Monday, October 24, 2011

Blame It On the New Math?

So, I was out running the other night and twisted my knee on uneven asphalt.  I kept running because it didn't feel too bad.

Probably not a good idea.

Five days later and the doctor confirmed a Grade 2 ligament sprain.  That's somewhere between "it'll heal in a few days" and "shredded".  It means 4-6 weeks of recovery time, crutches, a knee brace, lots of ice packs, and popping Motrin like Pez.

As expected, Captain Awesome is in love with the crutches.  He was with me when I picked them up, and sat with them in the back seat while I drove home.  

"Mom, they look like machine guns."

I tell him he can play with them when I'm not using them.

"Can I open them?"

I tell him he can, and I hear plastic wrap tearing in the back seat, then silence.

"Ummm......Mom?  We might have a problem here.  How much do you weigh?  Because these crutches only go up to 300 pounds."

Thanks, buddy. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Pot of Gold

Yesterday was a typical Monday.  Up, dressed, got the boys up, fed, and out the door almost on time.  

As we were driving to Captain Awesome's school, we rounded a corner and climbed a small hill giving us a view across the bay from our neighborhood to the base where I work.

There was a huge, bright rainbow extending across the sky and ending in the vicinity of my office.

Me:  Look!  It's an omen!  I think the rainbow means it's going to be a great Monday!!

Captain Awesome:  What's an omen?

I explain the whole concept of an omen, and that the rainbow must be a sign that I'm going to have a great day.

Captain Awesome (muttering in the back seat):  No, Mom.  I think it means you're going to have a bad day like you always do at work.

Me:  Thanks for bursting my bubble, buddy.

So, I dropped the kid off at his school and the big kid off at his school and headed for the end of the rainbow.

I arrived just in time to make a mad dash across the parking lot in the pouring rain.

So much for my pot of gold, eh?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hawaiian Potluck

As I've mentioned before, the potluck is a staple of the culture here in Hawaii. Business meeting?  Bring a dish to pass.  Soccer game?  Bring a dish to pass.  Neighborhood watch?  You guessed it - bring a dish to pass.  No gathering is complete without the potluck, and the potlucks are AMAZING.

Tonight the Wildcard had swim practice followed by ----you guessed it ----a potluck.

As usual for any weekday, I flew out the door of my office at 4:30 sharp, grabbed Captain Awesome from his after-school program and made it home in time to yell to the Wildcard to get ready for swim practice.  Five minutes later we were on our way to the pool.

Captain Awesome:  Mom, I'm hungry.

Me:  Okay, get a (leftover) snack from your lunchbox.  We have potluck after swimming.

Captain Awesome moans in the back seat.

A few minutes later, as we are approaching the pool....

Captain Awesome:  Mom, can we just go to a restaurant?  I'm hungry!!!

Me:  I know you're hungry - we have potluck in two hours.  We're not going to a restaurant!!

Another moan from the back seat.

So, we pull in to the parking lot to drop the Wildcard off.  

Captain Awesome:  Mom!!!!!   I'm STARVING!!!

The Wildcard:  Enough already!  We're having potluck.

Another moan from the back seat.

The Wildcard gets out and trots off to the pool.  Captain Awesome and I drive out of the parking lot and head for home.

Captain Awesome:  Can we please go eat?  

Me:  We're having POTLUCK.  Have a snack to hold you over until then.

Yet another moan from the back seat.

Then this.....

Captain Awesome:  Mom?  What's a potluck?

That explains a lot.......and the kid had his first Hawaiian potluck experience tonight.  Next time I say we're going to potluck, he will get it.


Monday, October 10, 2011

It's All About the Loopholes.

For some reason, Captain Awesome is more fascinated with off-limits vocab words than his siblings ever were. 

It began the second week of the school year.  Every day he would come home and tell me about one of his classmates who had 'said a bad word' and didn't get caught!  It wasn't always the same kid, but it seemed to be a group of three or four.

Captain Awesome eventually wriggled his way into this little clique and has been testing the waters to see how far he can go.  
Is it okay if I just say "the s-word"?  I didn't really say the word, so that's okay, right?

What if I spell it?  Can I do that?  Can I spell it with stars, like 's*it'?

If I say it and don't get caught, it doesn't count, right?

How about if I said part of  the word, and my friend said the rest?  Neither of us said a bad word, so it doesn't count, right?

My answer was always the same.  It's about intent.  If you say part and your friend says the other part, your intent was to say the word and it is just as wrong as if you had each said it.  If you write it with stars, the intent is there and you are guilty.

It didn't sink in.  They thought they were invincible because no one ever got caught.  If it was wrong, they would get in trouble and since no one got in trouble, it couldn't be wrong!

So, they got caught.  He said "Shhhhhhh......" and his friend completed the word.  They lost recess and had to write a letter to their parents about how it was wrong and won't happen again.  I hoped that, combined with ten days away from the clique for fall break, would put an end to it.

Wrong.  He's still fascinated.  

I know this because last night when I put away his laundry I found a notepad in his drawer where he was keeping track of who said the most bad words in the house during fall break.  The Wildcard and I each had two tally marks on our page.  

The Hubster, well, he had a bad week........


Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Next Chapter

So, we've entered that proverbial "next chapter" in our lives, sort of.

The Hubster retired, after 21 years in the Marine Corps. It was an amazing ride, but we decided it was just time to end it. We were blessed to have been to some awesome places, with awesome people, and awesome experiences and really didn't see where there was anything awesome out there for us anymore. Fourteen moves to ten different locations in twenty-one years was enough.

I would like to say that the transition was easy, but it wasn't.

The retirement date he chose was January 31, because beyond that they would have given us orders to somewhere yucky, like Washington D.C.

January is the middle of the school year, and we didn't want to move the kids in the middle of a school year. We tossed around a few options, but kept coming back to the fact that our tenants were moving out of our house in Florida in July. It would be vacant, the kids and I could live there while the Hubster finished up his time in the Marine Corps and settled wherever fate led us. The Blonde One wanted to go to a college in the area and would be guaranteed admission if he transferred from a community college just a few miles from our house.....otherwise, he wouldn't stand a chance as an out of state transfer student. Plus, the Hubster's family was only 2.5 hours away, his father was battling terminal cancer and it would give the kids a chance to spend time with their Grandpa before he passed away.

It was a tough decision, but the boys and I packed a few things and moved to our house in Florida while the Hubster and Crunchy Girl stayed behind in California.

It was a tough year. The boys and I lived like college students in Florida, made frequent trips to visit the in-laws, took care of some maintenance issues on the house, and waited to see how the job market gods would bless us. The Blonde One was accepted to his college of choice and FIL passed away in February, so I will never regret the decision. As much as the entire year sucked, I would make the same choices again.

The Hubster accepted a job in Hawaii, but it was not without drama. It took several months for the dust to settle, which coincided with the end of the school year, so we headed to the islands at that time. Again, more drama ensued, but we are now settled in our new home and starting our life as semi-empty nesters.

Crunchy Girl continues her studies in California, while the Blonde One is loving college life in Florida. I went back to work full-time, something I really haven't done in the 21 years the Hubster was active duty. It's an adjustment for all of us, but it's all good.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


I have underwater housing for the Nikon D80, and I plan to use it.

Say tuned.....

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Showing His Italian Roots

So, tonight I was folding laundry as the kids were winding down before bedtime.

Destructo popped his head around the corner and said, "Mom, can I have some chocolate milk?"

I glanced at the pile of laundry in front of me and said, "Sure, I'll get it for you as soon as I finish folding this."

Three minutes later he reappears, as does his Italian lineage.

He's annoyed, and the hands are flying.

"Where is my chocolate milk? This is no way to run a business. You can't make customer wait - they get angry!!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tragic Endings

So, I blogged about a local friend's wedding here.

Here is another story about him.

We are back in Hawaii, but that's another story for another day....hopefully soon.

This evening the Hubster and I headed to the beach for some wind-down time after being cooped up in temporary lodging for WAY too long with three boys.

The lifeguard tower was adorned with local flower arrangements, and a single, large bouquet sat alone on the sand, just beyond the reach of the rising tide. As we walked along the shoreline, we cautiously stepped over hundreds of plumeria, orchids, ginger, and tuberose washed up on the sand.

Jeff's 'paddle out' had been that morning.

It's tradition among surfers to have a 'paddle out' for a lost friend. Everyone gathers on the shore for a brief ceremony, then they all grab their boards and paddle out into the ocean to say farewell to their friend. A circle is formed, they all join hands for a few final words, then drop lei and flowers into the ocean in honor of the missing surfer. It's an amazing, moving tribute to witness.

The Hubster had been there that morning for the paddle out, but just couldn't do it so soon after losing his father.

We walked in silence for a while, then talked about the impact Jeff had had on so many people. I didn't know him well, but the Hubster was honored to call him a friend. He (technically) worked for the Hubster, but the Hubster respected and admired him enough to consider him an equal, at minimum.

RIP, Jeff.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The Diva has never been a fan of leftovers.

I've always had the 'cook every other day' policy, and make enough on Day 1 to have leftovers on Day 2. If you don't want leftovers, fend for yourself.

The Diva refused to eat leftovers - she always chose the 'fend for yourself' option.

So, she just moved into her own apartment. She calls several times each day (which I love) sometimes for advice and sometimes to just chat.

On Friday she called while grocery shopping. She wanted my opinion on produce - what could she buy that would bake a good stir-fry? I made a few suggestions, which she seemed to follow.

Then this:

Diva: You know what? I just had a great idea - I'm going to buy double so I can make extra and eat it for two days in a row!

Me: (snicker)

Diva: That way I only have to cook once! Isn't that a great idea?

Me: You mean, like..........leftovers?

Diva: Oh. Yeah. (long pause) I get it now.