Monthly Archives: February 2013

The second time isn’t any easier.

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I got an email from our MOPPETS coordinator today that said there is room for Kylee to join the other babies in the 6-month room.  It said if I was ‘ready’.  If you saw me ten minutes after the email you would clearly see I am not ready.  MOPPETS

Kylee is my little girl.  She is sensitive and delicate and gentle and most of all, she is a mommy’s girl.  You could be playing with her and think you are the center of her attention but if I walk in the room you quickly become chop liver and mommy makes the world go ’round.  Because of that, it has become our routine for her to be with me whenever I am around.  We are used to it.  She is a little extension of me, my little wiggler who is happy to give my arms a good workout every day.  When we are at MOPS, she bounces in my arms and smile at other people and kids.  I would feel so empty without her in the meeting with me.

When Reece first went into the child care area with MOPS I cried.  I had Kylee then, but dropping him off with strangers to play with other kids -and mommy not be around- hit an emotional key with me.  I was prepared to be emotional and I was.  When we entered the room he ran off to play with the toys and didn’t even look up to say “bye.”  It sucked that he wasn’t heartbroken when I left but knowing he was okay was what I needed so I didn’t breakdown more.  I knew Kylee wouldn’t be like Reece was which is another reason I was not ready for her to join MOPPETS; there would be a lot of tears from both parties.

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Me and my little girl

I sat in quiet as the weight of that email sank over me.  At first, I was numb.  I messaged a friend about what was running through my head when it really hit me.  I cried at the keyboard as I typed my concerns.  Then I texted Kyle -he can always bring me back- asking him to call if he wasn’t too busy.  Exactly five minutes later he called.  All he said was “what’s up?’ and I lost it.  I cried as I told him about the email.  He chuckled then said “but the email said if you were “ready’. You don’t have to be ready and it’s obvious that you’re not.  It’s okay.”  I cried a bit longer than told him I was better so he can get back to what he was doing.

Just over an hour later the MOPPETS coordinator emailed me again.  She was letting me know she made a mistake.  She is from the MOPS from Fort Belvoir, our last MOPS group, not the one here in Hawaii.  She realized that we left in October and wanted to apologize for bothering me again.  Bother me! Not at all! I am relieved it isn’t time to separate from my Kylee yet!

I am happy it was a false alarm but it still got me thinking about this happening soon.  In our MOPS here, kiddos go into MOPPETS when they turn one, instead of six months like our old one.  I knew it wouldn’t be any easier than when I did it with Reece but I figured I’d at least know what to expect; how I’d feel.  Wrong.

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Pests in paradise

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I knew when we moved to Hawaii that there had to be a downside -besides living so far away from friends and family- but that downside keeps rearing it’s ugly head; pests!

I can’t even come close to guessing how many bugs we’ve seen since moving into this -lovely- house but I can say it has been waaaaay more than we saw the entire time we lived in Virginia and DC.  Bugs are part of Hawaii, I get that, but I still need to constantly remind myself that this isn’t anything unusual for the locals.

Two weeks ago a pest control service came out and sprayed our house for bugs.  We set up a schedule for him to come out every six weeks to keep the critters at bay, I began to feel better.  One morning while I was brushing my teeth I saw a large ant dying on the bathroom floor.  Score!  While sweeping the kitchen I found a roach on it’s back.  Yay!  The spray was working and I was feeling great.  I thought our bug problem was squished -pun intended, haha- and for the most part it was; only a random one here and there.

One day a few weeks ago Kyle tried to wash a load in the dishwasher and it leaked water all over the floor.  We called maintenance and set up for someone to come out and fix it.  Last week, the nice gentleman got down on the floor with a flashlight, looked around, then hopped up a moment or two later and said he wouldn’t be able to fix it today.  He said that I would need to take care of the rodent problem before housing would invest money into fixing the dishwasher.  Something was eating through the tubing.   RODENT!!! I didn’t know I had a rodent problem; there have been no signs, no droppings, no pitter-patter, nothing.  I asked -like he would know- if it was a rat or a mouse, he said he couldn’t tell but the pest control guy might be able to.  So today I have an appointment for the pest control guy to come out again to set traps.  I hope they are quick kill because it would be torture to hear it struggling or dying.

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Cane spider in my laundry room

I don’t really have a problem with pests; I can deal when I need to.  I am the type to cowgirl up when necessary then really let it hit me later.  In the last seven years -as long as we’ve lived in or near military housing- I have grown accustomed to roaches, ants, and spiders.  I have seen a scorpion here and there, had birds come into the house, even had a large salamander make residence behind my bookcases and it all happens when I become complacent with my surroundings.  Google ‘cane spider’, that is what I found when I was grabbing a stroller out of my laundry room.   I now peek around corners and flip on lights expecting to see something so if something is actually there, at least I’m ready.

CD for size comparison

CD for size comparison

The ecosystem is so different in Hawaii.  I see bugs, plants and animals that I never knew existed while others that I expected to see, absent.  I thought Mongoose was a type of bike but I see mongooses (mongeese?) all the time but there are no squirrels here.  Raccoons don’t tear apart my trash but flies and colorful birds are on it as soon as it’s out in the open.  Reece has been bit at least three time by a centipede so we just need to be extra vigilant in ensuring that -now we have his bed put together- he doesn’t sleep on the floor and that his toys are picked up.

What I’m getting at is that with the different way of life out here there are bound to be different pests than I am used to.  Instead of freaking out about it we have adopted different ways to manage the house to keep them away.  We have been adjusting our routines to give ourselves a better chance of ridding our house of said pests.  Everything in the kitchen is in airtight containers, laundry is centralized and done regularly, no dishes are left in the sink overnight, food is not allowed anywhere other than the table or kitchen, and trash is taken to the can in the carport nightly.  Unfortunately, with all those precautions we still get creepy crawlers but at least we can feel confidant that we are doing our part in keeping them away.

Reece at the Doc for his centipede bite

Reece at the Doc for his centipede bite

A closer view

A closer view

We think the type of centipede that bit him.  It looks little but it easily hides in bedding.

We think the type of centipede that bit him.
It looks little but it easily hides in bedding.

Monday morning…really?

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This morning has really been stacked against me.  I would consider myself a ‘morning person’ so I don’t mind getting up and getting busy first thing but so far this morning I am ready to crawl back in bed and ask for a redo.

First, Kylee waked up at 3:30. No problem.  She is dirty so I change her diaper and put her back down and she falls right back asleep.  Win!

4:30, Reece woke up and walked to our room.  I hold his hand and walk him back to his bed telling him “It’s not time to be up yet.  Go back ni-nights.”  he falls right back asleep.  Win!

4:50, alarm.  I get up, get changed and head downstairs.  Poop?  I smelled it as soon as I hit the last step; confirmed it as soon as I rounded the kitchen corner.  Really, Mac? I clean up his mess, drink my work-out drink and out the door; late.

5:04 my id wouldn’t scan properly and the computer gets all glitchy.  The overly perky lady comes out from behind the desk and happily reprimands me for not covering the bottom barcode.  I did and I do every morning so I am not ruling out it could have been my fault but I must have been lucky EVERY other morning.

I hope on the elliptical and work up a good sweat.  It feels like my morning is turning around.  All that has happened so far this morning will be washed away by sweat!  Then I go to the weight room.

It is packed like it always is on a Monday morning but there are two people that I have never seen before and the guy is doing the exact workout that I had never done before but had planned to do right away (push-up with row). No problem, he is taking up a lot of floor room anyways so I will grab a bench and start my presses and flies.  Naturally the only available bench is right next to the other new person; a ripped -not overly, though- young girl, and she was hott too.  Let’s give a round of applause as as welcome insecurities to the stage.

Block it.  Block it.  Block it!  I grab my weights and get to work.  It felt great and everything faded away with the music in my ears and sweat running down my forehead.  The guy had moved so I figured this was the time to do my push-ups with row.  I grabbed a pair of hex dumbbells and got in position.  First rep, great.  Second rep, great.  Third rep, I planted the dumbbell on a corner and threw my weight into the push up and it rolled.  I caught it before making a huge fool of myself but my shoulder clicked as I tried to correct.  I tried to do more reps but every rep I did I felt a pinch in my shoulder.  Time to stop that for today.

I go back to my other exercises and try to forget what just happened.  I am a keep-to-myself person at the gym with my headphones in my ears and no need to talk to anyone.  Today, a regular happened to walk past right as Pandora was in between songs and he asked if I was okay.  I said I was fine then he made small talk about “making it work” and being here Monday through Friday.  Now I may be reading into this but with the M-F comment I felt like he was saying to not let the new -really fit- people affect my morning; which that coupled with my push-up failure had me feeling like crap.  It was cool feeling like I was part of the ‘regulars’ club.

I came home and told Kyle about my morning so far.  As I was talking to him about my morning, my internal dialogue from the gym sounded really childlike.  He gave me some great advice and told me not to let the fit newbies into my head.  That they are only there to work out too; not to get into people’s heads.  It is silly that they bothered me like they did and I know they meant nothing by their presence -listen how silly I sound- but it takes someone else to point out the sillyness before it really clicks.

It is now 7am and I need to get ready for the long day ahead of me.  It is time to focus on the positives.  I have MOPS, grocery shopping, then I am making dinner for guests!  Good thing I went to the gym this because if my day continues like it has been I needed my morning workout to give me whatever good mojo it does every other day.  I love working out every morning and I look forward to the retry I get tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Date night semi-fail

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I was all sorts of excited to go on a date with my hubby!  We found a babysitter we liked, set up the time for her to watch the kids, and made plans.  Originally, we had wanted to do some indoor go-kart racing but then changed all that because we figured it was best to not do anything long or time consuming in case our sitter ran into any problems.  Tonight was going to be the first night she watched the kids so Kyle and I decided to go out for dinner then do a little shopping -close to home- until it was time to head back.

Our sitter arrived right on time (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE punctuality!).  I let her know the kids’ schedules and where to find things then Kyle pulled me out the door.  As we drove away I texted her Kyle’s number and told her to call or text me if anything was wrong and to no worry about bothering us.  I wanted her to feel comfortable letting me know if there was a problem because I know the kids -Reece especially- can be a huge handful which can get overwhelming very fast.

The trial run would last only two hours.  We drove to a local mall and walked around for a bit before settling on a restaurant.  With our names on the wait-list, we sat down and I checked me phone.  Text. (uh-oh)  From our sitter. (oh no!) Ten minutes ago! (WHAT! shit!) “The baby woke up and won’t stop crying. What should I do?”  I called her.  Kylee woke up and was just unsootheable.  She didn’t want to be held, put down, played with or left alone.  The whole time I was on the phone with the sitter I could hear Kylee screaming.  I looked to Kyle and he said the magic words, “Let’s go home.”

Our date night was cut short but I can’t really complain.  As much as the kids drive me nuts, if I am away from them for even ten minutes I get excited and anxious to get back to them.  It was nice to drive to a mall then turn right back around because I had an adult conversation with my husband; without an audience!

I think our shortened date worked out pretty well, too.  After eating a frozen dinner -wohoo- Kyle and I loaded up the kiddos and went to Cold Stone for ice cream to continue our date night.  Reece got a kick out of the special treat and Kylee had her first taste of the sweet deliciousness.

So what if our date was cut short.  We have the rest of our lives to date.  Tonight, despite the semi-failure, we had a really good time.

I knew it would happen, but I’m still in awe.

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Just today, Reece and I had a full conversation.  He talked and I talked and he talked some more then I talked some more.  He asked me questions, I gave him answers then I asked him questions and he gave me answers.  The idea that he and I could have conversations  was once a distant thought to me, but today it was normal.  He understands things and is able to prove his understanding with response.  He has such a personality and I now get to see it develop with his use of language.

Over the last few months, Reece’s vocabulary has exploded.  He uses words, when, not loo long ago he would make a sound to get something he wanted.  He had his own language, too.  It was garble but he would use it to describe something or answer a question like the sounds he was using would be understood.  He used the correct expressions, hand-gestures, and tone; just not words.

Two days ago I was on the phone with my mom on the truck’s Bluetooth.  Reece, like normal now, was yelling at me from the back seat “Mommy! No talking! I talk.”  Then he would usually pick up the conversation with “hello” and “love you” and “look!”, but I think he picked-up that my mom was having a bad day (cancer will do that to you).  He yelled at me to stop taking and that he would talk, but instead of telling her to look at a rainbow -we haven’t been able to teach him that you can’t see through the phone-  he said something pretty special.

Me: Okay Reece, you talk.
Reece: Idea!
Me: What’s your idea?
Reece: Mema come to my house!

He has never said that or anything along those lines before.  I knew he’d pick up on phrases like that, and it may have just been great coincidental timing, but he said what needed to be said at that moment.  My mom was sad so he told her to come to our house and it made her happy.

Recently, I was reading him a story to calm him down before naptime.  I grabbed The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a favorite of mine as a kid.  If you don’t know it the basic premise, there are three goats that want to eat grass on the other side of a river but the only way to get there is to cross over a bridge guarded by a troll.  By the end of the story the goats have outsmarted the troll and the green grass is available to them whenever they like.  I had read the story, I got to the point where the goats were trying to figure out a way to cross the bridge when Reece stopped me:

He is learning from us

He is learning from us

Reece: Idea!
Me: What’s your idea?
Reece: A boat!
Me: (floored)

Like while I was talking to my mom he, A. Was listening and gathering information, B. Figured out there was a problem,  and C. Came up with a solution.  Lately, when there is a problem he needs to solve we have been telling him to “think about it.”  Also, when working with Reece, if we have an idea we emphasize it with “idea!”, like he has been repeating back to us.  I knew he would pick up on these sort of things eventually but it still came as a shock when he proved to me that he was learning some of the things we had taught him.

While it is great that he is learning and advancing, it does come with a price.  Now we have to monitor and curb inappropriate language and behavior.  He is a little parrot and I don’t want him getting kicked out of daycare because mommy and daddy have dirty mouths.

Another problem with his new communication abilities can be shown with an example from yesterday.  I had met with friends at a play area and when it was all over I went to the car, loaded the kids and drove away.

Reece: MOMMY! STOP!!!
Me: What is it Reece?!
Reece: Kylee outside!
Me: WHAT!
I hit the brakes and looked in the back seat.  Liar.  She is safely buckled into her car-seat in the truck.

I believed him even though I remember clicking her seat into the base because the car parked next to me was close and I had a hard time getting her in.  I was so comfortable with his communication and reasoning skills that I believed him when he said that.

I am loving this new development.  I am sad that my baby boy is growing up -faster than I want but it’s life- but I am so excited for what we get to experience next.  I guess the joking, white lies, and long stories will be a regular part of our lives now.

Baking Banana Bread

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Reece seems to be on a banana embargo lately so my bananas are going bad.  He loves bananas but lately when I peel one and put it on his plate for breakfast he leaves the table to play.  At first I thought he was simply more interested in toys than breakfast but I will only give in to waste a few times before I stop serving him.  After the second time I was suspicious and when he wasted a banana -that he asked for- for the third time, I was over it.

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My Handwritten Copy
(The original is in Florida with my sister)

So now I have a bunch of old bananas and the only reasonable thing to do with old bananas iiiiiiiiissssssss………BANANA BREAD!!!

I am so skeeved out by old, spotty bananas.  I like my bananas practically green and stiff -insert joke by husband- so when they get soft I won’t touch them -insert another joke by husband.  This recipe, you want your bananas very soft so when the family has given up on the bunch is the perfect time for baking.

This recipe has been my family since as long as I can remember. The original recipe is on a 5×7, yellowing index card with stains and wrinkles. I don’t know who or where this recipe came from but it is by far the best banana bread I have ever tasted. I hope you enjoy!

Banana Bread

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Warm and Steamy!

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 eggs
3-5 very ripe bananas
2 tbls milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
2. In a seperate bowl or mixer, cream together sugar, margarine, and bananas.
3. Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated; then milk.
4. Add flour mixture to mixer
5. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Bread is done if you tap the top and it springs back. If when you tap the top you finger leaves an indention, keep baking.

Getting a Babysitter

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Today Kyle and I are interviewing a babysitter.  Hawaii has so much to offer but a lot of what we want to do isn’t exactly kid friendly.  We want to learn to surf, go on difficult hikes, and try new restaurants; something that would be much easier if we weren’t dragging along two uninterested kids.  I am excited and nervous about someone watching my kids but what parent isn’t?

While in DC, our awesome friends and neighbors watched Reece all the time.  We trusted them.  While I was pregnant with Kylee, Nicole or Troy would come right into our house and announce “I’m stealing your kid!” and off they’d go.  It was such a relief to know he was having fun and was safe.  Sadly, the Air Force moved them in one direction while the Army moved us in the other.  Now we are no longer right next door to our awesome friends but I am also missing that confidence that my kids were in good hands.

There are so many questions that I now have to ask a potential babysitter.  Do you know CPR?  How would you handle my son when he is overtired and not listening?  Do you mind cloth diapering?  Are you experienced with feeding a new-eater solid food?  Are you okay with dogs?  Would you know when to call if you were feeling overwhelmed?  With family and close friends, I know what to expect.  They know our routine and I know them.  I know the answers to most if not all the essential questions; there is no uncertainty.  A new babysitter means there will be many, many questions.

The person we are meeting today is a teenage girl.  I don’t know much about her, actually, I don’t anything about her.  I couldn’t even tell you her name.  I met her mom on a local military wives group on Facebook and they are coming over today to meet us, the kids and get a feel for our routine.  Kyle and I decided we wanted a sitter to use on a semi-regular basis while we’re in Hawaii so I wanted to have a single go-to person.  I don’t want to do this process over and over again and I want the kids to feel comfortable with the same sitter each time we leave.  It will be about three years we’ll need a Hawaii sitter and I hope it is the same one the whole time.

She comes over in a few hours.  Check back soon to read what we think of her.  I will update this post when she leaves.

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So, the interview went well. Reece really liked her and she was good with Kylee, too. She seems like a nice girl with a good head on her shoulders so on Friday we are going to use her while Kyle and I go on a date. It will be like a trial run; we are going to only go out for a little while and not go too far. I hope everything works out and she likes us and we like her and this can be a regular thing until they move in August.