Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Smooth Friday

Yesterday we finally made it to the Waikiki Aquarium.

I had planned a trip to the aquarium for the Wildcard's birthday, but we were rained out. The rain hasn't let up in two weeks and the kids are on spring break, so we decided to just do it.

The Wildcard has always been fascinated by jellyfish, and plans to study them when (if?) he grows up, so obviously the jellies were the highlight of the morning for him.

Destructo, however, was totally fascinated by the Hawaiian monk seals. They made funny noises, they ate fish, and they went "zoom-zoom" in the water. And they were smooth,
very smooth.



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Enough!!!

I love the rain. Really, I do. I love the smell of rain, the sound of it beating against my windows, and I love nothing more than to be inside my cozy house watching rain pouring down outside.

We're now in our fifth week of rain, and it's getting old.

Some days it rains all day. Other days we have sunshine teasers, followed by thunderstorms. I have never seen anything like it in the five years we have been here. We've got severe flooding, sewage spills, closed beaches, landslides, and shark attacks....all due to the rain.

Last week our garage flooded, and it was four days before the rain let up long enough to clean it out. Fortunately, most everything was off the floor. We lost a box of wood laminate flooring, our Christmas tree box was ruined (how do you store a tree without a box??), and two boxes of books and albums were damaged (albums, as in vinyl, LP's, records, whatever you might remember them as).

The two boxes were mine, and the only packrat items I own. The Hubster has been wanting to toss them for the longest time, but I won't let him (he doesn't have a sentimental bone in his body). The book box includes my high school yearbooks, among other things. And the albums? Who in their right mind could toss out the complete Loverboy collection on vinyl? Or Def Leppard, the Cars, and Van Halen (pre- and post-Sammy)? Crazy guy.

Anyway, the sun came out this afternoon for a while, then the rain started tonight. It's thunderstorming now and we're supposed to get three more days of rain.

Oh, joy.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's Bwoken.

Now that Destructo has turned two, it's time to get rid of the pacifiers.

He's actually not too attached to them - my rule is that he can only have them in the car and at bedtime/naptime. (The Hubster is a bit more lenient...)

When Destructo was still in his crib, the first thing I would do when he woke up was to take the pacifiers (all three of them) and "hide" them in a backpack hanging in his closet. Now that he is in his big boy bed, the first thing he does each morning is get out of bed and hide his pacifiers in the backpack.

I'm hoping this won't be too difficult.

A couple of days ago I snipped the tip off one of his pacifiers, just to see how he would handle it. When it was bedtime, he took his three pacifiers, climbed into bed, read some books with me, then settled under the blankets. He popped one pacifier into his mouth, then took one pacifier in each hand, and closed his eyes.

So far, so good.

Then, as is his habit, he started rubbing his nose with one of his spare pacifiers.

His eyes popped open, he rubbed the pacifier on his nose again, looked at it, looked at me, and said, "It's bwoken."

He looked at the "bwoken" pacifier in his hand yet again, then thrust his little hand in my direction and demanded, "Fix it!!"

I explained to him that I can't fix it, and that the pacifiers are getting old and will probably all break soon.

I'm sure he had no clue what I was saying, but tonight noticed that he had two "bwoken" pacifiers and still went to sleep without a problem.

So far, so good.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Idol

Today while I was waiting to talk to the Camera Department Guy at the Marine Corps Exchange, I found my idol (sort of).

There was a former Marine in line ahead of me, and we chatted while we waited for Camera Department Guy to figure out how to install batteries in a digitalcamera.

The former Marine had spent 24 years in the Marine Corps as a pilot, and had an impressive "been there, done that" list. I was totally in awe of the experiences he had had, and the places he had been, and the stories he could tell.

I asked how retirement was treating him, and he said he enjoyed it. He was teaching some college courses when he felt the need, but mostly taking it easy.

I then asked if it was an adjustment for his wife to have him around the house all the time.

He said eveything was great as long as they both remembered two important rules:

1. She doesn't cook.

2. He doesn't handle finances.

How perfect is that??


When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blonde Homework Wars

After dinner on any given day....

Me: Have you done your homework yet?

Blonde One: Not yet. I don't have much. I'll get to it later.

Later.....

Me: What about that homework?

Blonde One: I do my best work after 9 p.m.

After 9 p.m......

Me: Ummmmm....the homework?

Blonde One: First let me get a snack. And a shower. And take StupidDog out for a walk. My homework won't take long. Besides most of it isn't due until the end of the week anyway.



Now that Nottagirlfriend has entered the picture it's all changed. She's smart, a straight-A student who took her first SAT when she was in 7th grade "just for fun".

The Blonde One comes inside after taking a very important phone call right after school....

Blonde One: Can you take me to Nottagirlfriend's house? We're going to work on our homework and she doesn't want to wait until the last minute to get it done.

Me: I'm in the middle of something right now. Can you wait a few minutes?

Blonde One: Okayyyyyy.....but we have a lot of homework. We have that Chemistry presentation next week, and a book review due before the end of the quarter. There's an Algebra test on Thursday, and some extra credit for Spanish class....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hell (Defined)

The Wildcard had his birthday party this weekend.

I honestly thought that when I took "the boys" home after the bowling/birthday extravaganza, the worst was behind me. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The Wildcard's
annoying friend came to the party, and because of the distance, spent the night. I could not wait until it was time to take him home.

As luck would have it, we had a HUGE storm this morning. Huge as in: the worst I have ever seen in Hawaii, a river of water rushing through my garage, road closures and rock slides.

The weather report said to stay off the roadways unless it was an absolute emergency.

It WAS an absolute emergency to take the Annoying Friend home.

The 45-minute trip took well over an hour, but that was okay because I knew I would be returning to a sane (well, that's debatable) household. I tolerated the annoying friend's coughing, snorting, sneezing and (yes) farting in the MomVan because I knew that it would only be a few more minutes before my sanity would return.

So, we arrived at his high-security condo, got past the drunken guard, signed ourselves in, and buzzed upstairs to be let in.

No freakin' answer.

We tried the cell phone. Again, no answer.

Why would you NOT be answering your phone if you knew your annoying child would be coming home? (Don't answer that.)

After about ten minutes in the lobby, someone finally recognized Annoying Friend and allowed us access to the building.

The three of us, Wildcard, the Annoying Friend, and I stepped into the elevator, pressed PH, and waited. I watched as the elevator moved up past the 5th floor, past the 6th floor...7, 8, 9........14, 15, 16.....the Penthouse was next.

And then the elevator stopped.

No 'ding'. No door opening. Just stopped.

We were FREAKIN' trapped in the elevator, just inches from our destination.


The next forty-eight minutes (yes, I counted!!) were spent in a 4x6 space with two 11 y/o boys who had consumed mass quantities of sugar. Gas was passed, coughing, hacking, and sneezing continued, and air was recycled.

Fortunately (?) the Annoying Friend had several little bouncy balls and rubber bands in his backpack. The Wildcard and the Annoying Friend entertained themselves by bouncing things off the wall and shooting rubberbands randomly.

(I curled up in the corner and sucked my thumb.)

I am so glad tomorrow is Monday and I can recover from the weekend.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Question:

Have you ever gotten the urge to make out with your significant other in the dairy section of the grocery store while your five kids run wild through the aisles?




No?

Me neither.


Just a word of advice if you ever get that urge....

Please pick a quiet corner instead of doing the groping and tonguing in the middle of the aisle. Some of us are there to buy yogurt and milk.

Thank you.

(end of PSA 101)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday To.....

The Wildcard!!

It's been eleven years since our Wildcard entered the world, and he earned his nickname almost immediately. I think this was the last time he ever was still for more than a few seconds.

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The Diva and the Blonde One were very easy, by-the-rules, and predictable children. Not so with the Wildcard. If we instructed him to not talk in church, he would sing. If I threatened him with "If I hear you say that one more time....." he would mouth the forbidden words because, technically, I didn't hear him.

He is one of those kids whose brain is always working double-time, and you never really know what is going to come out of his mouth....sometimes it's brilliant, sometimes it's hilarious, and often it just leaves you scratching your head.

Like today. He came home from school and his first question was this:

Mom? What is the plural of 'anus'? Is it 'anuses' or 'ani'?

I asked him for an example of when he would really need to use the plural form of 'anus' in a sentence.....I won't tell you what he said.

Anyway, Happy Eleventh Birthday!!

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Perspective

This morning I had the scariest, creepiest thing happen to me.

First the scary part:

Destructo and I were heading to the other side of the island to run a few errands, and hit morning traffic on the highway. It was six lanes of stop-and-go traffic, which eventually merged down to four lanes. I was in the green MomVan in the far left lane, next to a concrete barrier, and there was a yellow dump truck behind me, like this:

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After we got through the merges, traffic spread out a bit and we were able to resume normal speed. This lasted about 1/4 mile, then we came over a hill and traffic slowed again. I slowed down, tapped my brakes a couple of times, and checked the rear-view mirror to make sure the dump truck was slowing down too. (A few years ago we were almost rear-ended by a semi traveling at 50 m.p.h. in dense fog, so I'm pretty obsessive about watching what is happening behind me.) Once I knew that the dump truck had slowed, I focused on the road in front of me.

A couple of seconds later I heard a huge, horrible crash directly behind me. When I looked in the rear view mirror, there was the dump truck and a garbage truck spinning sideways on the highway, heading in my direction, like this:

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Apparently the garbage truck didn't see anyone braking in front of him, tried to stop too quickly, and lost control. He traveled across three lanes of highway and hit the dump truck.

This is when the slow-motion kicked in. Destructo was right behind me talking about choppers, Rick Hamada was on the radio ranting about careless pedestrians, and the guy in the Toyota truck in front of me had his arm out the window and was holding a cigarette in his hand.

And two huge trucks were out of control and spinning toward me.

Someone was watching over me, because I managed to floor the accelerator and aim for the little spot between the Toyota truck and the concrete barrier. The truck guy must have seen me and moved over, because we ended up something like this, with just a couple inches on either side of me:

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The dump truck ended up almost exactly where I had been, and the garbage truck broadsided it again. Destructo and I would have been two-dimensional if we hadn't been able to move out of the way.

Now the creepy part:

After it happened, I called the Hubster at his office. Before I could say anything, he said, "I am so glad you called. For some reason, all morning I have been thinking 'What if something happened you and Destructo?' I don't know why, but I've been thinking about it all morning."

This is when I started bawling like a little baby. I never cry, so this really freaked him out.

It took a while for me to be able to tell him what happened, then he really freaked out.

Anyway, we're okay, just freaked out over here. I've been so stressed about a lot of things lately, but this puts it all in perspective for me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ahhhhh....Yet Another Useless Title

I have a new title to add to my resume under the heading of Things I Do For Free:

High School Counselor.

The Diva's high school counselor is on crack (literally) and has been of no use when it comes to college planning. Deadlines are missed, phone calls not returned, and transcript requests are lost.

The past few months have been spent focusing on college and scholarship applications, rather than things like my blog and answering e-mails. (Odd priorities, I know.)

So, yesterday while researching yet another scholarship, I wasn't able to find the answer to one of my questions on the website. I had spent over an hour clicking every link and every page on the site, but couldn't find what I needed.

So I did the unthinkable.

I dialed a number to talk to a real, live person who could (hopefully) tell me what a Form 1271/B was, and how to go about getting one.

Big mistake.

The perky person who answered the phone referred me to the website because "they have everything on there".

When I told her I had been through the website numerous times and hadn't found my answer, she said Julia could help me because Julia knows everything.

So I was transferred to Julia.


Unfortunately, Julia wasn't there, so I spoke with her assistant whose name I can't recall (lucky her). This was our conversation:

Me: I'm in the process of filling out the scholarship application for my daughter, and I noticed that you require a Form 1271/B.

ASSistant: Yes.....

Me: Could you tell me exactly what that form is, and where I could find one?

ASSistant: Ummmmm....have you looked at our website? There is a lot of useful information there.

Me: Yes, I have. I can't seem to find any information on a Form 1271/B.

ASSistant: Okay, give me a minute..... Okay. You need to submit a copy of both sides of the I.D. And a copy of a current property tax statement showing a homestead exemption....

(This is when I realized she was reading directly from the website because by now I had memorized the whole freakin' thing....)

ASSistant: ....And a copy of the first page of your income taxes from this year. And a Form 1271/B. That's all. You should submit it in a single mailing to......(and she began to recite the address....)

Me: Excuse me? I'm trying to find out what exactly a Form 1271/B is. Where would I find that form?

ASSistant: Well, you need to submit it with your other documents in a single mailing to....

Me: Yes, I know that, but where can I find the form?

ASSistant: Well, I'm just reading from the website and it says....

Me: I KNOW you are reading from the website. I have the website memorized because I spent WAY too much time looking for the answer to my question before I called you.

ASSistant: And what was your question again?

I'm thinking the guidance counselor isn't the only one on crack.

Monday, March 06, 2006

((Hello??? Is This Thing On??))

Three weeks ago:

Me: (to the Hubster) There is a Big Event For Spouses being planned for this fall. They are looking for volunteers and I told them I would chair a committee.

Hubster: (rolling eyes) Why did you do that? (Meaning: I need you to handle things for me, not do silly volunteer stuff.)

Me: Ummmmm...Perhaps I like to use my brain once in a while? And maybe have some adult conversation? Besides, it sucks to be the person trying to recruit volunteers, especially when no one wants to help.

Hubster: (rolls eyes and walks away)

My Monday morning phone call:

Hubster: I got an e-mail this morning. They are planning a Big Event For Spouses in the fall and are looking for volunteers. I forwarded it home. I think you should volunteer.

Me: (silence and eye rolling)

Hubster: Could you take a look at it? You know how much it sucks to try to get volunteers. You should probably offer to help out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Blah.

Have you ever gotten into such a funk that you can't think your way out? That's how I've been lately. Everything is just Blah.

I think a big part of it is the weather - it's been raining almost every day for the past few weeks. There is flooding, mudslides, and road closures. (Blah.)

I got on the scale this morning and after some ominous creaking noises (and I swear I heard a few submissive cries) I decided that enough is enough. I haven't been to the gym or for a good run since
the race two weeks ago. (Blah.)

The sun came out today, finally, so I decided to head to the fabric store and see if I could get some inspiration for the Diva's prom dress. The store is only a few miles away, but it is toward the mountains. As soon as I got off base it started to rain again. (Blah.)

I've been working on filing our moving claim for damages from our move from Florida to Hawaii. Anyone who has done this knows what a pain in the ass it can be (thus the procrastination). We have two years to file the claim, and I don't want to wait until the absolute last minute, but close enough. (Blah.)

I mentioned that
the in-laws are coming for a visit. It's still a couple months away, but I need to finish my house before they arrive. Usually I am able to unpack, decorate, and accessorize within the first month, but this time it is taking me forever. For the longest time I just assumed it was because Destructo was keeping me busy, but I think it's more than that. We've moved four times in the past five years and I think I am just tired of the whole unpack, decorate, accessorize routine. I still need to buy a living room rug, find (make?) some curtains, finish the Blonde One's room, and hang a few more pictures. (Blah.)

I need to start a Blah List.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Masculine Friday

I grew up in a family where the males outnumbered the females. Now that we have three boys, I am still in the minority. (Even StupidDog is a male.)

So, I know a bit about the masculine type.

Like the fact that men aren't very good at organization or details. (Think lost keys and checkbook management.)

They are able to focus on the most irrelevant things (Biography of Ralph Macchio) and be completely oblivious to their surroundings (ringing phone, crying toddler, 10 y/o needing homework help, and two teenagers debating which of them walks slower).

Males don't think before speaking ("What do you do all day?") and aren't able to make simple decisions ("Go ask Mom").

Men often suffer from Random Memory Loss. They can't remember the simple things ("I don't remember if we had a test in algebra today." "You never told me I needed to watch Destructo."), yet have a knack for remembering the useless ones ("It was awesome when Kainoa blocked that goal during the first quarter of the Kalani game." "When I was seventeen I paid $2,657 for my first car - a black Mustang with a cigarette burn on the front passenger seat.")

Anyway, I truly believe some things are just innate.