too many times, when I finally gave in.

Me: Hey bubby, do you want to go get a Slurpee?

Destructo: (contemplating) A Slippery? Yeah. Let's get a Slippery.

So, we headed off to the 7-11 for a 'Slippery'.

On the way, I noticed some side roads that appeared to head up towards the mountains. Since they were new to me and I had never driven them before, curiosity got the best of me. We got the Slippery, they headed off on a mini road trip to explore the back roads.

We drove for several miles down narrow, winding roads. Destructo sat quietly in the back seat of the MomVan sipping his Orange Creme Slippery, while I took in the scenery.

The road was narrow but smoothly paved, so I knew it had to be a 'main' road. We drove past lush, green, tropical landscape, with the occasional view of the mountains to the left. In some places the trees grew all the way across the road, and vines hung low over the MomVan. It was gorgeous, and a very relaxing drive.

At one point I came across four people out riding horses. Destructo had never seen a real horse before, so I pointed them out to him.

Me: Bubby, look at the horsies!!

Destructo (straining to see out the front window): I see them!

Me: Look, there are one....two....three....four horsies!

Destructo: Yeah.

Me: Do you see one white one? And two brown ones? And one brown and white one?

Destructo: Yeah.

So we drove past the horsies and continued on.

Me: I like the horsies. Do you like the horsies?

Destructo: Yeah. (Pause....) They were zebras.

Me: They look like zebras, don't they? But zebras have stripes, and they don't live in Hawaii.

Destructo: They were zebras. I like them.

A few minutes later, we ended up behind an old pickup truck with a large golden retriever in the back bed.

Me: Look at the doggie!

Destructo: I see him! He's waving at me!! (Wagging his tail.)

Me: Silly puppy!!

Destructo: He's a lion.

Me: Is he?

Destructo: He's a lion, and he says "raaaaaahhhhrrr!!".

Me: Okay.

And we continued on, until I spotted..............

Me: Hey, Bubby!! Do you see the chickens? Look out your window!

Destructo: Yeah. I see them. (Pause...........) They're monkeys.

Me: Monkeys?

Destructo: Yeah, they are monkeys. They climb trees.

Me: You're right - monkeys do climb trees.............

Destructo: Yeah, the monkeys climb trees. (Long pause.............) The monkeys climb trees, then they go poopy on the rainbows.

Me: Bubby? Can Mommy have a sip of your Slippery? I really need to know what Mr. 7-11 Man put in it...........

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Birthday Time!!

My little beach bum

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

is a legal adult today.



Happy Birthday, Diva!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Zero Tolerance

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I find myself having very little tolerance for stupidity, whining, and petty bickering.

And I'm not talking about kids either.

I'm beginning to think that the majority of men in the military are married to incompetent losers. The rest (of course) are married to brilliant, strong, well-adjusted women who make the most of whatever is sent their way - I count some of these women as my favorite people to hang with.

Unfortunately, the whiners have been making me crazy lately.

For example, let's look at the Wildcard's base soccer team.

The military bases have a summer soccer league where each base puts together teams and they play teams from other military bases on the island. It's usually a fun season, and it's always nice to go play at the other bases. Not so this year.

The moms complained about having to travel "all the way across the island" to play the teams on other bases. Keep in mind that "all the way across the island" is a 20 minute drive....maybe 40 minutes to the bases in the middle of the island. So........it was decided that we would only play the teams from our own base, which means playing the same three teams over and over and over again.

Then, if that wasn't enough, they whined about it being too hot......so the games were all switched to 8 a.m. on Saturday. Then they whined about it being too early.....and the fact that one of the soccer fields is on the water and just too windy.

Shut up already.

At this Saturday's 8 a.m. game at the windy field, the lazy-ass, loud-mouth mom seated next to me was complaining how much she hates Hawaii. She said there's nothing to do and it's too expensive and "the natives scare me".

Shut up.

I know not everyone likes it here....I can totally understand that. It is a different lifestyle than the Mainland. However, when you refuse to explore anything off base, even on different military bases on the same island, you really have no right to complain about the military taking you out of Podunk, Wyoming and sending you to a tropical Pacific island. Instead of whining and complaining, get off your ass and see what this island is all about!!!

That's my vent of the day.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Standoff, Week Three

Do you remember the "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode about
the suitcase? The one where Ray and Debra each think the other should put the suitcase away, so it sits there for weeks?

We have our own standoff going here, but I don't think the Hubster realizes it yet.

Three weeks ago today, the Hubster took Destructo's lawn mower apart because the bubble blower wasn't working very well. The bubbles weren't an issue with Destructo, he just likes pushing his lawn mower around, especially when the Blonde One is mowing the lawn.

So, the Hubster got his tools from the garage and disassembled the lawn mower in the driveway. He found the problem, but wasn't able to fix it because there was a broken piece inside.

Soooooo........what would be the next logical step? Perhaps re-assemble it and let Destructo have his toy back? Put it in the garage and try to track down a replacement piece? Or maybe bring it inside the house and put it on the kitchen counter and completely forget about it?

Yep. It's been sitting on the kitchen counter for three weeks.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You would think at some point he would see it there and think, "You know, I really should fix that thing."

But no, it just sits there.

He hates to put things in the garage because he "doesn't like clutter". Yet, clutter on the kitchen countertop is totally acceptable.

Any bets on how long it'll be there? Or which of us will cave first?



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh, To Be Young Again....

The Diva started classes this week and is slowly but surely adjusting to college life. Being the only girl in the family, she has always had her own bedroom and for the past few years she has had her own bathroom as well.

So she is learning to share her space - her living quarters, her bathroom, her bed....

Well, apparently she draws the line at sharing her bed.

Last night she was sound asleep in her dorm, like any good Diva with an early class would be. Sometime around 5 a.m. she woke up, thinking she heard someone open her door. Since it was the middle of the night, she assumed she was imagining things and tried to go back to sleep.

As soon as she closed her eyes, someone crawled into bed with her.



She jumped up, turned the light on, and came face-to-face with a girl she had never seen before.....a girl wearing nothing but a tiny pair of booty shorts.




Diva: Who are you??!!

Booty Girl lays on the bed and giggles.

Diva: What are you doing here?

Booty Girl giggles some more.

The Diva tries to figure out if Booty Girl is sleepwalking or tripping on something.

Diva: Ummmmm.....that's my bed.

Booty Girl: You are so funny!!

Diva: Why are you in my bed?

Booty Girl giggles again.

Diva: You really need to leave. I have an early class.

Booty Girl: You are sooooooo funny!!

Diva: No, seriously. You need to leave.

Booty Girl: Let me just get dressed first.

(She starts pulling things out of the Diva's closet and attempting to put them on.

Diva: Those are MY clothes!!

Booty Girl giggles again.

Diva: Where did you come from?

Booty Girl: I live in Diva Hall, room 403.

Diva: That's two doors down. Now give me back my clothes.

Booty Girl is confused: Oh. Can I please have some of your shoes? They are so pretty.

Diva: No. You can have a shirt and I will walk you home.

Booty Girl giggles and puts on a t-shirt. The Diva walks her back to her room, then returns to her bed, alone.


Lessons Learned:

The Diva will always double-check the locks before going to bed.

The Blonde One will not be locking his doors when he goes to college.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Travel Woes

I hate to travel. I love vacation, but the whole "getting there" part of it is miserable, especially when you live on and island in the middle of the Pacific.

Proof that I wasn't meant to be a traveler:

1. A three-hour delay getting out of Honolulu. This, of course, came after we spent two hours in the check-in line at the airport. Our 11 p.m. flight didn't leave until almost 2 a.m. Do you know what there is to do in an airport after midnight? Absolutely nothing, unless watching people sleep is entertaining to you.

2. The passengers in seats 5C and 6F on our 4-hour flight across the Mainland. (We were in 6D and 6E.) 5C was a tobacco chewer who spent the entire flight chewing and spitting green stuff into a Dasani bottle. Eeeeeewwww!! On the other side, 6F took her shoes off, crossed her legs, and kept rubbing her bare feet on me for four hours. Eeeeeewwww!!!

3. Kids. I love kids. I know people who have great kids. However, if no one can board a plane because your Oldest Demon and your Middle Demon are literally beating each other in the aisle while you chat with strangers, perhaps you should find another form of transportation. And by the way, maybe you should keep an eye on your Youngest Demon because he just might be crawling under the seats three rows away.

4. Stupid security regulations. Especially when they prohibit most everything from being packed in your carryon......and then the TSA agents never really examine your carryons to check for prohibited items. I could have had my toothpaste and hand lotion, dangit!!!!

5. Stupid airlines. Especially when they lose all of your bags - the ones with all the prohibited items, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and clean underwear. And it's even worse when those bags contain the Diva's entire life - her clothes, CD's, pictures, everything she felt was important and special enough to take to college with her. (The bags arrived 12 hours later, after a very long tear-filled night.)

6. The Enterprise agents who always pull the bait and switch. Give me the freakin' car I reserved! I don't want to pay $15/day extra for a larger trunk. If you don't have the car I reserved, I'll step over to the Avis counter, thankyouverymuch.

7. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Never, ever again will I have a layover there.

8. Flight attendants as street peddlers. Need a travel pillow and blanket? $10. Headsets? $3, $7 for the high-quality ones. Water, since you aren't able to bring your own? $2/bottle, or wait for the mini bottles they give you in-flight. Credit cards only, no cash.

Is it just me, or did traveling used to be much more fun than this?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The More Things Change....

I've been thinking a lot lately, mostly about the Diva leaving for college.

It doesn't seem that long ago that she was starting kindergarten. I spent many sleepless nights before the beginning of the school year worrying about everything.

What if she doesn't make any friends? What if she can't find the cafeteria? Or the bathroom? Do I really want to put her on a school bus, and send her to a school so far from home? What if she needs me, and I'm not there? I can't just send my little girl off on her own like that. What will they do if she gets hurt on the playground?

I obsessed so much about it, and lost so much sleep worrying about all the "what-if's".

Finally, when she started school and absolutely loved it, all was well.
.

.
.
.
Fast-forward twelve years.
.

.
.
.
I've spent most of the summer worrying about her starting college. The worries are the same, but on a different level. It makes the whole kindergarten thing seem like no big deal.

My "little" girl is going to be thousands of miles away.


What if she can't find the dining room or her classes? What if she doesn't get along with her roommate? What if she is homesick? What if she gets sick, or has a medical emergency? Will they take good care of her? Will she be happy?

We're heading to the Mainland in less than two days, and I am so stressed. The thought of leaving her there all alone has made me physically sick I have had a knot in my stomach for over a week, I can't sleep, and my appetite is gone (that's probably a good thing).

I never imagined it would be this difficult.

All I want is for her to be safe. And happy. Healthy would be good too.

Is that too much to ask?

(I'll be away for the next week.)