Saturday, February 25, 2012

Precious moments

Not the little figurines.

Yesterday and today have been filled with precious moments! So precious that we could have been featured in those little figurines!

Last night I took two of my boys along with my sister and my mother in law to a free movie night at Arts and Cultural center. We got to watch Dolphin Tale under the stars. My sons adored the movie and my 5 yr old adored seeing so many of his friends.

He spends a lot of time being drug around to my meetings, his twin brothers activities and family outings. He doesnt have a lot of his own stuff yet.

Last night he got to see his good friend who had just moved back on island. They saved us a spot on the grassy lawn and my 5 yr old was on top of the world that his friend wanted to sit with him.

Once the movie started his best friend and future wife came over to share popcorn with him. They then spent the rest of the movie sharing blankets, popcorn and sitting as humanly close to each other as possible. It was a sight to see!!

As for me, there are a handful of people that just make me smile and feel happy whenever I see them. Almost all of them were there last night!! That means I was flying high with happiness at seeing so many sweet friends in one place :)

Funny part is, I didnt really want to go. I had a long week of diseases, injuries, doctor visits, getting yelled at, scheduling mishaps and general mayhem. By the time Friday rolled around I just wanted to crawl into bed and ignore everything. I'm glad I forced myself to have fun with my kids, it was soooooo worth it!

Precious moment #2 was my husband staying home with our currently quarantined son (seems like there's been one of these every week for way too long!). They rented Dolphin Tale from RedBox and had movie snacks in bed while they snuggled and watched the movie. My son was on cloud nine level happiness over this time with his daddy.

This morning life got even more entertaining. My husband sat our 5 yr old down for a serious discussion on career goals and how he was going to provide for his future wife. The 5 yr old decided that they would live in Kihei , close to Grandma, have their own house and that he would be an artist. When my husband pointed out that it's expensive to live in Hawaii and that artists dont usually make much money my son decided he could have a small house. Glad we got that settled, now he just has to run it by his future wife :)

Precious moment #4 my oldest son came up with a family challenge. This morning as my husband was telling me to buy more beer our son says, "I bet you cant go a whole month without drinking beer daddy!" My husband assures him that it would be easy and so our son challenges him. Then I said, "Then you have to do a challenge too." So he came up with this last:

Daddy - one month of no beer
Mommy - one month of exercising every day
Oldest son - one month no grumpy attitude
Middle son - one month of brushing his hair everyday
Youngest son - one month of keeping his room clean

These ideas were right on the tip of his tongue. I guess he must have been thinking about them for awhile :)

We all agreed that this would be an entertaining family challenge and we're going to start on Monday. I think everyone is betting that either my oldest son or myself will be the first losers.

We also came up with punishments and prizes for the challenge. The punishment if you dont make it the whole month is taking the dog out to pee in the morning everyday for one week.

We all hate this job (my husband has never actually done this job, but he hates the dog so same/same).

The prize if you make the whole month is you get to pick a choose your own island adventure and the whole family has to do it with you with a good attitude.

Want to do a family challenge with us? Let me know if you want to join in, it promises to make for a very entertaining month.

Two more precious moments and I'm done, I promise.

Next, my oldest son has been dying to play backgammon. Except he doesnt know what its called and hes only ever played it on my phone where it tells you where to put the pieces.

We cleaned out a closet last week and found the backgammon board and every day since he's been begging to play "that" game. I told him that it's his daddys favorite board game but he didn't want to play him because he said daddy would beat him. So daddy had the twins go up against each other and I got to sit here typing while I listened to three of them discuss strategy and praise each other for their "sweet moves." This was one of those parenting moments where being a parent feels awesome and one of those kids moments that you carry as a cherished memory for years to come.

Finally, we have a 5yr old girls Fancy Nancy party to attend today. Quarantine boy and Sir Limps a Lot (aka our twins) will be enjoying a movie with Grandma while my husband and I take our youngest to this gala event. To prepare we bought a fancy present, wrapped it in fancy paper, daddy tied a fancy bow and my youngest and I made a fancy card (card making with my boys deserves its own post, we really get into it!!). Then we faced the conundrum of how a boy can dress fancy. Of course this brought up all sorts of quips in my husbands and I's heads but we kept a straight face and helped our little guy out. We went around the house collecting all the fancy attire we could (a bumblebee hat, a thor hammer and monster pajamas all received vetoes). He ended up in a buzz lightyear belt, suspenders and a bow tie and I am smiling ear to ear every time I look at him. He ran out to the dining room announcing, "Now that's fancy!" as he showed off his outfit.

See? Precious moments, my weekend has been filled with them :) Its a good thing because I need something to balance out the yelling and the mess and the chaos that tries to crowd in and ruin everything.

Hope you have a precious moment this weekend too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

So appropriate for Valentines Day

I'm not quite sure how to tell you this, but I think I'm in love. Its appropriate that this love should find me at Valentines Day dont you think? Well, close to Valentines Day. I just watched all the TV shows from Valentines Day so I'm pretty sure that makes today count as like a second Valentines Day.

I am in love with this blogger's artwork.

Did you check out the link? What do you think?

Here's the deal. I have a wall in my dining room. The wall has a very large low fish tank that has one fish inside of it. I dont like fish and I will forever think that it looks stupid to have a giant fish tank with one fish, but regardless of these facts it's what I have. I need something on that blank wall to distract the eye from the oversized fishtank.

The story behind the fish is that my husband read about red devil cichlids and became obssessed. He just had to have one. He read that they grow really big and need a large space so he went on craigslist and found a huge tank and stand. Then he got the red devil and we named him flash. Flash was pretty small when we first got him, maybe the size of the palm of my hand. Now he's probably the size of my hand so he has doubled in the 2 years we've had him. However even with that growth he still looks stupid in the giant tank. Hes going to ned to grow at lest 5x larger for me to even pretend I'm okay with the space he's been given

So why dont we get more fish for the tank? Because Flash eats anything we put in, including fish that are bigger than him. We had one that was truly huge, his name was humungosaur or goliath depending on who you ask, and it took Flash only 2 short weeks to slay the monster. He took down a crayfish twice his size in only a day. Guppies last mere minutes.

Once my husband had exhausted all options of fish that might be able to stand up to the mighty flash he tried fish tank decor to appease my loathsome attitude toward the giant tank. He put in a pagoda (I love pagodas), he added a log (which is now the dark cave from which Flash lurks), he put in natural stones etc, he tried a bubble wall (I hate the bubble wall) and then he put in plants to liven it up (plastic plants do not "liven" up anything). No matter what he has tried I cant get past barely tolerating the giant tank that stole my wall space. But tolerate it I shall because my husband loves it, loves Flash and its a bonding thing for him to share with our 3 boys.

So next time you stop by feel free to admire Flash and his giant aquarium. (If you can see him through the scum) The only thing I dislike more then the fish tanks themselves is how gross they get. My husband tries to keep them lovely but when he gets busy or forgets I crawl out of my skin every time I see the murky water or algae filled glass. But I quietly and patiently wait for him to fix it because my husband quietly and patiently waits while I let the rest of our house become almost as filthy as the aquarium. This is one of the many reasons our marriage works. We do not disparage or nag, we simply ignore and evade. It's served us well so far.

And now that I've gotten thoroughly off track let me go back to thalitadol. Her artwork has a beautiful, wistful, playful innocence that I find inspiring. She does custom work where you send her a picture and she hand draws and then digitally colors it. The results are outstanding. Check out her etsy shop and the custom picture of the girl standing by the piano. I want a picture done in that style of my three boys. There are only a few huge problems:

1. I need to convince my husband that its a good idea to spend somewhere between $240-$360 on custom artwork to put on the wall above the fishtank. The thing is, he hates that I put stuff on all the walls in our house. He makes a big deal out of how I wont be able to handle leaving that wall blank. He likes blank walls. I feel like the level of convincing needed is waaaaaaaay over my head and capabilities. Plus, her artwork is sort of "cutesy" for his manly tastes.

2. I need a good picture of all 3 of my children. Hmmm, I can't a good picture of even one of them usually so I'm not sure how to even go about this. On top of that the picture cant just have my three children smiling, it needs to tell a story. If I'm going to drop that kind of dough and put in that kind of effort to take the picture, convince the husband etc... it's got to be the worlds best picture. Any ideas? What is most adorable about my 3 boys together? What is the single most important thing to capture about them? How can I portray their togetherness and comradry in a photo/painting?

3. Final problem. There are a couple pictures out of the thousands I have that really speak to me, so would it be more worthwhile (aka easier because i already have the pics)to have a series done? I have the worlds best picture of my youngest sleeping on the floor, he is angelic in his sleep and it always makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy to see him like that. I have a picture of my oldest and his surfboard. He is, and always will be, my daredevil and adventurer. I have a picture of middle child surrounded by puzzles that he's built. He's a thinker and always so proud when he accomplishes a task that it makes you smile with him. I also have a couple of really cute twin photos where they're holding hands or dressed the same or doing something "twinny" so that could be an option too.

4. I was lying about it being my final problem. My final, final problem, my dad is an amazing artist. I know, what a hassle right?!?! :) Anyways, would it be awful for me to have him look at this artist work that I love and then see if he might be able to do some version of it himself? My dad reads this blog. In fact he even called me the other day to remind me to take my laptop to bed so that I would remember to blog :) He's cool like that. But... he is super busy with an exhausting job and he hasn't really ever found his place/voice as an artist. I'm sure that its what he was meant to do in life, be an artist. But I am also sure that life doesnt always give you the chance to do what youre meant to do, it gets in the way and muddles things up.

Well, that's it. Now you know what I'll be thinking about for the forseeable future. This amazing artist, the blank spot on my wall, the fish I loathe and the picture I need. Do you ever things like this that you're sure you NEED eve though it is clearly a want item?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Secret Genius

I am pretty sure I have a secret genius locked up inside of me.

Don't worry, I'll explain.

My house looks like a pile of trash. It's a combination of starting too many projects, being bitter about doing so many chores and therefor taking a silent stand by not doing chores (I bet $10 that you've done this at least once in your life), and the fact that about a month ago I told my 3 sons that I was done arguing and that from now on they did not have to do chores in shared spaces (they still have to clean their own rooms).

Of course I explained that they still could do chores, and that chores done without being told and with a good attitude would receive prizes. The result is a trash pile house and greedy little boys who think every time they put their plate in the sink or take off their shoes they deserve a wii game.

This may be a little exaggerated, but only a little. Needless to say, things aren't working.

But...the prize closet is almost empty and I have new system ready to roll out. In the meantime I step over and around filth and shove piles out of my way. Every once in awhile when its more then I can handle I cajole and send loud reminders into the empty air that doing chores equals prizes remember?!?!?!?! This doesn't usually work but every once in awhile I get a son who wants a prize, cant find his underwear or is (shocking gasp) just kindly offering to help out.

When I see these good behaviors I reinforce by giving "bonuses." "Bonuses" are like get of jail free card, they can get you out of picking up dog poop, or reading extra chapters, or ice cream instead of apples for dessert etc... or really whatever means I also get yummy dessert, dont have to pick up dog poop or get to go to bed early.

This evening there was no space left to eat at the table. They had to clean in order for us to have dinner. So my three little monsters tackled their task with gusto and




They were done. The only reward was that they could eat dinner versus starve. I'm very kind like that.

But, seeing how well they had done and what good moods they were in, I decided to do a social experiment. Or teach them a lesson in the power of positive attitude. Or mess with their heads by playing a sick joke.

 It's all about perspective.

 I loudly announced that if someone would pick up the floor under the table by the time I had dinner ready there would be a "bonus." And I left it at that. I did not say another word while I cooked.

Oldest son began cleaning, he knows a good deal when he hears one and cant resist the mystery of the "bonus."

Middle son wandered around whining and getting in everyones way.

Youngest son sat quietly at the table waiting for food because he was starving because he refused to his lunch at school....again.

I finished cooking and asked my husband if the job was complete. He announced that oldest son had completed the task on his own with a good attitude.

Now for the good part. I announced the bonus. drum roll please /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

"The bonus is the double sided lightsaber"

CUE ENDLESS TEARS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Here's where you need more background information, because I know your all getting ready to drive your car or hop in a plane to get over here and clean under my table so you too can receive a "bonus." Lightsabers bring out that desire in everyone. the force is strong with them.

But I promise it's not that cool. the toy is like one inch tall and doesnt even need batteries.

Our sons are always trying to get my husband and I to buy $100 lego sets so that they can have one piece inside, like a light up brick or a lifejacket for a minifigure or a lightsaber etc... So we discovered (after approximately 1000 no's and arguments in public places) that we could buy these silly little pieces from sites like for just a few dollars. We promptly ordered the most coveted lego item, the lightsaber, or 13 of them to be exact, because they only cost $4 all together. the problem was that 13 doesn't divide by 3, something my 3 little math geniuses figured out rather quickly. problem #2 was that one of the lightsabers was doublesided, but just one. NOT 3, I repeat NOT 3. After the 8th time they begged me for the double sided saber I announced that I would decide its fate and no one was allowed to ask for it.

Which brings us back to tonite. The moment I announced the "bonus" I sent two little boys spiralling into complete and utter misery and despair. They came unhinged in their crying/screaming/hysterical sobbing at the thought that they had a chance to earn the coveted item and had passed on it just to be lazy. I was told how mean I was, how unfair it all was, how I had tricked them etc... about 5 minutes into the fits as I struggled to hold back my giggles at their behavior my middle son realized and then announced, instantly calm, that he could make his own double lightsaber out of two that he had already earned. My youngest still didn't get it and I think he may have gone to bed still mad.

So there you have it. I gave my sons the opportunity to earn a free toy and when I delivered the toy I shattered two young lives. I think there's a secret evil genius inside of me that caused these events to occur. Who would have thought that giving a gift would teach such a lesson? My secret genius, that's who.

As a final note, please do not use any of the ideas above. they are bad parenting methods, I tried them so you don't have to. I also promise that I have exaggerated and that I am usually a better parent than this. It's just I've been really tired lately. You understand right?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dark Secrets

So, I wrote a blog last week stating that I was back and that regular blogging would occur. But then I wrote nothing.

Basically, I lied.

Ummm, yeah, so I'm sorry about that.

To make up for it I am about to share all sorts of secrets you never wanted to know about me and that will probably make you view me differently forever. Or, three secrets that you might already know. You'll never know unless you keep reading.

It's a good hook right? Are you still reading? Mission accomplished.

Secret #1 - I am ridiculously and hopelessly lazy.

A big part of why I havent blogged, and I know I've discussed this before but bear with me, is because my laptop is unavailable. I know, I know, you're sad for me right?

Except my laptop works fine, its in the closet. Its in the closet because my tech junkie of a husband has made it so there is an awesome pc in our dining room, his personal awesome pc in our bedroom, his work macbook in its laptop bag, our boys ipad by the side of my bed, my nook in my purse, and my smartphone charging by the side of my bed all available to blog from. So I no longer have the need for my laptop.

But I dont want to sit and blog by myself in the dining room, i dont want to use my husbands computers, and the nook, ipad and smartphone all have touchpad keyboards and I royally suck at typing on them and there is no way I am getting up to get the laptop and then have to plug it in.

See? Lazy.

If that's not bad enough, I paid for one of those fancy schmancy bluetooth keyboards so that i could blog easier on the bluetooth. FYI, its awesome. Except I was sitting in the dark and I couldnt see the keys. I sat here slowly typing and mistyping for the last 30 minutes until my husband came home and I could get him to turn the lights on for me.

See? Lazy.

Secret #2 - I'm a big scaredy fraidy cat. My days have been filled with unbloggable moments. Not that my life is boring. In the past month I turned 30, my dog resumed her fleeing habit, my 3 children all took turns being sick and I completely upended my house in a Pinterest redecorating rage. Life has been full of moments, but they were mostly moments I couldn't share. Every day that I think of writing something I think of who might read it and be offended, or embarrassed or mad and I freeze up unable to spill the beans. These moments make me wish I had kept my blog anonymous. I know that it is technically anonymous, I don't use my name etc... but I post it to my personal facebook account and I am pretty sure that 15 of my 16 followers are friends and family, so really the anonymity is just for when this blog goes global, because, yeah, that's going to happen.

I'll say it again, I'm a big scaredy fraidy cat.

Secret #3 - Do you pin? I avoided it like the plague when I first heard about it. Everyone was doing it and my friends facebook statuses were filled with comments about what a timesuck it could be.

I do not need more timesucks in my life. Between laziness, words with friends, napping and monster pet shop I suck all my time away already.

But then my facebook friends were doing such cool things and these not good idea people were coming up with mind blowing ideas and so I had to find out what Pinterest was all about.

Turns out Pinterest is a bottomless pit of awesome. I mean, at first I didn't get it, searching the web and pinning to a virtual bulletin board was way to tall an order for me, it sounded suspiciously like work. But then I discovered that I could search within Pinterest and let others do the worldwide web searching for me!!!

How awesome is that?

And so my pinterest habit began.

Now its got a dozen boards and hundreds of pins (you can friend me if you want! Come to the dark side, we teach you how to bake perfect cookies bwahahaha).

I don't spend a lot of time on it, but its like facebook, I check it 10 times a day for just a few minutes each time. Turns out those minutes add up.

But the time suck turned out not to be the real problem. The real problem is that I now have a way to not lose all the cool crafty ideas I see out in the world. Now that I am not losing them I have to do them.

Like I am literally driven to do crafts and cant sleep thinking about ones I should be doing, that I did wrong, or that I could be posting.

It's a sickness really.

I've made decorations, pillows, painted pictures, created gift tags, built headboards and even taken family pictures. These are all things that I say I'll do, think about doing and never quite get organized enough to do. But now Pinterest has ruined all of that.

So here I sit, exhausted, cranky, organized, and with a head full of craftiness that I just cant seem to shake. I now live a life filled with "Pinterest made me do it" moments.

There you have it. Laziness, fear and my Pinterest obsession are the real reasons behind my barren blog.

Good thing I bought a fancy schmancy bluetooth keyboard, that will definitely fix everything.

What about you? What causes you to go off the grid from time to time?