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.


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.


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.


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.


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..."


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.