Friday, May 27, 2011

It finally happened!

I've been so mired down that my daily dose of funny has not even helped me too crack a smile lately. I live in a whirlwind and trust me it gets interesting everyday but I just haven't been able to focus.

Until Wednesday. It finally happened. Things got funny up in this joint!

Wednesday was my twins 2nd to last day of school and my preschoolers last day and graduation. The twins and I went to the pool after school and I wore my new swimsuit. Forgot that whole bit about testing it (or even trying it on) before using something new in a public place. This fact was very evident as I walked around the pool holding myself in in several key areas of my personage. Shifting, tugging and pulling became masterful moves and I never actually got brave enough to try swimming in the pool (I walked in it and played ring around the rosy in it however).

Also, I forgot sunblock. I don't usually need much and I usually keep it in my car but I think it might have been at least two months since I had braved the outside world so my skin got a little sensitive which means I got a little burned. But don't worry, I totally forgot the next day too and made it worse. Cause I'm cool like that!

So we finished our pool adventures and that's when the real amusement began ( see I just shared the other part because I wanted to go all TMI on you). You see at the pool I got out to use the bathroom, then I saw my friend who I rarely get to see so instead of going to use the restroom I went back in the pool to hang out with her. then my kids were having so much fun that I went and joined them again. Then it was time to get out and my sons needed my help getting them into dry clothes. Then the pool was closing and their were still people in the bathroom so I held it again. I got in the car and realized this was not going to work. I started driving (we had a 30 minute drive ahead of us) which turned into me bouncing up and down in my seat speeding towards my house (5 minutes away) and shouting, "I gotta pee, I gotta pee, I'm not going to make it, I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE IT!!!!! I roared into my driveway fumbled with the keys and flew into my house sort of making it on time to the bathroom.

Relief, embarrassment and understanding all occurred at this moment. I nag my sons all the time about stopping what they're doing and going to the bathroom. It's apparently interesting to do absolutely anything besides going to the bathroom until you've held it so long that you must run and hope to make it in time. Now I learn that they got this awesome trait from me. :( I allowed myself to get distracted 3 times until I had to change all our plans to accommodate my bathroom needs. Needless to say I can never justifiably chastise them again.

But I will.

Then we got to Kihei and picked up the preschooler. We wasted time going to 10 stores looking for bubbles and sunblock that don't exist and then it was time to pick up my husband from work. Not sure if I shared this yet but my husband started a new job this week.

I know, YEAH!!!

Cue Hallelujah chorus

Except as I was driving into the research and technology park I had a realization, an AH HA! moment.

I had no clue where he worked.

I had just gotten off the phone with him and was too embarrassed to call back except as a last resort so I laughingly told my boys (in that embarrassed slightly stressed and panicked tone) that we were going on a scavengers hunt to find daddy's car. We drove through 4 of the 6 parking lots in the park before we discovered his car and I pulled up beside it. I smuggly called him on the phone and announced in my singsong voice, "we're here!" Oh yeah, proud moment people, proud moment. When he got outside I admitted my epic failure and asked more questions about his great new job so I would never be this clueless again.

Finally, we headed towards preschool graduation. Have you ever been to one? They are sickeningly adorable, the cuteness is hard to handle. My sons was at a fancy schmancy hotel and he wore a cap and gown (which his brothers kept calling a dress and which he couldn't see his hands in while wearing). I was sitting in the front and the kids entered from the back. I was wondering when he would be coming out when I realized that there was a blank spot in the line. I quickly deduced that the blank spot was my son, who is too short to be seen behind the chairs, and awaited his arrival. he proudly bounced up the aisle got his diploma and was cutely baffled at how to stand and who to look at while having his picture taken. There was more cuteness in bible verse recitations, songs, dances (my son almost falling asleep on stage because his bedtime is 7 and it was 8 already) and the cutest video of the preschoolers year together. Afterwards many friends handed out leis and presents to their friends (we dropped the ball on this one, I always forget that everyone gives presents for everything here) and we tried to take a family picture without 60 other people in the shot. The evening was coming to a close, success!

But oh wait, I said success too soon. Let's not forget that it was now past all my boys bedtime. The oldest decided that he was attention deprived and the world was against him because his brother got leis and presents and he didn't. Screaming, crying and stomping we ended our day dragging him out of the fancy schmancy hotel. You know, just standard stuff that makes a momma proud (or ruins a memorable moment depending on how you look at it)

Then we had airport adventures, but that story is someone elses too tell. So let's just say the day still had a lot left and it stayed entertaining to the last possible moment.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Volume Control

Why don't children have any volume control?

Or for that matter, why can't they control the tone of their voice?

I suppose it's how they learn but I am in awe of how a child can sound grossed out when they are excited, how they whisper on stage and yell in your ear, how they cry when happy and giggle when sad and oh yes, the emphatic angry tone in which everything important is announced.

Also, the endless repetition. Because I might not understand unless it's shouted at me 9 times.

Disclaimer: I love my children and mostly love children in general.

But oh, the things they say and do!

My youngest child awakens me with his yelling voice. He never realizes he's yelling but it starts my day instantly on edge and hyper aware of the fact that things are louder than they should be. Then he puts on his cute face and cuddles and I forget to teach him to stop shouting and so it continues every day in a vicious cycle.

My oldest frequently tells me sweet things, like how much he loves me, through gritted teeth and like he wants to hurt me, but he means them sincerely. It's just his way of making me understand that what he is saying is important.

My middle child, or younger twin, tells me of his accomplishments in a whiny tone that makes it seem like it's the end of the world, even though it's one of his proudest moments.

Before you start judging my children (what do I care, judge if you want, they are awesome!), I am around a lot of children and the problem is widespread.

My sister started volunteering at the school where I work and my boys attend. The kids are amazed by how much we look alike. Instead of speaking in an amused tone, or in awe and reverant respect, they yell at us. "How come you look the same as Mrs....!" "You know I saw you and you look the same as Aunty...!" and I mean, full on yell, in our faces, every time they see us.

Or they make you want to come to school unshowered just so they will stop hanging all over you. This one little girl, every time I see her, loudly announces that she will be by me because I smell like powder. Then when she gets close she starts sniffing me and rubbing my arms announcing to all who will listen, at the top of her lungs like she's angry, that I smell like powder. Then she accuses me of using powder like it's a crime. I explain that I don't use powder but I do shower and that leads to more sniffing and hurling accusations that I do indeed smell like powder. How dare I smell good, what was I thinking?

They also like to share stories with you every time they see you.

Not my children, getting them to share is as pleasant as pulling teeth, but other peoples children love to share with me.

Always at their top of their lungs.

"Remember I saw you that one time, Remember!"
"You know I have a dog!"
"I have home lunch today!"
"Your son pushed me!"
"Don't you know where I live?"
"I didn't wear socks today!"
"It's because I'm from the pillapines!"

I am in awe of how different things sound when we use the wrong tone or inflection. How weird the things you say seem when your facial expression doesn't match your tone. And it fills me with laughter everyday to watch children learn how to speak and share because in the process they look ridiculous.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kindergarten Cop

Do you remember that movie? Not sure why but it's one of those movies that I have only watched a couple of times yet can quote large parts of it by heart.

Now that my kids have reached school age, and I work at their school, I have a whole new appreciation for some of the kids "sharing" in the movie and the out of control behaviors that I used to think were bits of "over the top" Hollywood drama.

However, the most quoted line, at least for me is,

"I have a headache."
"It's probably a tumor"

In his thick accent, Arnold Schwaranegger (sp?) cracks me up when he says this. I say it, in my ridiculous impression of his accent, ALL THE TIME.

Or, well, I did.

This past month, April 7th to be exact, my father in law began to lose his short term memory. At first he was just forgetful and we thought he needed a schedule. Then it got a little more marked and we thought it was his medications. After about 2 1/2 weeks it reached the point where we were getting scared. We took him in for an MRI and, you guessed it, they found a brain tumor, directly in the center of his brain. Once we found it things got worse, to the point where he can't follow an entire sentence, forgetting what was said at the beginning.

So now, the tumor joke isn't funny, it's our reality. I have had a headache for 5 days, and I don't get headaches. I desperately want to laugh it off and say "IT'S A TUMOR!" but it just doesn't feel right. Plus, what if it was true! (for the record, I don't think it's true)

I wrote another post, a little while back that described some of our current family stresses. We have added this and several other concerns onto that pile so that's why I haven't been posting. I am working hard each day to tone down my crazy, find something positive and just get through. My kids behaviors show me that they are feeling all this family stress and so my focus is on them and making this all a little easier.

I debated whether I should post on this or not.

1. It's very personal and makes it seem like I am looking for a pity party, which I am not. (however prayers are appreciated)

2. I didn't want to ruin Kindergarten Cop for all of you too.

3. I like to think that I'm funny and that most of my posts express that.

However there is some funny to be found in the situation. While in the grand scheme of things losing your short term memory is awful and you have to be constantly monitored. In the moment it leads to some seriously funny moments. Most of them relate to food. I want to share them, and if he gets better I will, with his permission. But for now I don't want to seem like I am mocking a serious situation.

We will get through this and life will get funnier so please keep reading my faithful followers, keep reading.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homework songs

Today started with a gift of cookies. How can a day with such a sweet start go wrong?

Well, Somehow it managed to and by the time I got home, rearranged kids, and got updates on our many current crises, I was done. Unfortunately it was 4 o'clock and the day was not even close to done.

In flies super roomie.

He wordlessly stepped in and quietly handled homework  time with my sons. For this I will be forever greatful. He did great. Twin #1 did not do so great.

45 minutes in and he still hadn't finished his reading portion. I half listened to his halfhearted attempts and declared when he finished that it must be marked as "too hard."

Apparently this declaration ended his life as he repeatedly told me while stomping and shouting. He calmed down enough for us to discuss the reason for the meltdown. Turns out he was feeling pressured to reach a higher reading level because of teasing and the feeling that he wasn't good at anything.

This was a serious moment for him and yet somehow it slid into a ridiculous riot of a time in seconds. When he mentioned being teased I mentioned how his twin had been teased all day for endlessly stating the time (he got a new watch). This cracked his bad mood a little as he explained to me that his twin sang weird time songs all day. Said twin entered the room and I asked about the songs. He smiled and was like, "oh yeah, I did that."

Then to give us an example he began to sing.

"Its 5 o'clock, its 5 oooooooclock. Oh yeah it is 5 o'clock."

Then the next song.

"He's yelling and crying about reading. Now he's rubbing his eye and holding a pencil. Now he's threatening me with his fist. But there's no hitting at our house. Now I'm waiting for him to finish his homework. Its still 5 o'clock..."

And so it went. These songs had many more words and a dance and were performed in an aikido gi. We were all laughing, even the angry twin, by the time the songs were done.

My time for me today is typing this blog in my car while I wait at aikido practice and reflecting at the helpfulness of my roomies and the awesomeness of twin 2 and his freedom of expression.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Home decor with boys

I really enjoy taking my boys shopping with me.

They are generally well behaved in stores and they quote commercials and come up with all sorts of random uses for common items.

Honestly they amuse me and make something that should be a chore turn into more of an adventure.

So, even though I had the opportunity to shop all alone I waited and took my 3 boys yesterday. It turned out to be a great break from the stress of real life at that moment. Our 30 minutes of shopping for some random home decor items made my whole day so much easier.

Here's how it started.

"I don't want to go to the store!"

"Well, what store?"

"Wait, what do we have to get there?"

"Can I look at toys?"

"Can I look at shoes?"

"K. I guess I'll go."

I only needed two things so I said we could look at whatever they wanted. My 4 yr old announced (from having overheard me on the phone earlier) that we needed fro piwoes and love sak covers. I just laughed. And off we went.

We looked through all the boys clothes, shoes, hats and any other accessory that could be found. We hit up the very sparse toy department with promises that everything cool that was found would be promptly added to "The Birthday List."

Then we began our pass through the home section.

First up was stopping to look at the giant keys in the wall art section. They have been there for at least 6 months. No one ever buys them. My sons are all obsessed with them. They stand in front of them in awe and wonder and loudly discuss the treasures they might unlock. Then they beg for them. Then I say no. Then we move on. Every time we go to that store. Every single time.

We walked to the bedding section and I explained that I needed a duvet cover. Then explained what a duvet was. Then I had to spell duvet for the newly literate twins. Then I had to provide a short lesson on how to read labels and tell the difference between sheets and duvets. Then all three boys searched up and down the aisle shouting things like, "only look at the purple and blue tags", "how do you spell duvet again?", "wait is this a duvet?", "how do you spell sheets?", "I'm gone find before you do because I am a better reader than you!", "you can't read, stop pretending!" and "I found a hot pink plaid one, will that work?"

We did not find a duvet cover in that section.

On to the throw pillows. We needed four so I started out with that simple direction. After receiving a purple satin, burnt orange felted and king size plaid option from my three stooges we set boundaries.

No shiny material.

No scratchy material. (along with the direction of, stick your face on it and see if you like it.)

Only boring colors.

With these instructions clearly defined and understood I received more viable options but still no winners.

Then my son shouts, "whoa, 3D pillows! do we need 3D pillows mom?"

I didn't know how to answer that.

I set off to discover what 3D pillow actually meant. (I was picturing a Toy Story pillow that came with free 3D glasses so it would look like the image popped out, which was not what I was needing for my movie room...)

Turns out it means that it is a pillow with "things" attached to it. One had found a beaded version, another a furry pompom option and the third son had one with felted flowers. I couldn't get over how excited they were about 3D pillows so the felted flowers option went into the cart. We didn't find any others meeting my strict criteria and my boys strong aesthetic senses so I just bought two others that were the right shape with the plan to recover them myself.

Then we found the comforters and the hunt for a duvet resumed. They found all sorts of amusing options and vehemently debated amongst themselves arguing things like, price, color, texture and how many cool points each fabric had. I just stood quietly, soaking in the many many moments and phrases that I could use against them in 20 years:) A muted circular pattern won and was in the right price range so I agreed.

We left the store successful in our ventures and all happy and satisfied that we had taken part in the decision. We were all proud when we got home to put the pillows on the couch and check the duvet color next to the newly painted walls. It was an honest to God good time with my sons.

So, iff you have any decorating needs they may be available. Their schedule gets pretty booked up with beyblades, dog walking, movie watching and dress up, but I could put in a good word for you ;)