Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday 5: Keeping the Little Explorers Alive Edition

1. I’m gunning for the parenting sweet spot, folks. I’m still far from having self sufficient kids, but last week, it was as if a beam of heavenly sunshine picked me to illuminate. Gertrude Bell has to read out loud for 20 minutes every day. Arthur Dent has to be read to for 20 minutes a day. Cue angels singing. I do not have to be a part of this! Gertrude Bell reads to Arthur Dent at night before bed and I just have to sign their papers! Finally, having a lot of kids relatively close together results in a win! (In case you’re wondering, this never worked with Amelia Earhart reading to Gertrude Bell because Amelia Earhart has been reading about 17 grade levels above her age since she finally figured out how to read.)

2. I’m exhausted. It used to be, when the International Man of Intrigue went to the field or TDY (That’s Temporary Duty for all you non-giant-governmental-organization folks.) I would do something like stay up late repainting a room or sewing new curtains. Now, I mostly go to bed early and try to keep the Little Explorers alive and fed. No one tells you when you have kids that the keeping alive part is really a lot of work. For example, Arthur Dent is determined to fall and crack his head open in the bathtub or shower. He even did fall a couple of times in Florida, yet the warning seems to come as new information every time. 
“Arthur Dent, no jumping in the tub.” 
“But, Mama, I wasn’t jumping. I was just hopping.” 
“Arthur Dent!”
“That was dancing.”
“No dancing either. Can you mostly just keep your feet still and on the bottom of the shower at all times?”
(Five minutes later…)
“I’m sorry, Mama. Can I karate chop my way out?”

3. I took the kids to the pool this weekend and managed to get burnt to a crisp. I can’t even tell you the last time I got a sunburn. I’m a big believer in sunblock. I guess I should have had the Little Explorers sunscreen up before we left the house, but instead we did it poolside. Putting sunscreen on Little Explorers is about as easy as giving a cat a bath, and then add to it that the pool was mere feet away, and it was a workout. By the time it was done, I was too busy trying to make sure no one was drowning to realize that I had forgotten my own sunscreen. Two days later and I’m still red and a little uncomfortable.

4. This week, Hawaii is expecting visits from two tropical storms, as well as from President Obama. I bought so much food at Costco yesterday I could barely push my cart to the parking lot. I think The Intrigues will be ok.

5. One major thing I’ve learned about Hawaii is to pack drinks and snacks, or even lunch, every time you leave the house. In the last couple of weeks, I have had what should have been quick errands turn into multi-hour outings. Since Laura Ingalls Wilder is still at home all day and is my sidekick for all these shenanigans, we ended up eating out a few more times than I would have liked. I should clarify- one of those times eating lunch out was shoving money into a vending machine and feeding my child a well rounded meal of fritos and M&Ms. Now I keep a reusable water bottle with me and granola bars and almonds stashed in my purse. If I think there’s a chance that we’ll be out within an hour of meal time, I up our rations. Aloha, baby.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tuesday 5: It's Mostly Wednesday Edition

Surprise! It’s a Random 5! For most of you, it will be on a random day, since it’s Tuesday night here, and Wednesday most everywhere else in my readership.

1. Do you remember those episodes of The Brady Bunch where they visit Hawaii? One of the boys finds a tiki and it brings them all kinds of bad luck. They also have enough near misses to believe it’s a good luck charm. Let’s just say that after our first week or so in Hawaii, I was tearing through luggage looking for tikis. Hotel issues, housing issues, getting those resolved, then moving into a house and having some big items, including a piece of the bunk bed and a wooden shelf, show up from the mainland in pieces, having two of the Little Explorers get a false positive on their tuberculosis tests, were just the major issues. I never found a tiki, and things have gotten better, so I guess I’ll stop humming The Brady Bunch theme song for now.

2. We drove our mini van, Van Halen, from Florida to Los Angeles, as you may recall. There are lots of weird things to see on a cross country road trip. The weirdest thing we saw was a burning mattress on the side of a major interstate during rush hour. Weirder was that no one else seemed to think it was out of place. 

3. I am writing today even though I feel pretty brain dead. The reason? Today I left the house around 9:45 for a quick trip to the post office and to get an out of state permit for my car at the DMV. The International Man of Intrigue already went through this process for his Jeep and assured me it was quick and painless. Let’s just say that I arrived home three and a half hours after I left the house. The wait at the DMV was LONG. Painfully long. Once I got to the window, it took less than five minutes for me to finish my business and leave. 

4. I’ve had some time to reflect, and I think a lot of the misery we felt when we first arrived on island was compounded by outside pressure. Well meaning friends and family back home were constantly asking us if we’d gone to the beach or on a hike or seen Diamond Head or the sea turtles or had shaved ice or eaten pineapple yet. It was adding to our stress levels that had already skyrocketed with arranging a place to live and taking possession of our belongings and our cars and going back and forth to get the Little Explorers cleared for and enrolled in school. Once we took a step back and reminded ourselves that we’d have plenty of time for the fun stuff, it took a lot of pressure off. After all, we LIVE here, we’re not on vacation. We have the next three years to find our favorite spots and see all the things the islands have to offer. We can also let some of the well meaning questions and comments roll off now that we realize there’s a difference between visiting paradise and living here.

5. What are you watching and reading right now, Fellow Adventurers? I spent the last two weeks watching the Olympics any chance I got. I enjoyed it, but I’m glad it’s over. I just started reading “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon. I think I’m going to really enjoy it.