Thursday, October 30, 2008


Sometimes (alright, practically every night) we hear the sound of little feet, padding down the hallway. thump thump thump. Sometimes it sounds like they are running down the hallway. thudthudthudthudthud. You can hear them very clearly, and it only happens late at night.

We wait, expecting Lucy to round the corner at any moment. We wait a little longer. Hm.
We go to check, see where she has stopped, if perhaps she is asleep on the sofa in the keeping room, or just wandering, or using the potty, or hiding from the lights.

We walk down the hall, looking, wondering...and when we get to her room and peek in, she is fast asleep in her bed, all tucked in the way we left her.

The house has been recently remodeled. We added an addition, so our small square house is now an L-shape. Right after we finished the renovations, and opened up the doorway between the original house and the new "wing", I spent a day getting the kids rooms ready. Arranging furniture, making beds, dusting away the construction dust, organizing bookshelves. And while I was busily working away, I heard those little footsteps. I stopped, confused, because Sami had taken the kids out for a while so I could work in peace. Why were they home so early ? I looked up, and saw a little girl with dark hair standing in the doorway watching me. At first glance, I thought it was the little girl from down the street - all of the kids wander in and out of each other's houses around here, and it's not unusual to discuver a random 5 year old in your bathroom or rooting around in the fridge. So I wasn't surprised, or startled, to see her there. I went back to making the bed, and said "Hi sweetie, Lucy and Max will be back in a little bit". There was no answer. I looked up again, and she was gone. And I had some major goosebumps. There was no sound of footsteps walking away. I walked out to the hall.

No one was there.

I thought hard for a minute, trying to figure out who I had just seen. And then I realized it wasn't the girl from down the street. The little girl I had just seen had a darker complexion, and vaguely Asian features......I realized I had no idea who - or what - had just been standing in the doorway watching me. After a few phone conversations with friends, we came to the conclusion that it was probably a spirit of some kind. I know that sounds really woo woo and airy-fairy, but really, it's the only explaination. And shit like that HAPPENS here in Hawaii. There is a really deep spiritual force in these islands, and it is not to be screwed with. You just have to go with it.

The footsteps continue to echo down our halls each night, and I assume that it is the same little girl, just checking out the new space, peeking into the kids bedrooms, coming down the hall to see what we are up to. It doesn't scare me anymore, though it used to. Now we just acknowledge that it's the menehune (little people) or maybe a child from the plantations that were on this land many years ago, and get on with our lives.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weird Man in the Neighborhood

(sung to the tune of "Fat Man in a Little Coat" )

Sad, isn't it, how my mind works ?

I see a weird guy, and IMMEDIATELY I come up with some sort of freaky soundtrack in my head. I know, I have issues. But what can I say, he is wandering around our small and very quiet cul de sac, in circles, staring at the houses. He arrived on a moped. It is WEIRD.

Today is a Big Day because I have to do I bunch of sewing. Needless to say, I am not thrilled. But hey, I gotta do what I gotta do. Lucy's Wonder Woman costume is too big, so I need to take it in. A lot. Because she can not be showing everyone her nipples on Halloween. That is not Wonder Woman-like at all !

Tomorrow is the Library costume story time.
Friday is The Big Day. And Friday night, well, Friday night (if I don't have a heart attack from the pure, cold, paralyzing fear in my heart) I am singing in public. Though I don't think the the Moana Cafe open mike night is really "public" - it's not like I am taking the stage in front of throngs of screaming fans.......maybe 10 people, trying to eat dinner and wishing I would shut the hell up. It should be lots of fun. I will probably be in the fetal position behind Sami by the end of the set. The songs are on my playlist down at the bottom of the page - "Bruises", "The Way I Am", and "Free Fallin". This may be very poor judgement on my part, but I am trying to face my demons here, so let's be nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Everyone, meet Twyla. Lucy named her. She is JUST VISITING. I swear. She is actually going back to her puppy lair today. This morning, in fact.

But OH how I love her. I love her, and want to keep her, and I know that we could - someday. But not now.

We need a fence.

And a lot of other stuff.

And since we have needed a fence for 3 years, and still don't have one, odds are good we won't be getting one anytime soon. At least, not soon enough to keep Twyla.

But she is the perfect dog. And have I mentioned I love her. This pet thing is a slippery slope. Once you start considering it, it is hard to turn off that part of your brain.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shi Shi

Here in Hawaii, they call pee "shi shi" (pronounced shee shee). I think it has Japanese origins, as do so many cultural details here in Hawaii (shoyu a.k.a. soy sauce on every table, for example). We don't use the term shi shi - hell, I still call Lucy's entire private area her butt because I don't feel like getting into the specifics with her. But enough on the fascinating and varied melting pot culture of Hawaii. Let's talk urine.

Yesterday, after I got home from work, when she announced that it hurt when she went pee, my alarm bells went off. Any woman will tell you, that if it hurts to pee, you are headed down a slippery slope. Within 12 hours you could find yourself with a full-blown kidney infection, and feeling like you just might die. Which would be a blessing, because the pain is incredible, and you are peeing every 5 minutes. So when Lucy said it hurt to pee - I paid attention.

"Where does it hurt ?"

"Does your belly hurt too ?"

"Do you feel cold ? Hot ?"

"Have you had water to drink today ?"

She seemed OK, so I decided to just keep an eye on things. But an hour later, she was in the bathroom, saying that it hurt when she peed. Crap. She was crying, and refused to go see the doctor without mommy AND daddy. So, I told her that if she went to the doctor, she would get yummy pink medicine. She perked right up. Pink medicine ? Well, why didn't you say so ? I put her in her footie pajamas and we all drove to town seeking medical assistance and a bottle of antibiotics for what was obviously brewing in her little system. We pulled into the clinic parking lot, and it was suspiciously empty. And the clinic was dark. And closed. And BOY WAS I PISSED. This meant that if we wanted her to be seen, we would have to go to the emergency room of the one hospital on island - a location I try to avoid whenever possible. Plus, I hate going to the ER if it isn't a blood and guts, near death emergency ANYWAY. I always feel guilty for being there - but there really is no other option. So we went. And waited. Sometimes you can get in and out really fast - which is great. Sometimes, you get screwed. And of course, on a Saturday night, with both parents and both kids, we got royally screwed.

It started out so well. The ER has just been completely renovated, so we walked into a startlingly clean, bright room, with a flat screen TV and lots of new chairs and magazines. Nice. I walked right up to someone in scrubs and got a specimen cup to catch a specimen while we waited for the triage nurse who would start the registration process - so by the time we registered, I had a pee sample, and was clutching ID, insurance and credit cards. I was ready to get the hell out of there. Plus, there was a very intense baseball game on TV, and the entire waiting room was hooting and hollering. Weird. It was like being in a sports bar.

The triage nurse was psyched that I already had a specimen. "How did you get THAT ?" she asked, pointing at the cup. I explained that I had just asked for one, and she smiled - "Good Job." I smiled too - we were a team ! We were going to work together to get us the hell out of there ! Before someone with a serious blood and guts emergency showed up and freaked out the kids ! Yee haw !

I should not have gotten so excited.

2 hours later, we were shivering and blue-lipped in the examining room, still waiting for the doctor. No flat screen TV, no magazines, no vending machines......just a gurney and a long wait - and it was after 9pm. This was not good. Lucy started to lose it a little bit. I started to lose it a little bit. Sami and Max came in from the waiting room to find out what the hell was going on, and Lucy lost it completely. Max wanted to go back out where there was TV, but first, he wanted a rubber glove.

Jesus H.

Lucy clung to Daddy. I figured since he started the drama by coming back there, he could sit back there and freeze for a while. I would happily go watch the flat screen TV and read a magazine. In warmth and comfort.

It was not to be.

10 minutes later, the door swung open, and there was Sam, holding a sobbing, blotchy Lucy. He pointed at me, and waggled his finger. I pointed to myself. ME?! Why ME ?! Dude, you got yourself into this, everything was copacetic until you came back there. Not my fault. Nope. No way. I got the point, and the re-waggle.


So I got up, and walked over.

"What?" I hissed.

"She has a bladder infection."

"No shit."

"She won't take the medicine."

I stared at him.

How could he have fucked up the pink medicine ? It's PINK ! It tastes like bubble gum ! This is the easiest thing ever in the world to get her to drink!!!!!!

So I grabbed Lucy, and marched back to the examining room. There was the cup of pink medicine. "Baby, this is the yummy pink bubble gum medicine." She cried harder. "You just have to drink this medicine, and then we can go HOME." Quiet. "Please drink this so we can go home." The crying begins again. "I want a cheeseburger."

Slowly, oh so slowly, I explained. Drink the pink medicine. We can LEAVE. I will buy you a cheeseburger - but I cannot do that in the ER. We need to LEAVE. And we cannot LEAVE until you drink the pink medicine. So she grabbed the cup, threw back her head, took the shooter, and we got the hell out of there.

As I emerged from the double doors, clutching a sleepy toddler, a bottle of pink medicine, and reams of paperwork (oh, the trees that were sacrificed) I felt triumphant.

Lucy saw Sami and announced "I was brave !"

He snorted and rolled his eyes. She started sobbing. I tried not to punch him right in the ER.

We finally got home and got the babies in bed, and it's done, and we don't have to go back there until the next late night infection kicks our ass. Next time I am bringing a parka and a basket of food. And maybe a sippy cup of wine. For me, of course.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, slap my ass and call me Sally

Yesterday, I received a call from the Principal. And an email from Max's teacher.

Max took the initiative to school one of his classmates in the fine art of eye contact. Max was trying to talk to a kid, who was trying to, you know, listen to the TEACHER. And when he did not make eye contact and engage in conversation with Max, Max smacked him.

Yeah. I know. Of course I am horrified ! Wouldn't YOU be horrified ? It's HORRIFYING !

This is the second time in the past few months that Max has decided that violence was the solution. This creates a pattern. Which I find worrisome. So of course, little Miss Type A got right to work. Phone conference with principal, numerous emails (several emails directly to Max's teacher) phone calls to my parents who are both K-1 teachers, and Nana Lori, who raised 4 girls basically single-handedly, and to the pediatrician (who answers her own phone and gives great advice) and I think we have a plan.

Max's teacher is going to provide a very brief behavior report each day for us, so we can be aware of what is going on, and any issues that arise.
Max is going to go see the school counselor to try to find some healthy ways to express frustration.
Max has an appointment with the pediatrician to request allergy testing. I have read that some food allergies can present as behavioral issues. So we need to make sure he isn't allergic to anything.

Max is on a very short leash (not literally, though that might make things easier). We are going to keep track of his diet, sleep, behavior, activity level, and anything else I can think of, to try to figure out if there are any connections. Because he cannot just go around attacking his friends when he get's pissed off. I mean, I want to smack people ALL THE TIME - but I don't. And dammit, he can't smack people either.

I am not sure what is going on, if this is "normal" boy behavior (Or normal 7 year old behavior) I just know I don't like it. And so, we have to figure out a solution, that we can all live with.

This parenting stuff ? It's hard.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The night shift

Today I worked the dinner shift at the cafe. I didn't like it that much. I mean, I did, it was great, and the woman I worked with was AWESOME, and it was fun....but I learned that I really, truly just enjoy the breakfast shift more. I love everything about it. I love the pace, the food, the people, the smell of coffee and bacon, the filtered morning sun coming through the plate glass windows, serving up bloodys and bennys all day long. It's my kind of crowd.

But really, the biggest thing I remembered ? I miss my kids. I miss them in a way that is almost painful. Palpable. This aching, keening missing of my babies. The smell of freshly washed hair, warm little bodies looking for a cuddle before bed. The patter of little feet in the hallway coming to tell me they heard a noise, or need a hug, or forgot to go potty, or any number of other distractions and stall tactics that are both annoying and hilarious.

The random conversations about juicing cows.
The long decision-making process required for bedtime story selection.
The extra-tight goodnight hugs.
The sweet goodnight kisses.
The "I love you"s

I am home now, I got home around midnight due to some complicated closing paperwork.
I am dirty, and tired, and not at all sleepy.
So I am going to take a shower, and go snuggle with my little bunnies for a while, listening to their quiet (and not so quiet) breathing. Running my fingers through Max's hair. Tucking Lucy under her covers. They won't know I am there, but they will feel my presence, reach for me with sleepy arms to be held and loved and treasured.

Oh, how I love you, my little ones. I am sorry I had to work tonight. I don't think it will happen again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am a real American

Inspired by Jen, who is also a "real American"

Today I voted. There is early voting in Hawaii, and I went right down to the county building and cast my vote. Just like a real American.

There are a lot of things that are important to me, as an American, as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a voter, as a writer, as a consumer, as an employee, as a neighbor, as a citizen.

As a human being.

I believe that it is important for all of us to be able to speak our mind. To agree to disagree, and to move on. To find common ground. To reconsider. To change our mind, our direction, our vote, our sex.

I believe that every person is created equal - and that the opportunity can be squandered.

I believe that immigrants should be welcomed, and that they should immediately become a part of this great nation, contributing in every way, as real Americans. That is how my ancestors and my husband's ancestors became Americans. And chances are, it's how your ancestors became Americans too.

I believe that rules exist for a reason, and that this land can only be free if everyone follows the rules, and works to keep the rules current, reasonable, and fair.

I believe that America has drifted away from the real America, and that we need to get back to our roots. Reconnect with our family, our neighbors, our global community, and our planet.

I dream of the "real America". I don't think that the current state of affairs reflects the "real America", or "real Americans". We have a lot of work to do, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get a little dirty.

Because I am a REAL AMERICAN.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh Baby

Last night, we had to explain to Lucy that no, she could NOT marry her brother.

I don't know why she would WANT to, he can be so grouchy these days, but she just adores everything about him, and they are thick as thieves, really. So last night, when she informed us tha she was going to have children, and that we would need to provide her with a house, car and phone, we told her that it sounded like she needed to find someone she loved very much, to have children with, and to help her buy a house, car and phone. Because it was not going to be us. So she turned to her right and said "Max will be my husband."

Then she informed us that we would be babysitting her kids while she went to work.

After refusing Lucy's kind invitation, Max informed us he was going to let us "hang on to him". Sami told him we would hang on to him until he turned 18, and then he could go hang on someone else.

This entire conversation happened in the car, after several hours of Oktoberfesting, so I am kind of fuzzy on the details (I was not the designated driver - so I was pretty, um, impaired.) In my delicate and muddled state, I was half laughing, and half crying....I didn't expect this conversation for years yet, and apparently my 3 year old has her entire life planned out already. 2 kids, a job, a husband, a house, a car and a phone.....

But this is a perfect example of how I ended up engaged my senior year of high school, signing a lease on an apartment before graduation, and moving to Vermont hours after the graduation ceremony (We had dinner with the family first. You're welcome, mom.)

I was in such a rush.

For what ? To totally fuck up my life ? Apparently, since I am still getting collection letters re: 1995, I did a really bang-up job. I will say this - I managed (despite my best efforts) to remain childless through that first marriage. So all I have to remind me of my tumultuous adolecence is those nasty letters that arrive addressed to my former husband. I mark them "return to sender" and consider it my good deed. But boy, does Sami get pissed off. Nothing worse then getting mail addressed to your wife's ex-husband, at YOUR home. It's a new kind of awesome. I think my step-dad also really enjoys it. What's not to love ?

I have made a pact with another mommy who also had the "starter marriage" experience. If our daughters come home from school (high school or college) and announce that they are in love or (GOD FORBID) getting married, we are sending them to Europe, all expenses paid, for a year. That should cure 'em.

I don't think we'll need to go that far, though, if Max is still on my sofa. I mean, if that doesn't cure her of the fantasy of living with a guy, I don't know what will.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

You with the stars in your eyes.....

I am going to tell you a little story.
I was on the phone with my mom, and I was driving. Yes, I was doing Both Things. Please. Spare me the lecture, mkay ?

ANYWAY, I was driving along, and there was this huge, hideous thud.

Of course, my very first thought was that I had run over a chicken. Meh. I didn't even slow down. But then I realized, a grapefruit the size of my head - no, wait, you know what, it was BIGGER then my head - had fallen off a tree and landed on my roof as I drove by. I pulled Right Over. Thank goodness it had gotten caught in my roof rack. I love grapefruit.

I have to admit, there is free produce all over the place here in Maui. Fruit that you would pay ridiculous, insulting prices for in the store will literally fall on the hood of your car while you are driving through town. You will see people stopped, in the middle of the road, sometimes standing ON their car, picking avocados and grapefruit and lilikoi, and the things seen in the photo above.

Those are star fruit. My dear Mai has these growing all around her house, and the kids love 'em.

While they are usually seen as a garnish in fancy restaurants, they can be eaten just like an apple. And they are delish. The skin is very thin, and easy to bite through, and the fruit is kind of sweet/tart. Yummy.

The fruit here in Hawaii is like the tomatos and zucchini of New England. People will bring bags of them everywhere they go, trying to give them away. Avocados, in particular, are a real pain in the ass. They are heavy, and tend to break windshields, so if you have a tree near your driveway you have to park elsewhere when the tree is in season. Fruit litters the ground, rotting in the sun. People carry avocado pickers in their car (or strapped on the roof) so that if they see a particularly loaded tree, they can help themselves.

avocado picker

I am still trying to figure out tomatos - this should be a great climate for tomatos, but I think it's TOO hot - I am going to try to figure out some sort of a protectiver shade cover for my tomato plants, and I think they need more water then I give them (uhm, none, actually) so that is my next project. I got some cherry tomatoes to grow, but then we stopped watering and the plants died and there were no more tomatoes. Oh. It was sad.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Take a chill pill

Well. Things are certainly COMPLETELY IN THE TOILET these days. Have you looked at your IRA statement ? Don't bother. It's just going to freak you out or piss you off. I have an account I started for my son, for his education - one of those 501 or 503c's or whatever the hell they are called. I have put in $250 of my own money, and the account is worth $150-ish. So glad I am saving for his education......
It seems like everything, and everyone, is on hold, treading water, waiting waiting waiting. For the election. For the economy. For peace and prosperity to reign once again.

Peace and Prosperity haven't been around lately. Have you seen them ? Maybe they're at their timeshare.

It's a good thing we already live in paradise - I can drive my poor ass down the hill to sit on the beach (which is free, thank you very much) and soak up the sunshine and the warm water and just be thankful for what I have and where I am - and figure out how to pay for it.

When I am not lazing about in the sand, I am definitely NOT cleaning the house. I am cooking. And eating. Yesterday is was potpie and apple crisp. Today, Kalbi ribs and pumpkin raviolis. I am a very busy girl. I have to be at the restaurant in 2 hours for my shift, and then get home in time for my rock star husband to play on the radio - I think they are promoting a gig tomorrow night, or maybe they are just promoting ???? I am not too sure, all I know is My Husband Is Playing Music On The Radio. Which is a lot more excting then my last radio gig, which was TALK radio (sigh). On AM. My husband is so much cooler then I am. Rock music on an FM station. God. I have no idea why he hangs out with me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And, lo, a miracle occured

Today, Lucy sang and danced at story time.

For some (most ?) of you out there, this will seem extremely INauspicious. However, for Lucy, it was like the heavens opened and the Angel Gabriel came down and took her hand and led her in song. I have probably completely screwed up any biblical reference, but you know what I mean. The kid usually sticks her head under my chair, covers her ears, and cries when there is group singing and dancing. She gets COMPLETELY freaked out. I don't know why - she just does. But every week, I have returned to story time, held her on my lap and quietly hummed the songs, encouraged her to open her eyes, allowed her to be frightened or upset, and hoped that someday, she would participate with all the other kids.

And today was the day.

She sat in the front row, and participated in 2 different sing-alongs. Not the whole thing, but snips and bits of each. And she was smiling and having fun (when she didn't have her butt in the air and her face buried in the carpet.)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty in Paradise

This post is for Blog Action Day 08. The theme is poverty.

Living in Paradise, filled with mansions and resorts and tourists from all over the world swanning around clutching the latest limited edition LV bag, it is hard to imagine how they are not affected by the current economic climate. But they continue to live their lifestyle, with a cushion of funds and a high paying job, and a lower cost of living wherever they are visiting from.

We have families here on Maui who are struggling. We don't have heating bills, but gas and electric are still outrageous. Basic foods are expensive. And though the cost of living is so much higher, it is still difficult to qualify for assistance.

I have NO IDEA how single parents make this work. I have absolutely no clue. How do they pay for childcare, and transportation, and food ? Our family is living a middle class lifestyle, courtesy of American Express. At some point, this will have to come to an end, I imagine. But what about the folks who don't have credit ? They can't even get off this ISLAND without hundreds of dollars. And so, they are giving up their homes and living in their cars. Or tents. Or on the beach. Or with friends. The kids eat their meals at school - but during school breaks, it gets a bit tricky.

Here is my real-life experience with poverty in my community.

I volunteer at my son's school. 60% of the children qualify for free or reduced price lunch (and that doesn't take into account the families who don't know about the program or don't read or speak english and didn't fill out the forms to apply, and instead struggle every day to feed their kids.) One of my favorite projects at school last year was Backpack Buddies. Any child who qualified for free or reduced price lunch could come on Friday and get a small bag of food (donated by a local church and an anonymous donor) to bring home for the weekend. Around 80 kids (out of 400 total in the school) participated each Friday. Sometimes, we ran out and I would drive home and put together extra bags of food, and bring them back to school so everyone would have something to eat over the weekend. These kids counted on this food. They would rush to make sure they got in line and picked up their groceries before going to class. 5 year old children would hold open their backpack, and look, with big eyes, as you put their food inside. Some were shy, some were thrilled, the older kids were embarrassed or too cool to say thank you or make eye contact - but they all came and took the food that was offered.

And this year, there is no program in place. How are these kids eating on the weekends ? Do they have enough to eat ? Teachers send home notes saying that it is important that your children eat a good breakfast before school - because so many kids are coming to school unfed. Uncared for in a most basic and primal way.

On Maui, it's not about panhandlers and soup kitchens, it's about families struggling to feed their kids - living in their car and driving that car to soccer and cub scouts so the kids can still have some sense of normalcy. Can you imagine having to choose between a roof over your head, and a meal for your child ? Knowing that there is NO WAY to get off this island, to move somewhere more affordable, because you don't have the money for plane fare ? To be totally STUCK and unable to move forward, and yet surrounded by wealth and luxury everywhere you turn ? Poverty is everywhere - even in paradise.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What would Jesus say ?

No, I am not talking about Black Hockey Jesus (though I would love to hear what he has to say about this). I am talking about the water to wine-ing, sandal-wearing, Mary Magdalene loving, son of God.

I want to know what he thinks about two completely non-religious, unbaptised heathens signing their son up for Boy Scouts (a Christian organization) and St Joseph School (a Catholic elementary school at the end of our street). This is how bad it is - I don't even know if those two words are SUPPOSED to have a capital "C" - so I am giving them one just to be safe....

We are not trying to be controversial, and we are not trying to downplay the importance of faith - we just don't have any. Really, none. At all.

So is it hypocritical to have our children attending schools and joining organizations that are built upon a religion we do not practice ? Because we could stay on the very unaffiliated, non-denominational path we have been on since our birth....but our kids might miss out. And I just don't know if that is OK. I have always been extremely open-minded about religion, sexual orientation, and all the rest of the personal choices that people make every day. And I want my children to grow up and have the freedom to make the same choices. But I also want them to have a well-rounded education, and participate in a range of extra-curricular activities. The first decision - joiing Boy Scouts - was easier. It is through the school, and while it is a Christian organization, there is no reading of bibles and children of all religions participate. Meetings are at the public elementary school. It seems pretty non-religious, for a religious organization.

But the school, man, that is going to be hard core. The kids will have to actually go to church. Some of the teachers are nuns. There will be time during the schoolweek devoted to studying for first communion....which my kids, as far as I know, will not be taking part in. I need more information, I need to sit down with the principal and talk with her about our lack of religion, and whether that is going to be an issue. I have no problem with the kids attending church, and would talk with them at home about all different religions, so I didn't feel they were only getting one side fo the story.....and I don't think I would be struggling as hard with this if I was considering a Buddhist school (there are several preschools on island affiliated with the local temples, so it's a possibility). But the big issue is, I don't think my son is "reaching his full potential" at our local public school. I mean, I could be wrong. He could be a lazy PITA no matter where he goes to school. But I get the feeling that a class of 12 kids being led by a nun might be a little more productive then a class of 20, where my son feels free to interrupt and repeat crude jokes and gestures to his heart's content, and subsequently hang out with the Vice Principal on a semi-regular basis. I think maybe he needs a slightly shorter leash, with a little less time sitting behind a desk. And yes, maybe he needs a little religion. Wait. Is that a song. No, maybe I am thinking of Losing My Religion. Good God (HAH ! Again with the capital G !!!)

I am just really struggling with this decision. I think that without the religion, this would be the perfect school for our family. Very small and community oriented. Very focused on family. Literally 2 (short) blocks from my door. But the church aspect of things is really confusing me.

Maybe I will feel better after I talk to the head of the school...... she was substitute teaching today, so I didn't get to meet her. I'll call tomorrow and see if we can set something up. This parenting stuff is HARD.

Expressions of love

I really love my husband, a lot. a LOT a lot. Love him long time.

Our marriage has definitely changed over the years, with the addition of a few kids and the loss of a few ovaries and some hormones. We still sleep in the same bed, but seperately, under our own blankets. It minimizes the cuddling and groping I so look forward to each night (hah !) but it also allows him to sleep all night long, while I am up and down. It all started when Max arrived, and he ate throughout the night. Not romantical in the least. Then came menopause.

Let this serve as a warning, to men AND women. Menopause is BRUTAL. I went through menopause at 29, unbeknownst to me (I mean really, why would I suspect it at 29 ?) and it sucked. There are a host of fun symptoms and side effects of "the change". Like, night sweats.

Night sweats doesn't mean getting a little warm. Night sweats means you wake up and all of your bedding - from the outside of your comforter down to the mattress - is soaked. If you looked down on the sleeping, night sweating woman, you would see a dark outline of damp all over her. This is serious stuff. I wake up dyhydrated, for christ's sake. And obviously, this is not something you would want to cuddle with. Thus the seperate bedding. And the beach towel on my side of the bed. Hot.

The reason this is on my mind is that all of my bedding is once again piled in front of the washing machine. I fell asleep at 9pm, and started waking up at 11:30pm. Every hour or so, I would wake up, and lie there in my puddle as it turned cold, and pray that I would fall back asleep. I didn't want to wake up Sami, even though I desperately needed a shower and a dry blanket. It was a long night. My point is this - over the past few years, our relationship has evolved with our sleeping arrangements.

Seperate blankets means that he is usually completely unaware of how truly disgusting I can be - and so, he still finds me hot. And in return, I am a very devoted and doting wife - he's hot, he's sweet, he's funny, and I adore him.

And apparently, the kids have heard me expressing my love, because yesterday, Lucy proclaimed her love for daddy.

"Yes, Lucy?"
"I just fucking LOVE you."

Now THAT is passion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A fake holiday just to mess with my head

It has been a mixed up day.

This morning, as I was sipping delicately on the coffee that replaced the bug tea (I just couldn't do it, I am too OCD for that sort of nonsense, had to dump out the tea after all) my phone rang and it was our neighbor. We made a plan - Beautiful day necessitates a long overdue beach trip - to celebrate a holiday that may or may not be recognized in Hawaii. (County, no, state and federal, yes. So, my son had school, and we had trash service....but no mail.)

We were all topsy turvey, not sure what was open and what was closed. But the beaches are always open, so we went right down the hill and parked ourselves in front of some of the most spectacular surf EVER. It was a winter swell come early, and it was astounding. Waves were curling and rolling and breaking as far out as the eye could see. SO we watched, and snoozed, and the girls built castles and the dog romped. Then we swung by the gelato place (cold gelato is good for sore throats) and Mana (for our bread and dairy necessities). Heading back up the hill, we swung through the neighborhood and dropped off the dog, and the groceries. Then we drove up to the farm stand for a little adventure. Only, the farm stand apparently recognizes the holiday. They were closed.

I don't know what the hell kind of holiday this is - but I am not impressed. In New England, it's Columbus Day and everything is closed. Here, it's Discoverer's Day, and it's a crapshoot. Either, everything should be closed, or everything should be open. Do not mess with my head like this, life is hard enough and gas is almost $5a gallon.


Last week, Trouble called to ask if I was having trouble breathing (no pun intended). You might be wondering why she would ask such a question - and if you have never lived on Maui, you would be understandably confused.

Maui grows sugar cane - and to harvest the sugar, they have to burn the cane - which creates thick, nasty smoke, and wispy ashes that blow all over the place. We live miles from the cane fields, and yet, can wake up to a blanket of ash if the wind is blowing a certain way (namely, our way).

This burning results in, well, burning. Burning eyes, burning throat, burning sinuses. And on Saturday morning, we woke up to a great gray plume of smoke on the horizon. Max was the first to notice - he woke up so congested that I was afraid he was getting sick. But then we spotted the billowing clouds in the distance, and realized that they were burning.

And so I am here in bed, stuffy and miserable, with a sore throat and itchy eyes and a mean post-nasal drip. As though the whole world is on fire. I am miserable, Max is miserable, Lucy's eyes are puffy so she is probably miserable too, but not able to verbalize how uncomfortable she is. I am sipping tea, cautiously, because a bug landed in there and drowned, and despite pouring the tea from one mug to another, I cannot find the little buggy cadaver....and I am not wasting my teabag. Let's call it my protein.

It is 6:35am, and I am already in desperate need of a nap.

And that sums up my morning. Post nasal drip, naptime, and bug tea. Happy Monday !

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Yesterday, I was getting very long overdue pedicure. I was almost embarrassed to go in, but I sucked it up and swallowed my pride and bared my feet for G. While I was there, we talked about all sorts of things, and we were chatting with the other nail tech and her client, who was visiting from Australia.

This other client told me something VERY interesting.

It is MANDATORY to vote in Australia.
When Australians turn 18, they have to register to vote. And then, if they don't show up and have their name checled off the voter roll, they get FINED. And if they keep blowing off their civic uty, they can go to JAIL. My first thought ? I think that is awesome. My second thought: maybe that wouldn't work out so good...... Everyone should be involved in choosing our leaders, but they should WANT to be involved, and educate themselves about the candidates.

Here are some articles about this interesting state of affairs in Australia.....

What do you think about this ? I'm curious, and would be interested to hear your thoughts......

Friday, October 10, 2008

The internet habits of the seriously bored and housebound

I have to get away from my computer.

I am so bored, I cannot see straight. I am trying not to spend money, and the best way I can think of to do that is to stay home. And, it's killing me. Slowly.

It's not that I don't have things to do - there are PLENTY of things I could do, like work or clean....but I am practically a professional at avoiding those responsibilities. You would be amazed.

So here I sit. Online. I mean, we already PAY for the access, so I just consider myself to be getting my money's worth. Dammit.

This week I have implemented some belt tightening measures, which have resulted in even more internet time - researching, listing items on Craigslist (like my truck) sending unsolicited writings to publications, and on and on and on.

But between fleeting moments of productivity, what I am doing is surfing the web and eating. It's pretty pitiful.

Here's my usual routine - mixed in with this is a lot of reading of stories, fetching of water, walks around the neighborhood, and arts and crafts. Lots of arts and crafts. Comments are welcome, but I already know I am pathetic, so you can keep that judgement to yourself, please and thank you.

Wake up, check personal and work email, and CNN.
Get kids ready for the day, take Max to school, come back, and try to blog while playing dollies with Lucy.
Read Perez Hilton and What Would Tyler Durden Do instead.
Eat. Feed Lucy her 3rd meal of the day.
Check emails.
Deal with client dramas if there are any.
Read my blogroll.
Make another cup of tea.
Go to Facebook to update everyone on what I am doing That Very Second, because I know they are waiting on pins and needles to hear all about it.
Eat, and get a snack for Lucy.
Research or pay bills or whatever it is I need to do online.
Check a message board I visit often.
Check my damn email accounts again.
Eat. Feed Lucy.
Pick up Max.
Eat, feed Max and Lucy.
Check email.
Check Blogroll.
Surf the web waiting for the news to begin on NPR.
Snack for the kids.
Start dinner (with a recipe I found online).
Put a movie on Netflix for the kids while I listen to NPR.
Check email.
Feed Kids, Sami and self.
Hand kids off to Sami and try to write for a bit.
Check email, and get in bed, vowing to turn off the computer.
Sneak out of bed to check one last thing.
Wake up at 3am having night sweats (I love menopause!) and can't fall back asleep. Plus, the bed is now all damp. Go to living room.
Check email, read blogs until I am ready to go back to bed.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Food Shopping - an adventure

Yesterday, I looked in my fridge, and decided that I would need to spend some money. We were out of some key items, like bread and milk. That necessitates a trip to TWO stores, because I am weird like that. Bread is fresh-baked at Mana, milk is at Costco because they have the best price on organic milk.

We headed out - first stop Mana Foods. O, My beloved Mana, with it's narrow aisles and amazing people watching opportunities. Millionaires and celebrities next to the scary, smelly guy who pays for his groceries with a backpack full of change. A varying percentage of the shoppers are in bathing suits, with sandy feet and salty skin. Babies are in slings, kids run wild, there are hoses in the produce section, and it is always just bordering on chaos. I love chaos. Mana Foods is the place where, when we first moved to Maui, I came around the corner in the produce aisle and found a man adjusting his sarong. He was holding it stretched out behind him, and was about to wrap it around his waist. He had no pants on. Completely naked except for his flipflops. I just turned the carriage around and decided we would not be getting produce that day after all. Which is a shame, because Mana Foods can have some pretty amazing produce. That is the only time I have ever seen a completely naked person in Mana, but there have been plenty of other sightings of bizarre and "only in Maui" behavior. Ah Mana. The cross section of humanity wanders your aisles with me.

After our Mana adventures, we headed over to Costco.

I hate Costco. Parking is damn near impossible (it never used to be this hard !) and the store is always crowded. And people are RUDE. These days, it is always filled with tourists who have just gotten off an airplane and are on their way to a condo on the beach. They are buying huge bottles of booze, and far more food then they could ever consume during their 1 week stay. What are they thinking ??? Hardly any of the food is local, and everything is bulky and heavy and just UNNECESSARY. Except the milk, of course. Honestly, no one should need to shop there unless they have 10 kids, or they are throwing a dinner party of epic proportions. Costco represents everything that is wrong with America, and I just hate it. I may never go again, actually, because I hate it so much. I don't need most of the stuff they sell there, and I certainly don't need the massive quantities. It's just vulgar and anonymous and sterile and gross and WITHOUT A SOUL. Unlike Mana, a store that practically has a pulse it's so real. Even the stupid shopping carts are the oversized, energy-guzzling SUVs of carts. Ick Ick Ick.

What it all comes down to is this: If I would just get real (really REALLY real) and embrace the whle self-sufficient lifestyle I am so enamored with in theory, I would pay attention to my garden and bake my own damn bread. And then, the only thing I would really need to buy in a store is Dr. Bronner's soap. From Mana, of course. I just read all about it on Not Martha's link to Metafilter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Watch out PETA


yesterday, while I was out shopping for SOMEONE ELSE ENTIRELY I SWEAR TO GOD I DIDN'T MEAN TO I bought myself a totally kick ass vest.

It's hot. It's cropped, and fitted, and flattering, and the colors are great, and oh yeah did I mention it is made of suede, with fur still attached. I am assuming, because of the price, that it is FAUX. However, it's hard to be sure. And if it ISN'T faux, I don't want to know about it.

I am not a raging animal rights activist - it's just that the idea of having the soft soft fur of a dead animal all snuggled up against my neck makes me kind of nauseous. Is that wrong? I happily wear leather, eat meat, drink milk, and basically am a vegan's worst nightmare. But this, this just seems kind of extreme. Is that hypocritical ? I have never owned anything that could ever be mistaken for fur. And now that I do, and I love it like I do, I am having a hard time.

If you had been there, if you had seen it, you would have said "Buy it. Buy it now. Don't even think about it. Just do it." And I heard you. And I bought it. Just for you. It will look fabulous in the New England winter. Stomping through NYC and D.C. and trekking all the way north through Vermont. I think I can wear this with both my new Crocs boots and my Stuart Weitzmans. How's that for efficient ?

And now, a brief commentary on Crocs - their practicality v.s. their appearance.

If you are a Croc hater, that is just fine - I can respect that, and I *know* they are ugly, and I Don't Care. They are what they are, and they do the job. I don't wear them out at night (and rarely during the day) I don't have a pair in every color, but I *AM* buying their winter boots with the detachable shearling lining.

Happily, and of my own free will.

They are so freaking comfortable and lightweight, I am putting their ugliness aside and embracing their utility - which is what Crocs are all about anyway. They are not a fashion statement - and if you think they are, or that people are only wearing them because they are trendy, then you are seriously misinformed. No one thinks they are attractive, but they are very practical. And for someone with a large, wide foot like mine, who spends most days on a tropical island with a lot of rain, they are a necessity. Do you have any idea what can grow inside a pair of rubber boots in this climate? Sometimes, practicality trumps beauty. Not often. And especially not when it comes to shoes. But in this particular situation, it does.

Ok, now that we have gotten that out of the way, we shall get back to my vest. Short f sending it to a lab for analysis, I have no idea how to figure out if it is really REAL or not. There is no tag that I can see. And real or faux, if someone throws red paint on this vest, I will take off my croc boot and beat the shit out of them so help me god.

The end.

Crock pot queen

Today, I am attempting to make indian food in my crockpot. I have absolutely no idea if this is going to work out. It is an experiment of the first order. I don't think it can kill anyone, and I doubt it will explode or catch fire, but really - anything is possible. I have just completed (I think) the dal (daal ? dahl ? Whatever, it's spiced lentils) The flavor is good, the consistency could use some work. It is pretty pasty and thick. Okeee dokee. On to the curry. Chicken, coconut milk, and...what else. Maybe some of the same spices I put in the dal ? Sure, why not, let's go with it. So now it just has to crock for a few more hours.....I'm feeling pretty optimistic that it will be at least edible.

Manu is still working on the wall - some of our neighbors came over to visit and see what he was doing. We have great neighbors - very friendly, very helpful, very nosy. We had housesitters once and forgot to warn our neighbors. Apparently there were some loud comments from over the fence and in the cul de sac about strangers driving our cars. As though we were in the trunk or something. I am sure they were only acting out of concern - so now I feel the need to send out a flyer every time we do ANYTHING, so that everyone is fully informed and feels included in the decision-making process. Even though I will continue to do whatever the hell I want. It's called "giving them what they want" people - and it works EVERY DAMN TIME.

In other news, I have a baby hanging with me today - he is super sweet and cuddly, and I just lay down with him and rubbed his back for all of 10 seconds and he fell asleep. Why the HELL didn't I have one of these easy sleepers ? WHY ???? It took him a while to settle down, but then, when he was ready, it was like I had knocked him out - he was just Lights Out. Now he is snoozing on my bed, and I am going to go sit with him so i don't worry about him falling or waking up alone. He probably wouldn't even be upset if he woke up and i wasn't there - he is THAT chill - but he WOULD get into Sami's night table, and we can't have that.....

MMMMMmmmmmm the curry smells good.
OK, off to cuddle with the bebe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keeping an eye on the checkbook

This post is not about what you think it's about. Well, not yet, anyway, though you know how I love to veer off on tangents. But this story is about my personal checkbook, my son, and Manu.

Manu is a lovely man, who has built several rock walls for us over the years. He does a great job, and is just as nice as can be. Last night, while i was out, Manu showed up, looking for work. Times are tough all over apparently, and no one is looking to have new walls built, since they are worried more about keeping a roof over their heads, I guess.

So Manu showed up last night, to follow up on a bid he had given us several months back. He had given us a pretty high bid. It was probably a fair price - maybe even a bargain, but still WAY out of our price range. But he is persistent, and knew we had to get this wall built sooner or later - and he decided that sooner would be better. I was out last night with girlfriend and got a phone call from Sami. Manu had dropped his price by more then 50% - should he accept the bid ?

Since Sami was the one who would be stuck building the wall if Manu didn't, I left it completely up to him - but told him that the price was a total steal. We would never find someone to build a better wall at a lower price. He agreed, and asked me to have a check for Manu for the deposit the next day.

Fast forward to today - the next day.
I am in the shower, shaving my legs. This only happens once a week or so, and it is a project. So I am in there, all soaped up, wrangling the razor and letting my conditioner soak in - and Max (who is 7 years old) opens the bathroom door.

"Mom. That guy is here. With the rocks. Do you want me to write him a check ?"

"That guy" was apparently standing just outside my bathroom. And I was in there without any clothes or a robe or anything. I told Max I would be right out. He repeated my words to Manu, and again asked if he could write the check. I shouted at him to close the bathroom door, which he did, thankfully. Because otherwise a wet, naked, seriously pissed mommy was going to come barreling out of the bathroom to give both Max and Manu a piece of my mind.

You know, I understand that I am not the only mother who never uses the bathroom alone. I see the futility in even bothering to close the door when I go in there. But I'll be damned if my son and my mason are going to interrupt my once-a-week attempt at grooming. I mean really. So I finished my task, ran cross the hall in a towel, and threw on a sundress in order to write the check MYSELF despite Max's protestations. I am sure Manu thought the whole thing was hysterical. Max was just aggravated.

He probably invited the whole crew in and offered to open some beers while I was finishing up. He's good like that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aging gracefully

I know I have said this before, but I am going to say it again. I am not graceful.

If you are laughing, shut up.

If you are wondering what the hell I am talking about, you are just going to have to take me at my word. I wear a size 11 shoe, I am loud and vulgar, my legs are never shaved, and I tend to be socially awkward.

However, in the past few months, I have really been trying to age gracefully. So I am doing what I see other women of a certain age doing. For instance: Wearing eye cream. Wait, that is a bad example, because what happened was I *bought* the eye cream, but have yet to put it on. What I AM doing, is I am trying to act my age. And frankly, the amount of effort I have to put forth is a little disheartening. One of the first things that set me off was when a friend (a guy friend, natch) said something about how all of my shirts were "boob shirts".

Now, I would like to state for the record that all of my shirts are NOT boob shirts, he just had a dirty, dirty mind and probably thinks turtlenecks are provocative. But my reaction to his comment took me by surprise: I was mortified. And as we all know, it is pretty hard ot embarrass me, since I do it myself so well, and so often. In years past, if someone said my shirts were all boob shirts, I would have probably flashed them or something. But now....well, I started to be a bit more aware of my outward appearance - the first impression I might be giving people.

I am no spring chicken over here. And my boobs are not really in their prime. When I was 16, and they were brand NEW, they were looking pretty good. Plus, they showed up sort of all of the sudden, so they took people by surprise for a while. But now, they have accomplished their tasks (get hot husband, feed children) and for all intents and purposes, they are more of a detraction then a distraction, if you know what I mean. If I'm going to choose something to flaunt, it's not going to be the twins. (Sorry girls, you served me well.) So I started layering tank tops, buttoning an extra button, making sure the shirts were long enough to cover my bellybutton and my tattoos. Basically, trying to bring up my game. Leave a little something to the imagination.

Another thing I changed was my shorts and skirts and dress lengths. I am now pretty much exclusively knee length or longer. They may be tight - but they cover my thighs. Until last week, when I went into my friend Bethany's store and spotted this really super cute little skirt. Little being the most important word in that sentence. L I T T L E. I showed it to Bethany, and told her I loved it but that I thought it was too short. She said I was being ridiculous, and that I could totally get away with it.

So today, I broke out the skirt for a birthday party. It's not sexy, or tight, it's just really SHORT. So I walked into this party of mommies and first graders, and realized that no, just because I was thin enough to fit into it did not mean it was appropriate. The Other Mommies made that abundantly clear.

It is with great regret that I am going to put this skirt back in my closet, perhaps never to be worn again. It's a cute skirt, but apparently, I am too old for it. And thank goodness I had on conservative underpants, otherwise I would have been flashing the old coochie to all of the 5 year olds and their already disgusted mothers. Short skirts are very complicated. You have to keep your legs together at all times (and I may not have mentioned this, but I am not graceful, or demure - so this was HARD). I now understand why Britney and Lindsey and Paris are constantly flashing their cooters - their skirts are just too damn short.

So here, for what may be the last time - me, in a mini skirt.

Those Were The Days
Mary Hopkins
Music & Lyrics : Gene Raskin

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A night out with the kids

Saturday was the first official day of Max's fall break. We have a year-round school calendar here, they start in mid-July, have a break in October, one over the new year, and another in the spring. The school year ends by the first week of June or so....

And in honor of the first day of the first vacation of the school year, we decided to celebrate, family style. Sami and I loaded up the kids, post-bath, in their jammies, and took them down to the Ryans. The kids camped out, we watched SNL, ate Funnyuns, and then put sleepy children in the car and headed home again. It was like date night, but without the sitter or the expense of a restaurant. In other words, right in our budget (except for the $10 worth of gas it'll probably take to get to their house and back - sigh).

And now it's Sunday. (insert monster truck announcer voice here: "Sunday Sunday Sunday" Is the reference too obscure ?) and that means bloodies and bennies at Moana. Whoot ! And after that celebration, god help me, we have a birthday party. Thank goodness it is at Marn's which means it will be HIGHLY entertaining with lots of costumes and excitement. I will be properly lubed up with bloody marys, and ready to party ! As my girlfriend Sarala told me yesterday: "I am so glad you are off those hormones and able to drink properly again." Hear hear and Amen sister.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who IS this kid ? And why do I swear so much ?

I have this cute boy, Max. Maybe I've mentioned him before about 1,000 times, because I totally adore him, and he is a complete mini-me, especially when he is doing something shitty. Every time I get mad at him, I realize that I did the EXACT SAME THING when I was a kid, and then I remember my mother telling me I was going to get mine one day. Boy, did I. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

So today, I was......well, I was napping. There, I said it. I worked this morning, and then I came home, made lunch for Lucy and did some mending (yes, I said mending.....Suck it) and then I took a nap. So while I was napping, and Sami was "in charge" and "supervising", Lucy was watching Transformers (!?) and Max was playing in the living room with his best buddy from across the street.

Wait. I have to pause for a moment. Can I just sing the paises of having neighbors with kids the same age as your kids ? It ROCKS. If you ever have kids, and go to look for a place to live, make sure there are kids the same age as your kids. They will have constant playmates, and your life will be WAY easier. Just make sure the kids aren't assholes. Because that really defeats the whole purpose.

OK, back on track folks. So as I was saying, Max was playing in the living room with the boy from across the street. I come staggering out of the bedroom, all disoriented and looking for coffee (yes, I know, it's 5pm at this point and I am waking up and looking for coffee. Can we stay on topic please ?) ANYWAY I am standing there all bewildered because there are kids in the house that don't belong to me, and my son is asking me all sorts of questions about the "hum-berica flag". I have no idea what the hell he is talking about, and say so. He starts talking really slowly, like English is my second language, and I'm all, "Dude, I seriously have NO IDEA" what you are talking about." Sami comes in and helps to clear up the confusion. Max is talking about the AMERICAN flag. Now I am really confused. Why doesn't Max know that it is called the American flag ? And what kind of game is he PLAYING for god's sake ? So he shows me that he has built some sort of a building that looks like a barracks, out of a cardboard box. He has made several flags, representing various states and "Hum-berica", using his Boy Scout handbook as a guide. He is attaching the flags to straws, and taping them to the cardboard.

Apparently, this is fun for him (?)

So we had a half hour conversation about flags, and countries, and states, and then Sami pulled out the globe, and the next thing I know, I am still without coffee, in my pajamas, participating in a social studies lesson.

I just can't express how screwed up that is for me. I am *not* that mom. I'm just not. But it turns out, I kinda am. I love that kid, because he makes me be a better mom and a better person and a better contributor and listener. He teaches me things every day, and when he was born, I changed. I was instantly a mommy. It only happens once - you love all of your children, but the minute your first child is put into your arms is the day you experience this INSANE and PROFOUND change, at a molecular level. You are suddenly connected and wholly responsible for another person. It is some crazy, crazy shit.

The only thing that DIDN'T change is my prolific use (some say abuse) of Profanity. Here's how bad it can be: I went through this post and cleaned it up. A lot. You're welcome. I'm OK with Profanity - we understand each other, Profanity provides me with lots of ways to express myself. I use the words properly, and treat it with some respoect. It's a mutual admiration society. My kids are amazing, wise, gentle, loving souls, who just happen to know every dirty word that exists. My work here is done.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Photos of the County Fair

Memories, like the corner of my mind.....
Misty, water-colored MEHHMMMMMories,
oftheway we weeerrrrrreeeee.
Scattered PICtures - taken by me, at the Maui County Fair, on opening day.

I only took a few because I spent most of the time chasing someone, looking for someone, calling someone, eating, or hugging people I hadn't seen in ages.

It was as dirty and crowded and loud as I anticipated. We ate a lot of sugar, and spent $20 for the kids to ride on 2 rides of their choice. Yes, really. $5 a ride.

As I prophesized, Max did not do any homework. And of course, the teacher has 2 TESTS scheduled for tomorrow - the one day of his whole LIFE that he was up late on a school night, for a school-sanctioned activity (it was on the SCHOOL CALENDAR for crying out loud !) and his teacher has scheduled 2 important tests - his spelling, and his math - both tomorrow. I am quite certain we were not the only kids from his school at the fair tonight, because this was the night that the school kids who walked in the parade would get in free. And god help me, the parade was almost 2 hours long. THAT is a lot of school kids.

Without further ado - the photos.

OK, TODAY is the county fair.

Yesterday, I was all in a tizz, because I thought it was the county fair. The opening day of the county fair involves a massive (by Maui standards) parade, where almost every child on island seems to walk the route for one organization or another. For the past 6 years, I have managed to avoid this parade, but it cannot be put off any longer. Max begged and begged to join the Boy Scouts, and against my better judgement he is now a member of a pack, or den, or something like that, and they will be marching in the parade.

Never mind that it's a school night.
Never mind that we have to be there almost immediately after school to get ready (and find a parking spot).
Never mind that he won't get any homework done.

We are going to town to watch the parade and take lots of pictures of Max doing his thing, and staying for the fair, and eating fried twinkies and God Knows What Else, and having the TIME OF OUR FUCKING LIVES (for less then $50, I hope, cause that's all I have from tips yesterday).

Even though fairs eat away at my mental health in every way imaginable - from the dirt to the germs to the grease to the dangerous rides to the crowds to the porta-potties - I am trying like hell to be a good sport about this. No matter what you and I learned from that John Travolta movie, I have been told that you can't live life in a bubble. How Unfortunate.

Today will be filled with lots of fun, and chaos, and noise, and sugar. There is just no getting around it - so I am gonna embrace it with all my strength. It is going to be a wild ride. Just not the Fireball. Because that ride will make me puke.