Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The In-Laws Are Coming!!! The In-Laws Are Coming!!!

We have a confirmation.

The in-laws are coming in the spring. They will be here for the Diva's high school graduation, and will stay for two weeks.

I said TWO WEEKS, people!!

I love my in-laws and consider myself to be very blessed in that department.

My father-in-law was born in Italy, and loves nothing more than a good meal. He loves grocery shopping, he loves to cook, and he gets excited looking at kitchen gadgets. He spoils me with cheesecake when I visit, and sends pounds and pounds of chocolates to the kids for random occasions.

My mother-in-law also loves to cook. And clean. The Hubster has been given The Look more than once when he begins a conversation with, "My mom mops her floors every day...." She also loves to go to the mall, just to browse. She has horrible taste, but buys gifts for everyone anyway.

So, yeah, it's going to be stressful. I don't cook. I don't shop, doesn't matter if it's groceries or bad gifts. My house is clean, but not spotless. I really don't need another cheesecake on my hips, and the kids can do without chocolates. And I need my space.

Which brings me to two more Reasons I am Lucky I Live in Hawaii:

1. Jet Lag
2. Outer Island Hops

With the six-hour time difference, things tend to wind down early. Sure, they will be up before dawn, but they are quiet and can entertain themselves. The Hubster is a morning person, so he'll be up by 6 a.m. anyway.

The outer islands are lifesavers. There's nothing like sending your houseguests off to see another part of the state. And if it happens to be on another island, well, God Bless Aloha Airlines!

Monday, January 30, 2006

And So It Begins.....


I have signed up for two races in February, which I am excited about.

The icky part is that I have decided to start training in the morning, since that is when the races are run.

(I have yet to find a race that is run at my peak time - 9:00 p.m.)

I am SO not a morning person. I have seen more sunrises because I have stayed up all night than I have seen by getting up early.

I like it that way.

Four days this week I will be getting up an hour early to do my run. The Hubster just laughed when I told him my plan. He told me to be quiet when I get up to turn my alarm off and crawl back into bed.

So now I have to prove him wrong.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pink Friday

Okay, this was last Friday's challenge, but I've been running a bit behind on everything lately.

What is even worse is that I swore I would only use new pictures for PhotoFriday this year, and this is the second week in a row that I have used an old one. (How many Fridays have we had this year? Three? Sheesh....I need to get it together.)

Anyway, I may have posted this one before, so I apologize to those of you who have already seen it.

The Mokulua Islands (aka The Mokes) are a pair of islands off the Windward coast of Oahu. Everyone who visits here photographs them, and everyone who lives here photographs them. As proof, I have several dozen different pictures of them at different times of the day, from different locations.
This is a Mokes sunset.
Whiny Wednesday

Today started on a low note, when Destructo and I were up before dawn. Actually, he was up before me....I was sound asleep until he body-slammed me, elbows first, sometime around 5 a.m.

No matter how cute and giggly the body-slammer is, that just isn't the right way to start a day.

Fortunately, we were both able to sneak a lunchtime nap, and that made the rest of the day bearable.

Well, until I went to the gym tonight. That's where the whine comes in.

I haven't had the time or energy to go to the gym since we started our adventures with the big boy bed. That's eight days in a row without any stress relief or any "me" time. EIGHT days!! (No wonder I've been difficult to live with.....)

So, tonight when Destructo was asleep, the homework wars were won, and the kitchen was clean, I headed off to the gym.

It was 9 p.m., which is my usual time to go. It normally isn't crowded, I can get in and do 60 minutes on my favorite elliptical machine, 30 minutes of weight training, and be out the door just before the 10:30 closing time.

It just wasn't meant to be.

First, there were Girls in the gym. Not 'females', but girly-girls who really have no business being there. And they definitely have no business being on my elliptical.

The gym is huge, and there are about a hundred cardio machines to choose from. I have my favorite type of machine, and there are only five of them. Four Girls, who obviously travel as a pack, were on my machines. They were chit-chatting, giggling, sharing snacks, and having way too much fun.

That left one machine, the one on the end. I made a beeline for it, but was cut off by another Girl.

I've seen this Girl in the gym before. Her pace is so slow that she is actually able to read a book while she is on the elliptical machine. I have honestly never seen anyone move that slow in a gym, and it makes absolutely no sense to me.

So, I cursed under my breath and decided to start on my weight training, knowing that Girls never spend much time on cardio work. (Well, unless they are reading a book and flat-lining the machine anyway.)

This led to my second sign that I should have stayed home.

I maneuvered myself onto the leg press machine, adjusted the weights, flipped on my iPod, and was greeted by Reggae. Lots of Reggae. On my iPod. Songs were shuffled, and Reggae was everywhere.

This is when I remembered the Diva mentioning that she "may have accidentally" loaded some of her songs onto my iPod.

And I remembered dismissing it all by telling her that the way I set it up, it would be almost impossible for her to load her songs on any iPod other than her own.

Yea, mon. Gimme ganja, mon.

I ended up leaving halfway through my workout because it just wasn't happening.

I guess it's one more day of me being difficult to live with.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Big Boy Woes

One day last week I walked into Destructo's room and saw him leaning over the edge of his crib. By "leaning", I mean one more inch would have sent him crashing head-first onto the tile floor.

The crib was broken down and stashed in the garage that night.

Life hasn't been the same since.

He LOVES his Big Boy Bed. Especially the part about being able to get up whenever he wakes up. Doesn't matter if it's 6 a.m. or 2 a.m. If he's awake, we're all awake.

Well, except for the Blonde One who chose the maid's quarters for his bedroom....all the way on the other end of the house.

And the Hubster, who can sleep through anything.

And the Wildcard, who shares a room with Destructo, but heads for my bed as soon as Destructo starts throwing books at him.

And The Diva, who really doesn't care that her little brother is awake.

So......basically, it's just Destructo and I. We're ornery. We're irritable. And neither of us can put together a complete thought.

The worst part?

I've had so much good blog fodder this week............all wasted because I can't put it all together.

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Potluck Protocol

So this weekend we have to go to a function - an outdoor, late afternoon Potluck With The Muckety-Mucks.

Why is this blog-worthy?

In watching the plans for the Potluck With The Muckety-Mucks unfold, I noticed huge differences in the way the male brain functions and the way the female brain functions. This was most evident when the 'menu' was decided.

The Hubster mentioned the event a couple of weeks ago, and said that the person doing the planning would let us know what to bring.

So I waited. I knew the function was outside, at a windy location. Most women will be wearing dresses. Dresses blow in the wind, as do styrofoam plates. Food must be simple enough to be eaten with one hand. Then there is the transportation issue - whatever I make has to travel well and be able to be kept hot/cold. I made mental notes of the few things I cook that meet these requirements.

Yesterday the Hubster forwarded me an e-mail with our assigned item:

Yakitori. (Grilled chicken on skewers, smothered in teriyaki sauce.)

Who in their right mind comes up with yakitori? It's not a one-handed food. It doesn't travel well, unless we want to take it raw and borrow the host's grill to cook it on the spot. Most people don't even know what 'yakitori' is, unless they have been to Japan.

So I called the Hubster to discuss the Yakitori Issue, and my suspicions were confirmed. He volunteered to take yakitori, and justified the decision because it was based on the following logic: "I like yakitori!!"

This afternoon I ran into the hostess of the Potluck With The Muckety-Mucks, and the conversation immediately turned to the menu. She was furious because her Hubster passed around a sign-up sheet to everyone in the office (all males, I might add) and allowed them to sign up for anything they chose. In addition to yakitori, we will be having chicken wings, shrimp cocktail, barbecue beef sandwiches, and a sushi platter (chopsticks provided).

She asked her Hubster why he let people sign up for things like that, and his response was, "But I like chicken wings and sushi!!"

Sheesh. Men.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Freshness Factor

Today's trip to the commissary gave me one of those "Huh?" moments.

Actually it was more like "Huh??!??? What the Hellllll??????"

As I was heading down Aisle 9, I spotted a woman at the end of the aisle holding a box of tampons.

And squeezing it. Then contemplating.

Then squeezing, contemplating.

Followed by more squeezing and contemplating.

Am I missing something? Is there a "Freshest When Used By...." date on tampons?

As I passed her, I had to look.....just to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Sure enough, it was a box of Playtex tampons.

Fortunately, she didn't see the "What the Hell...." look on my face.

She was too busy shaking her box of tampons and listening for.........what?

Broken applicators? Loose strings? Secret messages?

I don't get it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bring on the Terribleness!!

(Is that a word?)

Destructo the Terrible turned two today, and he has made the transition from Toddlerdom into Twodom with flying colors!!

A couple of weeks ago he learned the word "now". Not just "now", or "Now!", but rather "NOW!!!!!"

It would be "chocolate milk NOW!!!!" or "Elmo movie NOW!!!!"

We had no idea where he learned it because we don't talk to each other that way.

Then one night we were sitting on the front porch and StupidDog ran into the street. The Hubster yelled, "StupidDog, here!!! NOW!!!"

To which Destructo replied, "Here, NOW!!!!"

Mystery solved.

Anyway, he is the Big 02 today, and I have to say that it was the best birthday he has ever had.

This morning we went to the Sesame Street Exhibit at the
Bishop Museum.

The exhibit was amazing, almost overwhelming to Destructo. When we first entered, I thought he was going to wet himself (actually he may have, but his diaper saved him). He LOVES Elmo, and we spent WAY too much time in Elmo's World.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

He has a fascination with doors, and couldn't be pried away from the stoop at 123 Sesame Street.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

We followed the museum with a stop at the "meal store" aka Burger King.

After a nap, the Hubster took him to see a static display of airplanes and helicopters, another of his favorite things. This was followed by dinner, ice cream cake, and presents. Since he's obsessed with the lawn mower, we got him one of those bubble blower lawn mowers. I thought he was going to wet himself again.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

By the time he went to bed, he was totally exhausted.

A good time was had by all!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adventures of a Dramatic Diva

Act 1, Scene 1

Setting: Early morning at The Diva's house. The Hubster, the Wildcard, and Destructo are sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast. The Mom is in the bathroom brushing her teeth. The Diva's alarm is heard, then a few minutes later she emerges into the dark hallway. She stumbles to the dining room and makes her demands known:

DIVA: Where's Mom??!!??

HUBSTER: In the bathroom.

The Diva stumbles back down the hallway as The Mom emerges from the bedroom. The Diva stops six inches in front of The Mom and just stands there.

MOM: Did you just ask where I was?

DIVA: (Without saying a word, looks The Mom straight in the eye, makes a stabbing gesture with her pointer finger as if she's going to poke her own eye out.)

MOM: Wha????

DIVA: (Repeats the eye-poking gesture, which is probably seen as a huge insult in some foreign countries.)

MOM: Come here....(she heads back to the bathroom, turns on all three lights, and looks at the Diva's eye. It is puffy, oozy, and red). Looks like pinkeye. I'll see if I can get a doctor's appointment.

The Diva turns, stomps back to her room, slams the door, and crawls back into bed.

Act 1, Scene 2

Setting: The medical clinic. The Diva, the Blonde One (who has an infected toe and managed to get an appointment along with The Diva), The Mom, and Destructo in a stroller. They are walking down the breezeway toward Family Practice. As they approach Family Practice, they see a sign stating, "If you have pinkeye, please wait outside on this bench because we don't want outcasts like you in our clinic. Have a seat and wait patiently while people walk by you and pity you because you are unclean and contagious and not allowed inside the building."

MOM: (to the Diva) You have to wait out here.

DIVA: Maaaaaahhhhmmmm!!! Do I have to?

MOM: Yes. (And she smiles as she walks inside the air conditioned building with the much-more-pleasant Blonde One).

Minutes later, in an exam room, the Blonde One, Destructo, and The Mom are waiting patiently when The Diva walks in. Her mood has improved a bit.

DIVA: Does my eye look really bad?

MOM: (noting the change in mood) Well, it's red. And swollen. It really makes your entire face look disfigured. (The Mom has no idea how much this sarcastic statement will come back to haunt her later.....)

DIVA: (somewhat amused, somewhat concerned) Maaaaahhhhmmmm!! Don't say that!!!

MOM: Well, it's just because we are used to seeing you so beautiful all the time. And so pleasant. And funny. And enjoyable to be around....and you are so NOT that right now.

The doctor comes in, exams are done, drugs are prescribed, and all is well.

Act 1, Scene 3

Setting: The Diva's house. The Mom is folding laundry in the living room when she hears the Diva return from picking the Blonde One up at school. The Diva enters throught the laundry room, and much wailing and sobbing is heard.

MOM: Is everything okay?

DIVA: (as she emerges through the kitchen door) (snort.....sob....wail.....) I was just.......(snort, sob, wail.....) He........... (snort, sob, wail.............)

MOM: (concerned now....) What? What happened?

DIVA: (snort.....sob.......wail.....) Not my fault............. (snort........sob.......wail.........) Aaaahhhhhh!!! I...................he.....................Dad....................Wahhhhhhhhh!!!!

The Mom finally gets it out of her. There was a traffic accident. Involving a classmate. The classmate pulled out of a parallel parking place on the street as The Diva was driving by. In her Dad's truck. There was damage. Phone numbers were exchanged.....insurance information was not. The Classmate promised to pay for all damages. No police were called.

DIVA: Daaaahhhhhd's going to kill me!!!!!! (((She was involved in a similar accident last spring, on the same street, one block away. Her car was totaled.)))

MOM: I'm going to Dad's office now. I'll take the truck and he can look at it. You stay here with Destructo.

The Mom is preparing to leave when The Diva's phone rings. It is a member of The Diva's Posse.

DIVA: (on the phone) Oh, my God!!!! You will not believe the day I've had. First of all I'm sick, and then I got pinkeye and my mom made me go pick up the Blonde One at school. And I'm just wearing some old capris and a sweatshirt, with my hair pulled back, and no makeup on. And my eye is swollen and pink and my Mom said I look disfigured. And then I was almost to school and Mac, you know him? He pulled right out and hit me. And everyone was there. Everyone. EVERYONE!!! They were all saying, ''Oh My God!! Are you okay???!!!???" or "Mac!!!! You just hit that girl!!!!!!" And I was standing in the street with my capris and no makeup and my disfigured face.....and Oh. My. God....... It was SOOOoooooooo embarassing!!! And My Dad.........he's going to kill me!!!!! And you know what??!!??? They wouldn't even let me into Family Practice.....I had to wait on a leper bench outside!!! And I need money for college................(snort..........sob.............wail..............)

End of Act 1.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Panoramic Friday!

Okay, so I'm playing catch-up here....two PhotoFriday posts in a row.

This week's topic is Panorama, which I like because (to me) it means outdoorsy photos.

I considered a several, but the one I chose is my new favorite photo. Of course there's a story behind it......

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is look out the window. We have amazing views, and they change constantly depending on the clouds, the wind, the time of day, and the location of the sun or moon. And perhaps the price of gasoline in the Gulf Coast, but I'm not totally sure about that.

A couple of weeks ago we had a full moon and vog at the same time, a great combination for photos. (Vog=volcanic dust blown in from the Big Island...think fog/smog/vog.) I woke up one morning, looked out the window and saw the most amazing full moon setting behind the mountains.

I ran (still in my jammies) to get my camera, rushed out onto the front porch (still in my jammies) and started snapping photos (none of me in my jammies, thankfully). I was amazed how quickly the moon set - I took about 20 pics in two minutes, and then it was gone.

This is my favorite and the one I chose for Panoramic Friday.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Best of......Fridays

I almost forgot!

The final Photo Friday topic for the year is "Best of 2005."

It may not be the best, but it's one of my favorites!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!!

This afternoon the Diva and I were talking about New Year's celebrations, and somehow we got off on a tangent about family traditions......which led to an unpleasant memory for both of us.

Our New Year's Day flashback was from two years ago, January 1, 2004. I was miserably pregnant with Destructo, and the Hubster was in the middle of a one-year unaccompanied tour overseas. Fortunately, he was able to come home for three weeks to celebrate the holidays and be there for Destructo's big arrival.

We were living in our house in Florida at the time (yeah, the one with the rusty mailbox hinge), and the Hubster's family was only 2.5 hours away. We had told everyone flat out that we wouldn't be having house guests during this time. The rule was that they could stop in for a bit, but they needed to call first. We had holidays to celebrate, a baby to prepare for, and quality family time to make up for.

However, the Hubster did want to see his family while he was home, so after Christmas we headed south to visit his family for a few days. Our plan was to stay three days, then return home early in the afternoon on New Year's Day.

On New Year's Day, the Hubster's entire family - brothers, sisters, spouses, nieces/nephews, aunts, and grandma - had gathered at his parents home for an early dinner. We would be leaving immediately after dinner and driving home. I could not wait to be home again, with some peace and quiet, my own space, and my own bed.

In the middle of dinner, SIL From Hell suddenly turned to the Hubster's brother and said, "Did you tell them we were coming to visit?"

Jaws dropped, and the same thought immediately went through each head...."Please don't let it be me....please don't let it be me....."

(I knew it couldn't be us, because we had made our "No Houseguests" rule very clear.)

This is when the oddest thing happened.

The Hubster's brother turned to him and said, "We're going to Disney for three days and can't find a decent hotel (ie. - cheap), so we thought we would just stay with you guys for three days because it's so close."

This is when my jaw hit the table.

Before I could say anything, the Hubster's Grandmother (an eighty-something woman who says what everyone else is thinking) said, "You can't stay with them. They need time alone and they have a baby on the way. Spring for a hotel room, for God's sake."

(I love her.)

Unfortunately, the Hubster had already told his brother that it was okay. We discussed this later and he said he simply could not tell his brother "No", no matter how horrible SIL From Hell and Niece/Nephew From Hell are. Bottom line, he felt bad for his brother because he married a lunatic and reproduced.

So I bit my tongue, finished dinner, and packed our bags to head home.

As we were packing up the MomVan, BIL came out and said, "We'll be right behind you. Our bags are already in the car and we just need to swing by the house to pick up the dog."

The dog??!?

The dog was a huge, hyper beast. Too hyper to be left home alone for long periods of time, thus making it necessary to bring along.

I shot 'The Look' at the Hubster and turned and walked away. He knew how I felt about animals in the house to begin with, let alone huge unruly beasts.

So, we went home. The house was chaos. I was in the middle of packing away all the Christmas stuff and unpacking all the baby stuff, and we had absolutely no food in the refrigerator. The kids had new Christmas toys scattered randomly throughout the living areas, and the Hubster's suitcases were still half packed/unpacked. I quickly straightened a few things, pulled out the air matress and some blankets, and tried not to be a bitch to the Hubster. After all, he was only home for three weeks and I didn't want to spend the entire time angry.

The Uninvited Houseguests soon arrived, minus the dog. (Apparently 'The Look' was effective.) BIL and the Hubster immediately drove off to be hunter/gatherers at the local Publix. SIL From Hell pulled my new soft, cozy throw from the sofa and curled up in a chair for a nap. Niece From Hell (4 y/o at the time) immediately demanded a snack. Without opening an eye, SIL From Hell told her to ask me to make her a snack.

We don't keep snacks in the house (at least not the type of snacks that Niece From Hell was expecting), so I sent Niece From Hell out to pick some oranges off the tree. I peeled one, sectioned it, and put it on a plate for her. As I expected, she took one bite and left the rest.

This is when the Diva came to tell me that Nephew From Hell (10 y/o at the time) was jumping on my bed. My bed. The one with the white linens and comforter....and he was wearing his shoes. He was in my bedroom with the vaulted ceilings, and he was trying to jump high enough to catch the ceiling fan. (He had told the Diva that he didn't have to listen to her because she was just his cousin.)

I told Niece/Nephew From Hell to go outside to play with the Wildcard and the Blonde One NOW.

So now SIL From Hell was asleep in the chair (thank God) and the Devil Spawn were outside. The Diva and I sat on the bed and exchanged "What the Hell is wrong with these people??!!??" looks. In the other room I heard the Hubster and his brother return from Publix with many, many bags of food.

And then, the last straw.

The Devil Spawn came running through the sliding glass door yelling, "Dad!! Dad!! Can we get the fireworks out of the car now???!?!??"